Please forgive any spelling and/or grammar errors. I hope you enjoy it, please let me know what you think!
After several requests, I’ve finally come up with a darker plot to write about.
Considering the Harry Potter books are set in the middle of a war, and many things are implied without actually being explicitly stated, I’ve always wanted to write a darker story that explores that aspect, and goes with what several readers have asked me to do a story on including a Marriage Law fic. This is going to sort of combine the two. Not exactly a traditional Marriage Law, but it will have a marriage of circumstance that develops into something real over time while always including some of the brutalities of war.
I have another username, but I decided not to publish this under that name because a number of taboo, or at least questionable, situations will come up in this story. If you are interested in reading my other works, please PM me, and I will let you know what it is.
I’m not J.K. Rowling, so I don’t own anything.
Ch 1: Revel
For the first time in weeks, Hermione was bored rather than upset. The stilted conversation she’d attempted to keep up with her mum had long since dried up. They just didn’t have anything in common to keep it going, and they didn’t see each other often enough for it not to feel awkward and strained when they tried.
The shops in London were packed with people bustling about, all trying to get last minute shopping done before Christmas. Shopping was the last thing in the world Hermione wanted to be doing, but her mum had talked her into coming along, pointing out that this was the first Christmas Hermione had spent with them since her first year at Hogwarts. Her mum had added that they had only spent a total of one hundred and fifty-four days together since Hermione began attending the wizarding school. Then, for good measure, to really drive her point home and layer on the guilt, she’d also pointed out that Hermione had had four hundred and thirty-four days available to spend with her parents over the years, but that Hermione had either chosen to remain at the school during the breaks or that she’d gone with the Weasleys instead.
And people wondered where her attention to detail came from.
But this was far superior to the alternative that had been presented to her. Attending Christmas at the Burrow, and listening to Mrs. Weasley lament over her and Ron not being together or hearing Ron reminisce about snogging Lavender Brown.
That newly budded relationship was the only reason she’d even come home this year. Because she couldn’t bear to look at Ron after he’d thrown her over for Lavender. Their union was a culmination of every insecurity and self-conscious thought that Hermione had ever had slapping her rudely in the face.
Of course, she could have stayed at Hogwarts, but that would have meant two weeks of dodging Cormack McLaggen. He’d been doggedly persistent ever since he’d successfully cornered her at Slughorn’s Christmas party and managed to grope her. Hermione still cringed every time she remembered the feel of his clumsy, rough hands squeezing her chest with no finesse.
“Just one more stop, dear,” Mrs. Granger promised, exiting the clothing boutique to walk down the bristling sidewalk.
The square, lined with fancy Muggle shops were all decked out in Christmas decorations. Shiny silvers, glowing golds, radiant reds and glittering greens. Everywhere she looked, the world was celebrating. Evergreen trees, holly and wreaths filled every open space. The cheery atmosphere completely unaware, and in direct opposition to the open warfare rocking the wizarding community.
“I want to pick up a new briefcase for your father.”
“It’s fine,” Hermione promised, smiling reassuringly at her mum. The smile grew when her mum reached out and brushed a honey-brown curl off her face.
“Then I thought we might stop in Diagon Alley for a few more books for you. Only one more year of study then you’ve got to select a career. Best to be as informed as possible,” Mrs. Granger said brightly.
“Thanks, Mum. I’d like that,” Hermione agreed, knowing it was her mum’s way of saying thank you for this time together, as well as her way of being supportive of the life Hermione had chosen to fully embrace.
“Oh, would you look at that! Fireworks,” Mrs. Granger laughed, pointing upwards. “How festive!”
Red and green sparks split the sky, ripping it to shreds. The eerie green glow hovered, refusing to fade, and it wasn’t until Hermione closed her eyes, the afterimage branding itself in red against the inside of her eyelids that she could make out the shape -- an open mouthed skull expelling a curled serpent from its skeletal jaw.
The Dark Mark.
“Mum, let’s go -- we have to go,” Hermione gasped, grabbing her mum’s hand and yanking her away, towards the underground tube they’d rode from their London townhouse. Her mum resisted, turning back towards the chaos where screams of terror had suddenly erupted. Now, Mum!”
“Hermione, wait! Those people!” she gasped, instinctively wanting to help the injured. It was from her mother that Hermione had learned to value compassion and mercy. To judge an individual on their merit alone, and not their circumstances or the company they kept.
“No, now. We have to --”
The crowd heaved, a great panting beast. They were pushed and pulled, caught up in the ebb and flow of the current of fleeing bodies. Frightened people pushed and shoved. Hermione’s sweat slicked hand slipped free of her mother’s.
Hermione pulled her wand from her purse, abruptly grateful she’d already turned seventeen and was therefore considered an adult, and allowed to practice magic outside of Hogwarts. Though the idea of doing so in front of Muggles and having to explain herself terrified her. Though not nearly as much as facing Death Eaters alone did.
“Something’s happened. I have to try and help,” Mrs. Granger insisted, pushing against the pulsing flow of the crowd.
“It’s Death Eaters. You can’t,” Hermione insisted, reaching out and just missing the back of her mum’s sweater.
“What? Who? Oh!” Mrs. Granger questioned, ending on a gasp as a flash of light nearly missed her. Her jaw hung open, stunned by the laser of purple fire hurled her way.
The most magic her mum had ever seen, was Mr. Weasley’s Side-Along Apparition with Hermione a few summers earlier. After that, Hermione had just begun using the Knight Bus to get about to keep her parents away from what they didn’t understand, and unfortunately were therefore reluctantly frightened of.
It wasn’t their fault. They tried to be understanding. Yet still Hermione felt their unease whenever the subject of magic and what it was capable of was brought up. It was for that reason that she’d never told them anything about her time at Hogwarts or the deadly adventures she’d undertaken with Harry and Ron. Even when that meant lying to her friends about how much she’d told her parents.
“Stupefy!” Hermione cried, stunning the nearest Death Eater.
He fell with a resounding thud, but her spell drew the attention of every nearby Death Eater. Five in total. All of whom turned at the sound of her casting the spell. Never had she faced so many opponents. And never without Harry and Ron.
Panic for her mum seized Hermione. She couldn’t think, not with so many masked faces staring directly at her, but had to get her mum out of there. No matter what!
“Go, Mum! I’ll stay and --”
Two teenage boys, each bleeding profusely hurried past, knocking into her mum and sending the older woman crashing to the ground.
“Mum!” Hermione screamed, completely losing her head.
Pathetic. She was in the process of mentally berating herself and preparing to fire off another spell when an arm snagged her about the waist.
“Well, well,” a voice hissed in her ear, the owner’s other hand clamped firmly around the wrist of her wand arm and squeezed brutally. Hermione felt her bones grind together under the excess pressure. “What --”
“Ow!” she whimpered, her wand dropping from her numb and throbbing hand, her fingers suddenly useless.
“-- have we here?” he finished asking, the question sounding more like a panted grunt.
“Hermione,” Mrs. Granger whispered, starring at the man holding Hermione, terror etching deep grooves on her face. A hand lifted, silently imploring the man to release her daughter.
“Avada Kedavra!” the man growled, jerking Hermione harder against his chest when she lunged forward, trying to outrace the flash of green to dive atop her mother.
The spell hit the downed woman solidly in the chest, her face going slack the moment it did. The light in her eyes, no more than an extinguished candle flame without so much as a curl of smoke to indicate it had ever burned at all. Like a puppet with its strings abruptly cut, she toppled backwards, outstretched arm still, eternally, extended.
“NOOOOOOO!” Hermione screamed, twisting and writhing, desperate to free herself.
“Her -- Granger? Potter’s... little... Mudblood? Of all... the luck,” the man panted, straining as he heaved her flailing body entirely off the ground so her legs were thrashing in the air.
The man tossed her against a nearby brick wall, the jagged, abrasive edges shredding her through her winter coat and the thin, steel grey satin dress she’d worn for her mum’s sake, an early Christmas present. Hermione barely had her feet under her when the man pressed the full length of his body against her, pinning her painfully against the rough wall.
“Mum,” Hermione gasped, struggling to wrap her brain around the truth of what had just happened. That her mum was --
“Oh, no. Was that your mum I killed? Don’t worry. You can join her once I’ve had my fun,” the Death Eater said, leaning so close to Hermione that she gagged on the foul stench of his rancid breath.
Shock had left her blessedly, briefly, numb, but she was suddenly aware of the hand on her hip and the sound of fabric ripping. As well as the feel of bitingly cold air against the green lace fabric of her bra.
“I don’t think so, Crabbe. This one... is mine,” drawled the Death Eater standing behind the man molesting her.
“Mhmm,” Hermione whimpered, recognizing the smooth deep voice of her Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and former Potions professor.
“Why do you get her?” the first Death Eater, Crabbe, huffed angrily, disgruntled at having his toy taken before he’d had a chance to play with it.
“Because I am the one that has had to put up with her incessant showing off and endless questions for the last six years. Ask your son about it, if you doubt I’ve earned the right to take compensation from her flesh,” Professor Snape sneered in a rather convincing impression of a real Death Eater.
Hermione desperately tried to remind herself that he was part of the Order of the Phoenix, and that he was only saying that to maintain his cover. Except, it was nearly impossible to believe when she noted the way his flat onyx eyes drifted lazily over her, hesitating briefly on her exposed cleavage. There wasn’t a hint of a reaction at seeing her in such a state.
“Then I get her when you’re done,” Crabbe insisted petulantly. Chortling, he added, “You can break her in for me.”
“But of course,” Professor Snape agreed casually, slipping forward to assume Crabbe’s position before her in a move so smooth, Hermione didn’t have a chance to react or try to escape.
He pushed her firmly against the wall, pressing forward to stand between her legs. The thick wool of his robes flared out, settling around them, the fabric brushing her stocking clad legs.
“What --” Hermione gasped, batting at the hand that reached to hook under her thigh.
The sound of his voice, closer than it had ever been to her before, made her freeze. “Do not say a word,” he hissed by her ear, pulling her leg higher up by his hip, his fingers tearing a sizable hole in her stockings.
Then his hips shoved against her own, forcing a startled cry from her parted lips. He did it again, and again. Thoughts were slow to form, sluggish as molasses on a frozen winter morning, but the sound of laughter from the nearby watching Death Eaters helped her understand that Professor Snape was only giving the appearance of raping her.
“And for Merlin’s sake struggle, you stupid chit,” he added harshly, rocking his hips against her in a particularly hard snap.
“No! N-No, please, s-stop,” Hermione begged, lightly smacking and shoving at his shoulders. She cringed at the ridiculous waver in her voice. Her acting skills hadn’t improved any since the incident in Umbridge’s office last spring.
Professor Snape snorted, and she knew instinctively that he was unimpressed with her performance, but at least it had sounded more like a grunt on his part. Especially given the way his head was still buried in her neck, his mouth hidden by her wildly curling hair.
Over his shoulder Hermione could just make out Draco Malfoy watching. She was stunned by the look of revulsion on his face. As she took him in, Hermione saw that he was looking back and forth from the scene she presented to a man with equally pale blond hair raping another woman. Lucius Malfoy. His father. Draco was seeing both his professor and his father raping women on a street in downtown London.
Lucius was brutalizing the woman, visibly pounding into her as she screamed herself hoarse. There was blood on the woman’s thighs and her breasts were fully exposed to the frigid evening air. Red marks stained her skin where bruises would no doubt form later.
“No,” Hermione groaned, and at the sound of genuine distress from her, Snape jerked his head up. He took in her expression in a blink before following her line of sight to see what had her staring so transfixed.
There were other Death Eaters too, torturing people. A few unlucky victims were spinning upside down in the air, much as she’d seen happen at the Quidditch World Cup Tournament. Others were casting spells on Muggles crumpled on the ground, crying as they bled from a dozen or more wounds. A number of dead bodies littered the ground, so much rubbish in the streets.
The hands on her remained gentle. Occasionally, they gave her a light squeeze to remind her to struggle. “No, no, no,” she chanted, no longer having to feign her distress as she watched the horrific proceedings, tears sliding freely down her cheeks.
The books on the First Wizarding War described the acts that took place at revels in detail, but Hermione had never imagined having to witness it firsthand. Hadn’t thought that it was already happening again. The Death Eaters were monstrous.
Lucius’s assault finally came to an end, and Professor Snape took that as his cue to release a louder grunt before whispering in her ear, “Disapparate. Now.”
“My wand is gone,” Hermione moaned, letting her head fall forward as her leg fell back to the ground. “It happened just before Crabbe killed my mum.”
“Bloody hell,” Professor Snape cursed, looking about as he pretended to fiddle about with his pants.
It wasn’t difficult for him to locate her mum’s lifeless body. Her corpse was nearby, and they bore a striking resemblance. Hermione heard him inhale sharply.
“Severus, is that who I think it is?” Lucius Malfoy called loudly, drawing the collective attention of the group to where her professor stood, partially shielding her from sight.
“You know perfectly well that it is, Lucius,” Professor Snape answered coolly, icicles dripping from each word.
A maniacal glint entered the elder Malfoy’s eyes, twisting his ravaged features grotesquely. “I’d hoped, but…”
“This is why you suggested this location. Tonight,” Professor Snape accused, taking the other man in shrewdly.
Now that Hermione had a clearer view of him, she could see a number of signs that the man had come unhinged. His wild eyes and haggard appearance made him look deranged, unbalanced. Probably from his time in Azkaban. Hermione hadn’t even heard that he’d gotten out. It was possible that it had only just happened. Honestly, Lucius looked a million times worse than Sirius had when he’d first escaped.
“I’ll admit I had Bane watching her and reporting her movements,” Lucius said, smirking evilly.
“Why, Father?” Malfoy gasped, confusion marring his brow.
“Revenge, Draco. For last spring. For her part in our loss of favor with the Dark Lord. Though I must admit I didn’t expect her to hold up so well,” Lucius announced crudely. “Was she any good?”
“Small compensation for years of misery,” Professor Snape said drolly, managing to convey an air of boredom with the entire affair.
“Perhaps I should give her a go,” Lucius began, his lips parting as a new thought struck him mute. “Or…”
“Or what, Lucius? Aurors will be arriving soon,” Professor Snape snapped, impatience settling about him like a winter cloak. The reminder of Aurors had several of the Death Eaters bristling, suddenly anxious to go themselves.
“No. I don’t think they will. Not for a while yet, at any rate. They’re properly distracted at the moment,” Lucius said vaguely, hinting that he’d played more of a hand in orchestrating the events of the evening than he’d so far admitted to. “We could make this a more permanent arrangement.”
“Permanent? No, I’m sure the headmaster would miss her,” Professor Snape suggested, but Hermione had felt the way his body tensed against her, unconsciously shifting closer, every line rigid marble.
“That spell we spoke of last spring would be perfect,” Lucius continued, dismissing Professor Snape’s concerns. “With Draco -- now that could be interesting.” Malfoy’s mouth opened and closed, seeming unable to find words to express his opinion on his father’s idea. “Or maybe even with myself...”
“What? No! She’s in --” Malfoy refused, seeming to find his voice after floundering before.
“You’re right, of course, my boy. We wouldn’t want to sully ourselves with a Mudblood,” Lucius said easily.
Malfoy and Hermione both found their eyes unconsciously straying back to the unconscious Muggle woman that Lucius had just violated, blood purity be damned.
“Severus?” Lucius called, a question in his voice.
“I am already satisfied,” Professor Snape said stiffly.
“Shame. That would have been amusing for you to be carrying on right under Dumbledore’s nose -- for a little while, at least. I wonder if Greyback would like her then.”
Hermione whimpered and gripped the back of Professor Snape’s arm. He shot her a furious glare, but scanned her face regardless, a silent question. But what he was asking, she didn’t understand.
“Goyle, run and fetch the werewolf. I know he’s around here somewhere,” Lucius instructed.
“Father!” Malfoy cried, grabbing hold of his father’s arm. Lucius shook his son off, no more than an annoying fly.
Goyle lumbered off. Where were the Aurors? Surely Lucius Malfoy couldn’t keep them occupied indefinitely!
“He’ll scar and eat you as he fucks you, girl. No more than filth like you deserves,” Lucius taunted, seemingly thrilled by the idea. Nausea turned Hermione’s stomach, dragging a louder, unwilling whimper from her.
This was meant to be a simple shopping excretion. A way to spend time with her mum. But now her mum was dead, her professor had pretended to rape her, and a werewolf was going to use and abuse her until he, in all likelihood, accidentally killed her.
Hermione squeezed Professor Snape’s arm harder, meeting his stygian gaze and silently pleading with him to save her -- whatever it took. She didn’t care what that meant, only that he didn’t let Greyback have her.
A question passed over his face, and Hermione gave a sharp nod, tipping her head the smallest fraction so as to go unnoticed by those watching.
Professor Snape closed his eyes tightly for the barest fraction of a second then grabbed her hand, swiftly slicing a cut across her palm. He did the same to his own before pressing the bleeding wounds tightly together, his jaw set in a hard line. She could almost hear his teeth grinding together angrily. Hermione didn’t resist, knowing he was her best chance at survival.
“Well, Lucius? Turns out I am in the market for… regular entertainment, after all,” Professor Snape said dryly.
Lucius smirked, insanity dancing in his eyes. Then he pointed his wand at them and yelled, “Repetita Cupiditatem!”
Pleasant warm filled her. But no other noticeable effect occurred. She looked around, searching for clues, and was met with a look of comprehension on Malfoy’s thin face, pity in his expression as he averted his gaze, unable to look at her directly.
“Go on. Give it a whirl,” Lucius commanded, clapping merrily.
“Father, don’t you think you’ve done enough!” Malfoy hissed, horror and disgust warring in his voice.
“We’re going before the Order arrives. You may wish to return to Azkaban, but I do not. And now it appears I have matters to attend to,” Professor Snape announced stiffly, turning on the spot to Disapparate the pair of them away.