This all started with the '100 words break-up challenge'. When I wrote that, I said it could be a prologue to a longer story and I wouldn't write it 'cause I was already working on so many different fics. But well, as I said in the A/N's of some of those others, I can't stop my imagination from flowing. Here is the rest of the story. I guess it kinda breaks the rules of the original Challenge, though (by 20,000+ words : )). Warning, this is a dark fic! Character deaths and stuff.
Rating: A strong R for rape, torture, explicit sex. Dark fic. Don't like it, don't read it, check out some of my other stories instead. : )
Category: Angst, Romance, Action/Adventure
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to JK Rowling, although I doubt she intended for them to get into this much trouble.
1. The raid on Hogsmeade.
Hermione had gone into town with Harry, Ron, Neville and the rest of their class. Hogsmeade weekends were rare now, and only sixth and seventh year were allowed to go. Still they had fun, laughing as they walked down the main street of the small town. They'd already visited Zonko's and were now on their way to Honeyduke's. Then she had to pick up a few items from Dervish and Banges, and she suspected Ron would return to Zonko's to pick up a few items he didn't want to purchase with her present. She was Head Girl as well as a friend, and he wouldn't make her chose between her priorities by purchasing illegal items under her nose. Afterwards, they'd meet in the Three Broomsticks. All in all, this trip would be like any of the outings they'd had in the past five years, but it was still fun to be out of Hogwarts for the day.
She spent way too much money on Chocolate Frogs and Ice Mice. She really should stop eating so many sweets. Magic could prevent and fix cavities very easily, and she always bought a few Toothflossing Stringmints too, but magic could do little to prevent her gaining weight. Of course, she only had to look at Harry's and Ron's bags to feel better, she didn't have half as much as they had. Once outside, they split up.
She bought a few fresh potion ingredients and a new magical eraser, capable of erasing any kind of ink. Her friends usually just scratched it out when they'd made a mistake, but she was a perfectionist and she liked her work to look good.
She left the store, greeting a small group of sixth-year Ravenclaws who were just entering. Another group of students was standing across the street, and one Hufflepuff raised a hand in greeting. She was about to call out a greeting in return as she spotted the movement down the street.
Figures in dark robes appeared with a small 'plop' and immediately started to shoot curses at the students.
"Death Eaters!" Hermione yelled. She dropped her purchases, shot a large stream of red sparks into the air to alert everyone and ducked between two houses. The students across the street weren't as fast to react, and to Hermione's horror she saw several of the students go down. A flash of green told her at least one of them wouldn't be getting up again. Screams erupted from everywhere. She swung her wand around the corner of the building.
"Avada Kedavra!" She hadn't been sure, when they were taught earlier that year, if she would be able to use the Killing Curse against another human being. But seeing those students die, her students, she was Head Girl after all, was more than she could stand. She did not hesitate.
A beam of green energy hit one of the robed figures, and the Death Eater went down. The others cursed, magically and non-magically, and ducked away as they fired more curses in her direction. Hermione took cover again, at least the students who were still standing had time to find cover of their own.
Then Hermione heard more plops, and the whistle that told her the new arrivals were their Professors. They kept a close watch on the village, and her signal had not gone unnoticed.
"Stupefy!" a voice called out from nearby, and Hermione was relieved to recognize Professor McGonagall's voice. Other familiar voices rang out, some calling stunning curses and some calling out worse. Then nothing but the screaming and crying of those caught in the attack.
Carefully, not lowering her wand, Hermione emerged from her cover.
"They've withdrawn," Professor Lupin called out. "Don't think they expected to be hit this hard."
Madam Pomfrey Apparated next to the fallen students across the street and knelt down. Professor Lupin walked over to the fallen Death Eater. The one she had killed.
"Good riddance," Professor Lupin said as he pulled off the man's mask. "Anyone know who he is?"
"There's another one here," another voice called from a little ways down the street, where the Death Eaters had searched for cover after her counter-attack. Professor Sinistra floated the cloaked body out into the street and deposited it next to the first.
Madam Pomfrey was calling out orders to the students surrounding her, and Hermione thought she saw at least one form being covered by a sheet, but she kept watching the Death Eaters' bodies instead.
Professor Snape stalked up from the direction Sinistra had come, cloak billowing, wand in his hand. "That's Burt Wrungholt, joined the Dark Lord three years ago after he graduated from Durmstrang. The other's Ferdinus Leekfield."
The other Professors flinched and Snape sneered. So that was who he'd been, Burt Wrungholt.
"Hermione?" Professor McGonagall asked, and Hermione blinked. "Were you the one to kill him?"
"You did well," her Professor said, looking proud but sad. "You saved a lot of lives today."
Hermione didn't look away from the scene in front of her. Snape turned and saw her. He seemed to hesitate.
Then, behind her, she heard voices call out.
"Hermione, Hermione, are you okay?" Ron called out anxiously.
"Hermione, thank Merlin, you're al right," Harry exclaimed. "We should've been here, next time we won't let you go off alone. We'll suffer through your browsing Dervish and Banges if you can stand our visit to Zonko's."
She turned to her friends, not knowing what to say.
"There won't be any next time, I believe this will be the last Hogsmeade weekend," Professor McGonagall said sternly.
Harry's eyes flitted to the small crowd across the street, then to the other group. Only Lupin and Sinistra remained standing near the Death Eaters, Snape had gone.
The group across the street parted and Madam Pomfrey emerged, a stretcher floating next to her. Not one but three shrouded shapes remained behind on the sidewalk.
Ron gulped, but Harry noticed Hermione turned once again to the Death Eaters' bodies.
"You killed them?" he asked.
"One," she replied shortly.
"Wow, that's great, you got one of them bastards!" Ron congratulated her.
"Hermione, great job, I'm sorry we couldn't be here to help," Harry said.
Professor McGonagall took her by her arm. "Come on, we should go back to Hogwarts. The Headmaster will want to see you, but I'll make sure you get a cup of hot chocolate first."
"Thank you," Hermione nodded, and she allowed her Professor to lead her away, Harry and Ron following close behind.
Severus Snape walked the halls of Hogwarts. He knew he would not be able to sleep for some hours yet. He stalked through the corridors. Not that he really expected to find any students out of bed this late. After today's raid, most who'd have trouble sleeping would find comfort with their house mates.
So he was surprised when he spotted the figure gazing out of a window on the fourth floor, overlooking the dark lake. Until he came closer and saw who it was. Of course.
She didn't even jump. She just turned around slowly and looked at him. "I couldn't sleep."
"You're not going to be able to sleep any better standing up looking out of the window," Severus pointed out.
"You may be allowed to be out here at your discretion, as Head Girl, but I still think you ought to return to your rooms," he told her.
He did not bother to reply, merely raised an eyebrow at her.
"I'm not going back there until they're all asleep. I can't stand one more person congratulating me. I killed someone and they're acting like that's a good thing." Her voice was steady and she didn't even blink or look away as he loomed over her.
"Come," Severus said, turning without looking if she actually followed.
She caught up but didn't speak all the way down to the dungeons. He walked through the classroom, leading the way into his office.
"Have a seat, Miss Granger," he said, pointing at the black leather chair in front of his desk. "Tea?"
She nodded. "Please."
He summoned a hot cup of tea with honey instead of sugar, guessing she preferred it that way. Or perhaps he had seen her take it like that at the table in the Great Hall? He couldn't say for sure. He sat down in his own chair and watched as she blew in the cup to cool the liquid, then carefully took a sip.
"Aren't you going to tell me I'm being silly and I did a good thing?" she asked after a while.
"No." She must've known he wasn't going to do that, she wasn't stupid. "If I were going to said that I would've done so upstairs in the hall."
She nodded again, wordlessly, then went back to sipping her tea.
When she remained silent, he asked her, "Miss Granger, do you regret what you've done?"
She looked up, startled at his question. To her credit, she didn't blurt out an answer immediately.
"No…," she replied finally. "I had to. They had to be stopped, and if I'd used a stunning spell the others could've had him up again with a simple counter curse."
Severus nodded. "I doubt they expected such heavy resistance before we arrived. Perhaps not even then."
She frowned, staring into her cup. "Professor McGonagall used a stunning spell."
He smiled wryly. "Yes, she would. Most people stick to those, even now the Killing Curse is allowed to be used in combat. I believe your spell may have hastened their retreat."
She looked up. "So you're telling me I did a good thing, after all."
"Miss Granger, sometimes the right thing to do neither good nor easy. Sometimes doing 'a good thing' isn't among our options. I believe you did the best you could. For whatever that's worth."
She was quiet for a few moments as she seemed to consider what he'd said. "Thank you," she said quietly.
He didn't say anything else while she finished her tea. When he was sure she would not speak up on her own, he asked her, "Will you be al right, Miss Granger?"
She looked up again, then glanced at her empty cup. "I will be. I guess I better get some sleep. Thank you." She smiled briefly, then looked around as if to wonder where to put the cup.
He studied her carefully while she spoke, and decided she was telling the truth, she would be al right. He took the cup from her, then walked her to the door.
"Goodnight, Miss Granger."
He went back into his office. It was late, but he did not think he could sleep yet. She had been very composed, a far cry from the emotional girl she had been years ago. Certainly, he found her easier to deal with this way, but he hoped she would not always keep her feeling bottled up inside. He knew all too well what that did to a person.