Hi there! I don't own Harry Potter and Co. That would rock, but sadly, no.
This hasn't been beta'd. If anyone wants to beta, please, that would rock. I'll be quiet and let you read now.
"Run!" Severus yelled. Severus yells a lot, but I'd never heard that note of desperation, that utter fear for my life that I did exactly as he asked, no arguments, no questions, I just ran.
The image of the headmaster dying, falling of the parapet of a large tower with that boneless quality the only the dead have was burned into my retinas. If I closed my eyes I could see it, as clearly as if I had looked at a candle for too long, only it wasn't in negatives, even months after it happened.
I had Nightmares.
I had almost killed him. He was possibly the kindest an I would ever meet in my life and I had almost murdered him, for nothing other than to please my "master" and to help my mother, who was a full grown witch and should have been able to take care of herself.
I ran so far I didn't think, I just took off through the forest, despite the fact that I always hated the woods because of the forbidden forest at Hogwarts.
Running in a forest is a difficult thing before you learn how to do it. It's hard to give yourself completely to the forest, not thinking about where but simply quickly. My knees ached with the effort of pushing my body as fast as it could possibly go, flinging myself through opening I barely sensed before I went through them, over logs my brain caught up with seconds after I leapt over them.
Survival instinct takes over everything, and all you can hear is your heart pounding and the world shakes with the force of your feet hitting the ground.
My knee gave out with a pop, and a thrill of pain from my toes to my hips, and I fell tumbling into the snow and the dead leaves with a gasp of pain. My heart was attempting to leave my rib cage behind by beating right out of my chest and my lungs burned with the need for oxygen. Severus was nowhere to be seen or heard, and I needed to move. I really wish I paid more attention to healing charms.
There were footsteps, moving at a walk, a slow walk, towards me. Shit. Not good. Definitely not good. If Severus was following me, he'd be running like I had. And this person was not running. I pulled out my wand, thought the only healing charm I knew, cast a silencing spell on myself and took off again, each hit of my right knee a lance on a large needle or a small knife.
I didn't bother to fight. I knew the way that death eaters worked. Kill first, hide the bodies later. Or torture first, give to the Dark Lord later, and then hide the bodies. Or let the werewolves have the bodies. Just that last thought makes my skin try to crawl away down my spine.
A pond. A nice frozen pond. Good! I skidded out onto the ice and flicked me wand on my shoes, turning them into skates and tore of at breakneck speed over the uneven ice, skating backwards to see if they were after to me.
I didn't see them, which was good., but that didn't mean that they weren't here.
One flick of my wand when I was back on solid ground and I was running again, wondering how the hell they had found us. We had hidden so well, moving from house to decrepit house every month or so. There was a minor explosion behind me. By minor I mean it only threw me a good five feet, didn't blow me up as well.
A finger hit me in the face. Severus's finger. The cold suddenly felt choking, I could breathe and my stomach was doing enough flips to make any Quidditch star green with envy.
I scooped off blood and thicker things, got up, ran a few more feet, and vomited my guts up. It felt as though I had literally done that, but I hadn't. Just everything I'd eaten any time recently.
My face was soaked with tears, blood, and a little bit of vomit. My legs were cramping, and I couldn't apparate yet. I ran, falling down many more times, before finally just falling down and not getting up.
The only person in the world who had every tried to help and protect me that wasn't blood related was splattered over my face and my tattered robes. I curled in a ball or pain and grief and couldn't move. My lungs ached with the cold gasping breaths I struggled to take in through my sobs. I felt pathetic, and so alone it hurt, in a strange place I had no idea where was. I swallowed my tears with effort, my breathing still shakier then I would have liked and forced numbness to overcome everything else. Numb was good. Numb didn't hurt.
I cast a scourgify over myself, which resulted in raw, but clean hands, and robes. I couldn't clean the various fluids off my face because I was rather attached to my eyeballs.
I looked around and I was in some sort of ruins. Muggle house perhaps, I didn't know, but ruins all the same. There was a small village down a hill that I could view, so I got back up on my tired legs, and stumbled towards it.
After a few more feet of aimless stumbling and much tripping. Nice clean robes and hands covered in dirt, again, I tripped, again, but this time over someone not something. Someone with atrocious bushy hair.
"YOU!" she screamed, pointing a wand at my face.
"Oh, god, please don't, please, please, please!" I screamed, holding out a useless hand and scrambling back on my butt. It figured, it really freaking figured that I escaped the Death Eaters after my useless rump and she was going to hex me into five million little deformed pieces, if Potter, who just has to be around, he always is, didn't rip my head off with his bare hands.
"Hermione!" Oh, speak of the devil. Only, he's not evil enough to be the devil, so I don't know, speak of the hero or something like that. "You." He said, quietly, calmly, but with enough anger hidden behind it to make me cringe. Life hated me. Really, really hated me.
Two wands in my face. Just peachy keen. I sighed and collapsed, face on my knees. I could smell the blood on my face, in my nose, the scent lingering over my robes. I pushed my hands through my hair and suppressed, with great difficulty, a scream as something thick and slimy got lodged between my fingers. I pulled it out, and lifted my head to look at it. Bad idea. Very bad Idea. I was staring at an eyeball. A familiar black eyeball. I did shriek then, and retched, vomiting to the side, barely missing my lap.
"What the hell?" Potter muttered, making disgusted noises as I finished emptying my stomach contents and wiping it off my face with the back of my hand. I did cry then. Severus was dead. And he was splattered all over me. I went back to hugging my knees, face near the dirt and shaking.
It was all my fault. Everything was all my fault, because I was weak. I was a coward.
"What is wrong with you, Malfoy. Get up, or I'll hex you into next week." Potter snarled, somewhat muffled. I looked up, tears running down my face that I couldn't wipe away because there was Severus all over my hands.
"So sorry." I muttered, standing up to my feet. They burned, and I absentmindedly realized there were holes torn through the soles of my shoes. My feet had to look lovely.
"How did you get here?" Granger asked, nose wrinkled in disgust and the vomit soup beside me. I hated puking.
"I ran." I replied, trying not to gag again.
"Bloody hell…" Weasel was here. When'd he get here? " What's all over you?"
"S…Severus Snape." I muttered, and felt more tears on my face. Where did they come from?
Potter's eyes widened behind his glasses and Granger gasped. Weasel turned a shade paler, his freckles standing out like splotches of mud on his skin.
"What do you mean?" Granger asked, as if morbidly curious.
"The Death Eaters came for us. He can't run as fast as I can and they blew him up." I replied, bile rising up again. " Now excuse me, I'm going to go vomit again."
And I did, a few feet away, and dry heaved for a few minutes. As I stumbled back and collapsed, far away from the eyeball, the trio was having a heated discussion (read fight from Hell, complete with shrill screaming) that seemed oddly far away and muffled.
I think Granger won, because afterwards Granger stalked over and handed me a potion.
"It's for your mouth." She stated, and stared at me until I took a mouthful. It was minty, and burned slightly on my sensitive gums, so much so that I spit I out. But afterwards, my mouth felt much better, and my teeth were cleaner than I'd managed to get them in the past months.
"Thank you." I replied, with feeling. Nothing is worse than the taste of bile. She looked shocked that I was capable of giving thanks.
"You're welcome." She replied, and went back over to Potter and Weasely.
My limbs felt strangely numb, heavy, everything was weighted with a strange numb lethargy. They were having a "conversation" again. It seemed that whenever Granger got irritated or angry, her already bushy hair bushed up even more. She looked like a kneazle had tap danced on her head. It was slightly hysterical, and I found myself laughing. I laughed hysterically, flopping over my knees, until it melted away to sobs. Great heaving sobs, like a five year old with a dead pet. Like a seventeen year old with too much on my shoulders.
I dwindled off, hiccupping and gasping still, face burning, eyes squinty, nose runny, and everything shaking. Someone's hand was on my back.
"You alright?" Granger asked, hair back to it's usual horrid state, and eyes concerned, calculating, and sympathetic. It was irritating, and nice all at once, which in itself was irritating.
"Just peachy, granger." I made sure she got the sarcasm. She rolled her eyes, obviously having put up with her fair share of sarcasm from her friends. I was grateful to her for trying though, which in turn really pissed me off.
"Right. Stupid question, I know." She replied. The wonderful numbness was beginning to wear off. My feet…I fumbled with the laces and pulled them off, wincing as I did so, and peeled the socks off.
"Yep…Lovely." I muttered, staring at the ruined mess that should have been the soles of my feet. There were some small stones stuck in odd places, leaves, thorns, lovely green, blue, purple and raw red meat colored blotches, and a stick fragment lodged in a way that I really didn't want to know how deep it was in there.
"oooh…" Granger winced, taking a deep hissing breath and letting it out sharply. "Harry, come here please." I grabbed her arm.
'Why does he have to come over?" I didn't sound as panicked as I felt. Fairy points for me.
"I can't heal those with the stuff in them. Harry needs to pull them out."
"He won't! He'll just jam them deeper. I'll get them!" I did panic then. Help from Potter was about as likely as muggles sprouting wings and flying.
"What'cha need, Hermione?" he asked, sneering at me.
"Malfoy made mince out of his feet, I need help with them." She replying, fingering her wand in a slight warning.
"I'm crap at healing spells." He replied, making a face.
"There's stuff in them, thorns and junk, and Malfoy can't pull them out, there are some stones in odd places."
"So why don't you pull them out?" He argued, making a face, not even glancing at my feet. Brat. He should wince and feel bad too. But he didn't kill me yet, so we're good for the moment.
"I don't like feet." She replied matter-of-factly and crossed her arms under her breasts. Potter rolled his eyes and flopped down on his bottom by my feet. He grabbed and ankle and jerked it over.
"Ow!" I protested. Movement was bad. Adrenaline doesn't last very long, and crying doesn't really speed it up. Potter's eyes widened and he did wince, sucking air in through his teeth.
"You ran on these things?" He asked, eyeing the twig on indeterminable depth..
"Yeah. They didn't hurt till a bit ago." I replied, biting my lip as he looked about for the easiest to remove first.
"I always figured you for a bit of a wuss."
"I am." I replied. Might as well be truthful. It was them or die in a very slow painful way by Death Eater. Not a nice way to go. Potter laughed, and shook his head. Not a good idea, as it made his hair stick straight up in back. What a mess.
"So, why did you keep running?" He asked, jerking the twig out.
"AH! Bitch…Because, death by evil minion isn't high on my list of fun." I reply, gripping fistfuls of grass as he picked out a thorn. "Ow…Ow, ow, ow-ow ow." He laughed again, seemingly truly amused. That one was a first. He seemed a little disconcerted by it as well. Good. I hated being the only one freaked.
Silence fell over us. I like silence. I'm not good at the whole small talk thing, and what I say usually gets me dirty looks. It even got me slapped a couple times. Not a fun thing. I am rather attached to my face, even if it is somewhat pointy. And my nose gets all oily….
Potter squirmed. I laughed at him mentally and raised an eyebrow. He squirmed more, squinting at the rocks. He was one of those small talk people. Goody. I made nice little pain noises whenever he pulled a stone out, or a particularly bitchy thorn, and watched him squirm. Always a nice pastime.
"How can you be fine?" He asked, setting down one stone, thorn, and twig free foot.
"What are you blithering about, Potter?"
"Your…Person just got blow up. On you. And you're being your usual useless, sarcastic, slimy self!" He shouted. I hate shouting. He took a breath to continue and I put a finger out. He stared at it and then went to continue again and I put it on his mouth. He crossed his eyes to look at it.
"Listen to me, Potter. I have seen a lot of shit this past five or six months. I got crucio's more than I got told hello. Snape knew he was going to die. He died for me. And If he saw me acting like a four year old with a dead pet, he'd have smacked me. Or haunted me. There's two things you can do when there's dead bodies involved: suck it up and move on, or let it eat you alive. I was trained to suck it up. I had my hissy fit. I puked three times. I didn't know you could puke three times. I cried in front of you and you're friends, and now I need you help. It pisses me off, but I'm trying to deal with it. That's what you do, Potter. Deal. With. It." I snapped, my nose twitching like a rabbit on billywigs because I was just that irritated and angry. Nice to hear that I'm useless and slimy. Sarcastic is fine. It keeps me from killing people. Except sweet old men…Not a nice road, walk away. Yep. Whistle innocently.
"How can you just do that?" Potter asked, looking at me as though I'd grown another head, and it was nasty.
"Years of practice." I sneered, making sure he got the irritation and the sarcasm. He jerked out a stone. "Ow!"
"Thanks, Malfoy, now I remember why I hate you." He sneered back and jerked another thorn loose.
"Ow! God! stop that!" I snapped, jerking my foot away. Bitchy skinny boys…
"Fine then. I guess you'd like them left that way." He snapped again and stormed off. What was with him? Sure, I'm fine to talk to until he realizes I'm not a weeping mess. Figures. I did enough crying throughout sixth year. I didn't need to start that again. So I sat there with my mangled feet and forced the numbness back up.
I felt like shit. I hate being weak, showing emotions. Granger had warmed up marginally, but more in a way like someone researching a deadly, poisonous thing.
They were arguing again, and Harry stormed back over with his wand out. Oh, bad. Very bad. My little rodent self reared it's ugly ferret head and I tried to scramble back a bit. Which hurt. Damn the lack of adrenaline.
"accio stones!" He shouted. And they flew right out of my feet, complete with little bits of flesh and spurts of blood. It didn't hurt, for about five seconds. A scream tore it's way out of my throat as I passed out.