The Ministry was frantic. All of the Aurors were in the same conference room they had been in yesterday with one exception: four of them were missing. Harry and Ron were particularly anxious of course because one of the four was their Hermione.
“We should’ve made her come.” Ron was saying as Atkins was pulling out the screen for the show that they all knew would be airing within seconds. “We should’ve kept on insisting. She of all people shouldn’t be there.”
“I know, I know.” Harry said irritably. Since he had learned that Hermione hadn’t been home and that her bedroom window was smashed, he had taken up the horrible habit of biting his nails. They were to the nub now, as if he had been doing it all his life.
“Quiet everyone.” Atkins ordered. “It’s on.”
“We welcome you all to another installment of Aurors vs. the Condemned.” The over-voice of the show came on. “As for our Aurors, this time around we have the pleasure of bringing to you Charles McCoy, James Avery, Angela Morrison, and the infamous Hermione Granger. And for our lovely convicts, we present to you Edmond Vandy, Olivia Evans, Harland Conrad, and Draco Malfoy.”
“Malfoy?!” Harry and Ron said in astonishment, and everyone in the room turned their heads toward them, they too, knowing the huge problem that having Draco there posed for Hermione.
“And then there’s Conrad.” Ron whispered to Harry. “We all know Hermione’s the breaking point for that crazy bastard. That’s two against one for her!”
“And a greater chance that she’ll be killed.”
Hermione could tell that the soil was rich. That told her that she was in a rainforest of some kind. She sniffed the air and was sure that she smelled salt. That told her that there was an ocean nearby, and she suddenly began checking off all coastal rainforests that she knew of. Hermione, who was still lying flat on her back, cautiously sat up. She was in the middle of a forest and the sun was burning like mad. Already she had broken out in a sweat and she hadn’t so much as lifted her wand an inch.
The wand! Hermione instantly began patting herself for it, growing more and more anxious by the minute as she couldn’t find it. It was only after she had gotten on her hands and knees and began digging in the dirt did she find that it had rolled away from her some few feet when she had landed. Hermione gave a huge sigh of relief and picked it up, keeping it tightly in her hand as she surveyed her surroundings.
Her heart began to rush as her eyes caught every shadow and every rustle of the grass and trees. There were four Azkaban prisoners running around out there. They could be far from her. They could be near her. They could be anywhere really, and she knew that none of them would hesitate to say the Killing Curse.
“Except Conrad,” Hermione mumbled to herself as she cautiously began trudging through the forest looking this way and that. Conrad would do many things to her, but killing her wouldn’t be one of them. Not until he was done with her. Sighing out of frustration, she stopped walking and leaned up against a tree. She slid down it and hugged her knees. She wanted to scream and the only thing preventing her from doing so was the fact that one of those four condemned might find her if she did.
But it’s only a matter of time… Hermione thought morbidly. She could hope and pray that as she wandered around the forest, or even sat right where she was, that they wouldn’t find her. But that was highly unlikely. She would be found. And when the time came it would be her life or theirs. As she insanely laughed at that, Hermione was quite sure that she had wanted to live to see the next fifty years, and knew that as time went on in this horrible place, she’d be doing things she had rather not do.
“Unless of course I sway them to my side,” She muttered as an afterthought, and then felt her eyes grow wide. It wasn’t such a farfetched idea. The other Aurors of course were already on her side, but if she could get the prisoners to be also they could all storm the Watch Tower, take out Thorn’s henchmen, and then demand from him to release them.
It was a good idea, and Hermione was going to roll with it. But first, she had to find the other Aurors. And so, she boldly walked through the forest, keeping her eyes and ears open for any suspicious activity and her wand held so tight that her hand was turning pale. After several minutes of wandering around, the sun grower hotter, and her shirt darkening to a lower shade of green due to her sweating, Hermione was beginning to think that she wouldn’t find anyone until she heard a scream. She immediately turned to its direction and took off at a sprint until she found the cause.
There she was, having just dodged behind a tree that just got splintered considerably by Olivia Evans’ curse. Angela didn’t seem to have her wand on her, and Hermione could only surmise that she couldn’t find it after getting up from she had landed.
“Leave her alone!” Hermione shouted as she stood equidistant from Angela and Evans. Evans smiled cruelly and then began to laugh.
“Must be my lucky day… Two Aurors right in my midst. Avada Kedvra!”
Hermione ducked from the spell, and shouted a Stunning Spell, Evans ducking as well and then laughing once again. “Trying to stun while I’m trying to kill? You insult me. And now for a little something new,”
Evans pointed her wand at the ground and raised it high above her head. Hermione watched in horror and a deep appreciation of magic as she saw a wall of dirt, several feet wide and feet high rise above her head. Hermione wasted no time in running, shouting at Angela to do the same who had not needed telling. The two of ran for dear life as the wall came hurtling towards them like a tidal wave. Trees that they ran around were no match for it, being plowed down as though they were nothing. All they had to do was run, keep running, that was fine, but what they hadn’t expected were the trees that they were running towards would suddenly create a barrier, blocking their path.
Hermione and Angela stopped; their backs against the trees and nowhere to go. “Close your eyes!” Hermione instructed, and she raised her wand to the hurtling wall. The barrier disintegrated within seconds, sending a rain of mud down upon them. The two of them had raised their arms up to cover themselves, and before they could rest them back down at their sides, a jet of magic came between them, knocking them off their feet and sending them to the left and to the right.
Hermione landed hard on her right shoulder. When caught herself, she found her entire right arm was bruised and bloodied. “Angela!” She called, and rose to her feet after quickly retrieving her wand from the base of a nearby tree. She found Angela being suspended in midair, unconscious and bleeding from her forehead. Evans turned to the sound of Hermione and had no time to defend herself against the spell that came her way. Angela dropped to the ground, and Evans was thrown onto her back, her wand disappearing into the dirt. Instead of wasting time to find it, she quickly rose to her feet and charged at Hermione, the two women falling backwards onto a mass of broken tree limbs.
Hermione winced and groaned aloud at the feel of something rough and sharp stabbing her in the back, yet brought her focus to Evans’ hands on her throat and her great effort in trying to choke her. The woman’s knee was on her stomach, and Hermione was trying desperately to kick her off of her, her hands working endlessly to gouge her eyes out. Hermione coughed, and began groping around her for something, anything to hit her with, and when she found it, she slammed it as hard as she could against Evans’ head, and felt her hands release on Hermione’s throat and watched her yell and fall over to the right and onto her side.
Hermione coughed more, rolled over onto her side and saw that what she had in her hand was a rather large rock. She scrambled to her knees, and then to her feet. Once stable she kicked her. She kicked Evans’ in the side twice and would’ve done more if she hadn’t spotted a wand not too far off. She ran for it, and then headed back over to Evans’ who was beginning to get to her knees. Hermione gave her another hard kick in the stomach, and the woman fell down, her face to the ground and coughing onto the dirt. Hermione had the wand pointed at her back. Her hand was shaking tremendously and her mind was racing.
She looked up to the sound of her name to see Angela, rising to her feet. Hermione looked back to Evans’ on the ground, her eyes halfway open, and her breathing low and scarce. I’m not a killer… I’m not a killer… Her thoughts kept telling her, and Hermione’s whole body began shaking like her hand.
“Is she dead?”
“…No, no she’s not. She’s just-”
Hermione’s words were cut off from her when Evans’ hands shot out from underneath her and latched onto her legs. Hermione went down instantly, and Evans’ hands resumed their position around her throat. Hermione had had enough, and with the wand that she still had clutched tightly in her hand, she brought it to the woman’s throat and said, “Expelliarmus!”
The force of the spell, and being at such a close range, sent Evans flying backwards and into a nearby tree. Hermione let the wand fall from her fingers and was breathing harder than ever. She closed her eyes for a moment, and could hear Angela move over to where Evans had landed.
“Her neck’s broken.” She said, and Hermione knew it to be true. There’d be no way for it to still be intact, and Hermione sighed, then winced, when she felt a burning sensation on her left wrist. The screen on the wristband that was there was now glowing, and a picture of Evans filled it, a large red X now over her face.
“And then there were seven,” Hermione said to herself before rising to her feet. She took a hard swallow and watched as Angela looked Evans over. Hermione picked back up the wand and then looked down at herself, fully taking in how much of a mess she looked: a bruised right arm, blood all over it, dirt all over her, and her whole body drenched in sweat.
“Come on,” Hermione found the wand that Evans hand dropped and gave it to Angela. “We have to find the other Aurors.”
Everyone in the conference room back at the Ministry was speechless. All eyes were on Harry and Ron now who were blindly staring at the screen as it tracked Hermione and Angela walking away from Evans’ body and deeper into the forest.
Atkins, who had unconsciously risen to his feet, cleared his throat. “Potter… Weasley…”
“If Granger gets out of this, remind me to give her a raise.”
All Harry and Ron could do was nod, and when they had finally gotten their words, Harry spoke up, a thought having just run through his head. “Mr. Atkins, did you see what Hermione did when she first got there? With the ground..?”
“The ground..? What are you talking about?”
“She felt it. She was feeling the soil and then she sniffed the air.”
“So what..? What does that have to do with anything?”
“…He thinks that Hermione was trying to figure out where she was by doing it.” Ron answered, having just caught on to what Harry was saying. It took Atkins a minute, but then he ordered two of the Aurors in the room to run a playback of when all of the Aurors landed and to focus on the ground.
“The infamous Hermione Granger,” Atkins huffed, recalling what the voice-over had called her. He huffed again and then crossed his arms as he let a smile come to his lips. “They should’ve called her smart as hell.”
author's note:another chap down as well as a competitor! what did you guys think? have a new appreciation for hermione? i know i sure did after this lol.
hope you liked it and dont forget to leave a review!!
i'll respond as always!
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