This story is set in the Trio's seventh year of Hogwarts, when Harry, Ron and Hermione are seventeen/eighteen. Pretend Deathly Hallows never happened while reading for simplicity's sake.
Like fluff? You're in the wrong place.
Romance? Wrong place.
Comedy? Happy endings? Thrills, spills, laughs and games?
Parental advisory – Explicit Lyrics.
Warning – not for the faint-hearted. Read at your own risk.
Danger – high voltage.
Want some PWP? Go to the lovely people at adult fan fiction .net. They have an array of suitable titles.
Mind the step.
Hermione is not a kick-ass super-witch. Nor is she weak, feeble and useless. She likes Ron. In a like-like way. She lacks confidence. I will not be writing her in any other way.
Keep out of reach of children.
Lucius Malfoy is not a nice man who is simply misunderstood. Nor is he a perverse rapist. Even taking into account the final book, it is my opinion that he is an evil pure-blood supremist, and I have no intention of redeeming him.
Caution – highly flammable.
Nor have I any intention of portraying Ron Weasley as a moron. I adore Ron, so that's that.
Rated M for strong violence, explicit language, and sexual content.
This is not a 'Luciuous kidnaps 'Mione and they have teh smex' story. This is a story about hatred, obsession, fear and prejudice, not about sex and lust.
Well, not just sex and lust.
Warning – Thunderstorms likely. Take cover.
Still interested? Then take my hand and take a walk with me on the dark side.
You might always enjoy it. You won't know unless you try.
Oh, just jump in. I dare you!
'Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden.' – John Milton, Paradise Lost
'She had a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth… "Nobody in my family's magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased… I've learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I'm Hermione Granger..."' – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
'The man who followed could only be Draco's father. He had the same pale, pointed face and identical cold grey eyes… Mr Malfoy's eyes had returned to Hermione, who went slightly pink, but stared determinedly back at him. Harry knew exactly what was making Mr Malfoy's lip curl. The Malfoys prided themselves on being pure-bloods; in other words, they considered anyone of Muggle descent, like Hermione, second class…' – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
'DEATH-EATERS AMONG US ONCE MORE!'
'A source from the Ministry of Magic has told the Prophet that there has, one again, been a mass breakout from Azkaban. Our informant, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims that the new security measures put in place after the desertion of the Dementors were not enough to keep six dangerous prisoners locked up.
'They (the ministry) tried almost everything; I lost count of how many new spells they put on the place. They put hundreds of Aurors on guard duty; at one point they even thought of using trolls as security back-up. But nothing could match up to the effectiveness of the Dementors. The prisoners could feel happiness, and so were, I believe, able to keep their heads and plan their escape.'
Our source wishes to make it clear that it is yet unknown how the prisoners escaped. However, they claim that all of the six escapees are known Death Eaters, that the Ministry is fully aware of the breakout, and that a cover-up is being attempted.
'The Minister doesn't want the public to know that he's failed to protect them. He's built his reputation on being strong, and doesn't want to lose his job after only a year.'
Rufus Scrimgeour has refused to comment on this story.'
I sit back, allowing the newspaper to fall onto my desk.
I don't know why this has shocked me. There's been a bigger breakout than this before. And it's not as if it's entirely unexpected. I suppose we all knew, deep down, that it was only a matter of time before more prisoners would manage to escape.
All the same, knowing that it was probably going to happen anyway doesn't make things any better. Six more Death-Eaters are on the loose. As if the Order needs any more trouble right now.
I walk over to my window. There's a hollow, tickling feeling in my stomach. It's not hard to feel frightened these days, but the thought of Voldemort's army growing in size just reminds me of how bad things are getting. Ever since Dumbledore's death, I've been wondering whether we really can win this war...
And I'm scared. I don't like admitting it, but it's true.
I reach my window, and find myself frightened of looking out into the street. It's stupid, I know, but I'm afraid of what I might see. I haven't felt like this since I was little, when I was scared of the dark and I had to sleep with the landing light on. I'd pull my bed-covers up over my head, too frightened to look out into the darkness of my room in case there was something there.
Are you still five years old, Hermione?
I lean forward nervously, look down into the street, and I see…
Nothing. Just the dark suburban road I grew up in.
I sigh and press my forehead against the cold glass. Some Gryffindor I am.
But even as I look every patch of darkness, every shadow, seems to become a Death-Eater's robe.
I bite the inside of my cheek before I turn away from the window and sit down at my desk, pulling one of my legs up and hugging it to my chest.
You'll feel safer at the Burrow.
Yes. The Burrow. It won't just be me and Harry staying there for Bill and Fleur's wedding – there'll be loads of full-grown wizards about, and protecting charms on the building itself, I imagine. It won't just be me on my own, and I won't be putting my parents in danger…
I'm really looking forward to going, actually. The Weasleys are a laugh. And Mrs Weasley's food is always great. I'll see Harry, and Ginny, and…
I smile to myself and press my forehead to my knee. I want to giggle, and I don't know why.
No, actually, I know why all too well.
Get a grip, Hermione!
Maybe, after the wedding…
After the wedding…
Ron and I have told Harry that after the wedding we will go with him, wherever he goes.
That hollow, tickling sensation creeps into my stomach again.
Oh god. I don't want to admit it, but I've no idea how we can help him destroy the Horcruxes. It's just… it's such an overwhelming task to undertake. Oh, I know I'm good at spells and… and things, but I've never fought in an actual battle before. Unless you count the Department of Mysteries, but I was cursed unconscious for most of the time we were there. A fat lot of help I was then…
And, although I'm ashamed to admit this, I don't want to see Voldemort. It's different for Harry, he's seen him before and knows what he's going to face. I've only ever heard descriptions of him, and they were more than enough for me.
But… we have to go with him. He can't do it on his own, and the three of us have been through too much together to let each other down now.
I shake my head, then look at my clock. It's half past midnight. Perhaps I'll read for an hour and then go to bed. After tomorrow I won't have much time to study, what with one thing or another.
I crack open the Standard Book of Spells Grade 7, and I start to read, almost reaching the fourth chapter when-
A small popping noise.
Invisible hands lift me up, up, and I'm thrown forward and the wall's flying towards me, ow ow ow!
Small stars burst in front of my eyes as pain smashes through my body. I can't even scream for shock.
My wand… my wand…
Where is it?
But the invisible hands which hold me in place are replaced by a pair that are only too real. They're large, and strong, and they push me into the wall. Someone breathes steadily on the back of my neck.
After what seems like an eternity, he answers my unasked question for me.
'Well met, Mudblood.'
Oh god! I recognise that voice. Drawling, quiet, refined. So much like his son's but deeper, older.
He must have been one of the six that escaped from Azkaban.
I start to struggle, but his grip on me is so strong I can barely move.
'Don't be a fool. You're nothing more than a schoolgirl. Do you really think to emerge triumphant in a fight with a Death-Eater?'
Oh God, how the hell am I going to get out of this?
Keep calm. You need to think.
My wand is on my desk, my head hurts, I'm so scared that tears are starting in my eyes-
I won't cry in front of him. I won't be weak.
I can't breathe with the weight of him pressing me to the wall, my parents are sleeping in the next room-
A wand digs into my ribs. 'That's right. Don't struggle. This whole sorry business will be over and done with much sooner if I have your compliance. Just do as you're told, and I will have no reason to harm you.'
I breathe deeply and try to gulp down the fear.
'What do you want?' I whisper.
'That's for me to know and for you to find out, Mudblood.'
I press my lips together.
What does he want me for? He doesn't even know me, not really.
No. But you know Harry, don't you?
I can't think. I'm so scared I can't think. All I know is that I can't move; he's pressing me so hard against the wall my bones are breaking, surely to god, and if I even try to struggle he'll curse me.
Think, for god's sake!
My wand is on my desk… I can see it, it's that close to me… If I could…
But he gets there before me. A pale hand reaches for my wand.
'You won't be needing this, I don't think.'
He closes his hand around my wand and snaps it effortlessly, letting the broken pieces of wood fall to the floor. My wand, my beautiful wand…
'Now,' he whispers. 'If you would give me your hand, Miss Granger, we can be on our way-'
A creak. The familiar creak of the door to my parents' room.
The body pressing down on mine tenses. There's a tentative knock at my door.
The intruder steps back from me and turns me around, pinning me back to the wall by my throat, and for the first time since he entered my room I can see him.
I look up into the pale, pointed face of Lucius Malfoy. It's been a year since I saw him in the Department of Mysteries, but it seems that Azkaban has not changed him. He has some new, deep grooves in each of his cheeks, but this is the only difference I notice. His eyes are set in cold, steely determination.
'Hermione?' Mum's voice is shaking. 'What's going on?'
'Colloportus!' Lucius mutters, pointing his wand at the door. The handle moves up and down, to no avail.
'Your hand, Miss Granger,' he says, holding out his free hand to me. 'Or I shall force you to watch your filthy mother suffer torments… indescribable.'
'Hermione, whose voice is that?'
Mum's getting hysterical. The door handle moves frantically up and down.
I don't get it. Why doesn't he just force me to apparate with him?
Maybe… maybe side-along Apparation isn't possible without some degree of permission from the person you are taking with you.
But I can't give him permission…
'Hermione! David, help me!'
I don't have any choice. I can save my parents now, and get myself out of this later.
I take a deep breath and I hold out my hand for him, giving him my compliance to god only knows what.
He smiles triumphantly as he grabs hold of my hand, and suddenly I'm squeezing through a tiny space, and the air is pressing down on me, so hard I can't breathe…
Darkness. His hand is clutching mine, but my feet are on the ground.
As he mutters the incantation his grip relaxes, just a little.
I struggle against his grip. I look around me, trying to make out the surroundings. Trees. Lots of trees. I could get lost among them easily, I just need him to get off me!
I bring his hand up to my mouth and sink my teeth into his fingers. He sucks in his breath and his grip loosens. I pull away, but my foot slips and I fall.
He's laughing at me.
I scramble up onto my feet, struggling to stay upright in the wet mud, and I run. I don't care where I go; I've just got to get away from him, because I won't survive if he manages to get me, I know that I won't.
I manage five steps before an invisible hook pulls me back by the shoulders, and before I know where I am my feet are planted to the floor and I am standing immobile, no matter how hard I try to move.
He steps in front of me, his face furious. 'I don't think so, Mudblood.'
He presses his wand to my forehead, and a white hot pain pulses in repeated waves from the point of his wand right through to the back of my head, like battery acid travelling through my nerve endings. It subsides, then the wave rolls over me again, and I clench my teeth, squeeze my eyes shut, but a cry escapes my lips, hurts, hurts, my head is going to split open, or burst, or-
The pain fades away.
I open my eyes warily and look up into his sneering face.
'Not pleasant, is it?' I can feel the immobility curse being lifted, though he grasps my arm so tightly I feel as if he's about to snap my bones. His pale face is alight with malicious triumph. 'If you persist in misbehaving you shall find that I can be rather… inventive when it comes to inflicting pain-'
'As if it matters whether I behave or not!' I shout at him. 'As if you're not going to kill me anyway! Why should I do as you say until then? I'm not about to take orders from a Death-Eater!'
He grips hold of my chin. 'It is time you learnt your place in the world,' he says quietly. 'We all must obey those who are above us-'
'You're not above me-'
'And you will do as I say, because you are worth less than the dirt on my boots. You are a waste of air.' He pauses for effect. 'You are nothing!'
'And you're worth something are you?' I'm shaking with rage and fear. 'You think you're superior to me because of your blood's purity. It's pathetic, do you hear me!'
He looks furious, but I can't stop myself. I'm terrified, and hurting, and angry, and I won't be silenced.
'Do you expect me to cower at your knees and think of you as a powerful man? Well, I can see you for what you are; and all I see is an inbred, bigoted coward.'
He gives a small, mirthless laugh before bringing his wand to my cheek. A sharp, burning pain streaks across my face, but I don't cry out this time. It's only a sting, really, and it's over quickly.
'Have you never, in all of your worthless life, been taught to respect your betters?' he whispers harshly.
It's my turn to laugh. I laugh right in his face before spitting in it.
I'm acting braver than I feel, and as I see the look of rage and disgust on his face, I realise that perhaps I didn't think that one through…
He lets go of my arm to wipe the spittle away from his face. I take my chance and wrench myself out of his grasp, but before I can even begin to run he's got hold of me by the arm again. He pulls me close to him, pointing his wand at my throat. His face is so close to mine I can see that he's actually shaking with rage.
'I don't believe you quite understood me. I said I wanted obedience, and for you to know your place. And when I want something, Mudblood, I do make sure that I get it.'
That's when I feel my throat close up.
I gasp… or I try to…
But I can't.
I frantically try to inhale some air, but all I'm doing is heaving pointlessly because there's nothing I can do. My lungs scream, my chest feels like it's collapsing, and I go so light-headed that I can't stand up, and I'm falling and please don't let me die! I'm desperately, desperately trying to breathe-
And then my airways open and my lungs are filled so quickly with air that I begin to cough violently, all the while trying to fill my body with as much oxygen as possible. I cough until my chest hurts and my eyes stream. I'm in such a state that I don't care that I'm kneeling at his feet, clinging to the front of his robes.
He waits until my coughing subsides before kicking me. He catches me in the chest and I fall onto my side. I lie there massaging my ribs, and the tears that I have been fighting so hard against slowly begin to run down my cheeks.
'Let that be a lesson to you, you useless Muggle,' he says quietly. 'I do not take disrespect lightly. Especially coming from a filthy Mudblood. Now get up.' He gives me a small kick in the back. 'I don't deny that crawling on the floor with vermin suits you, but we have an appointment to keep, and we don't want to keep our host waiting. So… if I'm not rushing you…'
Okay, so I know what he's doing now. He's taking me to someone else. At least now I know…
But… he could be taking me to… no, I don't want to see… him…
'Still insisting on rebellion are we? Very well.'
The invisible pair of hands pull me up again and set me on my feet.
'Do you believe that what you have experienced so far even comes close to the pain I could inflict upon you?' He walks slowly around me, his voice low and angry. 'You will learn some obedience, you little Muggle bitch, or you will discover that I can become rather ill-tempered when provoked.' He stops behind me, and lifts up my hair to whisper in my ear. 'Believe me when I tell you, Miss Granger, that by the end of our time together you will want to obey me. Want to.'
I'll obey you when hell freezes over, you evil-
The immobility curse is lifted and I fall to the ground.
God what's… what's wrong with me? I'm not that weak; I know that I'm not.
I try to pull myself to my feet, and I...
All of my body has gone entirely limp. I can't move a single muscle.
He crouches down next to me and lifts me up in his arms.
I try to struggle…
But I can't.
I've never felt so helpless in my entire life.
And I don't want him to carry me! Bloody Malfoy's father? I don't think so.
'Don't go expecting this sort of treatment regularly.' He walks through the forest, carrying me with him. 'This is only necessary because you wouldn't come quietly. If me carrying you around is abhorrent to you, then you can only blame yourself, and rest easy with the knowledge that the feeling is entirely mutual.'
My head falls backwards. The back of my neck aches with the strain, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.
He moves quickly, his wand illuminating our path through the trees.
Oh god, I don't want to see the Death-Eaters. I've seen them enough times to last me a life-time. The memories of that night at the Ministry still terrify me. I still have nightmares about that Lestrange woman. And then there was the man who hit me with that silent, painful curse. Dolohov. I can still remember the feeling of that curse, as if something had sliced through my chest and then… nothing but blackness.
And there are others. MacNair, the man that used to kill animals for the Ministry; Greyback, who mutilated Bill. Harry told me that Greyback relishes turning people into werewolves.
And Draco… will Draco be with them?
But all I can hope for is that he won't be taking me to… him. I've never seen him before, and I want to keep it that way.
In what seems like no time at all we arrive outside a derelict old shack in a part of the woods so dense I can't see the sky.
He puts me down on the floor. My head rolls to the side. He pulls a long, thin key out of his robes, which he uses to unlock the door to the hut. Then he bends down to pick me up again and carries me into the shack.
I look around as far as I can without the ability to move my head. The interior of the place looks like I would expect it to look from the outside of it; neglected, filthy and dark. He lays me on the floor again, and this time my head rolls away from him and I can't see what he's doing.
Why has he bought me here? What would they need me for? To give information about the order? Information on Harry? Do they just want to punish me for being Muggle born? Or do they want to use me to get to my friends? I don't know how these people's minds work; do they kill for business or for pleasure?
Perhaps they're not going to kill you. Who knows how these people get their kicks?
I would shudder if I could. I don't want to think about… about that.
He's taking his time in here. I wish I could see what he's doing.
What are my parents going to do when they finally get into my room and they see that I'm gone?
They'll contact the Order. I told them that they should let the Order know if I go missing before they inform the police. I've taught them how to use an owl to contact them in case of an emergency. The Order will find me, they'll save me-
How? You don't even know where you are, how are they going to know where to find you?
A noise fills the room. It's like stone grinding against stone. When it stops he walks over to lift me up again, and carries me down what seems to be a large stone staircase which I'm sure wasn't there when we first arrived. As we go down the stairs the hole we entered through closes in above us. Wherever we're going I'm not going to be able to escape easily.
If you can escape…
Down, down, through what seems to be a long, narrow cave. We keep going for ages and ages. He doesn't say anything to me. All I can hear is his breathing and his footsteps.
I don't know how I feel about this. I don't want him to talk to me, and even if I did I don't think I'd be able to answer him in my current state.
But still… the silence has given me too much time to think about what's going to happen to me.
There's nothing I can do to save myself. I'm completely alone. I've always had Harry, or Ron, or somebody with me whenever I've been in danger…
Harry and Ron. What are they going to do when I don't turn up at the Burrow tomorrow?
Oh God, Bill and Fleur's wedding. It'll be ruined!
We come to what looks like a dead end, and he sets me down on the cold, damp floor. My head rolls to the side and I can see him as he shakes back his sleeve, exposing the Dark Mark on his arm. He presses the tattooed skin to the wall of the tunnel, and the dead end melts away to reveal the way ahead. He picks me up again and carries me through the passageway, and I hear rather than see the way close up again behind us.
I'm completely and utterly trapped.
A lone tear escapes from the corner of my eye and rolls down my face.
He lays me down on the floor, my head facing upwards. We must be quite far underground; the ceiling of this place is very high.
His face moves above mine. It's half in shadow, but I can still see his gloating expression.
'You know, it is tempting to keep you like this,' he murmurs. He picks up one of my arms and lets it drop again. 'So docile, so obedient.' He moves his face yet closer to mine. It's horribly contorted by shadow. 'So completely and utterly submissive.'
Oh God, he wouldn't… oh no, please…
'However.' He stands up and I can't see him anymore. 'I don't want to touch you any more than I have to. It's disgusting that I should have to carry a Mudblood around.'
I'm partly relieved by that statement, but at the same time enraged by it.
He gives me another small kick. 'Get up.'
A shiver runs through me. I think… I think I can move again.
I slowly pull myself up onto my feet. My legs shake under me, and all the blood rushes to my head I stand up, swaying slightly on the spot.
He's standing in front of me, a small, patronising smile on his face. He leans forward and pats me on the cheek.
He steps back and offers me his arm, his eyebrows raised in a mocking challenge.
I just stare back at him. I won't let him toy with me.
'What did I tell you about obedience, Mudblood?'
I take a deep breath. 'You told me that we all have to obey our superiors. You told me that you are above me, and therefore I have to do as you say.'
He smiles. 'Well, my son always told me you were a know-it-all, but now I realise that you are simply a fast learner-'
'I am only a fast learner of facts,' I retort. 'But I've never been one to believe anything I'm told without question. And what you told me was a blatant lie. So, you see, I won't obey you. I'll die first.'
His eyes narrow in anger. He flicks his wand upwards, and my arm is twisted up my back. I sink my teeth into my lip to stop myself from screaming.
'You'll die first, will you?' He's standing over me, watching me struggle against the pain. 'I've lost count of how many fully grown wizards have told me that they'd die before they'll do as I ask. And without exception they all end up screaming for mercy, begging me on their knees to let them live.' He flicks his wand again, and my arm is released. I fall to the ground, and he breathes a laugh. 'Something tells me that you won't be any different, Mudblood.'
I lie still, just for a moment, trying to get my breath back.
Perhaps if I just keep quiet, he won't hurt me. Why antagonise him further?
Where's your courage, Hermione? You're a Gryffindor, remember?
I clench my jaw, and allow that thought to hook into me and pull me upwards.
'I'll never give you that satisfaction.' I stand up, and look him straight in the eye. 'You murderous bastard!'
He slaps me hard across the face with the back of his hand. No wands this time. My head snaps back with the blow and I taste blood in my mouth. When I look back at him I see pure hatred, plain on his face.
For a few moments we just look at each other. He's breathing heavily, as if he's been running.
I've never had anyone look at me like… like that before. I've never had someone hate me so much when they didn't know me at all. People have called me Mudblood, but usually I've been disliked primarily for being clever, or bossy, or a friend of Harry's. Being Muggle-born is just another insult they can hurl at me.
But with Lucius Malfoy, I can see pure hate in his eyes, and it's all because of something I am, not something I've done.
And I realise then that there's nothing I'll ever be able to do to change that. How could I change what I am, or apologise for it, even if I wanted to?
Well, if he hates me then the feeling is entirely reciprocated. I hate him. I hate him for what he's done, and I hate him for what he is; a prejudiced, unfeeling sadist.
'It seems strange to me that you have not asked me where we are,' he says, his voice quiet and controlled. 'I would have thought that you would have some curiosity about where I have brought you.'
He grips me by the shoulders and turns me around, showing me where we are.
It's not the hall itself that terrifies me. It looks almost like what I imagined the Chamber of Secrets to look like when Harry told me about it – green flamed torches, black stone walls, pillars entwined with stone serpents. No, it's the throne at the head of the hall that scares me. An empty throne with a huge stone snake rearing up behind it.
It's so dark it takes me a few seconds to realise there are people moving along the hall towards us. People in black robes.
My stomach knots with fear, and I start shaking uncontrollably. I can't… oh god, I can't…
'You are fortunate that our host appears to be otherwise engaged,' Lucius murmurs in my ear. 'Were he here I am sure he would be only too pleased to teach you a few lessons in respect and obedience. But don't fret. Soon, very soon, you shall come back here and meet him, and I'm sure you shall find him most… accommodating.'
I must be in the Death-Eaters' headquarters.
And although I don't know why I've been brought here, or what they are going to do to me, or who I am going to see, one thing is clear - I'm never going to get out of this place.
The dark figures are getting closer. One of them calls over to us. His voice is deep, with a slight Russian accent; 'He's not here Lucius, but he wants to see her when he gets back. He says to put her away for now.'
He? Who? Not… no… I CAN'T FACE… HIM!
Lucius' hands have left my shoulders-
I feel the rush of the spell before it hits me, and then…