Of Smells and Dreams
Hermione struggled to keep up with Draco as he hurried down the crowded streets of Shanghai. Muggles were pushing and shoving but Draco had too much on his mind to bother.
"Malfoy! Malfoy, slow down!" Hermione shouted as she jogged behind him to catch up with his long strides.
"Shut up! They could be anywhere!" He hissed in reply, keeping his head low and his eyes darting everywhere rapidly, cautious as ever.
Hermione knew he was right and so decided not to snap back. Suddenly, Draco stopped in the middle of the pavement, causing Hermione to crash into his back.
"Ow!" she exclaimed, rubbing her nose.
Draco grabbed Hermione's arm and shoved her into a dim alley. He pressed his body against her's, causing her to be trapped against him and the wall.
Hermione was beyond appalled by this action and was about to reprimand him when she noticed two cloaked figures over Draco's shoulder.
"DeathEaters." She whispered breathlessly.
As they approached closer and closer, she felt Draco press into her more. When she turned her head back, she was eye-level with Draco's collarbone. His black silk suite gave a strangely calm scent of rain and fresh dew drops on grass. Hermione took in a deep breath as the scent invaded her senses and made her mind hazy. Rain was her favourite smell after all.
As Draco placed his hands on either side of Hermione's head, his chin was tickled by her soft curls. He could get a faint smell of vanilla and he could hear Hermione's deep breaths. Normally, he would be disgusted by being in such close proximity of Granger, but this time he felt weirdly comfortable as he could feel the warmth of her body through his suit.
The DeathEaters were closer now and the two partners struggled to keep themselves hidden in the shadows of the dark alley. They could only pray now that their positions were not revealed.
Finally, the two followers of Voldemort decided there was nothing suspicious and walked away. Once Draco was sure the coast was clear, he pushed himself away from the wall and from his partner. Hermione let out a sigh of relief as she followed closely behind Draco, keeping a wary eye on the lookout at all times.
Finally, they reached a motel and both saw it fit to rest for the night there, especially with DeathEaters hot on their tracks.
Hermione tossed and turned on the bed as she perspired profusely. Her breathing was erratic and her brows were tightly knit. She was having the most horrific nightmare.
She was standing in the living room of Malfoy Manor. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy were standing by the fireplace, the former looking enraged and the latter looking worried. Voldemort was standing in front of them, with Nagini coiled by his feet and a cloaked figure facing him. The figure's back was to Hermione and she could not make out its identity.
"Are you sure of this?" Voldemort spoke in his eery voice which sent chills down Hermione's spine.
The cloaked figure nodded and spoke, though the voice came out muffled.
"As positive as ever, my Liege. The boy is helping the other side. He is a traitor." The figure snarled.
Lucius was practically shaking in rage and a few tears rolled down Narcissa's face.
"I would have thought your son would be more loyal, Lucius. Especially after all the faith I put in him." Voldemort hissed, venom laced in his voice as he glared at Lucius.
"I assure you, My Lord, never would I ever think Draco would do something like this. He has disgraced me and I am ashamed to call him a Malfoy. Pardon me, My Lord, but Draco is no longer my son." Lucius spat, a grimace plastered on his face.
"Well that does not change the situation does it? Draco and the little Mudblood are on a mission of sorts and I know exactly what they are after. They must be stopped, at all costs." Voldemort said, his snake-like eyes narrowed and static.
"I swear, if it's the last thing I do, I will make sure Draco is found and punished for his betrayal." Lucius firmly replied.
Voldemort nodded and turned back to the cloaked figure.
"Well done, you have proven yourself against all odds. But if you pull the same trick as poor, silly little Draco, you will regret the day you were ever born."
The figure bowed a bit and replied in a small voice.
"My loyalties lie only with you, My Lord. The others are just naive enough to fall for my innocent charade."
Voldemort watched the figure closely, as if assessing it, before giving a small nod.
"Good. You may leave."
The figure bowed lowly and apparated out of the Manor with a loud Pop.
As Voldemort made his way towards the door, Nagini slithering behind him, he turned to Lucius one last time.
"Do not disappoint me again."
With that, he walked out.
Lucius took in a deep breath and took a few steps forwards before Narcissa's voice stopped him.
"What are you going to do?"
Her voice was so broken that Hermione, for the first time ever, actually felt sorry for Mrs Malfoy.
Lucius turned back to his wife with a completely blank face.
"Are you actually...concerned for that no-good lying deceiver?" He snarled.
"That no-good lying deceiver is our son!" She snapped back, her eyes narrowed slightly.
Lucius walked closer to his wife. Hermione could see the fear in her eyes though she tried to hide it.
"He is not my son. He's a traitor who does not deserve to carry the Malfoy name. Our Lord wants Draco punished, and so do I."
"He's just a boy. Just a silly, young boy." Narcissa whispered.
"You said that the last time when he had failed to carry out the Dark Lord's mission of murdering Dumbledore. This time, he will pay for what he has done. If that means I have to Avada him myself, then so be it."
With that, Lucius stormed out, preparing to call his fellow DeathEaters to embark on their mission to track Draco.
Hermione gasped as she jolted awake. She could feel her heart crashing against her chest as she tried to breath normally. A million questions raced through her mind. She was as perplexed as ever and her head was throbbing painfully. She turned to find Draco frowning in his sleep. It seemed like he was having a bad dream too. Even from her bed across the room, she could tell Draco was drenched in perspiration.
After a few seconds, her breathing was back to normal and the pain in her head subsided. She laid back down and closed her eyes, rather scared to fall back asleep and become vulnerable to more nightmares. But alas, after a few silent minutes, she finally fell back into a deep, dreamless slumber.