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For the brightest witch of your age, you are a foolish girl.

Can you hear your heart? It beats like a bird’s. You can feel it pulse in your wrists and your neck and your chest. You’re frightened. There’s an incredible, intense agony in your head, something more marvellous than you could ever imagine.

You have a right to be scared.

The air burns around you. The molten silver binds you. The precious stones melt and leak into your mind like liquid, shimmering poison. Wit beyond measure is what you always wanted. Perhaps you didn’t anticipate how painful it would be.

It was easy enough to come here when the library failed you. It was easy enough to stop on the seventh floor after dinner with quills and fresh parchment, a borrowed map in your hand and a phrase etched in your thoughts. I need to know what Horcruxes are.

The room always provides.

You expected books on dark magic. You wandered for at least half an hour before, out of boredom, you decided to put on the stupid, tarnished tiara some long-forgotten student had abandoned. You thought it might give you a laugh, you thought that Ron might find it funny – how your adolescent heart almost stopped your hand, how the sad sickness of your infatuation almost made you deaf to the whispering! A disease, nothing more, and you have no need for it. You know what Horcruxes are now, and you wish you didn’t. You expected books. You didn’t expect the real thing.

Of course killing splits the soul. Is that not obvious? Think, Granger, think of it. How many did he kill? You don’t know. You could figure it out if you really thought about it, even if it made you weep, even if it poisoned your mind more. Think, Granger. You might be next.

What will you do with this knowledge? Will you rule the world? Everyone wants that, Granger, surely you do too? With two minds tangled like this, you could control them all. Kill them. Build a new world. You should have been a Ravenclaw. The Sorting Hat had no right to put you into Gryffindor. But Ravenclaw will help you.

You could rule the world, but you’re a mudblood and you’re nothing, nothing at all. I am little more than beaten tin on your ungrateful head. Won’t you give me to someone more worthy, someone with blood richer, more pure than yours? You’re tainted, and this is why this burns you. This is why you’re knocking old books and looking-glasses to the floor and sending up screams to echo in the distant rafters. You know this isn’t yours. A more rightful heir stands a few feet away, his hands trembling. Give it to him.

You fall at the feet of the old Vanishing cabinet. Glass and splinters bury themselves in your hands, the pain like a dusting of stars. It is nothing compared to the pain in your head. Even the whites of your eyes seem to be on fire.

Horcruxes - the only word to reach your lips. The voice, however, isn’t yours.

Horcruxes.

You stumble, finding the floor with your hands.

Killing rips the soul in two.

Of course it does. Didn’t you know? It tears your soul like parchment. But it’s worth it, Granger, so worth it. A mudblood, anyway – your soul is worthless. Flimsier. Worth a grain of dirt and no more. Can I call you Hermione now that you’re trying to rip me from your head?

I’ve always been here, Hermione. Why else would you have lifted the necklace from his bedside table and taken it here to hide? A way of killing two birds with one stone, you’d thought. Find the meaning of Horcruxes and destroy his girlfriend’s silly love token in one go. You clasp the metal so hard that it digs into your hand, that, when you release it, the words my sweetheart will be engraved into your hand.

Give me to the boy. He’s closer now. All you have to do is fall at his feet. Depose yourself and crown him instead, his blood is purer, worth more to the drop than yours. The word you’re looking for is please, Granger, but you don’t control your own voice anymore. But somehow, he understands, and he obliges, and he tears the diadem from your head.

I’m still here. Neither of us understand the look in his eyes. You know him, but it’s as if he’s a poor copy of the one you know. Too pale to be real. Too cold. Trembling, on the verge of collapsing into separate parts. An inferius, you deduce, and scream.

But inferius or not, he has a mind. He has mercy, although he doesn’t owe you a thing. And he has a spell that he must take his time over, because to fumble it will be to fumble a year’s work on that cabinet.

He bears it for a moment more. Then a single word. Obliviate.



a/n: I'm back! Sort of. I wrote this a long time ago (circa 2012, I think?) and gave it a quick edit for a hp headcanon blog myself and justonemorefic are running. Gina semi-suggested I post it so...here it is! My second ever Dramione (of sorts). Just to clarify, yes, this is the room of requirement, Draco is working on the vanishing cabinet when Hermione puts on the diadem and yes, technically, a sentient piece of Voldemort's soul is narrating this. I hope you enjoyed, please leave a review if you've got any suggestions for improvement or comments generally! ♥

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