Hermione came to, aware of the aching pain in her jaw and forearm. Her head pounded violently, and she moaned.

"Merlin Harry, she's awake!" Ron's voice came from somewhere in the room. Hermione kept her eyes closed against the bright light in the room.

"Harry!" Came Ron's shout again, and Hermione winced.

"Sorry, Mione." Ron said gently, his cold hand wrapping around hers. Hermione opened her eyes to see the redhead sitting beside her bed. She must be in shell cottage, where Bill and Fleur lived.

"My head..." Hermione moaned. Ron grimaced apologetically.

"I had to hit you pretty hard, Mione. You were doing a good job of beating Harry because he moved you."

Harry came in at that moment, walking stiffly. Hermione gasped when she saw his face, which sported two black eyes, a cut lip and what looked like a broken nose.

"Hey, Hermione." Harry said, the frown that seemed permanently etched into his face disappearing. He sat down on the end of her bed, placing a hand on her blanketed foot. Ron squeezed her hand.

"Did we all... make it?" Hermione asked quietly after a moment of listening to the surf break outside.

Ron started to say something, but Harry silenced him with a look.

"Yes, Mione. We're all here. Draco's patched up-"

"Draco?" Hermione asked sharply. Harry and Ron exchanged looks again.

"Hermione, how much do you remember after the mansion?" Harry continued.

"Nothing." Hermione replied, resisting the urge to groan as the pain in her head got worse. Harry and Ron looked at each other once more.

"Stop it! I can see you looking at each other!" Hermione spat out angrily, feeling tears prick her eyes.

"Hermione-" Harry started, but was interrupted by a floorboard creaking in the doorway. The golden trio looked up to see Draco Malfoy poised on the landing, looking uncertainly at them.

"Malfoy?" Hermione asked incredulously. "Harry, he's-"

"-Helping us!" Harry cut in sharply.

Hermione flinched as if she'd been slapped. Harry had never used that tone on her before.

"I'm sorry, Hermione..." Harry said, softer this time. She shrugged, aware that the three men watching her. After a moment of awkward silence, she made to get out of bed.

"'Mione, you should lay down for a little while longer..." Ron tried to stop her.

"Ronald, you best get out of my way. I have to use the loo, and so help you Merlin if you try to stop me." The boys let her pass, and as she exited the room, Hermione thought she saw Ron flash Harry another guilty look.


Hermione's need to use the loo was just an excuse to leave the room and spend some time with her muddled thoughts. She couldn't figure anything out, and Harry and Ron's distrust of her was making things harder.

What the hell had happened?

She remembered being on the beach... And something was happening. She was upset for some reason.

Hermione shook it off and splashed some water on her face. She would remember later.

When Hermione went downstairs to the dining room, she saw Harry, Ron and Malfoy in deep discussion over something. not wanting to disturb their precious plots, Hermione went back upstairs to her room, proceeding to look out the window at the tumbling surf outside.

After a while, Hermione became aware of a burning sensation in her left arm.

She turned from the window and rolled up her left sleeve, and as she saw the word cut into her arm, memories flooded back. Bellatrix torturing her, cutting the horrible letters into her arm, the knife being thrown at her, Draco Malfoy jumping in front of it, the beach, desperately trying to save him.

Hermione screamed, falling back into the bureau with a crash.

Harry and Ron were up the stairs in seconds; Malfoy and Fleur on their heels. All had their wands drawn. When they saw that it was only Hermione gasping in the corner and holding her arm, they lowered their wands, Ron coming forwards to cradle Hermione in his arms and move her to the bed.

"Shh, Mione. It's okay." Ron murmured, trying to calm

Fleur gave them all a sympathetic look before going back downstairs, Harry came to stand by Ron and Hermione, and Malfoy hovered awkwardly in the doorway.

"I-I remember it all now..." Hermione said shakily, once Ron managed to calm her down.

"You don't have to talk about it, 'Mione." Ron said. "Not if you don't want to."

"Bellatrix had that knife. A-And she threw it, and I thought it would hit me but someone jumped in front of me..."

Malfoy shifted uncomfortably. Hermione's gaze fell on him. Their eyes held for a moment, then it dawned on Hermione.

"MALFOY!" She yelled in sheer fury. Harry and Ron could barely restrain her as she sprung at him, arms reaching for his throat.

"I'm sorry, Hermione! I'm sorry that I saved your life. Just like you to be ungrateful... I could have died, you know? Bet you would have loved that. Why'd you ever bother trying to resuscitate me if you didn't want me around?" Draco spat as he stepped safely out of range.

"I did WHAT?!" Hermione screeched.

"Hermione..." Harry started. "We had to knock you out on the beach because you wouldn't let Malfoy go."

"Yeah, Mate. You were hysterical." Ron said.

Hermione's jaw dropped open, then she got up off the bed and stormed out of the room, her feet thudding on the stairs before passing out the front door.

"Where's she gone?" Ron asked as the boys followed her downstairs.

"Out to cool off, I expect." Harry said with a sigh. "Let's help Fleur with dinner. Hermione will come 'round soon enough"

Neither Harry or Ron noticed Malfoy slip out the front door after Hermione.