Those Who Can See Thestrals

Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JK Rowling, I own nothing.

Warnings: Includes violence and abuse

A/N: The story starts beginning of first year and carries on all the way through, from Hermione and Snapes points of view. With a massive thanks to my beta Feyre Archeon.

Hermione Granger may have been quite clever for her age but at 6 years old there were some things she just didn't understand, no matter how much she had read about them. Not that she could find what she was really looking for in the few books she had access to. What she really wanted to know was why they always took it out on her. Why, the shouting and arguing was only the beginning and why it was pain that always followed.

It was normally the same kind of argument, her dad blaming her mum and her mum blaming her dad for why 'freakish things' always happened around her. When she was really scared things would break, or when she was starving food would float down off of the high shelves her parents put it on. Other things often occupied their arguments; why them, why were they cursed with a daughter like her, why did life hate them but these only happened when the alcohol had been involved, when it got really bad.

Before her freakish behaviour started the grangers were loving parents who did everything by the book. They were the perfect high society dentist family and everything was just so. They loved it. They had an intelligent daughter, who they could show off at parties and drop into the conversation. She was seen as a prize to flaunt to the other dentist and doctors who all had perfect lives just like them. She met all her parents' friends who all adored her. She was excelling at school so much so there was chance of her skipping years. She loved all of the attention.

But that all changed. One day on her fourth birthday at breakfast time. She was so happy, laughing and unwrapping presents like a tornado; wrapping paper in all directions. Looking back on it maybe if only she had been slightly less excited none of this would happen, never mind she thought you cannot change the past. She was not normally allowed sweet thing her parents, sticklers for oral care, but today was the one exception to the rule. Today she could have cake for breakfast! This year she had helped decorate it, with jam and butter cream filling, and lots of pink buttercream and sprinkles on top. It was perfect for a four year old girl. The lights were dimmed by her dad, and her mum started singing the happy birthday song, holding the cake of her dreams Hermione couldn't wait but then something awful happened. Her mother started sliding on the wrapping paper of the floor and the treasured cake went flying out of her arms. Well started to, as Hermione emotions bubbled over, she wished that the cake wouldn't fall, that it would just float onto the table unharmed. As so it did.

The cake sailed out of the hands then stopped falling and started floating along merrily and landed right in front of Hermione, who let out a squeal of joy.

"Look what I did mummy" she exclaimed happily, filled with joy that her beloved cake had not met an early doom.

She looked up expecting the feeling to be mirrored by her parents. She couldn't have been more wrong. Shock, horror and then anger swamped their faces, tear streaming down her mother's cheeks and beads of sweat dripping down her father forehead. Not response was given as deathly silence decided on the Granger household.

It was finally broken but Hermione's father whispering almost silently

"Go to your room."

When Hermione started in shock at the request it was issued again but this time with deafening volume. Hermione after that didn't need telling twice. She ran crying as she went. It was that night that the arguments started and they hadn't stopped.

Now she only had snippets of memories that were good, and so many bad ones. The Grangers believed that they could beat the freakishness out of her. Saying that they could condition her to stop using her freakish powers if punished her enough but it never seemed to work so they just got cruller and more painful. After they realised her freakish behaviour they pulled her out of school, claiming they were going to start homeschooling her. Her teachers were thrilled thinking her parent were going to start nurturing this child who was always one step ahead of them and let her leave thinking she was going to excel now. They couldn't have been more wrong. This took her away from everything she cared about. No more learning and this hurt most of all.

It was today though that had been the worst she had used her freakish powers to try and stop the beatings.

Her father had gone to slap her face and before his hand had come into contact with her the hand had suddenly stopped in the air as if by magic. Her father started to scream, a deranged and terrifying scream that signalled it was going to be a long and unpleasant night.

He started by taking his belt of and as the lashing came raining down upon her back she could only try and stifled the cries that were escaping for fear of making it worse. The strong leather slicing her back to ribbons as she curled up and begged for it to stop, even if she knew how helpless those pleas really were. The belt kept ripping and tearing adding to the crisscross scared back she already had. It was cutting deeper and deeper cutting through skin, muscle nerves and was seemingly relentless.

Then with the belt thrown aside he resorted once again to his fists and feet both thrown at her with vicious speed. A fist connected with her chin, and the audible crack of bone ricocheted across the room. He grabbed her hair to hold her in place as he pummelled her face. Moving on when she sported the beginnings of two black eyes. He released her hair as she crumpled like paper to the floor, his feet then connecting hard with her torso cracking and breaking bones as he went. She was sobbing now, but instead of relenting her father started screaming again.

"It's your entire fault you and your freakishness if it weren't for that we could all like happily. You're spoiling it for yourself and for me and your mother. We had the perfect life, all we had ever wanted, and you took it all away from us. If you were normal this would all stop. But as it is you deserve this."

She was starting to cough up blood now, certain that she had broken at least three ribs possibly more and she was sure she must have some internal bleeding. As she was trying to block out the pain by contemplating the many injuries she may have been gaining a final blow came to the head with a sickening crunch and she was knocked cold.

When she awoke and tried to move her body was screaming in agony. Blood was ingrained into the floorboards, her clothes and her hair was matted with the crimson liquid. She noticed it was at least mid morning meaning her parents would have left for work. Sighing for small mercies she heaved herself off of the floor and made slowly to the bathroom. She ran herself a shallow lukewarm bath and lowered herself into it. The water stinging as it made contact with disfigured flesh. She started methodically cleaning and mentally cataloguing any injuries she would have to deal with. Mainly deep cuts and bruising, and she was pretty sure that for the internally problems she could use her freakiness. It was a blessing in times like these, but a curse she could altogether live without.

Just as the water got cold she drained the filthy water away and eased herself out of its depth. She patted herself dry, and then went the long task of healing. She couldn't heal any of the noticeable injuries or else the next beating may be her last but any that were cause for concern could be taken care of. She sat on the floor and stated concentrating really hard trying to find that extra reserve and then focused all her energy of imagining her body repairing all the internal damage. Imagining any broken bones healing and anything punctured mending; this for Hermione seemed to take hours but in reality only a few minutes passed.

After her most serious injuries had healed she sat on the floor in a state of contemplation. Over time these beating hadn't got better, only worse. And at this rate by the time another year had passed she wasn't sure she would be strong enough to survive it. With very little food her frame from when the beatings had started hadn't got any bigger and any clothes she had hung from her being many sizes too big. Her bones were obvious and protruding making her looks sharp and pointy in places that should be soft. Hermione knew deep down what she had to do but she real was scared. Scared of all the things that could go wrong, and all the things that could go right.

"What's the worst that can happen?" Hermione asked to nobody in particular

"Well, you could be found by them and everything could get worse" the other side of Hermione reasoned.

"But if you stay things are definitely going to get worse" she counter acted,and so with a sick feeling deep in her stomach she started preparing herself.

It was only around lunch time and her parent wouldn't be back until late so that gave her a head start. She went from room to room starting with the under stairs closet. Inside its dark dank cavern she found an old backpack, along with a moth eaten raincoat. Moving to the kitchen she decided on canned foods, water, cutlery and a can opener was a last but important thought. She then rushed to her sparse bedroom and packed her own measly belongings, a hairbrush and a small collection of clothes. Then to her parents room, shoving her mother emergency money stash from under the mattress in the bag along with all her mother jewellery, her dad second best watch and the book she had found hidden, her old favourite Matilda. With her bag full to the brim and weighing more than her, she stuffed on her back and thought about what she should do about her parents. Should, or shouldn't she leave them a note. This decision was hard enough to nearly start making a pros and cons list but after due consideration she didn't. Her mind stating that they didn't deserve an explanation and them probably wouldn't care anyway. She made her way down the staircase and stood by the door looking towards the house and sighed, then spoke aloud,

"Well this is it, I hope I never have to step foot in here again."

Then turning towards the door locked from the outside, began focusing all her mind on it being open and with a small click and much to Hermione's delights the door swung open.

She started walking slowly but determinedly towards the centre of the town, where she could more easily blend in with the crowds. It wasn't a very long walk but she was taking her time enjoying this new found freedom, she observed they way the air felt in her lungs, how the tree's lined the road like sentries, it was simply nice to observe the world she hadn't seen for so long. As she progressed further and further away from home a spring started developing in her step as she thought of all the things she could do, and all of the beatings she wouldn't get. She didn't expect her parents to report her missing, as why would they actively want to involve the police.

Hours passed and soon the sun was starting to get low in the sky and the darkness started to creep in. Shadows were suddenly looming bigger but none of this bothered the carefree six year old that had just come across a park. This she thought to herself seems like the perfect place to sleep for tonight. The place looked neat and tidy with pretty flowers creating a border and many wooden sturdy benches scattered around. This will do nicely, sheltered enough to keep the worst of the wind away, and she doubted anyone would bother her here. As she got the sleeping bag out and found some shelter under a nearby tree she admired the peace and quiet that accompanied such a location. Yes it may not have been literally quiet with the noise of traffic, cars, sirens and other city sounds but to Hermione no screaming was all she could ever wish for, no screaming meant that no pain would follow. She didn't need nice dreams tonight as she was already in one she thought as she, for the first time in years, drifted happily of to sleep.

A/N: I hope you enjoyed this, if so please review I appreciate any comments good or bad. Thank you so much for reading.