(Paul's note: This chapter is a rewrite of the last one I posted. There were some elements that I felt were out of place or wrong so I did this re-edit to fix it and stay on point with the story I want to tell. For those who enjoyed Hermione disrobing Draco and appreciating the view, perhaps we'll see a similar scene show up later. Just not yet. For now i hope you enjoy the new version. You can let me know which one you like better, if you like.)
Hermione was crying on the ice, her tears dripping from her face to fall upon the frozen lake and still body of her lover, Draco Malfoy. She clutched him to her, crying into his ear, "You can't leave me, you can't. I need you to stay. I love you so much. We still have our whole life ahead of us. Please my love, wake up."
She knew she had to do something. She could feel his heartbeat fading, slowing down to a crawl. She was alone out here, but she had to get him off the ice. There were only two choices. Get him back to Hogwarts and the infirmary, or to the warmth of Hagrid's hut. Hagrid's was closer, but there was no doctor there. Only big old Hagrid. That was going to have to be enough.
But before she attempted to move him, she needed to do something about the freezing water that had drenched his clothes. Some of it was turning to ice. She could try to get him out of his wet things, but she had nothing warm to wrap him in. What she needed was a fire, hot and blazing...wait a minute...she remembered a spell Draco had cast when they got caught in the rain and had to take refuge in the forest. How long ago was that? Seemed like ages, but she thought she remembered the incantation he'd used. The spell that had produced hot air to dry their clothes.
She lay Draco's head back on the ice, kissed his brow, and stood up. Producing her wand, she pointed it at him. She uttered the command and for a moment nothing happened. Then, from the wand's tip shot a gust of warm air. She sighed in relief, running it up and down the length of Draco's body. It seemed to be drying the clothes, yet Malfoy still had a deathly pallor about his face. She turned the wand upon herself for a moment. She wasn't that wet, but she was still feeling the winter chill through her clothes. Note to self, she thought. Never, ever go outside in the snow without a coat.
Returning the hot air blast to the immobile Draco she plotted her next move. It should be easier to get him to Hagrid's with his clothes dry. She let the spell run out and reached down to touch her favorite Slytherin. He was ice cold , his body still shivering as if he remained in the frozen lake. Frantically, she tried the spell again. But though his clothes were magically dried now, it did nothing to bring warmth to his body. If he remained this chill, he might never wake up, but sleep forever frozen.
Brushing back tears from her eyes, she aimed her wand at him one last time, commanding, "Wingardium Leviosa!" This had always been her favorite spell, and she'd mastered it in so many ways, that not only did it levitate his body but it also made it follow her. Unfortunately, the spell's modification fed off of her own energy, so if she grew tired, Draco's body would no longer follow her but just hang there in the air. Lucky for her, desperation and love gave her the energy she needed to get them off the ice and headed for Hagrid's hut.
By the time she reached his door, the instant warmth spell had worn off, and Hermione was freezing again. Teeth chattering and shivering uncontrollably, she banged on the huge wooden frame with her foot. They too were cold and starting to ache from trudging through the snow.
The door opened and Hagrid stood there looking at her in surprise. "Why Hermione, this is a pleasant..." He stopped. The bearded giant looked beyond her to the floating, unconscious Draco. "What in Gribbit's stench are you doing with Malfoy, girl? What did you do to him? Was he being an arse again?"
"He fell through the ice," she replied, shivering. "On the lake."
"Oh dear, get him inside. Quick!" He moved his considerable bulk out of the way, so Hermione could get herself and the levitated Draco indoors. As soon as Hagrid shut the door, she released the spell and Malfoy's body settled onto the floor. Exhausted, Hermione nearly collapsed, reaching out a hand to steady herself on Hagrid's arm.
Hagrid looked at her "You okay?'
She nodded and knelt beside Draco. "I don't know how long he was in the water, but I couldn't rouse him."
"Of course, you couldn't. He's missing a piece of his soul, I imagine."
"Here, let's move him close to the fire. We can do that at least." The big man lifted Draco and carried him across the room to the fireplace. He set him down as close as he could to the heat. "Now, " he said, turning to Hermione, "How in Scalamander's suitcase did he fall through the ice?"
"I...I don't know. There was a hole and I guess he fell through."
"A hole, you say. Hmmmm, not good. Nope, no good at all." He went to an open closet, bringing out a huge fur parka and handed it to her. "You're freezing girl. Put this on and get closer to the fire."
She took it graciously. "I tried to dry and warm our clothes with my wand. It helped me out, but it doesn't seem to have done anything for Draco. It's like he's perpetually frozen or something."
"You know, I'm going to have to go get help. This is way beyond me, missing souls and all "
"Missing souls? What are you talking about?"
"The lake's surface is enchanted to never break," Hagrid explained. "Dumbledore does it every year to prevent these kind of things. Draco, or anybody for that matter, shouldn't fall through. Very strong magic did this. Dark stuff, girl."
"I did see a man walking from the ice. I thought he'd been ice fishing or something. Could he have done it?"
"If he's a powerful enough wizard. But he's not important at the moment. Neither is the magic he used. What's important lies at the bottom of the lake. Or I assume it's at the bottom."
"What is it?"
"It's not a what, but more like a whom. Several of them to be exact. Dead boys really. But we don't have time for tales and history lessons right now, we got to to get Malfoy help." He looked down at the body by the fire. "Not that he'll appreciate it or anything."
"You never know," Hermione said quietly, trying to hide the fact her eyes were welling up with tears again.
Hagrid grabbed another huge fur from his closet. "In any case, I need to go for help. You stay here, keep him warm. His body is losing it fast. I'm not sure the fire will help for long, but I will be as fast I can, I promise. If by some chance he wakes up and gives you a hard time, hit him over the head with my teapot. It's cast iron."
Hermione couldn't help but laugh at that mental image, but she was worried. "Why can't you just carry him back to Hogwarts?"
"Normally I would. But I'm not sure he should be moved. You can't take a body too far from it's soul, you know, without causing...well, he needs to stay by the fire. Do what you can to keep him warm."
"Okay Hagrid. Thank you." She looked up at him. "Please hurry." A tear trickled down onto her cheek.
"Well, that's something I've never seen before. Somebody crying over a Malfoy." A tear started to form in the corner of his own eye. "Oh, darn it all, now you got me doing it..."
Scene 62: . Hermione sat by the fireplace, the warmth from the hearth helping to ease the chill of having been out in the snow without a coat. But it wasn't helping Draco. He was still shivering uncontrollably, though his clothes were completely dry now. Like Hagrid had said, the fire just wasn't enough. He was losing all his body heat, fire be damned. And as if hearing her very thoughts...the damned arrived.
First, it was the sound of the winter wind whipping around the eaves of the hut. Then, within the wind came a sound of whispering voices. Many voices at once, hollow, echoing, talking over top of one another. Frightened, Hermione looked to the door, expecting intruders to come busting through the door. Defensively, she drew her wand, preparing herself for the invasion. The door handle rattled and turned, but did not open.
"Who's there," she cried out. "What do you want?!" She knew it wasn't Hagrid out there. He had just left. She didn't recognize any of the voices, partly because they were all talking at once, but soon she was able to make out what they were all saying: Give him to us.
drishty_dasOhhh!! This is soo much more interesting.. "give him to us" that line just gave me chills.. I think it best decision to revise this chapter because now it much more interesting and exciting.. Waiting for the next update.