Let's not play games – Harry Potter isn't mine. I did not write it, think of it, or do anything other than read it. Andwritefanfiction.

I always pictured Hermione having a bit of a spiritual side, and what better time for it to come out than when they were at Malfoy Manor? This is a story I've been thinking of writing for awhile now, and I've finally gotten off my lazy bum and put it on paper!

Anyways, enjoy the story. A special thanks to the multiple websites I took the prayers from!

'Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path. My heart is troubled but I will strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.

Amen'

The last time Hermione had been to Church was after she wiped her parent's memories. She said a prayer for them, for her and her friends, and all of the wizarding world in their time of war. The prayer she sent over and over again in her mind was one that her grandmother had taught her when she was a little girl, and had spent three weeks with her in the summer. Hermione had been convinced her grandmother's house was haunted, and the old woman had grown tired of having Hermione sneak into her room in the middle of the night.

Growing up, her parents had taken her to the Church at the end of their street; every Saturday afternoon, she and another child from the congregation would dust the pews for a handful of lollipops and a hug from Father Williams. He was the man who baptized Hermione when she was a baby, who had taught her the Ten Commandments, and drilled it into her head that, while God loved her, she would still have to take the punishments he had warned her of. He had been there when she went to pray for her parents; she had told him that she wouldn't be coming any more, and that she would miss him.

The prayer did little to calm her nerves, and she had not expected it to – she could not see how even God could get them out of this situation, as a Snatcher held her around the middle, with her hands pinned behind her back, and Greyback demanded to know who Harry and Ron were.

Frantically, Hermione tried to think of who she could pretend to be, and hoped that Harry or Ron was thinking of a believable story they could tell them – with her mind in the state that it was, she doubted her ability to string out a complicated lie.

As it was, she could barely think of a new name for herself.

"Penelope Clearwater," Hermione said when they came to her, hoping that they would not think it suspicious that she sounded so afraid. They had to be used to fear, being what they were….

The moment Hermione said her name, she knew she should have picked someone else. She had no idea of Penelope's blood status, and if she had run, they would be looking for her. The first words out of her mouth, and she had already managed to mess up. She cursed herself for not thinking of that, and hoped that, at least, it wouldn't get her and her friends killed.

"And your blood status?"

"Half-blood," she answered.

It wouldn't work. They wouldn't believe them. They would drag them all down to the Ministry, and the jinx would ware off on Harry, and they would all be killed within the hour – and probably, in some horrible, painful way.

And there was nothing she could do to stop it.

"Easy enough to check, but the 'ole lot of 'em look like they could still be 'ogwarts age." A Snatcher that Hermione could not see said.

"We'b lebt," Ron told him; Hermione's anxiety level went up – if that was possible – when she realized that Ron's mouth had to be full of blood. He had gotten that wound for trying to protect her, when she should have been able to take care of herself.

Of course, the questioning did not stop with this – the chances of them getting away seemed to be getting smaller and smaller by the second. Hermione could now clearly imagine Voldemort appearing at the Ministry, first killing Harry, and then moving on to her and Ron for helping him…. Or maybe he would kill them first, quickly, and make Harry's death drawn out, as punishment for surviving the first time.

At the thought of this, her stomach turned into knots, and her knees went weak; if the Snatcher had not been holding her tightly – too tightly – she would have fallen.

"Well, they don't show the Dark Lord proper respect, so the name's been tabooed. A few Order members have been tracked that way. We'll see. Bind them up with the other two prisoners!"

Shit! Hermione thought, thinking of all the times she or Harry had said Voldemort's name in the last few months. She had never believed that the name had actually been tabooed… all those times, if someone had stumbled upon them….

And now, here, someone had. And they were all going to die because of it.

The Snatcher holding her guided her to a spot where a goblin and an African American boy were tied up, and forced her to sit down on the forest floor along with Harry and Ron.

"Anyone still got a wand?" Harry asked; Hermione could tell from the sound of his voice that he already knew the answer. She wondered why he would want confirmation that they had no hope, that they had no option but to talk themselves out of it – which, at this point, seemed highly unlikely.

"No," Ron answered at the same time she did.

"This is all my fault," Harry sighed, "I said the name…"

To Hermione, it seemed odd that he was apologizing for this – it wasn't like an apology would make it better.

"Harry?" The person next to Hermione asked; he sounded as though he could not believe his ears, and the moment Hermione realized who he was, neither could she.

"Dean?"

"It is you! If they find out who they've got -! They're Snatchers, they're only looking for truants to sell for gold…."

To Hermione, this was the worst possible thing he could have said. It meant that a trip the Ministry was guaranteed, and, as a result, so were their deaths.

'Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path. My heart is troubled but I will strive to keep it set –

"Hey! Look at this!" A shout brought her out of her prayer, and when she saw what it was about, she could feel her heart quicken. They had found the sword.

"Very nice," Greyback said as he examined it, "oh, very nice indeed. Looks goblin-made, that. Where did you get something like this?"

'Set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.

Amen.'

She told herself that she shouldn't be praying, that praying wouldn't help them at all, and she would be better suited to be thinking of a lie to tell them, a lie that might be able to save their lives… and yet, she could not seem to stop herself from doing so.

"'ang on a minute, Greyback! Look at this, in the Prophet!"

From next to her, she could hear Harry give a small grunt of pain, and before she could think of what could have caused it, she was given something much more horrifying to think about.

"'ermione Granger," Scabior read, "the Mudblood who is known to be traveling with 'arry Potter."

The moment she heard her name, Hermione began to tremble. Softly, at first, and then, by the moment, progressively more violent. If she had not been sure they were going to die before, she was now.

The werewolf knelt down in front of her, his eyes one of the most unforgiving things she had ever seen.

"You know what, little girly?" He asked, his breath hot against her face. "This picture looks a hell of a lot like you."

"It isn't! It isn't me!" From the way her own voice sounded, she knew that she had given them all away. She hated herself for not being able to control her emotions, for not being able to hide her fear when it mattered the most.

'Dear Lord, I am calling upon you today for your divine guidance and help. I am in crisis and need a supporting hand to keep me on the right and just path. My heart is troubled but I will strive to keep it set on you, as your infinite wisdom will show me the right way to a just and right resolution. Thank you for hearing my prayer and for staying by my side.

Amen'

They were dragged to their feet a moment after she finished her prayer, and with a single Disapparation, they were brought to Malfoy Manor; Voldemort could be waiting in there for them, for all she knew. In minutes, they could all be dead.

One of the Snatcher's was rattling the iron gate, trying to figure out how to open them.

"How do we get in? They're locked, Greyback, I can't – blimey!"

The metal was curling and folding, forming a face that asked what they were there for. Within minutes, they had been allowed through, and were being forced through the front door of Malfoy Manor. Hermione could barely control her legs, they were shaking so horribly; each breath caught in her throat, and her heart pounded so loud that she could hear it clearly in her ears.

"Follow me," Narcissa Malfoy said, "my son, Draco, is home for his Easter holidays. If that is Harry Potter, he will know."

Moments later, they were joined by Lucius, who appeared shocked when he was told that of the possibility that Harry Potter was in his home. Surely he was picturing himself handing him over to Voldemort, being made a pet of his once again…. The thought of it enraged Hermione, and yet, there was nothing she could do.

Getting up from his chair, Draco came when his mother called for him. Hermione did not want to watch him, did not want to see his lips move when he confirmed that the boy with the swollen face was, in fact, Harry Potter. They were spun around so that the light fell on Harry, making the ropes dig roughly into the skin of Hermione's arms.

"Well, boy?" Greyback demanded after only a second, not being able to contain himself for even a moment.

"Draco? Is it? Is it Harry Potter?" His father asked, giving Draco only a few moments longer than Greyback had. Apparently, everyone here was eager for the show to begin.

"I can't – I can't be sure." Draco said, sounding scared; Hermione could not believe it – either Draco was terrified of making a mistake that would get him and his family murdered, or he had picked tonight to be drastically out of character.

"But look at him carefully, look! Come closer!" Lucius encouraged, practically pushing Draco forward in his excitement. The entire lot of them made Hermione sick.

'Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here;
Ever this day, be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide.
, s

Amen'

"What about the Mudblood then?" Greyback was obviously mad that he could not get a straight answer out of Draco. The attention was shifted to Hermione, and she immediately dropped her gaze to the floor – if she looked any of these people in the eye, even for a moment, she knew she would burst into tears.

"Wait," Narcissa said, sounding oddly calm, giving the situation. "Yes – yes, she was in Madam Malkin's with Potter! I saw her picture in the Prophet! Look, Draco, isn't it the Granger girl?"

Even with her eyes locked on the floor, Hermione had to use all her strength to keep from crying; she could feel her face going red, and her vision was obscured from the pooling tears. She refused to show these people how scared she was, how weak she was right now…. For now, she would be strong, and pretend to be far braver than she actually was.

"I… maybe… yeah." Draco muttered, his voice sounding like that of a child.

At Draco's agreement, the excitement in the drawing room mounted – Lucius turned his attention to Ron; even though Hermione couldn't see his face, the excitement in his voice was enough to make her give up the tiny vapors of hope she had been clinging to.

"What is this? What's happened, Cissy?"

Hermione did not instantly recognize the voice, and she lifted her gaze to see who the newcomer was; at seeing who it was, she finally let the tears slip out of her eyes.

Bellatrix Lestrange was standing right in front of her, gaping, her lips slightly parted.

"But surely," she whispered, "this is the Mudblood girl? This is Granger?"

'Heavenly Father,

As we kneel before Your throne of grace, we ask a special blessing and sanction upon us, Your people. We particularly pray that You will shield and defend us from the ravages of fear and anxiety. Place Your protective mantle around us and our loved ones that we will be fearful of nothing. Help us, Father, to change these times of fear and apprehension into trust and assurance. Keep us steadfast and resolute of purpose in serving You and in doing Your will. Forgive our weakness and shortcomings. Lord, hear our prayer, for we give You praise, honor, glory and thanks.

Amen'

As she prayed, she could hear them fighting over who would call Voldemort. Hermione had no idea how long it would take him to get here, but she expected that she, Harry, and Ron were in the final moments of their lives. With a twinge of regret, she realized that Dean and the goblin would die as well, simply because they had been unlucky enough to be caught with them.

"STOP!" Bellatrix shouted suddenly, making Hermione flinch. "Do not touch it, we shall all perish if the Dark Lord comes now!"

Lucius froze, his finger inches from his Mark. Through the remaining tears in her eyes, Hermione could see how terrified he looked of Bellatrix.

"What is that?" She asked one of the Snatcher's – the one who held the sword of Gryffindor.

"Sword."

"Give it to me!" She sounded horrified, as if it was her death that was approaching; at this point, Hermione really didn't even want to know why.

"It's not yours, missus, it's mine, I reckon I found it."

For his disrespect, the Snatcher was stunned by Bellatrix; a number of the remaining Snatchers gave a cry of outrage and drew their wands.

One by one, Bellatrix stunned the group of Snatchers, sending bursts of red light in every direction. She left only Greyback, whom she approached with murder in her eyes.

"Where did you get this sword?" She whispered to him, claiming his wand without a struggle.

'Direct me now, Oh gracious Lord,
To hear aright Thy holy Word;
Assist Thy minister to preach,
And let Thy Holy Spirit teach,
And let eternal life be found
By all who hear the joyful sound.
Amen'

The following prayer came on its own, as if her subconscious mind was yearning for a comfort that God was refusing to give her. By now, abandoning prayer would seem like abandoning hope; as long as she was praying, Hermione could try to convince herself that there was always a way out.

Only after Greyback had told Bellatrix that he had taken it from them did she allow him to leave; the momentary lose of control seemed to have scared him straight of Bellatrix, for he walked away without confronting her.

"Draco, move this scum outside. If you haven't got the guts to finish them, then leave them in the courtyard for me." Bellatrix ordered Draco; somehow, Hermione did not doubt that Bellatrix could kill an entire group of men without being bothered.

"Don't you dare speak to Draco like– " Narcissa started, only to be interrupted by Bellatrix.

"Be quite! The situation is graver than you can possibly imagine, Cissy! We have a very serious problem!"

She seemed to be at a loss for words, and not entirely sure of what to do next. She was muttering to herself, so softly that Hermione could not make out her words.

"The prisoners must be placed in the cellar, while I think of what to do!"

There was a disagreement at this – petty Death Eater prides the root of it. Soon, however, Greyback was ordered to take them to the cellar; forced to wait for them to call Voldemort, for either their deaths to come, or a miracle to happen.

"Wait," Bellatrix said as soon as Greyback began to force them to move, "all except… except for the Mudblood."

A wave of every possible emotion flooded through Hermione's veins; she felt her blood turn to ice, and a fresh batch of tears beginning to fill her eyes. She knew what Bellatrix had done to Neville's parents; it didn't take much to figure the same thing was about to happen to her.

"No!" Ron cried, "you can have me! Keep me!"

Hearing Ron's voice, Hermione felt a lurch of dread. 'Please,' she begged God, 'please don't let her agree.' She would rather be hurt herself than know that Ron was going through it in her place; she would never forgive him for making her go through that. Snapping her out of her thoughts was the sound of Bellatrix hitting Ron; Hermione winced, wishing more than anything for this nightmare to end.

"If she dies under questioning, I'll take you next," Bellatrix promised. "Blood traitor is next to Mudblood in my book. Take them downstairs, Greyback, and make sure they are secure, but do nothing more to them – yet."

Bellatrix cut Hermione free from the others, and held her by the hair so tightly that, if she hadn't held such a large amount, would have pulled it right out. Hermione tried to think of every prayer she knew – she was certainly running out of them by now. Remembering one that, when she was younger, her pastor would have the congregation say every time someone befell a misfortune.

'I seek protection for my soul in the Lord of the earth and the Lord of the heavens. I seek protection for my soul in the One in whose name no sickness can hurt. I seek protection for my soul in the One whose name is Blessed and a Cure.

Amen'

Once they were in the middle of the drawing room, Bellatrix cast Hermione down on the floor, pointing her wand at the center of her chest. Hermione kept her eyes away from her, and did not try to get back up – she was sure that it would only get her pushed back down.

"Where did you get this sword?" She hissed, the same question she had asked Greyback only minutes earlier. It seemed like an eternity had passed between that moment and now, like time had slowed down, mocking her.

Hermione didn't know what to say – there was nothing she could say, other than the truth, which was out of the question. Quickly, she resolved to herself that she wouldn't betray her friends; that she would die before she let that happen.

There was a bang, a flash of light, and Hermione was hit with a pain that was grater than she ever thought could exist – so grate that Harry, Ron, or even her parents could have been standing right in front of her and she wouldn't have had the slightest idea who they were. She screamed at loudly as she possibly could, having no control to stop it, and dug her fingers against the hardwood floor, trying with all her might to focus on anything other than the pain.

Each second seemed like hours, and Hermione wished for more than anything that it would end. She did not care how – whether God finally gave her a miracle, she passed out, or even if she died…. She wasn't sure she wanted to live in a world where this sort of pain existed.

Then, a moment before she was certain the agony would tear her apart, it stopped. Hermione's body went slack, and she was gasping for breath; the curse's end had taken away only the worst of the pain, leaving her body covered with a dull ache. Bellatrix did not give her more than a second to compose herself, and grabbed her by her shirt collar, pulling her so that her face was inches from Bellatrix's.

"I said," Bellatrix whispered, "where – did – you – get – this – sword?"

"We found it," Hermione gasped, saying the first thing that came into her head, knowing that Bellatrix would be a dolt to believe her.

Just as she expected, Bellatrix raised her wand and cursed her again. Hermione's scream was broke by sobs, and she clenched her eyes as tightly as she could, lost in a world of pain…. She could hear Bellatrix screaming at her, but her words were impossible to understand.

'Compassionate and merciful Jesus,

My heart longs for Your perfection.

Not only do You share in my sufferings,

You have voluntarily accepted them.

Your proficiency –'

She began praying the moment the curse broke, sending it as quickly as she could.

"LIAR!" Bellatrix shouted, a wild look in her eyes. "I'm going to ask you again! Where did you get this sword? Where?"

Hermione was desperate; she looked around the room, not knowing what she hoped to see, her eyes resting on Draco. He looked pale, his eyes wide and unfocused, as if he wanted to be here about as badly as she did. When he saw her eyes on him, he looked away. Hermione didn't know what she expected him to do – he had always hated her, why would he risk his life to help her? Still… it would have been nice to know that, at least, he had objections to seeing someone be tortured in his own home.

"We found it – we found it – PLEASE!" Hermione begged as Bellatrix raised her wand to curse her again.

This time, although the pain was as horrible as it had been the past two times, she was able to keep her mind enough to finish her prayer. Her thoughts were frantic, broken, and forced, but it did not matter – all that mattered was that God heard her… which didn't seem very likely.

'Your proficiency at perceiving my soul

Is compared to reading large fonts in a book:

Nothing is hidden from Your panorama!

Your merciful nature knows my intentions.

Considering my continuous weaknesses,

You are dedicated to the cause of my salvation.

Jesus, You are most kind and forgiving:

You are the proven Lord of compassion!

Amen'

Hermione's parents raised her to believe in God and His wisdom, and that He would not put her in a situation she could not handle. Somehow, she found it hard to believe that He would think an eighteen year old girl could handle being tortured by a sadistic witch, while her best friends were imprisoned, as helpless as she was. Although, she doubted her parents could have guessed He would put her in such a situation.

'Maybe not any eighteen year old girl,' She told herself, 'but you're a Gryffindor. You can do this.'

"Do you want to die?" Bellatrix shrieked at her, stomping on her stomach; Hermione groaned, putting a hand to the spot where Bellatrix had kicked her as she answered.

"We found it – honestly!" She insisted, her voice growing higher and higher pitched; more and more cracked by sobs. She could not prevent her weakness from showing, and knew that Bellatrix was now well aware of what a coward she was.

"You're lying, filthy Mudblood, and I know it! You have been inside my vault at Gringotts! Tell the truth, tell the truth!"

Bellatrix did not give her time to answer before placing her under the curse once again. Hermione put everything she could into her screams, as if she were trying to scream loud enough for the angels in Heaven to hear her….

Through her own scream, Hermione heard it: Ron's voice, faint, yelling her name at the top of his lungs. Hearing him was like being reminded that they were not dead yet; hearing the anguish in his voice was a reminder that they had little hope. Despite the fact that Ron sounded so… heartbroken…, Hermione found comfort in his voice. The voice that she had wanted to badly to hear after he had left them… the voice that was now trying to remind her that he wasn't going to leave again.

The curse was lifted, and Hermione felt Bellatrix put her knife to her stomach, just softly enough so that she knew that it was there….

"What else did you take? What else have you got? Tell me the truth or, I swear, I shall run you through with this knife!"

Hermione resisted the urge to shout, 'then do it!', and choked back her sobs as she tried to find her voice. "We didn't take anything! I swear!" As she spoke, she realized just how hard she was crying; covering her hand with her sweater sleeve, she wiped the tear tracks off one of her cheeks.

"Lies! Tell – me – the truth!" Bellatrix shouted, pushing her wand under Hermione's chin. Another bang, a flash of red light, and Hermione was once again thrown into agony.

The curse, mercifully, was brief, but by the time it ended, Hermione was sobbing too hard to answer Bellatrix's question; no matter how hard she tried, she could not force herself to calm down.

'Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to you.

Allow Your healing Hand to heal me.

Touch my soul with Your compassion for others;

touch my heart with Your courage

and infinite Love for all;

touch my mind with Your Wisdom,

and may my mouth always proclaim Your praise.

Teach me to reach out –'

"What else did you take? What else have you got?" Bellatrix paused, expecting an answer, but Hermione was still too distraught to speak. "ANSWER ME! CRUCIO!"

'to You in all my needs,

and help me to lead others to You by my example.

Most loving Heart of Jesus,

bring me health in body and spirit

that I may serve You with all my strength.

Touch gently this life which you have created,

now and forever.

Amen!'

Hermione had not thought she still had strength enough to scream, and yet, when she was under the curse, it was impossible not to. Her throat ached from how hard she was forcing her vocal chords to work, and her voice was beginning to go horse.

She allowed herself to sob freely; loudly, once the curse was lifted – however, she was placed back under it almost immediately after.

This was it. Hermione no longer had the fight in her to continue with this – there was no hope for survival. Still, although she had given up her own hope, she had to keep trying… if not for herself, then at least for Harry and Ron. Ron shouting for her proved that they had not given up on her, which meant that she had no right to give up on them.

"How did you get into my vault?" Bellatrix demanded, "did that dirty little goblin in the cellar help you?"

"We only met him tonight! We've never been inside your vault…." Hermione wondered if Bellatrix could even understand her voice, she was crying so hard, "it isn't the real sword! It's a copy, just a copy!" She had no idea where the story came from, and she was positive that it would do nothing but help get them killed faster.

Although, honestly, Hermione only wished for death. Anything that would get her out of this nightmare….

"A copy? Oh, a likely story!"

Lucius – who Hermione had completely forgotten was there – began to speak of Griphook coming up to identify if the sword was a fake or not. Hermione could see flashes of light in her vision, and, although she was desperately tired, if she allowed herself to close her eyes for more than a few seconds, she could feel herself start to pass out. The words being spoken by the Death Eaters became harder and harder to understand, like she was trying to listen to them from under water.

Distantly, Hermione wondered if she was starting to die. Part of her hoped so; the other part – the more dominate part – willed herself to hang on, if only so they wouldn't move on to Ron or Harry….

Draco marched into the room with the goblin in hand; Hermione wondered when he had left, because she certainly hadn't noticed him being sent to retrieve him.

Hermione was beginning to lose her bearings, for she gave a single sob, and shouted at Draco, "what did you do to them?" She had expected, that if Draco had been down in the cellar alone, that Harry and Ron would attack him and come help her. Surely, he had done something to hurt them….

"Shut up!" Bellatrix ordered, cutting her off with the Cruciatus curse. The pain was wrenchingly familiar, and as it engulfed her once again, she wished for nothing more than death.

'Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to you.

Allow Your healing Hand to heal me.

Touch my soul with Your compassion for others;

touch my heart with Your courage

and infinite Love for all;

touch my mind with Your Wisdom,

and may my mouth always proclaim Your praise.

Teach me to reach out to You in all my needs,

and help me to lead others to You by my example.

Most loving Heart of Jesus,

bring me health in body and spirit

that I may serve You with all my strength.

Touch gently this life which you have created,

now and forever.

Amen.'

It was a prayer for healing. Healing her battered body, her helpless soul… maybe, even, it was a prayer for Bellatrix, that her sadistic heart would be mended somehow. Perhaps Bellatrix did not deserve to be prayed for, but the thought did not occur to Hermione until after the prayer had been sent. As she finished, she realized that she had been whispering it aloud, ever so silently, her voice uneven and cracked.

"You, goblin, is this the sword of Gryffindor?" Bellatrix demanded, thrusting the sword into the goblin's hands.

"It isn't the real sword, really," Hermione mumbled, her words becoming progressively slurred.

"I said to be quite!" Bellatrix shrieked, casting the curse with ease. As she screamed, Hermione was certain that Bellatrix was no longer out for information, but simply to kill her slowly, to draw out her death for as long as possible, to hear Hermione beg for her to kill her….

She would never give her the pleasure.

The pain faded, and Hermione resigned herself to the fact that she was nearing death. It was impossible to keep her eyes open for more than a handful of seconds, and when they were open, her vision was blurred and fuzzy; the images she was seeing didn't seem to make any sense to her. She could hear the Death Eaters speaking, but their words sounded as though they were stuck together coming out of their mouths, spoken in whispers….

"Please," Hermione whispered, "don't hurt them." She was talking about Harry and Ron; although she knew her request would probably be ignored, she couldn't help but ask. Alas, none of the Death Eaters seemed to hear her, and they continued to glare at Griphook, waiting for him to identify the sword….

She would never see Harry, Ron, or her parents again. Ginny – or any of the other Weasleys – would never know what happened to them, and would probably go on for years not knowing if they were dead or alive. The members of the Order of the Phoenix would slowly be picked off, one by one, until there was no one left to stand up to Voldemort….

Every muggle-born in Britain would be either killed or imprisoned. She would graduate from Hogwarts, get married, or become a mother…. She would die with the last person that saw her alive being one who hated for her simply because of her blood, because of who her parents were.

This was okay. Hermione wouldn't mind letting this floating sensation carrying her to Heaven, to the Heavenly Father who would take pity on her and end her suffering…. This wasn't such a bad time to die, after all.

She felt sorry for Bellatrix. At least Hermione had lived a life filled with love and happiness – Bellatrix would never know any of that.

"I'll pray for you, Bellatrix. I'll pray for you." Hermione muttered, not sure of what she was saying. It seemed important to Hermione that Bellatrix know that she was being prayed for, even though she had done horrible, evil things to so many people.

Bellatrix chuckled, and then knelt down in front of Hermione. She made a statement that Hermione could not understand, and, for the final time, was put under the Cruciatus curse.

More than anything, she wished she was with the people she loved. What she would have given if Harry, Ron, and her parents were with her… if she could tell them exactly how much she loved them, how happy she was that she had gotten to share her life with them.

But she never would.

Her parents would live forever, not knowing they had a dead daughter. Harry and Ron would follow shortly after her in death – there was nothing she could do to save them. She couldn't even save herself.

'Oh St. Joseph, protector of those in agony, take pity on those who at this very moment when I pray to thee are engaged in their last combat….'

Hermione couldn't form the prayer without stopping to rest her mind, to think about just how much pain she was in. If she could just make it through this one, final prayer, then she would stop… she would push herself for the next twenty seconds, and then she would be done. Then she could die.

'Oh Blessed Joseph, take pity on my soul too when the hour of the final battle shall arrive for me. Then, Oh my holy patron, do not abandon me, but grant me thine assistance; show that thou art'

Pausing yet again, Hermione was certain that she wouldn't last until she finished the prayer. It was too hard… she could barely remember who she even was, let alone the words to a prayer she hadn't said since a member of her family's congregation died….

' my good father, and obtain that my Divine Saviour may receive me with mercy into that abode where the elect enjoy a life that shall never end.

Amen.'

As she finished the prayer to St. Joseph – patron of death and the dying – Hermione allowed herself slip into unconsciousness, expecting to be welcomed by God into the gates of Heaven.

Holy shit guys, I feel enlightened after writing that. I may never be the same again.

Well, as for the last part, when Hermione tells Bellatrix that she will be praying for her, I chalk that up to Hermione being completely and totally out of it at the time, because I do think she had a tremendous bitterness at Bellatrix – not only for what she had done to everyone else, but because of what she had done to her.

Thanks for making it to the end of this long one-shot, I hope you liked it!

I'm considering continuing on to Shell Cottage… maybe Ron has some prayers to say of his own? I don't imagine him knowing as many prayers as Hermione does, but hey, there's no wrong way to say a prayer.

Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I liked writing it!