A/N: the newest addition to my works. please be sure to read the warnings as this is a dark fic. I hope you all enjoy. If you don't like then please don't read. Fancast for Rabastan is James Franco. Thanks you to VenomandVine for betaing this. To my readers, please note that in most cases the chapter will be posted before being edited and edits will be updated in shortly after it goes live, so that I can keep my posting on schedule.

Warnings: This is a Mature fic not intended for readers under 18. It will contain themes of rape/non-consensual, coerced/forced marriage, dub-con, graphic sexual content, possible themes of self-harm, substance use/abuse, mature language and scenes of a generally violent nature. I do not post trigger notes in chapters so please be mindful of these themes listed here and read at your own risk.

How do You Survive the Cold?

Hermione struggled to move her limbs, they had become so stiff huddled up as she was in the dank prison cell. She had initially tried to count the days, but the cold, damp air that seemed to seep into her very soul made her lose track of them. At some point, since her arrival, there was nothing the witch could focus on other than the cold.

When Harry had died in the battle, and that monster had won the war, she had been remanded to Azkaban until which time a suitable purpose for mudbloods was found. She never expected she would ever see the light of day again, she was Hermione Granger, Potter's mudblood, undesirable number 2. She was certain that would die in the cold, dark, dungeon cell.

What purpose could she ever serve in this new world? The thought of being enslaved by the very people she had fought against made the witch curl up into a ball under the flimsy scrap of material that was meant to be a blanket. Though it couldn't really be called that. She had no idea how long she'd been in this hell. Every time she had a cohesive thought she prayed that she could just die so it would all be over soon. Merlin she prayed for the kiss, surely that would be better than rotting here alone.

The truth was, there was no longer many cohesive thoughts from the witch, the cold seemed to have frozen her mind, and the witch couldn't face the reality of her situation. Her best friends had died. The side of the war she fought on had lost. She was a criminal in the new order and she was living in a 3 by 3 foot cell on an island prison in the middle of the sea. Her days were spent curled up in a corner with her knees pressed to her chest. Her arms were usually wrapped around her legs to hold them as she laid on the thin, worn down mattress to avoid the dementors. She hardly moved, didn't eat, and she stared into the darkness blindly, unable to see. All she felt was the cold. There were of course the regular visits. Guards who were lonely, or depraved, who targeted the female prisoners for some comfort. During the rapes, she laid there like a stone statue and counted the seconds until she could be alone. She was conscious, but detached from her own existence. There were rare moments when her fight returned to her, but with nothing to fight for she was broken. It was easier to think of nothing than to focus on the miserable state she now inhabited, and the hopelessness of ever recovering to the point that she could be her true self again.

It was unusual then for the witch that the clanging and creaking sound that was inevitably the metal door to her cell block opening would cause the witch to try and move, an uncommon moment of consciousness. Hermione knew what came with the sound of the door, and freezing and broken-down she couldn't bring herself to care, but that day the witch was able to think, able to concentrate more on the cold, and she would be damned if she would lay still while she was raped again.

Unfortunately her muscles didn't want to cooperate. They were stiff and sore, moving them felt as though she were breaking every bone in her arms just to peel them away from her legs. She cried out in agonizing pain. She was about to give up when she heard the heavy footsteps, slowly stalking towards her cell. She fought harder to move and stretched her legs out before her with a strangled hiss, just as the footsteps stopped at her door.

Afraid, the witch didn't look up, she didn't want to see who the tormentor would be this time, not when she knew that she couldn't fight them off. The clink of the metal key twisting in the lock sounded and with a bang the metal bars opened to allow her assaulter access.

Rabastan stiffened his shoulders when he landed from his aparation at the place he only knew as his own personal hell. Azkaban, the place he had rotted in for years and the last place on the earth he ever wanted to return to, free man or not. It was not a welcome sight, but it was his mission to fulfill.

He had asked for his prize, much to the horror, shock, and disgust of some of the others. But he'd made his reasons known well enough, and been granted his wish by his master. The girl he had claimed to be his bride currently resided within the depths of this hellhole, and he was here to collect her and bring her away from the place.

He was sure he had his work cut out for him by claiming Hermione Granger to be his wife. He smirked at the thought, having admired her feistiness, and looked forward to taming it. After the war the girl had been taken here. Nobody really knew what to do with her. Mudbloods were being killed, enslaved, and banished all over the place, but she was so much more than a normal mudblood. She was powerful. She was brave. She was exquisite. The was only the small problem that she had been Potter's brains.

She couldn't have simply been banished, too many of the order had already escaped, and she was too intelligent and too hung up in the battle to simply disappear. She would continue to fight if she were left to her own devices. Likewise, the witch was too useful to be killed. It would be a waste of her potential to have her executed or enslaved, so this left his master with a conundrum. She was sent to live in the prison until something could be figured out to do with her.

And Rabastan had, probably for the first time in his life, felt actual fear and empathy for the witch. Having been in Azkaban himself, having faced the dementors, the endless cold, the misty dampness and the isolation, it wasn't a fate he wished on anyone, least of all a witch he actually admired. So, the day they carted her away from the ruins of the battle at Hogwarts, he vowed to himself he would find a way to get her out, and he would find a way to make her his. And so he had done.

It had been a year, but he had proven himself in those twelve months and earned a request to be granted by the dark lord. He wasn't the only one to have been given such an opportunity, and the others had asked for power, property, or position, Rabastan had asked for a wife. His reasoning was with Bellatrix dead, and Rodolphous uninterested in taking another wife, that Rabastan was the last hope for carrying on the family name. When asked why he couldn't choose a pureblooded bride, he answered simply that he didn't want to risk a marriage, a binding marriage, on a woman who might not be able to reproduce. One thing was for certain, dirty as their blood may be, mudbloods had no trouble conceiving and carrying to term, and it wasn't like they wouldn't be considered pure. One word from Voldemort, as all but king his word was law, and Hermione would be considered a pureblood, provided a dowry and her parentage would be erased. Nobody would be able to question his children's lineage then, and he would have the witch he had wanted since he had his arms wrapped around her at the siege in the Department of Mysteries all those years ago. As long as he was able to control her.

However, his request having been granted meant he had to come back to this hellhole to retrieve her. This place was still the setting of his worst nightmares. Blocking out the worst of the memories and disallowing himself from reliving the fear he experienced here as an inmate, he stomped down the gloomy halls towards the reception desk, the sound of his heavy black boots echoing off the stone halls.

"Lestrange." The guard greeted as he approached the desk. Rabastan grunted and shoved the rolled scroll at him. The man had been a rookie guard when he was a prisoner, and he had been a cruel, ruthless bastard to the prisoners he was charged with. Rabastan hadn't forgotten and given half the change would repay him in kind one day. But now was not that time.

"Remanded Mudblood Granger to your custody, this says. He finally found a use for her?"

"She is to be my wife." Rabastan said thinly in as few words as possible. The guard laughed and when he glanced at the scowl Rabastan shot him paled considerably.

"Not joking then. Well let's go get her." The guard replied, grabbed the keys and led Rabastan deeper into the fortress.

Hermione whimpered when the cell door slid open. It was only a small sound, one of few she made these days, but just that small sound was a shout to the otherwise quiet walls. She had realized some time ago that she was the only inhabitant in this ward, she was truly and utterly alone. Except for the visits.

The chuckle that interrupted her choked whimper made the hair on the back of her neck stand straight up. She forced herself to move her body in an attempt to get away, but she was too weak to successfully fight of the guard. She quickly found herself pinned to the mattress, as the guard softly whispered to her. She realized that, of all her tormentors, this was the gentler of them, the one that talked to her during, not that she ever replied.

"Come now, be a good lass. Just lay back and think of England like you usually do." He said as he began fumbling with his belt.

She shook her head fiercely and tried to push him off, but the stronger guard easily pinned her hands above her head with just one of his, even as he tugged down her thin, cotton, uniformed pants.

The door to the cellblock at the end of the hall opened. Hermione could tell because it made the same clanking sound she associated with rape. She was like one of Pavlov's dogs, the sound of that door opening now meant that she was receiving a visit, and since the visits were sexual assaults on her person, if the door opened, she suffered.

Immediately the witch whimpered again, fearing that another one of the guards was coming to join in. She receded into her own mind and began counting, counting until the ordeal would be finished. One, two, three, four, five. The guard on top of her had just freed his own erect cock from the constraints of his pants when she suddenly felt him pulled violently off of her. She curled herself back up into her usual position. They would have to peel her limbs and stretch her out if they wanted access to her again. A fact she knew was all too possible and even easy for them, but it was the only defense she had, and she would be damned if she didn't try.

"The prisoner is no longer an inmate of Azkaban," the voice of her cruelest guard, the one she called warden, directed the statement at the other guard, but he hadn't been the one to pull him off of her. She waited for the further explanation. "Lestrange here now owns her and is removing her from the premise." Hermione stilled. Fear crept into the depths of her very soul. She wouldn't be in Azkaban anymore, but, she was being enslaved by one of the Lestrange brothers and they hated her, so her life with one of them wouldn't be much better…

"You've dared to touch what is mine." The masculine growl sounded, she still couldn't identify which brother it was. "Now you must be punished. Crucio."

"The guard that would have been her most recent rapist, collapsed on the ground and began to scream. She counted how long it lasted. It was her defense against reliving the curse herself as she could do nothing more than hear the guard suffer. One, two, three… Seven, eight, nine… twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven… Finally at 30 it was over. Hermione was shaking now, out of fear or from the cold she wasn't sure. More likely than not, it was both.

"I'll be taking the girl now." Came the voice again. Then she was being lifted, scooped into strong arms away from the mattress, and out of the cell. The first thing that came to mind when she was pulled into the man's chest was warmth. The wizard radiated warmth. After unending cold and torment for merlin knows how long, Hermione didn't care who it was that had just picked her up or what came next, she just relaxed into the warmth and soon after lost consciousness.

It was a week before she became fully conscious again. When he had found her, Rabastan had been pissed to see her being assaulted as she was, but his anger soon crossed the threshold between upset to livid when he saw the state his future bride was in.

The witch weighed no more than ninety-five pounds, was made up of skin and bones, and was clearly quite ill, pneumonia, as he would discover when he got her back to Malfoy manor, as well as quite filthy. He had not been expecting her to be in pristine shape, he was well aware that the conditions of the prison were not conducive to cleanliness or great health, but it was beyond clear that the witch had been severely neglected.

The wedding would have to be postponed. In the week that she was in and out of sleep, they had managed to heal her sickness and get small amounts of broth and water into her, but there was no way the witch was out of the clear yet. She would live, but she needed to recover before she could handle any more stress.

The wizard was sitting in a chair across from her bed, he had been dozing slightly, not really asleep, still aware of the surroundings, but not awake enough to keep his eyes open. A sound of rustling sheets caused him to pop his eyes open, and immediately he realized the witch was struggling to sit up in bed. He rose to help her and propped her up with some pillows.

She just looked at him, the fear and confusion evident in her soft amber colored eyes. He backed away and put up his hands in an effort to show he meant no harm. Not yet, at least.

"My name is Rabastan Lestrange." He introduced himself, but felt like an idiot. She had fought against him in a war, she likely knew who he was, but he had said his name anyway. "I'm now providing for your care. Do you know who you are?" Again he felt stupid, but the witch had endured a lot and he needed to know exactly how to care for her and where to start.

She slowly nodded her head in the affirmative and tried to open her mouth to speak. It took some time and he vaguely wondered how long it had been since she had. "Mudblood." She managed a moment later, in only a hoarse, harsh whisper. He winced, and tried to hold his temper so as not to scare her, her stay in the hellhole had broken her more than he had thought. The witch he knew of would never refer to herself as mudblood.

"No," he replied. "Do you know your name?" he reached for a glass of water that was by her bedside and offered it to her. She greedily gulped down the cool liquid.

"Hermione." She croaked when she had finished the glass.

"Good. Do you know where you are?"

"No. I was in Azkaban, but it is too warm here for this to be that place." She replied.

"You are currently a guest in Malfoy Manor. Lady Malfoy has graciously been helping me care for you. You were quite ill." Rabastan stated.

"Why?" Hermione whispered.

"Your health deteriorated because of your treatment in prison," he responded.

"No," she said, "Why am I here? I was supposed to die there."

"You were brought here because I was granted with your care and your life."

"Slave." The witch said hatefully. It wasn't a question.

"No, you are not to be my slave. I did all I could to get you out of that place, and when I was granted a wish, I requested you."

"Why?" she croaked again.

"I need a wife and I need an heir." Rabastan stated honestly and saw her gaze narrow.

"But I'm a mudblood." She replied.

"We'll see." He replied. "In any case the wedding won't occur until you are better."

The witch turned her head sullenly to one side, and refused to look at him. He bit the side of his cheek and sighed deeply.

"I won't treat you unkindly." He began, but she still wouldn't engage him further. "Your health and wellbeing is important to me."

"Only so you can get your heir," she spat out at him. "I'll be disposable after that." She wasn't wrong he thought wryly, at least compared to anybody else who would use her for the same gains. But Rabastan had wanted this witch for some time. The first time she had battled him he was attracted to her and her spirit, and he knew she would make a good wife.

He was determined to gain that spirit back, because it was clear that while the embers of her spark were still within her, the past year had burned most of it out and he would have to rekindle it. He wasn't going to dump her once he had her and an heir, she would be his wife and treated with the respect all Lestrange wives were due. He just couldn't reveal that to her yet.

"I'll send Narcissa in with some broth for you and she can answer any questions you may have." He growled out at her before he stomped out of the room and slammed the door closed behind him, locking it.