Title: Can You Deal?

Author: Nocturnal Rose

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry potter.

A/N: This is the last time I am going to re-post any chapters. I found a beta. She fixed it for me. YAY. Read me.

Chapter 1 Nightmares and Cries for help

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Though she had been here before, she couldn't quite place when. The air was thick with fog and a feeling of pain seemed to surround her. The green grass squished under her bare feet. The only sound was a woman screaming. The women's screams seemed to flood from the gathering of trees, making her pause slightly. Still, she proceeded on, discarding the caution she should have had as the screams continued.

She was walking right into the bustle of trees. Minutes later a clearing came into sight, as she stepped out of the dark gathering of trees. Her eyes went straight to the focal point: figures in black capes and hoods, adorned with masks could be seen vaguely hiding their identity. The figures were, standing in a circle, through the thickening haze. Once again she carried on, stepping hesitantly.

As she advanced towards the tight circle of dark figures, the screams of the woman were becoming more frequent and distinct. During the intervals between the cries of pain, the women's hoarse voice could be heard pleading for her death. She had heard that voice before it was familiar but she couldn't place it.

A twig snapped under her feet and all the darkly capped heads snapped up, suddenly aware of an uninvited guest. The torture ceased abruptly, however, a low moaning could still be heard. The sea of figures parted, giving her a view of the makeshift torture chamber were the woman's body laid in the center.

The girl walked towards the parted sea of figures, looking towards the woman's body lying lifelessly on the ground. Blood coated the area around the body, finally her eyes snapped to a man standing above the woman's prone figure, gazing down at it. As she walked towards the man in the center and looked down once again at the body covered in dirt, grime and coated in blood. He looked up and stared straight into her eyes. Her body froze; her mind lost. Her mouth fell open and a gasp escaped when she saw to whom it was. It was him; the one from her nightmares. He was here, and he was doing this; his dark eyes showed no remorse, but instead glittered fully despite the dim light A since of de'ejv came over her. Frantically, she peered down, trying to discover the identity of the injured women, but it was useless. She could feel him watching her, his eyes demanding her focus.

She tried concentrated on the bloody ground, the other capped figures still there watching silently at their silent interaction. Her gaze traveled slowly, finding and following the spills of blood and the tracks of disrupted dirt. Her eyes encountered a pool of what looked to be, despite the clumps of blood that matted it, light honey-colored curls. A familiar feeling once again filled her mind, glancing quickly towards the woman's face. Her face was dirty, blood crusted, pale skin coloring, Her mind wasn't working. She recognized this person but she couldn't conjure any knowledge. Glancing to the women's eyes sorrow filled her at the look of acceptance that seemed to fill them. The woman looked to have accepted that she was going to die. The woman was no longer fighting, no longer pleading, just silent. Her eyes were a honey brown just like her hair. She recognized those eyes so well, they stared back at her every morning from the bathroom mirror. A horror-filled, shriek flew from her lips she took an involuntary step beck from her body.

She was the woman.

Hermione sat up quickly gasping for air, she glanced around the room. She was safe. She was in her bed in the Gryffindor girl's dorm room, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It had just been a dream. She shuddered when the realness of the dream came back to. She could still smell the blood. She could still feel the power that his eyes held over her, she could still see the look in his eyes, the look of acceptance that had befallen her face as she'd lain there lifelessly. She could still here her own hoarse voice pleading for death.

She didn't understand where these dreams were coming from. Were they like Harry's A look into the future? It couldn't have already happened, she would remember if it did. Right?

Breaking down suddenly she began sobbing with fright and exhaustion, trying to calm down she forced herself to lie back down and try to get some rest. Though she knew she wouldn't see any rest tonight.

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Professor Minerva McGonagall sat in the Headmaster's office, lines of worry etched harshly across her aging features. That morning Miss Brown, along with the other occupants of Miss. Granger's dorm, had come to her office and informed her of Hermione Granger's strange daily and nightly habits, which were preventing the other girls from sleeping and even functioning normally. Miss Brown informed her that Hermione would thrash about in her bed, cry out in sleep, sob while she dreamed, and wake up screaming. Sometimes at meals or in the common room, she would suddenly space out and then start sobbing.

"Something has to be done, for the good of Gryffindor,"' Miss Brown had stated. "Professor McGonagall, please, please, please do something about Hermione. We know something happened that night. You don't need to tell us, but she barely ever talks, not even to Ron or Harry. You told us to report any strange behavior, so here I am. You have to do something she's driving us up the wall," stated Lavender Brown, trying hard not to disclose her worry for Hermione.

"Please don't worry, Miss Brown, something will be done," replied a slightly distressed Professor McGonagall. "But in the mean time don't you have a class you need to attend? We wouldn't want you falling behind because of you concern for Miss Granger, now would we?"

"No Professor, absolutely not," Lavender replied with a sour look on her face

"Well then get to class I must go inform the Headmaster," she stated as she hurried her through her office doors.

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Professor McGonagall was waiting for a comment from the headmaster on her recollection from earlier that day. She couldn't help but wonder if Miss. Granger would ever be the same.

She was such a bright young pupil, so eager to learn, and her mind was always buzzing with knowledge and questions about the magical world. It gave her a certain light that had always shined so brightly in her eyes. After that night, however, the light flickered, and then disappeared without a trace. She withdrew from life socially and academically. She barricaded herself into a shell of solitude no one knew she possessed. She became quiet, and her eagerness to learn had all but vanished. She sat in class as though she was somewhere else and there was no one around her.

Harry, Ron, and Ginny had come to her two days after the girl's return, stating that Hermione was different and was acting really odd. She wouldn't even acknowledge their presence. They had pleaded with her to tell them what happened. Yet, she refused.

She just couldn't; she'd made a vow.

"Please Professor, tell us what happened to Hermione. We have to help her," begged an almost desperate Harry as Ron and Ginny nodded in agreement.

"I'm sorry to inform you three of this, but that information is something I can't discuss without Miss Granger's consent. If Miss Granger chooses to tell you what happened, so be it. But, let it be known I will not disclose information that does not belong to you," she told them, earning a glare from each of them.

"Now don't you all have classes to be in right now?" Not waiting for them to answer, she continued. "Your thoughtfulness for you friend is greatly appreciated, but please believe me when I say that Miss Granger will be back to normal in no time. Now off to class you three."

That had been 4 weeks ago. She should have brought it up to Albus sooner. If she had, maybe this could all have been prevented.

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Albus Dumbledore was growing wary from the ongoing war. The conflicts and confrontations were growing more and more frequent and depressing each day. The hope that was once felt strongly towards the beginning of Voldmort's rebirth was now at the bottom of the barrel. The side of light had suffered a great loss for the future.

Miss Granger had been a voice of hope during the darker days. Always filled with such hopes of winning this war, they were diminished by one fateful act that wouldn't be quickly forgotten.

People were taking notice of Miss Granger's new attitude towards life, and they were demanding answers. What once was the brightest pupil in this century now was little more than a skeleton of the young, vibrant girl she had been. It was time to call in the only man who could help her, the man who started it all—

Severus Snape.

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The room was lit only by a small candle, yet one could still see the plush forest green carpet, the black bed hangings, the leather sofa, and the king size bed dressed in silks and satins colored in forest greens, dark silvers, and blacks. The room was distinctly quiet, yet rustlings from the bed could be heard. Tossing and turning, incoherent words floated through the darkness of the dungeons.

The veil of silence was finally broken by a shout of the word "HERMIONE!" Then all was quiet recapturing of breath. The body moved from the bed toward the bathroom for a cool shower. Almost the second his fingers brushed the door, the Headmaster's voice drifted from the dying flames of the fire place and resounded throughout the room.

"Severus, Severus. Are you awake?" Albus asked from the floo network.

Silently, Severus cursed the older wizard, as he looked towards a clock. It read 2:05 am.

"Yes, Albus, you're not the only soul awake at this ungodly hour of the morning," replied Severus, getting up and walking to his liquor cabinet to pour himself a brandy.

"Good, good. We have things we need to discus, my boy," stated Albus, a small smile playing about his lips as he watched the grumpy, sarcastic man trying to get rid of him with unsuccessful attempts.

"Do you realize it is two in the morning! Couldn't it wait until later? I'd like to try and get some more sleep before my day is ruined further," he spoke firmly but the weariness wore through.

"No, the matters we have to discuss are urgent they can't be pushed aside or delayed any longer," Dumbledore replied, his smile disappearing momentarily at the mention of his serious reason for calling.

"Very well then," he agreed reluctantly. "I'll floo up to your office as soon as I'm dressed," replied a very annoyed Potions Master.

"Very good, my boy. I will see you momentarily," replied the amused headmaster.

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"Very well, I'll do it," sighed a very defeat Potions Master.

"Excellent, now would you like a chocolate frog?" asked the headmaster the twinkle back gleaming brightly in his eyes.

"No, no thank you," Severus replied exasperatedly, cursing the old man's love for sweets silently.

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The Gryffindor table was buzzing with excitement. Today was Saturday and the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. Harry, along with his girlfriend Ginny, talked with Ron and his girlfriend Lavender. Every once and a while, they tried to bring Hermione into the conversation.

She didn't talk, she didn't eat, and she didn't even look up from her plate until she felt a presence behind her.

"Miss Granger," the voice of Professor McGonagall spoke from behind her.

Hermione turned around and looked up in response.

"The headmaster requests your presence in his office immediately after breakfast," stated the Deputy Headmistress. Without waiting for a reply, she turned on her heel and headed off to the staff table.

A chorus of complaints from Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Lavender followed in her wake.

"Hermione, this sucks. Now you can't come with us," stated Ron. Harry, Ginny and Lavender nodded their heads in agreement.

Hermione didn't feel the need to inform him that she had never planned on going; it was easier to let him think what he would.

Hermione ignored them, of course, and went back to moving her food around, trying to make it seem as if she was eating something. Sighing she pushed her plate away from her and got up. She walked towards the Headmaster's office. There was no point in delaying their meeting.

Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lavender all looked on after her, slightly offended at her abrupt exit.

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As Hermione entered the Headmasters office, she saw Professor Dumbledore and McGonagall.

And him.

He was there, sitting in front of the most powerful wizard, and no one was stopping him. Didn't they know what he did to her, what he was still doing to her?

"Ah, Miss Granger," the headmaster spoke. Suddenly he glanced up at her without warning. Their eyes met.

She froze in terror.

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