Disclaimer: I don't own or have rights to works and characters created by JK Rowling
A/N: This story is AU. The events of Order of the Phoenix have taken place, except, apart from Sirius falling into the veil, it was Professor McGonagall. As a result, Sirius has been cleared and is working as the Transfiguration Professor at Hogwarts. Lame, but I needed a backstory. Enjoy.
Harry, Ron and Hermione were walking casually through the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry. Harry and Ron walked side by side as Hermione faced them and walked backwards, trusting the pair to warn her when she strayed too close to a wall, staircase or sneering professor.
"I'm just saying," Hermione explained, "That the excess use of frog tongue in the anti-wart potion won't cause it to turn orange, like the exam stipulated, it will turn green. This is because…"
"Hermione," Ron interrupted, reaching out and gently pulling her away from a first year. "For the last time, we only need to sit the exam once." He said, holding up a finger. "Just once, please don't let me relive the terror of Potions more than I have to."
"I know you think the exam was wrong Hermione, but take it up with Snape, not us."
"Fine," Hermione said, turning and making off down a corridor that would lead her to the dungeons.
Harry and Ron looked at each other before grasping each of Hermione's elbows and turning her back in the other direction.
"I don't think Ron meant now, Hermione." Harry said, chuckling slightly. "I thought you wanted to visit the bookstore."
"I do, but someone really needs to tell him of his mistake." Hermione argued, struggling out of the grip of her two friends. Not short by any means – Hermione towered over many of the girls in her house – she still struggled against her two best friends.
"Later," Ron insisted, "I want to be there to watch. Now, I hear Hogsmead calling."
Without warning he bent and picked Hermione up around the waist, lifting her over his shoulder in a firemans hold.
"Ron!" Hermione yelped, "Put me down!"
"Only if you promise not to go running to Snape."
"Harry," Hermione implored, glaring at the messy haired teen that followed, "Make him put me down."
"I'm not telling anyone to do anything." He said, his eyes dancing with amusement.
"Ron, if you don't put me down now…"
"You'll what?" Ron asked, rounding a corner, "Hex me?"
Ron paused as he noticed Remus and Sirius having a discussion in the entrance hall.
"Come on Moony, I'm telling you I of all people should know."
"Yes Sirius, you of all people should know better; they are not the same person, stop trying to convince yourself."
"But I know…."
"Know what?" Harry asked curiously, stepping up to the two wizards
Their professors turned, both eyes falling immediately on Ron and Hermione.
"Hermione?" Remus asked, amused. "Are you alright there?"
"Just fine. Thought I'd enjoy the view while I was up here, never knew what Hogwarts looked like moving backwards." She explained, trying to get to her wand in her robes. "Ron, put me down!"
"We're on our way to Hogsmead," Ron explained, ignoring Hermione. "Are you coming?"
"Maybe you should put her down," Sirius said, his eyes on the struggling witch.
"Thank you." Hermione sighed, "At least someone here sees reason."
"I have a perfectly good reason, stopping you from running off to Snape."
Sirius and Remus looked at each other before turning back to the trio, "Why…" Remus started.
"Don't get her started," Harry interrupted, holding up his hands. "Who were you talking about anyway?"
"We were just talking about someone we knew at school, you wouldn't know them." Remus said, with a pointed look in Sirius direction.
"Rightyho then," Ron said, turning on his heel, "Come on Hermione, lets go."
"Like I have any choice in the matter."
The spring sun was warm on their skin as the trio wandered down the beaten track to the wizarding village. Conversation and laughter flowed between members of the DA as plans for the summer were shared.
Hermione, now with two feet firmly back on the ground was walking between Harry and Ron, listening as they discussed the latest broom due out over the summer. Hearing what sounded like a muffled bang from the village, Hermione slowed slightly, causing Harry and Ron to pause and look back at her
"What was that?" she asked, her head tilted to the side, as if she was trying to hear something in the distance.
Harry raised his hand, "Everyone be quiet."
The group paused and stilled as distant sounds of yelling, screaming and crashing reached their ears.
Harry didn't hesitate as he drew his wand, running down the hill sending stones scattering in a cloud of dust as he rounded the corner to the village, Hermione and Ron on his heels. Hogsmead was in chaos as spells darted through the air and buildings burned around them. Younger students were running for shelter as the older ones fought back with members of the public.
"Everyone cover someone else's back," yelled Harry, ducking as a bolt of red light flew past his head.
The DA split to cover the backs of their partners, and Ron and Hermione started to send stunners towards wandering Death Eaters.
"Stuptify" screamed Hermione aiming at a Death Eater whose aim was on some fleeing third years. All around her she could hear various spells they had learnt from Remus and Harry, and amidst the screams of terror she could hear the cold laughter from the Death Eaters.
Hermione turned, her long curls flying, to see Ron running towards his sister who was under an unforgivable across the street.
Hermione heard a voice from behind and before she could react several deep gashes appeared on her upper arms and torso. Biting back a scream as white pain seared through her, she turned to fight back.
"Expelliarmus" she cried, watching the beam of blue light head for her target.
But the Death Eater's shield charm was too fast, and Hermione watched as her spell bounced harmlessly away. He sneered at her and proceeded to send another curse.
The voice was barely a whisper and as Hermione tried to step out of the way the curse hit her in the side. She doubled over as the feeling of hundreds of knives stabbed her. Her fresh wounds down her back felt like they were on fire as every nerve ending burst in pain. Hermione clenched her teeth, feeling them grind as she fought the scream brimming on her lips. Suddenly the spell was lifted and she looked up to see a sleek black dog tackle her attacker.
"Avada Kedavra" she heard a voice shout.
Turning, braced to dive with her wand raised, Hermion watched as the bright green light sped towards Neville.
"NEVILLE!" shouted Dean, as he leapt to his feet from his crouched position and tackled his friend to the ground.
Hermione watched in horror as the bolt of green light hit Dean square in the back. She bit back a scream as her fellow classmate slumped to the ground.
Turning Hermione faced the attacker.
"Impedimenta!" She cried, watching as the spell bounced of the shield.
"Confringo!" She tried, watching as the Death Eater dived out of the way and the wagon behind him splinter into flying shrapnel.
Advancing, Hermione continued to try and hit the agile Death Eater as she felt her anger and frustration grow.
"Densaugeo! Confundo! Duro!" She shouted in rapid succession watching as each beam of light was dodged. "Crucio!"
This spell hit her target directly in the chest before she realised an unforgivable had passed her lips. A scream burst from the Death Eaters lips as she held the curse before backing off, unable to sustain the spell for a length of time. Binding the masked wizard, Hermione turned back to the rest of the battle.
Her body ached and she could feel the wounds on her back open and close as she moved. A line of blood tracked down her face from a gash on her hairline and Hermione brought the back of her hand up to wipe the sticky liquid off her cheek. Brown eyes scanning the scene in front of her she found Ron.
He was across the dusty road from her, bent and helping Ginny to her feet as he kept his wand trained on the enemy. His tall form was breathing heavily and Hermione noticed he had suffered as she had. Breaking off into a run as four Death Eaters approached the siblings, Hermione made her way across the street, sending spells off to cover Ron as she scanned the battle for Harry.
Half way across the street she spotted Harry as he bound a Death Eater and stood in front of four terrified third years.
"HARRY!" she yelled trying to get his attention. He looked up at the sound of her voice, and took note of the direction she was running. Sending two well aimed hexes at approaching wizards, he joined her before both their worlds fell apart with two words.
The Death Eater aimed their wand at Ginny and shouted "Avada Kedavra."
Hermione's world started to move in slow motion as she watched one of her best friends dive into the green light to save his sister. She suddenly felt numb. Time seemed to speed up again as she continued towards Ron, as Harry cast the Cruatius Curse on the wizard before them.
Sliding along the gravel to the grassy embankment, stone and grit ripping through her jeans and knees, Hermione stopped alongside Ron and Ginny. Ginny had sunk to her knees and was trying to roll her brother over.
"Ron!" Hermione cried, grasping his shoulders and helping to roll him onto his back. "No." She whispered, staring down into his familiar blue eyes, staring up blankly at the sky.
"Hermione?" Ginny asked, "Help him, can you help him? Ron? Wake up Ron!" She cried, shaking her brother. "Hermione, you have to do something." She begged.
Hermione reached across and laid a hand on Ginny's arm, "I can't Ginny, I'm sorry."
"No," Ginny whispered, leaning down over her brother, her hands on his face.
"HERMIONE!" Harry yelled from behind.
Hermione was on her feet in an instant, wand drawn as she saw Harry moving swiftly towards her.
She turned to see a flash of light in her peripheral vision. The bookworm in her didn't recognized the indigo light that hit her in the side.
A soft "Oh" of shock escaped her lips as she fell. She could hear Harry screaming her name and he was her last thought before her world turned black.