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

She stood in the room the Malfoys had provided her and tried to feel a cold detachment as Draco, freaking Malfoy, slowly painted black runes on her naked form.  It seemed to her he was standing much too close and was taking much too long in the little project.  He was enjoying his job way too much for her comfort.

He was standing so close she could feel his breath brushing against her breasts.  The only thing that was keeping her from punching him was the knowledge she would get to stab him that night.  He would be playing the Sun God tonight, which meant she would get to draw blood with the sacred blade that would put him to sleep for the rest of the night.

“You know many queens of the past kept lovers,”  Draco said making her flinch at the sound of his voice.  “Especially ones married to older kings.”  He added making her frown in wonder why he wished to give her a history lesson at that moment.

“And?”  She asked before his words clicked into place in her head.  “Not a chance Malfoy.”

She added when she fully understood what he was implying.  “You really can’t want to have intercourse with me more than you enjoy living.”  She added as she thought about what the Dark Lord would do to any lover she would ever actually consider.  “I don’t know what he has told you but your Lord has no plans to share his bride.”

“You two have only been together a year, give it time.”  He said seeming happy.  “I can be patient.”  He added as he moved around her form in a slow process.

She wasn’t about to tell him that Voldemort made it impossible for her to be able to enjoy another man’s touch, it was none of his business.

“If I were to take a lover, do you really think it would be you?”  She asked instead wishing for this time to go by as quickly as possible.

“You options are somewhat limited.”  He said as he stood to stretch and moved around to her back.  “The way I see it the only ones I could consider real rivals for your attention when the time comes are on the wrong side of this.  And I’m pretty sure you were attracted to me that night in the grove.”  He reminded her of their kiss.

“I was high.”  She countered only feeling slightly better with him breathing down her back instead of her front.

“True.”  He conceded.  “But I can’t imagine you’ve ever kissed Potter like that.”

“Not Harry, no.”  She agreed as her thoughts drifted to how she had hurt Ron.  She was lost enough in her thoughts she didn’t notice when Malfoy stilled behind her.

“Not Potter?”  He asked after a moment standing again and coming around to look her in the eyes.  “But someone?  Besides our Lord?”  He asked with an almost accusing air.  He frowned at her like he had any sort, of claim on her.

She narrowed her eyes at him and stood her ground.  “That isn’t any of your business.”  She told him as she poked him in the chest.

“Who?”  He asked seeming somewhat irritated as if she had personally cheated on him.

“It’s none of your business Malfoy; you have no rights to me.”  She snapped as she took a step forward and poked him again. “Are you quite done?”  She asked before trying to look at her back.  She did not wish to continue this conversation with him.

“The Dark Lord gave me second rights to you at the Harvest celebration if you remember.”  He argued before shaking his head.  “Don’t turn like that; you’ll mess up my work.”  He said as he moved back around her.

“Will you just finish already?”  She asked standing straight and resisting the urge to cross her arms over her breasts.  “The Dark Lord has no right to give anyone second rights to anything.”  She added after a moment.  “And you should remember that I’m not just one of his minions that is going to do whatever he wants blindly.”

“So why won’t you tell me who you’ve kissed?”  Malfoy said as he went back to his work.  He was apparently trying to keep his tone under control now.

“Because I told you it is none of your business who I kiss.”

“But the Dark Lord knows?  I mean you can’t deny it is his business.”  He said as she felt his small brush strokes down her back.

“The Dark Lord knows.”  She said as her fingers went to her necklace.  “He also knows I broke it off.”

“You can’t be talking about Weasley?”  Malfoy asked suddenly sounding as if he couldn’t decide between amusement and anger.  “You fucking kissed Weasley?”

She narrowed her eyes at the mocking tone of his voice.  “I’ve done a lot more than kiss Ron.”  She finally admitted.

Before the blonde could say any more, the door opened, and Snape looked on with a detached expression.

“I’ve been sent to fetch Miss Granger for the ritual.  You’re expected down by the bonfire Draco.”

“I’m almost done,”  Malfoy said as he seemed to move faster now that he had another witness to his work.

Hermione looked over at her old teacher noting that his eyes stayed firmly away from her form.  She remembered the way he had looked at her before he had known who she was and wondered if he felt awkward about it now.

“Do hurry; I’m told these things must happen at the proper time,”  Snape said sneering as she watched him.  After a moment more the older man walked over to the table holding the potions she would be expected to drink that evening and put them in his pocket.

“Wh-”  She started with a frown.

“I’m told you won’t need them until we are down by the back hall.  Something about correct timing,”  he said as if he knew nothing about what would happen to her that night.  Maybe he really didn’t know what went on at these ancient rites.

“You serve him so well; I don’t see why he couldn’t do the same for you that he did to me.”  She said as she shook her head thinking of ridiculous the whole blood purity beliefs were.  What was really so different about her now?

“Done,”  Malfoy said finally, and she felt a brush of air pass over her as she magically tried the runes.  “I think we have a robe you can wear to walk down in.”  He added and moved away to the wardrobe.

“It is something I may ask him about when the time is right,”  Snape answered bringing her attention back to him.

The younger man held a black satin robe open for her to slip on and she was grateful she wouldn’t have to walk through the house completely naked.

When they got down to where the line of participants started by the backdoor Malfoy rushed ahead and Snape held a potion out to her.  Out of habit she sniffed it before drinking and knew it was the childless potion.  Hermione wondered then if Voldemort would want her to have his child once he…  She shook away the thought before it could fully form as the older man held the second bottle out to her.

She remembered hoe Narcissa has not let her smell this one last year and had held it to her lips to force her to drink.  This time she sniffed it, and it didn’t smell like anything at all.  She frowned but drank it away as everyone was looking at her.

“Are you here willingly Miss Granger?”  Snape asked pulling her away from the others and putting himself between her and them.

“I tried not to come.  Malfoy threatened the muggles in the coffee shop.”  She said frowning as she licked her lips, the potion hadn’t tasted like anything either.  “Why did you give me veritaserum?”

“Would you run if you had the chance?”  He asked lowly as his eyes bore down into her own.

“I can’t so it doesn’t matter.”  She said as her hand moved to the pendant.  “No matter where I go he can find me now.  It is safer for everyone if I stay.”

Snape’s eyes shifted to the pendant and then back down into her eyes.  “Of course.  I think I may have given you the wrong potion Miss Granger.”  He said holding out the third bottle.  “They shouldn’t react.”

“You’re a bastard.”  She said frowning as she knew he had given her the potion on purpose, she just couldn’t understand why.  Was he protecting the Dark Lord from her or something?

“I assume you; my parents were married.”  He said as he opened the bottle himself since she wasn’t taking it.

She snatched it from him and frowned to herself as she caught the unmistakable scent of Voldemort.  She told herself it only smells that way because it was keyed it him, but if she was honest, she had no way to be sure.  She drank it down knowing there was no running at this point but threw the empty bottle to the ground so it would shatter.  At least she would get to break something.

The tingling on her tongue made a shiver go through her.  She felt her magic curl inside of her, excited as it knew what was about to happen.  She didn’t know who handed her the crystal blade, but she couldn’t help feeling a bit glassy-eyed as she listened to Draco chant as his father had the year before.

The bonfire felt good in the cold night air.  She somehow felt at home out among these stranger, and she wondered if that was her magic or something different about the potion.

When it came time to cut Draco across the chest, she smiled at him before making the cut just a bit deeper than she needed to.  He bore the pain well before his eyes drifted closed and he fell like a sack on the spot.

She turned away from Malfoy and clutched the blade more firmly in her hand.  She was ready for the effects of the potion this year and wondered how angry Voldemort would be if she could actually get herself to cut him.

But when he made his way into the circle her body sang for her to do very different things to him.  She found herself on her knees looking up at him as he body trembled for contact.

He started chanting the old chants, claiming her as his until the sun god rose once more.  Her hands were shaking by the time he brushed his fingers against her uplifted chin.  She only realized she still held the knife as he helped her to her feet and took it from her hand.

“Nice try my sweet.”  He said keeping eye contact as other came and removed their clothes.  This time she pressed herself against him wanting to take as much contact as she could.  She had none of the fears or inhibitions of the previous year to hold her back.

He led her like before to sit on his legs as he took a seat on his robe fanned out on the ground.  She straddled his legs without much guidance, this time facing him instead of the crowd.

“Am I going to have to punish you tonight?”  Voldemort asked softly as his fingers played up and down her sides.

“You made me this.  I’m just enjoying it.”  She told him as she let her hands settle on his shoulders. “Why…”  She started as her sex ground against his covered cock.  “Why make me take lust potion?”  She asked as she tried to keep her control.  She could feel her magic wanting to be released entirely, wanting to mix with his as it had last year.  It was wilder now, and stronger and it wanted him in the most physical way.

“Because I enjoy that look in your eyes.”  He told her softly.  “The how free you are when you are under the influence.”

“Then why tease me?”  She asked as she tried to find the opening to the pants he was still wearing.  Her fingers fumbled as her need made her clumsy.

“I thought you didn’t want our magic to be bound forever by the darkness we share.”  He said only teasing her more and apparently enjoying her frustration.

“Please.”  She whimpered knowing deep inside of her he was the only one who could settle the need inside of her.

He leaned in so she could feel his lips brush her ear as he spoke.  “You still beg so prettily, how could I ever deny you?”  He asked as one of his hands curled around to grasp her hair by the roots.

She surrendered herself to the kiss before she even understood his lips were on hers.  This is what she wanted, this is what her whole body wanted, and she wasn’t about to deny it anything when it felt so delicious.

She wasn’t clear on how he freed himself with her still on top of him, but she didn’t care much, after feeling his first thrust.  Her head tilted back, and she screamed in pure white ecstasy as she joined with the object of her lust, and her magic connected to his darkness in new beautiful harmonies.

She moved on her own against him shifting her hips to give them the most pleasure while their power built into one unified storm.

“Yes.”  He moaned under her as they locked eyes once more.  “With fire in your eyes, you are the goddess that deserves me.”  He growled, and she could feel the true compliment in his word were meant to be.  “Come with me my darling, and we will burn the world.”

“Yes!”  She moaned, too far lost in her own rapture to care about anything but the way he felt inside of her.  She nearly blacked out as the pleasure became overwhelming much with her climax, but she grasped onto consciousness as she wanted to stay apart of the waking world for as long as she could.  She wanted to feel their power mingle and connect.

With her orgasm, her mind cleared of the lust potion, but not of her need for him or his magic.  She was one with him, and they swam in pitch black darkness.  He rolled them so he could pin her to the grass under them without missing a thrust.

“Please harder!”  She begged as she looked up into the pools of the void that were his eyes.  “Harder!”  She told him as he complied readily with her request.

“Always my dear, always for you.”  He told her, and she could feel as he was near his release. His hands held her hips with bruising force as he took her in a violent act of lust and power.  She screamed again as this time they climaxed together, and she felt for a moment as if she would be swallowed whole by their magic.

After her second peak in so many minutes, the world around them started to come back to her senses.  They were, in fact, surrounded by darkness, but for the first time, she could hear the frightened voices.

She blinked up at her lover, only just grasping on to consciousness.  He smiled down at her and leaned in to brush his lips against hers.

“I like your real face better.”  She told him when he pulled back.

“Patents.  Once we are alone my dear.”

“Is this us?”  She asked realizing he was the only thing she could see clearly through the shadow.

Voldemort smirked down at her as he too looked around.  “Yes.”  He agreed with a nod.  “And the sheep are frightened, can’t you hear them?”  He asked delighting in his followers fear.

“Yes.”  She nodded on the verge of blacking out from the intensity of their joining and the magic that accompanied it.  “We should…”  She started as she worked to focus on him.  “… do something.”

“Don’t worry my sweet.”  He said kissing her gently before pulling away from her and leaving her cold and alone.

He disappeared into the darkness as she worked to sit up.  It was a mistake though, as she got light headed and immediately had to put her head between her knees so she wouldn’t black out.  She was curled into a ball when she felt the satin material of her robe drop over her shoulders.

“Can you walk?”  He asked sounding so steady as she shook like a leaf.

“No.”  She had to admit because she didn’t think she could move at all.

“It’s time to let go before you hurt yourself.”  He ordered as she felt the warmth of his body next to her.

“What about the darkness?”  She asked as she let herself lean against him, the feel of him anchored her to the world.

“It will fade once we leave the area.”  He explained distractedly.

“Are you sure?”  Hermione pressed drawing his frown back to her.

“Your body and mind need rest my dear, let me handle it while you let yourself just relax.”  He said sounding a bit worried.

“Why do you look so healthy still?”  She protested feeling it was unfair that he looked ready to run a marathon and she felt like a limp ragdoll relying on him to keep her upright.

“I’ve had a lot more practice at this, you’ll learn in time.  But for now you will let yourself sleep, or I will force you to sleep.”  He made a dark promise, and she thought she saw concern for her well being in his expression but decided she must be hallucinating it.

“Fine.”  She said, but only because she didn’t know how much longer she could stay awake by pure force of will.

The last thing she heard before blacking out in his arms was a dark chuckle against her ear.

It only seemed like a moment before she came to, but it must have been longer because she was laying in a soft bed and she could feel that Voldemort was short ways from her.  When she opened her eyes, she saw the ceiling of a room she didn’t recognize.  The room smelt of fresh cleaning supplies and a something organic she couldn’t exactly place.

She was happy to find sitting up did not take the wind out of her as it had before, but she could still feel him more acutely than ever.  She wondered if he would even need the necklace to track her after tonight.

“Where are we?”  She asked as she found he was sitting in a chair next to a lit fireplace.  The room had a homey feel that she hadn’t gotten from the Malfoy Manor.  This place was filled with warm colors and wood instead of stone.

She frowned as she looked between them for a moment and wondered where he had put the robe she had slipped into before passing out.  He was nearly fully dressed in one of his usual black robes, but she was completely exposed.

“Home.”  He answered as he looked back at her, his normal snake-like face back in place.  “I’ve had it cleaned and restored recently.

“The Riddle house?”  She guessed because it was the only place she could think he had any connection to besides Hogwarts itself.

“Correct, as always, my dear.”  He said seeming amused.  “I’ve had a room made up for you to use after tonight.  You realize I’m not letting you go back to the boy now.  Not after my minions and soon the world will know the truth.”

“Malfoy must have told you I wasn’t with Harry when he found me.”  She said moving to the end of the bed and kneeling so she could watch him.  “But do you think you can keep me, prisoner, here?”

He took in a slow breath without answering her.  She watched as he got to his feet and moved towards her in an unhurried way.  “I think I won’t have to keep your prisoner.  I think…”  He started his fingers reaching out to brush down her neck.  “I think you are smart enough to know where you belong.”

She looked up into his eyes and licked her lips as she formed a response in her mind.  “I never actually agreed to marry you.  You tricked me with this necklace, but it’s only a symbol.  You never actually asked.”  She said as she played with the pendant around her neck.

“Still going to try and deny me my sweet?” He asked as a smirk formed on his lipless face.  “Are you going to try and deny the fact that you want to be mine?”

She looked up at him, her expression innocent for a moment as she pondered the answer to his question.  “You have to know my feelings for you are very…”  She looked down as she tried to decide on the right word.  “…conflicting.”

“I know you will never follow me blindly.”  He agreed as he lifted her chin so he could look into her yellow eyes once more.  “So I must wonder why you follow the boy and the old man so blindly?”

Her jaw clenched, and she shook her head.  “This is not a conversation I want to have with you.”  She said as she pulled out of his reach.  “You’re just trying to distract me from my original point.”

“You had a point?”  He asked smiling at the fact that she did not move further.

“Yes, I had a point.  My point is that you haven’t asked me.  We made a deal that I would wear the necklace, but you never told me what it meant.  I haven’t agreed to marry you, and you just think it is a foregone conclusion.  You can’t bully me like you do the Malfoys and your other worshipers.”

“Are you trying to say you don’t worship me, my dear?”  He asked leaning over her in such a way that she was forced to lean back.

“Would you want me if I did?”  She asked as she tried to ignore her racing heart.  Her magic reached out to his like a cat enjoying the light of the sun.  It felt so good to be this close to him, and unbidden her body started to come alive with desire.  She didn’t even think he was doing it purposefully just then.

“No.”  He agreed rested his hands on either side of her knees and maneuvering her to lean back while she was still kneeling.

It was a somewhat uncomfortable position, but she couldn’t think of a graceful way out up it so she just looked back into his eyes and pursed her lips.  “Last time I checked marriage required consent of both parties.”  She said determined to ignore her body’s need to press back against him.

“You gave your consent when you put on the necklace, my dear.  It is not my fault you did so without…”

“I asked you what it did.”  She snapped interrupting him as her fury spiked.  “You left some things out.”

His smirk faltered for a moment before his eyes lit back with amusement.  “I enjoy the way you say ‘things.’  I enjoy that you’re smart enough to know when you don’t know something.”

“Have you ever heard of informed consent, because it is the only kind of consent that really matters.”  She said as she tried to push his shoulders back with her hands.  The position was getting painful already.

She could feel him as if he wasn’t wearing a robe at all, her connection to him only heightened.  Even with eth fabric in the way she couldn’t help her body’s automatic response to tighten around her core and feel the miserable emptiness there.

The change showed him as well.  “I don’t think sex is ever going to be an issue with us my sweat, not when it means so much power.”

“Let me up!”  She gasped pushing against him harder, though it may have only been the cramp in her joints that was keeping her from devouring him.

He pulled back then to give her room to get up off the bed.  When the contact lost, she pulled away from him entirely and worked to put a little distance.  “I’m not marrying you.”  She said once she had caught her breath.

“In fact, we will be getting married on the next night of power.  Yule is always a good time to start anew and strengthen a bond.”  He told her still seeming slightly amused.

“You have nothing to hold over me to make me do it.”  Hermione pointed out as she crossed her arms over her chest.  “I only agreed to wear the necklace.”  She added because she was sure he would return to the dumb idea that, that had meant consent.

He sat down on the edge of the bed and watched her with a sigh as if she was being unreasonable.  “I don’t ask for what I want my dear; I take what I want.  I am quite sure it is part of what you enjoy about me.”

“And I am not so easy to take.”  She countered.  “Which I am quite sure is a part of what you enjoy about me.”  She said using his words against him.

“Oh?  You don’t think you would bend to me right now if I wanted you to my sweet?”  He asked, and she definitely heard the warning signs in his tone.

“That is not what I am talking about.”  She said quickly.  “But it seems you want more than the pleasure we have been sharing over the last year.”  She said turning her back, so she didn’t have to see the predatory look that was forming in his eyes.

“You won’t let yourself enjoy tonight until we have this mess out of the way will you?”  He asked with an overdramatic sigh.  “We could be lost in the truly intoxicating pleasure of each other’s bodies at this very moment if you just let yourself go.”

She licked her lips before turning back to face him.  “Or you could show me to my room.  I think I’m still tired.”  She said changing tactics.

He struck like a snake, moving towards in what seemed like an instant she found her back pressed against a bookshelf filled with heavy tombs.

“By right of the Dark God, you belong to me tonight.”  He hissed as he pressed his body harder against hers.

Her breath caught, and she ultimately lost the talent for thinking as her brain filled with the shared dark power of the night.  She needed to be closer to him, why on earth was he wearing so much clothing?  When he leaned down to capture her mouth with his own, she could feel the magic actually breath between them.

She heard the most pitiful whimper, and it took a full moment before she realized she was the one making the sound.  Her hands moved to try and push him away again, but she couldn’t quite remember why she ever wanted to drive him away.

When he pulled back from the kiss his lips trailed down her jaw and neck, her body responded happily arching against his every attention as her mind stayed in the thoughtless bliss of his touch.

“Much better.”  He purred pulling her from the haze for a moment before the feel of his tongue against her neck sent her into clear oblivion once more.

“More.”  She found herself moaning.  She wanted him inside her, she needed to be closer to him, and the rough feel of his robe was just starting to piss her off.  It wasn’t really a planned thought as the fabric turned to ash against him.  She was only glad to be able to push herself more thoroughly against his form.  “More!”  She gasped demanding as she heard him hiss before he jerked away.

“Careful my dear.”  He said sounding slightly annoyed.

She blinked as they broke contact and her brain started to, slowly work once more.  She looked at the black smudges on his pale skin and saw a few spots of pink where the robe must have actually burn him.

“I did that?”  She asked still trying to catch up after lost so thoroughly the fog of pleasure.

“You did.”  Voldemort agreed as he pulled his wand so he could heal himself.  “You could have just asked.”  He added wryly as he seemed amused once again.

“That’s all I was saying.  I want to be asked.”  She said seeing if she could pull him back to their earlier conversation.

“You want me to ask you to marry me?  Down one knee and all of that?”  He asked turning it into a joke.  “That isn’t exactly my style my dear.”  He pointed out.

“Than give me something to make it worth my while.  Promise not to kill Ron.”  As soon as the words were passed her lips and realized she had been considering them somewhere deep in her mind all night, but they still surprised her.  “Deals seem to be your style after all.”

“Is his safety really worth giving up the last little line of resistance you have against me my sweet?  As far as I can tell the only thing the boy is good for is hanging onto the coattails of those more powerful than himself.  Why do you even care?”

“He’s my friend too, and I do love him as much as Harry.”  She said frowning as she knew it would be hard for this man to understand anything like love or loyalty.

“Fine.  When I catch him, I will keep him alive until you don’t care any longer.”  He said with a dismissive wave of his hand.  “You have my word.”

“I’ll need more than your word.”  She countered looking around for a way to get further away from him before he realized how much power he had to end this conversation if he just moved closer.

“Another time my sweet, I want to enjoy you now, and traditionally we shouldn’t be disturbed for the rest of tonight.”  He said as he reached out and touched her face.

Her skin sang with the siren song of his magic, but she was ready for it this time, so she gasped but kept her head.

“I’m always going to care about my friends.”  She warned him as his hand moved around to the back of her neck.

“I’m counting on that, just a little.”  He told her before pulling her into another mind-blowing kiss.

She didn’t have time to think about his words before she was traveling on the electric power of darkness and lust.  She wrapped her leg around his hip as her mouth was much too busy to tell him what she wanted.

Fortunately, he was an intelligent man.  His free hand moved over her ass and down her thigh as he worked to angle his already excited member just right to make her scream.  He moved both hands to her thighs a moment later so he could lift her and press her hard into the shelf before the first hard thrust joined their bodies together.

Her lips pulled away from his as she screamed herself raw with the passion they shared.  The night turned into a blur of hedonistic ecstasy.  He took her to the brink of what her body could withstand, and she found she could only beg for more.  Never once did she think of herself as a prisoner or subordinate just as what seemed to be the natural other half of him.

It was late enough to be called early when they finally found themselves panting in his luxuriously soft bed next to one another.  Even then though they kept some physical connection; his hand on her hip, her leg resting over his.  It felt unnatural to be apart.

When Hermione fell into dreams, they were of shadows that embraced and surrounded her, and she felt protected by them.  She felt protected by him.  Even in her fantasies, she knew she was exactly where she was meant to be.