Hermione was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, her clothes folded neatly on top of the sink. It was early, no one would notice how long she was in here. The scale in the corner was mocking her. Screaming words at her, words she couldn't think right now. Words that would destroy her. She stood in front of the mirror on the back of the door and tilted her head to the side at her reflection.
She could count her ribs, easily. Her hipbones stuck out at odd angles. The cuts on her thighs looked awful, and there were bruises from where she would hit herself until it… bruised. There were burns from where she burned herself and cuts on her ribs and stomach. Hermione used to be so beautiful. Tears burned at her eyes. What happened? The sparkle in her eyes was gone, her hands were cut up from sticking them down her throat, and her teeth were a mess, her hair wasn't as thick as it used to be, she hasn't had her period for a while.. But that was just what she could see, she knew she was much more fucked up than that, but she was too scared to go to a doctor to see what else was wrong with her, or even to get a proper diagnosis. She was tired of this, all of this. But she couldn't stop. This was when she told herself she would stop, a long time ago—when she realized she weighed a little too much, she said she'd stop when she was skinny.
Is this skinny enough?
Hermione didn't know anymore, and that was what killed her. She starved herself, and if that got to be too much, she would binge, but that would cause her to purge—but then if she couldn't take either of those, she'd chew and spit. And then what about all the pills she popped? The pain pills, the laxatives, the diet pills. The cutting, the bruising, the burning, the smoking… She got up every morning at 5am to run a couple miles. Hermione was killing herself and she knew it, but she couldn't stop and she didn't know if she wanted to. But if she didn't, that would kill her little family. Ginny, Luna, Harry, Ron, Draco.. Draco. Maybe she wouldn't have gotten this bad if they didn't leave. He knew how bad she was, she begged him to stay, but he had to go with them… But Hermione knew it would kill Ginny the most.
She started the shower and found the blade that she brought with her from her room. The shower was her favorite place to cut. She stepped in and her fresh cuts from last night stung. She bit her lip at the pain.
"But you deserve the pain, Hermione. You deserve it." She whispered. She sat on the floor of the shower and started carving away at her skin. The water ran red and she smiled—this made Hermione feel alive, this is the only thing that took away the pain.
She stopped and stood up, blood still running down her leg, and began to wash her hair. It was calming, feeling the pain, seeing the blood drip down and run down the drain… Showers were her favorite.
It was three in the morning and Hermione was sitting outside, in the tree, chain smoking and looking at the stars. She couldn't sleep again, which was weird, because usually, when she was fasting, all she wanted to do was sleep. Maybe she missed Draco too much. Maybe she was too depressed. Maybe it was both.
"Hermione?" Ginny yelled.
"I'm up here, honey." She looked down, and saw that Ginny was sitting at the base of the tree, looking up. She had been looking a little better some days, then worse the next. Hermione had just been going downhill. She felt like a hypocrite telling her to stop everything she was doing, because she was worse, but she didn't want to see Ginny this sick. Hermione was just better at hiding it.
"Okay, I'm coming up." And Ginny began to climb up the tree to where Hermione was sitting. Hermione didn't notice she had a bag with her. When Ginny got settled on a branch, she hung the bang from another branch and looked at Hermione.
"I brought firewhiskey, water.. and a carton of cigarettes." She offered a weak smile. Hermione reached for the firewhiskey bottle and opened it.
"What's up, baby girl?" she asked, taking a swing of alcohol.
"I saw some blood in the shower this morning." Ginny looked at her hands. "And I saw your food journal a couple weeks ago… Sissy, how bad are you?" Her eyes were shining with tears when she looked up at Hermione again.
"I'm okay, lovey." Hermione took Ginny's hand in hers, and stared at her evenly. "I'm okay. I'm fine. Don't worry about me, sweetheart. Worry about you, okay? You work on getting better. I promise I'm fine."
"No, don't you fucking lie to me, Hermione." She tore her hand away. "You're not fucking fine, and you know it." She took a deep breath. "How much do you weigh?"
"And you say you're fine? That's not fine, Hermione!" Ginny yelled.
"You're not doing so good yourself, Ginny." Hermione sighed.
"No, but I don't weigh that little."
"But you want to, don't you?" She challenged. Ginny opened her mouth, but didn't say anything. "I know how it is, baby girl. I know. It's always 'I'll stop when I'm skinny' but don't you think this is skinny?" Hermione lifted up her shirt. "This isn't skinny enough for me. You can fucking count my ribs, and it's still not skinny enough." She was quiet for a moment. "The scale could read 0 and I still wouldn't be happy."
"I know I'm killing myself, Ginny, I know I am." She opened up her pack and lit a cigarette. "But I can't stop. I can't stop any of this. I'm out of control and it's killing me. I'm drowning, baby girl, and I think it's too late for me to come up for air." She took a swig of firewhiskey and looked at Ginny with tear filled eyes. "I'm so sorry."
"It's not your fault, sissy." Ginny whispered. "It's not your fault."
"The worst part is, I don't know if I want to get better." Hermione whispered. "I don't think I do. I know it's killing me, and I still don't know if I want to get better or not." She laughed bitterly. "What happened to the Hermione in school, the one that was logical and stuff? What happened to her? I need her now."
"I know, baby doll. I know."
Hermione drank half of the bottle in one swing, and Ginny watched her sadly.