A/N: This is just a short little piece that came to mind when I heard this song on the radio today. Hope you enjoy! This takes place in their 7th year, after Christmas. Obviously not DH compliant, but Snape is good, Dumbledore is alive, and the Dark Lord is gone. :D

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or "Face Down." They belong to J.K. Rowling and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, respectively.

Face Down

"Draco, please don't. I'm—I'm sorry!" Hermione whispered, backing into a corner, away from his advances. He was coming slowly toward her with his fists clenched angrily at his sides.

"No, Hermione, you deserve this. I TOLD you I didn't want you speaking to Potter or Weasley, and you did it anyway!" he snarled, pushing her against the wall hard.

"Ow, Draco, that hurt!" she screamed, trying to push him off of her. He grabbed the front of her robes with one hand, stopping her from pushing him away. She winced, turning her face away from his.

"Look at me," he growled, grabbing her cheeks roughly and turning her face toward his. There were tears building in her brown eyes.

"Draco, please, stop. I- I won't t-talk to them again, I p-promise," she whimpered, her face still knotted with fear. His gray eyes were cold, and his lip curled.

"We'll just make sure the message is clear," he said quietly, slapping her hard across the face.

She screamed in pain and covered her throbbing cheek with her hand. He just shook his head and turned away toward the door. Without one look back at her, he left her room and slammed the door hard.

Her heart beating wildly, she sank into the corner onto the floor, holding her slowly bruising face and sobbing uncontrollably.

/\/\/\

The next day, the bruise on Hermione's left cheek was a nasty blue-purple color. When she woke up that morning, she knew there would be questions. She could hear them now: What happened to your face? Did you get in a fight? Did someone hex you? No, no one would ever suspect Draco.

That was because she knew how to put on an act. She had made everyone believe that she and Draco had a perfectly healthy relationship. And they had—at first. But for the past half year, Draco had been abusing her. It started out as little things, a shove here and there or grabbing her arm with too much force. But he always said he was sorry. He always said he hadn't meant to.

Hermione had never been in a relationship before. She had never felt for anyone the way she felt for Draco Malfoy. Yes, they were an odd pair, but after a few weeks, everyone got used to the idea. Even Ron and Harry. They thought she was just too busy to talk to them much anymore; they had no idea that Draco had forbade it. Yes, when she showed up at breakfast with a bruise on her face, no one would suspect a thing.

But she had to at least try and hide it. She had tried making the marks he had left on her go away by magic, but for some reason, it just wouldn't work. So she got out her makeup case and covered it the best she could. But it was still visible. She sighed. She would just have to make up some lie about how she had run into a door.

As she walked into the Great Hall, she braced herself for the questions. Of course, Ron asked first. He had been sitting at the end of the Gryffindor table nearest the professors.

"Blimey, Hermione, what happened to your face?" he said, peering at the bruise.

Hermione glanced around to make sure Draco hadn't come in yet; she didn't want him to see her talking to Ron and Harry. "Oh, I ran into my bathroom door last night!" she said in a overly cheerful voice. "Stupid me, huh?" she exclaimed, nervously glancing around.

Ron and Harry exchanged perplexed glances. Sure, Hermione was clumsy, but even she wasn't that bad. But Hermione wasn't one to lie, so they took her word for it.

"Yeah, 'Mione, that was pretty dumb," Harry agreed, laughing heartily. Hermione forced a smile.

"Right. Well, I need to talk to, uh, Ginny," she said, frantically trying to get away from them before Draco came sauntering in. Ron looked disappointed.

"Okay, Hermione… see you in Transfiguration," he said, shrugging at Harry.

Hermione practically ran away from them, curiously not sitting next to Ginny at all, but on the end near Colin Creevey.

Harry shook his head. "That was strange, eh, Ron?" he said. Ron could do nothing but nod.

At the Head Table, a certain dark-haired professor overheard the entire exchange between the three of them and was now studying them thoughtfully.

Miss Granger most certainly did not run into a door; she's too careful to do something like that. And that was a hideous bruise, Professor Severus Snape thought, as his eyes went from Ron and Harry to Hermione all the way at the end of the table. What in Merlin's name is going on? Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a flash of blonde enter the Great Hall. His eyes followed Draco Malfoy to the Slytherin table, then he looked at Hermione again. Her eyes were wide with… was that, terror? Severus was confused. Weren't Draco and Hermione dating? Why does she look so… Oh, God, he thought, placing a hand over his mouth, his eyes narrowing.

Hey girl, you know you drive me crazy.

One look puts the rhythm in my hand.

Still I'll never understand why you hang around.

I see what's going down.

Severus kept watching Hermione as she looked down at her plate. Miss Granger is too smart for this, he thought. But he had seen enough abuse and violence through the years to recognize a battered girl. Hermione is too good for this. His thoughts were broken as he saw Draco approaching her. He actually felt his body tense up for her sake. He prepared to get up, in case something were to happen. But to his surprise, Draco sat down next to her and put his arm around her, leaning over to whisper in her ear. Of course, he couldn't hear what he was saying, but he would've bet 500 Galleons that it was something like "I'm sorry, baby, I'll never do it again." Hermione was nodding and looking up at him. Draco leaned over and kissed her swiftly on the lips, then got up and left the Great Hall.

Cover up with makeup in the mirror,

Tell yourself it's never gonna happen again.

You cry alone and then he swears he loves you.

Severus was not convinced. He would have his eye on Draco Malfoy.

/\/\/\

That afternoon, Severus was teaching Double Potions—with the Gryffindors and the Slytherins. He was interested to see how this class would go. As the students came in the classroom, he paid special attention to Malfoy and Hermione. As she had done for the past eight months, Hermione sat with her boyfriend instead of with Potter and Weasley. She looked as if nothing was wrong; she was laughing and looking at Draco like he hung the moon. Severus shook his head and started class.

As the class brewed the potion he had assigned, he forgot to be particularly cruel to Potter and Weasley because he was so busy trying to listen in on Hermione and Draco's conversation. But Draco was too smart; he wasn't going to mention anything about whatever had happened the night before with a professor in earshot. He would have to find out another way.

Before he knew it, class was over. As everyone moved to leave the classroom, he noticed something odd. Ron had started over to speak to Hermione, but Draco grabbed her wrist roughly and led her out of the room, glaring at Ron the entire way. Severus cocked his head to the side. How strange. Ron and Harry simply looked at each other, stunned.

Severus knew he might be able to overhear something if he followed them at this instant. He didn't even wait until Potter and Weasley were out of his room; he rushed out the door, his robes billowing behind him.

He could hear Malfoy's voice echoing through the deserted dungeon hallway. He stole around a corner and peeked around, out of their sight.

"What did I SAY about not talking to them?!" he said in an insanely angry voice. He was standing very close to her.

"But I didn't!" she insisted, trying her best to get away from him.

"You would have, if I hadn't been there to stop you, you filthy whore!" he yelled. Hermione let out a furious moan.

Snape stepped out from around the corner as if he had heard nothing but the word whore.

"Excuse me, Mr. Malfoy, what is going on here?" Snape said dangerously, stepping toward them.

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?

Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?

At the sight of Snape, Malfoy backed away from Hermione, looking terrified.

"Nothing, Professor," Draco lied. Hermione simply stood still, planted to the spot on the floor, staring at Severus with wide, scared eyes.

"It looked like something to me, Mr. Malfoy. To me, it looked like you were threatening Miss Granger," Snape said softly, stepping closer to Malfoy.

"Threatening, sir? No, she's my girlfriend, why on earth would I threaten her? Tell him, Hermione," Draco said, taking Hermione's hand. Severus's eyes shot toward her, half expecting her to tell him the truth. She swallowed.

"He wasn't threatening me, sir, we were just having a little argument," she explained, turning her left cheek away from Snape.

Snape took a deep breath and raised his chin in the air. "Are you absolutely sure, Miss Granger?" he asked, his ebony eyes boring through her chocolate colored ones. She nodded.

"Yes, Professor, I'm sure," she said, smiling slightly. Severus sighed.

"Ten points from Slytherin, Mr. Malfoy, for the use of vulgar language in the hallways," he said, narrowing his eyes. Malfoy didn't argue. Hermione turned to go, but Malfoy just stood there, eyes locked on Snape. Snape leaned over and muttered in a whisper: "I have my eye on you, Malfoy. I don't have proof, yet, but I know what's going on here. You should leave her alone, if you know what's good for you," Severus didn't wait for Malfoy's response. He turned on his heel and headed back to the dungeons. Draco stood there for a second more, then followed Hermione down the hall.

Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end

As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found.

Severus hoped that would be enough to stop Draco. Was he ever wrong.

/\/\/\

A couple days later, Hermione had fresh bruises on her upper arms in the shape of fingers, but luckily her robes covered them. The bruise on her cheek was now a sickly shade of green. However, Severus knew Draco was still hurting her. He could tell by the way her grades were slipping, the looks on her face, and the fact that she was still not speaking to Potter or Weasley. He had had Hermione Granger in class for almost seven years; he knew her better than she thought. After dinner that night, he decided to confront her.

He waited until she left the room, Malfoy nowhere to be seen. He must have stayed in the Slytherin common room with his oafs. He excused himself, telling Minerva and Albus he had a huge stack of papers waiting for him to grade. As he walked out the door, he saw her heading up the staircase toward the Gryffindor common room.

"Miss Granger!" he called out, speeding up to catch up with her. She turned around, startled.

"Professor Snape?" she asked, obviously confused.

"I wanted to talk to you," he said quietly. There was no one in the corridor; everyone was still at dinner.

"Um, sure, Professor," she said, looking around anxiously.

"Hermione," she looked up at him at the use of her given name, "is everything alright with you?" he asked, deciding to come straight to the point.

"Alright? With me? O-Of course, Professor, everything's fine," she stuttered, shifting from foot to foot.

"Please, Hermione. You can be honest with me. Is someone… hurting you?" he asked, the last two words almost getting caught in his throat.

"Hurting me, Professor?" she feigned confusion.

"Yes, that bruise, on your face," he said, gently touching it with one finger. She flinched under his touch.

"I ran into the door, Professor," she lied.

"Don't lie to me, Hermione. You're not the kind of person who runs into doors," he said firmly. "Someone, and I am fairly sure I know who, is doing this to you," he said, feeling the anger at Malfoy rising inside him.

"You think Draco would…?" she said, her eyes flashing, not with anger, but something else.

"Yes, Hermione, I do."

A pebble in the water makes a ripple effect;

Every action in this world will bear a consequence.

If you wait around forever you will surely drown.

I see what's going down.

She looked away from him, realizing he knew.

"Hermione, you don't have to do this. You are too good to put up with this kind of abuse," he said, putting his hand on her shoulder, "you have to leave him, or things will only get worse," he said with genuine concern in his voice.

"Professor Snape, I-I can't leave him. No one has ever loved me before… not stupid, ugly, know-it-all me. Draco is all I will ever have, he's all I deserve," she said softly, looking down and picking at the clasp on her robe. Severus was outraged.

"All you deserve?! No, Hermione. Draco doesn't deserve you," he said, pulling her chin up with his hand so she was looking into his eyes. She didn't wince under his fingers this time.

"Professor Snape, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I can handle it, okay? He doesn't mean it, really. He loves me," she said resolutely.

I see the way you go and say you're right again,

Say you're right again

Heed my lecture

"Hermione, please listen to me," he said, but he could tell it was no use.

"Professor, please, this is none of your business!" she screamed, and ran toward the common room.

"Hermione! HERMIONE!" he yelled, but it was no use. She was gone. He sighed. What would he have to do to get through to her? He didn't have proof, so he didn't want to bother the headmaster with the problem. Severus could save her. He knew he could.

The question was: why was Draco doing this? He had always been a bastard, but Snape never thought he would be an abuser. He must get some kind of thrill out of it… It must make him feel in control. Severus would never understand men who hit women… Never.

Do you feel like a man when you push her around?

Do you feel better now as she falls to the ground?

Well, I'll tell you my friend, one day this world's going to end

As your lies crumble down, a new life she has found

/\/\/\

Three days later, Severus would get the proof he needed. As he was going for his nightly walk around the grounds, he heard a scuffle coming from behind a tree near the lake. He crept over, listening hard. It was Malfoy and Hermione. As he got closer to the tree, he could see what was happening. Malfoy had Hermione on the ground, punching her in the face and slamming her head into the ground. She was trying her best to fight him off. Severus ran over and grabbed Malfoy off her by the robes.

"MALFOY, WHAT IN THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" he screamed, holding him off the ground. Hermione lay on the ground, writhing and wailing in pain. Malfoy was kicking and screaming, trying to free himself. Snape shook his head angrily, drew his wand and bound Malfoy's hands and feet. He threw him to the ground disgustedly and knelt next to Hermione. She had a black eye, and her lip was busted. She was dirty but as far as he could tell, she was going to be okay.

One day she will tell you that she has had enough.

It's coming round again.

"Hermione, are you okay?" he whispered, pushing her hair out of her eyes. She shook her head.

"P-Professor, I should've l-listened to you," she croaked, her voice hoarse.

"Shhh, don't worry about that, Hermione," he said as he picked her up gently. She wrapped her arms around his neck and buried her face in his shoulder.

Face down in the dirt she said "This doesn't hurt"

She said "I've finally had enough"

"Severus?" she whispered.

"Yes, Hermione?" he said, stopping in his tracks.

"I don't want him to hurt me anymore. I've had enough," she said, looking up at him, tears running down her dusty cheeks. He nodded, relief rushing over him.

"Oh, Hermione, you don't have to worry about that anymore. I am sending for Professor Hagrid straightaway to pick Mr. Malfoy up off the ground, and he will be sent to the Headmaster for punishment. Believe me, Hermione, he will never touch you again," he assured her, wiping the tears from her face.

"Severus, if you hadn't been there…" she said in a low voice.

"But I was, Hermione," he said, kissing her on the forehead impulsively.

"Thank you, for saving my life," she whispered into his ear.

He smiled down at her. "You're welcome," he said simply.

He carried her up the stairs back into Hogwarts, away from the horrid life she had been leading for the past six months. He vowed he would be there to protect her from then on out. Draco Malfoy nor any other boy would ever hurt her again. He would see to that.

Face down in the dirt she said "This doesn't hurt"

She said "I've finally had enough"

fin

Well, this was a little plot that had been swimming around in my head, and I had to get it out! And yeah, Snape might've been a bit OOC, but I tried to keep him in as much as possible. After all, he IS good, and we know he wouldn't stand for someone beating on an innocent girl! Please review and tell me what you thought! Love love!

-r