Madame Pomfrey gave a startled yell as Draco stumbled out of the four Hufflepuff girls arms. Theo clenched the sheets of Hermione’ hospital bed, doing everything he could to contain his rage. Draco made only half a step before collapsing in a heap on the floor. With a wave of her wand Draco was lifted up off the floor and floated over to an open bed. Madame Pomfrey had her back to Theo and Hermione as she quickly went about lifting the spells from Draco. Theo’ attention was dragged away from Draco when Hermione emitted a moan. Madame Pomfrey’ head snapped up at the sound of the moan.
“Theo please go get some numbing potions from the cupboard,” Madame Pomfrey commanded. Theo nodded and scrambled off the edge of the bed, heading for Madame Pomfrey’ store cupboard. The anxiety of Hermione waking up was enough to have Theo gather the potions as fast as he could. Madame Pomfrey had her hand on Hermione's forehead. Her sweet hazel eyes were open now. Theo shoved the potions towards Madame Pomfrey before hugging Hermione softly. As he pulled back Theo noticed that the color had returned to her cheeks. The sickly color of her skin had disappeared switching back to her normal glowing tan skin.
“How do you feel?” Theo asked tentatively. Hermione gave grimace.
“Like shit,” she said, only half joking. Theo chuckled but quickly stopped. He shot a glance towards the bed that Draco lay in, still very much unconscious.
“What happened?” Hermione bit her lip and looked away. “Hermione?” She shook her head tears glistening in her hazel eyes. “Hermione don’t do that. Don’t shut me out,” Theo begged.
“I don’t want to remember it. Theo please,” she gave him a pleading look before letting the tears start to fall. Theo felt his heart break for the girl.
“I’m sorry Hermione. I’m so sorry. But I have to know what happened,” He took her petite hand in his and gave it a small squeeze. She sniffled softly before nodding once.
“I’ve only ever seen him that mad once. I just don’t know what caused him to get like that. Why did he take my bracelet? It’s not like I was going to one day come up to him and his family expecting a wedding. I’m not a fool I know it was never going to happen. But I love him. He may hate me but you can just stop feeling the way you do. I can’t just turn it off Theo. I love him. That bracelet was my last tie to the past. It reminded me of a better time. A time when I knew he loved me back,” she let out a sob before turning away from Theo and crying into her pillow. Theo sat dumbstruck next to the sobbing girl trying to process what she had just said. She still loves him. Wait? She loves him? Seeing Hermione so vulnerable crushed him. He felt the rage towards Draco coming back to life inside him. How could he do this to Hermione? How could he hurt her? She loves him! He loved her to, once. How can he just throw that away? Theo jumped up off the bed and stormed out of the Hospital Wing. He made his way through the castle out onto the front lawn. He chucked off his blazer and tie. Leaving them lying on the damp muddy ground. He ran down the hill towards the Quidditch Pitch. After retrieving Draco’ broom from the broom shed he kicked off hard from the frozen ground. The November wind nipped at his cheeks, whipped through his curly black hair, and stung his eyes. The feeling of flying calmed his nerves temporarily. Being alone in the sky helped him come to terms with what happened and gave him the time he needed to think. Theo didn’t know for sure how long he was out there but they the time he finally landed he could see the moon slowly creeping back down. Had he really been out there all night? After storing the broom away in the shed he ran back towards the castle. Theo hurried back to the Hospital Wing, going as discreetly as he could. He pushed open the large doors as quietly as possible, as not to wake Madame Pomfrey and Hermione. Theo shut the door behind him before heading towards Hermione’ bed.
“Theo,” Theo whipped around. Draco was sitting up in his bed. A book propped open in his lap. A scowl immediately appeared on his face.
“What do you want Draco?” His tone filled with spite and bitterness. Draco looked like a lost puppy, but Theo didn’t care.
“To explain. Please just hear me out,” Draco begged. Theo raised an eyebrow. “Please Theo,” He whisper shouted at him. Theo rolled his eyes but pulled up a chair and sat down next to his bed.
“Let’s get this fucking over with then,” he spat bitterly. Draco took a deep breath.
“I didn’t mean to hurt her Theo,” Theo gave him a look that could kill.
“Is that all? Cause that was the probably the worst shit confession I have ever heard in my life,” Theo stood up to leave but Draco stopped him.
“Theo. I wasn’t finished. Please stay and hear me out.” After a moment of contemplation Theo sat down with a huff and a very colorful string of curse words.
“I know I took that whole bracelet thing way out of proportion but I really didn’t mean for this to happen. Not like this anyways. I shouldn’t have let my anger get to me like that. I just can’t let her keep it. It’s not safe for her to have it,” Theo felt shock riddle through his body.
“You still care about her?”
“Of course. Yes I’m still pissed at her but she means alot to me. I love her. But she lied to me. More times than I can count. I hate her for that but I care about her at the same time. I couldn’t let her keep the bracelet. She’d be killed. Then I’d be killed. My parents had started talking to me about my romantic life at school. They wanted to know if I had chosen a girl yet. A pureblood girl to be exact. Father wanted me to send him the bracelet so he could exchange it for something nicer. ‘Only the best for the Malfoy men’ he said. I couldn’t just up and say, ‘Oh I’ve already given it to someone. Yeah in third year. But turns out she’s muggleborn. Whoops.’ They would have done terrible things to her. I couldn’t let her get hurt,”
“I knew you still cared about her! I know now that you had your reasons for wanting the bracelet back but seriously Draco. You almost killed her,” he felt the anger returning, “She could be dead.” Draco hung his head in shame. Theo did a double take when he saw tears falling from his grey eyes. He had only once seen his friend cry and that was when they were five and Draco had fallen off his broom and broken his arm.
“I know what I did Theo. I already feel like shit. I’m a total arse. I fucking know. I should have just asked for it back. God I’m an idiot!” Draco closed his eyes trying hard not to cry harder. “She’ll never forgive me for this. She probably won’t even let me apologize. God Theo I don’t fucking know what to do. How the bloody hell am I supposed to fix this. I’m fucked. Royally fucked!” Draco exclaimed.
“No shit Draco. I know she still cares about you but after this she’s going to make you work for it. You’ll be sweeping up the tiny shattered pieces of your pride by the time she’s done with you mate.” Theo told him. Draco looked queasy. Theo smirked wickedly at him.
“I’m going to be sick,” Draco said. He flung himself out of the bed and rushed past Theo into the loo. With only seconds to spare he emptied the contents of his stomach into the sink. After rising the sink, then his mouth he slowly returned to his bed. Theo was standing then, waiting patiently for Draco to come back. Draco stopped in front of him.
“I’m still pissed at you Draco. You’re going to have to work very hard to get your friends back. Especially Pansy and Hermione. I still think you’re a prick. So I’m sorry for this but I really need to do this,” before Draco could protest Theo swung. His fist collided with Draco’ jaw. Draco stumbled backwards slamming into the bed.
“What the fuck Theo?” Draco yelled. Theo shushed him before shrugging his shoulders.
“Sorry mate. You deserved it. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Blaise does the same when you get let out of here in the morning. Draco rubbed his jaw. He gave Theo a look that could kill before sitting on his bed.
“Please,” sarcasm dripping off his tongue, “nothing, will be worse that what Pansy did to me,” Theo chuckled. “It’s not funny, arsehole. Did you know she created a spell that causes erectile dysfunction?” Draco looked more than a bit crazed as he said that which caused Theo to laugh again.
“Actually Hermione created that. But that sucks for you.”
“Everyone in school saw and heard Pansy during dinner. Pretty sure everyone hates me even more than they did before. Fuck. I’m an arse aren’t I?” Theo nodded. “How am I supposed to gain her trust? Let alone her forgiveness!”
“Well you can start with returning the bracelet. Maybe write her a letter. She might now want to talk to you for a while. Take it slow Draco. She’s a lot more forgiving than most of us,” Draco nodded, seeming to have gone mute. Theo stood and started towards the doors.
“Thanks Theo. For listening,” Theo nodded at him before slipping out the door. Draco collapsed onto the pillow. Tears rolling down his cheeks. He dragged his hands over his faces before dropping them at his sides.
“Shite Hermione. I’m so fucking sorry,” he said sadly before turning on his side and drifting into a restless sleep.
Hermione lay frozen in shock in her bed at the other end of the Hospital Wing. She had heard Theo come in and decided to stay awake when she heard Draco call out to him. The words from the conversation the two boys had just had stayed fresh in her mind. Draco had confessed to Theo that he still cared about her. Her heart broke when she heard Draco cry. She sucked in her breath and had to bit her lip to stop herself from calling out to him when she heard him apologize aloud. Not directly to her but he still said it. The rush of emotions was to much for her to handle. Fear was still present but was disappearing quickly. Sadness, it hit her like a truck. Appreciation for Theo, Pansy, and Blaise for sticking up for her. And confusingly enough love for Draco, because even though he hurt her a shit lot during the past year and a half, he still cared about her. Draco still loved her.