The word was engraved into her arm in an ugly smear, weeping perfect, little droplets of blood that dribbled out of her like tears. She concluded the wound at the back of her head was worse than she had initially thought. The blurriness of her vision was getting worse, and while she could hear the distant sounds of Bellatrix questioning Griphook, it sounded so far away. Her bloody hair was damp and sticky against her neck, matted in thick clumps, and her head felt numb and hollow, almost detached from the rest of her aching and battered body.

She guessed that a few of her ribs had been broken, perhaps her arm too, but it was difficult to focus on one area of the pain. There was a pretty ribbon of blood trickling out of the corner of her mouth, but she couldn’t decide if she had simply torn her vocal chords with all her screaming, or if she’d suffered some internal damage.

It didn’t mattered.

Hermione had accepted that she was going to die here; terrified and alone on this ice-cold floor, and that her death would be dealt to her by a relative of the man she loved. It was almost poetic, but then the tragic love-stories always are.

Unconsciousness was creeping up on her, and she /knew/ that she wouldn’t wake up. There was nobody coming. Nobody could come. Logically, death was the inevitable fate for her, as it is for everyone, but hers would be early. Too early. Too prolonged and excruciating.