Chapter Thirteen


Disclaimer- I do not own Harry Potter and am making no money from this story, all Harry Potter copyrights belong to J.K. Rowling.


The best manner of avenging ourselves is by not resembling him who has injured us.

Jane Porter


They came by moonlight.

With an almost inaudible pop a figure appeared in the woods outside the manicured estate of Malfoy Manor. Dressed in inky black, the tall, slender man grumbled a little to himself as he adjusted his skintight clothing.

"Shhh!" Hissed a voice, "Be quiet!"

Draco Malfoy glared in the direction of the voice, in the empty space immediately to his left.

He spoke softly in an undertone that carried no farther than the trees. "Not all of us are lucky enough to be invisible, Granger." He smirked slightly. "Better in our case that you are hidden, I think. We all know who is deficient in looks in this partnership."

A soft snort emitted from the vicinity of a large elm tree.

Draco smiled slightly in triumph, but his satisfaction was squashed by Hermione's stern disembodied voice.

"Get over yourself, you vain prat. Put on your facemask and transform. You are risking the mission every second you stand there."

"Fine," Draco huffed, "But not one word. I look ridiculous."

"Stop whining and do it!" Hermione snapped irritably, "Your pasty, albino skin and hair need to be covered. It makes us too much of a target. Not that I mind you being cursed by the Death Eaters, but it would reflect so poorly on me."

Reluctantly, Draco tied his shoulder-length platinum hair securely in a knot at the base of his neck. Gingerly, he slipped the black, shimmering cloth over his head, obscuring his features in the darkness.

"Good. No hair showing. Transform before our window of opportunity closes."

Draco's face screwed up in an expression of extreme distaste. "I still think there are other options…"

"…And I still think that you are being a spoiled brat, and that you shouldn't be on this mission," Hermione's voice interrupted, "But here you are. You gave your word to follow my orders. Shall I make an oath-breaker of you?"

"Not one word," Draco hissed. He reluctantly closed his eyes as he prepared himself for his animagus transformation.


After Draco decided to take the animagus transformation seriously, he had gone into the woods to meditate on numerous occasions. Sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by Hermione or Tonks, he watched them meditate and tried to emulate their inner peace. More often than not, he came back damp, dirty, exhausted and no closer to finding his 'inner animal' than he was before.

One day, about a week ago, he had gone into the woods to meditate, and found his feet taking him down the familiar path to the spring. As he walked, he listened to the quiet rustling of the leaves that the wind rushed past, he smelt the vaguely sweet scent of decaying leaves and felt his tense nerves begin to calm.

As he approached the spring, his mind was assaulted by images of his last visit. Hermione's soft, flushed skin and wide, uncertain eyes filled his mind. Shaking his head slightly, he smiled softly at the images. He didn't try to banish them forcefully, didn't try to absorb himself in them as he did at night when he took hold of his thick cock to try to gain relief. This time he let the visions flow through him as he remembered quietly.

Draco slowly stripped off his clothes in the chilly air, and placed them on the loamy earth next to the steaming water. With a sigh, he plunged his weary body into the spring. As he laid there, his head propped up by the rocks, he let his mind drift. His corded, tense muscles softened, the strain eased from his face.

Plotting and machinations drifted away. Worries floated by lazily. Guilt faded into breaths of shadows.

Voldemort didn't exist. Hogwarts was a subconscious memory. His mother was a lingering whisper. Hermione was a beautiful dream long forgotten.

Draco was finally at peace.

Then, it happened.

He didn't even notice the transformation at first. He had concentrated on the wordless transformation so much the past few weeks, it flowed naturally from his subconscious. His form blurred and shifted as the animagus transformation took over his body.

His eyes still closed, he panicked as he realized his body was shrinking, his bottom no longer touching the stone bench in the hot spring. Frantically trying to swim in the unfamiliar body he miraculously made it to the bank without drowning.

What the hell is going on? Draco tried to shout, but all that came out of his mouth were a series of unintelligible squeaks.

He felt a sudden surge of horror run through him. Oh, no. I'm not… I'm not a ferret. I can't be!

He looked at himself, and could only make out patches of wet, white fur and felt sick.

Well, Draco thought disgustedly, I had better go to the camp and get a mirror and see how much damage control I have to do.

"Huh," came a loud, amused voice from high above.

If Draco could have sighed, he would have.

"Not what I expected, but somehow appropriate. Don't you think so, Gin?"

Ginny's only response had been a howl of laughter.


"…Transform, Malfoy, we're wasting time!"

"Do I have to? I can go just as well in my black outfit here. It's miserable outside. The Death Eaters will never see me."

The disembodied voice sighed impatiently. "Malfoy, we've talked about this. You know it's the only way for us to get even near the compound. Your outfit, while dark, makes a nice, man-shaped shadow on the ground. You'll be discovered within minutes. And do you really want to be dead or in the hands of our dear Dark King again?"

Draco glared at the place where her voice was coming from. "Fine. But no laughing."

"Me? Why Malfoy, I would never dream of laughing at your Animagus self. It's such a noble animal, so proud. And you have such a history of commenting on…"

"Yes. I got the point the first ten times you said it."

He huffed quietly at the indignity, and closed his eyes and concentrated. Soon he felt the familiar tingling in his extremities, heard the sounds of the forest grow sharper, his sense of smell heightened, telling him that Hermione was closer to him than he expected. She smelled of jasmine again, and cinnamon.

He opened his eyes as he heard Hermione giggling.

You promised! Draco tried to shout but it only came out as an indignant squeak.

A large, perfectly white weasel stood on the ground, glaring at the noise with beady grey eyes.

I'll bite you!

"Sorry, Draco. It's just that… you're so cute!"

Annoying bint, Draco thought, and adamantly refused to give her more ammunition by getting worked up again. That, apparently, made him 'cuter.'

He felt strong hands grasp him by the sides, and was soon lifted into the air. He heard her soft sigh as she quickly stuffed him into her shirt, putting him in the sling underneath her breasts that was made to hold him still during her acrobatics.

"Now, don't get any ideas, Malfoy."

As he cuddled against her soft bosom, he thought, I suppose my Animagus form isn't all bad.


Hermione took a deep breath and stood still as Draco adjusted his position against her body. She felt his soft fur against the underside of her breasts, and her blood started to boil.

That pervert! Hermione thought, grinding her teeth in an effort to control her temper, Can't he control his Slytherin impulses for once? Just once! That's all I ask.

Whispering a silencing spell on her feet, she smiled grimly. No, that would mean that the world has ended.

She took a deep breath. Focus Hermione. This isn't going to be easy…

And it wasn't.

After Draco was declared a traitor, Voldemort's hordes had descended onto Malfoy Manor, eager to grasp the treasures that lay within.

They were in for a nasty surprise.

Many of the Death Eaters had been to the Manor before, at one time or another, but none of them had fully realized the true extent of the wards around the ancient house. Entering the grounds with the intent to kill the woman within and plunder the house was tantamount to a death sentence, as they soon found out.

After a few nasty 'accidents,' the Death Eaters quickly backed off. Licking their wounds, they viciously made sure that if they couldn't get into Malfoy Manor, nothing would get out, either, at least through conventional methods. If something set foot onto the grounds, either coming from or going to, they wanted it dead.

Dementors, it seemed would not go near the place due to some strange vibrations in the wards, so the Death Eaters turned to the next best thing.


As Hermione looked into the shifting fog to the hulking shadow of the huge Manor in the distance, she shivered. Her experiences with the hell-hound first year left her cringing. They were so incredibly lucky and so incredibly stupid back then…

Turning her mind to more practical thoughts, she patted a flute in her sleeve that she had charmed to play music if she got caught in a pickle with one of the creatures. Thoroughly giving herself a once over with the best deodorizing spell she knew, she took a deep breath.

Alright, Fluffy. It's just you and me this time.

She stepped onto the immaculately manicured grounds swiftly, carefully. The adrenaline coursing through her heightened her senses, but it also made her edgy. As she wove around various flowerbeds and shrubberies, she jumped at every break in the mist.

Damn, Hermione thought as she silently picked her way through a topiary garden, I really, really wish I could see.

Luckily, the shadow of Malfoy Manor was unmistakable in the thick fog. Unfortunately, she may be off their carefully planned trajectory. Squinting at the house, she wondered if she should adjust her angle of approach. She was supposed to end up on the south porch, which was the easiest vector of entry. Was she drifting east?


Hermione bit back a scream. Undoubtedly, it was what saved her, for the beast was upon her with a speed that left her breathless with fear.

It was as ugly as she remembered it. The three monstrous, slobbering heads looked eagerly in all directions, scouting prey. One of the heads was looking at the Manor longingly, undoubtedly thinking of the food therein. Another head was chewing on what looked like, to Hermione's horror, the leg of a House-Elf.

And one of the heads was staring straight at her.

She didn't know how it knew she was there, or if it even knew for sure. Maybe some beastly instinct was coming to bear, or maybe it was just coincidence.

Merlin, she hoped it was coincidence.

Holding her breath, Hermione moved her hand very, very slowly to the sleeve that held the flute.

Draco chose that moment to shift position, making a soft rustling noise in his sling.

The Beast's ears perked up, and all three heads swung in her direction, giving her a close up of dozens of white, razor-sharp teeth.

Draco, if we get out of this alive, I am going to kill you!

It took one lumbering step forward, its three noses sniffing carefully. As it slowly moved towards her, Hermione methodically moved her hand towards the flute, desperate to get to it before the creature found her.

Can't rush…Slow… Slower!…Got it!

Ripping it from, her sleeve, the flute immediately started to play a soothing lullaby.

The beast growled, and one of the heads lunged in her direction, but the other two were already starting to nod off. Hermione backed away quickly, but not before getting a face full of rancid breath, and a close-up of the terrifying teeth.

Sitting on the ground, shivering, Hermione waited until the beast was completely asleep. Gently, she placed the flute on the dew-laden grass.

Cautiously, carefully, Hermione picked her way towards the manor, even though she wanted to run like hell. She cloaked her fear in control. She needed to get to the house as quickly as possible, but she didn't need any more of Fluffy's brethren to descend upon her. One could only carry so many musical instruments on one's person, after all.

That, I think, took about ten years off of my life, Hermione thought once she was on the porch.

"Now Malfoy," Hermione whispered as she set the white weasel gently on the ground, "Do whatever it is you have to do to get us in there."

Draco shook himself off, rubbing his white fur with his paws. Very prissily, in Hermione's estimation. She had to suppress her giggles for fear of Draco's becoming loudly vocal again, which would surely bring the hounds upon them again. Closing his silver eyes in concentration, soon his form began to grow, and he was consumed by the tell-tale flash of light as he transformed.

"Give me your hand." Draco murmured quietly when he fully righted himself, "I'm going to lead you into the house. It'll recognize you then."

"That's it?" Hermione hissed, incredulous.

"Well, yes," Hermione could hear the smirk in his voice, "I am the master of the house. It does what I tell it to do."

Hermione softly groaned, but gave him her hand. Draco squeezed it fondly as he led her over the threshold.


As Hermione locked and secured the door, Draco tore off his dark mask and whooped loudly. In an uncharacteristically inelegant gesture, he pumped his fist into the air, his blond hair flying about wildly.

"… Draco?"

Hermione and Draco quickly pivoted; wands raised and ready, and saw a tall, graceful lady at the top of the staircase. Pale, with long still-blonde hair in a simple plait, she clutched at the neck of her violet dressing gown. Her blue eyes were huge, her breath coming out in short gasps.

Draco's skin went white (which was saying a lot, considering how pale it usually was) and he softly rasped, "Mum?"

With a little shriek, Narcissa launched herself down the staircase, while Draco sprinted across the foyer to meet her. Laughing, crying, they embraced, Draco curling his larger body around his mother's protectively.

"You're all right," Narcissa cried and she frantically assayed him for injuries, "I didn't know. Oh my baby, you're all right!"

"Mum." Draco cupped her cheek fondly, wiping away her tears with his long fingers, "Oh, Mum. Please stop crying. I'm alright, really I am."

Hermione turned away, putting her wand away unseen, her eyes stinging painfully. Feeling like a filthy voyeur peeping on such an intimate scene, she edged away silently so as not to disturb their reunion.

Watching them, she was forced to realize that most of what she assumed about Pureblood families was most likely wrong. She had never thought that Malfoy had grown up with loving parents, but obviously his mother loved him desperately. He had probably grown up in a situation similar to herself, now that she thought about it. The beloved only child of two intelligent people- pampered, indulged… adored.

Hermione leaned against the doorframe, closing her eyes tightly at the realization. They were so similar. So fucking similar…Hermione fought the tears rising in her throat. I hate this war. I hate it.

Hermione looked at the wall, trying to suppress the memories of her parents, the Weasleys, Ron… Harry…

I haven't told him yet who murdered his father. Hermione felt a surprising sting of guilt at the thought. He was Death Eater. They were both Death Eaters… But what did that even mean anymore? Lost in her thoughts, Hermione didn't notice Draco and Narcissa's reunion coming to an end.

Draco's mother gave him one last kiss, and she started up the long staircase, not looking back. Draco watched her until she disappeared. Then, abruptly, he spun on his heels and marched down a long, dark corridor, leaving Hermione to scramble along in his wake.


Draco felt a sharp pang of bittersweet nostalgia as he entered the study. The familiar scent of burning wood, the heavy furniture, the squeak of newly polished wood under his feet all spoke to his soul. He was home. So many memories. Damn Voldemort for taking this away from me. It's mine! I shouldn't have had to leave it behind.

There: His father smiled down at him from his desk grey eyes crinkling, "I did promise flying lessons today, didn't I?"

There: Sitting in front of the fireplace with his father, feeling his first taste of firewhiskey burning all the way from his throat to his belly. He didn't like it, but it made him feel grown up.

There: "Here, son, I want you to have this." He took the signet ring from his father's outstretched hand. "It was mine, and now it's yours."

There: His father held out a jeweler's box, holding a magnificent rope of emeralds and pearls. "What do you think, Draco? Do you think she'll like them?"

His throat felt tight, his eyes felt itchy… Not again. First Mum, now this. I'm turning into a Hufflepuff. A female Hufflepuff, no less.

Draco walked purposefully towards the desk, sloughing off the memories. They wouldn't do him any good now, and he needed to focus. He gathered up a few of his papers to conceal his efforts to contain himself in front of Granger. Uncharacteristically, she tactfully remained silent.

He shoved a few documents into his pockets, and looked up. Hermione had taken off her mask, and now her disembodied head was studying the cases intently, her expressive face torn between curiosity and determination. Looking regretfully at the myriad of treasures elegantly displayed in the various cases, she asked quietly, "Where is it, Malfoy? Let's grab it so we can get out of here and meet the others."

Smiling slightly at her predictability, he turned to the large case to the right of the desk. It contained an ancient bronze chalice resting on a swatch of black velvet, a tiny red pillbox, and haunting china shepherdess whose dead, painted eyes seemed to stare into the soul.

And the staff.

It was long and slender, about a meter and a half in length with the snake symbol for eternity winking at him from the tip. With Draco's new combat training, he could appreciate its fine contours, the carved oak leaves giving it a grip so his sweaty hands wouldn't slip in the middle of a battle. His palms itched to have it in his hands to test its weight and balance.

"It's strange," he murmured as he practiced the complex unlocking charm.

"What is?"

Draco took a moment to speak the charm, cockily grinning to Hermione when the case swung open without incident. His grin grew wider when she rolled her eyes at him.

"This thing has been here for as long as I can remember." Draco paused for a moment, and the incredible stress of the night, his situation, his life crashed into him, "I'm stealing something I already own."

They looked at each other for a moment, and a warm feeling of harmony frissioned through them. Draco's grey eyes meshed softly with Hermione's dark ones, and for once there were no barriers between them.

Neither one of them, later, could quite figure out who started laughing first.

Titters turned to giggles to guffaws to side-splitting peals of hilarity. It was more from desperation than real humor, but it made them feel better anyway.

Hermione's face was red, her nose scrunched up cutely, as she held her sides, "Breaking… into… own house…"

Draco, leaning onto the case heavily, was wiping tears from his eyes. He watched her struggle to control her mirth and noticed how her brown eyes darkened when she laughed, how her left cheek had an intriguing dimple, and that her smile left him a visceral ache in the region of his heart.

Heat washed through his body, causing his breath to quicken.

Not now, Draco thought desperately, I do not need this now.

Draco quickly turned from Hermione and grabbed the staff.

Bad idea.

Draco felt as if he'd been hit full force with jolts of pure, breath-stealing, galvanizing power.

He couldn't move, couldn't think. His hand was locked around the staff. He could see the muscles in his forearm bulging, his veins standing out as an incredible presence raced through his body, invading him.

It stomped through his brain accessing his consciousness. He 'felt,' for lack of a better word, its joy at being summoned, its hunger for knowledge, and its overwhelming enthusiasm to know more about him.

It wasn't like having his mind raped by Voldemort. No, this was more direct and efficient; melting away his layers of defenses like they were butter and the staff was the noonday sun in the tropics. But it was gentler as well. He didn't feel like he was losing his essential self in this maelstrom. Just exposing it.

Images, coming so quickly he couldn't process them flickered through his mind. Feelings- hate, love, anger, joy, despair, hope- tore through him fast enough to break the sound barrier.

But above all was a song. He couldn't quite place it, but it felt as intimately familiar to him as his own voice.

A voice gradually penetrated the beauty of the song, blending with it, echoing its harmonies.

"… Draco?... oh, Draco… sorry… shouldn't… My fault!"

He concentrated harder on the words trying to make them out. The song faded slightly, but still sang happily in the back of his mind.

"…don't die… If you left me too, I don't think… bear it…"

He cracked his eyes slightly, and saw her hovering over him.



A deep voice stirred from deep within him, blending with the song, urging him to taste her, take her, love her…

His hand rose from the bed and burrowed itself into her luxurious curls. Bed? She must have lifted me to my bed here at the Manor. Draco noted this absently, but he mostly didn't care. His predatory focus was trained on Hermione.His other hand, which had been clutching the staff, came up to join its mate and traced the streams of tears on her cheeks while tugging her closer to him.

"Don't cry," he whispered softly in her ear, his voice adding to the beautiful song growing within him, "I'm alright."

His intense grey gaze locked onto her unfathomable dark one as he slowly brought her mouth down to his.

The touch of her lips on his felt like coming home had. Both familiar and exciting, it started a deep, aching churning in his gut.

Softly, gently, he stole sweet drugging kisses from her supple mouth, drawing her deeper and deeper into the song that Draco felt pounding through his body. When she traced his lips with her tongue, he felt a swift rush of triumph, but groaned at the deep spurt of desire that shot to his cock.

He tightened his arms around her, fisting his hands in her soft hair, ravaging her mouth, desperate to feel her, to taste her. All of his years of pent up sexual tension exploded in one deep, needy kiss. Her lips were warm, moving desperately against his, and his need grew hotter and brighter.

I've wanted this, oh gods, I've wanted this since I first saw her all of those years ago.

Then they were tearing clothes, ripping them apart, until one of them had the presence of mind to whisper a vanishing spell.

Suddenly naked, the friction of Hermione's smooth, perfect skin against his own was almost too much for his poor, fuzzy brain to comprehend. His heart accelerated, the song jumped from a steady allegro moderato straight to presto. He realized that he needed to slow down, or this would be over much, much to fast.

And he had waited to damn long for it to be over so quickly.

"I want," Draco rasped, pulling back slightly, "I want to make this good for you."

Hermione opened her eyes, her kiss-swollen lips parted in surprise. Her little pink tongue darted out to wet them. He closed his eyes at the arousing sight. I'm going to die before this is over.

"Yes," she whispered. "Show me. I want to feel again. But I've never… I've never done this before."

He swallowed hard at her words, and gazed upon her naked body. In the flickering firelight, her skin was golden. She was dainty from the tips of her toes to her lovely curly eyelashes. It was so easy for him to forget how physically small she was sometimes, her presence was so powerful.

He smiled in satisfaction.

Putting his own need to drive into her wetness on the back burner, he decided to explore the body he had coveted for so long. Kissing his way down her graceful neck, he made his way to her breasts. Cupping them gently, he licked and kissed and suckled until she was panting and tangling her graceful fingers in his long blond hair.

He kissed her flat belly lightly, raking it with his teeth and chuckled a bit when she squirmed. Ticklish, eh? I'll have to remember that later.

When he kissed the very top of her mons, he looked up and saw Hermione watching him intently, her hands fisted in the sheets.

He smirked.

She scowled.

He then gave her clit one long, slow lick, and the scowl melted from her face, replaced with the kind of bliss he had only imagined in his dreams. He felt himself start to sweat as he knelt between her legs, his excitement heating up his body to an unbearable temperature.

Carefully, inserting a long finger into her wetness, he methodically pumped her in time to the relentless strokes of his mouth on her clit until she was thrashing and moaning. When he felt her wall start to contract, he pulled out and crawled back up her slick body.

Draco was so hard, he couldn't think straight. Mindlessly seeking her hands, he interwove his fingers with hers as the pulsing drumbeats echoed in his brain.

"Hermione?" he panted, his pale body flushed with arousal, "Are you ready, because I… I can't hold back any longer."

"Gods," she groaned thickly, "Draco, yes!"

Her breathy voice rich with desire spun into Draco's brain, interweaving with the tune driving him. He positioned himself at her entrance, and groaned at the feel of her heat against his swollen cock. Slowly sliding in, inch by inch into her narrow, tight channel, he felt Hermione stiffen. Murmuring nonsense to her, he carefully moved within her, reveling in the fluttering of her wet, tight muscles against his cock.

Soon, he felt her wiggle, trying to match his movements as they quickened an aching beginning within her womb.

"Put your legs around me, darling." Draco moaned.

As with all things, Hermione was a quick study. Soon, they were thrusting together, their grunts, gasps and cries heightening the song, urging it to a peak.

Bracing himself on their joined hands, Draco thrust harder, faster, hitting a new position, causing Hermione to twist and cry out in pleasure. Draco opened his eyes.

This… this is real…

He felt Hermione's muscles begin to flutter around him in prediction of her orgasm, and couldn't hold himself back any longer. With a triumphant yell, he came in a crescendo of screaming bliss, feeling Hermione stiffen and cry her pleasure beneath him.

He fell upon her, too sated to move, not wanting to ever withdraw himself from her warmth. But he knew he was too heavy for her, so he reluctantly withdrew his softening prick from her depths.

Draco curled his larger frame around Hermione, his hands tangling in her curls. As he went to sleep, he contently wondered why the song had changed into a lullaby…


A/N: Yeah. It's been a long time! I am in medical school now, am still writing, but am incredibly busy most of the time. I'll update when I can, but it won't be very regular (not that it was to begin with!) Anyway, mucho thanks to my lovely beta Lorett, who makes my chapters readable and many, many thanks to all of my readers who believed in me! Without you, I wouldn't be doing this!