An Unexpected End
An almighty tug pulled at her navel and Hermione felt herself drawn away. A cold voice penetrated her thoughts, but it was gone before she could understand what had happened. With an unnerving crack, she found herself in the receiving lobby of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
She appeared in a crouch, and tried to lift Snape without causing any further harm. Immediately two witches in white robes and hats aided her in levitating Snape's now unconscious form onto a stretcher. A small sob escaped Hermione as they worked, their mouths set in twin grim lines.
"He's lost a lot of blood," she said stupidly, " and, and I gave him a bezoar for the poison."
The nurses only nodded without looking at her as they levitated the dying man away down the stark white corridor.
A slight cough behind her caught Hermione's attention and forced her to tear her eyes away from the tragic scene before her. She turned to face a thin and lanky wizard setting at what Hermione assumed was the reception desk.
"What's wrong with this one," he asked. A bored drawl to his voice indicated that he must be used to injured people suddenly turning up in the lobby.
Hermione approached him timidly, feeling extremely ill-at-ease. Everything seemed so surreal. Minutes ago she had seen You-Know-Who, and now, here she was, safe at St. Mungo's.
The young wizard's voice drew her back to the present.
"He was attacked by a giant snake."
The man scratched this onto a blank piece of parchment with an old quill.
"I… I managed to get the wounds closed. I don't know about any internal damage. He's lost a lot of blood. I gave him a bezoar for the poison, but I'm sure he'll need anti-venom of some sort. He still seems to have some trouble breathing and swallowing on his own and I think he has blood poisoning."
This all came out in a hurried rush.
The receptionist hummed noncommittally and continued to scrawl notes. In a bored tone he asked for the patient's name.
"Professor Severus Snape." Hermione answered automatically and began to fidget with her robes. She didn't want to answer any personal questions about Snape and she was more than ready to be back by Ron and Harry's sides.
The man raised his head and blinked at this before returning to his task.
"Very well," he spoke at last. "You needn't worry, Miss, er…"
"Granger," Hermione supplied.
"Granger then. We'll do our best with him here. You may wait here in the lobby if you wish." The man gestured at a row of seats near the wall and went back to scribbling.
Hermione walked away from the desk and allowed herself the brief reprieve of a few deep breaths before apparating back to the Shrieking Shack.
Suddenly she found Ron and Harry staring incredulously at her. The world spun slightly as Hermione tried to focus on her friends.
"We've been given an hour," Harry informed her.
"You-Know-Who has called off his Death Eaters to let us, er… recompose ourselves."
Hermione knew what that meant. Ron was too afraid to say anything about death. She hadn't expected Voldermort to allow them to care for their wounded and dead. It was a bit of a shock. Certainly it came with some sort of a catch.
"And then," Hermione dared to question.
Harry shifted his weight and stared at the bloodstained floorboards. "Then I'm supposed to go find him in the Forbidden Forrest or he'll unleash his full force and join the fray."
Ron gulped at that. Hermione couldn't blame him. The idea of confronting Voldermort head on made her feel sick as well.
"So, we have one hour then," she whispered.
Harry nodded. "He only just announced it."
"One hour to destroy the horcruxes. We'll have to hurry."
Ron's eyes bulged a bit.
"We'd best get a move on, then," Hermione stated. "And Harry, you'll need to see those memories. Maybe they'll hold some clues."
Author's Note: Here you have it! Thanks to all who reviewed. Reviews make my day! I hope you'll continue to let me know what you think. College is starting up again all too soon. I'm hoping that doesn't wreak havoc with my writing time. I'll do what I can! Thank you again!