Yes well, this is my first Harry Potter fanfic so this is all a little new. I'm not even sure if this is going to be a one shot or a multi-chapter. Please review! Rated M because I am paranoid.

I don't own Harry Potter *sad face* but I do own the plot! *happy face*

Lion vs. Serpent

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry,
Set Gryffindors apart…
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.

Sorting Hat's Song, Book 1

You know what they say.

Gryffindor, they're always the most courageous. Willing to take whatever is thrown at them, be it hell or high water. It's a well known fact.

But it's complete and utter rubbish.

I should know.

I ran.

For once in my life, I had no clue what to do. It was hard to think. It was hard to think after seeing Harry Potter, one of my best friends since First Year, slaughtered before my eyes. It all happened so fast. One moment he was alive, the next he wasn't. All I saw was emerald light that shimmered in all of our eyes. In his eyes. Merlin! He's dead…he's dead…he's dead!

I remember stumbling backwards and maybe I uttered a scream in horror, but it's all so blurry now, I'm surprised I remember anything at all. I do remember running though. I remember turning on my heel and sprinting away from the scene, like the hell hounds were on my trail. I remember running into the grounds, the Deatheaters beginning to pour out of the now ruined Hogwarts, shouting gleefully, "The Boy who died! The Boy who died!"

I don't even know what happened to Ron. They must have got to him too because after that night, I never saw him again. I ran and I ran, towards the dark embrace of the forest. Its ironic how before this Forest held such terror, but now was my only source of salvation. "Oi! Mudblood! We're not finished with you!" I heard someone catcall, followed by a series of cackles that sounded like a raven's caw. Their words only made me run faster, my breath coming in short quick pants. My wand was clutched between my sweaty fingers, in danger of slipping out of my hand entirely. "Malfoy! After her!"

Malfoy? Part of me wondered which Malfoy it was. Was it the boy or the man? I found myself wanting it to be the man. Draco Malfoy was in my year. I had essentially grown up with him. As much as I knew he hated me and I hated him, I could never imagine him killing me.

I continued to blunder my way through the forest, branches snapping in my wake. I remember the sound of hooves, running along with me. The centaurs were fleeing also and I was strangely comforted by that idea. Darkness was starting to smother my vision. It was getting harder to see but I didn't dare whisper 'Lumos' to clear the way. I wasn't scared just…numb. It felt very dream like, as if this was all a nightmare that I knew would end.

It came to my attention however that I was being followed. Cracking and crunching could be heard from behind me and I found myself running faster. That was my great mistake. Something, a tree root or a rut reached out and snagged my foot. I tumbled forwards rolling into the dirt. After everything being so blurry, this is the moment I remember the most. The moment that will be etched into my skull for the rest of my life, every detail made sharp.

Searing pain ripped through my knees and palms and I felt something sticky and hot trickle down my wrists and shins. Iron and salt stung through the air, cutting through the smell of damp earth. My wand flew out of my hand and I scrabbled around frantically for it, earth and small stones digging into my grazes and fingernails. "Granger, Granger, you are finally where you belong. In the dirt and muck." I knew that voice. It was the Boy Malfoy. My stomach plummeted at the sound of his voice.

I sucked in a sharp breath, flipped my body over and pulled my back up to the tree trunk. I couldn't see him; his wand was lit and shining right into my eyes. He was just one of the many dark shadows. I lifted my hand to my eyes trying to block out the light. I'd always imagined that if someone was going to murder me, I would look them straight in the eyes.

There was a pause; it may have been second long, maybe an hour. I finally couldn't bear it any longer and blurted out, "Are you going to do it, Malfoy?"

He hesitated before spitting out: "What the hell do you mean Granger?"

I've always pondered why I acted the way I did in my last moments. I was almost myself again, that bossy girl who thought she knew it all. Maybe it was my own version of seeing life flash before my eyes or something stupid like that. I sighed in frustration before snapping back: "Are you going to kill me? If you are, you're taking you own sweet time doing it. Get it over with already."

The light from his wand shook a little. "Of course I'm going to kill you, filthy Mudblood. I can kill you whenever I want!"

"Well do it then! I'm not getting any younger! And anyway your Deatheater chums will be here any minute and I'd rather be dead before I meet them," I retorted. My hands curled into the earth as I stared him down. He still didn't make any move to kill me. "Do it, you coward!"

He was suddenly upon me, his wand pressed painfully into my cheek. His legs straddled my thighs and one of his coarse hands gripping my throat in a choking hold. I could finally see his face in the dim light from the Sickle moon I could see his white blonde hair, now grey in the darkness. His silver eyes were shadowed by dark purple sleepless bruises but they shone with anger that masked his raw fear. His thin lips were curled back to reveal tombstone teeth and his skin was stretched tight across his cheekbones. His face looked like a skull, cold, broken. "I am not a coward," he snarled, twisting the wand and making me whimper.

"Then please," and this time there was a note of begging in my hoarse words, "If you have any mercy, kill me."

There was another long pause and I heard the other Deatheaters bulldoze their way through the forest. They'd be here any minute and all would be lost. We stared each other down, the Gryffindor and the Slytherin, the lion and the serpent.

What happened next, I will never understand. I heard and saw him swallow before he finally…let go of me. He jumped back from me, his face in the shadows again. "Go, run," he told me flatly. He suddenly bent down and scooped something off the ground. He threw it at me and it landed on my lap; it was my wand. "There's your wand and now get the hell out of here. I'll tell them I couldn't catch you. I think if you head into that direction," he gestured into further of the forest, "There is a weakness in the wall around Hogwarts there. Slip through and disaparate out of the country."

I sat frozen in my spot, staring at his cloaked face. What was he doing? Why was he doing it? Was it a trick? What changed his mind?

"Why aren't you running?" anger was now back in his tone, his wand light was shaking again, "I told you to run. So fucking run, you stupid Mudblood! RUN!"

His sharp tone made me jerk into action. I stumbled to my feet and forced them to run into the direction he had showed me towards. I glanced behind me towards him as I ran, just one last look. He was turned towards the oncoming Deatheaters, shouting something to them, his white gold hair glimmering in the wand-light, like some odd halo.

The vision was finally blocked by more trees and I turned to keep on running. I managed to make it to the wall and indeed there was a weakness in it, where the bricks and mortar had crumbled away. When I got outside, I glanced back at the wall. I wondered what had happened to him, whether he was going to be ok. Before I finally left the last battle I whispered a few small words, "Thank you, Draco Malfoy. I'll never forget this."

There! Glad I got that out of my system, that idea's been rattling around my head for a while now. Please review! Should I continue with this? Your input would be much appreciated!

Thank you!

CBWF