Rating: R for some graphic violence
Genre: Angst/Romance (Draco/Hermione)
Author's Note: Umm, I really wasn't much of a Draco/Hermione fan, but while reading GoF for like the millionth time it hit me and I couldn't shake it so this is the result of my muse and a really boring Geometry class.
Distribution: Sure, go ahead. Just send me the address so I can visit. Feedback: would be appreciated beyond your wildest imaginations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: 'Wild Honey' belongs to the one and only U2. I only borrowed the title. The characters belong to J.K. Rowling who doesn't know that sometimes I sneak into her bedroom and steal them from the shoebox under her bed. But I usually treat them well and put them back when I'm done. Well, except for Oliver and Percy...
For Lian, one of the most extraordinary girls I've ever known and the best psychiatrist a disturbed writer like myself could ever ask for. She reminds me a lot of Hermione sometimes, never compromising her morals or her principles even when people make fun of her for them.
True friends are those who stick by you during the bad times, not just the good ones.Wild Honey
I swear that I heard muffled noises from down here.
But there's nothing down here, of that I am certain.
I know this castle inside out and upside down.
The noises get louder and clearer as I walk cautiously down the spiraling staircase, grateful that for once it isn't moving.
The heavy wooden door muffles the voices, but I'm close enough now to recognize them.
At first I think that they're probably just having some fun abusing one of Hagrid's creatures, but that particular activity is usually accompanied by some ear piercing shrill yelps of the unfortunate animal that has befallen upon the Slytherin house's favorite pastime.
Also, it can't be heard from outside, for one of the more gifted students always performs an incantation that blocks all forms of sound from escaping the room, and it's usually the potions room that they do it in because they know that Snape will never take away points.
I don't include myself in 'they' because I've only been to two creature bashings; I got too sick to even be in the same corridor as the torturing.
I've always found a way to get out of them, I'm not quite sure why, I just can't see them.
But these sounds are different somehow; these sounds worry me.
I open the door.
Surprisingly it doesn't creak, Filch must have been making rounds here lately.
They're Slytherins all right.
I'd know them anywhere.
They're cheering, standing in a half circle, their backs to me.
I can't make out what it is that they're screaming so wildly at.
They remind me of wild animals in the heated madness of the kill.
Of my father when he brushes his fingers across the faded mark on his arm.
I yell that.
Though I know not where this voice comes from.
Somewhere deep inside of me I know that whatever it is that's going on must stop and it must stop now.
I walk towards them, heart ramming mercilessly against my ribcage, because some part of me knows what I'm about to see.
And see it I do.
Crabbe, Goyle and two other Slytherins, all four the size of adult hippogriffs with the joint brain capacities of a shriveled grape, beside them stands a 7th year, his dad's a Death… er, his dad knows mine.
As they step back I take in the scene before me.
There, on the cold concrete floor, drenched in blood and humiliation, lies the small crumpled form of Hermione Granger.
I'm gonna be sick.
I know what happened here.
It is now that I notice that every single person in the room save for the battered Gryffindor before me is staring at in my direction.
I yelled something didn't I?
"I, er, I saw McGonagall walking towards here, everybody run!"
And run they do.
Oh, they may like to play at idealistic revolutionists, but deep inside they're a bunch of cowardly mudbloods.
That's what brought us here.
That's what brought her here.
Granger. Bushy haired, buck toothed, muggle born Granger who isn't bushy haired or buck toothed anymore.
Just muggle born.
Just a mudblood.
She looks up at me, blinded by the light that was previously blocked by the massive bulk of my fellow Slytherins.
'Fellow Slytherins' eh?
I move towards her, a sudden unyielding urge to touch her, to hold her, overcomes my pride.
Overcomes my shame.
She recoils violently from my outstretched hand, drawing her knees up to her chest, trying to protect herself.
Footsteps echo through the stone hallway, someone really is coming.
I need to get her and myself out of here. I walk towards her, trying to pick her up.
She fights, throwing aimless punches in my general direction.
Her fists are small and she's too weak to truly offer any resistance, I lift her easily into my arms.
She really should eat more.
She keeps warding me off; I can't carry her if she keeps squirming like this.
"No, Gra… er, Hermione. It's me."
Oh for the love of Merlin.
Yea, Malfoy, that's what's gonna calm her down.
I might as well have said, "Hullo Hermione, it's me Voldemort."
I mumble some of this out loud and to my surprise she stops.
She's heard my voice, that razor sharp mind of hers has matched it with my face and now she realizes that just as I had declared before, it is indeed me. My heart catches in my chest, confident that I've done nothing but add to her justified fear. Hell, if someone had treated me like I've treated her for so many years, and then that person would be alone with me during my weakest hour…
She looks up at me through her tangled, blood soaked hair, but looks away just as quickly. She stops fidgeting, instead clutching at the stiff material of my robes, right where the Slytherin emblazon is.
I carry her through a secret door in the back of the room, thanking my lucky stars for having been forced to alphabetize the original blueprints for this section of Hogwarts as a punishment for disobeying Filch.
I don't remember how, but I somehow managed to get the both of us to one of the Prefects secret bedrooms.
I once bribed a Slytherin prefect for the password.
"Wild honey." I whisper at the knight in the painting, he takes one look at Hermione in my arms and moves aside quickly, after agreeing to allow no one to enter.
The Prefect bedroom is lavishly furnished in decorations of green and silver.
I set Hermione on the bed and start to make a fire, the room is cold and concentrating on building the fire will give me some time to think.
At last I get a rather impressive flame roaring in the fireplace, the room will warm up soon, a good thing because I'm freezing.
I suppose that the house elves haven't been up here in a while.
Foolish creatures, Dumbledore should keep them on a shorter leash.
Or even better, he should fire them and have the mudbloods do their work.
My brain suddenly goes blank.
Those thoughts come to me so easily, having been constantly drilled into me since I could breathe on my own and probably even before that.
I rush over to Hermione's side, her eyes are closed, her lips are blue.
I feel like a fist is slowly clenching around my heart.
I peel off my robe and am about to cover her with it when I finally realize just how badly they hurt her.
Her robes are torn, ghastly rips reveal a once white shirt.
Bruises have already formed on her arms, along with cuts and scrapes and The Dark Lord alone can tell what else.
Again with the Dark Lord.
I can't help it, it's part of who I am, of who I've been brought up to be.
Not anymore though.
How can I serve an ideal that has caused this?
Oh if only Potter and Weasly could see me now.
Any one of the unforgivable curses would be better than what those two would do to me now. Rather than use them for magic, they'd shove their wands down my throat (or any other painful bodily cavity for that matter), and kill me with their bare hands.
I don't blame them; I'm teetering on the verge of doing it myself.
This is my fault.
My primary instinct is to rush her to Madam Pomfrey.
But I can't.
How will I explain it?
Neo Death Eaters rally?
I'd rather gargle undiluted bobtuber pus or clean the Gryffindor dormitories naked than walk into the Slytherin common room after betraying the members of my house.
And she wouldn't want the humiliation.
I know that, somehow I just know that.
I guess that I'll have to do this myself.
My hand shakes as I locate my wand and apply it to her temple where a disturbing bruise is forming.
What if she has a concussion?
I never did pay attention in fist aid magic.
Think Draco you worthless git.
Her voice startles me, I nearly drop my wand and my heart seems to be in my mouth.
I look down at her, glorious honey eyes staring up at me.
"For the... Crachero."
Her voice is barely above a whisper, I think that they tried to choke her because her voice is raspy and pained and there are red finger marks on her neck.
And it's not from screaming.
There are few things that I am unequivocally sure of in my life, this is one of them.
She didn't scream.
She didn't yell for help, nor did she plead for her safety.
I do however note with grave satisfaction that her knuckles are red and raw; at least she tried to fight back.
She didn't stand a chance.
I continue healing her, astounded by the sheer wonder of the magic like a muggle born who witnesses his first spell, until I finish.
Is this how she felt when she entered this world? And what has this world done to her but destroy all that initial wonder and joy?
I watch her sleep.
No longer in pain.
No longer in physical pain.
The emotional wounds... those may never heal.
I move to cover her with the thick blanket, though the room has already become warm and cozy, and see the black smudge on her shoulder. I
peel off the blanket from her torso and reach for my wand again, assuming that I had simply missed another abrasion.
It doesn't look like a bruise or a scrape.
It takes me a few moments but I recognize it.
It's the Dark Mark.
Crudely drawn with a metallic quill that has scratched her skin and injected the ink into her.
I remember the spell that my nursemaid used when I had spilled a jar of ink on myself.
I perform the spell twice, that's how deep the ink is embedded in her skin.
I don't want her to wake up in the morning and have to look at... at that.
I lie on top of the covers, wrapping my arms around her waist, wishing that I could wake up from this nightmare.
The image of myself wrapped around her has been forever burned into my memory.
I'm not sure when or how I fell asleep, but I do remember how I woke up.
Panting, drenched in a thin layer of sweat. I had been there with her, in her nightmare.
I could see it all.
Dragged to the dungeon, shoved, kicked, the names they called her...
Names that I've called her.
I'm in that dream, participating in what I walked in on.
I chant Mudblood along with the rest of them.
I want to stop this, I want to explain to her, I didn't mean it, when I agreed with a article from an underground dark arts magazine, I didn't mean that we should 'take care' of the mudbloods, I did, but not her, I didn't mean her...
"Mudbloods will be next, mark my words."
Didn't I say that to Millicent Bulstrode last week?
But when I called them filthy and disgusting… I didn't mean her.
I didn't mean her.
Tearing open her robes, Crabbe and McGinty holding her down, Goyle forcing her legs open... did he rape her?
No, no, he didn't, I walked in before he got a chance to.
But he did something down there.
I scramble to my feet and gently pull away the thick duvet that she's covered in.
I part her legs gently, willing her to stay asleep.
And there, on the inside of her thigh, harsh black against the milky whiteness of her skin, in Goyle's crude handwriting, is the word 'MUDBLOOD'.
Each letter painfully etched into her delicate skin.
Red markings surround it, where Goyle had held her leg down as he wrote that word, now turning blue.
Now I'm really going to be sick.
What if I hadn't walked in when I did?
The thought of one of those goons, those miserable excuses for primates entering her, hurting her in ways that I can't imagine.
That I don't want to imagine.
I reach for my wand, quietly performing the same charm that I had used for the Dark Mark.
But the word only fades slightly, still taunting me.
I try again and again but the ink still remains.
I look up at her face, expecting the serenity of her sleeping features to calm me down and allow me to perform the spell correctly.
I find her awake, eyes staring down at me through silent tears.
We spend an eternity looking at each other.
Then she lays her head back down on the pillow, spreading her thighs to allow me better access, I perform the spell one more time, determination rather than talent finally erase the letters from her body.
What must I do, I think, to erase it from her soul?
She looks down again, and inexplicably reaches out to me.
I encase her small hand in my large one, and start to cry.
She pulls me up to her and holds me.
Ironic, I think to myself, shouldn't I be comforting her?
I pull back slightly, cupping her wet cheeks with my palms, staring once again into those eyes.
Those eyes that seem to pierce through the walls and shields that have been built around me since childhood by everyone that I've ever known.
I press my lips against her warm forehead, my tears dropping down my face to hers, mingling our shame.
It sounds like so little, but she knows what it truly means, and she is grateful that he said it.
"I'm sorry." He repeats again, and again and again.
She's never seen him cry before, though she always thought that she would be able to derive some form of pleasure from it.
The words are barely coherent now and she's cradling him to her breasts, stroking his hair like his mother never did and letting him weep for the both of them.
Letting his words wash over her like waves crash over jagged rocks and make them smooth again.
He kisses her.
Hard and scorching, all consuming.
They don't know what the morning will bring or where they will go from here, and for now, they don't care.
The day began without them that morning.
And in his office, Albus Dumbledore smiled wearily at Sir Ballard, the Knight who guarded the Slytherin prefect's bedroom, Who had just told him of the silver haired boy and the injured Gryffindor girl who had yet to come out of the room.
Liked it? Hated it? Reviews are good for your soul and they can improve blood circulation. Comments, corrections, flames… (all of which I will print out, frame and hang for display). Please don't send Howlers, my mom keeps freaking out from all the scorch marks.
"Eat, drink, read slash and be merry for tomorrow You-Know-Who might kill us all."