Warning (READ THIS!): This is a "dark" Hermione story. She will be out of character, as will Harry and Ron. This is deliberate. If you would prefer to read a (much better quality) fanfic about an in-character Hermione paired with Lucius Malfoy, check out my other story, Unthinkable.

Also, this story is abandoned, is currently undergoing revision, and is a bit of a mess. Parts were written/edited by an adult while other parts are still in the original version written by a teenage author whose English wasn't very good. Sorry!

This fanfic is pre-HBP, i.e. it was written before the release of the sixth Harry Potter book. It does not take into account the events that occurred in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. Dumbledore is still alive, Ron and Hermione never dated, there is no such thing as Horcruxes, and Voldemort is still trying to take over the Ministry.

Finally, warning to all readers: there will be depictions of violence, death, abuse, bigotry, misogyny, betrayal, D/s, coerced/questionable consent, unhealthy relationships and other potentially offensive or disturbing themes. The author does not condone the opinions and practices described here. It's called fiction for a reason, people.

Disclaimer: the Harry Potter universe belongs to J.K. Rowling. No money is being made and no infringement is intended.

"Muggle-borns are not allowed to be Death Eaters, except in rare circumstances." - J.K. Rowling


Hermione Granger, Auror

A young woman walked hurriedly on Diagon Alley, her fiery red cloak billowing behind her like a flag identifying her to the world. Hermione Granger was an Auror. A talented Auror with observation skills and reflexes honed by three years of gruelling training followed by two years of practice.

Harry and Ron had gone into Auror training upon leaving Hogwarts. Hermione had been unsure which career to choose - there were so many possibilities to choose from, many of them equally exciting! Yet she had finally decided to follow her best friends into training. They had become the Auror Trio, and now they were among the best in the department along with their former Hogwarts classmate Neville Longbottom. The aptitude Neville had shown at Defence Against the Dark Arts back in their fifth year, when Harry had been teaching him with the rest of the DA, had been only the beginning. Frank and Alice Longbottom had been among the most respected Aurors of their time before they had been struck by their tragic fate, and their son had inherited their talent.

Hermione shuddered as she remembered Neville's parents in the permanent ward of St Mungo's hospital and the heartbreaking way they didn't recognise their son. Now that it was her and her friends' turn to follow in the Longbottoms' footsteps, she knew that the same could happen to her any day. When she had chosen to become a Dark-wizard-catcher, she had been aware of the risks and she had accepted them just as her friends had, eager to join Harry in thjob of people-saving. Bravery … Wasn't this the reason she had been sorted into Gryffindor? But were all Gryffindors destined to become Aurors, to sacrifice themselves for the cause of fighting You-Know-Who? No. Only the bravest, the best. And she was one of these. She, alongside Harry, was one of the elite.

Being a vigilant person, Hermione tried to avoid venturing outside after the sun had set unless necessary for a mission, and even then, she took precautions seriously. Walking on a deserted street alone at night could be dangerous in peaceful times, but it was more so these days, considering the number of times she had been attacked by Death Eaters who wanted nothing less than the demise of the Auror who had thwarted many of their attacks and put many of their fellows in Azkaban.

But today, as much as she would have wished to stay safely at home, she had no choice. She would be leaving on a mission early tomorrow morning and she needed to fetch some gold from her Gringotts vault before she left. Borrowing money from Harry, or, heaven-forbid, Ron was embarrassing. After how they had teased her last time, she had vowed never to borrow gold again.

Between missions to track down dangerous wizards and the preliminary research required for these missions, there was never enough time for an Auror to visit Diagon Alley lately. But luckily for Hermione, the goblins worked well past normal office hours. In fact, Gringotts was open twenty-four hours a day.

It was a chilly September night. Shivering in the crisp breeze, Hermione pulled her cloak tighter around herself as she continued her trek towards the white building of the wizarding bank, unaware of the hooded figure watching her from the shadows.

The path was becoming rather shadowy and she had difficulty seeing the way ahead. Being shrouded by the darkness meant that she would not be noticed by potential attackers, but not being able to see where she was going could be just as dangerous. She pulled out her wand and whispered, "Lumos!"

Her wand ignited, enabling her to see the path almost clearly, and this boosted her sense of security. However, she knew she had to be particularly careful because she was approaching the place where Diagon Alley connected to Knockturn Alley.

A gust of cold wind ruffled Hermione's clothes and the street suddenly seemed darker. She clutched her wand with chilled fingers and hurried. She had the impression that someone was watching her and had to resist the temptation to turn around.

He watched as magical light illuminated the woman's slim figure. Is that Hermione Granger, the former prodigy of Hogwarts?

Her warm brown eyes were sparkling, reflecting the beam of light coming from the tip of her wand.

Her hair was as frizzy and untamable as ever. He thirsted to tame it as he would tame her, to crush it in his fist while using her body for his pleasure as it was destined to be. Her sort was born to serve pure-blood wizards like him. He would teach her her rightful place in this world where she would always be a foreigner, allowed to remain in it only by the grace of real wizards whom she should be thanking like a grateful beggar.

Many times had he paused in a duel simply to watch her in motion, wild strands of hair flying in all directions like a blur around her. Her blood was filthy as mud, but he wanted her regardless. He had chosen her for his own. It was an honour no woman of her origin should dare to hope for.

When he had first laid eyes on her at the Quidditch World Cup, so many years ago, he had noticed something special about the bushy-haired girl. She had an air of superiority not unlike his own.

His son had told him all about her: the perfect marks she got on every test, her non-magical origins, her friendship with Potter and the Weasleys. He had observed the Mudblood curiously. So this was the best student of Hogwarts? He had thought she looked rather insignificant at first glance.

The girl had appeared not to care the slightest about her appearance. Tangled and untidy, her hair had been falling to her shoulders in disorder. She had looked up then and he had seen a pretty face with dark eyes framed by long eyelashes the same color as her hair. A strange simplicity had been emanating from her, an innocence that, in a woman, could be more seductive than any deliberate coquetry.

He had sensed that there was something different about her because she had refused to look away, while others, witches especially, usually looked down under his gaze. But this girl, this mere Muggle-born, had stared right back, her chin held high with pride.

Her brown eyes had been very expressive: her every emotion had been reflected in them. They had been innocent yet challenging, an intriguing combination. There had been an almost haughty expression in them that had undoubtedly come from the knowledge of being so much more intelligent than most.

A tinge of pink had appeared on her cheeks, but she had met his scrutiny proudly, refusing to show weakness. He had stared into her eyes … And for a moment that had felt like forever, something had lit up in her eyes, some emotion directed at him – and it hadn't been hatred or fear. It had been something close to admiration.

For a second, he had seen the erudite woman behind the haughty girl, the woman capable of great loyalty and devotion … a woman who was attracted to him.

His eyes had felt glued to hers and it was as though everything around them had suddenly disappeared; he had been lost in her dark eyes, forgetting who and what she was. He had looked away then, troubled by the attraction these magnetic eyes had stirred in him.

The girl could have looked good had she taken the time to tame her hair. He had pursed his lips; such looks and intelligence were wasted on a Mudblood. Had she been a pure-blood ... Feeling strangely disappointed, he hadn't said a word as he had turned away and walked to his seat, followed by his family.

During uninteresting moments in the match, his eyes would stray away from the game and to where the girl sat in the row in front of him, and he would find himself staring at the back of her head.

Later that evening, when the Dark Mark had appeared in the sky and he and the other Death Eaters had been fleeing out of fear, before Disapparating, he had caught sight of the girl, her face pale as she pulled Potter into the woods. He had noticed the glance of curious interest she had sent at the group of masked wizards which he had been leading. He had seen her stare up at the Dark Mark in the sky in fascination as well as fear.

In his mind, the defiant teenage girl had become a woman with deep dark eyes who was drawn to the Darkness and to him. The woman who, from that day on, would haunt his dreams at night and plague his thoughts in daylight.

That had been eight years ago. But he had not forgotten her – far from it. True, their encounters had been short and far between, not to mention in far from pleasant circumstances.

At the Department of Mysteries, he had happened upon her where she had lain sprawled on the floor in a corner of the Brain Room, unconscious – or dead? He had felt a twinge of … had that been worry? He had commanded Mulciber to go ahead, hoping that in the meantime, the others would convince Potter to hand over the prophecy.

He could hear his fellow Death Eaters' voices down in the black hallway as he had looked around the room. The Weasley boy had been thrashing mindlessly against tentacles and the Lovegood girl had been lying on the floor next to the Weasley girl, also unconscious.

Pleased by the fact that there was no one to watch his actions, he had quickly walked over to the corner where she had lain with her eyes closed and her face deathly pale. He had crouched down and seized her wrist, not even thinking about the fact that he was touching a Mudblood. Finding a pulse, he had felt a startling sense of relief.

He had let go of her wrist and stared at her motionless face. This was the girl he could not stop thinking about since seeing her at the Quidditch World Cup, the enigmatic girl who haunted him. She was his obsession, and once he had come to terms with the fact that he had some sort of sentiments for a Mudblood, he had resolved to make her his.

On impulse, he had run a caressing hand over her cheek; he had stroked her soft brown hair. How he had dreamed of doing this to her... this, and so much more.

A whimper from Weasley's youngest son had brought him out of his daze. He had withdrawn his hand and stood. Only then had he noticed the blood seeping out of a wound on her chest, bright red on her Hogwarts robes.

Moving aside her robes to see the wound, he had recognised the effects of the Stabbing Curse, the same Dolohov had used to kill the Prewetts. The Stabbing Curse inflicted wounds that resembled those caused by a knife, only these wounds were deadly because Dark magic prevented the blood from clotting, so the victim would die from blood loss if they weren't killed immediately. It was a wonder that the girl had not been dead yet; wounds caused by this curse were usually deep enough to kill instantly.

A malevolent smile had found its way onto his face. Dolohov was in for an unpleasant surprise. He might just find that his house had accidentally caught fire in the middle of night.

He had pulled out his wand and cast a spell to stop the bleeding, using magic just as Dark to counteract Dolohov's curse. Her life had no longer been in danger; it had been all he could do. He was no Healer and he had to leave. He had lost too much time already; the Dark Lord would not have been pleased to hear of this. As the Dark Lord's unofficial battle leader, he had been supposed to be in charge of the group. Dumbledore's bunch of friends would find her, or Ministry wizards would – at least she wasn't in immediate danger anymore, he had reasoned to himself as he had hurried through the door that led into the Death Chamber.

Later that night, when the Death Eaters had failed to get the prophecy and Dumbledore had cast the Anti-Disapparation Jinx on them, the ancient wizard had looked directly at him, triumphant, pleased to have finally ruined the reputation of the Malfoy family. Until now the name had still commanded respect in the eyes of the Ministry in spite of Dumbledore's efforts. But as soon as word would get out about the head of the family being caught in the company of escaped convicts and known followers of the Dark Lord after having illegally entered a restricted area of the Ministry in an attempt to steal something … well, no amount of gold would get him out of this one, nor did he expect the Imperius excuse to work a second time.

Dumbledore had known this, the nauseatingly smug bastard. But Lucius had looked back at his enemy with his head held high, refusing to let the old fool see his despair. You may have won today, Dumbledore, he had thought, but I will have vengeance. And then his mind had returned to the bushy-haired girl, recalling the softness of her skin and the breasts he had seen under her sliced, bloody robes, and he had wondered whether she had been found. Was she being transported to St. Mungo's? What would they tell her to explain her survival of a fatal dark spell?

Cornelius Fudge was quick to turn on those he considered friends. One day the Minister had been greeting Harry Potter like an old friend, the next he had proclaimed that the boy was insane and dangerous. It had been no different for him: once Fudge had seen evidence of his most trusted advisor's allegiance to the Dark Lord, his esteem for the 'very old family' that donated to 'excellent causes' had evaporated.

And when he had found himself in Azkaban, surrounded by Dementors, emptied of hope and will to live, only the memory of her face had kept him sane. It had not been a happy thought but a painful yearning, and it had been the only thing he could cling to, as the Dementors could not take it from him. She had been his only link to reality when he had found himself forced to relive his worst memories, to feel every time the Dark Lord had raised his wand against him all over again. It was then that she had truly become his obsession.

When after escaping Azkaban, he had caught her in Hogsmeade late one night, in her seventh year of schooling, he had been determined to claim what in his mind was already his. He had pushed her against a wall and kissed her. When Dumbledore's crowd had arrived to rescue her and her friends, he had promised to her that it wasn't over and he had fully intended to act on his word.

But once out of Hogwarts, she had disappeared with Potter and the Weasley boy. Auror training was done in a secret location and the trainee Aurors were isolated from the world. More than a boarding school like Hogwarts, the Auror Academy was a yearlong education facility with no summer, winter or spring holidays. And when the girl, now a woman, had returned as a qualified Auror three years later, it had become much more difficult for him to seek her out as he would have wished to. His desire for her could not erase his fear of returning to Azkaban and he knew perfectly well what every Auror's duty was: capturing Dark wizards. So he had stayed away and thought that his obsession would fade in time.

It had not. Now she was walking alone, at night, on a deserted street. He could not resist this opportunity. I have had enough of waiting, he decided. She was an Auror, yes, but he was certain he could defeat her in a duel. He was the Dark Lord's second, after all. He would simply have to be cautious.

Hermione was a trained Auror, and when she caught sign of suspicious activity, she did not run for her life but lingered to investigate it. So when she heard a rustle behind her, she pretended not to notice it and continued on her way, deliberately slowing her pace and holding her wand tightly.

Raising it high enough to spread the narrow beam of light further on the ground, she turned her head sideways. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a hooded figure creeping up behind her.

It was important to let the person – whoever it was – believe she was not aware of them following her. Then she would have a better chance of catching them unprepared when she would strike.

She walked an entire building block and the stalker was still following her. This meant that it was not merely a stray stroller but undoubtedly a Dark wizard after her, and he was going to attack soon – unless she attacked first. She quickly analysed her options and decided the best tactic would be to take the initiative. Perhaps she could catch him off-guard, and if not, the confrontation was inevitable anyway. Better that it begin on her terms.

With the sharp reflexes of a trained Dark-wizard-catcher, Hermione aimed her wand over her shoulder and muttered, "Impedimenta!"

The spell hit the target ... who deflected it easily, then sent a jet of red light at her. She dodged it and set off a stream of smoke from her wand to disorientate her opponent. To her surprise, he aimed a magical burst of wind in her direction in response, resulting in the fumes being blown in her face.

Clever move, thought Hermione as she jumped out of the way, evaluating the possibilities. By all signs she was fighting a skilled duellist, but most Death Eaters, no matter how good their reflexes and how extensive their knowledge of spells, possessed an insignificant amount of magical power, weakened still by the time most of them had spent in Azkaban.

One of the secrets of Hermione's successful capture of so many Dark wizards was a spell she had discovered during a late-night reading in a book on ancient duelling. It was a jinx bordering on the line between Light and Dark magic. It disabled the target by rendering them blind and dizzy for exactly four seconds, and no wizard of average power could counteract it. Four seconds weren't much time, but they were enough to cast a Stunning Spell. It was worth a try.

Like most jinxes that were classified as Dark magic, including the one Quirrel had used on Harry's broom in their first year as well as Snape's counter-curse, this spell did not require the use of a wand. It only required staring at the target without blinking while repeating the incantation.

Hermione fixed her eyes on the cloaked form of her opponent and mumbled a string of Latin words under her breath.

To her surprise, the Death Eater dispelled her jinx within a second. She did not know that the wizard was as surprised as she, only for a different reason: he had not expected one of the most esteemed Aurors to use Dark magic.

Hermione concluded that it was a powerful opponent, then, if he could fight her spell. No matter; she loved a good challenge. She was not one of the best Aurors for nothing.

Little did she know this was one challenge she should not have accepted.

She heard another rustle to her left yet could not see anything. Her attacker seemed to have disappeared, but Hermione knew better. Death Eaters did not abandon their endeavours so easily. She stood still, listening. Then –

Her wand went flying out of her hand as she was grabbed from behind. The light spell discontinued the moment her wand was no longer in her grasp and Hermione found herself in complete darkness, prevented from moving by a wizard she couldn't see. She shrieked and squirmed, trying to throw off the assailant.

Her angry scream was cut off and she realised her attacker must have cast a nonverbal Silencing Charm. She tried to kick him, but it was hard to take aim because he was still behind her. Her attempts to get away were futile; the person who was holding her was incredibly strong and apparently had no intention of letting her out of his hold.

Damn! She should have been more careful. Now she was trapped. The last time she had been in a similar situation had been in her seventh year at Hogwarts, and it had been a very similar situation, at least at first... Hermione stopped that trail of thought. No, she did not want to think of that right now. She had to figure out a way to get out of this situation alive and, hopefully, unscathed.

She couldn't see her attacker, but she knew it must have been a Death Eater. Who else would creep up on an Auror in a dark, deserted intersection near a street dedicated to the Dark Arts?

Her attacker, who was holding her arms in an unyielding grip behind her back, spoke in a drawling voice.

"Do not squander your energy on hopeless resistance, Miss Granger. You will not wriggle out of this predicament, not this time."

In the shadows of nightfall, Hermione's face went ghostly pale. Yes, exactly the same situation. Only this time, no Order member would arrive to save her. She would recognise this man's voice anywhere, despite having last heard it some long five years ago. The smooth, slow speech that oozed arrogance allowed Hermione to identify this wizard as the one the Aurors – in whispers – referred to as You-Know-Who's 'right-hand man'. Most people now avoided pronouncing the names of Voldemort's high-ranking followers and some of them – Bellatrix Lestrange, Antonin Dolohov and last but not least, he – were feared nearly as much as Voldemort himself.

Gryffindors were known to be brave and fearless. Even more so were Aurors. Hermione could honestly say there was nothing and no one that frightened Harry these days. But she couldn't say the same about herself.

There were two wizards Hermione had ever feared. Lord Voldemort was one. But then, who other than Harry Potter did not fear Voldemort? Even his followers did. One only had to witness their reaction when Harry boldly pronounced his name in their presence. He Who Must Not Be Named was one wizard of whom the Muggle-born Auror had always been afraid.

And Lucius Malfoy was the other. Since that day in Flourish and Blott's when she had been twelve, she had felt a deep dread whenever she thought of the intimidating wizard whose son she hated.

Either he was going to kill her or he was going to kidnap her and bring her to Voldemort, which was even worse an option, given that she would probably have to suffer torture before being killed. Or maybe...

Don't be silly, Hermione! she admonished herself. Aurors and Death Eaters were enemies to the core. Though he had chosen not to kill her in the past, he certainly would now that she had become a Dark-wizard-catcher. No, she was going to die, she knew it...

She could hope for no assistance. Her friends weren't here and she hadn't told anyone where she was going. She had even left the enchanted pocket mirror that she could use to contact the Order at home. No, the outcome of this situation would be decided by the enemy.

He knew it too. In fact, he knew it so well that he did not hurry. "Well, Miss Granger, I would have thought you'd learn from your mistakes – though five years is indeed a long time..."

Hermione would have blushed if she had not been so scared. But as it was, she just stood there, her back straight, her arms tense, an expression of fear on her face. She did not make a sound. She waited.

She felt the air vibrate against the back of her head as he spoke the spell to summon her wand from where it had fallen to the ground. She craned her neck to follow it with her eyes as it zoomed obediently into his hand. He held it tauntingly in front of her face, as though to see whether she would have the nerve to try to snatch it away.

She would have attempted it if he hadn't been holding her wrists securely in his hand. Not for the first time, Hermione wished she wasn't a woman, defenceless without her magical power.

She cringed when he intoned "Lumos!" behind her and the wand lit up inches away from her face. She looked at the piece of wood despairingly, then turned her head to glare at him.

She found herself looking into a pair of gleaming grey eyes that stared fiercely into hers. In the beam of her wand, she saw the anticipation in these eyes and the cruel triumph twisting the wizard's pale face. Hermione shivered.

He said "Nox" and the street fell back into darkness. Her wand disappeared into his cloak and the last of her hopes disappeared with it.

"Scared?" he sneered. She could not answer because of the Silencing spell, but he must have guessed the truth, because he then said softly, "I will not hurt you unless you struggle," and released her hands.

Before she could do more than wobble in surprise, his hand closed around her upper arm.

"Come with me," he commanded, steering her around the corner into Knockturn Alley.

He wouldn't hurt her? Hermione did not believe a word he said, but she knew better than to rebel openly right away. It would have been easy for him to use the Imperius Curse, but for some reason he preferred for her to follow him of her free will, and that gave her hope that maybe, maybe he wasn't going to kill her after all. He could have already done it had he wanted to, but no, it seemed that he wanted her alive.

He hadn't even used the Cruciatus Curse, which was surprising since she was a Muggle-born Auror and he served someone who thought Muggle-borns were filth that needed to be wiped off the face of the earth. Astonishingly enough, if she were to disregard the threats and the mockery, he had treated her decently the whole time.

She followed him into the dark, and as she did, her mind fell silent.