AN: JK Rowling and Warner Bros owns all rights to Harry Potter, and I do not earn a single penny from writing this fanfiction.

Thank you Vino Amore for looking this over x

Story Triggers: Rape. Mind Control. Underage. Teen pregnancies. Racism. Obsession. Adultery.

Pairings: Pairings: Hermione/Severus, Hermione/Amycus (non con), Horcrux Tom/Hermione, Neville Longbottom/Daphne Greengrass, Ronald Weasley/Lavender Brown. One sided Dean Thomas/Hermione Granger. Kingsley Shacklebolt/Narcissa Malfoy.

Evil Is Too Strong A Word!

Aphrodite's Moon

Hermione laid in bed at night. Frantically tossing and turning, twisting the sheets around her legs. Sleep was as elusive to her as were the rules of Quidditch. Fed up, she got out of bed and walked down to the Common Room. Wrapped herself up in a red jumper she had discarded earlier, by the dying embers of the fire, contemplating the events since the Wedding. The plan was that she leave with Harry and Ron but, somehow, they had grabbed Remus in the confusion and it was too dangerous for the plan to carry on. So Remus was now part of the mission. Still, she shuddered, it could have been worse. It could have been little Gabrielle. Hermione realised she loved the shy French girl more than she did the older, brasher sister.

It had been months since Dumbledore's death. Months since she had last seen Harry. She sighed wanting to talk to someone. Anyone. She shook her head as she witnessed the return of Umbitch as Headmistress – with teaching Muggle Studies dorm by dorm once a week. Lessons in how ugly, worthless, and disgusting they were. She held tightly to Dean's hand during this weekly poisonous diatribe. Also, there was a new Death Eater in Hogwarts, Professor Amycus Carrow. He made her shudder, for he tended to lick his lips lasciviously whenever he looked at her, which was often enough to make her want to throw up. Both she and Ginny had stuck close to boys in their year to be safe. Seamus and Dean had replaced themselves as her bodyguards. Due to all three having Muggle upbringing they got on like a house on fire. Harry had sent her his invisibility cloak so that she could walk around the castle at night, go into the library to swot up on the Horcruxes, what other founders artefacts could be used, something that she did often.

She crept back up to the Dorm room. Silently making her way to her bed and knelt down by the Ottoman that she kept it in. Cautiously, she took it out and admired the magic that went into making this fine cloak. She had told no one that she was guardian of this item as it wasn't any of their damned business. Smiling to herself, she wrapped it around her body and snuggled into its warmth. There was always one place she went when she was especially restless. That was the Astronomy tower. The scene of that most auspicious of crimes in modern history.

She climbed out of the portrait hole and made her way to the Astronomy tower. She walked around the school avoiding Filch and Mrs Norris with expert ease. Dodging in alcoves and shrinking in the shadows; she did this because she wasn't certain of Mrs Norris ability to see through the cloak.

She opened the heavy oak door carefully so as not to alert attention; she had become adept at this also. As she started winding her way up the sloping well-worn stone steps of the castle, Hermione thought about how many famous Wizards and Witches that must have placed their feet here before her, it humbled her in some way. Once she reached the top of the Astronomy tower she touched the cold stone walls and laid her face against their coolness of the October night air. The damp, earthy smell, mixed with the scent of autumnal night relaxed her deeply.

The silver sickle shaped moon hung like a brooch in the sky. Illuminating little; stars surrounded the moon sparking like sequins on dark velvet dress. The clouds scudded eerily across the sky, the top half of them silvered by the light of the moon.

"If walls could talk, eh?" she whispered.

"Indeed, if they could talk, Miss Granger."

Said a voice behind her. She spun around, the cloak falling off her face and shoulders, as she moved. She was face-to-face with Severus Snape.

"S-Sir?" she stammered. Hermione still respected him. Standing by her conviction to Harry that Professor Snape was not completely evil. However, this did not stop her from trembling in fear as she slowly backed into the wall. "What are you doing here?" As soon as she asked the question she regretted it, as he fixed her with his cold black eyes.

He looked truly in his element. "Why not?" he smirked a little at the obvious fear she was displaying.

Hermione looked down on the floor; she found her feet to be interesting all of a sudden. Refusing to look up even when she found them standing toe to toe. Professor Snape tilted her chin up with his long slender finger and rubbed his thumb along her lips.

"You've grown since I last saw you, Miss Granger," he said. "Hmm, you've grown indeed."

She scowled at him; and he chuckled. "You're not going to tell me off for being here?"

"No," he said. "What right do I have?" there was a self-mocking edge to his tone. He was still supporting her chin with his finger. Forcing her to keep her gaze centred to his eyes. As fathomless as the dark depths of the sea. "Especially now that my employment here has been terminated."

"Well killing your employer certainly wouldn't make you employee of the year, sir!" she replied edgily.

He laughed; it was a cold humourless laugh devoid of real mirth. "I don't think I would have wanted that. It would have ruined my reputation."

"It's not a laughing matter," she replied with a slight pout to her lower lip.

"You were the one that came up with the joke, Miss Granger. Believe it or not Slytherins do have a sense of humour."

"I don't know what to believe," Hermione said truthfully. "Especially when it comes to you."

Severus looked at her and smiled. "I don't intend to be one of those shallow people you can work out instantly."

"No," Hermione sighed. "I suppose not."

He tilted his head to one side examining her briefly. "I'm glad you're here, I need someone semi-intelligent to talk to," he admitted. Hermione's jaw would have dropped at that compliment had he not been holding it so strongly. She had to show her confusion with her eyes. "Yes, Miss Granger," he inched his face closer to hers, they could feel each other's breath mingling between them. "I consider you to be semi-intelligent."

He took his finger away from her chin and walked away with his back turned. Tensing his shoulders as he gripped hold of the sides of the parapet of the wall. Fiercely, he clung to the stone. Hermione worried that his skin would bleed as his knuckles turned ghostly white. Shame overtook him as he tiredly hung his head down, lanky hair covered his profile. So immersed was he in the night, that were it not for his pale hands, she could not have told the difference between man and sky.

She walked up to the edge and stood beside him just quietly looking out into the night sky.

"Hogwarts is beautiful," she breathed eventually to break the silence between them. "I can understand why Voldemort wants it so much."

Snape turned around so sharply that his hair flew and landed across his face. Hermione had the sudden urge to sweep it away with her hand, especially the few hanks that landed across his sensual mouth and nose, but held back as she didn't think it would be appreciated.

"Don't say his name!" he hissed.

"I'm not afraid of him, sir," she replied with a calm shrug. "What he can do to me is what anyone else can."

"Is that what you think? Others have the gift of mercy; he doesn't."

"That's probably why I am not afraid," she answered. "I fear Lucius Malfoy more than Voldemort because Lucius does have the gift of mercy; yet he chooses not to use it. That is something to be feared. A villain with a heart."

Snape furrowed his brow. She was still looking out over Hogwarts and now she was resting her hand on her chin. The moon shone on her face giving her flesh an otherworldly glow. Her hair was a messy fountain of unruly curls cascading down her back in a tangled heap that was perfect for his hands to grip onto whilst... regretfully shaking that thought out of his head before he put it into action. Some of it was covering her sweet profile. Severus couldn't stand that. Tenderly, he brushed aside some wayward tendrils and tucked them neatly behind her ear. She closed her eyes as she felt his fingertips brush against her skin.

"Why are you here?" she asked eventually.

"To make some sense of it all," he replied.

His entire attention was captivated by her determined gaze staring out over the parapet. Even he realised that she had grown up to be quite a strong beauty, the timeless beauty, the sort of beauty artists could never capture and poets would waste reams of paper on. He mused over an unthinkable possibility. What was it like to kiss her?

She pouted her lower lip and jutted her jaw out slightly. She was no longer a child. Here stood a woman. A womanly neck stretched to catch a slight breeze to heighten the red stain on her cheeks. A neck that Severus wanted to stroke and lick with his lips and tongue. He folded his arms across his chest, leaning his hip against the rail, as he contemplated her. They weren't so different as he had tried to pretend all these years. She was what he would be were he female, or worse, Gryffindor!

"You're beautiful," Severus sighed aloud without intending to.

She snapped out of her pensive reverie and looked at her companion blinking back her surprise. "What did you say?" she gasped.

"Nothing," Severus said. It was the usual clichéd response recovery.

"You said something," she said. "What was it?"

Tightly he gripped the side of the wall with one of his hands. Petulantly kicking stones about as he stubbornly looked down on the floor. Hermione was strongly reminded of Harry when she questioned him about whether he had done his homework or not. The urge to giggle as he spoke, admitting quite churlishly, that he thought she was beautiful. Hermione's eyes softened. She stepped up to him and raised a hand to his cheek and stroked under his eye with the pad of her thumb causing him to look into her eyes.

"You're not bad looking yourself," she said.

He leant into her hand and placed his lips in the centre of the palm of her gentle hand. Gripped her wrist as if his life depended on it. Clutching hold of her hand as he fell down to the floor bursting out into floods of tears. The hand that was holding the wall slipped off and landed on the floor limply by his side. Hermione looked around biting her lip uncertainly, wondering what could happen if Mrs Norris caught whiff of this. Her uncertainty gave way to compassion. Studying prepared one for exams; it did not prepare one to deal with a crying, broken, adult man who had murdered Albus Dumbledore.

"I didn't want to do it," he sniffed.

Charily, she stepped closer to him. Tentatively, Hermione started stroking his hair, combing through the lanky locks with her fingers, consoling him best she could. Eventually, she wrapped her hands around his head and held him close to her body. Needing more comfort, Severus turned his face into her belly and sobbed on her whilst she hummed soothingly to him. Desperately, his hands clung onto her red jumper. Sharp nails ripped through the wool as he sank them both down even further on the floor. Hermione decided to take hold of both his hands, trying not to cringe at how cold they were. A true warm smile spread across her face, as it was now her turn to tilt his chin up and make him look into her warm brown eyes.

"I know you didn't," she said gently. "Harry is convinced you're the black hearted villain; I do not, nor have I ever, thought so. I think of all the times you could have betrayed us but you didn't. I think of the time you bravely showed your Mark in front of the then Minister for Magic collaborating Harry's story. I think of all the times you must have got Crucio'd by that monster for us. Yet, you didn't let Voldemort walk in through the gates of Hogwarts. You could have turned your back on us at any time in the past sixteen years yet you stayed doing a job that you clearly didn't want to do," he snorted and tried to look away but Hermione tugged fiercely onto his chin between her thumb and forefinger. "Listen to me!" she said pinching the skin slightly to make him pay attention. "Listento me. You are notevil! You are no yellow-belly coward! You are a brave man. A man that I am proud to know."

He looked deeply into her amber orbs round as a full moon each of them; they sparkled with equal ferocity of light and power. She truly believed all what she had spoken. In that moment, she was Aphrodite.

"I am not that much of a man, Miss Granger."

Hermione leant forward and brushed her lips against his before she could change her mind. Slowly she pulled away; her heart in her throat as her eyes snapped open revealing an uncertain shine in them. She got up on her feet and ran to pick up the invisibility cloak.

"Goodbye," she breathed.

His lips tingled with her touch. Her scent hung around him in the air. She obviously loved lilac and roses. Shakily, he brushed his fingers along his tingling lips. Dazed at what had just happened between them. Nice girls like her didn't brush their silken lips against his hard mouth.

"Wait!" he said in a broken voice.

She turned around and looked at him. He was still on his knees. Realising the rather prostrate position he was in, Severus quickly scrambled to his feet. Sudden purpose took over the older man as he strode up to her quickly, ignoring the head rush he got from getting up too fast. All he needed to be was close to this Goddess of Goddesses. He grabbed her waist with hot hands, before she had a chance to run away, without skipping a beat, Severus leaned down and bruised his lips against hers.

"Satisfied?" Hermione asked breathlessly.

"No," he said equally as breathless. "Why did you kiss me?"

"To give you hope," she gulped as she flattened her hands against his chest. "Why did you kiss me?"

"One kiss won't be enough to give me hope, Miss Granger," his voice molten chocolate.

She cocked her head to one side; strongly reminding Severus of a King Charles spaniel Lily used to own. She even had the right hair for it. Hermione smiled slightly showing off a cute little dimple either side of her mouth. He stroked along her jaw line and leant down and placed a kiss on the dimples. She sighed. Again with swiftness of passion, Severus wrapped his arms around her waist, clamping her to his body.

Hiccuping with shock as her hands landed palm flat on his chest. Eyes widening with anticipation of what was to come next. Her, she hoped.

"Um," she gulped. Coughing to try and get her voice back to normality. "I don't think we should be going any further, sir."

"I don't deserve to be called 'sir' any more. I am Severus to you, you are Hermione to me, from now on."

She gulped again casting her gaze downward to hide her insecurity. Whilst her eyes were averted, Severus had unfastened his cloak, suavely wrapping it around her in a seemingly single fluid movement. Protecting her in its herbal scented shroud. All it took was one look into her now cautious glance as she bit her lower lip to lessen his resolve completely.

Suddenly Eros had stabbed his heart. Aphrodite had coiled her fingers around his arteries, diverting all blood down to his groin. Passionately bumping her against the wall suddenly realising that he could not live without having made this glorious witch his! Frantically roaming his hands up and down her sides. Heavily breathing on her face. Suddenly, he hooked his fingers in the elastic waistband of her cotton pyjama bottoms rushing them down ignoring the goosebumps forming on her thighs. Smirking as his fingers brushed against her silken flesh.

"I-I hardly know you, s-sir... I-I mean Severus," both knew the protest was an act. Hermione was quivering with excitement. Knowing that this Wizard was going to mark her soul before he seared her heart. "Th-this i-is wrong, S-Severus," though her words were morally right her eyes were reflecting the ethical truth.

"You shall know me better, hereafter," he purred.

She locked into his dark, obsidian gaze. The nightly breeze whipped his hair. Hermione smiled, nodded as she grabbed the lapels of his rough patched jacket. Bringing him closer to her, so that she could kiss him, taste him properly. Chocolate mingled with heady spices of brewing and something distinctly him, teased her tongue and nasal passages. Nostrils flared to inhume as much scent of him, as possible, as she wantonly began rubbing her centre up and down on his rock hard rod. She smiled when they broke apart from their kiss. Coyly lowering her lashes as she moved in to pet the exposed, sensitive flesh of his neck. Working her way along his strong, stubbled jawline then back to his mouth. Nipping his lower lip, stretching it slightly, before suckling where she bit, causing him to groan from the depths of his soul.

Eagerly he allowed her small questing tongue inside his mouth. Tentatively, she licked the roof of his mouth with the tip of her wet tongue. His tongue flickered upwards eager to play with its new friend. Her tongue lowered down with his, she ran her tongue along his causing pleasurable tingles. Heat coursed down her body, warming her centre, making her want him more.

Hands wandered down his body and they ended up at the waistband of his trousers. As quickly as he freed her from her pyjama bottoms, so she returned the favour. Confidently, Hermione's teasing little fingers flicked the button out of its hole. Playfully, she ran her finger tips up and down the zip, feeling his tumescence through the fabric, licking her lips with greed. With this she grabbed the zip slowly drawing it down so his erection could finally be seen and admired. Not nervous in the slightest by his girth, she smirked instead: "You're much more endowed than Black!" she said.

At the mention of his dead rival Severus growled as he crushed her lips back to his and kissed her passionately as she began to circle her legs around his accommodating hips. "You let that Mutt near you!" he was beyond furious, how dare that layabout touch this Goddess.

"Relax, Severus," Hermione gasped as she took her hands down to his hot, leaking erection, "I may have had him," she sighed as she nipped against his throat again, using her teeth. She certainly hoped he felt the difference if he could not see it. "But he was the worst I have ever had. So far, you are leagues above him!"

Severus could not help but stand truly proud at this statement. So it was true, the witches did only like him for his bragging. She broke the kiss and looked down and smiled at the black satin boxers now slightly stained with her own essence as well as his.

"By the time I am done with you, wench, you won't remember anyone else before me," he grunted rather possessively. "Once I've rammed into your tight, wet, dripping-for-me hole, no one else will even consider going there." Hermione giggled at the threat. As she looked back up into his eyes; they were smouldering in the dark. "Now, Hermione," he purred as he leant down to sniff her neck, "who is your Wizard?"

She sighed as his hands stroked down her back with one hand, whilst the other was exploring her warm and swollen labial folds. He pushed her closer to him, smirking again at how damp her core was for him. She felt his member quiver beneath her, almost as if it could not wait to meet its new home. Severus buried his face in the crook of her neck. Deeply inhaling her perfume and smiled against her skin before pressing his lips sensually against her flesh. He groaned as he felt her shiver beneath him with wonderment and joy.

"Severus," she hissed when she felt his teeth graze against her ear.

"That's right," he murmured against her shoulder that he immediately peppered with kisses.

His hands circled down to her legs, with assurance that this was going to happen, he lifted her legs up over his waist. He wanted to fill her now; but remained patient as she leaned her head back to allow for further access along the base of her neck. This allowed him to lick her throat. He could see the peaking of her nipples through the woollen jumper and whatever else she might be wearing underneath. They were tantalizing and he wanted so much to suck and wrap his tongue around them.

As if she read his mind she lifted her arms. Taking the hint Severus tugged her jumper off. Surprised that she was wearing a white satin slip underneath. He looked up into her now lustful eyes. She smiled a little and shrugged her shoulders. He slipped the straps down her arms and then bunched up her breasts in his hands, weighing them, enjoying the sight of them wobbling a little. Allowing a reverent gaze on the two heavenly mounds, he sighed before placing his lips on her breast. She gasped as the light touch of his lips echoed resonantly throughout her body.

"Severus," she hissed once again arching her back in, thrusting forward her breasts for his exploration.

"Hermione; so beautiful," he suckled on a particularly silky part of the breasts, "so damn beautiful!"

He was almost at a loss for words. She was indeed beautiful when he looked into her glowing eyes. Flushed, breathing raggedly. Her lips slightly parted and her skin reflecting the light of the moon. Goddess most definitely. Worshipping her readily with his eyes, tongue, hands, and turgid wand.

"Severus," she began. Now, it was going to be now when he would fill and stretch her with the loveliest piece of manhood she had seen. "Can we... I mean to say... whatever happens after this night I want you to know that you can trust me."

"Likewise, Hermione, likewise."

With that declaration there seemed little more to say. In earnest now he decorated her throat, chest, breasts and any part of flesh he could with fiery hot kisses. Sucking at especially tender parts, trailing a path of licks on her throat to her lips. Landing back on her lips, already wide open to allow immediate entrance of his wonderful tongue, wrapping hers immediately with his. Possessively drinking as much of her sweetness from her mouth as he could. A man could get drunk on her juices alone!

She tried to display equal ferocity of passion, but his still dominated her mouth, telling her with actions that he was the dominant one. It was clear he had kissed a lot of women. Either that or he was a natural born kisser. He peeked through his lashes to check her reaction. To his delight she was completely relaxed in his arms. Skin luminescent due to their gruff exercise. He closed his eyes again. Urging his tongue to delve deeper into her hot sweet cavern.

She leaned further into his body. Clamping her legs around his waist tightly, trapping him to her, indicating that it was now or never. He smirked when she pushed down on him urgently seeking some form of relief. He looked deeply into her eyes after breaking the kiss and wiped her hair away from her sweaty face.

"Are you scared?" he whispered.

She shook her head. "As you know, I am no longer a virgin," she smiled cheekily.

That was all the permission he needed. Using his fingers inside her to help stretch her. A medley of moans left her throat as he continued to gently thrust his digits into and out of her core. Once he was satisfied he could enter her he removed his fingers and breathed in her scent before licking his fingers. Closing his eyes to her moan of appreciation at the sight of this man tasting her. She shifted slightly to allow better access. Clutching onto his shoulders as he slowly entered her inch by glorious inch. Warm, silken walls, immediately hugged his shaft. Caressing it like it was an old, and welcome friend, Hermione gasped when he was fully inside.

"Did I hurt you?"

"A little," she panted. "I meant it you know – you have nothing to worry about!"

This caused him to really smirk. Beat that, Black! He thought as he thrust deep into her, a guttural growl escaped Hermione's throat. He pushed into her further, she moaned again. Pleading with him through tears of joy to go harder and faster. Severus did so, angling his thrust so they both could get the awesome level of excellence in orgasms they possibly could. Realising that Severus was doing all the work Hermione steadied herself, causing him to grunt as she stroked him. Holding onto his shoulders, looking deeply into his night like gaze, and pushed down on him. Tearing an animalistic growl from his throat as he thrust back with abandon. Hands tangled in hair. Gasp. Thrust. Moan. Down. Groan. Repeat. They danced against the walls of the tower under the light of the silver sickle moon.

Hurriedly, he kissed down her neck. Pushing up into her which was then reciprocated with a downward push onto him. Hungrily, he brought one of her breasts into his mouth, sucking as much of it as possible in his willing mouth. Tongue twirling around her hardened nipple, sore and tender from earlier ministrations. Quickly swapping to the other breast. Hermione threw her head back.

Severus picked up one of her legs and threw it over his shoulder as he leant back and began to screw her into the walls of Hogwarts, angling it so that now they were getting optimum pleasure. Hermione tried to meet him thrust for urgent thrust but she was finding it difficult to keep up the pace he was setting.

"Severus," she hissed; "there! Just there!"

"Here?" he asked. Holding back from thrusting into her with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. Hermione could only keen and push down. "Oh, there," he thrust as he did so. Hermione sighed as she twisted around causing him to groan in return. "That's it! You asked for it!" he growled as he gripped her hips, digging his fingers into the youthful flesh leaving dents. Pistoning in and out of her like his life depended on it. So far beyond words.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, OH GODRICS SWORD!" screamed Hermione. "SEVERUS!" she did not care that her screams could be heard throughout the forest and lake below. Wantonly, her mouth hung wide open. Severus dove in for a kiss – tracing his tongue around her now wet mouth. Using her hands and nails to scrabble around his shoulders for support. "Mmmm, that's wonderful!" she breathed into his ear.

The ravishment had not finished. Desire had yet to be quelled. Leaving her mouth he quickly and greedily sucked in a breast, much to her delight. He swapped breasts and thrust further into her, causing her to scream with ecstasy several times over, as he rubbed against her with passions flame. Smirking as she writhed underneath him to grab any sort of friction she could. Wanting to return the favour Hermione began to push down on him causing him to moan in return. It was her turn to smirk. Inordinately pleased with herself that the insufferable-know-it-all weakened him as much as he affected her.

Pleasantries of any sort were useless now. His nails dug deeper into her flesh, piercing her skin, due to the force of his thrusts. Making them so deep and hard into her that he came with the best orgasm he ever had. She yelled out his name as he gave her the best orgasm she had. Ragged breaths panted warmly against each others skin. Just a couple of sharp thrusts into her was all it took for him to shudder, shout, and fill her with his seed. Both breathless, unsure, and suddenly shy, Hermione dared not move. Slowly, he guided her legs down.

"Shush," he whispered stroking her hair with both hand, encasing her warm and sweaty face. He planted a warm, lingering kiss on the top of her head. "I got you," he hugged her tightly. "Don't worry."

"Th-that was incredible!" she glanced up, eyes shining with joy.

She didn't think she'd be able to make it down to her Common Room with her legs shaking the way they were. Severus looked down and saw the most beautiful girl right in front of him. Cheeks lustily reddened. Puffed up with exertion. Lips swollen and sore from the nips and bites passionately given. This may be childish but Severus could not believe he won over Black! Smugly, he grinned, as he stroked her pouting lower lip. Glad to have marked her completely inside and out.

Moments later, when they were both steady from their highs, Severus decided to clean them both as they gathered their wits. Strangely, Hermione did not feel like she had just betrayed Harry, in fact, she mused, she felt as if she may have helped him. After all, something must have guided her here tonight. Whilst Hermione did not believe in fate, she most certainly believed in the power of suggestion. Noticing that Hermione was still shivering, Severus suavely wrapped his cloak around her body, clasping it close to her neck to make sure she was warm. Touched by the gesture Hermione gazed up to his dark, shining eyes. She owned that heat and the Lioness within purred at the thought of belonging to this alpha.

"I want you to have this," Severus said taking a trinket out of his trouser pockets. "It's the Horcrux that Potter is looking for," he explained. "I will send you instructions on how to destroy it."

He took her small hands in his. Keeping his eyes trained on hers as he raised them to his lips calculatingly dotting a searing kiss on each of her fingers. The silver pendant wrapped around her wrists.

"Who was R.A.B, we could not work that out?" Hermione said.

"He was... was my friend," gulped Severus. "He was five times the Wizard, his brother never could be. R.A.B was," a silver tear fell down his cheek, compelling Hermione to cradle the cheek lovingly. "Regulus Black. A year below me. He was, always will be – the bravest Wizard I will ever know!"

Hermione felt her throat clog up with tears as she watched Severus begin to quietly sob for his dead friend. "He made sure that The Dark Lord could not retrieve the Locket."

"Wh-where was it?"

"Your esteemed Headmistress and Muggle Studies Professor," he sneered. "A little Polyjuice as the Wizard she likes," Hermione refused the urge to retch at the thought of Toadface being with someone in an intimate way. "Lucius Malfoy..." causing an upward curve of the lips. "She simpered at 'Lucius'. I told her the Dark Lord requested it back and she gave it away. By the way," he sighed as he stroked her cheek with his wonderful warm caring hand. "I hear Amycus Carrow is teaching here?" Hermione nodded. "Then tread with caution. There are poisonous snakes. There are not. Amycus is venomous. Never be alone!"

"I have Seamus and Dean protecting me," Hermione said.

Severus snorted giving his opinion with the all too familiar roll of the eyes. Chuckling a little, Hermione wrapped her arms around his waist. Making sure she could get as much of him as she possibly could. Severus held her close to his body, resting his cheek on the top of her head. Regretfully, he released a sigh as he pulled her away. her upper arms, making sure they were looking into each other's eyes: "I do not trust those two but they are in your house. There are two Slytherins I could name for you to stick close to when you can too."


"Mr Zabini and Miss Greengrass," he replied.

A hauntingly beautiful song, that healed her inside and out, sang through her – immediately warming her – happily allowing the melody to wrap around her. Excitedly, Hermione followed the sound, the sight that met her roving gaze was enough to take her breath away. A bright shimmering gold bird riding the winds against the argent moon elegantly swooped into view.

"Fawkes," she breathed.

"For some reason the Phoenix has adopted me," Severus said.

"That proves me right," Hermione said as she watched the Wizard balance himself on the parapets. Arm outstretched bent at the arm the way she had seen falconers do it. Awaiting the bird to alight: "Phoenixes are completely adverse to evil, those with malicious or malignant hearts will never be able to touch, let alone be near them. Their song burns them."

Once Severus was standing high on the tower, limb adorned by the most gorgeous avian she had ever seen, did things to Hermione's insides that caused them to melt again. There was something so noble, ancient, and pure about her lovers stance atop the tower. As fearless as the bird itself. Hair flapping in the breeze. What girl's heart would not beat fast in their chest at this awesome picture. Severus profile highlighted by the shimmering moon.

Slowly, he turned to gaze upon his young lover. "I shall see you anon, my Lady of the Lions."

"When?" she asked, tilting her head to the side wanting one last kiss. "I don't think that I..."

"Shush, darling," he soothed her with his low voice. "I will send you a note all in good time. It might be sooner than you think, my dear."

Hermione smiled, closing his cloak around her body. Enjoying the herbal aromas invading her nostrils, as she sighed. The Horcrux twined around her wrist glinting in the clear night.

"May I have a lock of your hair?" she asked.

Was this how Rapunzel felt when locked in her tower the first time her prince left? Never had anyone looked as regal as he did in that moment. Hermione had always condemned the swooning heroine, but this was close to swooning as she would get. Severus had given her so much to increase her self-esteem that she could only sigh with happiness.

"No," he whispered as he took the sight of her earnest gaze upon him. Looking so small wrapped in his cloak. "You have enough to remember me by."

It was then that he leapt into the air, holding onto Fawkes tail feathers, flying away as gracefully as he walked. She sighed when she saw her lover being whisked away in to the fathomless night not knowing when, or if, she was going to see him again.

"Be safe, Severus."

With that she spun on her heels and began walking down the steps. Carefully making her way back to the Gryffindor Tower. The Pink Lady was not amused at the Head Girls antics. Tutting as she let her charge in before she could be caught by that odious Carrow fellow. Disapproving she may be, but she still loved and protected all her charges.

Quietly, Hermione slipped back into her shared dorms and sniffed in Severus one more time before setting the pendant underneath her pillow. Then she clambered into bed and rested her head back. The time her wand flashed was earlier than she thought. It was only 2:30am. She had been up later than that to do her homework. When she closed her eyes she thought she heard whispering. Confused, Hermione sleepily opened her eyes. Only to hear Lavender talking about Won Won in her sleep. Parvati was whistling through her nose. Neither were whispering in her ear. Shrugging her shoulders Hermione settled back into Morpheus arms. The last thing she knew was the heady scents of autumnal nights and herbs from Severus' cloak.

The next morning she woke up surprisingly bright and inexplicably chirpy. Showering with glee. Humming Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper as she washed her hair. Hermione then picked up her bottle of Trésor by Lancôme, a gift from her parents, and spritzed a little on the insides of her wrist, the crook of the arms, the same for the knees as she was wearing a skirt, behind her ears and a tiny bit on the base of her throat. A rich and beautiful scent that Hermione wished she could bathe in.

"Someone's happy," said Parvati.

"She got laid that's why!" Lavender smirked. "I bet she won't tell us either!"

"Got that right," Hermione muttered. "Who I sleep with is not yours, or the schools, business. Don't want to give Carrow another reason to lick his lips at me!"

"Ugh!" shuddered Lavender. "I know we've had our differences in the past, Hermione, but if he does hurt you – you can come to us – you know that, right?"

Her heart grew within her as the Pride gathered to protect her. Remembering it was these two girls who tried to coax her out of the bathroom in their first year, prior the troll. The only time she had regretted not listening to them.

"I will, Lavender, I promise," Hermione decided to hug the other girl as a show of solidarity. Parvati joined in.

"Mmm that's lovely," Parvati said, "can I use some, please?"

"Sure," Hermione shrugged as she took the bottle out of her toiletry bag. "You do not need much of it. It has excellent longevity and brilliant sillage."

"This from a girl who does not read Teen Witch!" Lavender giggled. "Ta, Hermione."

The bushy haired girl shrugged her shoulders and walked out to get dressed. Making sure to pin her Head Girl badge on the centre of the knot of her perfectly straight tie. The Horcrux must have slipped from under the pillow during the night as it was now twinkling from the centre of her mattress.

She supposed it would be safer with her than up here unguarded. She pulled it up and wrapped it around her wrist as she had done so last night. There they were again, the whispers. Now she definitely knew that her dorm mates were not responsible as she was alone. Clearly there was something, or someone here, that should not be. After a thorough check of the room finding no one Hermione sighed.

"If Peeves got in here I shall have to talk to The Bloody Baron!"

She swept her hair behind her ear and picked up her bag.

"Hermione," clear as the lovely sunshine day outside, "Hermione," she narrowed her eyes with suspicion, "hello Hermione." She gulped as she remembered what she said to Harry in his second year. Hearing voices no one else can, is a dangerous sign. "Do not worry, Hermione, I wish to protect you." Her throat ran dry. "Wear me, Hermione." The Horcrux it had to be. "I do not want to hurt you!" Hermione wanted to block the voice out. The lonely sounding voice was tugging at her soft heart. "Please, Hermione, all I want to be is your friend. I know you, Hermione, I know how clever you are. It has been frightfully dull," she had entered the common room feeling a little heady and lethargic. "Please, Hermione, allow me to be your friend, you are dear to the Wizarding World. You could be dear to me. I want you to be dear to me. Just say hello to me, Hermione."

She was not sure that she should, however she did feel rather lonely without Harry and Ron. "That's it, Hermione," the voice seemed to be inside her head. "I am your friend, I am the one you can trust, I can help you fulfil your potential in the way no one else can," her heart weighed heavy in her chest. "All. You. Have. To. Do. Is. Just. Say. Hello."

Hermione opened her mouth to speak...

AN: For some reason the Doctor Who theme tune echoed in my head at the end of this chapter... The older one, from the 80's. When a story took a month or so to tell. This was first written over ten years ago and I decided to revive it with the letters AU which allows us writers of fanfiction to get away with everything.