Disclaimer: I own no rights to Harry Potter. I do not intend to ever take credit for the characters or plot or anything that the genius Rowling made.

3/26/05- Yes, as you can see, I'm putting the fic back up. As some of you may have noticed, it was deleted due to 'explicit content.' Truthfully, I don't think any of my scenes were that bad and I even had warnings at the top. So now that I'm reposting, I've got some new things to tell.

First, I'm getting rid of all scenes that are 'explicit.' This would mainly be the rape scene in chapter two. But on my Yahoo Group (Icys_Corner) I will be posting the real chapter and you may read it there if you like.

Second, here's my warnings. If you don't like, then don't read and don't report.

There will be rape- although the major scenes will be not on this site but on my own. In this chapter there is some molesting, but I don't think it's anything none of us have never seen in a lemon fic, ne?

Character death is also in this story, and I don't mean just the 'bad guys'. Some of our favorite characters die as well, so if you don't like that then please don't read. Other than that, just your average dose of Rated M violence and swearing, but nothing you haven't seen before.

Now shall we proceed?

xxx

Black is Our World

Dark Beginnings

Cold...hungry…hurt... My eyes roved around the dark space and took in the horrific scene no one was ever supposed to ever have eyes laid on, yet we got the pleasure of seeing every day for the past two months...maybe three...I don't know anymore.

Huge metal cells, barred over and over with locks that no hairpin could ever pick were set in the barracks where we lived. Rats nestled in the damp stone walls, scrounging our food when they had the chance, in an attempt to save their own pitiful lives. Wet, musty hay was thrown on the dirt floors as our bedding, a hole in the floor in the corner our bathroom.

Underfed, ragged, and beaten people filled the cells, all of them near my age; all of us destined to rot and die in this vile place. Gingerly, my right hand strayed up to my face, lightly touching the bruise I had received that day from the guards. Dark blue fading to a light purple covered my cheek, the angry reds swirling in the mix.

"You alright there, Mione?" called the gentle voice of Ron from the cell across the hall, his hands wrapped around the grimy silver poles that kept us caged.

A passing guard stormed up to the cell and clouted Ron through the bars, the red head flying backwards and crashing into the wall, a trickle of blood leaking down his temple. "Quiet!" yelled the man, a hood hiding his face from view. "You know you're not supposed to talk!"

He stormed off down the hall, black robes swishing out behind him, his step in long, confident strides, having the knowledge that he was above all of us. I gazed longingly after the guard, wishing that I too could walk freely around, no fear in my heart.

But then my concern turned towards Ron who still hadn't moved from his spot on the floor. Ginny, her once vibrant red hair now dark and in thick tangles that cascaded down her back in a knotted mess, was shaking her brother by the shoulder, whispering quietly for him to wake up.

We were all rewarded a few desperate minutes later with a small moan from Ron and then the opening of his bright azure eyes, though laced with pain still showed compassion and love. "Shhh, Ginny, I'm all right, I'm all right," he murmured, holding her in his arms and rubbing small circles on her back. "It's okay, no need to cry."

The littlest red head sniffled but then pulled out of Ron's embrace, running a dirty hand across her face, smearing the dirt even more that had mingled with the tears. "I know...but I still get scared, Ron."

"We all do, Ginny," said the older brother comfortingly, giving his only sister a small smile. "We just have to pretend that we aren't here, that we're someplace with Mum and Dad and are happy. Whenever they try to get to you Gin, just go to that secret place in your mind, okay?"

"Okay," she said softly. "I'll try."

"Good girl," he said, "That's my sister."

I went to the back of my shared cell, away from the toilet, and slid down the wall until I was next to Fred. "How are you holding up?" he asked, tucking a stray hair that had fallen over my face behind my ear.

"As good as can be expected I suppose. It all just seems so real," I said softly, resting my head against my adoptive big brother's shoulder. "I never thought it would turn out like this."

"None of us did," he said running a hand through his dirty hair. "But all we can do is hold out and hope someone from the Order wasn't captured. Waiting really is all we can do."

"All we're doing is waiting for our death," said Pansy, lying on her back and staring up at the stone ceiling. "As soon as they've had enough of us, we're just going to be killed…unless we die from these conditions first."

"Don't say that," I chided, looking at the Slytherin girl. "We have to have hope. We've all been in tough situations before, and we'll get through this one."

"For what?" asked the dark brown haired girl, rising to stare at me. "The whole world has been taken over, Granger. Surely you must know that, being the smartest witch that will ever have gone to Hogwarts."

"But we have to believe," I protested. "Out there, people are still fighting and although thousands are dying each day, they are taking out the Death Eaters."

"Yeah, like one hundred muggles to one Death Eater a day," she said sarcastically, "We're really going to pull through. The war has already happened and Potter blew his chance-" I clamped a hand over the girl's mouth.

"Don't you dare speak about Harry like that. Do you think he wanted this to happen?" I hissed, my brown eyes sparkling with a hint of anger. "He did the best he could Pansy, and that's all we can ask of him."

"Fine," the girl said, removing my hand. "But that doesn't mean I still have to act all happy like nothing is wrong."

"Would you two please stop fighting? I don't like it when we argue," spoke up the timid, chocolate haired Hufflepuff.

"Hannah's right," said George, who was sitting next to the girl. "Fighting won't help anything. Now both of you apologize to each other." I glanced at my Slytherin cellmate, a neutral expression on my face.

"I'm sorry, Pansy."

"Sorry, Granger."

"I thought I said no talking," growled the guard who had come back.

Immediately, we all clammed up, our eyes focused on the food he was holding. One wrong movement of look could earn us no dinner, and seeing as only two meager meals a day made up our eating habits, we had had to get that food.

"You're finally learning, aren't you?" he chuckled, tossing one of the bags in my cell and one in Ron's. "Enjoy," he smirked, walking off back down the hall to probably a better meal. But I guess I should be thankful we even got food.

Opening the bag I peered inside and snorted with disgust. Five, slightly rotten apples were in the bottom, brown dots covering them and the juice oozing out in some places. "Catch," I said, throwing one to each of the people in my cell.

Ron did the same with their group's apples; one to Ginny, Lavender, Neville, and himself. I went back to the front of the cell and craned my neck to try to see the other two cells with their occupants.

On the cell across the way next to Ron's, I could make out a familiar black haired head, leaning dejectedly against the far wall, all hope lost. His once bright emerald eyes had dulled, the light and energy gone.

Inside the cell next to us was Draco Malfoy, who would ever have thought? I had never expected him to be on Dumbledore's side, nor Pansy either. Both came from pureblood families, were Slytherins and seemed the most evil of any of the green and silver schoolmates I had known. But here they were, locked up in Voldemort's stronghold with the rest of us.

Harry and Draco were the most dangerous of our ragtag group, each posing as a threat to Voldemort. Harry; the only wizard who would be able to beat him. The valiant brave Gryffindor who never backed down and lost a challenge, until now. Draco Malfoy; son of his right hand man, Lucius Malfoy. Sly and cunning with both tongue and action to back up his word, Malfoy was not one to be crossed.

Both had been put in separate cells, forbidden food, except enough to keep them from dying, and even the small luxury of the stinky, smelly hay. It had at least it helped keep some of the dampness from the floor from soaking into our bones.

We'd all tried to communicate with them, but Harry had just told us to leave him alone and Malfoy had plain ignored us. Even Pansy had tried, begging Malfoy to speak to her but he would not utter a single word.

I sighed and moved back to my spot next to Fred, his arm wrapping around me to offer warmth. I snuggled up to him and gazed up at his face. His mouth was set in a thin stubborn line, his normally cheerful brown eyes hard and cold. He looked so... serious, an expression very odd to see on either of the Weasley twins.

The loud grating of a lock jumped me out of my thoughts as a Death Eater entered our cell. Instantly, George was off his seat on the wall and running for the man, a chance for escape possible. Unfortunately, the man held a wand and pointed it at him, preparing to fire.

A stunning spell shot off the end of the wand, hitting George before he even got close enough to touch the guard, and he flew back, lying face down on the ground. Ginny screamed when she had seen her brother get hit, expecting the worst, and the guard had turned to face her in the other cell.

Ron quickly covered her mouth, trying to prevent her from getting in any trouble with the guards. They weren't known to be the friendliest of people. The black robed man moved over and, without a word, wrenched me up by my hair and started dragging me towards the open door of the cell.

But for some reason, I didn't want to leave the cell right now. It was like a safe haven, the place where you were sure that you couldn't be hurt badly, the place with people who cared about you. I felt Fred grab on to my arm and attempt to pull me backwards, Pansy helping him as Hannah sat in fright on the floor.

But the guard gave one final pull on my head, my scalp feeling like it was going to be ripped off, and pulled me through the door, slamming and locking it behind us. He then proceeded to drag me down the hall, kicking and screaming towards a large open room that I had never seen before. In the middle sat a small wooden table with baskets of rolls, fresh fruit, and other numerous treats I hadn't seen since our capture. The guard let go of my hair and gestured to the table. "Won't you sit down?"

Hesitantly, I slid into one of the straight-backed chairs and eyed the man up and down. "Who are you?" I blurted out, before clamping a hand over my own mouth. I shouldn't be so disrespectful to those higher then us and the ones who decided if we would live or die. We were at their mercy and it wouldn't help to go and make them angry.

He chuckled, drawing back his hood to reveal shiny, clean, black hair, the strands pulled back into a low ponytail at the nape of his neck. "You may call me Marlin. Now, won't you have something to eat?" he queried, gesturing at the bountiful amount of food.

Readily, my hand went out and snatched a roll off the platter. I was raising it to my lips when the thought that it might be poisoned hit me. I glanced over at me dinner companion who was sipping blood red wine from a golden goblet, his eyes watching me like a hawk.

"Actually, I'm not very hungry," I said, placing the roll, now with a bit of dirt on its crusty outer layer, back on the plate.

"Not hungry? My but your appearance says otherwise. Are you sure you wouldn't care for a delicious red apple?" he asked, holding out the round, plump fruit.

"Quite," I said firmly, not trusting him in the least. When I was younger I had watched Disney movies, and in Snow White, the girl took a bite of an apple that the witch offered her and fell into a deep sleep. I don't think I'll fall asleep, but something far worse could happen.

He leaned forward, his elbows resting on the table, his eyes boring into me. "Then if you don't want to eat, I'll be asking you a few questions. What's your name?"

"Hermione Granger," I said confidently. I honestly have no idea why they just asked me that since everyone clearly knows my name. I mean, Lavender and I are the only muggleborns here and the guards like to make that fact painfully aware.

"Do you know why you are here? With me?" he asked, his eyes black eyes gleaming.

"Because you wanted to ask me some questions," I said. "And Marlin, by chance, were those foods dipped in veritaserum?" I asked, my voice honey sweet like I was talking to a child. I'd had a growing suspicion that they'd do something…after all, Death Eaters don't offer us such good food without a reason.

His hand connected with my face before I even had time to register it had left the wine glass. I tumbled out of the chair, landing on the hard floor, my hand reaching automatically for my stinging cheek, this time the left one.

He stood over me, towering above, a sinister smile on his face. "It is not wise to ask questions, Mudblood," he spat. "I'll be doing the asking around here. Now," he said, leaning down so his face was mere inches from my own, my hair cascading around my head like a halo on the ground, "Where is Albus Dumbledore?"

Like I knew that? Of course Dumbledore would probably be at Grimmauld, but Marlin would never get that answer. While he had been talking, I had been sucking furiously at the inside of my mouth, finally happy with my amount of saliva to spit.

"Well?" he asked, his voice growing colder. "Speak, Girl!" My answer? A gooey glob of spit running down his cheek. I quickly rolled backwards to get away from him and sprang to my feet, making a mad dash for the door. There was really nowhere I could run, but if I could get back to the cells I'm sure my friends would try and help.

He must have seen my escape route, and being much stronger, taller, and faster, I felt something, or someone, collide into me, driving my face hard against the floor, blood spurting from my nose.

Marlin got off of me, wrenching me up by my hair. "I take it you're not going to answer, are you, Mudblood?" he said, his eyes holding cold fury and an angry lust. When he got no response from me, he growled and dragged me across the room, my feet digging uselessly into the stone mortar.

He managed to get me over to a far wall where a set of manacles dangled from the wall, which he thrust my hands into and then locked. My feet barely scraped the floor, almost all of my weight was being held up by my wrists, and I can't say that was very pleasant.

"If you won't give us the information willingly, I'll have to make you give it to me," he hissed, his breath tickling my ear in an unpleasant way. I glanced over my shoulder as he went back to the dining table, returning with a knife from the meal.

I shuddered and drew in a shaky breath as he held it out in front of him, the keen blade pointing straight at my back, the torchlight throwing a distorted glare over the metal. I heard the audible swish of a knife but felt nothing slice into my tender skin. The only thing I did hear was the ripping of cloth and then his hands pulling the cut material away from my body.

I blushed an angry red when I felt the clasps of my bra undoing, and vainly I struggled, trying to kick him and make him stop. But with a sudden jerk, the last article of clothing on my top half fell to the floor, cut in dozens of places.

His hands roamed to my front, cupping each breast tenderly. The sudden applied pressure to the given area made me gasp, as he squeezed each one. "Stop it," I whimpered, a tear forming in my eye, the blush having been replaced with a white mask of fear. "Please stop..."

"But don't you like this, Mudblood?" he said, trailing kisses down my open neck. "Because I know I do." His hands trailed farther down my front, kneading into my stomach and traveling still farther.

"No…please don't," I whispered, my breath hitching in my throat and allowing the single tear to gently caress my cheek.

He turned my head, so I was looking deep into his eyes, and then he leaned forward and kissed me, biting on my lip. I moaned beneath his touch, not from desire but from the need to pull away.

When his tongue entered my mouth, I took my chance and bit the intruding item, my teeth sinking deep into the flesh, the taste of blood filling my mouth. As soon as he felt the pain, he quickly pulled out, tapping his thumb to his tongue and wincing.

Then, with a fierce growl, he captured my lips against his, kissing me with the ferocity of a wild animal. My head slammed against the wall, his mouth hungrily seeking my own.

Moments later, he pulled away, satisfied. "Are you sure you do not wish to talk, Mudblood?" Marlin asked, straightening his rumpled robes and tying back his hair neatly.

I nodded my head, afraid of even opening his mouth lest he put his tongue in again. "Very well then," he said, turning me so my back was once again to him. "We'll have to do this the hard way."

Shifting my head around I saw him take a black braided whip off his waist, which I thought had been a belt. Cracking it right next to my head, I quickly turned back to face the wall, trying to prepare myself, but not knowing exactly what a whip would feel like, I mean, this has never happened to me before.

All too soon, my unasked question had been answered. The cord struck against my bare back, a loud cry issuing from my mouth. He laughed behind me, and then hit me again. And again. And again.

Pretty soon, I had ceased to think, to talk, to do anything. I could only focus on the pain, the anguish and helplessness inside me building as each lash struck, leaving a trail of red liquid flowing down my back.

Finally, he stopped, although I was barely conscious by that time. Marlin laughed, as he unchained my hands and I fell to the floor, to weak to stand. He grabbed me by my arm and slung me over his shoulder like a rag doll and walked out of the room back towards the cells.

Right now, I didn't care that I wasn't wearing anything on my top, I didn't care I was bleeding. The only thing that mattered was that I had stopped being hit. "We'll try this again Mudblood," he whispered in my ear, as we entered the cell compound. As soon as Marlin had dumped me on the ground in my cell, all the events caught up with me and I fainted, glad to be leaving that world of pain.

Fred's POV

Bloody Hell... I took one look at Hermione and then jumped into action. "Hannah, get me that water from yesterday, Pansy, can you pull her hair back?" The girls in the cell set to work, as I took off my own shirt while George gently turned the girl so she was lying on her front so that we could treat her back.

Hannah handed me the small bowl of water that we had saved and now we had a good reason to use it. Tearing off a small piece of my ragged shirt, I dipped it into the water and gently started to wipe the brunette's back.

What had that man done to her? Whipped, I could see that, but for how long? Why? Hermione had the most sense out of all of us, she knew not to insult the guards, right? And it looked like he had done more than whipping…there were bruises all over her front. Pansy was taking Mione's knotted hair and pulling it off to the side so it wouldn't dry in the blood that covered her.

Once we were done cleaning her as best we could, Pansy as gently as possible, pulled my shirt on over the girl's welt covered frame. George picked her up and set the Gryffindor down in my lap, her head resting against my shoulder and my one arm holding her to me, not tightly but securely.

I felt tears sliding down my face after looking at hers. Her lips were larger than normal, the skin bruised around it. A large angry red hand print was on her cheek her eyes squinted tight in pain. What had that bastard done?

Ginny was cuddled in Ron's arms sobbing, scared at the horrible sight of her friend. Even Harry had moved off of the floor and was pressed against the bars, his emerald eyes once more ablaze with fire.

We stayed that way a long time, the only change Ginny had stopped crying and was now just resting in Ron's arms. If there was one good thing that came out of this, it would be we've all gotten closer to each other. Heck, I'm even ordering around a Slytherin who actually listened to me!

The girl in my arms started to stir, nuzzling her head against my bare chest looking for warmth. "Mione, wake up," I whispered, "Open your eyes."

A few seconds later the honey brown eyes opened, revealing tears that were forming before they spilled over, coating her red cheeks in little paths of crystal. "It's alright," I said soothingly, "Just let it all out."

"What did they do to you?" asked George once Hermione had stopped crying. "Come on Mione, talk to us." The injured girl shook her head and buried it against my chest, tears still streaming down her face.

"Just let her be for a while," I said, my whole heart going out to the weeping girl. "She'll talk to us when she is ready."

And ready didn't take too long. Not even ten minutes later, the crying girl raised her head, her eyes shining brightly. "You want to know what happened?" she asked, her face grim. "I'll tell you. They want to know where Dumbledore is, not that we'll ever tell them. And they'll do anything to get it." She chuckled dryly, her voice still hoarse from screaming.

"But what happened to you?" I asked. "Unless you don't want to talk about it," I added quickly.

Hermione shook her head, wincing at the slight strain on her muscles. "If we expect to get through this, we have to be perfectly honest with each other. He whipped me, as you can see, and in a sense violated me I guess..." her voice trailed off in memory. "He originally offered me some food, but I think it had a Truth Potion in it so I refused. He got a bit violent after that."

"Oh Mione," said George, staring sadly at the girl, pity shining in his eyes. In fact, everyone looked sad for Mione, even Pansy.

"This is my fault too," muttered Harry, banging his head against a wall. "If I had just gotten to him first then none of this would have happened."

"Oh, shut up, Potter," growled Pansy. "We all got in this mess and I for one am going to get out. Now stop blaming yourself and start thinking of a plan."

I looked at the Slytherin girl with new respect. I had often wondered how she had managed to lead the Slytherins when Malfoy wasn't there, but now it was clear. Both of the Slytherins were incredible leaders, with enough venom and power to make anyone fear them.

Hermione leaned her head back wearily against me, her eyes closed in thought. "Can any of you think of a way for us to get out of here?" I asked, my voice hoping for an answer.

"I know," said Harry, "We can all just kill ourselves."

"Don't talk like that!" shouted Ginny. "Don't you dare even think those thoughts, Harry James Potter! Do you honestly have the intention of leaving us all here? HUH?"

"Shhh, keep it down, Ginny," hissed Lavender. But it was to late. Marlin came around the corner, this time with another of the Death Eaters.

"Which one of you was making all the racket?" demanded Marlin, peering into each of the cells. "Obviously a girl, not the Mudblood of course," he continued, and I tightened my arms around Hermione to keep her from doing anything stupid. "Ah you, Weasley," he said eyeing the small girl up and down.

"You leave her alone," yelled Ron, his arms tightening around our sister. "Don't you dare even lay one finger on her!" Ginny looked completely terrified at the thought that she might have to go with this man. None of us could stop him... he had the wand; we did not.

"I won't hurt you" said Marlin, opening the creaky door. "All we're going to do is talk..." He attempted to take Ginny, but Ron lashed out, kicking the guy firmly in his gut. Marlin doubled over, but removed his wand from his robes. We all immediately froze, knowing he could kill us at any minute. "Let's go," said the long black haired man, his eyes narrowed.

"Take me instead," said Ron firmly, although his eyes showed he was scared. "I'll go with you."

"Oh no, I much prefer girls instead. Now come, Weasley..." Ginny threw Ron a despairing look, but stepped out of his embrace and left the cell, Marlin's hand clamped on her shoulder and the other Death Eater following behind.

That next hour was pure Hell for me, all of us really. Was that man going to hurt Ginny? If he even dared touch her like he did Mione- my hands tightening around the Gryffindor- he'd wished he'd never been born after Fred Weasley attempted to murder him.

When we heard the soft thud of footsteps coming towards us, we all waited anxiously to see how Ginny was. The little redhead in question was walking in front of the second Death Eater completely unharmed with a puzzled look on her face. The man opened the door, shoved her in and left.

"Did he hurt you, Ginny?" asked Neville, looking intently at her for any sign of new injury.

"No," she said softly. "It was all very strange..." Her eyes looked up at the ceiling and then towards Malfoy's cell. "They told me the oddest thing," she continued, not really aware that all of us were looking at her completely confused.

"Mind starting at the beginning Gin?" asked Ron, sliding down next to Ginny. "We're all a bit lost."

"Oh. Sorry," she said, a faint blush coating her cheeks. "First they asked me where Dumbledore was and I said I didn't know. So that one guy, Marlin tried to take off my shirt," she shuddered at the thought, "But Dameo, the other guy stopped him. Said they could use me for something else."

"And what is that something else, Gin?" asked George, worry laced on his voice.

"I'm getting to that, hang on. So he offered me some food, and I ate it, after being assured it didn't have a Truth Potion in it Dameo tested it by asking me to ask him a ridiculous question that he could lie to. So I asked if he was a Death Eater and he said no. But after I'd eaten he just told me I had to deliver a message..."

"Which is?" asked Lavender, her eyes dancing with anticipation.

"It's rather odd really, but it's for Malfoy...okay listen," said my sister, crossing over to the bars and looking in the direction of Malfoy's cell. "Hey Malfoy! I have a message for you!" No answer came from the silent cell. "I'll just give it to you," she shouted. "Marlin told me to tell you that your dad's coming tomorrow and he wants you to be ready for him. He said you'd understand..." Ginny trailed off, not sure what else to say.

"So he said my father is coming?" asked the voice that hadn't spoken since we had arrived. It was soft, weak but still held that tone of self defiance, the note that said no one could tell him what to do and even if they did, he wouldn't listen.

"Yes," said Ginny. "I suppose he wants to see you..."

"Figures he'd come now." We all looked at each other puzzled, not fully understanding what Malfoy had said. Was it possible that he was going to switch back to Voldemort's side? He did have a chance being a pureblood of a Dark Wizarding family.

Harry must have been thinking along the same lines as well, because he blurted out, "Are you thinking of switching sides, Malfoy?"

A low chuckle came from Malfoy's cell. "Do you really think I would do that Potter? Much as I hate to admit it, I'm sticking with you guys, although some food and a hot bath would be incredibly nice."

"I'll take the bath," said Lavender. "My hair feels like a rat's nest, and I know that that is what it feels like since I found one a few days ago."

Then Ginny spoke up, her small freckled face filled with a look of satisfaction. "I smuggled out two croissants from the meal today..." Everyone's mouths watered, already tasting the delicious buttery rolls, "But I think Harry and Malfoy deserve them. You two haven't eaten in over four days!"

"Six," drawled Malfoy, his voice tired.

"Then that's even more reason. Okay, I'm going to throw one to you, Malfoy. Then George, catch this and toss it back across to Harry." Seconds later, I could see Harry devouring his roll in about two bites, manners forgotten for the moment.

Honestly, it wasn't fair. Neither of them were fed very much, in fear that they would somehow regain strength and bust us all out. I know Harry was in pretty bad condition, his tattered sweater was but a mere shirt full of holes and I'm not sure how long his pants would last. All of us were barefoot, so I can't really sympathize him for that. But I'm assuming Malfoy looks even worse.

Harry had been hit with a stunning spell during the battle, but I'd seen Malfoy go down under Crutacius curses being fired right and left at him as he fought like a raging bull, taking out the Death Eater's numbers like crazy.

I wonder what it means that Malfoy would understand.. And why would his father be coming? Maybe to see Voldemort, but why would he want to see the son he disowned? It makes no sense. Then again, this world doesn't make sense.

Hermione's POV

I was so happy to have friends like these. Even Pansy had been nice, and all of them were trying to make me feel better after what had happened. I feel bad, having Fred's shirt and he has nothing, but I know I need it and he'll insist that I keep it anyway.

I wish that that fateful day had never happened. I wish I was still snug and warm in Gryffindor Tower. I wish my parents were still alive. I wish none of this had ever happened. Against my own will, my mind began to disappear into the event I had tried so hard to forget, yet so hard to remember, hoping there was some thread of evidence that might help us.

Flashback to May 27th, 2003

"Man am I glad we got through that quiz! I thought it would never end!" exclaimed Ron, throwing his books down next to the lake.

"Professor Snape just wishes to test us," I replied, "It wasn't really that hard."

"Yeah," muttered Harry, "For you and Malfoy. Head boy and Head girl, the smartest wizard and witch since the founders themselves. Of course it wasn't hard."

I flopped down on the grass, tucking my hands beneath my head and looking up at the clouds. "Don't you wish everything could always stay this way forever?"

"No," muttered Ron. "I'd rather have a passing grade on my Potions final and then the world is happy to stay this way."

I laughed, the melody carrying over the breeze. The wind also carried another sound, screams coming from the castle. But these weren't the cries girls made when scared, or the yells of Slytherins and Gryffindors fighting each other. These cries were desperate. And then yelling could be heard clearly as the three of us raced for the school, leaving our books and papers where they had been dropped.

When I reached to front of the school, I could only stare in horror as thousands of black hooded men and women stormed the grounds, curses issuing from their wands and crashing into the Hogwarts students, valiantly trying to fight back, but without much success.

Then, Dumbledore came to the top of the steps, the professors following him all with their wands out. A black blur raced out from the side of the building, firing a spell at a Death Eater who had just been about to kill a terrified third year Ravenclaw.

"Malfoy," I gasped, recognizing the familiar shock of blond hair. With a roar, the Death Eaters who had seen his attack began to bombard him with their own spells as he expertly evaded them, dodging headlong into battle.

I knew what this was...I knew what was happening. This was war...the war against good and light, the final battle.. My eyes scanned the battlefield, bodies of Hogwarts students littering the ground, their faces frozen in terror.

"Come on!" yelled Ron. "We have to help." Then he dashed towards the large black group, his wand drawn and light already coming from it. I took off after him, Harry pounding behind me, although he had his own task...defeat Voldemort.

Then, I saw a sight that will never be forgotten, the anger, the injustice of it all hitting me full blast. McGonagall successfully shooting a Death Eater only to be hit in the back by a bright green light, falling forward and hitting the ground, her expression still one of determination, wand falling from her hand to be crushed underfoot a second later.

A roaring to my left broke through my muddled mind and I turned to see Hagrid, fighting with his bare hands, throwing the black robed wizards right and left, his face bright red with exertion, his mane of hair looking even wilder than it ever has before.

"HAGRID!" I shouted, watching as one of the fallen Death Eaters rose, Hagrid oblivious to him. "HAGRID! WATCH OUT!" I screamed, but the cry was too late. The half giant turned, only to be hit directly in the chest with the killing curse. He swayed on his feet for a half second, before falling, the ground shuddering slightly beneath my feet.

I backed up and tripped, landing flat on my face next to a dirty blond haired girl. "L-Luna," I gasped, looking at the surprised face, the utter shock on it. "No…not you too," I shook the Ravenclaw by her shoulder. "Wake up..." No movement came from the body, only more agonized cries surrounded me.

I got to my feet, wand ready and my emotions in check. I wasn't just fighting for my life any more, I was fighting for my friends and teachers, classmates and students, for their sacrifice to this bloody ending.

My eyes focused on the main battle going on in the grounds, not even aware of the rest of the fighters stood Harry and Voldemort, battling it out. I let my eyes wander around, spotting Ginny thrown over a Death Eater's shoulder. I raced for her, other images and people coming into sight.

Fred and George, had arrived with other aurors and wizards, were fighting back to back, taking down their opponents. A bright flash and I saw Ron go down with thankfully just a stunning spell.

Bright red flashes lit up a small area of the battlefield, where angry Death Eaters were putting a fellow classmate of mine, the one and only Malfoy, under the Crutacius Curse, him screaming and clutching his head, kneeling on the ground before his tormentors.

I looked back at Harry to see the thing I wish I hadn't. Voldemort dashed towards Harry, his wand raised and Harry easily blocked the spell, but was unprepared for the second wand that Voldemort had hidden in his hand, going down with a spell, that all I know wasn't green.

At that split second, I saw Snape fall off of the steps into the crowd, wand dropping from his fingertips. And then, a feeling of great force slammed into my back, and everything started to go dark...

End Flashback

"Mione! Mione, snap out of it!"

"Huh, what?" I asked, blinking in the sudden rush back to the present.

"Thank God," said Hannah, giving me a gentle hug, "We thought we lost you."

"What do you mean?" I asked, looking around at all the worried faces around me. "Did I do something?"

"Your eyes kind of glazed over and you haven't moved or blinked in the last five minutes. Are you all right?" asked Fred, his brown eyes looking at me with concern.

"Yeah, yeah I'm fine... But, I'm feeling a bit tired," I yawned.

"It's time we all got to bed," said Fred, taking charge of the group. Gently, he plucked me off his lap and set me down in the straw, smiling at me. "You sure you're alright?" he asked softly so that only I could hear him.

"Yes, I'll be fine." I rested my head in my arms, the only comfortable pillow available and closed my eyes, trying to ignore the pain in my back that flared every few seconds in reminder of what had happened just hours ago.

After about an hour, I just lay there silently, listening to all the noises of the night. It was pitch black, the torches having gone out around ten, and no moonlight of any sort filled the cell. I could hear the rats shifting and scampering about, free to come and go as they pleased.

Soft, odd sounding snores of some sort reached my ears and a smile crept on my face. I had learned that George often made those odd noises in his sleep, a breathing problem I guess. Although it doesn't bug him at all…only those of us who are trying to sleep.

But after a few seconds, I realized that the noise wasn't coming come from George. It sounded more like...crying. Gingerly I sat up, cocking my ears to identify the person to who it belonged. No one in my cell, that was for sure... And I know it isn't Ron or Ginny, it doesn't sound like them...Lavender or Neville maybe?

No, both were sound asleep when the hour had struck ten. So that meant it had to be either Harry or Malfoy...and I'm pretty sure that it isn't Harry.

I listened harder, straining my ears to pick up the slight noise that might identify the person. It was soft, almost muffled sounding, and I could almost feel the anguish and pain that came though those tears. That's when I realized who was crying.

My eyes softened as I stared at the blank wall which separated my cell from Malfoy's. I wanted to go over there and comfort him, let him know I was there for him. But his pride and a wall blocked my path.

For the rest of the night I lay awake, listening to Malfoy cry out his soul, the tears pouring like there was no end. The utter darkness cloaked us all, its menacing presence the whole of our current lives.

Black. Black is our world.

xxx

xxx

Author's Notes:

And there's chapter one reposted. One major change I'm making is that the time passed from before is much greater since only a few days really isn't that sufficient. Please do review, comments are greatly appreciated! Espcecially since the first BOW was deleted, I want to see how many of you are interested in this one. Maybe we'll even see some new faces and hopefully some old ones.