Year's Wheel: Eternity's Crown

BY : wildkitsune
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Hermione/Voldemort
Dragon prints: 1201
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.

A/N- So I know this is a.. little late.  But I thought people would rather have it now rather than wait for next Christmas.  Am I wrong?  This is the last in this series, I hope everyone enjoys the ending.


Hermione didn’t fully wake when she felt her bed shift in the middle of the night.  He often rose at ungodly hours to do unknown things he wouldn’t let her get involved.  So after nearly two months of sleeping together, she had become immune to the disturbance, knowing there was nothing she could add she merely pulled the blankets over her more securely and drifted back into a deep sleep.

Hours later, with the sun well on the horizon and the smell of breakfast she finally came awake once more.  She heard the sound of paper shifting and opened her eyes to see Voldemort sitting at a small table enjoying his meal with a book floating in the air in front of him.  Every so often he would turn the page with magic as if the feat took no focus at all.

“What are you reading?”  Hermione asked as she stretched her back and moved to sit up.

“Nothing important.”  He said as he set the book aside and gave her his full attention.  “Happy Yule.” He added as if it would change the subject.

Her eyes followed the path of the book suspiciously before she shook her head.  She would take a peak when she got closer.

“It’s yule…”  She repeated, pretending to be distracted by his words.

“Yule.  The day perfect for new beginnings and the joining of lives.”  He said casually reminding her what else he had planned for the day.

“I’m not ready.”  She said with a frown as she slipped out of his bed and made her way to the chair across from him.  She sat down and pulled her feet up onto the chair seat with her as she looked over what was for breakfast.

They had already had the discussion about house elves, and he had responded by letting her meet the one who worked for him and gave her permission to try to talk it into freedom.  The rule was she needed the elf’s consent before freeing any she came in contact with and so far she had been able to release precisely zero. She had to admit the deal was quite clever of him, but one day she would be able to convince Trixy that freedom was better than slavery.

“We’ve discussed this.”  He said, his eyes and power locked on her as he naturally tried to intimidate her into what he wanted.

“This is too fast.”  She pressed as she picked at her bacon, she was not about to let him get away with such an obvious tactic.  “Why not wait a year, let us get to know each other better?”

She watched as a little, amused smirk, played across his face and he tilted his head as if trying to read something from her body language.  “I already know you better than anyone else ever will. We are already connected and bond for eternity. Why is this last symbolic act bothering you?”

“You taught me symbols have power.”  She said as she took a drink of her tea.  “This wedding thing is going to connect us publicly.  So far only so many people know about…” She paused as she tried to think of the right word.  “...us.” She settled on lamely.

“You don’t want your little friends to see a picture of you standing next to me on the front page of the prophet.”  He said as he read between the lines.

She bit her lower lip because she couldn’t argue with that.  “Harry is never going to forgive himself if he thinks I tied myself to you because of him.”  She said as the thought of her friends twisted a bit in her gut.

Feeling her unease, Voldemort reached across the table and took her hand.  The connect of their magic filled her with the drug-like effect that had only been growing since Samhain.

“Please?”  She whimpered as the feeling of power and connection moved inside of her to overshadow her worry about her friends.  “I’m allowed to feel this.” She told him breathlessly.

“Not if it gets in the way of my plans.  Today you will be a happy bride, my dear.  Do you understand me?” He asked in a warning tone as he drew his hand away.  “I greatly enjoy your resistance and defiance when they are in their proper place.  That is not in public today.”

She took in a slow breath as she worked to calm all the trembling electric energy running through her.  “I know.” She said because she knew what would be at stake if she didn’t live up to her end of the deals they made about her friends’ futures.

“After today I wish for you to show the world what it is to be Pureblood.  It is not an accident of birth, and I feel we can come to some common ground between your cause and mine.”  He said shocking her as she looked up at him in disbelief.

“With you as the face of the new Pureblood, they will see Voldemort is not an unreasonable Lord.”  He said as he finished his breakfast.

She looked him over.  “I will be the face of the new Pureblood?”  She asked as her mind twisted around what that meant exactly.  “You mean for other muggle-borns to try and copy what I’ve been through this last year?  It’s dangerous, and not many will be able to make it through.” She reminded him, she didn’t want to talk people into killing themselves for some stupid ideal.

“There are less dangerous ways to purify one’s blood.  Not everyone will get invited to an ancient grove, but there are ways. It would of course also not lead to the amount of power that you hold.  But that is for the best; no one needs to hold our kind of power but us.” He said as he casually pushed away her concerns.

“Less dangerous, but not exactly safe either.”  She pointed out what he wasn’t saying.

“Nothing worth having is completely safe.”  He said as if the lives lost because she inspired people to try to gain blood purity meant nothing.

“Why not just accept people for the way they are?”  She asked with a frown knowing she wasn’t going to get a real answer, but still unable to stop herself from asking.

“That is the real problem with the world, my pet.  Too many are satisfied with mediocrity.” He told her, his eyes intense as he looked at her.  “But together we will make a new world.” He promised as he got to his feet.

She frowned at him as he moved to her and brushed fingers over her cheek into her hair.  Her magic purred at his touch, and her breath caught as he tilted her head back so she could look into his strange red eyes.

There was always a heat between them, his alien looks only seemed to heighten her desire for him in these moments, and she thought little about the charms of other men.

“Your bridesmaids will be here soon, do try to have fun.”  He said though it sounded more like a command.

“Should I go to my room?”  She asked with a smile, as she hadn’t used her room since she started living here.

“Finish your breakfast first.  You’re going to need your strength today.”  He said before leaning down to kiss her on the head.  She frowned as he stepped away and gave her a little smirk as he knew she wanted a better kiss than what he had just given her.

“You’re a bastard.”  She said as she worked to calm the burning in her blood.

“My parents, were in fact, married.” He answered as if he didn’t understand her words.

As he left Daphne, and Pansy entered the room.  Pansy’s smile was so obviously fake it made Hermione chuckle, but Daphne seemed to be genuinely pleased to be invited.  It made Hermione think of who she would have rather had as bridesmaids and giggled as she wondered if the boys would wear dresses.

She shook her head and told herself Ginny and Luna would have been her bridesmaids if she weren’t getting married wholly cut off from all those she loved.  She thought about it and was pretty sure Voldemort could reach at least Luna, but she did not wish to pull those she loved any further into the mess she had made of her life.

So she was stuck with Daphne and Pansy and gave them a fake smile of her own.  “Are you guys hungry?” She asked as she continued to pick at her food. The further Voldemort moved away in the house the earlier it was to focus on things besides for him.  She realized then that they had never really finished their talk about the fact she didn’t want to marry him.

“We ate, my Lady,”  Pansy said sarcastically with a roll of her eyes as she looked around his bedroom.  

“Are you excited?”  Daphne covered for her friend's sarcasm with a pleased smile.  “We saw you dress all set up in the other room and it is soo pretty.”  She told Hermione as she seemed to bounce on the spot.

“I haven’t seen it yet.”  She told them, and Pansy got a wicked smile.

“You mean he didn’t let his little bride pick out her dress?”  She asked seeming to enjoy anything she could use against Hermione.

“If you can’t stop being a bitch Pansy you can leave.”  She told the dark-haired Slytherin.

“You need two maids for the rite.”  The other girl countered.

“And won’t you family be upset if they find out one of them could have been you, but you were too much of a bitch for the bride,”  Hermione argued.

“The bride that doesn’t even get to pick her dress.  I’m sure she can pick her maids.”  She called Hermione out.

“Are you ready to risk it, because of stupid assumptions?”  Hermione asked with a tilt of her head.

“Pansy apologize,”  Daphne whispered giving her friend a meaningful look.

The dark haired girl made a face and rolled her eyes.  “Whatever.” She said turning her back on Hermione to look around the room.

Itw as then she remembered the book he had tried to distract her from and looked to see where he had set it, only to find he must have taken it with him.  With a sigh, she got to her feet leaving her breakfast only half eaten.

“I need a shower.  I’ll meet you two in my room I guess?”  She said ignoring Pansy in the same way the girl seemed to be ignoring her.

“We can wait here,”  Daphne said pleasantly.  “We’ll all walk over together.”  She added with an ever-present smile.

“I know the way,”  Hermione said with a laugh.

“We are not to leave your side.  Our Lord thinks you could be a runner.”  Pansy said what Daphne was too polite to state.  “We are under orders not to leave your side today.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and shook her head.  “Well, I also don’t think he wants you poking around his things.  So we should go to my room.” She said with a sigh and headed for the door.

“Are you going out like that?”  Daphne asked sounding a bit scandalized.

Hermione looked down at the t-shirt she had worn to bed and back to the other girl.  “Yes. It’s a lot better than what Voldemort had me wear for Samhain.”  She said using the name even these two shuddered to hear.

“That’s...”  Daphne started looking all the more scandalized.  “Different.”

“Well, I find I don’t care,”  Hermione told the girl before opening the door and heading down the hall to the room set aside for her use.

The first thing she saw when entering was her gown.  It had the cut of some ancient Greek style but was made from modern fabric.  The bodice was nearly translucent with midnight blue branches that would float on Hermione's skin because of the material behind them.  It was crossed with an X of gathered blue silk under the breasts and then again at the hips, and the shift shifted from clear to the same dark blue material as the crosses.

Her first thought was that she would look like some ancient goddess of the sky, her second was that she was going to be very cold.

“It’s blue.”  She said trying not to give it any further attention.  The actual rite would be at sunrise tomorrow, so she had no idea what they wanted her to do now.  Getting dressed now would be a bit ridiculous.

“Traditional color of virginal purity,”  Pansy said waving the idea away as she entered the room behind Hermione.  “Not that anyone thinks you’re pure.”

“Pansy, do yourself a favor and shut up,”  She said without heat. The other girl was weaker than her in countless ways, and it wasn’t worth any real effort.

With a final shake of her head, Hermione headed to the ensuite bathroom so she could clean up for the day.  She still wondered what she was going to do for the next few hours before she actually had to start getting ready.

She could treat it like any other day where the Dark Lord was too busy to entertain her.  Well maybe not any other day, as she did spend many of those trying to spy on what he was up to and come up with ways of getting that information to people who could use it.  But with her champions that activity was off the table.

She would go to the library instead and get some reading done.  As far as she knew she wouldn’t have much to do until after midday.

When she finally exited the bathroom, she found the girls sitting on a small couch each reading a different magazine.  Daphne smiled again and set her reading aside as she noticed Hermione’s appearance.

“Will you let me brush your hair?”  She asked hopefully. “I’m very gentle; you’ll love it.”  She promised.

The girl looked so earnest and hopeful that Hermione was finding it very hard to say no.  “Fine.” She said with a sigh. She could read while the girl worked.

She pulled her robe more tightly around her and took a seat then summoned a book she on advanced ancient runes as Daphne seemed to be unloading a back onto the desk.

“What’s all that?”  She asked picking up an unlabeled bottle with a frown.

“They’ve all been approved for the rite.”  The blond said as if that was why Hermione would care.  “They’ll help tame your beautiful curls. Just relax. I know what I’m doing.”  Daphne promised as she picked the bottle out of her hand and opened it.

The scent of vanilla filled the air and Hermione decided it couldn’t be too bad.  She opened her book to the place she had marked and started to read while Daphne went to work on her curls.  She found her eyes soon drifting closed as the other girl massaged this oil and that into her scalp and down her locks.

She soon set the book aside for a lost cause as she found she could enjoy being pampered for once.  True to her word Daphne was so gentle when she finally got to the brushing part that she wondered if she could hire the girl to do this for her every day.  She fought with her hair so much that it would be nice to leave it in capable hands.

Hermione thought she might have drifted off for a moment because before she knew it, Daphne was claiming to be done.

“Really?”  She asked as her hand moved to her hair and found soft, smooth curls.  Somehow she was expecting it to feel oily or hard with all the products she had seen on the desk, but it felt natural and healthy.

She got to her feet and went into the bathroom to look at the finished product.  She had to run her fingers through it to make sure it wasn’t some kind of illusion.  They were still her wild curls, but they looked better than she had ever been able to manage on her own.  She guessed if one dedicated themselves to such things one got results.

“Thank you, Daphne.”  She said as she came back out of the bathroom.  “You’re very good at this.”

Daphne smiled at her in a very pleased way.  “Thank you, my Lady.” She said bowing just a bit, which made Hermione uncomfortable again.

“I think I’m going to go to the library after I put on some real clothes.  We have some time to waste before we need to get ready.” She said as she headed for her dresser to find something comfortable.

“Is that really what you are going to do with your last day of freedom?  Be a lame a nerd you were back in school?” Pansay asked sounding disgusted.

“My last day of freedom?”  Hermione asked with a considerable amount amusement in her voice.  She hadn’t felt free since that first Samhein night with Voldemort.

“All I’m saying is I don’t want to watch you read.”  She said rolling her eyes as she got to her feet. “We should do something fun.  I’m sure we could at least get some mimosas here and get a bit tipsy. Then find something more fun to do with your big day.”

“That doesn’t seem like the best idea,”  Hermione said shaking her head.

Pansy rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips.  “You want me not to be a bitch? I want you to loosen the fuck up.  Have some real fun with your life. You’re going to be the Dark fucking Lady after today.  Own it.”

Hermione stared at Pansy for a long moment while Daphne bounced nervously in her periphery.  It was an odd feeling to look at the girl who had bullied her for years and think that she had a bit of a point.

This was her life now, there was no escape, and if she was being honest with herself, Hermione didn’t know if she would leave if she could.  She needed to stop acting like the victim and make this new life her own.

“Okay.”  She said, and the looked of shock on Pansy’s face was almost worth the discomfort of agreeing with her.  It seemed the other girl was just as surprised by Hermione’s turn as Hermione was herself.

“Okay,” Daphne said sounding very relieved by the turn of events.  Mimosas sound amazing, and we could get some fruit too to pick at!”  She was bouncing again, but this time in excitement. “Trixy!” She called the Dark Lord’s house elf.

“What is a mimosa anyway?”  Hermione asked as the elf appeared in front of them and bowed so low to Hermione her pointed nose scraped the ground.

“Hows can Trixy serve Mistress?”  The elf asked.

“We need mimosas and some snacks,”  Daphne said happily.

“And keep them coming.”  Added Pansy.

“What is a mimosa?”  Hermione repeated herself.

“Yes Misses.”  The elf said to the two Slytherins before turning to Hermione.  “Its being orange juice and champagne Mistress.” She answered before disappearing to get what they ordered.

Hermione turned to the other two girls doubtfully.  “And that combination is good?” She asked just to make sure.

The others both nodded, and a sly smile slid onto Pansy’s face.  “This day might be some fun after all.” She said before glancing around the room thoughtfully.  “I guess we are stuck here until it’s time to get ready. Daph, you have any ideas on ways to amuse ourselves?”

“Well.  We are a bit limited here.”  She said looking around the room as well.  “And I don’t think Hermione would be interested in gossip or that sort of thing.”  Hermione was impressed that the girl came to that conclusion on her own. “We could play a game, maybe truth or dare?”  Daphne offered with a smile.

“Truth or dare is third-year shit,”  Pansy said as a feast of snacks appeared on a nearby table with three flutes of what looked like orange juice with a couple of frozen raspberries floating in it.  “Perfect.” She said going over to hand out the drinks.

Hermione frowned and took her glass taking a tiny sip to see if it was tolerable.  She had to admit it was pretty good and mostly tasted like juice with carbonation in it.

“No.  I have a better game: two truths and a lie.”  The brunet said with a smirk. “Do you know how to play?”  She asked Hermione, who shook her head.

“When it is your turn you tell two truths and one lie.  If we guess which one is the lie you have to finish your drink.  If we get it wrong, then we have to finish our drinks. Then it’s the next person’s turn, and we go around like that until it isn’t fun anymore.”  She said before taking a big swallow of her drink. “It’s a game of wits. You should be good at it.” She said as if she was making a personal challenge.

“Fine.”  Hermione agreed as she took a seat to get comfortable.  At least it would mean learning a bit more about these two, and it seemed that she had an advantage.  These two knew each other well, but neither of them knew her at all. “You go first.” She said waving her drink at Pansy.

“Okay.”  She said not seeming to mind.  “I lost my virginity to Draco Malfoy, I hate Hermione Granger, and flying makes me dizzy.”  She said taking another sip as she smirked at Hermione.

“Pansy!”  Daphne cried shaking her head.  Hermione had visions of the blond trying to reign in her friend for a long time to come.  “That isn’t nice.”

“Which one’s the lie?”  Pansy asked looking at her friend.

“Well, I know flying makes you dizzy because of that time you threw up on my shoes.”  She said as she nodded thoughtfully.

It seemed logical that Pansy had sex with Draco, they had dated for so long at school.  But that only left one thing.

“You don’t hate me?”  Hermione asked carefully.

“Oh, I do hate you.   So very much.” Pansy said almost pleasantly.  “But now you have to drink.”

Hermione frowned more deeply.  “Then who did you lose your virginity to?”  She asked because it seemed impossible it wasn’t Draco.  She had almost attached herself on him like some sort of parasite.

“No one.  I don’t believe in sex before marriage.  Most purebloods know better than to lower themselves to actions of a whore.”

“Right.  Forgive me, but I have witnessed first hand what happens are pureblood Midsummer rituals.”  Hermione countered she wasn’t buying the pure act.

“I’ve never been to one, so you would have to enlighten me.”  The other girl said a bit too innocently.

“How do I know you’re not lying now?”  She asked narrowing her eyes.

“We’re usually not allowed to go until we graduate from Hogwarts.”  Daphne supported her friend. “But the game isn’t about fighting. Look.”  The blond downed the alcohol-laced juice in one go. Soon Hermione could see the glass refill itself once she was done.  “Not a big deal.” She said after smacking her lips.

Hermione took a breath and followed suit.  She wondered what Voldemort would think of her getting drunk before the ritual.

“I’ll go next!”  Daphne said happily to have things moving forward once again.  “Okay okay. Let me see. My best subject is Charms. I love the color pink. I’m very curious about what Harry Potter kisses like.”  She said leaning in with her last statement as if she was actually looking for this information.

“She does get good grades in Charms,”  Pansy said looking at Hermione. “I would say her favorite color isn’t pink.”

“Is she right?”  Hermione asked looking back at the blond.

“Yes!  So? What does he kiss like?”  She asked bouncing slightly in her seat.

“I have no idea.  I’ve never kissed Harry.”  She said putting up her hands to defend herself from the very idea of it.  Harry was much more like a brother to her.

Daphne pouted but finished off her drink for the second time.

“I guess that means it’s my turn.”  She said taking a breath when suddenly the door opened.  She looked over surprised; there were not many people who would dare enter without knocking.

Of course, Malfoy gave her a cool smirk.  “My Lady.” He said bowing before letting himself in.  He was followed by Zabini and Nott. “We thought we would see what the bridal party was up to.”  Answering Hermione’s question before she could ask it.

“We are day drinking and playing school games,”  Hermione answered as she was already feeling the alcohol from the drink.  “And you came just in time for my turn.”

“What kind of game?”  Zabini asked as Nott moved to sit next to Daphne.

“Two truths and a lie,”  Pansy answered. “If you want to stay you guys need to shoo, it’s Hermione’s turn.”  She snapped holding her finger to her lips.

The other two boys got comfortable sitting on the floor around them so they made a small circle and could all see each other easily.  Hermione pulled her robe more tightly around her and tried to think with four sets of eyes now on her.

“The first time I broke international wizarding law, was in my 3rd year.  I’ve ripped pages out of books that belong to Hogwarts. And… Voldemort is the only man I’ve ever had sex with.”  She said smiling happily as the mix of truth and lies.

The Slytherins around her just blinked a few times as she smiled back at her.  “Two of those things are true?” Draco asked, maybe he thought she didn’t understand the full extent of the rules.

“Yes.  And one of them is a complete lie.”  She told them nodding and sitting back at their baffled faces.

“Well,” Pansy said slowly, as she tried to piece things together.  “In our third year was the whole thing with Sirius Black right?” She asked the others.  “Maybe she helped him.”

“But he was technically only wanted by wizarding England.  She said international law.” Draco pointed out helpfully.

“The book thing seems far-fetched as well,”  Nott added. “I’ve seen her in the library; she worships at the altar of books.

“That seems easier to believe that, than her somehow breaking international law,”  Daphne said shaking her head. “I say that’s the lie.”

“But…”  Pansy started, but Hermione shook her head.

“She said it was the lie.  You two have to drink.”

“So you did break international wizarding law?  Which one?” Draco asked narrowing his eyes at her.

“Misuse of a time turner for criminal activity,”  Hermione told him happily.

“You had a time turner in 3rd year!”  He nearly yelled in surprise.

“How else was I supped to get to all my classes?”  She asked as if it was only natural.

After that, the game went on a few more rounds.  And even Hermione had to admit it was fun to be carefree for a little while.  She also really liked how shocked she could get the Slytherins with her truths and lies.

When it was time for lunch more food appeared on the table, and they broke into pairs to chat.

“Are you going to be his second today then?”  Hermione asked Draco as she picked food off her plate and continued to drink the juice mixture.  She found she quite liked it after all.

They had taken up a position on the bed, with Hermione sitting with her back propped by pillows and Draco sitting with his legs dangling off the side.

“Yes.  It is my right, and if he should fall before then, it will be my duty to marry you.”  He told her in mock seriousness.

“Yeah.  Like you could handle me.”  She joked shaking her head.

“Is that a challenge, my Lady?”  he asked smirking back at her. He kept eye contact as he placed a hand on her ankle.

“You’re not that suicidal Mr. Malfoy.”  She said, but there was an explicit dare in her tone.

He slowly leaned closer to her, his hands sliding up her leg till it reached the hem of her robe.

“That kiss was something to remember Miss Granger.”  He told her then pushed his hand up under the fabric to stroke her thigh.

“What kiss?”  She asked feigning ignorance.

“The one you gave me at the grove.  The one cut short when we were interrupted.”  He aid and he was leaning so far into her now she could feel his breath against her lips.  Without her noticing he had taken the plate from her lap.

“Interrupted by my intended.”  She reminded Draco. “You remember him?  The most powerful wizard of the day, and your boss.”

Instead of backing off or conceding the point like she thought he pushed in and took her lips in a blazing kiss.

Slowly the heat in their kiss only grew, and gradually she found she didn’t want him to pull away.  His hand moved up the outside of her leg until he was rolling her on top of him. She broke the kiss then and looked down into his gray eyes.

“This is a bad idea.”  She said shifting to get off of him, but he held her waist in place.

“This is the last time you will ever have a chance to be with anyone else,”  Draco told her as his hand moved to her belt. “Unless he agrees that you can have a lover.”

“It’s already too late for that.”  She told him as her hand moved to the necklace.

“You know he lies,”  Draco said as he pulled the pendant from her hand and used it to pull her face back towards his.

“He would kill you.”  She told right before he moved to taste her lips softly.

“You would protect me.” He countered before deepening the kiss.  She let it linger this time. Voldemort had told her she would never feel any heat with another man again.  That he was the only one who would never be able to satisfy her, but she had to admit Draco wasn’t without skill when it came to kissing.

She could feel herself grow excited by the forbidden-ness of what they were doing, which was more than complemented by the way his fingers undid her robe.

She pulled back from him as a few more heated moments with his hand kneading her breast and shook her head.  She was not going to do this with an audience. But when she glanced around the other four Slytherins were missing.

Draco took his chance to pull her down again, this time moving into position on top of her.  When he leaned down to kiss her, she wrapped her legs around him and found herself rolling her core against his covered crotch.

This was such a bad idea, but maybe it would show the Dark Lord how ready she was for this marriage.  She did not think for a moment that he wasn’t going to find out.

As Draco fumbled with his slacks, she figured her husband to be would come bursting through the door before the act could get much dangerous.  So when she felt the young Malfoy drive inside of her, she let out a cry of surprise and pleasure.

She couldn’t help but laugh, as Draco started a quick pace inside of her.  “This is such a bad idea.” She told him as her hands moved to brace against the headboard.  “The fucking worst idea.” She added as her hips thrust back to meet his every movement.

She could feel the slow build towards her peak and Draco helped it along with skilled fingers and nips on tender flesh.  She thought she might be on the very crest of it and was keening under him when he only doubled his effort. She stayed on that so close peak for long enough that it was starting to hurt when he pulled out of her and came on her stomach.

“Sorry.”  He said breathlessly sounding a bit ashamed that he hadn’t gotten her off first.  His fingers moved to continue where his cock left off when she shook her head.

“Stop please.” She said panting with exertion.  “Too much.” She told him so he rolled off of her and moved to gentle strokes of her arm.

“Are you okay?” He asked sounding concerned now.

“I just need to cool off.”  She said and sat up to get herself a drink.  “I’m going to shower. Can you figure out where everyone went?”  She asked figuring distance would help.

“They shouldn’t be far.”  He said nodding and fixing his pants as he got to his feet.  “Granger, you’re probably the hottest woman I’ve ever been with, that was something.”

She smiled at him and fixed her robe as she headed to the bathroom to take her second shower for the day.  She let water on the cooler side run over her thinking it would calm her body as she rinsed away the physical proof.

She didn’t pay attention to time as she cleaned Draco from her body and tried to calm down.  But it wasn’t working. Hermione whimpered as she continued to feel the now painful knot of desire as if her body just stood on the precipice of her climax and wouldn't back down.

It didn’t take long to realize this was what the Voldemort meant when he said she couldn’t find release with another man.  It wasn’t that she couldn’t feel the pleasure of other men, it was that her body wouldn’t let her finish. It didn’t seem like it would back off the edge any time soon either.

It was uncomfortable enough that she tried to get herself off as she stood against the wall of the shower and found with a growl she was stuck and frustratingly turned on.  But she wasn’t going to let the situation get the better of her. When she was clean, she put her robe back on and found everyone back in her room like nothing had happened.

“Aww, your hair.  Sit down, and I’ll fix it.”  Daphne said getting up from her spot and going back where the hair supplies were still on the desk.

Hermione gave her a tight smile and nodded.  Before the treatment was relaxing, now with her 863body charged it was stimulating and it was tough for her not to make a sound as the girl played with her hair.  How was she going to last?

“We should go get ready for the party,”  Draco said while Daphne was still playing with her hair.  “It would be sundown in a couple of hours.”

“See you at the party,” Daphne said happily.

“We should start getting ready as well.  Do you need help with your dress, my lady?”  Pansy asked with the same amount of sarcasm that she had had all day.

“I’ll be fine.”  Hermione waved her off as the blond finished with her hair.

Once it was in place once again, Hermione stood and took the dress from where it hung on the bedpost before heading to the bathroom to change.  She wasn’t about to change in front of the perfect little Slytherins. It was horrid enough with how much skin the dress showed and what she would be doing later in front of everyone.

She looked at herself in the bathroom mirror once she has slipped into the gown.  She still needed help with some buttons in the back of the dress that held everything in place, because Merlin forbid wizards to use zippers, but it was so odd looking at herself now.

She almost didn’t recognize the being looking back at her from her reflection.  She has changed from the frumpy little bookworm into a creature of legend. She seemed more Dryad than human just as her soon to be husband looked more snake than man.

The lines and designs on her skin seemed to glow an amber color as if the sap was starting to crystallize in her veins.  Her eye irises, still the same leaf shape that had been for months now, had changed to an iridescent blue that was almost white.  They were not human eyes no matter what she tried to tell herself sometimes.

She was a creature, something more than a witch, and in her dress with her hair falling in waves, it was so easy to see herself as the near goddess Voldemort told her she would become at his side.

“My Lady?  Is everything okay?”  Daphne asked in a worried voice through the door.  She wondered how long she had been staring at herself to hear such worry in the other girl.

“Fine.  I’ll be right out.”  She told her and took a deep breath and shook herself.

She blamed this new pulsing torturous desire for her slip in thoughts.  She had been very careful over the last few months to remind herself Voldemort was full of crap.  She was no more than any other witch, though maybe more powerful than some. But she was a witch; she was no goddess.

When she pushed open the bathroom, she found the two other girls dressed and ready for the event.  How long had she been looking at herself?

“We should be heading down to your gathering soon, my Lady,”  Daphne said as she moved behind her and started to button the dress without being asked.  You look amazing.” She added happily.

“My gathering?”  Hermione asked trying to distract herself.

“Well, the ladies will be entertaining in the inside while the men’s gathering is around the bonfire outside.  Until an hour before dawn, when we move to their space and finish the ritual.” Pansy explained in a voice that said Hermione should already know all this.

“I need to see the Dark Lord.”  She said in alarm; there was no way she was going to last with this painful need until dawn.

“That isn’t how it's done.”  Pansy pushed back.

“I don't care.  I need to see him now, or I am not leaving this room.”  She told the girls firmly, neither could move her if she didn’t wish to go.

“My Lady plea…”  Daphne started, but Hermione shook her head and glared between them.

“No.  This isn't up for debate.  I need to talk to him before all this gets underway.  Now.” She ordered firmly, as she brought herself up to her full five foot three inches.

“I-I’ll go.”  Daphne finally said looking fearful about being the messenger.

“No.  Pansy will go,”  Hermione said looking to the girl who had been taunting her most of the day.

“Fine.  I'll go tell the Dark Lord his whore is being a bitch.”  She said as she headed to the door putting on a fearless heir.

“I will pay gallons if you use those exact words,”  Hermione smirked as the girls back before she left.

“I’ve heard that last minute doubts are common, my Lady,”  Daphne said as she wrung her hands in worry.

Hermione sighed and closed her eyes.  “Call me Hermione. I’m not really into this my Lady crap from you.”  She said tiredly then looked up at the girl. “These aren't doubts, I know I don’t want to marry him.  But I also don’t have a choice.  I just need to see him.” She said before making her way over to the couch to sit while they waited.

“I can’t even imagine being where you are m-Hermione.  Having to marry someone so powerful and frightening. You’ve done a lot to better yourself and you should know you are well respected by many people for what you have done in your short time on this world.  Marrying our Lord only proves your power, and only those who are jealous of you think badly of what you have done for yourself.”

Hermione frowned and looked up at the girl.  She wondered where the little speech came from because at this point in her life she cared very little for what other people thought of her.  Before she could ask anything the door swung open and a very displeased looking Dark Lord stepped into the room.

“Out.”  He ordered, and it was entirely clear to whom he was speaking.  Daphne moved from the room and even closed the door behind her. Hermione wouldn’t be surprised if she tried to leave the house, or maybe the town without annoyed Voldemort looked in that moment.

“Did you send Draco to seduce me?”  She asked before he had a chance to express any more annoyance.  She had been thinking about it, and there seemed very little chance Draco would have moved in without permission.

The Dark Lord’s expression went from displeased to blank, and this meant only one thing to Hermione.

“To what point and purpose?”  She asked as she slowly stood.  “Did you want to see how faithful I would be to you are some crap?”

“If that had been my desire I wouldn’t have given him the lust charm.  Though from what I understand he may not have needed it with how much you were drinking.”  He said looking her over.

“Lust charm.”  She said biting the inside of her cheek.  If she hadn’t been drinkings he would have made that connection a lot faster.  It really wasn’t like her to just give into Draco’s flirting that easily. “So what was the point?”  She asked all the more annoyed for the setup and getting more annoyed that her annoyance wasn’t lessening her desire to jump him.

“How are you feeling?”  Voldemort asked as he took a step closer to her, his smirk spread over her face as he knew exactly what was happening.  “Do you need something my pet?”

“Sex.”  The word came how more breathy than she would like.  She could feel his magic, and it was only making everything harder to focus.  “You did this to be on purpose, today?”

“I wanted you more distracted than I when we signed the legal papers.”  He told her honestly. “We can do it now I think. It seems the charm works better than I thought it would.”  He said before reaching out and brushing fingers along her jaw.

She couldn’t help the purr as his touch was a huge relief in a way she couldn’t fully understand.

“Tactical advantage.”  She said opening her eyes to look at him.  “I’m not signing anything like this.”

“Than you will suffer from your need and desires until we join together at dawn.”  He said knowingly.

“Fine.”  She said as she worked to open her eyes and look at him.  “If you wanted me distracted than there is something I need to know about our contract.”

“Look for yourself.”  He told her as he pulled a scroll from the inside of his dress robes.  He pulled away from her so he could place it on her desk and unrolled it with a flick of his wand.  “But if you sign it now I will give you release without taking any of my own.”

“What?”  She asked as she worked not to show how much their distance affected her.

“If you sign this without reading I will kneel down before you and pleasure you with my mouth and tongue until you cry out in your much-needed climax.”  He told her slowly so she could take in every word of what he was offering.

It took her a full minute before she could speak again, with visions of the sex act dancing in her head and only serving to peak her desire more than it already was.  Which she hadn’t thought was possible.

“Now I know you are up to something.”  She said as she forced herself to turn away from him and lean over the desk.  She worked hard to focus on the words.

But of course the Dark Lord would never play fair, and his moved up behind her.  He didn’t touch her, only leaned over and shifted so close to her that his magic all but overpowered all her thoughts.

“Find anything interesting?”  He asked with a fake innocent tone.  “Anything worth what I’m going to make you do to get what you need?  So many humiliating and wonderfully painful things to choose from.”

“I can’t focus.”  She admitted because there was no reason to deny it.

“Our guests are waiting for us, my dear.  Sign the paper, and I’ll finish you quickly.”

“What don’t you want me to know?”  She asked as she narrowed her eyes on the paper and tried to read once more.

“You smell like desire, my pet.  I do wish I could ravish you as you try to read, but we wouldn’t want to mess up your pretty dress.”  He said now sounding arrogant as if he had already won this particular battle of wills.

She whimpered and shook her head as his hands traveled down her hips.

“What more do you want to take from me Voldemort?”  She whimpered as he eyes closed and her body shook against him.

“From you my sweet, I want everything.”  He whispered just behind her ear so he could feel his breath.

“You already have everything.”  She cried, wishing she didn’t sound so very pathetic.

“So then you have nothing to lose by signing.”  He said before kissing the sweet spot he knew very well she liked.

“There must be something I’m missing; you wouldn’t be working this hard if it were nothing.”  She said opening her eyes again and biting her bottom lip hard enough to cut through some the clouds threatening to overtake her every thought but him.

“That’s my girl.”  he hissed as she started to read the contract.  His hands continued to explore her body, but every time she was in danger of losing focus she just bit down harder.  She wasn’t going to let him win.

She frowned and turned her head to look back at him, her lip bleeding from where she had cut into it with her teeth.

“It’s a standard wedding contract.”  She told him only because she was sure this was something that one could just get directly from the Ministry.

“But you are not a standard woman.”  He told her in a pleased way as his thumb ran over her wound.  “Even now, after I’ve owned you for so many months, you still take what is yours.  You still hold power over yourself.” He kissed her then sucking the lip into his mouth and turning her around so he soon after her sitting on the contract as he ravaged her lips.

She fell into the kiss, it was part of what she wanted, after all, She needed him inside her, and his tongue was good enough for the moment.

He only broke the kiss when they were both breathless.  “You, my dear, are my perfect match, I have never desired a woman in the way I desire you.”

She whimpered as she looked up at him, he always made her feel ways no one had ever made her feel.  He was her perfect match as well, whether she liked that fact or not.

“Please Voldemort?”  She mewed needing more, needing an end to her torture.

“I can’t fuck you, my sweet, not until the ritual.”  He said sounding regretful. “But this should give you some relief.”  He told her and reached behind her to remove her necklace and slip it into her pocket.

Her hand moved to her neck, and she frowned, not understanding why he would remove it.  “It’s magic would alter tonight’s rite in ways I can not predict. Best to remove it for now anyway.”

“You trust me to go all night without it?”  She asked as her mind moved over all the things she could do without his mark around her neck.

She still felt the need of making gone so long without release, but she could tell her body would cool now naturally.

“Oh, I think after you see my present you will be a perfect pet tonight.”  He said kissing her again before she could ask what he was talking about.

When he left both her bridesmaids returned without giving her time to do anything about the desire still thumping in her blood.  It was still a lot more manageable, and she let Daphne fuss and Pansy glare without further comment.

She let them lead her down to the large dining room where it seemed most of the guests were gathered.  They were many of the same faces she saw at every one of these pureblood rites, but the most significant difference was that tonight was all about her, and every woman in the room knew that.

She wasn’t going to find any solice of peace away tonight; everyone demanded her attention.  As she made her way through the room, her two babysitters stuck by her side and fortunately did most of the talking for her.  Even Pansy showed played the part of a supportive friend for this crowd.

When she got a glimpse of the gift table for the first time she dropped the glass of champagne she didn’t remember picking up.  Her eyes went wide, and her stomach leaped into her throat. She wasn’t surprised by the massive pile of gifts; she was sure no expense would be spared when it came to trying to impress the Dark Lord.

What shocked her and made her want to run towards the table was the limp and beaten redhead that was hanging by a single chain connected to his wrists.  She felt her entire body tighten as she was sure this was what Voldemort meant by his ‘gift.’

She rushed to Ron’s side, needing to know he was at least alive.  She wasn’t sure if those gathered parted for her out of respect or if her expression had scared them, and at that moment she didn’t care.

“Ron?”  She said, her voice trembling a little as she got close to him.  She knew everyone was watching her, but she didn’t care.

She touched his cheek and slid her fingers down to his neck to check for a pulse.  He was alive. Her chest released just a little. One of his eyes was swollen and she was sure someone had given him a through muggle beating before hanging him here.

“Ron?”  She asked again as she worked not to cry in front of all the snakes in the room.

He opened the eye that wasn’t swollen and looked up at her in a pained way.

“Hermione.”  He said and actually smiled.  “I’ve come to save you.” He told her looking around slowly.  “Isn’t going so well.” He added then looked at her. “You look nice.  What happened to your eyes?”

“You were supposed to stay away.”  She told him softly. “Keep yourself safe.”

“Shouldn’t talk here, I think we’re being watched,”  Ron said and gave her a lopsided grin before wincing in pain.

She frowned and glared around at those who were openly watching them.  She was going to hex the Dark Lord the next time she saw him. She looked up at the chain holding Ron and she had to wonder if she could break it.  The Dark Lord would have thought of that though, right?

“I do apologize for breaking tradition.  But I heard my bride had found my wedding gift.”  She heard her groom say from the entryway.  She turned on him and her wand was already in her hand.  “I wanted to see how she liked it.”

They locked eyes across the room and she showed him exactly what she thought of the gift.  The whole room gasped as she threw the first curse and then another. He focused on blocking as she attacked and several of the party guests were hit instead of him.

“People are going to think you don’t like it, my pet.”  He said as she moved towards her.

“How dare you!” She yelled not caring what these people thought of her.

“If you don’t want to keep it we can always put it down,”  Voldemort said without emotion.

“What happened to our deal?”  She asked because she had agreed to marry him freely because he said he wouldn’t kill Ron.  If he went back on that what was she even doing here today?

“He’s alive, and I am giving him to you.  You may do anything you wish except for free him.”  He said as if this was a generous gift.

“He needs a healer.”  She said trying to keep control so she could understand the full situation.

“Ah, yes, young Master Malfoy and his friend did do a bit of damage this morning.”  He said thoughtfully. “I am sure we can find him a healer though, and then he can witness our rite.”

“Fine.”  She said trying not to think about the fact she had probably let Draco fuck her just after he had beaten on Ron.

“Fine.”  He said smiling as he knew exactly how he was pressing her buttons.  “I’ll see you in the morning, my love.” He said bowing to her dramatically.

When he left a few guards entered to take Ron away, to get healed.  This was the Dark Lord’s plan the whole time. If he had Ron, she knew he would want to make it quite clear to her ex who she belonged to now.

After that, she drifted away from the crowd and sat on one of the couches that lined the room.  It seemed after the display those around knew better than to bother her so she was quite surprised when Pansy sat down next to her and put a plate in her lap.

“What’s this?”  She asked looking down at the finger sandwiches.

“It’s almost five.”  She said and Hermione nodded.  She understood the rite would be starting soon, she needed to eat something to keep up her strength for what was about to happen.  “He’s nearly recovered.” She added after a moment, they have him tied up outside now, but I think anyone is bothering him.”

She swallowed thickly and looked to Pansy again.  “Did you draw the short straw?” She asked wondering why this girl that hated her so much was doing anything for her at all.

Pansy sighed and leaned back on the couch.  “You’re going to need friends Granger. I may be a bitch, but it is worth it to me to be on your side.”

“Why not be nicer earlier?”  She asked as she started to nibble on the sandwiches.

“The rest of this crap doesn’t matter, you could care less about any of it.  But the blood traitor outside, that’s something you do care about.  I just don’t think you need someone pretending your situation is normal and happy.  Because it’s not.”

Hermione blinked a few times as she really looked at Pansy.  “Thanks.” She said slowly, as she thought about how ordinary and grounding her interactions with Pansy had been all day.  It felt very odd to feel somehow thankful for Pansy’s sanity, but it seemed her life was full of weird things now.

“You should finish as many of those as you can.”  The dark haired girl said nodding at the plate. “I’m told we aren't doing to bed any time soon.”  With that, she got up and left Hermione alone once again.

She nibbled at the sandwiches and watched those around her.  The party had gone on while she wasn’t paying attention, and many of the women seemed merry with drink and happy for their leader.

No one in this room cared much about the fate of some blood traitor that the bride happened to have a soft spot.  No one cared that Ron had been beaten and hung and treated like some object instead of a full human being like he was.

She would never again have anyone in her life that understood that part of her.  Was this all worth it to keep two boys alive? Because that is all, they would be if Voldemort got ahold of them; alive.  He had proved that tonight with Ron.

She set the plate aside and nodded to herself.  Alive would have to be a good start she decided. Even without the necklace to keep tabs on her, she couldn’t risk Ron’s life.  She just hoped against all the odds that Harry wasn’t about to join him with his own doomed rescue plan.

Daphne and Pansy returned to her when it was time to move to the next portion of the night.  They walked just behind her as Hermione had to lead the procession of women out into the night.

Thankfully they had laid down warming charms on the path to the garden they were using for the ceremony.  The bonfire there warmed the area nicely as well, and Hermione didn’t feel the cold even though she wore little to cover herself.  Only her bare feet on the cool, wet grass chilled on the walk.

A small platform was built in front of the fire.  It looked padded and was covered with furs, pillows, and blankets.  The Dark Lord stood just in front of it, with the other men of the circling the area.  Hermione spotted Draco and Nott standing just off to one side and knew that Daphne and Pansy would be expected to stand to the other.

She tried not to think about Ron, but she found him as if she had been looking.  He was chained in a kneeling position, with a clear view of the dais. Was Voldemort so anxious about her lasting affection for him that he had to absolutely prove to the three of them who she belonged to?

She frowned at the thought and knew the answer without really having to think so very hard about it.

She moved to her Groom with her head held high.  She was not going to let these people think of her as a victim any more than they already did.  She took his offered hadn’t and let him help her up onto the platform.

He joined her soon after, and they both knelt near the edge, facing away from the fire.  This meant they were facing Ron head on, and Hermione could see his expression of distress and disgust clearly in the firelight.

“You look like the goddess you will become, my pet,”  Voldemort said softly, as he leaned into her. “I find myself looking forward to the climax of the ceremony more than I can express.”

A shiver went down her spine at his closeness and words, but having to watch her friend watch her stopped her from anticipating their joining as much as she would otherwise.  

“You’re a bastard.”  She told him, and he just chuckled softly in response.

It seemed that Malfoy senior had been chosen to conduct the rite as he came to stand in front of them, only partially blocking Ron from her view.  She closed her eyes as Lucius started to weave the ancient joining spell. She could feel the power of the night begin to make itself known, and there was an utterly different sort of ecstasy that started to hum in her veins.

She could tune out everything around her but the magic, and she let herself fall into it.  As she disconnected herself from the physical world she could feel the magic inside of her self; what she was born with, the gift of the ancient grove, and the binding of his magic mixed with her own.  She would never be without him again. Tonight would make them a single magical being, and she had to wonder at his willingness to share that with her.

Her breath caught as the magic of the rising sun joined everything else she was feeling, and she opened her eyes to see the sky was starting to gray with dawn’s light.

They turned on the dais to face each other.  With both of them kneeling he was still much taller than her, and she had to look up into Voldemort's strange face.  He was beautiful to her, even with the form his dark magic had given him. Hermione wondered if he thought the safe of what her wild magic has done to her.  Or if he just cared little for what the flesh looked like as long as the power was there.

“It is time to bare your hearts to call witnesses of this joining,”  Lucius announced.

Her bridesmaids moved up behind her and started to undo the buttons of her dress, as his groomsmen did the same.  She shivered again as her dress puddled around her knees, leaving her completely exposed to all present.

Voldemort’s robes soon followed the same path, and he too was exposed to all his followers.  She couldn’t help but glance down to his more than ready manhood. When she looked back up at his face, she found amusement in his expression that told her the glance had not gone unnoticed.

With their clothes out of the way Daphne and Pansy each took a wrist and pulled it behind her, she noticed the same being done to her Groom as their chest were presented to each other.  

Lucius stepped into them a bit closer and continued the rite.  His wand hovered and swished over the place between them, and she could feel him drawing upon the power of nature and the birth of the light and feeding it into what he was doing.

She gasped as the full power of the spell hit her, and she could feel it wrap around her heart and connect it to Voldemort’s in an almost physical way.  She cried out as he skin felt the burn just above her heart, but she couldn’t find the will to open her eyes just yet.

“As you are now one, you will join and seal you union for all eternity.”  She heard Lucius say as the burning feeling soothed and she opened her eyes to look up at Dark Lord once more.  She could see the ruin burned into the flesh over his heart, and she assumed her'd looked the same.

He leaned down and took her lips in a kiss that she couldn’t help but be completely open to it.  She found her wrists freed so she wrapped them around him as she laid her down on the furs and pillows under them.

If she thought their joining would be soft and loving, she would have been wrong.  Once he had her on her back, his hands moved to her arms, and he quickly had them pinned on each side of her head.  They were not ones to make love, and it was almost a relief that they would not be being doing that now.

He liked absolute control, and in these acts, she loved the lack of it, so they both got exactly what they wanted as he ravaged her body with the rising of the sun.  She moaned and pushed back against him rolling her hips and meeting his every thrust as they caught the frenzied heat of their need for each other.

It felt rushed and slow all at once, and she was so lost in the connection of their joining she did not notice the commotion around them.  She didn’t notice the yelling or fighting that had broken out amongst the guests. She saw nothing but their pleasure until she felt the rising magic and the burst as they both found their climaxes and the spell finished in her desire as he filled her with his.

She gasped under him and almost smiled up at her husband when she noticed hard green eyes looking down at them both.

Harry’s wand was pointed to the back of Voldemort’s head, and she couldn’t help but feel her body constrict in fear of what was about to happen.

Voldemort groaned and then laughed.  “Potter, I don’t think I invited you to my wedding.  Guest of the bride then?” He said without looking back at her friend.

“Get off of her!”  Harry growled expression determined.

“I don’t think I will; I quite enjoy being inside of my wife.”  He said then leaned down and kissed her neck only to make her gasp.

“GET OFF HER!”  Harry yelled this time as Voldemort seemed to fins pleasure in molesting her.

“Stop.”  Hermione gasped as his teeth nipped against tender skin.

“Don’t worry my pet; he won’t hurt me now.”  He told her smoothly, but loudly enough that Harry could hear.

“We killed Nagini.  She was the last thing between you and your death Voldemort.”  Harry said boldly.

She could feel him stiffen over her, but the reaction wouldn’t have been noticeable to anyone else.  “Not the last.” He said as she finally slipped out of her and moved to his knees.

Without his body over hers, the morning felt cold, and she almost reached out to pull him back.  Instead, she grabbed one of the blankets to pull over her.

“Unless you wish to murder the woman who has saved your life countless times?”  The Dark Lord asked as he turned to face Harry and his wand. “She is my wife; our hearts are one.”  He told Harry with a pleased smile.

“What?”  Harry asked he had not been ready for this news.

“If one heart stops, so does the other.”  She confirmed as she put her hand over the mark on her skin.  She knew that it wasn’t something she regretted if Voldemort was to die at this point, Hermione wasn’t sure she really wanted to outlive him.  “Do it, Harry.” She added in a stronger voice. “It’s okay.”

Voldemort’s face snapped back to glare at his wife.  “She doesn’t mean it, Potter. And even if she does, do you really think you have it in you to kill her in cold blood?”  He asked as she slowly turned back to Harry.

She could see it in her friend’s eyes now; she wasn’t sure he had it in him to kill Voldemort like this, let alone her.

“Come with us, Hermione.”  He said instead, and for the first time, she saw the chaos that was happening around them.  Harry had not come alone, and she saw many of the surviving Order members fighting against Death Eaters.

“She is mine.”  Voldemort put himself between them as he summoned his wand to his hand.  She really needed to learn that trick.

“She belongs to herself.”  Harry countered looking angry once again.

“Take Ron and go,”  Hermione said now worried about all those fighting on the side of light.

“Come with us.” He said again, and she felt Voldemort grab her wrists as if he genuinely was worried that she would leave.

“No.”  She told him and shook her head.  “I love you guys, but no.” She told him so firmly as she hoped he would respect her wishes this time.

“You know it is smart to listen to her Potter.  Leave while you still can.” The Dark Lord said relaxing a bit with her words.

When Harry took his eyes off of Voldemort for a brief glance to see what was going on around them the older wizard took his chance, but so did Hermione.

“Stupify.”  He cast easily, but Hermione moved in the way of the spell.  Everything went dark after that, but she had to hope she helped her friends get away.

When she came back to the world, she found she was still laying on the platform, and Harry was crouched over her with worry in his eyes this time.  She wondered where Voldemort had gone and looked around as many were retreating in every direction.

She felt her heart which meant he was still alive, but she couldn’t see him and that was making her fear as she would never see him again.

“He’s passed out, but we have to go Hermione.  Before reinforcements come.” He told her seriously.

“You’ve protected us from each other, though he almost broke his vow.”  He said with a hard expression. He’s lucky I lived.” Harry said not making any sense.  “You can’t stay here Hermione. You’re not one of them.”

She gave her friend a sad smile and looked up into his eyes.  She wasn’t wearing the necklace now; their marriage bond would not be able to track her the same way.  She was free to go with Harry except for one thing.

“I belong with him.  I’m sorry. Asking me to go is like asking me to leave a large part of who I am behind.  I need him.”

“Just, knock her out Harry!  She’s talking crazy. We need to go.”  Ron said from a short distance away.

“I trust you,”  Harry said and kissed her on the cheek before turning and leaving her alone as the rest of the Order retreated from the grounds.

Hermione wrapped the blanket around her tightly and looked around to find his husband’s form splayed in the grass.  She knelt herself down beside him, and couldn’t help but smile as she felt the hum of their magic together.

She laid down with her head on his chest and waited for him to wake or for his people to find them.  With all the magic they had done together, and how wrapped they were in each other’s power, she couldn’t think of any other place she would rather be.

She didn’t know how much time had passed when she felt his arms wrap around her and pull her closer to his form.

“I tried to kill the boy.”  He admitted against her hair.  “It was a mistake.” He added so softly she wasn’t sure if she had heard the words.  “But you’re still here.”

“We have a deal.” She said as she breathed in his scent and his magic.

“You’re mine.”  He said brushing fingers in her hair.

“For all eternity.”



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