The scarlet train billows smoke, indicating the near departure. As everyone files upon the train, no one smiles and hardly everyone bids farewell to their loved ones. Most have been lost in the war. Although it has been won, there is nothing to celebrate. All Death Eaters have survived and escaped. Most Order members and Aurors' lives were given up as a sacrifice for that.
Harry boards the train slowly, head drooping, shoulders sagging. Ron follows his movements with the same depression. Hermione however, walks on with her head held high and quick lively steps. Despite her actions to retain her dignity after what happened over the summer, the pain and agony still shows in her now dull brown eyes.
As the heroic, yet solemn trio walk down the corridors and pass the compartments, young faces press against the glass in order to catch a glimpse of those that have saved them. Finding one empty and secluded compartment, Harry slides open the door and allow his two friends to walk in before him. He sits down next to Ron and across from Hermione, but not before locking the door so that they can withhold the small amount of privacy the Daily Prophet has left them.
Silence fills the small space of room. Hermione sighs heavily and fingers the cut across her wrist absentmindedly. This does not go unnoticed.
"I thought you stopped." Harry says, but his voice is not much more than a whisper, having lost his ability to show emotion other than regret. Regret for having dragged so many into a war that has hardly been won.
"I tried, I swear I did, but the pain relieves me. After..." Her voice trails off like a leaf blowing in the wind. The once headstrong Hermione from minutes ago has left in memories of horror.
"You have to stop. That's what he wants you to do. Inflict pain upon yourself until your life will be taken away by your own actions." Ron has matured greatly. His point of view has become more enhanced, more observant, and much more understanding.
She simply nods in reply and traces the blade's outline once more, wincing. Silence returns, broken by a knock upon the glass door.
Harry waves his wand at the lock, thereby opening it, and raises his eyes to the frail figure before him.
A young woman, she looks malnourished, weak, and pale. It would surprise anyone who saw her if she had ever seen sunlight. Her auburn hair hangs long, thick, and straight bringing out the beauty it hones. She can be gorgeous if her dark brown eyes don't haunt everyone's view, bringing more anguish just from looking in them.
"Mind if I sit here?" Voice is quiet not one that is made to meet new people.
"No, you can." Hermione speaks with what she hopes sounds welcoming, but her words are shaky. This indicates that she is having another unpleasant flashback. As soon as she sees her eyes, Hermione lowers her own to her lap.
The strange girl takes her seat next to Hermione and looks into space, deep in thought. She begins biting her nails that are already short and jagged.
"What's your name?" Ron's hoarse voice asks. His eyes look at her though, drinking her appearance. It is no secret that he likes her.
"Sonya, Sonya Solva." She responds softly.
"I'm Ron Weasley; this is Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter." He points at each one in turn.
Sonya's brown eyes widen at Harry's name, but return to their half-dead look.
"Nice to meet you all." She says politely and looks down at her neatly folded hands.
Suddenly, someone barges in the room, two to be exact.
"Look, it's Golden Trio of Hogwarts! Oh, and what's this, a newcomer, and a beautiful one at that." A deep voice echoes about, and surprisingly, it doesn't belong to Malfoy.
Sonya looks up at the mention of her being beautiful, and smiles at the tall form of Blaise Zabini, something seemingly impossible of her to do.
"Hello Sonya." He purrs her name and bows, holding out a dark hand. She grasps it, lifts her self from the soft bench, and looks into his eyes.
"I see you've met our new friend Sonya." Draco Malfoy smirks at knowing something they don't.
"What do you mean?" Hermione asks, rising, anger flashing within the depths of her eyes.
"We met Sonya over the summer, she's Blaise's girlfriend." Ron looks slightly crestfallen at this news.
Draco's eyes fall upon Hermione's arms. Taking in every detail, he mocks her. "How are your arms Granger? Shame that a single blade can disgrace such smooth skin. Don't you dare do it anymore, it smudges your beauty." Slowly running his hands up and down her arms, he smirks at the shiver she makes.
"Hands off Malfoy!" Harry yells for the first time in weeks. Obviously upset by what he was doing.
"Are you her boyfriend Potter?" Draco retorts. When Harry doesn't respond, he continues. "I thought not."
Placing a finger under her chin, he watches as Hermione recoils a bit. "Do you fear me?"
"So, it's true than. Watch your back Granger, or you might experience the same torture you did over the summer." Whipping around, he strides out proudly while Blaise and Sonya follow with their hands joined.
Hermione falls on her seat like a rag doll and brings her knees to her chest. Tears slowly begin streaming down her face and her shoulders shake uncontrollably. Harry and Ron's anger dissipate and they join her on the bench, wrapping their arms around her.
"Shh, don't worry. He can't hurt you anymore." Harry comforts.
"How can you be sure?" She manages to choke out between sobs.
"Because we won't let him." Ron whispers, "We promise."
The sounds of chatter that usually fills the hall, is non-existent. Not a peep, except for the occasional whisper of hellos. Professor McGonagall stands from her chair and raises her hands for silence, though it is hardly needed.
"Welcome new and old students. As you are all aware, the war has been won and light has prevailed. We shall commence with the sorting for now and then there will be more for me to say."
It went on as always, McGonagall calls names being before the tentative students sit on the three-legged stool. This time however, one more student is called up.
"Solva, Sonya!" The fragile girl walks up shyly, not seeming the type to be the girlfriend of a Zabini. She seems the same girl they first met on the train.
Setting her small figure on the stool, she allows the musty, ragged hat to be placed upon her auburn hair. The hat beings its mumbling, contemplating where she should be placed.
"Interesting. I've never seen anything like this before. You do not belong anywhere. An equal amount of everything. What's this? Your mind is intricate, brilliance races through you, but so does… cunning? Very strange, you don't seem like one to plot. Well, then again, I guess everyone has it in them. I believe your place is…
Sonya walks towards the table swift as a deer, heat rising in her pale cheeks, embarrassed about what the hat said.
Professor McGonagall rises once more and lifts her goblet. "Now, I would like to announce the Heads. For Head Girl, there is Hermione Granger and for Head Boy, there is Draco Malfoy." Hermione's eyes widen considerably as she stands and fear flashes through her eyes. Malfoy however, stands confidently, and smirks once more, noticing her reaction. His eyes say 'Fear me' and she obliges. Professor McGonagall continues as they take their seats.
"Students, I believe that a toast is in order to those that have been lost and those that have fought. I just want to say thank you." Everyone raises their goblets and takes a sip from the pumpkin juice.
Dinner continues with little chatter between Harry, Ron, and Hermione seeing as how Hermione has not fully recovered from her scare. Her fork trembles as she brings it to her mouth. Her hand shakes all the while remembering something better left unsaid.
Then she begins doing the unthinkable. Lifting a steak knife, she brings it to her left wrist. About to make a cut when Harry and Ron aren't looking, but someone knocks it out of her hand from behind.
"I thought I told you not to do it anymore." Someone whispers in her ear. Seeing Harry and Ron's glares towards the area behind her, she turns slowly, afraid of what she might see.
"I'm glad that you have taken note of my presence, like before." Her eyes widen and she looks anywhere but in his face.
"Look at me, when I'm talking to you." His voice is low and dangerous. Hermione snaps her eyes immediately up to him.
"This is my last warning Granger." Smirking once more, he places a hand on the back of her neck and kisses her forehead.
"Au revoir pour maintenant ma fée verte." With, that he walks away, leaving an angry Harry and Ron, and a terrified Hermione.
Authors Note: This is probably the darkest story I have ever written. "Au revoir pour maintenant ma fée verte." means "Goodbye for now my Green Fairy." In French. Hope that clears anything confusing up. Oh, Hermione is going to be focused on for the next chapter, but she is not the main character. Harry and Ron will get their own part too. Oh, and I realize that Hermione seems OOC, but after what happened (will be explained later) she went through a drastic change. I think it's obvious that Draco is involved.
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Oh, and I haven't forgotten Slytherin Ice Princess, it's just that I wrote this a long time ago, and it has been haunting me! Ahhh!
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