Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter, and we're all just having fun with her characters. That would be why it's called fanfiction.

Warning: Rated M for mentions of non-consensual, sexual scenes, and extreme violence.

Author's Note: All of my fics so far are rated M, but this one is for more than just being slightly a darkfic. This one actually has reasons for being rated M, besides just for safety.

Another Author's Note: As always, if this story, or any of my others, inspires you to write one of your own, please let me know so I can check your stories out!

Yet Another Author's Note: Thank you to everyone who followed/favorited/reviewed any and/or all of my other stories. I appreciate every email I get in my inbox. They make me so happy, and I keep every single one. Each story has its own little folder with subfolders for favorites, reviews, and follows. You guys rock!

And now, if you've read all of that, I apologize for taking so long to get to my point, and here's the story…

Something Better Than Cookies

Hermione remembers when they had truly been the Golden Trio. She remembers when Ginny was really dating Harry. She remembers when Ron had been interested in her. She remembers when she was a stuck-up know-it-all that always bailed them out of trouble. She remembers the way she used to detest Draco Malfoy and his posse of future Death Eaters. Somehow, though, that's all changed. It's getting harder to remember with every passing day. For a moment she wondered why, but when she tried to go there in her head, she found nothing but blanks. It didn't matter anymore, anyway. That was when Harry and Ron were still sane—when she was still sane.

She looked up and saw Draco Malfoy, flanked by Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Zambini, and Parkinson, enter the Great Hall. They went to sit beside others that shared in having that mark on their arms. She couldn't help feeling like maybe hiding behind them wouldn't be a bad idea, but she knows she has no choice. They would kill her first. Somehow, that thought doesn't scare her. Perhaps being dead would be better than the torture that was being inflicted on her.

"D.A. meeting after dinner," Harry whispered in her ear.

Hermione nodded and barely repressed a shudder. A chill ran down her spine anyway. It wasn't a good idea to disobey Harry anymore. He was crazy—they all were.

She got up and walked to the Room of Requirement. They were still using it for the D.A., despite Umbridge finding it last year, because no one argued with Harry anymore. No one dared to even speak against him, except for Draco Malfoy, and he'd been too busy to bother humbling the 'hero' anytime recently.

"We need to be strong against anything they might throw at us. That means we have to learn to endure torture," Harry said, as he always did. No one seemed to care about the reasons anymore, though, that was the biggest difference. It was the same thing over and over, and there was nothing any of them could do to stop it.

He glared at the girls and some of the boys and waited for them to line up on one side of the room as they always did. Everyone had learned what was expected of them by now. They'd learned that anything that they would do would simply result in five solid minutes of the Cruciatus curse. Despite their treatment, that was something they still hated experiencing.

Hermione, however, was tired of being their slave, and she made no move to the other side of the room.

"Hermione," Harry said, warningly.

She glared back at him, unmoved by the obvious threat.

"Very well, Crucio!" Harry said, pointing his wand in her direction.

The pain was indescribable. Hermione happily greeted it, her friend throughout all of this, the one constant. Nothing was quite as delectable as the pain anymore. The pain kept her from submitting, but it was becoming addictive in retaliation for the comfort it offered her. Every limb was on fire, and she could feel barbed wire cutting her and marking her skin. Her bones broke and muscles ripped. Tendons and ligaments snapped and cartilage liquefied. Her corded muscles strained, but she made no sound. She was dropped in fire, doused in gasoline, burning, burning, like the witch she was. Every nerve was broken and frazzled, and pain shot along her body. Her mind welcomed the overload of pain, and she—and then it was gone.

"Well, Hermione?" Harry asked, questioningly.

Hermione didn't answer. Fuck you, she said mentally.

"Not moving, huh? Well then, Crucio!" and the pain began again.

It was burning, stinging, ripping. She was being torn to pieces and sewn back up. She was past fighting the pain, though. It was her sanctuary. She reveled in the power it gave her. It—

"Hermione, I don't like it when you play games with me," Harry leered at her.

Hermione looked up at him with a simmering hatred in her eyes. They were crazy, all of them. Oh, everybody had different reasons. Harry was obsessed with winning the war. Ron was obsessed with the feeling of power. Most of the people there had no other options, and a majority of them believed it truly would help them. Ginny was like a walking zombie, past caring. Hermione, though, Hermione was addicted to the pain.

"Very well, Crucio!" Again, the pain, her body being torn to pieces. Every bone was out of place, every nerve severely frayed until Hermione knew she couldn't stand up if she wanted to.

"Crucio, Crucio, Crucio," And there it was again. And again. And again. But Hermione couldn't be moved to care.

Finally, Harry stopped. "Still not broken?" he leered again. "Ron?"

Ron walked over to her. No, sauntered would be more accurate. He dragged her over to a corner, where he pulled down his pants and her own and raped her.

She never made a sound. This pain was not a comforting pain. It would not heal her. No, but this pain was a cousin to the kind she'd become addicted to, and she couldn't protest. She feared that with each passing day she became more like Ginny. She became more of a zombie.

Finally, the D.A. torture sessions took a break. It was the end of the year, and everyone took their finals. Hermione got O's in all of her subjects, as usual, while most other students had gotten absolutely horrendous results. Rumors had it that almost the entire D.A. got T's on their reports. Trolls! Hermione was horrified for them. What would their parents say? It was the end of the year, though, so she got on the Hogwarts Express with everyone else.

"Hey, Mudblood," Draco Malfoy said as she walked past him.

"Hey, Malfoy," Hermione said, utter exhaustion evident in her tone.

If she'd have been less tired and if she still laughed, she would have fallen down laughing from the expression on his face. His eyes would simply fall out of his head if he opened them any further, his mouth almost rested on his feet, and from the general expression on his face, he was wondering if Hell had just frozen over.

"Why are you calling me 'Malfoy'?" He asked testily, attempting to hide his shock.

"It's your name, isn't it? Besides, I'm mad at you right now," Hermione said calmly, almost as though she was in a trance. Then she walked past him and into a compartment.

Draco Malfoy just gawked at her. He'd called her 'Mudblood' and she hadn't hurt him or hexed him, and the way she talked, it sounded as though calling him 'Malfoy' was punishment when she was mad at him. Since when had 'Malfoy' been a bad thing for her to call him? She'd called him plenty worse before. What the hell?

Hermione was sitting in a compartment, hoping that Ron or Harry wouldn't attempt to sit by her, because she was tired of torture. She'd certainly gotten enough of it, and, while she was addicted to the pain, she wasn't particularly fond of being raped, nor the intermittent spurts of reality that Harry always put in. The pain was a way to lose herself, and she found it difficult to do so when he was continually talking to her, taunting her, daring her to face reality.

When the door opened, she noticeably shuddered and turned to stare out the window, praying that they would leave her alone.

"Granger?" Draco Malfoy asked, hesitantly.

"Malfoy?" Hermione said, relief evident in her voice and every aspect of her person. Thank God! she said mentally.

"Is this seat taken?" Malfoy asked.

"No," Hermione said, Gods, no. Please sit there, please, please, pleas—.

He sat down across from her. "You said you're mad at me," he began, "but I somehow don't think it's for calling you Mudblood."

"It's not," Hermione said, reluctant to talk about it, even to the one person she'd begun to believe might be able to save her.

"Well, then? Did I hurt one of your friends somehow?" Malfoy asked, cocking his head and looking at her with a thoroughly confused expression.

"No, no," Hermione said. "It's more like…something you didn't do."

"What's that?" Draco asked, just as the door started opening again.

Harry and Ron looked in. "Hermione? What are you doing?" Ron asked suspiciously.

Draco looked as though he was about to leave.

"Please stay," Hermione whispered so only he could hear. "Please."

An uneasy expression crossed Draco's face, but he settled back into the chair.

"Fraternizing with the enemy, Hermione?" Harry asked, his voice cold and emotionless, the way she was used to it. It still sent chills up her spine, though.

Hermione didn't answer. He and Ron stepped into the compartment. Harry sat beside her, and Ron glared at Draco and took the seat beside him.

"Hermione?" Harry asked, but if it was supposed to sound like concern, it failed miserably. It was probably a threat. Everything was. "You've been bad, you know. Sitting with him, talking to him, not telling us where you were sitting, making us find you on our own, and now not telling us what's going on. You have to be punished, you know. Nod if you agree," Harry's voice made it obvious she had no choice. She agreed. That was her only choice. She nodded jerkily.

"Good, now tell him to leave," Harry said, putting an arm around Hermione and glaring predatorily at Draco.

Hermione shuddered as his arm wrapped around her, unable to keep it hidden. Her eyes met Draco's, pleading.

"Tell him to leave," Harry said again, but this time it was hissed out and Hermione shuddered again.

"Goddammit, whore!" he said, slapping her hard enough to send her to the floor at Draco's feet. "Have you learned nothing? Crucio!" Hermione's expression relaxed and she immersed herself in the pain, taking comfort and solace in it.

"Crucio! Crucio! Crucio! Crucio! Crucio! Crucio!" It went on and on and on and on and on and on, hitting her again and again.

Suddenly, the curses cut off abruptly. Hermione's vision cleared and she saw that Draco was on top of Harry, his wand at Harry's neck. Ron was sitting on the floor wearing a loopy expression and mumbling about "…cats are taking over the whipped topping. We need the whipped topping to give ourselves mustaches and beards so we can dominate this season's badminton tournament and we need to win the golf club. If we don't polar bears will…" Hermione tuned him out.

"Get off of me!" Harry growled angrily.

"Seven times! You Crucio'd her seven times! I ought to do the same to you and teach you a lesson!" Draco was yelling.

"Draco!" Hermione called, "Don't, he's not worth it!"

"No, he's not," Draco said angrily, "but you are!"

"Has something been going on between the two of you?" Harry growled angrily.

"It's not your right to care, Potter," Draco ground out.

"Fuck you, Malfoy! If you've laid a hand on her—"

"Jealous, Potter?" Draco sneered.

"Goddammit, it's my right! I'm The Boy Who Lived, I—"

Draco flicked his wand at Harry's throat, and, while Harry's mouth continued, no sound came out.

"Are you okay?" he asked looking at her with such a wide-eyed look of concern that Hermione realized she'd been right in soliciting his help.

"Fiiine," Hermione slurred, attempting to focus her eyes on him.

"Let's get you to someone—"

"NO! No, we caaaan't do thaaaat."

"Why not? He just Crucio'd you seven times! Seven times, Hermione! You of all people should know what the problem with that is!"

"Huuunnh?" Hermione asked, looking at him confusedly.

"You should be dead!" Draco said, and his look of concern made sense.

"Whaaaat?" Hermione asked, looking slightly horrified.

"The most Crucio's someone's ever stood through was five! You've just had two more than that!"

"I'sssss no' a biiiig dealllll. 'Isss temperrrrrr jussssss' goooo' a hollllld 'a 'immmm."

"Not a big deal? Not a big deal! Listen to you!"

"Jusssss' staaaay 'eeere wi' mmme?"

Draco ran his hand through his hair frustratedly and sat beside her. He flicked his wand once at Harry and once at Ron and they were bound with ropes.

Hermione leaned back against the seat where Draco had been sitting and breathed deeply, easily. She closed her eyes and laid her head back.

"Thank you," she said, about fifteen minutes later.

"Thank you?" Draco asked, as though he couldn't believe her calm reaction to everything, "You've got to be kidding! I keep you from certain death and you say 'thank you'! You shouldn't be able to say anything! You should be dead! Why didn't you die from that?"

"I guess I'm kind of immune," Hermione said slowly, managing not to slur anything.

"Immune? The only way to be immune to anything, even a curse is through repeated exposure, and even if they Crucio'd you every night for the last year, you shouldn't be able to withstand seven in a ro—" He broke off, staring at her. "How many have you had, besides today?"

"Six, last night," she said, trying to focus her eyes on his again.

"And before that?" he asked, horrified.

"Six, the night before that."

"And before that?"

"The night before."

"Before that?"

"The night before."

"Have you had five?"

"Yes."

"When was the last time you had five?"

"Five months ago."

"Four?"

"Eight."

"Three?"

"Nine."

"Two?"

"The second week of school."

"…One?"

"The first week."

Draco got up and paced back and forth distraughtedly. "Oh, dear Merlin! I want to kill Potter! Please tell me that this has only been going for this year!"

"It has."

Draco stopped suddenly and fell to the floor to sit next to her. "So why were you mad at me?"

"You—you were the only one that stood up to Harry. The only one that wouldn't let him get away with anything. But you got distracted. And Harry—he punished us more and more because now he wasn't distracted by you…"

Draco looked at her, his eyes full of pain. "Look, I've never liked you—" Hermione snorted, remembering the repeated 'Mudblood' name-callings, "but no one should go through this. Is this—is this all they've done? Just the Cruciatus?"

"…No…"

"What? What have they done to you, Hermione?"

Hermione just sobbed and shook her head, telling him wordlessly that he didn't want to know, and she wasn't sure she could tell him.

"Hermione? Please, tell me. What did they do to you? Their supposed best friend? Did they hurt you somehow else?"

Hermione nodded, and started crying in earnest. The tears obscured her vision and she pressed her face into Draco's left shoulder.

"Hermione? Please, Granger, tell me what's wrong. What did those bastards do?"

"They…Harry gave…me to…Ron and Ron…he…" Hermione broke off and started sobbing even harder.

"Why did Harry give you to Ron?" Draco asked, trying to piece it together.

"I wouldn't…I wouldn't listen, and he was getting bored of Crucio'ing me…"

Draco wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close and resting his chin on the top of her head. "Please tell me, Hermione, tell me what they did to you. The wounds are as fresh as the first day until you tell someone."

Hermione sobbed again and took a deep breath, trying to stop crying long enough to tell him. "He…Ron….he…"

"Shh, Hermione, it's okay…shh, just tell me."

"He…he…he…raped me." Hermione's voice broke on the last two words, and she just whispered them.

Draco looked at her, surprised that they would do such a thing to the girl that had been their friend since first year. "How…how many times, Hermione?"

"I…I don't know. At least once a week since the second month of school."

"How many in one week was the most?"

"…Five."

Draco froze, feeling scandalized. "What was the average?"

"Two in the first term, four in the second," Hermione said, finding it easier and easier to tell him what had happened.

"Oh, dear Merlin. I want to kill them."

"Don't, Draco. It's not worth it getting in trouble over."

"It's damn well worth getting in trouble over! I won't, though, since you don't want me to. Where were you planning on going over the break?"

"Oh, err…I'm not sure I should…err…mention where…"

"It's alright, just tell me—were you going to go with them?"

"Err…well, yes, they were going to be there…"

"Well, do you have other options?"

"Err…I've kind of Obliviate'd my parents and sent them away….They're on a rather extended vacation at the moment…"

"That's fine, then," Draco said soothingly, "We'll take you to the Manor."

Hermione looked at him. "Surely your family won't want…err…filth like me in your manor…."

"Well, no one deserves this, and even if my parents won't accept you there, you're going to come with me because you deserve better than this, and I'm not going to let you stay here with them, not after what they've done."

Hermione looked at him, quite literally seeing a halo around him. She then looked at Harry, and read his lips. 'You traitorous bitch, Hermione! Don't listen to him you whore! Don't you run out on the Order, you bitch! Don't you run out on the Order Sirius died for, you dirty Mudblood!'

"I'm not running out on the Order, Harry. They've done nothing that's making me run away. I might even go back sometime. I'm running out on you, Harry, you and Ron. You've never seen me as worthy of anything. I've never been a real friend. I'm going to leave the Order because you're part of it. If you die, I might consider rejoining. That is, if you and Ron both died. And I miss Sirius too, you asshole! Don't act like you're the only one that was affected by that! You're not the only one that knew him, you bastard!" Hermione had resumed crying again as she was raging at him, but they had arrived at Platform 9 ¾, so she allowed Draco to grab their luggage and lead her from the compartment. As they left, Draco cast the counter-jinxes on both Ron and Harry, and then he disillusioned them and their suitcases and led her through the Platform, side-along Apparating her to the Manor.

Hermione had finally stopped crying by the time Draco led her to the front gates of the Manor. He pushed a button and talked into an intercom.

"It's me, Draco Malfoy," Draco drawled.

"Who do you have with you, Draco?" A woman's voice asked.

"A friend that wishes to seek refuge with us and the Dark Lord," Draco said truthfully.

The gates opened and Draco pulled Hermione behind him, through them.

When they were through, the gates shut firmly with a clang and Hermione jumped, walking closer to Draco.

He pulled her up the considerably long driveway and through the front door and entryway, while Hermione looked around in obvious admiration, even through her tears.

"Draco!" the same woman's voice called as they entered the parlor, and Narcissa Malfoy embraced her son.

"Mother, it's nice to see you again," Draco said, pulling Hermione a bit closer to him.

"Who is this?" Narcissa asked, looking at Hermione, but unable to discern her identity due to the black cloak with a hood on it that she wore.

Hermione took a breath, moved slightly farther behind Draco, and pulled her hood back.

"…Miss Granger?" Lucius Malfoy asked from beside the window, pulling his wand on her. "What are you doing here, Mudblood?"

"Father!" Draco admonished. "I did mention at the gates that she wished to seek refuge."

"Hah, refuge from what?" Lucius asked, keeping his wand aimed in her direction.

"Refuge from what, dearie," Narcissa asked.

"From…the torture," Hermione said, hoping she wouldn't have to go into detail.

"Torture? Who was torturing you?" Narcissa asked.

"Harry and Ron." Hermione said.

"What did they do to you?" Narcissa asked.

"They…well, they tortured me with Crucio…" Hermione began.

"That's painful, isn't it?" Lucius smirked from his place near the window.

"Father!" Draco admonished again. "Mother, I brought her here because on the train ride, I witnessed it. Harry Potter Crucio'd her seven times right before my eyes, with his Weasley sidekick standing there laughing.

"Your eyes deceive you, Draco," Lucius said coldly. "That's impossible."

Hermione stepped around in front of Draco. "Lucius," she said, bowing her head slightly. "Go ahead and try it, but I beg of you, only seven. I'm not sure I'm yet ready to receive eight."

Lucius looked at her as though she was crazy, and then looked at his son.

Draco opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione cut him off. "Please, Mr. Malfoy, if it's the only way you'll truly believe me, please do it."

Lucius nodded and, albeit reluctantly, asked, "How long for?"

"Five minutes for the first four, three apiece for the next three, is what I usually get."

"Alright," he said, and began, "Crucio!"

Hermione lost herself in the pain once again, and refused to cry out. If she did, Lucius might get the impression she wasn't really used to this. It wasn't that hard, not crying out, since she'd done it before. She refused to give Harry and Ron the satisfaction of hearing her scream. When he was finally done, Hermione lay on the floor at his feet, and opened her eyes, looking up at him. "Doooo yoouuu belieeeeve meeee noooow, Misssssster Malfoooy?"

Narcissa gasped and threw herself to the ground beside Hermione. "Hermione, dear, are you alright? That's fourteen today, if what Draco said was true. I'll show you to a room."

"You'll have to either levitate her or wait awhile, Mother," Draco said. "It took her fifteen minutes to speak without slurring on the train, and even then she was struggling."

Lucius looked down at the girl on the floor in front of him in shock. She'd withstood more Crucio's than anyone on record. She was slurring heavily, as though she'd lost some brain cells, but she was still alive. "How can this be?" he asked.

Draco answered, "She said she was tortured every day this year, and Potter and Weasley increased the number of Crucio's she'd get quite often."

Narcissa Malfoy levitated the girl up the stairs into a room, where she quickly snapped her fingers and let the house-elves get the room ready. Narcissa then lowered Hermione into the bed.

"Mrs. Malfoooy?" Hermione said when she turned to leave.

"Yes, Hermione?" Narcissa asked kindly.

"Can I…tell you…what…else they…did tooo me?"

"Of course, dear."

"When…Harry got…bored offff…of me, he would…he gave me tooo…Ron and Ron…r-r-r…r-raped me…"

"Oh, Hermione, darling….If I ever see them, I will hurt them for you. No one deserves that, especially not someone that was their best friend. We'll take care of you, Hermione," Narcissa cooed.

Hermione looked at the older woman thankfully. "You don't mind that I'm a…Mudblood?"

"Why on earth would I, child? I…that is, if you stay long enough, I have every plan to treat you much like a daughter. Don't get me wrong, I love Draco, I've just always wanted a daughter. You, my girl, are under the protection of the Malfoy family, and even if Lucius ever changes his mind about that, you are under the protection of the Black family. I am the last Black, and I will protect you, my baby girl," Narcissa smiled at her.

Hermione smiled back at Narcissa as she closed the door quietly behind herself, and then Hermione drifted off to sleep.

When Hermione awoke the next morning, she got up and dressed quickly in some of her clothes before walking down the stairs for breakfast, hungry.

Reaching the kitchen, she walked over to the coffee maker and made herself a cup of coffee, strong and dark so that it would wake her up.

She jumped slightly when, with a pop!, a house elf appeared behind her. "Could I make something for the Missus for breakfast?" the house elf asked.

"Oh, you don't have to—" Hermione began.

"Nonsense, Missus, allow me. Eggs? I can do scrambled," the house elf brushed off her attempt to do it herself and motioned her to a chair.

Hermione sat down tiredly and drank her coffee while the house elf bustled around making her scrambled eggs. Before she knew it, they sat on the table in front of her.

"Is there anything else I can get for you, Missus?" the house elf asked eagerly, which was exactly when Hermione began reviewing her opinion about the servitude of house elves. They seemed to genuinely enjoy working to please their masters and mistresses.

"No, thank you…erm, what's your name?" Hermione asked.

"Bitsy, Missus," the house elf replied, seeming humbled that she had asked to know her name.

"No, thank you, Bitsy," Hermione said again, and the house elf Disapperated with a pop!

"Hello, Hermione," Narcissa said when she walked in to see her new 'daughter' eating at the counter in the kitchen.

"Good morning, Narcissa," Hermione said in response.

"Well, my dear, Lucius has definitely agreed that you can be under the protection of our family. Draco, I believe, has something to discuss with you, however. I believe it is something to do with an upcoming battle. My husband and I have, of course, heard quite a few times from Draco various complaints about your tendency to best him in everything but flying, in which he bested by Mr. Potter, an ex-best friend of yours. Anyway, I'm sure he'll want you to participate, but I don't want you to feel in any way as though you have to—we'll give you shelter regardless."

"Thank you, Mrs. Malfoy, but I would love to fight against those that have hurt me so terribly time and time again when they turned a blind eye to Harry's actions simply because he was the Boy-Who-Lived. It's really rather sickening."

"Well, I'm sure Draco will love to hear it. By the way, please call me Narcissa."

"Okay, thank you, Mrs.–Narcissa."

"Draco is in the study, I'll show you to it," Narcissa said, taking note of the fact that Hermione had finished her breakfast.

"Thank you," Hermione said, leaving her breakfast dishes to be cleaned up by the house elves. Heck, if they liked doing the work, then they might as well do it.

After following Narcissa across the Manor, she was led into a rather large room with walls absolutely lined with books. Hermione gasped in shock, and turned to look at the titles.

"Hermione," Draco said, drawing her attention to the fact she was in the room, "please allow me discuss with you what I would like to discuss before you go all book-crazy on me. I'll allow you all the time you want to look through and read them later, but we really must discuss this. It's rather urgent."

Hermione looked up, somewhat guiltily, and met Draco's gaze. "Thank you," she said softly. "I don't know what I would have done without you."

"Apart from probably die when they finally take it too far?" Draco joked.

"Yeah, that," Hermione chuckled in spite of herself. "So, your mother said that this had something to do with some upcoming battle?"

"I should have known she would have already mentioned it to you," Draco said, acting rather chagrined. "I just want you to know the particulars. We'll be attacking a known safe house. It will be heavily populated, and it's rather risky. We believe we have the numbers to pull it off. We would like your help, as we believe you know of this safe house and have been there before. We believe you would also be extremely knowledgeable of spells and a far more than adequate fighter and a brilliant addition to our team. I don't want you to feel like we're forcing you to, though," he added worriedly.

"Well, what's the address of the safe house?" Hermione asked.

"12 Grimmald Place," Draco informed her.

"As a matter of fact, I do know that place. And I would have been more than happy to fight anyway. Everybody there has hurt me, whether it be Harry and Ron, or anyone else that turned away and pretended nothing was wrong. Well, everyone except Ginny. Can you somehow let an order get around that no one should seriously hurt Ginny? No more than a stunning spell, okay?"

Draco looked at her. "Why should we save the Weaslette?"

"Because she was tortured with me. She mostly did what she was told, so she didn't experience Crucio more than five times in the entire year, and I only think Harry r-raped her, but I'm not sure. She deserves the same chance I was given when you came to investigate, don't you think? For the record, she, too, was mad at you, for the same reason."

Draco smiled, a ghost of one of the saddest she'd ever seen, and it hurt to see it. "Well, then, I'll let everyone know that she's been mistreated living with them. They'll give her a hand out, if they see her."

"They'd better. Now, when is this attack going to be?"

"Probably tonight. It really was most urgent," Draco grinned at her, and her heart stopped beating while she forgot what he was talking about. It was the most breathtaking smile she'd ever seen. A cross between a smirk and grin, that's what it was. Smrin, she thought, or maybe a grirk. "What is it?" he asked, noticing that she was looking at him rather oddly.

"It's just…I've never seen anyone smile like that before. It's like…a cross between a smirk and a grin and—" Hermione broke off suddenly, turning an interesting shade of red.

"And what, Hermione?" Draco asked, stepping closer to her and invading her personal space.

"It's…sexy," Hermione said, breathing the last word out and then struggling to get air back into her lungs. It was very sexy indeed.

Draco gave her the same smile again, and she felt rather weak in the knees. Just when she was about to fall over, he took a few steps forward, pressing her body against the wall.

"Sexy, hm?" he whispered in her ear, and then chuckled.

"Mm, very," Hermione agreed, barely breathing.

"Hm," Draco smirked the trademark Slytherin smirk. Or, rather, the Malfoy adaptation of it. "Well, then, I guess you won't mind when I do this…" he said.

"Wha—" Hermione began, but was silenced by his mouth on hers. His delectable, wonderful mouth was sliding over hers, and then his lips were prying hers apart oh-so-gently, and his tongue silently asked for entrance to her mouth. She gasped at the touch of his tongue on her lower lip, and he plunged his tongue into her mouth, fucking her mouth with his tongue. He angled his head and their kiss got deeper and rougher.

Suddenly, Hermione felt one of her hands tangled in his gorgeous, silky hair, and the other running over his back, feeling the muscles there. One of his hands was on her hip, while the other held the side of her head as the rhythm of their kiss changed until he wasn't ruthlessly claiming her mouth so much as seducing it, and her.

She couldn't help it; she moaned rather loudly and arched her body into his. It was an exquisite feeling she'd never thought was possible, instead believing that the authors had simply been trying to demonstrate the strength of the two main characters' passions for each other. Her body, however, was on fire where is pressed into his taller, leaner, muscled one.

Her hands dropped to feel the rest of his body, and she was amazed at all of the rock-hard muscles she could feel bunch slightly beneath her hands. Draco had certainly never looked quite as strong and muscular as he felt. Evidently, it was obvious when he was not wearing his robes and when one was pressed so tightly and so scandalously against his body. One of her hands dropped to his luscious ass, and she squeezed it lightly, loving the solidness of it when it wouldn't give. She could've guessed at the reaction this action would provoke had she been in her conscious mind, but she wasn't, and she was slightly surprised when he growled deep in his throat at her touch and kissed her even more deeply and harder, if that were possible.

She moaned at both the sensation of kissing him and the rumbling from in his chest as she leaned against it and he growled, and then pulled her mouth slightly from his just long enough to whisper, "Fuck me, Draco," before pressing her lips to his once again.

Draco moaned at her demand and pressed himself harder against her, and her harder into the wall. He pressed his entire body against hers, from head to toe, and Hermione could feel the proof of his desire for her. She was rather surprised at his hardness, and luxuriated in the feelings that swept over her.

"You sure, love?" Draco asked, suckling at her neck long enough to give her a chance to reply, but Hermione's conscious thoughts nearly vanished. She just had time for the one word, "Yes," before she was out of her mind with lust for him.

Draco reluctantly pulled away from her slightly to allow his hands to reach between them to unbutton her shirt. Her hands reached up to entangle themselves in his hair once more, and she pressed herself closer to him and moaned loudly into his mouth, making his movements frenzied, before he finally ripped her shirt off of her, not particularly caring if it wasn't unbuttoned or whether it would still be in one piece when they were done. It could, after all, always be repaired, and it was simply in the way of feeling her skin against his.

Hermione's hands slipped down against his waist while she waited for him to yank his shirt roughly over his head. Then they were kissing again, and Draco pushed her against the couch, using his arms to prop himself up as he lay on top of her and kissed her. Draco pulled her skirt off and threw it to the side, attempting to unbutton his pants and pull them off, despite his hardness.

Hermione moaned at the feeling, and before she knew anything, Draco had rid both of them of their clothes. She was far too immersed in the pleasure, however, to worry about much of anything. Draco's mouth came to her nipple and sucked it into his mouth, and her fingers tangled in his hair, putting pressure on the back of his head to hold him there. Hermione swept on waves of pleasure, not even noticing what he was doing so long as it not stop.

Draco could tell she was getting closer and closer to the edge, and he worried he would be unable to control himself if he was not in her soon. Thinking of this, he drove himself into her up to the hilt and paused while she gasped and stiffened momentarily, having a flashback to Ron. Then the feeling of him being in her was enough to overcome it, and her hips bucked, pleading for him.

He plunged into her time and again, finding that she met him thrust for thrust. When they both lost consciousness with the force of their orgasms, Draco barely caught himself and rolled slightly so she wouldn't be crushed beneath his weight.

Regaining their senses, Hermione curled tightly against Draco, falling into a deep sleep. Draco smiled and held her against him, breathing heavily and astonished that Hermione 'Mudblood' Granger was as brilliant as she was particularly for a first time. It had definitely been her first time, though, because she'd been somewhat inexperienced. He was proud that he was the one to teach her and the first—and only, he vowed to himself—to experience that. With these thoughts in his mind, he drifted quickly off to sleep.

Narcissa was worried about her son and new 'daughter'. Neither had surfaced from the study in quite some time, and, although she was reluctant to disturb them, she absolutely had to find out what was going on. Poking her head into the study, she was extremely thankful that the couch was facing away from the door, because she could only imagine what she would have seen had it not been. As it was, she took a clue from the clothing that was strewn about the room.

Blushing slightly, she left and walked to the parlor, wondering idly if it would be a bad thing for her son and 'daughter' to be together. If she was lucky, her 'daughter' could become a daughter in a real sense of the word—her daughter-in-law. Sure, she might not have the purest blood, but she'd never understood why that was such a big deal, anyway. If Draco was happy with her, then Narcissa certainly was, and although Lucius might protest, he couldn't deny that she was a particularly brilliant witch, and that it would be great to have such a skilled witch to marry into the family. Her grandchild would be exceptionally brilliant, with the two smartest kids of their generation as its parents. And, oh, Hermione might even now be carrying her grandchild, had Draco been too rushed to take precautions. Judging by the placements of the various clothes, and Hermione's shirt, which had been ripped in half, she guessed that to be rather likely. She made a mental note to mention to Hermione something about how much she would love a grandchild right about now, and to Draco how much she loved the girl and that it was his time to be married. It wasn't exactly subtle, but it would accomplish what needed to be accomplished before Hermione started brewing a week-after potion. Narcissa certainly couldn't have her future grandchild dying due to the assumptions those two had about the disapproval, or rather lack thereof, of their parents. Narcissa would do anything in her power to get those two together. And, oh, they were certainly rather adorable together.

That night, Hermione and Draco were getting ready for the battle, neither of them thinking about what was on Narcissa's mind. They were rather anxious to hurt everyone that had hurt Hermione. Draco had made the call that Ginny was not to be harmed, and Hermione was eager to torture Ron.

Draco had given her a few tips: "Don't be afraid to use the Unforgivables. Remember, though, if you do, that, as with all magic, you have to want the results more than anything. Otherwise, it probably won't work. Judging by what they've done to you, though, it shouldn't be a problem."

Before Hermione knew it, it was time to go. She and Draco Apparated to Number 12, Grimmald Place. Hermione, knowing it's location, could easily bring all of the Death Eaters into the building from the back door, while Professor Snape led others in through the front.

Almost immediately, screaming and chaos ensued. Hermione held onto Draco's left hand with her left hand. He stood behind her, with both of their wands at the ready. Hermione held hers straight out, and Draco held his between her arm and her body, ready to stun anyone that saw them.

Suddenly, Hermione hissed, "Ron!" to Draco, and he stiffened, seeing the redhead directly in front of them.

"Shall we play with our food?" Draco asked.

"Indeed," Hermione hissed.

"Wingardium Leviosa!" Draco cast, and levitated Ron back out to the backyard, where they'd just come from. There was no one out here, and it was a kind of quiet that reminded one of a graveyard. They were a distance away from the fighting now, and Hermione was eager to begin 'eating'.

"Expelliarmus!" Hermione called, and Ron's wand flew from his hand to hers.

Draco slowly lowered Ron until he was held just above the ground, and Hermione stalked forward.

"Ronald Bilius Weasley," Hermione began, "you and Potter" she sneered the name in a Draco-like fashion, "need to learn a lesson. You see, it's rather surprising how often the so-called 'dark side' has something better to offer than cookies." With this, Hermione walked over to Draco.

Draco raised Ron higher so that he would be unable to do anything because of a few broken bones if Draco accidentally released the spell while he was…otherwise distracted.

Hermione wrapped an arm around him and kissed him heatedly, aggressively, before turning back to Ron. "By 'something better to offer than cookies', I do of course not mean only Draco. My boyfriend is certainly a bonus, in addition to my mother and the protection of both her family and my new father's. If you try to hurt me, you will die."

"Anything to say to that?" Draco sneered at Ron.

"Actually, yes!" Ron started raging. "First off, what in the hell was that, Hermione? I'm your boyfriend! And why did you walk out on us on the Hogwarts Express?"

Hermione started laughing hysterically. "You're not my boyfriend! You see, I replaced you with someone that, instead of raping me, has sex with me! There is a difference, and I'm rather glad that Draco showed me what a difference it is!" Hermione chuckled and turned to kiss Draco again.

"Ugh! Stop it!" Ron yelled. "That is disgusting! Stop kissing the ferret-face that calls you Mudblood!"

Hermione turned to glare at Ron. "Well that'll be a Crucio!...for insulting my boyfriend!"

"Yeah, Weasel, what does it matter to you if I call her Mudblood?" Draco turned to Hermione and said, "Mudblood, my Mudblood. Come taint me, Mudblood," and then he kissed her.

Hermione pulled back first and grinned happily. "So, Weasel, you know, I understand why Draco called you Weasel. You look like a weasel, act like a weasel, and you're hard to get rid of, just like a weasel. So, Weasel, I get to have some fun now. Of course, I can't give you seven Crucio's, because you're too weak and you'll just up and die on me, and that won't be any fun, now will it? So, Ron, I'm going to Crucio you five times, because anyone can stand that, and then I'm going to hand you over to Draco, who is going to beat you within an inch of your life for touching me, and I'm going to find some popcorn to eat. Then, when he's done with you, he's going to send you to the Dark Lord to have a long, drawn out, painful death for being the best mate of the 'Chosen One'.

"So, to begin the torture I just promised you," and with that almost non-existent warning, Hermione added, "Crucio! Crucio! Crucio! Crucio! Crucio!"

She couldn't help laughing as she watched Ron flopping on the ground, screaming, with blood pouring out of his mouth because his jaw continually closed due to the flopping with his tongue hanging out due to the screaming. His arms came up and his fingernails ripped half-inch deep gouges from his shoulders, across his chest, and down to his hips. He pulled his hair out and writhed on the ground.

Finally, she let him come up for air. He looked at her with nothing short of a mixture of pure hatred, fury, and disbelief that she had managed to withstand that.

"Well, honey," she addressed Draco, "it looks like it's your turn."

So she laughed again as Draco magicked a whip out of thin air and started striping Ron's back. Thwap! Thwap! Thwap! Again and again and again the whip fell against his back, with Ron belatedly screaming in pain.

Finally, after quite some time of Draco's own particularly damaging kind of torture, Ron was truly within an inch of his life. "Take him to the Dark Lord, love," Hermione said with a grin.

"You be careful, sweet," Draco told her, and he Apparated to within walking distance to the Dark Lord's hideout.

Hermione smiled after him, and then turned and disappeared back into the house to rejoin the battle that was continuing.

She walked through the hallways, staying out of the way and keeping to the shadows, and only occasionally sending a stunner towards someone on the 'Light' side that appeared to be winning. The Death Eaters didn't look to see who had helped them, just continuing to fight.

She made her way up some staircases where the battle had either already moved farther up, or was still farther down. The hallways were empty. Then, suddenly, she heard footsteps. There were two strong beats of boots—obviously men's footsteps, and a rather high-pitched squeaking that sounded like someone was digging their heels into the floor, coupled with rather too high-pitched shrieks and demands that they 'Let. Her. Go!'

Hermione stepped from the shadows where she'd hidden when she recognized Ginny's voice.

Ginny's struggling stopped suddenly when she saw Hermione, evidently shocked. Then she started struggling again, struggling in earnest. "'Mione! 'Mione! Help me!"

Hermione looked at the two men, and they nodded that they had, indeed, taken her wand. She nodded in acquiescence that could let go of Ginny now.

They did, and Ginny ran into Hermione's arms. "'Mione! Come on! We have to go!"

Hermione held tightly to her best friend. "No we don't," she said.

Ginny looked at her as though she'd just admitted to failing a class last year. "What? What do you mean, 'no we don't'? Of course we do! Let's go!"

"Ginny, would you relax for a moment?" Hermione asked.

Ginny frowned, but looked at her, seeming to forget about the Death Eaters for a second.

"That's better," Hermione said before continuing. "Ginny…listen, Ginny, I know that you, too, were…hurt by both Ron and Harry, and everyone else that was at those D.A. meetings…"

Ginny stiffened at stared at her, as though not believing that Hermione would bring that up.

"Ginny, listen to me. Listen….You were there at the last D.A. meeting, right?" Ginny nodded. "So you know how many Crucio's I got?" Another nod. "On the train the next day, I ran into Malfoy." Ginny looked at her warily. "He called me a Mudblood, and I just said, 'Hey, Malfoy,' in return. He looked like I'd hit him over the head, like maybe he was close to fainting from sheer shock. He asked me why I'd called him that, and I was so tired, that I told him the truth. I said it was his name and I was mad at him. He stared at me, and he looked even more shocked. So I ignored his gaping and went to find a compartment. He came to talk to me, obviously confused. I was just about to tell him what was happening, and why we were mad at him, when Ron and Harry got there. Harry told me to tell him to leave. I wouldn't. So Harry Crucio'd me seven times. The next thing I knew, Draco had hexed Ron with some sort of out-of-reality hex and was on top of Harry with his wand to Harry's throat. After he took care of them, I told him the story. When the train stopped, he took me with him to Malfoy Manor. We got there and his parents were suspicious, but I only needed another seven Crucio's for Lucius to believe me, and then Narcissa hurried me upstairs into a room. She basically adopted me, already," Hermione finished with her story and was a bit shocked to see Ginny crying.

"Oh, why didn't we go to him sooner, Hermione?" Ginny sobbed. "He'd have protected us."

"Yes, he would have," Hermione said sadly. "and he still will. Come with us."

"Mum…" Ginny said immediately.

"Ginny, your mother will be fine. She wouldn't want you to stay here on her account if she knew what was happening to us. Come with us."

"Where is Draco?" Ginny asked.

"We sort of ran into Ron outside earlier," Hermione said, "and once we were both finished with him, Draco took him to the Dark Lord."

Ginny sniffled and hugged Hermione. "Yes, please. Take me with you."

Hermione smiled at the younger girl and nodded to the two Death Eaters that stood in front of her.

Ginny turned to face them, but looked at Hermione uncertainly. "It might help if she knew who you were," Hermione said helpfully.

"Gregory Goyle," said the one on the right.

"Blaise Zambini," purred a voice from the left.

Ginny's face lit up considerably at that. Blaise stepped forward and took her hand, quickly escorting her to the back door, where they Apparated away. Goyle and Hermione were almost to the backyard when a spell hit Hermione in the back. "Shit," she hissed. "Go, Goyle. Go get people to help get me out. They won't kill me right away."

Goyle looked at her uncertainly, but did as he was told to and disappeared before any hexes could be tossed his way.

Suddenly, the other properties of the spell that had previously only been preventing her from moving activated, and she fell over onto her face as everything went black.

"Hermione?" a voice called when she was in the process of regaining her senses.

"Mmmrmrmmmrm…" she moaned.

"She's awake! Oh, thank Merlin!" Mrs. Weasley said happily.

"Well, 'Mione?" Harry said, glaring at her so fiercely she cringed. "Are you going to explain what you're doing here, 'Mione? Are you going to explain to me why Death Eaters attacked my house?"

Hermione finally snapped. "It's not your house, you bastard! It's Sirius's house! You're the reason he's dead!" She ignored the gasp that came from Mrs. Weasley at her outburst. "I'm tired of it! I'm tired of you thinking you own the world! I've had enough of being raped, and I've had enough of the fucking Cruciatus curse, and I am—"

"Crucio! Bitch! How dare you talk to me like that! Crucio! You whore, don't act like you didn't like having Ron in you! You're a little whore, or course you do! Crucio! You're tired of it, hmm? Well, if Ron was here, maybe I'd have him do it again! Crucio! Crucio! Cru—"

Mrs. Weasley had incapacitated Harry, and walked over to Hermione. "What?" she asked.

Hermione looked up into Mrs. Weasley's eyes and Molly almost fainted at the dead blackness that was there. "Ron raped me, Mrs. Weasley. And Harry cast a record number of Crucio's on me. Seven, actually, was the previous record, but I suspect he was mad enough tonight to do it until I dropped over dead."

Mrs. Weasley looked at the girl that sat there, telling her everything so matter-of-factly.

"I didn't come here after school got out because I'd told Draco Malfoy my problems. He got me out. He took me to the Manor, and Narcissa's come to love me already. Lucius was suspicious at first, but he believes me now, and they won't let any more harm come to me. Ron took my virginity, and I mean he really took it, but Draco's shown me what it should have been, and what it is going to be, if I can ever get out of this godforsaken place. I know you won't want to hear this, but I tortured Ron in the backyard earlier. Then Draco did. Then he Apparated him to the Dark Lord, and I strongly suspect that Tom has taken care of him already. If not, then he'll torture him a bit more before finally putting him out of his misery. Tom, you see, rather dotes upon his followers. He knows what Ron did to me. He is concerned for me, and, since I belong to the Malfoys in nearly every sense of the word, and they are his faithful servants, he is also concerned for me on their behalf. Yes, I highly doubt he's still alive."

Mrs. Weasley fell to the floor sobbing. "I had Blaise Zambini take Ginny away from here," Hermione said.

Horror dawned in Mrs. Weasley's eyes. "They hurt my baby girl?" she asked.

Hermione nodded once in sympathy. "Could you please let me go and then get away from this yourself? Harry'll hurt you, since you know."

Molly nodded, scared. She flicked her wand at the chains that held Hermione where she was and handed her her wand, which had been lying on a table. "Take care," she said.

"You too, Mrs. Weasley. Go into hiding. Don't let anyone find you."

"I will, dear."

With that, they both simply walked out of the house. Mrs. Weasley went to stay with some very distant relatives, while Hermione Apparated as close as possible to Malfoy Manor.

Reaching the door, she rang the bell and stood nervously on the doorstep.

"Hermione!" Narcissa enveloped her adopted daughter in a hug. "Thank God you're alright!"

Hermione hugged her back. There was the sound of footsteps, and Lucius appeared in the doorway. He held out his arms for a hug, and Hermione relaxed into her foster-father's embrace.

He moved away and Draco stood there, blinking at her. "It's been three days," he said.

Hermione gasped. Draco bit his lip and wrapped her in his arms tightly. Hermione couldn't breathe, but she ignored that fact and simply tried to press herself tight enough against him that they would fuse into one.

"I love you," Draco said quietly.

"I love you, too," Hermione said in response and buried her face in his shoulder, overcome with emotion. "Ginny?" she asked after a while.

"Fine. She's at Zambini Manor. Turns out she and Blaise had always had a thing for each other." Hermione grinned.

Narcissa watched them, and walked over to her husband. "They'll be married in a year, and we'll have children running around here again soon. Hopefully Potter can be defeated as soon as possible and our grandchildren can grow up in a safe environment."

Lucius smiled down at his wife. "I feel rather inclined to believe all of that, my love."

Indeed, no one could know exactly how true that was. Draco proposed to Hermione in August, and they got married in April. They had three children. The oldest, Sirius Black Malfoy, was born in the middle of December. Andromeda Molly Malfoy was born two and half years later, with a spring birthday. Trixi Nymphadora Malfoy, the youngest, was two years younger than her sister. Her birthday was exactly seven years after Harry had finally been captured and killed, and peace restored to the wizarding world. They all grew up happily in a world that had been piecing itself back together for quite some time, but they didn't need to worry about the threat of Harry, and they were spoiled by their grandparents, grandmother's sisters, and other members of the family, including Tom Riddle, Sirius's godfather. They grew up surrounded by love, and they knew only the stories of the horrors that their parents had known.