Written for dramione_remix fest over at Lj. The concept is to choose an existing pairing, use them as inspiration and create a Draco/Hermione story.

Chosen Pairing: Tate Langdon/Violet Harmon (American Horror Story)

Warning: AU from the battle in Hogwarts (6th year) onwards. Character deaths, dark themes and angst galore. Rating is upped because of the themes of this story. Thank you so much to the lovely Dormiensa for betaing this. And to all those who read this story… Don't hate me. ;P


These Stolen Lights

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Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

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Her father called her special once. He used to put her on his lap and read stories about far off places, about knights and monsters and damsels in distress. The damsel is always taken, the monster always guards her, and the knight always saves her. But her father had other ideas against the popular stories that were told. He used to hug her and say that she was the knight and not the damsel, she was the one who would be doing the saving.

She used to laugh and push back his glasses that usually fell low on his nose. His hair was brown, just like hers, but his eyes were a different colour and full of love.

She's grown up thinking that anything is possible, that all things work out. If there is a battle, good triumphs over evil because that is the way things should be.

No one speaks of the losses both sides must suffer in a war.

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The marble floor is unyielding against her cheek. Her back is stiff, her head aching, and when she looks up, her eyes burn.

She can hear sounds of people screaming. There is so much screaming—too much—the sound curdling her blood and thickening her skin. Her back hurts, her leg burns, and when she looks down at her hand, all she can see is red. Her hand shakes as she rubs the blood between her fingers.

She feels the sting of tears and sees everything through blurred, salty eyes. They all move around her swiftly, as things break and the ceiling collapses around her. But no one looks her way; no one sees her.

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He raises a hand to her forehead, letting his fingers brush her hair gently off her face.

Her chest tightens with something she does not quite understand. She knows him from somewhere; that much she knows. She knows him.

His pale hand cups her jaw as he looks at her, his grey eyes watching as each breath is pushed forcefully through her mouth.

"I know you." Her voice is whisper soft and too hoarse to carry far.

"Do you?" he asks quietly. He is covered in dust, a bruise forming on his cheek and a trail of blood trickling down the corner of his mouth. There is pain in his eyes and Hermione doesn't quite understand why.

She starts to nod, but the pain in the side of her head is too much. She smiles instead, her lips lifting upwards just a little as her eyes droop in exhaustion.

"I know you," she says again, before speech fails her and her consciousness is lost. "I know—"

She is so tired. She is just so very tired.

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She hears her name, more than once. She hears it over and over like a whisper in the wind.

Hermione, it says. Hermione, it says again.

She closes her eyes and thinks…

No.

Not yet.

I'm not ready yet.

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She sits in silence sometimes, her knees pulled against her chest and her cheek resting on her legs. She traces the stone at her feet, letting her finger find the groove between two slabs and follow the path it leads.

She notices something on her first try. No matter where she starts, no matter where her finger is, if she traces the groove carefully and follows the path as is intended, her finger will come to rest at the very place she began.

It is the first thing she learns. It is the first thing she remembers.

It is the first thing that makes her smile.

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He stares at her, the boy with the white-gold hair. He watches her as she moves, his eyes studying her over the heads of all those who surround him. Perhaps he knows her. Perhaps he means to speak with her.

She does not ignore him the way she thinks she should. He does not ignore her, like she expects he must, his eyes drifting over to her every other minute, like it is an afterthought, like it is a habit that he cannot shake.

She supposes that there is no harm. He can see her while others can't.

The day she smiles at him, he turns on his heel and leaves.

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"Can't you leave?"

She looks up in surprise. It's dark, but he holds a light on the tip of a wooden stick as he looks to her for answers. "Leave?" she asks carefully.

"Leave," he whispers harshly. "You're always here." He looks up and she follows his gaze. All she sees is stone around her: a staircase and a small corridor that is more than enough. She does not understand what the problem is.

"Why should I leave?" she asks instead.

He looks tired with dark circles under his eyes. She feels sorry for him.

"Do you want me to leave?"

He is silent for a moment, his face a mask as he considers her. "N—" He stops suddenly and shakes his head. "Yes."

She cocks her head to the side to regard him as he has just done. "All right."

He is taken aback for a moment and blinks rapidly at her. She finds it endearing, his confusion. And like the last time, when she smiles, he turns around and leaves her alone.

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She dreams while she is still awake. There is a meadow, sometimes, or a splendid waterfall in the middle of a forest. She hears the sounds of birds in the stone surrounding her, calling to her, calling for her.

And they say her name, again and again.

Not yet,she still thinks, stubborn and determined and feeling so much more than she once remembers.

Not yet.

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He comes to see her the next night and the night after next. He comes to her every night and asks her when she will be leaving. His tone is desperate, his eyes scared.

She shakes her head and says that she does not know. It's true. She doesn't. She does not know anything. She simply sits on the stone and waits because she knows that much.

She knows that she must wait.

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"When was the first Goblin Rebellion?"

She frowns. "I don't know."

"Who was the 'Disgraced Minister'?"

She thinks for a moment. "I don't remember."

"When was Hogwarts founded?"

"What is a Hogwarts?" she asks.

He comes to her often now, the boy, with a book in his hand and a thousand questions ready to leave his lips. He watches her as she tries to remember, as she tries to tell him that she does not know what he is talking about. She does not understand most of the words he says, but she tries. She tries so hard.

He leaves her with a tired sigh and she feels her chest constrict.

She does not like disappointing him.

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"Why am I the only one who can see you?"

His voice is soft, curious, and she senses something more behind the question. Perhaps, if she was sure, she would think it was anguish.

She isn't that sure.

"You're the only one who can see me?" She cocks her head to the side to study him.

He is silent for a moment as he leans against the steps opposite her. She looks at the green of his tie as she waits for him to speak.

He rubs his tired face with pale, thin hands and sighs deeply. "It doesn't matter."

"It doesn't?" She thinks that it might.

"No," he says, with his grey eyes filled with something other than conviction. "It doesn't."

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He tells her stories; such lovely stories. He sits beside her on the stone floor as he tells her of a war and of battles, of a thing called magic and a thing called history. It reminds her of a time long ago, when someone with a friendly voice used to tell her stories, too. He says that all things changed because of another boy. This boy who escaped with his friends is in hiding as he waits for the right time to strike. This boy named Harry Potter is going to be the other side's undoing.

She looks up then, the name so much more familiar than the stories he tells her. She wants to know more. She craves knowledge above all else. But when she questions him, he stiffens and looks away.

He does not mention that name ever again.

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"They hurt you," he tells her one day.

She looks at him curiously because he looks so sad. She does not understand why. Why should the boy ever be sad?

"Who?" she asks curiously.

He shifts closer to her, his eyes on hers. "The people I fight for. They hurt you." He looks away from her eyes briefly, his gaze landing on her hair. "They hurt you right here," he says as he raises two fingers to the side of her head. She feels the hollow of her skull sometimes, her eyes studying the red that colours are fingers when she takes her hand away. She wonders if this is why she does not remember things that she should. She wonders if this is why she doesn't feel the need to leave.

"Why?"

He swallows as he drops his hand. He shifts even closer. "You were fighting on the other side."

"The wrong side?"

He shakes his head and laughs, his eyes screwed tight and his shoulders shaking in a way that makes her think that maybe he is crying. She smiles, too, even though she does not know what is so funny. It does not strike her as odd that she cannot laugh—not really.

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The grass is cool under her fingers, the sun warm on her face. She laughs happily as she skips through the field, her brown curls whipping across her face and soaking in the sunlight. The grass is as tall as her knees and they tickle her every time she moves.

She studies the clouds in the sky: their shapes, their sizes, their colour. Such pretty clouds that are not just white. They remind her of things. Of a forest full and green, a bubbling brook, and a colourless stream. She can hear the music of the birds, quiet at first, but then they become louder and louder. They are saying her name.

Hermione.

Hermione.

Hermione.

She has no care in the world, and they are calling her name.

Hermione.

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There is a sadness in him, something small but hurtful. She doesn't like it when he is silent.

"They know it's me, the Order," he says one day. His voice is soft, broken, it trembles in the darkness they sit in.

She wishes to reach out and touch him, comfort him, but she stays where she is, and she asks, "What do they know?"

His laugh sounds painful. "Everything." He leans his head back and closes his eyes. She watches the way his jaw twitches, the pale column of his throat. She thinks he looks beautiful in his sadness.

"What do they know?" she asks again.

His eyes open and he looks at her. There is pain there, regret and so much more. "They know that I am the reason why everything happened all those months ago. They know I let them in. They say they don't, but…" He looks out of breath for a moment before the rise and fall of his chest calms down and he says softly, "I hurt you. You died because of me."

She looks at him in confusion. He said someone else hurt her. She knows that he never would.

"I fixed something that I never should have. I let people in here. Bad people." He rubs his hand over his left forearm, his nails scratching at the material of his shirt like there is an itch that he can't scratch. His voice drops to a whisper. "I didn't know what I was doing. I never intended to cause all of this."

"You never hurt me," she says gently. That much she remembers. He had never hurt her.

But he shakes his head and looks away, his breathing ragged. "I don't know what to do. They will be after me soon." He lets out a shuddering sigh. "I don't have much time left."

She reaches out and takes his hand in hers.

It's the first time she feels warmth.

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They sit opposite each other on the stone floor, his thumb tracing her knuckles in small circles. "Do you feel anything?"

She inhales slightly when his palm touches hers and his fingers entwine amongst hers. "Yes."

It is warm where he touches her, so different from the cold stone that surrounds her. And when he brushes his fingertips against her skin, she feels a spark.

She watches him as he frowns, his eyebrows drawn together in concentration as his hand studies hers. He looks weaker than before, his eyes tired and his hair thin. She feels something akin to worry.

"Do you feel anything?" she asks.

His frown deepens as his hand circles her wrist. "No."

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"What's it like?"

She looks up from the floor, her finger pausing on the groove between two stone slabs to look at him. He comes in like this sometimes, stands there for a moment and does not say a word. She never notices him until he speaks.

"What do you mean?"

"What's it like? Your… life?"

She looks up at him carefully. She doesn't know. She has only known this life.

"Are you… happy?"

She frowns. Is she happy?

"Are you unhappy?"

She shakes her head. She doesn't think so.

Relief floods his eyes before he whispers, "Are you content?"

She smiles at him because she thinks that she might be. "Yes."

He swallows audibly before he leaves.

She looks back at the floor and begins moving her finger.

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His eyes are red rimmed, his skin pale. He is thinner than she has ever seen him, gaunt cheekbones protruding under stretched skin. His hands shake as they take hers in his.

He rubs his hands against hers and she sighs softly. He is so very warm.

"There is this… person. He was the one who told me to do the bad things that I did. He wants—" He stops, his voice choking as he trembles beside her. "He wants to see me tomorrow."

"Why?" she asks curiously.

"To kill me," he says softly. "I heard him talk it over with one of his… minions," he hisses in disgust. "He thinks me useless and a liability."

She lets her fingers curl around his as she concentrates on his words. She feels that what he says is important, that she should remember these words.

"He's not wrong." She hears defeat in his tone and she squeezes his hand. "I'm not like them. I tried to be, but I failed." His jaw tightens as his face clouds with a dark memory. "He already took my mother and my father away from me." He pinches and twists the skin of her wrist and she feels nothing but warmth. "I wish I could find them the way I can find you."

"Will you go?"

He is silent for a moment before his gaze reaches hers. "Do you remember what I told you? What today is?"

She thinks hard. He told her something; something important. He had said it a few times. He points outside, where a great hall is brightly decorated with lights.

"It's Christmas," he says softly.

"It is," she agrees. Even though she is not sure what it is, yet.

His smile hurts as he exhales softly. "I want to give you a present."

She smiles. She likes presents.

"You said you were lonely."

"Sometimes."

"But not with me."

She smiles wider. "No."

"I'm lonely, too." There are tears in his eyes, a slight quiver on his chin. "Unless I'm with you."

"What's my present?" she asks eagerly.

"Soon." He sighs, his shoulders hunched. "I have to go for a swim first."

"Okay."

He chokes back a sob before he raises her hand and places it on his cheek. He closes his eyes and brushes his lips against her palm. Her whole body tingles with heat.

"I wish I could feel you."

She feels her chest ache. She wishes the same thing. "You will," she whispers, because that seems like the right thing to say.

He breathes deeply into the palm of her hand and says again, "Soon."

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His skin is as pale as moonlight and his eyes as grey as a storm. He touches her sometimes, her hand, her cheek, his chilled fingers curling over her skin so he can lightly brush his thumb against her in soft, gentle strokes.

"If you could do anything, if you could be anyone—"

"I would be you," she says.

He laughs, the sound deep and hurtful. "Why?"

She looks off to the side, a distant memory clawing at the edge of her mind. But they are all colours and sounds and she can't remember much. "I don't know," she whispers softly, sadly. It upsets her that she can say the words and not understand. It upsets her that she used to know things that she can't remember now.

His smile falters and he leans forward. When he kisses her, his lips are as cold as ice. They are blue in her mind. Blue and cold and dead. She holds him close and decides not to let go.

Someone called her special once.

She thinks that he might be, too.

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Hermione, she hears again.

Hermione.

Hermione.

Hermione.

His hand is cold in hers and his smile is more radiant than anything she remembers.

She does not think 'not yet' anymore.

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When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Fin.

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A/N: 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep' is a lovely poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye which I've used at the beginning and at the end. It was originally written in 1932 and I found it quite fitting for this story.