A/N: Thanks so much for the reviews. It totally inspired me to turn this story altogether. And just last night, I thought of an ending that so totally different from the one I thought before. I'm just gonna go wherever this takes me. Thanks for all the reviews! It literally kept the story going because I was on the verge of deleting this.
I saw her standing there, not moving an inch, and I knew I had to get her out of this before it was too late.
"Hermione! What are you waiting for? RUN!" I shouted across the room.
She was closer to the door, and we both knew it. As she made a step towards the door, she stopped abruptly and turned around.
"I'm not leaving without you!" she shouted, much to her own surprise.
Frustration ran through my blood. The fire was quickly burning down everything, it was quicker than a normal fire. I had no chance on making it towards the door while she had. And she was wasting her time on me.
"Now's not the time to play hero! Just go!" I shouted back.
She shook her head vigorously, tears staining her cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Hermione," I apologised for what I was about to do, but it was the only way. "Diffindo!"
I pointed the wand towards her and she was thrown backwards. Her body smashed through the door and she landed outside the apartment into the hallway.
"DRACO! DRACO!" she shouted as I cast a Shield Charm, preventing her from entering.
Now, I had to think of a way for me to escape. The closest exit to me was the window. I saw it and she saw it. A glint in her eyes told me we shared the same thought.
"Count to ten and then jump!" she yelled at me. "I'll be there to catch you."
I nodded and she broke into a run.
"This is it…" I said to myself.
The room was a million degrees and the fire had turned almost everything to ashes.
I waved my wand and pushed the large sofa towards me, hoping it would block the fire for a while.
The fire literally swallowed the sofa in mere seconds.
Come on, Hermione! Hurry!
I looked down at the streets. Nothing. Nothing to cushion the blow… Nothing to prevent my bones from breaking in hundred different areas if I jumped.
I smashed the window open with a photo frame that was spared by the fire.
I looked down at the picture and a wave of memories flooded me. Barcelona. Spain.
"You… me… and Barcelona…" Hermione's voice was sweet and tantalising.
The fire was so hot I felt like I was melting. But then, even as my sleeve caught fire, all I could think about was the perfect weekend I had with Hermione in Barcelona. Then something caught my eye. It was a blonde-haired woman in the background of the picture. Then, realisation hit me.
"I am a citizen of the world… and everyday that I'm with you, it's almost as perfect as travelling the world. But when I get to be with you and travel at the same time…" she whispered. "It's the epitome of perfection."
"DRACO!" I heard her shouting.
All the sudden, I'm cruelly forced back to reality. And together with reality comes pain. My back was burning and I could feel the fabric sticking to my skin and it was just excruciating. I don't remember jumping. I don't even remember landing. All I thought of… was Barcelona.
There was no more pain. I remember the agonizing burning sensation on my back. But it was no longer there. Instead, it was replaced by what felt like fluffy pillows and silk sheets. And I knew it was safe to open my eyes.
"You're awake!" Lynette exclaimed. "Thank Merlin. We all thought you were a goner there."
"Not yet… not so soon," I replied grumpily.
"How are you feeling, Draco?" my mother's face looked smooth but the concern in her voice gave her façade away.
"I'm fine, Mom."
"What a terrible thing! First there was the mix-up when the Muggle doctors came and picked you off to the hospital. This made it difficult to explain why you survived a ten-storey jump with no more than a concussion. It was harder to try to sneak you off since they put you in ICU – whatever that is – in case of 'internal bleeding' – again, whatever that is," Lynette blabbered, which was weird because she never blabbers.
"Point is, you're safe," Narcissa assured.
"You must be disappointed," I said to Lynette.
There was a slight flicker in which her face changed but she quickly regained her composure.
"Anyway, Hermione's here!" she said, as if announcing what's for breakfast.
"Isn't that nice of her to visit you?" Narcissa said as pleasantly as she could muster.
"What? She's here?" I asked in surprise. And they shifted slightly to reveal a very obviously awkward Hermione in the corner. She gave a weird wave and greeted me.
"I heard about your accident, so I thought it would be nice to visit you," she said.
"Yes," Lynette's voice was high-pitched on her best sweet tone. Adding with a slightly edgy voice, "She's been staying in the guest room for three days."
"You were unconscious for almost three days," Narcissa answered my puzzled look. "The Healers said it might be longer, given that you've had quite a fall. And the burn you had was also very complicated."
Silence, nobody said anything. Nobody knew what to say.
"Okay! I'm just gonna go get… some… things done," Lynette struggled to break the tension in the air. She mumbled and left the room with my mother.
In three seconds, Hermione and I were left alone.
"So, how are you?" she asks, unsure of how to begin.
"I've had better days," I shrugged. "Why did you say you 'heard' about my accident?"
"They didn't know it was me who saved you. I tried taking you to a Muggle hospital, you know, then they asked me questions after questions and it proved impossible to remain there so I took you to St. Mungo's. I disguised myself to prevent any further questions by your family… as to why we're together," she explained. "And also… now that I don't have a place to live."
"You're welcome to stay as long as you like," I assured her. "You know, I don't think that was a normal fire."
"It wasn't. It was Dark Magic," she replied. "Draco, whoever set off the fire knew that you were there and wanted us dead. Do you have any idea who could that possibly be?"
"I don't know, honestly. I didn't tell anyone I was at your apartment."
She sniffed a little and produced something from her robes. "I also found this in your hands."
"Barcelona," I muttered.
"Draco…" she choked slightly on her words. "When you didn't jump, I was terrified. I was so scared. I thought I was going to lose you forever."
"I don't recall jumping… did I?"
She shook her head. "I didn't know what else to do. I just Summoned you."
I chuckled slightly. "And it worked?"
"It did. But you had quite a rough landing. You are quite heavy and I couldn't catch you," tears were rolling down her cheeks as she laughed.
"If you had died in there…" she whispered with a hint of fear, as if afraid to even think of that possibility.
"I wouldn't have. Not with all that anger between us. I would've at least made up with you before I die," I joked.
"You remembered Barcelona…" she changed the topic.
"It was spared from the flames."
"You know, I was thinking how I never really got the chance to travel like I always wanted to," she looked at me and smiled.
"Yeah… we never really got on with the 'rule the world' thing we had going back then, didn't we?"
We both laughed.
"Maybe I'll do that, someday," her eyes lit up at the chance of travelling again.
"Maybe we will," I corrected her.
I studied the picture when suddenly it just came to my mind, "Lynette."
Later that night, Lynette came to help me apply some balm on my back to heal the wound. As she was applying, I casually said, "So… I noticed that you're acting a bit odd today."
Her hands stopped briefly and she replied curtly, "I don't know what you're talking about."
I turned around and grabbed her hand, "Don't think I'm a fool. I know you started that fire."
"No, I did not!" she struggled to release my firm grip on her hand. "Let go of me, Draco."
"Don't lie," I hissed dangerously. "But your plans backfire, didn't it. I survived with "no more than a concussion" and it must kill you to see your plans fail."
"Let go of my hand," her voice turned venomous.
"Let me be the first to inform you that Hermione will stay here as long as she chooses. I'm sure you'll be very glad to ensure that her stay is as pleasant as possible."
She wrenched her hand free. Putting her hands on my cheek, she turned it with such force as if trying to snap my neck. Her lips were next to my ear and her breath tickled my neck, "You listen closely, Draco. I will not tolerate with you frolicking around with another woman while I sit here and play 'good wife'. I might have put up with your intimate relationship with her, but now that we're married, I will not be forced into humiliation.
"You may think I'm a sweet, innocent and naïve person. Well, you're wrong. I have a million and one ways to get rid of that other woman and I am not afraid to use it," her tone was icy and cold – she could be Voldemort's cousin.
"As far as I know, you are the 'other woman' in my relationship with her. You tore us apart, and marriage does not make it morally legal and it sure as hell does not make you the 'better' woman."
"You're talking moral with my when you're the icon of all morally bankrupt people?"
"I may be morally bankrupt, but you are evil. And I should know, because I grew up surrounded by evil – and I despise it. You are a murderer. And you're fake. You've sunk so low, you are worse than a traitor who betrays his friends," I spat. "Just the sight of you makes my skin crawl."