She burns with rage when she remembers. The nurse has slid the tray in front of her, safe plastic forks and soft foods no one can choke on no matter how hard they try, and everything returns. She takes the pills anyway. There's no choice with the nurse standing there, her thick ankles and sensible white shoes tap-tap-tapping because, miss Jean Granger, you aren't the only patient here, you know.

Hermione, she thinks, as she swallows the medication. It's not Jean. It's Hermione.

. . . . . . . . . .

She wonders, sometimes, if the anti-psychotics interfered with the memory charm. That would be funny if it were true. That would be ironic.

. . . . . . . . .

Who're you, the boy asks. They're both in what any other place would have called 'arts and crafts' but which the hospital insists is 'therapy', and he hunches over his leather-bound journal writing, writing, always writing.

"Jean," she says. Then she corrects herself. "They call me Jean."

They call me Tom, he says. What're you in for?

"I made someone angry," she says.

I fought in a war, she thinks as she colors the carefully innocuous picture of a flower bouquet she has drawn. I fought a war and must have lost because they took my magic and they took my memory and they sent me here. Who would believe a mental patient? All of us, all the filthy, unwanted ones, locked away like this. Safe as houses. She wonders did someone argue for this instead of just killing her? Did someone say it was kinder, or maybe that they shouldn't waste resources? Just put her on a shelf and store her in case they needed her again someday?

Maybe he-who-must-never-be-named had thought it a good joke.

Tom is asking whether she'll have any friends coming on visiting day, interrupting her thoughts. Parents, maybe? he asks.

"My parents don't remember me," she says as she fills in one petal of her lily with as much shading as the crayons they are allowed permit. She can feel something like hate that she'd had to do that burbling up from somewhere in her gut. The emotion threatens to choke her and she ruthlessly shoves it away. Feelings are for group time, not arts and crafts.

That's sad, Tom says but she shakes her head. She made them forget. She waved her wand and did the magic and she was erased from their heads. She'd been powerful then. Not like now. When they took her wand, broke it, and erased her memories, they took her power too.

Irony, again, that she's been erased with the same thing she used to erase herself.

"No friends," she says. She'd had friends. She'd had lots of friends, or so she'd thought. They weren't, though. Not if they'd let her end up here, not if they'd consigned her to this rubbish bin like a broken tool no one wanted anymore.

She picks up a black crayon and begins to color, pressing so hard against the flower she'd drawn with its little face that the cheap wax breaks under her fingers, but she just keeps making one angry streak after another until a nurse takes her away and tells her she needs to rest now.

Tom watches them lead her away. She still clutches the broken stub of crayon in her fingers and he's still invisible to the world.

. . . . . . . . . .

What are you, he asks. Why did they put you here?

She looks down at her arm, but what she expects to see isn't there. No word. No scar. The memory flashes, a wild-eyed, dark-haired woman holding her down. You don't know your place, she'd said, I'll show you your place. Writing on her. Carving into her. Hurting her. She'd screamed and screamed and fought to get away from the burning misery of that blade making her very soul writhe in agony. But it's not there now. Why isn't it there? The memory of that woman, of Bellatrix, bleeds into someone else holding her down, sticking something sharp in her. There's a place for you, the woman says. We'll take you there. Relax now, don't worry.

"Why isn't it there?" she asks in a panic, images like movies flashing through her brain. "It should be there."

You can only trust what's written, Tom says. Write it down. Write it so it can't ever be rubbed away.

. . . . . . . . . .

Tom's the one who tells her, the sly voice almost seeming to come from that book he buries himself in. Just do it without the wand, he says. If the magic is in you, why do you need to wave a silly stick around?

. . . . . . . . . .

She practices in the yard. Wingardium Leviosa. Wingardium Leviosa. Wingardium Leviosa. When the feather finally drifts upward, she turns to look at Tom and he smiles at her, his expression a mirror of the malicious pleasure she feels at her accomplishment.

I knew you could do it, he says. Now we just have to get out of here.

She becomes the model patient and she's out. They're out. She's placed into an apartment as part of a project in independent living. A nurse still comes by once every day, but she's not as observant as the ones at the hospital, and Hermione makes sure she's doing so well that no one thinks she's anything other than the perfect example of how structured living can work for even the sickest people. She gets a job, she saves her money, and she makes lists of everyone she can remember, not just the snooty Malfoys with their money and their hate, but the Weasleys too. Arthur. Molly. Bill. Charlie. Fred -

"They left me there," she says. "They let someone do that to me."

. . . . . . . . .

She uses the edge of a kitchen knife to put the word where it should be, over and over again. When it begins to heal she writes it again. The visual proof of who she is - of what she is - reassures her. If it's there, no one can take away her memory again. No one can take away her magic. No one can take away her power. She writes it down. She can trust the words. Words and books make you safe. Words and books never lie.

Tom's smile becomes more predatory.

. . . . . . . . .

She buys the ticket to London without telling anyone, and the train click-clacks its way.

. . . . . . . . . .

The long-abandoned Purge & Dowse department store in central London burned down yesterday in an apparent case of arson. Police have no suspects. Anyone with information is cordially requested to contact the authorities.

. . . . . . . . . .

Percy Weasley answers the fifteenth question of the day about the fire. "We don't know," he says. "We're working on it."

. . . . . . . . . .

A/N - Thank you to Ibuzoo who beta read this with her infinite brilliance.