He'd never been one to sleep particularly soundly, but as he slowly came to awareness with the faint light streaming through the room's only window, Draco felt unusually stiff and groggy, as though he'd been deeply asleep for days, not hours. He hadn't yet opened his eyes, and rolled to his side to remove the offending sunbeam from his line of vision. It was then that he realized that he was not on a bed, nor a sofa, not even a chair, but the hard, cold, and dusty wooden floor.

With a rumbling groan, Draco rubbed at his face with both hands, trying to rouse himself to full alertness. "What the hell happened last night?" he muttered. Noting that his hands felt sticky, he finally resolved to drag one eye open with all the energy he felt able to muster, wondering what he'd been up to that had left him dirty, sore, and sleeping naked on the floor. "Did I have too much fun to remember?" he mentally snickered.

His amusement was short-lived. "Fucking hell!" he roared as his now-open eyes told him the stickiness was not the residue of some amorous encounter. He was covered in thick, red, coagulated blood. "No, no, no, no, no."

Draco's immediate instinct toward self-preservation led to a quick survey of his body with eyes and hands. He was surprised to find only superficial scratches on his torso and arms, and a couple of deeper cuts on his face, but nothing that would account for this much blood. As his panicked breathing slowed upon his realization that he was not in immediate danger of bleeding to death, he noted that most of the blood was on his hands and arms, and – "Oh shit," – on his groin and thighs. "What have I done?"

Scrambling to his feet clumsily, Draco rapidly took in his surroundings and found them to be completely unfamiliar. The single window that had been the source of his wake-up call was barely covered by a tattered, graying piece of linen that might have been called a curtain decades ago. Surprised that any light had filtered through the filthy glass, Draco moved the disgusting window covering aside to see a thoroughly foreign landscape.

He turned into the room with a great deal of reluctance, afraid of what he'd find. He was standing between the window and a small, equally dirty bed that was barely large enough for one adult. A small desk and wooden ladder-back chair rested against the opposite wall, perpendicular to the wall housing the window. There were two doors opposite the window, and a third beside the desk. "Closet, bath, and exit," he guessed, but didn't take the time to determine which was which.

Draco looked at the floor to see drops and smears of blood, leading to the other side of the bed. With his heart pounding and mouth suddenly dry, he stepped around the piece of furniture to find the body of a young woman, also naked and even more covered in blood than he. His knees gave way and he tumbled to the floor, scrambling away from the prone form. "Oh fuck."

Shaking with fear, Draco tried to breathe deeply to stop himself from hyperventilating, with only limited success. He gasped loudly and coughed violently for several moments until he was able to regain control of his faculties. His brain was ticking rapidly through a number of scenarios to explain how and why he'd found himself in this situation, none of them good. Had he drank too much and picked up a streetwalker? But why would he have ki…? "Shit, shit, shit – Hey! Hey!" he said, trying to rouse with woman with his shout, thinking that maybe, however unlikely it seemed, that like he had been, she was just sleeping deeply. He was unsurprised but still horrified to get no response. Crawling a bit closer to the still form, Draco reached out with a shaking hand to touch the woman's foot. Repulsed by the grime and blood covering the appendage, he pulled back once, twice before actually making contact. He pinched and shook while hoarsely whispering, "Hey wake up," belatedly worrying about whether they were alone in this … wherever they were.

Still getting no response, he stretched further to reach her wrist. Placing his fingers against the cool skin, he searched for the gentle thudding that would relieve his fears of having found himself with a dead woman. He was only a little less panicked when he found that his victim did indeed have something that resembled a pulse, but it surely wasn't strong, fast or healthy. This woman was undoubtedly very near death. "Wand, where's my wand?" Draco muttered, eyes darting about the room to look for the thin piece of hawthorn. A rapid search of furniture surfaces and floor yielded nothing resembling a wand.

Draco darted first to the door beside the desk and slowly opened it, lest he be confronted with someone or something undesirable on the other side. He found only a closet containing a few wooden clothes hangers, but no clothes and absolutely no wand. It then dawned on him that his own clothes were not immediately visible in the room, nor were the woman's. "Loo – maybe there." He gingerly stepped over the woman's unmoving body, trying to avoid the largest puddle of blood, to face the two adjacent doors, reaching first for the one on the right. It was indeed the loo, but he quickly determined that it contained no clothes and again, no wand. That left one option. He'd have to open the door that clearly led to an outside world in some form.

Slowly, quietly, Draco turned the handle and pushed the door open just a couple of inches, hoping to see in what kind of structure he's spent the night; inn, house, hotel – whatever he found would determine his next step.

The door didn't creak nearly as much as he'd feared it would, and Draco opened it fully as he discovered that there was no person, no sound on the other side. He stepped over the threshold into a small, dark hallway. It appeared that there was at least one other bedroom at the far end of the narrow corridor, and the near end opened into a dingy sitting room. He crept along the wall quietly until he nearly tripped over a lump of black fabric piled along the baseboard. "My cloak," he breathed in relief. "My wand must be there." He lifted the garment, shaking it out to gain access to the interior pocket, and was deeply dismayed to discover that his source of hope was not there. Patting down the rest of the cloak and feeling along the floor nearby yielded no better result.

Now confident that there were no other inhabitants – well, human ones in any case – Draco dashed into the sitting room and again searched for the one item no wizard ever wants to be without. When he was unsuccessful in that room, he made his way to what appeared to be the only other room in the small cottage, a decidedly Muggle-style kitchen. No wand and not much luck were found there either. He did manage to find a few pieces of cloth that might have been towels at one time, and filled an old pot with water from a tap that surprised him by actually supplying the clean clear liquid.

He moved back into the tiny bedroom to kneel beside the woman that he'd apparently had some role in harming. He gingerly turned her over to see if he could do something to ensure that her bleeding had stopped, and saw that they great pool of blood he'd side-stepped earlier had clearly come from between her legs. He gulped in shame, horror and humiliation. "Oh Merlin. Did I do this? This can't be true. I'm not that kind of man," he whispered, though he felt a niggling doubt at what kind of man he was, exactly. Nothing seemed clear, nothing seemed familiar. He surveyed the damage and found that the woman had wounds on her breasts and livid bruises around her neck. Her face was obscured by a mass of dark, curly hair, which Draco thought vaguely reminded him of someone he hadn't seen in more than two years. "If I didn't know better, it could be…" his voice trailed off as he used a dampened cloth to clear the matted tresses away to reveal the woman's identity. "Granger!"