Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Hermione is forced to live up to a dark promise she didn’t even know she had made.  Was it worth her freedom to save Harry’s life?  Sequal to Harvest’s Keeper the Autumn story from 2017. You can read it as a stand-alone, but it will make the most sense if you read the other story first.

Warning: This story contains twisted minds and explicit sexual situations.

Rating: MA


Part 1: The Choice
Part 2: The Ritual

Part 1: The Choice

Hermione sat with her knees against her chest on the kitchen floor of 12 Grimmauld Place.  She fiddled with the necklace she had now worn for a month and tried to ignore the calm feeling it always gave her when she played with the skull pendant.

Next to her was a fully illuminated invitation to this year’s Malfoy Samhain ritual.  Unlike the others she had gotten throughout the year that had been addressed to Mustardseed and tucked into blank envelopes, this had been addressed to her directly.  She could still see the silver writing on the black envelope with his neat script: My Dearest Hermione Jean Granger.

She didn’t know if she was more nervous about the ‘dearest’ or the fact he didn’t see the need to hide her real name.  Of course, she couldn’t go, she thought as she shook her head.   She then noted that it was still before noon and if she wished to go she would still have plenty of time.

This was the main issue keeping her away from the boys that morning.  She had felt horrible when she gave Ron back his ring and told him they had just rushed into something neither of them was ready for.  It had been cold to no longer share her bed with him, but it was only fair since her choices made it impossible for them to ever actually be together.  He had been distant with her since she broke things off, but it could have gone a lot worse because there had been no yelling at least.

Her relationship with Harry was also strained as she had to lie to them both on a daily basis now.  It was no longer a matter of sneaking off for a day, she could no longer tell them who she was anymore.

She had changed so much since last year, but it simply wasn’t safe to tell them the truth.  Was it?  Sometimes she was convinced that she was endangering them by not telling them the truth.

She growled wishing she could toss the stupid necklace in the trash as it was the closest thing she could blame for all her problems.  But as it shifted forms in her hand she knew that she was about to have a visitor so she quickly shot to her feet.

“Harry.”  She said giving him a forced smile as he came into the kitchen.  “Something going on?”  She asked as she fidgeted with the now smooth orb in her hand.

“Starving.”  He said looking around the kitchen.  “Ron and I went for a little walk last night.”  He said as he walked over to the icebox to see if Kreacher had put any leftovers in there.

“Where’s Ron?” She asked alarmed for a moment before the redhead entered the room a moment later.  He had a black eye and was bleeding from a wound across his shoulder.  “RON!”  She yelled even more worried but he waved her off.

“It’s nothing.”  He said batting her hands away as she tried to check the wound.  “Just a flesh wound they weren’t actually throwing any deadly curses for some reason.” He said as he moved to Harry so they could unload the food onto the table together and make what seemed to be a growing feast.

“Who?  What happened?” She frowned as she looked between the two boys shocked they would go out without telling her.

“I just needed some air and Ron came with me.”  Harry lied to cover for his friend’s feelings.  “We ran into a couple of Death Eaters, Dolohov and Rookwood I think.”  He said frowning in thought as he passed something to Ron.

“Yeah only Rookwood got so pissed he sent a killing curse our way and Dolohov actually turned on him started calling him an idiot.  They ended up fighting each other and that’s how we got away.” Ron said shaking his head.

Hermione looked between the two with wide eyes.  How close did she come to losing both her best friend and her…  She squeezed the orb in her hand and took a deep slow breath.

“That isn’t all, tell her about the posters,”  Harry said as they finally sat down with what seemed the entire contents of the icebox.

“I nabbed one,”  Ron said and pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket to show her.

She took it and looked down at the poster.  It was like so many others with a picture of Harry, calling him Undesirable Number One.  The biggest difference was that it explicitly said it wanted Harry alive.

“What do you think that’s about?  Think he’s just gone over the bend about this thing where he needs to kill me himself?”  Harry asked looking to Hermione to understand things far better than him or Ron.

“Well, it does explain Dolohov’s behavior.  If that is true then I don’t think You-Know-Who would be very pleased with either of them if you died.”  She said wondering for the first time if his Horcruxes would protect him against an Unbreakable Vow.

She was so lost in her thoughts over the real cause of the Death Eater’s behavior that she completely missed when Ron left the room saying how he needed some sleep.  Harry stayed watching her as she watched the wanted poster.

“Hermione?”  Harry asked finally bringing her out of her own thoughts.  Out of habit, she glanced at the clock seeing it was nearly ten, if she wanted to go tonight she would have to leave by one as Voldemort wished for her to get ready there. “Hermione?” Harry said a bit more forcefully.

“What?”  She asked looking back to him as he had a very familiar black envelope in his hand.

Her eyes shot back to the place she had left it and the invention it had contained then back to Harry when she found nothing in that spot.

“What is this?  I know this handwriting Hermione.”  He told her holding up the envelope with her name scrawled on the front.  “Has he been threatening you?”  He asked getting to his feet suddenly as if Voldemort was about to burst through the door.

“Oh, Harry.” She broke because she was such a bad friend for everything she had done with his worst enemy and he was looking at her with such protectiveness that she just couldn’t stand herself in that moment.

“I won’t let him touch you, Hermione.”  He said as he moved towards her.

“Oh, Merlin Harry.”  She gasped covering her face as she just couldn’t look at him right now.  “Oh, Harry I’ve lied to you for so long!”  She gasped shaking her head because she just couldn’t do it anymore.

“What are you talking about?”  He asked putting a hand on her shoulder comfortingly.

“Last year.” She said through her hands.  “I’ve been in contact with him since that party last year!”  She said because she didn’t think he should be being this nice to her.

He helped her into a chair and pulled one over so he could sit in front of her.  “You need to tell me everything, Hermione.” He told her in a firm tone.

When she finally looked up at him she saw his determined expression and nodded slowly.  “I told you I participated in this weird ritual at the party last year.  And that my magic was affected by it.” She started and he nodded in agreement.

“What I didn’t tell you is that I was chosen by him to be an important role in the ritual.  I didn’t tell you that it made our magics want to be around each other.”  She said knowing she was explaining all wrong.

“Did he know who you were?”  Harry asked with a frown.

“Yes.”  She nodded as her hand went to the necklace for comfort but it drew his eyes to it as well and he looked at her questioningly.

“He invited me to another one and I went because I just couldn’t stop myself from being close to him.” She said feeling like such a traitor now that she had to say this all out loud.  “We made a bet and I lost so he made me go to third about a month ago and everything…” She shook her head because how could she explain what happened in the Sacred Grove?

“Right before you broke up with Ron.  He made you break up with Ron?”  He asked firmly and she nodded then shook her head.

“Ron and I were never going to work out.”  She said with a sigh.  “He just made me see that sooner than I would have on my own.  But more importantly, I made another deal with him.” She said finally looking up into Harry’s eyes.  “He’s taken an Unbreakable Vow not to be the cause of your death.”

“WHAT?”  Harry shot to his feet suddenly panicked.  “Hermione what could he have possibly wanted from you to agree to something like that?  What have you done?”

She swallowed thickly and looked at the necklace.  “I agreed to put it on.”  She said flushing as Harry got an angry expression on his face.

“Take it off.”  He demanded as he pointed to it and she had to shake her head.

“Even if I wanted to, it can’t be removed.  I don’t even know if he could take it off of me.”  She said uncomfortably.

“What is it doing to you, Hermione?  Is it a Horcrux?”  Harry asked his eyes wide with horror now.

“Mainly…”  Her voice broke and she shook her head as she was having a very hard time with not just collapsing in defeat.  “Mainly you should just hate me, Harry.  It doesn’t make me do anything.”  She said shaking her head.

“Hermione, how do you know that?” Harry asked moving back towards her because he could see his friend needed him.

“There is so much Harry that I don’t know how to say.  He wants me to go and do the ritual again tonight.  He wants me…”  She swallowed and took a breath as she shook her head.  “He wants me.”  She said it in a statement this time.  “The necklace makes it so I belong to him.”  She told him finally.

“Wait.”  Harry frowned as he took in everything she had told him.  “You don’t mean as one of his minions because you would never be one of his minions.”  He said carefully.  “What does he want you as Hermione?”

She shifted uncomfortably in her seat as a flush came to her cheeks as she thought about all the ways the Dark Lord wanted her.

“But you’re a muggle born!”  He said as if that would give her some protection from certain kinds of advances.  She wasn’t ready to explain the fact that she was purified by ancient magic and the blood purists saw her as a pureblood now.

“I should leave.”  She said suddenly making a decision.  “You’re not safe with me here.  You guys should keep searching and trying to destroy him.  I hope I’ve given you some…” She shook her head as she backed away from Harry.  

“Hermione you can’t leave,”  Harry said firmly.  “You’re not safe if he is after you.  We will protect you.”  He told her like the hero he always was.

“Protect each other.”  She said summoning the invitation to her hand along with the envelope.  “Don’t come after me.  And don’t do anything stupid.  No matter what I care about you guys.”  She told him as she almost got to the kitchen door.

“Hermione, don’t do this,”  Harry said in a panic as he realized her exact plan.  “Don’t sacrifice yourself for me.”  He said as he lunged and grabbed her wrist.

“I’m sorry Harry.  This is something I can do.”  She told him waving her wand. “Petrificus Totalus.”  She cast the spell knowing it would keep him from following her. “I’m so sorry.” She said again before running from the room.

She watched the clock on the wall of the muggle cafe and smiled to herself as it ticked to exactly one o’clock.  She thought about just going to him, she craved him now and it would be so simple to give in and become what he wanted her to be.  But she wasn’t going to let those feelings rule her.

She sipped her tea and opened her travel book as she tried to decide where she would go.  How far was far enough from him?  She was to the African section of the book when someone sat down at the table across from her and she glanced up wide-eyed to see Draco Malfoy sitting there in a long black coat.

“How-”  She started and then her hand went to the necklace.  “A tracker?”  She asked her heart thumping in her chest as she casually glanced around the busy cafe for a way out.  Would it have worked if she was still in Grimmauld Place?  No.  It may have been the only reason he hadn’t come for her sooner.

“I have orders to kill every muggle in here if you try to run,” Draco said coldly.  “You attendance at the event is mandatory.”

She closed her book as she glanced around at all the happy people talking and laughing and what this could turn into even with just Draco doing the damage.  If she stayed and defended these people he would call for backup.  If she ran she had no doubt Draco would follow his Master’s orders.

“Fine.”  She said nodding and putting her book into the pocket of her coat.  Draco watched her closely as she did so, probably worried she would pull her wand.  “I’ll come.  No reason to hurt anyone.”  She told him as she stood and let him take her arm to direct her out of the cafe.

“I am glad you can see reason, Granger.”  He said as he fished into her pocket and withdrew her wand.  “Just so you don’t get any ideas on the way.”  He said to the scowl she gave him.

He led her simply to an alley around the corner and once they were alone she couldn’t help but pull out of his grasp.  “I’m never going to fuck you Malfoy.”  She said simply because the last time they had seen each other the Dark Lord had made Malfoy an offer that made Hermione’s skin crawl.

“I’m well aware of what you will and will not be doing Granger.”  He taunted as he pointed his wand at her with one hand and offered the other.  “Come here so I can Apparate us, or are you going to make me stun you first?”

She bit her lip and took his offered hand knowing he could still go back and kill all those people easily enough.  With a quick jerk he pulled her much too close before Apparating both of them into a private bedroom Hermione found familiar.

“You can Apparate onto Malfoy Manor grounds?”  She asked as he pulled out of his grasp.

“If you have the blood of a Malfoy yes.”  He said as if it was a known fact.  “Now if I give you back your wand do your promise to be a good girl for your Master?”  He asked taunting her again as if he wanted an excuse to hex her.

“Why would you give me back my wand?”  She asked frowning.

“Because he wants you to attend as his Mustardseed.  Not everyone knows who you are just yet.”  He said as if she was being dumb.

She nodded and bit her lip as she walked over to the window and saw them setting up for the ritual for tonight.  “Does he want me to play the Autumn Goddess again?”  She asked already knowing the answer as she watched the grounds.

“Obviously,”  Draco said as he moved towards the bed.  “I’ll have Derby come to help you with your costume.”  He said setting the wand down.  “You won’t make it off the grounds if you try to run Granger.  You should remember that.”

“I’ve never run before Malfoy.” She said not looking at him.

“You know where the bath is if you want to get cleaned up.  Tell Derby if you need anything.  Your presence will be required in the small dining hall at four.”

“Where is that?”  She asked still not looking at him.

“Derby will show you.  Do you need anything before I leave?”  He asked actually sounding sincere enough that it made Hermione look back at him.

“What would I need?”  She asked with a frown.  “That you could give me?”

Draco studied her eyes for a long moment before he spoke again.  “Granger, after tonight I’m pretty sure it will be common knowledge that we are equals, and it will be common knowledge that you belong to him.  You are a guest in my home and I’m at your service for anything that will not cross the Dark Lord.”

“Fine.  Thank you.”  She said shaking her head and looking back out the window.  She heard him sigh behind her before leaving her alone.

She couldn’t help but feel glad she at least had a chance to say goodbye to Harry before she was taken full-time into this life the Dark Lord had planned for her.  She wished she could have said something to Ron, but maybe she could write him a letter some day.

She left to go take advantage of the hot bath Draco had offered.  There was no need to go into tonight without feeling clean at least to start.  She was drying her hair when she heard the trademark popping of elf Apparition

“Derby here to help Mistress.”  The elf said as he appeared in the room.

“To help me dress you mean.”  She said before giving the elf a smile.  It wasn’t the elf’s fault after all. The blame for whatever her life was now would be completely due to Hermione’s own choices.

“Yes, Mistress.”  She said with a wide smile.

“Well, I can do the simple glamors myself.”  She told her as she started to dye her hair red and change her eyes while the elf shook her head.  “What?”

“Dark Lord tell Derby to make Mistress leave her eyes and hair make be white as bone.”

Hermione hadn’t even seen her own natural eye color in a while.  They had changed after the Sacred Grove but she had glamoured them every day to keep Harry or Ron from finding out.  When she let all glamours drop she walked over to the mirror to look at herself.  Shockingly her eyes were a bright yellow that was just starting to change to turn orange.  She knew the irises had a leaf shape to them now, but it was a shock to see them change with the seasons.

“Derby think Mistress is beautiful.”  The elf said surprising Hermione all the more that the elf would have an opinion on something like that.

“Thank you, Derby.  White hair?”  She asked with a frown before she changed the charm to drain all the color from her hair.  Looking at herself it looked so odd to see her frizzy curls done is stark white.

“For Mistress’ costume.”  The elf explained as it jumped to the dresser next to the mirror Hermione had been using to get better access to her hair.  “Derby will help Mistress dress and do Misstress hair and face.”  The elf told her firmly.

One glance at the little elf and Hermione knew she was already defeated so she simply sat down and let the creature do her work.

Hermione was standing outside the small dining room at exactly four o’clock and she was having a very strong urge to hex the Dark Lord so that he wouldn’t be able to perform any rituals that night or maybe ever again.

The elf had smoothed her curls to make them shiny and healthy.  She also had attended a few metallic silver ribbons to made her mane of hair sort of glitter in the light.  This Hermione had been okay with.  Next, instead of actually wearing a mask, Derby had done her makeup with white and silver to give her the look of a skeleton.  This Hermione had withstood, it was a part of the costume.

Then the dress came out and Hermione nearly hexed someone right there and then.  It was mostly made of a thin translucent material that was only there to hold the silver skeleton against the top half of her body in the right place. Stockings made of the same material continued to her toes and gloves have her a seamless look.  As she looked at herself in the mirror she felt it would be less lewd if she was wearing nothing at all, even though the outfit artfully covered her most private areas.

“I am not wearing this.”  She told Derby firmly only to have the elf take her hand and transport her to just outside the dining room door.  “DERBY!”  She growled as she tried to decide what part of her body needed to be covered first.

“Mistress must go in now.”  The elf said as Hermione glared at the creature, wishing to do real harm to an elf for the first time in her life.

When the elf took the choice away by making the door open on its own Hermione actually pulled her wand that had been hidden along the inside of her arm.  Derby was smart enough to disappear before she got a chance to hex the little thing.

When she looked up into the dining hall she realized everyone was looking at her, so she had little choice but to enter the room with her head held high.  She would not let Death Eaters know how uncomfortable she was wearing the non-dress.

The small dining room was set for twelve, and it looked as if the entire inner circle was in attendance.  She was surprised to see even Snape had made an appearance, sitting next to the Dark Lord’s left side.  He had never been invited to one of the pureblood gatherings before.

“Severus, have you met my newest little Mustardseed?”  The Dark Lord asked drawing her eyes to him.  He wore the same godly mantle he had the previous year.  His defined chest shown, but she noted it did not yet bare the runes for the ritual.

“You have a new one, my Lord?”  Snape asked in his blunt way making Voldemort chuckle.

Hermione made her way to him fuming about the ridiculous outfit and ready to give him a piece of her mind.

“Do not mind Severus my pet, he has always been a blunt man.”  He said as he took Hermione hand and kissed her knuckles.

“Nice to meet you, Mr. Snape.”  She said purposefully dropping his title like she had no idea he was the current Headmaster of Hogwarts.  She then turned her full fury on the Dark Lord, if only she could kill him with a look.

“Do you like your dress my dearest?”  Voldemort asked with mischief in his eyes as he took in her form.  He knew exactly how she would feel about something so revealing.

“This is not a dress.”  She growled as looked for a place to sit only to find the table was full.  “It’s good then that I don’t seem to be staying.”  She added as she turned on her feet to leave just before the Dark Lord pulled her into his lap.

“Of course you’re staying.”  He told her as he breathed in the scent of her hair.  “Forever.”  He whispered against her neck so only she would hear him.

Snape was already looking between the two of them suspiciously, she was sure he had never seen a woman talk this way to the Dark Lord without getting tortured.  But she was just too upset about this.

“Draco said you were very good when he went to pick you up.”  He spoke only loud enough that those close by could hear and another around the table started their own conversations as if there was a hidden signal of some kind.

“Where are you from Miss Mustardseed?”  Snape asked as if he thought the name was ridiculous as it truly was.

“All in good time, Severus.”  The Dark Lord said before Hermione had a chance to answer.  “I have a few announcements to make tonight which is why I called you here.” He told his loyal followers.

“I was wondering my Lord.”  Her old potion’s professor said without sounding like he had any capacity to wonder anything.  “Draco I see has a new position at the table.”  He said in way of making small talk.  “I’m not sure it has pleased everyone.”  He added dryly as he purposefully did not look at Bellatrix.

“Oh, I’m very pleased.”  The woman said turning her attention away from trying to kill Hermione by will alone.  “Draco is moving up in the world and he is my most favorite of nephews.”

“May I ask what you did that pleased our Lord so?”  Snape asked ignoring Bellatrix completely.

“I…”  Draco glanced at the Dark Lord for a moment and shook his head.

“He gave up his traditional claim to shag me a month ago.”  Hermione cut in making the Dark Lord hold on her tighten just a little, she wasn’t in the mood to play nice.  “But they don’t invite you to most of these holiday gatherings, do they.  I’ve never seen you around.”

“He’s half-blood, he wouldn’t fit in,”  Bellatrix said sneering at Snape.

“Well, you know…”  Hermione started when she found she had suddenly lost her ability to make sounds.  She glanced down at Voldemort’s wand hand to see his putting the piece of elm back in his pocket.

She frowned turning to look at him and he gave her a charming smirk that would not have worked on his snake persona.

“She does like to talk.”  Voldemort mused as reached up and ran a thumb over her silenced lips.  “If you don’t behave, my dear, I will have to put your mouth to better use.”  He told her as he moved her hand to his crotch under the table.  “Understand my pet?”  He asked lightly, but Hermione had realized just then the entire room was once again quiet.

Hermione nodded her agreement as she couldn’t help but flush.  When he lifted the spell she turned back to the others to give them a forced smile.  She could feel the silence charm lift so she turned back to Snape.

“That is too bad Mr. Snape.  They are interesting gatherings.”  She said instead of what she had originally planned.

“It’s Headmaster Snape actually.”  He said and then frowned as he realized she was the first to mention his surname.  “But you must have known that.”  He added coldly.

“Of course.”  She said pleasantly. “You made the papers when you…” She licked her lips knowing she couldn’t talk about the old Headmaster’s death with the proper amount of glee for this group.

“Yes well, Draco played a key role in that victory.”  The man said motioning to the boy across from him.

“Not that he had the strength to do it himself like he had been ordered,”  Voldemort said coldly.  “But he had since gained a backbone.”  He added sounding a bit pleased.

“My Lord, you know, maybe a little variety tonight will keep things interesting,”  Bellatrix said hopefully.  “I’m sure your little tart would be more than happy to service someone else.”  She actually had the nerve to say as she leaned over to show off her own ample chest.  “I know that Severus can’t have gotten laid in a while.”

When the woman’s words brought her attention to Snape she realized he was actually appraising her form and it made her shrink back against Voldemort even more.  This was the worst idea yet.  The Dark Lord had jokingly suggested others before but this was the worst of the lot.  She would never be able to wash the Potion Master.

“I think you’ve ruined my pet’s dinner, Bella.”  He said petting her neck gently as if to calm her.  “If you don’t behave I will be forced to move you further down the table.”  He said firmly seeming to make the woman meek.

“I’m sorry, my Lord.”  She said, but Hermione could see there were still wheels turning in the crazy woman’s head.

“She does have a lovely form, my Lord,”  Snape said as if he was trying to make her uncomfortable now.  “When you are done with her she will need a husband if she is to help continue the wizard race.”

“The Dark Lord has offered that honor to me.”  Draco cut in.

“I’m not actually cattle to be bred.  When our Lord is done with me…”  She started using the same inflection everyone else seemed to use.  “…I will not be handed off as some reward for a job well done.”

Snape’s eyes snapped up to her face as realization obviously dawned in his eyes and his posture became, even more, stiff if that was even possible.  She turned her head towards Voldemort’s ear just in case he didn’t notice the change in the Potion’s Master.

“I’ve given myself away.” She said making the older man squeeze her knee.

“Are we going to have a problem, Severus?”  He asked the man as his eyes darted between Hermione and the Dark Lord.

“No, my Lord.”  He said stiffly.  “As long as my Lord knows the kind of woman he is involved with?”  He asked cunningly hiding what he truly meant from those who could hear their conversation.

“I always know exactly what kind of women I make my own.”  He told his loyal man before turning the subject to what was happening at the school.

Hermione listened soaking up the stories of what was going on with her friends and how there was a group of underground students making trouble for the Headmaster.  As dinner was served she rolled her eyes at first as Voldemort held a bite of food from his plate to her lips.  He continued to speak with those close to them as if nothing was odd about the treatment so no one said anything.

It wasn’t until halfway through the meal that Hermione noticed she was wiggling in his lap as her body had slowly come alive in response to the sustained proximity to him.  Though it was soon after that she realized he was purposefully brushing his magic against her every time he fed her a bite as if to train her brain to not only like the treatment but be aroused by it.

“Please stop.”  She whispered in his ear as shifted to rub her legs together.  He set the food down and she let out a relieved sigh right before she felt him run his hand up her stomach to cup her breast in front of everyone at the table.

“Have you ever taken a lust potion when you were already turned on?”  He asked as he pressed his magic against her with an almost oppressive force.  She let out a little moan in response, and the table went silent once again.  “It can be mind-blowing.”  He promised as he trapped her pert little nipple between two fingers.

“Why?” She gasped sure that all eyes were now on them.

“Because I will be making an announcement about you my pet and you will be good while I do.  Won’t you?”  He asked moving his fingers subtlely so no one would notice the way he truly played with her body.

“I’m not one of your cronies.”  She reminded him, so he pinched the nipple painfully while moving his magic against her core directly.

Her head fell back as the pain and pleasure mixed sweetly in her brain.  “If you don’t behave I will make you beg while I let Severus fuck you right here in front of everyone.”  He warned darkly before moving his hand back to her knee.

He then turned to the group gathered.  “Now that the show is over and we are done with this delightful dinner.  As most of you know I have brought you together before this night of power to make a few announcements.  First I see that I will need to repeat myself about my orders to keep the Potter boy alive.  Potter should be subdued and anyone found casting deadly curses in his direction from this day forward will get a taste of some of my favorite curses.”  He said and Hermione started to think about the morning battle and figured he must already know about it.  “Treat Potter’s life as if it were your own.”

She wished she could get the same protection for Ron, but it was too late now, and she had already tried and been refused.

“What about his two little friends?”  Bellatrix asked hopefully.  “The red one and the mudblood?” She said savoring the word.

“Ahh, you see dear Bella he only has one friend left,”  Voldemort said as Hermione noticed confused looks as if they were waiting to hear if it was Ron or her who had been killed.  “The girl…” He started as he lifted Hermione’s chin and turned her fully towards the table.  “Is in fact no longer a mudblood at all thanks to your Sacred Grove.”  He said undoing the small glamors she had done to change her features.

The crowd erupted after that and she couldn’t help but shake a little in Voldemort’s arms at how so many very deadly wizards were now looking at her ready to kill.  “Shhh, you are all scaring my little pet.”  The Dark Lord said in a pleased tone as she couldn’t help but press further against him in the face of their anger.

“She defiled these noble rites!  She defiled our Sacred Grove!”  Bellatrix screamed her wand shaking in her hand.  “My husband’s Sacred Grove!  Surely she must die!”

“She has been tested and chosen by ancient power on several occasions Bella.  She has honored your husband’s Grove by being cleaned and birthing a new powerful pureblood line.  Something that has not happened in centuries.  Do you dare point your wand at me, witch?”  He hissed when Bellatrix did not lower her arm.

One hand moved to Hermione’s waist while the other pointed his wand back at the woman.  “Crucio!”  He cast before the other woman could answer.

Hermione nearly screamed with the woman as Voldemort let his power flow through her body.  It gave her a taste of how it felt to cast the spell correctly.  It lit up her already focused dark magic and nearly made her climax right there in his arms, it felt so good.

When the spell finally ended she found that she was panting just as much as Bellatrix was on the floor but for a completely different reason.  It felt odd to be in these mirrored positions.

“As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted.  Miss Granger here is now pure of blood and will make a great and ancient noble house even greater.  I have offered her my mark, and she has accepted it willingly.”  He said as his hand, still holding his hand, played with the black pendant she wore.  “Tonight we celebrate not only the coming darkness but our engagement.”

The room was silent which seemed to please the Dark Lord, but Hermione’s brain had locked up as well.  There was just no way she could even think how it was remotely possible that she had heard him correctly.

No. No no no.  No no. No no.  Hermione shook her head.  There was no way after everything she heard about him using women and then passing them off that he had just used the word engagement.

“WHAT!?”  Hermione was not the only one in shock over this it seemed.  Bellatrix pulled herself up by the table as she still shook with his last curse.  “YOU CAN’T MARRY THAT TART!” She yelled and Hermione was pretty sure she even stomped her foot.  “YOU DIDN’T MARRY ME AND NOW YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY POTTER’S WHORE!?”

“CRUCIO!”  Came the forceful cruise as Hermione jumped to her feet.  The other woman’s screams were louder than before, they rang against the walls and Hermione couldn’t help but savor them.  It felt even better this time as she watched the woman twitch and turn on the floor.  It was a long moment before Hermione realized she was the one casting the curse.  But the moment she realized what she was doing she dropped wand and ran from the room as best as she could in the ridiculous dress.

She had gotten to all the way to the front door when an arm wrapped around her waist pulling her against a far too familiar chest.  “You are beautiful.”  He breathed against her ear as he made sure she could feel his erection against her back.  “And all mine.”  He added as she shook in his arms.

“I didn’t…”  She started shaking her head as she tried to brush off how good she still felt from the curse and everything he had done to her so far that night.

“Not a single one of them is ever going to question my choice in you, Hermione.”  He said as his hands pushed the thin material of the skirt out of his way in a manic need to touch her.  “Not when Bella is still screaming.”

“Please?”  Hermione whimpered, her body craved to be touched, but her mind was rebelling, showing her exactly what she had done out of instinct over and over again.

He seemed to notice then how she was shaking in his arms and he dropped her skirt and spun her around instead.  He stepped into her and pushed her back against the door before forcing Hermione to look up into his eyes.

“She is your enemy.”  He told her as he searched her face for a reason for her distress.  “Your rival.”  He added narrowing his eyes.  “I didn’t force you to do that, my pet.  That was all you.”  He pointed out waiting for an answer to his unasked question.

She put her hands against his chest and nodded in agreement.  “I know.  She always says such awful things and then I remembered what she did to Sirius and Neville’s parents.” She shook her head and tried to push it all away.  “It just felt so good.”  She gasped.

“You’re a dark witch, of course, it felt good.”  He told seriously.  “I’m proud of you my sweet.”  He spoke to her in a soothing voice now.  “I had planned to make an example of her if she didn’t fall into line.  You did that for me in a show of your own power.”  He leaned down and gave her a soft kiss as he used his magic to calm her instead of exciting her.

She let him put her at ease knowing full well how he was manipulating her.  She started to think about all the things Bellatrix would want to do to her and innocent people.  Once she got a better control of her own emotions she remembered the reason for the woman’s outburst in the first place.

“What did you mean by engagement?”  She asked looking up at him with a frown on her face.  “I never agreed…”  She started before he cut her off with a kiss.

“Your eyes are lovely this time of year.” He told her as he pulled back and pushed strands of hair from her face.  “You truly are an embodiment of the Goddess so very connected to the power of nature.  I have to wonder if it will heighten the power of our rite tonight?”  He questioned speaking more to himself than her.

“You don’t get engaged.”  She told him firmly as he was trying to distract her from the matter at hand.  “You use women, and then you pass them off.”  She reminded him.

“I told you I would prove you were not like the others.  You will be mine forever Hermione.”  He told her as a smirk graced his lips.

“I’m not going to live forever, Voldemort.”  She told him setting her raw as she got ready for the anger over the use of his name.

He smiled brightly and brushed his fingers over her lips happily.  “We will see about that.”  He said as his hand trailed down to the necklace around her neck.  “I told you it had symbolic magic.”

“You did.”  She said looking away.  She realized then how public their little conversation was she couldn’t see the door to the dining hall from here, but she was pretty sure they were being watched.

“No one is going to believe I’m doing this willingly.”  She said after a moment.  She wondered what Harry would do when he found out about this new development.

“But you are doing it willingly, my sweet.”  He told her as he leaned in again and licked her lips. “I don’t need anyone else to know that but you.”  He whispered close to her face.  “We should return to our guests my dear.”  He added pulling back from her as he slipped an arm around her back to guide her back towards the gathering of his followers.

When they entered the room once again, everyone was still in their seat except for Bellatrix who looked as if she had passed out.  Narcissa was looking down at her sister with worry in her expression but had not dared move to help her.

Voldemort guided her to the head of the table, moving the chair away with a wave of his hand he pushed her to stand in front of him while he addressed his followers.

“As you can all see my intended has no issues with protecting herself from those who would do her harm.”  He said as his hand rested on Hermione’s shoulder, she could feel his thumb making light circles on her back as he spoke and new he was keeping her magically calm while he spoke.  “But before we leave this room I wish for all hear to understand what is expected of you tonight and as this news spreads throughout England.”

The room went silent after that, and she couldn’t help but feel very exposed as everyone just watched the two of them as the silence continued.

“Of course your most loyal servants offer congratulations on this happy occasion.”  Snape was the first to speak always being able to pick up one what was smart in these situations.  After him, several others offered their well-wishes, but she could still see the confusion in them.

“Lucius, Narcissa, your guests will be arriving soon, you should be ready to welcome them.”  He waved his hand dismissing the group of them, as he ran his hands down Hermione’s arms.

Narcissa seemed relieved as she and Rodolphus levitated Bellatrix from the room.  Snape stayed behind seeming intent on speaking to Voldemort in a more private setting.  His eyes moved between the ‘couple’ for a moment before his gaze landed on his master.

“I will be heading back to the school now my Lord.  Is there anything you wish for me to announce, or keep to myself once I return?”  He asked respectfully.

“There are several things we will discuss before you make any official announcements.”  The Dark Lord said.  “You are welcome to stay for the party Severus; it’s only the rite you may not directly participate in.”

“It would be an honor, my Lord.”  The dark man said bowing to them before leaving the room as well.

He didn’t speak again until they were alone.  “You were very good, my pet.”  He told her as he pushed curls out of his way so he could have access to her skin.

“I just don’t know what to do.”  She admitted as his lips trailed along the column of her neck.  “What could I possibly do?”  She asked knowing she needed time to think about this new plan of his.  “What are you turning me into?”

He chuckled against her flesh as his teeth nipped at her ear.  “Mine.”  He whispered like it was a threat.  “I have made you mine.”  He said before his tongue played with the edge of her ear and her body shivered without her consent.

“What if I don’t want to be yours.” She asked as her form once again came alive with his touch and magic so close.

“But you do my pet.  There is no one else nearly as worthy of you.”  He told her as he carefully wrapped his arms and magic around her.  “Tonight will bind our power together forever and make us stronger.”  He told her, making it sound inevitable.  “And when we marry, when we bind our powers, I will be all the more unstoppable, and you will forever be at my side.”

“I need air!”  She gasped because she felt like she was drowning in him.

He kissed the sensitive spot just behind her ear before turning her on the spot and easily lifting her to sit on the table.  “I do not wish for you to be a lost little lamb tonight.  You will continue to show them dragon that you are.  I will not have them thinking you are weak.”

“I need air.”  She gasped again because he wasn’t listening to her.  His mouth crashed onto hers and breathed magic into her.

She whimpered against his lips unable or unwilling to stop the delicious drug that was his presence as he overpowered and overwhelmed her whole existence.  After a moment there was only him, and he was her world.  Even when he pulled back to look at her she floated there in the silence of absolute power.

When she finally opened her eyes, she looked up at him, and he smiled knowing she was genuinely calm now.

“I don’t want you.”  She told him.

“Liar.”  He said with a smile gently stroking his fingers along her neck.

“I don’t love you.”  She corrected herself, and he merely shrugged.

“Love is unimportant.”  He told her simply.

She swallowed trying to catch her breath and clear her head.    “Do you have anything else I should know?”  She asked stiffly wondering how on earth he had chosen her, of all people, so entirely.

“Draco will be playing the part of the Hunter God this evening.”  He told her casually.  “You will allow him to prepare you.  It is only ink, and nothing he hasn’t seen before.”

“This dress is ridiculous.”  She added because she had initially come into the room wanting to tell him off and now that they were alone she could.

“You look dazzling in it.  Even Severus showed interest, and he hasn’t wanted anyone in nearly… sixteen years.”  He told her as if this should have been a compliment.

She blinked at him and tilted her head.  “How do you know the exact year in which Snape wanted someone?”  She asked humorlessly as she didn’t really want to think about the greasy git’s sex life.  

“The man doesn’t often beg, not like Lucius, so it sticks out in one’s mind,”  Voldemort said with a shrug.

Hermione blinked as she thought about the very idea of her stoic professor begging for a woman.  It made her curious even though she didn’t wish to be curious.  “What are you talking about?”

He chuckled and shook his head as he reached out and brushed his fingers down her cheek.  “You look lovely tonight, and I wish for you to move past your ridiculous modesty of yours.   You are mine now, and you will always shimmer in every way possible.  As I inspire awe and fear you will inspire desire.”

“I’m not a sexual object.”  She told him trying to shy away from the touch that was still affecting her ability to think.

“Tonight.  You are.”  He said patting her cheek finally before motioning to himself.  “And so am I.”  He pointed out as casually worse his handsome facade.  “Tonight you will no longer be little Mustardseed.  You have bloomed into Tatiana herself.”  He smiled offering her his arm.

“I need some air.”  She told him coldly because she wasn’t ready to face this particular crowd.

“Come with me.”  He told her, and after a slight hesitation, she took his offered arm.

Instead of going out into the main hall where people would start gather he took her out into a back hall obviously meant for servants to move around the Manor unseen.  He pushed open the door to reveal a small walled-in kitchen garden and smiled down at her.

“I will send someone to get you when it is time for you to join the party.”  He said with a smirk and she nodded glad to have the rest.  He leaned into her and captured her lips in a domineering kiss a moment later.  His hands moving to her spine as it felt like he brought every nerve in her body alive to his touch.  “So you don’t forget me.”  He said clearly amused at how much he could affect her.

She looked away not wishing to embarrass herself further as he left her alone in the little space.  There was a small stone bench in the center of the area, so she walked over and sat down, not caring if she got dirty at that moment.

Hermione looked up into the evening sky as the sun sank low on the wall.  Her body was still singing for the Dark Lord no matter how much she tried to push that feeling away.  She wanted him in so many ways, and it was painful to deny herself and painful to give in.

She looked down at the inside of her arm, she could clearly see the green marks on her skin through the dress.  Sex with the Dark Lord had become somewhat normal to her over the last year, he knew exactly how to make her feel wonderful, but now he was asking for so much more than sex.  Well, he wasn’t exactly asking, was he?

“My Lady.  It is time.”  Someone said pulling Hermione from her thoughts to notice the sun had gone down.  Hermione looked to the door and saw a smirking Dolohov with his hand mockingly positioned to welcome her to lead the way.

She stood and held her head high with her back straight as she moved passed him.  She wasn’t about to let him frighten her now.  Had he not seen what she did to Bellatrix.  She could curse him too and then they would all understand she wasn’t just something to inspire desire.  She could make them afraid just as easily.

When she moved to pass him his hand reached out and brushed her hip.  She couldn’t help but spin on the spot to face the slimy Death Eater.

“I must say, you’ve grown since the Department of Mysteries.”  He said looking at her in a lewd way.  “I’m really going to enjoy tonight’s show.”  He added motioning for her to continue down the hall.

“Are you stupid or blind?”  Hermione asked as her hand moved to her wand.

He grabbed her wrist and pushed her up against the wall hard enough to knock the wind out of her.  “Your word against mine you mudblood bitch!”  He growled looking ready for something vial.  With her wand immobilized she did a very muggle thing and brought her knee up as hard as she could against his crotch.

His hand loosened from the pain, and she pulled herself on of his grasp.  She had her wand pointed at him in a flash.  “CRU-”  She stopped herself suddenly unsure if she wanted to be the dark witch Voldemort thought she was.  She didn’t want to be that kind of person.  “Expelliarmus!”  She cast taking a page out of Harry’s book.

She didn’t stay to see where his wand had dropped.  Hermione pushed past him to find her way back to the party alone.  The back halls of the Manor were confusing and in the heat of the moment she found that she was in one she didn’t recognize.  She started trying door quickly dashing from one to the other.

She didn’t want to face the Death Eater, worried about what she would do to him, concerned what he might be able to do to her if she hesitated again.

“Come on, little witch, would you like to duel me again?  Maybe silence me?”  The Death Eater mocked from around a nearby corner.

When she opened the door at the end of the hall, she looked worried at the six house elves that were looking back at her in alarm.  She was in the kitchen.

“Mistress should not be here.”  One came rushing over.  “Mistress must go back.”  The elf waved at the door she just came through.

“Sorry, I’m looking for the main hall, is there a quicker way?”  She asked warding the door quickly as the elves looked at her.  All of them pointed to another door to her left and she gave them all a smile.  “Thank you.  If he comes in here just tell him I went to the party.”  She added pointing at the door she had just come through.

It didn’t take her long after that to find the small dining room which she knew led to the entrance hall.  She cast a quick cleaning spell on her clothes and herself as she had gotten a little sweaty in the tussle.

When she made her way out into the party, she realized that she should at least thank Dolohov for helping her get rid of that building need the Dark Lord had left her with.  After the fight, she was feeling much more herself.

She picked up a crystal flute as it passed on a levitating tray and took a sip to calm her nerves.  She was facing all these snobs as herself this time, and she didn’t quite know how that was supposed to go, but she knew that if she didn’t join the festivities, Voldemort would be the one to come looking for her next.

She was quickly pulled into a conversation with Mrs. Malfoy out of nowhere so she could be introduced to the wives of some other Death Eaters and she gave them a forced smile because she had little to no opinion on anything they seemed to care about.

“Mother, I think Hermione would prefer talking with people her age for a bit.”  Draco cut in after about fifteen minutes and guided her away.

“I’m not so sure I agree,”  Hermione told him coldly but was silently grateful to be pulled away when they started to ask her about children.

He directed her instead to a corner of the room with all her favorite people from school.  “What a joy to see you all,”  Hermione said frowning at Parkinson, Greengrass, Zabini, and Nott Jr.

“Is it true you managed to become pure?”  Parkinson asked looking down at Hermione as usual.

“Pansy, I told you to be nice,”  Draco told her firmly.

“Well, then that means I don’t have to feel guilty for checking out your nice rack Granger.  Where were you hiding those back during school?”  Zabini asked as he was obviously staring at her chest.

She covered herself and thought maybe it would be better to talk about having babies with the Dark Lord than try talking to this little group.

“I think…”  She started when Daphne Greengrass of all people took her arm.

“Don’t let them get to you, Hermione.  We don’t bite really.”  She said and gave her a big smile.  “They just need to get used to your new position on our little group.”  She said frowning her friends.  “Have you met my boyfriend?  Theodore, have you met Hermione?”  She introduced them like she was an old friend.

“Well you know I’m not exactly used to it.”  She pointed out to the others, and Daphne nodded understandingly.

“Well of course not.  Don’t worry I can teach you everything you need to know.”  She told Hermione cheerfully as if they were somehow now best friends forever.

“I don’t even know how often I will see any of you,”  Hermione told her with as Daphne started to play with her hair.

“Has anyone told you how amazing you look tonight?”  She asked seeming to feel it was safest just to ignore the things Hermione actually said.

“Thank you?”  She questioned because she was more equipped to deal with angry Death Eaters than cheerful socialites.

Soon Hermione found the trick was to say as little as possible and let the others do all the talking.  It was getting duller by the moment, but on the other hand, they were not talking about breeding, so that was a plus.

She felt him just before he placed his open palm on the small of her back.  “There you are my pet, I’ve been looking for you,”  Voldemort spoke and the rest of the small group went silent as they probably hardly ever dealt with the Dark Lord first hand.  “I must steal my girl away from a bit, Draco you will come get her when it’s time?”  He asked giving the boy a charming smirk before pulling her away from the group.

“I think you sometimes forget the power of that smile of yours.”  She said before gasping at the feel of his magic cascading against her most intimate of areas.  “Stop doing that.”  She said as she was about to lose her footing.

The tall, beautiful man next to her didn’t say a thing until he had led her to a secluded corner of the room and had her back pressed against the wall.

“Antonin says you were a naughty girl.”  He said looking down into her eyes questioningly.

“Did he tell you how naughty he was?”  She asked as he propped one hand next to her head and placed the other on her stomach.

“You should have punished him if he was out of line,”  Voldemort said as he moved his hand down around the curve of her hip.

“Should I punish you?”  She asked as he seemed to be heating her very blood once again.  “You know they say turn around is fair play.”  She said as her hand moved to his chest so she could brush her magic right back against him.  Only it somehow made what he was doing all the more intense.

“Feedback.”  He said moving her hand to his crotch so she would feel the hardened shaft between in legs.

“Then why are you doing that?” She asked as she wrapped her hand around his length through the fabric.

“Doesn’t it feel good?”  He closed his eyes and smirked before he moved under the garment that covered his cock.

She bit her lip and blushed before running his fingers up and down his length while continuing to press her magic against him.  “It’s distracting.”  She pointed out as she started to wish they were alone so he could be inside her.

“Only if you let it.”  He smiled as if to encourage her to play.

It was a moment before she realized she was working herself up now and quickly pulled her hand away from him.

“Probably for the best.  The magic works better if we sustain until after the ritual.”  He told her but showing no sign of letting her go.

“I didn’t want to come tonight.”  She told him as she tried to remind herself she had almost gotten away.

“I know you think that, my pet.”  He agreed without really agreeing.  “I do note you are feeling more comfortable with your costume?”  He asked his hands now running up her sides, pulling the sheer dress with it.

“I’m smart enough to know I don’t have a choice.”  She said as she enjoyed the touch of his hands on her revealed skin.  “Did you want something Vold…”  She started before he cut her off with a kiss that took her breath away.  She hated how much she wanted him, how right it felt to just give into him.

He pulled back giving her a charming smile with his glamoured handsome face.  “No true names tonight, my pet.”  He reminded her with a smirk.

“Did you need something Oberon?”  She asked her voice sounding more breathless than she would have liked.

“I was bored.”  He said as he hands moved up to cup her breasts, his thumbs running over her already sensitive nipples.

Hermione let out a moan before she shook her head and tried to cover her body with the dress.  “You can’t just molest me wherever you like.”  She told him trying to sound firm as he merely pressed her more solidly against the wall.

“Yes.  I can.”  He told her in an amused way, and she realized her fight was part of what he wanted from their exchange.  He pushed her dress up over her breasts to reveal the tan lace bra she wore underneath.  “Have you already forgotten who you belong to?”

“My self.” She gasped looking back into his eyes.  “I’ve never agreed to be your slave.”  She pointed as she pushed against his chest.

He was surprised enough by her resistance that he stepped back to let her right the dress again.

“You put on the necklace of your own free will.”  He warned her picking up the pendant to remind her the promise she had made.

“I know.”  She said realizing only today what it fully meant for her to agree to put it on.  “I’ve agreed to marry you it seems.  But that doesn’t make me your slave.”  She stated as she locked eyes with him.  “Find someone else to do this ritual with you tonight.”  She said holding her head high.

Hermione knew if she didn’t start resisting his dominance she would end up losing herself to him.  At the same time, she was past understanding, it was his dominance and power that got her excited to begin with.

“I’m not as modern of a man as you seem to think, my pet.  As my wife, you will obey me.”  He told her just as firmly as his wand seemed to appear in his hand.

“I’m not the meek little flower you seem to think, my Lord.”  She said as she drew her wand with a bit less grace. “As your wife, I’ll still be my own person.”

Voldemort trailed the tip of his wand down the side of her face as she pressed her’s into his chest.  Their eyes locked on each other as if they were, in fact, having a battle of wills without saying a word.

“Don’t you fear me at all anymore, my Mustardseed?”  He asked sounding amused; his eyes warned her he was up to something.

“What else can you do to me, Oberon?”  She asked as his wand trailed over her chin and down the column of her neck.

“There are many things I will do to you, my sweet.”  He said, and she could feel a wave of magic wash over her as his wand pressed into the hollow of her neck.

She narrowed her eyes at him and opened her mouth to ask what he had done only to find he couldn’t speak.  He was very good at wordless magic, and Hermione lowered her wand as she looked into his dangerous eyes.

“Do you fear me yet?”  He asked his wand trailing back up her neck.  “Know any silent spells that could defend you?”  He taunted.  “I have so much to teach you.”  He said as the tip of his wand trailed over her lips.

Hermione knew the theories; she closed her eyes as she racked her brain for something she could use to defend herself.  She still had her wand for Merlin’s sake, she wasn’t powerless by any means.

“Cur…”  The Dark Lord started as she prepared to try a shield charm when they were both interrupted.

“Oberon, you are needed to start preparing for the rite,”  Lucius said sounding nervous as he knew he was interrupting something.

“Ah.  Yes.  I will see you later, my pet.”  He said standing up fully again and reaching out his now empty hand to brush against her cheek.  The gesture would look innocent enough to an outsider, but she would feel his magic curling around her like a snake, bringing her body to life all over again, the bastard.

Hermione stood against the wall for a moment working hard to get herself under control.  The man apparently thought he could control her with sex, but she wasn’t some silly girl that would just fall into line.

She was still standing against the wall when she heard a familiar clearing throat and looked up to find Draco looking at her a bit nervously.

“It’s time to get you ready, my Lady.”  He says bowing his head as Hermione scowled at him.  She tried to tell him off but found the Dark Lord had not lifted the silencing spell before he left.

She growled silently to herself.  Draco seemed to become a bit more nervous as she continued to look pissed.

“He said I’m allowed to punish you if you don’t cooperate fully.”  He said trying to look intimidating.

She took a slow breath and pointed her wand at herself focusing on the words and wand movement she tried to cancel the silencing spell on her own and smiled as she felt the magic drain away.  It seemed silent spells were easier than wandless ones.

“There aren’t any muggles again to threaten Malfoy.”  She growled out feeling much better as she could express her anger full once again.  “How do you plan on punishing me?”  She asked as she looked up to him.

“The Dark Lord thought of that.”  He said showing her a pendant that hung around his neck.  It looked exactly like the one around she wore, except it is red stone instead of black.  “Your magic won’t work on me.”  He said sounding bold.

“Oh.”  Hermione nodded to herself as she took a step closer to him before she punched him right in the face as she had done once before.  “You have a short memory.”  She told him as he cradled his nose.  “I’m not participating tonight, find another girl to fuck him.”  She said before she walked off and decided to head back to the room where her real clothes were.

When she got back to the room, she frowned as she found a tray of ink and potions waiting.  Draco was going to lead her back here anyway, and when she poked her head out, she saw the boy walking up the hall towards her.

“I’m not doing it.”  She yelled down the hall and slammed the door before locking it with a charm she had read about back in school.  The door should now withstand most average unlocking charms.

Hermione turned and leaned back against the door.  She put her hand over the pendant that marked her.  The thing that bound her to the Dark Lord but nowhere had Hermione agreed that he could control her.  He and all his little minions could think what they liked; she was not some doll to push around.

She knew what would happen to her magic if she went through with this ritual tonight, she just knew he would have her all the more tightly bound to him.  She licked her lips and nodded to herself.  So what if she was obliged to maybe one day marry Voldemort, that didn’t mean she had to rush to the chapel anytime soon.

Hermione pushed herself off the door and with a determined expression on her face she started to pull the horrible dress from her form.  She had a plan set in her mind now, and with her fiancé busy with his preparation this was the perfect time to act.

She didn’t even react as a pounding came to the door.  She would have to stay away from muggles as much as possible, Hermione thought as she went into the bathroom to wash the makeup off her face.  She had no further need for the fancy costume.

“Granger you have to let me in!”  Draco growled from outside.  “Do you know what will happen if…”  Hermione cut off the sound with a spell before going back to washing her face.

She looked at herself in the mirror.  Most of the makeup was removed, but there was still a pale look to her skin and dark shadows around her eyes that she looked like a zombie from a bad horror movie.  It would have to do as she needed to get out before anyone more potent than her old school rival showed up.  She found her clothes from the afternoon and pulled her jeans and trainers on in a rush.

She looked at the only door to the room a moment later and scowled.  There was no way she was getting out that way.  Hermione moved to the window and grimaced as she imagined the drop.  Merlin, she hated heights.

When she heard the door crack behind her, she knew it was time to leave.  Gritting her teeth, Hermione climbed out the window.  She started to carefully make her way along a thin ledge that decorated the side of the manor.

Her heart was racing, and only the thought of being locked to Voldemort for the rest of her life kept her moving.

“You’re going to break your neck, you foolish girl.”  Snape’s voice called out the window when she was several rooms down.  “Come back here before you get yourself hurt.”

“No.”  She yelled even as she wobbled slightly on the ledge.  If Harry had been in her place, she was sure he would be able to do flips on the wall.

“Stay there; I’ll come and get you.”  The potion master changed his mind as he probably noticed she would probably not make it back to the open window.

Hermione glanced down at the two-story drop and swallowed at the very hard looking stone path below her.  If she could just turn around, she would be able to cast a cushioning charm to break her fall, but she feared that sort of movement would make her fall.  This was a stupid, ridiculous plan and exactly what she got for not thinking things through first.

“If you come out here I’m jumping.”  She snapped as she closed her eyes tightly.  At least that would make them think she jumped off and was brave instead of falling off for being stupid.

“Be reasonable Miss Granger.  Come back inside, and we can talk about your participation in tonight’s ritual.”  Snape said with a hard edge to his voice.

“Leave, and I may come back!”  She yelled turning her head so she could look to see where the man was.  He seemed to be still standing by the window.  “I am not AH..”  She screamed as she felt a force pull her off the ledge as if someone yanked her around the stomach.

Instead of feeling the pain of hitting hard earth, she landed on a soft cushion of air and slowed before landing with a thud.  She could feel him before she could see him.  The Dark Lord rushed towards her and grabbed a fist full of her hair.

“What do you think you were doing?”  He hissed, his hanger leaving a foreboding feeling in her gut.

“Escaping,”  Hermione answered honestly, and he hauled her to her feet by her hair.  “How did you know?”  She asked as he pulled her close into him so that he could surround her in his magic.  Instead of feeling arousing and safe as it did most times not it felt oppressive and confining.

“That does not matter.  What matters is that you were going against my express orders.”  He said in the deathly calm voice that meant he was truly livid.  “More so you climbed out a window with no plan on how you would get yourself to safety.”

“I don’t want to lock our magic together for all time, and I was handling myself up there just fine.”  She said her own temper coming to the surface.  “I am not your victim.  Torture me if you want, but I am still my own witch!”

“Do you wish to ruin this opportunity to focus your power?  Fine.  I will take choose one of the other many women here tonight.”

Hermione was even more nervous as he seemed to be giving into her much too quickly.  He would never just give into what she wanted if there wasn’t something in it for him.

“Yes, I will take the Greengrass girl, she is a beautiful girl.”  He continued his voice thoughtful.

“Shag anyone you want.”  She said not wishing to hear that the Dark Lord found someone attractive.  Her stupid overactive brain started to supply her with vivid images of how good this handsome man in front of her would look with the pretty blond from her class.

“I’m sure I could enjoy her.”  He said sounding almost pleased that she was backing out of the ritual she never wanted to come to in the first place.  “Ahh, but I do have a condition.”  He said as his hold on her hair tightened.  “You will watch the ritual.  You will watch as I take her and bring forth the dark power of this night and then you will watch as I continue to please myself with her pretty little body for the rest of the evening.”

The idea of watching him with another woman made her stomach drop.  She could feel hurt of jealousy rear it’s head inside of her, and she started to think again about how it felt back when Ron had been snogging Lavender in front of her.

She closed her eyes tightly and shook her head.  She should not be feeling jealous over Voldemort.  What was wrong with her?

“No.”  She growled as he pulled her more closely.

“Spectator or participant; these are your only options my pet.”  He said a knowing tone in his voice.  He knew exactly what she was thinking, and she hated that too.

“I will never be your slave.”  She finally gasped out unsure precisely what she agreed to.

The Dark Lord pulled her head back a bit more, forcing her to look back into his eyes.  “I don’t want a slave wife, but you will respect my orders when they are for your own good.”  He told her sternly.

“How is this for my good?”  She asked narrowing her eyes at him.

“With our dark magic forever bound we will be more powerful than any wizard who has ever lived.  I have promised to craft you into my equal.  I don’t want a lesser witch for my wife.”  He said holding her focus.  “But I will give you a choice; spectator or participant?”

Part 2: The Ritual