“The First Time”
Ashtur an’Vangan

Authors Note:  This story fits into the continuity of my story “Hermione’s Visit”, but takes place a little over a week afterward (Summer after OoTP).  There are actually at least 2 stories “in between” which I’ll write if my muse gets me to (the Fried Okra line is a reference to that).  My muse is fickle and unpredictable.  It will leave for  literally years at a time, but then will show up demanding to be humored.  This is one of those times.  I woke up and somehow this story hit me.  It’s not a nice story at all. It’s harsh, it’s unpleasant.  You should see what I do to some of the characters in my original stuff.

Harry Potter and all the associated characters are of course is the property of JK Rowling

   “Okay mum, a loaf of bread, some eggs and milk.  I’ll be back in a little bit”.  With those words, Hermione Granger stepped out of the front door of her house and started the short walk to the market.  She didn’t mind running errands for her parents.  It gave her something to do during this long, miserable summer.  Summer holiday was barely two weeks old, but it already seemed like it had been going for months.  It wasn’t that she didn’t want to spend time with her parents.  She had really missed them over the last year, first going to Grimmauld Place early last summer, then not going along on their Christmas skiing trip.  It was everything else that was making the summer seem like it was taking forever.  The last year had been so terrible, starting with Cedric’s death.  She shuddered inwardly thinking of all of it, Cedric, and Umbridge, and Sirius… and Harry.  In some ways, Harry most of all.  She still remembered the utterly lost look on Harry’s face last week when she had dropped in on him at the Dursleys house.

  As Hermione picked up the items she needed in the market, she tried not to think about all of it, she didn’t want people to see it in her face, she didn’t want her fear to get all over town.  They wouldn’t understand, not today, not ever.  They no longer lived in a world of fear, not like she knew.  A few years before, they may have understood.  It wasn’t that terribly far from where they lived to Russia.  An hour or so by jet bomber, less by missile.  In those days, everyone understood that you might only be an hour away from utter destruction, but then the Wall came down.  The risk was still there, but it seemed so much more distant than it was in those years.  The Wizarding World wasn’t so lucky.  The Muggle Cold War was over, the War against the Dark Lord was just beginning.

  Hermione lifted the groceries into her arm, and started back towards home, still lost in her thoughts.  The war wasn’t going well either by all accounts.  This morning’s Daily Prophet made that clear enough.  It would have been nice if they had actually managed to keep the Death Eaters in custody longer than a month, but they hadn’t.  Mass breakout, again.  Malfoy, Lestrange, Nott, MacNair, Dolohov.  Thinking of that last name, Hermione put her hand to her ribs, remembering what Dolohov had done to her at the end of the last school year, landing her in the hospital wing with a flailed chest.  With a small sigh, Hermione shifted her package to her other arm, and reached out to open the front door of her house.

  Her food hit the ground with an unheard thump, because as soon as the door opened, Hermione saw her mothers leg and foot lying on the ground, without moving.  Without thinking, Hermione drew her wand out of the special pocket she had sewn into her jeans, and started into the house to see what was wrong.

  “Crucio!”  The wand flew out of Hermione’s hand, and she fell to the floor convulsing, feeling pain that she could have never imagined.  She had heard of the spell, but even after hearing from Harry, and seeing the Longbottoms, she had never imagined this kind of pain.  All thought was driven from her mind, as the only thing was relentless, excruciating pain.

  “Well, well, it looks like the mudblood came home finally”.  Without opening her eyes, Hermione knew she recognized the voice, as she tried to recover from the effects of the curse.  It was a woman’s voice, one she had heard just a couple of weeks before.

  “Bellatrix Lestrange” Hermione croaked weakly, barely able to force the words out of her mouth.

  “Well, they did say that you were the smart one mudblood. Oh, look Antonin she’s trying to get up, why don’t you do something about that?”   Her voice was a silky whisper, carrying tons of malice and hatred, and more than a touch of the madness that is Azkaban.

  “Of course”, and with those words, her other attacker came into view, Dolohov, the one who had put her in the hospital wing.  “Flaeli” he said, and swung the same jet of light at her that he had in the Ministry of Magic.  This time though, the magic flail was not aimed at her chest, but at her left hip, and she heard it shatter with a sick crunch, and all new pain shot up and down her leg, and Hermoine fell to the ground, tears of pain obscuring her vision.

  “Ah, now our little mudblood will be staying with us for awhile, won’t she?” Bellatrix resumed, in that same sick voice.  “You really didn’t think you could defy the Dark Lord, did you?  All of you will fall.  You just get the joy of being the first, well the third if you count the muggles that spawned you over there”.

  Hermoine spat at Bellatrix, and said something that she would have gotten after Ron for saying, but the only response was a gleam in Bellatrix’s eyes.  “Now, now, we can’t have that, children should be well behaved, right Antonin?”

 “Yes they should” he said, and again swung the magic flail, and this time connected on her left hand, that Hermione had been trying to prop herself up with.  The hand was redulced to a pulp, the tiny bones being no match for the force of the spell.  Hermione fell to the floor again, her head bouncing off the carpet with a slight thud.

  “Now, my darling little mudblood, why don’t you tell us what Dumbledore is planning?  How does he plan to defy the Dark Lord?”

  “Never, I’d rather die first!” Hermione responded,  fierceness in her voice despite all that had happened.  As soon as she’d said that, Bellatrix touched her wand to Hermione’s left shoulder, and again the waves of pain flowed through her body, but this time, the pain of her crushed hand was magnified beyond anything she had ever experienced, even this day.

  “Well, Mudblood, don’t worry, that’s going to happen anyway.”  Hermione didn’t flinch at those words, knowing it deep down from the moment she’d seen Bellatrix in her house.  She just stared at Lestrange until finally Bellatrix went on “Oh, don’t worry, we don’t really need your information.  It’s not like your friends can do anything to stop the Dark Lord.  With Potter’s blood, the Dark Lord is invincible.  We are just here to kill you anyway.  Poor little Potter, jumped up halfbreed that he is.  Mommy and Daddy are dead.  His godfather is dead.  Soon, his girlfriend will be dead”.

  Hermione laughed weakly.  “I don’t believe it, a Death Eater that reads Witch Weekly”

  Bellatrix didn’t even bother to use her wand, she just kicked Hermione in the face.  Hermione’s head jerked to the side, but then she saw her wand, close enough for her to reach out and take hold of.

 “Oh, look Antonin, the little mudblood thinks she wants to play.  Come on Mudblood, you really think you can do anything?  Sirius couldn’t.  Neither could either of those aurors.  You think you can?”

  With what little focus Hermione had left, she raised her wand, and disapparated for the first time.


   “Ron, you need to get out and degnome the garden, while Ginny and I clean up the dishes.  Fred and George will be here tonight, so I’ll have to spend extra time cooking”

 “Yes mum” Ron said, thinking how odd it was that with all the things going on in the world, he was going to spend the morning chasing around the little potato headed freaks and throwing them out of the garden.

  That moment though, all other thoughts were washed out of his mind, as he heard his sister scream “Hermione!”

  Ron spun, and there she was in the middle of the floor, her leg sticking out from her side at a sick angle, her hand swollen and puffy, hardly looking like a hand at all, her face puffing up and turning blue, and all the rest of the skin that he could see white and clammy looking.  Through all of that though, she looked up and said “Ron”, and passed out.

  “What happened to her? How did she get here? She can’t apparate! She doesn’t have her license!” Ginny said, in words almost too rapid to understand.

  As Ron went to Hermione’s side, he laughed slightly hysterically, “this is Hermione we are talking about, she read it in a book somewhere”.  He kneeled down at her side, and began to check for signs of life.

 “No, Ron! Don’t touch her.” Molly said, as she began rummaging through some things set aside on a table.  Ron watched in shock as she picked up a Chocolate Frog card, but it was one that looked slightly different that any others she had seen.  Ron was even more amazed when she talked to the card “Get Dumbledore, quick, we need him in the Burrow!”

  Ron wasn’t sure how long it took before something happened.  It seemed like hours to him, but it may have just been seconds, he would never remember.  With a loud bang, Fawkes appeared with Dumbledore holding on.  Dumbledore looked at Hermione for a second and said to Fawkes “Madame Pomfrey, now!”, and Fawkes was gone as quickly as he had appeared.  “What happened?” he asked Molly.

  “We don’t know.  She just appeared out of nowhere, like that”. Molly answered, tears running down her cheeks.

  Dumbledore sat silently a moment, a grim look on his face.  After a moment, he chanted a few words under his breath, low enough that Ron could not hear them.  “I have summoned some of the others, we will have to take precautions.”

  The next few moments were a blur for Ron, as Fawkes returned with Madame Pomfrey, and then the others started to arrive.  Soon the room was full, as Moody, Remus, Tonks and Kingsley had all appeared at the behest of Dumbledore.  “Where is Dad?” Ron asked, confused why he of all people did not show up.

  “He is watching Harry.” Remus answered simply.

  Dumbledore nodded at Moody, and the two of them disappeared, leaving the others behind. After a moment, Remus went over and spoke to Molly, and then left as well, saying that he had something he had to do.  Kingsley and Tonks stayed close, alert, as if waiting for an attack here as well.

  Ron watched, in a daze, as Madame Pomfrey took Hermione’s badly beaten body, and settled it onto a bed, and began to work on it.  He couldn’t bear to speak, or even to think, as he saw the school nurse work desperately on the gravely injured young woman .  Potions, incantations, and every other trick of her healing trade were used, until finally, many, many hours later, she let out a soft sigh.  “She will live.  I have given her a Draught of Dreamless Sleep.  It will take time for her to recover though, these… monsters have brutalized this child.  Still, it is not her body that I worry about, that is going to heal.  Her mind though?  I wish I knew.”

  After Madame Pomfrey left, Ron moved his chair over next to Hermione’s bed, and sat there, in the darkness, reaching out and putting his own hand over her uninjured one, and waited, not stirring when his father returned, just nodding slightly when he looked into the room.


  Harry Potter was walking down the road to the park, lost in his own thoughts again.  He knew he needed to get outside, that he couldn’t stay locked up in his room all the time.  Still though, he took no joy in the beautiful summer weather, or in the breeze that kept it from getting uncomfortable.  The only real joy he’d had this summer was in the two visits he’d had with his friends.  You couldn’t really call his cry on Hermione’s shoulder a “joy” but it had meant so much to him to know his friends cared, that he looked back at it as a joyful day.  Then there was the day at the restaurant where he saw Ron and Ginny.  He still wasn’t sure what Fried Okra was, but he thought it sounded like something that Snape would use in an especially foul potion.

  Harry jumped, as he heard a voice from nowhere speak to him “Harry, turn right, and go down this way, we need to talk”.  His hand was halfway to his wand before he recognized that the voice belonged to Professor Lupin.  He must be under the invisibility cloak.  Curious, Harry made the turn, and after a moment, they found themselves in a secluded spot, where the path made its way into a small copse of oak trees.  Remus pulled the cloak off of his shoulders and Harry saw that his face was pale, and grave.

  “Harry, there has been an attack.”  Remus paused a moment, seemingly waiting for those words to sink in.  Harry soon found out though, how much worse it would get.  “It’s the Grangers” Remus continued “Hermione escaped, but she’s terribly hurt.”

  “Will she make it?” Harry asked in a tiny voice.

  “I do not know, Madame Pomfrey was working on her when I left, but it looked like it would be touch and go.”

  “I want to go there, I want to see her!” Harry practically yelled.

  “Harry, quiet!  You can’t leave here, not yet, not for a couple more weeks.  You have to stay at least until your birthday.”  Remus said sternly.  Harry was about to protest, but Remus put his hand up.  “Harry, I know… we’ll do what we can, but we can’t risk your life.  Besides, it gets worse.  When I came here, Moody and Dumbledore were getting ready to go to her house.  We think that her parents were probably killed too.”

  Hearing those words, Harry just numbly slumped against the nearest tree, his hands in his face.

Ron had barely left Hermione’s side over the last couple of days.  The only time he left the room was when he absolutely had to.  Dumbledore and Moody had long since come back, and their worst fears were confirmed.  The Grangers were dead.  The Death Eaters were gone.  No one knew for sure who it was, since Hermione had never had a chance to say.  That didn’t make much of a difference to Ron.  He was ready to take his wand, and go and chase them down, one by one.  He didn’t much care how long it took.  There was only one thing that kept him from leaping up right now and starting the hunt.  Hermione.  As badly as he wanted to hurt the people that could do this to her, he wanted even more to be here when she finally woke up.  He wanted to be here for her when she heard the news, assuming she didn’t already know.  He wanted to be here for her when she had to open up and share her painful story.  He didn’t really want to know what they had done to her, though that was obvious.  He just wanted to be there for Hermione.

  He and Harry had kept Pig and Hedwig in a constant state of exhaustion since the attack, as Ron sent news of Hermione’s condition to Harry, and Harry responded with more questions.  Ron didn’t even want to think how insane Harry must be going stuck on Privet Drive, but even that was a distant concern.  All he really cared about was lying on the bed next to him.  His little angel.  Those words had never really struck him before, but looking at her battered body, he knew it was true.  He wasn’t sure how much longer she would be out, but Madame Pomfrey said that she wanted to wait a couple more days before awakening Hermione.  Looking at her listless face, lined by the shadows of late evening, all thoughts of revenge drained away, at least for now.  All he could think about was his little angel.  Without really thinking, he leaned over and kissed her lightly on the forehead, for the first time.

Daily Prophet

For the first time since his appearance at the Ministry of Magic last month, You-Know-Who’s supporters have attacked.   Responding to unknown information, Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry went to the home of one of his students, and found the Dark Mark hovering over the house.  Upon inspection, he found the corpses of a pair of Muggles, a Mr. and Mrs. Granger, the parents of a current Hogwarts student, and close associate of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger.  Miss Granger’s status is unknown, though it is rumored that she is being kept in a safe location.