I Won't be Ignored

Swelling heat met toxic humidity as Hermione Granger strode across the Hogwarts grounds, her hair fluttering behind her due to the inertia that physics presented. Brown eyes met steely blue for a moment, trapping their owners in a never-ending second in time when all feelings of hatred and pain were revealed, before the brown disappeared from the eyes of the blue, leaving a fuming Draco Malfoy under a peach tree.

Draco had watched her exit the castle and, frowning as she flung her robes irritably over the edge of the stairs, clearing infuriated about something. Her slender brow was arched low in a glowering position that Draco found did not suit her face in the slightest. Her soft brown eyes were ringed in a blanket of crimson, as if she had been crying for a long period of time. She walked with a purposeful and stride, as if she were trying to escape some demon within the castle...or probably Ron and Harry. Well, Draco thought with a small satisfactory smile, same thing.

Draco stood up hastily, leaving his robes and overflowing bag of parchments and books behind, following in Hermione's path. It didn't appear she had any apparent destination other than the farthest legal place from Hogwarts as possible. But, judging my the look on her face, Draco guessed she was willing to go somewhere out-of-bounds even, just to get away from the source of her reddened eyes. She looked scared and worried, as if Voldemort had just come up and shaken her hand. Maybe that thing, Artemis, was giving her trouble again.

I am a little bit of loneliness, a little bit of disregard
Handful of complaints but I can't help the fact
That everybody can see these scars
I am what I want you to want, what I want you to feel
But it's like no matter what I do, I can't convince you
To just believe this is real

Draco walked after her for some time, watching as her brown hair billowed behind her while she stomped on, still oblivious to everything and one around her…oblivious to Draco. This did not exactly put a frosty mist on his fires. It had been several hours since Potions and Draco still couldn't unravel what had happened to their potion. And Granger, obviously, wasn't offering any ideas.

Granger had been acting so peculiar lately, as if she had an untamable dragon resting in her breast, fueling the fires of her anger and despair. She had been so distant from the rest of the world, appearing to all like a frost fairy, too delicate and precious to be near, for fear the a simple breath of air would unravel her. Yet, if Hermione was a frost fairy, Draco was surprised she hadn't melted herself away yet. She was always flinging foul words at people as of late, a hissing cat down to every detail.

For some reason, Draco found himself often comparing Hermione Granger to the feline species as of late. She hissed constantly, except for the few times when she purred at Ron or Harry's jokes. She had discovered a passionate dislike for water, and preferred cream with her breakfast rather than milk. Even her stride seemed more confident and graceful.

Draco, now not entirely satisfied with just stalking, decided it was time to move in for the kill. He quickened his pace, soon reaching and passing Hermione, who merely threw him a side-long glance before turning about around to walk back towards the castle.

So I, let go watching you turn your back like you always do
Face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

"What's the matter, Granger?" Draco asked, moving back to follow her.

"I should be asking you the same question," Hermione said, keeping her eyes straight ahead as she avoided his gaze with a vengeance. Draco felt a fireball of his own quickly rising in his chest, threatening to burst from his stomach. How dare a filthy mudblood like her ignore HIM?

"What's that supposed to mean?" Draco asked, wrinkling his nose. Had the heat made her as mad as him? He asked his mind to remind him why he was stalking her, but all he heard was a faint sizzling sound. Great.

"I saw you the other day," Hermione said, still not looking at him. "You looked awfully upset…betrayed. You've looked like that for days. What's going on?"

Draco felt his face featured harden, willing his face to have the most outraged look of the millennium.

"I have no idea what you're talking about, Granger," he said innocently, still stalking her. He felt pure anger seep through him as he watched her continue walking, ignoring him completely as she wiped a tear from the bottom of her eye. Draco bit his lip, remembering the moment in which he had mimicked this action, feeling utterly betrayed by his father.

"Come off it, Granger," Draco said, grabbing her wrist and pulling her to face him. He used his other hand to seize her chin and yank it up and over so he could look her straight in the eyes. Brown met blue for the second time in the physical world that day, but Draco found himself staring into clouded eyes. She had somehow still managed to ignore him. He tightened his grip on her face, resisting the urge to shake her back and forth to force her to look at him. Instead, he merely dragged her into the near-by shadows cast by the trees. To have a teacher mosey on up to them and demand that Draco release Hermione somehow didn't seem like the ideal way to get her attention on to him and his eyes.

"Let me go," Hermione said in a low and dangerous voice. She placed a hand on each of Draco's, her eyes now burning with an unseeing laser through Draco's soul. She could shoot her venom into his mind, but she could not see beyond the air in front of her. For some reason, this did not make Draco feel more confident. Go figure.

The hands that rested on Draco's were soft and warm. Hermione did not use them to apply pressure to his own to push them away from her, but the contents of her eyes told him that she was indeed a force to be reckoned with. Draco loosened his grip, but did not release. Instead, he pursued the nature of her journey across the grounds.

"That's none of your business, Malfoy," Hermione spat. Literally.

If Draco would have had a free hand, he would have wiped off the small glob of spit on his face, but he would not let his catch escape. Instead, he backed her up until she was pressed against a tree trunk by his hips. She suddenly looked fearful.

Draco now temporarily released one of his hands from her neck to wipe the glob of spit from his face. He wiped it on the front of her robes, earning a cat-like hiss from her

"It is my business now," Draco said, resisting the urge to spit back on her face, or perhaps slam her into the tree. He wasn't really sure what kind of 'slam' he meant, but it would definitely prove to anger the young woman, "Because if you lie to me, I'll make it my business by choking you to death."

"What caused you to be so concerned?" Hermione asked, her face returning to its original glowering expression.

"I fine it rather entertaining to entangle my life into one of a damsel in distress," Draco muttered, his heart jerking slightly as he said it.

"Let go of me, Malfoy," Hermione muttered. The hands that had been laying on Draco's now gave an almighty shove, dislodging Draco's hands from her body. Hermione quickly seized the opportunity to run from Malfoy, but the opportunity was snatched away as Draco seized Hermione by the waist.

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored

"Did you honestly think I was talking to you for the fun of it," Draco said, smiling as Hermione's body grew rigid. Hermione turned the best she could within Draco's grip to get a better look at him.

"What do you want, Malfoy," Hermione hissed, her voice low and soft with a venom-like sting.

"To show you this," Draco said as he held out his forearm to reveal a long slit of a pale scar, the sort you would be left with after experiencing a deep cut. Hermione sneered.

"As interesting as I find you battle scars, Malfoy, I'd prefer you didn't ambush me to show them off."

"Stop the stupid cracks, Granger," Malfoy said with a growl. "I just got this that night…after the…well, you know."

Draco watched as Hermione's eyes grew wide. He knew she was remembering exactly what had happened the other night. The event was still clear in his mind, burning into his soul and conscious.

Draco growled. He felt the small amount of patience he had held so kindly before him moments ago seeping away into the night as his heart began to pound against his ribs. Granger always seemed to know the exact muscle to hit repeatedly, driving him to insanity. The cool way she talked was enough to drive any normally sane man in front of a freight train, let alone a 17 year old boy with a nut-case father for a role-model. But it was the small things she did that seemed to nag at him softly, pushing him to want to seize her by the neck and…Draco wasn't sure what he wanted to do. The way she tossed her hair so casually over her shoulder and gave him a penetrating stare was enough to…to…Draco wasn't sure on this one either. All he knew was if he didn't have her now, he would die of the pain.

Hermione seemed rather irritated at Draco's stubbornness. "I don't know what you expect me to do right now, Malfoy, but I suggest you just leave me alone."

"This is entirely your fault, you know," Draco said, seizing her by the hand again. "You're cursed, Granger. You're foul, filthy and unfit to live to see the light of day! I know you did this to me! I know it! Because it was it was after you decided to get me tangled up in whatever hell you're living in! It was you, and I know it!"

I am, a little bit insecure, a little unconfident
Cuz you don't understand I do what I can
Sometimes I don't make sense
I am, what you never wanna say, but I've never had a doubt
It's like no matter what I do I can't convince you for once just to hear me out

Hermione's face paled. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a large black talon, which was bathed in a pale aura of black and silver that was pulsing violently, as if too much was contain within it. She eyed it with a frightened look before moving to look at his arm, then back to the talon, double-taking.

"Spit it out, Granger!" Draco said.

Hermione let out a low, feline like hiss, her eyes rising to meet his. They were ringed in a layer of silver, taking on an oval, vertical slit like posture like the eyes of a cat. She threw the talon at him, her nose wrinkled slightly.

"Mind your own business, Malfoy!" she said in her hiss-like voice. "It's none of your business what goes on in my life!"

"Granger!" Malfoy growled. He seized her by the arm, pulling her close to him. "You honestly think I enjoy hearing about your pathetic life! You're too perfect; I swear it's sickening some times! You think that because you're so perfect, you need to have everyone pay attention to you! Well they do, Granger, but it's not the sort you would want! They all hate and loath you and your stupid brains! The only reason that Harry and Ron are friends with you is that they feel sorry for you, and they're too stupid to do their homework themselves! Even they hate you half the time! So stop ignoring me and tell me what's going on, because right now I'm the only one who's going to listen!"

Hermione seemed rather shocked by Draco's sudden outburst. She threw him a dirty look before snapping "I don't know WHAT'S going on Draco. All I know is that I've had this black talon my whole life and now it's starting to glow and do strange things. I don't know anymore than you do so why don't you go complain about it to Dumbledore!" With that Hermione departed, tears pouring unchecked down her cheeks.

So I, let go watching you turn your back like you always do
You face away and pretend that I'm not
But I'll be here cause you're all that I've got

----------+-+-+-+-+----------

Hermione pressed her lips tightly together as she struggled with her Advanced Transfiguration essay on the history, present, and proper uses of Animagus abilities, as well as the road to becoming one. She had far more than the required amount of parchment written upon, but every time she went to put her quill down, another fact leaped into her head. For a few seconds the thought would just linger there like a lost kitten, giving her its big, glassy, utterly adorable eyes which were practically begging her to take it in and take care of it, which required a few more minutes of writing. She felt rather ridiculous when she thought of it this way, but she always felt bad for things that were abandoned. Just like when she was little she felt bad that one of her 15 stuffed animals was closer to her than the others, so she'd line them up beside her body so they'd all be next to her. She was always worried that if one got more attention, the other stuffed animals would kill it or at least de-stuff it a little bit. And she'd always say goodnight to them in their own special little sentence, so no one would feel left out. Weird, but hey, she was 7.

Hermione sighed deeply and threw her quill down for what felt like the twentieth time and let her body fall back in the armchair. To her relief, Ron broke his quill, which made Hermione, out of the kindness of her heart, hand hers over to him as a surrogate. This action was also beneficial to Hermione because this meant Hermione had no quill to use to add more stuff to her essay. She was done with a capital and bold D.

As Hermione handed over her quill to Ron he let out a detesting groan.

"Done already, Hermione? Please tell me you have another subject to work on!" His question was quickly answered when Hermione opened her planner and crossed off the last item on her list of subjects. Ron groaned again. "I'll never finish this essay! And I've got another one for Snape too! And that one's 3 times as long as McGonagall's. She knew we had this essay and she didn't even take a moment to think we might deserve a break!"

"Honestly, Ron!" Hermione snapped. "You'd think that you'd have figured it out by now! All the teachers think that their subject is most important and deserves to be taken as a top priority. Did you honestly think McGonagall would back down more now that we're 7th years? Now if you want to know what the REAL best subject is, I could happily tell you that Aritmancy-"

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored

"Hermione!" Ron shouted, cutting Hermione off, "If it's not the bloody teacher you go on about all the time it's the actual subject! 'Oh, Professor Vector, I put an extra decimal in one of my charts! Could I do a couple HUNDRED essays to make up for it? Just one? Oh no, I'd feel much better if you let me do MUCH MORE!"

"WILL YOU TWO SHUT YOUR ARSES UP? SOME OF US INTEND TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK TONIGHT, EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE THE INTELLEGENCE OF A HARVARD PROFESSOR AT THE AGE OF 16!" shouted Harry angrily. Hermione blushed softly while Ron's ears turned pink. Ron dropped his head slowly and muttered a small apology to Hermione.

Hermione sighed as she fell back into the chair again. The three of them were the last of the Gryffindors in the common room, still there even as the embers of the fire were beginning to lose their bright orange shine. Everything seemed so calm now, even though Hermione knew that somewhere deep within the center of her soul, there was a raging battle taking place between her own mind and another demon that hungered for domination over her body and was driven by a hunger for animal blood.

She threw Ron (what was trying to get a look at her paper) a venomous look before scooting farther away from him and closer to Harry, who was pouring over a small and tattered brown book. Hermione raised a quizzical eyebrow at him as she attempted to ignore Ron's angered complaints. Harry gave a sheepish grin.

"A diary of my dads," he said, revealing the cover of the brown book. On the cover was an indent of the Gryffindor crest with the words "James Potter" underneath. "I found it in Sirius's room. My dad recorded how he became an animagus. I thought it might help. At least I can say I got a real-life example."

Ron snorted indignantly. "Were you planning on offering us that things help as well? Honestly Harry, you'd think you would have at least mentioned a few things in it to me."

Hermione ignored Ron and politely held out a hand to Harry, asking to see his essay to look over what he'd written. He gave her a suspicious look.

"Come off it, Harry," Hermione said with a grunt. "I'm not going to copy you. I'm going to stick to published books written by recognized authors for information. I'd just like to make sure you're not writing down anything false."

Harry sighed and handed over his essay, arguing that it wasn't very good and that he was going to ask her to edit it for him anyways.

Hear me out now
You're gonna listen to me like it or not
Right now, hear me out now
You're gonna listen to me like it or not
Right now

"Although, let's be honest, Hermione. If anyone knows anything about animagi, it's an animagus." Harry said with a cheery smile.

Hermione lowered her eyes to the parchment. Indeed, Harry hadn't written a great deal, but it seemed to be fairly accurate. The introduction was lengthy, which was Harry's attempt to add a few inches of writing to the parchment. It was several lines later that he finally got to the point.

"Some people, however, seem to find a different way of obtaining Animagus skills. Some may use it to frighten enemies while others use it for the good of their friends. I investigated a story of a man and his friends who became illegal Animagi so that they might make the transformations of their werewolf friend more enjoyable.

The man and his friends spent several months studying the art of becoming an Animagus and trying small stepping-stone spells to build the skills needed. Then they began a years worth of investigating on the types of animals that were safe to transform into. Several tests were also taken to determine-"

The essay cut off suddenly. Hermione handed it back to Harry, a small smile on her face.

"Sound's fairly reasonable," she said as Harry took the essay from her hand. "You could use a little work."

Suddenly, Hermione felt her brain go numb. The quill she had held in her right hand fell from her grasp, slowly fluttering to the floor. She stood up, her eyes blank and hollow.

"I have to go," Hermione said. She walked stiffly to the portrait door and pushed it open and exited the common room, leaving behind a very baffled pair of boys.

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored

----------+-+-+-+-+----------

Draco sat on his four-poster, hitting his head repeatedly against the book he held in his hands. This Transfiguration essay was rather frightening. Draco could easily write 5 rolls of parchment on the subject of Animagi, but he had to go excruciatingly slow, for fear that his excess about of knowledge would leak onto the page.

A tap on the window brought Draco out of his fits of worry and to the matter at hand. He had written to his father a few days ago after the matter concerning Granger and was anxious to hear his reply.

Draco strode over to his window and released the lock. A sudden rush of cold end-of-Fall wind hit him dead in the chest, making him fall backwards slightly. In flew a large black owl, whose feathers were slightly ruffled in a wind-swept sort of way. It fluttered gracelessly into the room and landed on Draco's desk, pushing a few papers off in the process. Draco righted himself quickly and latched the window shut before walking to his desk the release the owl of its burden, which was a black envelope sealed with the Malfoy crest. The bird flew to Draco's shoulder and rested it, and then the bird rubbed his head affectionately against Draco's cheek. It had been a while since him and his father had corresponded, which meant he hadn't seen Fredo in a long span of time as well.

Grudgingly Draco went back to the window and opened it just enough that Fredo could get out but the wind wouldn't stir up the room. He watched the owl fly off into the distance for a while before he remembered his father's letter. He returned to his desk and sat down, seizing a silver letter-opener in that rested on his desk. He slit it through the envelope to reveal a small scrap of parchment his father had scrawled across.

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored

Draco,

I was quite alarmed to hear about the recent developing of Miss Granger. It appears that Voldemort's predictions were off. We weren't anticipating this for another 5 or so years. Try to find out as much as you can about this predicament without alarming the girl or Dumbledore. But don't tell her too much in return. Your secret it too valuable to reveal just yet. And you aren't fully developed yet. Give it time.

By the time you get this is should be the full moon, which means that Artemis will be unleashed for a small period of time. Track her down and question her. Find out her allegiances.

Don't fail me now, my son.

Lucius

Draco felt himself seize up. He had to go find Artemis? That last thing he wanted was to be anywhere nears that girl ever again. But a cool wind on his neck told him he didn't have any choice. There was an overwhelming presence in the room that was unmistakable.

"Hello, Draco," whispered a soft, musical voice in his ear. He could feel a stone-cold body press against his back, tipping his chair forward slightly.

Draco gulped, knowing that this may very well be his last conversation on earth. "Hello, Artemis."

I can't feel
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored
Time won't tell
Don't turn your back on me I won't be ignored