A/N: Obviously I take no credit for the awesomeness that is JKR.
Anyways, I always wondered what would happen if Harry and Ron hadn't been able to take Hermione with them when they escaped Malfoy Manor... it's been excellent day dream material; here's what I came up with. My goal was to make a believable Dramione story. Let me know how I'm doing!
Rated M for some language and eventually some Dramione lovin'.
A/N: June 2014- I'm currently giving Malfoy Unknown a bit of an overhaul for a few typos I've noticed and some small errors that have irked me for a while. The content isn't going to change but hopefully some awkward spots will read a bit more smoothly.
And now I'm all alone again nowhere to turn, no one to go to
without a home, without a friend, without a face to say hello to
Hermione woke up slowly, every inch of her body aching. Through the pain she felt plush cushions, soft fabrics… and confusion. They'd been camping, on the run for months so where was she? She peeled open grit filled and swollen eyes to see a small room bathed in a soft pre-dawn glow. It appeared to be a small, personal library or study. It was elegantly furnished with dark woods, rich fabrics, a thick rug on the floor, and walls lined with bookshelves. The light was too dim to be able to discern real colors; everything was just various shades of darkness. She was lying on a large sofa across from a fireplace and a pair of comfortable looking chairs. How did she end up in a room whose obvious purpose was comfort? She made to turn her head toward the window to look through the gap between the curtains, hoping to recognize something but at the tiny movement her head spun and her eyes watered at the pain that radiated from the top of her head, down her neck and into her shoulders. She lay still a moment, eyes clenched tight trying to stop the groan the pain was forcing through her lips: she didn't know where she was or what would happen if her presence were noticed. As she lay there she tried to think back about what in the world could've happened to her. Yesterday… they were camping in yet another forest. Ron had finally tuned into Potterwatch and they had listened, with relief and joy, to the familiar voices of Fred, George, Lupin, and Kingsley. Her eyes sprang open and she clamped her hand over her mouth to cover her gasp of shock as she remembered what had happened after: Harry had said You-Know-Who's name! He had violated the Taboo! It all came flooding back to her: the memories of the Snatchers and Greyback discovering their identities and finding the sword of Gryffindor. Her breath came in gasps as she envisioned being bound and taken to Malfoy Manor… she remembered the whispered conversation she'd managed to have with Harry before they were hauled into the mansion.
"Harry", she whispered urgently, "Listen to me; you have to get away if you can." She continued as he opened his mouth to argue, "No! I mean it; if any of us can get away we have to. We three are the only ones who know about the Horcruxes! If none of us makes it out of here, no one else knows how to kill him. He'll win. He'll kill every one we love!" Her voice broke on the last word. She tried to judge by his expression what his thoughts were but the darkness was too much and his face still too contorted from her stinging jinx.
"Hermione…." Harry began, still processing what she had said. He leaned his head on her shoulder as though barely conscious as a Snatcher moved close to them "You're right about no one else knowing, but there's still a chance we can get away!"
"I know that," she muttered against his ear, "but the chances are not good! Promise me that if you and Ron can get away you will, or you and me, or just you. At least one of us has to make it out of here. Promise me that you won't risk being recaptured by coming back to try to save me or Ron!" Harry didn't immediately respond but she counted that as a good thing, thinking that if he was taking a moment to answer her then he was seriously considering this. He had to know she wasn't trying to be a martyr, but for the love of Merlin, one of them- Harry if possible, absolutely had to get out. "This is bigger than any of the three of us, Harry. Promise me." After another pause Harry answered,
"Okay. I promise, you promise me the same thing. Do not give yourself up as some kind of distraction or bargaining chip- they'll never take you anyways, it's me he wants." She nodded against his cheek.
"Tell Ron. Make him promise," she paused, taking a shaky breath. During their whispered conversation they'd come through the gates of Malfoy Manor and were approaching the doors. Before Harry could turn his head she whispered hurriedly, knowing it might be the last chance she had, "You're the bravest man I know, Harry. You're my best friend and I love you." She pressed her lips to his swollen forehead and he shifted and pressed his cheek against hers for a moment before allowing his head to loll toward Ron, still keeping up the pretense that he was barely conscious so their captors would remain ignorant of their desperate communications.
As she lay as still and quiet as possible on the sofa she tried to connect the dots from that conversation with Harry to where she was now, surely she should be in a dungeon or something…. As she concentrated she began getting flashes of what happened after they were ushered into the Malfoy's opulent home. She saw flashes of Lucius and Narcissa peering closely into their faces, especially Harry's, trying to confirm their identities, she saw Draco shrug and walk away toward the fireplace. Her memory was very choppy and distorted, but then she remembered why. She had come in. Bellatrix Lestrange had entered the room and immediately recognized the three of them. But then she was distracted by the sword. Her stomach clenched as memories of what came next surfaced. Hermione remembered trying to stand her ground and not show fear as Harry and Ron were dragged down into the cellar and Bellatrix closed in on her. From this point her memories were hazy and indistinct, all she remembered was pain. Her eyes closed and a tear leaked out from under her lashes as she recalled a sensation that seemed like her very bones were going to catch fire. What Bellatrix screamed at her she did not know. If she was able to answer her, she did not know. And then… she woke up on this sofa. Something obviously happened in the interim. How had she gotten here? There was no way she could've escaped, her body felt as though she'd been tortured to within an inch of her life, perhaps she had been. She slowly sat up trying to ignore the pounding of her head and the stiffness in her neck, and felt a soft blanket pool around her waist, had someone covered her up? That was disconcerting. Only Harry would've done that, but she couldn't see how they could've escaped to somewhere like this. She turned cautiously to her right and saw a candelabrum on the end table with a snake elaborately engraved in the silver and that confirmed her suspicions: she was still inside Malfoy Manor.
She started to move her legs to put her feet on the floor but the pain was too terrible. The shooting pain that had nearly brought her to tears when she first turned her head returned and shot down her left hip. She couldn't hold back the gasp this time and she gave up and slowly lowered herself back to the cushions. She lay still for a moment, trying to gather her strength but she suddenly she heard soft footsteps on the other side of the door. She watched with trepidation as the handle turned. 'Oh not Bellatrix, please not Bellatrix' was the only thought her terrified mind could muster. Slowly from around the door came a flash of nearly white hair. Her face paled as she stared into the cold blue eyes of Draco Malfoy.