A/N: Canon up to the Battle of Hogwarts with a minor discrepancy during the trio's stay at Malfoy Manor. Definite Content warnings going forward.
Disclaimer: Not my world, making no money.
Hermione felt the spell wrench her wand from her hand, sending it spinning away uselessly. The battle had been furious, and she'd been separated from Ron. Voldemort had fallen but his Death eaters had started retaliating. She felt her body stiffen as she fell hard and looked up into the face of the last wizard she'd ever wanted to see in this life. Dolohov. She felt tears escaping from her eyes as her mind screamed.
"I'd been wanting to catch up with you again…Bellatrix had promised to let me play with you more." He stroked her face and then dragged her out of the open and behind a pile of rubble. "Pretty mudblood…." He tore open her shirt and she was helpless to even struggle. "Maybe I should drop the spell…I love listening to you scream." She felt his tongue lick a wet hot line along her jaw. Not again…not again.
Hermione saw a flash of green light and suddenly she felt Dolohov's spell release as he fell, lifeless, on top of her. Someone wrenched him away and she was looking up at the bloody and battered form of Lucius Malfoy. She was so stunned she couldn't do anything more than gape.
"Miss Granger, do keep still." He made a quick gesture and her shirt was repaired, he then offered her a hand. "Come…there isn't much time."
She took it mostly out of shock, and let him pull her to her feet, pressing a wand into her hand. "Why?"
"Because I have need of your help, and you owe me now." He said quietly and led her through the chaos to where Draco laid behind some rubble. He was unnaturally pale, twitching randomly from the aftereffects of some curse or another. "I need you to levitate him, and I'll repel any attackers. We need to get him to help."
Hermione nodded. "Levicorpus." She cast the spell and moved with him, heading for the edge of the anti-apparition wards. She could hear the impact of spells against the shielding charm the Elder Malfoy had cast around them. They moved through the forest and once they were far enough they stopped.
"Are you aware of what a wizard's debt entails, Miss Granger?" Lucius moved to stand in front of the young woman.
"I know that I owe you my life, or anything else you might ask of me." Hermione said, meeting his cool eyes. He was far more lucid than he had appeared at the Manor. It made her wonder how much of his behaviour there had been an act. There was no one here now but the two of them.
"In return for your life, you will do everything in your power to keep my son out of Azkaban. If I should be executed, you will watch over him until he is well." Lucius' voice was serious. "If you swear to this, I will surrender myself to your custody Miss Granger."
"I swear, on my magic, to do as you have asked." Hermione said quietly. "And I also promise to try and do what I can to keep you from being executed." She added, noting the look of surprise on his face. "You saved me…I can at least try." Hermione was practically dead on her feet, she ached everywhere, but she stood strong not wanting to show weakness to this man in particular.
"Very well." He said and took hold of her arm and Draco and focused on St. Mungos, apparating the three of them directly into the triage room. A healer he recognized ran over. "Healer Keena, save my son." He said to the man.
"Of course Lord Malfoy." The Healer called for help and soon they had taken Draco away.
As they took him away, Lucius turned to Hermione and handed her his wand. "The aurors will be here soon enough, I won't put up a fight." He gave her his word and sat down, weary from the battle. "You should rest while you can."
Hermione nodded and sat down, closing her eyes a moment. "Is it really over?" She whispered.
"Yes Miss Granger, I believe it is." He said quietly. "Have you been healed from what happened at the Manor." He asked, looking over at the young witch. He saw her draw into herself, and knew that she hadn't been. "Do your friends know what they did to you?" He asked even softer.
"No." She swallowed, hating that she was shaking a little. "I told them she was using the Cruciatus curse…that was why I was screaming." She blinked rapidly trying not to cry. They hadn't stopped long enough to deal with it. Dobby had been dead, and there had been so much to do. She'd simply downed a bottle of pain relieving potion and got on with everything.
"You need to be seen to." He said and stood, walking over to meet Healer Keena as he re-entered. "How is my son?"
"He'll live, though we've had to place him in a magical coma to allow his core to replenish and the damage done to heal fully. It could take several months." The healer said quietly. "But he will pull through. You got him here in time."
"Thank you. The Aurors will be arriving soon to take me away. See to it they do not try and move my son." Lucius said.
"No one touches my patients, Lord Malfoy." Healer Keena said with a small smile.
"The young witch there will need to be seen to. Antonin and Bellatrix tortured her rather extensively. She hasn't sought healing and I fear she may have been violated." He said very quietly. "Anything she needs is to be seen to."
"Will she let me treat her?" The man asked candidly.
"Once I'm taken into custody, I believe she will." Lucius said quietly, not flinching when three Aurors apparated into the room with an audible snap.
"Lucius Malfoy, you're under arrest. Resist and we have permission to use lethal force." The man in charge stated.
"He surrendered himself to me." Hermione stood and moved into their line of sight. "My name is Hermione Granger, Kingsley Shacklebolt will know who I am."
"Where is his wand then?" The auror demanded.
"Here." She handed the wand to the man. "It's one he picked up during the battle. I'm not sure who it belonged to." She said.
"Why would he surrender to you?" One of the aurors sneered.
"In return for letting him bring his son here for treatment, he agreed to surrender and await arrest." She said.
"Well…we'll take it from here Miss." The auror said and they flanked Lucius.
"Get your wounds seen to Miss Granger, Healer Keena is quite trustworthy." Lucius said, meeting her eyes and wondering if he'd ever see the stubborn girl again. For such a little thing she had proven surprisingly resilient. He'd known older, more experienced witches and wizards that could not have held out against even half of what they had done to her.
"I'll watch over your son." She said with a slight nod just as he and two of the Auror's disappeared. Her eyes shifted to the one who remained.
"Kingsley said if I were to find you to bring you to your friends." He said.
"Miss Granger is in need of medical attention, let her friends know she is safe." Healer Keena moved forward. "Let them know that I've dispatched groups of healers to the school to start prioritizing the patients that need immediate transport." He said and gently put a hand on the young witch's arm. "Come now Miss Granger, I really must insist." He said and led her away, taking her back to the room where Draco lay on bed. There was a shimmering, translucent glow all around him.
"Really…I'm fine…" She protested as he had her sit down.
"No, you are not." The healer said softly and cast a diagnostic spell. He swore and transfigured another chair into a bed and went into the cupboard and handed her a set of pajamas. "There's a small bathroom there, shower and get changed into those. I'll be right back with some potions that you need to drink and then you should rest."
"But my friends…" She protested.
"Will want you to be safe, and you are safe here Miss Granger." He said. "No more arguments, shower, change, and then straight into bed."
Hermione took a long look at the man's determined face and knew she was beaten. She nodded and went into the little bathroom and started the shower, looking at her reflection in the mirror and barely recognizing herself. She had lost a lot of weight on the run, she was covered in blood and dirt, and there were dark circles under her eyes. She undressed, peeling off her filthy clothes and throwing them onto the floor. The red, inflamed cuts on her arm spelling 'mudblood' were oozing and hot to the touch. She was covered in bruises and scrapes and she could see the halfmoon shaped bite marks in her skin where Dolohov had 'played' with her before Bellatrix had really gone to work.
She felt the bile rising in her throat and she threw up into the toilet trying not to remember. The things he'd whispered while he'd hurt her, torn into her…things he'd have done again if not for Lucius. Her head swam for a moment before she wiped her mouth off and stepped under the spray. She scrubbed herself clean, blood and dirt swirling down the drain. Aches and pains she had ignored came crashing to forefront until most of her body was one throbbing center of hurt. She dried her hair mechanically and dressed in the clean pjs. She padded back out and saw the Healer standing beside Draco's bed, monitoring something. "How is he?"
"Alive." The healer said. "If you had waited much longer to get him here, he might not have survived. His magic was sustaining him, and we'll need to keep him in a coma to let him recover fully." He explained. "Now…into bed." He said kindly and grabbed a small tray with four potion bottles on it.
"What are those?" She asked and climbed into the bed, pulling the blankets up around her.
"One is a general pain relieving potion," He handed that to her first. "This is to heal all the soft tissue damage, and prevent infection." He said and had her drink that down. "This…is to make sure that you suffer no lasting consequences from your sexual assault." Healer Keena said very gently. "If you find you need to talk to someone, I can certainly arrange that."
Hermione looked at the blue liquid in the vial and she drank it down, a little surprised that it didn't taste as vile as most healing potions did. There was a strange aftertaste of licorice. "No…but thank you." She whispered.
"And this is dreamless sleep. I won't force you to take that…but it is there if you want it." He said and left that corked vial on her bedside. "The door is warded against anyone entering but me or healers I authorize to enter."
"How long do I need to stay?" She asked him.
"At least 24 hours, after that you may discharge yourself if you wish." He said. "I'll check back in a couple of hours, the first patients will be arriving from Hogwarts." He took his leave, giving her some space to breath.
Once he was gone, Hermione picked up the vial of dreamless sleep and drank it down. She didn't want to dream, didn't want to remember any of it.
"Miss Granger, I can appreciate your point of view, but I cannot simply let the man go." Kinglsey said, watching the young witch standing in front of his desk. He'd been appointed as interim Minister of Magic until a proper election could be held in a few months.
"I'm not asking you to set him free…give him House arrest or community service, but you know that I'm in the right. The likes of Lestrange and Dolohov…they are evil and deserved death. Lucius Malfoy saved my life and asked me for nothing in return. He could have escaped, disappeared into the night and you probably would never have found him. He chose to surrender and face whatever punishment was handed to him. You pardoned Draco for acting under duress, for all you know Lucius was acting under the same duress to protect his wife and son. His wife is dead and his son may never wake up…I can think of no greater punishment than that." Hermione said, trying her best to fulfill her promise to the man. She'd discharged herself after only a day in St. Mungo's. They needed beds and she didn't want to lay there and have people feel sorry for her.
"If I give him house arrest, he will need someone to watch him Miss Granger." Kingsley said after a moment, considering it. "All right, two years of house arrest. If he can manage to follow the restrictions I'll set on him and keep out of trouble, I will clear his name. But you will have to act as his guard, the auror ranks are spread too thin as it is chasing down the escaped Death Eaters, and most I would assign to him would fabricate offences to get him sent to Azkaban. Be certain you are willing to do this." He said.
Hermione nodded. "I'll do it." She said, face tight. "You'll have a release order ready today?" She asked.
"I can have it drawn up within the hour," He said.
"Let him see his son, at least once before he begins his house arrest?" She asked, mind already whirling.
"You can take him there on the way to the manor." He said. "He's being held downstairs, you can go down and inform him of the conditions. No magic for two years, no wand, and he is under your care until the two years is complete. He doesn't leave the Manor without Ministry approval, for any reason." Kingsley said. "If he doesn't agree to that…he can serve his time at Azkaban." He was certain the proud old bastard would refuse.
"I'll go down and explain it to him." She said. "If you could bring the release orders down, once they're ready?"
"He doesn't deserve your help Hermione." Kingsley said.
"His son protected us as much as he could when Harry, Ron, and I were taken prisoner by the Snatchers. He hesitated calling Voldemort when Harry was revealed, though it might have cost him his life, and then he saved me from Dolohov. He didn't have to. It took time when he was in a hurry to save his son. Then all he asked was that I try and protect Draco. He asked for nothing else…" Hermione said quietly. "He deserves at least the chance to change."
"You're a better person than most." He sighed and nodded. "I'll join you downstairs when the order is ready."
"Thank you Minister." She said politely and left his office, taking the elevator down to the lower levels. She nodded to the auror on duty. "The Minister sent me down to speak to Prisoner Malfoy." She told the man.
"Yes Miss, he sent word. Right this way." He escorted her down the dark hallway to a cell near the end and unlocked it. "He's chained up but I can stay if you need me to." He offered.
"I'll be fine, thank you." She said and stepped into the cell and her eyes widened when she saw the state of him. She waited until the Auror left to approach him. "Mister Malfoy?" She said.
Lucius lifted his head, looking at her with one eye as the other was swollen shut. "Miss Granger…what an unexpected surprise." He managed to say.
"I managed to secure your release, with some conditions of course." She said, walking around the table and crouching in front of him.
"What conditions?" He asked, honestly shocked that she had managed such a feat. As the days after the battle had ticked by he had become resigned to his fate. He only hoped that he'd face execution swiftly.
"Two years of house arrest, during which you will not be permitted to leave the manor, or use magic. To ensure you abide by these rules they will have someone stay with you to…observe." She said carefully, biting her bottom lip a little.
"And who would that be?" He regarded her curiously. Even with only one eye he could see her discomfort and knew that it was likely to be someone he would not like.
"Me." She said simply.
He was stunned into silence for a moment, before his usual skepticism kicked in. "Why would you sacrifice two years of your life for me? I'm hardly some bastion of goodness, Miss Granger." He said cynically.
"You saved my life, I can spend two years repaying that." Her eyes didn't waver from his face.
"You realize they'll require you to live at the Manor. You'll be as much a prisoner there as I am." He said quietly. "You should not have to be there, after what happened."
"I've already made up my mind, and I'm sure Draco told you once or twice how terribly stubborn, and hard headed I can be." She gave him a brave smile, though to be fair the thought of being in that place did scare her. She'd spent every night since leaving the hospital waking in a dead sweat to nightmares, she supposed it hardly matter whether she had them in Ginny's room at the Burrow or a room in Malfoy Manor.
"Once or twice." He nodded, he gave her a half smile. "How is my son?" He asked her, changing the subject to something far more important to him.
"Still in a coma, but Healer Keena is very positive about his odds of a complete recovery. He's responding well." She told him. "I got Kingsley to agree to let you visit him on the way back to the Manor."
"Your powers of persuasion are impressive, my dear." He closed his good eye for a moment. "Thank you." He said.
"How badly are you hurt?" She asked him, eyes running over him critically in the low light. His lips were dry and cracked, there was a shallowness to his skin that she particularly did not like.
"I've have worse, Miss Granger…do not trouble yourself. Tell me what has been happening, I've been rather cut off from news." He said, knowing that acknowledging his injuries would only make them hurt more. It was far better to remain in a state of elegant denial.
"Kinglsey Shacklebolt has been named interim Minister of Magic until elections can be held." She started with that. "Professor McGonagall has been named Headmistress of Hogwarts and she's overseeing the clean-up efforts there. Professor Snape is in St. Mungos, but they're not optimistic about his recovery. He was on death's door when Harry was able to get healers to him. Harry's testimony secured pardons for Draco and Professor Snape." She stood and went to sit in the chair that was bolted to the floor but decided not to when she saw some disturbing stains on the metal. "Right now everyone's still reeling." She whispered.
"I'm glad Severus is alive." He gave a small smile. "What do your friends think about you championing a lost cause?"
"They have their opinions." She said quietly, remembering the screaming match that had ensued last night at the Burrow when she'd told Harry and Ron where she was going today. It had been Arthur that had settled things, coming to her defence and shutting the two young men up. "But it's my decision, and not theirs. They can either respect my reasons for making it, or not." She said. "Kingsley should be here soon with your release papers."
"Well…it's not like I'm going anywhere until he does." Lucius managed to drawl, even beaten within an inch of his life, chained to the wall like an animal, he could still play the superior aristocrat. Hermione wondered idly if it was just a personal gift of his or something genetic.
Not having much else to say Hermione lapsed into silence until Kingsley opened the door and entered with another Auror who went over to Lucius and released him from his bonds, roughly picking the man up and all but throwing him into the metal chair.
Hermione had to bite her tongue, but gave Kingsley a look.
"That will be all Auror Smith." Kingsley said and the man stormed out. "I trust Miss Granger informed you of the conditions of your release?"
"She did, most concisely. For all intents and purposes, she will be my jailer for the next two years, and I will not stir foot off the property without Ministry consent, nor will I be allowed to perform any magic during that time." He said. "I would ask that you allow Miss Granger to magically seal me into my quarters on occasion so that she be free to leave the manor when she has need. I see no reason why my punishment should also be a jail sentence for her as well." He said catching Kingsley's eye.
"I believe that is acceptable." Kingsley said, thinking somewhat better of the man for suggesting it. Of course it would be hard to think any worse of the wizard than he did.
"Very well, then I agree to those terms." He said.
Kingsley nodded and with a wave of his wand the manacles disappeared. He cast a basic cleaning charm on the other man and then turned to Hermione. "He's all yours Miss Granger…be careful."
"I will Minister." She said.
Lucius stood, holding himself carefully. The room was tilting rather alarmingly and he was not fool enough to try and walk out of the room. "If you'd be kind enough to lend me your arm Miss Granger?" He forced himself to ask, pride smarting from the fact that he could not walk very steadily under his own power. There was little help for it unfortunately, days with little water and even less food tended to have negative results on one's equilibrium.
Hermione moved to his side and let him lean on her. "Let's be on our way." She said and walked slowly beside him, not making him rush. They ignored the hateful glare from the Auror on duty at the desk and got onto the elevator and headed up to the lobby. "How badly are you hurt?" She asked again.
"Nothing that cannot be mended. A healer can tend to me while we look in on Draco." He said, unable to repress a wracking coughing fit that left blood on his hand.
Hermione frowned, and when the doors slid open she helped him to the floo. He travelled ahead of her, and was leaning against the wall when she came through behind him. She took his arm and went to the reception desk. "Mr. Malfoy is here to see his son, and if Healer Keena is available to look at him as well that would be much appreciated."
The young witch at reception nodded. "I'll let him know where you are. Do you know how to get to Mr. Malfoy's room?"
"Yes, thank you." Hermione said and helped Lucius down the corridors and into Draco's room. She got him sitting and poured him a glass of water. Draco was sleeping peacefully, the shimmering magical glow still surrounding him as he rested.
Lucius drank the water slowly, not gulping it down like he truly wanted to. "Thank you, Miss Granger. I truly did not expect you to be able to honour that part of your promise." His eyes were on his son, grateful that he would be all right.
"I gave my word that I would try…I take my promises seriously Mister Malfoy." She said quietly and sat down in the other chair. "We can stay as long as you need to."
He nodded, only looking away from Draco when the Healer entered the room. "Miss Granger, could you give me a few moments with the Healer?" He asked her.
"I'll wait outside." She said, willing to give him some privacy. She stood and walked past Healer Keena, giving him a polite nod.
Once the door shut Lucius allowed himself to sag in the chair. "I have need of your skills Thomas." He said in a ragged voice.
"Of course." The healer moved in and cast a diagnostic spell and quickly dealt with the broken bones and punctured lung. "Those Aurors are glorified thugs, I swear." He muttered with heat and had Lucius drink another glass of water. "I'll go and fetch some potions. Can I admit you for a few days?" He asked the man.
"No, I have been sentenced to House arrest…under Miss Granger's supervision. She tells me my son is healing well?" He asked, less concerned with himself.
"Very well. I can firecall with regular updates if you will be unable to visit. If I cannot keep you here, I'll send you home with a set of potions and I expect you to rest." He said firmly. "Can I send Miss Granger back in?" He asked carefully.
"Please." Lucius nodded his agreement, feeling too drained to argue with the sometimes pushy healer.
Hermione entered and sat back down. "Are you feeling better?" She asked, not prying.
"I will require a few days of rest and some potions, nothing too dire." He said, mind already cataloguing the things he needed to do as soon as they returned to the Manor. The wards would need to be reset, to keep out unwelcome guests and to be certain they recognized Miss Granger as someone who belonged there. The House elves would need to be coaxed from hiding and he'd set them to work removing all traces of the Dark Lord's residence there. Miss Granger would need rooms prepared for her use, and well away from *that* part of the house. Kingsley and he would have a very long talk, once he was a free man again, about forcing the young witch to live somewhere that she been tortured so brutally. Elements above and below, her screams would haunt him until the end of his days.
The healer came back in and handed Hermione a warded package. "He's to take one vial of each potion in the morning with something to eat. If you notice him becoming short of breath, or losing any co-ordination you are to firecall me here and I will come through immediately. If I am not here, St. Mungo's will know how to reach me." He met the witch's eyes, trying to impart that he was more injured than he let on. "Lucius, if you would take these now?"
Lucius nodded and took the pain reliever first, closing his eyes for a moment while it worked…easing the pain and relaxing the tense muscles in his back and legs. The blood replenisher and bone strengthening potions were taken in quick succession as they tasted quite vile. "Thank you Thomas." He said and handed the empty vials back. "We should go, Miss Granger." He stood and paused a moment, reaching out and taking his son's hand. "Keep me informed of his condition." He looked at Thomas who nodded.
Hermione stood and held the warded package of potions carefully. "If you're ready to go." She said, feeling a bit like an intruder to such an intimate moment.
"Yes, there are a few things we will need to take care of at the Manor before we can rest." He said decisively and made himself leave the room. He walked under his own power out to the reception room. "The destination you need to request is Malfoy Manor entrance hall." He told her and took a handful of the floo powder and after speaking his destination, stepped boldly through.