CHAPTER 9: THE PREMONITION
HARRY – THE DREAM ORACLE
Harry woke up an hour later. It was Tuesday, around 6:45 AM, and everything was hazy.
“Ah, you’re finally awake, Harry,” he heard Dumbledore say. Where was he? Harry scrounged around, looking for his glasses, but they weren’t on his dresser. Harry quickly surmised that he wasn’t in his dorm room. He squinted and looked around nervously, trying to get his bearings. Suddenly, his glasses were thrust into his hand. Harry mumbled “thanks” and attempted to put them on, but they didn’t fit well because there was a thick gauze dressing tied around his forehead. It was then that Harry realized that he was in the Infirmary, and that Ron, Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey were all standing over him.
“You passed out from blood loss, mate,” a very pale Ron said uneasily. “You had us scared for a moment.”
“Where’s Hermione?” Harry asked, still a bit delirious.
“I didn’t have a chance to wake her,” Ron replied. “When I saw you were bleeding, I ran to get Professor Dumbledore and then everything happened so quickly and I knew I should’ve woken her, but I forgot because we had to take you to the Infirmary and you were really bleeding and...”
“It’s alright, Ron,” Harry interrupted. He had never seen Ron this pale or nervous before.
Madam Pomfrey bent to change the bloodstained gauze. Harry’s scar was still bleeding, though less profusely. Poppy took Harry’s temperature and then handed him some cookies and a glass of pumpkin juice.
“That should make you feel better,” she said.
“What happened?” Harry asked weakly.
“That’s what I’m here to find out,” a female voice said from the other side of the room. Harry almost choked on his cookie. In front of him now stood Professor Trelawney, clutching her copy of The Dream Oracle.
“Harry, it’s time we had a little chat about your prescient dreams.”
NEVILLE – NEVILLE’S NEW LOVE
Neville woke up on Tuesday morning around 7:00 AM. He rolled out of bed and rubbed his eyes. He noticed that Ron and Harry were no longer in their beds... and that Dobby had just finished changing Harry’s bedding. That was odd. Since when did Dobby clean up after Harry?
As Neville got dressed, he pondered just how bizarre his summer had been. In just three short months, he transformed from an average-looking nobody to one of the hottest blokes at Hogwarts, whatever that meant. But sadly, Neville’s good looks didn’t get him the attention that he wanted. After all, the girl he was in love with still barely noticed him. And being good-looking was dangerous. Just this past weekend, while exiting the Owlery, he was almost trampled to death by a stampede of horny fourth years. Thank God he had Dennis Creevey. Without his bodyguard to protect him, who knows what might happen...
Neville climbed down the stairs toward the Gryffindor Common Room. Suddenly, he heard someone crying. It sounded like Hermione. Maybe... if he just used a few more big words... she might actually notice him. Neville walked into the Common Room and found Hermione sobbing in front of the bulletin board. He brushed his long sexy mane back over his shoulders and took a deep breath.
“Hermione, are you all right?” He approached her cautiously. “You look calamitious.”
Hermione glanced at Neville, distraught. She obviously didn’t notice how good he looked this morning. Typical. Instead, she uttered, “I... I’m not... I’m no longer first in the class.”
Before Neville could respond, Hermione threw her arms around him and continued sobbing. Neville was a bit stunned... thought the notion of having Hermione in close proximity seemed quite agreeable. Hmm... he should say something comforting, yet intelligent.
“But which ne’er-do-well miscreant had the unmitigated gall to dethrone you?”
Hermione looked at him strangely and then turned back towards the bulletin board, where the most recent list of the Hogwarts Class Rank was posted.
“It’s... umm... Malfoy.”
“Malfoy?” Neville replied, stunned. “But…”
Suddenly, the portrait swung open and Ron entered the Common Room. He froze at the sight of Hermione and Neville in an embrace. Hermione tensed, immediately let go of Neville, and staggered over to Ron. Damn... foiled by Ron. Neville turned and watched Hermione attempt to explain away the circumstances.
“Hermione,” Ron interrupted, clearly agitated. “There’s something you need to know. Harry’s been hurt.”
HERMIONE – THE VISIT
Hermione dashed up to the Infirmary at 8:00 AM to see Harry. She would have come earlier, but visiting hours were strictly enforced.
Harry was lying on a bed in the corner. He was very pale and the large dressing wrapped around his head had already become saturated with blood. Madam Pomfrey was attending to him, and then she left the area to give Hermione and Harry some privacy.
Tears welled up in Hermione’s eyes. Harry heard her walk towards him and he rolled over to greet her. His eyes were glassy... She grabbed his hand and clenched it tight. He was so cold. Tears flooded down her cheeks.
“Oh my God, Harry,” she sobbed. “I... I’m so sorry. What happened?”
Harry looked at her, almost surprised at her reaction. Then he slid over so that she could sit on his bed.
“Harry, I...” Hermione stammered. “This can’t... This can’t be happening...”
“Hermione,” Harry whispered. “I need to tell you something. You have to listen carefully. My scar split open last night... at the end of a nightmare. It started hemorrhaging, and it has not stopped bleeding since.”
Hermione gazed at the blood soaked gauze that was wrapped around Harry’s forehead. Then she looked back at Harry. “But... why? What was the dream about?”
“I can’t remember. All I can recall is the last thought that crossed my mind as I awoke to find myself immersed in my own blood. I dreamt that more of us are gonna die... and now I think I know who will die next.”
Hermione clutched Harry’s hand. “Don’t be silly, Harry, it was just a dream. No one’s going to die. You’re going to get well and come back to class and then everything’s going to be normal again.”
Harry took his hand and ripped off his gauze bandage. Hermione jumped back in shock. His scar was black and was still oozing blood. The blood ran down his face as Hermione grabbed the gauze and tried to fasten it back into place. She wiped the blood off of his face, only to find it staining the palms of her hands.
“Hermione, I am the next to die,” Harry said. “Dumbledore told me that Voldemort cursed me in my dream. The curse is making my body purge my mother’s blood through my scar. Once her blood is gone, I will succumb to the Avada Kedavra spell that marks me. I have less than a week to live.”
“But... No.... NOOOOOO!” Hermione cried. “You’re not gonna die, Harry. Not like this. Even if your dream were a premonition, you don’t know that it was about you. You said that ‘more of us are gonna die.’ That doesn’t mean that it has to be you. Harry...”
Hermione broke off, sobbing so hard that she couldn’t even speak. She felt so guilty. Here she was worried about her class rank when her best friend was dying. How could she be so selfish? She had to do something.
Hermione gathered herself together. “I... I can help. I’ll erm... go the library and I’ll... find a countercurse that will stop the bleeding. There has to be a spell. I know it. There’s always an answer. There’s always a remedy. I’ll find the right book. I’ll... I’ll skip class. I don’t care about class. Harry, you can’t leave me...”
“Hermione,” Harry interrupted. “I have something else to tell you... and I need to tell it to you now. Since this might be my last chance...”
“NO!” Hermione cried. “I’m not going to listen to this. Stop. I will find the bloody spell. I should go now and look in the lib...” Hermione’s eyes almost swelled shut from her tears. She tried to stagger off, but Harry grabbed her hand.
“Wait,” he whispered weakly. “You have to listen to me. Please I... I owe you an apology.”
Hermione turned back towards her best friend.
“I... I know I should’ve told you about... my orientation... a while ago. But I was really scared. I didn’t think that you’d accept me, because I really wasn’t able to accept myself. And then Malfoy came into the picture and I hated myself because I knew that it would hurt you to find out that...”
“It’s alright, Harry,” Hermione whispered. “I understand.”
“No,” Harry replied. “I don’t think you do. I never came out to Ginny and I definitely never told her about Malfoy. She figured it out herself and then confronted me. Hermione, I need you to know that I never put Ginny before you. I need you to know that you were never replaced, and that I would never have chosen to trust her over you. I... I don’t want to die thinking that you’d believe anything else.”
Hermione wiped her eyes. “You don’t know how much that means to me,” she replied. “Thank you, Harry.” Then she got up to leave.
“Hermione,” Harry called. “Ron doesn’t know the truth about my condition. Please... don’t tell him. I don’t think he can handle it...”
“Harry,” she responded firmly. “He’s your best friend. Imagine how he’ll feel if something happens to you and he didn’t know. Either you tell him or I will.”
DRACO – THE MORNING AFTER
Draco Malfoy awoke from his beauty sleep by the faint touch of lips brushing against his skin. He stirred, only to feel a tongue softly tease his upper lip, urging to gain entry into his mouth. ‘Mmmm… Harry’ he thought, still dreaming about Harry shoving him up against a tree in the Forbidden Forest and having his wicked way with him. Harry smelled so good… but he tasted… rancid. Draco opened up his left eye.
‘AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Draco screamed.
Pansy leapt off of him, stumbling over his armoire and falling on the ground.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Draco rasped, making a beeline to the boy’s bathroom so that he could use mouthwash.
“I thought you’d like a good morning kiss, honey,” Pansy replied, waiting for Draco at the door of the Slytherin Boy’s Bathroom. Bugger, Draco completely forgot that he was allegedly dating Pansy. But did that mean that he actually had to be nice to her?
“So what do you think I should wear to the Halloween Ball?” Pansy continued, clearly oblivious to the fact that Draco was gargling with mouthwash to get rid of her saliva.
“Whatever you want,” Draco replied, clearly disinterested.
“I was thinking of a devastating black sequence dress robe… or maybe I’ll wear something radiant and white with lots of chiffon and…”
“Whatever you want,” Draco replied again, walking back into his dorm room. Will this bitch ever shut up?
“You don’t care,” Pansy stated, hurt. “You’re so self-centered, Draco.”
“I’m self-centered? You just spent the past ten minutes jabbering about your bloody dress robe.” Now Draco was annoyed. Maybe this was a good opportunity to start a fight with Pansy, and then maybe he wouldn’t have to go with her the Halloween Ball after all and…
“You’re right, sweetie,” Pansy replied. “But I’ll make it up to you on Friday night.”
“I have other plans on Friday night,” Draco replied, irritated. Pansy looked pissed. “They involve my father,” Draco added, hoping to soften the blow.
“Oh… alright. Another time then,” Pansy stated, leaving the room abruptly.
HERMIONE – THE PLAN
Hermione nearly ripped apart the library all day Tuesday looking for a spell to save Harry. When she couldn’t find anything in the stacks, she broke into Harry’s trunk, stole his invisibility cloak, and searched the Restricted Section. She even used a silencing spell so that Madam Pince wouldn’t hear the screams from the restricted books while she searched them. But after over 14 hours of searching, she still couldn’t figure out what curse was bleeding him.
Hermione looked at her watch. It was already after 11:00 PM. She knew what she had to do. She crept out of the library and walked over to Flitwick’s classroom, waiting for Malfoy to be released from detention. At 11:30 PM, Draco appeared. As he walked into the hallway, Hermione cornered him.
“Malfoy, I need to talk to you.”
Draco glared at her. “I just spent two and a half hours writing lines for that insipid midget. I really would rather not spoil the rest of my evening. Wouldn’t you rather pester a destitute half-breed? I’m sure Gryffindor has loads of those...”
Draco snickered and tried to walk away, but Hermione grabbed his arm. Malfoy looked at her, stunned, and then yanked her hand off of him.
“What the fuck do you want, Granger?” he barked rather loudly. “It’s not my fault your rank dropped. And it’s about bloody time, if you ask me.”
“Malfoy, get over yourself. I didn’t come to talk about school. I came to talk to you about something that is obviously much more important.” Hermione beckoned him to follow her into an empty classroom.
Draco narrowed his eyes. “This better be good.”
As he walked into the room, Hermione took out her wand. Draco jumped backwards, thinking that she was going to curse him, and literally tumbled into the chalkboard.
“Silencio,” she said, before putting her wand away. Draco stood up and dusted himself off, now even more annoyed at Hermione.
“You have one minute, Granger,” he stated coldly.
“I need your help, Malfoy,” Hermione replied. “Harry’s been injured by an obscure curse. He’s going to die if we can’t figure out how to reverse it.”
“And why, pray tell, should I give a flying fuck about your precious boyfriend? It was a relief to not have to suffer his stench during detention.”
“It’s a shame you feel that way, Malfoy,” Hermione replied. “I always thought Harry made a terrible mistake falling in love with you, and obviously I was right. But after he dies, I’m sure you’ll remember that his blood is on your hands. He’ll be dead within the week. Have a good night.”
Hermione tried to walk out of the room, but Draco grabbed her. She wanted to smirk victoriously, but held it back so that he would not see her gloating.
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” he asked. Hermione turned to see a very pale Draco trying not to seem nervous as he sweated in front of her.
“Harry’s scar split open during a nightmare. He almost bled to death this morning. I already combed the Restricted Section, but I found no evidence of a curse that would do this, or how You-Know-Who could inflict such a curse on Harry without being in his presence. I need you to help me find out what the curse is, and then we can devise a plan to reverse it. Dumbledore said that Harry’s going to die... we don’t have much time.”
“And even if I cared, why would I want to work with you?” Draco scoffed nervously. “I only to associate with...”
“Lackey sycophants,” Hermione offered.
Draco sneered at her. “I only associate with Purebloods. Sorry. Maybe if you had a transfusion, we could talk...”
“Let me make something clear,” Hermione replied. “You can have all of the tea parties you want with your daft servile cronies, because I have no intention of associating with you either. But I know Harry a lot better than you. If we want to save him, we’ll have to work together.”
Draco looked at her crossly... still unconvinced.
Hermione reached into her bag and took out Harry’s cloak. “This is Harry’s invisibility cloak. You’ll need to use it when you go and visit him after hours... that is, assuming that we’re working together.”
Draco glared and her and snatched the cloak. “I’ll meet you tomorrow at 3:00 PM in the history section of the library. No one ever goes there, so we won’t be seen together in public. I’ll pay a visit to Boy Wonder tonight to see if what you’re saying is true.”
As Draco walked away, Hermione half-smiled. This could be interesting.
DRACO – THE MIDNIGHT VISIT
Draco Malfoy was conflicted. Really fucking conflicted. He didn’t know how he was supposed to feel. It had been eight days since he was almost expelled from Hogwarts for dueling with Potter and suddenly there he was working with the Mudblood to save his life. But what disturbed Draco more than the fact that he could ever work with Granger was the fact that she trusted him. She gave him Potter’s cloak. She trusted him, even though he often didn’t trust himself. After all, hadn’t he just agreed to meet Bella Lestrange on Friday to find out about his ‘next mission’? Why is life so God Damn confusing?
Draco crept towards the Infirmary under the cover of the cloak. It was kinda fun sneaking past Pansy on her Prefect Duty, especially given the irony that they were allegedly a couple. What a clueless bitch. Draco reached the Infirmary at midnight. The room was dark but Draco found his way to Potter’s bedside by the light of the moon.
Draco stood over Potter, watching him stare blankly out of the window. His face looked frail and Draco shivered at the notion that the boy who had literally mounted him up against a tree in the Forbidden Forest was now lying in the Infirmary on his deathbed. What if they never kissed before Potter died...
Draco took off the cloak. “Hello, Potter,” he whispered. “We missed you in detention. I thought you would try to mount me against his chalkboard. I even brought some mace... just in case.”
Harry’s jaw dropped when he saw Draco standing over him, but then he closed it slightly, ignoring Draco’s wit.
“When did you get an invisibility cloak?” Harry enquired.
“I borrowed it from a friend,” Draco replied coyly. A FRIEND? Did he just call that filthy Mudblood a friend? Merlin’s Beard, he had better watch his tongue before he got exiled from Slytherin for heresy.
“Why are you here, Malfoy?” Harry asked rhetorically. He knew damn well why Malfoy was there.
Malfoy looked into Harry’s devastating green eyes. Draco felt so conflicted that he wanted to explode. He despised Potter and yet he felt guilty that he had ever planned to harm someone who looked so damn cute all bandaged up.
“We never finished our date,” Malfoy replied.
Draco watched Harry watching him, and finally he clasped Harry’s hand. Then Draco climbed onto the bed and leaned over Harry until their lips were inches apart. Harry looked slightly amused and visibly less nervous than Draco would have imagined. Draco waited for Harry to lean in for the kiss, but Harry didn’t move. His eyes penetrated Malfoy. It was Draco’s move and they both knew it.
Draco leaned forward and kissed Harry. The kiss lasted a few seconds, and suddenly Draco wondered if something were wrong. After all, his kiss with Pansy and Harry’s kiss with Wood were both so... melodramatic... and this kiss was... well... just a kiss.
Draco’s eyes searched Harry’s face for some indication that Harry was holding back... or maybe Draco was the one holding back or... he knew he should try it again. Draco leaned in and kissed Harry... again. This time Draco held the kiss for a few more seconds, waiting for fireworks to erupt or for his father to burst into the room screaming or for SOMETHING TO HAPPEN.
But the kiss ended as it began. And it was just a kiss... But as Draco lay there, cuddled next to Harry, he suddenly realized that it was anything but ‘just a kiss.’ Yes, he had expected an overblown Hollywood Extravaganza, but the truth was that this kiss was more... intimate. After all, it wasn’t affected... it wasn’t unnatural. It felt right.
“Let me see your scar,” Draco whispered to Harry. Harry lifted the gauze bandage that staunched the blood. Draco took out his wand and muttered a faint ‘lumos’ spell. Draco looked at the bleeding wound. The scar was black and the blood was a dark shade of crimson. Draco ran his fingers over the wound and then he sealed it back up with the gauze.
Harry and Draco lay motionless on Harry’s bed for a few more minutes of intense silence.
“Goodnight, Harry,” Draco finally said, getting up and covering himself back up with the invisibility cloak. Did he just call him Harry? Oh fuck. Draco stumbled off into the darkness.
GINNY – THE NEW CHASER
Ginny arrived at the Quidditch tryouts bright and early on Wednesday. Today was her chance to get Neville on the team as the new Gryffindor Chaser, and she had already almost convinced Katie and Andrew to support her decision. If only Neville would show up...
Ginny scanned the Quidditch pitch, looking for Harry and Ron. Ron was chatting with Katie, Jack and Andrew, which meant that the only player missing was Harry.
“Where’s Harry?” Ginny asked curiously. She hadn’t seen him since Saturday night, and she was very curious if the ‘beer’ that she had sent him had assisted him in his romantic endeavors.
Ron pulled Ginny aside. “He’s in the Infirmary,” Ron whispered. “He should be out in a few days.”
“A few days?” Ginny replied, surprised. “What happened?”
“I can’t tell you now,” Ron whispered. “But I know that he’ll be okay, so you don’t have to worry.”
Ginny knew that something was up, but if Harry were really in danger, Ron would have canceled Quidditch tryouts, so circumstances couldn’t be that severe.
Neville was the first candidate to arrive for the Chaser audition. Dennis Creevey, of course, accompanied him onto the field. Neville borrowed a Cleansweep and, after falling off of his broom six times, managed to hold the quaffle for a few seconds while hovering six feet off of the ground. Ron was clearly not impressed. Ginny, however, was still optimistic. After all, Neville’s good looks could be quite distracting to the opposing team.
“Hello hun,” Dean Thomas said, approaching Ginny from behind. “You look ravishing today.”
“Uh… hi,” Ginny replied awkwardly. How the fuck could she look ravishing? - She was dressed in grey sweats and a baggy tee-shirt with her hair pulled back in a scrunchie.
“Cool,” Dean replied.
Ginny glared at him. “What’re you doing here, Dean?” she asked, sounding mildly irritated.
“I came to try out for the team,” Dean replied.
“Oh, the Chaser position’s already taken,” Ginny stated.
Dean frowned and turned to leave.
“Dean,” Ron exclaimed, bursting into the conversation. “You ready for the audition?”
“I thought it was… uh…”
“Great,” Ron replied, handing Dean a Cleensweep. “I was hoping you’d try out.”
Dean gave Ginny a confused look, then grabbed the broomstick and followed Ron.
Ginny gave Ron a scathing ‘Oh, hell no!’ look. Ron just smirked at his little sister. Ginny was fuming. She knew that Dean was going to perform better than Neville… that wouldn’t be hard… and Dean was a very talented flier. Ginny shuddered; unless she intervened, Neville would not make the team.
This required drastic measures. As Dean mounted the broom, Ginny nonchalantly took her top off, revealing a silk body hugging tank top pressed firmly over her supple breasts. She took her devastating red hair out of a ponytail, so that it would flow down her back. She was ready.
“Good luck, Dean,” she cooed, approaching him and kissing him on the cheek. Dean turned to smile at her and nearly fell off of his broomstick before he could even kick off from the ground.
“I… um… uh… cool,” Dean replied.
Ginny grinned to herself. Now Dean would be so nervous he probably wouldn’t even be able to kick off of the ground. Dean regained his composure, blew Ginny a kiss and then kicked off. Within fifteen seconds, he managed to grab the quaffle from Katie. By the end of the audition, he had successfully defended the quaffle from all of the other chasers and scored an impressive goal against Ron. Damn it! Dean was obviously trying to impress her. The scheme fucking backfired.
After Dean left the Quidditch pitch, the team met to discuss who should join them. Ginny fought hard to have the slot given to Neville, but she was outvoted 4 to 1. Dean Thomas was the new Gryffindor chaser and Ginny was livid. He was definitely going to pay for that…
RON – THE VISIT
After the Quidditch tryouts, Ginny and Ron decided to pay a surprise visit to Harry. Ginny was still really mad at Ron, but her anger subsided when they ‘accidentally’ ran into Cho en route to the castle. Cho was dressed in her Quidditch gear, and was walking out to the pitch to meet her team for practice.
“Oi Ron. Ginny.” Cho greeted from the distance.
“Hey Cho,” Ginny replied.
“Uh... hi,” Ron commented.
“So Ronald Weasley, I wanted to congratulate you on becoming the Gryffindor Captain,” Cho beamed.
“Uh... thanks. You, too,” Ron replied, acknowledging that Cho was appointed the Ravenclaw Team Captain.
“Well, I’ve gotta run,” Cho remarked. “But before I forget, you’re coming on Saturday night, right?”
Ron looked at her strangely.
“...to the party?” Cho added.
“What party?” Ron asked awkwardly.
“You didn’t get the invitation? I’m going to kill my bloody owl. All of the Quidditch Team Captains are getting together for an invite only pub crawl in Hogsmeade. It’s gonna be so much fun. Ron, you have to join us...”
“But, do I have to bring a... date?” Ron asked.
“Nah... I’m goin’ solo myself - you can hang out with me,” Cho replied, still beaming.
There was a few moments of silence as Cho and Ginny exchanged looks. Cho was clearly following through on her end of their bargain.
“Of course he’ll come,” Ginny added on Ron’s behalf, elbowing him in the ribs.
“Great,” Cho replied. “Meet me in front of the Great Hall on Saturday at 8:00 PM. We’ll go from there.” Cho dashed off before Ron could reply.
“Ginny, I can’t go with... Cho. That’s Harry’s girlfriend.”
“First of all,” Ginny replied, “women aren’t property... so the fact that she dated Harry last year has nothing to do with her single status now. Second, Harry and Cho have reached an... understanding, so I KNOW that Harry won’t mind. You could ask him yourself.”
Ron was still slightly disturbed as they approached the Infirmary door. But Ron was really excited to see his best mate because Harry should be looking a lot better by now. Ginny and Ron entered the room. Ron froze. Harry looked worse, much worse, than he had the day before. His skin was ghost pale, almost sallow, and he appeared quite listless.
Ginny gave Ron a ‘I can’t fucking believe you didn’t tell me about this sooner’ look before bolting to Harry’s side.
“How’re you doing, Harry?” Ginny asked.
Harry looked at her and cautiously mouthed “Thanks for the beer” so that Ron wouldn’t see him. Ginny smiled knowingly as Ron approached.
“You all right, mate?” Ron added.
Harry smiled weakly at both of them and gestured for Ron to sit down. “I have something to tell you, Ron. Ginny, you should hear this, too.”
HERMIONE – THE FIRST MEETING
Hermione sat at a table near the library’s history section, waiting for Malfoy to arrive. It was 3:07 PM on Wednesday. He was late. Suddenly, Draco appeared out of nowhere behind her and then put the invisibility cloak in his bag. Hermione gestured for him to sit at the table, but he declined and motioned for her to follow him to a very secluded place behind several bookshelves. He was obviously quite concerned about being seen in public with her. Hermione giggled to herself. That silly prat.
“I think I know what the curse is,” Draco stated importantly.
Hermione’s eyes lit up. “What is it?”
“Its called Hemoratis. I read about it in one of my father’s books of Dark Magic. It’s an ancient curse that forces the body to expunge its own blood. When I saw Potter’s scar, I just knew... I sensed it. But I still don’t understand how the curse was transmitted, or how we can cure it.”
“Well, that’s a start,” Hermione replied enthusiastically. “I’ll comb the library for clues. Do you know where else we can look?”
“I have my sources,” Draco replied coyly.
“I figured as much,” Hermione responded.
“Good. Now I must go before we’re spotted together. Meet me here on Friday night at midnight, so we can plan our next steps.”
Hermione nodded, quite pleased that Draco was being so... pleasant.
“Fuck... someone’s coming,” Draco scoffed.
Draco threw on Harry’s invisibility cloak just as Ron appeared at the side of the bookcase. Ron looked decimated. He was obviously working really hard to maintain his composure.
“He told me…” Ron finally stammered.
“Don’t worry,” Hermione replied. “I’m going to save him, Ron. I promise...”
Hermione gave Ron a hug. Tears clung to Ron’s cheeks as he broke down in Hermione’s arms. Hermione consoled him, all the while wondering what Malfoy was thinking while witnessing this whole episode under Harry’s cloak.
Finally Ron spoke. “You have... to...” Ron uttered, still at a loss for words.
“I know,” Hermione replied. “I know.”
WOOD – THE LETTER
Oliver Wood was having a great Wednesday afternoon. He had practiced Quidditch for five hours, and now he needed to go to the gym and work out so that he would be all toned for his hot date on Friday night. Wood had been anticipating this date all week. After all, Harry was an incredible kisser, and he was looking forward to teaching The Boy Who Lived about the birds and the bees...
As Wood was walking off of the Quidditch pitch toward the showers, an owl flew over to him and dropped a letter at his feet. Wood picked it up and opened it.
Harry definitely can’t make the date on Friday night.
He’s in the hospital with a head injury.
I just thought you should know.
Wood was shocked and very concerned. He knew what he had to do.
DRACO – THE MIDNIGHT VISIT (PART DEUX)
Thursday night. Draco crept in to visit Harry after his detention with Flitwick had ended. He would have come to visit on Wednesday night, but he had to hang out with Pansy in the Slytherin Common Room in order to preserve his facade. It was now almost midnight, and, as before, Draco stood silently underneath the cloak, watching Potter. But something was different… there was a vase of gorgeous, long-stem red roses sitting on the table next to Potter’s hospital bed and… was Harry clutching a Paddington teddy bear?
“Did you have any unexpected visitors?” Draco asked, revealing himself.
Harry looked up at him... confused. “Hmm?”
“I was just curious who gave you that fucking doll?” Draco sneered.
“Well, obviously it wasn’t you,” Harry replied, mildly annoyed. “How was detention?”
“I didn’t realize you had a fan club, Potter,” Draco snapped, ignoring Potter’s question.
Harry glared back at him. “It’s good to see you, too, Malfoy. I’m feeling slightly better, thank you for asking… or at least I was until you arrived…”
“Who sent you all of these gifts, anyway?” Draco continued, ignoring Harry’s remark and snatching the card that was attached to a large box of Belgian chocolates.
“Wood,” Harry replied sleepily.
“WHAT? I’M GONNA KILL THAT BASTARD!”
“Keep your voice down,” Harry scolded, still drowsy. “Since when did you suddenly become Mr. Possessive?”
“I AM NOT POSSESSIVE!” Draco shouted. Draco opened the card and uttered a faint ‘lumos’ incantation so that he could read it.
Ginny told me you were injured. I’m so sorry to hear that.
Don’t worry about our date. I’m sure we can make up for lost time
once you’re feeling better. I hope these gifts cheer you up.
“YOUR DATE?” Draco shouted. “YOU HAVE A FUCKING DATE WITH OLIVER WOOD? YOU TWO-TIMING LITTLE MINX!”
“Oh stop your whining, Malfoy,” Harry replied unfazed. “You’re giving me a headache.”
“Oh, pardon me, I wouldn’t want to make your little head hurt,” Draco hissed. “I can’t fucking believe you’re seeing someone else.”
“As if you have any right to complain – as I recall, aren’t you dating Pansy Parkinson?”
“Well… I never led Pansy on pretending…”
“No?” Harry retorted, now alert. “Then I assume Pansy knows all about us, right? You know, you just can’t screw with people like that, Malfoy. It will come back to haunt you.”
“Oh, excuse me, Saint Potter. I feel so haunted. Now how the fuck did we get on this tangent?” Draco grabbed Harry’s arm. “You deceived me. You’ve been dating Oliver Wood this entire time, and I have to find this out by reading his bloody love note…”
“OWWWWW,” Harry shouted, “You’re hurting me you… beast.”
“I AM NOT…” Draco froze, suddenly letting go of Harry’s arm. He saw the pained expression on Harry’s face and then he realized that Harry was in the Infirmary about to bleed to death and here Malfoy was getting jealous over a friggin note and… “I’m sorry,” Draco muttered. “I didn’t mean… you know.”
Harry grabbed Draco’s hand and guided him onto the bed. They cuddled next to each other for a few moments, and Draco began to stroke the gauze bandage covering Harry’s wound.
“It’s all right,” Harry finally stated. “Just so you know, I’m not dating Wood… well, not really... We set a date a week ago, and I didn’t have a chance to cancel it because…”
“You almost died,” Draco interjected, now feeling really stupid for overreacting.
“But if I ever see Wood again, I’ll tell him that I fancy someone else, okay?”
“Who?” Draco whispered.
“A self-important, overly possessive, vain, spoiled, blonde prat,” Harry replied, smirking.
They looked at each other playfully, and then kissed.
“I’m touched, Potter,” Draco finally grumbled. “Now give me that fucking bear.”
“No,” Harry responded playfully. “It’s adorable. I… actually thought it was from you.”
“From me?” Draco snapped, sitting upright. “How the fuck could it be from me? I’m in the middle of working with Granger to save your bloody life. I don’t have time to go to a fucking Hogsmeade flower and chocolate shop…”
“That’s alright,” Harry replied coyly. “I’m sure this cute little teddy bear will suffice.”
Draco glared at Harry for a moment. He made a mental note to owl the Hogsmeade florist and have her deliver Harry an outrageously spectacular floral bouquet and a teddy bear that’s at least twice as big as that runt that he was currently cuddling. Draco gazed down at Potter. He was resting peacefully, and it suddenly occurred to Malfoy that they were holding hands.
“I have something to tell you, Potter,” Draco finally admitted. “I’m meeting Bella tomorrow… in the forest at 7:00 PM.”
“Bella?” Harry asked, confused.
“Bella Lestrange,” Draco explained. “The Dark Lord has an assignment for me...”
“WHAT?” Harry shouted. “She murdered my Godfather! What’re you doing? You can’t go.”
“I’m going because I need to find out what they’ve done to you,” Draco continued. “I can take care of myself. I just thought you should know.”
“But... how d’you know you’ll be safe?” Harry stammered. “What if Voldemort is luring you into a trap? Malfoy, this doesn’t feel right. You can’t go. Please, stay with me tomorrow night. I need you here. You can’t go... Just...”
“Why would the Dark Lord lure me into a trap, Potter? I’m a Malfoy. My father is his Second in Command.”
“I... I don’t know. Just... I don’t want you to go... Please, I have a bad feeling... Draco…”
Draco stood up. “Potter, I’ve already made my decision. If you breathe a word of this to Dumbledore or anyone else, you’ll regret it.”
Draco threw on the invisibility cloak and left of the room.
BELLA – RENDEZVOUS WITH MALFOY
On Friday evening, Bella arrived early for her rendezvous with Draco Malfoy. Everything was falling into place. She would make her master proud by dispensing with young Malfoy, once and for all.
Draco arrived at 6:55 PM. He walked up to Bella and nodded to her, motioning for them to leave the lakeside and go into the forest.
“We should go,” Draco stated. “I don’t want you to be seen.”
“Brilliant idea,” she replied. The sun was beginning to set.
“So what’s my mission, then?” Draco asked, walking ahead of her.
“You’ll find out soon enough,” Bella replied, slowly taking her wand out and pointing it at the back of Malfoy’s head.
“Don’t worry, if it’s about Harry Potter, I’ve already poisoned him,” Draco replied.
“You what?” Bella shrieked, lowering her wand.
“I know the Dark Lord had cursed him with Hemoratis,” Draco replied, “but Dumbledore has already begin preparing an antidote, so I had to take matters into my own hand…”
“There is no antidote!” Bella replied, enraged, raising her wand.
“Is that what the Dark Lord told you?” Draco asked, still oblivious to the fact that she was about to kill him.
“Are you suggesting that the Dark Lord would keep secrets from me?” Bella rasped. “There’s only one reversal potion and of course I already know it. Now what did you do to Potter?”
Draco turned around, but Bella had already lowered her wand before he could realize that he was in grave danger.
“I told you, I poisoned him,” Draco replied.
“With what?” Bella asked adamantly.
“Why does it matter?” Draco asked, turning to walk deeper into the forest.
“Because if you poisoned him with a Doxycide Draught it could counteract the curse, you imbecile!” Bella raised her wand. It was time for Malfoy to die.
“Hi honey,” Pansy Parkinson cried, approaching them from the distance. CRACK. Draco turned around, but Bella had already Apparated before she was seen.
“Are you ready for our date?” Pansy cooed. Draco turned to see Pansy all gussied up. His stomach turned.
“Date?” he yelped.
“Honey, you’re so forgetful. You owled me this afternoon telling me that we’re on for tonight, remember? I’m so excited. With all your bloody detentions and my Prefect duty, I hardly see you anymore.”
Pansy approached Draco and gave him a peck on the lips. Draco shuddered. “Can I… uh.. see that note that I… uh… sent you?” Pansy handed it to Draco. It was written in Potter’s handwriting.
END OF CHAPTER 9