Here with Me was not quite going the direction I wanted. I had big plots for it but it didn't make sense with the previous chapters. So I have decided to rewrite it, make it more believable, develop the characters more. I'm sorry I think my writer's block has been lifted and I will work hard to update each chapter. It is also my goal to make each chapter a bit longer. Thank you for your patience and support.
Exclaimer: I do not own anything relating to Harry Potter.
Background: After HBP, the trio has returned to Hogwarts to wait for Harry's 17th birthday until his Trace has been lifted. During their time they had searched for the Horcrux and discovered that the Slytherin's Locket has been kept within the deep bowels of the Forbidden Forest. Meanwhile, all of the Order prepares for the impending war at Grimmauld's place (now Harry's as it has come into his inheritance) and at Hogwarts. However the Dark Lord Voldemort has remained quiet and dormant. Although the Order does not know, Voldemort has called upon the Fates themselves. . . .
Here With Me
I didn't hear you leave
I wonder how am I still here
And I don't want to move a thing
It might change my memory
Oh I am what I am
I'll do what I want
But I can't hide
I won't go
I won't sleep
I can't breathe
Until you're resting here with me
I won't leave
I can't hide
I cannot be
Until you're resting here with me
I don't want to call my friends
They might wake me from this dream
And I can't leave this bed
Risk forgetting all that's been
Oh I am what I am
I'll do what I want
But I can't hide
I won't go
I won't sleep
I can't breathe
Until you're resting here with me
I won't leave
I can't hide
I cannot be
Until you're resting here with me
Chapter 1. The Apple
His serpentine red eyes flashed in anger as waves of anger and hot fury rolled off of his aura. "Tell me what I need to know Lachesis." His voice could be mistaken for parseltongue as he hissed out his request to the figure across from him. The figure seemed either hunched over or very short and was covered in a thick black cloak. Yet there was something very sinister around the figure. For this was Lachesis, the apportioner, one of the Fates who decided how long a person would live. The Fate laughed. It was soft and chilling and although Voldemort did not admit it, even he was afraid. Even the Gods were afraid of the creature before him,
"Knowledge is a most valuable thing. What do you offer me in return, Dark Lord?"
"Riches do not concern you, and power you have in abundance. I can only offer you a life." Replied the Dark Lord, apprehensive at what the unpredictable creature might demand.
"Ah, but you see Lord Voldemort, all lives are inevitably bound to me. No. A soul, give me a piece of your soul and I will let you know what you desire."
Voldemort hissed in anger. One of his Horcruxes? It was his path to immortality. But here was one of the Fates herself, telling him of his demise. Was it worth it? Did he just send the Fate away and continue on as he had? Or was there a bigger plan that he was missing?
His eyes trailed over to the blood runes that surrounded the ground the Fate stood upon. He had spilled gallons of his own blood, carefully and it had taken him almost three nonstop days to construct the runes to call upon the Fate. He had sacrificed everything in his life, his humanity, his soul, what they had called a sure bright future, a girl. . . . he shook his head softly. All for his ambition, the never filling hold in his heart that made him thirst for more. Long for more. To see the Dark victorious. To fight back that Light that had prejudged them, that had beaten down the most formidable wizards in history. What was one more soul? He could always make more. . .
With a wave of his hand, the Cup that once belonged to Helga Hufflepuff floated down toward the shadowed figure. For a second he thought he could see the Fate's smile that sent chills up his body. He clutched the cloak tighter around himself. Lachesis took the gleaming cup and put it inside her cloak.
"Now. . . " Her voice was more like a Dementor's rattle than human, Voldemort just realized as he gripped tighter onto his wand.
"You will fall Lord Voldemort, this Winter Solstice, Saturn will shine upon you and you will fall as a mortal." Voldemort hissed as he grabbed on to the arms of his chair. But he did not dare interrupt the Fate. She continued. "The events are already in motion and nothing can be done to prevent your demise. However, if you should give what you treasure the most to the one who is your greatest threat, she will resurrect you and the dark will reign victorious."
Before Voldemort had even realized the Fate had stopped speaking, there was a blast of wind as his runes broke and the Fate flickered away.
In rage at her cryptic words, his fist punched through the marble throne as he let out an inhuman shriek.
"RON PLEASE! Fight him, you're stronger than that."
A desperate voice of a young girl ran throughout what was one of the darkest forests in all of Great Britain. It was filled with werewolves, centaurs, acromantulas, lethifolds, even an occasional Dementor, and many unspeakable creatures. But they did not go near the clearing the three humans were currently occupying, for the darkest one of them all was currently possessing one of the humans.
Harry Potter struggled to get up, his hands cutting into the splinters of a tree he had ducked behind. His wand was loosely hanging in his hand. His eyes warily assessed the situation. They had found the third Horcrux, deep in the bowels of the Forbidden Forest where Voldemort used to hold his Death Eater meetings while he was in school. They had gone in the cave, fought the enchantments, and while Hermione was patching Harry up after he had exhausted himself from fighting the Dementors, they had given the Horcrux to Ron. Ron, who had been tempted by the whispered promises of the Horcrux, Ron who had put on the locket, and the same Ron with fanatic glowing red eyes with his wand pointed at Harry.
"You are foolish, Harry Potter." Voldemort's soul hissed from Ron's pale freckled body. "You overlooked the ambition of your so-called friends."
Harry hissed as he stood up. Hermione was standing behind Harry, her face bleeding from their duel. It was hopeless, and Hermione could see no solution. Hermione refused to hurt Ron and she knew neither would Harry. "Go on then, Potter, kill your friend and be rid of me."
Harry mumbled something under his mouth as he shook his head. "Harry" Hermione whispered. "No, Hermione." "Harry, there's no other way. ."
Hermione raised her wand, a purple light glowing at the tip. Ron's cold unfeeling eyes turned toward her. "Ron, I love you. We love you, please. Come back to me."
Ron's lips curled into a smirk. "Poor Ronald Weasley, always second best to his best mate. Harry Potter who had everything but it was never enough was it Harry? You had to take Ron's girl as well."
"No! It's not true. Ron, we need you. Fight it, fight him."
Hermione dropped her wand and brushed off Harry's arm that had tried to hold her back. She took slow steps toward Ron, as he leveled his wand at Hermione. "Ron, please. It's me, Hermione."
"Crucio." Hermione saw the red light too late. Pain, as she had never known it, thousands of knives and needles were thrust into her, were digging underneath her skin. But Ron. Harry. Hermione bit down upon her lip. She could not fail the Wizarding World. She would not let her parents be massacred. She would not let this vile evil wizard take over all she had left in her life. She pushed herself up and perhaps from shock, the curse was dropped.
"Hermione!" Harry cried out but Hermione ignored him as she stood shakily to her feet. And Hermione continued to approach Ron. Ron's snarled at her determination and set off a dark blue light that cut into her. It was some sort of a cutting hex as it hit her shoulder and cut all the way down to her hipbone. Hermione cried out and fell in pain and blood began to flow from her. No it wasn't just flowing it was pouring. But she could not stop. Harry was running toward her, but Hermione pushed herself onto her knees and crawled slowly toward Ron. Another cruciatus curse made all the pain intensify, and Hermione knew that she would not survive this. Could not. With one last burst of energy, Hermione stood onto her feet and took the last few steps toward Ron, her blood covered hands touching his cheek as she collapsed onto his form. As soon as her hand made contact, Ron blinked, his eyes returning to his normal color.
Darkness was claiming her and it no longer hurt. But there was something digging into her arm. Something cold, and wrong, and. . it was the locket! Hermione gave a yell as she forced her arms to move and her blood covered hand yanked on the locket and pulled it from Ron's neck. There was a shriek, a yell, a thud as the locket fell to the ground, and Ron was collapsing and where was Harry. . . . And everything was dark.
Hours after hours had Voldemort stood in his study pacing and thinking. What he had treasured the most was knowledge. That was what had brought him this far, his once innocent thirst for more. Now his greatest threat would undoubtly be Potter. But the Fate said 'she.' Unless Potter was a girl, he was missing something.
He fell into his chair in a rare expression of fatigue and mortality, his head down in his hands. Suddenly his head split open as he was overcome with pain. It was either one of his Horcruxes or Potter. Closing his eyes and putting up all of his occlumency shields, he followed the thread of pain down to his core, where links connecting him to all of his Horcruxes and even Potter was visible. No, it was his Slytherin's Locket. Tugging on the thin string of connection he was able to see what that fragment of his soul was seeing at the moment. He watched as his soul blasted a whole tree and grinned at Potter's injuries. His younger self was doing quite well. Then his eyes riveted to the girl next to Potter. She was rather plain looking, but the determination that shone in her eyes impressed him. And it only increased as she fought through the cruciatus curse, and dragged herself to her friend, ignoring the dark hex that should have finished her off.
Since it was only a connection Voldemort could do nothing as his Horcrux was destroyed by Potter's sword. Sword? Where the hell could he have gotten a sword? But as he was unceremoniously thrust back into his own body, his mind lingered on the burning hazel eyes of the brunette.
A thought struck him as he dug through the files of all of his opponents. As he reached the bottom he found what he was looking for. Hermione Granger. The mudblood friend of the Potter. The brains behind the brawn. And he realized that she was truly his greatest threat.
When Hermione woke up, she realized with a shock that she could not feel the rest of her body. As she began to fret, hand lay over her head, brushing through her curls. She looked up at the green eyes of her best friend.
"Harry?" She whispered, and found her throat hurt and she could barely manage a whisper.
"Shh, Hermione. You're hurt. Ron's fine and it is destroyed. Go back to sleep Hermione. Your parents will be here soon."
And Hermione took his suggestion and let darkness claim her once more.
When she woke again, she found that she was alone.
Smiling softly, she looked at the flowers and gifts surrounding her bed. Slowly lifting her hand, she found that she now finally had control over her limbs. Frowning she heard arguing voices approach her door. Reaching for her wand, with a little pain, she cast a charm at the door that allowed her to hear through the door. What she heard made her blood run cold.
"Mrs. Weasley, Hermione deserves to know!" Harry near shouted at the infuriated Weasley matriarch.
"Now, dear. I don't think Hermione should hear such news in such a state—"
"HOW CAN YOU EVEN SUGGEST THAT WE KEEP SOMETHING LIKE THAT AWAY FROM HER? I grew up eleven years of my life thinking my parents died in a mere car crash. I think Hermione deserves to know her parents were murdered! After all she's been through. . . " Harry broke down in sobs.
"I don't want my friends to be hurt anymore, Mrs. Weasley. And it hurts even more that it wasn't a Death Eater, that I couldn't have prevented it. . .I want to be responsible but I can't. . "
Mrs. Weasley softened as she held her son in all but name. "We will go in together Harry, and tell Hermione."
However, when they opened the door, they were met with an empty bed.
Hermione had put on her robes and apparated away before they had come in. She had to know, she had to see. Her house was covered with the yellow caution tape but Hermione's wand ripped through the tape as she stumbled into her house in London. The house was a mess, and everything was ransacked as if it had been robbed. But Harry said that it had been a muggle. . . was it a robbery? Hermione stifled a scream as her eyes landed on the wall. There were what unmistakably were bullet hoes and splatters of blood. . .her heart was pounding so hard, she couldn't breathe, couldn't think straight. She didn't even bother with the lights as she sunk into the couch. With a flick of her wand a fire roared to life in the fireplace.
Hermione sat numbly staring into the darkness. The moonlight streamed through the window and the wind cast ghastly shadows on the wall. She had always known her parents were in danger, because she was Harry's best friend. She had nightmares of returning home to find the Dark Mark above her house. It was her paranoia that made her parents draft their will as soon as she returned home for the summer. That in case of their deaths, everything would be Hermione's.
But never, never in a hundred years did she actually expect the worst to happen. And not by some Death Eater, but by a mere muggle. Hermione slammed her fist into the coffee table resting in front of her. A mere muggle. How could she have been so naive to believe that they were invincible from muggle weapons and accidents? She was furious because their deaths became another meaningless incident in the muggle world. They weren't victims in the Second Wizarding War. They didn't leave Hermione the righteous anger and immense hatred for the Death Eaters. They were gone. Just like that, leaving an empty hollow inside of her.
A hot tear rolled down her cheek as she sat numbly. She was beyond grief, beyond anger, and beyond believing that her parents were truly gone.
Hermione Jane Granger was one of the brilliant witch that Hogwarts had ever seen but nothing, no book, no lesson had prepared her for the dull, empty, pain that came with death.
"Grief, it is a human feeling I have not felt in a very long time."
The soft velvety voice startled Hermione as she raised her wand with a little grimace. Oh why had Hermione come here alone and vulnerable? And she was in no condition to even put up a struggle should it come to blows. At the same time, Hermione hoped that perhaps it was the muggle murderer who came back to finish the job. . .oh she would make him pay. She would let him know exactly why she was the smartest witch to pass through Hogwarts, she had thousands of spells at her disposals, and light spells that could be used to hurt. . .
But Hermione knew deep down it was not the muggle but a wizard. His very aura seemed to suffocate the air around her and stifle the sliver of moonlight that entered her house. Hermione did not speak and waited for the figure to show himself.
"It is quite ironic that your parent's were taken by the sort your precious Order is trying so hard to protect. Muggles." He spat the last word in hatred. Suddenly a tall figure seemed to materialize across from her. Hermione should have run but her curiosity kept her seated. She could make out his jet black hair, unnaturally pale complexion, handsome features that seemed a bit blurred, black robes, and an air of superiority and unmatchable power.
Hermione took in his full appearance as the moonlight hit the windows. But his eyes gave him away. They were glowing, red, and completely devoid of all human emotion.
Hermione only gasped. She had only encountered a part of soul just over a day ago and that meeting had left Hermione barely alive. But fear or something like it held her glued onto her seat, clutching tighter onto her wand.
"Have you come to kill me?" her voice was calm and quiet, a soft flicker of her voice giving away her fear. He smirked, ignoring her question, and with a flick of his wrist her wand flew out of her hand and into his. Hermione let out a yelp in surprise and indignation and dread as she sat before the Dark Lord, defenceless. Did he perhaps find out about his Horcrux and was he here to take revenge?
"My, my. How bold of you, Hermione." The way he said her name was almost sensual as he hissed it softly, each inflection caressing her. He studied her carefully. He could tell that she was in pain. He could almost smell the taint of the dark hex that had consumed her hours ago. Yet even in this hopeless situation, her eyes were still defiant and burning. Greatest threat indeed.
"Lean back" He whispered softly. Hermione scowled, and as her mouth opened to undoubtly demand why he cut her off by forcefully pushing her back into the couch. The sound of the scream of pain was pleasurable to his ears, brining up suggestions and images of a broken witch at his feet. He shrug it off and smirked as Hermione's eyes widened at his raised wand.
Then with a string of hisses and what was unmistakably parseltongue, a jet of pale green light shot out from his wand and enveloped her. Hermione sat shocked. She was sure it was her end as he raised his wand at her, but this spell felt, if spells could be felt, comforting and she felt the harsh pain of the her cut and the after effects of the cruciatus curse fade away.
Hermione blinked, as she was too stunned to speak. Just what was he playing at? She felt her previous rage at the muggle and anger at the game the dark wizard was playing with her, hit her in full force.
He laughed softly, his long fingers toying with her wand as her eyes blazed in fury.
"Is that how you treat your healer?" Hermione mouth opened and closed rather indignantly to come up with an appropriate response. Voldemort did not give her the time.
"I could feel your anger earlier, your pain." He purred in his silky voice. "Your fury because of the insignificant muggle killed them. Your regret, that their death wasn't a sacrifice for your cause."
"They say mortality is a sin." He continued softly, his dangerous voice caressing her skin as she shivered involuntarily. "Weakness of a mortal life. You do not like feeling weak, am I correct Miss Granger? After all, that's why you threw yourself into your studies. . ."
"Are you going to kill me?" Hermione's mouth slipped before her head could have caught up to it.
He laughed, a high pitched laugh. "If I had wished to kill you, you would have joined your parents already." He replied, amused.
"What do you want then? I'll never let you get to Harry!"
His cold red eyes locked onto her hazel ones. "Not everything is about Potter." He tossed her wand back smirking. Surprised, Hermione firmly grasped her only source of defense, waiting for him to offer more explanations. She knew that she had no chance against him should they were to fight.
"I've heard a lot about you. Your insatiable hunger for knowledge. Your outstanding performance in all subjects. Your brilliant mind that has helped to keep Potter alive for years. Yet, I wonder, how insatiable is this hunger?" he asked, a strange glint in his glowing red eyes.
"What are you implying?" she whispered softly. He smirked.
"You know exactly what I'm implying."
"I've no interest in torture, deceit, and death" she said firmly, tearing her eyes away from the Dark Lord.
He laughed his horrible chilling laugh again. An amused smile graced his handsome face. "I can give you power, knowledge, and respect."
He smiled knowingly. "Respect." He whispered again, as Hermione trembled. "It's one thing you know you'll never have, Miss Granger. Because of your blood."
"Why?" Her voice was barely audible. "Why are you doing this?"
He stepped closer toward her.
"I have lived in the Wizarding World for 59 years. Surely you do not believe I have only accomplished immortality, and as you say, mastered the arts of torture, deceit and death. No, I have knowledge more than your silly books could ever provide." He leaned over her as Hermione shivered.
"The why, my dear, is of insignificance. After all, you and I aren't that different. We are both orphans, we long for knowledge, and desire recognition." Hermione's breath hitched at the last word.
"Ahh. You can't hide your secrets from me, Hermione." He purred stepping away from her slowly.
"So you're saying that you want to just. . .teach me?" she asked tentatively.
His smirk became even wider. "Not just teach you. So much more than that Miss Granger. And after we have parted our ways, I will ensure your protection through the war."
"How do I know you won't to use me against the Order."
His red eyes met her hazel orbs. "I guess you don't." That dammed smirk again.
Hermione shivered at his honest answer. Thoughts and possibilities racing through her head. Hermione looked at the hand he extended out to her. Nothing good would come out of this, she was sure, but oh the temptation of the forbidden. Had he perhaps drug her through the spell?
"What will it be, Hermione, will you bite the apple, or forever wonder what it would have tasted like."
And as he had assumed, she bought the hook, line, and sinker. Her soft and small hands reached into his, and without even a pop, the Granger's house was empty once more.
What she had done, finally sunk in as they apparated into an unknown location. They were standing in front of iron gates with a snake insignia and a great manor stood in the distance. The sound of seagulls and the smell of salt alerted to her that they were near the beach.
"Where are we?" she asked tentatively as they walked up to the gate.
He turned to her with a smirk. "If I told you, I would have to kill you, and that would be a shame."
Hermione shivered again, at the truth behind his statement. Voldemort, still smirking, waved his wand over her as Hermione's outfit changed into a black robe.
"Keep your hood up." He instructed as he pulled his own hood up and walked up to the gate and spoke in parseltongue as the gate opened.
Heeding his advice, she pulled the big hood over her head and followed silently. Undoubtedly they were at the Death Eater's headquarters, the very spot the Order was trying to discover. But the location itself was probably kept secret, probably by Voldemort himself.
As they neared the mansion he grabbed her arm painfully. "Do not utter a word." He hissed as he pulled her alongside him.
Hermione winced at his grip but did not dare to complain. She was beginning to realize that she was in deep. Too deep. But it was too late now. And oh gods, the possibilities, the knowledge. And how she could help the Order when she was freed. No longer the aurors look down upon her blood. No longer would they ignore her. And Harry, she would find out Voldemort's darkest secrets even if it killed her. Snapping back to the present, Hermione realized she was slipping before her body could respond. The icy surface of the road claimed her as she began to fall forward until a strong arm jerked her up, pulling her flush against a strong body. Hermione felt herself blush from. . embarrassment? Voldemort merely hissed in annoyance and he let her go and then they were walking inside the mansion, and there was no way she would be allowed to leave now. Then again, the Dark Lord himself had given her his word that she would not be harmed.
Hermione stifled a gasp as a Death Eater approached them, his eyes flicking toward Hermione. "My Lord?" addressed the Death Eater.
Voldemort glared at the man. "What is it, Avery?"
"The room has been prepared as you had instructed . . .is this the guest you had mentioned of, my lord?"
"I was not aware it was of any concern to you, Avery." He replied silkily, his red eyes narrowing. "No, no my lord." replied Avery hastily and stepping backwards.
"Good." Without another word, he dragged Hermione along and began to climb up the master staircase. As they walked, Hermione saw several Death Eaters, some that Hermione could identify from the wanted posters. They whispered their respects to Voldemort as they curiously looked at Hermione, attempting to catch a glimpse of the guest that their lord had brought.
But after all, this was probably the first time that Voldemort brought home a guest. . . who wasn't thrown into the dungeons immediately.
Finally they reached a large mahogany door. He whispered a few spells under his breath as the doors opened and they entered the most lavish room Hermione had ever seen.
Before Hermione had a chance to properly study the room, he dragged her toward another mahogany door and pushed her through without using any spells this time.
He finally let go of her and gestured that she could remove her hood.
The room they were in was decorated almost as lavish as the one next door. It was decorated in Slytherin colors, obviously, but contained a king sized bed, a dresser, a table, fireplace, a couch, two tall windows that took over most of the eastern wall, looking out on the ocean, and a door that she assumed lead to the bathroom.
"This is where you will be staying." He said. "The only way out is through my chambers. This is to ensure that a stray Death Eater won't discover your presence."
He gave a curt nod. They stood in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like forever to Hermione. She finally broke the tension.
"They say the snake was forever punished for tempting Eve to the apple." To her surprised, he laughed. It was not a cruel, chilling laugh but a rather normal sounding one. He cocked his head, studying her. His eyes seemed to have found what they were looking for as he responded.
"But the snakes say having her bite the apple was worth the punishment."
Leaving Hermione in contemplation, he turned and walked to the door. A thought struck Hermione as she stopped him. "How do I address you?" she asked tentatively.
He seemed taken aback at her question as he turned his head to look at her. "You will address me as 'Lord.'"
It was a command, not a request. And she knew she had no option. He raised his eyebrows waiting for her to address him properly.
"Very well. . . my lord." She said, her lips curling in distaste.
He smirked, seemingly satisfied. He stepped closer to her, his fingers trailing down the side of her face. Her skin seemed to freeze at his touch.
He seemed to study her intently. "You're not afraid of me. I can kill you now, use you to hurt everyone you love. Why are you not afraid?"
Hermione was shocked at the question. Surely she was afraid, he was the Dark Lord. But—
"I don't know." She replied truthfully.
Without a word, he swept away the door between their chambers shutting with a bang.
Sighing loudly Hermione plopped on to her bed. "Merlin, Granger, what the fuck have you gotten yourself into?"
And there was still the matter with the Order and her friends and some sort of lie she would have to come up with to appease them. . .. she was too tired and decided to put that off for tomorrow. Making a mental note to send an owl later, she let sleep finally claim her.
But as she drifted off to sleep, she hoped that this wasn't just a dream. For it was an opportunity of a lifetime.
Reviews and constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. After all I am only rewriting this story for my reviewers and I hope the plot ride I have planned for you will be infinitely more enjoyable, (and steamy) this time around.