Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Warning for abusive behavior.

Josephine POV

Harry kissed me goodbye before getting into the car with his Aunt and Uncle. I could tell he was worried about me going home because he had insisted that I go with Ron to the Burrow. Heck, Ron even insisted that I come home with him but I couldn't. I had to go home to see where I stood with my family, though I was pretty sure I knew where that was.

"You're sure you won't come stay at my house?" Ron said, for the fifth time as Harry drove away. "You're welcome to, you know? My mum won't mind. She loves company."

"I can't, Ron, I'm sorry," I said again, giving him a small smile.

"Well . . . if anything happens you can still come over. We're connected to the Floo Network."

"Thanks, Ron, I'll do that. . . . Bye Hermione."

We hugged, Hermione with tears in her eyes. "Oh, I do hope you'll be alright."

"I'll be fine. See you." I watched as they each went to join their families, a lump forming in my throat. I wouldn't admit it to them that I was scared for what await me when I got home. Would my father throw me out of the house just as Draco had thrown me out of Slytherin?

None of them, my father, my mother, or Draco, stood waiting for beside the car that usually picked us up from Kings' Cross during the holidays. I moved slowly forward with my trunk until the driver, Humphrey stepped forward to take it, saying, "Miss Malfoy."

Usually he would greet me pleasantly with a smile but today his voice was cold and his gaze never strayed to my face to long. He opened the door for me and I got in, my heart pounding hard and fearfully in my chest.

The ride home was a silent, but short ride. Humphrey usually talked to me, asked me how school was but . . . things were changing, I could see. By the time we pulled up in front of the Manor I was terrified. If Humphrey was mad at me, there was no telling just how furious my father was.

"I'll take your trunk, Miss," Humphrey said. "I believe your family is waiting for you in the family room."

The 'family room'. Ha, that was a laugh. Muggles, I heard, use the 'family room' to spend time with the family. My father used the 'family room' as the 'punishment room'. Shifting my purse on my shoulder, I held my head high as I moved into the Manor. I would not show them, those filthy paintings, Humphrey, or my parents, that I was scared out of my mind. I would not let them get to me.

The front door creaked open, slowly. It was quiet in the house. No house elves greeted me as I stepped inside. The pictures turned away from me as I walked past. Everyone hated me. As far as they all were concerned, I had destroyed the Malfoy name.

As soon as I stepped into the 'family room' his hand struck me hard, knocking me down. I could taste blood in my mouth as I hit the floor. My mother cried out, 'Lucius' but I'm sure one glance from him shut her up.

"Stand up," my father said.

I relunctantly got to my feet, facing him. Behind him I could see Draco, staring out the window as if he couldn't make himself watch. My mother stared to the floor in exactly the same way.

"You're a disgrace," father spat at me. "What do you have to say for yourself?"

When I didn't say anything, I was slapped again, falling to the floor once more. I had expected this, really. Actually, I had expected worse.

What I hadn't expected was for him to hit me with his walking stick. I covered my head with my hands as I was struck, twisting this way and that as I tried to avoid it, but it was no use. The most I could do was keep him from hitting my face and doing so serious damage.

I didn't scream. It would have made it worse.

I could hear my father panting as he hit me one last time, this blow more painful than the others, forcing me to whimper slightly.

"You're a disgrace," my father said again. "You are forbidden to leave this house, or your room. I don't want you in my sight for as long as you must stay here. Come Draco, Narcissa . . . we have much work to accomplish before the Dark Lord arrives. And when he gets here, Josephine, you are to tell him everything you've learned from Harry Potter."

They left the room, leaving me lying there on the floor, horribly brushed and beaten. They wanted me to betray Harry. I couldn't – I wouldn't. . . . I'd – I'd run away, that's what I would do and they couldn't stop me.

I pushed myself up from the ground and slowly, painfully, moved towards my room, where my trunk sat waiting for me to unpack. Staring at my suitcase and at the fireplace in my room, I wondered whether my father had disconnected the Floo Network for me, yet. Locking my door, I picked up my suitcase and grabbed some Floo powder from the tiny box on the mantelpiece.

I stepped into the fireplace with my suitcase in tow, gave one last to my room, and said, "Leaky Cauldron!"

In a flash I was gone.

The innkeeper of the Leaky Cauldron gave me a room right away at the sight of my condition. I wasn't going to stay there long, I told him, and I would pay as soon as I got the money.

Throwing a cloak with a hood to cover up the bruises on my face, I moved through Diagon Alley to Gringotts. My parents will not have realized I'm gone yet, which means they couldn't have blocked me from my vault.

I withdrew all of my money, using a large bag to store it all. Until it was safe for me to get another bank account, I would have to keep my money with me.

I decided to stay a couple of days at the hotel, hoping that would give Ron and his family enough time to get settled in. I didn't want to bug him so early into the vacation.

That night, I feel asleep quickly, gratefully falling away from the pain into wonderful, dreamless sleep.

A/N: WhoA!!! That got intense. Sorry for the very serious chapter, hope you enjoyed it though. Stay tuned for the next chapter.
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