How could I have let myself stay up so late?

Hermione chided herself as she made her way out of the library toward the Gryffindor house. She had been so caught up in studying for her Potions exam that she had lost track of time. She guessed it was at least one o'clock in the morning. The hallways were eerily quiet. Hermione almost wished Filch were around to escort her back to her room.

Hermione cast a nervous glance behind, inwardly scolding herself for feeling so paranoid. A small movement caught her eye and her hear leapt into her throat. She let out her breath when she realized it was just a rat scuttling across the floor. She giggled nervously. Where's Mrs. Norris when you need her?

Suddenly Hermione, still looking backward, collided with something hard. At first she thought maybe she had run into a wall, but when she whipped her head around she found herself face-to-face with Draco Malfoy.

He glared at her. "What are you doing up so late? Don't you know students are supposed to be in their rooms by midnight?"

"I could ask you the same thing, Malfoy," she spat defensively. "I'm on my way back to my room right now." She pushed past him.

"Are you alone?" he asked suddenly.

"Why do you care?" she asked rudely. The look Draco was giving her made Hermione uneasy. She wanted to get away from him as soon as possible.

He took a step forward. "It's unsafe for ladies to be wandering the halls unescorted," he said smoothly. "Allow me to take you back to your room."

"That won't be necessary," Hermione insisted. She was taken aback by his offer and was becoming very nervous.

Draco took another step forward and grabbed Hermione's hand. She jerked it away as if she'd been burned. "What are you doing?" she demanded. "Leave me alone."

"Lower your voice, Mudblood," he hissed icily. Hermione felt like slapping him.

"I think it's about time you learn your place, Granger," he said in an unmistakably suggestive tone.

Hermione's insides burned with anger as she pulled out her wand and prepared to jinx Draco. He lunged forward and grabbed Hermione by the shoulders before she had time to cast a spell and forcefully pushed her against the wall, knocking her wand out of her hand.

"Get away from me!" she cried, trying to wriggle out of his grip.

"I'm not going to hurt you," Draco purred in her ear. Hermione gulped and tried to pull away, but Draco's muscled arms had her pinned to the wall. He pushed his hips against hers. Hermione felt a sick twist in her stomach as she realized there was no way she was going to escape. She tried not to think about what he could do to her.

"Please," she pleaded. "Just let me go. I won't tell anyone, I swear."

"No one would believe you even if you did tell," Draco replied. Hermione's heart sank; He was right. Harry and Ron would believe her, but she knew she'd be too ashamed to ever tell them. The other students would just claim she was trying to get attention; that Malfoy would never touch her.

Hermione jerked her face away as Draco began caressing her cheek. He roughly gripped her chin and forced her to meet his gaze. "You'll do as I say," he commanded coolly. "It doesn't matter to me if you cooperate. I'll get what I want either way."

A part of Hermione's brain was telling her to submit to Draco. She felt helpless. She was physically trapped by the taller boy, as well as incapable of taking any action against him legally. His father could silence any complaint simply by pulling a few strings.

But the other part of Hermione willed her to fight. She was a witch, after all. She could disable him with a charm, if only she could reach her wand. Hermione spotted it on the floor a few yards away.

"Ah ah," chided Draco, following her eye. He sent the wand flying with a flick of his own wand.

Hermione's last hope was banished with her wand as she closed her eyes and tried to mentally prepare for what she knew was coming. I will be okay, I will be okay, she repeated over and over in her head. A solitary tear escaped her eye as she bowed her head and stopped resisting Draco's touch.

"There!" he said triumphantly. "I knew your moment of realization would come soon, Granger."

He pressed his body tighter to hers. "You're a smart girl. That's why I like you," he breathed on her neck.

"Please," she tried one last time. "Don't do this."

In reply Draco kissed her violently, pulling her bottom lip into his mouth and sucking hard. Hermione fought to prevent herself from crying out. She wouldn't give him that satisfaction. It was evident by the wild look in his eye that Draco was very much enjoying his control over her.

His hands explored Hermione's body, squeezing her breasts and rubbing his hand against the front of her jeans. As Draco claimed his dominance, Hermione focused on not vomiting. She felt disgusting.

"If you scream, I'll kill you," threatened Draco as he unbuttoned his pants…

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A dazed Hermione stumbled along the empty corridors, leaning against the wall for support. Her lips were swollen and bruised, hair a tousled mess, her skirt hanging loosely about her hips.

The Gryffindor common room was empty as Hermione made her way up the stairs to the girls' chamber. Hermione felt utterly alone. She collapsed on her bed and pulled her knees to her chest. She was overwhelmed by fear, exhaustion and loathing as her body shuddered with silent sobs. She clutched at her pillow and buried her face in it, screaming.

The only sounds heard that night were the soft pattering of rain drops against the window and the muffled cries of Hermione alone in her bed. None of the girls awoke. The next morning, as they passed Hermione's bed and saw her disheveled form, they sighed and muttered to each other, "Granger must've pulled another all-nighter studying."

Beneath the covers, Hermione willed herself to die.