summary: When there's a battle of life and death, there's only one person left standing. One survivor…
The blood trickled down on her right ankle as she steadied herself and kept running. Only the sound of her hurried footsteps and the panting of her breath greeted her ears. The thick fog surronding the forest was like a white, opaque sheet, that made it almost impossible to see the pathway. Stick to the pathway Harry had repeated a thousand times but Hermione found that it was easier said than done, as she had great difficulty trying to find it. The loneliness that accompanied her made her feel nervous, making her jump at the smallest yet mysterious and unidentified sound. Every few seconds, the terrified witch would throw a glance behind her shoulder, as if expecting to see a figure looming behind her.
I have to concentrate, Hermione thought, pushing her childish fears into a small corner of her mind.
The cold wind forcefully pushed against her while she ran, as if wanting her to turn the other way. She couldn't give up; she had to alert everyone of the surprise attack that exploded only minutes ago. If not, there would be blood on her hands. She had to make it on time. She just had to.
The attack had taken her, Harry and a few other members of the Order of the Phoenix in a gruesome battle and Hermione and Harry were one of the lucky ones who had survived. Now it was up to Hermione to warn everyone else, to be prepared as the enemy had come with a great number of people.
Harry…thought Hermione worriedly, a lump forming in her throat. No, no, everything's going to be all right. Everything's going to be all right, she thought trying to convince herself so.
How did they find their new secret hideout was a mystery to Hermione. The Order of the Pheonix had been so careful the past few years and yet the secret of their new headquarters had leaked out to Death Eaters' ears. The hideout was no longer in the House of Black but on a deserted island. Or that's what they thought. Odd accidents had been happening but nothing could have prepared Hermione and the others of the attack.
And yet, on such a dark, dangerous night, the stars shined gaily in the midnight blue sky, the only light that Hermione could faintly see. She would have been a fool if she had used her wand for light, giving herself to the enemies lurking nearby. Hermione's heart sputtered into a furious beat that matched her pace. She hated how an enemy could come and attack her any minute.
Everything happened so fast. Two spells whizzed past Hermione's head, missing their intended target and hitting the trees ahead. Losing her balance, Hermione fell down onto the forest ground, being greeted by sharp rocks and small twigs and branches. The trees glowed a dark blue before bursting into large orange flames. Large brown eyes stared at the flames licking everything in its path and the knowledge that she could have died made Hermione's heart sink. Her eyes narrowed in determination, Hermione turned around and yelled the first curse that she could think of. Screams of frustration mixed with agony echoed in the forest and the brown haired witch rightly guess that she had hit one of her enemies. But only one. She had a feeling that there were many more.
Having found some hidden strength, Hermione quickly got up and bolted. Her heart was pounding so painfully fast and hold that she was sure it was going to burst any second. Curses and jinxes continued to fly past her and Hermione silently prayed a thank you for her new found luck. Not feeling the pain on her leg, or the sharp skinny branches that cut through her clothes and scrap her skin, the young witch ran for her life.
Stick to the path, a small voice suddenly insisted as Hermione threw another curse behind her. The ground behind her suddenly erupted into small fragments of dirt and rocks, painfully hitting Hermione on the back.
It's too late for that, countered Hermione as she ran deeper into the forest's maze.
The forest reminded her very much of the Forbidden Forest near the Hogwart's grounds where she had taken a visit in her third and fifth year. It was dark, damp and cold and it seemed that the fog was ever lasting. This island was filled with secrets of its own and even though Hermione had been living in the island for a few weeks, she barely recognized anything at all.
Follow the pathway.
A calm river waited before Hermione, where the earth stopped and continued on the other side. It was the only way to cross. The scared witch glanced behind her, desperately hoping that her pursuers were just as lost as she was. Hermione bit her lip as she stood her ground, feeling uncertain.
Faint voices reached Hermione's sensitive ears and the fear inside of her started to grow uncontrollably. Her grip on her wand tightened considerably as her knuckles turned deathly white. She took a step forward, her eyes transfixed on the icy blue river.
Taking a deep breath, Hermione stepped into the icy cold river. Her body immediately protested as the freezing water greeted her. Taking yet another deep breath with her eyes closed, Hermione dived.
The sensation was definitely not pleasant. Hermione's dry and scratched skin screamed in agony but her body obeyed her command and started swimming under water. Lungs aching for air, Hermione rise to the surface of the river, only to be greeted by curses and hexes. For once, Hermione was grateful for the thick fog.
Her chocolate brown eyes could faintly make out several figures standing by the river, their faces hidden by black cloaks. To her utmost horror, one tall and lean figure stepped into the river. Hermione was frozen into place, her body not able to move. Graceful as a fish, the pursuer looked as though he belonged in the water.
No…it can't end like this, thought Hermione tears forming in her eyes. The mere thought of failing her best friends and the people she love was simply unbearable.
"What are you doing? We had strict orders not to cross the river!" snarled one of the Death Eaters irritably. The Death Eater who was rapidly approaching Hermione, ignored his fellow comrade. A new idea formed in Hermione's mind. If she made any movements, he would know where she was. But if she just stood still, maybe he'd miss her…
"Zabini, that's enough," barked another masculine voice.
Slowly and quietly Hermione moved her head and to her surprise, locked eyes with someone. His cold gray eyes pierced through the thick fog, staring hard right back at her. To her surprise and relief, he didn't voice his discovery as the rest of them turned back, hearing a noise echoing through the forest repeatedly. He nor Zabini moved from their spot. He tore his gaze away from Hermione and glared darkly at Zabini, who had turned around with a lazy smirk.
I think he saw me, thought Hermione.
"What has you all worked up Malfoy? This is some action that we haven't seen for days. Think of the prizes we would receive," he said carefully observing the man's cold but stern face with sudden interest.
"While you're thinking of the prizes that we'll probably never have, I'm thinking of the punishments," voiced the angry Malfoy.
Hermione's heart sank a second time. Malfoy.
Zabini cursed at him, telling him that he wasn't strong enough to handle what the Dark Lord had ordered him.
"I said that's enough," commanded Draco Malfoy and without waiting for Zabini to reply, he turned and disappeared into the thick fog.
Hermione's heart cried out in despair. She stared at the other side and decided it was all or nothing. With her last burst of energy, Hermione willed her legs to move. She swam as fast as she could through the icy river, her body numb from the cold. Fear was gripping onto her and she couldn't shake it away as she heard swift strokes towards her direction. Hermione kicked her feet and continued swimming but a callused hand caught her ankle as prisoner. With a tug, Hermione was pulled backwards, her eyes never leaving the other side of the forest. Her hands shaking from the cold, she reached out, as if she could grab a hold onto a tree.
A hand whipped out of nowhere and grabbed Hermione's mouth, stifling her cries. With tremendous force, the Death Eater pushed her down into the water. Hermione struggled in vain against the strong arms. Her strength was fading just like air. Water entered into her mouth, filling her lungs as she desperately struggled with the little energy that she had. She scratched, pinched but succeeded very little.I'm going to die… she realized sadly.
Every second felt so long, full of agony. Her lungs were screaming for air. She needed air.
A/N: Just doing a little editing here and there. Review anyone? ;)