Novel - Subject: Harry Potter - Rating: T - Category: Angst/Romance
Shock and Hysteria: I hate you, Hermione. I hate how I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from crying that night when I told you about Potter. I hate how you blamed me for it. I hate how you were right.
Chapter 12 - Shock and Hysteria
I hate you, Hermione.
I hate you, Hermione.
I've made mistakes before, sure. I've done bad things. When I was young, I killed the girl I loved. Well, maybe I could blame my Father for that one, right? But this was my fault. Wholly and completely. I brought Potter to a fate worse than death.
Never had I regretted anything more. I was the worst person on earth.
I was exhausted, but I just kept running, racing towards the castle. I swore to myself that I would never enter that bloody forest again. And then, I decided there was only one thing I could do: I would tell Dumbledore everything.
I couldn't tell Hermione - I'd have to tell Hermione, but I couldn't let her go off after Potter. I would have to be ready to fight for my life. Not because I deserved to live, but because I would have to keep her from leaving. Or worse.
My stomach turned at the thought of Hermione by the window again. Whether she killed herself or killed me, my life would be over. She was my everything. I didn't fall in love easily; it had only happened twice. This time, I'd fought it for over a year, but the fighting had only delayed my ultimate downfall. She was now my beating heart.
The castle was quiet, cold. I could hear my heavy breathing echoing off the stone. My footsteps sounded loudly, too. I would surely get caught. I needed to keep running, no matter what.
When I was near the statue, sure I'd heard someone close behind me, I searched my mind for the Headmaster's password. It seemed that all knowledge that wasn't vital had left my brain. But this was vital, damn it.
I stopped dead in my tracks. Dumbledore was standing in front of me, looking grim.
"What are you doing here, Mr. Malfoy?" he asked.
I had never seen him so angry, so dangerous. I was suddenly very afraid for my life. Could I be forced into death before I was able to apologize to Hermione? Would I be willing to beg for that chance?
I fell forward onto my knees in fatigue, wincing in pain as stone met body. "It's my fault, it's my fault. I brought Potter to the Forbidden Forest for my father... I didn't know. I didn't. But it was still my fault."
I was hyperventilating, unable to let it all out without a struggle. Dumbledore grabbed my shoulder with incredible strength, forcing me to look up at him. "What happened? Who was there?'
I swallowed. "Voldemort."
Dumbledore let go of me and dashed down the corridor. I rose, still breathless and followed after him. "Wait, Sir!"
I only caught up to find Dumbledore and Snape talking very quickly. "The Dark Lord has Potter in the forest?" Snape asked with more shock in his dark eyes than I had ever seen.
"Collect Draco Malfoy, then alert the other Heads of Houses, Severus," Dumbledore instructed. "Keep the students safe. Follow only once you you've done so."
"Wait," I said, gasping for breath. "It's too... it's too late."
"No," Snape said, disbelieving. "It cannot be."
Dumbledore grabbed me with both hands and looked me straight in the eyes. "Harry Potter is dead?"
"No," I said. "It's worse..."
"Worse?!" Snape shouted. "How could it be worse?"
Dumbledore's eyes were frigid. "A dementor."
"Yes," I said. "I saw it... it kissed... it's too late."
"You stupid boy!" Snape cried out. I cringed in alarm. I never expected to hear Snape yell at me that way. "You've ruined it all!"
"I didn't know," I snapped back at him. "I brought him to my Father, but I didn't know what was going to happen after that."
"What did you expect?!" Snape shouted.
"I-I don't know," I said, falling forward. Dumbledore was no longer holding me up. "But my father demanded it. He said... he'd leave me alone after that. I could be free of him."
"And it was worth sacrificing Harry's life for yours?" Dumbledore said, coldly.
"I didn't see any other way..."
"You could have come to me!" Snape said. "I would have helped you!"
"You would have told my father," I explained, certain. Snape gave a quick shake of the head. My eyes widened with the truth: I had misjudged him.
"You had other options, Mr. Malfoy," Dumbledore said.
Dumbledore raised his hand. "Not another word. I will deal with this later. I must retrieve Harry's body, while there is still time." He turned to Snape. "Watch him for me, Severus. If I do not return by sunrise, speak with Minerva. I do not want this to create a panic."
I knew that Dumbledore, as smart as he was, couldn't have possibly believed that this would not create a panic, even if left alone until morning. Still, he was gone.
I swallowed. "Snape..." I looked up at him. There was disgust in his eyes. There was no help for me from his presence now. If only I had trusted him when it counted.
I pulled myself up, aching from my legs hitting the cold stone floor a second time. Taking a deep breath, I turned. Snape grabbed my arm. "You are to stay here."
I looked back at him. "I can't stay here," I said. "I must see Hermione."
"You've done enough damage," Snape said, frigidly.
"No, I have to... I must be the one to tell her," I said.
Snape's eyes went wide once again. "Are you bleeding mad, Draco? You have seen what happened to her. Do you wish to push her over the edge?"
"I want to apologize before it is too late," I said.
"It is too late, boy!" Snape shouted. "Do you know what she will do when you tell her what you've done? She'll turn her wand against you, Draco. She'll kill you, if she has it in her, and I don't doubt she will now!"
"I don't care!" I snapped. "I don't care if I die now! I just need to see her."
Snape studied me, shaking his head. "You... you've..."
I closed my eyes. "I'm in love with her."
"You... you foolish boy." My eyes shot open at his painful tone. Snape was shaking with emotion, his eyes shining. He let go of my arm and turned away from me, speeding down the corridor, cloak billowing. I only watched him for a moment.
I dashed up the stairs, a noise ringing in my ears. Was it my heart beat, trying to convince me that I was still alive? Was it the clock, ticking down my remaining life? Was it Potter's voice, screaming out that blessed last spell? Or was it Lahela, calling out my name?
No, I couldn't allow myself to believe she'd be waiting for me where I was going.
My hand touched the chipped stone, and my body stilled. What would be beyond this wall? I had to be prepared for anything. To save her... to fight her. Whatever it took until I apologized. Then, she could kill me. I would let her.
Hermione was on the floor, waking. She blinked at the shattered Désir de la Sirène. Though now awake, I realized she might be still half within the dream: confused, alone, and weak. Aching, I called out her name.
Hermione snapped her head in my direction her eyes wide. "You!' Her voice was ragged. She started to get up, and I was by her side. She pushed at me. "Get away! Let me go!"
I hate how I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from crying that night when I told you about Potter.
"I can't..." I breathed, tears in my voice. I pulled her closer to me. "Hermione, I have to tell you..."
"I said let go, Malfoy!" Hermione hissed. She flailed around in my arms, searching the room with her eyes. "Harry? Harry help me."
I bit my tongue, holding back those tears. I didn't have any right to cry. "Hermione..."
"Don't call me that," Hermione snapped at me. "Harry, please..."she gasped.
"He isn't here," I said. She stopped moving. I loosened my grip on her for a moment, and suddenly, I was the one on the floor.
Hermione was leaning over me, her wand at my neck. " What have you done, Draco?! Where is Harry?!" she demanded. "If you don't tell me, I'll kill you... I swear I will."
"I won't fight back," I said, honestly. "Take my wand, if you have to."
Her brown eyes looked into mine, the anger banished for an instant by surprise and worry. "No... I can't believe you. Why are you doing this!? What's happened to..." She was having trouble breathing. "Tell me right now!" Hermione screamed.
I took in a hurried breath. "I took him to the forest."
"Why on earth?!" Her voice was echoing off the walls.
"My father," I answered. "He told me to bring Potter there."
"I knew it!" Hermione shouted. "I knew you would be just like him, in the end! Take me there now!"
"I can't," I said, weakly.
"You will... right this instant... or you will breathe your last breath, Draco Malfoy," Hermione pledged.
I swallowed. "I'm sorry," I whispered.
The surprise was back in her eyes. "What...?" she breathed.
"I'm sorry, Hermione," I said. Now only fear. "But it's too late."
"Harry is... Harry is..." She was shaking, sliding off of me.
"It was a dementor," I said, sitting up slowly, ready to catch her.
"I didn't know it was going to happen, but it's still my fault," I said, quickly. "And I'm so, so sorry, Hermione."
I hate how you blamed me for it.
"No... no.. no!" Hermione screamed, hysterical. She was on her feet pointing her wand at me. "You did this! You took away Harry's soul!"
"I didn't know, Hermione," I insisted. "I had no idea this would happen. I wouldn't have given anyone to a dementor."
"Cut the rubbish, Malfoy!" Hermione cried. "It won't save you."
"I'm serious!" I shouted. "But if you want to kill me, just do it. I won't stop you. I just... I love..."
Hermione's wand slipped out of her hand. She cried out, her free hand cradling her stomach. She wasn't breathing. She hit the floor.
"Hermione!" I pulled her into my arms, and she wasn't fighting this time. Her eyes were distant and bloodshot. "Hermione!" I shook her. "Hermione!" Finally, she blinked.
"Something's... not... right," Hermione breathed. Lifting her head, she looked towards her spread legs. She let out another shriek. There was blood coming from her. Far too much blood. "Take me... to Madam Pomfrey... now."
I lifted her up. "What is it?" I asked, desperately, heading for the door.
Her eyelids were fluttering. "I'm... pregnant..."
I hate how you were right.~
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