Title: Dangerous Games
Summary: Hermione gets taken prisoner during a battle; Draco is being punished for his hesitation and is made her caretaker.
Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling owns the characters; nothing is mine but the plot.
Warnings: Nothing really this chapter.
Author's Note: Thanks already for being interested enough to get this far. I hope I don't disappoint too much. And by the by, things are going to be pretty somber and depressing for the first few chapters, but once the ball gets rolling, that's when some humor and light-hearted fun will start making an appearance. Oh, and yes, I know, the title is totally lame. I may change it later on.
Wherever she was, it was cold and dark and damp. Her body felt as if it had been thrown against a brick wall repeatedly, and an awful smell filled her nostrils. She opened her eyes feebly, hesitantly. If she was still alive, it either meant a miracle or hell, and she was betting on the latter. As her eyes adjusted and she took in the dirt floor, grimy stone walls, and steel bars in front of her, her worst fears were confirmed. She was being kept prisoner by the Death Eaters.
"Hermione, RUN! We're outnumbered, we'll have to go back to Number 12 and regroup."
"Hurry, they're just behind that hill!"
"Go for the woods, we'll be able to Apparate there!"
"Harry, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, keep going!"
"Ron? Are you there? RON!"
Hermione's flashback was interrupted by the opening of her prison door. She stared in amazement, momentarily stunned into silence, by Draco Malfoy putting down a cup of water and a plate of bread at her feet. That was certainly a surprise; last she had heard he was dead. He looked clean, although his hair was missing its usual gel, and looked slightly tousled. Her first idiotic thought was that he had been messing around with someone (Pansy Parkinson, most likely), but by the troubled expression on his face, she somehow doubted that. A smirk would have been in order if he had just gotten some.
With Herculean effort she pulled herself up into a sitting position. "Malfoy?" she croaked out, her voice quiet and strained from a lack of use. She had no idea how long she had been unconscious. He didn't answer her, didn't even look at her. However, sitting up did offer an explanation as to why it smelled so horrible: she had vomited in her hair.
"Malfoy, where am I?"
He turned around and walked out of her cell, shutting the door behind him quietly, with was uncharacteristic. Removing his wand from a pocket in his cloak, he pointed it at the door, and it locked itself. She hadn't even noticed it being unlocked when he came in. Then he turned on his heel and began walking purposefully away.
Mustering all of her strength, she dragged herself over to the wall of bars and looked out. Along the dark hallway lit only by four weakly burning torches, a few more cells were scattered. Hers seemed to be the only one occupied. Malfoy had already reached the end of the hall when she yelled at him in a last desperate attempt to find out where she was, but his black cloak billowed out behind him as he swiftly ascended the spiral staircase up and out of sight.
She slumped back against a nearby stone wall, feeling defeated and exhausted. She reached out for the water that sat in a clear cup in front of her, not realizing until just now how incredibly dry her throat was, and noticed a long scratch along her arm, the blood crusted over. Upon further inspection, she located four more wounds along her body, one rather deep, and another still bleeding slightly. She tried as best she could to clean them with her dirty robes, but that only seemed to make it worse. She didn't even bother searching for her wand to heal them; she knew that it had been taken. Not feeling particularly hungry, she decided to save the bread for later, and curled up in the corner to sleep. She didn't want to think right now.
A red light zoomed past her in Harry's direction, grazing his elbow and making him stumble.
"Harry, are you okay?"
"I'm fine, keep going!"
Her breath came in ragged gulps, and there was a stabbing pain in her chest every time she exhaled. She pumped her arms, willing herself to move faster. The woods were right in front of her, not thirty feet away.
There was a flash of green, then the thump of a body coming in contact with the ground.
Hermione jerked awake as she felt a wet rag run along her calf, and thought for a moment she must still be dreaming, because the sight before her was too ludicrous to actually be happening. But as the cloth came in contact with the gash on her leg and made her gasp in pain, she decided that Draco Malfoy really was tending to her wounds.
Feeling too exhausted to pester him for more answers she figured wouldn't come, she lay in the dirt and allowed Malfoy to continue. Whether it was out of pity (doubtful) or instruction, she was grateful that her cuts were being healed. Thinking about the flash of green, tears began to roll down her face, cutting through the mud that had dried on. She closed her eyes and bit her tongue, wanting to salvage whatever dignity she had left. As Malfoy rose to leave, she threw out her hand to grab his ankle and stop him. He didn't look at her, but he didn't shake her off either.
"Malfoy, why am I still alive?"
He pulled his ankle from her grasp and walked out, closing the door and locking it. His eyes on the floor, he said distantly, "Because the Dark Lord wants you to be."
He left Hermione alone to trace the lines his heels had left in the dirt, tears still running down her cheek.
There you have it, the first chapter. I thank you for having made it this far, and hope your interest is peaked enough to continue in the story. I have about the next three chapters planned out, but from there, who knows where the story will go. Feedback is much appreciated, whether it be praise, criticism, or what you'd like to see happen in the story (who knows, maybe I'll use it)!