Fairy (scarletladyy) wrote in hp_prisonerfest,

The Road Unplanned - A gift for flipflop_diva!

Title: The Road Unplanned
Author: caitriona_3
Recipient: flipflop_diva
Pairing(s): Lucius Malfoy/Hermione Granger
Word Count: 6,511 words
Rating: R
Warnings: Dub-con, angst, slavery, physical/mental abuse, nasty words (in French – mostly names directed towards Hermione)
Summary: This was not the way she saw her life going. Victory becomes ashes as the dust settles. Hermione makes a deal for a friend…only to find she has made a deal with the devil.
Author's Notes: This is one of the first slavery/prisoner fics I've ever written. It is not my usual style, but I hope the recipient enjoys. French is from Google translate as I do not speak the language, but it felt right for Malfoy – using some nasty names but in a different language…he's showing off.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except 7 books and a double handful of DVDs.

Hermione Granger finished touching up her hair to make sure it would stay in the style he preferred – wild curls barely held in check by an intricately braided cord of silver and green leather. The artful design pulled her curls up and over to tumble down her right shoulder. The hairstyle, combined with a vivid green one-shoulder dress, drew the eye to her bare left shoulder. More accurately, it focused attention on the magical tattoo glittering on her pale skin. A stylized dragon of bright emerald with silver eyes peeked over her shoulder. Its tongue flickered out to tease and play at her collarbone randomly throughout the day.

He enjoyed watching her hide her reaction when it happened in public.

"A reminder," he once said, "of what you are and to whom you belong."

She smoothed the green satin down before stepping back to get a good look at herself in the full length mirror. The sleeveless dress molded to her like a second skin from shoulder to a high empire waist and then flowed loosely down her torso and over her hips. She turned to check how the dress flowed when she moved. A hair's breadth past the line between flagrantly immodest and barely acceptable the satin gave way to sophisticated, if risqué, black lace that displayed more skin than it concealed. Just to make sure no one could miss the pale flesh it laughingly pretended to cover, the lace included a generous sprinkling of emeralds worked through the threads. The sharp stones scraped her thighs each time she moved. They left no mark of course; he would never approve. Heeled silver sandals finished off the set. Even as she considered the overall ensemble, her eyes returned time and again to her only accessories - the priceless rhodium chains around her throat and wrists.

No clasp marred their smooth surface.

"Like the Vow you gave to me," he smiled as his wand fused their ends together seamlessly, "Unbreakable."

They weren't, of course. She could have broken the chains easily enough with a flick of her wand, but she had made a vow…the Vow. He bound her with her word, forcing her to acknowledge it every time she saw the silvery metal. His pride pushed him to use one of the rarest metals on earth while his vanity made them as delicate as possible to remind her that she entered into this arrangement of her own free will.

This was not the life she ever imagined for herself as a child or even as a teenager at Hogwarts. She would have scorned any connection with him, especially the intimate one they shared, but now she bore his mark three-fold – in the chains to remind her of her surrender, in the tattoo declaring his ownership, and in the loss of her name. Oh, she was still officially Hermione Granger on any documentation or public record, but he only used it for formal occasions. His possession of her included her very identity, the right to determine who and what she was. He came up with many phrases, many labels for her – some were mockingly sweet, others reminders of her place in his life - but he refused to allow her a name. She was no longer a person after all; she was his toy, his plaything.

Or in his words, she was la catin du maître…the master's whore.

And she had freely chosen her fate.

The door opened. Hermione lifted her eyes to meet his in the mirror as he stepped up behind her. His pale blond hair contrasted sharply where it brushed against her deep brown locks. His cold gray eyes swept over her reflection and she waited for his judgment.

"Practically perfect," he answered the unspoken question. His lips curved into a cool smile as her eyes flashed back to her reflection to seek the flaw. "Now, now, mon joujou, I am merely teasing." She met his gaze once more. "I have a small gift for you in honor of tonight's celebration, as well as a small token of my…affection." He reached into a pocket of his robes. "First the token, I think."

A small green velvet box was presented to her. She accepted it, but did not look away from him. He stepped closer, his hands resting on her hips, and he placed his lips to her ear. "Open it, mon joujou; see what I have chosen for you."

She lifted the lid and found a square cut emerald, easily the size of his thumbnail, resting on a white cloth. It had no setting, no apparent way for her to wear it. "My side of our bargain will be sealed tonight," he whispered, the moist breath tickling her neck. "Do you see the symbolism? Look deeper."

Her eyes focused on the emerald once more and she realized the jewel encased a small key. His lips brushed across the nape of her neck. "Take it out and hold it to your collar." She obeyed. As soon as the green gem touched the silver rhodium the entire chain seemed to flutter. Thin strands of metal slithered over her fingers to encase the stone, almost swallowing it before they withdrew and became still. The trapped key now nestled in the hollow of her throat. "Shall I explain the symbolism to you?" he asked, his hands flexing on her hips. "Tonight's ceremony completes my promise." His hands tightened, pulling her the last spare inch or so to rest flush against his body. "Your Vow will take full effect, and the decay of time itself must free the key before I will release you from it." His eyes captured hers in the mirror once more.

Silence dominated the room for several long minutes. He nipped at her neck before moving to stand in front of her. "Now my gift to celebrate the joyous occasion." Another box, larger than the first, appeared in his hands. She lifted the lid to find a silver ring in the shape of a curled dragon. Its emerald eye winked in the light. As she removed it from the box she noticed three thin chains dangling from it. She looked up at him.

He smiled. "You came to me for help and accepted my price. You chose to take the Vow," he explained, "but I placed the collar and shackles on you." His hand brushed over the ring. "This time, in recognition of the full weight of your Vow, you will place the chains on yourself." An iniquitous, if slight leer covered his face. He reached out and took hold of her hand, trapping the ring between them. "Do you, of your own free will, confirm the Vow you made?"

"I do," she whispered.

"Do you, of your own free will, renew all of the promises you made in the Vow?"

"I do," she replied.

"Do you, of your own free will, acquiesce to the bonds you accepted in the Vow?"

"I do."

A soft golden light played over their hands for a moment before fading away. He released her hand. "Put on the ring."

She took the ring in her left hand and moved to slide it on her right ring finger. "No, no, no," he scolded in a semi-serious tone. "It belongs on your left ring finger." She stared at him and his dark chuckle disconcerted her. "You are taken, ma petite fille d'esclave, eternally taken. As long as I live you will bear no other man's claim."

Her hands shook as she switched the ring and slid it onto her wedding finger.

"Good," he murmured. "Now the chains."

She pulled out her wand and tapped the ring with it. The chains convulsed and then flowed over her hand to attach to the metal around her wrist. They fused there, leaving no sign that they had ever been separate.

"It is done," he stated with finality. "Now, finally, at this moment – Hermione Granger is dead."

A tremor ran through her before she managed to repress it. His lips curved in a remorseless smile. "Oh, we will keep her name for necessity, but you…you willing gave a Vow and now you willingly confirm it. By your own hand you have chained yourself to me, to my every whim, to my every desire." He ran a finger along her full lips. "I considered changing your name, legally I mean. Would you like the name 'Lethe'? Your name should reflect who you are, and 'Hermione' no longer fits. On the other hand," he reflected, "keeping the name has its advantages. Who else can truly claim to have conquered one of the Golden Trio?" He gave a mocking little sigh. "I do wish we had time to celebrate, but we really cannot tarry long." He circled around behind her once more and brushed his hand along her bare arm up to the tattoo and down to her collarbone before dropping it to her waist. "It is not every day I welcome a new member into the family."

"You are very tempting though." He kept his voice low and his eyes holding hers in the mirror. His other hand followed the line of her throat, slowly increasing the pressure until her breath began to speed up as a quiver of fear skittered down her spine. She never looked away though; she kept her eyes fastened on his. His smile widened a tiny bit and the pressure vanished, becoming no more than a whisper along her jaw. "Your school years never once hinted at how easily you could be tamed or how little training you would require." His fingertips on her chin compelled her to lean her head back until it rested on his shoulder, exposing her throat.

"You respond so enthusiastically," he murmured as he tilted his head down to blow a hot breath across the dragon tattoo, eyes firmly locked with hers in their reflection. The tattoo vibrated, tongue darting out once, twice… Every inch of skin the magical ink touched began to tingle and quiver, her breath quickening in need as his gaze shifted from a cold gray to molten silver. "I have never seen someone so effortlessly aroused. I wonder sometimes, is it simply the Vow? Or were you always this shameless?" Her breath caught as the dragon began moving, sliding along her skin, up and over her shoulder, and then slipping below the neckline of her dress. She hissed as she felt its tongue dart across the swell of her breasts before it slid across them. His smile grew wicked and his gaze even more intense as his face set in hard lines of ruthless arousal. "Do you like his new trick, hmm?" A mocking chuckle sent a brush of warm air past her ear. "I should take you out this way." He nuzzled the sensitive flesh above her pulse point as his hand wrapped around her throat. "I should let them see how very sensual you can be." She opened her mouth, but no words came out. Her breath stuttered instead as the dragon slid across her hip and along her inner thigh, its tongue gliding over her sensitive flesh as it sought out the deepest part of her.

"Oh, yes," he chuckled, "how tempting it would be to show you off like this." The hand at her waist slipped up her torso, cupping one breast for a moment before his fingers began playing along the low edge of her neckline. "But I find it so much more delightful to keep you my personal little secret." Then his hand dipped beneath the fabric and drew her breast free, baring it to his hot gaze and provocative fingers. Her knees grew weak and she began to crumple from the sensations. Between his lips nuzzling at her throat, his fingers fondling her breast, and the dragon's tongue lapping at her very core she was nearing her limit. Only his body behind her kept her upright. She could feel her skin, her breath, her very blood tightening and boiling, the climax within reach.

He knew her signs however and abruptly released her, stepping back. "This is not the time, ma petite catin. Get yourself under control." The loss of support caused her to stumble, unable to control her body. She slumped to her knees, still facing the mirror with him behind her. Her body shook with twin, but contrary, desires – his order versus her need. She managed to clamp down on her body's demands as the dragon withdrew, sliding along her spine until it settled on her shoulder once more. He reached down after she stopped shaking and wound his hand into her hair. A sharp tug pulled her gaze up to his amused scrutiny. "Comme une bonne petite chienne," he acknowledged. "You know your place well. Stand up."

She unsteadily climbed to her feet and waited as he brushed her off, gently tucking her breast back into place. He ran a finger over the dragon and its tongue began tantalizing her collarbone, flickering in and out without ceasing. Every so often, it would torment her by moving its head so the playful tongue could flit beneath her décolletage and swirl around her already sensitized breast, taunting her as it dragged across her nipple. A pitiless smile touched his lips as she gasped. "Don't worry, he will not move any further. I trust you will be able to control yourself at the ceremony?" Her lips parted, but he placed one finger to them. "Surely one of your fabled intelligence recognized the rhetorical question? You will maintain control, regardless of the," he paused for a moment, "provocation."

He stepped back, drawing his finger down her jaw and along her neckline one final time. "I will be the most envied man present with such a lovely pet waiting at my side." She watched as he frowned thoughtfully. "Although we shall be even more reserved than usual tonight, I think. After all," he smiled mockingly, "we should not draw attention away from my son and the wife you graciously tried to provide, hmm?" Lucius Malfoy shifted his shoulders in an elegant shrug. "Her blood is pure enough, even if her family were blood traitors. Tell me; did young Ginevra Weasley thank you for your needless sacrifice? Does she appreciate what you attempted to do for her?"

Her lips trembled and that cruel smile flourished once more. "No," his voice turned silky, "I thought not." He moved forward until she could feel the heat of his body. "I wonder what she sees when she looks at you. Does she see her friend? Or does she see nothing more than a prostituée? How will she react when she discovers the truth, hmm? An interesting torment for Draco to consider." He paused. "Well, I will leave that for my son to decide. He certainly enjoyed the moment." The light ringing of a bell drew his attention away from her. "Ah, there is our timely warning." He stepped back and turned away. "Now come along, ma petite fille d'esclave, our guests will be arriving soon."

She knew her place well after so many months and moved quietly to stand at his left shoulder, one pace behind him.

"Attend me," Lucius ordered as he swept out of the room, knowing she followed obediently.

Hermione's voice never rose above a gentle murmur. "Oui, mon seigneur et maître."

Much later that evening, after the last of their guests staggered off into the night, she stood silently waiting as he gave orders to the house elves on the remaining wedding gifts for Draco and Ginny or the tokens left by those trying to curry favor with the Malfoy family. His gliding stride brought him to her side as he tossed a final command over his shoulder.

"I will finish setting the security, ma petite courtisane." Lucius brushed a lock of hair away from her face. "You go upstairs and change into something more comfortable." He ran a finger along her bare shoulder and considered her hemline. "Something less restricting would be good. Go now."

"J'obéis, mon seigneur et maître." She dipped into a low curtsey, head bowed in submission, and waited for him to turn away before she left the room. The evening has passed beautifully, even with Ginny's hateful looks, but she was beyond ready to change. Her skin felt too tight already. The dragon's tongue had been merciless in its ongoing attempts to provoke a reaction. She needed relief from the sensations, oh how she needed. A glance over her shoulder showed him resetting the spells and not in any hurry to follow her.

She could have sworn she heard him chuckle as she sighed.

Her closet held racks full of formal clothing and public wear, but he never allowed her to wear them in the privacy of their chambers. In the public eye, yes, they were legally equals and he required her to dress as befit the status of his recognized mistress. Privately he preferred chemises in lace or satin unless he was in a vicious mood. On those nights she was allowed nothing but her chains.

Once the doors closed on their private world, his word, his every desire, became her only law.

She remembered how it began…the memory stark in its clarity.

The war was over. Voldemort was dead. She should have been celebrating, but she could only stand next to Ginny in disbelief as the casualty list continued to grow. So many gone in this war: Harry, Ron, Remus, Tonks, Neville, Luna, Snape, Narcissa, Dumbledore, almost all of the Weasleys…the names went on and on. The Order, the Aurors – they had been decimated. The Ministry of Magic scrambled in its panic; the loss of so many witches and wizards put their entire world in danger.

Following the precedents set by most governments, they overreacted.

The Wizengamot forced through laws with little consideration or debate to preserve their magical world and its blood purity. Hermione protested; they had just fought a war to prevent this kind of fanaticism, but she found herself being pushed to the sidelines. Her parents were still Obliviated, her friends were almost all dead, and those who still lived were either in no position to help or still suffering from injuries sustained in the war. No one in the Ministry knew her or cared what role she had played in helping Harry defeat Voldemort.

The laws decreed that every underage witch or wizard found to be without family would become a ward of the Ministry. The Ministry would arrange writs of matrimony to ensure good marriages and potentially magically powerful children. As an adult, Hermione was exempt. Ginny was not, and the Ministry had chosen a husband for her. Ginny grew desperate over the situation, but had no solution and no way to escape. Hermione took matters into her own hands.
She researched the various lineages and current writs on file at the Ministry. One solution presented itself. Ginny would hate it; Hermione knew that, but… There was no one else, no one with a pure enough bloodline or high enough social standing to make the Ministry change its mind. With that in mind, she took her pride in her hands and scheduled a meeting with Lucius Malfoy.

"Please," Hermione pleaded. "I'm begging you."

Malfoy lifted an eyebrow. "Importuning? Certainly. Asking? Requesting? You are indeed doing all of these, but begging?" He shook his head as he lounged in his chair. "Begging, Miss Granger, is done on one's knees."

She stared at him for a long moment, lips folding in displeasure and pride. Her eyes fell closed and she took a deep breath. "Then I will beg." She fell to her knees as she met his gaze once more.

He sat up straight, a slight interest entering the cold face. "You would go so far?"

"I will do anything to get Ginny out of that marriage contract," she replied.

"Anything?" He sneered. "I doubt that."

"Will you not at least consider it?" she demanded. "Is there nothing I could bargain with?"

He scoffed. "Do you think I need anything from you? For the moment you amuse me. I allowed you entrance because you spoke on our behalf at the trials. This – tying my son to a blood traitor? This is beyond anything I owe you."

"I will do anything!"

"Grovel," he ordered with disbelief evident in his tone.

She forced herself to obey, bending forward and touching her forehead to the ground. "Please, help me save Ginny."

"Oh, I have been warned about you." His voice sent chills down her spine. "The smartest witch of the age they call you. I would wager you are already looking for a loophole."

"No," she insisted passionately. "I will give you any promise, any guarantee you want." She had to clear her throat. "Just please, please don't let them do this to Ginny."

He must have stretched out as his booted feet came into her peripheral vision. "Let me see your face, little beggar." She pulled herself up to a kneeling position and met his haughty gaze. "So," he murmured, staring down at her, "you will surrender to me, giving to me anything I desire if you have the power to provide it. Is that right?"

"Yes." She nodded. "Name it, name anything. If I can beg, borrow, or steal it, I will bring it to you."

A wicked, speculative light began to grow in his face. "I find it quite rewarding to sit here with one of the legendary 'Golden Trio' kneeling in supplication before me. Crawl forward." A hint of cruelty touched his lips as she crawled to the edge of his chair. "Yes, quite enjoyable." He stared at her for several long minutes. She waited, trying not to shift, trying to restrain her voice. One long tapered finger tapped the side of her cheek as he leaned forward to peer into her eyes. "I've had several powerful families petition me on behalf of their daughters," he noted absentmindedly, "but none have been quite so…delicious in their approach." He sat back, but his hand moved to play with a lock of her hair. "So they want to give her off to old Mortegension do they? Yes, yes, I can see why you would try to rescue her from such a dismal fate. The fellow's already buried three wives trying for an heir." His finger twirled the dark lock and suddenly clenched, pulling tightly. She gave a cry at the sharp pain and he smiled. "Swear to me on your magic that you will grant me any request I put to you." She stared at him in confusion. He released her hair and cupped her chin. "Take out your wand and swear to me in blind faith. Swear to grant me one request in return for saving young Ginevra from becoming the fourth wife of Mortegension."

Hermione's chin wavered, a protest clamoring on her lips, but she swallowed her concerns and pulled out her wand. "I, Hermione Granger, do hereby swear upon my wand and upon my magic to grant Lucius Malfoy any one request he asks of me in return for his affiancing his son and heir Draco Malfoy to Ginevra Weasley. So I have spoken, so I intend, so let it be done."

A flash of white light erupted from the tip of her wand and rushed over her before pouring into the man seated above her. She seemed momentarily blinded, but she could hear well enough. The low triumphant laugh put a chill in her heart.

"Clever little witch, aren't you?" His mocking tone did not warm her. "To tie your oath to me keeping my promise. A lovely bit of work," he approved lightly, "but totally unnecessary. Her blood is purer than any other family who has approached me, and the Ministry has already hinted that it would grant this in recognition of dear Narcissa's heroic death saving a student's life." She stared at him in shock. "Oh, did I forget to mention that? I have already discussed this with several Ministry members. This worked out better than I could have planned." She could not speak. He smiled and began to pet her hair. "You have so much to learn about manipulation, little one." His eyes hardened. "I shall enjoy teaching you."

She licked her lips. "What…" Her voice trailed off, and she tried again, taking a deep breath. "What is your request?"

"A simple one," he mused, trailing his fingers down her face and to her throat before sitting back. "I have but one simple request for you."

"And that is?" She held her breath.

"Patience if you please," he insisted as he reached for a quill and parchment. She watched as he wrote a quick letter, showing it to her before sending it off. "There I have sent in the request for a writ of matrimony between Draco and young Ginevra," he told her. "One of the ministers informed me they would approve the change without debate as soon as I turned in an official request." He brushed her hair back from her face, looking her over with a calculating eye. "I had intended to do so this afternoon, but your request for a meeting quite distracted me. Fortunately I never got the chance to send it off. Well," he smiled. "Fortunately for me. This little negotiation has made the idea so much sweeter." She waited, but he seemed content to gaze at her, still kneeling at his feet. The silence stretched out for at least ten minutes before he smiled. "You learn quickly. Excellent." He waved a hand. "Now you may ask."

Her breath shuddered out of her, fear flooding her veins. "What do you want of me?"

"You will give me a three-fold Unbreakable Vow."

Her breath caught in her throat. An Unbreakable Vow…a three-fold one! It was the most sacred oath in the Wizarding World, and the deadliest to break.

"I will give you the choice." He spoke as if tossing scraps to a dog. "You will take the Vow and retain your magic, or you may refuse and I will watch it drain out of you before throwing you out." The callous tone turned refined, almost soothing. "Don't worry. Either way I will see young Ginevra brought safely into the family." A hint of avarice lit within his gaze. "I would not want that condition to coerce your free will in this. Tell me, Miss Granger." His smile turned malicious. "What is your choice?"

Her voice remained trapped in her throat, but he seemed content to sit and watch her. Suddenly her fingertips began to feel numb. A dim light shone from them, slowly growing.

"It begins," he remarked offhandedly. "The cleverest witch of the age will soon be no more than a simple Muggle." Her heart stuttered and she gave a breathy keening noise. He leaned forward. "Then take the Vow."

Tears formed in her eyes but she forced her gaze to meet his. "I-" She choked, coughed, and forced air into her lungs. "I will take the Vow."

A smug, possessive smile settled on his face. "Let me call a witness before your oath does any damage." He rose to his feet and looked down. "Remain right there, in that position, and wait for me."

He strode out of the room, leaving her kneeling before the empty chair. Several moments passed in silence before she heard the door open once more.

"Granger?" Draco's surprised voice drew her attention.

"Yes," Lucius replied. "I found the key to la petite courtisane's fears." He stared down at her with an arch smile. "I intend to enjoy having the only surviving member of the so-called 'Golden Trio' as my personal property."

Draco nodded in understanding and Lucius reached down. "Take my hand." She placed her hand in his. "Are you ready to take the Vow?"

"I…I am ready," she replied softly as tears began to spill down her cheeks.

Draco's face reflected his spiteful joy as he touched the tip of his wand to their joined hands. "I stand ready to witness this bond."

Lucius stared down at her. "Will you, Hermione, give yourself into my control, surrendering to me your body, your mind, and your very identity without compulsion and of your own free will?"

"I will," she replied shakily.

A ribbon of gold fire snaked out of Draco's wand and began circling the clasped hands.

"And will you freely submit your will to mine, doing whatever I demand of you, regardless of your own personal tastes, desires, or needs, even if my requests seem illegal or immoral to you?"

Her voice dropped to a whisper, but both men heard her clearly. "I will."

The ribbon grew brighter.

"And will you freely place your gifts of intelligence, cunning, and magic at my disposal to be used when and where I see fit?"

Her mouth moved silently for a moment and his hand tightened. She forced herself to speak. "I will."

The golden ribbon of fire flared and sank into their skin. Hermione gasped as she felt something wrap around her magical core, permanently tying her life to the Vow. The two Malfoys shared a dark chuckle before Lucius turned to his son. "Thank you for your presence, Draco. I find myself quite gratified to have been able to share this victory with you."

"Believe me, Father," Draco sneered down at her, "it was my deepest pleasure."

"Yes, I'm sure you enjoyed that." Lucius tilted his head. "I appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule. Do forgive me if I hurry you along."

A fiendish grin slid over the younger Malfoy's face before he bowed. "Nonsense, Father, I can see you have quite a busy evening ahead of you. I shall show myself out."

"Such an excellent young man, is he not?" Lucius murmured with pride as he watched his son depart. He retook his seat and gestured for her to rise. "Disrobe."

Hermione stared at him. He snapped at her. "Your clothes, remove them!"

He vanished each article of clothing as it was removed. She protested, but he waved her off. "I will give you clothing more appropriate to your new status. These belong to your old life, one you will never see again."

"But-!" She started.

"Did you honestly think I would let you leave?" He asked curiously. "It would be a poor beginning for your training, petite esclave, a poor beginning indeed."

"I have a name!" she exclaimed.

He chuckled. "Only if I say you do." She frowned and he shook his head. "I thought you were supposed to be clever," he criticized. "Have you already forgotten your first vow? You surrendered your body, your mind, and your very identity." Her eyes grew wide and he began gloating. "Oh, how very delicious. You did not think it through, did you? You did not think of the full ramifications of taking the Vow. In taking the Vow, you saved your magic…for my use." He motioned her forward, pointing to the floor in front of his chair. "Kneel and be silent." She obeyed and he patted her head. "Good," he approved. "Let me explain exactly what you are." She drew in a sharp breath, opening her mouth to retort. He slapped her. "I did not give you leave to speak!"

Her hand flew up to cover her reddening cheek and she watched him with wide, shocked eyes. He settled back. "It is quite simple. You are mine. Everything you possess, every ability you have is mine to command. Your identity is mine to decide. You are nothing more than chattel now."

"No," she breathed before biting her lip and flinching back.

"Yes," he rebutted. He thrust one hand into her bushy mane of hair and dragged her head back. A smile slid over his face as she whimpered. "Think of the Vow you took. You took it freely. I did not force you."

"I would have lost my magic!"

His hand tightened and she emitted a hoarse cry. "You are still talking," he pointed out. "Yes, you would have lost your magic, but you would have been free – a Muggle, but free. I find it amusing how people are so easily trapped by careless words." He let go of her hair and lounged against the armrest of the chair. She shifted as his eyes began to travel down her body in a slow, licentious sweep. "I am quite pleased by today's work. I look forward to teaching you to heel, ma jolie petite chienne."

Hermione shook herself out of the memory as she slipped into one of his favorite chemises, a wispy thing of silver lace. Looking back she could remember telling herself that he had trapped her with no way out, but she never was good at lying to herself. She trapped herself. All of her worst flaws seemed to have blended together in that one moment to set her between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Her determination to get her way, her impatience with subtle diplomacy, and her defiant pride – all of them spiraled into an unimaginable choice. She could not go back to being a Muggle…she had no one there. She would have been homeless and friendless.

She couldn't even blame him for that. It had been her idea to Obliviate her parents, and only Harry and Ron had known. No one would give them back their memory of her. Muggle London meant desperation and loneliness. If she had any chance of a life at all, it was as a witch. She had to keep her magic. Her own actions before, during, and after the war led her to this point – Lucius Malfoy was merely the one who profited when her hasty, ill-considered actions led her to take a blind oath all those months ago.

Did she regret it?

Sometimes; sometimes when his insults and put downs became too much, yes she regretted it. She regretted it when she saw the hate in Ginny's eyes or the derision in the faces of her former classmates. Regret would also bubble up during his angry moods when he would lash out and punish her.

And yet…

There were moments of quiet joy in sharing a peaceful afternoon in the estate's vast library. He taught her various spells and enchantments and encouraged her to learn anything and everything she could about magic and all its variations so she would be more useful to him. The Wizarding world treated her with deference and respect as the official mistress of Lord Malfoy. It was a heady time for the daughter of two ordinary dentists.

She knew what was happening to her. Thanks to her Muggle upbringing she recognized the syndrome she had developed, mistaking a lack of pain, a lack of punishment, for love on his part. So what? Unlike the Muggle hostages, she would never be free of her captor. She had no reason to plan for a future beyond this captivity. Why should she not embrace it? Why should she not find some solace in surrendering to him? She could fight it, endure the pain and humiliation for the rest of her life, but it made no sense. It was not logical. Better to surrender, to accept his domination, and create a new baseline for joy.

"There you are, ma petite courtisane." He strode into the room still dressed in his wedding finery. "And in my favorite outfit, too." One long pale finger hooked around the lace rose nestled between her breasts and pulled her forward. He captured her lips, sliding his tongue between them to plunder her mouth. She swayed, moaning as her banked heat flared up once more, and he lifted his head. "Already? " She gave a tiny whimper and he shook his head in mock sympathy. "Ma coquina, have you had a long evening?" Her hands knotted in his shirt and he tipped his head back to laugh.

While still holding the rose of her chemise, he walked over to sit in front of the fireplace. She stood before him, her body vibrating with need as she waited for his command. "Kneel by the fireplace," he ordered softly. "I want to relax for a few minutes."

She folded herself in front of the flickering light, her eyes never leaving his. His eyes slid over her in a long, lustful look.

"We have accomplished a great deal in one short year," he told her. "I find myself both impressed by how quickly you have been trained to your place and intrigued by the depth of passion I have unleashed in you. If all of this comes from a single year, where will we be in two or five or ten?Who knows what depths I will find?" His smile turned lecherous. "Or what depths I will create?" He chuckled. "There were so many, many things I could never do with dear, pure blooded Narcissa. She was much too cold…much too shallow. Her passion, if you could call it that, burned out quickly."

Lucius crooked his finger at her and she crawled forward. She knelt at his feet and folded her arms over his knees before lifting herself up and forward to let her breasts rest on her folded arms. He placed a hand under her chin. "But you, ma petite fille d'esclave, you have such heat, such depth." His thumb played over her lips, pulling slightly on the lower one. "And more – your intelligence and magical ability put my compatriots to shame. I have seen you devouring your lessons, seeking every possible way magic can be used. I cannot wait to see you dive into the darker arts."

He rose, drawing her up with him, and buried his hands in her hair. "And you will," he almost purred as he stared down into her eyes. Her hands clenched at his waist as he pressed a deep kiss to her lips. He drew back. "You will enjoy your next lessons, ma petite sorcière, I promise you will. There is nothing to stir the mind and the passion like the dark arts. I will teach you things you cannot even imagine." He pulled one hand out of her hair and traced a line down her throat to the top of her chemise. She gasped as his fingers slipped beneath the neckline. A feral look came over his face. "You contain such fire, such power, and it's all at my command, waiting for my least whim."

"I will pull out every sliver of heat." His voice deepened as he stripped the clothes from her body. "I will find every secret depth." He bore her down to the floor before the fireplace, spreading her out like some wanton sacrifice. "I will show you the real meaning of power." An illicit smile touched his lips as he ran his hand down her body in long, seductive strokes. "And you, ma petite fille d'esclave, you will be my greatest weapon."
Tags: !fic, character: hermione, character: lucius, exchange: 2013, pairing: lucius/hermione, type: het
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