Hi! New story, new warnings! Please read the warnings before you continue with the story!
1. I am ignoring the events of HBP and DH. No Horocruxes.
2. Like always in my fics, there will be a lot of sex and torture. Don't like? Don't read!
3. This is a Hermione/Voldemort-shipping, but there will be some other parings as well (like, SS/OFC, RL/?, HP/GW...) but I won't write much about them.
4. This is a DARK fic. There are always someone who is unhappy. If you like fluff, this is not a story for you!
I am only playing with JK Rowlings wonderful world, I don't make any money of this!
Thank you BloodyBrilliantRuthie for betaing this story! And thank you Nerys for encouraging me to continue with it!
It had all been Cornelius Fudge's idea. So, of course, it was a horrible. Unfortunately, by the time Dumbledore found out, it was already too late.
Hermione Granger was sitting in the library. She liked the library, not because she liked to study, but because she liked the atmosphere. It was always quiet. Stress didn't seem to exist in the old library of Hogwarts. Alas, Hermione used the library as a gateway to calmness, which she needed now, as she was in the middle of her N.E.W.T. exams. She only had three more exams to sit through, and she would be free for a whole week before the graduation party. Like the rest of her class, she looked forward to it. A lot had happened during her time at Hogwarts, and she felt like she needed a rest.
Three years ago, the feared dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, had returned. Many had believed he was dead, but he only lost his body. Hermione's best friend, Harry Potter, had been there the day he regained human form. The world had just grown darker ever since.
Two years ago, Hermione's parents had disappeared and she had obviously been very upset and wanted to be alone in her grief. She thought that her friends had enough to worry about as it was. So, she found refuge in the library, like so many times before, and tried to study away her grief.
Last year, her other best friend, Ron Weasley, was killed. Since then, she had been eager to fight in the war. It happened at the end of her sixth year. She and her two best friends had been on their way home from Hogsmeade, when Lord Voldemort and ten of his Death Eaters ambushed them. Harry, he still didn't know how it happened, cast the Killing Curse at Voldemort and… hit him. Voldemort died, or rather, his body died. Smoke rose from the body, an apparition of the Dark Lord, and ordered his Death Eaters to kill them.
The Death Eaters had been confused and Harry, Hermione and Ron managed to escape. Or, so they had thought. Bellatrix Lestrange, one of Voldemort's top minions cast an Avada Kedavra at them and it hit Ron in the back. Anger, beyond anything she had ever felt before, took hold of her. She went berserk and started to cast hexes around her, even the three Unforgivable Curses. Her assault gave Dumbledore and the rest of the Order of the Phoenix time to take care of the rest of the Death Eaters.
Everyone thought Voldemort was gone for good after that. They had even started celebrate. Until Harry started to scream because his scar began to hurt. The Dark Lord managed to survive.
No one knew where he was, what he looked liked, or what kind of powers he had. Everyone was very careful not to talk to strangers. Lord Voldemort could be anyone.
Hermione sighed as she tried to massage the stiffness out from her shoulders. She was working on a very tricky calculation in Arithmancy and had been sitting in the same spot since dinner. The Arithmancy exam was first thing the coming morning. It was her favourite subject and she hoped to get the highest scores. Not that anyone thought she wouldn't get it; she had been feeding herself with knowledge since the beginning of this year; even more so than she had done the years before. Her philosophy was; knowledge is power. After Harry found out Voldemort was still alive, Hermione made finding a way to kill him her mission.
Little did she know how jeopardized her mission would become.
"She is just a girl!" Dumbledore bellowed.
The Minster of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, fidgeted. He was nervous. He had never seen Dumbledore this furious before. He just arrived at the Ministry and found a very angry Dumbledore sitting in one of his royal blue armchairs. Carefully, Fudge sat down behind his pompous desk, made of the finest oak.
"I have already signed the Contract for both of them, Albus. There is nothing you can do."
"Don't you understand that you have doomed the poor girl to death?" Dumbledore screamed. He had always seen the protection of his students as his sacred mission. Now, he failed, thanks to this incompetent fool.
"Now, now Albus, don't overreact," Fudge mumbled, the sweat building up on his back. "We have, of course, made sure he is obligated to protect her against physical harm, particularly from himself. She, on the other hand…" Fudge smiled, an evil smile, as one who is hiding something.
"What makes you so certain that he can't resist the power of the Contract? He has managed to get back from death twice!"
Fudge cleared his throat. "No one has ever managed to get pass the Contract. It was signed in their blood."
"That you stole!" Dumbledore's normally calm and twinkling blue eyes were murderous.
Fudge shifted in his seat. "It doesn't matter, a blood Contract it unbreakable."
Dumbledore clenched his fist. "You will be killed for this, Cornelius, don't you realise that?"
"I have made a safe-house for myself and my wife," Fudge said in an important tone so Dumbledore would understand that he had everything under control.
"May I see the Contract?" Dumbledore asked after a moment of thought.
"Of course," Fudge gave him a copy. "As you know, the real Contract is in safe-keeping here at the Ministry. Both parties have already been sent a copy."
Dumbledore read it with a frown. "It says here that they are expected to consummate their marriage within a week?"
"Yes. If they don't, the Contract is magically enhanced with the Endless Pain curse for those who do not adhere to all of the Contracts clauses. They will experience endless pain, that will eventually kill them," Fudge seemed to be extremely pleased.
"She is innocent," Dumbledore hissed.
"Ah, but she did sign up for the Auror test and so far, she has scored the highest marks on all her exams. She's smart, bright, and interested in law enforcement. I'm certain she will be able to kill him."
Dumbledore was silent for a while. "I think it was a dark day when you underestimated Lord Voldemort."
The moment Hermione finished her last exam she was so relieved that she couldn't help but cheer along with the rest of her class. Harry actually smiled at her. He didn't do it a lot, not since Ron died.
"Care for a trip to Hagrid's?" Harry asked her.
Hermione was about to accept when she heard someone call her name. She turned around and saw Dumbledore coming at them from the stairs.
"Miss Granger," he said in a serious tone. "I must speak with you at once."
Hermione and Harry exchanged a worried look.
"What is it, headmaster?" Harry asked.
"I'm sorry, Mr Potter, but I have to speak with Miss Granger alone," Dumbledore said soberly.
"It's okay, Harry," Hermione said with a smile. "I will catch up with you at Hagrid's later."
Harry nodded, and with a worried look on his face he left them. Dumbledore made a gesture for her to follow him to his office. Hermione had been there a couple of times before. After the death of Ron, when her parents went missing, and the time Harry was injured. She had no happy memories about that room, and she had the feeling she wasn't about to get any now.
"Please, have a seat," Dumbledore said and pointed to one of the comfortable-looking armchairs next to his desk. Hermione sat down. "I have a confession to make, Miss Granger. Two days ago you received two letters. I took them and kept them from you. I thought it would be best if you managed to sit your exams without any extra worries."
Hermione frowned when Dumbledore handed her a brown envelope with the Ministry's logo on it. Her eyes widened when she began to read it the letter within it.
Marriage Contract between Tom M Riddle and Hermione J Granger.
Hermione gasped. "Is… is this some kind of joke, Headmaster?"
"I'm afraid not," Dumbledore said. "Please continue."
On the eighth of June, Tom M Riddle and Hermione J Granger were declared husband and wife by Minister Cornelius Fudge. The following conventions are to be followed.
Hermione's eyes widened as she read the conventions. The marriage had to be consummated within a week of their marriage (which meant they only had five days left to consummate it). Mr Riddle was obligated to protect her against anyone who intended to harm her, including himself. He was also obligated to take care of her and keep her healthy. They were to share all their possessions and live together. If they broke any of the rules, they would go through Endless Pain. She had read about the Endless Pain curse, and it often meant that the victim felt some kind of headache.
"So…," Hermione said in a voice much higher than her normal one. "I'm married. Just like that."
"So it would appear," Dumbledore said carefully.
"To Voldemort," Hermione continued, clenching her fist around the contract. "And… I'm expected to live with him and… consummate our marriage."
"Miss Granger…" Dumbledore said in a tired voice. "If there was anything I could do…"
Hermione got up from the chair and started to pace. She was biting her lip like she usually did when she was trying to work something out. "What has my… husband said about this?"
"I believe that will be known through the other letter," Dumbledore said cautiously and handed her another brown envelope, free of any logo.
Hermione ripped it open.
Imagine my surprise when I found out I was married. I am convinced you all have some clever plan behind it. However, make no mistake, I will not let myself be played. I will wait for you every night for a week at the cemetery of Little Hangelton. Come alone. My Death Eaters will stay on guard and they will not hesitate to kill anyone, save you.
I'm convinced that you, like I, have no interest in becoming the victim of Endless Pain.
Hermione's knees gave way and she sank down to the floor. She reread the letter again... and again. Dumbledore walked behind her and read the letter over her shoulder.
"Why me?" she finally asked.
"Fudge thought you were the most suited person for the job. He had gone through your record and found out that you applied for a job as an Auror. I imagine he thought this would be your first assignment," Dumbledore said with a snort.
"I see…," Hermione mumbled. "What exactly is my job?"
"To kill him. As you may have noticed while reading the Contract, there is nothing in there that stops you from hurting him."
Hermione got up from the floor. She was in shock. It was not every day you found out that you where married to the most feared man alive. What should she do? Go to him, a part of her mind thought. The other part told her to run. She closed her eyes and focused on her breathing. Madam Pomfrey had taught her this technique if a situation seemed to get out of hand. She had been crying over Ron when she taught her that.
Ron… She had loved him. She had loved him as a friend, but she wouldn't have rejected him if he wanted to be more than friends. But, he never asked. They had been so busy with everything else and now it was too late. All she could do now was avenge him. If she were married to Voldemort, she would be in an excellent position to do so. Yes. That was nice and logical. She didn't have to care about the fact that she had to go to him alone, live with him… sleep with him. No. She would be focusing on revenge.
"I'll do it," Hermione whispered, more to herself than to Dumbledore.
Dumbledore sighed and helped her to sit down in the armchair again. "I knew you would. You are a brave girl, Miss Granger. If anyone can do it, it's you."
He left her alone for a moment and went to another room. When he returned, he held a necklace in his hands.
"I want you to have this."
Hermione looked at the beautiful piece of jewellery. It wasn't much, just a small stone that seemed to shimmer in different colours. It sat in the middle of a small silver pentagram.
"What is it?" Hermione asked and touched the small necklace. She felt a shiver go through her fingers.
"Among other things, it is supposed to give calm to its bearer. I think you may need it."
Hermione nodded and Dumbledore helped her to put it around her neck. When he was done, he put a hiding-spell on it so it wouldn't be seen.
"Just so no one would be tempted to steal it," he said when he saw her questioning look.
Hermione could still feel it around her neck even though she couldn't see it. She thanked him again. "I think I will have to speak to Harry now."
"Of course," Dumbledore said. "When will you leave?"
"Tonight," Hermione said, she already felt calmer. "Or else I will just worry myself to death."
She left the office and slowly made her way through the castle. She thought about what she would say to Harry. He would be furious when he found out. And scared. Few would have believe it, but when Voldemort didn't die during the duel, Harry had been scared beyond belief. Since then, he had questioned his own abilities. Everyone thought he was the great Saviour, but Harry told her many times that he didn't believe he was the right man. Perhaps she could help him now. When she moved in with Voldemort she would be able to find out more about him, and then she could pass information along to Harry.
"Harry!" she said when she came down to Hagrid's hut. He and Hagrid were sitting outside, drinking lemonade. Hagrid's big dog, Fang, was lying near them, happily spreading saliva over the grass.
Harry got up when he saw her. "What did Dumbledore want?"
"I… apparently, I'm married," she blurred out. "To Voldemort."
Harry stared at her like she was crazy and Hermione told him the whole story about Fudge and the Contract. Like she expected, Harry hadn't taken it well.
"They can't do that!" Harry yelled.
"Please, Harry, keep your voice down," Hermione begged. Hagrid was staring at her with a mixture of horror and pity. Hermione was grateful he didn't start to yell too. "He will not be able to harm me, and he will have to protect me against his Death Eaters. I will be able to find out a lot about him and then I will tell you about it!"
Harry shook his head. "Voldemort would never fall for it. He will find a way to kill you!"
Hermione took her friends hands. She still felt strangely calm, but a bit sad by Harry's outburst. She didn't want to worry him. "Please, Harry. I don't have a choice. If I don't go to him, I'll have to endure Endless Pain."
Harry held her hands tightly. "I don't want to lose you too."
"You won't," Hermione promised. She hoped she was right.