Old Flames Can Be Deadly

AN: I know it's been like three months, and I'm very sorry. I've been ridiculously busy with exams and I've been travelling a lot. So, the 4th chapter starts...now

Chapter 4 – The Locket Ruined Everything

The bags dropped to the floor. I stared at her completely dumbstruck. What happened here? Did she know? But how could she possibly know?

"Hermione?" I approached her cautiously.

"Don't touch me." She said through gritted teeth.

"Hermione," I repeated, "What happened? What's wrong?"

"Your little plan just flew out the window, that's what happened." Her eyes narrowed.

"Plan? What plan? What are you talking about?"

She just rolled her eyes. "You're pathetic, Malfoy, you know that?" She strode over to me in a few quick steps.

Hermione placed a hand over the golden chain around my neck and tugged on it. The locket that was attached to it slipped out from under my shirt.

My eyes widened as realization dawned on me. How could I be so stupid? How on Earth could I have forgotten about the locket? I felt like cursing myself into oblivion.

"I never took mine off." Hermione reached under her blouse and pulled out a locket that was identical to mine but hers had the initials DM engraved in it while mine had HG.

"Well? Are you going to come up with some lame excuse that I won't believe anyway, or not?"

"Hermione," I shook my head "I never meant to hurt you, and if you were listening properly you would've known that."

"Hurt me? Do I look hurt to you? I skipped that stage and went straight to pissed off!"

I looked at her tear stained cheeks sceptically.

"Okay, so maybe I'm a little hurt, but can you blame me? Do you have any idea what I'm feeling right now?"

"Betrayed?" I suggested.

"Damn straight I feel betrayed! How could you do this to me? ME?!"

"Look, I'm sorry, okay? It was a mistake, I –"

"A mistake?! Uh, no. What you did, or at least tried to do, that wasn't a mistake. But trusting you again, letting you walk through that door, now that was a mistake."

"Hermione, please! We can sort this out."

She sighed and looked down.

"You know what, Draco? Get out. I never want to see your face again."

"You don't mean that." I said confidently.

"Oh really? Is that what you think? Well, I guess you probably know me better than I know myself; you seem pretty damn sure you can change my entire life and turn it upside down. Did you really think I would fall for it? Did you really think three days would be enough to turn me into one of you?"

Then a thought occurred to me.

"Wait, what? Hermione, what are you on about?" I tried my best to put on a confused and lost expression.

She threw her hands up in frustration. "Just give it up, okay?! It's OVER! You are NOT turning me into a Death Eater! I would rather die than become a follower of Lord-freakin-Voldermort! "

My eyes widened. "Hermione, I never meant to turn you into a Death Eater."

"Oh no," she countered sarcastically "you only meant to hand me over to your beloved Dark Lord like some raw piece of meat that he could bend however he wanted."

Damn, she knows a lot. "No, no, no! You've got this all wrong. Look, this isn't how I wanted to tell you...but...the thing is...I've sort of..."

"What? You've sort of what?"

"Snape has always been more of a father to me than Lucius...even though we've had our doubtful moments; I've looked up to him my entire life. And when he was killed, I - well I just got pissed, so I decided the only way I could honor his memory in the only way I could was to follow his footsteps...and that's exactly what I did."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Hermione started getting suspicious, but it was unlikely that her suspicions were in the truth of my story.

"Well, without Dumbledore, Snape, Potter, Black or even Weasley, the Order was starting to fall apart. The remaining resistance began panicking; they needed someone they could reunite under. So I joined the Order of the Phoenix, with of course questioning and a hell of a lot of doubts, but eventually they let me in. And with all my additional knowledge of the Dark Lord's plans, the deaths within the Order decreased slowly, and soon they put two and two together and realized that since I joined, their lives have been a little easier. This was all a while ago, over a year ago, and by now, I'm on pretty good terms with the Order and have sort of become...their own personal comforter and knowledge-provider...kind of like Snape."

Hermione took a deep breath and deliberated. "How do I know you're not lying to me, like you were last night...and what about this Death Eater business?"

"Last night, I had to report something back to him, and I couldn't very well lie to him. You know I'm not a good liar," that itself was a lie, "and he would just see through it anyway, you know, use Occlumency or whatever."

"What do you mean you're not a good liar? You've been lying to him for the past year haven't you?" God, gaining trust from this woman was hard work.

"But then I wasn't directly lying to him, I was just not telling him the truth. If he were to ask me if I've been secretly siphoning off information to the Order for the past year, I wouldn't last more than a minute. What would give me away would probably be the excess of compliments."

"Oh yes, I remember that. You'd change the subject to the stunning magnificence to the person in question."

"Exactly, and he wouldn't buy it for a second. That's why I've been so 'utterly faithful' to him recently. That's why I was going to fake handing you over."

"Wait, fake?"

"Yes, of course. What, you actually thought I was going to hand you over to V-Vold...Voldermort? Come on, Hermione."

"Well I wouldn't put it past you."

"Now that just hurts." I sat on the edge of the bed and she sat next to me.

"I was going to tell you either today or tomorrow, it depended on how long it would take for you to believe me. The Order and I devised a plan, they miss you, Hermione. You're the world's best current Auror, they need you. And now is a bloody cruel time to leave them, I have to say. And so, we decided I would drop incredibly subtle hints to Voldermort about how absolutely wonderful you are and how useful you would be no matter who's side you are on, and eventually he decided that it wasn't a bad idea to have the best Auror alive working as a Death Eater under his rule. Then began the quest."

"So...the reason you found me in that pub really was because of Voldermort?"

"Oh honestly Hermione, out of all that, that was all you got?"

"Answer the question, Draco."

I sighed. "No, he really did give me a break from trying to find you. So I decided to come to New York to spend my Christmas. You would not be able to imagine the disbelief I felt when you walked in. I didn't even see you at first, but when that smell hit me...daisies, freshly mown grass, roses...toothpaste...I knew it was you."

She looked down and started twiddling her thumbs, I knew what this meant, doubt. I moved closer to her.

"I won't ever hurt you again, Hermione, I promise." And I meant it, I didn't intend on hurting her, maybe manipulating her just a bit, but not hurt her.

"So what is it exactly that you want me to do? What about when Voldermort finds out that this was all a lie?"

"That's the part that I was most worried about, not because of him, but because of you. The Order have sort turned a little…savage, they're a little more bent on revenge now, and it's understandable I guess. Basically, they figured, tricking the infamous Dark Lord into letting an Auror in disguise into his band of followers might help them a bit in the defeating of Voldermort."

"So you want me to become a fake Death Eater so I can help unlock his secrets and eventually kill him?"

"Yes." I breathed, this may be easier than I thought.

A soft smile played at her lips. "Well why didn't you say so in the first place?"

"I didn't know –"

She held up her hand and cut me off. "Can you give the Order a message for me?"

"Sure." I looked at her uncertainly.

"Tell them I'm sorry…for leaving them." She took a deep breath. "And tell them I'm especially sorry because I won't be returning."

"Wait – but –"

She silenced me again. "I know they need help, I know they're suffering, and I also know that you're not helping them. Draco, you're an amazing wizard, more than that; you're cunning, deceitful, an annoyingly brilliant liar…and powerful. If the Order really did have you on their side, they wouldn't need me. None of them would still be in danger if you were as dedicated to them as you pretend to be, or at all." She closed her eyes as they started welling up with tears.

"I would go back to them," she whispered, "but then you would know exactly where I would be. And I can't have that. I'm not going to pretend that I hate you, but I don't love you anymore, not in the slightest. I have to thank you though, after today, it's not going to be so easy to lie to me. I'm sorry if Voldermort gets mad at you for not being able to go through with the plan that you hoped to complete, looks like you'll have to make up for another of your failures with a death." She finally opened her eyes.

I was staring at her, my words wouldn't form. I couldn't speak. I literally couldn't, my throat was too dry.

And in a second, she was there, her brown hair hanging over her shoulders and face, her eyes gazing at me and, surprisingly, not filled with hate – but then, before I realized what was happening, she was gone.

3 and a half hours later

I waited for the tears to come, but, surprisingly, they didn't. I could feel my heart trying to rip its way out of my chest, but even more surprisingly, that didn't happen either.

I rest my head against one of the metal chains and sighed. I kicked off from the ground and swung my legs back and forth, in motion with the gentle rocking.

As usual, it took me forever to get from my apartment to here; it took hours to get past all the protective charms over this place. Some random person off the street would wonder why anyone would bother, it was just a meadow built on a desert, but to me it was so much more.

I had been coming here since I was a little girl, the first time I came it was purely an accident, and I left with scars. When it became apparent to the person who owned this place that anyone could enter, even a 7 year-old Muggle-born girl, he decided he couldn't have it, and he cast charms and spells over the entire area.

I had forgotten about the meadow for about 5 years, the message he sent me to never come back cut into me loud and clear, but then, at the age of 12, when I first started to fall in love with a certain Malfoy, I figured this was the place to ponder over it.

When I found out the owner had died two years previously, I was surprised as hell to find myself crying over his death. I had no idea why, he slashed me with an invisible knife, I bled for an entire day, I cried for an entire week, he attacked a little girl and I actually felt bad when he died.

It took me while to figure out that the reason I cried was because I felt sorry for his loss. He created the most magical place I know and he'd never be able to visit it again, well, maybe in the afterlife, but what fun was there in that?

But then I realized that there was nothing stopping me from entering this meadow except the protective charms. Somehow the owner was powerful enough to cast spells that would hold long after he died, I doubt he counted on me coming back though.

The meadow soon became my favorite place in the whole world, I only used to come here like 2 times a year, but gradually my visits became longer and more frequent. This was the place that Draco kissed me for the first time in our summer holidays between 6th and 7th year. This was where Draco proposed to me. This is where I came to mourn over Draco leaving me. And this is the place I considered killing myself when I lost my child.

I had too many memories here to ever be able to leave it permanently. Unfortunately, Draco knew how attached I was to the meadow, and he had a vague idea of where it was and how to get in. I knew it was only a matter of time before he found me here and started interrogating me on how I knew what knew, and of course, trying to be all sincere and caring at the same time.

What was I supposed to say? He knew the magic of the locket, he knew I knew when he meant what he said, and he knew I knew exactly what he was plotting. It was exactly what I heard, Voldermort wants me on his side, and he's willing to use Draco to get to me. He must be desperate.

I let my thoughts trail away with me, constantly diverting to whether or not I should fake being a Death Eater, without Draco knowing of course. But as soon as it entered my mind, I pushed it away, I couldn't do it, it would give Draco too much satisfaction.

My gaze drifted over the meadow that stretched before me, and once again, as usual, I found myself mesmerized by its beauty. The entire area was built on a desert, and if you walked a couple of miles from the centre, you would start to see the rest of the desert on the outskirts of the flowers and grass. The meadow was a perfect oval and in the middle there was a circle where the grass and flowers had been cut off or were never grown to begin with. This circle was pretty huge and the ground was the original desert land that it used to be before it got tampered with. Within the circle was a simple set of swings, there were only two of them, but they were ridiculously strong and nothing you could ever do would make them budge. Once I managed to do a 360° flip on the swing…it hurt.

I snapped back to reality when I heard a slight pop, I could tell it was coming from far away but because of the deathly silence, it echoed around me loud and clear. I knew what this meant, showdown time.

AN: So what's the verdict? Was this a complete waste of time? Is anyone even going to read it after it took me months to update? I know there are still some questions unanswered, but remember, there is another chapter coming. Speaking of which, I'll put it up after I finish writing a chapter each for The Last Brother and Ice and Fire. Yes, I have a routine, one that I fully intend to stick to So, REVIEWS ARE LOVED! Even ones that aren't so love-filled…