By UnperfectWolf
Archive: any and all – let me know maybe?
Rated: pg13
Warnings: implied something.
Fandom, Pairing: Harry Potter Un. JK Rowling, dracohermione
Summary: "He saved you too, didn't he?"
Disclaimer: not mine, never was mine, never will be mine. all is jk rowling's.
Author's Notes: I got the idea for this from Riley's Pawn to Queen (see it on witchfics for the full 29 chapters plus some. There will never be more than that). It's where the whole "saved" bit comes from. But the rest is completely different. Especially considering this is supposed to be a one-shot. What "saved" means is up to you. Everyone will have a different meaning for the word once they read the story. It's the implied something that happens.
Word Count: 1088


"He saved you too, didn't he?"

Only the word too kept her from spitting out a rushed denial, kept her in her seat, kept her wand from rising. Even then, once she turned her head enough to see who it was, she opened her mouth to deny what he was saying, to prove to herself she could still be the same girl, could still defend herself to someone else, could still pass as normal.

To deny it had happened.

Instead, he cut her off by taking a step forward, into her line of vision without her craning her neck around at an awkward angle. He didn't say anything. He didn't have too.

"I… I…" she started to stammer. He held up a hand. She closed her mouth, her eyes trained on his shuttered face.

"You can deny it, but I know the truth. I can see the signs." He paused and ran a hand through his white gold tresses. "It happened last Wednesday."

Her eyes widened and she jumped to her feet, trembling. "No! I-"

"I can see the signs, Granger. You doing exactly what I did." His silver grey eyes boor into her amber tinted brown ones. She could see it in them, the hurt, the pain, the confusion, the self loathing… She could see exactly what she felt in his eyes.

Did that mean it never got any better?

"You noticed, huh?" her voice wasn't panicked like it had been just seconds before. Instead it was resigned. Tired, almost on the verge of collapse. Had she slept since last Wednesday? She sank down into the chair again, pulling her legs up under her chin.

He nodded slowly. "Yeah… I… I was the only one who did though." He knew she wanted to open her mouth and deny that, to tell him they had noticed, that her best friends had noticed that something was wrong.

But they hadn't, so she didn't.

"You're the only other one…" he trailed off, before quietly adding, "this year."

She nodded slowly. Carefully she listed off names, one after the other, of people that she could now recognize having been saved.

He looked surprised. She gave him a sardonic half smile. "I've had almost a week to think about it. I should have realized you…" She stopped.

Slowly, though, she finished. "But you never let anyone see what you were beofre, so it shouldn't surprise me."

He nodded. "I didn't recognize a few names… Who…" He looked at her and he knew. They were like her. They were expendable to him, people who didn't count. Of course he wouldn't have noticed them. Had she been any one of the others like her, he wouldn't have noticed. "Muggle-borns."

She nodded. "One from Ravenclaw, two from Hufflepuff and the rest from Gryffindor. They all graduated at least four years back."

They sat in silence for a while. Just… sitting. Being in someone else's presence and not feeling like they were going to jump out of their skin. She turned her head to the side and looked at him, interested in something for the first time in almost a week. "Why?"

There was no need to embellish. He knew, to a point, exactly what she was asking. Why had been saved? What had warranted such drastic measures, such abhorrent tactics such as those?

"It's custom to… to share everything as a Death Eater. Your children, sometimes… they… sometimes they get shared too, by those who's tastes run… younger." The meaning was implicit. She knew, to a detail, what he was talking about. She knew exactly what he had been up against, what had run through his mind.

Of course, they'd planned to share her too.


Silence reigned for a while, her watching him as he struggled to keep the memories at bay, struggled to formulate a response to a question he'd never had to answer before.

One that should never had had to be asked.

"Two months ago."

She studied him, her eyes sharp. She was tired, yes, but she was always aware. It was something that he envied, her being able to discern things at a glance. Her being able to know things that he had never quite gotten. "And the mark? Will you still take it?"

He looked at her, saw the knowing in her eyes. She knew he would have, before. Knew it with out a doubt, to her core. In her bones. He didn't question how she knew. She was The-Boy-Who-Lived's best friend… She was 'the brains' of the operation.

She'd been taken by his father, most likely.

He shook his head. She nodded. He didn't need to say another word on the topic.

She believed him.

She looked up at the ceiling, wondering how the stones stayed in place. She knew the muggles had ways of doing it, and wondered if in this case it was magic or labor that had built the stone castle she was in.

In the end, she supposed, it didn't matter. But she was always wondering things like that.

She wondered if the boy next to her ever thought of things like that, wondered whether something was completely magical. Before tonight, she would have said no, he never did… But now… Now that she knew he was just like her, just as afraid, just as susceptible…

She supposed the teachers knew about it. They probably knew about her being saved as well. Probably knew more than the two teenagers themselves did.

Neither one liked to think about it, or the implications of it.

Sometimes, though, at night, when it was dark and the only light came from the stars, she wondered about it. If it was wrong. What it made her, for having been through it. Now she wondered what it made him. Or Him. The one who did it.

She knew, in her mind, rationally, it wasn't His fault. He'd done the only thing. And looking back, despite all of the ifs, ands or maybes, she knew that there was nothing else that could be done.

She still hated him for it. The only person she held more responsible for it was Lucius Malfoy.

Now, as she watched the person she hated most in the world's son shift uncomfortably she knew. She knew that no matter what, she wasn't alone. That even after all she'd had wronged, there was someone who'd been wronged more.

She wondered what planning revenge with Draco Malfoy would be like.

In the end she decided to find out.

x-posted: all over