Disclaimer: JK Rowling, Scholastic, and WB own Harry Potter. I am making nothing from this.

AN: AU for Half-Blood Prince. I am changing a lot guys. This book out of the whole series never set well with me. This will have alternate pairings from the book and deaths.

There will be no Ginny and Harry and no Ron and Hermione. If those are the pairings you like, this story is not for you.

I'm starting at the beginning at the end of OotP and changing the happenings in the DoM a bit.

This is story will be slow going, but I hope you like it and will stick with it.

The beginning is going to be darkish, so be warned.


"Merlin 'Mione, this stuff burns!"

"Stop being a baby."

"Get it off."

"Not for another ten minutes."

"It hurts."

"It'll be worth it."

A grumbled, "Says you," was the reply.

Hermione smiled despite herself at Sirius' pout.

"Beauty is pain, Sirius," declared Hermione dryly.

"It never has before. I think you're doing this as revenge for me walking in on you yesterday."

Before Hermione could reply, the room began to shift.

Suddenly Sirius disappeared as she felt someone grab her hand.

"We have to move," Harry demanded as he yanked Hermione forward.

She recognized the halls of her nightmare.

She was back in the Department of Mysteries.

No. Not again, she silently begged.

"Harry, what…"

Before she could question the situation, three Death Eaters appeared in front of her, Harry and Neville.

It was just like before.

Everything erupted into chaos.

She heard a scream behind her.

Run, run, run.

The word "Trap" echoed through her head as she skidded around another shelf of useless prophecies.

"Knock them over," yelled Harry as they turned another corner.

Without a second thought, Hermione plowed into the side of one of the shelves causing a domino effect.

"They were good for one thing," she declared as they continued to run and dodge streams of light.

"What," asked Harry as he sent a curse behind him.

"Blocked the path," she replied dryly.

She tripped as the room drastically turned and then she was falling.

Laughter surrounded her.

"What?"

"Shh," Sirius said from beside her. "It's getting good."

She was back at the movie theater.

Hermione turned to the man beside her and felt tears slowly fall.

He's safe, repeated in her head as she reached out to touch him. Not hurt. Not tortured. Safe. Here.

"'Mione," Sirius asked. The concern resonated in his voices as he raised a hand to wipe away her tears.

She launched herself into his arms and held him tight as she cried in relief.

But the moment was destroyed as she was ripped away from him again.

The room morphed and she was alone with a masked murderer in front of her.

"Not so brave all alone, are you pet," the man sneered.

A streak of blonde hair was all that alerted her before a spell knocked the Death Eater out.

It's Luna, Hermione's crowed in her mind.

Victory was short lived when a jet of color met its mark across Luna's chest.

"NO!"

"Blondie's down," cackled an insane woman who was lurking in the shadows. "The ickle children thought they could win against the big bad Death Eaters," she continued in a childish taunt.

Hermione shot a spell into the darkness, but the voice only continued to laugh.

Where? Where is she?

The shadows shifted.

There.

Too slow. The spell caught Hermione across the shoulder. She released a whimper as the pain traveled down to her fingertips.

As another curse came towards her, she dove to the ground and landed on a threadbare carpet.

She could hear Christmas music coming from the Muggle radio in the corner.

"Hermione, it's Christmas," declared a familiar voice in a husky tone behind her. "Put the book down and join the party."

Hands lifted her back to her feet. She expected pain, but there was none. Her shoulder was perfectly fine. No wound. No blood.

She looked into Sirius' smiling face. "I know your haul was good this year, but leave some for later, yeah," he laughed. "Don't want to read them all at once."

Before she could respond, something slashed across her back bringing her to her knees.

She could hear screaming around her but all she could process was the pain.

Lights danced before her eyes. Was she going to pass out, she wondered, or was it the spells flying around her?

She felt someone throw her arm across a shoulder and an arm under her knees lifting her into the air and close to a solid chest.

"I've got you," she heard rumble through the chest.

Then she was falling again.

A smiling Harry nudged her playfully. "Hey, you zoned out there. Where'd ya go?"

"What?" Hermione looked up into his brilliant emerald eyes. "I don't…"

"Is that another letter from Sirius," he asked seemingly oblivious to Hermione's lost expression.

She looked down into her hand and there was indeed a letter there. She automatically nodded to Harry's query.

"I think he writes you more than me," he declared without the normal jealousy.

"I…"

"Oh well, it won't last much longer."

"What?"

"He'll be gone soon."

"Harry?"

The smile Harry graced Hermione with chilled her to the core. She watched frozen as he pulled a knife out and stabbed her in the stomach.

She grabbed the wound to stop the bleeding and looked into silver eyes dancing with maddening glee.

"What do ya know? The Mudblood bleeds red after all," cackled the same crazy female from before.

"Hermione!"

She turned towards Harry's voice. He was being held down by two Death Eaters. He had blood running down his head. His wand was missing.

"Don't worry Potter. Your turn will come soon enough," said a gruff voice from behind the silver Death mask.

A jet of light knocked the woman off of Hermione before she could make another swipe with her blade.

"'Mione." The voice was half stating and half pleading. "Don't worry. I'll get you out," he declared as she felt her arm move.

The lights suddenly went out.

The black hole she found herself in was suffocating. She couldn't think; she couldn't breathe.

Something brushed her arm causing her to flinch away.

Her wand was gone and she couldn't see if an enemy lurked in the bleakness surrounding her.

An inhuman wail echoed around her. She tried to block it out by covering her ears, but it was surrounding her, covering her, coming from within her.

Tears leaked down her eyes.

She felt a presence in the black abyss.

"Get me out," cried Sirius pleadingly from the darkness.

Hermione awoke with a scream of both pain and fright. Sirius desperate plea resounded in her head even as her own ricocheted off the Infirmary walls.

Hands.

She could feel hands touching her, holding her, forcing her down.

She tried to fight them, but she was too weak. The pain was too strong.

With a final sob, Hermione welcomed the darkness.


What do you think? Review and let me know.

I'm off to work on Adventures.