Disclaimer: The 'verse and the characters are JK Rowling's – all hail the supreme creator! I'm just gleefully playing in her sandbox, and own nothing except for my original plot concepts and characters, so please don't sue me; you'll get no joy from that anyway :D

Author's Note: And thus begins the sequel to The Risk-Reward Ratio. You'll want to read that first if you want to make any sense of this, whatsoever. The prologue should be up within the week – I'm working on it right now, and if you've read The Risk-Reward Ratio, you know I can work fast :)

Trigger Warnings: Graphic violence, explicit sexual content, graphic torture – hell, graphic everything – rude language, and ten times your recommended daily intake of angst.

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The Just World Fallacy

They say that people get what they deserve. That bad things happen to bad people. That the guilty will always get their just deserts. They speak of karma and fate, and all those pretty, meaningless words.

They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. That people can adapt to anything, given time. They say that the universe doesn't give you more than you can handle, as if it somehow knows.

They say, that everything turns out okay in the end, and if it isn't okay, it's not the end.

Hermione hopes that last one is true, because she knows for a fact that the others are not; knows it right down in her bones – the heavy, leaden truth of experience. But that last one, well…she is waiting to find out.

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