A/N: I have had this story in my mind for some time. I hope you enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: Only the plot.
Letters To You
Hermione pushed her self up and with a shaking hand grabbed her clothes. She dressed with constant sobs escaping her. Looking around she found her wand a few meters away. Slowly she crawled over and grabbed it.
"H-hello?" she called at the sound of footsteps coming from some direction, "Hello?"
A figure burst through the bushes and Hermione slid backwards behind the trunk of a tree. She went to wrap her arms around her legs when a stinging pain from her right arm sliced through her, causing her to cry out in shock and pain.
"Hermione?" came a male voice, "Lumos! Hermione, it's Charlie."
Hermione peered out from behind the tree and looked at Charlie before a cascade of tears fell down her cheeks. Charlie ran over to her and knelt down.
"I saw them drag you in here. I tried to get to you… what did they do to you?" he asked looking at the bruise under her eye, bloody lip and scratched knuckles.
"T-They… t-they raped me," said Hermione softly before cringing as an explosion sounded, followed by a bright light.
"Come on," said Charlie grabbing her right arm.
Hermione let out a cry like a wounded animal. She yanked her arm away from Charlie and sucked in deep breaths trying to calm down. Charlie looked at her with a frown and watched Hermione roll her robe sleeve up. There on her arm in ugly black large letters was the single word. So insulting and degrading it made Hermione let out a shocked gasp and Charlie to growl in anger. Hermione gingerly touched each letter in turn before whispering it to her self.
"Mudblood," she looked up at Charlie, "They knew who I was."
"Let's get you out of here," replied Charlie gently taking hold of her other arm and leading her through the forest.
The pair walked in silence for twenty good minutes till they came to another clearing. Despite being a good distance from the battlegrounds explosions still echoed loudly in the air with the Dark Mark hovering threateningly in the sky. Molly came dashing out from a far tent as Charlie gave a call to announce their arrival.
"What happened?" asked a panicked Molly looking at Hermione's beaten up appearance, "Come to the healers tent. Charlie, what happened to her?"
"Raped," said Charlie, "Are they back yet?"
"No not yet. You go eat. You look exhausted. Come with me Hermione, dear."
Hermione stumbled beside Molly who led her hurriedly over to a tent as yet another explosion rumbled the ground beneath them. Molly briefly closed her eyes before pushing the flap of the tent that looked small but was actually large enough to contain thirty beds and a room at the back. Molly led Hermione to a bed towards the end and sat her on it.
"I'll get Poppy to come see you, dear. Would you like me to fetch Ginny as well?"
Hermione nodded too numb on the inside to speak. She stared down at the beds blankets wishing she were at home safe with her parents. She hadn't seen them in well over a year. Madam Pomfrey came but everything was too blurred. Hermione nodded or shook her head at questions and allowed them to examine the name she had been branded with. Pomfrey and other healers tried to clean it away with spell after spell and more then one potion but nothing removed it. Ginny arrived shortly after Hermione had changed into a gown.
"I heard what happened," said Ginny quietly sitting beside Hermione, "How are you?"
"Tired," replied Hermione standing up, "I'd like to be alone right now."
Ginny stood and left, "I'll come back tomorrow. Harry and Ron might be back by then. We can only hope."
Hermione nodded and pulled her blankets back before climbing in. Ginny gave her a small smile and left.
Hermione stared into the darkness wiping away tears. She held back a loud sob with a deep breath. She rolled onto her side as Molly came by to check on her with Arthur pretending to be asleep.
"Poor dear," sighed Molly, "Look at what this war has come too, Arthur. Raped and branded… what do we do? Send her home?"
"No. If He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named found out a close friend of Harry's was alone in a Muggle suburb… I would hate to think what would most likely happen to Hermione," replied Arthur, "Come Molly. Let's try to get some sleep."
"With explosions and worry about all my children… I'll never sleep a wink."Day Seventy-four
A week passed and Hermione was released from the healer's tent. She kept her arm well covered and changed subject whenever the rape topic came up. She didn't want to speak about it at all. It was a memory she wished to Obliviate from her own mind. No one would let her back onto the battlefield. Instead she helped out at the campsite with organising meals and helping in the healer's tent when asked.
"Hermione! I just heard something," cried Ginny running over from her tent to where Hermione stood outside her's preparing to go in.
"What?" asked Hermione hoping it was the news she'd been waiting for like everyone else on the light side.
"Harry, Ron and the other's are going to arrive by tonight. They have news as well!"
"Hopefully they know what it is and know where it is."
"I know," said Ginny as they both closed their eyes as though that would block out the explosion, "Mum just got the letter. McGonagall has said there will be a meeting in the centre tent tonight."
Hermione nodded, "Right. Have they said anything about me being let back out to the battle?"
Ginny shook her head, "Maybe you should stay here for a while. You just went through something traumatic that needs dealing with."
"I need to feed Crookshanks," replied Hermione turning and entering her tent.
It was the size of a normal bedroom with a good-sized bed, desk, and wardrobe with a bathroom in the back corner. Hermione sat on her bed and took a deep breath. She fell back onto her pillows and reached out patting Crookshanks fur. He gave a soft mew and rolled over so he was curled up beside her.
"It's insane boy," murmured Hermione, "They won't let me out there. Poor fragile Hermione."
Hermione sat up and looked at the scrunched up letters she had tried writing to her parents. She knew they needed to know what had happened but she was scared that if they found out they would come looking for her. Perhaps it was best they didn't know what had happened to their only daughter.
Hermione spent the remainder of the day reading an old novel of hers. She only paused to light up candles around her room and pull on a warm jumper when the nighttime chill entered the air.
"They're back!" came a cry from outside.
Hermione dropped her book and dashed out of her tent to see a group emerge from the bushes at the far end of the camp. Walking towards the waiting crowd was Lupin, Tonks, Moody, Bill, Ron, and Harry. Hermione and Ginny were the first to run towards them with Ginny hugging Ron then Bill as Hermione hugged Harry before hugging Ron.
"I thought you'd be out fighting," said Ron to Hermione with a frown.
"I couldn't miss the return of you both," said Hermione as Harry nodded in agreement to Ron's comment, "Though I really do wish you both had let me come on this one."
"We know and we're sorry. But you were off fighting when we had to leave," replied Harry as everyone filed into the centre tent that had seats scattered around a podium.
The trio sat in the front row. McGonagall stood behind the podium talking quietly to Lupin before he went to sit beside Tonks and Moody.
"Quiet," said McGonagall curtly, "This war has waged for over seventy days now. Longer then any of us dreamed."
The war had begun two days after Dumbledore's funeral. It was only small at first but after Bill and Fluer's wedding massive uprisings from the dark side began and now it was at full-scale war.
"With one Horcrux left to find we are getting desperate. The Death Eater's are reaching extreme points with rapings… brandings," Harry and Ron shot each other shocked looks as Hermione gave an uncomfortable shift in her seat, "However, Remus just informed me good news. The final Horcrux is known. It is Rowena Ravenclaw's pure silver, hand held mirror. It was given to her by her grandmother and had been in her family for generations before that."
"Where is it?" came a cry from the back of the tent with murmurs following.
McGonagall cleared her throat in annoyance issuing silence once more, "In the possession of the one man He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named now trusts – Severus Snape."
Silence remained throughout the tent. Hermione's mouth dropped opened in shock. All knew of Snape killing Dumbledore. He was a wanted man by all. Everyone wanted to have the pleasure of causing him extreme pain, even killing him. But no one more then Harry wanted to avenge Dumbledore's death.
"Snape has a personal guard of his own to ensure the safety of the mirror. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named knows we are destroying his scattered bits of soul. This is why we need to send a group of people with Harry to destroy the Horcrux and capture Severus Snape for the murder of Albus Dumbledore."
"I'm going," said Hermione automatically standing up, "I'm going!"
"No," came different people's voices throughout the tent.
Hermione whirled around and looked at the standing people disagreeing with her- Ginny, Molly, Arthur, and Charlie. Hermione looked down at the ground and back up at them determinedly.
"Then let me fight!" she cried, "Let me do something other then stand around going insane!"
"Why can't she fight?" asked Harry standing beside Hermione in confusion, "What happened?"
Molly opened her mouth but Hermione shook her head.
"Let me tell them in private," said Hermione, "I don't need the entire tent knowing."
Hermione led Harry and Ron to her tent. They both sat on her bed as Hermione turned her desk chair around to face them. Harry frowned at the scrunched up bits of paper and opened pot of ink with the quill still sitting inside.
"Since when have you had time to write to everyone?" asked Harry.
"I've had an entire week of time actually," said Hermione quietly.
"A week?" frowned Ron; "I remember having a hard time dragging you away from battles for one day of rest and food."
"That was before the attack. Last week… two Death Eater's dragged me into the forest to the west of the battlefield. They… they beat me and… and," Hermione paused to take a deep breath but Harry finished the sentence for her.
Hermione nodded, "And branded me."
"What?" cried Ron, "Branded you a Death Eater?"
"No. They branded me for what I really am," replied Hermione before rolling her jumper sleeve up and revealing the black large letters branded smoothly into her skin. It looked like a tattoo really, only a degrading horrible tattoo that was still sore.
Harry and Ron looked at the letters with opened gaping mouths. Fury clouded Harry's eyes as he looked up at Hermione before standing and hugging her.
Hermione hugged him back blinking away her tears.
"Charlie found me," finished Hermione as Harry sat down beside a still stunned Ron, "He tried to stop them but couldn't get to me in time. He brought me back here and ever since I haven't been able to step one foot into the forest past the berry bushes."
"Well its no wonder," said Ron suddenly, "Those Death Eater's could try to get you again."
"Don't you see?" cried Hermione, "I want to fight so I can get back at them! Humiliate them the way they humiliated me! That is how I want to deal with all of this!"
"I understand where you are coming from," said Harry looking at Ron, "We should make them let her come with us, Ron."
"No! I don't want anything else to happen to her!"
"Don't start speaking about me like I'm not here," warned Hermione, "It's bad enough people discuss me with pity when they think I can't hear."
"Harry, Ron! Come and eat!" came Molly's crying voice.
Hermione let her friends leave and looked at Crookshanks with a sigh, "Hopefully Harry can get through to them."Day Seventy-five
"They said no," said Harry exiting the meeting tent where Hermione was standing outside of, "I tried to make them see it from your view but no one would budge. Apparently you haven't dealt with the emotions of it all."
"Right and they come into my tent at night and watch me cry?" snapped Hermione turning and walking away in a fury.
Harry watched Hermione walk away as Ginny walked over from her tent.
"She'll be fine. My parents won't let me fight so I kind of understand her view," said Ginny quietly.
"But you weren't raped and branded," said Harry before entering the tent again.
Hermione stared out at the forest past the berry bushes. She looked over her shoulder and saw no one coming. This could be her chance to make a break for it. She looked back at the bushes and back over her shoulder once more. With a deep breath she took a step only to be thrown backwards by an invisible force.
"What the?" whispered Hermione standing up. Slowly she reached out and pressed her hands towards the exit, but felt nothing.
She took a step past the berry tree and frowned. What had happened before?
"Don't," said Ron running out from behind a tree, "I yanked you back with a spell before."
"Just let me go. Pretend you never saw me leave," said Hermione desperately.
"I can't do that."
"Oh and why ever not?"
"I don't want to see you wind up injured or worse- killed!"
"I want my revenge Ron. Let me have it dammit!"
"I can't Hermione."
Hermione grabbed her wand and pointed it directly at him, "Let me go."
"Petrificus Totalis," replied Ron swiftly.
Hermione looked at him stunned as her body snapped together. Ron caught her and carried her into her tent and set her on the bed before reversing the affect. Hermione jumped up instantly and glared at Ron wanting nothing more then to slap him hard across the face.
"How… you… I… argh!" cried Hermione at a loss for words as she looked at Ron with blazing brown eyes.
Ron however ignored the attempt to scream at him and stepped forward kissing her on the lips briefly. When she stepped back Hermione was looking at him in total, silent shock.
"I love you Hermione and I don't want anything to happen to you. That is why I won't let you go back out to fight."
"Ron," said Hermione softly, "I-"
"Time to go!" came a cry from outside the tent.
Ron kissed Hermione once more and left without a word. Hermione ran out after him to try and speak with him before he left but she stopped. If she told him she felt nothing but friendship he would be heart broken and consumed by self-pity. She couldn't let him go marching off to face Snape in that mindset. Instead she stood by her tent. She hugged Harry before he left and gave Ron a small smile, unable to say or do anything else.
She watched the group consisting of Harry, Ron, Arthur, Charlie, Bill, Lupin, Tonks, Moody, Kingsley and a another five witches and wizards leave through the forest. Everyone standing around all sent silent prayers that they would return victorious against Snape and his guard.
Ginny walked over to Hermione and gave her a small smile, "Are you okay?"
"Your brother just kissed me and told me he loved me," replied Hermione, "I didn't have time to tell him I didn't feel that way."
"Ron told you that?"
Hermione nodded, "I guess I'll have to tell him the truth when he returns."
Ginny gave a short nod, "I should go help Mum with dinner."
Hermione nodded and walked over to a log. She sat down and took a deep breath wondering why her life had to be so complicated.Day Seventy-six
Hermione stretched and gave a yawn. She had fell into a restless sleep that night consumed with dreams of Ron returning asking her to marry him. Who knew guilt could be so nasty? Hermione dressed and fed her cat before heading to the centre tent, which now had a table with chairs around it. She sat and ate her breakfast and helped clean up.
"Ginny!" called Hermione spotting Ginny sitting outside her tent cleaning her broom, "Did you have a chance to sought things out with Harry?"
"He doesn't want too. At least not until this war is over and done with," shrugged Ginny, "Why didn't you just flat out tell Ron you don't love him?"
Hermione raised her eyebrows, "And what, send him off to face Snape heart broken? He wouldn't be in the right mindset if I did that. I told you I would tell him when he returns. I promise to not lead him on."
Ginny just nodded. Hermione turned and headed back to her tent deciding to give it a clean up. She walked in calling Crookshanks when a hoot caught her attention. Looking up she saw an owl perched on top of her wardrobe. It was grey and black coloured and looked dishevelled in appearance. Hermione called it down and gently stroked it. She found some owl biscuits in her desk drawer and fed it one before taking the letter it had clutched in one of its claws.
Hermione tapped it with her wand murmuring counter spells to all possible spells the letter could contain. Satisfied with it she unrolled it to read what it said.
To Whom Ever Receives This,
Right now I am on the brink of insanity. This war just will not end. I wish one side would hurry up and win already so I can escape this madness. As I write this I am preparing to go to the battlefield once more. This time, I don't know if I will return. I never do.
Each time I leave my mother's heart breaks a little more. When I return to our place she never notices. She's normally passed out from crying all day. If someone receives this I beg you to write back. At least give me something good to return too. That is all I ask. I will not trick you into telling me anything. I just need someone I can turn too, who will listen to what I have to say… or in this case, read what I have to say and understand without judgement.
I long to receive your reply,
Person in Despair.
Hermione looked at the owl with a sympathetic look, "Your owner sounds as bad as you look."
Hermione found some fresh parchment. She didn't care about possible consequences. This person really did sound desperate and if Hermione could do one thing good for this war, then this was it.
Dear Person in Despair,
Your owl looks as bad as you sound. I can understand that insanity, but at least you get to fight. I don't. No one will let me and it is driving me, well, insane. My friends have gone again and I am here alone with the same people day in and out. And at least you get to see your mother. I haven't seen my parents in a year. I long to see them and tell them both how much I love them.
But don't wake each day with dread. My advice is to wake as though that day is the last day of the war. Whenever you feel lost and alone, write to me and I know I will reply as soon as I can. I do hope you return from the battle to be able to read this.
Hermione sealed the letter shut and tied it to the owl's leg. She exited her tent and let it fly off with a small smile on her face. She watched it till it was invisible amongst the trees. With a sigh she entered her tent and began cleaning up wondering when she was to receive her reply.
A/N: Well, what do you think? It is something a little different. Let me know okay?
Until next time!