Disclaimer: Yes, I am JKR, I am brilliant and own all these amazing characters. ... Did I fool you? No? Well, you're right then.
Rating: M - sigh - I still think I should be allowed to post this in T...
Warning: Dark material, but I didn't get very graphic.
A/N: My fourth Dramione oneshot. This was actually the first one I ever wrote, so I'm a little nervous about publishing it. I hope some of you will like it. FLAMERS WILL GET REALLY RUDE REVIEW REPLIES! But constructive cristicism is appreciated. :P Have fun.
There was nothing she could do, nothing to say, nothing to dream of.
Dreams? They consisted of mindless screams, pain beyond measure in the dark, with noone to help her. Only a year ago, they'd still been reminders of happy times: Hanging out with her best friends, acing every single class she attended, eating real food, getting real sleep, reading real books, not being in pain.
Waking up after a dream like that, to find her body ache everywhere, to find them staring at her, laughing at her, spitting on her, abusing her body, talking her against the little bit of a free will she still had left, trying out new torture spells, with the occasional Cruciatus thrown in, and the darkness... It had been beyond cruel, simply because they understood perfectly that there was nothing more painful than happiness.
Those dreams, they had stopped eventually. A grateful numbness had taken over her soul, if not her body, at least her soul.
She hadn't seen daylight in eight years. The last time she'd seen Harry and Ron had been eleven years ago. The day before this one, that had been her 26th birthday. No, she hadn't lost track of time.
Every day, she was left alone for a few minutes, with a guy whose face she'd never seen. She didn't know whether his voice had always sounded familiar or if he had simply become the last thing giving her strengh in the course of all those years. His voice was rough, hoarse and deep, and it told her things.
What day it was, what was happening in the outside world that wasn't hers anymore. He'd told her that the Dark Lord had killed Harry. Ron was dead, too. Ginny captured like she was. It wasn't okay, anything but okay. But grieve was better than fear. Knowing the ugly truth was better than guessing and hoping.
That voice, it had taken everything from her, but she couldn't hate it. Because, whoever he was, most of the time, he sounded scared, sometimes even compassionate. He was only there for a few minutes.
The rest of the day, she was theirs. Sometimes, when she was lying on the ground bleeding and hurting, she wondered why they still hadn't lost interest in torturing her this way. Her skin had long lost its softness, her hair was worse than ever, knots in it that they liked to pull, nothing of the former sweetness and innocence was left in her eyes, not even fear, she was dirty and filthy, her body was full of scars, barely any meat on her bones.
The didn't exactly feed her. Once a day, she got a half-empty plate with soup. More water than vegetable. A slice of old, fat meat every month. Barely enough to keep her alive. Her throat was constantly raw and vulnerable, aching for a drop of water. Yeah, somehow it was more than a small miracle that her body hadn't completely given up on her yet.
26 years old. The first time she'd considered suicide had been ten years, eleven months and three days ago, but there was no way. Her body was too weak. She was barely able to move, let alone find the means one needed to kill themselves.
Today, though, she'd try. No, not herself. She'd ask the voice. Possibly the thing they wanted her to do, beg for death, but still, it was worth it. It might be a shot in the dark, but at least it was a shot. And she was in the dark anyway, so what did it matter?
They left her, as they always did, and the guy whose voice it was she was clinging to entered her black cell. He helped her get up so she could sit, his strong body seeming so different than anyone elses. Perhaps because he was the only one who didn't violate her.
When she finally sat half-way straight, her back leaning against the cold wall, he began talking to her.
"It's the 25th of May, but you know that. It was your birthday, yesterday. There's not much going on out there, except the usual. Rape, murder, violence. You know the drill. Do you remember Padma Patil? She was in your year, a Ravenclaw. I believe her twin sister was with you in Griffindor. Anyway, she killed McNair before the rest of them brought her down. The Dark Lord is still trying to figure out what to do with her."
She was sinking into the soft tone, every line sounded like poetry leaving his mouth. No matter what he told her, she soaked it up like a sponge, craving more and more and more until he had to leave again.
"Oh, and it's snowing outside. Can you believe that? Snow! In May!", she heard her favorite sound in the whole world – at least in what was left of her world – his chuckle. It was so different from the sounds the other Death Eaters made, their moans and grunts and cruel laughter... It was warm and soft and there was a hint of pain in it.
"I found Dragonsweed growing outside, by the way, remember that?"
"'Herbs and Weeds of 16th century witches', page 228.", she stated and smiled as she recalled reading that book, some sort of satisfaction in her that she still knew it by heart, "Only known cure to Dragonpox."
There'd been a time when he'd read to her, a spell making everything look dark to her, blind as always. Eventually, it'd hurt too much, hearing the sound of pages turning, of a book snapping close, the sweet rumble of his voice hadn't been able to ease that pain and she'd asked him to stop. I'd hurt too much. But he still kept her informed, he still talked to her, he still made her think, encouraged her, challenged her. She trusted him, no matter how foolish that was. Noone deserved her trust, not here.
"Smart girl.", he smirked.
"Would you kill me?", she replied.
There was silence for a few moments until he stated, sounding somewhat old and vulnerable:
"I've been waiting for that question for a very long time."
"Would you?", she insisted.
"I'd do it."
"Whenever you feel ready."
If there was one thing she knew, it was the answer to the question implied there.
She heard a sigh, then the unmistakable noise of him drawing his wand.
"Your face.", she said very quietly, "I never saw it. Who are you?"
"You don't want to know, Hermione."
There was a jolt of joy at his words going through her entire body, waking her up, making her feel alive, one last time...
"My name... You know my name."
"Yes, I do."
She felt something soft against her cheek, so soft... It took her a while to realize it was his hand. The only hands she'd felt in a very long time had only been harsh, rough, painful on her skin. But this... This was nice.
There was a flash of green and with a smile she said goodbye to Draco Malfoy.