Defeated We Rise


Chapter One: An Unlikely Friend


Defeated, I lie. I am alone in my room, lying on top of my lovely, plush, red
comforter. Lavender and Parvati were out with Ron and Harry. Parvati and Harry had
started dating the previous year. She was good for him, because she helped him realize
that Cedric's death wasn't his fault.

I feel so alone right now. Everything is so very quiet, everything is so
unbelievably loud. The pounding of my own heart. All I see is the red on my white
carpet. The red of my own blood, from my own pale wrist. All I had wanted was for them
to stay, for them to wait. I had just gotten an owl from Dumbledore to go see him in his
office. I had never been owled to see him before. Harry had, but not I. I hurried up there,
telling Ron and Harry to wait for me-there was a Hogsmeade trip that day, and I didn't
want to go alone.

Once I saw the Professor's face I knew that something was terribly wrong. He
motioned for me to sit, and numbly I did so.

He cleared his throat, fiddled with his glasses, and looked up at me with more
sadness and emotion than I have ever seen in his eyes before. There was pity, and anger,
and things that at that moment I couldn't understand. Forever afterward I will. Because
now my eyes carry that same look.

He fidgeted with his glasses and then clasped his hands together in his lap.

"Hermione, dear, I am very, very sorry to have to bring you this devastating news." He
paused, and sighed, then continued on. "I was informed, this morning, by owl, that your
parents.well, they were attacked by Voldemort last night."

I knew that my question was hopeless, but I had to ask, "Are they.still alive?"

"No, Hermione, I'm afraid that they are not. I can only assure you that they died
instantly, and relatively painlessly."

"The Killing Curse?" I squeaked.

"I'm afraid so."

Then I got up and ran. He expected as much. He managed to press the note into
my shaking hands before I did so, and then sat back and sighed the weary sigh of the
defeated as I ran down the staircase and, blinded by my own tears, back to the safety of
the Gryffindor common room where I expected to find my two best friends, expecting
them to be there to comfort me. All I found was the note.


Mione-
Sorry we had to leave without you. It was the last train into
Hogsmeade today, and Lavi and Parvati were begging to go. We'll be sure
to bring you back a few of the Weasley Wizarding Wheezes, though.

Ciao,
Ron

P.S. What did Dumbledore want? Is there any more news of
Voldemorts whereabouts? Sorry to leave you!
Cheerio, Harry


The room was growing dark now. Hazily I wondered if it was nighttime. I
managed to make out what the clock said. It was only noon.I realized that the muggle
sleeping pills were taking effect. I had had a few too many. Alright, a bottle too many.
But Voldemort had destroyed my family, and no one was here.no one cared.no one
bothered.I realized that I had left both notes in the common room. I couldn't. I had to
have the last note my parents wrote.

Stumbling down the stairs, I saw the notes. I picked them up, blinded by the
insistence of darkness eating me whole, and losing all sense of direction, of proportion, of
sight, I stumbled to the nearest door, opening it, and falling through, landing with a light
thump in front of a startled Fat Lady. Then, Darkness took his final bite.


***


"Oh dear, oh dear! Dearie, do stop and help the girl! She's.oh, I really don't
know what's happened to her!" The Fat Lady let out alarmed clucking noises, while
waving her hands around manically.

So this was the Gryffindor entrance. I vaguely wondered what was wrong with the
Mudblood. I knew that I usually wouldn't have lifted a finger to help anyone, but she
looked like.well, like she was dead. Panicking, I bent down next to her. I noted that a
small pool of blood was forming on the tiled floor. Her wrist was slashed repeatedly. Her
clutch on two notes had loosened. I picked them up. Good God. He had gone and done it.
He had killed her family. So 'He' was my Master. But what had they done? Honestly,
what had they done?? The second note was from her 'friends'. They hadn't bothered to
wait. She was driven to desperation. I checked her pulse. It was faint. It was slow. I
hauled her up, as the Fat Lady scurried from painting to painting, watching us go.



***


Am I dead? Is this Heaven? Or is it Hell?


***



She was waking up. She seemed completely disoriented. I normally wouldn't
have stayed with someone for three days, especially my archenemy, but no one else had
come to stay with her. Not Potter. Not Weasley. They had sent cards, and balloons.
Stupid, meaningless things. But they wouldn't be there to comfort her when she woke.
No, ironically, it would be a Death Eater who would be doing the consoling. And I
thought I had rotten friends.

Musing on this thought, I pondered their friendship. I liked to observe them, the
'Dream Team' as some used to call them. They had been deteriorating, because she had
been replaced with two brainless idiots. Those girls reminded him eerily of Crabbe and
Goyle. Even Pansy had more sense than them. Somehow Potter and Weasley didn't
realize who they'd lost. I mean, she wasn't beautiful, but she had always been there for
the two of them. I would kill for someone like that. Killing wasn't an over-exaggeration,
either. I spent my whole summer doing that.


***


Wait. I'm not dead! I'm not.

The light flooded in. Or maybe I'm just in Heaven. Who's here with me? Slowly,
I began to realize that I was still alive. Pain will make one re-think their state of being.
Physical, and emotional. I had thought dying would kill those in one blow. So I must be
alive.

Who was sitting at the edge of my bed? My eyes began to focus. I struggled to sit
up. The person jumped up and helped me. I noticed the books he had brought. I noticed
the cards. The stupid balloons. Then I noticed the eyes. Those menacing, dark, icy gray
eyes. They could only belong to one person. To Draco Malfoy. I struggled against him,
out of sheer panic, and fell back onto my stiff hospital pillow. He backed away, with
hands held up in a way that said, 'Sorry for touching you. Just trying to help' I couldn't
help but gape. I closed my eyes, and blinked a couple times. When I opened them again,
he was back to sitting at the foot of my bed. I motioned him forward.

I suppose it was rude of me, but I couldn't help wondering. "Where're Ron and
Harry?" My voice came out painfully hoarse.

"They said they would be back in a moment. They went to go eat dinner." I could
tell he was lying.

"Seriously. I know they like to eat.but they wouldn't have left me here.with,
uh."

"Me?" He grinned back at me.

"Yeah."

"Ok." He sighed, reminding me eerily of Dumbledore, sighing in defeat. "They
left you cards, and those balloons there. And I think Harry brought some flowers too,
but."

"But?"

"They, uh, went back to class, I guess."

I felt like crying at this. Of all the times, why couldn't they just be here? And why
was he here?


"Why are you here, Malfoy?"
Madame Pompfrey bustled in at that moment. "Because, dear, if he hadn't come
along at just the right moment, you would be dead. Really! Muggle medicine! You
always need to read the label on those things.You overdosed, dearie."

I looked up at Malfoy, shock all over my face. Then I looked back at Madame
Pompfrey. "I read the instructions. I meant to die."

"Now, Hermione, dear.of course you didn't.just get some rest. Mr. Malfoy, I
suggest you leave her for awhile."

I realized that I needed to at least say something to him. "Madame Pompfrey, can
I just talk to him for a few minutes?"

"Five minutes. You've got five minutes, Malfoy, then you're out of here." She
bustled away, clucking to herself.

He looked at me like I was insane.

"I'm real sorry about your parents, Granger. Honest, I am. Why don't I just go tell
Potter and Weasley you're awake now?"

"Don't bother. If they want to see me.well, they can find their own way. What I
wanted to say, Draco, was thank you."

He laughed at this. I could tell he thought something was terribly ironic. "You
don't want to thank me." He paused and seemed to rethink something, before adding,
"Anyways, you wanted to die."

"I was killing myself because I didn't think anyone would care. Now, I realize
that you don't exactly.like me.care for me.in fact, you probably would like me
dead.but thank you.for taking the time, and for staying here for the day or what ever it
was."

"It was three days, Granger, and I expect some serious repayment!" he paused to
laugh and I realized he was actually joking. "And you've got a hell of a lot of homework.
I did some of it for you, since I was doing my own, but it probably isn't in as good of
shape as you'd like. I'm real sorry about your parents."

"Thank you." I don't know why, but I grabbed his hand, and gave it three
squeezes. That was something I had done back at home with my parents during grace. It
was a code we had, and in our family, it meant 'I love you'. Now, I don't love Draco
Malfoy, by any means, but it felt like the right thing to do. So I did it.

He bowed, acting over-gentlemanly, kissed my hand, then wrecked the moment
by saying, "Get some sleep, kiddo," and winking at me. Somehow, despite the fact that
my parents were dead and I was barely half-alive, my friends weren't here and my
archenemy was the only one to save me, somehow he still sent me into a fit of
hysterics.



***


I hurried out of there, expecting Madame Pompfrey to come around the corner
reprimanding me at any moment. Instead, she just smiled, and handed me a large bar of
chocolate. It was good chocolate, too.

Heading down for dinner, I saw Potter and Weasley. I decided I should just go
ahead and tell them that she was up. They didn't know I had been up there the whole
time, because Madame Pompfrey had had the foresight to hide me when she heard them
coming.

"Hey, Potter, Weasley."

They looked at me like I was crazy. They had spite in their eyes, and they
motioned for their girls to go find them seats.

"Yeah? What do you want, Malfoy?" This was Ron.

"I just wanted to tell you that Hermione's awake now." I called her by her first
name simply to make them mad. They were easy to infuriate.

"How would you know?" Harry was looking a little worried. I had to admit that
he had spent longer in the infirmary with Hermione. He had left her roses and a long
note. And he had talked to her, as if she were awake and listening. They had been words
of a truly caring friend.

"Because if I hadn't found her in the corridor, Potter, she would be dead. You left
her for fucking Hogsmeade! And I had brought her her books and assignments, and just
happened to be there when she woke. You couldn't even bother to stay with her! She was
out for three bloody days and all you could do was send her a card and some flowers!" I
wasn't quite sure why I was getting this angry, and I was having a hard time acting like I
didn't care. I felt a bit mental, and from the way they were looking at me, they thought I
was.

Harry looked a little ashamed, but angry that I was getting on him. "And you did
more, did you?"

"Did I do more? I saved her life. I sat there. Day and night. I left twice. Once to
tell Dumbledore where I was, and once to go get her all her assignments so I could start
working on them for her! She lost her parents, for Christ' sake! You, of all people, Potter,
should understand that!"

Harry now looked completely ashamed. "I do, Malfoy. Thanks for telling us.
Sorry I underestimated you.I didn't realize it was so bad...Christ, I've been a fucking
ass!" he turned and headed towards the hospital wing, trying to re-obtain his 'Hero'
status.

I went and sat down next to Pansy who smiled adoringly at me despite the fact
that I hadn't showered in three days, and had a deadly scowl smacked across my face. I
was a Death Eater after all, and Pansy's only goal in life was to marry a rich, evil,
conniving Death Eater, and, unfortunately, I was, at present, the only one who seemed to
fit that bill. Naturally, if she had known that I had saved a mudblood's life, I probably
would no longer fit her ideals. Thinking of this, I had to strongly resist telling her, simply
because I knew my father's reaction would be anything but pleasant.