Love Is The Darkest Art
A Dramione fanfic serial
Hermione hadn’t spoken to Draco for a whole two days. That may not seem like a long time to some, but to her it felt like forever. It was almost as if he’d fallen off the face of the earth. The day after she’d thrown the Flipendo spell at him she saw him that morning in class but he was summoned to Umbridge’s office and didn’t even look at her. She tried her best to get his attention, even on his way out, and yet he didn’t once look in her direction, even though her desk was closest to the door. If there was such a thing as giving someone a cold shoulder, then his was compleyely frozen.
As the rest of the class droned on, she found herself thankful it was Friday. Tomorrow she’d be meeting friends at the Hogshead and hopefully wouldnt feel so lost without Draco. He’d come to mean so much to her in recent times that this distance between them made her think she’d been transported back to Year 3 or something.They had hated each other then. She’d even punched Malfoy in the face. He’d run away then too, but this was different. In Year 3 it had been humiliation. Here in year 5 however, it was hurt.
She looked down at her textbook, hoping to focus on today’s lesson, but it was no use. Instead of words and diagrams on the page, all she could see in her mind’s eye were memories of the past few days. The library. The hidden tent in the forest. Under the invisibility cloak in a hall full of students. And in every memory there was Draco. Holding her. Touching. Kissing. Confessing his love for her. And yet she had remained silent. She fought the urge to cry in class. Instead of dealing with her most tender emotions, she’d hurt him instead. And it was eating her up.
She felt eyes on her. It was one of those awareness things where you just knew someone was staring at you. She lifted her head and looked around the room. Only one person was looking at her. Ron Weasley. He smiled sadly in her direction. His eyes looked down at her feet. She leaned over in her chair to look. A badly folded paper owl lay close to her feet. Trying not to draw attention, she reached down and picked it up, unfolding the note in her lap. “You sick?” it read.
Hermione looked at her friend and shook her head. She wished she could tell him the reason for her melancholy but she couldn’t. She couldn’t tell anybody. She felt so alone, as if she were walking around Hogwarts stumbling and lost. Everyone needed somebody to talk to. And she did have that kind of support group with Harry and Ron, but her relationship with Draco had changed that. Before she hadn’t had much in the way of secrets. But now she did. And she found herself wondering how many Draco might have himself.
Draco Malfoy found himself sitting across the desk from Prof. Umbridge. Though there was serious doubt among students and staff alike that she was a real professor, Draco knew that she had a dangerous power over his education. She didn’t speak to him for several minutes, instead using the time to pretend she was sifting through important papers on her desktop. Finally she sighed.
“So young Malfoy, what do you have for me,” she finally asked, glancing up at him.
“Excuse me, Professor?”
“We had a deal. You would pass me information as you learn it in exchange for me not revealing your…um…cute little romance.”
Draco wanted to tell her she broke any such deal when she went to his house and told his parents. But he didn’t say anything. He knew better than to step on the tail of a poisonous snake. “I have nothing, I’m sorry. ”
“I see,” she said. She shifted in her seat and for a moment he thought she’d grown taller in the chair. “It has come to my attention that your little girlfriend is plotting against my curriculum.”
“I hadn’t heard…”
She slapped her hands down on the desk and it made a loud crack that silenced him.
“You mean to tell me, that you of all students, having an intimate time with Miss Granger, is the only one who has not been approached to form a special, secret class to learn her aggressive version of Dark Arts Defense.”
It’s true he hadnt heard. Hermione had never spoke of it with him. “Why would I need to learn that?” he reasoned aloud. “My family has always preferred the offense.”
“I am well aware of your family’s darker connections. But the ministry is very very concerned that your lover is plotting against it.”
“I’m sorry, but she’s never brought it up in converation.”]
“Perhaps if you would stop trying to suck her lips off she could speak,” Dolores replied snidely. “Now, I want to know what you are going to about this secret sedition.”
“Me? I dont think….”
She stood up suddenly. He jumped a little but she was so short she hardly towered over his sitting form. “I don’t care what you think, Malfoy. You are going to stop this. You are in the perfect position to halt this exercise in insubordination. And I expect you to look into now!”
Draco looked at her for a moment. He and Hermione weren’t exactly on the best of terms. They may have shared many intimate moments but what did that mean. Really?
He smiled cruelly at Dolores Umbridge. “What is it you want me to do?”
Her return grin was just as cruel. “Another student has informed me there is a meeting this weekend. A secret one off school property. At the Hogshead.”
“I havent bern invited.”
“So crash it.”
Draco stood. “Very well. But after this…”
“After this weekend, nothing else will matter,” she replied, and with that Draco was dismissed back into the hall, where he could finally breathe again.
He stood there outside her classroom a moment, his mind filled with all the things she’d said. And the detail that stood out the most was this: Hermione had turned down his offer to hang out the weekend because she was masterminding a meeting to overthrow Umbridge. Even before she’d attacked him, perhaps even as a result. He had to let her know exactly where he stood on such things. Where his loyalties were. What was most important to him. He grinned, and a few second years saw him and turned the other way. Other students began to arrive for Umbridge’s next class.
We’re all mindless sheep he thought, but not anymore. He strode down the hall, head held high, smug smile on his lips. Perhaps Umbridge was right. After this weekend, nothing much else would matter.
Lord Voldemort stood in the darkness. Beside him was a window, but it had been bricked up to shut out all light. He hated the light. It reminded him of all the things he loathed. It reminded him of his failure. Harry Potter.
“Nagini,” he spake.
A large snake, coiled up in a corner began to unravel and lifted its head. “Yessss,” it hissed.
“He disturbs me,” Voldemort darkly mused. “There must be a way to bring him to me.”
“No not yet. I need you here. But do not worry. I will send you visiting someone soon enough. No, i think this requires something more subtle than killing.”
A knock came upon the door and the snake’s head turned. Voldemort placed his hand on the creature’s head. In anyone else the gesture would have seemed affectionate, but the dark lord only meant it to still Nagini, to allay his companion’s tenses.
“They’ve been invited,” Voldemort explained, and then, “Enter.”
The door creaked open to reveal a young man in a black cloak. While only in his twenties, scarring on his face made him look older and far more frightening than a university student. Still he stepped into the room with a little hesitation, as if to be summoned was not high on his list of pleasant experiences.
“You wished to see me, m’lord.”
Voldemort attempted a smile, but it looked crooked, more like a grimace than mirth. “Yes. I have need of your…talents.”
For a second it seemed as if the visitor’s face changed slightly, features rearranging briefly before settling back to its horrid scarred tissue. He bowed slightly. “I await your wish, m’lord.”
“I wish you to bring me a…girl.”
The man raised an eyebrow. He knew of the Dark Lord’s obsession with Harry Potter, and had assumed his task would have something to do with that. But a girl…
“Oh it does,” Voldemort said as if reading his visitor’s thoughts. “It has everything to do with…Potter. Her name is Hermione Granger.”
Beneath his bony hand, Nagini stirred excitedly.