Her eyes opened up until they resembled twenty cent coins. She dropped the razor as her breath caught into her throat. She was trapped, like a deer caught in the headlights. She didn’t know what to do. The rational part of her brain was too busy chastising her to offer any helpful suggestions to what to say or do to cover up her actions. She still avoided looking at the outraged blonde boy at the door. She couldn’t face him, not like this. How was she going to explain herself?
Hermione just stood there numbly, acutely aware of the red liquid trailing down her hand. She felt the wound throbbing, pumping more of this vital fluid out of her. Hermione couldn’t explain how it made her feel. She couldn’t explain it, and she wasn’t sure that she wanted to think about it long enough to understand it. She knew that it wasn’t healthy, but what was healthy in her life now? She had no parents. The father of the very guy who was glaring at her had raped her multiple times. He and his mates had torn her apart. She couldn’t close her eyes without seeing their faces looming over her. She felt them dragging her to the bed and then the rope fastened to her hands and feet. She felt the rough texture rubbing her skin raw as she struggled to get away.
“Granger.” Malfoy growled again.
She heard him approaching still not moving. It was completely un-Hermione like to just stand there vulnerable with Malfoy in such close proximity. She couldn’t bring her feet to move. They felt heavy as lead, her head felt fuzzy. All the while, the blood still ran out of her wound. Although it had decreased in its quantity, there was still enough pouring out of her to create a small puddle around her feet.
Something within her snapped the moment she felt icy fingertips on her arm. With a much stronger shove then she knew herself capable of she set Malfoy flying to the other side of the bathroom. Quickly she strolled to the door leading to her room. She grabbed her wand and cleaned up her arm completely exhausted.
Hermione smiled as she lay down on the bed. It had worked; again. She didn’t feel completely overwhelmed by everything that was going on. She felt almost normal. Sure, she still felt pain for her parents, and anger about what had happened to her. Yet the strong desire to burst was quenched for the moment. Hermione Granger had found her salvation.
“What in Merlins beard was that?!” Malfoy appeared in the doorway to the bathroom. Hermione mentally cursed herself for forgetting to close and lock it.
“What was what ferret boy?” She looked at him lazily. Let him think that he had imagined the whole thing. Hermione couldn’t risk him running his mouth about what he had seen.
“You know exactly what I am talking about Granger,” he fumed, face turning red, “For future reference, can you refrain from trying to off yourself in my bathroom.”
She let out a strangled laugh. It started as a laugh then turned into a cough. All the while Malfoy just glared at her. She couldn’t believe that he thought she was trying to kill herself. As is she would sink that low. It was insane.
Says the girl who is willing to cut herself, the voice in her mind pipped up.
“Malfoy you are delusional if you think I would let you off that easy. No buddy, you are stuck with me for our last year at Hogwarts. Whether you like it or not. Now disappear before I hex you into oblivion. That is after I disfigure your face permanently. Come to think of it, anything I do will definitely be an improvement to what’s already there.” She smirked shooing him out of the room; closing and locking the door behind her.
She lay back down on her bed, sinking into the softness of it, relishing its warmth and comfort. She couldn’t fathom what was becoming of her. Her mind wasn’t able to comprehend what she was doing to cope with the pain. She had never thought of herself as someone capable of self harm. She had never known that she would ever sink that low in the pit of despair. Hermione had always been the girl who could get through anything. Her escape from the world, when everything became too hard, was reading and in general knowledge. Everytime her parents got in an argument she would grab one of her favourite muggle books and leave her reality behind, submerging into the universe of the book. At Hogwarts, each time she, Harry and Ron got into a fight she would run off into the library. It was here escape. Books had always been loyal to her and had helped her through many a tough time. Now, try as she might, she couldn’t concentrate. Every single time she picked up a book to read she felt her mind wander. She struggled to read the set list of books for the year, and everytime she walked into the library she no longer felt drawn to the ancient tomes on the shelves. Instead, she just wondered around aimlessly, grabbing books from the shelf out of habit rather than desire to read them.
Harry and Ron had no idea that she felt like this. Each time they entered the library looking for her they found her surrounded by books. They would roll their eyes as ‘their Hermione’ never changed, she still would rather spend her time with books rather than people. Well, if only they knew. However, she wasn’t going to tell them. Harry had enough on his plate at the moment worrying about dear ol’ Voldy, and Ron was equally distracted by the upcoming battle and not to mention Quidditch. Hermione, therefore, was left to suffer alone.
Several hours later Hermione realised she wasn’t going to be getting any sleep that night, so she grabbed her cloak and exited the common room as quietly as she could. Maybe some fresh air would help settle her thoughts. She wondered whether she should go visit the Gryffindor common room. She didn’t think Harry or Ron were sleeping yet. It would be just like them to stay up well into the morning the day before their classes started. Well she wouldn’t comfort them when they start complaining that they are tired tomorrow at breakfast.
Weaving her way through the never ending corridors as Hogwarts, she began ascending the stairs to the common room. Her mind wondered how many people would be awake. She wasn’t in the mood she be stared at, and she knew that almost everyone had heard about what had occurred. Maybe they didn’t know the details, but they knew the gist that death eaters had killed her parents and that even Voldemort had made a cameo during this killing in his attempt to rid Harry Potter of his beloved mudblood.
“Hermione!” a loud screech and blur of red hair tackled the young woman.
Hermione laughed as Ginny held onto her for dear life. The youngest Weasley was too busy crying tears of happiness and sorrow into the girls shoulder to notice Hermione laughing.
“How are you?” She finally asked stepping away and taking in the Head Girl before her. Instantly her eyes became slits, “Why are you laughing at me? I was worried sick about you! But you know my parents, not to mention Harry. Everyone realised that Lord I-don’t-brush-my teeth, sorry, Voldemort, was trying to take out everyone that was important to Harry. Therefore I wasn’t allowed out of the house, unless I had either a brother, parent or Harry with me. Which sucked majorly, and you know, it did wonders to my social life. ‘Mione, why are you looking at me like that?”
“It’s good to see you Gin.” Hermione replied finally.
The red head before her wasn’t satisfied. She kept scrutinising Hermione, a deep frown set in her forehead. Hermione kept her face clear, maintaining her smile. There was no possible way that Ginny could have figured out what she had just been up to. Her face wasn’t giving her away, and she was sure that Malfoy hadn’t left the common room.
“How are you? Really.”
“I’ve been better Gin,” Hermione sighed, “Its not easy, I’ll tell you that. But im dealing. Day by day.”
Ginny visibly untensed, only her eyes betrayed that she didn’t think Hermione was telling her the whole truth. Nevertheless she wasn’t about to depress her friend anymore.
“That reminds me, what are you doing out so late? Shouldn’t you be in bed, sleeping?” Ginny asked Hermione.
“Yes, but I couldn’t sleep. Besides, I never got a chance to see you at the feast. So I was coming to see you. The real question is where were you going miss?”
Ginny just laughed, her face turning slightly red. She avoided Hermione’s eyes and mumbled something about going to the kitchens to get something to eat. Hermione though knew that she was probably going to meet a lover boy somewhere in the castle. She tried to feel angry at this but she was feeling increasingly fatigued. All this pretend cheer was catching up to her and all she wanted to do was go to bed.
“Well then I shouldn’t be holding you up. I’ll see you in the morning. ‘Night Ginny.” Hermione turned away from the confused 6th year.
She was sure that Ginny had expected her to yell or march her back inside chastising her about what she had been planning on doing. Hermione didn’t feel up to it. Part of her was glad that at least Ginny wasn’t letting the fear of the impending battle suppress her. Most people were too scared to do anything. Before the incident, Hermione was constantly reading stories in the Daily Prophet that people didn’t leave their house. Many muggle born witches and wizards had ended up starving at home from fear of what would happen when they walked outside. It sounded crazy, that people would have that much fear inside them, but Hermione now could relate. She hadn’t been careful at all. She hadn’t thought about what would happen to her, or her parents, if Voldemorts supporters found them. And she had almost paid with her life.
Slowly she made it back to her room. She wasn’t looking forward to tomorrow at all. Everyone looking at her, whispering about poor Hermione Granger. She was sure that rumours were already circulating about what had happened. Her absence from the welcoming feast was sure to have guaranteed that.
Rolling over she looked outside the window at the dark sky. Stars were spotted here and there, disrupting the endless black. Silently she prayed that the nightmares wouldn’t come today. Maybe if she wished it enough she would not dream any dreams for the remainder of the night. Slowly she felt her eyes close, succumbing to her exhaustion finally. And before she knew it, she found herself back at her house with her parents.
A/N: Review review review!!! Chapter 7 is ¾ complete, so it should be up soon.