Disclaimer thingy: Not mine So wish it were. I'll just borrow them to play with for now J.K I swear I'll dust them every day and put them back when I'm done. Don't sue I only have moths in my wallet.

A/N: This is my first ever story. Please R&R kindly as I've never done this before. Thanks so much to my Beta ;) L.J. you know who you are. With out her encouragement I never would have posted this.

Black Heart.

Hermione was just finishing up her rounds. As head girl she had to secure the halls before she was able to turn in for the night. It had been a very long week. She had a lot of homework piling up around her since she hadn't had a chance as of yet since it was Friday night and it was late. Hermione guessed around midnight. She was just deciding to turn in for the night when she heard a loud bang coming from the front entrance hall. It made her jump.

Hermione was angry as she stormed off in the direction of the noise. Whoever it was, was going to be in a great deal of trouble, she thought to herself. Well so much for turning early. Hermione sighed.

She arrived at the top of the staircase and looked over the banister. Hermione gasped at the sight that met her eyes. Dumbledore looked up at the same moment Hermione arrived at the top of the large staircase, as if he had expected to meet her there. Hermione hated it when he did that.

"Ah Miss Granger," said Dumbledore. "I could use your assistance." Hermione fairly flew down the stairs.

The sight that met her eyes stopped Hermione's heart cold in her chest. She stood gaping at her Potions Professor who was floating along beside the Head Master. Dumbledore touched Hermione's shoulder making her jump and gasp. She realized then that she had stopped breathing.

"Please Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, softly. "I'm in need of your assistance. Can you do this?"

Hermione turned and looked the Headmaster in the eye, the twinkle that was always present was no longer there. It scared her. However, Hermione refused to shrink away. She was needed and would rise to the occasion. Hermione stood tall.

"Of course Professor, whatever you need."

"Good girl. I knew I could rely on you," Dumbledore smiled. "Please take Professor Snape to his rooms and get started patching him up."

It was a good thing Hermione had been studying with Madame Pomfrey as a medi witch. Though she had never had a real emergency to use it on before, especially alone. She voiced her concerns to Dumbledore.

"Poppy, has had nothing but high praise for you, my dear. You will be fine, I have every confidence in you," Dumbledore smiled. "I do not wish him to be placed in the hospital."

"Yes of course Professor Dumbledore, I'll take care of him straight away." With that Hermione took her wand out of her robes and took over the levitation spell Dumbledore had placed on Professor Snape.

As Hermione walked quickly toward the dungeons, she kept glancing over at the unconscious Professor. He was covered in mud and drying blood. Some of it was still dripping down his face. He was on his side, nearly curled into a fetal position, when suddenly he started curling up tighter, moaning and then passed out again.

Must be the Cruciatus curse, Hermione mused, walking even faster. Hermione rounded the last corner to the Professor's private chambers, which were right next to his class, when she saw Nala, the house elf for this part of the dungeons.

"Nala, wait," Hermione called. "Can you let me into Professor Snape's chambers, quickly please?"

Nala turned around to say that she wasn't allowed, when she saw the Professor next to Hermione. "Oh yes, miss. Right away." Nala turned and whispered to the door, "Black Heart."

Hermione's eyes grew wide but she said nothing.

Nala opened the wide, heavy, ornately carved door, and preceded Hermione and the Professor into the room. Nala hurried to the fireplace and lit it.

Hermione walked into the spacious but dark room. As soon as the Professor crossed the door way, all at once the wall sconces flared to life, then dimmed casting a comfortable glow with dancing shadows everywhere.

To the right where the fireplace took up nearly the entire wall, were two overstuffed, wing back leather chairs on top of a very large plush looking Persian rug. The rest of the wall to the left of the door she had just come through, were covered floor to ceiling in book shelves. And right in the middle of all was an old fashioned black table with clawed feet. There was only one chair for that table, standing against the wall at the end of all the bookcases, right before the last door that lead elsewhere.

Hermione placed the Professor on the floor in front of the fireplace, so she could clean him up and tend to his wounds. The Professor's limbs started twitching again. Hermione pointed her wand and preformed a cleansing spell to rid him of the mud and some of the blood, so that she could see which wounds were still oozing.

She looked at his tattered robes and tears threatened to spill out. He looked so helpless just laying there. She touched her hand to his chest and looked at her fingers as they came away with fresh blood. Hermione pointed her wand at what was left of his shirt and using it like a knife, cut open the material easily. Turning the Professor onto his back so she could kneel closer to him, she pulled back his shirt to reveal his smooth albeit bloody chest beneath. Some of the wounds had already stopped bleeding, but one was quite deep under his ribs. He could have punctured his lung, she thought.

Hermione could hear Nala fretting in the background. "Nala, could you please go and fetch me some bandages and some of the healing salve for burns from Madame Pomfrey."

"Yes miss, immediately." And off the little elf scurried with a distinctly elf like pop.

How do I get myself into these messes? Hermione thought, miserably. She held out her wand once again and moving from head to toe preformed a diagnostic spell on the Professor. The injured areas glowed red. Well, cuts, lots of them, bruises, many of them too. She thought, and broken bones. Wow, Hermione eyes widened, looking down at the man in front of her. No wonder he's unconscious. Not only did he have a broken right arm, but some of his ribs, his collar bone, and his left ankle. Not to mention the burns marks on his back and hand. He was a mess no doubt about that.

Professor Snape had never been kind to Hermione in anyway, so why did she feel such compassion for this man? Hermione hated to see someone, anyone treated like this, and no one deserved to be beaten, then thrown away. Not even the vile, loathsome Professor Snape.

However this night, more than any other, she got to see just how much he suffered for the Order, for Dumbledore, and what's more, he kept going back for more.

He's amazingly strong, she thought. Hermione was shocked by her thoughts. Better stop thinking along these lines or you'll start liking him, she chided herself.

As Hermione continued to disrobe the Professor, he started shaking. "Great he's going into shock," she muttered to herself.

"Accio, blanket." Hermione held out her hand and the dark blue blanket that had been sitting on one of the chairs flew to her. Hermione covered the Professor, speaking soothingly to him, reassuring him that she was nearly done.

Professor Snape started twitching again but this looked different. It also sounded as if he was trying to speak.

Hermione drew her face closer to that of her Professor's. "What are you trying to tell me Professor?" Hermione whispered. As she got closer, she noticed that an orange sticky goo was leaking out of his eyes, and the same goo was leaking out of his mouth but this one was blue.

In horror Hermione realized that Professor Snape had been poisoned.

She ran to the fireplace threw in some floo powder. "Professor Dumbledore," she yelled. As soon as she saw the office she tried to speak in a lower voice but it was still quite loud.

"Professor Dumbledore, he's been poisoned."

"Help is on the way, Miss Granger."

With that promise Hermione removed her face from the fire. No sooner had she resumed kneeling near Professor Snape, then Fawkes appeared through the fireplace.

The Professor's head was starting to thrash back and forth. Fawkes walked calmly over to him and suddenly a two tears started running out of the birds eyes. Hermione put her hand on the Professor's forehead to stop his moving. Fawkes leaned over one eye and let the tears drip in to it, then the bird did the same to the other eye. As the tears were absorbed in to the eyes the goo started disappearing.

Next Fawkes walked over to Hermione and more tears appeared.

"Oh my," sighed Hermione, then she realized Fawkes was standing next to her and he chirped, seeming to call to her.

As Hermione reached out her hand to pet the bird, he stretched forward and another tear appeared and dropped onto her first finger.

"What is it?" Hermione whispered. Of course Harry had told her all about Fawkes but she didn't know where to put this last tear. Professor's eyes had stopped leaking the orange crud. So this must be for the mouth she surmised. "I hope you know what your doing Fawkes," Hermione exclaimed.

She let the tear fall from her finger onto his mouth, only to have it slide off down his cheek and into his hair.

"Now what?" she sighed, "that didn't work." She turned to Fawkes and she saw another tear. She took the next tear trying to think of the best way to get it into Snape's mouth, when his lips parted and the Professor mumbled something.

As he was mumbling Hermione touched his lip with her little finger and he stopped but his mouth was still open. She placed her first finger into his mouth and he started sucking on it.

Hermione gasped at the sensation and tried very hard not to think about it. When she saw the Professor swallow, she removed her finger and did this a few more times. Fawkes gave her one last tear and flew away.

The last time Hermione placed her little finger against Snape's mouth, he opened right away. She inserted her first finger and again the same sensations rushed over her as before but this time she heard Professor Snape moan. Holy Merlin is he doing that because of me? Hermione wondered. She gasped and withdrew her finger when she saw him swallow. Then Hermione quickly stood up and backed away, her face flushed.

Just then Nala and Professor Dumbledore entered the room. Hermione's hand went to her flushed cheeks hoping Professor Dumbledore wouldn't notice.

"Well Miss Granger, I can see you have done an excellent job. I'm sure Professor Snape will thank you when he is well enough. For now though lets get him to bed."

Dumbledore turned to Nala, "Please prepare the room. I'm sure Miss Granger you under stand that none of the students can know of this. For now he's been called away for personal matters, and you Miss Granger–" Dumbledore looked at Hermione over the top of his half moon spectacles.

"Yes Professor Dumbledore?" Hermione asked.

"Might you stay here with the Professor for a few days?"

"Look after him day and night?" Hermione asked, with shock in her voice.

"I know how you feel about your potions teacher, my dear, but I need someone I can trust. I will inform your two friends Harry and Ron about this, so they can help cover for you and dispel any concern that may arise. Can you, Miss Granger put aside your differences to help the Professor?"

"Yes Sir, I'll try." Hermione answered, sounding more confident then she felt.

"An honest answer," Dumbledore smiled.

"I will do all I can for you, Sir."

"Ahh my girl, I knew you would. Now lets get him to bed." With that Professor Dumbledore once again cast the levitation spell to raise Professor Snape off the floor.

Professor Dumbledore turned to face the last remaining door that Hermione had not yet been through, and started moving forward with Professor Snape in tow, and for one frightening moment Hermione thought the blanket she had used to cover Snape with was going to come off.

"I know how you feel about Professor Snape, my dear," Professor Dumbledore said, tiredly. "I know how the entire student body at large feel. I also know he treats you all abysmally, horridly bad.."

Hermione couldn't help but to hurmph and with horror she realized it had been out loud. She covered her mouth.

Dumbledore however continued as though she hadn't done a thing. "I would ask though, Miss Granger that you keep an open mind. Things. . . are not always what they seem." That said, Professor Dumbledore continued to walk through the door.

After Professor Snape had been put to bed and Professor Dumbledore had put some nightwear on the lower half only of the younger man. Hermione started to dress the burns.

"I will say one thing more, Miss Granger and then I will leave you to your doctoring."

Herm turned her head to look at the older of her two Professors.

"Had you," Professor Dumbledore asked, "ever tired Bertie Bots before you came here to Hogworts?"

Hermione stared at Dumbledore, completely thrown by his off the wall question. "Um no Professor," she answered, "I hadn't."

"And when you tasted them for the first time, did you like them straight off?" He knew what the answer would be, but he needed her to figure out where he was headed.

"No indeed," Hermione replied. "I got a dirt flavored one first, then at Harry's urging, I tried another one and got earwax." Hermione laughed softly to herself remembering how Ron and Harry were doubled over with laughter at the look on her face. "I swore them of then and there."

"Ah I see," said the Headmaster. "And is that the end? Did you never have another one since then?" Dumbledore's eyes were twinkling again.

Hermione turned her body sideways while still sitting on the side of the bed, with Professor Snape's hand resting in her lap, to fully look Dumbledore in the face. "Now I do, but only if Ron or Harry have tasted it first." She smirked to herself recalling how many times she had narrowly escaped one of the fiery ones or even the vomit flavored one. Ron got that one just last week.

"I see," replied Dumbledore. "Do you have a favorite one now?" He asked.

"Oh yes," Hermione said, while turning back to her task of rubbing the salve into the Professor's palm. "I love the grass flavored ones."

"Really." The Professor answered. "And can you also see how the Bertie Botts situation might translate to the circumstances in which you are now faced?"

"You mean," sighed Hermione, exaggeratedly, "that just because I didn't like something or someone that I should try again."

"Exactly," Dumbledore beamed. "Your perseverance is one of your many gifts Miss Granger."

With that said, Dumbledore turned and walked to the door. "Nala will be at your call, Miss Granger. Should you require anything, and if you need to leave these chambers, the pass word is Black Heart," Dumbledore said, with an arched eyebrow. He bent down to speak a few words to Nala and then straightened. As he was about to cross the threshold from bedroom to sitting room Hermione called out.

"Headmaster? Might I ask a question?"

"Of course my dear, however I must warn you, I may not be able to answer." Dumbledore said knowing what the question was.

"What happened to him?" Out of the corner of Hermione's eye, she saw the Headmaster's shoulders sag.

"He has been beaten and that is all I can say about this for now." Dumbledore turned to leave but called over his shoulder, "I will send Madame Pomfrey in to give you a hand dressing the burns on his back and, just to alleviate your fears, give our dear Professor the once over to make sure you didn't miss a thing. Even thought I have every confidence you didn't." And with that he was gone.

Hermione heard the poof of the floo powder as Dumbledore left via the fireplace. She started wrapping Professor Snape's hand in a bandage taking care not to make it too tight, as the Professor's body was wracked by another onslaught of convulsions. Snape grabbed at Hermione's hand and held on. Hermione began to worry that he was still having them. She had read that the effects only lasted an hour or so if left alone.

Just then Madame Pomfrey walked briskly in. As Hermione was trying to keep the Professor from rolling onto his back and extricate her hand from the death grip he had on it, Madame Pomfrey gave the potions master the once over and declared him in excellent care.

"I'll help you to dress the burns on his back and then, I'm sorry Miss Granger but I must return to the hospital. Neville has been practicing his hexes again. He hexed poor Colin six ways to Sunday."

"Oh dear," smiled Hermione. "Poor Colin . . . poor Neville."

"Yes Mr. Longbottom is feeling simply terrible just now. Has refused to leave Collin's side all night. I'm just praying that Longbottom doesn't get it into his head to try and fix it." Madame Pomfrey exclaimed. "No telling what the damage to my hospital would be then."

"Madame Pomfrey I wanted to ask you. . ."

"Yes dear?"

"Why is Professor Snape still having the tremors? Some are quite violent."

"Well you see dear for some reason Professor Snape has never been able to handle that curse. Not even when he was younger. Poison him, hex him, he can withstand much but use that curse on him and that's it. He's better then he used to be. Time was he had to stay in bed for a month."

Upon hearing this news Hermione's eyes widened.

"But don't worry dearie, he's down for only a week now. He has worked very hard to get it this far. He just can't seem go further. Noone knows why." Well Miss Granger he looks as comfortable as can be expected I must take my leave now. I have left several potions and more salve over there on the dresser." She pointed to a long cheery wood dresser with a silver tray sightly glowing and several bottles on top of the tray. "I believe that is all you'll need, now if you run out or have any questions let me know through the fireplace or send Nala." Turning on her heel Madame Pomfrey left with a poof as well.

Hermione turned to Nala who was standing by the door. "I don't think I'll need anything for a while you can go."

Nala stepped forward. "Um excuse me, Miss, the Great Wise Headmaster sent me to fetch some things from your room to make your stay a little more. . . comfortable."

Hermione hadn't even noticed the little Elf had some items clutched in her arms. Her bag of toiletries some Pj's a brush. But sadly not her homework nor even a book. "Thank you, Nala, that was very sweet of you," and she smiled warmly at the elf.

"If Miss needs anything just call my name I will be able to hear you no matter where you are."

"Ok, good night."

After handing Hermione the items, Nala just disappeared.

Hermione turned slowly around taking in the sights that met her eyes, but really there was nothing much to see. No pictures on the wall and just a couple of books the night stand. Two sconces on the wall, and a simple looking candle on the other night table. Had Madame Pomfrey not put anything on the top of the dresser it would have been bare as well.

Hermione noted that there was not one mirror nor a reflective surface anywhere. She thought this was odd but didn't dwell on it, just filed it away for later.

To the right of the bed a door that blended into the wall. Taking one last look at her patient Hermione quietly walked over to the door, turned the handle and peered in. What met Hermione's eyes was amazing, to say the least.

The bathroom was at least the same size as her dorm room. There was an old fashioned tub with clawed feet. Big enough for two she mused, and a walk in shower with no heads. The water just came out of the walls and ceiling as if from a waterfall.

Against the last wall was the toilet and sink. Those two items seemed out of place with their plainness compared with the emerald green and gold walls and the plush dark green area rug in the middle of the room. There was also a small white chair next to the sink. Hermione walked to the chair and placed her overnight items on it. She decided she should wash up some before preparing for sleep.

Hermione put her hands near the sink and immediately the water started running out warmly. The water that was running down the drain was slightly colored red. At the sight of the Professor's blood Hermione's hands started to shake.

"Oh heavens lets not fall apart now," she berated herself. As she sat on the chair, grabbing the towel above it, she immediately jumped up just as soon as her butt hit the hair brush laying on top of her items. She started to laugh nervously to herself, when she heard a groan come from the bedroom.

Hermione had left the door open so she could hear if the potions Master needed her. She ran in to the room seeing him in yet another grip of the curse.

Hermione reached for the Professor's hand and he immediately clamped down on hers. Hermione bit down on her bottom lip to keep from hollering. I'm going to be bruised tomorrow. Good thing I gave him my left hand, she thought.

Finally the tremors eased off and Hermione, using her right hand, ran her fingers through Snape's hair pushing it out of his eyes. He was sweating profusely and it was starting to run into his hair.

Hermione was finally able to get Snape to let go of her left hand. Standing up from the bed, Hermione walked back to the bathroom and standing in the middle of the room she looked for a cloth.

When there was none in sight, she declared out loud, "Well . . . I need a cloth."

And there it appeared on the side of the tub.

Ok, she thought.

Hermione picked up the cloth brought it to the sink. "Cool water" she spoke, and that's what came out of the waterfall looking faucet.

Hermione brought the cool cloth back to Snape and began wiping the sweat from his forehead. She also wiped his face down a bit and his hands too. This simple gesture always made her feel better, and she thought it may do the same for him.

Severus Snape could feel someone wiping some thing soft against his face. It felt nice, was his last thought before he drifted into blackness again.

Hermione covered up the Professor before slipping back into the bathroom to take off some of her school garb.

Suddenly a hook appeared next to the shower. She walked over and hung up some of her clothes. Then she went back into the sitting area intent on finding a book to pass the time. As she scanned the shelves she saw several books that caught her attention.

Finally she grabbed a familiar leather encased book and headed back into the bedroom. Umm, but where to sit? Hermione mused.

She could sit on the bed at the foot and lean back against the thick round carved post. But if Snape should wake and see her she didn't think he'd like that much. Hermione placed the book next to the Professor and went into the bathroom to fetch the white straight back chair.

Setting it down next to the bed Hermione sat cross legged and started to read. But before she got two pages into her book, Snape sat up glaring around the room yelling for people to get off him.

Hermione sat completely still not wanting to attract attention to herself. Her heart was beating madly as the Professor continued shouting spells and pointing his nonexistent wand.

Hermione ducked out of reflex as Snape pointed in her direction. This is crazy he is going to start hexing me next, she thought frantically. Then where will we be? Hermione started speaking low from her crouched position. But slowly started to sit up. "It's alright Professor your going to be alright. You're among . . ." What? Friends? He'd never believe that. She tried again.

"You're safe now Professor. Vol . . . Voldemort can't get to you here shh now."

Snape had started to calm down finally. Hermione rose from her chair and went to the tray of potions Madame Pomfrey had brought over. Finding the one marked dreamless sleep, Hermione brought it over to the bed and laying one cool hand on the Professor's extremely warm forehead to gently hold him still she opened the cork vial with her teeth and slowly poured the neon pink potion into his open mouth, a little at a time.

After three drops he closed his mouth. She tried a different approach, placing her hand under his head, she whispered to him. "Please Professor drink this."

Snape came to slightly, glaring at Hermione. "Get away from me," he whispered.

"Please Professor," Hermione whispered back "Madame Pomfrey said, to give this to you. It'll help." She raised the vial to Snape's lips and said, quietly. "Honestly it's not like I'm poisoning you! I'm trying to help."

"I don't need your help," Snape glared.

"Well Professor," Hermione spoke softly, "if you could think of a Slytherin you trust enough to take my place, by all means, let me know who and I will have Nala fetch them."

"I can think of several who would be better then you, in a heart beat," he lied. He knew full well no one in his house could be trusted. Not in the least.

Hermione sat on the side of the bed quietly with the opened and as yet undrunk potion in her lap. Who knew where the cork ended up, when she started to speak to him earlier.

"Get off my bed Miss Granger!" Professor Snape snarled.

Hermione slowly stood and backed away.

"And don't ever touch me in that familiar way again."

Hermione held up both hands in a gesture that either said; look no wand or have it your way. At this point even Snape wasn't sure which he preferred.

"Now leave."

"I don't think so Professor . . ."

"I didn't ask you to think Miss Granger, just do as your told!" He was getting angrier by the minute.

"Professor Dumbledore told me to stay. Take it up with him." Hermione was also very angry, the color in her cheeks made that very evident.

"Fine ," Snape barked, practically yelling now. It took two tries to get his legs over the edge of the bed, but as his feet touched the floor and he tried to stand, his legs gave way and he fell to the floor wracked by another spasm.

Hermione didn't know what to do. He seemed to calm down faster if he had her hand to take away some of the pain, but on the other hand (no pun intended) when he came round he was going to be livid at seeing her next to him. And holding hands no less.

The fit which had started off mild was growing. Oh damn. I'm going to need to learn to grow thicker skin, Hermione thought as she thrust her already bruised left hand into that of Snape's.

Again the vice like grip clamped down on her and she gave him some pressure back, so that hopefully, he didn't crush her hand.

Suddenly he threw his head threw back and his mouth opened in a silent yell with his eyes closed tightly and Hermione gasped and panted for air for both of them. But she refused to yell if he could endure this so could she. Even as one of the bones in her hand broke, from the pressure. All she thought was, Oh Gods this the worst yet.

Finally, thankfully, he lay quietly on the floor, still holding her hand. "Professor can you hear me?" He blinked. "Professor we need to get you back into bed. Please, it's too cold on the stone floor for you. Let me help you up."

After a few minutes passed, Snape slowly turned his head to glare at the girl next to him. "Why are you doing this? What did he promise you?"

Hermione was shocked. She knew he meant Professor Dumbledore. "Nothing Professor," she replied breathlessly.

"Then I ask you again, why are you here?"

"Because I was asked to help. It's what I do, Sir. I help. It's who I am." Hermione was trying to pull the now weakened man into a sitting position using only her good hand. He had mercifully let go of the other with a final twitch, at which point she gasped..

Snape had no idea why the stupid girl was gasping perhaps it was a teen thing. Maybe it was a girl thing which ever, he was certain he didn't like it.

As Snape allowed himself to sit up out of the corner of his eye he did see that Miss Granger's hand looked a little funny but for the life of him couldn't see why.

Hermione helped Snape from the floor using only her body and her right arm around his waist. She noted, with some surprise, that he wasn't any bigger than either Ron or Harry. Whom she had helped carry several times. So to keep the embarrassment to a minimum, she chose to think of him as on of the boys. Tucking him in as she would have one of them.

"Kindly stop fussing over me as if I'm one of your boys," Snape sneered.

"Sorry Professor . . . "

"And stop apologizing! It's getting tiresome." Snape's voice started to rise. His embarrassment at having this girl see him at his most vulnerable was too much. "Where is the potion? Might as well take it to escape for a while."

Hermione looked at the floor where the potion had spilled and leaked all over the carpet. She turned abruptly and went to the tray with the potions searching, praying there was at least one more.

There was one left. With a sigh of relief Hermione picked it up uncorking it again with her teeth and handed it to the Potions Master.

Snape watched intently as she pulled the cork from the bottle thinking it was an odd thing to do, no matter how nice it may have looked. Snape rolled his eyes. He must have hit his head on the floor when he fell over, thinking thoughts like that.

Taking the vial she offered him, but never taking his eyes from hers, he smelled the potion then downed it in one swallow. Glad it was fast acting he sank back into his pillows, finally closing his eyes. He felt her take the vial from his hand so he tried to slur out a thank you.

Hermione took the empty tube from him as she thought she heard him say a thank you, her eyes widened in surprise. Na, she thought must have just been air escaping.

Hermione turned to head into the bathroom to retrieve her wand from her cloak which was still hanging near the shower.

After extricating her wand she preformed a bone repairing spell on her now very sore and swollen left hand. Then she preformed an anti-swelling charm. Thank Merlin she was a righty. After such a rough time with Snape, Hermione needed some small comfort in the guise of her warm fluffy night clothes. To bad Nala didn't think to bring her slippers also.

Oh well I can get them tomorrow, she thought to herself. Tomorrow. Hermione sat down hard on the floor. I'll be here till Sunday. I know I told Dumbledore I could do this but how can I? With the most mean spirited person in the next room, getting his rest so he can attack me again in the morning.

She wished Ron or Harry were here to make her laugh, so she wouldn't be so nervous.

After realizing she was on the floor, she berated herself and went back into the bedroom to sit once again on the hard wooden chair. If Hermione thought she was tired before this nightmare started, she was completely done in now.

Hermione retrieved her book from the floor where it had fallen at some point and reopened it, turning her body so she could lay her head on her hand holding the book open with the other.

She yawned and started to try reading again but all to soon, her hand betrayed her and slipped slowly out from beneath her head, only to come to a rest on Professor Snape's leg. Hermione's head followed it down, finally coming to a rest on the now outstretched arm.

She hadn't been this tired since year three and the time turner.

When Nala came in to check on Hermione, seeing the girl asleep, Nala produced a warm blanket which she placed on Hermione's lap to keep the chill off. She also had the girls slippers which Nala placed on her feet. Then Nala turned the already low lighting even dimmer so that if the young girl awoke she could still see. And as quietly as she appeared, she disappeared.