A/N: Hello all. Yes its been a very long time since I updated this story, but here is the newest installment. I hope you all like it. Thank you everyone for the great reviews you've all left, I love reading them all.

This is still not being beta'd as of yet, so please forgive any errors you may find.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in the HP universe, I only write for free, for fun, and so I can share my perviness with others. lol.

The Serpent and the Mudblood

Part Six:

A year had passed since Lucius had been sentenced. A year in which Hermione had spent her nights in his bed, finding more pleasure in his arms that she ever dreamed possible.

Ron wasn't speaking to her at all these days, and Harry didn't talk to her much. Which was sad when you considered all that they'd been through over the years.

When she'd finally met up with the boys again after the encounter in one of Lucius' many sitting rooms that day, they all but cornered her for answers at Grimmauld Place. Not that they believed what Lucius had said, in fact, he'd been right about that. With his words, they didn't think anything like that was going on at all now.

No, they wanted answers on why she was in his home to begin with. Why she was choosing Kingsley's orders over her friends. Wanted to know what she had to prove by being there.

Hermione had been as patient as possible, but they didn't get it. They didn't believe for a moment Lucius could be anything but hateful and cruel. Nor did they believe her when she said that he could be. That he was even kind to her on occasion, though the only reason she said that it was only occasionally, was that she didn't think they'd believe anything more than that.

Explaining that before their trip there, Lucius hadn't called her a Mudblood in months. That had Ron snorting and saying that while he might not say it, that didn't mean he didn't think the word when he looked at her.

Hermione conceded that point, slightly, though she still doubted it. She had no argument to back up her point that she doubted that he thought it. She couldn't very well say that he must not think her one if he was shagging her brains out.

Harry tried saying that if she dropped her guard even once, Lucius would probably take the opportunity to kill her. Hermione knew that wasn't true. Lucius didn't want to kill her, he liked shagging her too much.

Again, she couldn't give that as an argument, so instead, she told them of the spells that were in place to protect her. That, was a solid argument. One that wouldn't get her fired or reassigned.

But they just rolled their eyes and said that the spells didn't mean that he didn't want too. Just that he couldn't.

That was when she realized they would never see her side or her point. So she threw up her hands and said she gave up. That got them looking very smug and excited, until she explained that she wasn't giving up her job, she was giving up trying to make them see reason.

So, they needed to find something else to talk about. Unfortunately, it was like the big pink elephant in the room. It was all they thought about, no matter how hard they tried not too. Meaning they couldn't talk about anything else because someone brought her job and Lucius back up again.

An hour later, she gave up completely and said she see them later. Returning back to the Manor and finding Lucius already waiting with a drink ready for her. Having guessed before she left, that it wouldn't go well.

She'd smiled softly and thanked him for the drink before telling him what happened. Knowing he was curious about the details, even if he did know it wouldn't end well, that didn't mean he knew what happened exactly.

He sighed when she was finished. "I'm sorry to say, my dear, you're friends are idiots."

She found herself nodding slightly, while frowning. "You maybe right." She'd said softly, though she hadn't been happy about it.

Sensing her mild distress over it all, he'd moved over and pulled her feet into his lap, rubbing them to ease the tension out. Confusing her once again at his nice gesture, but this time he didn't explain himself. Let her figure it out, he thought as he went on rubbing.

Now, on the day of the anniversary of his imprisonment in his home, Hermione woke slowly in the early morning, as she normally did. She knew today was important though. Today, she had to go before a small committee and give an evaluation concerning Lucius' progress with the rehabilitation.

She was nervous as hell. Kingsley had told her just yesterday, that she may be required to submit pensieves concerning anything the committee asked to see. Though he doubted they'd ask for any. If they did...could she omit the details she didn't want them knowing of?

Wide awake now, brain already in full thinking mode as she stared unseeingly at a spot on the wall, while her head rested on Lucius' shoulder, she was unaware of him awake and studying her. He knew she was nervous due to the owl the Minister had sent her the day before, but the way he saw it, whatever happened, happened. They couldn't stop it, or change it, meaning there was no point in dwelling on it.

So he did the only thing he knew would distract her from her thoughts this morning. He sent a grooming spell to them both, that way their teeth were clean and there was no morning breath to worry over, then he rolled her onto her back. This happened to be his favorite way of distracting her too.

He heard her laugh softy as he kissed her good morning and started his day with her, as he did most mornings, by making her cry out his name in passionate pleasure. Breakfast was a little later than usual too. Her mind was very focused on her worry, and he felt it was his duty to obliterate any and all thoughts thoroughly. So if it took extra time and longer bouts of foreplay to do so, he knew it was a task he'd be diligent in accomplishing. The rather large smile on his lips afterward, was just a side bonus to a job well done.

When Hermione entered into the Ministry several hours later, she was doing her best to not think about how she'd spent her morning. It wouldn't help matters any, but damn Lucius really did have legendary skills in and out of bed. It had her fighting a smile the whole way to Kingsley's office

She gave her name to his secretary, again wondering why she bothered since she was so well known, and took a seat. He greeted her just a handful of minutes later with his customary hug, before leading her into his office for a brief chat. Mostly killing the few minutes they had before he led her down to the group that would be handling not only Lucius' fate, but possibly her own too.

With only ten minutes until it started, Kingsley led to the lifts and took her down the two levels she needed to go, to get to the informal hearing, as they called it. Inside, she was greeted and introduced to the small number of witches and wizards serving on the committee.

"Miss Granger, I've heard many great things about you, though I've not had the pleasure of meeting you before today." An aging wizard, by the name of Elmer Gates, said as he shook her hand while she smiled at him.

"Yes, our Minister tells us that you've shown much promise in the last few years you've worked for the Ministry. I look forward to your report." A witch, Hester Danesworth, in her mid-forties said, taking her hand next.

"Shall we?" Kingsley asked. The other two in the group that she'd not really met, nodded and introductions were done with, for now.

"Miss Granger, we are under the understanding that you alone are supervising Mr. Malfoy on a daily basis. How has that been for you, considering your blood status and Mr. Malfoy's views on such things?" Mr. Gates asked her.

They cut right to the chase, don't they? She thought. "It hasn't been a smooth road, per say, but things are better. He doesn't look at me and call me Mudblood any more, so that is a point in his favor." Choosing her words very carefully.

Hester Danesworth looked at her, brow raised. "However did you manage that?" She asked.

Hermione smiled, again choosing her words carefully. It wasn't all a lie after all. "A person can only be called a slimy, unattractive prick, and a eunuch so many times before rethinking one's greeting, am I right? Though, I think I have added in calling him a bigot a few times too, though I'm not quite sure. However, I know I thought it many times, so I must have said it at least once or twice." She had at one time called him all of those things.

That was met with slightly stunned expressions, though she heard Kingsley cough suddenly, and knew he was stifling a laugh. She was rather proud that her smile stayed in place at seeing the looks on all the committee's faces, and that she didn't snort out a laugh with it.

Mr. Gates recovered first and spoke again. "Am I to understand that you've had to resort to verbal insults to make him stop calling you a...well, that vile name?" Not comfortable saying it, since he himself was in fact, a pure-blood.

Hermione nodded. "I tried to be polite at first, naturally. When that didn't work, I decided to fight fire, with fire. Seems to have worked since I haven't heard him use the term in several months."

Another witch spoke, this one older than Mr. Gates and wearing an odd bird shaped hat, though Hermione hadn't caught her name. "So he no longer uses that term?"

She purposely shrugged. "Not with me. I haven't seen him around another muggle born, so I've no idea what he might do or say to anyone else."

The same witch with the odd hat, spoke again.. "That is a fair assessment, I think. Now, according to our Mental Healer, he's made no progress at all in his therapy."

Mental Healer, my arse. She thought derisively, before she went ahead and let her snort of derision out. "Your Mental Healer has not once taken into account the large file I wrote up and gave him concerning Mr. Malfoy. He has yet to gain his patient's trust, yet still asks highly personal questions and then is surprised when he's met with silence or very vague answers. He will not make any progress if Mr. Malfoy doesn't feel he can trust the person he's divulging his secrets too. As I've tried to explain on many occasions, only to be met with a snotty attitude about his degrees that I do not have."

Kingsley took that moment to speak up. "Miss Granger has been keeping me informed of the problems concerning Mr. Malfoy's therapy sessions, and I have to agree with her assessment. If our Mental Healer can't listen to the person that seems to know him best, I don't see him making any progress either."

The one wizard who had been silent up until now, a man in his early thirties that was bald yet managed to still look somewhat attractive, decided to speak. "Miss Granger, you are supposedly an expert on Mr. Malfoy?"

Hermione met his gaze, unflinchingly. "I've not claimed to be an expert, but I've spent over six years studying him and all that he'd done before he was caught. Not to mention the fact that I've spent the last year in his company. Something like both of those would make a person better at judging his actions than others, but I'm not an expert by any means. I don't think anyone could claim to be so, either."

The bald wizard that asked the question smiled at her. "If you're not an expert, is it possible that you are incorrect in your assessment of why his therapy isn't working?"

She raised an eyebrow, but still smiled. "Any thing is possible, though in this case I doubt it I'm wrong. However, if you're unsure of my capabilities of properly assessing that part of my report, might I suggest a different Mental Healer drop by for a chat? They might see what the idiot that has been beating his head against a brick wall all year hasn't been able to see."

Mrs. Danesworth spoke again. "What would it take to garner his trust, Miss Granger? So that he could actually get some use out of the time he's spending with the Healer."

Hermione paused, thinking slightly. "He needs someone that doesn't jump straight to large issues. Maybe starts with small things, asking about current interests, ideas about articles in the newspaper, things to get him talking at all. If it looks like he starting to shut down with anything bigger, then they need to back off and start with simple things again. Let him see that the interest is in helping him, not just studying him like a bug under a microscope. Let him see that while you may claim to patient/healer confidentiality, you will actually keep his words to yourself and not share them in idol gossiping mills."

The witch made a small note to the parchment in front of her, before moving on. "How are the anger management sessions going? The report I read said they're not going well at all."

Hermione smirked slightly. "Have any of you ever sat through one with the witch that is coming by the manor?"

They all shook their heads no and she laughed softly. "How many of you would be able to take a person seriously that told you to think of trees and pretty flowers if you got angry?"

The same bald wizard frowned. "Why would she ask a known Death Eater to do anything like that?"

Hermione shrugged. "I'm not sure, but those are her suggestions. That one, by the way, was much better than her telling him to find a happy place, like a grassy meadow, and imagine a fluffy bunny hopping down the path while looking cute and wiggling its nose."

The witch with a bird on her hat started laughing. "You are joking right? A bunny in a grassy meadow? She expects a Death Eater to think of bunnies?"

Hermione nodded, laughing softly herself. "Unfortunately. When I mentioned that might not be the best route to take, she looked at me and told me that bunnies are wonderful things to think about when filled with such...anger and malice as Mr. Malfoy. What could be better to think of? I don't think she realized that the anger and malice she was receiving was actually confused disdain at her suggestions."

Mr. Gates leaned forward at the long table they sat at. "What would you have suggested?"

Hermione frowned again. "Well, I'd have asked him when was a time that he was happy, first and foremost. If he said that a certain place he'd visited that made him happy, I'd suggest that when he was angry, he tried to think of that time and yes, even that place. I wouldn't assume a strange green meadow would be it. If it was something pertaining to his family that he lost, I'd try to suggest him thinking of that first. However, I'd ask before I assumed anything."

She took a breath before going on. "If he didn't tell me what made him happy, I'd tell him what made me happy so that he might feel more comfortable in sharing his own thoughts. You can't expect any person to do all the sharing after all. If that didn't work, I'm move to doing physical activities, swimming, tennis, whatever he had an interest in, to help with working through his anger. But bunnies and flowers are not the way to go with him."

The witch with the bird smirked at her. "So essentially, we've had a year wasted already because no one listened to the person that had researched him the most."

Hermione shrugged. "I'm not sure how wasted the whole year has been, he doesn't seem to say anything derogatory about muggles at all, I've noticed. But that might have something to do with the time he spent with them. However, with the sessions that he's been attending, yes, a complete waste of time."

They dismissed her, asking her to sit outside that way they could talk among themselves. Kingsley stayed inside as well. An hour later, they called her back inside.

"Alright, Miss Granger, we've all agreed." The aging wizard told her.

Hermione frowned. "On what exactly?"

Kingsley spoke up. "The fact that you've gotten him to stop using the derogatory term for muggle-borns with you, is...astounding actually. But so far, you've been the only one to make any headway with him. Its been decided that you will take over the other duties as well."

Hermione's eyes widened. "I'm sorry?" Surely they can't really want me to do all of that too. She thought.

The bald wizard spoke. "We understand that what we ask is a lot, you will be compensated, of course, for the extra work and time it will involve. But we feel you are the best choice to do it. You've garnered his trust enough by living with him. At least more so than the others that see him regularly. You seem to understand him better too, so you will be able to do what we need of you, to get his rehabilitation completed."

Kingsley spoke up again when Hermione stared at them dumbfounded. "You can say no, Hermione."

Hermione looked at Kingsley. "Can I think about it?"

The bald wizard shook his head. "Unfortunately, we need an answer now. Otherwise, we'll have to find someone else to do it and I'm not sure how long that will take."

Hermione inwardly cursed. Lucius would be livid when learned of this. He'd already once told her how angry he was at her for digging into his past and now she'd be forced to do it again.

"I..." She started, only to have Kingsley speak again when she didn't go on.

"Hermione, do you think Mr Malfoy can be rehabilitated?" He asked her softly.

Hermione sighed. "I do, but it wont be easy."

Kingsley smiled. "You've always been up for a challenge before. This is definitely that. Do you think anyone else has a better shot at getting it done than you?"

Her eyes narrowed. "You're trying to manipulate me." Kings knew she was a perfectionist by nature and tried to be the best at all the things she did.

He chuckled at her. "I am. Is it working?"

Her lips twitched slightly. "It might be. Look, I'm serious, this isn't going to be easy and this is going to take a lot of time to do it and do it right. I have to build his trust more than it is...and do more research possibly to get it. What kind of time frame are you hoping to see results by?"

Kingsley shrugged. "He was sentenced to a minimum of twenty years in Azkaban. His first hearing to consider adding in even minor privileges isn't until his third year. First chance at early release isn't until after his fifth, and that is with really good progress. We don't expect a miracle over night, and you said yourself that if he made any progress before a year you'd die of shock. Well, him not calling you a Mudblood is progress. I don't see you dropping dead, do you? That says something about your skills and how he responds to them."

There had been a soft gasp or two at him using the word Mudblood, but Hermione didn't even glance their way. She was thinking about how she had gotten him to stop using it. She couldn't very well shag him into being rehabilitated. It didn't work that way.

She knew there wasn't a lot of options either. If she declined, he'd just get another hopeless person in her place and he'd never be rehabilitated and never get a chance to be free.

She sighed deeply, the sound making Kingsley smirk before he hid it. "Fine." She muttered. "But that means I'm not going to have time for me coming in weekly to give you a personal report. You're going to have to do with a written one."

Kingsley nodded. "Fine, but I will expect you in my office once a month at least, to talk about what's going on."

Hermione paused. "What about patient/healer confidentiality?"

The bald wizard smirked at her. "You're not a healer, that doesn't apply to you. You aren't bound by those laws and can tell us anything we feel we need to hear."

Her narrowed eyes met his and her chin lifted. "Then, find someone else to do it." She wouldn't budge on it either.

Kingsley scowled at the bald man. "We'll accept the same terms that any other healer would be allotted. We won't expect you to tell us anything pertaining to his secrets that he tells you. Just a report on the kind of progress he is making. Is he responding well, is he talking openly or is he freezing up? Do you see him being able to live in the wizarding world and not revert back to his old methods? That sort of thing. If there are any objections, I won't let her do it anyway, myself. We can't expect a man to trust her if she's running off to whisper everything she learns to us."

The rest of the committee nodded. "We agree." The witch with the bird hat said. "Same rules will apply for Miss Granger. We'll have the contract drawn up today to insure her safety should anyone try to force her to break Mr. Malfoy's confidences. Wouldn't want her accused of going against the Ministry later, not when we all agreed up front."

Hermione nodded. "If that is all, I should be getting back. I should tell Mr. Malfoy what has happened so he can be prepared. I don't want that trust shattered early by your owl getting there first and him thinking I'm hiding something or trying to pull a fast one."

The bald wizard stood. "A moment Miss Granger, before you go. If you all will excuse us." He said to the rest of the group.

Hermione allowed him to lead her back into the hallway. "Yes, Mr...I'm sorry, I didn't really catch your name."

He man smiled at her. "It's Fitz. Marcus Fitz. I wanted a moment of your time, because I was wondering if you'd like to join me for dinner this evening."

Hermione stared at the man. He had a lot of nerve, she'd give him that one. "I'm sorry, but as I said, I'll be busy going over everything that happened today with Mr. Malfoy. Trust is a tender thing and I don't want to break it before I've really got it."

Marcus smiled. "Of course. Some other night, soon?"

Hermione smiled in return, though she had no interest what-so-ever. "You've just questioned my capabilities, not to mention you doubled my work load, and you think that asking me out shortly after all of that, is the best course of action to take?"

Marcus shrugged. "When a woman, as beautiful as yourself, is whom I'm asking, yes, I do. I'd hate to miss my chance because someone else asked you first."

Hermione's smile grew, as did Marcus' who was sure she'd say yes. "Mr. Fitz, as lovely as that sounds, I'm going to have to decline. I don't like being questioned on my capabilities, especially, when I've more than proven myself by having found him in the first place. Especially, when you all could not. But mostly, I don't like the fact that you tried to make me compromise my ethics by telling you Mr. Malfoy's secrets behind his back, a man that I'm now responsible for in dealing with both his therapy and his anger management sessions. I...like someone with more integrity than you've shown today. I'm sorry."

Marcus wasn't smiling any longer. "Well, I'm sorry to have bothered you. Have a nice day."

She didn't respond to his wishes, which she knew was rude, but she didn't care. When Kingsley joined her moments later, he saw a hint of anger in her eyes.

"Should I bother asking what happened?" He asked her, maneuvering towards the lifts.

"Fitz in arse. One who actually thought that after what happened in there that I'd want to go to dinner with him. Bloody stupid git." She muttered.

Kingsley chuckled. "Hermione, you know, we don't expect you not to date. Have you even been out with anyone in the last year?"

Hermione sighed. "No, I've not. I have been in an odd relationship with Ron for years and now...he's not speaking to me. So...I'm not really interested in dating right now. Can you blame me?" Hoping he bought that as her reason.

Kingsley shook his head. "No, I can't. Just don't let this job with Lucius Malfoy keep you tied up so much that you forget to have a social life. Okay?"

Hermione felt her face neutral. "I wouldn't dream of it."

Hermione finally got off the lift and Kings walked her to the floos, telling her that if she needed anything, to let him know. She watched him leave her, frowning, even as she stepped into the floo and went to the manor.

When she arrived, she was still frowning as she moved to take a seat on the sofa. How is this even going to work? She wondered. I can't expect Lucius to tell me things that he doesn't tell anyone.

Lucius found her a little while later, still sitting there frowning. Seeing it, he had a bad feeling fill him. Taking a deep breath, he moved over to her and sat down. "How bad did it go?" He asked, expecting to hear that she'd been replaced and that he wouldn't see her again after today.

Hermione looked over at him, still looking a bit unsure. "Well...you may not like what happened."

His eyes darkened slightly, but he nodded. "Alright. Tell me."

Hermione swallowed. "They want to make a few changes here." She started, hoping he took it well, bracing for an explosion of anger.

But her pause only had his apprehension growing. "Such as?" Trying to keep from barking at her to just spit it out and get it over with.

Hermione frowned more. "They want me to take over your...anger management and therapy sessions." Still waiting for him to be upset.

His brow wrinkled. "And?"

Hermione shrugged. "And...that's it. They want me to take over for both of them since...they don't seem to be doing any good anyway with the healers you already have."

He let the breath hadn't been aware he'd been holding out. "Do you have any idea what you had me thinking you were going to say happened?"

Hermione frowned again, but he went on. "I thought you were going to tell me that you'd been replaced or...found out. Which would still lead to a replacement, I'm sure. But that is all? They want you to lead these ridiculous sessions?"

Hermione nodded dumbly, not sure why he didn't seem more upset than he was. Lucius opened his mouth to say more, but paused at the odd look on her face. He brow lifted in thought before he started to chuckle.

"You thought I was going to be angry with you, didn't you?" He asked her.

She nodded again. "You...were mad at me looking into your past and digging about before...this is essentially the same thing."

He sighed. "Its not the same thing. You were snooping about to find things on me to catch me. I'm sure anything I tell you, will be told willingly, am I right?"

She nodded again. "Yes."

He nodded. "Not the same thing at all. If that is all that happened...I say it went rather well then."

He stood, pulling her up with him, though she was still frowning slightly. She'd expected more from him, not this almost...careless shrug.

He was pulling her with him as he maneuver to and up the stairs. "Where are we going?" She asked.

He smirked. "Today is not just the day you had to face the Ministry. Do you not remember what else today was?"

She opened her mouth, but shut it again. Surely not. She thought, but he led her into his bedroom, well their bedroom since she'd slept in it most of the past year. Though she still didn't have her clothes inside it. Mostly in case a Ministry official came by to inspect things.

He paused and turned to face her, seeing an even more perplexed look on her face, he chuckled again. "I'd be more than happy to show you, my sweet. Though we both need much less clothing to do so."

She shook her head lightly. "Are you talking about us having sex that first time?"

He inclined his head. "I am. I also think that we should make it a tradition to spend each year like we did those first few days. Naked and in bed."

Her lips started curving. "So, you want a repeat of the first few days?"

He slipped his arms around her. "Yes, I do. I have very fond memories of those first few days."

Good Lord, he's...its...our anniversary? He...I...we have an anniversary? She wondered, but as soon as she thought it, his brows rose and she realized he had read her thoughts.

"Is that a problem, my sweet?" He asked, curious, since she looked more stunned than actually adverse to the notion.

Hermione shook her head. "No...I just wasn't...expecting it, is all."

His lips curved. "Excellent. I think a repeat of day one is in order. Which means, I get to have you again and again and again."

Her eyes dropped from his as her lips curved. "I agree, Lucius. I think a repeat of that first day is exactly what we should to do to...celebrate."

She pulled her wand, using it to set the mood. The lights dimmed, making him smirk slightly, a bottle of wine was already there next to the bed with glasses, so she used her wand to chill it.

He leaned to kiss her, but she pulled away, her wand flicking to a spot just behind him. Her hand on her chest, she gave him a slight push, which he wasn't expecting. He landed in the chair she'd conjured behind him and he was instantly bound by the wrists and ankles.

"I believe Lucius, it started like this, did it not?" She asked.

His eyes darkened slightly. The only thing he hadn't liked was her binding him before. "You're joking."

Her wand pointed at herself, her clothes transfigured back into the high slitted dark skirt, silky blouse, dark jacket, and strappy heels. "Nope."

"My dear, this isn't exactly what I meant." He told her.

She shifted her skirt slightly and straddled his lap, her bare leg popping out of the slit just like it had before. "Yes, but will you hold out nearly as long as you did before?"

His brow rose at that. "If I don't?"

Her lips curved even more. "Then, you might find yourself not bound for so long, then again you might stay tied even longer. Or...I might not stop what I had started prior to sinking down onto you. You did tell me you didn't want my mouth on you before, if I remember correctly. I wonder if that is still true."

Already his body reacting to just thinking of her mouth stroking up and down his length. "Here I thought you could tell when I was lying, my dear."

Her lips curved more. "I can. I knew you didn't want me to stop, I only did because I had other body parts I wanted to use more than my mouth."

She leaned in to kiss, but he leaned his head back away from her. At her raised eyebrow, he smirked. "Surely, you don't expect me to give in that easily, do you?"

Her hips started to grind on him like they did that very first day. "Wouldn't be nearly as much fun, now would it?" She said softly.

Hmm...no, it wouldn't. But you my dear, best think about this. If you get to start things the way they did that day, that I means I get to finish things the way they did too. He thought with a sudden smile in memory of what all he did to her that day. Oh, yes...this will be a lot of fun indeed.

A/N: I know, this one didn't really have any sex in it, more just mentions of it here and there. However, I thought this was a good place to end it since we did almost hit the 6,000 word mark. lol. Debating a chapter 7 or not. Let me know what you all think. Take care.