My Final Words to You
Just a little further, she thought as she ran across the field. Her legs moved faster than ever before. Back and forth, forward and back. They helped her race past it all. She hardly noticed where she was going as she stepped in mud, blood, and over bodies. She just understood that she had to get away from it. However, no matter how far she traveled that image would be forever burned into her memory. She glanced at the ground. Red. It was all read. She fought back a scream and kept moving. Her pace increased with her drive to flee the scene, to get herself away from it all. The shouts and cries behind her started to fade in the background. The crashing thunder and sparks of lightning became less prominent to her senses as she reached the outskirts of the field.
Hermione Granger had known this day would come. It was inevitable. Yet no matter how many times she imagined it, the horror could not match her present fear. The sight of Ron's lifeless body lying in the mud had hit her like a rogue hippogriff. Upon witnessing it, she had fallen over and deposited the contents of her stomach on the wet grass. Seconds later, the shock forced her to run.
Now as she sloshed through the puddles, her adrenaline began to fade. Her legs started to scream in agony and she felt light headed. Only a few more steps, she begged silently as she mounted the crest of the hill. In the distance, she saw a small town, still virgin…untouched by the coming terror. It would be sanctuary for now. She made her way down to the closest building.
She made her way down to the nearest building. It was a small shack of no real size. One wall had already begun to collapse. Through the shattered fragment of wood, Hermione could make out a flight of stairs leading to a second level. She deemed that area to be the most logical hiding spot. From an elevated view, she could see the war as it approached. From above she could witness the havoc erupting beneath. She continued to move despite the pain in her limbs. It would subside eventually. She didn't have the time or the energy to cast a spell to remove it. No. This was war. If she wanted to survive, she could have to keep ahead.
The house, as it appeared to have once been, had no furnishings on the lower level. Though it struck Hermione as odd, she did not hesitate before climbing the steps to the upper level. Her mind flashed back to first year when she had followed Harry and Ron to Gryffindor Tower. It had been the night that they had met Fluffy, Hagrid's giant three-headed dog. The great beast had nearly killed them. Back then, she had not thought of death. She had feared Voldemort even less. Now though…well everything changed with time.
Slowly, quietly, she ascended. She knew being a few miles from the battle would not secure her safety. Bellatrix Lestrange has taught her that three months ago.
"Ah, Mr. Potter," the witch hissed in greeting, as she stepped out from behind the thick brush. "So surprised to see you here."
"Out of my way," Harry growled, pulling out his wand.
"Why? I could kill you right now and earn favor with the Dark Lord." Her reponse irked Ron to the point where he cursed her. His action was not without consequence. Almost immediatly, she recovered and silenced him with one word. "Crucio!"
Harry had shouted out the killing curse in retaliation. He hadn't even had time to think. He had just done. Ron was his best friend and no one was about to harm the red-head in front of him. Hermione had seen it in a matter of seconds. They had only been trying to get to the nurse's station. She was rumored to be housing Ginny.
That seemed to long ago. So much had happened since that evening. She shoved the memories behind her as she reached the top step. When she shifted her weight, the boards beneath her creaked. She froze as the noise echoed through the entire house. Silence followed. She held her breath and waited, her wand ready.
Nothing moved in the shadows. No one stalked out of an unforseen corner. She was alone. Relieved, she went towards a large window, where the moonlight was flooding in. The eerie glow pooled around her face illuminating the eyes that had seen so much destruction, the lip that had ejected so many curses, the ears that had heard so many cries, the nose that had smelled so much death, and the hand that had dealt it on numerous occasions.
She stood there thinking, remembering, praying. The moon had always been a symbol of rebirth and hope to her. Each month it faded away, then came back full and bright. She hoped for the same revival. Thoughts of her peers, her friends, her family came crashing down on her without warning. Her throat constricted. Her eyes burned. Her nose tightened. Tears poured out of her, silent as the grave. Hermione kept still, standing upright and firm against the steady flow.
Her parents were dead. Voldemort had ordered their deaths over a year ago when Hermione had refused to devulge information reguarding Harry. She had been captured by a pair of Death Eaters out on the battlefield. He had let her go...but not soon enough. By the time she got to her house, all that was left was the front door. It was lying on the ground, a message in blood written on the wood: Don't deny me. After that night, things had forevered changed in Hermione Granger. She no longer cared for restrictions or limits. Which was why the most recent death in her life came as such a shock.
Ron was dead. her fiancee ofa month was dead. His body was lying in the middle of a field gushing blood and tainting the beautiful grassy plain. Lucius Malfoy had no decency in his hollow body. He had placed a body bind on Ron before cutting him in several vital areas. Ron had been dealt a painful death, something he had not deserved in the least. And it had been her fault.
"Stay here," he told her, firmly.
"Ron," she began, reaching for his arm.
"No, Hermione. Stay here," he demanded, the look in his eyes pure concern. He had finally grown up. He was no longer the lanky tag-along. He had become a man. He was going to do what he had to."I want to know that when I come back, you'll be here. Alright?" She nodded, but he shook his head. "Promise me, you'll still be here."
"Alright," she sighed. "I promise."
He kissed her lightly on the forehead. She watched him leave the group, heading out onto the battlefield alone.
And then he was gone.
Why had she listened to him? Never in all the years she had know Ron had she actually followed his lead. Why had she chosen to do so today? She leaned forward, pressing her faced against the class. Fog appeared beneath her nostrils as she breathed. More tears fell. She could not put an end to them now. They had come too far and her resolve was not as strong as it had once been.
A creak sounded behind her. She whipped around to behold the intruder. Shadow covered the figure from head to toe. She could tell from the outline that it was a man. His build was strong, lean, tall and his cape flowed around him like a piece of the night itself. He stepped forward, no wand drawn. The moonlight dipped over his face, then his chest, and finally it overtook his entire body. Hermione's eyes slanted in hate. Before her stood Draco Malfoy.
"Evening Granger," he nodded his head as he moved down the hall across from her. He had not yet produced a weapon. Confused, Hermione chose to humor him. She'd let him speak until the time came to kill him. "To what do I owe the please?" he questioned.
"Pleasure? Is that what you call it?" she spat. "I call it an unfortunate coincidence."
The blonde smirked. "Now, now Granger, don't start with that tone. I haven't done anything to you yet."
"Really?" she hissed. He raised a brow, looking perplexed. She glared at him with all her fury. "Can you think of nothing?"
He stormed forward until he was only a foot away from her. Hermione did not flinch, though the proximity caused her some discomfort. "What are you talking about, Granger?"
"Your. Father. Murdered. My. Fiancee."
Each word came out in a sharp, abrupt tone. It was as if she was spitting fire and each flame was a lethal pang of hate.
"Lucius!" she hollared. "Your father killed Ron!"
It was out. The words had escaped and they became real. She finally understood he wasn't coming back. Not ever. It made her feel weak and sick. Her legs trembled as her anger poured out of her like the heated contents of a volcano. She swung her palm forward, striking him across the face. She had not planned it. Only afterwards, when the sting on her hand came did the action register. His face went white and his eyes widened.
She turned away, spent. "Damn you both."
The event that happed next was one that held no explanation, nor logic. Before she knew it, Malfoy had pulled her against him and his lips were pressing down on hers. Her first instint led her to struggle against him. His grip was strong, but not forceful. "I'm not going to hurt you," he whispered a promise into her hair. She felt it all come loose. All the pain, all the anger, all the insecurities. It all faded. There was only them. She placed her mouth on his and felt a chill slither through her when he added the smallest hint of pressure with his own mouth.
She forgot about death, about the war. There was no hate, no danger, no killings. She was safe. It was all over now. She could be with Harry, Ginny, and Ron again just like...
Realization dawned on her. Ron was dead. A war was going on outside. And here she was kissing the enemy...a man responsible for the deaths of many of her peers.
With all her strength, she pushed Malfoy away. He went stumbling backwards, while she wiped her mouth. After he regained his balance, he stared at her. She returned the gesture, not knowing what else to do. She felt so lost. Nothing made sense. Her brain was running a mile a minute trying to process everything. He took a step towards her. She drew her wand. He held up his hands, before taking another step to eliminate the remaining space between them. She raised her wand tip to his throat.
"Hermione," he sighed.
My name. He spoke my name.
"Hermione," he said again, pushing the wand down.
She let him place the wand on the window sill. She let him run his hands through her hair, over her face, down her shoulders. She found herself reaching out to him, holding him, burying herself in his warmth. How could he be so delightfully warm when she felt so dead? This union didn't make sense. It was wrong to be so close to him, to need him as much as she needed him. Somewhere inside her head, she knew her orders would be to kill him. But it felt so right, so natural.
"Malfoy, are you in here?" a voice called from below.
Hermione's eyes flashed open. It was a trap. She yanked free from his grasp. It was a deception. She had fallen into it so easily. She couldn't believe it. Shaking her head, she went backwards.He reached for her, but she smacked his hand away.
"Malfoy?" the voice came again.
He turned away from her, heading over to the stairwell. "Nott, what are you doing here. You're supposed to be on the west side with the others."
The sound of someone climbing the steps came before the face of a familiar Slytherin came into view. He didn't notice Hermione as he reached the top floor. His focus was on Malfoy. "There have been rumors of an escape," he informed his fellow Death Eater. Hermione froze. They were talking about her. She had fled the battlefield so Lucius couldn't kill her as well. She needed to stay alive to help Harry...if he was still living. "The orders have changed. We are meant to kill the one who is running."
"I see," Malfoy nodded.
That was when Nott spotted her. Hermione felt a scream rise in her throat, but she squashed it back down. She refused to give him the satisfaction.
"Granger," the dark eyed wizard grinned. He glanced over at Malfoy, but didn't say anything. "Well this is fortunate. Now I don't have to go after you," he chuckled, pulling out his wand. Hermione felt herself freeze. Her wand was toofar away to reach. It was still on the window where Malfoy had put it...probably part of his plan. Nott drew closer."This will certainly make me more favorable to my Lord." She closed her eyes, praying it would be over soon.
"Wait," Malfoy snapped. Hermione opened her eyes. Malfoy stepped in front of Nott. "I want to do it," he said. Nott hesitated, then stood down and Malfoy raised his wand.
Nott fell dead.
Malfoy sat down on the floor, staring at the body in silence.
Hermione looked at him, then at Nott, and back at Malfoy. Quietly, slowly, she went over to sit by him. They sat there together, staring at the motionless form in front of them. But Hermione had to know. "Why?" she asked. "Why did you do it?"
He didn't look at her at first. He remained fridgid as if he was surprised by his own actions. "He was sent to kill me," Malfoy shrugged. "It seemed to be the most logical outcome."
"Kill you?" she asked. "I thought he was referring to me."
Malfoy shook his head. "No. I was the runaway. You were just a bonus."
She reached out and touched his arm. "Malfoy, why were you running away?"
He stared at her. "Granger, you wouldn't believe me if I told you, so don't ask. Alright?"
She shook her head. "That isn't good enough." She pointed to Nott. "I'm very open to new ideas. Tell me."
Grumbling, he relented. "I'm done being a Death Eater." That was it. That was all he said.
"Just like that?"
"Just like that."
"Alright then," she nodded.
They sat in silence for a couple ofhours, each contemplating their own thoughts. Outside, the noiseof war was getting louder. The Order was pushing back the Death Eaters. They were winning. Hermione could see the flashes of light every now and then. Explosions rattled the house in five minute intervals.Soon they would have to move. The house was weakening. In a matter of minutes it would be ready to collapse.
Malfoy stood. "Granger," he gave her a hands up. "There is one last thing I need to tell you." She waited. "I killed him."
And with that said, Draco Malfoy walked out ofthe building.