Disclaimer - Harry Potter et al belong to J. K. Rowling.

This is the first time I've tried this pairing so please let me know if they get too OOC.

Beginning is set between HBP and DH but Dumbledore died from the Horcrux and Snape is still in the order.

Having made sure the room was empty, the intruder climbed carefully over a half charred ceiling beam that had lodged unceremoniously through a muggle thing, sparking blue light, before stopping and glancing around. Nothing was left in one piece. Hearing a slight noise, the figure muttered 'nox' and stepped to the side of the only clear path, darkness descended and footsteps were heard in the back room.

"You're a fool", Rookwood's voice echoed through the silent house, "get the mudblood while I conjure the mark and you can tell the Dark Lord how it happened". A man entered still wearing his mask, the end of his wand aglow. He moved to the far corner and stooped to pick up a bundle, never hearing silent feet or the 'Avada Kedavra' whispered behind him. Catching his body before it hit the floor, two black clad arms lowered it silently. Grabbing hold of the girl, her rescuer felt for a pulse, there wasn't one. The figure scowled and disapparated before Rookwood came to see what was going on.


"What do you mean she wasn't there?"

"She... wasn't... there". Tonks repeated slowly, "Mad-Eye, Kingsley and I got to the house, there was a dead death eater, but Hermione wasn't there".

"Looks like she got there in time though" Moody said stumping angrily into the room, "parents were gone. The cowards always travel in packs... at least she got one before they took her, looks like she put up quite the fight too".

"Took her?" Ron asked, his voice catching.

"If they'd killed her there'd be a body and if she'd escaped, she'd never have left this behind" he said bluntly, throwing her wand on the table in front of him.

"Voldemort's got her alive" Harry said hollowly, for once too concerned to comment on the general flinching at the name. "We'll we've got to get her back and fast".

"We've got to find her first" Remus pointed out.

"We'll come on then" Harry countered as he and Ron started up, "the first place to try is Malfoy Manor".

"Now you won't do Hermione any good rushing around willy-nilly" Molly said stopping them, "You're not thinking properly..."

"Mum she's in trouble" Ron pointed out unnecessarily.

"Yes dear I know, but you should see if anyone had heard anything before you go anywhere. You won't help Hermione, if you get caught yourselves".

Alastor grunted his agreement, "Kingsley should be back from the Ministry soon, he went to make the report".

"Harry, just wait until we see if we have anything to go on" Remus added, wondering where Snape was.


Dumping the mudblood's body on the bed, Bellatrix Lestrange gazed down at her for a moment before removing everything she could find in the pockets of the girl's jeans and jacket, scowling again when she could not find a wand.

Her arm began to burn and she knew she had run out of time. Since she couldn't risk the, admittedly unlikely, possibility of her waking while she was gone, she quickly took a phial from a drawer in the cabinet by the bed and forced the girl's mouth open, the liquid trickled in. Satisfied, she picked up another phial and left the room.

Warding the door she ran upstairs, going through and concealing the door at the top. She walked to their bedroom, Rodolphus was lying on the floor exactly where she had left him and it didn't look comfortable. She took out her wand, pointed it at her husband and cast a particularly complicated false memory charm, before half unlacing her corset, then standing him up and un-tucking his shirt. Hoping that he would be conscious by the time they got there, Bellatrix forced the liquid in the phial into his mouth and apparated.

Even by his usual standards the Dark Lord was in a bad mood. Rookwood, coming back empty handed, bore the brunt of it, but other, more minor failures, were also severely punished. Bellatrix, as always, tried to cast doubt on Snape's loyalty. Unfortuately for her, Snape had an alibi in the Dark Lord himself and she knew that it was only the overly detailed account from her husband, about what they had been doing with their time, that saved her from Cruciatus. Mulciber's crass comment about her kinks earning him that pleasure instead. Having been married to Rodolphus Lestrange for over a quarter of a century, Bellatrix was no stranger to his love of bragging. The fact that he had nothing to brag about, she kept even from him. She brought her mind back to the matter in hand as her Lord started again on Rookwood, questioning him in minute detail. A sneer appeared on her face as he spoke, at least she had an idea of what was wrong with the mudblood now.


Bellatrix had joined the Dark Lord because he had recognised her worth, she was not a witch designed for deferring to her husband, raising babies and cooking meals. She needed free reign with her considerable powers and acknowledgement that she was the best at what she did. In that respect she wasn't all that different to the girl she was now gazing at, still apparently dead, in front of her.

After considerable effort they had managed to subdue the girl. The idiot Rowle, who had been guarding her, had taken it upon himself to pour veritaserum down the mudblood's throat, probably hoping to discover anything of value in the house. She immediately fell unconscious and he left her in a panic. Rookwood had no explanation for this but Bellatrix did. When they were first married, Rodolphus had told her that he carried a draught of living death with him, in case of capture and that she was always to try and revive him, before she buried him. She couldn't count the times she'd itched to give it to him herself in the intervening years but she was betting Rowle had carried one and in his haste had given the mudblood the wrong phial. Rookwood had told the Dark Lord that the girl must have been pretending and managed to kill Rowle, Bellatrix had snorted internally, Snape however was not so discreet.

She remembered the Dark Lord turning, "you have something to say Severus?"

"I am sorry My Lord, but the idea is ridiculous". The death eater replied.

"And why is that? You think Rowle could not be tricked?"

Snape considered his words, "No my Lord, I think the Mudblood is perfectly capable of tricking him, I do not however, think she is capable of killing him".

"You may be right Severus, but the fact remains she is not here. Go back to Hogwarts, find out what has become of her and if she had help to escape".

Honour was such a pesky thing, Bellatrix mused. Giving the mudblood to her Lord would show them all how powerful she was, though it might be a little tricky to explain right now. Walking over to the bed, she moved the girl's arm and cursed Rowle again as it flopped to one side. This should have been easy, go in, save the girl and get back to torturing muggles, now she was stuck with an unconscious house guest. She wondered if she could dump the mudblood somewhere the order would find her, would they check before mourning their loss? Could she leave the girl anywhere unconscious and wandless? At least here she was safe, a twisted smile appeared, no-one would have believed that if she had said it aloud, still for the moment, at least, it was true.

It would be amusing, she mused, watching both the order and her Lord trying to find her, while knowing exactly where she was. Then again, the sooner the mudblood was up and reunited with her little friends, the sooner she could repay her properly and crucio her into St Mungo's. Bellatrix grinned and wondered if a curse or two was possible as she had, technically, already saved her, pointing her wand she said, "crucio" and this time nothing happened.

She recalled the last time she had cursed the mudblood vividly, she had been running low on supplies for Rodolphus' potion and was in the forbidden forest looking for the sopophorus beans, that she knew Snape grew there covertly. She had just stepped into a clearing, when she heard a crashing sound coming towards her and quickly stepped back in to the cover of the trees. All at once the oddest sound reached her ears, a giggle, she was sure that was what it was and a feminine one at that. Then Hermione Granger of all people, ran into the other side of the clearing and she couldn't believe her luck.

Quickly stepping out into the open she pointed her wand, "crucio" she said by way of introduction. The girl screamed in pain and the death eater laughed, paying no attention now to the crashing noise that was still coming towards her. As Grawp entered the clearing he saw Hermione on the ground and charged the woman in black, who was clearly causing her pain. Bellatrix did not have time to react and found herself backhanded into a tree, becoming unconscious as a large fist came towards her. She did not know what had happened then, but she awoke to the dark, the cold forest floor, her wand and a note.

Dear Mrs Lestrange,

I could have let Grawp tear you limb from limb.

I could have handed you over to the Ministry or to the Order.

I chose to do none of those things.

You may regard me as a lower form of life but I still have free will. Unlike you I am not a mere minion of a madman. A witch with such formidable powers as yours should be able to find a better use for them than pain and death, don't you think? I hope, though do not expect, that you will think on this.

In any case I imagine my form of revenge is worse, since you now owe a mudblood a life debt.


Hermione Granger

She glanced down at the unconscious girl again and thought back to the conversation she had had with Snape, that fateful night at Spinner's End. It seemed that Harry Potter's luck had rubbed off on his friends, though whether this one was more talented still remained to be seen; she was certainly no more intelligent and a good deal too goody-goody to survive for long, especially if she thought The Dark Lord's most loyal follower was redeemable. Bellatrix sneered, she may have been compelled to save the mudblood temporarily, but it was yet to be decided if that was the lesser of two evils.

Please R & R and let me know what you think. I have some ideas as to where the story will go but is it worth carrying on?