Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or settings mentioned in this story.

Spoilers: None.

Rating: G

Pairing: SnapeHermione

Writer: Sassinak Murray

And the story:

Beautiful Alone

The halls of Hogwarts have become darker in recent years. Where there once was laughter, silence now reigns, ruling over each and every student like the darkest of shadows. They all are thinking, 'Who will fall next? Who else will be lost in this subtle, silent war?'

We all try to forget. We each have our own ways to distract ourselves from the pain that loss can bring, but in the end, the empty beds in every room, empty desks in every class remind us. Remind us of the price we've paid.

At what cost our victory – freedom – will be bought.

The library is rarely empty – Hermione Granger rarely leaves it, so I am hardly surprised to see her at a corner desk, mostly hidden by shelves of books. She's alone, accompanied only by the eternal emptiness in her young soul.

Her eyes are clouded by a sadness much older than I, even – their former sharpness dulled by that pain. That pain we'll never, never lose. Perhaps we've just lost too much to let the pain go too, and sometimes we just don't want to.

Before her, potions books lay scattered, a long sheet of parchment paper, still blank. I open my mouth to make comment on procrastination – the essay is due tomorrow – I wish to bring my student down to earth. To see her so distant is almost as painful as the loss... perhaps more, because she still has that spark.

I stop myself, though. Her eyes now shine with falling tears. They must bring relief to her, but even more to me. To see that life, where death is so often channelled.

I wish to comfort her, but she's too beautiful. Beautiful alone.

Her lips are rosy and full, her hair falls ever untamed around her shoulders... and her eyes, still dark and distant, a darkest chocolate brown.

The empty expression of her face where once there was a cocky grin. A smile like fire that burned and smoked and flamed. Hypnotizing, in it's almost innocence.

A fire replaced by silky flower petals that represent death; close, sweet, seductive in such times as these.

And my body still yearns to comfort her, but my mind is a barricade, ever stopping me... she's still too beautiful...

... Beautiful alone.


AN: Late night (early morning?) ramblings. Was inspired by Beautiful Alone, an instrumental piece from an anime soundtrack.