Untold Lies and Secrets
Chapter 7 – Hiding from Life
While Hermione slept in Draco's arms for almost the full day, he barely got any sleep. Draco was too preoccupied sorting through his thoughts and emotions, wondering why he had reacted the way he had when he first pulled her into his arms.
Draco had shared his first kiss with a girl in his First Year.
In the beginning of his Third Year he had lost his virginity.
By his Fourth Year he had slept with almost all the girls in his year, and a handful of other girls that were both older and younger than him.
Halfway through his Fifth Year he had gotten bored with sleeping around with one girl at a time and he'd started getting more adventuresome, having threesomes and exploring the darker, more dominant side of sex.
Needless to say, he'd been around the block a couple of times, and nothing had made him feel the way he felt holding a sick and sleep-deprived girl.
He felt… warm. Like when he touched and held her, little bursts of heat were moving through their bodies at rapid speeds and making his insides tingle. He felt… secure. Like no matter what he did he wouldn't get judged. He felt… full. Like he hadn't truly been living before.
But Draco knew he had to push those thoughts out of his head. He couldn't be thinking like that. He knew that if Hermione was conscious, she'd probably have a fit at knowing that he was holding her so intimately. And not only that, but a girl like Hermione Granger would never stoop to his level. She was above him in every sense of the word.
She had better morals. She was a better friend. A better child. She was a better student. She was a better person. She was a better leader. She was a better spell caster. She was more studious. She was more thoughtful and considerate. She was better at not procrastinating. She was better…
He could go on for ages.
Hermione Jean Granger was simply… better.
Draco Lucius Malfoy was merely the son of a Death Eater.
All he had was his money and blood line, and where would that get him? In the good graces of a murderer, Lord Voldemort?
Draco, feeling sick with himself, gently lifted Hermione off of him and laid her gently on the sofa, pulling a blanket over her and making sure she was covered fully. On his way back to his dorm, Draco saw a journal and stray piece of parchment lying on the floor. Picking them up, he thumbed through a couple pages of the journal, recognizing Hermione's handwriting and the fact that it was a diary.
Draco quickly slipped the stray piece of parchment into the journal and placed it on the arm of the sofa before going to his room.
Hermione woke to the smell of eggs, bacon, and toast wafting over to her. She sat up quickly, her stomach aching for food. She immediately regretted her decision, however, when he vision started to swim and her head pulsed with pain. Hermione slowly laid back down again, clutching her head in her hands and squeezing her eyes shut, waiting for the dizziness to pass.
After she got her bearings again, Hermione sat up and looked at the coffee table in front of her. Immediately in front of her on the table was the delicious smelling food that had woken her up. Off to the left, a safe distance away from any possible spills was a large stack of parchment and some books. On top of that was a hand written note:
I didn't want to wake you up – you needed your sleep. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of talking to your professors and getting all the work that you've missed during your days of absence. The stack is categorized by subject and then sorted by priority.
Potter and Weasley are asking about you, rather obnoxiously, if I might add. A fair bit of mail has arrived for you; it's sitting on the window bench.
Your salve in by your school work. Gently massage it into the affected area and shortly after, you should be feeling better.
Hermione glared at the first word on the letter, unable to comprehend the rest of the letter because of the contempt that boiled in her stomach. She angrily crumpled and ripped the paper into tiny bits and pieces before throwing them into the fire, feeling some satisfaction as she watched the parchment burn.
In the weeks that followed, Draco never saw hair or hide of Hermione. While they were talking some of the same courses, they had them at different times. He never saw her in what he had come to recognize as her usual corner in the Library. He never saw her during meals. He never saw her walking through the corridors. He never saw her entering or leaving their dorms, but after asking the Portrait – a beautiful painting of a young child staring wistfully up at the full moon – he got his answer.
According to the child in the portrait, she hadn't entered their quarters in sometime. The last time the child, a little girl, had seen her, in fact, was the morning he left her the note.
Hermione Granger was avoiding him.
Sure, she had taken care of all the Head responsibilities, making a patrol schedule and setting up a first meeting, but she hadn't told him about either and, after he had seen the schedule, he realized that she had purposely scheduled the patrols so she was never working with him.
Well, he thought, that was all going to change tonight.
Luckily, Blaise – one of the Slytherin Prefects – had asked him if they could trade shifts because he had received a large amount of homework that day that was due the next day. Draco readily agreed and told Blaise that he was more than willing to cover for him that night.
Draco remained hidden behind a statue in the shadows in front of the Library, the designated meeting point. He knew that if Hermione saw him first, she would run away, giving him some excuse of having forgot about something more important and his shot at getting her to talk to him would be ruined. There was a chance that even if he surprised her, she was still going to make an escape.
She arrived shortly after the scheduled time, and Draco took an assessing look at her for the first time in weeks. She had dark circles under her eyes, which were dull and devoid of the life and happiness that was usually always present and that he had secretly envied since the first day he saw her. Her long, usually beautiful, hair hung listless down her back in disarray. Her robes were wrinkled and in need of a good steaming. She was moving stiffly, which shouldn't have been the case, but since she didn't properly take care of herself after she sustained her injuries, it was taking her a lot longer to heal and she was still in a fair bit of pain from the looks of it. But what worried him most of all was the sunkeness to her cheeks.
For the third time in less than a minute, Hermione checked her wristwatch, her fingers twitching ever so slightly.
Deciding it was time to unveil himself, Draco stepped out from the shadows after she turned around and waited with his hands in his pockets until she noticed him.
It didn't take her long.
One minute she was facing the Library doors and the next, she turned around in a huff. Her eyes widened when she saw him and she slowly backed away from him.
"Evening, Granger," he said carelessly.
"Don't call me that," she hissed.
"Very well. What should I call you, then?"
"Hermione," was the whispered reply minutes later.
Draco nodded his head in understanding. "Evening, Hermione." Draco moved farther out of the shadows.
"Where's Blaise? He was supposed to be patrolling with me."
"Ah, yes. Mr. Zambini found himself indisposed tonight and asked me if I'd be willing to cover his shift. Since his reasons were for school-work, I readily agreed."
"It actually worked out perfectly, seeing as I was going to ask Blaise if he would be willing to switch with me anyway. You see, Hermione, I have come to the realization that you've been avoiding me." Hermione's eyes widened and Draco nodded as if he couldn't believe it either as he continued advancing towards her. "Yes, I thought it was rather odd as well. But you've not returned to our dorms – which brings up the question of where you've been sleeping – and you've not been seen by anyone at any of the meals, you conveniently scheduled patrols so that we would never be working together, and you planned the first Prefect meeting without notifying me when it was or that you were even planning it at all." As Draco kept moving towards her, Hermione kept moving back until she was against the wall and could go no further.
"So tell me, Hermione. What is the reason you've been avoiding me?" Draco continued to walk forward even though she could no longer retreat. He placed his palms on the stone wall on either side of her face and leaned closer.
Hermione's mouth opened and closed like a fish, but no words came out.
"May I tell you what I think?" Draco continued without waiting for an answer. "I think that you're afraid of something." His eyes narrowed as he continued with his train of thought. "You're afraid and you're trying to run. But you can't. Can you?"
Hermione looked up at me with wide, tear-filled eyes and slowly shook her head.
"That's what I thought," Draco replied. "Come on, Hermione. You haven't done a very good job of taking care of yourself and I believe it's long past the time for someone to give you a shove in the right direction." Draco removed his hands form the wall and backed away from her slowly, holding out a hand for her to take.
Hermione looked at Draco's outstretched hand doubtfully for a while before she looked up at his face. "Why are you trying to help me?"
"Because everyone needs help during their darkest hour." Draco let her mull that over before he continued. "And since you're insistent on pushing everyone else away, I figure it's high time I do something about it."
"Answer a question for me and I'll come with you," Hermione declared. Draco mentally rolled his eyes, but nodded his consent. "Tell me who helped you. During your darkest hour, I mean."
"No one," he replied coldly. Draco dropped his hand and moved towards her again. Without waiting for her consent, Draco crouched down and placed one hand behind her knees and the other on her back, easily lifting her slight form as he stood up. He pulled her into the warmth of his body, trying to reduce the amount of movement she felt, knowing that it would send her still healing injuries screaming in protest.
"Malfoy!" she cried out in surprise. "Let me down this instant!" When he ignored her and continued walking, she huffed in anger and crossed her arms over her chest, internally wincing when a hot shot of pain started in her still tender shoulder and moved throughout her body. "What about patrols?" she asked, thinking that he would see her logic and realize that he had to put her down so they could resume their responsibilities.
"I don't give a flying fuck about the patrols, Hermione," he said darkly and continued to walk towards their dorms, leaving Hermione silent and lost for words.