Chapter One: The Beginning
Thick forest surrounded her on either side, her tumbling, run-away hair cascading to her shoulders amidst her panic. With each pointed whip of her head, another sound of a twig broke beyond the trees, startling her and yet bringing a new sense of calm. Perhaps, if she wasn’t alone then there was someone there for
her, rather than against her. And yet, the slim hope that she wasn’t going to die in the enclosed forest path was fleeting as the seconds ticked away like the sound of snapping twigs. The sound of stomping hooves in the background brought her attention away from herself, away from whatever predator lurked amongst the shadows of the trees, hidden and embraced by the brush that consumed all depth of light. With each breath grew the anxious sound of a whimper, frightened beyond all recognition of her brain being put to good use, and finally Hermione caught a glimpse of something beyond the tree.
Unicorns. “Why… why are the unicorns fleeing?” The question came to her briefly, before she swallowed hard at the lump in her throat. Unicorns were the symbol of everything light, everything good and pure was leaving with the unicorns, and there was nothing to signify that anything good was beyond the break of the circle she’d encompassed herself in. “Why are they leaving me here!” She called louder this time, each time she repeated it, it became accompanied by a new level of panic. The briefest collection of moistures clouded in the corner of her eyes, as she lifted a dirty hand to wipe it away. Where were Harry and Ron when she needed them? Why weren’t they here
Dark robed figures descended from the brink of darkness, engulfing the light as if it was being absorbed. And for a collection of moments, the whole forest seemed to lose some of its light. She couldn’t sob, she couldn’t breathe, rooted in spot by the very fear that had threatened to consume her from the inside out, she wondered if this was what everyone else had felt when they knew that death had come to descend upon them. Turning her head, feeling every moment slowed to the pace where nothing seemed reality, Hermione tried to figure out if this was an execution. Everything in their stance predicted that there was nothing to keep them from killing her, they weren’t afraid of murder, they weren’t afraid of other people’s sacrifices. As everything slowed, she felt her teeth crush into her lip, whimpering for forgiveness, her parents… they’d never know that she was thinking about them in her last moment.
Her last thoughts would be that filled with light, filled with love and most importantly, filled with the inspiration to change history. On her knees, with her hands lying limply at her sides, her cheeks suddenly streaked with tears, she looked up at the single ray of light that shined through the leaves of the forest and down onto her. She wasn’t going to belittle herself by begging. She wasn’t going to pray that they would spare her; she was going to hope that in her fallen grace someone else would take kindly upon her friends, on her family, and that she could be the blinding light giving other’s hope. They wanted to break her, the mocking laughs that she refused to hear above the flapping of a bird nearby, the repeated hooves clapping as they fled from the evil that tainted the ground, the air with their very breathing.
“Don’t spare me, I will not beg. My death will be dignified, and you can’t rob that of me.” She found the words falling from her lips, the most certain of any statement she’d ever made. The faces of her peers flew through her mind, the adoration that she felt towards everyone that she had ever known. A figure stepped forward silently, the echo of his footsteps surrounding everything in the forest, absorbed into the bark of all of the trees, into the dying veins of all the leaves scattered across the ground. Wand raised, finding it’s crook underneath her chin, the tangible pulse of magic that came from it was enough to promise a quick ending. Chocolate brown eyes looking up to the mask of that who was meant to kill her, she quickly quelled the vulnerability in them. She straightened her eyebrows, no longer quirking with emotion, no satisfaction would be voluntarily given. She would continue to fight for what was right, even if that meant it was at the price of her life.
“Is it worth it?” A soft voice asked of her, bringing her eyes away from the sound, she knew it was nothing more than a calling from her conscience. Was she ready to give up her life, when there was so much fight left? Did that make her a coward, or weak – did it make her just as horrible as those who held the wand? “Is the price of humanity worth what is indebted to those around you? Can you face your own death and be truly satisfied that you’re not going to be needed? Is it weak, is it shallow, to think that you would be a better asset alive than you would be dead?” The voice continued, it’s calm chorus of words, striking harder than the words coming from the man behind the mask. Tears streamed faster, hotter, than before. Did she want to give it up in the name of another man-made war for a tainted humanity that would never be worth the conquests that it took to get there in the name of victory?
“Are you ready for death?” The man’s voice finally chipped away, beating out the voice of her inner mind. The answer stuck heavily on her tongue, weighing with its consequences.
. The answer, was yes.
A/N: So, I couldn't help myself and started a new fic, definitely different from the other one that I am working on. Please let me know what you think of it so far, and I'm willing to take any criticism that you can think of. Hope you enjoy, and please review!