They are wiping out their 15-point deduction with the relentless aggression of a flesh-eating bug. The season is in its infancy yet seven points have been reclaimed already and it's obvious that Hearts will take many, many more points this season, especially at Tynecastle where they hammer away like woodpeckers.
The unity and determination they are showing is easy to admire but it is something to be feared, too. All the talk is of getting to zero points but the bigger target is to avoid relegation and that means the real significance lies in how other clubs are doing. St Mirren have taken only one point from three games, Kilmarnock only two from four. Both of them may be in the black rather than the red in terms of their points totals but there is no disguising the fact Hearts are the only team down there enjoying momentum and the thrill of the chase.
"That is seven points chopped off it in the first four games," said Jamie MacDonald, the Hearts goalkeeper. "If that was offered to us at the start of the season we'd have bitten your hand off. It is a great start but we have to make sure we don't get complacent as we are still minus eight and a long way off. Our goal is to get to zero. Once we get to zero, we will look at who to target."
The Hearts story is a powerful narrative: the financially crippled club, handicapped by a points deduction and relying on a glorified youth team, responding in a way that engages its big support and mobilises them to the cause. More than 7000 are now signed up to help the Foundation of Hearts' attempt to buy and run the club. The ownership and current on-field efforts are inextricably wrapped-up in each other, as if one is feeding off the other. The sense of belief, optimism and determination is impossible to miss.
Hearts could easily have lost to an Aberdeen side who would have been three goals up by half-time if they had the Scott Vernon of two years ago rather than the current heavy, out-of-touch version. The visitors had plenty of possession and territory in the first half but conceded two preventable goals en route to another defeat on a ground where they do not take much.
Hearts' young team were eager and combative from the first minute to the last, just as they had been in beating Hibs. It can all be a bit frantic and breathless, but at times there was some neat play and crisp passing. Jamie Walker rattled in the opening goal and Jordan McGhee, just 17 years old, capitalised on dithering by Nicky Weaver to win it with three minutes left.
Hearts played with such vigour they could not be denied even by Kevin McHattie being red-carded unjustly with 23 minutes left for conceding a penalty, which Niall McGinn converted. When Hearts' winner went in assistant manager Billy Brown's celebrations spilled into childishly goading Derek McInnes, whose angry reaction resulted in both of them being sent to the stand to come to their senses.
"They are definitely enthusiastic," said MacDonald of the young Hearts players. Along with Jamie Hamill, who was excellent in midfield, the goalkeeper is the only old head. "They want to run all day and that is one thing we have got going for us. As the experienced player I had to say to Jordan after he scored to calm down. You can easily get over-excited as there was still five minutes to go and he could have done something rash.
"Four games into the season and it feels like a lifetime already with the way it has started. There were times in the past when, if we had given the ball away, the fans would get on our backs. But that is not the case now and everyone is going in one direction and getting right behind us."
This was a reality check for Aberdeen. If they are to justify the consensus view that they will finish second this season, this is the sort of fixture they need to start winning. Neither the unimpressive Vernon nor Calvin Zola - a giant who seems to become invisible when the ball is crossed into the penalty area - look capable of sharing the goalscoring responsibility with McGinn. They have height and pace along the back four, poise and tenacity in midfield from Willo Flood and Ryan Jack, and width and skill from Jonny Hayes and Peter Pawlett. There is plenty to admire and they will be easily top six. But their full-backs do not convince and Weaver did not take the chance to consolidate his place in the absence of the suspended Jamie Langfield.
They made enough chances to deliver an entirely different result and should have had two other penalties (but not the one they did get). Yet "what ifs" are meaningless. Aberdeen were tipped to finish second, and Hearts bottom. Neither of those looks quite as likely as they did a month ago.