QUICK NOTE: While this is a continuation of Viral, I do have a brief recap of it in this story. Maybe this fic can stand on its own, but I wouldn't be against you new visitors to my work to go off and read it.
I've found myself stumped on my other stories, and thought that Viral needed elaboration, perhaps something to answer all question linking to my two different endings. A lot of questions went unanswered, so I'm here to clear that up for you all, and perhaps drag me out of my writers block for my other stories.
Hermione Granger sat within the hospital, wringing her hands together. Her wand was neatly hidden away within her beaded bag, which was buried within her messenger bag given to her by the late Harry Potter many moons ago. She ran her hand over the black material, hunching over to curl herself into a tight ball. Hermione found relief through the smell of the building. It was clean, like a dentist office. It reminded her of her parents.
"Where are your parents?" Severus leaned his weary head upon his hand.
"Dentist convention," Hermione shrugged as she scrounged her fridge ", want anything?"
Hermione cringed at the far too fresh memory that made its presence known within her mind.
It had been a solid year and then some… since it happened.
Hermione took a deep breath in, looking to her left and then her right. The walls were lined with somber looking people, none of which she knew. They were survivors of it. All of them were bloody, muddy, and crying. So many people had lost members of family. Mothers had lost children, men lost their lovers, and Hermione lost a team of good friends. Although she wouldn't sulk… she couldn't sulk. She wasn't the one who lost their young children to the creatures that still roamed the streets despite the Army stepping in.
She did, however, feel remorse at leaving England to go to America once she had found England to be overrun. America was no better, but it was the only place she could think of at the time. Ron had visited it, and had planned to take her to Los Angeles once they graduated Hogwarts together. She had made that dream partially come true. Although she currently sat in a lumpy hospital chair in LA, instead of under the Hollywood sign.
Snape used the sharper end of the rod to impale from the front to the back of Weasley's skull. Ron twitched and growled, weakly still trying to grab for Hermione until he finally stopped moving.
Hermione rubbed her eyes, feeling the waiting room was becoming too hot for her taste. She wanted to step foot outside, take a breath of fresh air, but she couldn't. The air smelt of flesh, and death itself. She took in a yawn, clutching the red and gold scarf to her nose. Whether it seemed weird to others around her, it was Ginny's and she adored the smell of her fire perfume. It was like a feminine mix version of Fire Whiskey and Butter Beer. It was Ginny, and Hermione did nothing but silently weep for her only female friend.
Hoards began to crowd the buffet, groaning with pleasure and hunger. She had to shut the door, a single tear shedding for the young Ginny Weasley. Harry, being at the unfortunate angle, caught the last glimpse of the undead mass pulling Ginny's arm out of its socket with a distinctive pop to devour.
Hermione steeple her fingers as the men in uniform came out of the hospital rooms. They were using them for an interrogation type process. They wanted to know which people had experienced the beginning of the virus, and how it reached them. For a while, Hermione considered telling the men in camouflage the truth of her viral history. One moment she was sitting in her dorm room of her magical school, the next she was dragged into the dungeon quarters forced to make a potion to destroy the creatures escaping on a broomstick. The men would write it off as delirium, but at least she knew she was telling the truth. The thought of their faces if she told them the story made her smirk to herself. She saw her reflection within the marble floor, looking more like one of her best friends than ever in that moment.
"You'll always be my best friend, Harry Potter." Hermione gasped, swinging into his temple. She shut her mouth tight as his tainted blood splattered into her face.
She could never forgive herself for that moment. Hermione knew she would be guilt stricken for a long time.
She groaned inwardly, pulling her favorite person's hat from her bag. Hermione placed the abnormal looking piece upon her head, ignoring the ignorant stares fellow survivors were casting her way. She ran a thumb and forefinger over the rim of the hat, reminding her of all the happy times with McGonagall's transfiguration class. Hermione smiled, avoiding the ugly memory of her death. Hermione could not deny of her pride for the older woman, accepting death with her own cheeky grin.
"Save yourself… I'll hold them back. Now go."
The Army soldiers took the woman sitting next to her in to a hospital room to get her story. Hermione started flipping through her mental notes, deciding on a way to tell the Army everything without having to actually lie. She began to think of ways to fudge the truth, removing the terms magic and dungeon quarters from her vocabulary for the interview.
Hermione looked at the clock on the wall, chewing her lip. Would the men ask to search her bag? Would they ask to look within her messenger bag, to only find the beaded bag? If they looked inside the beaded bag she adored so much, they would find a broom, her wand, her time turner, potions, and some other oddities for the muggle world. If she uncharmed it now, everything within her bag would pop out. She would simply have to prey they wouldn't check through her belongings.
Moments of an uncomfortable silence passed, a sudden chill hitting Hermione's bones. She pulled the midnight black cloak around her shoulders, snuggling into the thick blanket type cloth. She wanted to do nothing but sleep: eyes heavier than dumbbells. She hadn't had a decent night sleep since the day she found her hometown to be uninfected. That was saying something, seeing as she had to run off in the middle of the night.
"This is an EMERGENCY BROADCAST…"
"… this is not a test." Hermione let her thought become vocal half way through at merely a whispered tone. Hermione bit her lips, looking around to see if anyone heard. No one was giving her any more strange stares since she put on the hat, so she assumed no one heard. Or perhaps no one cared… neither did she, to be honest. Hermione yawned once more, shutting her eyes for a moment. Before any rest could be had, a handsome young man in uniform tapped her shoulder. Her heavy eyelids opened to reveal a death glare that wasn't a signature look of her own. The boy seemed to shy away until Hermione gave a warming smile. The purple under her eyes did nothing to flatter her face, but it did nothing to falter her looks either. She stood, following the blonde boy into the room.
"Miss, I am a solider but you can call me Ronald for today. Ron… for short. You look like you need a friend, so don't worry about formalities."
Hermione didn't look up from the table, for she didn't really care for anything after she heard Ronald. She hardly noticed the boy taking a full glass of water and placing it in front of her. She heard the clink of the glass against table, lifting her heard just enough to see the condensation upon the plastic cup.
"It's clean, from bottled water." Ronald gave a lopsided grin, reminding her of a better day far in her past.
"Thank you." Hermione's voice broke and cracked, not having been used for days… perhaps weeks. She hadn't been keeping track. A few gulps of water brought her voice back to normal. She sat up straight, back cracking from the strain.
"May I get your name?" Ronald tilted his head and placed his hands under his chin.
"I'm Hermione." She whispered, looking into his hazel eyes. She saw nothing as familiar as his name. Hermione longed to see him within Ronald's eyes.
"Well Hermione, you can take as long as you'd like. I just need you to tell me how it all happened to you. Who you were with, why they aren't with you now, how were you exposed to it. I know it's hard, so just take all the time you need. We have all night."
Hermione looked out of the metal barred window, seeing the sun setting. She sighed, deciding it was best to get it all out now instead of dragging it out and wasting the boy's time. For a moment, she saw a hint of attraction within his eyes for her. She shook her head almost unnoticeably. She must have been the only young girl he has seen since the outbreak. Hermione took in a breath, shaking the glances he put her way off.
"It's a long story… Ronald." Hermione choked upon her words, not wanting to use the abbreviation of the name in question.
"I'm here to get the story, Miss Hermione."
"I was at school. It's a private school with dorms. I was with my friends, and before we knew it? One of my teachers stormed in and grabbed the entire lot of us. There were eight of us, if my memory serves me. We went into the basement for cover and we started to fall like flies. I watched them all go… my one Professor and I are the only ones that escaped. My home town wasn't infected as of that moment." Hermione rolled her head, cracking her neck with a few loud snaps.
"But it eventually did hit us." Hermione sipped her water once more, looking into a vacant spot in the room. There was no emotion within her voice. She was an emotion stone, but she really only had one man to thank for that. She was happy the boy hadn't asked her why a girl with an English accent be in America. It made her life a lot easier.
"We fled the town… we've been running ever since…" Hermione trailed off, looking almost hurt… almost destroyed.
"Miss, a fellow officer said there was someone else you mentioned when they found you? One… uh, Severus Snape?" Ronald leaned forward, believing her story to be close to over. But once Hermione raised an eyebrow, a know it all smirk upon her features… he knew he was wrong.
"I was getting too that. Once we started running? That's when it got particularly interesting."
I just realized that probably raised more questions than answered. I'll get there, I promise.