I have to suspend this fic for a short period of time, but I’m not abandoning it. I don’t know if you guys know (those of you who are left after my above rant) that this is one of four WIP. Having that many fics going on at once is starting to stretch me a little thin. I have one that is close to being finished so I will finish it and then come back to this one. If you guys wish, I can start an update list to let you guys know when I pick this story back up. If you want to be on it, leave your email in the review or email me at email@example.com Review Responses:
WhiteWolf, hmmm, Buffy threatening Aphrael. Has possibilities.
Shylo, yeah, noble Malfoy has a lot of good qualities. I’m just a sucker for bad boys on the path to redemption. Could explain my fascination with Spike and Cole at least.
Thanks to my beta, PuNKyCoWGiRL!
Harry awoke almost as soon as the light touched the sky the next morning. He was extremely worried about what Malfoy may have done to Hermione if he had found her. He knew that the others didn’t understand, they just didn’t know Malfoy like he did.
As soon as it was light enough to see, he turned to Legolas, who had kept watch during the night. “Can we go now?”
“When the others awake,” Legolas answered simply.
Harry let out a frustrated sigh.
“I understand your concerns for your friends, but you must trust to hope that she is well. It is what Aragorn and I must believe about our own missing friends.”
“You don’t know that she is fine,” Harry grumpily said.
“Not for certain, no. But I also do not believe that the goddess would have allowed him to search for her if his intentions were anything but good.”
Not trusting himself to speak, Harry just snorted derisively and stared at the sleeping people around them. He was hopping that they would feel the intensity of his glare and wake up. Thankfully, the men of the group began to stir, while the girls stayed in their blissful slumber.
“Can we at least wake them up?” He asked.
Legolas nodded and crossed to the three women, while Sparhawk moved to wake Flute. The elf gently shook Dawn and she mumbled, “Don’t wanna go school today... Too tired.”
He shook her again.
“Buffy, I said...” Then she sat up with a gasp. “Oh, it wasn’t a dream, was it?” She asked as she looked around the cave.
“No, it wasn’t,” Harry said tersely.
Seeing that she was firmly awake, Legolas moved to the redhead who woke up easily enough. As he turned to Buffy, Willow said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“But she needs to awake so we may search for Master Draco and Lady Hermione.”
“Ok,” Willow said with a little laugh. “It’s your funeral.”
Legolas gave her a puzzled look. “I do not see how my funeral would factor in to waking Lady Buffy.”
“You’ll see why soon enough,” Dawn said as she and Willow backed away.
The elf reached out to shake Buffy, but he had barely touched her when her hand quickly shot out and grabbed his wrist. She twisted so fast and hard that she nearly broke his arm as she threw him across the cave.
“She’s called the slayer for a reason,” Dawn explained to everyone as they stared at the tiny blond in surprise. “You know, lots of speed and strength.”
“Indeed,” Aragorn said softly as Buffy actually woke up.
She took in Legolas sitting on the ground next to the cave wall trying to catch his breath and she sighed. “Why didn’t you stop him from trying to wake me up?” Buffy asked Dawn and Willow.
“Hey, we did the warning, not our fault he didn’t do the heeding,” Willow said defensively.
Buffy groaned as she looked up and saw that it was barely light outside. “I hate mornings,” she grumbled. She stood up and stretched to get the kinks out from sleeping on the hard ground. “Yeah, really hate camping,” she added. Speaking up, she asked, “When do we leave to do this rescuing?”
“As soon as we have something to eat,” Belgarath said.
“Do we have to?” Harry asked, his voice lined with impatience.
“Yes, we do. We won’t be much help to your friends if we pass out from hunger, now will we?” Belgarath asked dryly.
“Malfoy is not my friend,” Harry said between clenched teeth. Then he turned and stalked to the front of the cave.
“Those two boys have some major issues,” Buffy said.
“Like we’ve never had issues with each other at some point in time?” Willow asked.
“True, but they were never as bad as this.”
They ate a quick meal of berries and meat left over from the night before. Then they got down to the details of the rescue party.
“How are we supposed to find them?” Buffy asked.
“It may be quite difficult. The storm probably ruined any of the tracks they had left,” Aragorn stated.
“There is another way,” Flute said cryptically and they all turned to look at her. She looked at Garion and Belgarath. “It does require a bit of magic, but at this point I don’t think we have much of a choice.”
The two sorcerers seemed to know what she meant and nodded to each other. Their forms shimmered and then two wolves were standing in front of them.
“I think some of us should stay behind in case they find their way back,” Sparhawk said.
“I’m going,” Harry said.
“I’m going with him,” Dawn added. She looked at Buffy and practically dared her to say no.
“Fine. Willow and I can stay here,” Buffy said.
“Flute and I will stay also,” Sparhawk added.
“Legolas and I can forage some more,” Aragorn informed them before slipping into the forest.
Feeling slightly foolish, Harry looked at the two wolves and asked, “Can you find their trail?”
“One finds the trail rather faint,” Garion said to his grandfather in the way of the wolves.
“Yes, but we should have no problem following it.”
With their noses to the ground the two wolves started off, leaving Harry and Dawn running to catch up.
Draco woke up as Hermione shifted in his arms. He looked out the opening of the cave to see that the storm had passed leaving only a slight drizzle and the sky was still slightly grey.
He hoped that the others were out looking for them because he knew that there was no way he could get back to them. Draco gently nudged the sleeping girl.
Hermione moaned in pain as her eyes fluttered open and her hand went up to her forehead. She was surprised to find that she was snuggled up to somebody. As she concentrated a little harder, she realized that it was a half-naked male
She sat up and the world began to swim in front of her eyes. When it came back into focus she gasped and scuttled back. “Malfoy. What happened?”
“You must have got knocked in the head by a falling branch. That stupid king didn’t make sure that you stayed with him.”
“It’s not his fault,” she mumbled. “I told him to go ahead and not wait for me. That I’d be fine.”
Draco just rolled his eyes.
“And why are you with me and not Harry?”
“When king-boy came back without you, Potter had already been injured by his own clumsiness while they had searched the cave. The only one not doing anything was me, so I got elected to find you.”
Hermione wrapped her arms around her middle. “I’m surprised you put forth any sort of effort to find me.”
“Granger, despite what you think, I’m not that bad of a guy,” he said as he stood and crossed over to her.
“What are you doing?” She asked, a tinge of fear in her voice.
He spoke slowly as if he was explaining it to a small child. “Your head. I need to check your wound. Make sure its fine and not infected.”
“Why would you want to do that? I thought you hated me.”
“Yeah, well, people think a lot of things about me,” he said as he unwrapped the cloth strip from around her head.
She could only stare at him in surprise at the gentle way he checked her head. This was not the typical behavior she had come to expect from the harsh boy.
After a few moments he seemed satisfied and walked over to where their robes were lying on the ground.
Hermione couldn’t help it, but her eyes drifted over his naked torso. She couldn’t stop the flutter in her tummy as she noticed how toned the young Malfoy heir was. At the same time she felt disgusted with herself for finding him attractive.
He ripped another piece of fabric off his robe and walked back to her.
“Ummm... Why were we...” Then she gestured to the area where they had been lying together.
Draco frowned slightly. “You were screaming your bloody head off. The only way to shut you up was to hold you. Then you wouldn’t let go.”
She nodded. Even in her sleep her body must have been reacting to her fear of storms. It was not something she wanted one of her biggest enemies to know about so she didn’t say anything else.
After securing her bandage, he went back to their now dry clothes and put his shirt on.
“Do you think they’re looking for us?” She asked after a few uncomfortable minutes.
“I bloody well hope so because I got turned around during my search for you.”
She just sighed and looked out the cave’s mouth and into the quiet forest.