It was nearing the early hours of the morning as Hermione lazily walked the dark streets alone. She had never been one to fancy sleep, but rathered staying up and exploring the innards of her mind. It was summer, the season she loved and hated. On one hand, she had time to spend with her family and dive into her studies with peace and quiet. She was free to do what she wanted when she wanted, which she liked quite a bit. But on the other hand, she was away from her best friends Ron and Harry and rarely heard from them through letters. To be honest, she was worried. Not for Harry, but for Ron too. Not hearing from them for months at a time got on her nerves but she knew it was because they were lazy boys – not because they felt like ignoring her. Once in a while she would get a letter that was one or two lines from Ron, quickly updating her on the latest happenings around the Burrow or how his mother is driving him mad in a few awkward lines. She learned to become satisfied from these short scribblings, but her neurotic mind still caused her to worry quite often.
The heat had been stifling that day and by the sound of the pure silence ringing throughout the neighborhood; it was easy to tell that everyone was taking advantage of the cool air to get some sleep. Tonight Hermione felt more alone than usual, but strangely content. The night time was when her mind wandered the most, when she allowed the walls of restriction to come down where her mind could freely travel. This summer Hermione was coming into her sixth year, and this summer everything was different. She not only had to simply worry about Harry's health at the Dursley's, but to fear for his life due to the happenings they had just gone through a few weeks ago. The entirety of their fifth year was action packed – much more than usual. This year Hermione witnessed first-hand what Harry was dealing with. Dumbledore's Army had been formed and it had been quite a productive, yet scary year for all of them.
As these thoughts ran through her head, Hermione routinely made a left turn into an alleyway – the alleyway where she spent most of her nights. Immediately she veered right and sat down on the grassy ground in front of an abandoned garage, her favorite and usual spot. The alleyway was pitch back with just one street lamp at the end furthest away from her. She usually didn't mind the darkness so much, but her mind was troubling her so she pulled out her wand and whispered a quiet "Lumos". The tip of the wand ignited with a light that just came short of being too bright to go unnoticed, and she stuck the end of her wand into the soft ground beside her.
A sigh softly escaped her as she closed her eyes, feeling the cool air dance around her. The leaves in the surrounding trees gently rustled and the stars twinkled above her, dancing around the black sky. On these relaxing summer nights she often liked to close her eyes and be transported to the past, re-living the happenings at the Ministry of Magic vividly in her mind. They had over-all been victorious, but the battle had not gone by without a very particular casualty.
Harry's godfather, Sirius Black, had been killed by the Death Eater that was none other than Bellatrix Lestrange. Sirius had been the one bit of family that Harry had found short ago in his third year, and was cruelly taken away from him much too soon. Harry had been so happy to have someone like Sirius in his life and he loved him with all his heart. The relationship that they had was wonderful and both Ron and Hermione were overflowing with joy for the camaraderie that Harry had found in Sirius. He was even able to feel closer to his parents in a way with the stories that Sirius would share not only with Harry – but will all of them. It was a happy time, those few years, but unfortunately that chapter was over and they had left that school term with heavy hearts.
Hermione now had a better understanding of what Harry was up against, Voldemort himself, and had even been in the same establishment with the Dark Lord and battled his Death Eater cronies. She was now a part of something that was much bigger than her, much bigger than any of them. She didn't necessarily understand it thoroughly (not that she'd admit that out loud to anyone), but she had a bigger appreciation for it and for Harry; for ALL of her classmates that were involved, and trusted Harry with his powers and decisions now that she saw him in action. This wouldn't mean that she would ever stop worrying about him, and she wasn't going to change her nagging ways but that was the way she showed him she cared. Harry didn't seem to ever mind her help anyway and she sometimes found him actually coming to her for help. She liked it that way, helping on the sidelines and making sure he was prepared. She was proud of herself, of him, and of Ron. They were the three musketeers through and through and these experiences only made their bonds stronger.
These bittersweet thoughts caused a smile to cross Hermione's face. She knew that Harry would learn to get by. Sirius would never be forgotten, and he did not die in vain. He taught Harry so much and gave him so much love. It would be expected for Harry to be heartbroken, but Hermione knew that once this was all over, once Voldemort was conquered and they all had lives of their own the stories of these battles and of Sirius would be passed on to each of their children and that is what mattered the most. A content sigh now escaped Hermione and she opened her eyes to look up at the twinkling stars. She felt better now that she had sorted throughout her thoughts and a feeling of ultimate relaxation washed over her. But this relaxation didn't last long.
All of a sudden the wind was becoming anything but gentle. The rustling leaves soon turned violently against each other, striking Hermione as a bit too fast for a weather change. A twinge pinged in her stomach and she slowly moved her eyes from left to right, scanning the alleyway and the space around her. Hermione wasn't shy to strange things, but the dark was fleeting and she knew of the dangers out in the world. The wind continued to grow stronger and the young witch could not shake the feeling that she was no longer alone in this alleyway.
"Hmm, it's getting late anyway. I should be heading home," she told herself. The clouds picked up their pace in the sky and finally revealed the moon, shedding some extra light as she gathered herself. Her wand tip had been relinquished and she shoved it back in her pocket where she usually carried it when she was out and about this late. Another twinge ran throughout her body, stopping her from turning around and exiting the alleyway. She was facing the old abandoned garage frozen in darkness, becoming more cautious and preparing herself for something to reveal itself from the darkness. She slowly craned her neck to one side then the other, peering on the side and almost behind the garage to see if anyone was there. A small chuckle came from her as she shook her head, rolling her eyes at herself. "Stop it, Hermione. You're just being foolish," she told herself, patting her right pocket to reassure herself that her wand was there and she was secure. The wind had slowed down and was back to being harmlessly playful and this caused her to feel at ease.
Just then, a heavy thud sounded from behind her, like feet stomping on the ground. Before she could react, she felt heat from something behind her, and her left arm was twisted behind her back. Hermione attempted to turn around, struggling to move and expelling small whiny grunts as her arm was twisted more tightly behind her back. Her heart began to race, sending her blood flying throughout her body. She was frozen in her spot. The person making this thudding noise behind her chuckled before pressing firmly up against her.
"Looking for something, little girl?" said a familiar yet unidentifiable voice of a woman that seemed to be as sharp as razors. Hermione took in a breath of surprise and held it. She was in danger, and she had to get her wand. If she could only move her hand to her pocket to retrieve it without getting caught…
Her right forearm was met with a strong grasp and fingernails digging into her flesh. Hermione's teeth clenched and she shakily gasped at the sudden inflow of pain.
"Wh-who are you? And WHAT do you want with me?" Hermione demanded between gritted teeth.
"Mhmm," the woman laughed between pursed lips, "So many things, I want with you my dear. But for now, they must wait. I just peeked out for a little taste," she whispered hotly against Hermione's ear.
The young witch shuddered at the sound of her voice and the feeling of the hot air hitting her ear, wetting it while a wandering hand of the stranger ran up and down the left side of her body; caressing the bare skin on her arm and the curve of her waist. She tried to move again but she was still stuck. Her left arm seemed to be paralyzed against the woman's figure pressing up against her back, and it felt that the grip and the nails going into her flesh were only getting deeper. She then began to feel the blood trickling down to her hand, running down her fingers only to quietly pit-pat onto the asphalt. Her eyes closed and she finally succumbed to the stranger's strong-hold, going limp in her clutch. This produced a chuckle. She felt the woman's chest rising and falling quickly against her.
"This may not be as difficult as I initially thought," she then heavily whispered, her voice still much like a lady's and her lips now brushing against the back of her bare neck. The moment the last word escaped, Hermione felt a tongue run across the spot where the lips had been. It slowly ran back and forth wetting her skin before retracting into the mouth behind her. Again the wind began to pick up, more furiously this time, and she thought she heard the once confidently dangerous stranger gasp.
"It seems our time is up," she said, sounding a bit babyish in a playful tone. The stranger paused for a moment, bringing her lips close to her ear again. Hermione was breathless. She felt weak, as if she was going to faint. The only way she could keep herself up was by leaning her head back against this woman which seemed to cause a rise out of her. Hermione could now feel the woman taking in her scent. Her chest rose slowly for a long amount of time before expelling a gust of hot air out of her mouth with a sigh of satisfaction. "I'll be seeing you again, my dear," she stated with a grin slowly growing across her plump lips. This statement was a little louder than the others she had shared with the girl and was filled with an emotion Hermione identified as excitement mixed with eagerness. The voice was so familiar, even the scent coming from the woman Hermione felt she could remember but could not place a face or name with these features. The only thing her mind could focus on was breathing, taking the cool air into her lungs and then expelling it with hopes of staying conscious and in less danger than she would be if she were to pass out.
In a sudden movement Hermione now found herself on the ground. Her arms were lying limp on either side of her, both in pain. The woman hovered there for a moment before taking off in a flash of green light going down the alleyway where soon another figure seemed to be chasing her. They took the wind with them and the only souvenir left behind was the bone chilling echo of a cackle that struck Hermione sharply and familiarly in the heart. Tears quietly streamed down her face but no sobs erupted, and she knew now. She was in danger.