I do not own Harry Potter.

Chapter Twenty: Epilogue

Draco stared unflinchingly into the cold, menacing face of the Dark Lord who sat before him on a grand throne. The other man's red eyes were fixated on himself. There was approval in his dark, unhuman eyes.

Could he even be called a man? Draco wasn't sure. They were alone in the large room, the dark, stone-walled room that his Aunt called her parlor.

The Dark Lord's thin lips twisted to bare his teeth in what Draco supposed was meant to be a smile.

"Ah, Draco," he hissed. "My protégé." Draco felt revulsion at the pride in the snake man's voice, but his face remained expressionless.

"My Lord," he said quietly, bowing.

"You have served me well, my boy. Very well indeed. I knew you would not disappoint me, and I was right. Lord Voldemort is always right," he rasped, looking down imperiously on the young man before him.

"Of course, my Lord," Draco mumbled. Liar, he thought. You expected me to die in the attempt.

"You have ridden me of one of my greatest foes, the most annoying and persistent obstacle in my quest for power, and you shall not go unrewarded. There is great potential in you, young Draco," the Dark Lord said, baring his teeth once more.

"Thank you, my Lord."

"I offer you the highest position. You will be my right-hand. You will be able to help myself track down the Potter boy and plot out this approaching war. Whatever you wish shall be at your disposal."

Draco did not flicker an eyelid through the offer. None of it appealed to him-his mind, his very being was set on one thing. Acting out the humble servant, he raised his eyes and carefully yet confidently met those of the Dark Lord.

"I am honored, and I thank you for the offer, my Lord, but I must decline. I'm afraid I only desire one thing and one thing only."

Voldemort seemed only slightly surprised at Malfoy's refusal.

"And what do you desire, Draco? You do not wish to join my ranks and become a Death Eater?"

"No, my Lord. And I want Granger."

"Granger...Potter's Mudblood friend?"

"The same."

Voldemort leaned back in his chair, forming his hands into a steeple.

"Ah, yes, I remember your request. I gave you permission to take her, boy, should she not be with you?"

Draco's jaw clenched. "I'm afraid she got away, my Lord. Weasely and Potter intervened, and she caught me unaware."

"Yes, I've been told the little Mudblood is exceptionally clever. But you must be cleverer if it is your will to capture her, young Draco." A glint of amusement shone in the Dark Lord's eye. Draco bristled but kept his tone polite.

"She is the only thing I desire, my Lord. I shall do what you ask of me, but I do not wish to become a Death Eater. If I capture her then we will obtain more knowledge on the Order and Potter. She could be a valuable asset to our side, my Lord." Draco kept his voice detached and cool, but made sure not to break his eye contact with the other man.

He was not afraid of him, and Voldemort knew it. Draco wasn't entirely sure if this displeased him or amused him, but he knew it would gain his respect, however.

The Dark Lord considered this appeal for a moment, fingering his wand as he thought.

"Very well, young Draco. You have your wish. Capture Miss Granger. I fear it may take a while, now that Hogwarts security has been heightened and surely she will be very strongly protected over the summer. Your only chance is once she returns for her seventh year. You must find a way to either breach the protection around the school or find a way to lure her here. I leave it up to you."

Draco bowed again. "Thank you, my Lord."

He walked out of the room at a brisk pace. Once he was outside, he turned and apparated to outside the gates of the Malfoy manor. He walked right through them, vaguely wondering where his father was, and entered the pristine white mansion. He waved away the House Elf that appeared once he entered and strode through many ornate halls and elegant rooms to find the one he was looking for.

Finding the door at last, he stopped completely, grasping the crystal doorknob gently as he pushed the door open. He silently made his way to the bed, and sat down on the chair beside it.

She lay on her side, facing him with her hands clasped in front of her above the sheets as though in prayer. Her long hair had been tied into a simple braid that fell down her back, over the high collar of her night gown. A light sheen of sweat coated her face, which held a pained expression even in slumber. Her breathing was labored.

His heart ached. How had this happened? He never should have left her in this condition. Guilt flooded through him, weighing him down. Unable to hold back any longer, he reached out and gently took her hands, rubbing his thumbs over her dry skin.

"Mother," he whispered.

Her eyes flew open at once, settling on him through her sleepy haze. She stared, drinking him in.

"I've come home, Mother," he said, and she smiled.


Draco shut the door quietly behind him, not wanting to wake her again. Frowning, he set off for a different room this time; his own. His thoughts took on a darker path as he made his way through his home.

Hermione had been in his grasp- had she not struck him with that book, she would be here now, begging for mercy underneath him as he thrust into her. He rubbed his cheek, where the bruises and his broken nose had been healed. He would make her pay dearly for that little stint.

Opening his door, he strode into his room and took the object out of his pocket, placing it onto his desk. Her scarf-the very same one he'd tripped her with. He fingered the soft blue material before he walked over to the double French doors that overlooked the grounds.

He could see her clearly in his mind, as though she were in front of him, sitting at her window seat, whistling softly as she knitted a hat. He recalled various images of her: her straining to reach a mug from the top shelf of a cupboard in their little kitchenette, her round, plump bottom demanding his attention. The way she made a little humming noise every time she yawned, how she had a habit of humming to herself as she ran her hands through her hair as she read when she was at the library, the way she had danced with him at the Yule Ball. The feel of her body beneath his, the way her breasts had felt in his hands, the warmth of her lips.

No doubt she'd be tucked away into hiding over the summer with Weasely and pathetic Potter. He smirked, remembering what he'd told him before he'd left. He would have paid dearly to see how shewould explain that to him.

He'd have to wait until September to formulate a plan to catch his elusive little bird. It angered him that he would have to wait so long to acquire what was rightfully his, but the Dark Lord was right. It would be near impossible to grab her over the summer.

Plus, the chase gave him something to do. How he loved a good hunt.

Draco grinned. You can't escape me forever, little bird.

This girl-with the deep, beautiful eyes and bright smile; with the skilled hands and wild, flowing hair, with the quiet sensuality and loud innocence was his, and he would make sure of it.

Soon.

Fin.


A/N:
Now there's the ending. Go ahead, review.

But before you click that review button, I've got news.

There will be a sequel to this. Seeing as I am rubbish at coming up with titles I have decided to stick with "His Persephone," though I send sincere thanks to all those who gave me suggestions.

I haven't a clue how long it will be, but I'm willing to bet it'll be a good deal longer than this one. And it will be dark. Darker than this one, even. It will contain non-con and some violence.

I'll begin updating sometime within the next month, I hope. I'm simply swamped at the moment with school work and I still need to figure out a few important things for HP.

Thank you for all of your kind words. The response I've gotten to this story is far better than I ever hoped it would be, so thank you. Your reviews are the best ever.

For all of you guys saying that this is the best Dramione fanfic you've ever read, I'm truly humbled. I've read far better ones than the ones I'm writing, but just hearing that from you guys makes me want to leap out at you guys from your computer screens and give you bear hugs. But that would be creepy. And against the law or something.

See you soon,

Charlotte