Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognise. Harry Potter and his fellow characters all belong to J.K.Rowling. I am making no money out of writing this, so don't bother with sueing me.
About: Hermione has been living a lie; a Perfect Façade of how she wished her life could be. But it's not. When a list of unexpected events leave her in the situation she ahs feared for five years, will she crack under the pressure? Who will save her? When life becomes what she has always feared, can she turn her life around, and be who she really is?
Ship: Draco/Hermione at end Slight Harry/Ginny.
Rating: PG-13 for rape, suicide, cutting and abuse. Some cussing throughout. This isn't a light story, it's extremely dark in some areas.
A/N - ("Quotes from other people" 'Hermione's thoughts' 'Hermione's conscience' "Dialogue") This applies to this chapter only.
Just the Beginning
Hermione Granger. Previously Prefect and currently the smartest girl in the school. Currently best friend to the famous Harry Potter and previously girlfriend to Krum. Who could be happier?
'Anyone' was Hermione's answer to this. That's how everybody knew her, and loved her. She was known as the good old Hermione Granger. She was also getting pretty too. Finally developing her own style that she, and a lot of men around her, could love. But everybody knows that it's what's inside that counts. But nobody knew her inside. Everything she did, everywhere she went she put on an act. That act. A perfect façade of how she wished her life could be. She was strong; no, she was weak. She was smart; yes, because she had nothing better to do than to read books. Either that or learn to face the truth. No. She wouldn't, she couldn't.
She got her strength from the people around her. She put on the act they expected from her and they helped her to forget. Especially her best friends Ron Weasley and Harry Potter. Hermione's intelligence gave her, her strength. Whatever strength she had that is. She was strong, even if she didn't believe it herself. She went through, got through, so much in the past 5 years. She even witnessed her best friends godfather dieing, and her best friend almost falling apart. She couldn't do the same; she wouldn't allow herself to crack. But her strength was thinning. She didn't think she could take any more of this. How much could one person take? "They'd Explode"
Before Hogwarts, Hermione was nothing. She went to school but had very little or no friends because she was so quiet, so different, so... out of it. It was so hard for her to concentrate. Her life at home took over her head, her mind, her conscience. Everything was her fault, she knew it. Her mother knew nothing and she was happier to keep it that way. Hiding her emotion made it fake, a dream, like facing up to it made it real and she didn't want it to be real. She'd rather it went. But you don't always get what you want.
Hermione's father. That was the source of her pain. He would beat her and torture her because she was such a 'freak'. Hermione's father was a tall man. You could call him chubby, though you wouldn't really describe him that way. He was weak, Hermione knew it. He wasn't strong like his colleagues and he wasn't handsome like them either. But he was still stronger than Hermione. Her father was very smart. Smart at what he did, but ridiculously dumb at everything else. He saw his daughter as a disgrace; he didn't even see her as his daughter because she was nothing like him. She wasn't smart like him and she didn't live up to him. She was afraid of him; she couldn't trust anyone but her own mother. She would talk to few people just in case they found out her dark secret. She watched, watched people, watched what they wore, and watched how others acted. But she wanted to be more like him, just so things would stop. So her pain would stop.
"When they say you should change can you lift your head out and stay strong? Will you give up give in, when your hearts crying that its wrong. Will you love you for you, at the end of it all? In life, there's going to be times when you're feeling low, and in your mind insecurities tend to take control. We start to look outside our selves for acceptance and approval, we keep forgetting that the one thing that we should know is: Don't be scared to fly alone, find a path that is your own, love will open every door. It's in your hands; the world is yours, don't hold back and you will know, all the answers will unfold."
That was when she got her acceptance letter. Summer 1991. Her father was shocked to here she was even more of a freak than he thought, but was happy to hear she'd be gone for so long every year. He bought Hermione books so she could study the craft early. So she would be top in all her classes and be who he wanted her to be. She did. She had no friends. What else was there to do? She sat up in her room reading and reading. She soon grew to love it. She started getting stronger the more she read, the more she knew what she was going to learn. The knowledge that she would be stronger than him.
But the pain didn't stop.
Hermione was in her room, reading Hogwarts, A History. She heard her father come home and yell to her. She got up briskly and ran down the stairs to find out what had happened, why he was yelling for her; he never yelled for her. Well, unless she was running from him. Her father was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs; she saw the look on his face and started shaking. The fear in her grew tremendously as she got closer to his evil looking face. She knew what was coming, and she knew it was bad.
"Yes, Father" she said, her voice shaking with fear. He grabbed her collar in pinned her up to the wall, strangling her with his grip.
"Was this you?" shouted her father, holding up his coat that held a rather large rip in it.
"No" she replied, growing more apprehensive by the second. She knew he would give any excuse to hurt her, and this was his favourite coat.
"Really, then why are you looking so guilty?" he chuckled evilly, letting go of her so she fell back to the stairs and then pulling her by her hair and pushed her to the floor. She fell with a large yell, hitting her back against the corner of a large wooden, rather pointy desk. She was crying. Crying with fear, and pain.
"Father! It wasn't me!" She cried, now rubbing her back, though the force of her hand just made the pain worse.
"Are you saying it was me?" He kicked her in the stomach. "Your mother certainly didn't do it" He kicked her again. Could he not see the pain she was in? "Then again, she'd probably love a reason for me to beat you up". She couldn't believe what she was hearing! Was he getting some kind of pleasure out her pain? What did her mother really know? Did she know? Did she really like to hear that her 'loving' husband was abusing her daughter? No, she can't...
"Your bluffing, she doesn't know what you do to me, what you do to your own daughter!" She replied, crying in pain. But she immediately knew that what she had said was the wrong thing to say in this situation. But, to her, it didn't matter; it was coming anyway.
"DON'T YOU DARE YELL AT ME! DON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT I DO KNOW AND DON'T KNOW. I KNOW MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!" he yelled in her face and slapped her hard. She screamed and he laughed. She looked back at him laughing, getting pleasure out of her pain. She was shocked, he'd never laughed before now. She gave him a look of disgust. He saw this. He picked her up by her hair and threw her onto the couch next to them.
Suddenly, there was a ding! at the door. Her father froze...
Hermione had never been so scared in her life, and it was all over a stupid rip in a coat that wasn't her fault. She'd bet anything it was him and he just used it as an excuse to abuse her again.
If her mother hadn't rang the doorbell she feared he might have raped her, given the chance. She wouldn't put it past him, anyway.
Hermione's mother, Mrs Granger, Jane, had been out with her lady friends from work. She, of course, rang the doorbell when she was home, causing Mr Granger to jump in fright. He yelled at Hermione to go upstairs and not tell her mother a thing. When she was safely upstairs, she heard him open the door and welcome her mother as if nothing had happened.
This made Hermione feel sick. She couldn't, just could not understand how he could treat her like this. Not only was she young, ten to be exact, but she was innocent, she'd never done anything to hurt him, she'd never been bad, or stepped out of line in anyway.
'Yes you have'
'Remember when he came home one day really angry and told you his friends' kids took the micky out of you and he was so embarrassed to have such a freak of a daughter?'
'That doesn't give him a reason to hurt me!'
'Why? Why shouldn't he have the perfect life and perfect job?'
'Life isn't all about him you know!'
Hermione constantly found herself battling her conscience like this. She would tell herself it wasn't her fault, though a small part of her knew... thought she knew, that it was. She was used to blaming herself. Her father blamed her; her mother blamed her too sometimes. But that was for a reason. Her mother was loving and kind and it made her feel nauseous to know she couldn't see past her own daughters façade, see past her perfect, happy life. She couldn't believe her mother couldn't see behind the wall Hermione had built around her self, sculptured to fit herself flawlessly, so that not even her own mother suspected anything. It had gotten to a point that it was supposed to be there. She had grown up with it around her, so her mother thought that this was Hermione. How can you tell if someone is hiding something, when they always act in such a way?
No one ever saw her bruises, or her cuts. She spent so long in her bedroom and only came out for meals and school. Her mother may have been loving, but she never loved. She hadn't held Hermione for years. She had no friends. No one noticed when she cringed as someone hit into her at school. No one noticed how she kept her self protected, wearing jumpers on the warmest of days. She never wore a skirt and wore tracksuit trousers for PE when most other girls wore shorts, especially during summer. Her bruises faded easily. But she had pain deeper than that. Pain deep down inside that would never allow her to trust any grown man ever. She didn't even think she would trust anyone. Not even those of her own age.
The pain deep down inside herself showed on the outside. It was the night when her father had come home with the rip in his coat. She ran upstairs and shut her self in her room. She had never been so scared before, and it showed through. She sat on her floor by her bed crying. Just crying. But the pain wouldn't leave. She was starting to get angry because she knew that she didn't deserve what was happening to her and she was getting mad at her pain for being so imbedded into her, when it didn't belong in her. She sat there trying not to scream, digging her fingernails into her skin. This helped the pain, helped her scream silently. The pain on the outside was raw and covered the pain on the inside. She was still sat by her bed, her head and arms on her knees, pinching at her arms, digging her fingernails in. Crying. Crying hard. Harder than she had ever cried before. She remembered everything that had ever happened that night. This just made her anger heighten. She saw blood trickling down her arm. She couldn't care. This felt good. The pain on the outside made her forget what was on the inside. She didn't feel happy, but something had been lifted away. A great weight that was holding her in this place. Not having to remember those horrible things her father had done to her made her feel nice inside, and she felt grateful for the pain on the outside.
But she couldn't run from her memories. She could live the lie, but memories live on. She could keep herself behind her excellently sculptured wall of emotion, but that just trapped her pain. She had to let it go. She couldn't loose her memories. She couldn't forget. That's why they are there. They never leave us. "Memories are here for us to hold"
"When your safe inside your room you tend to dream of a place where nothings harder than it seems. No one ever wants or bothers to explain of the heart ache life can bring and what it means. When there's no one else look inside yourself, like your oldest friend, just trust the voice within, then you'll find the strength that will guide your way, and you'll learn, to begin, to trust the voice within."
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