A/N: JKR owns all!

Hermione let out a sigh. She was free, finally free. Hermione would no longer live with her regret. Turning, she took one last look at the house she used to share with him. Turning around, she walked away.

Away from all the terrible old memories. Away from all the pain and sadness that would haunt her. She would leave it all behind.

She knew he'd try and find her. Probably hurt her for trying to leave, but this time she was determined. She would go to the ends of the earth to hide from him. He'd come to collect, but she would just shut the door in his face. He wasn't welcome any more.

Hermione didn't tell anyone about what had happened. She kept it to herself, not wanting to drag anyone else down with her issue. Besides, would anyone even believe her if she told? He was such a nice man, a gentleman really, so why would anyone believe such terrible things about him?

Hermione would be alone whether she told or not, so she kept it all inside. All the pain, all the memories, she kept them bottled up inside. She hoped they would never escape.

It's always darkest before dawn.

That's what her mother always used to say. Yeah, shit would get tough, but things will always get easier, even if it doesn't seem so.

Hermione was sick and tired of waiting for her dawn to come, so she decided she would chase it herself.

She knew she was a fool, staying with him for as long as she did. But how could she leave when he was so sweet? Always apologizing for his terrible behavior. And she stupidly believed him.

The first time she forgave him, saying she was wrong in assuming he had cheated. When she found out he had a mean streak, she turned her cheek to that as well, making up excuses for him.

In a matter of seconds he could go from being the world's greatest husband to your own worst nightmare.

And Hermione was sick of it. She didn't deserve that, all the abuse, both physical and verbal.

She was a gem that deserved to be polished and cherished, not chucked under some bed to be forgotten about.

She knew she could never erase her past fully, but that didn't mean she couldn't try. So she packed up all her belongings, ready to split down. Hell, she'd even leave the continent if it meant getting away from him.

She had to shake the feeling of guilt. Hermione knew she was doing the right thing. She had to get out before it was too late. She couldn't deal with the gray cloud of misery hanging over her head every second of the day. She was constantly worrying about him and his moods.

It was causing unnecessary stress on her! Merlin, she was only 25 and she had gray hair!

Hermione shook her head. She would take it all back if she could. Yeah, they had some good memories, and things weren't always so bad, but the relationship had ruined her.

It had taken all her confidence and self-esteemed and squashed it into nothingness. All her hopes and dreams were shattered. She was a shell of who she used to be, and it was all because of him.

He had ruined her completely.

She knew if she stayed she'd be cursing herself to live this way for the rest of her life. She also knew if she left, that he'd look for her, and maybe even find her, but that was just a chance that she had to take.

Hermione was ready to do whatever it takes. She was ready for a bit of peace in her hell filled life.

So shaking off the unnecessary guilt she felt, Hermione apparated on the spot, never looking back.

She knew it was time to chase her own dawn.

Written for:

The Florence and the Machine Challenge: Shake It Out option

The Greenhouses Compeition: Oregano option

HP Potions Competition: Fake Protective Potion