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Raccoon Hill by sau13rin

Format: Short story
Chapters: 1
Word Count: 6,135

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Crossover, Horror/Dark
Characters: Ron, Hermione
Pairings: Ron/Hermione

First Published: 01/04/2013
Last Chapter: 01/14/2013
Last Updated: 01/14/2013

Ron travels to a strange place named Raccoon Hill in search of Hermione.

Chapter 1: Raccoon Hill

Hello everyone, I had left this story incomplete for a vary long time so I apologise for it. I hope you like it. I dont own Harry Potter, Resident Evil or Silent Hill.

I looked out of the window of the truck I was in and marvelled at the natural beauty around us. There were lush green mountains with snow-covered peaks that made me feel good and at peace with myself despite my nagging worry.               

The day before yesterday, I received a letter from my dear wife Hermione. She had written in her usual neat handwriting of this beautiful place and how she wished I were with her. To anybody else, this would seemed like a usual wish-you-were-here kind of letter but to me, who knew Hermione for a long time, it seemed like something was wrong. The first problem was it came by muggle mail, not the usual magical intercontinental mail. The second problem, the moment I touched the letter, a strange sense of foreboding washed over me and I felt Hermione was in trouble. I cannot explain how it is between me and Hermione but we have had this connection for a very long time. Ever since we admitted our love for each other, or to be precise ever since I admitted my love for her. I had, kind of accepted her that day and I discovered that she had accepted me a long time ago. The connection had flabbergasted the most knowledgeable witches and wizards. Harry had suggested that it was love. And both of us agreed with him. I could trust Harry with my life. He was my boss, the head of Auror department, he was my best friend and he was my brother-in-law, which is why I showed him the letter. He found nothing wrong with it. However, he trusted my instincts.

“You have not taken a vacation in a very long time, Ron,” he told me that day. “Take a week off, go and find Hermione and bring her home. But, be very careful. I must admit, I have certain reservations about you going alone, but I trust you completely and I know that whatever it is you will be able to deal with it.”

“Thanks Harry,” I said gratefully. “I want to leave as soon as possible. In fact, I think that I should leave tonight. Can you make preparations?” I asked.

“Tonight?” he asked a little surprised. “It is a little sooner than I expected. It also gives us very little time to prepare. But, don’t worry, I will deal with things here and meet you at your home in the evening. And, I think you will be taking the day off to prepare?” he asked. It was not as much a question as it was a suggestion.

“Yeah, I think I will. Thanks mate,”

            So here I was, in a truck on my way to a place called Raccoon Hill. It was a rather strange name. May be it was a hilly region and was probably known for racoons.

“So, what is your story?” the person who was driving the truck asked me.

I was in a police truck, and this woman police officer had graciously let me take a ride with her. She was in her usual police uniform meaning she was on duty. She had short blonde hair, was not very tall, but not very short either. And she looked like; despite her relatively young age, she had seen much in her life and not exactly had come to term with it. Kind of like a soldier who had fought a gruesome battle that had changed her outlook on life. Her name was Cybil Bennet. I felt like life had stuffed to much crap in her face and she had not digested it yet.

“My name is Ronald Weasley. I am looking for my wife,” I told her.

“And what about you?” she said to the young girl sitting beside her.

“I am visiting my brother,” she answered.

“Really? In Raccoon Hill? What is his name?” Cybil asked

“Chris,” she answered. “Chris Redfield, my name is Claire”

Claire looked a little younger then Cybil. There was the expected youthful energy about her, but there was also something off about her. Another soldier, I thought. She seemed to have had some very unpleasant experience in the past and I was sure she would do anything she could so nobody else would go through what she went through. She had long brown hair, tied in a ponytail that reminded me of one time when Hermione had gotten rid of the infamous bushiness of her hair temporarily.

            My two companions were similar on many levels, I realised, but they were different too. Cybil looked like she was weary of the events of her past and wanted to avoid a repeat. However, Claire looked like she was ready to face her past again, voluntarily. Though I felt that the similarity between both women was they would always do the right thing, no matter the cost.

“Chris Redfield? I have heard of him. He is one of the of S.T.A.R.S, right?” Cybil asked.

“Stars?” I wondered.

“Special Tactics And Rescue Service. Yes, he is,” Claire answered both our questions.

“So, tell me about your wife,” Cybil said. “No mushy stuff please.”

“Well, she is smart, beautiful and very passionate. A loving and caring human being..,” I began.

“Ok, lover boy. I wanted a physical description, you know. I would like to help you if I could. Finding Chris Redfield will not be a problem,” Cybil cut me off with a he-is-hopelessly-head-over-hells-in-love kind of expression. Claire just smiled.

“Oh, that. Well, she is about your height,” I said pointing to Claire. “Lots of brushy brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. And she talks with a bossy sort of voice. And she is as old as me”

“Coincidently, I think I gave her a lift into town after the bus broke down,” Cybil said. “I dropped her off at the bus station.”

Coincidence indeed. A wonderful coincidence, I thought. I felt relieved realising that at least she arrived in the city safe and sound. And Cybil dropped her off, I thought she would have probably gotten off some place Cybil or at least Claire was familiar with. The relief was not as much as I expected.

            Ronald Weasley was the alias I used when I felt secrecy was the order of the day.I touched my chest as the truck moved along and felt the familiar shape of the beaded bag around my neck. It was among the things Harry and I shared on numerous occasions. At the moment it contained an assortment of things that both Harry and I had felt I would need in my journey. Along with a number of food items to be used in emergency, there was some money, both muggle and magical, a large assortment of portions, a cell phone and Weasley  Wizards Whizzers’ two way communication mirrors patterned after Harry’s own two way mirror. Harry had also loaned me his invisibility cloak, even though I owned a good one and could do the disillusionment charm perfectly. My own invisibility cloak was also in the bag. Harry had insisted I take the elder wand. He had never returned it to Dumbledore’s tomb, realising that many would take it from there without another thought about desecrating the final resting place of a great man. Ever since then, Harry and I had been disarming each other, so at any given time neither of us knew just who was the true master but one of us would be able to use it perfectly. It turned out that, at the moment I was the master of the elder wand. My own wand was in the sleeve of my shirt. All I had to do was flick my wrist and I was armed. I also had among other things a muggle pistol, with licence. It was modified so I could put my wand under the barrel and I could fire the stunner, and the killing curse and also the normal bullets. All Aurors had a pistol, an attempt by witches and wizards to understand muggles.

            Cybil pulled the car into a refuelling station, gas station she called it. The three of us went into the convenience store nearby and started looking around. I did not want to buy anything, but Cybil bought some food and water for all of us. Claire was talking to the store manager and Cybil joined her. Words like fog, strange light, strange noise grabbed my attention and I decided to join the conversation.

“What happened?” I asked.

“There appears to be some trouble in Raccoon Hill,” Claire said.

“It all started last Sunday,” the store manager informed me. “On Monday a strange fog, covered the city for the whole day, and then at night it was gone. But we started hearing some strange noises then. A lot of screaming, explosions even gunshots. The next day we saw a large number of vehicles leaving the city. The people were scared to death and would not tell us what happened. They just ran. Then some army types moved in. A whole bunch of them in their tanks and stuff and we even heard some helicopters. This has been happening every day since then, the days are strangely silent with occasional screams, and nights filled with gunshots and stuff like that. There is an eerie silence during the twilight.”

            Fear suddenly griped my soul as I began to worry about Hermione’s safety. This was nothing I had encountered or known before. Claire and Cybil however listened with rapt attention. It seemed as if they knew something about what was happening in the town. We came out of the store and near the truck; Cybil looked at both of us.

“I think the city has become a nightmare... again,” She said. She clearly did not like the situation.

“They are still there,” Claire said to herself.

“What is all this about?” I asked them both. I was beginning to think I would not like the answers.

“Ronald, I hate to tell you but I think your wife is probably dead. In fact, I hope she is dead, it would be a lot better than living in that nightmare,” Cybil’s answer shocked me.

The sense of dread filled me again as I asked,” What do you mean?” very angrily.

“If she is alive then she would be in a lot of trouble. I agree with Cybil. It is better to be dead and burnt completely then living through that evil that resides in the city right now,” Claire said.

The two women shook me to my very core with their answers.

“What about your brother? What about others... the children?” I asked getting even more angry.

“My brother knows how to take care of himself,” Claire replied.

“The others are probably dead or hoping they were dead and not found,”said Cybil.

“I don’t care; I am going for my wife. There is nothing you can do or say to stop me,” I said, ready to go to the city alone, on foot if the need be.

“I am going too. My brother will need my help now more than ever,” Claire said.

“Damn you. Both of you,” Cybil said angrily. “I don’t want to go into that nightmare again.”

“Nobody is asking you to come, Cybil. I completely understand. In fact, I would advise you to stay here and help others,” Claire said, putting her hand on Cybil’s shoulder.

“You two would not last more than five minutes without me. No I am coming with you,” she announced.

            I thought it nice as I got into the truck that both Cybil and Claire were going. They were tough and experienced and seemed to know what was going on in the city. This was probably the kind of experience that they faced earlier. The one, which made them so old at such a young age.

“We will stop at the police station where we can get the stuff that we are going to need and say our farewell to our near and dear ones and offer a final prayer,” Cybil announced.

“We will make it,” Claire said. “I know what we are going into”

“No you don’t,’ Cybil said. “ I know what we are facing and I would kill myself if I survive the ordeal. The last time still gives me nightmares and I am losing my mind.”

“Look, I think you are right, both of you. You seemed to have faced a part of this,” I said.

“I have a pretty good idea what happened but that still does not explain the fog during the day,” Claire admitted

“I know about the fog but the events of the night are confusing me,” Cybil also admitted.

“Then enlighten me, both of you,” I said

            Cybil told me about her experience with an old witch-hunting cult. How they had burnt a 10 year old girl. How Cybil and others rescued her. How the girl’s suffering manifested itself as the grotesque monsters that suddenly appeared in that part of the city and attacked the cultists, killing them brutally. The girl had succumbed to her injuries a week after she was rescued despite the best efforts of the doctors and the nightmare ceased after her death. The bit about witch hunting got my attention. Was Hermione...? No, I should remain positive. Claire then told me about her ordeal. How a corrupt company had let lose a deadly virus in the city and turned the citizens into brainless walking corpses, literally feeding on healthy beings. How they had experimented on some people, turning them into unstoppable killing machines. The government had forced the company to shut shop. I realised to my horror that Hermione was trapped between a rock and a hard place.

            We arrived at the police station sometime after Cybil and Claire told me about the situation in the city. I gathered that both the things had probably happened at the same time and hoped that Hermione was safe and sound. Cybil gathered some more supplies from the police station, mostly guns and bullets and some grenades. Claire got some armour for the three of us. We found out that the army had taken over and the police was relegated to keeping people outside. The army was not allowing anyone in or out of the city. Claire said it felt like last time again. Many in the police station repeated the store manager’s story and they said the army did not allow them in, even to get some of their own who had answered the call on Sunday night. I felt the sense of foreboding again as I realised it was the time Hermione would have reached the city. I prayed desperately for it to be a mere coincidence. Apparently the crap had hit the fan on Sunday evening and the situation had detoriated ever since. Many warned us not to go, some said we would not get past the army, but I was determined and Claire shared my determination. Cybil said she knew some paths that the army would not be keeping an eye on.

 We reached what seemed to be the outskirts of the city and were stopped by the army as expected. I saw they had raised tall thick walls. There were towers at equal distance on the walls and the soldiers patrolled the walls constantly. There sounded like a crowd on the other side, people who wanted to get out, Claire said. The way she said it made me feel that those people will never get out. They were trapped in their own homes and the walls were falling on their heads. I occasionally heard gunshots clearly above the noise of the crowd.

            Cybil after half-heartedly trying to convince the soldiers to let us through simply turned around. Just as I thought she had given up, she turned off a beaten path.

“The army does not know of this path,” she said as she drove carefully on the rough road. “But we have just secured ourselves a one-way ticket to hell. Coming out will prove to be nearly impossible, unless we find a way to put an end to this nightmare”.

I noticed how Cybil always referred to what we were going into as nightmare, while Claire used the word evil to describe the same thing. I realised as I thought about it that that they were both referring to different aspects of the same thing. A resident nightmare, I thought as Cybil announced that we had entered the city limits.

            I noticed the fog up ahead and suddenly felt fear and despair grip my soul. I felt like I was walking to the breeding ground of dementors. I also felt like the atmosphere was angry and threatening, as if everything wanted to kill me. I saw Claire adjust to the new feeling. She was looking outside and around, trying to understand the situation. Cybil however sighed as she drove on. She was familiar with this.

“Let me show you something,” she said as she turned the truck around.

As we got to the signboard that announced the start of city limits, Cybil stopped the truck. All of us got out and walked behind her. As I stepped out for the first time in the city, I felt an unnatural chill run down my spine. The atmosphere felt like it was trying to choke me but it was not like the feeling of being in a very humid atmosphere. The feeling was because of the evil that seemed to permeate from everywhere.Cybil stopped abruptly.

“I was not joking when I said we had a one way ticket,” she said pointing her finger on the ground in front of her.

Only there was no ground. There was a deep, almost endless chasm with sheer, unclimbable walls. Claire and I gaped at it with open mouths. It was not there when we arrived moments earlier.

“Welcome to Raccoon Hill,” Cybil said almost to herself. “Just like the last time.”

            On the way back to the truck, I heard what sounded like a muffled moan. I turned in that direction to investigate, because it sounded like someone needed help. Cybil, however, had a different thought. She drew her gun and motioned for us to do the same. Claire complied, pointing her own gun in the direction of the sound but, I thought my companions were being paranoid. I could not blame them, because I felt like drawing my wand. But, I did not do so, however, realising that both Cybil and Claire had a good reason to be careful so I merely attached my wand to my gun and put it back in my pocket within easy reach. Out in the fog I could make out someone coming towards us. It seemed like that person’s hands were tied behind his or her back and that person was trying to free them.

“Hello? Who is there?” Cybil shouted clearly. But the person kept stumbling towards us, struggling all the while.

“Get ready!” Cybil said. I saw both of my companions point their guns at the person’s head.

As the person came into my view, Cybil fired without warning, her bullet hit the person’s head and before I realise what had happened, Claire had put a bullet in the person’s head too.

“Hey, why did you do that? Whoever that was, was obviously looking for help,” I said completely surprised by their deed. Apparently, Claire trusted Cybil’s instincts but I still did not.

“Take a look...,” Cybil told me. She stood in front of me and Claire behind me as if they were covering me. What I saw shocked me completely. The body seemed like that of a man, but the skin was smooth, without any kind of features. That skin also covered what looked like its arms tied behind its back. It had no face, no nose or eyes just, a grotesque opening where the mouth should be.

“That thing spits some kind of acid that burns through most things,” Cybil informed me. Claire bent down for a closer look at it.

“Not anything that I encountered,” she said. “What is it?”

“Don’t know and don’t care. All I care is that they die when I shoot them,” Cybil answered with a lot of disgust.

We did not encounter any of those creatures as we got to the truck.

“Where would Hermione and Chris be?” Cybil asked to herself loudly.

“Chris would be at Police Headquarters...,” Claire replied.

“Hermione? I don’t know,” I admitted. “May be we can start where you dropped her off.”

“That place would be the bus stand that we just passed. It would be worth looking there. We might find some clue,” Cybil suggested.

            But after searching for a long time, we did not find anything that would give us a clue about Hermione’s whereabouts. We decided to go on into town to the nearest police station. Then as Cybil drove her truck, I saw someone in the front of our vehicle, some distance away. It looked like a woman with wild hair and black flowing dress. She was moving towards us much like the thing that we encountered earlier. But, her gait was slow. She seemed to be struggling to walk as if her legs were heavier. Cybil turned to avoid running into her but the other woman turned and once again she was in our path. Cybil looked unsure, but Claire tensed up.

“Hello? Who are you? Are you all right?” Cybil shouted in the direction of the woman.

“I don’t like this, Cybil. Be careful,” Claire advised.

As the woman neared us, I gasped. Her face was twisted; she had an evil, maniacal grin. In her left hand was, what I guessed to be a silver knife and in her right hand was... a wand. This can’t be. It was not possible. I was looking at the deranged looking face of Bellatrix Lestrange. Apart from the skin that seemed to have fallen off and parts where flesh was showing, it looked definitely like her, only more demonic. Fear griped my heart.

“Drive,” I said to Cybil urgently. “Just go. Run over her if you can. Kill her.”

Both Cybil and Claire were shocked at the sudden change in me. I was both afraid and angry.

“But...,” Claire began.

“Drive. KILL her,” I shouted.

Cybil probably thought I knew something about this woman advancing on us. She and Claire exchanged a questioning look, trusting me, she sped up the truck and drove straight into Bellatrix demon. The truck smashed into the demon. Its head bounced off the hood of the truck with a loud bang and its body flew nearly fifteen feet away. Once it hit the ground, it did not move.

“Looks like it is your turn to explain,” Claire said turning to face me.

“We must find my wife, as soon as we can,” I said. I don’t know what my face expressed, fear, anger, urgency may be but, both Cybil and Claire nodded.

“That thing we saw, that woman. She.... she is supposed to be dead. She tortured my wife and tried to kill her,” I said.

“What? But how..?”, Cybil asked in confusion.

“Resurrected by the virus, perhaps,” Claire suggested.

“No, I think the virus would need a body. And we got rid of the body. I made sure of that. I burnt the body myself. And there is no way it can get so far...,” I thought out loud. This did not make much sense.

Suddenly, the radio which was silent picked up static. Cybil tensed a little.

“Those things seem to interfere with the radio. Whenever you here static this loud, you can be sure those things are nearby. I call them lying figures. They are slow on foot but freakishly fast when on the ground,” Cybil informed us.

We looked around, still driving. The fog seemed to be lifting and we saw many of those lying figures moving around. They seemed to be headed north, and were moving with some haste. They were not bothering us, which was strange. Some distance away we saw what Claire said were zombies coming from the south. Their skin was rotten looking, peeling off from certain parts of their bodies. Flesh was visible where there was no skin and seemed twisted and mutated in a very grotesque way. They were not bleeding from what looked like their wounds and the last vestiges of humanity were still apparent. They looked much like Bellatrix demon that we encountered earlier, only more grotesque and barely recognisable. They moved just like that demon and made a sort of grunting sound as they moved. Some had their arms broken others were dragging obviously broken feet, but all were moving as if they did not feel anything. They were even more scarier than the inferni.

“These are the town people infected by the virus that I mentioned earlier. They are dead. The virus takes complete control of their bodies and the over-ridding emotions these things feel is hunger. The only way to kill them is to go for their heads. The virus controls the body through the brain,” Claire informed us.

I shuddered as I digested the information. Fighting the death eaters would seemed very easy compared to this. It was twilight and like the storekeeper said it was eerily quiet. As we moved ahead we heard the unmistakable sounds of battle. We saw from a distance, the lying figures were fighting the zombies. There were a couple of Bellitrix demons among them attacking everything around them. It seemed the Bellitrix demons would plough through other with fearsome rage. The zombies and lying figures were being blasted with killing curses and ripped apart with sliver knives. Just as the demons emerged victorious they were attacked by a pack of dogs which seemed to appear out of nowhere. The dogs seemed healthy, not dead and furious.

“Those dogs..., they look like Jack Russell terrier,” I thought out loudly noting the fact that, that was the form of my patronus.

            We spotted a lone house nearby and decided to check it out. While we were not low on supplies, we decided we should provide as much assistance to the inmates as possible, may be even help them escape or at least protect them. What surprised me was the fact that this house was almost exactly like Hermione’s. The only difference was that it seem to require some repair. The inside of the house was also pretty much the same as Hermione’s house with some difference. The colour was a darker shade of red. The interior felt depressing and gave the feeling as if the house was in pain. There were photos inside, of the people staying there no doubt, but they all were blurry, out of focus. As I looked at all the photos, I realised that they all looked very familiar. There were numerous books in each room, but the words in any of them did not make any sense and the letters all looked jumbled up. The alphabets were all English but seemed randomly arranged as if the writer was confused and was desperately trying to make some sense. Or I was not able to understand what was written, no matter how hard I tried.

“This house feels strange. Like something is missing. I began to feel confused and depressed the moment I entered. Everything here seems normal but something is off. I just can’t put my finger on it. Like something just out of reach”, Claire said.

“I know. Look at all the photos! They are all blurry. And the books! Have you seen the books? They seemed to be full of gibberish”, I replied.

“Ronald? Claire? You must see this”, Cybil said.

She was standing at a window which looked out into the street from where we came. It gave excellent view of the area in front of the house.

“What happened? What is wrong?” Claire asked.

“Look at the dogs,”Cybil replied pointing to some dogs outside.

There were nearly a dozen of them. All of them were Jack Russell terriers. They were looking at the house as if searching for something or someone. None of them looked angry or malicious. One of them spotted me and barked and all the dogs looked at me simultaneously. Then they suddenly started barking altogether,some started jumping around and some even wagged their tails happily.

“Well, now that is strange! They appeared to be searching for something. And I think they found it. I wonder what they were searching for?” Cybil said

“Why do I get the feeling it was us or at least one of us they were searching for? I think they were searching for you, Ronald. Their behaviour changed when they looked at you,” Claire added.

I stepped outside carefully. The dogs, when they saw me coming began jumping about and baking in delight.

“I think they want you to follow them, Ronald”,  Claire said.

“In that case, let’s go. Let’s check out what it is they want me to see, come on” I said.

As all three of us walked with the them they surrounded us and moved as if they were escorting us. As we moved further we encountered more Bellitrix demons which were promptly taken care of by our canine escorts. Finally we reached what looked like a hospital. It was well protected by what remained of the police and the army. They allowed us in when some of them recognised Cybil. Our canine escorts disappeared. Perhaps, I thought, they would lead the next innocent person to the relative safety of the hospital.

The hospital itself was wall stocked with medicine and food and the people standing guard outside seemed to have enough ammo for a long siege, but what was lacking was morale. As we talked to some people, we realised the horror they went through. Some of them saw their loved ones eaten alive, others had to kill their loved ones who had become zombies. Everyone was beginning to lose hope and the morale went down further when we informed them that the city was sealed and that there was no way out. The creatures had not gotten in the hospital for which everyone was thankful. The dogs, we were told were keeping the creatures out. The guards at the gate described to me how they tore up some of the creatures that had come close and some Balletrix demons that sought forceful entry. I thought of asking the receptionist about Hermione thinking that she may have come here either as victim or escorting others.

“The police brought her in. She was severely burnt, that poor girl. Some idiots decided she was a witch and their followers nearly burned her to death. But she survived. Strong girl, that one. Did you say her name is Hermione? All identification related documents were burnt. How are you two related?” , the receptionist said.

Containing my anger and fear I informed her that I was her husband.

“Oh good! Don’t worry, she will survive, thanks to the doctors, but recovery, both mental and physical will be long and difficult. She will require your assistance every step of the way.

“I would like to know who brought her here and the who were the doctors who healed her. And I would definitely like to who did this to her and where they are. I am sure my wife did not do anything to warranty such punishment.” I said.

“Don’t worry about the police officers who brought her. They are here, protecting the hospital. The doctors who treated her are also here but busy at the moment treating the wounded who were brought in a couple of hours ago. As for the people who did this, they are all dead. Every single one of them, eaten alive, by those creatures.”

So they got what they deserved. I hoped they died a painful death. I stepped into Hermione's  room after I got directions from her. It was strange room, unlike what was at St. Mungo's. There were beeping machines everywhere, almost all of them with a T.V. screen showing what I thought were Hermione's condition. She was in the middle of the room, inside what looked like a cocoon. Only her face was visible, completely covered with bandages, with slits for eyes, nose and mouth. Grief and anger flared within me when I saw her. What kind of monsters would want to burn someone so severely? If they were alive then I would hunt them down and make them feel all the pain that Hermione was obviously feeling right now.

"She'll live." someone said from behind me and I turned around and saw a man who probably the healer or doctor in charge.

"She is a strong girl." he said.

"That she is." I replied looking back at the bundle of bandages that was my wife.

"We have given her a lot of painkillers, so she would not feel much pain. In fact, she won't be feeling anything. She might not be aware of your presence.

We both moved to her bed. I stood beside her while doctor checked the various machines and took notes.

"Hermione, Hermione! Its me. " I said softly.

She opened her eyes slowly and they began to well up.

"Shh! Its ok now, I am here. Don't worry, the doctor said you will be just fine."

Perhaps I felt some form of relief or perhaps not but I definitely felt a change in the atmosphere. May be it was just me.

"I want to take her home. How much time will it be before she can be moved?" , I asked the doctor/healer.

"She is severely burned. There is no question of moving her for at least a month. I understand your reason but the risk of infection is too great. And besides, how will you get her out of this place? It is sealed. They will not allow anyone, especially anyone as bad is shape as your wife." I knew the doctor was right but I wanted to get her away from this evil, nightmarish place as soon as possible.

"If her condition improves before that?"

"Sure, but that would require a miracle."

"Wasn't her survival one?"

"I don't believe in miracles, Mr Weasley.", the doctor/healer said.

"And yet..". I left it hanging. I did not want to argue over some moot point. Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I gave Hermione some healing portions once we were alone and the effect was as expected and immediate.

We returned a week later leaving behind a surprised hospital and town moving back to normalcy. The shock came a month later, when I tried to contact Cybil and Claire. Harry asked around and informed me that no one name Cybil Bennet or Claire Redfield or any town called Racoon Hill for that matter. Even more shocking was when Hermione said she did not remember being in Racoon Hill or being burned the way I described, mainly because there was no physical evidence. In fact she advised me to visit St. Mungo's and get myself checked out. Harry was as surprised as I was. He believed me. And there was also the letter that he read that started all this, even as Hermione refused writing any letter. She however, could not explain how it was her handwriting.

May be, I thought, something happened to Hermione. May she did get hurt. May be the pain cased her to loose control and create everything. The town, the people, everything. The demons and zombies were manifestations of her pain and Belletrix was manifestation of her fear of death. The dogs, manifestations of her will to fight and the people in town her courage to fight despite pain. The letter could be her desperate call for help. Maybe the moment she felt better she brought her magic in control without knowing. May be...

Harry and I tried various theories, but could not come up with any explanations. So, we filed it with rest of unsolved mysteries, hoping that someday someone will give a plausible explanation.

Finally completed. I hope you like it. I would appriciate it a lot if you let me know what you think about it. Thank you.