Weeks went by and things returned to normal. Harry didn’t spend every night in the loving arms of Ogden’s Old Fire Whiskey and Hermione stopped pretending that he didn’t exist. Ron put the fear of Merlin in the entire male population of the school in regards to treating Ginny respectfully and the days wore on.

Christmas holidays were closer than ever, and in the mad rush to do well on mid-term exams, Draco Malfoy actually forgot to berate Harry and his friends at every given opportunity. That didn’t mean he wouldn’t do it again, though.

All in all, life was good if not exactly relaxing. Quidditch matches were still brutally competitive as ever and Ginny strained to overcome her newfound fear of brooms.

"Ginny, it isn’t like it’s Malfoy’s broom or anything. Just fly the sodding thing. It’s the last match before hols and then you can practice some more at home. Harry’s had you on the bench since that Slytherin game and you have to play today."

"Why did Claire have to be sick today? Couldn’t she have been sick tomorrow?"

Ron rolled his eyes. "Like she really woke up and decided `oh, I think I’ll be sick so Ginny has to get her fat arse off of the bench´."

"My arse is not fat!"

"It will be if you don’t get off it and get some exercise. At least then I won’t have to worry about Malfoy selling more pictures of you to Playwizard."

"How dare you!" Ginny shrieked as she rapped Ron smartly on the head with her broom and turned to walk away, hoping that her ruffled dignity was apparent from the straight set of her shoulders.

"Oi, Ginny!" Harry called from across the pitch. "I’m glad to see that you’re feeling better, but could you please not hit my Chaser over the head? We’ve still a game to play."

Ginny grumbled as she mounted her broom, resisting the urge to send Harry a rude gesture in reply. At least she could content herself in the fact that this game was against Hufflepuff instead of Slytherin. It could be done, just a friendly game of Quidditch and then tomorrow they would all be leaving for the Burrow.

She looked up into the stands to see Hermione fluttering her hand madly and Ginny smiled, waving back as she took off from the ground. Colin was somewhere close to Hermione, a few rows back, and was staring lustily at Ernie MacMillan, totally ignoring Ginny.

Madame Hooch pitched the Quaffle high into the air and Ginny took a deep breath before pelting after it, not having time to wave at Colin. Justin Finch-Fletchley grabbed it first as he whooped and raced off towards the Gryffindor goal. Narrowing her eyes, Ginny leaned forward over her broom to gain speed and stopped in mid-air as a flashback of being bent over by Malfoy flooded her mind. She shook her head to clear it and pushed blindly forward. ‘He isn’t here, just keep playing,’ Ginny berated herself. Justin was far ahead and Ron and Seamus were already catching him up.

Ginny spared a glance at Hermione for support and drew up short when she saw Malfoy talking to her. Whatever it was that he said must have hurt because Hermione was huddling down into her robes as far as possible. As he leaned forward to smirk superiorly into her face, Ginny’s temper snapped and she flew straight for the stands, regardless of the fact that she was in the middle of a Quidditch match. Hermione had already had enough and was making her way past Malfoy to get down the stairs when it happened.

Tripping over someone’s rucksack, Hermione’s arms wind-milled for only a second before she lost balance completely and fell backwards over the railing. She screamed once and was plunging towards the ground at a great rate of speed. Malfoy’s mouth was a perfect `o´ as he rushed forward to catch her but too late.

Ginny was close by and threw her broom recklessly into a downward spiral, shouting Hermione’s name and praying to catch her before the earth did. For a moment, about twenty feet from the ground, Ginny could feel Hermione’s hand touch her own and gripped it tightly to slow her descent. Closer, closer, closer, Ginny told herself. But she wasn’t fast enough and Hermione slipped, stopped, and bounced once before becoming very still.

Just narrowly avoiding the ground herself, Ginny pulled up and landed, jumping off of her broom to cradle Hermione in her arms. Harry and Ron weren’t very far behind and the latter leapt from his broom before it was less than three feet from the ground.

"Hermione!" was echoed by both of the boys, a cry that pierced the crowd’s whispering, as they knelt beside the motionless form.

"I-I tried to catch her, but I wasn’t fast enough and my hands slipped. I’m so sorry—" The last word was partially cut off as a sob escaped Ginny’s mouth and she clapped a hand over it, rocking Hermione back and forth. Madame Hooch was running across the pitch with Madame Pomfrey in tow.

"What happened here?" Madame Hooch demanded.

"Hermione tripped and fell over the railing. I couldn’t catch her in time," Ginny cried, holding onto Hermione more protectively than before.

"I see. You shouldn’t have moved her, Miss Weasley. Now put her down so Poppy can have a look," Hooch said brusquely as she removed Ginny’s arms from around Hermione and placed them by her sides.

Madame Pomfrey looked down at Hermione and shook her head, allowing her wand to pass over Hermione’s body and clucking when the light encasing the tip turned a different colour.

"She isn’t dead. But there’s some internal bleeding and broken bones. I may have to call someone in from St. Mungo’s to operate. You should feel lucky that you slowed her fall or she’d be dead now."

"But she’ll be all right?" Harry pleaded, gripping the tiny woman by the shoulders.

"Maybe, it all depends on how fast we can get that bleeding under control. A human body can—"

"What are you waiting for then! Take her back to Hogwarts and call that fellow from St. Mungo’s!" Ron shouted, cutting off Madame Pomfrey.

The sister frowned at him but didn’t comment as she created a stretcher and made it float over the pitch towards the castle and into the Infirmary.


"How bloody long does it take to do surgery on someone?" Ron asked, pushing a freckled hand through his limp hair.

"Don’t say bloody," was the only response Ron received from Harry.

Ginny was just as worried as the other two, who had resorted to pacing and staring blankly at the walls. Harry had taken it upon himself to make Hermione’s presence felt by correcting Ron periodically when he wasn’t blanking out, and Ron grumbled and swore as he walked from the Infirmary doors and back to the wall in a dizzy circuit.

It was early evening and Ginny’s stomach was rumbling. She pushed herself off of the bench opposite of the Infirmary and stretched her aching limbs.

"I’m going down to the kitchens to get us something to eat. Any preferences?" Her enquiry was met with silence on Harry’s part and Ron shook his head.

"I couldn’t think of eating anything right now, my stomach is all tied up in knots."

Ginny nodded. "I’ll bring back some sandwiches and juice, just in case."

The hallways were dark and rush torches were spaced neatly down each side of the corridor all along this wing. What light they cast was dim and flickering at best. Just as she was turning the corner en route to the kitchens, a tall figure shrouded in black knocked her down. Ginny started to apologise before she realised that they had knocked her down and stopped. Then she caught a glimpse of their face and froze.

"Malfoy?" she queried, turning her head to the side just to make sure that Ron wasn’t going to make an appearance and then looked up again toward the cloaked figure. His face was half-hidden under his hood and what little there was showing didn’t give much indication of his thoughts, if any.

"What are you doing here? Come to finish her off?" Ginny sneered as she put her hands down on the rough stones to help her stand back up. Malfoy didn’t move to offer assistance, but pulled even deeper into his cloak.

"I didn’t mean for her to fall," he said so faintly that Ginny had a difficult time making out the words.

"You didn’t push her but you may as well have done."

"I tried to catch her!" Draco defended angrily.

"I know," Ginny sighed. "I saw you reach for her. But we were both too late." She looked up into his face but could see nothing but darkness. "Anyway, why do you care? She’s just a Mudblood. I thought Malfoys didn’t associate with her kind."

"I don’t care."

"Then why are you here?"

Draco actually flinched at this and Ginny tried to blink the surprise from her expression. "Are you feeling guilty, Malfoy?" she ventured.

"Of course not," he snapped, but the response lacked his usual bite and Ginny could see how his shoulders were slouching down. It wasn’t like him at all.

"You do. You feel guilty because you upset her so badly that she lost her balance and fell. You feel bad because you couldn’t catch her before she—"

"Shut up," he whispered hoarsely. "Just shut up. You don’t know anything about me, so don’t presume."

"Why do you care, Malfoy?" she persisted. "Why do you care what happens to one of us?"

Draco opened his mouth to respond and shut it tightly as Ron came skidding around the corner, not noticing him there.

"Ginny, she’s awake! We can go in to see her now."

Ginny turned back to say something to Malfoy but he was gone. She peered into the shadows, but there was nothing so she allowed Ron to guide her back to the Infirmary.


"How are you feeling, Hermione?" Ginny asked, taking up her left hand as the right was being occupied in Harry’s tight grip.

She turned her head slightly to the left and smiled weakly. "I feel like I was hit by a Bludger."

Ginny laughed through thankful tears and gave her hand a squeeze. "No, just the ground."

Hermione nodded and closed her eyes wearily. "Where’s Ron?" she asked, eyes still closed.

"I’m here, Hermione." Ron sat on the bed when Ginny rose to vacate the coveted spot. Hermione nodded again and relaxed more deeply into the bed.

Before she had the chance to fall asleep, Ginny asked: "What did Malfoy say to make you so upset?"

Hermione blinked her eyes at the question and shrugged. "It wasn’t important, just Malfoy being a Malfoy."

Ron was quickly becoming purple with rage and Harry’s hand shook on top of Hermione’s coverlet.

"What did he say, Hermione?" Harry ground out. "I want to know what to tell him while I’m mashing his aristocratic nose into the floor."

Ginny almost said that Malfoy had tried to catch her, but kept silent as Hermione began to speak.

"He said that . . ." she swallowed. "He said that I’m a tease."

Ron drew back and gaped like a fish. "A tease? How are you a tease?"

"Because I’m always, you know, I’m always hugging you two and being affectionate."

"That doesn’t mean anything, we’re just close is all," Harry said, leaning back against the chair with his arms crossed. He had dropped Hermione’s hand in the process and now had a very dark look upon his face.

Ron had picked up her other hand and now held them both. "Hermione, don’t ever listen to something that stupid arse says again. Do you understand?" He shook her hands slightly for emphasis and placed a gentle kiss over her knuckles. "He’s only jealous because he doesn’t have a—a friend as good as you."

Harry snorted, "I don’t think Malfoy has any friends."

Ginny decided to broach a new topic. "Are you still coming to the Burrow for Christmas, Hermione?"

"Oh, I don’t know, Ginny. I’m still feeling awfully weak and Madame Pomfrey said that I have to be here for her to watch over me for at least another two days just to make sure that I don’t bleed anymore."

"We’ll stay here with you then," Ron said quickly.

Hermione only shook her head. "No, you all should go; I’ll be along before Christmas. Just as long as Mrs Weasley doesn’t mind that I sleep most of the time."

"She won’t mind, Hermione. In fact, I’m going to owl Mum right now and let her know about what happened." Ginny dipped her head down and gave Hermione a quick kiss on the forehead, followed by Harry and Ron.

"We’ll leave so you can rest now," Harry said with one last pat to her hand. Ron didn’t want to go, but Ginny grabbed his arm and dragged him away.

"Come on, Ron. We’ll write to Mum and ask her to set Hermione up in Bill’s room since he won’t be home for the holidays."

Ron nodded and allowed Ginny to lead he and Harry out of the sickroom.
To Be Continued.
Sing to Angels is the author of 0 other stories.
This story is a favorite of 6 members. Members who liked An Ideal Death-Eater also liked 282 other stories.
Leave a Review
You must login (register) to review.