The knife moved slowly though the air. Hermione stood frozen, watching its progress across the drawing room of the Malfoy manor. It would hit her soon enough, when these precious nanoseconds slipped away. Her lifeless eyes would stare up at the ceiling as her breath flew away.
She could see Harry and Ron's pale faces out of the corner of her eyes; Bellatrix's leering grin ahead of her, The Malfoys huddling in the back of the room. Soon it would all be gone and she wouldn't feel the stinging of the word cut into her arm anymore.
All her life had been spent in religious study; and now she would be snuffed out just like that. Absently, Hermione wondered if she would be remembered by any of her schoolmates. If her name would end up in any books.
Harry would publish a novel. She would be in some of it. He would write it in thirty or so years, curled up by the fire, his hair speckled with gray. Sitting with Ginny and his grandchildren on stormy nights.
Her breath hitched, thinking about children. She had wanted them someday... Secretly she wished they would all have red hair and freckles, and tote their ginger cats onto the Hogwarts express at age eleven.
She hadn't gotten a chance to tell Ron how she felt yet. How much she really cared about him. Hermione pictured him sobbing over her lifeless body in the next few minutes, and tears began to sting her eyes.
The knife was so close now, she could still move...
No. It was her time. Just like it had been Dumbledore's, and Moody's. Just like Sirius and Cedric... And Hedwig. She was ready.
Just before the knife pierced her chest, a black form stepped in between them, shoving her into the wood floor. Hermione screamed as time sucked back into its regular passing, and more screams echoed hers.
Blurred tears streamed down Hermione's cheeks as she saw the dark body fall to the floor, becoming stained with crimson. It was Harry... No, too big. Ron? No, too skinny. Hermione pushed herself up, rolling the form over.
The ghostly white face of Draco Malfoy looked back at her, his cheek smeared with blood. Narcissa Malfoy was screaming at the top of her lungs, and Hermione realized she was too.
Draco grasped weakly at her arm, trying to say something. The knife embedded in his chest made it impossible for him to speak.
A loud crack echoed around the room, and someone grabbed her arms. Hermione fought back, grabbing on to Malfoy's hand. She felt the familiar jerk behind her navel as she was pulled along in apparition. Her eyes stayed fixed on Malfoy's silver ones as the world around her blurred.
When the impact came, Hermione felt herself thrown violently to wet ground. She choked as the wind was knocked out of her. Her hands grabbed desperately at something... anything. She found wet sand and a frigid wave broke over her, causing her to choke more. Finally, her hands hit cloth. Her vision and breath came back to see the scarlet water around her.
Hermione scrambled to Malfoy and searched around for her pouch, unable to find it. Her eyes were blurred again by tears and hysteria. Suddenly, dry cloth was shoved into her hands and she ripped open the bag. Her wand was also given to her.
"Accio Dittany" She half-screamed. The bottle soared into her hand and she wiped her face, teeth chattering in the cold.
She could just barely see Malfoy's shaking form in front of her. He was convulsing in pain and cold as another wave broke over them. Somehow, she managed to grasp the knife handle and pull it out, causing Malfoy to scream.
"I-I'm sorry" She managed to gasp out. Hermione dumped the whole vial of dittany in the wound, and Malfoy convulsed violently as the dittany did its job.
Then he laid absolutely still.
"No!" Hermione cried, her brain reverting to survival mode. She did the one thing she could think of: CPR.
She pounded Malfoy's chest, then grasped his head and breathed into his mouth, smearing his face with blood. She repeated this over and over again. Refusing to give up.
Then, someone was grasping her hands, pulling her back.
"NO!" She shrieked as Malfoy's head lolled to the side. Whoever had a hold on her picked her up, despite the vicious fight she was putting up.
Finally, a blow hit her across the jaw and Hermione was completely still.