I totally forgot this weird feeling when dieting. I always have what I call nervous energy.
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Hermione shook her head. ‘No, no, no.’
No, not now.
‘Granger is that you? Hang on,’ There was a rustling behind her and a whispered ‘Lumos.’
The light shined straight onto her butchered arm.
‘Oh my god Granger!’ Within seconds Malfoy’s face loomed before her, kneeling in front of her, horror written all over his face.
‘What happened- did someone- oh Merlin- are you ok?’
She shook her head, her sobs uncontrollable.
I will not let him see me like this.
Hermione stood up, making sure to keep her weight on her left leg. Her arm was stinging unbearably. She discreetly wiped her face.
‘I’ll have you, please Malfoy.’ Her voice croaked as she said his name. ‘To leave me alone.’
She began to walk past him, trying her hardest not to let a single sob escape from her chest.
I can control this, just enough to get to the lake...
Her ankle folded again, her arms flying in the air. She shrieked in agony, feeling the pain turning from sprain to fracture. Malfoy reached out as if automatically, to catch her. Within seconds his nice clean white shirt was soaked in intense red. He looked down in horror.
‘Granger, your arm-’
‘I know, let me go.’
Malfoy’s blue eyes bore into her.
Hermione tore away from him and half hopped, half limped a few steps toward the lake.
Malfoy was there to catch her, his arms balancing her when her ankle gave way again.
‘Granger, you can’t walk. You need to keep your foot still. Look I’ll go get Pomfrey-‘
‘I said no. Just leave Malfoy!’
Malfoy looked at her in bewilderment.
‘I can’t leave you here- like this- just tell me what happened- did someone attack you?’
‘No, look I’m fine, just let me...’ she tried to limp away from him again. She felt pains shooting up her ribs.
I’ve got to get rid of him. He can’t see me like this...
‘I’ll take myself to the infirmary. I don’t want you getting in trouble...’
‘You’re joking right?’
This is wrong, all wrong...
Gingerly she limped forward a few more steps.
‘Granger hold on, stop.’ He rushed forward when she swayed, wrapping his arms around her, to stop her from falling again.
‘Leave me alone Malfoy! I’m fine.’
He stopped and gripped her shoulders. ‘That’s ridiculous,’ he turned her face to look at him. ‘What happened to your foot? Why are you out here?’ he paused, his eyes searching hers and then is eyes widened in disbelief.
‘Granger, you weren’t trying to exercise were you?’
She remained silent, not sure what she was supposed to say to him.
‘And what happened to your arm?’ before she could pull it away, he’d grabbed it and shone his wand on it.
He gasped and looked up at her.
I’ve got to get rid of him. I can’t let him take me to the Hospital Wing.
Like lightning she grabbed her wand out of her pocket and pointed it at his throat. ‘It’s none of your business what I’m doing out here. I’m fine, no one attacked me. It’s not like you care anyway. Now leave.’
Malfoy brushed her wand aside. ‘I’m not leaving you like this.’
‘I’m serious Malfoy!’
‘No Granger, I don’t care if you turn me into buffalo. I’m not leaving you. You can’t even walk.’
She threw her hands in the air. The cuts on her arm were burning. She ignored him and stubbornly continued to limp forward.
He can’t see me like this. He already thinks I’m pathetic. Why, why did he have to find me like this?
I want everything to end.
And here he is...
Malfoy just stood there shocked. ‘Are you mad?’
‘Maybe I am.’ She called behind her.
I am. I’ve gone batty. I don’t care about anything anymore.
I’m a waste of space.
Everything is too much.
She heard footsteps behind her, she felt his arms hoist her up and twirl her around and then his lips were on hers.
And she melted.
For a few blissful moments, time stood still, just him and her under the full moon.
She forgot about the pain in her body, she forgot about the pain in her mind. She forgot about food, she forgot about excercise. She forgot everything but the smell, the feel of him.
And then the moon went behind a raincloud.
No, no. I will not let you give me any reason to have hope.
I am a lost cause.
Furiously she pushed him away.
‘Am I mad? Are you mad? What on earth is wrong with you!?’
He seemed shocked by his own actions. ‘I just - I just want to help...’
‘Help? How is kissing me helping? You just confuse me Malfoy. This whole situation is wrong, it’s wrong!’
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to- something is happening. We can’t keep ignoring it. We can’t keep pretending like it’s not happening!’
I don’t want it happening...
Everything is too much...
Hermione shook her head. ‘No Malfoy. Not now. You don’t understand, you can’t help, you can’t.’
And then she burst into tears.
‘Leave! Leave!’ She was practically shouting, hysteria rising inside her.
‘You need help! Look at yourself! ‘
Her stomach rumbled loudly and she gasped, clutching at it.
He stared at her. ‘Good god Granger, when was the last time you ate?’
‘It doesn’t concern you!’
‘You’re crazy. You’ve got to eat!’
‘Shut up! Shut up! Why the fuck do you care anyway? I’m not going to die,’
Unless I can help it...
Then she added. ‘And what’s it to you if I do anyway?’
She was shaking with rage, her voice rising louder and louder.
‘I care Granger, I fucking care. Can’t you see?’ He was bellowing at her now. ‘I do fucking care and I will not sit back and watch you kill yourself! I’ve never wanted you dead. And if the rest of those arseholes can’t see you- their friend- falling and crumbling apart, then screw them!’
‘Oh yeah!’ She jabbed him in the chest. ‘Maybe the reason no one is noticing is because there is nothing to notice!’
‘Nothing to notice? Nothing to notice! You’ve wasted away; you can hardly even stand for crying out loud! You need to eat!’
She really was screaming at him now.
‘I DO NOT NEED TO EAT!’
‘You’re sick Granger.’
‘DON’T YOU THINK I KNOW THAT? STOP TRYING TO ACT LIKE YOU EVEN GIVE A FUCK!’
‘I DO GIVE A DAMN FUCK!’
They both stood there panting angrily.
Hard as she tried to contain them, tears were still dropping from her eyes.
Too much. Too much. I want this to end.
Hermione put her face in her hands and shook her head.
Malfoy moved closer, his voice unsteady. ‘Gran- Hermione, I don’t understand any of this, but the thought of this- thing- eating away at you... It scares me...I know you won’t listen but... last night... I can hardly live with myself... Being inside my own body, hurting you, it was killing me. Then I heard you’re voice, pleading with me, it woke me up, made me overcome the curse... You’ve woken me up... nothing ever used to matter, and now things matter – Oh I feel so stupid - when I see you, I feel strange – I hate it- but the closer I am to you, the more right everything feels, even when we are fighting...’
He was shaking his head, looking away, fiddling with his blood stained shirt. ‘Just please let me help you... Seeing you starving yourself to death, it feels the same as being stuck in my body, unable to stop myself from striking you. I feel helpless. Everyone around you feels helpless...’
Too much... too much...
Head held high, crying like the sky, she started limping toward the Entrance Hall.
He sounds like he...
No, I refuse to have hope...
If I hope... then I won’t have the courage to leave...
And I want to leave...
She could hear him catching up to her. ‘You hassle me all year, taunting me, making bets, irritating and bothering, meddling in my business, stealing my property! ’ she shrieked. She was getting closer to the stairs every second. ‘Then you had the nerve to –to – kiss – you say you care, how can I believe that Malfoy? You’re a sodding liar. We should never have let things get this far.’
Her ankle was straining under the weight. Her whole body felt like torture, her arm was on fire; her ribs were aching from hunger pains.
She’d reached the steps. She felt raindrops begin to fall on her. There was no way she could get up them.
Malfoy came up behind her and lifted her up with ease, as though she were nothing but a feather.
‘I’m glad they did.’ He said not looking at her while her carried her up the stairs. ‘I regret a lot of things, but I don’t regret making love to you.’
He put her down gently at the doors. The sound of dinner chatter drifted from the Great Hall. The rain was sprinkling onto the marble floor from outside the doors. Malfoy’s hair was dotted in fine raindrops.
‘Making love?’ She croaked. ‘We had sex Malfoy.’
Steel blue eyes gazed at her, unsure and scared. ‘You may have had sex Granger...’
‘What is that supposed to-’ she took an unsure step backward.
Footsteps sounded from behind them. ‘Hermione!’
Hearing Harry’s voice, Hermione spun around. Her foot slipped on the wet marble, she heard a faint crack from her foot and then she felt herself falling. Malfoy caught her.
‘You didn’t even come to dinner! Hermione, we can’t let you keep doing this-’ And then Harry’s eyes went from Malfoy supporting Hermione, to the blood covering both their shirts.
‘What’s going on?’
Too much... Too much...
Ron rushed out of the Hall next. ‘Did you find her Harry?’ And then he too caught sight of blood. He howled like a wounded wolf.
‘What did you do Malfoy!? What have you done to her?’ Ron’s fists were curled dangerously.
‘Stop!’ Hermione screamed. ‘He didn’t do anything!’
‘Then why are you bleeding?’
‘You weren’t at dinner-’
‘What happened Malfoy?’
Malfoy looked like a deer caught in the headlights. ‘I don’t know, I found her like this, I think she was trying to exercise-’
Harry looked exasperated. ‘Exercising? Are you demented Hermione?’
Ron cut her off.
‘He’s lying Harry-’
There were more footsteps and Ginny began to descend the grand staircase. Her voice was like fire, pointing at Hermione.
‘You can’t lie any longer Hermione!’
Ginny looked mad. She hardly even regarded Harry, Ron or Malfoy’s blood soaked shirt.
No, no, no, no.
Her chest felt tight with panic. She could feel it filling with uncomfortable pressure.
Ginny descended angrily. ‘You haven’t eaten anything have you? Oh but wait, you did eat dinner, right before you vomited it all up again! Parvarti found it in your bathroom! And all those chip packets you’d have us think you were eating? In the bin! ’
Ron’s fists were still clenched. ‘Malfoy did something to her,’ he grunted, nodding toward them.
‘Oh,’ Ginny’s voice was manic. ‘Didn’t you tell them Hermione? Too busy starving yourself to death?’
‘Tell us what?’ Ron asked looking between Ginny and Hermione.
Too much... Too much... All too much... I don’t want to be here... I don’t want to be alive... If Malfoy hadn’t come along...
Harry cut Ginny off before she could talk again. ‘We love you Hermione, you’ve got, GOT to let us help. You’ve got to get better, or else you’ll die!’
‘Tell us what?!’ Ron demanded.
Too much... too much...
Hermione felt her heart rate rising rapidly. She felt panic swirling through her insides. She tried to back away, stumbling on her ruined foot, the blood on her arm was dripping onto the rain streaked floor, mingling together and running out the door.
Ginny looked sadly at Hermione. ‘Why won’t you let us help you?’
‘I can’t,’ Hermione’s voice was faint. She shook her head stumbling backward. ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t...’
‘WHY HERMIONE?’ Ginny shouted.
‘TELL US WHAT GINNY?’ Ron insisted angrily.
‘No.’ Hermione whispered looking pleadingly at Ginny.
Her breathing was becoming heavier and heavier. Her chest hurt. She was straining to breathe.
Malfoy moved toward Hermione, visibly intend on helping her stand properly.
The world was starting to shake. She couldn’t get enough air in. Her left arm felt numb. Pain was spreading to her shoulders.
I must have lost blood...
Ginny pointed at them accusingly. ‘Didn’t she tell you she was fucking Malfoy?’
There was a moment shocked silence. Ginny’s words hovering in the air.
And then the hall exploded.
Ron rushed at Malfoy, fists flying.
‘Why didn’t you tell us?’
‘How dare you Malfoy?’
‘If you ever fucking touch her again-’
‘Ron you idiot!’
‘Great Weasley, look what you’ve done!’
‘You scum, you filthy scum-’
‘STOP IT!’ She screamed. ‘STOP IT! STOP IT ALL OF YOU! JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!’
But none of them heard her, they were too busy yelling at each other about her.
Hermione closed her eyes. She heard them shouting but it washed over her.
Everything is too much...
I can’t handle it...
She heard scuffling. She heard shouting over the top of shouting. She heard voices running together.
Her chest was searing painfully, she felt like she was trying to breath underwater. She began to drop to the ground, trying her hardest to support herself. Her whole world was filled with pain. She felt like the centre of her chest was swelling uncontrollably. She was gasping, struggling, moaning.
Too much...Too much...
‘My heart hurts.’ She whispered quietly.
Her world blurred. And then it went out.
Draco knew something was wrong when he saw Potter’s head turn. Malfoy’s heart dropped as he followed Potter’s eyes. Everything moved as in slow motion. Hermione was collapsing, gasping for air, her hand clutching at her chest and then she fell completely, her head cracking against the ground.
‘HERMIONE!’ he screamed, rushing toward her. He felt as though his heart was being ripped out.
He’d seen a collapse like this before. A long time ago, his grandmother had collapsed the very same way when.... she had had a heart attack... But Hermione was so young ... It couldn’t be...
The world stopped.
It was impossible...