The war itself was lost quickly. After the Burrow went down in flames, with most of the Order trapped and burnt alive. It was easy to see how moral went down. Most people on the side of the light fled elsewhere, probably America.
Kids were left to end a war that adults started. If being tortured at Malfoy Manor didn't create the numb creature she had become, losing the Order sure as hell did. When the Golden Trio arrived at Hogwarts to take down Voldemort, they were quickly outnumbered subdued. While she was holding back Death Eaters from younger students. Harry's final stand ended after he walked willingly into death's open arms. Believing in his destiny, his death was instant. Ron, her darling hot head, saw Harry go down and ran at Voldemort, wand at the ready. His attempt at an Avada was rebounded by the Dark Lord himself, right into Ron's chest. Ron's wild eye's found hers and she watched his eyes slant in regret.
The Battle became silent as Death Eaters rejoiced. Students look to Hermione as she looks at her best friends. Her wand hand twitched. Plans swirled as she looked quickly to see who was left. Ginny, sobbing staring at her love and her brother. Dean, haunted but stone-faced, soldier to the end. Seamus, unsure but strong. Luna, present and unafraid. They would fight til the end.
She mentally adds Neville to the alive list as he materialized next to her. She sees the glint of the sword of Gryffindor and nods at him. She moves to stand in front of the others as Neville starts walking towards Nagini. Voldemort, distracted by the cheers of his comrades does not see Neville stride up to the snake.
Sword quickly slashing into the snakes head. The tell-tale scream of the Horcrux kills the celebration and Hermione could have laughed at Voldemorts face. Neville turns to run to me as Voldemort turns to him. Wand out, her protégo saves Neville and she yelled for everyone to scatter and leave. Death Eaters turned to follow her friends but her eyes were glued to the now mortal "Dark Lord". She circled him like prey, sending hex after hex that he continued to deflect.
"Foolish, yet powerful girl!" Voldemort drawled at her. "Perhaps we could look past the dirty blood."
He laughed. She stayed silent.
"Yield." He says.
The killing curse was at her tongue and she raised her wand. Her thoughts were jumbled yet sure. "You have to mean it, Hermione." You have to mean it." For Harry. For Ron. For the World.
"Avada-" she started but gasped as she felt a wand being dug into her lower back.
"Miss Granger, lower your wand." She stiffened and turned to him. Traitor.
"Snape." Voldemort looked pleased and walked towards her. Voldemort brushed a finger against her cheek and she recoiled into Severus's arms.
"Don't touch me, Tom," Her voice was shrill and his face was shocked at her use of his name.
"Learn some respect girl. These are your final moments, pet." His wand dug into her temple and her face scrunched up in pain.
"Your precious Savior is dead. Your last hope is gone. I may be mortal now but I can make more Horcruxes, but your Harry will always be dead."
She let out a half sob, half yell. But she kept her chin up like the snob people thought she was.
"Go fuck yourself". If those were her last words. She would have been proud.
As he bristled and raised his wand. Snape clears his throat.
"My Lord, perhaps we can make use of the girl. She may have dirty blood but she has been regarded as the brightest witch since Rowena Ravenclaw." The potions master drawled out.
Hermione's mouth opened in shock. Voldemort looked her up and down. Contemplating.
Snape leaned down whispered into her ear. "You will have to trust me. I am your last ally."
Gasping, Hermione pulls herself out of the pensive. Every day, for the last 6 months she watched the memories of the Battle. After Snape intervened she was taken back (kicking and screaming) to Malfoy Manor and basically became Snape's assistant. Snape told her everything once they were safe and alone. He was a spy for the order, Albus ordered him to kill him, he loved Lily and protected Harry. She was in shock but found she trusted and believed him.
Voldemort, no longer believing in the longevity of Horcruxes had them researching charms and potions to make him immortal- permanently. So every day she was hunched over with her ex-professor, discussing and arguing different spells and ingredients. They formed a tentative friendship. He found that she wasn't too insufferable and she found his snark, semi-hilarious.
"Hermione, I don't understand why you do this to yourself." He gestures to her wet face.
"Because, it is the only way I can convince myself to eat dinner with that monster and his cronies every day and not stab them with a spoon." She had to remember they had a bigger mission.
See, she and Snape were not just researching immortality. She would never give him what he wanted. She realized that the combination of charms and potions could create the turning point to the war. She could diminish him and end his reign, but she couldn't do that in this era.
What's that one saying?
Once a time meddler, always a time meddler.