- Draco Malfoy Ginny Weasley
- Drama Romance
- Multiple Eras
- Philosopher's Stone Chamber of Secrets Prizoner of Azkaban Goblet of Fire Quidditch Through the Ages Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Published: 08/16/2002Updated: 12/01/2002Words: 98,611Chapters: 18Hits: 65,644
Sea of Waking Dreams
- Story Summary:
- Draco Malfoy has seen his share of nightmares and now, as the war with Voldemort rages around him, it takes Ginny Weasley and a ragged band of orphans to teach him what true love and loyalty really are. Draco/Ginny, and a few brief instances of m/m kissing.
- Author's Note:
- I hereby acknoweledge all the dedicated work my beta put into this with me, and dedicate this story to her, because she deserves it. I also want to dedicate it to the fond memory of two nearly-naked guys and a roll of Saran Wrap.
Sea of Waking Dreams
Into this night I wander,
it's morning that I dread,
Another day of knowing of
the path I fear to tread,
Oh into the sea of waking dreams
I follow without pride,
Nothing stands between us here
and I won't be denied.
Possesion, Sarah Mclachlan
It was dark and the moon above was casting silver shadows over the ruins. Hermione’s eyes were huge as she took in what was left of the Hogwarts library: piles of stone and rubble, a few half-standing walls, and destroyed books, some fluttering weakly in the frigid breeze. There was no snow covering the ruins, nothing to soften the sharp, jagged lines of them because the stone ruins were still smoldering after the months that had passed, and any snow that had fallen had long since melted away.
Somewhere, an owl hooted and Hermione let out a strangled whimper, biting her fingers to restrain a scream. Ahead of her, Draco shot a scathing glare over his shoulder, but he didn’t say a word. Of course he didn’t say a thing. Draco Malfoy didn’t speak any longer. At least, not when it was at all possible to avoid it.
She calmed her heavy breathing and stepped carefully over a fallen block of stone, her eyes searching the still darkness for any trace of what they were searching for.
A treasure. They had come to the ruins of Hogwarts castle in search of a treasure, a treasure no one knew how to describe, only that it was the only thing that could save Harry’s life. And for that, Hermione would risk everything.
She closed her eyes, remembering carefully every word Lavender Brown had said to her the day before she and Draco had left on this dangerous mission.
“There is a treasure,” Lavender had whispered, her eyes shining with intensity. “A treasure waits in the darkness of the ruins, you must bring it- and only it- here if you wish for Harry to return to us. Hermione, that’s very important. You can only bring one thing back with you, and if it is not this treasure, Harry dies.”
Hermione, clutching onto the only hope that anyone had offered her, had whispered, “A treasure? I’ll get it, I will. What does it look like?”
And Lavender’s brown eyes had shifted away, darkening with guilt. “I can’t see it,” she said. “Maybe if Professor Trelawney were alive —”
And Hermione, too impatient to deal with Lavender’s obsessive belief that the cause was doomed because a crackpot of a teacher had been killed, had slapped her across the face, leaning forward and hissing, “You’re a hundred times more a powerful a seer than that old bat ever was, Lavender. She went over to the dark side and she died, there was nothing you could do to help her, but you can help me now.”
Lavender, eyes brimming with tears from the slap, nodded and whispered, “I will do what I can.”
“We all do what we can,” Hermione said wearily, wiping the tears from Lavender’s face. “Tell me what you saw.”
They were hiding in a stable in the Scottish countryside, a small group of what Ron Weasley had called a ‘reconnaissance unit’, which had been sent ahead of the larger army to scout the enemy movement, learn all they could about them and (hopefully) return to tell the others information that would help them reclaim the territory they had lost the summer before.
“It was sort of like a dream. A vision. A prophecy, I guess. I saw you and something shining, golden. And I just knew. That is the treasure that will save Harry’s life and bring him back to us.”
It was an awkward vision at best, and perhaps, had they been with the rest of the army, with more skilled seers, there would have been more. As it was, Lavender was all they had, and Hermione had to trust her. “I’ll go,” she said.
Ron, who had been appointed the leader of their unit, had assigned Draco to accompany her, because he was the most acquainted with dark magic, and the strongest wizard they had, next to Harry. Draco had obeyed his command without a word and they had left the next morning, in search of a treasure they did not know how to identify.
Hermione was jolted back to the present when the charred pieces of wood beneath her feet shifted suddenly and she fell forward, skinning her hands and her knees on the rubble. Before she could get up herself, Draco’s hand appeared before her, and she took it gratefully, getting up and then turning to him to thank him
She never got the chance. He seemed different somehow, like the lines of his face were softer, his eyes tilted a little more at the corners. “Quick,” he said in a low tone. “We’ve got to hurry. They’re coming.”
Hermione opened her mouth to ask what he was talking about, but the words didn’t come. Instead, she said, “I’m scared. Do you think it’ll hurt?”
Draco, who wasn’t really Draco anymore in the same way that she wasn’t Hermione, smiled brightly, lopsidedly. “A Slytherin?” he said, his voice soft and teasing. “Afraid?”
“Do you think it’ll hurt?” she whispered again, some phantom voice far away, like a distant echo in her memory, shouting Avada Kedavra! And she started to cry.
“I’ll never let them touch you,” he whispered fervently. “Never, Erica.” He pulled her against her and hugged her quickly, desperately.
“But Brian,” she whimpered, “I’m scared.”
He kissed her then, wildly, whispering, “Don’t be scared, they’ll never touch you,” against her lips. And then his eyes, which had shone brown for a moment, turned gray again, and widened the tiniest bit as he stared straight into Hermione’s. “Fuck,” he swore, pushing her away.
Hermione stumbled, disoriented, faint shadows of memories that were not hers slowly fading away.
“What the hell were you doing?” Draco hissed furiously.
“N-nothing. Draco, I didn’t do that,” she stammered, still confused.
He swore again, savagely, and then said, “I guess it’s an aftereffect of a spell or something.”
She nodded. “It must have been. It… it was like someone else stepped inside my skin.”
He glanced at her, the acid seeming to drain out of his eyes, replaced again by darkness and coldness. “Whatever. We better hurry and find this treasure. Whatever magic that was, it’s bound to attract the Dementors.”
She shuttered and hurried after him, her lips still tingling from a kiss she vaguely knew had not really been given to her, and her mind fighting a strange guilt. What would Harry have said if he had seen her kissing Draco that way? But it hadn’t been real, she reminded herself. Just a spell.
She managed to forget it a short while later, when she heard muffled crying. She stopped, her eyes narrowing, and Draco stopped as well. “What?” he asked. “Ignore it, it’s not what we’re hear for.”
“It sounds like a child,” she said, picking her way carefully through the rubble. “It might be hurt.”
Draco didn’t speak, but he followed her, growling in irritation.
The soft, mewling cries were coming from the corner of what had once been the restricted section of the library, and Hermione considered the heavy pile of debris there, wondering if it was even possible that anyone had survived the attack, much less lived all these months trapped under what remained of the library. But still, she could hear crying.
“Hello?” she called softly, and the crying abruptly stopped. “Is someone there?”
Draco wandered away, still searching for the treasure, and Hermione ignored him. She could hear faint breathing now, coming from the rubble, and she searched the shadows carefully for the source.
“Come out,” she said softly. “I won’t hurt you.”
There came the sound of something crawling, squeezing through the mess, and then a small, filthy head emerged. A little girl crawled from the wreckage. Her face was streaked with soot and dirt, her hair a black mess of tangles, and she wore little more than rags, despite the cold winter night. She stared up at Hermione with dull eyes, and began sucking her dirty thumb.
“Oh god,” Hermione breathed. “Poor thing.” She reached out a hand to touch the girl’s face, and the girl flinched back, whimpering. “I won’t hurt you,” she promised. The girl’s eyes flicked from her to Draco and then back again. She pulled her thumb from her lips.
Her voice, when she spoke, was soft with a child’s lisp and a faint hint of an Irish brogue. “Erica died,” she said, her voice husky as if it had not been used in years.
Hermione’s eyes widened. “What?” she whispered, remembering Draco calling her by that name a few moments before.
“Erica and Brian,” the girl said. She pointed with one pudgy finger to the remains of what had once been a cupboard. “They hid there but the bad ones found them.” She nodded. “They burned them, but they didn’t find me.”
“Didn’t they?” Hermione asked faintly, nausea at imagining what the child had lived through making her feel faint.
“I wasn’t here and anyways, no one finds me ‘less I want them to,” the girl said.
Hermione held out a hand to her. “Would you like to come with me? Somewhere safe?”
It took a moment for the little girl, who could be no more than six years old, to take Hermione’s hand, but once she did, her grip was stronger than Hermione had ever felt before. “My name is Hermione,” she told her. “What’s yours?”
“Lucky Arlington,” the child said gravely.
“Hermione,” Draco called. “I think I found it.”
Lucky recoiled at his voice, and Hermione smiled soothingly at her. “It’s all right, Lucky,” she said, guiding the girl over towards Draco. “He may sound like an ogre, but really, he’s not.”
Draco was pointing at the thing he had uncovered on the ground, with something like disgust in his eyes. He glanced at Lucky but didn’t comment. “This is the only thing remotely resembling a treasure in this place,” he said. Hermione stared in awe at the gleaming golden harp lying in the dirt. “I can’t touch it,” he told her.
“For the same reason they didn’t take it with them,” he said impatiently. “It cannot be touched by anyone with the Dark Mark on their arm.”
Her eyes were drawn to Draco’s arm, which was covered by his cloak, but she knew the mark was still there. “Oh.” She knelt down to pick up the harp, and it was so big that she had to use both hands. She let go of Lucky’s hand and held the harp to her chest. “Let’s go,” she said, and Draco nodded once. He was watching Lucky curiously. She was having the strangest reaction to his presence. It seemed almost as if she were repelled by his presence, like the wrong end of a magnet, and only by holding on to Hermione’s arm was she able to stand being so close to him.
“Oooh,” Hermione moaned softly, and he looked up. Six Dementors had appeared, making their way slowly towards them, and he could feel the cold chill of fear in his stomach.
“Run,” he hissed, pulling his wand out. “I’ll deal with them and catch up to you in the forest.”
She wasted no time, clutching the harp and running as fast as she could over the rubble. She was nearly out of what remained of the school when she realized Lucky hadn’t followed. Glancing back, Hermione cursed softly when she saw Draco shouting at the little girl to run, but Lucky only stood there, crying, between him and the approaching Dementors. She wouldn’t let Draco touch her.
Draco saw Hermione hesitate, and shouted, “Leave her and go.” She couldn’t just leave the little girl there, however, and though she held Harry’s only chance at salvation in her arms, she dropped it without a second thought and dashed back into the ruins, snatching Lucky up in her arms and running again as Draco shouted the Patronus spell behind her. A silver-gold chimaera emerged from his wand, soaring towards the Dementors. Draco turned and ran after her, panting as they both made it to the protective covering of the Forbidden Forest. They ran until Hermione collapsed in the snow, Lucky still whimpering in her arms, and then Draco hissed, “You just left it there. Potter’s only chance, and you left it. We can’t go back to it now because Death Eaters will be all over it now that they know it has significance.”
“I couldn’t just leave her,” Hermione snapped back. “She’s just a child. Besides, there has to be another way to save him. He would have done the same.”
“Don’t bet on that,” Draco muttered. “Come on, we’ve got to hurry back to where we left the brooms if we want to be back at camp by morning. Don’t expect me to help you care for the sniveling brat, I’m having a hard enough time babysitting you.” He turned and walked off into the forest without a backwards glance, and Hermione hurried to follow. She didn’t want to let on, of course, but she was very worried that she had just left the only thing that would cure Harry back with the Dementors.
Lucky clutched her hand tightly and Hermione took off her own cloak, wrapping it around the little girl’s shoulders. It was cold, but she didn’t mind. After all, she had more important things to worry about.
Though Hermione was by no stretch of the imagination a good flyer, she had still managed to ride a broom from the camp in the stable to the forest, and she and Draco had left their brooks concealed in the snow, going the last of the journey on foot. They made their way back to the brooms, and Hermione glanced uncertainly from the broom to Lucky and back again. How was she to carry the child on her broom when she could barely stay on the brook herself?
Draco got on his broom and took off, hovering a short distance off the ground. He watched in silence while Hermione got on her own broom, helping the little girl on in front of her. She took off, rising slowly and wobbly into the air, and he cursed softly, landing again and gesturing for her to do the same.
“Give her to me,” he said, rolling his eyes. “You’ll drop her if I let you take her.”
Hermione smiled gratefully at him, and whispered, “Don’t be scared, Lucky, he’ll take care of you,” before handing her over to him. Draco put her in front of him and took off again, handling the extra weight easily, and Hermione followed.
They didn’t speak as they flew back to the stable, and Hermione found her mind more than once returning to that strange kiss in the ruins and wondering what sort of spell could have made her feel like she had been someone else. Had she been possessed? It was possible. There must be hundreds of restless souls haunting that place, because no one had survived the siege and eventual surrender of the castle. No one except Lucky, that was. How fitting her name was turning out to be.
Draco flashed a short burst of yellow sparks as they approached the stable at dawn, the secret sign that they weren’t the enemy, and then he and Hermione landed, Lucky crawling weakly off the broom. She looked exhausted.
Ron ran out to meet them, his flame-coloured hair sticking up wildly. “Did you get it?” He asked, his eyes glowing with more hope than Hermione had seen in weeks. “Where’s the treasure?”
Draco shot her a nasty look. “You tell him,” he said, his voice dripping with acid. He stalked into the stable, and Ron turned to Hermione.
“Tell me what?” He finally noticed Lucky, huddled in Hermione’s cloak, and his eyes widened as he fumbled with the clasp of his own cloak. He swung it around Hermione’s shoulders even as he asked, “Who is she?”
She huddled in his warm cloak even as she pulled Lucky against her and hurried into the stable. “Her name’s Lucky. I found her at the castle.” She glanced over her shoulder as Ron closed the doors behind him, enclosing them in the dark stable that smelled heavily of hay. “We… found the treasure. But the Dementors came, and I couldn’t carry Lucky and the harp as well, so I left it.” She swallowed heavily, expecting anger. She had, after all, probably just condemned Harry to death. It still hadn’t sunk in yet, because all she had allowed herself to focus on was that they had saved Lucky.
Ron let out a soft breath, running a hand through his hair. She could barely see him in the darkness. “Can we go back for it?”
“They’re all over the ruins now. Dementors and Death Eaters. It’s too dangerous to try. There must be other ways, Ron, to break the spell. There must be. Don’t lose hope.”
There was a rustling as someone climbed down the ladder that led to the loft. Lavender’s voice, soft and hesitant, called out, “Hermione? Is that you?”
Hermione closed her eyes and fought for patience. She didn’t have the strength to deal with Lavender just now. The other girl was practically going mad, what with Trelawney’s betrayal and her own visions. Her talent as a seer had only just begun to emerge, and there was no one around to help her control it. Not until they got back to the army. “Yes. I’ve returned.”
“You’ve got the treasure,” Lavender said breathlessly, following her voice. “You’ve got it.”
Hermione shook her head before remembering that Lavender couldn’t see. “I don’t,” she whispered. “I had to leave the harp behind.”
Lavender stepped into a small square of silver light, spilling through a hole in the ceiling. She reached forward and pulled Lucky into the light beside her. “There is more than one type of treasure,” she whispered, her hand touching the top of Lucky’s dirty head. “She has a magic that you and I have never encountered before.” Lavender’s voice grew deeper and toneless, as if she were not speaking the words. “The child shall lead where demons fear to tread, and deliver the light to the worthy.”
Lucky was breathing heavily, looking terrified, and before anyone could move, she collapsed to the ground with a tiny sigh.
Ron picked her up and carried her into the loft, making her a bed in the hay where the others of their unit slept, and covering her with his cloak, giving Hermione hers back. Lavender was looking weak herself.
“Lucky’s probably just tired,” Hermione whispered. Somewhere nearby, Oliver Wood stirred in his sleep.
“Her magic is strong and she does not know how to use it,” Lavender said. “She will be weak until we can get her to Dumbledore.”
Ron growled in frustration. “We’ve got to head back tomorrow,” he decided. “This scout thing isn’t helping, they’re not moving. They’ve got a heavy hold on Hogsmeade and Hogwarts, they’re too strong. We’ll have to return and make our report. We’ll bring Lucky with us. Even if she doesn’t have some mystical power, I’m sure Dumbledore will want to know how she survived the attack.”
Hermione was nearly faint with exhaustion, and Ron smiled gently at her. “Get some sleep, Herm,” he said. “We’ll need to leave as soon as we can. I’ll send Pig to Dumbledore to tell him what’s happened.”
Nodding gratefully, Hermione made herself a little nest in the hay and curled up there, falling asleep almost instantly.