Authors Note: Another impulse story for you. Enjoy ;)
Lightening tore across the sky, thunder rolled around the castle grounds, torrents of rain poured from the sky turning the ground into sticky mud. The lights from the castle had gone out and except for strobe flashes, the darkness was absolute.
Hermione Granger was on her knees in a puddle, if it had been light she would have seen her blood pooling in the liquid but she wouldn't have cared. Her eyes were closed, her head bowed in miserable resignation but not defeat. Fists were clenched tightly, her fingernails cutting deeply into her palms.
Another body was shoved down beside her but Hermione didn't even bother to look who it was. Selfishly she didn't even care - her best friends were both dead, so many people that she cared about were dead. And now she was about to join them. Captured and forced to surrender Hermione did not even have the opportunity to die honourably in battle.
She struggled to control her breathing, letting the rain wash away the evidence of her tears. Gritting her teeth Hermione made a resolution, she would face her execution with dignity.
More of Hogwarts' surviving defenders were thrust into a cluster around her. Hermione heard the small pained or scared cries that they made, some pleading for their lives before being ominously silenced. She tried to ignore it all, focussing on her own pain and her new resolve. One thing that she couldn't ignore was the fact that only one person was silent apart from herself, the person next to her had not uttered a single sound and had remained motionless since hitting the ground.
"Lumos Maximus." Hermione slowly raised her head as she heard the familiar thin high pitched voice that had haunted Harry's dreams. Her chocolate eyes narrowed as she glared defiantly at Lord Voldemort.
The strutting dictator paced in front of his captives for a few minutes. "You have lost. Harry Potter is quite clearly dead. You did not surrender easily, unlike some of your compatriots." He laughed, a sound that was terrifying. "That poses a problem... you will never be allowed to walk free, don't flatter yourselves by thinking that you are a threat to my plans but you will be a nuisance."
He stood in front of Hermione, gazing into her eyes, noting with contempt the barely contained fury in her posture. Voldemort smirked before moving once more. "Pure-blood is too rare to waste any more of it needlessly. Too much has been shed tonight. Therefore my punishment for you is banishment."
He let the relieved whispers subside naturally, watching them with a cruel grin. Hermione said nothing, her talent for hearing the 'unsaid' words in statements came into play and she knew what was about to come next. The person beside her still said nothing, as Voldemort turned to face Hermione once more.
"Some blood of course is worth more than others. Stand up mud-blood!"
The young woman stood, water and mud pouring off of her muggle clothing as she gritted her teeth not allowing her numerous injuries to stop her standing upright and proud. "My name is Hermione Jean Granger." Knowing that she was about to die she allowed her anger and defiance to show fully.
The man who was once Tom Riddle stood eye to eye with the young witch. The teenager glared at him with no fear in her eyes, she was certainly an extremely impressive young woman. Even his own followers were afraid of him but she was not. Rarely had anyone stood before him in this manner. His intelligence sources told him that she had been the brains behind Harry Potter. Mentally he shrugged not without regret, the girl could have been an asset with the right motivation but she was still a mudblood and thus worthless.
"You are the only one here with an ounce of spirit... it's a shame that your blood is tainted... oh well." He shrugged visibly this time and lifted his wand, pointing it at Hermione. He was about to utter the killing curse when another voice cried out in the silence.
Minerva's voice rang out with all the authority that it could possess, an authority that stilled even the hand of Lord Voldemort. "Stop!"
With a raised eyebrow he turned to face the chosen successor of Albus Dumbledore. "Professor?"
"Hermione is not muggleborn."
Minerva could see the reactions of those around her but she kept her eyes focussed on those of her former schoolmate. "Strange you would say that Professor, her parents died protecting her location and they were undoubtedly muggles." A titter came from his followers. "I'm sorry Professor but your pathetic effort to save your student will not succeed."
"She was adopted."
Hermione willed her frown not to show, she knew that she had not been adopted, knew that Minerva was lying to protect her. She said nothing, did not let her surprise show – she would not say anything that could make Voldemort decide to punish the older witch.
"Her mother gave her away without her fathers consent. He never got the chance to tell her but I have copies of the paperwork in my office." Her voice held just the right note of pleasure in knowing something that others did not, he could appreciate that.
The young witch filed away the knowledge that Minerva was a fantastic liar, that the older woman had her practically believing what she had said.
"And who were her parents?"
"Sirius Black and Dorcas Meadowes, I am sure that you remember her."
"My cousin was many things but would not mate a mud-blood!" Bellatrix screamed at Minerva standing right in front of the other woman.
"Would you mind getting her out of my face?" Minerva glared at her. Voldemort clicked his fingers and she reluctantly moved away like a truculent puppy having been reprimanded by its master. "I have a signed statement written by Sirius."
He raised his wand in the direction of the ruined castle and used a summoning charm. Inwardly Hermione was praying that whatever 'proof' had been manufactured would stand up to his scrutiny or Minerva would be dead. Paperwork fluttered into his hand, after casting a series of spells Voldemort smiled at her. "I am satisfied that you are a half-blood, would you consider joining me?"
Hermione returned to her prone position in the mud. Suddenly she was afraid in a way that she hadn't been before, the idea of an unknown future without her friends or family was horrifying. Subtly her chocolate eyes sought the older woman and was comforted by her presence; Minerva was someone that she cared about, a living breathing person.
They watched aghast as their wands were snapped and burnt with Fiendfire - completely destroyed by the death eaters. Obviously they were not going to be given opportunity to use magic in the future, wherever the exile might be.
Bellatrix Lestrange moved to stand in front of them, her own wand drawn. Hermione tried not to let her fear show. The Death Eaters lips parted as she uttered the words that rendered the survivors of Hogwarts unconscious at her feet.