Not much to say except here's the next chapter. Thank you for reading and reviewing, enjoy!
I do not own any of J. K. Rowling's work, solely the plot to this story.
Suddenly, the stag disappeared, leaving Hermione in the dark. Before she could cast 'Lumos', however, something else happened.
A soft glow of platinum blond hair. It was him.
Except, there was something wrong. Something very wrong about the way he lay there on the ground, unmoving, with eyes that stared up at the night sky, blank.
He was dead.
"Huh, what do you know? She really does love him, doesn't she?"
Ron glanced at his Slytherin counterpart but didn't reply. They could both see what Hermione's boggart had transmogrified into. And despite his assurance of having gotten over her…
I'll never stop loving you.
Draco was getting closer to where her scream came from. Why wasn't she using her wand? It was still dark, save for the few night-lit spots in the forest. He was almost there, just a few more yards…
He slowed his pace, preparing himself for whatever danger lay ahead. He could see her now, but a few feet away, and directly in front of her—
Draco stood still, unbelieving of the vision in front of him. Hermione seemed to be in shock, visibly shaking, whilst another Draco lay indisputably dead on the ground.
It's not possible. This must be some kind of trap, or sick joke—
He didn't get to finish his thoughts. The scene changed.
Hermione made to approach Draco, but she only took a couple steps when he suddenly shifted.
But something else was wrong.
His eyes, they're…black.
He lifted his upper body slowly, as if waking up for the first time in a new life, turning his head unhurriedly. When he finally noticed Hermione, he grinned.
Except there was nothing familiar about this grin, it wasn't like anything Hermione had ever seen. It was evil, worse even than their time in the dungeons.
She grasped her wand. "Draco?"
Upon hearing his name, the Slytherin cocked his head to the side. "Hello little mudblood," he spoke to her, "I was hoping you'd find me here."
She took a hesitant step back. "What are you doing here? And where's Harry? What have you done with him?"
"Potter? You don't really think this is about him, do you?"
Hermione didn't reply, simply let her eyes glance about the area, searching for any signs of her friend. There was a fear in her heart she couldn't quite comprehend, and try as she might, she just couldn't muster up the courage she so desperately needed in this moment.
"It's about you, Hermione. And your disgusting obsession with me."
"I'm not obsessed with you," she retorted back through clenched teeth, "and I never have been. So I'm only going to ask once more, where is Harry?"
Draco seemed to pay her no mind. "That's not what I think. No, every time you look at me, there's longing. And pain. I can see it now even. And I'm sick of it. It's time to end this."
She watched in horror as he pulled out a wand and stood up, seemingly taller and more menacing than before. And for some reason, she was terrified. Because despite how much he hated here, she knew he wouldn't really hurt her. And yet something about this instant just felt…wrong.
He lifted his wand, a grim smile on his face. "Goodbye my little mudblood. Avada—"
Hermione whirled around…and nearly stumbled back again.
What the hell is going on?
Draco couldn't handle another moment of it. Not only was this imposter being a complete asshole, but he was a direct threat towards Hermione. He jumped out into the clearing.
Hermione spun around and the confusion in her face was evident. Their eyes met and Draco beckoned with all that he could for her to trust him. He quickly put himself in front of her, serving as a barrier for her safety. However, the moment was quickly lost when other-Draco suddenly shifted.
And in his place, was none other than—
Hermione. Bleeding to death.
Draco stilled. The display in front of him made his blood turn cold and his heart nearly stop. But it was only for a second. He immediately realized what was going on.
Both teens cast at the same time, watching incredulously as the boggart transformed between Draco Malfoy in a tutu, and Hermione Granger catching the Snitch.
"Quick, do you have something to put it in," Hermione spoke for the first time, "barely glancing at him.
Draco shook his head. He'd left all his belongings back at the clearing.
Hermione frowned. "I guess this will have to do then. Hold it off."
Draco barely watched as Hermione suddenly rummaged through her robes and pulled out a phial. Quickly surveying the area, she emptied it into a nearby shrub, and then performed a quick cleaning spell on the inside.
What was that all about?
I don't know, but it smells…funny.
Draco concentrated on keeping the boggart in its non-threatening form. It was a bit difficult when the image of a dying Hermione flickered in and out of his head.
She's not dying. She's right next to you.
I know that. Stop stating the obvious.
Just trying to help…seriously, though, tell her to hurry up, that smell is really getting to me.
Just as Draco began to inquire what was taking so long, Hermione waved her wand in an intricate pattern.
The boggart disappeared.
"What do you know? That was quicker than I thought."
"Ssh. You're going to give us away, Harry."
"We'll be fine, I cast 'Muffliato.'"
Ginny nod her head. "Oh alright then. Too bad we can't get closer, though; looks like things are finally going to get heated."
Harry quirked an eyebrow at her.
"Ginny, I'm surprised at you. Am I going to have to cover your eyes should they start—"
Ginny smacked him on the arm. "Please. I'm not a little girl. And that's not what I meant."
They watched in silence for a few seconds.
"Say, how do we know Pansy can keep her part of the wards up?"
Harry shrugged. "We don't. But from what Ron told me, she's pretty good at defensive spells."
Ginny frowned. "You don't think they're really an item, do you?"
"Gods, I hope not. Although, I guess it wouldn't be so bad. She is helping him with his homework—ow!"
Ginny glared at her boyfriend. "Don't you dare encourage that silly notion. Pansy Parkinson as a sister-in-law. Pfft!"
They both stared at the tiny phial in Hermione's hand, a swirling mass of dark gray now within its confinement.
"Well," Draco spoke first, "this isn't awkward at all."
"Come on, we should probably get going before something else comes out to attack us."
"Potter will be fine. He can take care of himself. Plus, I'm guessing you didn't come in here by yourself, did you?"
Hermione blushed slightly. "I did, actually, but Ginny went to get help."
Draco avoided her downturned expression and looked elsewhere. "Like I said, he should be fine then."
He made it only a few steps when her voice halted him again.
"Thank you, for coming to my rescue."
Without looking back, he replied as noncommittally as he could. "You would have figured it out for yourself, I'm sure."
Hermione was shaking her head, "No, I wouldn't have. It needed at least one other person. So thank yo—"
"Granger, stop, ok? See, this is why we can't—why I can't—ugh, forget it. Let's just get out of here, ok?"
He trudged on a few feet more, when she spoke again, forcefully this time.
Draco stopped. "Excuse me?"
"No," she repeated, a hint of anger in her voice, "I saw what your boggart turned into. So just stop with the denial of everything already, will you?"
"No, don't you 'Granger' me. You do feel something for me, admit it."
"I already told you—"
"Turn around and look at me."
"You're seriously trying on my patience, mudbl—"
"I said turn around!"
Whoa, better do what she says, she's hysterical. And hurry. I'm getting dizzy with that smell.
Draco turned around to face her. Hermione's fists were clenched, her face was flustered, hair frizzed back, and there was a Gryffindor gleam in her eyes that emanated fire.
"Hermione," he tried again, softer, "we can talk about this later if you want. But right now—"
"Shut up," she bit out angrily, "just shut up and let me speak. Think you can do that for once?"
Draco sighed and leaned up against a tree.
"A boggart, Draco Malfoy, reveals a person's most inner fears, and yours happened to show me. Me! Not beating you at a duel, or taking over the world and depleting all purebloods, or any nonsense like that. It showed me dead. Dead! Which means you must care, at least a little. So quit lying to me, and please, for goodness sake, tell me, Draco! Tell me why you won't talk to me, why you won't even look at me, and why you insist on pretending I'm worse than the scum on your shoes!"
There were tears in her eyes, and she let them fall freely. Her voice shook as she gestured weakly. "Tell me now, because I can't take it anymore. It's killing me, and if you don't tell me now, I'm giving you up. Forever. And I will never look back."
Draco watched her, the reality of her words sinking in. Forever…It would be so easy. So easy to lie to her. Forever meant she never need know, never be in danger of getting infected, and never have to put up with him. She would be free to live her life. Free of him.
But what about you?
It's never been about me when it comes to her.
Hermione laughed then, her laughter quickly bordering on hysterical. "Well isn't that fucking incredible. You don't even have the balls to lie to me anymore. Fine then, that's perfectly fine. Thank you, Malfoy, for saving me, I'll be seeing y—"
"You're doing it again."
Hermione paused. "Doing what?"
"Thanking me. For something I don't deserve. And that's just it. You want the truth? Fine." He closed the gap between them, making it a point to be as near to her as possible without actually touching. Their noses but a hair breadth away.
Hermione blinked in surprise, face still tear-stained, but she held her ground as Draco suddenly seemed to let go.
"I'm a lot like my father, you remember him? The sadistic bastard that tried to kill you? I'm a coward. And a selfish prick. And if I don't like something, I will let the whole fucking world know, and I will bitch, and bitch, until I get what I want. I don't do always do the right thing; if it came down to it, I would probably thrive on the wrong. I'm greedy, and I think I'm better than most people. In fact, I prey on the weak-minded, because frankly, I think it's fucking hilarious to remind some kid just how fat they really are."
"Shut up. I'm not finished." He paused, adrenaline coursing through his veins, and continued vehemently. "I treat women as objects, and I've had numerous sexual encounters. Ask Pansy, she can tell you what an asshole I am. And if perchance I did find the 'right' girl, I guarantee you that I won't remember anniversaries, and I most definitely will not remember Valentine's Day. But it doesn't stop there. I am greedy, and jealous, so if your stupid little Weasley so much as looked at you the wrong way, I would cut his fucking balls off. And to top it all off, I have the emotional range of a teaspoon, so don't expect me to say 'I love you' on a daily basis, because it just won't happen."
His face was flustered, and he appeared to be breathing heavily. But then he sneered. "And then there's you. Hermione Granger, the most noble, loyal, intelligent, and fucking pure human being that Hogwarts has ever seen. Not only are you genuine, but you're beautiful, kind, selfless, and would give your life for a fucking hamster. You never lose faith, and you never give up, and you will always do the right thing, no matter what the sacrifice."
They stared at each other for another second.
"So," Draco finished lamely, "don't you see? I'm no good for you. In fact, I'm the worst thing that could possibly have happened in your life. So don't thank me, because the only reason I ever save you is for me, because of my selfish needs. Because if something happened to you, and I didn't do everything in my power to stop it from happening, I would die, alright? Because even if we can't be together, you'd be ok, and that's enough for me. For now. And that, Granger, is the truth."
He took a step back, his face seemingly paler with his soliloquy now over.
Hermione didn't make a move for a few moments, simply bit a corner of her bottom lip.
Way to go Romeo, you've officially made a fool out of yourself.
Shut up. Maybe now she'll really let it go…
Uhuh…Say, any chance we can move along now? I'm sure you're feeling what I'm feeling by now…
Draco tried to ignore him. He could feel his earlier headache returning with a vengeance, and there was something unsettling about that potion's scent, the one Hermione threw into the bushes.
"I know you don't like me thanking you, but I do appreciate you telling me all this." Hermione began slowly. She took a hesitant step forward, and then decided against it. "I guess," she laughed lightly, "I guess I can kind of see where you're coming from, but you know what?"
She took a step forward. "I don't care. Because believe it or not, Draco, I'm selfish too. And I—Draco?"
Hermione was becoming blurry.
Lean against the tree, maybe it'll help.
Draco made to move, but his feet felt sluggish. He fell to his knees.
Well so much for trying to hide the fact.
Hermione was already by his side, and even at this distance he could barely make out her features.
"Say something, what's going on? Why are you—" Realization dawned on her as what might be the cause. "The Draught! But you didn't come into contact with it, how could—"
"It smelled funny."
Hermione's thoughts raced through her mind, recalling the research she'd done on the potion. She knew if done incorrectly, the potion could render a person in a deep sleep, like a coma, but that was only if taken directly. She didn't remember anything about a smell…Wait—
"Draco, are you ill? Did you have a small cold or something before you came out here or…" Heavy dread fell on her as his eyes stared directly into hers. And they spoke volumes. The truth. The entire truth.
And suddenly she knew.
…difference between the Draught of Elusive Peace and Draught of Peace is prominent in both difficulty and consistency. For instance, the Draught of Elusive Peace contains airborne characteristics that will immediately attack any nearby enemy cells, namely, confounded anxiety, the common cold, etc, and attempt to neutralize them. If administered incorrectly, patients of such experiences have described an odd smell, and in one case, irreversible sleep …
It hadn't been as flawless as she thought. She'd done something wrong.
Hermione began to weep. "You asshole."
Draco seemed to be fighting the pull of the potion, but he managed a few words. "Last confession. Still. Infected. Didn't want you. To know. Or. Get sick. But I do. Love you."
His eyes rolled back.
Hermione let out her rage and agony in cries of desperation.
It seemed as if their plan worked. One minute Hermione and Draco were sharing a moment of their own, and then the next...Everything went wrong.
Four pairs of ears heard her yell for help.
They moved quickly.
More explanations about what happened here. If you have questions, let me know!
daniiiibabiii-That's an interesting name lol. I'm glad you like the story, and yes, I do try to keep readers on edge so that they come back for more. Thank you!
Pekis Fletcher-Still need to send, I know *shameless...lol* but on the bright side, I've uploaded another chapter, yay! Your theories are scarily accurate, methinks...Am I too predictable? Lol, hopefully this chapter made sense. Blaise is totally amazing, I might just have to write a story just for him, hmmm...Thank you for continuing to review! Cuidate tambien!
ctc-Thanks for reviewing again!
MayFairy-hi again! Did this chapter clarify the plan? Sort of? I hope so, if not I'll have to clarify lol. Thank you as always!
irianaceleste-hi, not sure if you meant to review the first chapter, but thank you!
doctorwhonation-Glad to be of service on the upkeep of toes. This chapter was actually really fun for me to write, did it all in one sitting so hopefully it's not too bad lol. Thank you as always!
Vvolley-Did you enjoy the Dramione banter then? hopefully lol, thanks!
luvmypugroni2010-Of course I will shout out to you! I'm just so grateful that you keep reviewing :)
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