Summary: Hermione lived through the unthinkable during her first four years away from Hogwarts, which were also her first four years of marriage. Now she's recovering with the Weasley family, trying to rebuild her life while the old one destroys her from the inside out. Post-Dramione. Rated T for domestic violence, language, and sexual references. Be warned that this is a very dark piece, especially in the later chapters.
Note: "Present Day" is about five years after Harry, Ron, Hermione and the others left Hogwarts. All other time notations are for the years between that time. I feel this piece is an alternate universe, so I've classified it into that world.
The car pulled away with a slight kick. It was older, putting out a cloud of exhaust on the empty street. The heat didn't work, casting a chilly glaze over the car's two occupants, a tall ginger with unruly hair and a shorter brunette with her hair cut as short as possible. Her eyes were large and filled with tears. She eyed the driveway she'd just left using the sideview mirror. The ginger caught her and cleared his throat.
"You can't blame yourself for anything that happened. Just be glad you're out of that hell hole once and for all, okay?" he said, stopping gently at a stop sign. "Hermione, are you able to speak? You haven't said anything since I got here."
"I'm fine, Ron," she murmured, smiling to him weakly. "I'm grateful for this, more than you'll ever know. I'm glad I've been rescued. I'll never forget, not in a million years."
"You remember Ginny telling you where we're going?" Ron asked. Hermione nodded gently, "We're going to The Burrow where we belong."
Ron nodded, easing away from the stop sign and making his way towards an empty road a few miles away. He would put the car into a special gear, helping it fly over the countryside towards his childhood home. He's be there with his sister and his friend, whose past would come out eventually. They wouldn't rush her, not after everything she'd been through. They'd listen with open ears, patiently letting Hermione remember things at her own pace.
Four years ago…
Hermione piled her broken cardboard box on the counter. She was shocked when Draco accepted her parents' offer to help with their first home, a Muggle home located twenty minutes from London. Magic likely avoided the street altogether, but it was the kind of street Hermione grew up in.
"What the hell do I do with this?" Draco asked, looking over the covered furniture with a disgusted look. Her parents had provided the furniture as well, all of it homely Muggle furniture that Draco had never encountered before. The fluffy recliner next to the fireplace caught his attention the most, and he poked at it with a finger.
"You'll get used to it, Draco. I'll help you," Hermione whispered. He scoffed, wiping his finger on his pants as if he'd touched something awful. "You agreed to this, Draco. We didn't have to move out here. I was comfortable taking your father's offer as well."
"He was lying," Draco scoffed, sitting on the coffee table. He immediately stood back up as the table creaked under his weight. "He wanted us to be on our own under his watchful eye. We would've been prisoners. I'm surprised he isn't here right now breathing down our necks. Make me some tea so I don't have to think about it."
"The pans are still in the truck," Hermione murmured, watching patiently as Draco gave the coffee table a swift kick, shattering the glass on top.
"I don't give a damn!" he raged, giving her a look that made her blood boil within seconds. "Get the fucking pans and make me some fucking tea!" he screamed. Hermione did as she was told. She'd never seen him like this before, but she didn't want to become the coffee table glass. She dug for the pans as fast as she could, getting it onto the stove as soon as she could.
She didn't noticed the neighbors eying her through the curtains. They knew what was happening even if the naïve newlywed had no clue. They put back their welcoming gifts of food; they wouldn't welcome him in with open arms, not after witnessing that during their first hour there.
"Hermione, it's lovely to see you," Mrs. Weasley smiled. "Sit down and I'll make you some tea," she grinned, patting her shoulder.
Hermione immediately shuddered, pulling away from Ginny's gentle hug with a fearful gaze.
"Mum, I don't think she wants anything," Ron whispered. "I'll show you upstairs to your room, Hermione. There's water if you're thirsty, and she'll bring you some light refreshments if you want."
"I'll be fine. Just…take me upstairs, please," Hermione said softly, leading the way up the staircase.
When she and Ron were far enough away, Mrs. Weasley pulled Ginny to her, "Was it something I said?" she asked sternly.
"She's been through a lot, Mum," Ginny replied, patting her mother's shoulder and pulling away from her. "Draco did unspeakable things in that house, Mum. We'll have to treat her better, and we'll have to retrain her to live life her own way again."
"And she's the one who—"
"Let's not talk about that, Mum," Ron called from the stairs. "Let's just make ourselves some lunch."
The Weasley's moved into the kitchen, ignoring the soft cries coming from Hermione's room, Ginny's old bedroom. They didn't say a word as they thought of other things, trying to keep their mind off the horrors young Hermione had gone through during her time away.