Madness...as you know...is like gravity. All it takes is a little...push.- Joker, "The Dark Knight"
Hogsmeade was in ruins. Buildings, once quaint and cozy, lay as no more than heaps of scrap metal, wood and glass as the smoke from multiple fires billowed into the blue sky. Screams of the frightened and dying filled the air. Cries of pain and anguish tore at the heartstrings of most. Most, that is, excepting the horde of black-cloaked figures that marched down the main street.
Death Eaters. The followers of the Dark Lord, Voldemort. These sadistic criminals took a sick pleasure from the pain they were causing. Torture curses. Killing curses. Blasting curses. Cutting curses. These and more flew from their wands as they laughed mercilessly.
Hermione Granger, bookworm extraordinaire, dove behind a particularly thick pile of wreckage to avoid another Avada Kedavra. Blindly casting curses over the top of her cover, she growled in disgust at her shitty luck.
Ever since the end of her fourth year at Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, her life had taken a definitive turn down up shit creek. It started with the travesty that was the Triwizard tournament. Her best friend, Harry Potter, had been drafted into the life-threatening competition because of some sycophant death eater in disguise.
If she was honest with herself, she'd admit that her life had actually improved during that cluster fuck. After Ron Weasley, the prick, had stormed away from her and Harry in a fit of jealousy that had made her, as a pubescent girl proud, she'd become much closer to her long time crush. Ever since the troll incident in her first year, Hermione had been crazy about the raven-haired youth. With out the dumb ass of a third wheel, she'd finally been able to fully interact with her friend. It didn't take her long at all to see that Harry was the one she wanted for the rest of her life.
After the first task and that fucking dragon, the moron had returned. Harry, being the kind hearted young man desperate for friendship, had accepted the prick without thought. With the idiotic filter back in place, Harry had steadily reverted back to the boy he'd been before. Just her luck, the Yule ball was announced not long after. That was the turn onto the aforementioned creek. No matter what she had tried. No matter how heavily she'd hinted, Harry would not ask her to go with him.
When Victor Krum had asked her, she'd accepted out of pure desperation. When she'd walked down into the entrance hall on the night of the ball, she'd seen the look on Harry's face. She knew that he'd figured it out. He felt same the about her. That boy was an open book to the smartest witch of her age so, the moment he realized his feelings, she'd known. However, the ginger idiot had had to stick his freakishly large nose in it.
Admittedly, when he'd started in on her after the ball, she might have over reacted. But, COME ON!! Harry had been approaching her with a look in he eyes that she'd wanted to see for years. He was going to admit his feelings, and Ron ruined it. As soon as the red head had started whining, Harry's eyes had changed. The look of determination had shifted to one of acquiescence. He'd decided to step aside so that Ron could get together with her. As if! Scratch one paddle.
After the final task, she'd finally snapped. The official story was that, once Harry returned with Cedric Diggory's body, the impostor Mad-eye Moody had snuck the broken boy up to his office. This was actually true. Once there, however, things changed. Dumbledore, McGonnagall, and Snape had not burst in just before 'Moody' could curse Harry. No...in fact, she had seen the pair leaving the quidditich pitch and followed them. Reaching the office, she'd eavesdropped on the conversation until Moody had said enough for her to put everything together.
A high-pitched squeal had erupted from within the office. Unknown to her, the noise had emanated from the foe-glass behind Moody's desk. The magical instrument, which had been shifting between several cloudy figures had stopped on one. One image that had never shown on the device before. One image of crystal clear quality. One image of and incredibly pissed off...
With that, she'd wandlessly shattered the office door. Brown eyes glowing with sheer fury, she'd stomped in to see Moody holding a wand on Harry. A series of wince-worthy cracks emanated from the the old 'auror's' arm as it bent in three different directions. Both men inside had stared at her in awe before Moody's flesh began to ripple. In her anger, her magic canceled the affects of the polyjuice potion that held the grizzled old form.
By the time the professors had arrived, the freshly revealed Barty Crouch Jr. was screaming in fear. In the hospital wing after all was said and done, her and Harry had finally had the talk she'd been wanting. They'd left the wing three days later as a couple. Krum was pissed, but he eventually relented after pushing her too far. The berk had had the gall to try and drag her into a broom closet. This had led to her beating him into a bloody pulp. The prick, on the other hand, was constantly bitching. The final days of term and the entire fucking train ride home were filled with his whining.
Before she'd left with her parents, she'd stormed up to Harry's uncle and verbally accosted the bloody walrus. It had been rather amusing to see that a man of his girth was so afraid of a girl that was not even half his size. Once she'd finished her rant, she'd planted a passionate kiss on her new boyfriend's lips before parting ways.
That had been the last time she, or anyone, had seen him. Harry hadn't even reached his home before he was kidnapped. His relatives had been brutally murdered and he'd vanished with out a trace. That was when her vessel upon the river shit had capsized. Nobody knew where the boy-who-lived had gone. The possibility of death eaters was discussed, but the fact that the ministry was adamantly denying news of Voldemort's return and that the Dursleys had been killed with muggle weaponry had negated that.
Everyone searched for her love, but it was all for naught. Eventually, they'd all written his disappearance off as a stunt to get more attention. When Dumbledore himself had come to inform her of the forgone search, she'd broken down into desperate tears. The previously joyful girl had degraded into a pathetic mass of broken-hearted teen. In an attempt to help her, the headmaster had insisted that she be taken to the burrow to be with her friends.
As soon as the youngest Weasley male had seen her state, he'd immediately started in on her with Ginny glaring her the entire time. Why was so she sad that Harry'd let his head get too big and run off? Who cared if he couldn't be found? That was what she got for getting together with the bloody prat in the first place. With him gone, she could finally be with him like should have been in the first place.
That was the exact moment that she'd lost it. Fuck the boat...Hermione'd pulled her self from the creek and began storming across the surface. Hermione Granger, the timid little bookworm had died that day. What rose from the ashes was Hermione Granger, ball-busting ass-kicking bookworm.
Ron, none the wiser about her instantaneous transformation, was shocked into unconsciousness as a fist was planted right between his eyes. When Ginny'd started yelling at her, she'd backhanded the little bitch with her already bruised hand. Without a word, she'd stormed out of the house amidst the cheering of Fred and George and called the Knight Bus.
That summer had been the hardest of her life. When not doing homework, she'd thrown herself into almost any physical activity she could find. Soccer. Running. Hell, even Wushu. Through all of her effort, her body changed. Where a mousy little nerd had once hovered, a fucking amazon stood tall...proud...and incredibly hot if she said so herself. Her parents couldn't believe the change in their daughter, but they were happy that she'd seemed to have begun healing.
The fifth year was a bloody nightmare. The ministry, in a fit of on par intelligence, had deemed it necessary to try and take over the school. Delores Umbridge had been a terrible DADA teacher at first, then a god-awful headmistress when she'd finally managed to drive Dumbledore out. Throughout it all, the bitch had made Hermione to suffer through countless 'dententions' where she was forced to write "I will not tell lies I will respect my betters" in her own blood. The scars were permanantly etched into the flesh on the back of her hand.
It'd all come to a head when the toad had attempted to use the Cruciatus on her to gather information. She'd quickly dropped the old hag, obviated her, and dragged the hideous body out into the Forbidden forest for the centaurs to find. Or the Acromantulas. Or what the-fuck-ever else found her.
Come summer, she'd immediately restarted her exercise routines. All in all, the vacation was bland compared with those previous. While she refused ever invite to the burrow, her and Harry's godfather had spent many an hour grieving over their loss. Through their mutual grief, the pair had become good friends.
For the most part, her sixth year had been quiet. The only real major event came early in the year. Apparently, the ponce Malfoy had decided to 'honor' her. That honor being to waste five seconds of her life in his bed. Of course, she'd said no, but the moron decided to try and force her.
Madame Pomphrey had been able to reattach his dick...but only just.
After that, nobody messed with her. Sure, there were still verbal assaults, but it ended there. She'd become the ice queen of Gryffindor. In fact, the only people to talk to her at school were Neville and Luna Lovegood, who she'd met no long into her fifth year.
Her musing was interrupted as an explosion blasted apart her cover, sending her sprawling across the cobblestone street of Hogsmeade. Once her vision cleared, she was staring down four wands. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that her own wand was way out of reach. None of the death eaters were close enough for any of her minuscule martial arts training to be of much help. This was it. Hermione let loose a relieved sigh and closed her eyes...
Only to be drenched in a thick fluid that contained the coppery scent of blood.
Raising her lids, she gasped at the headless man in front of her. She looked down to see chunks of flesh, bone, and brain matter scattered across her clothes. The other death eaters were frozen in awe as their eyes followed the corpse on its short journey to the ground.
A split-second later, another one of the masked and hooded heads erupted into a fountain of gore. Panicked, the remaining two death eaters began whipping around in a vain attempt to locate whatever was picking them off. A strangled gurgle brought Hermione's attention to the ear-to-ear slit that appeared on one of the shrouded throats.
"Sorry to cut in..." the voice held a note of manic enjoyment as a red arm encircled the last death eater's neck. With a resounding crack, the dark wizard's head was wrenched to the left. "But I thought this story could use a twist."
Hermione watched the body as it fell to the ground. As the corpse landed, her eyes were drawn to a pair of leanly muscled legs covered in a vibrant red and black material. Slowly, her eyes traveled up the legs to a brown belt that was covered in pockets. Hanging on either hip was some kind of gun. Past a defined stomach were two bandoleers full of rather intimidating bullets. Strapped to a broad back were a pair of intricate katanas.
At long last, her eyes reached the man's head. An almost solid red, excepting the black areas on either side, full-head mask hid any facial features. All she could tell was that he had an almost impossibly square jaw. White patches on the mask indicated where his eyes were. As they locked gazes, the area of fabric over the mouth lifted in an unmistakable facsimile of a smile.
"I'll be back." he said in a over exagerated German accent before dashing off towards the other death eaters. Laughing uproariously the entire way.