The mediwitch ran towards the trio that abruptly entered her domains. “What on earth?” she yelled in shock.
“Obscuro, sh-she can’t see…hex… don’t know...” Blaise sputtered as he watched Draco lift his sister into the nearest bed. His eyes flashed as his sister’s shirt lifted slightly to reveal two prominent red seals burned on her back.
“Let me take a look. Shoo the both of you.” Madame Pompfrey said regaining her calm composure. She quickly replaced Draco by the girl’s bedside and began to hover her wand across Grace’s body.
“Where were you?” the older woman asked, once she finished examining for physical signs of abuse.
“Outside, near the forest.” Grace said, her voice still shaky. She felt the bed for it’s thin woven covers and mustered enough of the fabric in her fist. Her eyes remained closed, scared of the nothingness she knew she would see.
The mediwitch lifted her small hands and gently opened her patient’s eyelids. She gasped.
Draco and Blaise peered around the form of the elder witch and took sight of Grace’s eyes. Draco stepped back in awe as Blaise stepped forward to observe. Her eyes were glazed over in a film that made them look cloudy, almost opaque. Even from a distance, Grace’s eyes resembled those of any Lovegoods.
“I-I’ve never seen this form of the Obscuro in person before,” muttered the nurse.
“Yet, you have heard of it.” Blaise responded in more of a question. He was trying to keep his temper at bay.
The mediwitch turned to face the older Italian, “Yes. This form of the blinding spell can only be disabled in two ways.” She shifted towards the patient again, “This sort will only remain until the caster is finished with their intentions. Since, Ms. Zabini was outside I assume he/she wanted to attack her. Either, she be hexed from the caster or she will have to endure this state for a course of several days.”
“Several days?!” Grace shifted uncomfortably.
“Dear, I’m afraid the first option isn’t even legal. You must wait it out.”
With a grumble, Grace sat back into the small bed. She heard a shuffle of robes and new the mediwitch had left.
Draco stood at the corner of her bed, worried about the being in front of him. He was sad for the pain his best mate must be going through, frustrated from the complications of such a spell, and mad at himself for not killing the person who did this to her, even if he had no idea who could have done it.
Blaise broke him out of his thoughts.
“Perché non li prendi?” (“Why did you take them?!”) Blaise began as he finally let his anger loose.
“I files! I file Gracie! Come si può essere così stupido? Come si può fare questo per la nostra famiglia?” (“The files! The files Grace! How can you be so stupid? How could you do this to our family?”)
Grace tugged on the bottom of her shirt and shuttered at her brother’s wrath, “Ero curioso…” (“I was curious…”) She purposely spoke quietly, hopefully so Blaise would realize they were in a public setting.
Her brother recognized her tone, but didn’t stop from his rampage, “Non si capisce cosa magia nera si sofferma in questi file! Come avete potuto essere così stupida?!” (“You don't understand what dark magic lingers in those files! How could you be so dumb?”)
By this point Draco had heard enough of the fight between the two, he swiftly grabbed Blaise’s shoulder in an attempt to threaten. “Do not do this here,” he hissed.
Blaise ignored his friend and continued his row, this time about a totally different subject. “Che hai detto?!” (Who did you tell?!) He bellowed at his sibling.
Grace whimpered at the wrath of her brother’s voice. “Nessuno,” (No one,) she said in a soft tone.
“Non mi dire che non ha Grace, ma vi rendete conto di cosa rischia di mettere la famiglia in questo momento?!” (Don’t tell me you didn’t Grace, do you realize what danger you put this family in now?!)
“Non ho detto niente!” (I didn’t say anything!) Grace cried. She was scared and frustrated.
“Non ci posso credere!” (I can’t believe you!) Blaise yelled, pushing the bed roughly, Grace still on top of the covers.
“Mr. Zabini!” screamed the mediwitch across the room.
Blaise was distraught; he shoved the chair beside the bed down with his foot. Draco watched the scene unfold again with absolutely no idea what to do. He had never seen his friend talk so angrily in Italian, and by the looks of Grace, Blaise was winning. He had to step in, “Blaise. Stop this. She’s impaired.” Draco seethed at his friend.
Blaise shoved Draco’s hand off his shoulder, “It’s none of your fucking business.”
“I don’t care. This is your sister for Merlin’s sake. She doesn’t need this right now.”
“You know what,” Grace heard her brother spat, “I’m done. Grace, don’t talk to me. You aren’t a part of this family. You don’t belong with us. Right now you’re nothing more than a filthy Mudblood.”
Grace gasped at his brother’s words; she heard the curtains dramatically push open and the room’s door close in a striking slam. Draco stood in his place, completely baffled.
Grace could feel Draco sit on the little amount of mattress that was left. She couldn’t see, but she could feel the weight of the cot lean towards his presence, and the smell of his clothes overwhelmed her senses. She heard him clear his throat, “Are…are-is…uh…are you and Blaise…muggle-borns?”
Grace immediately stopped crying, her brother had let down his guard and openly admitted the truth, “No,” she replied firmly, “my family is a pureblood family.”
Draco was extremely confused, “So are you adopted then?”
“N-no,” Grace began to sweat with worry, “I-um…we are biological siblings,” Grace sat up a bit more on the bed, “B-Blaise, knows how to push my buttons that’s all.” She acknowledged Draco’s silence in means to continue. “In…In America, my best friend was a muggle-born…she was terrorized all the time, and people started calling me one too…t-they didn’t know about my family here…”
“You want to tell me about your best friend?” Draco asked. He could sense this was a sensitive topic, but he knew from comforting his mother that encouraging women to talk was soothing for them.
“Uh…” Grace stuttered, she didn’t want to get caught in a tangle of lies, but she knew from the last seven years that Draco was the type to pester the answer out of someone. “N-no. I’m okay, thanks.”
Blaise left the hospital in a hysterical state, yet he knew deep inside that this wasn’t his sister’s fault. He should have known she would take their family’s portfolio, she was practically known for her curiosity. But a larger dilemma was at hand. Someone knew about Grace’s real identity, therefore they hadn’t been cautious enough to protect each other. If only he was more careful, if only he protected her more, if only he-. He pushed a second year hard enough for them to stumble and fall. He was asked to protect his sister and he failed, he was asked to protect his family and he failed, but he knew exactly who could have done this, and this time, he would be sure they got what they deserved. Blaise stormed towards the Gryffindor portrait.
Back In the Hospital Wing…
Grace was never one to cry openly before, but she couldn’t stop the tears from falling this time. Blaise had absolutely broken her heart. He knew that she was completely alone in all of this; her family was the only thing keeping her through the year. She had no friends anymore and the ones she had technically didn’t know her. She spent every waking minute in her brother’s presence, mainly because she had nowhere else to go to. She couldn’t go back to normal and live with the Grangers. She couldn’t live under a disillusionment spell for the rest of her life, just so she could look like Hermione. She couldn’t do anything but try to find her way…alone. Having Blaise disown her so easily meant that he never fully trusted her, that her family didn’t fully trust her. She had no one left.
Her head snapped up when she heard a familiar ring of voices enter the room.
“Ron I told you, she might be asleep.”
“Tell me why I’m here again?”
“Because I want you both to meet her, Gin.”
“Do you really think this is an appropriate time? What if it was bad?”
She heard the voices approach closer and the curtain opening once again. “Ron?”
“Hey, I’m here.” Grace felt a large hand grab her own. A snort sounded from the man she forgot was sitting beside her.
“What are you doing here, Ferret?” She heard Ron ask.
“For your information Weasel,” Grace could practically hear the smirk on his face, “I’m the one who brought her here.”
“Well you can leave now.” Ron said in a childish manner.
Grace could hear Draco lift himself off the bed and his feet head towards what she thought would be the curtains.
“Ron…” she whispered.
“Yeah, babe?” Grace inwardly cringed when he called her ‘babe’, she absolutely hated when people called her that. “I think you need to show Malfoy a little gratitude, if he didn’t bring me here I could’ve been hexed to oblivion.”
Ron gaped at his girlfriend and Ginny snorted at the comment.
Before Draco could step out of the bordered curtains, he heard Weasley’s voice behind him, “Erm-Thanks Malfoy.” With a smirk on his face, Draco didn’t bother looking back, and strode out of the Hospital Wing.
“Who told you I was here?” Grace asked out of curiosity, she quickly attempted to wipe the tears away from her face but suddenly realized they had already dried up.
“Your brother.” Harry said with a tinge of attitude. Already Grace could feel the two others didn’t like the idea of her and Ron.
“Yeah, he was practically beating our portrait with his fists, yelling that it was my fault you were in here. Sounded like he wanted a blood bath if you asked me. But I, of course, had no idea. So we waited until he left and then we came down as soon as we could,” Ron explained.
“I’m sorry he blamed you for this.” Grace tried to lift herself higher on the bed. “Uh-I think my brother left a couple of hours ago,” she said in a logical tone.
“Well, I kind of wanted to get dinner first,” Ron reasoned.
Grace was slightly disappointed in her boyfriend’s lack of responsibility, but she quickly got over it. “So, I expect Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley have honored my presence this evening,” Grace said brightly. She had yet to get a chance to talk to the two of them since she got back, and now was a perfect time for her to re-introduce herself.
“Er-Hi.” She heard Harry’s voice.
“Its wonderful to meet you Harry,” Grace lifted a hand in front of her.
“You as well, Zabini.” She felt a warm grip.
“And where is the beautiful Ginerva Weasley?” Grace asked.
“I’m right here.” Ginny was at the far side of the bed, getting quite annoyed at his brother’s new girlfriend. To her, she looked and acted nothing like Hermione, which only made her think that this Graciella Zabini was just another slag.
“I-I’m sorry, um…I’m guessing Blaise didn’t tell you what happened to me?” Grace stated, getting off of subject.
“Yeah, you okay?”
“I was outside, uh… taking a walk, and someone used a blinding hex on me. I won’t be able to see for a couple of days.”
“Whoa, no one hurt you did they?” Asked Harry, she could hear genuine concern in his voice.
“No, thankfully Malfoy and Blaise were there and got me inside before another hex could be thrown.”
She turned towards the direction she thought Ginny was in, “In any case, sorry for not knowing where you were.”
“It’s fine.” Ginny said, the redhead reluctantly took the hand offered to her and shook it.
“I’ve heard you really are a sight to see, Harry you are one lucky guy.” Grace said with ease, letting out a charming smile.
“Uh-thanks,” Harry muttered. The golden boy briefly looked at his blushing girlfriend.
“We should get going.” Ron stated and got up from his seat.
“Sure, I’ll see you all soon then?” Grace asked hopefully.
“Mmm.” She heard Ron whisper abnormally close to her face. Before she knew it, his lips were plastered against hers and quickly backed away. “See you later babe,” she heard Ron say as he left with the rest of them.
Grace was completely disgusted with her first kiss with Ron, and she didn’t even consent for it to happen. She wiped her arm against her lips and continued to sit on the bed.
“Yes Madame Pompfrey?”
“My dear girl, you’re still here? You could’ve left hours ago!”
“Oh, I-I’m sorry. Good night.”
“Good night to you as well dear.”
Grace awkwardly got up from her bed and walked towards what she thought was the door. This was going to be a difficult task.
A couple hours ago…
“You fucking coward! Open the damn portrait so I can beat the hell out of you!!” Yelled Blaise as he repeatedly slammed his fists against the painting.
“Do you realize how much that hurts?!” Bellowed the Fat Lady.
Blaise let out a final kick to the frame as a thought hit him. If Grace told Weasley who she was, surely he wouldn’t hurt her because she was, in fact, his previous girlfriend. If she told any Gryffindor for that matter, they wouldn’t dream of hurting their golden girl. Blaise ran a hand through his brown hair; this just made it more complicated. Firmly turning, he stalked towards McGonagall’s office.