Hermione didn't want to talk about the incident. Or have to walk into a room and have the occupants fall into an uncomfortable silence. She didn't like the way her friends watched her every move from the corner of their eyes. It made her feel like a squirming little bug under a magnifying glass. It was humiliating how she fainted over some silly boggart. Not even Neville fainted their third year. Her ego was bruised and her self-confidence at an all time low.
The 'Brightest Witch of her Age' was sent into a fainting spell over some harmless boggart. The only bright spot was that she humiliated herself in front of her friends rather than someone else. If something so stupid and unforgivable happened in front of those prats in Slytherin, she imagined she'd be wrinkled and cleaning her teeth in a jar before she lived it down.
Sighing, Hermione stared listlessly out the window in the room she shared with Ginny. She closed her eyes and leaned her forehead against the cool pane of glass. The moon had a red ring, giving the night an eery glow.
She needed to get a grip. If she didn't let go of the creeping anxiety churning in her stomach she was going to have a hole the size of a number nine cauldron in it. No one else seemed to be as effected by the confrontation last spring. So why was she? Harry didn't jump at unexpected sounds, almost wetting himself in the process. Ron wasn't failing miserably at first year spells. And by the soft snoring coming from Ginny's bed, Hermione doubted the youngest Weasley was suffering from nightmares.
Since last spring her nights had been haunted by visions of dark robes and glistening silver masks. Luicus Malfoy's silky voice slithered around her head. It wound its way down her windpipe, constricting until she woke up gasping for breath. Every night, it was the same. After three months gone without a night of peace, she had hoped she would tire of the Death Eaters' threats and intimidating taunts. Instead the nightmares took on a life of their own -- pulling her back in time to that night.
Merlin, they had been stupid. So utterly and completely out of their minds. She had nearly died because of poor judgement. And for what? It had all been a trap. Sirius was dead. The prophecy had been destroyed. All because they had had to charge off into battle. Six teenagers armed with wands and a handful of spells.
It'd been reckless and foolish. They had been lucky. Something Hermione seriously doubted would continue through the war.
"Hermione?" The creaking of bedsprings had Hermione looking over her shoulder. Struggling to a sitting position, Ginny rubbed her eyes with the palms of her hands. "What are you doing up?"
"Couldn't sleep." Wiping her sweating palms on her nightdress, Hermione fidgeted for a moment under Ginny's curious eyes.
"You haven't slept well for the last two nights." Fully awake, the youngest Weasley appeared to have something to say. Conflict flicked across her shadowed face then vanished. Having come to sort of decision, the sleepy looking redhead fingered the bedspread. "I won't push. But, if you want to talk about it … not that you have anything to talk about … I mean …" Ginny sighed and shook her head. "I'm not really good at being subtle. Something to do with being a Weasley."
"Thank you, Ginny." Hermione whispered with sincerity. If there was anything that could have eased a portion of the tension out of Hermione's body, it was Ginny's straightforward honesty. It was an enormous relief from the whispering she knew was going on behind her back.
"When I'm ready – that is to say if there's something I need to talk about," A whisper of a smile played across her lips and Hermione felt better than she had in months. "You'll be the first person I talk to."
Ginny shoved the blanket from her, swung her legs over the side of the bed and shoved her feet into a pair of worn slippers. "I don't know about you, but I'm famished."
It felt as though a two-ton elephant had been lifted from her chest. Hermione nodded enthusiastically. "I feel like I haven't eaten in ages."
Ginny's mouth quirked into a knowing smirk. "That's because you haven't. Let's go see if there is any of Mum's pudding left."
The two girls headed down to the kitchen in comfortable silence. They went down the stairs at a quick gait, until Ginny stopped and pulled sharply on Hermione's sleeve. She motioned with her head to the bottom of the steps, a finger to her lips.
Voices floated up to the shadows where the two girls eavesdropped. Neither had try very hard in recognizing the angry female voice. Molly Weasley's blistering tone was one both had witnessed on many an occasion. The soothing and reassuring voice trying to calm down the angry monarch belonged to Mr. Weasley as he tried fruitlessly to pacify his wife.
Hermione and Ginny eyed one another and with a look, both tiptoed down a few stairs, careful to stay in the shadows and out of sight.
"I will not have it." Mrs. Weasley spat. "I can't believe the two of you would even consider it."
"Molly, please just hear us out." Arthur Weasley begged his wife. "The children have been locked up all summer. They need to get out."
"Fine." His wife replied. "We'll take them to the country on an outing. But I won't agree to taking them to Diagon Alley. It's far to dangerous."
"I rarely go against you on anything, Molly." Arthur's manner was almost apologetic, but the undertone of his words left no doubt that he wasn't backing down. "I already informed Dumbledore the children would be going."
Ginny made a face over being referred to as a child. A stigma both females knew they would never out grow when it came to the Weasley parents.
"Dumbledore has taken extra precautions. Owls were sent out inviting all students and parents for a day of carefree shopping. There will be Aurors in every shop and stationed on the street. There won't be a safer place in London."
"Arthur, no." Both girls felt their stomachs clinch in excitement at Mrs. Weasley's relenting tone.
"Molly the children need something normal to grasp onto. More now then ever before. We can't hide them away forever, it's just not fair to them. You know better than anyone what happens when children get bored."
Silence descended and the girls held their breath waiting for Mrs. Weasley's decision.
Finally she spoke. "I'll agree, only if Dumbledore promises every precaution has been taken."
"He has. I promise you, Molly. Everything will be fine." Clearly relieved that he didn't have to argue the night away, excitement crept Arthur Weasley's voice. "I can't wait to tell them over breakfast."
"Oh? I don't think it will take that long for them to hear find out." Molly Weasley replied in a knowing tone. " I do know my children."
Diagon Alley was teeming with back to school shoppers. Families milled along the walkways, wandering in and out of shops with their heavy purchases weighing them down. It was the most activity the London shops had seen all summer. With the return of the Dark Lord and the danger his reincarnation brought, customers had become scarce.
In record high temperature, the sun beat down on the crowd made the already cramped alley unbearable. Tension from uneasy adults and the sauna like climate put everyone in a nasty state of mind. Bickering with store patrons over high prices was becoming a common trend. Mothers and fathers who under any other circumstances were known for soft tones and understanding ways, were reduced to shrieking banshees over the slightest misdeed their sweaty and uncomfortable children had made.
For all Draco Malfoy could care, the crowds could start a bloody riot over the last Squeaking Nizbee in the Weasley's pathetic store. To him, the day was a smashing success. It was the first time since school ended that he had tasted freedom. For one blessed day, he was free of that retched Muggle hotel with its tasteless furniture and used bedclothes. It was truly sickening -- everything from the nasty foil covered objects those frumpy muggles left on his pillows to the mind-numbing drone of the Muggle created climate control.
Ignoring the damp collar hanging limply around his neck, and the way the back of his hair stuck unpleasantly to him, Draco made his way down the walkway. He had known his black cashmere cape was too much, but he simply couldn't resist. The way the smooth cut flowed down his body, made him feel like a Malfoy. Rich. Powerful. In control. After being shut away from the world for almost three months, looking good meant everything.
Sadly his Mother didn't feel the same. Her robes were hideously out of date. The brown rags hung from her body. Her hair was pulled back from her face so severely that she almost looked like a younger version of that prune faced McGonagall. So when she had told him she had a few errands to run when they arrived, Draco didn't think twice before turning his back on her and stalking away.
"Malfoy." Draco turned at the call of his name. He watched as Crabbe, Goyle and Nott wove their way through the crowd, growling and glaring at anyone who dared cross their path. When the three finally reached him, Crabbe and Goyle had sweat dripping off their meaty faces as they fought to catch their breath.
"Where the hell have you been?" Asked Nott, his ugly face took on an insulted expression. "I owled you at least fifty times this summer. The owls kept coming back unanswered."
"You know how it is." Draco drawled, his face a picture of pure boredom. "So much of Europe to see in so little time."
"Traveling huh?" Nott looked skeptical. "You sure it wasn't more like hiding?"
Narrowing his eyes, Draco felt as though he had been punched in the gut. "What in the bloody hell are you talking about?"
"Not that I blame you." Nott grumbled. "After the first notice of Banishment came I really wished my Mum had been smart enough to empty our vaults and take off too."
This time Draco felt the blood from his face drain to his feet. Not appreciating the implication of Nott's careless and stupid words. After his mother's outlandish behavior over the summer, he wondered if perhaps something was amiss. Perhaps more than just his mother's mental state. "What are you muttering about?"
"We've been turned into piranhas." Offered Crabbe, finally able to speak in-between gulps of air.
"Excuse me?" Staring at his childhood acquaintance, Draco turned a puzzled gaze over to Nott.
"I think what our feebleminded friend is trying to say is that we are about as popular as a group of Mudbloods covered in goblin shit." Nott looked around nervously before motioning Draco to follow him over to a spot that was less crowded than the middle of the walkway. "Things are getting bad."
"Yeah Malfoy, real bad." Goyle nodded.
"Fudge froze our families assets. We've been chucked out of Wauldborn. I think my Mum would have sold me to get back into that stuffy old country club." Nott's lip curled. "No one wants to be around us. Scared they'll been seen as Death Eater sympathizers."
Draco stood staring, unable to come up with the words to adequately express his horror. He knew without a doubt that the three fools standing in front of him could never be clever enough come up with something of this magnitude. Unlike Crabbe and Goyle though, Nott had his moments that closely resembled intelligence. But, the instances were rare and could never be counted on.
"No one would dare snub the Malfoy family." The thought in itself was ludicrous. "My Grandfather would never put up with such disrespect."
Nott gave Draco a surly look. "Malfoy our families are on the black list, and I don't mean your family tree."
"This is all Potter's fault." Balling his fists in his cloak, Draco fought to control the simmering rage that threatened to turn into a burning inferno. The outcome never had him coming out on top.
"Don't forget Granger." Said Goyle.
"And the Weasleys." Mumbled Crabbe. "I hate that family."
"They are going to pay this year." Nott growled. "For once I cannot wait until school starts. I plan on making their lives a living hell."
"No." Draco snapped, ignoring their stupid, lack jawed expressions. He had worked too hard over the summer to have these imbeciles ruin everything. "We aren't going to do anything to them. In fact, as far as I'm concerned they don't even exist."
"Are you kidding?"
"Tell me Nott, do you remember what it felt like being turned into a mutated slug and shoved onto the luggage rack?" Questioned Draco. "Well I do. I have had to endure one humiliation after another at that second rate school. This year is going to be different." The three boys looked bewildered, not quite comprehending what the tall blonde was saying.
Nott's face screwed up, making him look as though he had been eating a bowl of lemons. "Aren't we going to make Potter pay for what he did to our fathers?"
"No." Draco growled. It wasn't that he didn't place the majority of the blame on Scarhead, because Draco did. However, he had had a few months to own up to the fact that his dear old pop was as much to blame because of Lucius' poor alliance.
"What about the Sleasley's?" Goyle muttered. "We can't make fun of how poor they are?"
"That's getting tiresome." Draco sneered and rolled his eyes. "I would think, that if we were to make fun of them, we could come up with something a bit more original."
Crabbe looked uncomfortable, but cleared his throat and spoke anyway. "Can't we at least pick on Granger? I hate that little know it all."
"Crabbe, if you were to hate everyone who knew more than you, you wouldn't have a parchment long enough to list all their names." Draco also had serious doubt the tub of lard would be able to spell half of them.
"Not even her teeth?" Looking pitifully sad, Crabbe clung on to one last hope.
"There's nothing wrong with her teeth anymore, you nitwit." The one and only time Draco had been able to out hex that pain in his arse, she still had come out on top.
Exasperated, and clearly not in the mood to explain himself, Draco decided it would be best to just let it go. They didn't have the mental capacity to understand why he had forced himself to read through books that made his head hurt and bored him to tears. Or the hours he had spent perfecting his wand movements and spells. They might grasp onto why he would sneak out, late at night, to practice his Quidditch skills. Everything he had done over the summer had a purpose, a reason. He was not going to let anyone ruin this for him.
"Too bad." Nodding down the street, Nott's upper lip curled up into a sneer. "Potter."
Whipping his head around, Draco spotted Saint Potter across the street outside Florean Fortesque's Ice-Cream Parlour. The Golden Boy, apple of Dummydore's eye, was sitting under one of the umbrella-covered tables with his little group of followers.
"I said we were going to leave him be." It was a lot harder to follow through on his new resolve than he thought it would be. Hoards of insults and hexes came to mind. Instead, he turned his back and sneered. "I have better things to do than worry over what Potty and the freaks are doing."
Clearly not happy with Draco's decision, but smart enough not to go against anything he said, the three gave one last glare at the group down the street before trotting after Draco.
"I thought this would be more fun." Ron halfheartedly shoved another large scoop of melting ice cream in his mouth.
Hermione looked around the crowded street and spotted a handful of Aurors, not counting the three who had been their personal shadows for the day. In the beginning she had felt extremely safe and assured by the attention they were receiving. Soon that feeling faded as the crowds thickened and sweltering temperatures hiked from tolerable to insane. Now she was a sweaty irritable mess and she was starting to despise the intrusive glances.
The humidity did absolutely nothing for her already out of control hair. Unable to take another moment of the massive weight hanging on her neck, she gathered most of it in a very untidy mess on the top of her head. Her robes, the lightest one she owned felt as like one of the lead aprons her parents used for x-rays. The summer dress underneath clung to her body, making her uncomfortable.
Hermione sighed and looked at her melting treat and wished she were back at Grimmauld Place. Ron was right. They had thought the day would have turned out to be more fun and give them a chance to shake off the awkwardness that seemed to settle around them. Whether it was from her inability to talk about last school term, or the lock down they were being kept under until their return to Hogwarts.
"At least Fred and George's shop was fun." Ginny offered miserably.
"Are you kidding?" Giving up on the soupy mess in front of him, Ron dropped his spoon in disgust. "There were so many people packed in there, I was starting to feel like a sardine."
"So what now?" Harry leaned back in his seat. His hair, which was usually a fly away mess, hung around his head lifelessly.
"We could try ditching our private little army." Ron grumbled.
Though the idea perked their spirits slightly, none had the gumption to actually try. First it was too bloody hot. The second, Mrs. Weasley would make Professor Snape look like a jolly old Saint Nick.
"Right now I could care less where we go." Said Ron. "As long as it's out of the bloody sun."
"There are a few books I would like to pick up at Flourish and Blotts." Hermione braced herself for the boys' predictable groans of displeasure, but after a shared look and a moment's consideration they both quickly agreed.
Not really wanting to leave the mocking shade of the covered table, the group quickly made their way across the cobbled street. Almost to the other side, Harry stopped and his body tensed instantly.
"What?" Hermione asked as she nearly collided into him and frowned. Looking in the direction Harry was staring, she felt her mouth go dry. Crabbe and Goyle stood only ten feet away. Their faces showed anger boiling under their skin. "Should we go back?"
"Are you kidding?" Ron laughed. "We have four Aurors following us. I would love to see those two twits try something."
"Ron's right." Harry nodded and started walking to the shop. His gaze never wavered from the two over grown apes. "But, we won't have the Aurors at Hogwarts. We're going to have to watch our backs this year."
"And that's different than usual, how?" Ginny cast a curious glace over her shoulder, as the two Slytherins were swallowed by the crowd.
"The Slytherins are going to go for the jugular this year instead of our petty little differences." Hermione tucked a damp curl behind her ear.
"So much for that solidarity crap." Ron shook his head as he opened the door. "Not like it would have ever worked."
"Well it doesn't help matters when we're all having a go at one another." The old Hermione snapped, making her three friends share a smile with one another. "The more we pull apart, the harder the war is going to be."
Ron and Harry let out a long sigh at the cooler temperature as they walked into the bookshop. "Let's go downstairs. It's bound to even cooler down there." Ron led the way as the boys disappeared.
"Do you think it is cooler down there?" Ginny asked and looked wistfully towards the stairs.
"Probably." The girls didn't wait long before making a hasty retreat to the lower level of the shop. The basement was windowless to keep some of the older books away from the sun. Usually Hermione didn't bother herself with this part of the store. She found it to be the resting ground for the books that were out of date or so full of old fashioned nonsense it was a waste of her time. But if it meant not having to suffer the heat, she wasn't one to complain.
"It's creepy down here." Apparently Ginny didn't have such qualms. Rubbing her arms, the youngest Weasley took a look around. Her eyes were wide and unsure.
"Come on." Feeling a shiver run down her spine, Hermione pulled on Ginny's sleeve. "The boys are probably already camped out in the back." Hurrying along the rows of books, the two girls went deeper into the stacks until they found Harry and Ron. It didn't surprise them to find Harry and Ron in the Sports section. Books filled the shelves and had ludicrous titles such as Quidditch: Think like the snitch and Quidditch: Find your inner bludger. Even more inane, was the fact that Harry and Ron were reading them.
"I'll be over in the Potions section." Hermione doubted she would find anything of much interest, but had a feeling that if she stayed where she was, the books would start sucking away at her intelligence.
Another reason she disliked the basement of the shop was how close the shelves became the farther back she went. Like Ginny had so eloquently said, the place was down right creepy. It brought back memories of another dark creepy place. Hermione had to take a deep breath before she forced herself to keep going.
"Bloody hell!" Hermione exclaimed. "You're being a silly twit. It's just a bookshop. Nothing bad is going to happen. Get a hold of yourself, girl."
"I knew there was something terribly wrong with you, Granger." A sickeningly familiar drawl came from behind and had her swallowing her tongue. "What with your putrid blood, tasteless friends and bushy hair. I just never imagined you were also touched in the head."
Dear Merlin, Malfoy sounded so much like his father. Pompous, silky, degrading. The only reason she didn't wet herself was the knowledge that Lucius was safely locked away. Rotting in some dank cell.
Her nails dug into her hands as Hermione clenched her fists and slowly turned around to face Draco Malfoy. "What do you want?"
"Where's your personal little honor guard?" Draco searched the shadows behind Hermione, half expecting to find Harry and Ron ready to attack.
A scathing reply stilled on her tongue. Guards. Dear Merlin, when was the last time she had seen the three Aurors that hadn't left their sides the majority of the day? Hermione fought the urge to look over her shoulder and steeled herself for Malfoy's viscous attack.
"Sod off, Malfoy." Her voice broke only the slightest. It was unfortunate for her that the Malfoy heir had also picked up on her moment of weakness. His eyes widened just the slightest and his mouth turned into a sneer before another flash of emotion went across his face. Just as quickly the sneer disappeared and was replaced by a look of total boredom.
"As much fun as it is trading words with you, I have things to do." The turnaround in the confrontation was puzzling, but Hermione wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. "See you around Mu … Granger -"
"Draco!" Hermione watched wide-eyed as Narcissa Malfoy rushed to them from the other end of the aisle. "I told you to meet me at Gringotts at four." The woman looked nothing like the stuck up priss Hermione had been forced to share a box with at the Quidditch World Cup. Gone were the expensive formal robes and sleek hairdo. Instead Mrs. Malfoy looked like someone who closely resembled Professor Trelawney in the middle of one of her ridiculous tirades.
The look of boredom slipped when his burning eyes bore into his mother. "So you said. Several times I believe. It's not even three." Narcissa didn't seem too perplexed by the manner in which her only child spoke to her, but Hermione openly gaped. "I still have a few items to pick up."
"It's not safe." Narcissa shook her head violently. "I knew better. We should never have come here." The woman's words sent a chill down Hermione's spine. Why would someone from a line like the Malfoy's feel as though they weren't safe?
"Mother." Draco spat, reaching out to latch onto his mother's arm. "Stop! Nothing is going to happen. Not here and especially not to us." Draco sneered at Hermione with a look of utter hatred. "We're purebloods. No one would dare."
"Dear Merlin, this is all my fault." Lost in some other world, Narcissa seemed completely unaware of everything as she mumbled to herself, "I knew better. But Mother said she fixed everything. She said not to worry."
For the first time all summer, Draco's interest was piqued. Swinging back to his mother, he took a step closer. "Fix what?"
"I wanted your Father so much. He had been so handsome and powerful. He was Head Boy, you know." This was so much more than one of her odd moments that she had been flitting in and out of all summer. The wild look in his Mother's eyes was enough to make Draco pause. "And Mama . . . she said not to worry. That I would get exactly what I deserved." A hysterical sob choked the older woman, soon turning into a manic laugh. "Mama doesn't know just how true her words were."
"Mrs. Malfoy?" Not quite sure why she was doing it, Hermione stepped forward. She felt Draco's hatred of her oozing from his pours.
"This doesn't concern you, Granger. Sod off." He did have a point. Knowing when she wasn't wanted or needed, Hermione gave the trembling woman one last glance before turning to leave. She stopped in mid-stride and let out a startled gasp.
At the end of the row, half hidden in the shadows loomed two large figures. From where she was standing, she could see they were dressed in long black robes. Her eyes made a beeline to their faces and she nearly fainted. Masks. They were wearing masks.
Barely aware of the terrified moan she let out, Hermione quickly backed up until she ran into something solid.
"What the bloody hell . . ." Hermione heard Malfoy's bitter words, but kept her eyes trained on the approaching figures. Her feet tried to retreat, but Draco's body blocked her escape.
Draco looked at the two figures, taking in the robes and masks. At first he assumed they were Death Eaters, and the evil thought of shoving Little Miss Know It All in their direction almost brought a smirk to his face. Nice as the thought was, something about the situation wasn't right.
The masks. They weren't right. Instead of the shiny silver he had seen hidden away in his Father's rooms, these were gold. It wasn't until his mother started to tremble behind him and her whimpering turned into uncontrollable sobs, that Draco was prompted to pull his wand from inside his robes.
"Narcissa." An unfamiliar voice hissed. "You've been a naughty little tramp."
Draco lip curled back, bearing his teeth as he took a step past Hermione. "How dare you speak that way to a Malfoy."
"Such an impertinent little shit you have raised." The figure sneered. "Don't worry. We'll teach the filthy beast some manners before we dispose of him."
"Please." Draco heard his mother pleaded, making his hand grip his wand tightly. "Let him go. He knows nothing."
This brought another round of laughter. "You want us to let the abomination live?"
Hermione tried to block the laughter out of her head. Instead, she tried to free herself from the gut wrenching fear that had paralyzed her. She told herself that hiding behind Malfoy was pathetic and not Gryffindor behavior. Each time she thought she was close to ridding herself of the terror, her eyes would fall on one of the masked figures and her heart would lodge itself in her throat again.
Malfoy and his mother sounded a million miles away. All she could hear was the rush of blood racing through her body. She hadn't realized she had been holding her breath until Malfoy took a heavy step back onto her foot.
"Granger." He hissed, and looked at her from the corner of his eye. "Wand."
Many different replies made their way to her tongue, but instead of bubbling forth, they stuck on the roof of her mouth.
"Get. Your. Wand. Out." Though his words were softly hissed through clenched teeth, Hermione had an odd feeling they weren't spoken in anger or his typical mockery. Reaching slowly into her robes, Hermione wrapped her fingers around the familiar polished wood that had seen her through five years.
Hermione took a deep breath and swallowed the fear and panic and forced herself to clear her head. She could hear Malfoy's mother sobbing as another masked figure taunted Mrs. Malfoy. They couldn't be that far away from Harry and the others. If she could just call out, the odds would even.
"And what do we have here?" A deep, vicious voice asked. Looking past Malfoy, Hermione gulped as one of the masks drew closer. "Ugly little thing."
"What family do you hail?" The question was snapped, showing that the figures were getting bored with their taunts.
Before she could speak, Malfoy raised his wand and pointed it the two men. "She's from the Halifax clan."
This seemed to make them pause for a moment, as they whispered to one another. Hermione desperately wanted to look at Malfoy to see what he was on about. Instead, it seemed as though the figures had come to some sort of conclusion. "She can leave."
Feeling Malfoy's hand grasp her robe and give her a jerk, Hermione swung her eyes to him and searched his features. Nothing was making sense to her. From the men surrounding them to the fact that Malfoy was not acting in a way she was accustomed to. Fear fogged her mind and made it impossible to sift through what fate had thrown in her face.
Feeling Draco pulling at her sleeve, she couldn't fathom what he was up to. He couldn't mean for her to leave unharmed.
"Hermione?" Ron's called out, sounding as though he were a hundred miles away. "I swear she went this way."
Draco swallowed the groan that threatened to slip from his lips. Did that blundering idiot ever do anything right? He kept his eyes trained on the men in front of him and watched the way their bodies tensed.
"Granger!" Another voice called out, this time more urgently.
"Think to fool us, boy?" Apparently, the masked figures weren't completely stupid.
All at once, the figures had their wands and pointed them in their direction. The buzzing inside Hermione's head hummed even louder, making it impossible to hear the spells that were coming her way. Hermione braced herself for contact as she watched a crimson light come her way. Something knocked her down from behind. From her position on the floor, she felt a pair of arms wrap around her waist as another body went limp from above.
Her blood felt as though it were on fire - running through her body and making her heart constrict inside her chest painfully. One last thought that ran through her mind before the darkness consumed her. Out of all the ways to die, who would have thought it would be in Draco Malfoy's arms?