A/N: Well, I updated a lot sooner than I thought I would. I practically wrote this out as soon as I updated. Now, I'm sorry this chapter is shorter than I usually make the chapters...But I really really loved how this one ended I went all 'Squee' with it. Anyways, please review/ give feedback. All mistakes are mine.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
True Love's Locket
Chapter 30- Hermione's Secret Revealed
His head throbbed as he reached to massage his temple. He knew exactly where he was as he smelled the disinfectant and starch in the air, wondering how he wound up in the infirmary. He remembered flying in the Quidditch match, searching for the Golden Snitch, then he felt a solid hit and nothing afterwords. Not quite nothing, he did remember air, lots of air blowing past him.
The bed dipped underneath him from a new weight at his right side; Draco peeked open his silver eyes and found Blaise, happily perched by his side, with his boots propped up on the edge of his bed..
"Hey there mate. I gotta say, Bludgers are nasty. Especially when they hit straight on the head. But luckily your girlfriend caught you before you completely killed yourself," smiled Blaise before turning his head away to a different direction.
That was when Draco heard a heated conversation between the Headmaster, Snape, Professor McGonagall and surprisingly, Granger.
"Mr. Zabini, just who are you talking to?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Draco Professor. He's awake. As if I would go around muttering to myself-OI!" Blaise complained loudly from the floor when Professor Snape shoved him aside.
"Mr. Malfoy, if you decide you want to attempt flying without a broomstick, give notice beforehand."
Suddenly, the Potion Master was shoved aside by a furious Medi-witch as she tried to reach her patient. "Mr. Malfoy, how are you feeling?"
"Wand?," he mouthed silently.
"Yes? Mr. Malfoy? What was that?"
"Where's my wand?" Draco mouthed again, feeling almost like a goldfish.
His wand appeared before him and he found her chocolate-brown eyes staring at him kindly on the opposite side of the bed. Grimacing, Draco moved his arm to retrieve his wand from Granger. "Thank you," he mouthed, which earned him a smile.
Then she disappeared from his view as the Medi-witch entered into his field of vision while poking and prodding at his sore body. As Madame Pomfrey sat him up straight in the bed to continue her assessment of his injuries; he carefully listened to the four-way conversation that was interrupted his awakening.
"I swear, Harry glowed gold! It wasn't a trick of light. He was radiating light from his body," pleaded Hermione.
"Ms. Granger, are you positive that you're not imaging anything. Delusions are a part of-"
"Now Professor Snape," interrupted Dumbledore, "If Ms. Granger swears that Mr. Potter glowed and insists that it wasn't a trick of light, who are we to doubt her?"
"Headmaster, I-" started Professor Snape before Dumbledore interrupted again.
"Ms. Granger, please start from the beginning," urged the Headmaster.
Hermione twisted one of her unruly chestnut curls as she repeated her story once more, "Professor, I was sitting by Harry's bedside, talking to him while waiting for Madame Pomfrey to return with Ginny."
"Why would Madame Pomfrey want Ms. Weasley?" questioned Professor Snape.
Before Hermione could reply; Dumbledore cut in, "Now's not the time Professor Snape. Now Ms. Granger continue."
She nodded as the Potion Master drew back, leaning on the castle wall, almost sulking.
"I held Harry's hand as the Quidditch match began. Then the infirmary grew chilly and I summoned a blanket from the other bed. When the blanket landed in my arms , Harry was glowing."
The Headmaster silently nodded his head, thinking as he stared hard at Harry and the scene before him, "Ms. Granger, were you still holding Mr. Potter's hand when you summoned the blanket?"
"I was," replied Hermione, nodding. "Does that have anything to do with Harry?"
"Possibly. If you don't mind Ms. Granger can you demonstrate the exact way you summoned the blanket for us again?"
"Of course," replied Hermione as she walked to Harry's bedside once more and sat down in the chair. She took his clammy, almost lifeless hand into hers before pulling her wand from her pocket. Hermione aimed her wand over Harry, pointing at the pillow that rested on the other bed.
The white fluffy mass soared towards her and Hermione narrowly dodged it to watch Harry begin to glow once more.
"Harry?!" exclaimed Hermione as she bolted from bedside chair. Her best friend started to grimace as the glowing grew more intense before suddenly stopping. Hermione slumped into the chair again with defeat and confusion on her features. She looked helplessly to Professor Dumbledore to find the Headmaster calm and well-adjusted to what he had just witnessed.
Dumbledore turned to Professor Snape and asked, "Does that seem like a trick of light to you Severus?"
The Potion Master shook his head, scoffing as he replied, "Of course not Headmaster. Please enlighten us, what do you know?"
"It's not what I know-," stated Dumbledore before turning his attentions back on Hermione, "It's what she does."
"Professor? I don't understand," replied Hermione. "What exactly am I suppose to know of?"
"What happened that day in Godric's Forest Ms. Granger?"
"Headmaster," interrupted Professor McGonagall, "Ms. Granger has repeatedly informed The Order of those events multiple times. She found Mr. Potter at the edge of the apparition point."
"Actually..." whispered Hermione as she hung her head down in shame, staring at the floor.
"Ms. Granger?" questioned Professor McGonagall incredulously.
"I was there. I followed Harry from The Burrow shortly after he left," admitted Hermione.
Full of curiosity, Blaise gasped, "You saw what happened!?"
All heads turned to him, staring at him. Blaise gulped and put his palms up in the air, waving them innocently. "What?"
"Mr. Zabini, if you would refrain from talking, " snapped Professor Snape.
Blaise opened his mouth to reply, but the Potion Master's steely glare quickly silenced him. When Professor Snape seemed stoically pleased, he spoke, "Finish your tale, Ms. Granger."
Hermione nodded slowly, "We traveled to Godric's Forest several hours before daybreak to place silencing charms, shielding charms, and secret apparition points. We secured everything before Voldemort arrived."
"Pardon me Ms. Granger," interrupted Professor McGonagall, "Just how did Voldemort know where to find you?"
"Harry sent him a letter, I believe," explained Hermione.
"He did what!?" furiously shouted Professor Snape as he paced the infirmary. "That foolish-"
"That's enough Severus," ordered the Headmaster. The Potion master quickly silenced, but still continued to pace around the infirmary. "Tell us about what happened Ms. Granger."
Biting her bottom lip; Hermione continued, "They started dueling and spells were reflected; exploding in every direction. Harry..."
Hermione paused as she relived the memory of Harry's fall and his close brush with death. Letting her own sadness creep over her, Hermione sighed softly as she closed her eyes.
Hermione felt alone in the silence as Dumbledore, Professor Snape, everyone hung on her words. Her heart froze with her chest and she struggled to breath. The suffocating infirmary threatened to straggle her right were she stood. Suddenly, there was a loud clatter that startled Hermione out of her terror.
Her eyes flickered to the source on the opposite side of the infirmary. A wand; his wand was still moving slightly as she glanced up at Malfoy. She met his steel silver eyes, that wordlessly encouraged her to continue.
A blush spread across her cheeks as her eyes drifted down to his lips, before finding his eyes again. Something drummed against her ribcage sporadically, almost skipping a beat. Any coldness that she had felt earlier was chased away by warmth.
Malfoy's mouth moved, drawing her attention down. She roamed freely over the curvature of his lips again, admiring they way the looked, and felt against hers. Then she realized he was trying to communicate with her.
Two simple words gave her the support she needed, the support she had craved since Harry's accident. Hermione put her gratitude in her eyes as she lightly nodded her head before continuing on.
"Harry tripped in a hole made by a reflected spell. Voldemort aimed the Killing Curse in Harry's direction. Though before the spell could hit him, I blocked it with a Shielding Charm. The force sent both Harry and Voldemort flying away from each other in opposite directions. When I managed to reach Harry's side, I immediately noticed his condition. His complete lack of everything."
"Then you apparated both Mr. Potter and yourself to the The Burrow," stated the Headmaster.
"Ms. Granger, why hadn't you told us the truth beforehand? Obviously, telling the truth would have spared all of us taxing months researching Mr. Potter's condition," lectured Professor Snape.
"Severus!" scolded Professor McGonagall. "This is a student that you speaking to-"
"People make mistakes," interrupted Professor Dumbledore. "You are no stranger to mistakes Severus and neither am I. It is in our mistakes, that help us grow. Though, to satisfy my growing curiosity, why hadn't you spoke of these matters before?
"I promised Harry that I wouldn't."
"Why did Mr. Potter go off on his own to duel You-Know-Who?" questioned Professor McGonagall.
Everyone stared at her expectantly, "He wanted...the world safer for everyone..." the words 'That he loves' hung on the edge of her tongue as she fought the automatically urge to glance at Malfoy.
"In these dark days, who doesn't want the world safer?" questioned the headmaster mostly to himself. "Now that the truth is here, we can mover forward."
The Headmaster motioned to Hermione, "Tell me Ms. Granger, how much experience do you have with Legilimency?"
"Not much Professor. I've read about the theories multiple times in my research. It can be compared to Apparition. Instead of willing your physical being to a different location; you are willing your mind into someone else."
Professor Snape scoffed, "Reading some silly paragraph in a book doesn't compare to the experience. Anyone can read but applying Legilimency takes natural talent and training. Even then, some wizards never understand Legilimency." His dark eyes landing on Harry.
Hermione bit the inside of her cheek to refrain from retorting back. Instead, she turned to the Headmaster, "I'm sorry but I fail to see how Legilimency is going to work. You attempted it many months ago and failed-"
"Because I was the one who attempted it, "smiled Professor Dumbledore as he interrupted Hermione. "Do you recall the conversation between Madame Pomfrey and and myself?"
She paused as her mind flickered through her memories, "There was another person's magic blocking your own when you attempted to enter Harry's mind."
"Your magic Ms. Granger. It's your magic now that can free Mr. Potter from his state," explained Professor Dumbledore. "Now, if you would follow me."
Dumbledore walked a few steps to stand by Harry's head as he remained still on the infirmary bed. Hermione stood by the Headmaster expectantly and waited. "Ms. Granger, please pull out your wand."
Hermione pulled her wand from from her front pocket, awaiting the next step from the Headmaster, "Surely you know the incantation."
She nodded and tapped the tip of her wand to Harry's forehead, "Legilimens."
Draco watched as Granger's face grew blank and her eyes seemed to be staring in a distance. He motioned to Blaise to help him stand while the Medi-witch was hovering over Potter, as he started to glow again. His feet were wobbly underneath his weight as he retrieved his wand from the floor, and safely tucked it within his Quidditch robes.
Sudden thrashing from Potter drew Draco to quickly cross the room. As Potter's limbs flailed outward dangerously threatening to injury someone; Draco assisted Professor Snape with restraints. The Potion Master held down a kicking leg as Draco took the other. Even Blaise wrestled with Potter's two waving arms that threatened to punch him with closed fists.
Draco's throbbing in his head grew worse as Potter began to tremor and his already bright glow began to radiate on blinding. Then from across the bed, Draco watched helplessly as Granger fell backwards onto the stone floor, and started to tremor as well.
"Headmaster!" cried Madame Pomfrey as she levitated Granger from the floor to prevent any injuries. "Draw her out of Mr. Potter's mind before they both perish!"
Professor McGonagall stepped forward with her wand drawn, getting ready to break the connection, "No," protested Dumbledore with his hand up, "Just wait."
Harry's light grew dimmer in a matter of seconds and Dumbledore went to his knees to Hermione's side, "Ms. Granger, can you hear me?"
She groaned and shivered from the sweat on her skin cooling, "Yes."
"Help me sit her up Poppy," stated Professor Dumbledore.
Her world spun as she was tilted upright and her stomach sank to her knees. When the sea of nausea passed, she managed to groan out, "What happened?"
"We found something that you lack in natural talent Ms. Granger," replied Professor Snape as he released his grip on Harry before turning to address the older man. "What do you propose we do now Headmaster?"
"Perhaps tutoring would suffice?" offered Professor McGonagall as Madame Pomfrey crooned over Hermione's state of being.
Professor Snape snorted, "Many more months that may or may not be wasted on training. Headmaster, you know that would not be plausible."
"I understand Severus," replied Dumbledore as he drew to stand. "We shall not waste anymore time, not when the Death Eater's forces are returning. There is only one solution."
The Headmaster held his hand down to Hermione to help her to stand. Hermione took it, and was guided to her feet by the complaining Medi-witch. "What would that be Professor?"
Dumbledore smiled, "We simply bind your magic to a skilled Legilimens."
"Headmaster, finding such a person would be difficult," stated Professor McGonagall. "Only a few have a natural gift for it."
"You are correct Minerva," replied Professor Dumbledore.
"As luck may have it, there are three skilled Legilimens in this very room. I, myself, is far too old to attempt such a spell with binding."
"I am a skilled Legilimens," stated Professor Snape.
The older man nodded his head, "You are indeed Severus, but even with your skills; it would be far too dangerous to bind your magic with Ms. Granger. Especially when you are so close to Tom, who is highly skilled himself. Which leaves us with one other..."
Many heads, except Professor Snape, turned to Blaise, who jumped backwards in surprise as he threw his palms back into the air, "What? He's not talking about me!"
"Of course not, you moron!" retorted Professor Snape as he smacked Blaise upside the head.
"OW!" exclaimed Blaise as he rubbed his sore spot, muttering underneath his breath about curses.
Dumbledore stared at Draco with unyielding blue eyes before stating, "You are the only one who can do this Draco."
Hermione watched in silence with hope bubbling within her heart. When Malfoy turned his away, looking down; Hermione felt a stab of betrayal and hurt. Just as she was about to open her mouth to either beg or curse Malfoy's existence, Professor Dumbledore spoke softly, "Remember that night."
To what night Malfoy was suppose to remember, Hermione did not know. Though when Malfoy nodded and wrote, "Fine. I'll do it."
She let out a breath that she didn't know that she was holding.
"Wonderful!" smiled the Headmaster. "We will start the binding process tonight for I have kept Mr. and Mrs. Weasley alone in my office with their children for far too long.
The Headmaster dusted his dusty robes before crossing the infirmary to the double doors. He pushed open the door which creaked in protest before turning around. "Minerva, Severus and Poppy, if you could please join me. I find that I need some sensible heads where the Weasleys are concerned."
"Of course Headmaster," chirped the Medi-witch happily. She glanced hard over Hermione and moved on to Draco. Madame Pomfrey nodded to herself, almost pleased at her work. Then she crossed the infirmary to join by Professor Dumbledore's side.
Professor McGonagall briskly walked across the room to join the others. Leaving Professor Snape with Blaise, Draco and Hermione. "Headmaster, I have detention with Mr. Goyle and Mr. Crabbe tonight."
Dumbledore laughed, "If only every teacher could be as dedicated as you Severus. I have to insist though, I need your mind on this matter."
"Very well. What shall I do about the detentions?" asked Professor Snape. "If punishment is not followed through, then the same offense shall occur again."
"What is offense?" asked Professor McGonagall.
The Headmaster waved his hand, "I see. Give Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Goyle to Professor Greenwood."
"And if she has any complaints?" inquired Professor Snape.
The older man smiled, "I will leave any of that matters to you Severus. Surely you would know of something to repay Professor Greenwood."
Without another word, Professor Snape crossed the infirmary with a sudden haste, his cloak rippled through the air. With the Professors at his side; Dumbledore addressed Draco and Hermione, "Immediately after dinner, I will require both of you to meet in my office."
"Of course Professor," replied Hermione.
The Headmaster, along with two teachers and the Medi-witch, quickly bustled out of the infirmary. Now, only Draco, Hermione and Blaise stood in the quiet infirmary. Blaise spoke first, "I don't know about you, but I feel the need to take a shower after the supposedly suspicions conversation. You don't think Snapey have a thing for Newbie teach, do you?"
Draco snorted and shook his head, "I'm not discussing this with you Blaise."
"That's absurd!" protested Hermione.
"How so Granger? Aren't Professors allowed to have love interests too?" innocently questioned Blaise.
"They are," replied Hermione carefully as she ignored Zabini's obvious prod towards both Malfoy and herself. "I don't see how its our business."
After Hermione's reply, the infirmary grew quiet once more. She watched in silence as Blaise inch wormed his way to large double doors, "Well, mate, this has been great...but I have this thing, you know."
"What are you talking about Blaise?" wrote Draco.
"The thing I mentioned earlier; at the place," stammered Blaise before completely bolting out of the infirmary. The wooden doors slammed behind him; leaving Draco and Hermione alone together.
She nibbled on her bottom lip as her eyes fell from the infirmary door to the stone floor of the castle. The air in the infirmary was tense, awkward, and full of something that Hermione could not place.
For once in her life, Hermione was unsure of what to say. Words didn't seem enough, not for Malfoy's decision to help Harry. What does one say to another when they have agreed to bind their magic with yours? Which has no benefit to them, other than awakening the one person they detest. What could she say to Malfoy? Hermione cleared her throat as she gnawed harder on her bottom lip.
"Malfoy," Hermione started weakly as she walked around Harry's bed to face the blond man. "I want to say thank you for doing for Harry. It means a lot."
Her eyes jerked to Malfoy's face when he snorted. His wand elegantly whipped through the air as their eyes met. In fiery red letters that danced in front of her, Hermione read.
"I didn't agree to this to help Potter."
As Hermione began to question; Malfoy wrote in the air again.
"I agreed to this, for you."
Before Hermione could reply; Malfoy's face grew closer to hers. Her lips buzzed as she awaited another kiss. Which never came, his warm breath skimmed over her mouth, to her cheek. His lips pressed gently against face that lasted less than a second. Then he pulled away and walked around her, then out the double doors.
The loud thud of the infirmary doors closing announced she was alone again. Though, in that moment, she didn't feel alone. Her cheek hummed from Malfoy's kiss before he fled. She inhaled a deep breath air, and closed her eyes as his cologne still hung in the air.
She felt more alive than ever, and her eyes bolted open. Everything in her mind finally cleared, like a heavy fog clearing from a lake. Love. What she felt, what she had been feeling, was love. She was in love with Draco Malfoy, a pompous arse, the Slytherin Prince, the known Muggleborn hater, and he cared.
A/N: So, how was that? Please review/give feedback on your way out!