Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves. ~~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
"What do you mean, she's gone?" Harry ground out.
"I mean, one minute she was there, and the next, she wasn't, mate. And she didn't Apparate. I would have known had she done that. How could they have gotten her? They're just Muggles," Ron explained, frowning.
"I have three words for you: Salem Witch Trials."
The color drained from Ron's face, and he swallowed. Grabbing Harry's shirtfront, Ron whimpered, "What are we going to do?"
"Calm down! Hermione is an Auror, she knows the risks. We'll report to Headquarters. From there we can widen the search. Don't worry, we'll find her. We will," Harry assured, clasping Ron's shoulder firmly.
Nodding, Harry let Ron know he was ready to Apparate. Two muted cracks rent the air as they disappeared.
Standing with her back to the wall, Hermione's breath condensated with each gasp as her chest rose and fell rapidly. Closing her eyes, she swallowed. She had managed to lose Ron, there was no way she could do what she intended to with him in tow.
He and Harry had refused to implement her plan to infiltrate the Muggle witch hunting society they had learned of from an informant. Thus, she was alone, in the dark, dressed like a trollop, in the worst part of London, looking for her contact in a witch killing cult that called themselves: Berwick's Lot.
Sucking in her breath, Hermione opened her eyes quickly at the sound of flapping wings above her. Looking up, she frowned at a blackbird perched on the edge of the building, watching her. Sighing, she pushed off from the wall and turned the corner.
"Bloody birds! It's fine… just relax," she muttered, rubbing her arms to ward off the chill. She had her wand, but it was in an awkward place, and it was too risky to whip it out now, even for something as mundane as a warming charm.
The hair on her neck prickled, she was being watched.
Swallowing once, she stood straighter, continuing down the narrow alley, looking from side to side. Two blocks down, a vagrant, smelling of whiskey, his teeth blackened, stepped in her path. "Well, don't you look sweet enough to eat?" He solicited loudly, then laughed when she recoiled slightly but didn't stop.
"Hey! Hey, I was talking to you!" He called from behind her.
Hearing his heavy feet thudding toward her, Hermione picked up her pace. Looking over her shoulder, she caught a glimpse of a black object as it swooped down over him, knocking him from his feet. But it didn't stop with the drifter, it kept coming towards her.
Sucking in her breath, Hermione swung her head back around and began to run, her breath bursting through her lungs in her flight. Stumbling over the cobblestones, splashing in a puddle, she grazed her arm on the wall. Then, as she passed between alleys, an arm captured her, pulling her into an alcove as the black entity flew past.
A steel hand covered her mouth, making it impossible to scream. She scrambled for her wand, hidden beneath her dress, but her hands were thrown painfully against the bricks on either side, held by neatly kept hands. Slowly, her captors came into focus as black hooded figures, and her eyes widened.
"Mm, looks like time to have some fun," The tallest one drawled elegantly, trailing his free hand down her neck and lightly caressing the top of her breast.
Vainly, Hermione attempted to break free, but her three subjugators held fast. Laughing, the leader skimmed her torso with his free hand, applying pressure at indecent points on his way to the apex between her thighs. He stopped when his fingers grazed cold metal.
"Well, well, what have we here?" He leaned down slightly, then held up a damasked blade in front of her eyes.
Hermione closed her eyes and swallowed. She was done for, and it was all her fault, because of her selfish pride. She knew the informant was right and Berwick's Lot would be here tonight, hunting witches. And they had caught one, only they didn't know that yet.
Struggling more valiantly against them, Hermione shifted enough to get a good bite into the hand over her mouth.
Yowling in pain, pulling his hand away quickly, the man in front of her screeched, "Damn it!"
"Hold her! You will regret that," he ground out, holding his injured hand tightly with the other. Striding toward her, raising his hand to strike, Hermione turned her head in an attempt to avoid the blow. But it never came.
A grunt punctured the air as a black, flowing object swooped down on top of the giant hovering over her. It was followed by two distinct, muffled screams when the two henchmen on her flanks flew back, hitting the wall on either side.
Gasping for breath, Hermione crouched, watching in fascination as the dark shape transformed into Severus Snape.
" Severus… you're alive?" She rasped out as her eyes widened.
"Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, my dear. "
She nodded. "Severus… we must go, there are others…"
"I know. Let's get you out of here."
"I thought I was alone."
"Hermione, while I live, you are never alone," he murmured, staring down at her and holding out his hand to help her up. "Take my hand and you will never feel alone again."
Reaching out, she found her small hand encompassed in his warm one. Lifting her gently, he murmured an incantation over her, and when she was in his arms, they morphed into two blackbirds, flying off into the night.
A/N: This was written for a TPP, Saturday Night Drabble. The prompt was: Hermione has an animagus stalker as she consorts in the Muggle world.