Sheryl Crow - I Shall Believe
Come to me now
Lay your hands over me
Even if its a lie
Say it will be alright and I shall believe
Broken in two
I know you're onto me
That I only come home
When I'm so alone
But I do believe
That not everything is going to be the way you think it ought to be
It seems like everytime I try to make it right it all comes down on me
Honestly you wont give up on me
And I shall believe.
Hermione Granger sat on the floor of the cold stone chamber trying to replay events in her head. Trying to figure out how exactly it had happened, but parts of her memory seemed blurry.
Dumbledore had been betrayed. It was all over.
Hogwarts had been
considered the last sanctuary in
When Voldemort stood in the Great Hall resorting the students in his own unique way, Hermione watched as Lucius Malfoy clapped Severus Snape on the sholder and congradulate him. At the very least Snape had cringed under his touch and had looked disgusted.
Hermione felt numb, both from the coldness of the chamber and from her memories. How long had she been here? She had some meals, but there didn't seem to be any set schedual for getting them. There were no windows so she couldn't really tell how much time had passed. An enchanted orb hung softly near the high ceiling to give her some light.
She had let him touch her. She had loved him. She let that filthy, verminous...she shuddered and rubbed her arms through her thin robes.
She thought of his arms around her, the feel of his lips on hers, was even his soft touch down her jawline when she was feigning sleep a lie?
Hermione jumped as the small grate at the base of the door scraped open and a plate of food was pushed through by a small elven hand.
Her stomach growled. How long had it been since last meal? The food looked delicious. Some type of stew with buttered bread. Whoever her captors were, they weren't stingy. he sniffed tentativly and her stomach cramped in hunger. Her mouth watered as she pulled the tray over to her. She poked at the stew with a heavy silver spoon that had been on the tray. It looked normal. She tasted. Aside from being nuclear it was the best thing she had ever tasted.
She ate voraciously ripping off pieces of bread to soak in the stew and licking the butter from her fingers.
After she had tamed her hunger she had energy to thing about all that had happened a little more clearly.
How could he have done it after all he had been through? She felt his soothing touch and reassuring words as the ministry fell apart. Had helped him prepare potions for healing as the casualties mounted. She wished she had a basin of water to scrub off in. She felt filthy.
As she began to shiver at the thought of him the heavy oak door was flung and a familliar billowy cloak flowed in the chamber. She looked up silently and a dour glare enveloped her.
"Come quickly," he said. "We don't have all day." He held his hand out to her and she could never explain to anyone why she took it.
He rushed her down a stone corridoor lined with wooden doors similar to the one she had just emerged from. Most of the sounds coming from the other side of them led her to believe not all the others had been as unharmed as she had been.
Snapes hand gripped hers tightly as he practically dragged her up a flight of stairs, away from the dungeon. She was too weak and stunned to complain or stop.
"Where are we going?" Hermione hissed as they rounded a corner and went up another flight of stairs.
"Away from here," he said curtly as they practically ran down a hall way full of portraits. Almost all of them had white blonde hair. As they went up another flight of stairs they heard voices softly come from the direction they had come from. Snape pulled her into an alcove hidden behind a tapestry.
She felt a sharp tap on her forehead.
"Ow!" she whispered loudly and pinched him. Hard. She felt him squirm and grab her hand.
"Was that entirely nessisary?" Hermione heard an annoyed voice ask in her head.
She couldn't believe he was using telepathy. It was a violation in her opinion. Was this his idea of a sick joke? No wonder the food had looked so abnormally tempting. The potion must have been hidden in it. The sharp rap she still felt swelling on her forehead would have been his wand.
She unleashed her raw emotion ointo him. She felt her fears, her sorrows pouring into him. The image od Malfoy congadulating him, Harry crucified in the great hall before it had been incinerated in a magical fire hot enough to melt rock.
Hermione felt soft arms wrapped in silk envelop her, but she stiffened in their embrace.
She fed him her first potions lesson when he insulted her, the taunting from Draco Malfoy that hadn't let up for seven years, the mudbloods being led away after the conquering, she among them. She showed him rows of Muggles on tables being ripped apart for potions ingredients, but he must have known about that. She felt her forehead becoming wet and she realised he was crying into her hair.
Her anger finally began to wane and she felt his thoughts blossom up under hers.
Hermione saw her own back arc in pleasure underneath Severus, James and Lilly laughing together at Hogwarts, then their corpses later. She watched as Voldemort pointed his wand at alabaster skin and the Mark etched itself in young flawless flesh. She saw Severus try to scrub it off after his mothers assasination. How he had run to Hogwarts in the night and begged Dumbledore for sanctuary. The acceptance, the relief, the Trials.
She saw decent honest people framed and the wicked go free, and all for what? They had finally lost. And the woman he loved didn't believe him. She felt him shake against her and stroke her hair, his mind pleading with her to believe him.
She felt his cold terror as he watched her being led away, the panic he felt while trying to locate her without giving himself away. Had it really been half a month?
"I won't let them get you," he insisted in her head.
Hermione noticed the footsteps and voices and trailed away. Severus tapped his wand on the back of the tapestry, making it transparent. Hermione suspected it was solid from the other side. She could see the top of an apple tree outside a nearby window. She suspected it was near mid afternoon.
"Quickly," he thought in her head. "We don't have forever."
As they ran down corridors and dipped in and out of labyrinth-like passageways Snapes mind flooded Hermiones with images of Voldemort conquering Hogwarts from his perspective. How Dumbledore had refused to send the children home.
"The muggleborns will be completely unprotected at home" he had insisted. "At Hogwarts they at least have a chance."
Severus had reluctantly agreed, although he suspected foul play in the heart of Hogwarts itself. He never guessed he could be right, he just thought it was paranoia.
Filch. Incredible. Who would ever have suspected the squib? He should have been afraid, he should have suspected treachery, but Voldemort had offered him magic. Something he had always wished for, but Dumbledore had never offered him. Not that it was possible, of corse. It was just a ruse to gain entry to the sacred halls. Hermione always wondered why the old man had been singled out and tortured so maliciously during the conquering. She never suspected something so rotten from the old man.
Severus stopped by a silver sculpture of a cobra, ready to strike.
"Incinerate," he said and waved his wand at the snake in a triangular pattern. The snake began to uncoil itself and rise in the air, forming stairs as it climbed higher. They stepped on and rose up the inside of a tower. It began to grow brighter and Hermione found them safely deposited at the top of a tower overlooking an apple orchard. Severus pulled her around the tower and Hermione spotted Draco Malfoy, his face stained with tears embracing a hooded figure sitting on a flying carpet.
As he looked up the figure turned around and her hood fell back to let her red hair fly wispily in the breeze.
"Ginny!" Hermione whispered and ran to her. Ginny was crying and Hermione embraced her. She was the last Weasley alive.
"Come on," Ginny choked out. "We have to get to the embassy in Paris."
Severus guided Hermione onto the carpet and kissed her forehead. He took off his billowy black cloak and tucked it around her.
"Ginny knows how to operate it," said Draco sounding barely composed. "They should be fine."
"Now, go!" said Severus in a commanding voice, with a slight hint of hysteria.
"Don't even look back," said Draco, kissing Ginny on the forehead one last time. He stepped back and the carpet rose in the air.
Ginny and Hermione looked down at the men they loved a last time before Ginny punched the invisability booster. Severus put an arm around Draco and they watched as the girls shimmered into complete invisability over the orchard.