Rain fell, like the tears staining her porcelain face. Time stopped as her breath hitched, and the world felt like it had stopped spinning. She fell down the cliff side, facing the ebony walls, all points sharp, and each one beckoning for her to come forth—to ram into the brocade with full force. But she was falling down, down where the devils laid, and the pit of fire blazed beneath the ocean floor.
If she had any sane thought, she would have closed her eyes, but when she flipped downwards, she could do no such absurdity. It was pulchritude, this falling; this seemingly perpetual occurrence which had enraptured her. The glistening waves, and glimmering rocks could have mesmerized any soul. The water's waves undulated with force as they crashed and refracted against the pointed rocks. Would she fall in the water or would she hit the rocks first?
As she further descended, she could see the angular face of her lover, her first, her last, her only lover. She swore that she was staring into his black, damning eyes which shone brighter than a starlit sky. She saw his sallow skin, his thin, stable lips and his hair—his dark, satin hair. But she could not feel the caresses that he had saved for her, the kisses that she cherished more than her years at Hogwarts and she could not feel his heart beating faster than a war drum as he enveloped her in his strong arms and delectable sent. She hit the waves, looking into his eyes, and swearing that she could hear her name being called by his velvety, sonorous voice, "Hermione, Hermione, Hermione."
Her lungs felt like they were being pierced by a newly sharpened, acid covered sword. The acerbity of the salty water was convoluting her last thoughts of him. She breathed the water in, knowing it would kill her faster. The ocean's depths seemed blacker than before as she drifted into oblivion.
She awoke, jolting forward, breathing in staggered exhalations and inhalations. When her chest rose the fifth time she began to sob. When she ran out of tears to cry, she stared at the white-washed walls, the walls she could no longer bear to see once more. She trembled with the ticking of the plastic clock fixed on the wall.
Taking the time to remind herself, she closed her eyes: It was only a dream, just another one of those dreams that you wished you had never awoken from. The room she was resting in smelled like acerbic bleach and saccharine bubblegum. Her bed was harder than parquet flooring, and the pillows needed desperate fluffing. Yet she chose to suffer, for she felt as if she deserved ever moment of this worldly hell. She rolled out of the bed, now only covered by her thin, lavender hospital gown. She faced the floor, her nose pressed up against it. She knew exactly how any feet had walked there before—seven pairs and she could name them all.
A crystalline vase hit the floor and shattered, glass piercing her skin and sangria colored carnations scattered across the grey tiled floor. There were small shards of glass implanted in her now bleeding face, but she took no action. Instead, she toyed with the shards, no matter how many times they cut her fingers she continued on playing with them, taking a kind of pleasure in the pain that had enveloped such a tiny portion of her body. She topped when the greatest iota had hit her: The carnations—the carnations that were placed in her room. They hadn't been there before.
Hermione knew all too well that there was only one person in this entire world who had known which flower to give her. For a moment she hoped that it had been him, that he had remembered to see her; that he had remembered her in general. She shook her head at the inconceivable thought. There was no chance in the world that it could have happened. She clutched a single flower to her swollen abdomen. With the flower pressed against it, she stroked her abdomen, smiling pitifully.
Then, a man a came and with his strong arms he picked her up. Once she was settled in the bed once more, he turned to walk away, but she grabbed onto his black, button down shirt before he went too far. "Stay," she choked out, "please, stay." He tensed up before he turned to face her. His eyes were blank, and his face was stoic. She noticed the distinct lack of care on his façade, and nearly began to weep again. "Severus, please." He nodded, giving up his last ounce of professionalism.
He closed the door with his magic, and then took off his shoes as she made space in the bed for him. "This is not normal," he intoned bitterly. "Workers are not supposed to do these types of indiscretions with patients." He lied into the bed next to her, knowing that the moment he touched her she would relax. His hand touched her hip, and she let out a deep sigh of bliss—how she had missed his touch.
He took a roll of tan gauze and wrapped her bleeding hand in it. He made a mental note to let the custodian know that there was a mess that needed to be cleaned in this room. Lastly, with his fingers, he prudently took out the tiny shards of glass from her face. He had learned long ago that by time he would show up in this room, she would have hurt herself in one way or another.
She inhaled his scent, as if it was the only thing she needed to live off of. Her face was nuzzled to his chest, and her arms were around his neck. "Who brought the flowers?" she murmured into him.
"Minerva told me to place them here, though I will never know why she asks me to keep seeing you. I'm not meant to work on this floor," he sighed.
She took his long-fingered, pale hand and placed it onto her stomach, hoping that he would feel something; hoping that he would feel the same thing she did. Instead, he noticed something abysmal. There was a platinum ring on her index finger. "Your husband wouldn't be too happy if he saw this."
Hermione gasped, and then held her breath. She could never tell him—it would make no difference if she did. Severus was her husband, her lover, her everything. She began to weep. Every time she saw him, she swore that he remembered less of her.
"Do you remember me?" She asked him, because it was the one question that kept spinning in her mind. It often times was the one and only thing she could utter.
"You've asked me that question one hundred seventeen times. The answer still remains. I never knew you outside of this hospital." She snapped, her heart shattered, and for what seemed like an eon she swore that both her baby and she were deceased. He held onto her tighter, because if he didn't, she knew she would never recover from this depression.
Her face was paler than the snow on a winter day, and her eyes were rimmed with a shade of crimson that was darker than blood. Her hair had been wilder than ever before, and lips were swollen from the hours she had spent crying in a day alone. "Who made you be like this?" he wondered verbally.
If she had brazen qualities within her, she would have said, "You", but it would never have made sense to him. He had lost his memories of her one dark morning. He had woken up next to her, looked at her, and nearly killed her—he called her an unknown woman, a harlot and unspeakable, vile names; names that she never knew he had in his vast vocabulary. She bolted out of the house, left everything she owned in there, but the wedding ring she had worn for years. She came back later to take her belongings, and found out she was pregnant a few weeks after that fateful and cruel night. Too soon, did her forget the night he had woken with no memory of her, and then she ended up in this hospital, for her friends had insisted she stay there until she gave birth to her child.
Once she had calmed down once more, he shifted before rising from the hospital bed. "Please, stay with me, Severus." She leaned into him, her lips close to his. She took in his lightly wrinkled face, his hooked nose, the lips which brought upon savored thoughts of kissing him and then all of him at once—his unconventional beauty, but most importantly his unrivaled and enchanting soul.
"I have no reason to remain here," he stated blandly. Sitting up, he put on his shoes and swiftly left the room without hesitation.
Once he was out of the room, she said in her broken voice, "Remember me, please." His head had been pressed against the door, and he had heard her say it. A part of him ached; the other was tangled in sheer curiosity. He needed to know why he was so coveted by her. It was forbidden, but it made him want to know even more. A small portion of him knew that she had once been a wonderful person, one that he could have possibly had a relationship of any kind with—if they had been in another dimension.
A/N: And so another tale begins. . . or ends. I have not decided if I should continue this story. As a warning, if I do continue, it will take long for me to update this. I do hope that you have enjoyed this, so far. Review, Favorite, Follow, if you so wish to.
-E. S. Grey