Author's Notes: *sighs dreamily* just spent the whole day watching and re-watching the two HP movies… OMG! That's all I can say… well, I can go on and on about the little D/Hr moments in there but… yes, I know that it would take an awful lot of space… ;)

Anyways, this fic is yet another hint at how weird I am… it's not fluffy, I am telling you. And it's kinda long…

Cruel Vengeance

There was nothing in his room but blinding darkness, nothing in his room but deafening silence.

And yet, this setting did not bother Draco Malfoy at all. In fact, to be perfectly honest, this setting suited him very well. He never wanted anything to make him remember that he was back to his 'home', back to where he was always treated as a prisoner and had always been regarded as such. Of course, nowadays, he was indeed a prisoner in his own house, for this time, this phrase was not just a metaphorical way of describing how things were with his family. Nowadays, he was trapped within the confines of his room, his door locked from the outside and guarded by three Death Eaters, his windows fastened shut with hexes and curses that would kill him the moment he tried to escape. 

Draco wanted to laugh. Escape? Escape to where? There was nothing beyond the walls of his house, nothing at all, except chaos, death, destruction. If he was foolish enough to try and escape, where would he go? There was nothing outside, no, nothing at all. Everything disappeared when Voldemort rose, when the Dark Lord became so frighteningly powerful that even the great Harry Potter was simply no match for him. And with the only wizard that could defeat him disposed of, Voldemort reigned supreme, and with his reign came the terrible devastation that quickly tore the peaceful existence of the wizard community apart…

But this desolation wasn't simply met with compliance, with blind obedience. Of course, there were those brave enough to try and rebel against the Dark Lord, those who were courageous to stand on their feet and fight until the very bitter end… this was the reason why there were a lot of casualties, a lot of deaths among the many wizards and witches, because there were simply those who were Gryffindor enough to not accept the fate that was forcefully thrust unto their hands. Why would they follow Voldemort, when they could very well die as followers of the light? There were those who'd rather perish than serve a monster, than follow a master who only wanted nothing but more chaos, more death, more destruction.

And died they did. Almost all the people he knew from Hogwarts died in one way or the other. Snape was killed immediately when he was found out, McGonagall and the rest of the professors were killed when they protected the students from the attacks of the Death Eaters. Dumbledore was rumored to have been killed the same day that Harry was, the entire Weasley clan perished when their little burrow was set aflame, and Granger…

Draco closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Hermione…

He never knew what happened to her, and he thought it was better if he remained ignorant of the fact. Wherever she was, he hoped she was far from this place, far, away and safe from the hell their world had become. Though the thought was almost impossible, for there was absolutely nowhere in the world that was safe from Voldemort's hands, Draco wished, with everything in him, that she was still alive, that she was secure, that she hadn't gotten herself killed for everything she fought for, for every little belief she believed in.

A lot of people have already died because of their belief, their belief that Voldemort was nothing more than a foul wizard who deserved to die the most inhuman way for all the things he had done. And this belief Draco shared with everybody else, for he had seen for himself, through the death of his own mother, that nothing good would ever come from serving such an evil Lord. Because of his belief, it was almost inevitable that he'd be met by nothing less than death…

But he was saved from his inevitable end… by his father.

This time, he never stifled the urge to laugh, and laugh he did. Harsh, bitter laughter tumbled from his lips and echoed horribly in the darkness, laughter that for a moment was the only sound that can be heard in the choking stillness of his room. His father saved him from the killing curse. The irony was enough to drive him insane for the sheer impossibility of it. Though Lucius knew that his son, his bastard, traitorous son was already an Auror, a fighter for the good, a wizard of light… he still saved him from his death. His father was the one who dragged him, beaten and all, away from the battlefield, who had him cleansed and healed, who had him shoved into his room and locked as though Draco was nothing more than a naughty boy who deserved to be punished in this manner. Lucius had never confronted him for turning against the Dark Lord, never asked him his reasons for defying the one thing that his whole family served and believed in. For once in his life, Lucius had been… considerate, had been kind enough to leave his son alone so that Draco could heal in peace.

But this younger Malfoy was never fooled. He knew his father, and so he knew that this little ploy was nothing more than a game to him, a game that was designed to destroy his son the way Draco destroyed Lucius' pride for him. Now that he was well, now that all his injuries have healed, Draco did nothing else but wait for the moment his father would come and strike him.

And when the door of his room creaked open, Draco knew instantly that the time for his… punishment had finally come.   

After a whisper of an enchantment, and his room suddenly was brighter. Draco could see the glee that his father's face could barely contain.

"Ah, my son. Finally, you have awaken." Lucius said to him as he walked closer to the bed, closer to where Draco was. "I trust that you are well?"

He never bothered to straighten himself, and remained lying on top of his bed. "Well enough to realize that you are planning something for me, Father." He drawled.

Lucius chuckled. "Now why on earth would you think of something like that, Draco?" he asked his son as he sat on the edge of the bed, near Draco's feet. "Why would you think that I have something planned for you?"

"Because you do. Don't bother trying to lie to me, father, because I know you."

"Oh, do you?" His father inquired silkily. "It's a pity I cannot say the same towards you, what with all your… activities behind my back." His face twisted into a snarling mask for a moment before he stood up, and the expression on his face lightened once again. "But I did not come here to discuss your… shall we say, past, with you. I am here because I wanted to tell you that I would be leaving."

Draco snorted. "Oh, leaving, aren't you? You're not afraid that I'd try to escape?"

Lucius smiled indulgingly at his son. "No, I am not. I know for a fact that if you were able to escape, you would have done that days ago, but as I am seeing that you are still here…" He began to walk towards the door. "However, I am indeed worried about what you are doing in your room whenever you're alone. So I brought you a little present, one that I am sure you would like, and one that I am sure you could use whenever you feel… lonely. But first, tell me…" His eyes, so like Draco's, began to gleam an evil gleam, "…what was your relationship with the Mudblood girl?"

At this, Draco straightened up, the satin sheets slipping off his body to bare his upper half. "What do you mean?" he asked.

But Lucius never elaborated anything. Instead, he opened the door wider, and in came Goyle who was holding a limp body in his arms. Goyle deposited his load on the floor in front of Draco's bed and then left without a word from his lips.

Draco hastily moved towards the figure on the floor, his mind already thinking, no, knowing that this body belonged to no one else but Hermione. He was about to go to his knees beside her when he saw his father walk towards her as well. He stopped inches away from her too still body, and his father did the same. "What did you do?" he asked, though he feared he already knew the answer.

"Do?" Lucius repeated. "Do? My son, I have done nothing to her body, of course. She is not dead, if that's what you fear."

He glared at his father before he went to her. "Hermione?" Draco asked softly, and his hand immediately sought the pulse on her neck. He felt it, that flutter of movement, the sign of life beneath his fingers. The relief he felt was enormous. "Hermione?" His hand held on to hers, and the other went to caress her face. "Can you hear me?"

Lucius clucked his tongue at him. "This should disgust me completely, Draco. Seeing you like this, all pathetic and weak towards a lowly creature like that Mudblood that doesn't even have the right to lie on your feet. But as it is, I do not feel that way, my son. I could only feel… pity towards you."

Draco glared at him. "I don't give a rat's ass on what you feel towards me," he spat out, even as he cradled Hermione's head against his chest. "I stopped giving a damn about you the day you killed my mother."

"Now, now, Draco, is that the way you treat me after I brought you your Mudblood lover?"

"Stop calling her that," Draco hissed.

"Very well, if you insist." Lucius' eyes drifted towards her face. "Ah, Miss Granger. I'm very glad to see that you're awake."

Draco looked down on the woman in his arms as she stirred against him, as her eyelids lifted and revealed the dark depths of her eyes. "Hermione?" he asked again.

Her face transformed immediately after seeing him. "Draco," she said, her voice rough from disuse, her lips curled upward into a smile.

But something was wrong; horribly wrong. "Hermione?" he said again. Draco pushed her until she was seated, until she was facing him. "Hermione, talk to me. Are you alright?"

The almost-dreamy expression on her face remained. "Draco," she whispered again, her lips widening. "I love you."

Draco stared at her wistful eyes, her vacant expression. He lifted his fingers and brought it to her chin, and he turned her face sideways, inspecting it. His eyes suddenly burning with anger and spite, he raised them towards the gloating figure of his father. "What did you do to her?"

"I've told you that I didn't do anything to her body… but to her mind, well…" Lucius trailed off intentionally, "that, my boy, is a completely different story."

In an instant, Draco was on his feet. "YOU FUCKING—"

But his attack on his father was halted when Hermione cried, "No! Draco, don't leave me! I love you!"

He looked down at her to find that her vacant, haunted eyes were filled with tears. He kneeled again, cradled her sobbing form in his arms. "Shh," he soothed.

Immediately, she sighed in blissful contentment, and whispered again, "Draco, I love you."

"You see now, the gift I gave you?" Lucius asked him, his tone taunting. "I've saved you from your death, and I even went to the corners of the earth to find this woman for you, this woman who was the cause of everything, the reason you defied me, your own father. You chose her rather than your future, Draco." He said, his face contorting once again into an expression of rage. "However," he continued, and the rage was displaced by a sneer, "I've found out that this woman actually made a decision herself… and she chose Potter over you." Lucius stepped towards them again. "And so I told myself, now this wouldn't do! I couldn't bring her to you that way, with her heart screaming for another man! So I… made some… arrangements, and, voila." He pointed at her with his wand. "Now she is yours, completely, totally, wholly yours. Enjoy yourself, my son. You earned it." And with that, Lucius Malfoy turned on his heels and left the room, the door resounding as it closed behind him.

As the room was plunged into darkness again, Draco quietly lifted her into his arms and gently placed her on his bed.

"Mmm," she mumbled softly, her hands reaching up eagerly to his face, his body. "Draco," she said to him as she caressed his skin. "Draco, make love to me."

Draco could only close his eyes against her words, for he knew very well that she did not mean them, for the vacant, haunted expression in her face and in her eyes were all that was left of her. Her words meant nothing, for these words came not from her heart… "Hermione," he whispered to her, his voice hoarse, his throat tight, his eyes pained, "Hermione…"

"Shh." She told him, and then she raised herself and suddenly her lips found his.

And suddenly, he found himself yanking away from her.

"No," he told her firmly, his hands quieting hers as he pulled them away from him, as he stopped her exploration of his body. "No."

"But Draco," she said, "I love—"

He quieted her with a finger against her mouth. Then, he slid into bed with her and held her body against his, held her until she fell into the blissful arms of a dreamless, lifeless sleep.

He held her tightly against him, so tight that her skin warmed his, that her breathing echoed against his chest. Though they lied like that, without a space of a breath between them, to Draco, Hermione was never farther away from him as she was now.

Her mind, the one quality of hers that made him love her, was completely destroyed. She was now insane; completely, irrevocably mad, with nothing on her thoughts but her supposed love for him, a love that she never really felt, a love that was only instilled in her by his father.

So this is my punishment, Draco thought grimly, as he felt Hermione shift against him, murmuring words of adoration even in her sleep.

As always, Malfoys hit their enemies wherever it hurts them the most.

And in his case, his father struck him… in his heart.

fin