The aftermath of the Deatheaters falling resulted in a rally of the remaining members of the Wizarding Community that had fled. Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was leading a resistance on the other side of Luxemburg, surged the Ministry upon hearing of the defeat at Hogwarts. Kingsley and George Weasley, who escaped imprisonment, began to gather forces to tear down the ministry, one corrupt wizard at a time.

Several rescue attempts resulted in the discovery of many wizard, and witches that had been assumed dead at the time of the attack. The most startling discovery was in the basements of Malfoy Manor, where they released most of the professors from Hogwarts being held prisoner by Wormtail. A most cagey witch by the name of McGonagall had managed to keep all of the injured alive and well, despite being held for such a time. It is suspected that the late Narcissa Malfoy is directly responsible for their survival and she was honored in death for the Order of Merlin, for her brave actions.

Severus Snape, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter were also given an Order of Merlin, first class for their brave actions that led to the downfall of Voldemort, and for restoring order to the Wizarding Community of Great Britain.

Nia Bwani, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Blaise Zabini, Mariah Higgs and Luna Lovegood were given the Order of Merlin- second class, for bravery and the protection of muggles from a threat as great as Voldemort.

Within a month, the Ministry of Magic had restabilized and Kingsley Shacklebolt was placed as a temporary Minister of Magic, began to reformulate the previous structure and this allowed for changes that had never before been possible.

Laws were reinforced, and Azkaban surged with prisoners, allying countries scouted out hidden Deatheaters with a quick brutality, and assisted Great Britain in defeating any smaller rebellions that may have popped up. Within two months, the world functioned almost to the same degree as before. Hogwarts was planning to open in two weeks to admit new students.

Headmistress McGonagall offered the esteemed Professor Snape his position back for Potions, which was warily accepted, although he took a two-week leave to an unknown destination and would not be back at Hogwarts until school began.

Most of the students who had been orphaned were given their own quarters, in honor of their protection of the school. It was decided amongst the D.A. that they would continue their education and graduate a year later, so they can qualify for the positions as Aurors.

In Ginny Weasley and Mariah Higgs case, they still had a year left of school to finish before graduation, and they accepted their re-admittance to the school despite the memories it may hold.







It was two weeks before school started and Draco Malfoy was nowhere to be found. He had not attended the ceremony, celebrating their Order of Merlin, and Hermione discovered through Bill Weasley, that a vault had been opened in her name at Gringotts.

Bill and Fleur had fled to France, due to her pregnancy and they now had two beautiful cherubs named Molly Merry Weasley and Ronald Fred Weasley. They came back when it was safe, and everyone celebrated. Now Bill was back to working at Gringotts, sorting papers and righting the misspent money and assets that had been corrupted while Voldemort was around.

Hermione still recalled the day when Bill showed up grimfaced with the news of her Gringotts account. He had shoved the release papers under her nose and made her sign them, much to her dismay but Harry and Nia pointed out that her child was entitled to safety even if the father was missing in action.









Hermione spent the next few days deciding which classes she wanted to brush up on when she heard a knock at the door to her assigned room at Hogwarts.

Hermione waddled to go open the door, sighed, and heavily leaned against the doorframe.

Suddenly Hermione was embraced from both sides by her previously missing parents, and she began to cry. "Hermione, honey, Oh my stars, you are far along," whispered her mother in shock, and her father just held her against him.

"How did you find me? How did you remember?" Hermione's mouth stood open in shock. "One of the Ministries investigators found us and retrieved our memories. You have been so brave, love," exclaimed Jane Granger, hugging her daughter gently. "How soon are you due?"

"Oh mum!" Hermione just gasped and sobbed, crying on her mother's shoulder deeply, unable to believe that they were alive and safe after this travesty.

"Don't worry dear, Headmistress McGonagall has arranged a room for us here, and we will stay until the birth," Jane stroked Hermione's hair lightly.

"I am overdue, as it is. I used an aging potion so I am unclear as to when I burst, although I have to tell you, its bloody uncomfortable," sighed Hermione, as she waddled to the bed, sitting on the edge.

"The Father?" questioned her father gently.

"Gave me a bank account with a ridiculous amount of money," finished Hermione with a sigh. "He blames himself for everything that has happened. He thinks if he stays around me, he will hurt me."

"Is he right?" murmured her father warily, and he rubbed her hands between his own strong ones. "Tell us everything."

And Hermione did. The talk went long into the night and through to the morning, and she could tell that her parents were tired. "Why don't you go to bed," smiled Hermione suddenly, "you look exhausted."

Both of her parents protested halfheartedly and then rose up to go to their own rooms.

"Mom? Just so you know, I do love him, and I will love this baby, no matter what it is," whispered Hermione fiercely.

"I wouldn't have it any other way for you, sweet pea," responded Jane and she kissed her forehead, walking to the door.

The birth happened not more then three days later.

For a birth it was remarkably fast, and efficient but Pompfrey was not surprised given the birth mother was unnaturally so. The child was a beautiful healthy boy with pale, blond hair and large amber eyes, with thick dark lashes.

Hermione fell asleep almost immediately after holding the child.

The nurse scooped the child up from the mother's arms and brought it to the father who was standing in the next room.

"She's not hurt, is she?" hissed Draco in a panic, almost blindly seeing the baby, sitting in her arms.

"Ms. Granger is fine," murmured the nurse and she held the child out to Draco, and he took the baby from her, staring into his eyes. Hermione's beautiful eyes. Draco smiled slightly as the baby blew bubbles at his face. "What did she name him?"

"Devan Phillip Malfoy," whispered the nurse, with a wary look.

Draco nodded absently, his fingertip tracing the baby's forehead with a finger. "He frowns just like Hermione."

"Good sir!" exclaimed Frank Granger. "I was not aware you were familiar with our daughter, we shall have to tell her that her friend is responsible for our release and being restored to her."

Jane watched him curiously for a moment and then her gaze darkened thoughtfully, she held out her arms to Draco and he handed the child to her.

"I have a beautiful grandson, don't I?" Her eyes never deviated from his face.

"Yes, very handsome. He will be a troublemaker, I have no doubt of it," replied Draco, with a thin smile as Jane stared hard at him.

"Excuse me, I have some business to attend too," murmured Draco quietly.

He nodded to them both, casting a quick look at the child, and he turned on his heel rapidly making his way down the hospital corridor.

"Mum?" cried Hermione from her bed. "Do you have Devan?"

Her parents filled the doorway, with Devan in their arms. "Yes, sweetheart. I didn't realize you were acquainted with our rescuer, darling," Jane smiled and gently cradled Devan back in her arms.

"I am?" questioned Hermione bewildered.

"Actually, I am positively certain you are, He has blond hair, beautiful features, and silver eyes?"

"Oh bullocks, that were the father, weren't it," murmured Frank Granger.

"Yes, dear," smiled Jane as she looked affectionately at Frank.

"Draco was here?! Why?"

"To look at the child, I would wager," murmured Jane as she sat down.

"But he hasn't been seen for weeks," replied Hermione stubbornly.

"He was the one who found us, Hermione. That's probably why he had been gone," pointed out Jane, and she smiled down at her grandson.

"He was very handsome," Jane said carefully, noting the color flooding into Hermione's cheeks.

"Yeah, too bad he is a thick-head," griped Hermione and she stroked the child's soft blond hair.

Jane and Frank said nothing but merely offered their moral support for their daughter who obviously had a lot of work cut out for her.















Two weeks later, Hermione decided she would take a few classes and catch up to classes through private studies. It was the first day of the new school year, and she was excited to show up to the great hall and see it restored to its former glory. Her mother and father watched Devan through all of her classes and she dedicated free periods to avoid the child from getting hungry.

Without the child, her mind thought of only one thing.

She thought of Draco, of how much it hurt that he was gone, how he abandoned her, supposedly for her own good. She thought of how he had been to see their child but not to see her. Hermione felt a sorrow deep inside, almost as though her heart was fragmenting into a million pieces, and she was sure it would never be right again.

"Hermione!" exclaimed Ginny, Mariah and Luna.

Hermione felt a rush of gratitude for her friends and she hugged them back. "How are you guys?"

Mariah shrugged slightly, her eyes downcast. "Just waiting for this year to get over with. I cannot wait to graduate and get out of this place," whispered Mariah, and Hermione felt sorry for her.

"Is Snape back?" Hermione looked at her drawn and pale face.

"Professor Snape," declared a silky tone behind them.

Luna groaned and turned to look at Professor Severus Snape standing there in all his former glory. He obviously had been reverted to his old self, however, there were differences, His hair was not greasy, but was black as ever, and his skin was pale but not drawn and haggard. He looked younger, perhaps around twenty-five, maybe twenty-seven. His dark eyes were sparkling with malice and he no longer looked on the edge of death.

Being the owner of the Elder wand certainly helped him out.

"Five points from Gryffindor, for mere cheek," smirked Snape and he swept past them, his robes billowing past him.

"OOOh… he is soooo…" hissed Hermione, fisting her hands.

"Beautiful?" muttered Mariah, and she clutched her books to her side. "See you guys later, Slytherin house calls."

"She should be resorted," declared Ginny, with a frown. Mariah trudged off towards the opposite tables to them.

"I agree," sighed Hermione and she took a seat at the dining hall, watching as the new students filled in.

Unlike every year, the students were not young, but some from Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons, to make up for the missing students on the roster. The schools had combined. This would be a long sorting.

While the kids began to be sorted, Ginny and Hermione caught up.

"How's Devan?" queried Ginny with a smile, watching the students file in.

Hermione smiled. "You have to come see him later; he is devastatingly brilliant at only two weeks."

"Did you expect any less?" grinned Ginny.

Hermione's eyes followed the teachers up to the podium when Professor McGonagall rose up to speak after the sorting had finished.

"Good evening students. This year will obviously be different from former years, due to recent events. We have an influx of new teachers that I would like to introduce. Firstly, the new Quidditch Coach, Blaise Zabini!"

The entire Slytherin house cheered loudly this time, as well as other houses. Zabini stood up and gave a mocking smile to Ginny, and bowed to the Great Hall.

"Also new to our staff, Professor of Herbology, Neville Longbottom," boomed McGonagall.

The Gryffindor house burst into cheers and Luna whistled through her fingers, turning Neville bright red.

"Also, last but not least, our new Defense against the Dark Arts Professor, Draco Malfoy." The hall fell silent and then suddenly Slytherin burst into cheer, clapping and hollering, before McGonagall gave them all a death look.

Draco stood up and bowed, his pale hair had grown longer in his absence. His shoulders seemed broader and his eyes seemed colder, and more distant then before. His pale hair slide forward when he bowed all the girls in Slytherin sighed dreamily.

Snape rolled his eyes in disgust as did Hermione.

"Wow, Draco looks different almost. Especially as a teacher. Almost more forbidden and attractive," murmured Luna, and Ginny shoved her elbow in her side.

Hermione however was completely transfixed, her mouth slightly ajar, as she stared hungrily at Draco. Draco's eyes landed on her and he gave her a stiff nod, and turned back to Snape, who was sitting next to him.

Snape narrowed his eyes at the group of them and smiled faintly.

Hermione noticed that he still had the sparklers from his youth and had not changed them back at all.

Headmistress McGonagall finished her beginning of the year speech and the food arrived. Most of the students simply ate and talked, catching up with each other.

Hermione felt displaced without her best friends, and something felt a bit sad that Harry could not be here. Kingsley already offered him an internship and he had accepted. Nia and he were married immediately, and now he was spending time with her remaining relatives in India for the next month.
Really, the loneliness was beginning to take hold inside her.











Hermione looked beautiful, just radiant. She was laughing with the others, almost unaware of how hard it was for him to not be next to her touching her, smelling her.

Draco cursed under his breath and stabbed a piece of turkey. Snape looked at him with amusement.

"Such colorful language from a Professor at Hogwarts," murmured Snape silkily.

"I cannot believe I allowed you to talk me into this," hissed Draco under his breath. "She is right bloody there."

"Your wife will always be right bloody there. Isn't that the point of one?" Snape wrinkled his nose in distaste. "Oh, by the by, does she realize what you pulled with that little stunt at Gringotts?"

"Nah, Bill says he was sure she didn't read the fine print," muttered Draco, forking a bit of mashed potato into his mouth, chewing thoughtfully. "Do you think she will hate me for it?"

"No, witches love it when you take away all their options," murmured Snape sarcastically. "Who needs future happiness when you can have a lifetime of galleons?"

"It was for her own good," Draco slammed the table with his fist and rose up, stalking away from Snape.

Snape rolled his eyes and stared out at the Great Hall, sipping his wine. His eyes caught on Mariah, who was pushing her food around her plate with a disinterested air.

"We are all fools," grimaced Snape and he tossed down his napkin and strode from the Great Hall, in a flurry of black robes, and menace.

Mariah and Luna made their way over to the Gryffindor table after the Great Hall became more segregated. Hermione stared across at the girls, her eyes dark with thought. "I am sick of playing by the rules; all these wizards think they are so much cleverer then us," declared Hermione, her brows drawn together, thinking of Draco.

"Not Neville," chimed Luna.

"Or Blaise," replied Ginny.

Hermione quirked an eyebrow and sighed. "But you will at least help me and Mariah, then wont you?"

"Oh yes!" exclaimed the girls vehemently.

"Good. Good girl, Hermione Granger is gone forever. These men are going to pay for playing God with us. They think they know better, but they have no idea what we witches are capable of," purred Hermione, and Mariah suddenly felt better then she had for the last three months.

"I am so in," replied Mariah, with a dark smile.

Luna, Ginny and Hermione laughed.








The Ministry in the interest of preventing such blood separation and segregation between Wizarding classes, made classes more integrated. In addition, the social schedule nearly tripled.

A Homecoming dance was recommended for the second weekend of the year.

This was the first of many social events that the Quidditch Coach engineered. This seemed an odd choice of coordinator, unless you knew Blaise Zabini. The students had never had so much opportunity to get to know each other.

It was almost as if this is in promotion of the new Marriage law that was about to be passed again, to promote wellness between Muggleborn and Purebloods.

The first week back was the hardest in many ways. Hermione managed to avoid seeing Draco most of the time, since the classes she chose to continue did not involve the Dark Arts. Somehow, this did not make her feel better.

Hermione thought that the routine would be hard, flirting and driving Draco crazy, working on projects and taking care of Devan, but she discovered that everyone was interested in taking time to help her watch him. Another turn of events, allowed for students and teachers to date, if they are both of legal age.

This was something that Hermione suspected Blaise was responsible for, simply to cover his own indiscretions with a certain Ms. Weasley, who came of age, roughly a week ago. Mariah initially was cheered by this thought, but Snape still treated her as if she had the plague.

Neville and Luna revealed to the delight of the group that they had secretly married shortly after Voldemort's death and due to her desire to remain in school, had kept it a secret. Upon the revelation of new student/teacher policies, they moved in together, in his professorial quarters.

Hermione felt more alone then ever.

Mariah and her became fast friends through their mutual misery together and today was no exception.

Hermione had left Devan with Madam Pince today, who surprisingly adored babies, even though she hated children. Hermione intended to meet up with Mariah in the library when suddenly she was aware of someone watching her.

Hermione felt a prickling on the back of her neck, and suddenly from out of nowhere, Terry Boot sat down across from her.

"Hullo clever girl," smiled Terry.

Hermione smiled genuinely across at Terry. He had been held prisoner with George Weasley and had helped storm the Ministry with Shacklebolt. Terry was back to finish his exams to become an Auror.

"I just had a quick question. Nothing terribly exciting, but would you go to the Dance with me?" murmured Terry with a nonchalant smile.

"Pardon, what?" exclaimed Hermione in shock. "Terry, you know I am a single mother and not the best candidate for a school dance."

Terry shrugged lazily. "I know you are beautiful and smarter then anyone in Ravenclaw. Do not discount your charms, Hermione. You are a hero and I am sure I will not be the last to ask you. Just think about it."

Terry gaze an easy smile, and jumped out of the seat and sauntered off with an easy charm that almost reminded her of Blaise.

Hermione mulled over the books in front of her, her thoughts on Terry's question. She was so bloody lonely, having Draco's constant companionship, and now this… the empty lull of being companionless…and at school, with two best friends gone.

Terry was right and several more offers approached her much to her dismay and shock, but after much consideration with several girl meetings, she decided she would go alone with Mariah.

"So it's done then," Mariah grinned slightly, and took a sip of her tea.

"Yes, I told him I would not go," sighed Hermione, curling a lock of hair in her fingers. "It's pointless to get involved or even pretend to."

"Any progress with Malfoy?" questioned Mariah.

"No, he is hiding from me, the bloody coward," scowled Hermione and she fisted her hands. "Every time I go to his room, he just left or he is indisposed. What about you?"

"Oh, I haven't bothered trying. He made it clear, we were just having fun, and now… he would rather dock points then talk to me," murmured Mariah gloomily, as she poked her watercress sandwich.

Madam Puddifoot's was a nice break from the school, and often the girls went there to talk about things. Hermione glared at a young couple snogging to their left.

"I miss sex," groaned Hermione and she banged her head on the table.

Mariah laughed. "I know. You should just wait in his rooms and strip off all your clothes. If your naked he wont be able to resist you. I am pretty sure."

"Not with my present build. I still haven't lost my baby weight," cried Hermione into the table.

Mariah sighed. "If only it was that easy with Snape, but I actually have to face him in the morning. Double Potions tomorrow, ugh."

Mariah stood up with a queer look on her face, and muttered. "Just because I am miserable does not mean you need to be. Draco stared at you like a untouchable Goddess most of the time, we just need to bring you to his level. I have an idea on how to help you get Draco back. See you later tonight. I need to go get some stuff." She dashed off.

Hermione sighed into her teacup. She must really disgust Draco now. She weighed a stone more at least.

Hermione gathered her things and made her way back to Hogwarts, silently wondering if she would have the courage to do as Mariah suggested.

Hermione decided that she would. She would do it.

Now, she just had to figure out how.










Draco was bone deep tired. Sneaking looks at his son and hiding from Hermione, while teaching first years was mind numbing. Draco wearily made his way up the stairs to the tower room he had been given.

Slowly he opened the door and pushed his way inside, stripping off his robes, he walked to the bathroom and shut the door. He ran the shower for a few minutes and then turned off the water when he realized he had heard something. Draco wrapped a towel around his middle and stepped out into the room.

Another giggle was heard from the closet door. Draco narrowed his eyes and wrenched the door open.

Inside, sat Lucinda Padma, a seventh year Hufflepuff. She was not wearing much. Her youthful body was flushed bright red and she had nice curves, even a little on the skinny side.

"Hullo Professor. You look right as rain," purred the young girl and his eyes got wide.

"You know, its okay if we are together the Ministry said so." She leaned in and pressed a kiss against him as she placed her hands on his wet chest. He shoved her off him and stepped back, staring at the open door.

Hermione stood there with a look of shock, betrayal and worse, sad acceptance. Hermione was wearing a brilliant red nightdress, designed to allure, and it hugged her hips in a sexual way.

Draco felt himself get hard just looking at her loose hair, falling about her shoulders. Her luminous amber gaze grew rounded with pain.

Lucinda gasped at Hermione in disbelief. "You can't possibly think the Professor would choose you? You are fat now and obviously loose, what with a bastard and all."

Draco turned on Lucinda and hissed violently. "Don't you ever speak to my wife like that! Besides, that bastard you refer to is MINE. Now leave us before I report you for sneaking into my room completely unwelcome."

Hermione stared across at him in shock and then her face became shuttered, as Lucinda began to cry and ran from the room leaving them staring at each other.

"I thought you …"

"… No," replied Draco clearly.

"Ah…I suppose now everyone will know," murmured Hermione wearily.

Draco strode towards her and he shut the door behind her. He touched her upper arm and then jerked back as the softness of her flesh called to him.

Draco turned away from her and stared out the window. "The rumors will be nothing in a few days. It's all very respectable."

Hermione gave a pained laugh. "Yes, very respectable that you knocked me up."

"That I knocked up my wife is to be expected," replied Draco lightly.

"I am not really your wife," reminded Hermione with a tight smile.

"Actually you are. You signed the marriage agreement months ago," whispered Draco not looking at her.

Hermione gasped and pressed a hand to her mouth, remembering an insistent Bill shortly before she gave birth.

"You didn't," cried Hermione.

"I didn't have any choice about it. I told you I would give the child my name. How else could I have done that?" murmured Draco with a guilty look, and he turned around to face her reluctantly.

"You condemned me to be with you forever? Untouched and unloved?" frowned Hermione, grabbing her belly.

"My apologizes, Madam. I simply wanted to guarantee you were kept safe," Draco responded stiffly, staring at the ground now.

Hermione stepped forward and something loosened inside of her as she realized that Draco did love her and now he was her husband for better or worse.

Hermione licked her lip, studying the golden man in front of her. Everything was hers, his broad shoulders, narrow waist, elegant fingers and beautiful haunted eyes.

"Your mine," she breathed and took another step towards him, her golden brown eyes narrowing in determination.

Draco took a step back gingerly and put his hands up. "Hermione don't, nothings changed, we still are bad for each other. I could hurt you."

"I could hurt you," reasoned Hermione, stalking forward until her breasts pressed up against him and the wall stopped his backward movement.

Draco hissed a breath through his teeth with a dark sigh. "Please, I cannot trust myself with you, Mione." His voice dropped to a husky pleading tone.

Hermione had no mercy for him.

Her eyes burned into his.

Slowly Hermione backed up.

Her tone was deadly quiet. "Fine, then be prepared to be a cuckold. I am lonely Draco. I miss you. I miss your body but since you cannot bring yourself to touch me, I may just take Terry Boot up on his offer."

"That mangy wizard? The bloody Ravenclaw, he's a pouf!" growled Draco, jealousy raged in his silver eyes.

"Then take me instead," whispered Hermione. She caught his hand and pressed it up to her breasts, her mouth descending on his own fiercely. Draco resisted for a split second but the image of her kissing that pouf Boot enraged him.

Draco spun her around, pushing her up against the wall, devouring her mouth. His hands worked through her straps of the nightdress, and tugged it to the floor. Hermione gasped in pleasure at the feeling of his hands on her, and she felt the heat forming between her legs.

"Gods, I want you so fucking bad, Malfoy." Hermione hissed in his ear, cupping his cock through his robes. Her aggressiveness surprised and aroused him to the boiling point and he spread her legs apart and found her center.

"I'm sorry love, I just need this so bad," groaned Draco, and he shoved himself inside her tight walls, her tightness pushing him over the edge.

Hermione had such longing built up that the pressure made her orgasm and she soaked his cock suddenly. Draco gasped, and thrust inside deeper, trying to hold on.

He drove into her, repeatedly, his mouth clinging to hers as he coaxed her to orgasm repeatedly, until she was weeping from pleasure. Hermione gripped Draco's hair, and pressed her mouth to his ear, murmuring love words, and Draco finally could not contain himself and he burst inside her, coating her in his seed.

Draco panted looking at her lovingly. "My wife, I am such a thickhead."

"Yes, you are, and I swear, thickhead or not, I will love you until eternity." Draco felt the old magic pour over them, and Draco looked at her horrified by her oath.

Hermione looked satisfied and she nuzzled him gently.

"You made an oath!" Draco scowled at her.


"Don't you expect me to make one?" Draco looked at her suspiciously.

"You already have, my love," murmured Hermione and she slid off him. "Now, come to bed, husband. Oh, and don't let anymore little girls in here." Hermione gave a knowing laugh and Draco narrowed his eyes.

"Why aren't you angrier about everything? How did that girl get in here?" frowned Draco, tugging Hermione to push up against his chest.

Hermione dimpled slightly. "Why I let her in of course."

"You clever little chit, you set me up!" growled Draco, and he nipped her lightly on the neck.

"I am sure I don't know what you mean, Draco."

Hermione kissed him lightly on the mouth and slightly congratulated Mariah's techniques.

The outfit and fit of jealousy had been pure genius.

She really owed Mariah now.

Unfortunately, Mariah's happiness was unlikely, given that it existed in the form of Severus-Wanker-Snape.

Hermione decided to move in with Draco that day, and he spent the dance watching Devan. Hermione searched for Mariah and saw her walk in across the room.

"It worked!" exclaimed Hermione and she hugged Mariah hard. "Thank you."

"What good are Slytherin if we can't be devious sometimes," replied Mariah with a twist of a smile.

Mariah had dressed up tonight, her multicolored hair was twisted into soft ringlets that fell about her face and down her backless dress.

The dress was the color of the night sky, with droplets of crystal; the material was soft and hugged her voluptuous form tightly. Her cerulean-blue eyes shined dramatically framed with dark eye makeup and her lips were a scarlet slash.

"You look fantastic Mariah."

"Well, a whole fat lot of good it does me. Listen Hermione, I've given up on Severus. He doesn't want me and I am tired of feeling used up and passed along for something better. He is just like the rest of them," whispered Mariah.

"I know you got your prince and all but for girls like me, that just doesn't happen."

Hermione shook her head in disagreement but Mariah gently pushed her out of the way. "I'm going to go for a walk, okay?"

Mariah's shoulders slumped and she exited the dance hall quickly.










Severus Snape watched Mariah flee the great hall and he sighed.

The girl was obstinate.

Instead of hating Severus for his nasty behavior towards her, it just seemed to wound her more.

Severus Snape was at a loss. He was back to being his Old, Nasty, Potions Master self. She was a young, beautiful, witch who deserved better.

Why didn't she understand that?

Mariah passed by Peter Nox and Teddy Bennet heading back to the dance through the maze.

"Pardon me," whispered Mariah as she moved by.

Mariah heard the other boy mutter. "Silencio."

Mariah turned towards him, and screamed as he grabbed her wrist. Not a sound emitted from her throat and she looked panicked.

"Not so fast, love. My brother told me what a good lay you were. All alone ducky? You must be looking for some of the action that you had before. I knew a girl like you couldn't go for long without," sneered Peter.

His companion came up behind her and grabbed her wand that she was tried to pull from the dress.

"The Ministry says that all unmarried witches will soon be auctioned off. I want to ask for you. I would rather have a whore then some untried Huffelpuff."

"Yeah, besides I heard you took on five at a time. I would always have entertainment for my friends." The other boy grabbed her and she kicked out her legs, hearing her dress rip as she did.

"You just made it easier ducky," purred Peter maliciously and he groped her breasts through the ripped clothes.

Mariah moaned, shaking her head silently as the other boy rubbed up behind her and she felt the familiar fear all over again, gripping her deep in her belly.

The boys began to close in around her, sandwiching her between them, a hand stroked between her legs, under the dress and Mariah stared down as the other unbuckled his belt. Mariah screamed soundlessly, and tried to struggle with them.

"Shhhhhhh, we will give you exactly what a witch like you is worthy of."

"Yeah, the rogering of a lifetime," snickered the other boy, licking her bared neck.

"I HIGHLY doubt that," spoke an icy, furious voice behind them.

Professor Snape and Longbottom stood there looking furious.

Suddenly with a short wave of a wand, both boys fell back against the hedges and were twisted into a full body bind.

Longbottom grimaced. "I will send for the Dementors."

Snape nodded but said nothing; he just stared down at Mariah.

Mariah sobbed silently on the ground, tears spilled off her cheeks and she could not look up, she could not speak, she simply laid there and cried.

Severus felt his throat closing up.

He had followed her for a short distance, before he decided he was a lunatic stalker and stopped. Then he heard the boys talking and their words gave him a sickening feeling that he had confirmed when he saw Mariah in her ripped dress pushed between them on the verge of being raped.

What was worse was that they simply said all the things that Mariah had said about herself.

It was no wonder she believed that she was rubbish now.

They were dead, or going to Azkaban, Snape was still deciding.

Snape stared down at the silent Mariah, sobbing quietly on the ground.

Snape waved the wand and removed the silencing charm. The sound popped and he could hear the agony in her throat as she cried herself raw, her dark makeup stained her pale cheeks in rivulets.

Snape felt his heart ache just staring down at her.

"You just can't catch a break can you?" he whispered in soft pitying voice, which broke through all of Mariah's defenses.

Mariah fell silent, choking back all the sobs, until Severus was sure she had stopped breathing.

"Whore's don't deserve breaks," Mariah said softly and she stared numbly at the mud that was soaking into her dress.

Severus felt a shard of pain shaft through his chest at the dull acceptance in her words. He walked to her and swiftly picked her up,and held her to his chest. She buried her face in his neck and he clutched her closer to him. Mariah wanted to stay silent and strong against Severus's allure but she could not manage it.

Her emotions were too raw and she clung to him for dear life.

Severus carried her up to his room, and gently lowered onto the bed. He strode away, his robes billowing behind him, and he retrieved a washcloth and slowly, tenderly began to wipe away the stains of makeup on her pale cheeks.

Mariah stared numbly at him, her eyes blank, as though she had hidden herself far away from this place.

"You will be fine Mariah. Those boys were idiots," whispered Severus, as he gently removed the makeup from her face.

"Those boys were speaking the truth. What kind of person does not have the decency to kill themselves after how I was treated by them? Have I no shame?" murmured Mariah flatly.

The words sounded rehearsed as though she had heard it said a hundred times. They struck a cold fear inside of Severus.

"It's not your shame, Mariah, it's theirs. It is bloody mine. I used you too." Severus stared down at her fragile hands as they clasped each other for warmth. Severus drew back from her and rinsed out the washcloth.

Snape's hands shook when he pressed the cloth back to her shoulder; an angry red scratch was forming on her pale flesh. Severus saw red.

How dare they mark her?

She was bloody perfect.

Mariah touched his shaking hands and pushed them down. Her eyes were remarkably clear, although red rimmed from tears.

"You never used me, Severus." Her gaze was empty but he felt the sincerity of her words. "You made me feel alive. You made me feel cherished. Never did I feel used," whispered Mariah, her mouth parting slightly.

Severus watched her take one of his fingers and press it to her mouth. "I long for your touch, but you don't want me. Doesn't that make a whore?" whispered Mariah brokenly.

"No it makes me incredibly foolish," muttered Severus and grabbed her towards him.

Mariah spilled onto his lap and he pressed his mouth hard on her own. Mariah moaned in pleasure and she pushed him down on the bed, embraced him, her legs wrapped around him.

"Careful, you might be injured still," warned Severus, his mouth trailed over her collarbone.

"I don't care; Severus Snape if you don't promise me to stay with me forever, then I will murder you. That I swear an oath too," purred Mariah, as she pushed him on the bed and crawled to sit on top of him. Severus's eyes widen as he felt the magic oath bind them together.

"That was incredibly touching, a tad stalkerish and insanely dangerous," murmured Severus as he clasped the back of her head and forced her mouth down on his own.

"I am in Slytherin after all," whispered Mariah, as she claimed him for her own.