The Phantom of the Opera

So sorry to keep you all waiting! I had chapter typed up in February, but then I accidentally deleted it. Needless to say, I was traumatized and didn't feel like typing or writing. But that's all over now and here is the chapter. That's all you need, right? Thank you for your faith and love of my story too!

I'm going to try to incorporate some of the factors of Book Six to make the story more realistic in the Potter World. Just to let you know!

WARNING: THIS CHAPTER WILL CONTAIN MENTIONS OF SEX. No, it's not graphic at all, but it's implied. If you want to skip it, okay, just let me know and I'll email you about the contents of the chapter so you understand if you wish to read on.

Disclaimer- I own nothing but the plot.

Chapter Ten

Darkness crept over Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The sky turned a deep, depressing gray for several days after Zacharias Smith's murder, and inside, the school was equally as gray and morbid. Many of the students were in a state of shock and terror that such a thing could happen within their own school. Nothing like that had never happened since Cedric Diggory's death, which only brought more fear and confusion that somehow everything had been connected to Lord Voldermort from the beginning.

Zacharias Smith's funeral was held privately in Hogsmeade, and his cause of death was blamed on Lord Voldermort. The students of Hogwarts kept silent in fear of their own lives. After all, the Phantom had killed Smith right under Dumbledore's nose, and he had also killed Mrs. Norris. If anyone else outside of Hogwarts knew, the situation would only get worse. Although many students were beginning to doubt Dumbledore, most decided that they would be worse off without him.

Now the Phantom of Hogwarts had become even more elusive, and no other claims to have seen him arose. Still, winter vacation was fast approaching, and Hogwarts staff and students did their best to put on a brave face. One cold night, Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk in his office drinking a glass of wine and stroking Fawkes while thinking deeply.

"This is only the beginning," he murmured to his pet. "More will come, I am sure."

Word was beginning to leak out, and Dumbledore knew this would happen. Students and staff are overheard, he thought, and rumors begin. His weary eyes scanned over The Daily Profit. A moving picture of Hogwarts and himself were plastered on the front page under the heading "Hogwarts Unsafe?" The article went on about rumors of certain deaths in the school and how many children were living in fear that something, whatever it was, would be after them as well.

Dumbledore spoke again to Fawkes, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith will never keep this quiet." He chuckled, "And why should they? Their son is dead!" As he took another sip of wine, the door to his office opened, and Professor Sprout walked into the office. Like Dumbledore, her face displayed signs of exhaust and sadness.

"The Smiths agreed to remain silent for the time being, and they are not pressing any sort of charge." She informed him, "but they have given us until after Christmas to find the murderer or else they're going to the press. I would suggest-"

"We cannot call in the Aurors for this. If we call them in, word will get out, and the whole wizarding community will go into a panic, especially because we haven't any clues as to who our Phantom is."

"All the students must leave for Christmas then." Said Professor Sprout. "That way we can efficiently search the school without interruption."

Dumbledore nodded solemnly. "Yes, you're right. Send the word out."

Two weeks before Christmas, Professor McGonagall strolled through the Great Hall and up to the Gryffindor table with a thin smile across her lips and a clip board in her hand.

"Students, Hogwarts will not be open for Christmas vacation. I'm sorry, but you will all have to find an alternative vacation home if you were planning on staying." She paused and gave the clipboard to Lavender Brown, who was sitting closest to her. "Please list your name and where you will be staying."

As Professor McGonagall stalked off, Harry, Ron, and Hermione turned to each other in surprise.

"Harry, this is serious." Said Ron as the clipboard was passed to him.

"No, it's not. We're all going to your house, remember?"

Ron rolled his eyes as Hermione shook her head, "He means that if they're not letting anyone stay for Christmas, Dumbledore must be worried."

"And that's not something that happens often." Added Ron. Harry stared down at his toast in deep thought. Dumbledore worried? Impossible, he thought to himself. They might be doing a… winter cleaning. Harry mentally slapped himself for such a stupid idea.

"And Ron, I'm not going home with you guys." Said Hermione. "I'm going to Japan to see my parents. My cousin is going to teach me Japanese."

Both Harry and Ron looked at her suspiciously, but they agreed, and all three headed out of the Great Hall to their first class of the day, History of Magic. Professor Bins sat, or floated, in his chair looking happier than any of the students had ever seen him.

"A quiet Christmas for me!" he muttered grinning as if he were a guilty child who had stolen a cookie from the cookie jar. "No students keeping me up at night."

"You can sleep?" asked Ron curiously, "But how? And why would you want to sleep anyway?"

Professor Bins sighed, "Nick was correct. You, Mr. Weasley, have the compassion of a blunt axe." Ron remained silent for the rest of the class while Harry and Hermione laughed behind their hands though it did not make the class go by any faster. Professor Bins only droned on longer and constantly lost his place in his lecture notes. The Gryffindors stormed out of the classroom when the bell rang, glad for the class to be over.

Hermione walked between Harry and Ron happily when she saw him coming. Anthony Goldstein had been extra protective and extra touchy ever since Zachariah's death. He claimed that Hermione was not safe walking around by herself, and it was necessary that he hold her at all times. Whenever he tried to grab her hand or butt, she would immediately take off in the opposite direction with the excuse that she had to use the bathroom.

"You guys go on ahead; we'll meet up again in the Great Hall. Bye!" and she dashed off back towards the History of Magic classroom. Anthony noticed and increased his walking speed.

Hermione had not been watching where she was going, and when two arms snaked out of the darkness and pulled her into a shadow, she became scared and surprised, though somewhat relived. She did not get a chance to exclaim her surprise or annoyance because two deliciously smooth lips found hers and caressed her own lips. All of her thought immediately left her and she clung to her captor's neck as Anthony rushed right on past them.

When he turned the corner, the Phantom whisked Hermione into the now deserted classroom and continued to kiss her. In between his kisses, he murmured, "You're not… mad… anymore then?"

Hermione kissed his neck, "I can't stay mad at you. Besides, if you didn't kill him, he would've killed you."

Abruptly, the Phantom said, "I want you to stay."

Hermione stopped kissing his neck and looked up into his steel eyes. He was not kidding. "How can I? We're all being sent away. I'm going to visit my parents in Japan."

The Phantom laughed and tilted her chin up, "No, meet me in the Shrieking Shack, and I'll keep you warm for Christmas." He said smirking a devilish smirk and kissing her again.

Her mind leaving her, Hermione could only moan in agreement.

An hour later, Hermione sat in the Gryffindor Common Room with Harry, Ron, and now Ginny doing their homework so everything would be finished before Christmas, and the teachers had piled everything on for the seventh years. With N.EW.T.S coming up, they felt they should do everything in their power to make sure every seventh year would remember every spell since their first day of first year. Hermione's mind, however, was not on homework. Her thoughts turned over and over in her mind on how she was going to get away from Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express. Anthony would probably look for her too.

And was Hermione ready for what the Phantom was implying? Could she really sleep with him? I couldn't do it, she thought, I've only know him for a couple of months! Yet she knew how much she cared for him. He could understand her and was well-read. He noticed the little things about her, and the mere thought of him sent shivers down her spine and made her want to moan aloud.

What Hermione really needed was an outside opinion, so she closed her books and told Harry, Ron, and Ginny that she was going to the library to get a book. Instead, Hermione did not turn into the library, but headed outside through the snow to Hagrid's hut.

Hagrid was not the most intelligent person she had ever met, but she knew he had a heart of gold and would support her no matter what. He smiled as he opened the door, and Fang bounded up to lick her face.

"'ello 'Ermione! Glad ter see yeh."

"Long time no see, Hagrid." She said beaming up at his wide grin and warm eyes. He ushered her in and made her a warm cup of tea. As he did, Hermione presented her problem without giving many details.

"I want to see him, but I don't want to disappoint my friends. I love Harry and Ron for than anything."

Hagrid nodded his head in agreement, "I've know yeh all fer wha', seven years now eh? I think Harry and Ron will love yeh no matter wha' yeh do."

"That's true, Hagrid, but I might have to break a few rules to be with him."

At this comment, Hagrid took a long, hard look at Hermione. She felt as if he were reading her mind. "This wouldn't have anythin' ter do wit that phantom now, would it?"

"No, no, not at all!" Hermione answered quickly. Hagrid raised an eyebrow.

"I trus' yeh, 'Ermione. I think yeh can make a good decision on yeh own. Just be careful is all I'm sayin'."

Hermione smiled gratefully at Hagrid. He had given her strength and courage, and she knew what she had to do. As she and Hagrid passed the next two hours together talking about the war and the Ministry, the gears in Hermione's mind began to turn, and by the end of the visit, she had a plan worked out completely.

When she returned to the Common Room, the fire had died down, and Harry, Ron, and Ginny had already gone to bed leaving some parchment and two quills still lying on the table. She quickly composed a letter and set off to the Owlery to send the letter to her parents. By one in the morning, Hermione finally collapsed onto her bed and drifted off to a sweet, dreamless sleep.

"I have to go to the front of the train first, and then I have to patrol. I probably won't see you two at all."

Hermione rolled her trolley through the Hogsmeade station next to Harry and Ron. Ron looked over at her confusedly.

"What about Prefects? I never heard anything about us having to patrol."

"It's just going to be Anthony and I." Hermione lied easily. At the train door, Hermione gave both Harry and Ron a hug and gave them their gifts. She had already given Ginny her gift earlier,

"Wow! A sweater!" exclaimed Harry unwrapping a black sweater that felt soft and protecting.

"And mine's not maroon! Thanks Hermione!" said Ron slipping a blue sweater that matched his eyes over his head as Harry did the same.

"I know your mum always makes you all sweaters, but I kept working on my knitting, and I thought you would like them anyway." Harry and Ron gave her a big hug together, promised to send their gifts to her soon, and set off towards the back of the train to find Ginny.

As Hermione watched them go, a sneaky smirk spread across her face, one that would've made the Phantom proud. She had already told Anthony that she, Harry, Ron, and Ginny were using the Floo network to get home because they were needed immediately. He had fallen for it, and Hermione could only laugh.

No one noticed as Hermione snuck off the Hogwarts Express, and she grinned with a deep satisfaction as she watched the Hogwarts Express pull out of the station. Excitement bubbled in her stomach as she strolled through Hogsmeade and out to the Shrieking Shack. Snow had just begun to fall, and the sun had set making the house look enchanting to her. After she looked around to make sure she was alone, Hermione raced up to the house.

Hermione pushed open the door and found that the room was magically warm. She slipped off her cloak and took a look around. Nothing had changed since her third year. Dust still covered the furniture, and cobwebs lay draped over a grand piano in the open foyer. A portrait of a wizard with an abnormally large mole still hung above the fireplace. The carpet was worn in several large patches, and a rat scurried across the door way to the dinning room, but Hermione felt no fear.

A warm breeze blew down the stairs, and Hermione heard one of the most beautiful voices in the world.

You have come here

In pursuit of your deepest urge

In pursuit of that wish which till now

Has been silent

Silent…

I have brought you

That our passions may fuse and merge

In your mind you've already succumbed to me

Dropped all defenses

Completely succumbed to me

Now you are here with me

No second thought

You've decided

Decided…

Past the point of no return

No backward glances

Our games of make-believe are at an end

Past all thought of if or when

No use resisting

Abandon thought

And let the dream descend

What raging fire shall flood the soul?

What rich desire unlocks its door?

What sweet seduction lies

Before us…

Past the point of no return

The final threshold

What warm unspoken secrets

Will we learn

Beyond the point of no return

Hermione was drawn to the voice. It seemed to carry up the stairs. As she claimed the staircase, she sang back to him.

You have brought me

To that moment when words run dry

To that moment when speech disappears in silence

Silence…

I have come here

Hardly knowing the reason why

In my mind I've already imagined our bodies entwining

Defenseless and silent

Now I am hear with you

No second thoughts

I've decided

Decided…

Past the point of no return

No going back now

Our passion play has now at last begun

Past all thought of right or wrong

One final question

How long should we two wait

Before we're one

When will the blood begin to race?

The sleeping bud burst into bloom

When will the flames at last

Consume us

The door was open at the top, and the Phantom stood in the darkness, holding his arms out to her as their voices united.

Past the point of no return

The final threshold

The bridge is crossed

So stand and watch it learn

We've passed the point of no return

The Phantom took Hermione into her arms and dipped her low.

"You're mine." He whispered kissing her with a searing passion, and Hermione knew she had crossed the point of no return.

A/N: Fin! I'm hoping you all get that yes, they did have sex. I promise that it won't take me as long to update. Thank you so much for your support and I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please review!

Love and Smut,

RonFan