The betrayal cut her deep, deeper than being called mudblood, deeper than being insulted for her intelligence and deeper than when Harry took Ron's side on every argument they had.
Headmaster Dumbledore sat behind his desk full of ridiculous knickknacks surveying the room. Hermione was surrounded by her friends in the headmasters office along with the deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall and her potions professor Severus Snape forming a semi circle with her smack dab in the middle.
Why was she here? The brightest witch of her age under the glares of all those present.
She didn't have to wait long before the Headmaster cleared his throat "Miss Granger you have been accused of being a death eather and betraying our cause" there was no twinkle in his blue eyes, a dark and grave gloss replaced them, frightening the small witch. As she looked around she noticed her friends had taken a few steps away from her.
"You can't be serious, me a muggleborn witch a death eater" Hermione tried to laugh but lost the last ounce of her composure from the Headmasters disappointed look. Turning to Harry she tried to plead with her best friend "Harry you can't believe this utter nonsense" but his face said it all.
"The Headmaster never lies, if he says you are one of them I believe him" the hope she felt faded away, her one true friend betraying her.
Severus Snape stepped forward his hands a death grip on the old man's desk "you can not believe this crap Albus, this chit wouldn't betray you and your precious Potter even under torture of Bellatrix Lestrange" the potions master sneered at the old foul for believing such rubbish about the golden girl of Gryffindor, seeing the girls face crumble hit Severus hard as he tried to defend her.
Albus Dumbledore straightened his back, his blue eyes meeting the black pools of his potions master turned spy "the evidence is there my dear boy" ignoring the sneer "the mask was found in her trunk, a death eaters mask Severus" seeing him as a lost cause Albus turned back to the girl. "Miss Granger do you deny this mask belongs to you?".
The silver marked mask glittered in the candle light causing Hermione to shiver, she had never seen this mask before "no headmaster this isn't mine, I am no death eater but if you don't believe me then check my arms I don't have his mark" desperately trying to get the old man to see the truth.
The angry glare was the only answer to her frantic comment "of course Tom wouldn't mark you, it would be far too easy to find you out otherwise. As you deny any knowledge of the death eater mask and betraying our cause you are free to go, after all innocent till proven guilty" Hermione realised at this point there was no point in arguing her case none of them would listen.
The deputy Headmistress couldn't believe her ears. This is a set up why can't Albus see that. Glancing out the corner of her eye at her favourite cub, her heart broke. "Maybe the children should return to their dorms Albus it has been a long night".
Albus readily agreed "Harry my boy why don't you, Mr and Miss Weasley head back up to bed" he smiled at the three young Gryffindors as they took off leaving the three professors and their once been friend behind.
"Miss Granger go to bed as well, I will see you in the morning" Minerva spoke up, trying to show her support to her crushed cub, she gently squeezed her students shoulder as she brushed by.
Hermione stumbled all the way to Gryffindor tower trying her best not to cry but by the time she reached the common room the news had spread fast by gossiping portraits and the new golden trio. Her house mates sneered and spat at her as she went past "had us all fooled Granger" Neville spat spitefully pushing past her. She knew she was bitterly alone as soon as she spotted Harry and Ron who refused to acknowledge her presence.
The week that followed was the start of Hermiones nightmare. No Gryffindor went near her, the younger years were terrified of her and the older years purposely tripped her and cursing her name and that was before breakfast. The morning after the headmasters accusation Hermione entered the great hall which fell silent as she made her way to her usual seat but taken by Ginny, she sat at the end away from her once friends, her meal was revolting courtesy of her housemates tampering.
Though out the week, it got worst as other houses heard of her supposed betrayal, she was suggested to pranks, cruel remarks and hurtful comments. Ravenclaws jealous of her intelligence took happiness in belittling her existence, the Hufflepuffs destroying her belongings, the Slytherins same as usual and her own house the worst of them all physical attacks on her person, missing belongings and curses so cruel left her in agony for hours. All this and no staff intervened.
Potions class was her favourite period or it was before the constant abuse. She made her way to the back of the room, to keep unnoticed by her spiteful peers. "Todays lesson will show how well or for most of you how little you know of dangerous potions" Snape swept in, his eyes boring on the young brunette witch hiding at the back of his class, his heart went out to her. As time went on he swept though the isles watching his dunderheaded students botch the draught of the living dead potion. His eyes swept over Grangers workspace noting perfection as usual till the redheaded bastard threw a firecracker into the cauldron, before he had the chance to protect the girl, the bubbling concoction exploded covering the Gryffindor throwing her into the back wall, a solid thunk was heard were her head collided with the brick and the potion eating away at her clothing leaving her in an undignified heap, whimpering from the pain.
Sending Malfoy ahead to warn the matron of a seriously injured patient, he then made his way to the infirmary with the girl barely conscious.
Placing her on the nearest bed Madam Pomfrey made a fuss over her newest patient after sending Severus from the room. The matron was beyond angry. How dare they do this to this poor young woman. Poppy never cared for rumours especially when they were utterly ridiculous. The witches body was battered and bruised not just from the potion sabotage either. Working on the young witches injuries took Poppy back to when she had treated a certain Slytherin student who ended up in her hospital wing at least once a week from foul pranks and attacks from a bunch of uptight above the rules Gryffindors but this time it seem all houses were participating well the headmaster finally got his house unity at the expense of this bright witch. Sighing Poppy finished up mending the damage done to the girls body and leaving her to rest.
Not surprised to find Severus waiting in her office knowing she could trust the otherwised closed off man "she is healing now Severus but the damage she suffered has been going on for a while now" the potions masters face was unreadable as always. "She's not safe here alone Poppy, I need you to make sure no one comes near her while I am gone" the dark brooding man stood up, taking one last look at the one time in his life pain in his side now nothing but a shell of her former self.
Leaving the infirmary behind Severus disapparated from Hogwarts, appearing outside a modern suburban home he quickly walked up to the door and rang the bell waiting for the owners to answer his ring.
The faded blue door opened revealing a tall muggle woman wearing denim jeans and a low cut lacy top, with a bandana wrapped tightly around her head "sorry to intrude on your evening unannounced but I'm here about your daughter Hermione Granger" Severus explained being led though to what appeared to be a front room, done up in cream and silver with tasteful green furniture, where Dr Richard Granger was waiting for them.
"Our Hermiones not in trouble is she?" a playful smirk flitting over the mans face, trying his best to hide his concern for his only daughter.
"What can we do Severus? Should we take our girl out of Hogwarts? Maybe a different magical school" Jean Granger rambled on after Severus explained about the abuse Hermione was suffering after false accusations of death eater activities.
"No I advise you not to do that, your daughter will be save if I take her under my protection which will mean invoking Hogwarts oldest law of a students resorting if their life is in danger" straightening up Richard and Jean gave their consent for the professor to take over as guardian but before leaving Severus sent the two dentists away with their memories of their only daughter locked in their minds, far from both of his vindictive manipulative masters.