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Not At All Extended by BitterSweetFlames
Chapter 1 : Not At All
 
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A/N: This was written as an extension and alternate ending to my 500 word fic with the same title. :) Hope you enjoy it! And if you do, you should read the 500-word thing as that inspired this as well. :)

Disclaimer: Nothing's mine. :) J.K. is a genius and I'm just enjoying playing with the characters she created. :)


Not At All
by BitterSweetFlames


Eyes, closed for the longest time, opened slowly as though in great pain. But for all the effort exerted all that met hazy vision was black. Pitch black. She waited, in vain for her eyes to become accustomed to the darkness but it was all in futility. She was uncertain as to where she was but she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Still, for lack of anything to do she strained her eyes in what she knew to be very futile effort, hoping to make out a faint outline, maybe a small hint of a glimmer in the blinding darkness. But pitch black was pitch black and still nothing could be seen, not a thing to be discerned but she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Not having the power of sight, she extended her arms left, right, forward and back slowly. Very slowly, as she felt a great pain in every part of her body that had not been too numb. But all she ever touched was nothing. Nothing but emptiness. So, she figured after a while as she was certainly far from being truly lucid that she was in an empty lot alone. But she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Dried and parched lips opened. In her throat she felt something big lodged and she struggled to remember the last time anything liquid had passed through there and came up blank. She struggled, and failed, to form words as her voice came out in an ugly, unintelligible croak. She needed to ask, needed to demand for answers as to her condition. And she accepted that she couldn't but she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

She hummed, it was a slow and croaking sound that would have been laughable under normal circumstances. It comforted her, the sound and made her realize that she was, indeed, and though barely very much alive. But to the sound, she had no answer and she felt the loneliness course more through her than ever. But she wasn't afraid, not at all.

She wrapped her fingers around her forearms as she struggled to ease the numbness she felt there. She was cold and no amount of warmth coursed through her as she stood in that unknown quiet. The wind bit into her chilled arms and made her robes fly over and around her. But she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Her fingers, weak after a considerable time of disuse brushed over the torn and thin material of her apparel and more so than ever she realized the discomfort brought about by standing alone and unprotected in what she had realized was an outdoor empty lot. In that very moment she felt her most vulnerable but she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Without warning, she felt herself fall. Her legs, weak and full of pain were not able to support her weight any longer. On the ground, she felt the grass, the rocks and, again, wondered where she could possibly be. Her mind, the curiosity in them demanded to be given answers. Answers that she did not get but she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

She closed her eyes, the tears in them brought about more by the wind than emotion and she could almost see those last memories she had. The war. Weak as she was, she began to struggle to stand. She needed to help them. Needed to make sure that her friends, her family, her companions were safe. The uncertainty ant the fear of the unknown bit into her gut but she wasn't truly afraid. Not at all.

Her legs, still not able to fully support her, she felt them give out under her when suddenly strong arms wrapped themselves around her and brought her to an upright position. She gave a sigh as she leaned on the figure the strong unrelenting arms belonged to. They pinned her arms to her side as though imprisoning her. But she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Warmth enveloped her at the contact of the arms, at the heat breathing down her back and she could feel the fatigue and pain fly from her body. The breath came more and more and she felt uncontrollable chills travel up and down her spine. She did not know why they were but she connected them more to fear than anything else. But, she knew, she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Without warning, she felt lips, cold and somewhat wet pressed themselves against the base of her neck. They trailed small almost fervent kisses up, down and around her shoulder and neck. Her eyes closed in pleasure betweeen the times she felt her eyes widen and her fists clench tightly. She felt thrills running deep inside and around her. But she wasnít afraid. Not at all.

They were silent and even as she struggled to speak, she couldn't. She felt her companion want to speak and like her, couldn't. Rather surprisingly, she took comfort in that. Seconds trickled by, Minutes passed, what seemed like hours ticked by. Her lack of coherence led her to believe she was closer to dying, closer to leaving the world they were in in that short passage of time.

The person, his arms still around her must have guessed the subject of her thoughts as he tightened his grip around her. She smiled and knew what it was about. He was endeavoring, without speaking, to give her strength to make her survive through the disturbing blackness.

Though it took more effort than was necessary and more effort than she could afford to give, with very weak movements she pried one arm from under its prison. The arms holding her seemed unwilling but eventually let her have her way. Her long, thin fingers gripped the forearm around her waist and managed to convey without a single word her appreciation of the support.

She closed her eyes again and all the memories of their time together, of their arguments, their laughter and their adventures flashed by as though struggling to make her happy for one last time. Her voice managed, with enough emotion to say one word. "Draco."

A gasp, in that quiet could be heard from the receiver of the word. He struggled with his emotions and breathed in deep the scent of the unruly curls before he could answer. "Hermione."

"I love you, Draco." Hermione felt peace at that moment, felt the pain leave her body and the tiredness seem like a prelude to something greater.

A sob escaped the blonde's mouth as he heard everything in those four words she had bravely muttered. "I love you as well."

"I'm dying, Draco." She knew it was the truth the moment the words left her lips but she couldn't feel afraid. Not at all.

"Don't say that Hermione." She heard the desperation in his voice and wanted, with all her heart to ease the pain he was feeling. Wanting to tell him that she wasn't afraid. Not at all.

Her throat protested as she struggled to say much more. "Don't cry so, Draco. I'm glad that you brought me here. Wanted me safe. As much as I want to see this war through, I know I can't. But I'm glad that I got to spend my last few moments with you." And so she closed her eyes, never to be afraid again. Not at all.

Draco, feeling the up and down pattern that marked life stop from the person he held in his hands knew that he was holding death. The tears started falling, not wanting to stop. Not at all.





And so the war was won. A blonde man stood over a slab of simple marble, the stench of death and despair clinging to the air with stubborn hope permeating it just slowly and strongly enough to justify existence of all those who stood still and in triumph. And as he stood there looking down, he saw the markings. They were simple and they were very simply of her.

Hermione Jane Granger
September 19, 1979 - May 1, 1998
A friend, a warrior and a lover who never gave up hope. Not at all.

-The End-




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