Chapter 20

Hermione slowly regained fleeting consciousness. She had no idea where she was, but she knew Lucius was carrying her. She knew his scent and she could feel the warmth of his body as he walked. Her mind wasn't working properly, she couldn't open her eyes or move a muscle, but at the moment, she was happy to stay where she was, in his arms. She could hear his steps as he walked, loud over the wooden floor and softly when he walked over the carpet.

"Father?" She could hear someone saying, Draco she realised. "Is that Granger?"

Lucius kept on walking and eventually placed her down on something softish.

"Have you lost your mind?" She could hear Draco saying. "You didn't just take her did you? Please tell me you haven't abducted her." He rambled. "I'm not having any part of this! I'm not going to prison again. She'll have you for this. Why can't you two just shag each other's brains out like normal people."

"Don't be tiresome, Draco." She heard Lucius say.

"I'm going to mother's." Draco yelled and left.

It was completely quiet now, but she could hear Lucius breathing sometimes. She felt a bit of moisture on her lips, which reminded her how parched her throat felt. She was growing conscious enough to know that something was wrong. She didn't feel in danger, but something was off.

"I can tell that you're awake." He said quietly. "Have some water, it will make you feel better."

He held a glass to her lips and she drank as much as he'd avail to her.

"What did you do to me?" She asked with her raspy throat.

"You have not been injured, but it will be a little while before you regain the full use of your limbs. We need to have a little chat. I have given you some Veritas Serum."

The last statement perked Hermione's consciousness up a bit.

"Did you just hex me?" Hermione asked, feeling a sense of panic building.

"I did."

"You can't do that. You can't just do what you want to people." Hermione yelled in what came out more like a whisper.

"Something you said concerned me."

"Then send an owl."

He was quiet for a bit. She couldn't hear him move anymore, so he must be sitting. She tried opening her eyes, but they wouldn't comply for more than a second. He was sitting in a chair some ways away from her. Still in his dark robes, looking forbidding.

"You were talking about turning off the magical part of your being."

Hermione sighed. She had been stupid enough to mention it around him, and her hope that he wouldn't have picked up on it obviously hadn't eventuated.

"I was hoping you would overlook that little slip." Hermione said. She hadn't intended to put it that way, but that's how it came out. Did he mention Veritas Serum, Hermione wondered.

"So it is possible?" He said slowly.

"As I said, in theory, it can't be done in reality." Hermione said, trying desperately to work around the Veritas Serum. Technically it was true.

"You said it could in some years."

"Maybe. If the magical genes are identified."

"And what are genes?"

"The details of the blueprint, the contract that is the body. They determine everything about you. Anything hereditary is genetic, like you hair."

Lucius was quiet for a while. He was mulling over what she said. Hermione tried to open her eyes again and knew what room she was in. She was at his manor, in the room she knew intimately.

"You brought me to the room I was tortured in." Hermione said and managed to keep her eyes open.

He didn't answer. He was regarding her calculatingly. This was a very different man from the one she knew. This was Deatheater Lucius. Cold, calculating and dangerous.

"And you are intending to find these genes?" He asked.

"Yes." Hermione responded but she didn't intend to. "Naturally, I have always been curious what makes me different from my family."

"And you can turn them off? Suppress them?" Lucius continued his questioning.

"I was only joking. My interest is in general genetics. Medicinal." It was a half truth, but she got away with it.

"But it can be done?"

"Yes." Hermione said. "In theory."

"And how would it be done in theory?"

"Depends on the nature of the genes, either suppressed, or cut out and replaced."

"And how would this be done."

Hermione didn't answer because she knew it would sound really bad.

"Just tell me Miss Granger, I would loath to make you, but I will if I have to."

Hermione was feeling a stronger sense of panic now. She knew the lengths he would go to fulfil what he saw as his duty.

"So you're interrogating me now. Am I an enemy now?"

"You're a very dangerous girl, Miss Granger." He said.

"No I'm not."

"Turning a wizard into a muggle has always been the greatest speculated weapon in our world. And now it turns out that you have it."

"No, I don't." Hermione said, fully realising where his mind was. "I have no intention of creating a weapon, and you know I am telling the truth."

"But you can."

"No, I'm just a first year student. I can't do anything."

"Yet."

Hermione didn't answer as she could only affirm.

"So what am I supposed to do with you? Hmm. You bring me the biggest threat our world could face."

"And you are its constant defender, beating up little girls in its preservation." Hermione challenged.

"I have never beaten you, Miss Granger, but this is very serious. I cannot overlook this development."

"Always doing your duty, aren't you?" She said.

"How can these genes be suppress or removed?"

Hermione might as well tell him. It was all public knowledge anyway which he could find pretty easily in the nearest library or bookstore if he tried. She wasn't an enemy after all, so why hide anything. Maybe it was time they realised that there were some things going on in the muggle world that they need to pay attention to.

"The most effective way is delivery, I believe, is through a retrovirus. It is a virus, like a cold that leaves genetic changes behind. They can be programmed to what code to leave behind. In theory."

"So you could catch a cold and lose your magical abilities? And this change is permanent?"

"Yes, probably. I don't know, I'm just a student starting out."

"And what am I supposed to do with this?"

"There is nothing you can do. This is happening, I didn't make this happen. I'm not responsible for it or able to control it. I'm just following the development."

"And the muggles can do this?"

"Yes. Well no. They are starting to, but they aren't looking for ways to destroy wizarding communities."

"So you are saying that secrecy is more important than ever?" He said, but he was talking to himself. Hermione was impressed by how fast his mind moved. He always seemed to jump ahead in the implications.

"Yes, it is only a matter of time before they discover than there are persons with other genes that they will seek to explain and they may well stumble across magical genes. Genetic information is increasingly used for all sorts of purposes. They will find the magical genes eventually."

"How would they ever know if only magical people have them?"

"Because all the squibs have them too and who knows how many of them there are. People like me don't just appear out of thin air, there is a genetic component that comes from somewhere, and that somewhere is present, whatever it looks like, within the non magical population. And keeping the two completely segregated isn't possible."

He thought for a while. Hermione could see him turning over the implications in his head. God, he was beautiful she thought.

"A charm could hide it from the muggles?" He asked.

"Maybe. I was thinking along those lines, but there is no way of knowing until we find the genes. If the muggles find them and work out what they are then we are either going to have no wizards or around 6 billion." Hermione said.

"Why have you never mentioned this?" Lucius asked slightly annoyed.

"I have. I've mentioned it repeatedly when I worked at the Ministry, but no one is interested in some obscure muggle science. I'm just some irrelevant mudblood, remember."

He thought for a moment longer. His index finger gently tapping on the cane next to him.

"And now we are dependent on you to find this gene, so we can develop a way of hiding it." He said more to himself than to her.

Hermione breathes a sigh of relief. She had managed to convince him that her doing what she was doing was a good thing, and that she wasn't out developing a weapon to destroy them all. She hoped anyway. If she was successful, he would have to let her go to carry on as she was.

"So we need to put our faith in a muggleborn who despises us." He mused cooly.

She wanted to say that she didn't despise the wizard world, but the words just wouldn't come out. She did in so many ways. "I've never intended the wizarding world any harm." She did manage. It was true, she may not want to be a part of it to the extent she had been, but she certainly didn't want it gone.

"But you don't mean us well either." He said. "You could so easily walk away."

"Apparently I can't." Hermione returned. "As you so kindly informed me, I need you or I get the itchy creepies."

"Unless you manage to turn it off, as you said."

"It was a throwaway comment." Hermione said.

"You have already shown that you are prepared to walk away from our world. Getting rid of magical genes would be in your best interest. It would actually be a benefit to you if the whole magical world was wiped out."

"That's ridiculous, my best friends are magical. I would do anything in my power to protect them!"

"Would you?"

"You're the one who gave me the Veritas Serum, you know I am telling you the truth."

"That does not ensure your sentiments will stay beyond this moment."

"You're just going to have to trust me. I promise, I will find the gene and I will help find some way to hide it."

"So you think I should just let you walk away and hope you return one day with the answers we need?" Lucius asked her with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm not something special. Anyone can go learn about this stuff."

"I'm not entirely convinced that is true." He said.

That was a compliment, Hermione thought. She wasn't sure it had been intended, but it was. She watched as he mulled things over. A small smile spread across his lips. He had reached some conclusion about what he was going to do. Hermione hated being at the mercy of his conclusions.

"No. We need you. You may be the only one who can perform this vital function to protect our world." He said and slowly stood up. He moved over to the sofa/daybed she was lying in.

"We have to make sure you stay true. We cannot risk losing you or to let you go in the hopes that you will someday return."

"What, in a keep your friends close and your enemies closer kind of way? That's not exactly going to work. You can't keep me here, I need to learn how to do this and that can only happen in the muggle world."

"A very apt saying, if I say so myself. But we must find some way to bind you to the wellbeing of this world." He said, "To me."

"So this is your job now, to keep tabs on me. Make sure I don't get distracted." Hermione said, feeling very uncomfortable as he rested his hand on her knee. The touch was sending reverberations up her leg and into her abdomen. She started to sit up, but the pressure in his hand kept her where she was.

"I'm not prepared to leave this to anyone else. Do you love me?" He asked.

"Yes." What, no. Damn Veritas Serum. I do? Really? Hermione's mind was working furiously.

"Good." He said. "Then binding you here won't be difficult."

He started running his hand up under her skirt, up her thigh. Oh you bastard, Hermione thought. The touch was making her breath catch in her throat. He was going to seduce her. He had reached the edge of her panties and was tracing he edge. She needed to get out of here, but she couldn't make herself move. She could kid herself and say it was the leftovers of whatever hex he had used on her, but that would be a lie. Her body was aching for his touches. Oh fuck, Hermione thought.

"No charms tonight." He said and pulled out his wand. He did some wordless spell and Hermione felt a tingling in her stomach.

Oh God, Hermione thought. He is completely serious. This is wrong. She can't go along with this. He completely admitted he was doing this to keep control over her. These are the wrong intentions, she thought. He is supposed to give up his stupid pureblood ideals, not sacrifice himself on some alter of duty to the cause.

"I will protect you. Support you. Give you anything you might want or need. I will give you a stable home, where you will raise our children, while you do your work in rectifying this threat to our society." He spoke softly as he pulled her underwear down her legs. Somewhere he had lost his outer robes. He leaned over her and pulled her hips towards him in the process.

"Do you want this?" He asked as he leaned in to kiss her. Hermione could feel his breath on her lips as he spoke, and the light sensation was making her lose her grip.

"Yes." What, wait, her mind screamed. This is serious, this is for keeps. This is wrong. It is everything you want, but the intentions are wrong. She knew he wanted her, and missed her, maybe even loved her.

The deep kiss was filling every one of her senses and her mind just couldn't compete. Her body needed his so badly at the moment and whatever concern her analytical mind had were just not capable of making themselves heard against this onslaught of sensation. She arched up to get closer contact with him. She needed him inside her. She had never admitted the ache she felt for him in the last months.

Her nerve endings exploded when he entered her and the tension that had built up in her body was overwhelming. She had lost all sense of where she was but his deep groan was resonating through her entire being. She strained to get closer as he moved in and out of her. She was starting to come and the intensity was like nothing she had ever experienced before. I was made for this, her mind managed. One last deep thrust and he was coming inside her. She existed in the sensation and somewhere in her addled mind, she knew that he was leaving a part of himself behind in her, which satisfied some base instinct she had never been aware of before.

Hermione was completely spent and could barely move as his weight was bearing down on her. He was recovering his breath and kissing her gently on the side of her neck. She didn't want him to move and he stayed put for a while before shifting off her. He kept his hand on her waist as he sat up.

No one had ever been inside her with intent before. Hermione thought she'd be panicked and scared at this point, but she wasn't. She felt calm and secure. She felt like as was as it should be. She knew her mind would strongly disagree but was happy for it to be sedated for a moment. They might be cheating the way it was supposed to be, but at the moment she just saw it as fortuitous. She didn't think anyone could make her feel like he did and that had to count for something. Maybe everything.

"If there is a child," Hermione started, "its not going to be a pureblood."

"I am aware." He said. "I am hardly going to reject my own child. I'm not quite so heartless. I will deal with it, Hermione."

It was the first time he had ever called her by her first name.

"This is your home now." He said and looked down on her. "Come, I will show you to bed."

Hermione smiled and sighed. Not the day she had anticipated when she woke up this morning, she had a fairly good idea what she would be doing tomorrow though.

***

The End.