Hermione lay on her back in the Dark Forest, wondering exactly where she had fucked up. She had been unable to find the strength to move since she had landed there precisely four minutes ago, head pounding worse than the time Fred and George had managed to sneak an entire keg of Firewhiskey into the Gryffindor common room. At the thought of the beloved Weasley twins, she squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself to mentally recite the first chapter of "Hogwarts: a History", knowing it wouldn't do her any good to linger on painful memories now.

Her first focus was to get to her wand, which was presumably somewhere on the forest floor, hopefully nearby. She hated to admit that her calculations must have been a little off – she had meant to arrive at the edge of the Black Lake – but now she was grateful for the error. She'd much rather search the forest floor for her wand than the bottom of the lake.

With concentrated effort, she managed to move her fingers, then her hands, then her arms. Her back still pressed to the ground, she slowly moved her arms around, feeling for her wand. Her fingertips brushed against the carved vine-wood, and she grasped it with a sigh of relief. Wand in hand – and with a renewed sense of security – she pushed herself into a sitting position, nearly vomiting from the splitting pain in her sides.

Blinking away the purple spots dotting her vision, she gently lifted the hem of her shirt to reveal a large gash running from the top of her hip, up her side, to a spot just under her breast. It wasn't bleeding profusely, but after carefully prodding the surrounding area, Hermione suspected she had cracked nearly every rib on her left side, not to mention the probability of internal hemorrhaging. She muttered a quick healing spell which stitched up the skin to prevent further blood loss, but the rest of her injuries would need professional medical attention.

Shakily, Hermione stood, ignoring the pain shooting through her body. For the first time since she landed in the Dark Forest, she noticed her exact surroundings. She was near the edge of it, the trees not too thick to see through, and Hogwarts stood as a dark shape in the distance, tiny windows of golden light shining brightly in the night. She stumbled towards the castle, the pain in her side seeming less and less important the closer she got. If she could just speak to Dumbledore, to explain the situation, she was sure everything would be alright.

She reached the front doors of the castle, slumping against them as she was suddenly struck with a wave of dizziness. She rapped on the door lightly, finding she was starting to lose the energy she had gained upon first seeing the castle. Nevertheless, the doors swung upon, only to reveal a tall boy with slightly disheveled dark hair and a wand pointed straight at her face. Hermione blinked, not fully registering the threat in front of her.

"I need to speak with Albus Dumbledore," she said, her words sounding sluggish even to her own ears. "It's of the utmost importance."

The purple dots were back in her vision, and she felt her legs wobble unsteadily beneath her. A moment later, the boy's wand was lowered and Hermione's vision went black.

Author's note:

Thanks for reading. Please feel free to review, question, comment, or criticize.

I'm not sure how long this fic will be, so I guess we'll just see where it goes.