Disclaimer: Not mine as you know.

A/N: I will be finishing In the Rain, but thought I would give y'all a taste of my new one! Please review so I know if its even worth it to continue.

Chapter 1

Welcome Back

Breathe, trust, bless me and release,
Climb, hard or never be seen.
Closed off, rescue to breathe.
Just bless me.

Two sided time,
Your rebirth can't hurt,
Branch out behind, the pain.

Closure has come to me myself,
You will never belong to me.
Closure has come to me myself,
You will never belong to me.


He was weak. The prison was nothing more than a black hole stinking of death and desolation. He sat in his darkened cell, hair falling in front of his face, and listening. He waited for them to rescue him from this hell.

And he waited.

And he waited.

Every happy thought drained from him leaving him to wallow in his own dark thoughts—to hear the screaming over and over again in his own mind. His mind had become his prison, trapping him in his own horrifying memories.

Time ceased to exist.

He never heard them coming when they grabbed him from his cell. He was too weak to fight, wondering if he was to be executed. He stumbled as his captors rushed him out of the prison to an old dead oak tree. He could not see them, but he knew who they were. He knew the minute he heard that maniacal laughter when he stumbled again.

He remembered hands holding him as they apparated. The temperature seemed to shift when they arrived at their destination, but only a tad. He felt the cold hands on his arms throw him to the ground and his wand tossed down in front of him. His reality still seemed a dark blur.

"The Dark Lord is not happy with you, Lucius."

Bellatrix was standing in front of the fallen Malfoy watching him attempt to get up off the ground. She laughed as he collapsed again.

"And now, Draco has disappointed him terribly. Lucky for you the Dark Lord does not deem you important enough to be killed by his hand. Lucky for me I get to do it!"

Lucius was still attempting to clear his mind and rise from the dirt when the curses started.


Platform 9 ¾ looked abandoned in comparison to past years. The platform did not have the usual happy chattering and smiles as parents hugged children wishing them well and friends reunited. Instead, there were scatters of parents with concern clear on their faces as they hugged their children as if it would be the last. Students arrived on the train alone, knowing their friends were not returning to Hogwarts. Hermione hugged Mr. and Mrs. Weasley goodbye and followed Ron and Harry onto the train.

There would not be a problem finding a compartment, they knew that. Hermione stopped and smiled sympathetically to Harry.

"Ron and I have to go to the prefects' compartment, Harry."

Harry smiled slightly back at her and shrugged his shoulders.

"It's alright. I'll see you when you are done."

Ron followed Hermione down the corridor, turning to look back at Harry.

"Hopefully we won't be long, mate."

Harry nodded and watched his two best friends disappear.

Before entering the compartment, Hermione looked down at herself, straightening her Head Girl pin and brushing off her robes. Ron chuckled lightly. Some things never changed. Ron stopped right inside the compartment causing Hermione to walk around him in order to get in.

"Ron," she said exasperated. Ron looked angry. His lips were pursed together as if straining against his desire to say something. The tips of his ears were slightly red. Hermione followed his glare. Malfoy sat there with his Head Boy pin shining brightly, looking as if he owned the place. Hermione sighed, realizing she should have warned Ron, but more pressing matters had caused her to forget.

"Just sit down Ron," she whispered.

As Hermione approached Malfoy, so they could start the meeting she saw him looking at her in disgust as usual. Some things never change. Shaking her head at her own thoughts, she turned to face all the prefects with Malfoy. Most of the prefects were new because previous ones were not returning. That meant the meeting would go a bit longer than usual. And it did.

The worst part of the meeting was not Malfoy; it was the looks of pity from her classmates. She hated it. The emotional wounds from her parents' death were still fresh and their looks, not of empathy, but of pity suffocated her. It was as if they were scrutinizing her every move watching for the infamous Hermione Granger to finally crack. She would not give them the satisfaction.

When the meeting was over Hermione and Ron both left in order to find Harry. Malfoy stayed behind in the compartment for a moment. Hermione and Ron were walking down the corridor in silence peeking in compartments looking for Harry. Malfoy suddenly swept up the corridor and shoved his way in between the two.

"Out of my way Mudblood, Weasel."

Hermione saw Ron's fist clench around his wand. When he took a step forward as if going for Malfoy, Hermione grabbed his arm.

"No Ron, ignore him."

Ron's ears were still bright red in anger when they found Harry in a compartment with Luna and Neville. The compartment was silent when they walked in. Harry sat staring out at the landscape passing, Neville was looking through a new Herbology book, and Luna had her face hidden by the Quibbler. Harry looked up when they entered.

"Malfoy is Head Boy," Ron told him, his voice laced with anger.

Harry's eyes grew twice their size. Neville looked up from his book with utter terror on his face and Luna peeked around her magazine before plunging back into what she was reading.

"But I thought he declined his position as prefect," Harry asked.

Hermione nodded her head.

"He did last year, but do you honestly think he would decline the position of Head Boy?"

Harry nodded as if to say, "I see your point." When Hermione sat down across from Luna she looked up to say hello to the strange girl, but instead was faced with a sneering Lucius Malfoy. Above the picture of Lucius, were the words: Escape or Attack of the Hingledings? Hermione found herself laughing uncontrollably causing everyone to look at her.

Luna slowly lowered the magazine to see what was so funny.

"Could I see that," Hermione asked between gasps of air. Luna handed her the Quibbler and Hermione held up the cover for Harry, Ron, and Neville to see.

"Hingledings do not exist," Hermione stated matter-of-factly. Luna reached over and snatched the magazine from Hermione's hands.

"Yes, they do exist," Luna stated. She hid behind the magazine again ignoring the laughing still coming from Hermione.

As silence fell over the compartment, Harry handed Hermione the Daily Prophet he had in his hand. Unfolding it, she looked at the pictures on the front page. On one side was the picture of Lucius Malfoy when he went to Azkaban and on the other side was a picture of who Hermione recognized as Narcissa Malfoy. Harry watched Hermione's eyes dart across the page growing wider with each sentence.

"He escaped?"

She looked up at him, frightened it seemed. Harry nodded.

"You have to wonder if he didn't kill Narcissa himself."

Hermione crinkled her forehead and looked back down at the pictures.

"I don't think so, Harry."

Ron looked up and laughed.

"Hermione, you didn't think Harry was right about Malfoy taking his father's place as a Death Eater either!"

Hermione's eyes narrowed and her lips pursed. Why was Ron always acting like such a prat?

"As I recall, Ronald, you didn't believe it either."

Hermione stood and stormed out of the compartment, mumbling something about needing to do rounds. Luna peeked from behind her magazine at Ron. Her large protruding eyes looking him up and down.

"You know," she said "you really do not look happy together."

Luna went back to reading. Ron's mouth was partially open in shock and embarrassment as he turned to look at Harry. Harry knew Luna well enough to know that she did have a knack for stating blatantly honest thoughts without reserve on how it affected others. It could be quite uncomfortable. Harry simply shrugged at Ron, but deep down he shared Luna's thoughts.

Hermione stormed through the train corridor secretly hoping to find someone doing something wrong so she had someone else to be mad at for a change. There were times she really wondered why she bothered with Ron. As she stormed through the corridor, she noticed the bubblegum pink hair ahead and knew of only one person with that hair.

"Tonks," Hermione said as she approached the young woman. "What are you doing here?"

"Wotcher Hermione!" She hugged Hermione. "I was assigned to travel with the remaining students."

Hermione felt slightly safer knowing that aurors were still assigned to look after the school and its students.

"Oh, I almost forgot." Tonks pulled out three pieces of parchment. "McGonagall asked me to deliver these to you, Harry, and Ron."

Hermione looked at the parchments in her hand. Each one was sealed with red wax with an AD stamped in the center. Hermione looked up at Tonks. Immediately Tonks knew what was going through Hermione's mind. She blew a bubble with her gum and then sucked it back into her mouth causing another popping sound.

"Dumbledore had a vault at Gringotts that was to be open only upon his death. We found those three parchments in it."

Tonks shrugged and waved bye as she continued her own rounds of the train. Hermione looked back down at the parchments and ran back to the compartment.

When Hermione burst back into the compartment, Harry was watching the landscape again, Luna was still deep in her magazine, Ron was eating chocolate frogs and Neville was digging under his seat for his fallen wand.

She walked straight up to Harry and Ron and handed them their parchment.

"I saw Tonks and she had these for us."

She gave each boy a pointed look letting them know she could not really say anymore with Neville and Luna in the room. Harry looked down, noticing the seal, and Hermione saw his entire face light up in realization. She shrugged unsure as to what it was about. Hermione sat down and proceeded to open her parchment. A small necklace fell out. It was silver with a pendent of a snake wrapped around a phoenix. Holding the necklace in one hand, she read the parchment.

Miss Granger,

If you are reading this then the most unfortunate event has occurred and Lord Voldemort has not yet been defeated. I have no doubt that Harry will succeed, but I worry about everyone in the meantime, especially those who are muggleborn. Therefore, I have bequeathed a safe haven of sorts to you. This is a small cabin just outside the wards set around Hogwarts. If in danger you will be able to enter as once I die, it will only open its doors for you. Being outside the bounds of Hogwarts allows electrical items to work so anyone born in the muggle lifestyle would be comfortable. I know you will need this cabin, Miss Granger. When you arrive to explore this cabin, keep one thing in mind: sometimes people and things are not always who or what they seem. It is not only our experiences in life that shape us, but our choices. Sometimes we make the wrong choices, but that does not mean we cannot make the right one later in life.

Albus Dumbledore

Former Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

P. S. Turn the serpent three times and you will be on your way.

Hermione simply stared at the parchment taking in every word Dumbledore had written. Rolling the parchment up she put it safely in her bag and made a mental note to find this cabin. As the train carried them to Hogwarts, she could still see the words on the parchment in her mind and something nagged at the pit of her stomach. It seemed Dumbledore knew something of what was to come.


He felt his body hit the hard ground. His eyes barely opened enough to see he was surrounded by trees. They were leaving him for dead. Leave it to Bellatrix to not use the killing curse, instead to torture to the brink of death and then abandon you to die slowly and alone.

A face floated into his mind…into his memory. A face he had not seen since his last year at Hogwarts…a face that disappeared from his life…a face that haunted him in his dreams and memories. She was an evanescent memory, but he could still see and hear her like it was only yesterday.

He lifted her chin up to look at him. Tears streaked down her cheeks. She was his best friend while she was there it seemed and truthfully, there was so much more he felt for her. But she had kept her distance. He searched her eyes as he had done so many times before…searching for what she knew and was hiding.

"I have to go," she whispered and reached up and hugged him tightly and turned to walk toward Dumbledore.

Curiosity overwhelmed him.

"Will I see you again? Do we meet later on? You will never tell me the things I ask."

She turned around and smiled sadly.

"Yes, Lucius, but you will be clouded by hate for who I am and what I am." She rushed back to him and he enveloped her in his arms. She whispered into his ear. "I only wish that the boy you are today could grow to become the man you are capable of being instead of the man you are." He felt her warm lips kiss his cold cheek. He watched her as she followed Dumbledore into the Great Hall and disappeared from his life.

Images of her face swam in his memory, as the world around him became a blackened empty space.