Disclaimer: JKR owns anything that is obviously hers. I own the rest.
Characters: Draco Malfoy, Hermione Granger
Genres: Dark, Post-Hogwarts, Romance
Warnings: Alternate Universe, Dubious Consent, Explicit Sexual Situations, Profanity, Torture, Violence
Overall Rating: NC-17
Summary: Sometimes, your enemy is the only friend you have. Other times, he is no friend at all. When you have absolutely no one to turn to, can you turn to the one who is theoretically the cause of it? Or will he then try and turn you against everything you believe? Birthday challenge.
Length: 3/10 Chapters. This chapter: 1644 words.
Again, days went by without anyone visiting Hermione. This time she minded less. She had her book, and she was doing her best to savor it. After 10 meals, however, she had read it front to back, twice, and again her predicament was nagging at her. What was it they really wanted from her? Why did they leave her alone for so long at a time? And why wasn’t she being questioned and tortured?
… Not that she wanted to be, mind! She was very happy in her not-tortured state. It was just so very unsettling to not know what was happening and why it was happening. The not knowing was killing her. She kept waiting for her friends from the Order to come rescue her, but no one came. She supposed she had to give it time.
Time was a strange thing, though. It was getting increasingly hard to be sure that her sense of time was not playing tricks on her. With no daylight and no regularity whatsoever, she was already beginning to lose track. She had little else to do, though, so she still tried to keep an estimate, going by meals and times she slept. It did appear that she got about three meals a day and apparently the food wasn’t poisoned, so she was very well off, indeed.
After 46 meals, 17 meals after his last visit, Draco reappeared bringing her a brush and some fresh clothes, including nice warm socks. All of which she sorely needed, but she kept quiet, only acknowledging the things with a glance.
After 53 meals, he brought her another book and some shampoo that smelled like vanilla, of all things.
After 70 meals, and what she perceived to be about 26 days, she didn’t even jump when he entered her room. He brought her three more books. She was really happy about the books, but it annoyed her that he’d picked up on her need to occupy her mind.
She knew what he was doing, but she didn’t know why. He was making her associate his visits with something pleasant. Funny thing was, by now she felt so isolated that she might even welcome a visit from Voldemort himself. Draco never stayed very long, though, and she wouldn’t dream of asking him to. She might be starved for company, but she would as soon ask a Death Eater to stay and chat as she’d ask him for the Avada Kedavra.
After 74 meals… she didn’t expect him. It was hard to tell which meal was what time of day and she’d taken to simply sleeping when she was tired and going about her business. Thinking today too close to his last visit to be cautious, she was just getting out of the bath when he arrived. She hadn’t heard him, so it wasn’t until she looked up she noticed him standing in the bathroom door as if frozen. He was staring at her – and not at her face. She hurriedly wrapped the towel around herself and glared at him, trying hard to hide her fear. He blinked, shook his head, and turned on his heel.
She closed her eyes and leaned against the tiles of the wall, as her heart was hammering in her chest. The bathroom door had been ajar, but it didn’t have a lock, so she couldn’t really have done anything to keep him out if he truly wanted in. There was no use in telling herself that she could have.
She was embarrassed and more than a little frightened too. What was to keep him from attacking her if he should want to? Absolutely nothing. In fact, it was probably expected of him that he took his liberties. It did seem like he wanted her trust, though, so she would have to rely on that fact to keep her safe.
She couldn’t allow something as small as this to cow her, she just couldn’t.
When she emerged from the bathroom, fully clothed, a few minutes later, you would hardly have known that anything had happened.
Draco sauntered over to his armchair and sat down. That had been… interesting. Who knew what that little prissy Mudblood had been hiding under her clothes? Well, ok, he had had a pretty good idea. He wasn’t blind. But, seeing her in all her naked glory had definitely been worth coming here early. He had wanted her, and, for one moment, he had been aware that he could follow through on his want and it would pretty much be his prerogative.
But it was not the Malfoy way.
He did not have to force himself on a Mudblood to get laid, and he was not like some of the Dark Lord’s servants – little better than animals, only thinking about killing, feeding and mating. He could control himself. Besides, her body wasn’t that good, he assured himself; it had merely been a while since he’d last been with a woman. Being in the Dark Lord’s service didn’t really offer many chances for dalliances when one didn’t force oneself on Mudbloods or consort with animals.
Still, he had to admit that the image of her naked form lingered. Maybe he should adjust his plans a bit…
“I brought you something,” he said, waving towards her bed where he had put today’s offerings. More inconsequential stuff to make her feel comfortable. He was well aware that it would take more than that to convince her, though. Just what would be the key, however, still eluded him.
She barely glanced at the stuff. “I’m not your pet to bring treats,” she said.
“But you are,” he replied. “In fact, that’s a very apt description of what you are.”
She crossed her arms over her chest and his gaze automatically lowered. He immediately felt the change in her as she slowly removed her arms and shrank back from him. She wasn’t stupid. She knew that he had the power and she was afraid of the very real threat he was posing. It would have been very naïve of her not to be.
He raised his eyes again and smirked mockingly at her. “That’s not why I’m here.” Not yet, anyway.
She wanted to ask why it was that he was there, then, but she knew it might not be the smartest move. He might feel provoked into some kind of action, and her newest plan was to stall and wait. Wait for Harry to come and get her. He was bound to find her soon.
So, instead of replying, she went to the bed and began putting things away, still shooting wary glances at Draco. He had, among other things, brought her a sweater. His gifts were always confusing her, because she knew he had an ulterior motive, yet he somehow managed to pick up on even the smallest of signs. This room really could get cold. Last time she had worn her one and only decently warm blouse and she had still felt a bit chilled, but she had not wanted to huddle under her blanket with him in the room. She had thought she didn’t show her discomfort at all, yet today there was a sweater and she doubted it was a coincidence.
She glanced at Draco again and caught him watching her. When he saw her look, he smirked at her. She knew he knew that she had pieced together why he’d brought her the stupid sweater, and it annoyed her. With a disgusted grunt she threw it back on the bed.
“You don’t like it?” he softly asked behind her, a vague note of humor in his voice.
He had every right to laugh at her, really. She was Voldemort’s prisoner and any day now she would be tortured and killed unless Harry got off his Chosen Arse to save her. She really couldn’t afford to be nitpicky about sweaters and provoke her Death Eater warden.
“No, it’s fine,” she said, ignoring the offending garment for now.
She turned to find him slightly frowning at her. “You’re not being honest with me,” he stated.
Well, no. Being honest with someone who will just as soon kill you as look at you is not always smart.
“I’m sorry that you think so,” Hermione replied.
He leaned forwards. “You can be honest, you know,” he quietly said. “I’m not a monster.”
“Aren’t you?” she retorted and then immediately regretted it. Damn it. Her plan was to not provoke him.
He leaned back again with a faint smirk on his lips. “No, I am not. I thought I proved that just before.”
Hermione felt her face heat a little. He had a point. The way he had looked at her only moments ago had shown that he had noticed her naked body and he had liked what he saw, but he hadn’t acted on it. Still, just because he hadn’t raped her didn’t mean that he wasn’t up to something evil. He was keeping her here, locked up, for a reason. Suddenly, something dawned on her and she gasped.
“This isn’t about me, is it? You’re trying to lure Harry here!”
He looked vaguely taken aback, but he had a mask of mild amusement in place before she knew what to make of it.
“Changing the subject, Granger?” he asked. “Well… I suppose it would be easier if Potter would just get here so we could get on with it. Not a bad idea, really.” He flashed her a grin.
So she was to believe that that wasn’t the plan? No. And they needed her unharmed to have something to bargain with, she supposed.
She had to get out of there.
He looked at his watch and got up. “I’ll leave you to it then. Only, Granger?”
“What exactly is it you don’t like about that sweater?”