Hermione sat on the edge of her bed scribbling down notes like there was no tomorrow. If anyone would have walked in, at that moment, they would have suspected that the clever girl was getting an undeniably insane amount of extra school work down on the paper before her, weeks in advance. This, unexpectedly, was not the case. She was now on her fifth page of an outline for revenge.
Yes, Hermione wanted that sweet payback like nothing else in the world. She yearned for it so strongly that she had utterly destroyed what everyone had come to think was a know-it-all muggleborn. That part of her lived no more, only the dark was inside her now. She lived and breathed, oh so very much alive, yet dead deep down in the core of her soul.
Checking her wrist watch, she angrily snapped her notebook shut, shoving it under her mattress before exiting her room. She had Potions first with the Slytherins, yet she was starting to see their side of things more clearly. The taunts and jeers became nothing, for if you are dead inside you cannot feel. No, those snakes were more appealing then ever to her these days. The reason she hated the class they shared was because of the simple fact that Harry and Ron just had to be there. It was one of only three classes that she spent within their presence. Excruciating to say the least. If she could have been accepted to the serpent's side of the room she would have gone and done so long ago.
Shifting from her angry thoughts to reality, Hermione found herself at the entrance to the dank, dungeon classroom. Passing the threshold, she took her seat at the back, as she had done since the incident with Harry and Ginny a week earlier. How she despised even looking at Harry, let alone Ron.
There she sat, alone, in the quiet, just as she liked it. Or rather that was how it was before her ears picked up the sound of a clearing throat. She looked up, following the gray slacks to the untucked white polo, and along the green and silver tie. Sapphire blue eyes, tanned features, and jet black hair stood in front of her in the form of one Blaise Zabini.
“Move the bag, Granger.” he demanded, gesturing down to Hermione's book bag on the seat next to her.
She glared at him. “Why don't you go sit where you belong.” The retort fell from her acid lips as she nodded her head towards Malfoy and the others.
“Believe me Mudblood, if I had any other choice as to where I could sit, it would be as far away from your filthiness as possible.” She scowled at his words. “I guess everyone else here thinks the same as well, considering that the only empty desk is beside you. So, may I?” He finished with a smirk, throwing her things to the ground and occupying the then vacant seat.
She wasn't going to take his bullshit. Sure Hermione had slowly grown to respect the Slytherins for their confidence, cunning behavior, and intelligent comebacks, but that didn't mean she was going to allow them to walk all over her. “If you have such a problem with my dirty blood, I suggest you don't be late to class next time. It would save us both the trouble.” With that Snape began, cutting off any stabbing comments that Blaise was about to unleash.
The class waded its way through time slowly. Snape had decided to let loose and load the homework on in the first five minutes of the period. A nine page essay on dragon tears and their uses, as well as notes on wandless magic to go along with instructions to brew a Temporary Wandless Draft. Apparently he thought that students didn't deserve to have lives.
Hermione would have put her mind to work quickly considering brewing perfect potions was nothing to be considered a challenge, yet her head was somewhere else. She was trapped in frustrated anger as she watched Harry and Ron carry on as if she had never existed withing their circle of friends.
Letting out a growl of malice, Hermione slammed down her quill on the notes she had started, and ran a hand through her wild, loose hair. She was so tired of doing what was expected of her. Her reputation for perfection had vanished. She hated who she was. Obviously she wasn't good enough for Harry, and her spirit to rebel seemed too much for Ron. If only she could change the way things were.
Blaise released his eyes from preparing his potion ingredients to glance at the troubled witch. He had never seen her so tense and callous. With a smirk, he leaned back in his chair, abandoning what little work he had done. “So Mudblood, trouble in paradise?”
Letting her hand loosen from her mane, Hermione dropped it to the desk in a tight fist. “Screw off Blaise!” It was short and sweet. Anything more would have egged him on unmercifully. She needed an outlet. If she didn't find one soon, there could be hell to pay...
“Miss Granger!” Came the cold and wrenching voice of Professor Snape. “Might I remind you that you are in my classroom. I will not tolerate your disruptive behavior.”
Hermione wasn't listening. The nail prints she was embedding in her own palm were far more fascinating then what he had to say. How she hated school these days.
“Miss Granger, are you def?” Snape sneered, walking up to her desk. “Did you suffer brain damage over the weekend, or have you finally had enough?”
Hermione glowered, looking to her desk surface.
Continuing his rant, Snape turned to direct his comments to the whole of the class. “Well class, it turns out that you will have to work extra hard for the remainer of this year, I'm afraid, for Miss Granger, here, seems to have cracked. Your easy way out is gone.”
Giggles erupted from the Slytherins, while Gryffindors groaned.
“I can't say that this is entirely unexpected, mind you. Miss Granger has always been an outcast, and now the pressure has finally scorched her mind. The best are always the first to break.” With an evil grin, the greasy haired professor retreated to his desk, withdrawing a thick role of parchment and an even thicker text.
Directing his attention fully back to Hermione, he dropped the materials onto her work surface with a heavy thud. “Fourteen pages on methods of vampire seduction, for your attitude in my class.” The students gasped. That was a hefty assignment, let alone to be added on top of the regular load of that day. “I don't want to see one mistake, Miss Granger. If you are breaking, losing your mind, we shall have to push you harder so that we can patch those cracks in your head with knowledge.” Snape drawled. It dipped of sadistic sarcasm.
This was almost too much to bare. Humiliation in front of all of her peers, extra homework, berating comments from a teacher, and -
“Oh, before I forget,” He paused. “fifty pounds from Gryffindor for displaying weak will power, Granger. Although, what can I expect from a girl whom has her head in a book every moment avoiding reality, really?” The potions master gave a smirk of content. “Don't count on being the best at everything. I highly doubt you are in a state to ever hope to preform wandless magic even with a potion.”
That was it. The last straw had just been drawn. This was breaking point.
Without so much as a pause, Hermione grabbed the thick role of parchment she had just received, and fired it across the room as hard and as fast as her arm could power. The airborne supply narrowly missed the back of Snape's matted head. Instead it collided with the dungeon wall, unraveled, and fell with a splash into Neville's first acceptable potion, absolutely ruining it.
Spinning around, Snape was just in time to connect his eyes with the fire that burned inside of Hermione's. With a furious wave of her hand, the rage-driven witch sent the large textbook into an oblivion of dangerous flames.
“Correct me where I'm wrong Professor.” Hermione spat in spite. “If I can't ever hope to do wandless magic even with a potion for assistance, how is it that I have had this rare technique mastered since fifth year?”
The look on Snape's face was one of utter shock and horror. Never had a student been able to preform such a stunt since Rowena Ravenclaw, herself!
Blaise, on the other hand, had never been more pleasantly surprised in his life. What had gotten into Granger? What ever it was, he liked it.
Hauling her bag from the floor, Hermione left without waiting for a response, or a second look at all she had left behind. And she meant 'all', Harry, Ron and the like. She was done ...Just done.
Little did she know that someone had slipped out of that very classroom only moments after.
Hermione's feet drove on up the staircases, down the corridors, and around corners. She just needed to get away.
After dumping her baggage in her Head dormitory, she slipped out of her thick school robes and venture on with the fresh air, outside, as her destination.
The wind was crisp and awakening. Just what she had hoped. Hermione trace her way to a now familiar destination, down by the Black Lake. It was a secluded spot, one of which was hard to come by. She, herself, had only found it by running blindly through the trees to escape the pain inside of her, after the events of the days before.
Now standing, with her arms folded across her chest, facing the water, Hermione closed her eyes. She thought of the most painful things in life; love being at the very top of a long list of destructive powers. Anger was much easier to face, there were no personal memories, reactions, feelings ...just you and the burning inside.
Snape just had to push her over the edge. She had enough trouble as it was. Thinking on that now, she grimaced.
How she hated Harry, yet every time he was near she couldn't help but glimpse at him. In no way was it a fascination connected with infatuation. No. She kept her eye on him to one day be able to see glimmers of regret, shame, and sadness for what he had done to her. She wanted to crush his heart in two, as he had done to her very own. If she had to suffer in Hell, so would he.
Ginny. How does it feel to be betrayed by family? For that was what she once was to Hermione. A girl who cared about everyone just as much as herself. One to be a crying shoulder when was needed. If Ginny was to stay mad at Hermione, spreading lies and stealing lives, Hermione was going to make sure to return the favor by ripping the redhead apart, from the inside out.
And Ron. Sweet, simple Ron. He lived no more. To tell him something that was beyond his comprehension or will to understand would send him into pure vengeful madness. Seducing Lavender in front of Hermione at the ball was a prime example. He hadn't gotten what he wanted from Hermione, and without a word, he turned around to Brown, hoping that it would destroy the passionate witch, making her jealously suffer at losing him and his love to a stupid gossip queen.
She was alone now. Hate was all that had been her comfort, all that she felt. This same hate was all that was felt for her in return, with no reasons to justify feelings. She hated it ...She hated herself.
With a sharp intake of breath, raising her hands to her hair ...she screamed. It was deathly, as if all the suffering, pain, hatred, and sorrow was escaping her body in that very motion.
Feet away was a boy after a girl that he would most likely never understand.
Blaise had followed Hermione out of the castle and onto the tree ladened landscape of the grounds. He was burning with forceful curiosity at what could cause her to go over the edge in class. And if she was of the ability to preform advanced magic at a rare, young age, what more was hiding inside of her?
Just then, a noise that could split the Earth erupted. A scream. This was not a scream of fright. It was odd, unreadable, almost as if someone was screaming for death, to be rid of pain.
In one rapid motion, Blaise tore off into the trees to find the confused girl he knew was emitting such a horrific sound.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Author's Note: Here we are! Chapter 2. I'm sorry it took so long I was drowning in math homework. I hope you enjoy this, and don't worry, the whole of the story will not be this dark and angsty. It'll get fun. This story is dedicated to the lovely SeverusSnapesWife, you deserve it.