Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to JKR. All situations are mine. No $$$ is being made from this fanfic.


The Dark Lady (A One Shot Exploration)

Surrounded by stunned Death Eaters, Hermione Granger walked up to the broken body of Lord Voldemort, bent over and ripped his left sleeve, exposing his dark mark, which was larger and more detailed than those of his followers. She placed the tip of her wand against it and said a long and detailed invocation.

The dead wizard's body began to shudder and shake, and the sound of thunder and wind filled the throne room as his Dark Mark began to glow. All around Hermione Death Eaters screamed, grasping at their arms as the transfer took place. Hermione gritted her teeth against a pain that would have made the strongest wizard scream for his life. But she was used to great pain. It was part of the process that brought her to this point.

Finally the wind and thunder died out, and the Death Eaters stood about gasping, pulling up their sleeves and looking at their marks. The color had changed from black to white. Hermione spun toward the group and yanked up the sleeve of her black and red robes showing them the mark that now rested on her arm. There was a reddish cast to her amber eyes as she addressed them. She slipped her wand into her pocket.

"Voldemort is no more. I am your Dark Lady as of now. If any would challenge me for the throne, let them come forward now!" she said.

There was murmuring as the Death Eaters looked at the petite witch. Yes, she had killed Voldemort but that could have been a fluke.

Severus Snape eyed Hermione Granger. She had been missing for the past five years…ever since Harry Potter was ambushed and killed by a group of Death Eater along with Ronald Weasley as the two Aurors left a Quidditch match.

Obviously, the witch had been quite busy.

The crowd was disturbed as several Death Eaters walked forward in response to the witch's challenge. They pushed their way out of the crowd, eleven in all…seven men and four women. They stood with their wands by their sides.

Hermione's face contorted.

"I take it you don't believe I am powerful enough to rule you," she said evenly.

Lucius Malfoy watched with interest as the tiny witch faced off with the would-be challengers.

"I guess I will have to show you I am powerful enough. Goodbye, traitors!" the witch shrieked, throwing both palms forward, a searing mass of fire exploding from them and surrounding the Death Eaters, who screamed horribly before turning to ash. Hermione then carelessly flicked her hand at the remains which disappeared. She looked at the rest of the Death Eaters, her eyes narrowed.

"I'll fry every fucking one of you if you do not kneel and swear fealty to me right now," Hermione said, "The whole lot of you!"

Quickly every Death Eater knelt and swore their allegiance. The marks on their arms heated up painfully as they were bound to their new Dark Lady.

Peter Pettigrew emerged from the crowd, his eyes focused on the floor. Hermione looked at him, then turned, stepped over Voldemort's body and mounted the stairs leading to the throne made of human bones. She sat down.

"You want something Peter?" the witch asked him, her reddish eyes resting on the rotund wizard.

Nervously the wizard looked up at her.

"My Lady, I served the Dark Lord loyally for years until his…sudden demise. I would offer you my services as well," the ratty little wizard said.

Hermione looked at him coldly.

"What makes you think I'd want you near me? You're disgusting. Not to mention you set up Sirius Black to take the fall for your betrayal and hid with the Weasleys for years. Voldemort might have wanted you for a toady, but I certainly don't," the witch said. She flicked a finger at Peter Pettigrew.

Suddenly the wizard fell, gagged and completely bound by chains. His eyes rolled wildly.

"The only thing you'll be serving, Peter, is life in Azkaban for your crimes," she said.

The Death Eaters all looked at each other.

Hermione looked at all of them.

"Now, no more of this 'Purebloods are better' shit. That's over with. Everyone in the wizarding world will be judged by their character and not their inbred lineages," Hermione said. "I have a different plan for you lot. One of reparation."

The Death Eaters began to mutter. Hermione eyed them then pointed a finger at a tall wizard to her left.

"Crucio!" she cried.

The man fell to the floor screaming and shuddering as the dread pain hit him. Hermione calmly held the curse on him for a full minute before she let him go. He lay there, trembling, smelling of shit.

Hermione arched both eyebrows and made a show of listening carefully. There wasn't a single sound.

"Much better," she said. "Now, where is Severus Snape?"

Severus shouldered his way through the crowd and bowed to Hermione, his eyes on the floor.

"I am here, my Lady," he said.

"You don't have to keep your eyes on the floor in my presence, Professor," the witch said, the reddish tint in her eyes dulling. "Your service to the Dark Lord is over, and you are not required to participate in the Reparation. You have done enough for the wizarding world with no reward. I only wish I could take back the pain you've suffered for all these years."

"Thank you, my Lady," the wizard said in his silky voice, his dark eyes washing over her.

Hermione studied the pale wizard. He hadn't changed in five years except that his hair was longer. He still had the same dark eyes, hawkish nose, aristocratic brows and cruel, but sensuous mouth.

"I would like to speak to you later, Professor," the witch said. "You may return to the ranks."

"As you wish, my Lady," Severus said, bowing again and walking back into the crowd, wondering what the witch wanted with him. He'd find out soon enough.

Hermione looked at the group.

"Where is Draco Malfoy?" she said, frowning, the reddish tint returning in her eyes.

Again there was motion in the crowd. Draco appeared, also shouldering his way through his comrades. The wizard was tall, well-built and handsome, his whitish-blonde hair shoulder length, his face angular and strong. Draco's gray eyes held some reservation however as he bowed to Hermione, but didn't say anything.

"So Draco, I bet you never saw this coming," Hermione said to the wizard.

"No, my Lady," he said, his gray eyes focused on the floor.

"You treated me like shit for years," the witch said.

Draco felt a coldness in his belly. Shit, the witch wanted revenge now. The wizard braced himself to be crucio'd. But nothing happened. Hermione simply stared at him for a while.

Then she said, "I have an opening for a personal servant. You will fill Peter's place. Your first duty is to dispose of…this."

She pointed her toe at Voldemort's body.

"Your second will be to kill Nagini. I don't want her slithering about," the witch said.

Draco stood there. Him, a servant for a mudblood? How humiliating.

Hermione noticed his stiffness.

"Well, if you don't want to be my servant…there is always torture and death," she said, scowling at him.

"I will serve you…my Lady," the wizard said between clenched teeth.

Hermione's eyes washed over him. Draco was quite a handsome little piece. Maybe she'd make him serve as an occasional consort as well. He'd better be able to get it up for her. After five years of celibacy, the witch was raring for a go, though she wasn't sure what would happen to her partner if she lost control. Well, it would have to be trial and error. Maybe Draco or whoever she chose to pleasure her would survive. She had plenty of wizards to pick from as the Dark Lady.

Five years ago, Hermione would never have thought about doing such a thing and risking another human being's life so coldly. But the witch had changed. Developing her powers had been a very painful process, and she paid quite a price to do so. Half of her soul. As a result, her "humanity" quotient was currently quite low.

But her former Master would approve of her success in replacing the Dark Lord and at least she wouldn't have to go to Hell like most damned individuals. Halved souls eventually rejuvenated. It had been a shrewd bargain she made, one that gave her Master an element of Good, something he could have never acquired on his own. At world's end, he wouldn't be destroyed as his brethren. He would be able to dwell in the outskirts of Heaven.

Hermione looked at Draco.

"Then start serving," she said, arching an eyebrow at Voldemort's corpse.

Draco bowed, walked up to the base of the throne and grasped Voldemort's body by one arm and dragged him back toward the Death Eaters, who parted and let him pass, a streak of black blood left behind.

Hermione looked at the silent Death Eaters, and suddenly, she wanted them gone.

"Just get out! I will summon you later when I have your duties scheduled," the witch said.

"Scheduled?" a few of the Death Eaters mouthed silently.

Severus smirked. It seemed some things about the witch hadn't changed.

The Death Eaters continued to mill about. Hermione's eyes reddened frightfully.

"Don't you lot understand English? Now go, or someone's ass is going to get fried," the witch commanded.

The Death Eaters hastily disappeared. Now the only ones left were Severus, Peter and Draco, who was nowhere to be seen. Severus approached the throne.

"You've been busy, my Lady," he said to Hermione, who stared down at him.

"Just call me Hermione, Professor. I don't need that form of address from you," Hermione said, sounding a bit exasperated.

Severus bowed.

"As you wish, Hermione," he said. The witch liked the way her name sounded when he said it. She looked at him speculatively, the redness in her eyes once again dulling. The Professor had always appealed to her when she was a student. He was intelligent, commanding, hard and a hero. Now that she was a woman, she found he was even more appealing.

Hell, she could have more than one consort, couldn't she?

"And yes, I have been busy. Someone had to bring Voldemort down. Harry is dead, and I didn't see how anyone was going to do it. So I found a way to do it myself," the witch said.

Severus looked at her. Hermione was very powerful. Her wandless magic was phenomenal. He had never seen anyone cast the Cruciatus curse without a wand, or any Unforgivable for that matter. He wanted to ask her how she had accomplished it, but felt it would be better if he didn't. Maybe one day she would tell him herself.

The Death Eaters had all been summoned by the Dark Lord, who was about to give them the details for an attack on the Ministry, when suddenly Hermione appeared in their midst with a powerful crack of thunder. She whirled her wand around her head and none of the Death Eaters could move. They were frozen in place.

Voldemort fired a powerful spell at her, but she made a motion with her left hand, and it dissipated. Then she whirled both her arms, clapped her hands together and thrust her palms at the wizard. Voldemort's chest literally exploded and he fell down the stairs of his dais, stone dead.

Hermione then turned to the Death Eaters and released them with another wave of her hand. Then she pulled her wand and took the Dark Lord's mark.

"Professor, I would like you to take a message to the Headmaster and tell him Voldemort is dead and the Death Eaters are now bound to me. Tell him the wizarding world is safe. Also, I would like you to drop Peter off at the Ministry. Would you do that for me?" she asked the wizard.

The Potions Master noticed that the witch didn't attempt to blatantly order him about, though she could easily have done so. He wondered why that was, but again kept his peace. He saw how violent the witch could be. She had killed eleven Death Eaters without flinching. The old Hermione didn't want to even dissect a dragonfly. She wasn't the witch he knew.

"Yes, I will do it," Severus said.

"Thank you. You may go," Hermione said, waving her hand at him.

Severus looked at the small witch sitting in the throne of human bones. She would be left alone here. Suddenly Draco appeared, walking out of one of the doors. He walked up to the throne and looked at Severus before bowing to Hermione, his eyes on the floor.

"It is done. Voldemort's body is disposed of as well as Nagini," the wizard said. "Is there anything else, my Lady?"

Draco was anxious to get out of there.

Hermione looked at him consideringly.

"Yes. You will give me a tour of this stronghold. I need to familiarize myself with it," the witch said, her eyes glowing red again. "In fact, there are several things I need to familiarize myself with again."

Her fire-filled eyes raked over Draco in an unmistakable manner.

Severus' eyebrows rose. Was Hermione going to fuck Draco…her nemesis of many years? Well, considering how the wizard felt about her…that would be the ultimate humiliation for him. The Potions Master could see it. Hermione was certainly something else. The wizard walked over to Peter and grasped a length of chain.

"Until next I see you…Hermione," the wizard said to her. He bowed and disapparated.

Hermione looked at Draco.

"I think I'd like this to be a naked tour," she said, smiling as the wizard turned red as a salamander.

"Divesto."

Hermione looked at the wizard's toned body, one eyebrow arching as her eyes fell on his goods. Draco stood there, shoulders back and chest out, refusing to be embarrassed or cowed. He knew he was good-looking.

Hermione gave him a lascivious smile.

It was good to be the Queen.


A/N: Just a one shot for now.