Hi, I know I am new here, but I wanted to share a fic I have written with you all. It is also getting posted on fanfiction.net if you want to read it over there.|
Written In The Body
Written In The Body
A/N: There will be a number of mature things discussed including torture, same sex relationships, violence and others… you have been warned.
Also this is an AU after the events mentioned are listed. The changes are noted. If there is nothing noted you can assume that the events of the book have occurred.
PS. This is a work of fiction using the characters created by J.K. Rowling. They are not used with her permission. All actions follow the events of book six of the series. Any similarity between any person living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional. If you happen to find your life reflected in this piece I’ll be impressed.
Every nerve in her body exploded in pain, a crawling, sharp, burning pain that had enough variation to it that her mind could never become desensitized to it. It rolled through her body like a plague and destroyed all resistance. Sound no longer came out of her as she had already screamed the air from her lungs and there was nothing left to pull air back. The pain itself was killing her.
It ended in an instant and she was left gasping on the floor, fingers trying to find purchase on the cold stone, tears burning down her face. From above her, a sharp woman’s voice filled with tremendous malevolence spat at her, “Well, what about the sword mudblood? I know you broke into my vaults.”
“No. Not real. It’s not real. Dumbledore made copy. A copy.” sobbed out Hermione, the pain still echoing along her nerves, making her wince with every move. “Didn’t go your vaults.”
“Somehow, I don’t believe you.”
Her world again burst into the same unimaginable pain, her body convulsing with it, thrashing against the hard floor. Nerves were flayed by the spell, burning raw until all she seemed to know was pain, until she was again lying there gasping for air and weeping.
“You know… Draco told me that people say that you are the smartest witch of the age and little Draco wouldn’t lie to me now would he?” came the mocking voice from so far away.
“s’not… It’s not real.” It took real effort from her to gasp that out. All she wanted to do was breathe and cry. Her body still smarting from the curse.
“Really now, you still trying to pass off that lie?” sneered Bellatrix.
Hermione Granger lay on the floor of Malfoy Manor, eyes too full of tears to see the chandelier above them, body trembling from ravages of the Cruciatus Curse. Her mind was racing, trying to find some way to escape, some way to get the boys and get out, so they could get the sword and the horcrux that Bellatrix had stored in her vault. Another part of her mind looked at herself and was growing dispirited. Her whole life came down to this moment, being tortured by a madwoman and all she had were deep regrets of a life she had been too afraid to live. Harry and Ron had helped her relax and be herself but she had been so worried about the rules and what was right that she never really truly just let go and did what she wanted to do, had been who she wanted to be.
Her scream lasted longer this time as she had been able to get more air in that longer break. The pain must have lasted longer this time and when it stopped she convulsed uncontrollably for a short while, as her muscles protested against what was happening to her.
“W-we only have a copy. I swear.” protested Hermione, when her body had stopped and she could speak again, going with the only story that had presented itself. If only Bellatrix would believe her and stop.
“I swear. I swear. Like I believe you, filthy mudblood. Your filthy blood is stinking up the place.” mocked Bellatrix.
If she made somehow it through this, she needed to forget about rules, forget about being the good girl that everyone expected her to be and wanted her to be. She needed to find a way to be free, to be herself, whatever and whoever that was. But she knew it was not even remotely the safe conventional schoolgirl she had been for so many years, too afraid of bullies and others to really spread her wings. No, she was something else but what?
“It’s just a copy. Just a copy.”
“Shut yer gob!” spat the madwoman, flinging her arm at Hermione.
Her body again erupted in white fire coursing through her veins, over raw nerves, her back arching up, as if it were trying to escape from the agony that was all she knew. It almost felt like she were a taut bowstring humming a tune in the key of screams and she could not even recall how they had gotten here. All she knew was this floor, that voice, and an existence, maybe even an eternity of pain.
When it was over this time, she was in a bit of a daze, her mind having difficulty focusing on things, hearing a mad titter off to her side somewhere. Her head lolled to the side and she looked, almost unseeing towards the bannister. Cruel. All this was so very cruel, like the kids had been to her when she was younger, when they discovered she was smart, smarter than them. Cruel, like in the way the mocked her, taunted her, tripped her and more all before finding out she was a witch and her whole world transformed into something amazing. Their petty cruelties drove her even farther into books, even more into a world where it was safe to play by the rules, to follow directions, to stay close and listen to teachers, to be what others wanted you to be so they would care for you.
“I think this stupid girl keeps forgetting her place. Is that what you are doing mudblood?” Bellatrix kicked Hermione in the side, keeping the girl from slowly curling into the fetal position.
Hermione tried to answer but words failed. All she could do was weakly sob.
“I think the smartest witch needs a reminder of who she is.”
Hermione’s left arm was pulled out from where it was trying to protect her body, the sleeve torn open and Bellatrix knelt next to her, whispering happily, “It’s a good thing this filthy mudblood can read else all our work would go to waste.”
A new pain burned out in her arm, a different burning than she had felt before and Hermione found that she could still scream. When she saw that Bellatrix was cutting into her arm with a knife, blood trickling down her arm as a salty fire burned as her flesh was violated, she started calling out in a scream ravaged voice, “No, no, no!”
Bellatrix was humming happily as she worked, taking her time in order to shape each letter perfectly. The pleasure on the woman’s face was chilling. “Now you will always know who you are.”
Hermione glared at the witch. That woman was literally writing who she wanted Hermione to be in her very flesh, Bellatrix was writing her life. She was another bloody person trying to dictate to her who she was supposed to be. She twitched again and another scream tore itself from her. No, she was not going to let someone else write her life, no, not ever, never again!
The pain crested again and she fell into darkness, shuddering into nothingness.
Several things made themselves apparent to Hermione as she came out of the darkness. The salty air, the sounds of sea birds, the roar of the sea, and the softness of a bed, these things were all so unlike where she had been that it made it hard for her to make sense of all of this. This place was so different from her memories of pain that it was difficult for her to really grasp what this was. Nothing was familiar. Where was she?
She tried to move and then hissed in pain, as everything about her body protested what she was doing. Her throat felt torn up and even her eyes hurt to a degree and while she did not know where she was right now she remembered everything that had happened before the darkness engulfed her and what she had promised herself. That meant that it was all true, that they had been captured, that they had been take to Malfoy Manor, that Bellatrix had actually tortured her for what seemed like forever, that she had that hated, foul word carved into her arm. She could feel tears start to fall as those thoughts shook her with the memories. Her body spasmed a little, the muscles reacting to her movement and that made her gasp as the pain flared again, giving her a taste of the Cruciatus again. As she moaned, the door opened and in walked a very familiar blond. Rasping out, with a voice that bespoke her discomfort, she asked, “Fleur?”
“Sshhh ‘ermione. I am ‘ere. You are safe.” replied Fleur rushing to the bed and gesturing to Hermione to not move.
Hermione stopped even trying to sit up and lay there looking at the former Triwizard Champion with some surprise. “Where?”
“You are at Shell Cottage. It is mine and Bill’s ‘ouse. It is protected by a Fidelius Charm. No one knows you are ‘ere.”
Hermione closed her eyes and sighed, letting her body fully relax for the first time since she had awoken. That was good to hear. That meant they were safe for now. Everything hurt and that little bit of tension she had had drained her more than she thought possible. She still hurt but thankfully it was not as bad as it had been back at the mansion.
“I am going to change your bandages. This will ‘urt and I am sorry.” apologized Fleur, her voice the gentle sound one used with the very sick or injured.
Realizing that this was inevitable, Hermione nodded slightly, trying to prepare herself for what was to come. Fleur made everything as gentle as possible by using her wand for as much as she could but Hermione could not help herself and cried out in pain several times as agony lanced through her. Tears rolled down her face and she could see that Fleur was not pleased with how this was hurting her.
The bandages on her arm were quite red but not soaked completely in her blood, that was some comfort. Once unwrapped, Hermione winced at the red flesh, the ends only barely trying to close, still oozing blood. Fleur cleaned the site and then pulled out a familiar bottle. Sniffling slightly as it all hurt, Hermione asked curiously, “Dittany?”
“Oui. Relax as best you can, I will be as fast as I can manage.”
She hissed again as the essence of dittany burned along the cuts. Towards the end, it started to feel like she was being cut all over again and she sobbed in pain, not even worried about trying to be brave. “I am so sorry ‘ermione. It is nearly over.”
The torment continued a little longer and then Fleur rewrapped her arm with a fresh bandage. Hermione was barely conscious, as her already low reserves had been depleted even more by the pain. Her eyes open a mere slit and her head lolling to the side. She was too drained to do more to hold it straight. “I ‘ave a Calming Draught for you and potion to ‘elp ‘eal the effects of the Cruciatus. Thankfully, you were not under it too long. If I ‘ad any Dr. Ubbly’s Oblivious Unction I would give it to you, to ‘elp you forget what ‘appened to you.”
“No… want to re…” It hurt but she managed to swallow. She needed to make this clear, so there was no misunderstanding her. “… remember.”
“Very well. I don’t understand but very well. Now drink.” Hermione had the two draughts and then felt a bit drowsy afterwards. This was not a bad thing because she remembered that her parents had always told her that sleep was often the best medicine. She drifted off to sleep thinking of them and how much she missed them. Right now she wished her mother was holding her and telling her it would get all better.
After who knows how long, she came awake with a scream, as her body seared under the pain of the Cruciatus while Bellatrix laughed. The door swung open and Fleur and Ron burst in, wands at the ready. She flinched away from Ron and Fleur, noticing this, pushed him out. Once her wand was away, she moved to the bedside and asked, “Are you okay?”
Hermione panted, her ribs aching, and the bandage on her left arm again red with blood. Her face burned from the salt of tears. She cried some more as the pain was just so overwhelming at the moment. After Fleur had finished treating the cuts on her arms again and giving her a Calming draught, she asked, “Why did you flinch from Ronald?”
“Are we in private?” Hermione was somewhat nervous as she asked that.
With a few gestures and muttered spells, the blond nodded. Hermione sighed, looking at the ceiling, looking for the words to procede. “The torture was horrible Fleur, simply horrible.”
“You don’t ‘ave to talk about it ‘ermione.” said Fleur, gently.
“I do. I need to get this out. Honestly, I don’t know how many times she used the Cruciatus on me. I lost track at six or seven. All I do know is that while I was there I realized something about myself and I want it to change.” Hermione’s voice was flat, the brutality of what had happened to her still shaking her to her core. She kept having images of what had happened to her dancing in her mind.
“And what does this ‘ave to do with Ronald?” It was clear that Fleur was not following along with her.
Hermione sighed and turned her head to face Fleur, even though her neck protested the action. “I realized that I wasn’t really living my life. I was playing it safe, being what other people wanted me to be and that my never questioning that, always following rules, all of that had only gotten me to that point. I feel like other people have had more say in my life than I ever had. Even Bellatrix was there trying to carve an identity into me. I refuse to let anyone write my life again.”
She could tell that she was crying again and her voice was choking up some. So closed her eyes and concentrated. She had to finish this, “Right now, I think I just need time, to get myself in order, to figure out who I am and what I want. Seeing Ron too much or even Harry until I am better will only make that worse.”
“Very well. I will tell Ron and ‘arry that you are still not feeling well and are not ready for visitors. Let me give you something for the pain, I will not give you another sleeping draught. This way you can sleep or think as you need. But they are worried about you.”
“Thank you Fleur. Maybe letting them come up here for a few minutes to see that I am alright would be fine. Just to let them know I am okay.”
“Potion first.” Once Hermione was able to drink the potion and the pain that kept rolling through her body faded some, Fleur headed downstairs.
Soon the door opened slowly and a red head poked around the door, “Is it okay to come in.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and said, “Yes Ron, for a little bit.”
As the two boys entered, Ron seemed to be moving in for a hug. Hermione wanting to avoid that, snapped, “Ron, please don’t touch me. I hurt everywhere.”
“Right, sorry.” mumbled Ron, looking upset.
“How are you Hermione?” asked Harry, coming close but not touching her, clearly respecting her boundaries.
“Alive. I am very thankful for that. I don’t know how you managed to get us out of there but that was brilliant.” said Hermione smiling at the two of them. She then noticed that neither of the boys were smiling and actually looked sadder than a few moments ago.
“We didn’t. It was Dobby.” Harry’s voice was soft, almost tremulous.
Harry looked stricken, deeply wounded from whatever it was that had happened that enabled them to escape. Ron continued, saying, “He died saving us, Hermione. All of us. Luna, Dean, Ollivander, Griphook, all of us.”
Hermione looked confused. All those people had been there as well? All she had known was her torture. “I am so sorry Harry.”
Harry just shrugged, trying to play it off. “All this would be over if it weren’t for him. I just hate what happened.”
Harry needed a hug but she hurt far too much to give him one. She sighed and then winced, as some pain flared up her back. Ron’s eyes widened at seeing this and he asked, “Are you okay?”
“No. The pain still affects me. It will take time for my nerves to recover and I just need to rest in peace to do that. I am sorry for that.”
“No Hermione, don’t apologize. Not after that. Take whatever time you need.” said Harry as he stood. “Come on Ron. We should let Hermione rest. We’ll be by to check on you later.”
Once the boys left Hermione lay back and listened to the sounds of the tide rolling in and out. It was soothing and helped her mind to relax. This was what she needed, peace and quiet after all the chaos and pain. It was like a balm to her. As her thoughts drifted she thought about Harry and Ron. They were clearly worried about her and that was sweet. They were both such dear friends.
That thought gave her pause. They were both… friends? She understood with Harry, as their relationship was far more like brother and sister than anything else but her and Ron? She had thought that they had been developing something more romantic. His return when he saved Harry he mentioned how he had felt about her. And she felt that way about him… right? She knew she had dreams that were rather vague and half remembered about kisses and red hair and touches and surely that was Ron. Right? Her eyes went wide in fright; could she actually be in love with either Fred or George?
The idea was so chilling that it was easy to dismiss the idea. Than what did she feel for Ron? They were very close, about as close as Harry and she were, and she had felt hurt last year at school with that mess with Lavender Brown. Moreover, she had clung to his side when he was recovering from his poisoning. Didn’t that mean that she had feelings for him?
Hermione let her thoughts drift as she listened to the waves some more. No, she was going about this whole thing the wrong way. All she was doing now was making the issue more muddied. She needed to approach this whole thing more logically, calmly, setting out her thoughts and feelings in a manner that allowed her to make sense of the whole thing without her emotions overriding things.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, wincing from the pain. She let it out slowly, feeling some of the tension she had been feeling since her thoughts had turned this way leaving. Logic was somewhere where she felt safe. Right, so where should she start? A simple listing of Pros and Cons? To the relationship or to Ron? She needed to figure out her approach, her methodology, because that had an effect on the results. Well if she wasn’t feeling the same way towards Ron that she had thought she was supposed to then perhaps she needed to direct her thoughts towards Ron himself to see if that offered any clues.
Starting off with Cons, so things she did not like… well one easy one off the top of her head there was the way he ate. He simply devoured food and sometimes it was simply off putting. And there was his obsession with Quidditch and the way he fawned over that one team. Or his lack of intellectual curiosity. Or the way that he never studied, relying on her for all the answers. Or the way he seemed to never understand her feelings, which she had to admit he was getting better at. Or the way that he didn’t seem to have an interest in any part of her muggle life. Or the way that he got so angry so easily often times over the smallest of things. Or how he had left Hermione and Harry when they really needed him. Or how he had done the same a few times to Harry. Or how he was kind of lazy except when it came to Quidditch or eating. Or how he hadn’t realized anything about her until after he had been poisoned and she had been there for him.
She sighed and let things go. She knew she could keep going but he was a good friend and if she kept going she would just get mad at him for things that were in the past. However it really did give her a good idea about the cons and that there were quite a few. So how about the pros?
Well, there was the fact that he was very protective and gave his whole heart to things. Or that he was caring in a rather awkwardly adorable sort of way. Or that he wasn’t a bad looking bloke. Or that he could be clever sometimes, like when he played chess. Or that he did seem to care for her. Or that he was very brave. Or that he could be sweet, sometimes, when he thought about it or Harry prodded him. Or that she was running out of things. She frowned. Surely it should be easier to think about good qualities about Ron. He really was a wonderful person. But this train of thought seemed to indicate that he was not the person for her.
They really did not have a lot in common beyond their friendship and their desire to help Harry defeat Voldemort. Her parents, who had the kind of relationship she most wanted, were friends with differing interests but also had a lot of shared interests. They had a lot in common, had many shared opinions and worked together wonderfully. It was what she wanted most in a relationship. Looking at Ron from that viewpoint, it wasn’t going to happen. They were too different to have that sort of relationship, to have that kind of happiness.
Hermione started crying. It felt like her heart was breaking as she realized that all her dreams of her and Ron were for naught. What about her dreams? What about her wants for a happy future? There were many nights where she had dreamt of showing up at the Burrow with her family in tow and that made her happy. She was crying again and muttering, “It’s not fair. It’s not fair.”
Her body ached again, the pain coming back, as the tension she was feeling aggravated everything. She whimpered as it kept getting stronger, trying to call for help through clenched teeth, “Fleur?”
It hurt and her mind was a maelstrom, cut loose from what she had known. What did this all mean? She tried to focus on what she remembered of the dreams she had been having for the last two years, of red hair, kisses, touches, but no clear details of anything else. It helped calm her some as the familiarity and comfort wrapped around her and ramped down the pain. If those dreams were not Ron, than who?
She looked at her bandaged arm and narrowed her eyes in concentration. Right now it did not matter who it was. Right now all that mattered was that she needed to get better and that she needed to do what was right for her. Just going along and not upsetting people had been the old her, she needed to stand up for herself more and stop letting herself down. Because if what she was feeling about Ron was true than she just couldn’t do it anymore. Not to him and not to her.