Author's Note: Hello again everyone! First I want to thank you lovely readers for your follows/favorites/reviews/etc- especially the guest reviews I can't reply to in a PM! You are all amazing. Secondly...yes, a new chapter is here! I'm really glad to continue this story, I've been having a lot of fun writing it. I hope you're having as much fun reading it! Feel free to drop a review if you're so inclined, I love them.

Anyway, on with the show. And as usual, I only own my own words (and whatever mistakes lay within them).


The seasons give way to one another, as they are wont to do, winter melting into spring with a soft sigh of its usual dreariness. The Manor is perfectly dreadful, as it always is during this time of year, the house dark without any sunlight and the grounds morose from snow and rain. It was cheerful enough through the holidays, but the parties have ended and the decorations removed, leaving the enormous space notably desolate.

A positive side to the gloom is the time I've been granted alone now that the constant festivity has ended. Parties require interaction, a need to stay at my husband's side while I play host and he feigns happiness for our guests. It seems to fool them enough, but I see through it with ease.

It seems to be an unspoken rule that she does not visit the Manor. Despite their professional relationship she has remained absent from any event we hold at our home, I suppose in an effort to keep secret what they've tried so desperately to hide. While I appreciate the effort for what it is (it is nice not to think of her while in my own home), I almost wish it weren't in place as it has made my husband near unbearable to live with.

Throughout the holidays he was continually on edge, apart from the Ministry's Christmas party. Though charming enough for our guests he otherwise sulked about, and the end of that means that I don't have to witness his unpleasant mood any longer.

We return to an all but separate existence with ease. I enjoy the solitude provided by days alone in and around the Manor, and my husband returns to work and immediately becomes much more cheerful. The mercurial difference almost makes me laugh.

Early March brings yet more dreary weather and the beginning of a spring social calendar. While I don't particularly enjoy the weekly afternoon tea gatherings that seem to focus entirely on idle gossip, I do like getting away from the business of the Manor, and seeing a few women I do genuinely enjoy spending time with.

One such gathering happens to fall on a particularly unpleasant afternoon. The rain had started early on in the morning, and by the time I'd arrived at the rather unremarkable witch Priscilla Flintwarthe's house where the tea would be held, the storms had begun. Rain pelted the windows in harsh droplets while thunder rolled in the distance, threatening its way closer. I am glad to be indoors and relatively comfortable, though distracted by the incessant noise (the chatter of the women around me does not help) and tired of the oppressive atmosphere outside.

Evidently my friends think the same, because Priscilla decides to end the get-together early, and everyone in attendance immediately agrees. It seems the weather has rendered us all tired of each other's company, and we depart quickly for our respective homes.

I sense something odd the moment I apparate into the foyer. There is an energy in the air that I have never felt before; I wonder briefly if it is because of the rapidly worsening storm, but I quickly dismiss that thought. In over twenty years at the Manor, I have never felt that effect from any sort of storm. This is something different.

It does not take long to figure out what it is.

A scream pierces the air, timed perfectly to a sudden crash of thunder. I remember something so eerily similar from only a few years back, a near-identical sound echoing throughout my house. I realize with immediate obvious clarity that she is at the Manor.

Loud little thing, isn't she? I think to myself as I begin to ascend the staircase. She seems to have no qualms about shrieking out her pleasure. The crassness of it makes me roll my eyes, but my husband seems to have no problem with her indecency.

When I arrive on the second floor I see immediately why I'd been able to hear her so easily: the door to the master bedroom is open, no doubt because they thought that they would have the place to themselves. I cannot help but laugh internally at their foolishly casual behavior; it makes everything so easy for me.

Somehow they do not see me as I approach the bedroom, but then really I have no reason to be surprised by it. They have been only able to see one another for months.

They are predictably nude- I can see that even with their bodies half covered by the sheets. She is sprawled out on the bed, her wild hair across the pillows and her limbs askew. My husband is at her side, one arm draped loose over her belly, his fingertips gently tracing over her skin. They remain that way for several minutes, her fingers carding through his hair while he brushes soft kisses over her shoulder and bared chest.

I should move. This would be the time to interrupt them, when they are enclosed in their nauseating bubble of post-coital bliss. How satisfying it would be to destroy it.

Instead I find myself unintentionally and silently rooted to the spot as if trapped there by some unseen force. Perhaps there is a charm at work- or maybe a curse. It would not surprise me.

After some length of time they move beyond their lazily patterned motions. His hand slips down beneath the silken sheet and settles between where her legs are while his head moves upward, lips trailing along her skin until they finally reach her own.

They kiss slowly, leisurely, unhurriedly tasting one another and clearly delighting in each other's presence. His hand moves after a few moments and she breaks the kiss with a whimper.

"Lucius…"

How fitting that the first word I hear in this little scene is a whine of my husband's name.

"Yes?" He drawls. I hear the smirk in his voice.

"I need you."

"I'm right here, my dearest."

"That's not what I mean," she huffs. She sounds so young. What is she...nineteen, perhaps? She must be; the same age as my son.

He chuckles. "Well, what do you mean?"

"You know, you arrogant sod. You know what I want."

"I do," he laughs. "But you know how I love to hear you say it."

She remains obstinately silent until his lips travel down her neck, pausing at a spot that causes her to moan.

"Ohh…"

"Mhmm," he agrees. His hand moves between her legs once more. "What do you need, darling?"

"I need you inside me again, Lucius," she groans out, her head falling back. "Please...I need you to fuck me…"

It's his turn to groan as he pulls back just enough to grab hold of her legs and tug her down the bed. She squeals, gripping his back. The sheets fall from around them and I see him position himself before thrusting forward, burying himself inside her in one motion.

"Yes," she sighs like he has fulfilled a missing part of herself. "My Lucius...I love how you feel...I can never get enough…"

"Never," he agrees, his own voice low and grating. "I need to be inside of you, all the time...this is where I belong, with you...you are mine…"

"Yours," she replies immediately. They each sound as needy and desperate as each other. "I am yours entirely, Lucius, always…"

Her words seem to spark something primeval within him.

"Again," he growls, thrusting within her at a bruising pace. "Say it again. Tell me that you belong to me. Only me."

"I do," the girl whines. "I belong only to you, Lucius...you know that I am only yours…"

My husband is unlike I have ever seen him, practically inhuman as he slams into said girl beneath him on the bed. "That's right. You may go back to that little boy of yours, but he will never truly have you. You were made for me, and me alone…"

I almost laugh at the way she moans aloud at his words. From what I had seen of her she had always been annoyingly self-assured and full of brash independence. It seems that underneath that, however, she is surprisingly pathetic.

I know for certain then what the strained sound that I have been hearing laced through their desperation is: jealousy. It exists just as much in her voice as it does in his.

"Please...I'm so close...I need to feel you coming inside of me, Lucius, I must…"

"Yes...my Hermione…"

Lightning strikes just when they reach their mutual peak. Her back is arched unnaturally in the strange light, his pale skin is near translucent for the breadth of a single moment. A crash of thunder falls immediately after, so loud it rattles even the solidity of the Manor. She screams; I can't hear it but I see her parted lips, her throat strained in a cry. If he makes a sound- and I am sure he does- I am unaware of it. They cling to one another fiercely.

The thunder seems to shake me of my peculiar hold. I find myself free to move once more, and I immediately step into the doorway of the room where the two are still locked in their embrace. My arms fold themselves over my chest, and though an unpleasant violence threatens to assert itself from within me, I simply gaze at them with a hardened smirk.

"Well, then...what is it we have here?"