She kept hearing different voices calling her name and people crying. Things got a little lighter and the black was diminishing some, but she was so tired that she let the black take over again.  She finally heard her name being called again and the black was changing to gray. She could hear people talking, but it wasn’t clear-it was almost like they were underwater. The gray was really getting lighter and the voices here getting louder. She started to become aware of how much pain she was in. Everything hurt, from her toes to her hair. She had no idea that hair could hurt, but hers was screaming at her. She groaned as she felt someone grab her hand and gently squeeze it, whispering her name. She groaned some more and felt tears starting to fall down her face. She finally had the energy to open her eyes and blinked a few times, not being able to see well out of her left eye. Ginny was sitting by the bed she was in and crying as she was holding her hand. She looked to her other side and saw Harry and Kingsley looking at her anxiously.

“What is going on? What is happening?” noticing that her mouth felt full on the left side, like it was swollen.

“Honey, you are at St. Mungo's. You were attacked and the healers are trying to make you feel better. How are you feeling? Are you in any pain?” Harry asked with love and tears in his eyes.

Things were so fuzzy and she just hurt all over. “I…hurt…so…much…” she managed to get out.

Kingsley said, “I will go get the healer and tell them that you are awake. We will get you some medication.”

He quickly left and Harry smoothed her hair back from her face, letting the tears fall from his eyes. She looked at Ginny, who was openly crying and still holding her hand and rubbing it with her other one.  She was not sure what was happening, but was very confused.  Just as she was going to start asking some questions, the door opened and three people walked in, Blaise Zambini, Kingsley and Draco Malfoy. Now she was really confused.

“What is going on? I am so confused and everything is a bit fuzzy…”

“Hermione I need to examine you real quick and then I can get you some pain medication. We can answer your questions then,” Blaise explained.

Ginny finally let go of her and went to Harry’s side and he wrapped his arms around her. Blaise came up and took her vital signs, checked some bandages on her torso, head and right arm. He seemed to be satisfied with the results and gave her a pain potion. She felt better within seconds of it going past her lips. She groaned with relief. That is a little better she thought. She closed her eyes in relief.

“Hermione, are you ok? Do you have any questions?” She heard Harry ask.

“What happened? Why am I here? I don’t understand…” She whispered.

Gently Kingsley, sat on the edge of her bed and started talking in his deep soothing voice, “Hermione you were attacked on Thursday night after work. You lost consciousness and were brought here by Healer Zambini and he has been looking after you and treating you.”

They were all watching her to make sure that she would not start having a panic attack or anything as he was talking. With no bad reaction from her, he continued. “You are pretty banged up, Sweetie. Your left eye is pretty swollen as well as your lip and cheek. You have several broken ribs on both sides and a lacerated liver. Healer Zambini has been giving you some potions to heal the internal injuries, but needed to wait until you were awake to finish with the bruising and swelling. Ginny thought you would need to see how badly you were injured to help you come to terms with everything. Do you remember anything, Honey?”

Hermione let everything he said sink in and then closed her eyes. She was trying to remember everything that they say happened. She remembered leaving work and taking the lift up to the fourth floor. She was concentrating on walking into her apartment, when it hit her. “RON!! Oh my gosh! He did this!! He was drunk and was so angry at me for asking how his day was,” she started crying again. She recounted the ordeal in the apartment.

Sobbing she finished, “the last thing I remember was the door to our flat bursting open and then everything went black. I thought I was going to die. I just kept yelling for help, and didn’t know if anyone would hear me before it was too late.” And she continued to sob as Kingsley wrapped her in his strong arms.

They let her go for a few minutes to get it out of her system. What she didn’t see what the five other people wiping the tears from their eyes as they watched the once strong woman reduced to a bruised and battered figure.  She cried herself out in a few minutes and then let go of her substitute father and lay back on the pillows. She took a few deep breathes to calm her breathing.  No one said anything for a moment. Hermione looked at them and had some questions pop into her head.

“You said I blacked out. How long was I unconscious for?”

Ginny cleared her throat and with a stuffy nose replied, “It is Saturday night. You have been out for two days, Honey.”

Hermione was in shock that she was out for so long. Then another thought came across her mind. “How did I get here? And where is Ron now?”

Draco came forward and gently said, “Well, Blaise was over at my flat and we heard all the screaming and banging around. We ran down the hall and heard you screaming for help and blasted in the door to find him over you as you lay on the floor. I hit Ron with a stunning spell and bound him up. Blaise immediately went to you and started to stabilize you. I apparated to Harry and Ginny’s and brought them back with me. Ginny and Blaise brought you here, while Harry and I took Ron to the ministry. He is still there, while he tries to sober up.  Magical Law Enforcement will contact you about what you want to do about charges. But you don’t have to worry about that now. You just need to focus on getting better.” He finished with a soft smile that made her feel warm inside.

“First, Blaise and Draco, I can’t thank you enough. I think you saved my life that night! I will forever be in your debt. I honestly don’t think I could have held on for much longer. I will find some way to make it up to you.” She looked at them and smiled-as best she could. “Next there is something I that you all should know. I have been in contact with Dean Thomas about getting a divorce from Ron before this happened. He explained how the process works in the Wizard world, including suspected spousal abuse. This is not the first time that this happened. The first time was the night we ate dinner at your house and you told us your amazing news, Ginny. I used make-up to cover it up so no one would suspect. I showed Dean and he made notes and took pictures of it in case I wanted to use it in my case. I was just going to forget it and do a regular divorce, until now. I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want out and I want to start my life over. I am sorry Ginny and Harry that this will affect you, but I can’t stand for this. He almost killed me and he needs to face the consequences of his actions.”

She finished and looked at the people in her room. They were all stunned at what she just told them. Harry looked at her and spoke first, “This isn’t the first time this happened. Why didn’t you tell us? We could have helped you!”

“Harry, I didn’t want to put you and Ginny in an awkward position. I didn’t want to make you choose between me and Ron. He is your best friend and brother-in-law. I didn’t want to give you any stress either, Ginny. You are pregnant and I want you and the baby healthy!”

“Hermione Granger! Yes, he is my brother, but what he did was wrong!! He deserves to be punished! Pregnant or not, I will look out for you! Don’t ever let me know that you are thinking this again! You silly lady!” and she went and hugged her as hard as she dared. Knowing that she had support meant the world to her. She smiled a little as a thank you to them all. She suddenly felt very tired.  A huge weight had been lifted from her chest, but the emotional stress exhausted her. She leaned back on the pillows and her guests could tell that she had reached her limit.

Kingsley spoke first, “I think it’s time for us to go and let you get some sleep. With your permission Hermione, I will speak with Mr. Thomas and have him get the ball rolling on the spousal abuse investigation.  I will also work with Law Enforcement to make sure that this is handled as discreetly as possible.  I know you won’t want this made public. When you are released, I want you to go on vacation Hermione and heal, mentally and physically. I will not allow you to return to your office for at least one month from when you are released! And don’t think about arguing with any of us on that front!”

Hermione smiled with a few tears in her eyes and agreed with Kingsley. One by one, Harry, Ginny and Kingsley hugged her promised to see her tomorrow. Blaise left to get her a sleeping potion. Draco was going to leave to, but Hermione stopped him.

“Draco, wait please. Stay a minute longer.” The others left and it was just them in her room. “I just wanted to thank you for saving me. If you hadn’t have been there, I would have died and I just want you to know that I will make it up to you. You didn’t have to help, but I am certainly glad you did. Thank you.” She reached out and took his hand. The fire between them was still as real as ever.

“It was the least I could do for you, Hermione.”

“Will you stay just until I fall asleep? I am not ready to be alone just yet…”

“Of course, I have nowhere else to be.”

Just then Blaise came in with the potion.

“Thank you too Blaise for helping me. I have never needed anyone like that before, but I am glad that you were there.”

“It’s my pleasure. Now drink this and get some rest. We will see how you are doing tomorrow.”

She drank the potion and was feeling her eyes get heavy. “Thank you for staying Draco…” and then she was asleep.

Draco pulled his chair close to her bed, kissed her on the forehead and whispered, “I wouldn’t be any place else. I love you and will always protect you.” He sat back down in the chair and watched her sleep, holding her hand.

Blaise heard him as he left and wondered what the future would hold for them.

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