Moments later Hermione stood twenty feet from Lord Voldemort, almost sick with fatigue at the number of Dementors and Death Eaters standing behind him.
"Lasae Exlium," Hermione whispered as she stared at Voldemort.
Voldemort's bright red eyes gleamed. "Welcome Hermione Granger," he whispered silkily. The Death Eater clutching her arm let go and went to his place behind Voldemort.
Hermione glared at the fear of the entire Wizarding world. "You will pay," she hissed.
Voldemort smiled mockingly. "I do not think that will be happening, Hermione Granger." his powerful gaze directed at Hermione made her feel weak and lowered the little confidence she could gain to almost nothing.
"What do you want?" she tried to muster her courage up once more.
"What do I want?" he repeated. He leaned forward barely an inch but Hermione felt herself get hit in the face with his power. "I want this world. I want this world and all other worlds. And you, Hermione Granger, are key to that. Now, bow to me and revel in my greatness!" he roared intentionally sending a weak version of the Imperious Curse to her.
Hermione felt herself grow weak and enter a dreamlike state. Her eyes became glassy as temptations were whispered in her ear. A cloaked figure in the line of Death Eaters behind Voldemort fought not to move; struggling against every instinct that told him to help Hermione.
She felt warm. . .She didn't wanted to leave this place. . .this dream. . .
"Bow. . .Bow to me and you shall be spared. Become mine and save all that is dear to you."
Hermione squeezed her eyes shut and forced herself not to succumb to the sudden desire aflame within her. She listened carefully wanting only to fulfill her sudden desire.
"Bow. . ."
But something told her not to. . .Something said not to. Something said she had a purpose, a pure one. One that she couldn't stray from, no matter the temptation.
"Now. . .Bow before me. . ."
She forced her eyes open with sudden clarity and felt an energy pour from her and surround her.
"Never!" she screamed and the energy flared up to the sky in a sudden release. She panted as the energy didn't return to her, instead, flew to some unknown destination.
A grin encompassed Voldemort's face. "Just like him. You are just like him." his eyes laughed in utter joy. "I never realized that I would be able to have this much fun. I thought Harry was the only one who could withstand my weakest strikes. But, no, there is another!" he glared almost happily at her. "However, this one doesn't even begin to measure up in power!"
Hermione backed up a step, terribly frightened for a just a moment. No, I can't let him do this to me. I need to stand strong and face him. Everyone else might not be here, but I can do it. I can do it at least long enough to transfer the information to Dumbledore. I hope he read the note. . .
The young witch stood suddenly straighter and much stronger. She looked at Voldemort with such a vengeance in her eyes that it might have rivaled even some of the Dark Lord's most angered enemies. Then she tightened her grip on her wand. 10 ½ inches, rowan and phoenix feather, pliable. Her wand had been of great help to her many times before and she hoped it would not fail her this time. She narrowed her eyes and moved her right foot back barely a step. Voldemort cast an amused glance at her and let his wand arm rest idly at his side.
With his defenses down a little due to his lack of confidence in her, she sprang into action. She quickly shouted a paralysis curse knowing that it would miss. And so it did. The Dark Lord blocked it easily and stepped forward.
"Hermione, you couldn't have possibly meant that curse for me, now did you?" Hermione felt disgusted as she felt the words hiss through her head.
Without a reply she ran at him. "Pholis Largta!" she shouted the enlargement curse aiming for his wand arm knowing that if she could get rid of that she would stand more of a chance. Voldemort's grin grew smaller as he stepped to the side and motioned to several of his Death Eaters to come forward.
"I shall not waste my great power on a little mudblood, my Death Eaters, do with her as you wish," Voldemort said to three Death Eaters in the front line. The three Death Eaters, all clothed in black robes with white masks that had small slits, advanced towards her.
"What's the matter, Voldemort? Too weak to fight me?!" Hermione egged him on.
A small smirk played upon Voldemort's thin lips. "Bellatrix, Nott, Dolohov, enjoy." he ignored her taunt.
Hermione grimaced, how could she stand a chance against three high level Death Eaters? She bit her lip as they advanced.
"Experillemus!" Hermione shouted. Dolohov deflected the charm easily. Bellatrix looked at her hungrily. The dark witch that stood in front of her raised her arm and shouted a Levitation Charm.
She wants to torture me in the air. . .when I can't do anything back to her!Hermione thought suddenly.
But before Hermione could defend herself, Nott shot a paralysis curse from about ten feet away on her left side. The young witch looked frantically at both spells coming at her. Time seemed to slow down. She needed to make a choice. She couldn't dodge. Once she was hit with either curse her assailants would attack her immobilized body. The paralysis curse would leave her unable to move on the ground while the levitation charm would also leave her to their whims, but in the air. She would be able to move with the levitation charm, but it would be hopeless, floating in the air, having nothing to even hold onto as she suffered from various curses. She gritted her teeth. One choice, paralysis or levitation?
A shield, she thought, would help deflect the attacks. Unless they were too strong and kept coming at her, rendering both her and the shield useless. One choice, her mind reminded her needlessly. The attacks were only a couple feet away. Their impending danger began to blind her. She needed to think! Think! Remember everything she had learned, remember everything she knew!
But no matter what she came up with, there was nothing that she could do quickly that could defend her. The curses she knew were much too long to be of any use at this point. Then it came to her. She could take one of the impending curses, but not both. She knew a curse of her own, it was a short one, it would be perfect. She stepped to her right, avoiding the levitation charm, but only a second left before the paralysis spell made contact.
"Cis Tarnan!" She pointed her wand at Nott and barely got out the spell before his crashed into her, sending her to the ground unable to move. Her arms were stiff and pinned to her sides as her legs became unmovable as she lay on her back on the dusty earth. But her grip on her wand never loosened. She squeezed her eyes shut and began concentrating on only leaving. She concentrated on leaving with her parents, but that wasn't enough. Nott still had his wand which meant she would remain paralyzed until either he relinquished his hold on her or he did not hold his wand.
But no matter how hard she concentrated on leaving with her parents, it still wasn't enough. She opened her eyes and her sight became blurred as she saw the three Death Eaters towering over her. A warm wetness trickled down the side of her face.
No! I have to do this! I can't let them win! I need. .need to think of something else. Something stronger!
All of the sudden, out of no where, it sprang into her mind, clear as day. Severus. He had been the one she had been holding onto for so long, the one who let her live again. She needed him. She needed him to live; the very breath in her lungs depended upon his existence. She needed to leave with her parents and Severus. She needed to free him from his existence as a double agent. She needed to survive this for him. Hermione began to concentrate on nothing else other than Severus. She remembered his raven hair, greasy from spending hours over cauldrons; his obsidian eyes, darker and more mysterious than anything else she had ever seen; his quiet and authoritative voice which could break a person or bring her back to life.
With her thoughts consumed by Severus it took her a moment to realize that her body wasn't quite as heavy before and that there was something in her left hand. Breathing hard, she gazed blankly up at the three Death Eaters.
They glared back at her. Nott's eyes, especially, seemed to glow with a sudden and greater need for vengeance. Hermione struggled to get up, her limbs still a little stiff from the curse when Nott suddenly swung back his leg and kicked her in the side. The kick sent her rolling onto her stomach and she gasped for air. Hermione pushed herself up slowly, feeling the hatred of all those around her, feeling their gaze on her, their desire to come after her. As she finished standing up, she stood silent before Nott; a tall man at 6'4'', with light colored eyes that glared at her from beneath the mask he wore.
The two stood with a space of barely two feet between them. They looked at each other with stony expressions. That continued for several seconds, all while Hermione didn't have the complete realization that she was holding his wand.
"Nott," she said softly, breaking both of them out of their trance. "This is not your fight, this is your master's. However, if you choose to stand between myself and him, I will kill you." even as she spoke the words, they surprised her, but not because she was saying them, because they were true. And that frightened her. She was willing to kill, albeit given the right circumstances, but she was still willing to do it. After a little hesitation she dropped the wand to the sandy earth below.
"Mudblood-" Nott began to growl before Voldemort cut him off.
"Nott, Dolohov, go back to your spots, now." the servants obliged Voldemort's cold tone. "Bella, you are more than enough to handle this mudblood. Continue."
Bellatrix's face seemed to glow in anticipation. She smiled maliciously at Hermione.
"My fight isn't with you either," Hermione said softly, hoping Bellatrix would not fight her.
"A challenge to my master isn't taken lightly, as you shall soon find out!" Bellatrix Lestrange hissed.
Hermione felt her heart fall. She knew it wasn't going to work, but she had been hoping it would. Hope was all she seemed to have left. Hermione looked at the elder witch with sadness and determination. She didn't want any of this, but she was willing to complete everything she had set out to do. At this point what mattered most was the task she had to complete.
With her face suddenly hardening she raised her wand to Bellatrix. Without thinking, she just said the first curse that came to her.
"Imperio," she whispered. Bellatrix smiled for only a moment as she summoned a shield of magic to protect her. The elder witch thought the glowing shield would deflect the seemingly weak spell from her enemy but the shield failed. It broke and splintered pieces of magic fell to the ground as her eyes widened in shock and spite.
Hermione concentrated as hard as she could on sending a command to Bellatrix.
Flee. Flee from Lord Voldemort's side. He is no longer your master. Disappear from here.
Hermione saw Bellatrix's face begin to strain against the curse.
Go now! Run from here! Run from this terrible battle!
Without warning, Bellatrix disapparated and left Hermione alone. A wave of accomplishment passed over Hermione as she watched Bellatrix disappear. But that wave quickly crashed as she felt an arm suddenly wrap around her throat. The arm pulled back her neck almost to the breaking point. Hermione's eyes widened as her tilted head stared at a sickly amused Bellatrix.
Bellatrix let out a low cackle at Hermione before looking up to her master. "My Lord, what would you like me to do with her?"
The Dark Lord's face was expressionless. "Take her to the Morass."
Bellatrix's eyes lit up with a morbid happiness before she vanished with Hermione in her clutches.
Wow, I'm really sorry about the long update. I honestly had no intention of not updating for such a long time. I wanted to add more to the chapter but I have been hitting such a writer's block that it has been nearly impossible to write. I apologize for such a short chapter and such a long update time. But I'm also sorry because I don't think I'll be able to update for a while again. With the stress of final exams and such it probably won't be until the exams are over. But I will try to work on this story and my other stories. I'm also (still) working on some of fics that I plan on uploading soon. So if you want more Hermione/Severus then keep an eye open :-)
Thank you to all of the reviewers who stuck with the story!