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Chapter Two: Unexpected

Hermione, Harry, Fred, and George were sharing a carriage for the ride to the castle. Hermione turned off her iPod and looked at the twins.

"I thought you two were in seventh year last year?" she asked abruptly, interrupting their conversation about Quidditch.

Fred sighed. "Mum wouldn't stop bugging us this whole summer for not finishing school properly..." Fred said tapping his chin thoughtfully.

"So we came back just to shut her up," George finished grinning broadly.

"Oh." Hermione turned her iPod again and went back into her own world.

"Why is she so quiet?" George asked Harry.

"I don't know!" Harry replied defensively. "Why are you asking me?"

"Hmm..." George pretended to think for a moment. "Maybe it's because you're her best friend?"

"She never said much about her summer! If you wanna know so bad, why don't you ask her yourself?" Harry hissed.

"She doesn't exactly trust us, you know," Fred said.

"She's got a good reason not to," Harry muttered. "After all the hell you two tried to cause last year..."

Fred and George smiled proudly.

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Hermione was making her way to the Great Hall when Ginny practically mobbed her in the hallway.

"What the HELL do you think you're doing?" Hermione hissed angrily after Ginny tackled her into a wall.

"You will never guess who was in the same carriage Luna and I were riding in!" Ginny said excitedly.

"Who?"

"David!"

Hermione paled. "What...?"

"David! Your boyfriend?" Ginny laughed breathlessly. "Oh my god Hermione! You are so lucky! He's so adorable and gentlemanly!"

Hermione tried to smile. Her knees felt weak. Just when I thought I could escape from him, Hermione thought. Shit.

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Hermione sat in her usual seat, which was across from Harry and Ron, and between Fred and George, which unfortunately gave her a clear view of the Slytherin table. Her face was ashen.

"Hermione, you okay?" George asked from her right.

Hermione's eyes started to water. "Dammit!" she exclaimed. She buried her face in her arms, but because Dumbledore had already started his usual speech, no one noticed. No one except for George.

He was staring at her. He'd never seen Hermione cry like this before. Somehow, something inside of him couldn't bear to see her in so much pain, so he put his arms around her and hugged her. She turned into him and hugged him back. George could smell the sweet, lavender scent of her hair. It was intoxicating.

"Lynch, David!" Professor McGonagall called out. The Sorting had already begun.

George and Hermione broke their embrace and watched as David made his way to the stool. He seemed to be glaring at the two of them. Hermione whimpered softly.

"SLYTHERIN!" the hat bellowed. David took his seat at the Slytherin table next to Draco Malfoy. The seat he had chosen gave him a free and clear view of Hermione during mealtimes. Hermione realized this and nearly broke down again.

The whole dinner was uncomfortable. Hermione knew she was being watched, and she could see David fuming as he realized she was surrounded with boys who weren't exactly "ugly". The boys noticed that Hermione seemed to be a little down, so they either hugged her (Fred and George) or patted her hands (Ron, Harry, Seamus, and Dean).

Hermione decided to leave dinner early, but unfortunately, David saw her leave the Great Hall and followed her.

She was walking when she was pushed into an empty classroom. Hermione turned to see who it was when her attacker punched her jaw. She looked up and saw David there.

"David-"she cried out.

"You filthy little slut!" David punched her in the stomach and pushed her against the wall really hard, pulling her hair to hold her up, making her eyes water. "You are not to talk to any of those guys at your table, do you hear me?" he hissed angrily into her ear.

"Y-yes..." she whispered weakly, trying hard not to cry.

David released her, and watched as his girlfriend crumpled to the ground. He kicked her legs and walked out of the room. "Filthy little slut..." he muttered.

Hermione got up slowly, wincing in pain, and tried to make her way to the Gryffindor Tower. She hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, and her body was battered. Hermione was almost at the Fat Lady's painting when she thought she heard her name being called, and turned around. The last thing she could see was Ron, Harry, Ginny, and the twins' faces above her before she blacked out.

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Ron lifted Hermione's body up and walked briskly into the common room. They had all seen Hermione leave, and decided to follow her. He set her down on the couch.

"She's sweating Ron," Ginny said shakily. "Take her robes off before she suffocates."

Harry, the nearest, took off Hermione's robes. Everyone gasped in shock as they saw all of the cuts and bruises on her chest, arms, and legs. Apparently, Hermione didn't wear anything under her thick Hogwarts robes except for a sports bra and shorts.

"Holy shit," Fred said running his hands through his hair. They all started crying silently.

After a moment, Hermione stirred. "Oww..." she cried out as she tried to sit up.

In an instant, George was by her side. "Hermione?" he asked, holding her up from her back.

"Don't do that," she said softly. "It's sore."

"Who did this to you?" Ron yelled angrily.

Hermione shook her head. "It was an accident, Ron. Calm down."

"This was no bloody accident Hermione!" Ron shouted. "Do you want us to take you to Madame Pomfrey?" Ginny asked quietly.

"What the hell kind of a question is that? Of COURSE we take her to Pomfrey! Are you stupid?"

"N-n-no..." Hermione said weakly. "I'm fine."

"Fine my ass!" Harry said loudly standing up. "Is it your parents, Mione? Have they been beating you?" Harry had had this experience with the Dursleys since before he could remember.

"No!"

"Then who Hermione?" George asked anxiously, tears streaming down his face. How could someone do such a thing to someone like Hermione? She's an angel, he thought. A beautiful angel.

Hermione shook her head again. "Just take me to my room, guys. I'm knackered."

"Well if that isn't the understatement of the bloody century!" Ron burst out.

George lifted Hermione up and carried her to the 6th year girl's dormitories. Everyone else, of course, followed.

"Ginny, tell Parvati and Lavender that they can't stay in their dorms tonight," George ordered setting Hermione gently down on her bed. She had fallen asleep again.

"What do I tell them?"

"I don't know! Make up anything!" Ginny nodded.

"I can't stay with her," Ron said. "Patrolling tonight."

"I'll stay here tonight," George said, "Gin, you need to stay with Lavender and Parvati and make sure that they don't come up here! Slip them some sleeping potion or something, but don't let them come up here."

Ginny nodded. She made her way to Hermione's bed and kissed her on the forehead. She walked away quickly, wiping her eyes.

"Harry, I don't know if Seamus, Dean, and Neville will notice if you're gone, but if they don't, I think you should stay here too. And Fred will stay too. Those 7th years are thick. They won't notice a thing."

"I'll go get some potion from Snape's dungeons," Harry announced.

"I'll go with you. You need backup if you're gonna break into Snape's private stores," Fred said. They disappeared under the Invisiblity Cloak with the Marauder's Map in their hands. Ron went to Professor Dumbledore's office to find out where he was stationed.

George was alone with Hermione. "Oh Hermione," he whispered. He looked at the huge bruise starting to form on her jaw and stroked it gently with his thumb. Her chestnut locks fell across her face, and he brushed them to the side. She looks so peaceful, George thought. He spent a few moments just watching her sleep, and without thinking, he leaned forward and kissed her softly on the lips.

"Hermione..." he whispered.

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Author's Note: Read and Review please!

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