Her screams echoed around the manor once more as Bellatrix Lestrange tortured the bushy haired Gryffindor known to all as Hermione Granger. Tears stained her pale face as they rolled down towards the floor, her body writhing in pain, her heart thudding weakly against her chest. She wanted to give up, to stop this never-ending pain that the mad woman was inflicting upon her.
Hermione had never done anything to harm anyone. She had always been dedicated in educating herself and helping those less fortunate, spending a lot of her free time setting up the S.P.E.W foundation – which some found amusing or odd. But Hermione didn't care. She wanted what was best for the Wizarding world. The only problem was, many didn't like her blood status. To them, blood was the most important thing, and to be a Muggle Born witch was an offence to them and their heritage.
"Please" Hermione pleaded, her voice raspy and dry, her eyes squeezed shut as her body struggled under the weight of the insane woman set on destroying every last bit of Hermione. A laugh broke the silence; it was harsh and un-naturally child-like. As if a small sadistic child was burning the hair on a doll or ripping its head off. Hermione had experienced this in one of her muggle schools. A young girl simple cackled to herself as she snatched Hermione's Barbie doll, ripping its head and limbs off before utterly ruining it. Hermione was distraught for weeks after that. Now she was beginning to feel like that Barbie. Utterly useless in the hands of someone who wanted to rip her apart for pure amusement.
Hermione's head rolled to one side, she opened her eyes, trying to find anything else to focus on. She knew nothing would distract her from her skin ripping, but she still wanted to hope. Her large eyes – which were once bright, were now dull and distant, she was a shell of the girl she had been a few months ago – fell upon a familiar blonde haired boy. His expression sorrowful, which confused Hermione. It took her a moment before she even realized it was Draco Malfoy. His features were hallowed out, his skin paler than usual – it almost made him glow against the dark surroundings. Then he became blurry as more tears filled Hermione's eyes, falling out to the floor instantly before a scream caught in her throat as Bellatrix carved into her arm once more.
Why was she hoping that pleading with the Slytherin boy would work? The pair had never seen eye to eye, he had been the cause of many sleepless nights crying to herself in the darkened dorm rooms. He was the reason she felt uncomfortable in Defense against the Dark Arts or generally around Hogwarts, especially in Quidditch matches when Slytherin played Gryffindor. Just the idea of him being in a position to harm Harry put her on edge, and now her very existence was possibly in the boys hands.
The cry crept out, and once again she fought consciousness as the Manor filled with Hermione's blood curdling screams. However, her eyes remained fixed on Draco. She wanted him to see how hurt she was. How wrong this was.
Hermione felt something shift. It was visible, something on Draco's face changed. He looked as if he was fighting back tears as he was forced to endure this scene. It was like he was being tortured as well, his punishment was to watch this, but why? Hermione meant nothing to the blonde haired boy. Did she? She forced her eyes shut once more as his hoarse voice broke out
"Stop!" Draco's voice echoed in the silence – Which was deafening. The silence was too much to handle, in a way Hermione was glad of the break, but it confused her further.
"What is the meaning of this? Narcissa!" Bellatrix called out, her tone harsh and demanding, there was a shuffle somewhere, indicating that Narcissa Malfoy had joined the audience
"Remove Draco, he appears to be too weak to handle nature." Bellatrix hissed harshly, more shuffling
"This is not nature! Stop it! At once!" Draco pleaded, he was closer than before. Hermione opened her eyes, he was standing over them, now looking very determined. His pointed face was half covered by a shadow, but his bright grey eyes pierced through, boring straight into the woman on top of Hermione.
"How dare you defy my orders!" Bellatrix drooled, now standing. She was shorter than Draco, but even so – she looked terrifying, even to Hermione, but Draco was standing his ground.
Hearing, and seeing, him like this caused Hermione to re-think everything about their hate filled relationship. The reasoning behind her getting so affected by his harsh words, the reason she felt uncomfortable being near him in lessons, and seeing him on a broom flying at speeds through the air. It wasn't as she first thought. Somehow, she had convinced herself she hated him. It was easier to hate the Perfect Malfoy boy. But that was wrong. His words hit her so hard because she wanted him to accept her. She was uncomfortable being so near to him because she was afraid he would hear her heart thudding in her chest or see her cheeks flush at his glances. She hated him playing Quidditch since seeing him fall in their second year, her very being hated the idea that it could happen once more and be fatal. In conclusion, Hermione Granger did not loath Draco Malfoy. It was quite the opposite, and it took hours of torturing for her to realize it. She was in love with Draco. Almost seven years after meeting the proud and snarky Slytherin, the bushy haired bookworm realized her feelings, and now it was too late. One or both of them would die tonight.
Draco didn't say anything; Hermione's eyes flickered to him – filled with realization, only to find his mirrored hers. After all this time, had he reciprocated the feelings? Was this why his punishment was to see her tortured? It had to be. He was watching her, closely. But he wasn't the only one. Bellatrix cackled and jumped up and down, clapping excitedly. If she were a muggle, anyone would think she had won the lottery. But this must be better. Her defiant nephew was in love with a Mudblood. Hermione's heart thudded loudly as their eyes locked, ignoring Bellatrix. Seven years of emotion washed over her. Powerful feelings surfacing for him, and from his expression, he was experiencing the same feelings.
To her surprise, he dropped to his knees beside her, picking up her limp and bloody hand and taking it into his own, her blood now staining his pale hands before he lifted it, resting it against his cheek. The blood looked horrible against his pale face, standing out painfully. Hermione had to catch her breath as she watched him, wanting to speak but finding no words at all. This was pointless. If they didn't die, then; what? They couldn't possibly escape and live happily, could they? By now, Hermione would accept anything. She had gone from being a normal muggle child in a regular school with hard working parents in a mundane school to finding herself in the Manor of the most famous Wizarding Family and realizing her feelings for the heir of everything. She choked back the tears, but by now his own hand found her cheek, stroking away the tears that had defied her and escaped anyway. They didn't need to speak. His actions were enough. It's all she needed in order to know how the boy felt about her.
"Well isn't this just lovely!" Bellatrix's voice broke the moment, her tone as evil and dark as ever. She was bored, it was obvious. She lived for action and death, not soppy moments that were too perfect for movies.
"Get up!" Her voice was low, Hermione's eyes flickered beside Draco's head, sure enough – Bellatrix had her wand pointed at the boy's head
"No!" Hermione called out as he stood slowly, the wand now pressing against his head, Hermione's hand gripped his. She couldn't let him go now, not ever. This was more painful than the torturing. He kept hold of her hand, his eyes flickering to Bellatrix, his face hardened, yet his tears still rolled down his hollowed cheeks
"He's coming. And there shall be a body for him" Bellatrix whispered in her usual taunting manor. She wanted to inflict as much pain as she could, draw it out to make it more satisfying for her. Draco's eyes squinted, Hermione's widened in fear.
"Now, I have a dilemma. Hand him your cold, dead corpse. Or hers." Bellatrix toyed, now walking in a circle around them, she was twirling her wand in her messy hair, Hermione was sure it would get stuck in there.
"Neither!" Draco argued back, his grip on Hermione tightening
"Oh, no. That's not an option. You see, it's very simple; if she's alive, he will kill you. And not quickly. He will slice your pretty little face before granting your pleas of death. You will eventually embrace it and accept your fate. All the while, she will be watching every second of it. Taking in every scene before all of this starts again. I am very patient and thorough. A lifetime of torturing her is easy for me. Rewarding. Yet; if she's dead, you live. Free to do whatever you like. So, little bird, which is it?" Bellatrix's lips curled up into a grin, her eyes dark and menacing.
Hermione swallowed dryly, glancing at Draco. Their love was new, exciting, yet it was about to end. She no longer held back the tears and allowed them to roll freely down her face and hitting the cold floor.
The moment's dragged on, her heart felt like the only sound in the Manor. She wanted this to end. She couldn't bear watching him being killed slowly in front of him and then having to live with that memory every day for the rest of her life with no chance of ending it. She looked up at him once more, her heart breaking with every beat. This was hard on him too, she could tell. Her eyebrows furrowed deeply.
"Do it" Hermione whispered. His eyes snapped to her as she spoke, as if she was mad. Slowly, she nodded. He shook his head violently, falling to her side once more, cupping her cold face in his blood stained hands, looking into her eyes. He was on the brink of tears again. As was she. They remained silent for a moment before she finally leant up, pressing her lips against his. It wasn't a heated kiss, or one that would drive her wild. It was the perfect kiss. A first and last. The kiss Hello, and goodbye. Tears rolled to the floor, but Hermione had no idea if they were hers or his.
Slowly, he stood, glaring at Bellatrix, who was grinning. Hermione gripped her hand, tears pouring out of her eyes, drenching parts of her face and the floor. This had to happen. Harry would win the war. Draco would survive.
"I love you, Hermione Granger" Draco's voice was breaking, cracking under the sobs as he reached for his wand, his hand firmly in Hermione's. The one girl he had loved. The only one he had dreamt of one day marrying.
"I love you too, Draco Malfoy. I'll wait for you" She managed to croak out, her hand stroking his as she attempted a soft smile but failed, her eyes fixated on his face, which were shining under the glisten of tears. He would be the last person she would see.
"HERMIONE!" A voice called out. Draco turned his attention, Harry and Ron had broken free, Hermione squeezed Draco's hand, maybe this wouldn't happen. As they burst into the room, Hermione smiled brightly, turning her attention back to Draco, who looked at her with fear.
"You won't be waiting long" Draco whispered. Hermione's eyes widened. The other two boys withdrew their wands, pointing them at Draco
Three voices echoed loudly, Two green bolts of light flew in Draco's direction as another left his own, hitting Hermione square in the chest, her beating heart stopping instantly, her brown eyes flashing green before turning lifeless, Draco's own body freezing up before falling onto Hermione's.