Hermione (Version Black And White)
by Kassie

Hermione's new wand will be the death of her, she's almost positive about that. It is a 8-1/2 inch rosewood with a centaur heartstring core; she can't abide the thing. All her most recent nightmares revolve around spells gone wrong because the wand rebels or implodes or transfigures itself into a hissing adder. She would never say such ridiculous, superstitious thoughts out loud, in the daylight, where she's counted on to be The Reasonable One. So, all her inchoate fears bubble out in her sleep.

In the soft-edged dream world, she crouches behind a lilac hedge, bare feet numb in the chilled mud, and nightdress caught on finger- like twigs of branches. Voices murmur from the other side of her hiding spot, just quiet enough to escape her ears.

Behind her, great wings suddenly begin to beat, and she stands . Now she's fully dressed in formal, traditional robes like the ones Professor McGonagall always favored. The heavy, red and gold embroidered fabric drags in the wet ground, and Hermione wonders about the secret, spot-removing spells employed by house elves.

She steps into the gap in the hedge. Her hair and robes suddenly snagged in a hundred different places, tugging her back when she tries to dislodge herself. She struggles, and the twigs hold her faster; fragrant purple blooms lurch out from the foliage, shaking and dropping petals on her robes. Instinctively, she opens her mouth to scream, and in that second, the lilac blooms shove themselves into her mouth and throat, choking and silencing her at once. Her fingers clutch spasmodically for her wand, but her hand is empty.


"All right, Hermione?" Ron's face is bruised. His left eyebrow is bisected by a scabbed-over gouge. Superficial wounds rarely warrant a trip to the infirmary anymore. Hermione knows that only time she's been there in months is because she was unconscious, and they carried her there without her knowledge or permission.

Harry looks at her pointedly when she takes too long to answer.

"Just bad dreams, Ron." She steps through the portrait hole and waves when the painting snaps back into place. Even The Fat Lady shows the strain of the times, her weight reducing by the week. They might have to learn her actual name soon.

"Sometimes I think the being in the middle of a fight is better than the dreams, you know?" Ron's introspective remarks have ceased to surprise them. He speaks his mind now, even more than before.

"At least your dreams can't kill you." Harry's fringe hangs over the lenses of his glasses, and his hardened eyes are not offset by this boyish carelessness. "Well, as far as I know." And they all laugh at his tone of voice, mock serious.

Hermione doesn't reply to that, covering her unease with false mirth. In her dreams, she usually dies. She never kills someone else. She still hasn't decided which one is worse.


When they split up to reconnoiter , Harry says, "Remember, if you see someone coming, Disapparate to The Shack." She nods and promises to do she would, then whispers the plan back to he and Ron.

Her part of the plan pretty much consists of crouching in an alley watching Bramble Street for lingering citizens. She doesn't see anyone coming, because he approaches from behind. When she'd picked the spot, she thought it was a dead ended alley with no hidden accesses. When all is said and done, she really is only sixteen and doesn't know all the spells to reveal magically obscured doors.

Her hands are pinned above her head, and her torso pressed into the cool, stone wall before she has any awareness of another presence. She knows what spell he used, because she was using the same one to sneak about.

She blames only herself for being so distracted, silently revising for a Potions exam in her mind, picking over how many green beetles to a dram, that her reflexes don't even kick in to remind her to snatch for her wand.

Tears spring to her eyes, not because she's definitely about to die, maybe after suffering for someone's brutal amusement, but because Ron and Harry will find her body, have to live the rest of their lives with false self-recriminations.

"You filthy slut. Did you really think you could outwit real wizards?" His diction crunches vowels and elides consonants, clipping words with his teeth so that bits of spit spray the side of her neck. Both of her wrists fit into his grasp, and based on the sharp pains radiating up and down her arm, she's fairly certain that something in her left hand is broken.

His right boot kicks her feet apart, and her shoes lose purchase on the pebbly ground of the alley. As her right ankle turns over, his free arm clutches her hip to keep her standing. Bony fingertips bite into her pelvic bone, then the action comes too fast to really register.

"So sure of yourself, aren't you, Mudblood?" Fabric rips and she holds perfectly still in shock as he undulates against her back. Then her whole world collapses to keeping the tears back, her throat tight and silent as first his fingers and then a part of him she doesn't want to picture shoves inside her.

"You're going to die, but not before you beg for release." His words come in a staccato rhythm, punctuating his movements within her. His hair flutters against her face, and as she breaths through her mouth, the strands are sucked in and down her throat. As he groans and calls her degrading names, she concentrates on the sharp pain in her arm, the abraded skin on her face rubbing against the wall, back and forth, back and forth.

His breathing becomes more ragged, and the pain in her wrist eases slightly. She wiggles the fingers of her uninjured arm, and he doesn't respond. In a move aided by desperation and the luck that she, Harry, and Ron seem to be blessed with, she snatches her right hand out of Malfoy's grip and extracts her wand from the sleeve of her blouse. The pain of jostling her fractured wrist makes her gag, and she has to squint through black swirls swimming in her vision.

She spins around and faces him. He's too shocked and filled with mind- blunting hormones to react fast enough to stop her foot slamming to his knee with a move that sends him to the ground.

"I will kill everyone you have ever loved," he rages. She realizes she has never heard him speak above a controlled whisper, even now as he kneels with his britches open and her wand pointed at his head. He strikes a regal expression, looking disdainful as his fingers twitch and move to his own sleeve. White flesh against black fabric, such a stark contrast in the almost-full moon. Hermione has no time to think or move before his wand whips towards her, and she's screaming.

"AVADA KEDAVRA!" The green light flashes with so much concussive force that she flies back to the mouth of the alley, landing with a thunk on her tailbone. She's glad of the blast that sent her flying when Ron comes running from one direction, and Harry from the other. Her dishevelment is easily explainable by her impromptu flight and ungraceful landing.

"You'll get an award for bagging him, `Mione. Don't worry. We saw him try to kill you. Didn't we, Harry?" Ron's face fluctuates between stony anger and anxiety. She watches him hover over her supine form, and then feels his cool fingers pulling down her skirt and straightening her robes. Harry's fingers explore the back of her head, then brush her hair from her face.

"You didn't hit your head on the pavement, did you?" She shakes her head in negation. "Come on, then." He reaches under her and helps her stand. Ron yanks at her good hand, and they all end up in a clutching embrace for a few seconds.

"Oi, Hermione, your wand!" Beneath where she had come to rest, her wand lies broken in half, the heart blackened and charred.

Harry reaches down and tenderly places the bits of wand in his pocket. "Don't worry, we'll get you a new one. The reward money for taking out Lucius Malfoy will buy you a hundred new wands, Hermione."


Hermione can't adjust to the new wand. It feels awkward in her hand, and using it is a constant reminder of how she lost the old one.

Hermione doesn't know if it was Harry or Ron who told Ginny his version of what happened that night in Hogsmeade. Over revisions the next week, she leans close to Hermione, her hair brushing Hermione's still scabbed cheek, and whispers in her ear. "The first time is the worst. When the second time comes, the memories of the first will fade." Hermione often wonders how much of what Ginny says is really Tom Riddle speaking.


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