Disclaimer: I own nothing. Thank you to J.K. Rowling for the wonderful world of Harry potter. Thank you to canimal for her rendition of the amazing Thorfinn of which I have been permitted to adopt for the purpose of this story.
A/N: I ve wanted to do a Thorfinn/Hermione story for a while now, and have finally, finally drafted a feasible plot, though it turned out a bit darker than originally intended. I have drafted at least 5 different plots that have gone nowhere and so am happy to finally post this for you all to hopefully enjoy. I still employ my rule of don't like, don't read.
Warning: This fic is going to be considerably dark in nature and in theme. It may contain triggers including: rape/ non-con and dubious consent, as well as other explicit sexual content and graphic violence and mature language. It is not intended for an audience under 18.
~ ~ ~ Prologue ~ ~ ~
Hermione sat at the table exhausted, a cup of coffee in front of her and a small package next to her. She had been receiving gifts for about three months now, always anonymous. If you could really call them gifts. Mostly they were pictures, of her or article clippings from newspapers about her. It was clear that somebody was watching her, and she wanted to know who, but was afraid at who it might be.
It had been a year since Harry had killed Voldemort, but not before the other wizard at managed to destroy the ministry. With the foundation of their world in shambles, the castle she had considered home in ruins, several friends she fought next to dead, it hadn't mattered that they head defeated Voldemort, the order had still lost the war.
The remaining order members and Dumbledore s Army participants had been forced to go into hiding. Many fled the country, like Ron who went to Romania with Ginny, and Fleur and Bill who went to France.
The members that had been unlucky enough to be captured were not sent to Azkaban or killed like many expected but placed in the care of a death eater. Lucius Malfoy, who had risen as the new world leader, insisted that any rebel caught should be given to one of his loyal comrades to be re-educated as they saw fit. For many that meant slavery and torture. For others that meant becoming a part of a harem, or worse a polygamous marriage to increase the population. It was a horrifying concept.
Hermione had chosen to leave the wizarding world when she went into hiding. She was muggle-born so she knew she could survive in the muggle world without magic, and so she had, for a whole nine months. But then the packages started, and she knew she had been found. Each package contained a photograph and a note, which had one line expressing what her stalker had planned for her.
This week's package promised that her body would bend to the will of whoever sent the note.
She now knew that if she were caught by whoever this was, that her fate involved torture, servitude, and sexual humiliation.
The weekly gifts had become a game for whoever was sending them. The game where he hunted his prey waiting until they were completely terrified before he pounced and caught them. It was a game that Hermione refused to play. She threw this gift into the flame and sipped the burning hot liquid in her favorite, purple mug.
She wouldn't give the psychopath the satisfaction of fear. She would go about her day as normal.
~ ~ ~ Chapter One ~ ~ ~
"The more stubborn they are in their beliefs the longer they will be held under our care," drawled the voice of Lucius Malfoy at the monthly gathering of Lords. Malfoy had all but declared himself king, he was considered the minister, but without a court system to check his power he reigned as a dictator. Those who had been faithful to the dark lord had been rewarded with a title of lords, and Thorfinn was among them.
He felt his stomach churn as he listened to the new world leader speak.
"Your job as Lords, as esteemed members of the new order, is to re-educate the misguided notions of the rebels. Once they believe as we do, they can be given a position to hold in the world, but until then they are under our care." Continued the voice of the minister.
It had been a year since Malfoy had risen to power. In that year he had appointed a team of death eaters and snatchers to be responsible for capturing rebel forces and distributing them to deatheaters. Thorfinn was appointed with the task of moderating the progress of the captives, for lack of a better word. He worked closely with the other lords who had the responsibility of caring for them, reviewing their reports and recommendations, observing the captives himself and reporting directly to the minister his findings.
The truth was it made him sick. Thorfinn hated what the world had become to, he had blindly signed up to follow a maniac who wanted to control the world. By chance he ended up on the winning side, but he found he no longer believed in the hierarchy he once did. When the dark lord was in power he ruled his followers with fear, you served him or you died, and so it had been easy for Thorfinn to obey because it was a survival instinct. He didn t pause to think about the things he had done under orders, he completed them. And it was true that he had believed at that point that Purebloods belonged above everyone else.
Thorfinn couldn't recall when that belief had changed, there was a definite moment where it did. All he knew was in the new world order he was disgusted with the treatment of those who fought on the side of the order.
He just couldn't let it show. Malfoy may not induce fear in the hearts of his supporters, instead choosing to assume their loyalty, but Thorfinn knew that if anybody found out that he hated the new regime, and no longer believed in the hierarchy, that Malfoy wouldn t hesitate in killing him.
So he hid his true feelings under a mask of indifference and tried not to let the sight of how Dolohov treated his two wives or Draco Malfoy tortured the Longbottom boy, get to him.
It was all he could do, to keep up the facade when he sat with two other lords, Macnair and Nott Sr. in a pub after the regular mandated gathering. The two other deatheaters were discussing what they planned to do with a certain rebel when she was found. A rebel Thorfinn was all too familiar with.
Not long ago, Thorfinn himself would have wanted to subject her to humiliation, he wanted revenge for the little chit of a girl almost getting him expelled in his seventh year. Caught getting sucked off in the library by a first year of all things.
But now, now he feared for her, especially when he considered the two men plotting her demise.
"I've been sending her presents for the past three months," boasted Macnair loudly as he sipped his pint.
S"o you know where she is then?" Thorfinn inquired.
"Well, yes, I suppose I do. But I m having fun playing this little game with her. I send her a present with a note giving her a hint of exactly what I will do with her, and I ruffle her feathers, and once she right and proper terrified I capture her."
"What do you intend to do with her?" Nott spoke up suddenly. "If it were me, I d marry the girl. I already have an heir so I need not worry about reproducing with her filth, but she is a brilliant witch and she would look good in my collection."
Thorfinn held back a shudder, everybody knew what Theodore Nott did to his wives, and in the past year he had acquired two lovely half-blood brides. They had both mysteriously died. Pavarti and Lavander, if Thorfinn recalled correctly.
"No, Nott, you can t have this one as a wife. I d let you borrow her for things that you use your own wives for since we have been such friends. No, the mudblood is mine, and I m going to be her master. She will clean my floors by day, and warm my bed at night, and if she doesn t obey then she will be punished as I deem appropriate. But not until she plays my game."
"Give me one good reason I shouldn t report to the snatchers that you possess information on the location of a known rebel?" Nott sneered.
"Oh don't get put out, I said I'd share her, I just want her to last a little longer than six months, and well, your wives are not exactly known to do so now are they?" Macnair laughed.
Thorfinn instantly knew that whatever the cost, he had to find Granger and protect her from these two.
"It's a dangerous game you are playing, but fine I ll bite, as long as I get to add her to my collection at some point." Nott allowed, instantly agreeing not to get the snatchers involved and play the game.
"We have an agreement then." Walden said. "Can we trust you Rowle?"
At his name Thorfinn checked back into the conversation. "Have I ever ruined your fun before?" he remarked hotly. Let them think that he didn't care, "What is mudblood to me anyway?"
"Good man." Macnair nodded. Thorfinn finished his drink at a leisurely pace so as not to arouse suspicion. And then he bid the other lords goodnight.
He had to find her. And it was a good thing he had always been good at legilimency, he was able to penetrate the mid of a drunk Macnair effortlessly from across the pub, and pluck the location from his mind. Withdrawing from the wizards mind with just as much ease he was all the wiser and he endeavored to find the girl before she got too involved in the dangerous game Walden was creating.
She dressed for the day in a pair of dark washed denim jeans and a grey cotton jumper. The weather was still cool in the spring air, but not so cold as to need a coat. She put out the fire in the little stove that she had in the kitchen her flat.
Once she was sure the flames were properly extinguished she grabbed her backpack from the chair where she kept it and left the small place she dwelled in. She may have been there for the past year but she didn't think she could ever bring herself to call it home.
Hogwarts had been home. It was her life and when she last saw it, it was in ruins. The Granger's house had been home. But she had obviated her parent' memory and sent them to Australia, so the house was no longer theirs.
Hermione felt homeless and alone. She had no connections to her friends and allies, she was on her own. And the little presents that came weekly told her two things. One, that whoever was sending them was a wizard, because of the prophet articles old and new that mentioned her specifically, or spoke of her loved ones in ways similar to the attached note along with the gifts. Two was that whoever this was knew who and where she was. The packages always arrived via muggle post on a Thursday, Today's had been no different.
Hermione refused to let these items get to her, but deep down she knew that her cover was blown. She really should leave, just pack and go, find a new hiding spot, because eventually her stalker was going to come and get her, and then she wouldn't be free anymore. When she was caught the descriptive innuendos her stalker spoke of each week would no longer be nightmares, they would be reality.
But Hermione just needed to get through the semester. There were only two weeks left that was all. Hermione couldn't let go of her studious proclivities. She was a bookworm and proud of it, she was smart and that wouldn't ever change. She may have changed her name, found a way to tame her unruly curls, and parted with her magic, but she would always be intelligent.
She had enrolled in classes at a community university in the city and had plans to become a teacher. She may always be running from the world she once belonged to, but she was determined to make a life out of her new circumstance. She knew that becoming a muggle wasn't a temporary change, it was indefinite and possibly forever if the light never got control back. She wasn't one to sit idly by.
She reached the campus which was only a short walk and made it to class. The hour passed by relatively quickly and Hermione found herself on her guard. She had hoped the class would take longer, she felt safe surrounded by ordinary muggles, by a structured lecture setting and was always tense when it was over.
Desparingly she exited the lecture hall and headed across the campus green, a small courtyard where students tended to eat lunch towards the café she liked to study in. It was a quite, quaint little place, which overlooked the campus. It had the regular bundle of activity from students and faculty ordering the daily fixes, but wasn t nearly as distracting as the green.
She ordered herself a small blueberry muffin and a tea and sat at her usual table before pulling out her book and composition notepad. She sipped her tea and picked at the food in front of her as she read, scribbling notes in black ink occasionally as she saw something worth noting.
She was immersed in her work that she didn't notice the presence until it sat down at her table.
The sudden rustling of papers and scraping of the chair across from her alerted her to the appearance of another person and caused her to look up, into the face of her worst nightmare, literally.
Thorfinn Rowle, sat across from her expression unreadable, blue eyes piercing and blonde hair exactly ash she remembered it. And she felt afraid. Here not only sat a deatheater but one she had a history with. A wizard she had made an enemy of in her first year, years before he ever took the mark, a Slytherin who had promised revenge.
There he was and as she widened her eyes and gasped, she saw the blank canvas of his face shift into the smallest hint of a smirk before he spoke.