Hermione walked up the pebbly path towards Malfoy Manor. She had been ordered there, purchased or the like, whatever it is they do when they transfer their slaves. She had a small suitcase with her meagre belongings, including her sturdy shoes and two drab dresses. Everything else she owned had over time been taken away or destroyed.
The war was over and they had lost. They fought for a couple of years, more and more like fugitives as time went on. One by one they all fell. Harry, Ron, the other Weasleys and Order members. The ones left were in captivity in some form or other. Neville and Luna were around or so she had heard. Being a Gryffindor was not a good thing in these times, any that had survived were in hiding in the muggle world.
While their war was over, the war was still raging, with muggles now. Voldemort's plans to conquer the world was still in operation, but the muggles were putting up more of a resistance than the Deatheaters had ever anticipated. Turns out the muggle weapons are quite fearsome in comparison to a wand so the Deatheaters have had to adjust their tactics.
After capture, Hermione had been placed with a family up north. She wasn't quite sure where, she never really got to see much of the nearby countryside. If she left it was to follow her masters to Diagon Alley or some other pureblood family home. She'd served them for three years now. She fought in the beginning, but it only got her beaten and raped. Eventually she learned to cope by disconnecting completely and doing what she was told, no more no less. The jabs about her filth and her blood status didn't even register now, when they used to hurt her so much.
She had always been expected to perform sexual favours for the pureblood men in her house, which she did when told, but the Master at the last house in the end preferred his wife to the disengaged experience Hermione provided.
Now she had been posted to the Malfoys. She smiled a little thinking how this would have mortified her in the past. It would have been the worst possible outcome, but now she didn't care. One pureblood was the same as the rest in her estimation. She had been told to use the servants' entrance on her arrival and she found it pretty readily.
A house elf showed her into a large dark kitchen. There were five elves there preparing the lunchtime meal. The elf showed her to her room, which was a gray little room with a dirty old mattress. It had a tiny little window with bars on it. After leaving her things, she was guided to the Mistress, a Mrs. Narcissa Malfoy. Hermione had met her once before the war had started, but never since. The walk to the Mistress' drawing room took her upstairs and through part of the house. It was sumptuously furnished, with dark woods and dark coloured carpets strewed over the dark harwood floors. There was a bit of dirt around that Hermione could see, no doubt she would have to set the house sparkling. The drawing room was lighter in colour and the beautiful woman was sitting at her desk writing on some parchment.
"You must be the new servant," she said, barely looking up.
"Yes, Mistress," Hermione replied.
"Good. This house needs some more hands. Your duties will be to clean the main part of the house and to serve meals. The elves do the meal preparation, so you don't need to help with that. As well as any duties my husband and son assign you. Now the elves will show you where everything is. There is another girl here, a muggle girl who's duties are predominantly related to my husband. I am sure you will meet her downstairs. You have run of the grounds when you are not busy, but are only allowed in the upstairs quarters when performing a duty."
With that Hermione was dismissed. The elves dutifully showed her where all the cleaning products where, as well as the linen stores. Thankfully all linen and clothes were washed by a service. The kitchen wall had a map of the house on the wall with indicators of where the household members were presently. She could see Mrs. Malfoy's dot in her drawing room, but there were no other dots there telling them that the other two were not in the house.
Before long, Hermione was scrubbing floors. She didn't actually mind the work. It kept her occupied and made the days go quicker. As she scrubbed the heavy iron bracelet would sometimes clank against the brush. The bracelet was what kept her in line, her control mechanism. It ensured that she could not go anywhere they didn't want her to go. It also ensured that she could not perform any magic even if holding a wand. Hermione's wand had been lost the day she got injured. She was seriously injured when she was captured, but somehow there had been a sufficiently good enough healer on hand to make sure she didn't die. In the beginning she had wondered constantly if it had not been better if she died that day, but she didn't have those thoughts that much anymore.
Hermione kept simple pleasures in her heart these days. Nature, flowers, rain, bugs, birds etc. They treated her like an animal sometimes and when she was allowed out on her own away from people, she felt like one too. It was enough to subsist her.
She met the muggle girl, a Danish or German girl who's name was Stina. Stina didn't do anything in terms of the keeping of the house, she was Lucius Malfoy's whore and that is all she did. He had given her nice things and clothes, but she still wore the iron bracelet just like Hermione did. Hermione knew straight away that they were not going to be friends. Stina was quite protective of her position in the house and Hermione certainly didn't have any ambitions. In terms of status, they were pretty much on par. Hermione's magical ability and training counted for nothing now.
The day crept on as it always did and soon it was time for dinner. Hermione knew how to serve dinner, she had done it countless times before. She would perform her duties perfectly, she always did. The start of the meal mean she had to bring the soup up. Hermione would do most of the work upstairs and pureblood did not like to see the elves. She backed into the room with the soup pot and placed it on the serving table.
"If it isn't the mudblood," she heard Draco say behind her.
Hermione did not respond but went to the head position occupied by Lucius Malfoy to stand there until he either indicated he wanted soup or waved her away. After filling his bowl, she did the same to Mrs. Malfoy. The soup was the only part of the meal where she would actually have to serve, the rest involved placing the dishes on the dining table and carving if there was any meat to carve. Keeping the drinks flowing was the main focus of the job there after.
"Didn't I always tell you this is where you would end up?" He continued laughing. "Answer me mudblood."
"Yes you did," she responded and replaced Mrs. Malfoy's soup dish in front of her. Hermione had to answer questions posed to her.
She moved to stand next to Draco until he decided what he wanted to do about the soup course.
"Servitude looks good on you," he said smirking in a way that was all too familiar. Hermione didn't care. He wasn't giving her direction, so she couldn't leave.
"Draco, its bad manners to carry on discussions with the service staff," Mrs. Malfoy said as a matter of fact.
"You mean slaves." His eyes didn't leave Hermione, whose gaze were fixed on the wall.
"You were told to mind your manners," Lucius said calmly.
The old Hermione would have wanted to ask if he was still a Daddies boy, but she kept her eyes fixed and mind clear. Eventually Draco waved her away. The rest of the meal followed on. Lucius and Narcissa held a conversation and Draco predominantly watched Hermione. When the meal was over, they left the room and Hermione started to clear the dishes away.
The early evenings could be busy, particularly as alcohol holders needed to be refilled. Typically it would die off around nine. Getting called upstairs after nine was typically a bad thing. That was the time, however, when Stina waited downstairs to be called up. Hermione didn't judge Stina or whatever comfort she got from her gifts and privileges. She didn't begrudge anyone any comfort they could find in this world, even if they earned it on their knees.
When it was safe to assume she would not be needed anymore that evening, she retired to her room. She still had to clean it. She didn't have to but she had learned to feel comfort in cleanliness. There was nothing she could do about the mattress beyond stringing it up and dusting it. After a good whacking, she covered it in the linen for the downstairs quarters. It was good quality upstairs linen with repaired tears or unwashable stains. She appreciated good quality linen.
It took her an hour to scrub the floor in her small room, but she did get years of dirt off the floor. It was after midnight when she was done, but she could allow herself a little time. She would not be required until the breakfast service, which was at seven. She allowed herself a cup of tea on the outside servants' stairs before retiring for the night in her new home. A quick glance at the kitchen wall on the way back told her that all the Malfoys were in their respective bedroom, with Stina occupied in Lucius'.