It was Friday before Hermione seemed to break out of her mono-syllabic mood. As they got ready for Blaise's party she was happier, almost chipper while she chose an outfit and chain-smoked. Draco smiled watching her as she almost burnt a hole in her dress as she tried to put it on without putting down her cigarette.
"Hate you." She stuck out her tongue when her dress was on. "You don't even have to think before you get dressed." She leant over her mirror as she applied her eye make-up.
"You don't need to think either, you just think you do." She rolled her eyes.
"Shameless flattery." She jumped as a new song came on the wireless and half-ran over to turn it up.
"Have you figured out what you're going to do for your Runes project?" He asked. For their N.E.W.T exam they had to choose a text and translate it either into or out of runes. He had chosen the easier option of translating out.
"Shakespeare, I think. I want to translate Othello into runes." He raised his eyebrows; she always gave herself more work than was necessary.
"Muggle texts? Ambitious."
"But fun." She smiled and he shook his head.
"You have a weird idea of fun."
"If you haven't read Shakespeare, you have no right to pass judgement." She was standing at the mirror again and running her hands through her hair, frowning at her reflection. "Stupid roots." She scowled as she tried to hide where her light brown hair had grown in. "Why did I let them dye it?"
"Because their hair would probably fall out with another application of dye." He said, remembering one of her rants.
"Slytherin," He said, as if that would justify it.
"But not a teenage girl, so not really justified." She smiled, almost reading his mind.
"Are you ready yet?" She scowled at him but nodded.
"Let's go." She stubbed out her cigarette and put on a jacket.
"Finally," He said as he followed her out of the door.
As much as he wanted to be able to say that the party was different to the muggle one, it really wasn't. It was just quieter. Hermione was getting some strange (and some openly hostile) looks from the Slytherins and kept giving Draco reassuringly funny looks, most of them being of the rolled-eyes and stuck out tongue variety. Draco himself was getting similar looks, but he was used to them.
"You came!" Blaise all but shouted as he walked over to them with a half-empty fire whiskey bottle in one hand. "Granger, looking as beautiful as ever." He clumsily bent over to kiss her hand, almost getting burnt in the face by her cigarette in the process.
"How much have you had to drink?" She asked, laughing. Draco frowned at how familiar she was with him. He knew that they'd been together, but she was usually a lot more reserved with other people. By that, of course, Draco meant people other than him.
"Not much, a bottle and a bit." She raised her eyebrows.
"You're slipping, Zabini, usually you'd have lured a girl up to your dorm by now."
"Ah, but I had to be down here to see you. And your boyfriend." He raised his eyebrows at the last word. "If it hadn't been for me, I wouldn't think much of your taste." He joked. "If he hurts you, let me know and I'll hex his balls off."
"I'm supposed to be your friend, Blaise!" Draco said, indignant.
"There are no friends in war and pretty girls, Draco." He replied before walking away.
"D'you think there's any blood in his alcohol system?" Hermione asked as they watched him talk to someone else.
"Muggle joke, sorry." She grabbed a bottle from a nearby table. "Drink?"
"If I shudder and decline will you think less of me?" He said, remembering how he had felt the last time he drank vodka. He distinctly remembered vomiting in his bed while Blaise laughed at him.
"Yes." She opened the bottle and took a swig before passing it to him. "We're eighteen, we have a responsibility to get shit-faced and embarrass ourselves." He raised his eyebrows and drank.
"'Shit-faced'… I'm not sure if the head girl should use such language." She giggled and led him over to where Blaise was standing.
Hermione woke up with the distinct sensation of chewing on a rodent in her mouth. She grimaced and opened her eyes. When she saw her surroundings she breathed in sharply. Draco was sitting in a chair next to her bed and she shook him awake.
"What happened?" She asked. He didn't speak for a moment and she got the feeling he was choosing his words carefully.
"You drank too much, so we had to take you to the hospital wing." Her eyes widened and she pulled off the covers to check her arms. The glamour was gone and her scars were bright on her skin.
"Shit." She muttered. On the table next to her was a half-empty potion bottle. She opened it and sniffed. It stank of fenugreek. Weight-gain supplement. "Shit." She repeated.
"It's going to be okay." He said, trying to calm her down. She sat up and pulled off the covers before looking for her shoes. He saw what she was looking for and shook his head.
"She took them and put up wards around here, you can't run away."
"You let her… You let her lock me up."
"We knew you would run."
"Well yeah, most people do try and run when they're being held against their will." She sat down and he reached over to push her hair out of her face.
"It'll help, 'Mione." He said quietly. The rational side of her brain told her that he was right, but the louder and more convincing side of her brain was screaming for freedom. She wanted to shout, to throw something, to beg him to sneak her out, but she knew him too well, knew that he wouldn't help her. Instead, she lay back down on the bed and turned away from him.
"Go back to the Dorm, Draco." He didn't speak for a moment.
"It'll be okay." He said. "Tell them if you want me to come back." It was only when he was gone that she realised that she wanted him there, even though she was angry at him.
She spent the rest of the day refusing to talk to anyone, not even Dumbledore when he came in to talk to her about her move to a muggle hospital. Apparently they couldn't 'treat' her at Hogwarts, and felt that she'd be better in London where her parents could be with her. She secretly grinned at this when he left; it'd be easy to get out of a muggle hospital, just a couple of hexes. But then she realized that as well as taking her shoes, Madame Pomfrey had confiscated her wand. She would have to come up with a wand-liberation plan. When the healer came in to give her a potion she scowled up at her.
"I want a cigarette." She said, sipping the potion to show willing. She wasn't an idiot, she knew that they could use magic to get it into her if they wanted.
"A cigarette?" The healer seemed shocked. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"A cigarette… I want to smoke, y'know, inhale carcinogens and nicotine." She said slowly, aware at how hostile she sounded.
"It's not good for you." Hermione tried her best not to snort.
"I'm over sixteen, it's legal." Madame Pomfrey gave up and cast some charms to keep the smoke in the room and passed Hermione her coat. She grinned and rooted through the pockets before coming up with an almost full pack of cigarettes and a battered lighter. The healer confiscated that and sat next to Hermione as she smoked. What did she think she was about to do? Burn herself? Hermione almost giggled when she realized her mistake, of course she did. Harry and Ron appeared at the door and Madame Pomfrey ushered them in, obviously glad that she could count on them to watch Hermione so she could leave the smoke-filled room.
"'Mione, what did you do?" Ron asked, sitting down next to her while Harry sat on her bed. She stuck out her tongue.
"Draco told us today, well more attacked us. Apparently we're bad friends." Harry said, staring at her arms. Because of the heating charm in the hospital wing, she was wearing short sleeves. It wasn't like she had anything to hide anymore.
"Is this because of Charlie? Because I'll hex his bloody balls off if it is."
"For the last time, I broke up with him, Ron." Hermione shook her head.
"When are you going to the muggle hospital?" Harry asked, ignoring Ron. Off her confused look he said "Dumbledore told me, he wanted to know if I knew anything."
"Dunno, Monday, I think. They want me out of here as soon as possible." An idea hit her; she would be able to apparate once she was off school grounds! Then she could go anywhere. Harry shook his head.
"He's taking you there himself and putting up wards at the muggle hospital."
"You should be proud of Ron; he insisted that we spent the afternoon in the library looking for stuff about your illness."
"Find anything interesting?"
"Nothing ground-breaking. Though he can't really wrap his head around it."
"That's good; he's got a strong self-preservation instinct." She joked. Harry looked serious.
"You could have told us, 'mione. We could've helped." Ron said. She bit her lip.
"You didn't have to be alone." Harry added.
"I had Draco."
"Before that, now I know about it I can remember times when it was obvious, but we were too bone-headed to notice."
"And you had to go out with Draco to have someone to talk to." Ron supplied. She frowned. "He showed us, wanted us to see what it looked like before we saw you."
"As much as I don't like to admit it, you really should let him stay with you." Harry said. "He's on our side, after all." He smiled.
Author's Note: The penultimate (in normal terms, not Finn's "Super-ultimate" terms) chapter… The fenugreek thing was the only herb-y thing I could think of them using, although I'm not sure if it would actually cause weight-gain. Sorry if her mindset in the hospital wing was unrealistic… I can't remember much of my own time, so I was going in blind. I've gone back and edited the previous chapters for typos, too much clothing description and other factors of my idiocy, if you see any other mistakes, tell me.