She couldn't move or think, and time seemed to slow down as she saw the red light come towards he, out of her friends wand, seeking to hurt her.
The next thing that she felt was a shoving in her side, pushing her out of the way of the curse. She looked to the left, where she had been pushed from, and briefly saw Draco standing where she had been, taking the curse. He had let out barely a cry, and fallen to the ground, when Ron ran up to him and yelled the same curse again this time with more vigor. Draco yelled slightly, and then fell silent, twitching on the floor, Ron's wand still pointed at him, subjecting him to the horrid pain that came with the curse.
Hermione stood still, shocked for a moment, before launching herself at Ron, her wand lay forgotten in her pocket.
"Ronald Weasley, you let him up right now!" she screamed, shoving him away.
His concentration was lost, and the curse ended, momentarily. He pointed his wand at the still form of Draco, ignoring her completely, too intent on Draco.
He would have hit Draco, if not for the small whitch that launched herself between Draco and the curse, she yelled out and fell to the ground. Ron immediately let up on the curse, looking shocked and horrified. He never would have expected that she would have done that for the man that had not only bullied her in their youth, as well have done the ultimate offense and been a Death Eater.
Harry stepped in, perhaps Hermione's screams had awakened him from his shock induced stupor, he levitated the unconscious Draco and helped Hermione to her feet, she was still shaking.
Ron, while he was still shocked, numbly put his wand in his pocket, acting more on routine than on actually consciously thinking about his wand.
Grabbing the hands of Ron and Hermione, he disapparated, the levitated Draco coming with him, because of the spell between them.
A loud crack was the sound that the nurses and healers of St. Mungo's heard before they saw the horrible, but not uncommon sight of unconscious and shaking people. Harry lowered Draco into a chair, where he lied awkwardly, and gently shoving Hermione into a chair a few away from Draco. She immediately moved over to him, and grasped his hand. Harry suspected that she was in shock, and numb to the world. He left Ron standing where they had disapperated. Harry strode to the nurse, and talked to her quietly, glaring at the people that were staring at the sight of them. Usually people in a state appearing in a hospital, didn't attract the kind of attention they were getting. But most people weren't the Golden Trio and an ex Death Eater.
The nurse called for a few healers who then escorted Hermione and Draco to a private ward, Draco still unconscious and levitated, this time by the Healer. While Hermione and Draco were being treated, he returned to the waiting room, where Ron was, and it was with a heavy heart that he called Susan Bones, who had followed the footsteps of her aunt, and worked in the Department of law Enforcement (or the DLE). She disapparated to the St. Mungo's waiting room, her mouth pressed into a grim line, that showed that, this time, she did not enjoy her job. She had come immediately after getting his patronus, as they were close personal friends, they worked together a lot, as Harry was an auror.
She looked around the room for a moment, taking in the staring crowds, the grim Boy-Who-Lived and the shell shocked, guilty member of the golden trio. She strived towards Harry and Ron, one of whom looked resigned, and the other shocked but slowly waking up from his stupor.
"Wait...no. no this isn't right… you're in the wrong room. Malfoy's down the hall." It was then apparent that Ron was under the impression that Draco Malfoy had bewitched or drugged Hermione, to get her to be with him. Ron's mind would simply not allow him to think that she had fallen in love with him, and he with her. No, to Ron, it was obvious that Malfoy had done it to get out of trouble with the Ministry for his part in the war. Nevermind that their relationship had not been public, and that no one but Hermione and Draco, and their families had known. Small details, inconsequential to the large scope of the 'problem'.
Susan Bones ignored him, and said instead, "Mr. Ronald Weasley, you have broken the law, and committed the act of an Unforgivable on another human being, two in this case. According to section 4, page 55, the act of any of the three, so called 'unforgivables' on another human being, you will be given a trial, and then be escorted to Azkaban, the wizarding prison. As such you will be escorted immediately to the holding cells in the British MInistry of Magic, where in two weeks' time you will have a trial, and if found guilty, be transported to Azkaban Magical Prison. Where you will stay for a span of days varying from 30 to a lifetime sentence." She moved forward, wand out, going to conjure handcuffs that would bind him while she disapparated him to the Ministry's holding cells.
He began to fight and yell at Susan and Harry, finally figuring out what was happening.
"No! NO! I did nothing wrong. He… He" Ron's rage at Malfoy seemed to be too much for him to express in words, and he faded off, but did not stop struggling. He even seemed to get more aggravated as Susan approached him. He reached for his wand that he had safely stuck into the pocket of his pants, just waiting it seems.
"Expelliarmus!" Harry cried, pointing his holly wand at Ron, even as Ron tried to pull his wand on Susan.
Susan seemed to think that it would be easier for everyone involved, if she just stunned Ron and took him to the holding cell that way.
He fell to the floor, his once flying limbs stiff, the furious expression on his face frozen, eyes glaring at nothing, unseeing.
Susan went to his still form on the ground, and crouched down. She grabbed his hand in one hand, and her wand in the other, preparing to disapparate. She stopped though, when she felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Harry.
"Where are we disapparating to?"
"Harry, I know that you want to come, but, as a biased, close friend of the apprehended, you can't come. Besides I think that you should stay with Hermione, you and her obviously have some talking to do. You, having almost no responsibility, will be at the trial, but not on trial. You will be called for a hearing, to decide if you get completely off, at the most you will have to pay a fine."
He opened his mouth to argue with her, but she was already shrugging off his hand. Right when he thought that she was going to dissaperate, she frowned and turned to him.
"Can I have his wand?" She would need the wand, as it could be considered tampered evidence if it stayed with Harry.
Harry, knowing a lost cause when he saw one, slumped his shoulders and sighed. He handed the wand, and took a step back.
She shot him a sympathetic look as she prepared to dissaperate. As the loud crack rang in his ears, it occurred to him that Hermione would most likely be awake, while Draco was not. Susan was right they did have some talking to do. Harry was very against Hermione and Malfoy...Draco, being together, he didn't know if she was under some sort of spell, but he wouldn't put it past Malfoy to do something like that, or even blackmail her into doing something with him. Afterall he hadn't heard of their 'relationship' before Neville told them. And never from her.
Neville had been in the restaurant the night that Draco had proposed to Hermione, he hadn't noticed them until the crowd gathered, and had just come in. He was wearing a long cloak and hood, so that he wouldn't be recognized. He didn't like all of the star treatment that he had been receiving ever since the war ended, for his part in the destruction of a Horcrux. Nagini, the snake. After the war, it had been revealed that if not for Neville, Voldemort never would have died.
Before Harry heard that Hermione was engaged to Malfoy, he had heard that Malfoy and his unnamed fiance had been given allowance to visit Lucius Malfoy in Azkaban prison. He could put two and two together. Harry guessed that it had taken Neville at least a week to tell Harry about Hermione and Draco once he found out, and in that time arrangements to Azkaban had been made and Harry had heard.
Sighing to himself and shaking his head at the mess that the three, once tight friends, had gotten themselves into, he walked down the hall. Down to the room that he had seen Hermione and Draco taken into.
Hermione was in shock, or so the Healers had said. She could not believe what the person that she had considered to be a friend, had done to her and her fiance, the man she loved.
She was currently lying propped up on pillows in a hospital bed, Healers swarming around the bed next to her, while only 3 were with her. On the bed next to her, Draco lay unconscious, but the Healers were doing everything that needed to be done. She couldn't even think, only nod numbly at the probing questions of the grim faced healers.
Finally when the Healers left until there were only 2 in the room, Harry came in. He sat in the chair in between hers and Draco's bed, moving the chair to face hers.
She just looked at him before she cleared her throat, coming back to her senses,
"The healers said that I'll be fine. Draco too, after some rest." Harry quirked an eyebrow at her causal use of Draco's first name. She knew what he wanted to know, but she had a question of her own first.
"Why were Ron and you at the dock, you were expecting us to be there, weren't you?" She already knew that they were waiting for her, but she didn't know how they had known, she had thought that they were clueless. If they had known all along, then why hadn't they said anything sooner? Clearly, they couldn't have known for the whole stretch of the relationship, no this was a recent, and unfortunate, development.
Harry answered in an emotionless voice that made it clear that he was torn up about what had happened, so much so he felt that he had to push down his emotions, "Neville was in the restaurant the night that you and Malfoy got engaged. He was in the back, his face hidden so that he wouldn't be noticed by the people in the restaurant and on the street. He told us, but before he did, we, me and Ron that is, got word that Malfoy and his fiance had scheduled a trip to Azkaban to speak to his father. How'd that go, by the way?"
Hermione didn't speak, knowing that it wasn't her place to tell Harry what had transpired between her and the two Malfoys, and definitely not what had happened between Draco and his father. Not that she would have wanted to, she didn't think that she could bear to see Harry's face when she told him how Lucius had reacted to her. Not after what had happened with Ron and Draco.
Silence reigned between them, Hermione occasionally wincing as pain splintered up her sides, aftershocks of the Cruciatus curse. She had no idea what it had to be like for Draco, and was thankful that he was still asleep and unfeeling, for his own sake.
Eventually Harry broke the silence, reading her, like a magazine, but studying her with unreadable eyes.
"How did you and Draco get together?"
Hermione sighed wistfully, smiling slightly as she stared at the wall, remembering.
"We both went back to Hogwarts, we were the only ones in our year to have gone back to redo our Newts. We bonded over him apologizing...for everything. He wanted to be friends, Harry. I'm not sure why. But I think that he just wanted to make up for what had happened in all the other times a Hogwarts, all those other years. So anyway...we were friends first, and about halfway through the year, he asked me to go to Hogsmeade with him, as in on a date. By then we were really each others only close friends. I was in no way close to Ginny, she didn't even know that Draco and I were friends. She had her own friends in her year. I said yes when he asked me. Our first date in Hogsmeade went great, and we kept dating. We both went into the same type of work, and we kept dating. We dated for almost 3 years when he proposed, and I said yes."
Harry nodded when she stopped talking. Then something occurred to her, and she opened her mouth to tell him, eyes going wide, nerves bubbled in her stomach.
"And Harry, by the way, our work...it's moving us to Paris."
Harry looked surprised for a moment, before nodding.
"For how long?"
"Um… forever?" Hermione said, waiting for his reaction.
Harry looked surprised and didn't say anything, perhaps for shock. He never got the chance to say anything, because Draco woke up and started talking.
"Ugh...head hurts. What happened." he tried to sit up, but fell back on the pillows. Suddenly he bolted upright, eyes wide and searching the room.
"Hermione!" his eyes found her, and he face light up with a small smile, before he sat back on his pillows, and sighed.
"Are you okay?"
"Of course I am." Hermione sighed and opened her mouth to continue talking to him, but Harry interrupted, moving his chair to face Draco.
"Did you put Hermione under any spells or charms? Maybe a confundus."
Draco looked affronted. "No of course not Potter, ask the Healers, they'll be able to tell you that she is in no way under any sort of spells, from me at least. The same can't be said for Weasley."
Harry glared at Draco, and turned to the Healers that were lurking towards the back of the room, facing away from the three, not yet realizing that their second patient had woken up. "Healer Davis, was Hermione under any sort of mind spell, charm or potion when she came in?"
Hermione started to protest to Harry, "No Harry of course not. Do you really think that little of me?"
Harry ignored her and continued to stare at the healer, as she checked the charts and papers at her desk.
"No, Ms. Granger was not under any sort of charms or potions when she came here, other than the Cruciatus curse of course. And that was the only spell that had been performed on her, for any amount of time, based on the spell residue, or lack thereof, in her body, in the last 24 months."
"Are you sure?" Harry sounded incredulous, if a little sad.
"Yes, quite." she answered, sounding somewhat insulted that he didn't believe her the first time.
Harry nodded slowly and turned back to Draco and Hermione. Then, after a moment of thought, in which he stared at the floor next to Hermione's bed, he turned and strode out of the room, giving her a cold look as he closed the door behind himself.
Hermione sat in stunned silence, staring at the door that Harry had just left through. What had just happened? She wasn't sure, but she thought that she had just lost two of her oldest friends, perhaps her closest friends. Excluding her fiance, of course.
" 'Mione it will all work itself out. Even if you did just lose their friendship, we'll be in Paris soon, beyond them, and their influence. The way that things are going, Ron just might be in Azkaban soon enough. Just give it time." Draco said quietly, even pensively, and then lapsed into silence, seeming to know that she needed the refuge from talk.
Draco was surprised, never did he think that Potter, precious Potter, would leave the third, and in his eyes the most important, member of the Golden trio, for dating someone that he didn't like. Wow, never thought that he could, or would overestimate Potter.
Draco and Harry did always have something more that just hatred and deep dislike for each other. It was deeper, and drove them to do things against each other that they never thought they would do. After the war, Draco had mellowed out in his hatred, but it wasn't mutual. Draco always had the impression that him getting off for his, small part in the war, had upset and infuriated Harry. Setting him even more firmly and furiously against Draco. Draco actually felt that they could have been friends, and he wished they had. Being an enemy of Harry Potter, had hardly helped him, and had in more cases than not, actually hurt him, or the people that he loved. But, in the unlikely event that Harry were to reach out with the hand of friendship, he would accept. If only for Hermione and the benefits that it would bring him to be the friend of Harry Potter. He was a Slytherin after all.
Draco had often wondered if there were feelings of more than friendship to Hermione from both Harry and Ron, but he was never sure, and never brang it up with Hermione. Today, if nothing else proved that Ron did have some sort of romantic feelings toward Hermione. Draco snorted to himself. They would be an awful match, they just weren't compatible. She was too involved, passionate and smart. She also planned ahead and insured for tomorrow. He was more happy-go-lucky, and didn't go for things the way she did. He wasn't even close to as smart as she was, and didn't try to be. Just like he did in school, he would rely on her more than she did on him. They would be awful together.
He looked at Hermione in the bed next to his as he thought more demeaning thoughts to Weasel, and complimented his fiance more. She was shocked, and he didn't blame her either. Being tortured by one of her two closest and oldest friends, and all but rejected by the other, had to be a shock and come as a pain to anyone. It would even hurt his cold (except when it came to Hermione, of course) Slytherin heart had their positions been reversed. Not that he had many friends, not including Hermione, that were close enough to him to actually hurt him badly.
She had moved and was now sitting at the end of the bed, not staring at the door, but at the chair that Potter had been sitting in, for a good amount of time, before he left. Draco mentally sighed. He felt so guilty, it was almost kind of sort of his fault, by extension.
He was started out of his thoughts when the nurse came over, carrying with her a tray full of multicolored potions on a bright, supposedly cheerful orange tray.
"Now, honey, if you drink these quickly you'll be fine enough to leave within the hour. You will just need to fill out some paperwork when you leave, if you are going to press charges, and I can't imagine why it would be that you wouldn't… You couldn't lose. Anyway there is additionally paperwork for charges, and just some for the bills, those should be easy enough." as she talked she handed him the tray and he put it on his lap. He picked up the first one, of a purplish lilac hue, as he went back to the table at the back of the room and got another tray, for Hermione. He held the glass up to his eyes, grimaced, remembering the bitter taste of it, he gulped it back quickly, his lips pressed back tightly.
That brought back memories. Whenever the Dark Lord had used the Cruciatus as a punishment on him, something that unfortunately had happened quite a lot, Severus/': had brewed these potions and others for him. Draco had deeply mourned his godfathers passing at the hands of Lord Voldemort. He had, over the years, come to seen Severus as a mixture of a father and an Uncle, perhaps even slightly an older brother. He had been there for Draco when his father had turned his back on him, usually for disappointing the Dark Lord and 'soiling the good Malfoy name'. His mother had followed his father's lead, albeit reluctantly. If she had not listened to Lucius, it would just create more trouble for them all, the whole Malfoy family.
No, ironically, his father was the only one that had ever soiled any name, being in the service of the Dark Lord had ruined whatever good reputation they had had before the war. A reputation that had, unfortunately been bought to begun with.
Draco sighed, choking back the other potions almost mechanically, lost in thought of past times. Times of bloodshed and dirt and grime...and grief. Also a time of great change, and fear. He had been on the wrong side of the war.
Perhaps if he had been on the other side, Snape would never have died...oh how he regretted all the choices he had made. Most of all, ever leaving the side of his godfather during the final battle.
He turned to look at Hermione, and sighed to himself. If he had been on the other side, he never would have hurt her so, as her friend would never had left her. They had only left her because of her dating and then becoming engaged to an ex Death Eater. He felt the grief of their lost friendship, and he was, in his eyes, at least, he was the cause of it all, not purposely of course but nevertheless, it was all his fault.
Oh how he regretted it. Everything.
A/N: Hey Guys!
So I've gotten no feedback for this story, so, I would really appreciate if you guys would leave a comment on how you think the story is going, relative to plot, as well as the quality of writing. Thank you so much, in advance. I really appreciate it.
Have a great day! :)