"Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to." Oscar Wilde


Hermione leaned forward and placed her hands upon his thighs. She wasn't sure what came over her as she looked up at him from a kneeling position between his thighs, but she suddenly felt the urge to kiss him. She followed her impulse, and Lucius seemed very keen on her kiss as his hand twisted into her hair, clasping it around the nape of her collared neck with a gentle pressure.

She was giving him a chaste kiss, purely to feel his lips upon hers. He opened his mouth to urge her to deepen the kiss, but she pulled back from him suddenly. Yet, she remained close enough that she could feel her own breath rebounding back upon her lips.

Upon her face was etched an expression of revelation. A revelation that suddenly came over her which made her greatly upset. For a moment, she could not speak, then finally she whispered, "I feel nothing."

He looked at her with narrowed eyes while he tried to assess her meaning.

"What have you done to me?" Her words come out like a plea while her face contorted with emotional pain.

He was confused by her declaration that she felt nothing, especially when it was obvious not true. "I've only done what you allowed me to," he pointed out to her as he settled back against the chair.

Biting her lip, she held back the tears that threatened to erupt. It was at this moment that she felt utter pain. The pain of whom she had become, and how she now felt about the circumstance she was in. She shouldn't have felt this at all, not with him – especially not with him.

They were not lovers – they weren't even friends, and yet they acted like they were.

Straightening her back, she stood up sharply so she was looking down upon him. "And if I told you, 'no,' what would you have done?"

She knew the answer even before asking, but she still wanted to hear it from his lips. "I would have kept pursuing you until you said yes."

"And how far would you have gone to make me say yes?"

He did not answer her question, and she was not surprised by that. "You won't tell me?"

Rather then telling her with words he gave her a mischievous smile that hinted at how far he would pursue.

She wanted to wipe that smile off his face, but that was not an option. Instead, she said, "Take me back down to the cellar."

She no longer wanted to be in his presence, and after he careful gauged her for a moment, he relented and agreed.

They said nothing to each other as he escorted her back into her cell. Their talking and false affections were finished for that day.


Hermione sat with Luna, leaning against her arm. She should have been sleeping, but she found she couldn't. Her guilty conscience grew heavy with the burden she had placed within herself.

It had only been six weeks since she was first brought here, and yet, to Hermione it felt like years. She had been captured on Christmas Eve when she and Harry had gone to Godric's Hollow in search of the Sword.

She couldn't remember the precise details of that night, because she could only recall a few things that happened. She remembered throwing blasting curse after blasting curse at the snake she could not see. She had cursed until she had been struck by its tail, which had sent her flying into Harry. She had lost her wand at some point when she was struck; she had thought she had heard Harry calling out to her that he had it, but she couldn't say for certain; she could have imagined it.

She was certain of one thing though, and that was of Harry's pain. He had been screaming something at her through his pain while he tried to lift her off the floor, but she had never caught what he said. She had been so disorientated from the blow that she had been utterly useless.

In the next moment, she had felt Harry partially lifting her up from the floor and dragging her to the shattered window, where he had tried to throw them out of it. It had not worked. She had been dead weight and useless to help him. When Harry had gone out the window she had not gone completely out. Half her body had hung out while Harry's grip had slipped away from her, and he had been gone; disappearing before he had hit the ground.

Just as Harry had disappeared she had felt hands upon her body, roughly pulling her within, and she had managed to get one glance at the figure before she had succumbed into darkness.

Voldemort had captured her.

The next several days had been Hermione's breaking point. Days that she long considered to be the worst in her life; the time she had longed for death to take her. Tortured, starved, and beaten, she had thought she could not endure anymore – but she had. She had lived through it, and all the while she had been able to not give up any clue on Harry's whereabouts, or why they had been there in Godric's Hollow.

She could at least give that to Harry. Harry, who was most likely all alone now, abandoned by Ron, and knowing Harry, succumbed with guilt for leaving her behind. She knew it wasn't his fault, it hadn't been his intention to leave her, but she knew him enough that he would blame himself.

Hermione knew why they were keeping her alive. Professor – Headmaster Snape was the one that had saved her on the day of her execution. Much to Bella's disappointment, Voldemort had agreed to his plans to keep her alive to lure out Harry. They had not done so yet, but she knew the day was fast approaching. As of now, the only reason it did not happen was that Voldemort seemed occupied with another task, a secret task that no one knew about, but everyone speculated on.

Luna squirmed beside her, but she did not awake. Across the room in the only bed that was provided for them slept Mr. Ollivander. He had been weakened considerably by all the tortures he had endured, and she feared that soon she might end up much like him. She had heard him once confess easily under torture, and for Harry's sake she hoped to continue to be strong, to keep herself from getting to the point that she would do anything to make them stop. However, right now she was strong, at least when it came to torture, but she feared her other weakness. Lucius was becoming a crippling situation to her.

Disclaimer: Taken from JKR's works - so no money is being made off it (except of course because they get paid for having advertisements on their site). XD My thanks go out to Sunny33 for the wonderful beta job she did. She made it possible for this story to be readable. Hugs and kisses, my dear.

Story prompt came from Silverrotter1, who has wonderful stories here on . Go seek and find!