When Hermione Fights
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 Punishment, chapter 113

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Aivy
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Anzahl der Beiträge : 107
Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14
Ort : Bodensee

Punishment, chapter 113 Empty
BeitragThema: Punishment, chapter 113   Punishment, chapter 113 EmptySa Okt 26, 2019 7:05 am

Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy




"And where to now? Hah, I know that even without the curse. Come on, I'll get it," I grabbed his arm and, a moment later, we arrived in front of her house in London, which was no longer visible to us because of the blood protection.

"Nice street... beautiful townhouses. This is where she lived?" Lucius asked with caution, looking around favourably. Before I could answer, we saw her coming around the corner.

Her gait was firm; she seemed determined. However, she still dabbed over her face and played her role to the end. She was a smart girl, because if they kept watching her, she would still appear to be an innocent lamb. She really wasn't stupid.

I felt Lucius' hand gripping my shoulder tightly and relentlessly as he ruthlessly pushed forward. As it seemed, he absolutely wanted to get into the house. That shouldn't be a problem and so we watched her approach a house invisible to us.

She unlocked the door with a key and Lucius already got into action. He grabbed my shoulder even more firmly and brought me close to Hermione, who must have felt our closeness at the moment she opened the door, for her terrified gaze immediately flicked over her shoulder. It was still too late and a second later, she flew less than gently through the door. Only this time, I wasn't the one pushing her around. Instead, it had been a more than upset Lucius, who had pushed so hard that not only she went down, but he himself stumbled over the threshold and fell on top of her.

All of us being connected at the right moment, both Lucius and I got through the blood protection.

Now I looked at the floor and the both of them after closing the door quietly and calmly. With a smooth movement, I spelled myself visible again. Unlike my companion, I had not lost my balance - Lucius had been simply too impetuous - so I did the same for Lucius.

The minx had groaned in surprise when she hit the ground so unexpectedly. She couldn't roll this time because Lucius used her back as a nice mattress. She immediately tried to crawl out from under him. When he supported himself slightly with his hands, she scrambled to get away from him on all fours on the light wooden floor.

Alas, when Lucius noticed this, he growled angrily, which didn't exactly bode well for her, which she probably regarded quite similarly. Straightening some more, he grabbed roughly for her ankle. When he caught it, he pulled her backwards. She lost her footing and again collided with the hard floor. He dragged her ruthlessly towards himself over the wooden planks. That sounded nicer than it was, for she kicked around wildly, trying to shake Lucius' hand off of her ankle, screaming in the process. Her resistance only made Lucius angrily squeeze his lips into a narrow line, but he wouldn't be deterred. Meanwhile, I leaned against the entrance door, which was white on the inside, crossed my arms in front of my chest and watched the spectacle at my feet with intrigue.

Although the minx did not stop kicking and Lucius had to be careful not to get her shoe in his face, it was obvious that he was physically the master of the situation. She wanted to turn around which he did not permit. Thus, he pulled the struggling bundle closer and closer towards himself. When he had her within reach, he suddenly let her go and sat down on the bare floor, pulling her over his lap in one smooth movement.

To my astonishment, he grabbed her skirt that had ridden up and ripped it open with a single jerk. The ripping sound of the shredded fabric echoed like a threat from the high walls of the townhouse, and Hermione squealed in horror as the air now stroked over her freed buttocks and revealed her black knickers.

I raised my eyebrows in surprise. What was Lucius up to?
Soon, his hand mercilessly aimed for her buttocks to leave a bright red imprint with a loud slap on her small but firm and pale bottom. She groaned in pain and then slackened when the next blow hit her.

Lucius sat on the floor here in the hallway, she lay extremely uncomfortable across his lap and he lived out his rage very passionately on Hermione's behind. Blow after blow went down on her buttocks with incredible precision, accompanied by a loud whoosh.

He displayed an incredibly calm attention to detail, waited with every new blow long enough that the pain would not obscure that of the previous one. He placed the individual blows so that not only the entire surface of her buttocks but also the base of her thighs was affected and struck as hard as he could.

His hand kept slapping her flesh in a steady rhythm, making it glow more and more red, and she did twitch under his blows, but I also noted with interest that she seemed to bite her arm to muffle her sounds of pain, so she would not give him the satisfaction to hear that he was inflicting pain on her.

I did not do anything. Why would I?

She deserved punishment and it seemed to do Lucius good to let off some steam. When he had been so upset when she had run away, my heart had also stopped for a moment about her unexpected disappearance. And I too had wondered why she had not asked us!

She was permanently whimpering now and even Lucius should find it hard to raise his hand again any more. Finally, after long minutes, he ended the punishment, resting his hand on her maltreated flesh, breathing heavily. In the resulting silence, only his breath and her whimpering could be heard.

Some long, white-blond hair had come loose from his magic braid and he looked downright dishevelled by his standards. Suddenly, life came into him and he turned her around. Whilst she went along and then settled on the hard wooden floor, she moaned in suffering and looked at us reproachfully from astonishingly dry eyes.

Now you could also see that her arm was adorned with a bleeding bite wound, and her mouth was smeared with blood as well. She looked at us from her lying position with her eyes getting harder and harder, which made Lucius growl angrily and bend over her. Then he roughly grabbed her by the lapel of her blazer, so that he could pull her up by it, making a button jump off. He buried her almost under his body in her half-naked state, and brought his very grim face threateningly close to her.

"How dare you, Mudblood, to leave the Manor without permission?" His icy voice trembled with painstakingly suppressed anger.

She closed her eyes resignedly and tiredly. As it seemed, this was the reason why Lucius let go of her harshly and, again, she hit the ground. As soon as her hurting buttocks connected, a soft whimper was drawn out of her. She was now lying flat on her back and he grabbed her hair in a fury, pulling on it brutally, causing her to scream loudly. In an instinctive move, her hands came up, grabbing him by his wrists while her eyes immediately opened again.

"Owww... please," she breathed, stuttering, which made him emit a vicious growl. A moment later, he put his mouth on her bloody one and kissed her wildly and mercilessly.

She pushed her hands against his chest while trying to keep her lower body in the air so as not to touch the ground again with her behind. It looked very amusing what was happening in front of my eyes. You would not see Lucius out of control very often so if it happened you had to enjoy the fact that he had lost his composure. I would be able to tease him with that for years.

But what did I always say? Nobody believed me. The minx was a danger for everyone! Did he listen to my warnings? No, he did not. Then he had to learn it himself, I drew my smug summary of this tragicomedy playing out at my feet.

He became increasingly forceful, more demanding. She tried to get away from him ever more desperately, which led to him only holding her head tighter, like a vice, and burying her more and more under his body. Well, Draco would not like that at all if he were here, and I also liked it less and less. Where would that end, I asked myself uneasily and so I decided with a sigh to help. I stepped next to the couple wrestling on the floor and picked up Lucius' cane, which he had dropped, by the way, and now dared to disturb him. I knocked on his shoulder with it to remind him that I was still here.

Alas, he did not let me distract him. One of his hands now reached unerringly for her still covered bust. Well... that was interesting. I certainly remembered the lectures I had gotten from the self-righteous, self-absorbed peacock...

For a short amount of time, I was tempted to bring his beloved stick down on his skull with force. But then, I went down on my knees with a sigh - I felt very sorry for myself right now.

All of a sudden, I grabbed his light, soft hair roughly without hesitation, pulling his head up and away from her mouth.

"Aragh! ... What? Severus? Have you lost your mind? What are you thinking?!" he roared angrily and glared at me murderously from eyes almost black with desire and lust.

I did not let go of his hair when confronted with his anger, instead ignoring it while I coldly looked down on the both of them.

"You said you did not want to force her! If you have changed your mind, that is fine with me... But do not say beforehand that you do not simply want to take her by force, and then hold that against me," I reminded him with scornful contempt.

Immediately afterwards, I let go of his hair abruptly, straightened up and looked into her face. It looked a little panicky, as the situation really seemed to bring her back to my disgraceful act, of which I was still not proud. He had apparently bitten her, too, and now she was bleeding not only on her arm, but also on her lip. The blood ran down her cheek in a small trickle. Like last time, she did not cry, but a slightly frightened expression graced her unnaturally widened eyes.

Slowly, the unfamiliar emotions in Lucius' gaze diminished and he turned back to Hermione who was still lying on the ground. He did not seem happy when he now removed his hand surprisingly carefully and cautiously from her long hair and let his thumb brush over her badly bruised lip. She turned her head to the side and closed her eyes submissively once Lucius seemed to regain his composure slowly but surely.

I noticed that the blood from her lips was clinging to his fingers and he now contemplated it briefly with a thoughtful expression. Suddenly, he turned half-way around in my direction and raised his hand imperiously.

"My wand, Severus," he demanded coolly.

I was a little perplexed. What was he up to? Nevertheless, I handed him the wand as requested. Again, he reached for her face and forced her persistently, but not too harshly, to turn her face towards him, which she did obediently. She had opened her eyes again and looked at him bewildered, if not to say reluctantly.

In the end, he pointed the wand at her face. What the hell was he up to? He aimed at her lips, quietly cast a spell and then I noticed in amazement how the bite on her lips healed. He did not really do that, did he? Once again, he gently ran his thumb over her lips to remove the blood. Confusion appeared in her eyes after the brief panic I had perceived when he pointed his wand at her had disappeared.

Looking at me again from very cold eyes, he nodded slowly. He rose ponderously, but still with incredible elegance. As he stood, he looked down on her. The ripped skirt pushed up to her hip and the well visible, exposed, black knickers as well as the partially torn blazer, her dishevelled hair, the bite wound on her arm and her bruised, red lips and her heavy breath, all this together was the more than scandalous sight she offered us lying on the floor. While he looked down on her, something flickered in his gaze that I could not interpret. Then he climbed silently over her and headed towards the living room, leaving her lying on the floor.

I watched her while she kept her eyes closed and asked myself: Had she looked the same after I had been through with her? I dared to ask myself this tentatively, especially since not as much had happened here as had that day. These were my unwelcome thoughts out of which I was torn when she abruptly rolled around and pulled herself onto all fours.

In the process, she presented her bright red butt, which looked very heated, in an almost obscene way. The sight said it all; it had to hurt. Still, she said nothing, just moaned quietly, then got up ungainly, and when she turned around, she flinched briefly when she spotted me. I must have been so quiet that she had forgotten about me. I tried to look behind her facade, but to my chagrin I could not. Her gaze was even a trace arrogant, which amazed me time and again, especially paired with the dishevelled look. I pulled myself out of the contemplation and held back a cough. Since I was very close to her, all I would need to do was to stretch out my hand to touch her cheek. Not to do so required an incredible degree of self-control on my part.

"You should change. We will expect you then. Hurry up," I instructed her harshly as usual and was glad that my voice held.

She nodded immediately and moved carefully. She looked terrible. With her torn skirt she climbed up the stairs and disappeared from my sight.

I shook myself and stripped off any compassion that arose with determination. She had known how we were! And so I followed Lucius into the room he had entered and saw him sitting on a chair. He had magically restored himself; no one would have been able to recognize or guess that this man had completely lost control a few minutes ago.

He had closed his eyes and it seemed as if he was meditating. What had caused him to heal her in the end? I really wanted to know, but that would have to wait.

I did not dare to talk to him, after all I was not suicidal. He would struggle with himself that it had come this far and I could only sympathize too well, how you felt when you suddenly lost control so completely after such a long period of time being in complete control.

It left such disciplined people like us in shock because every decision that was not based on cool calculations could sound the death knell for us. We were always walking a tightrope over a ravine, so it shocked us all the more when it happened, catching up with us, and we lost our belligerently kept control. It left you behind downright petrified.

A Malfoy in particular did not lose many things: not his temper, not his control, not his mask, and never ever his face.

I was honest, against Lucius I could be almost quick-tempered in class. He always behaved in a very chilled way, even more so than I did. Letting himself go like that happened to him very rarely, practically never.

Suddenly, he opened his eyes and stared at me sharply. I had retreated into a dark corner, waiting nearby, and was not afraid to meet his gaze calmly.

We only looked at each other, words were not necessary. I just twisted a corner of my mouth very mockingly and he did the same a moment later, then we grinned at each other conspiratorially. This was one of those rare moments in which Lucius and I absolutely and irrevocably agreed that this episode once again fell under the category of 'gaining experience'. We also agreed that this intermezzo did not need to be shared with Draco. I had no doubt that the minx would disagree.

End of Severus’ POV

Hermione’s POV

I stood in my former room and looked at myself in the mirror, smirking at the sight of my appearance, which could be summed up by 'completely messed up'.

What had I expected?

That... yes, something like that. Only that I had gotten away quite well thanks to Sn- Severus. I didn't believe that Lucius would have stopped until he had gotten for himself what he had wanted for a very long time. I could be glad that he had only done as much to me as had happened so far. Although it had surprised me that he had healed me afterwards, restoring my lips. Really strange.

Absentmindedly, I caressed my lips with my fingertips.

I had got a fright when a cold breeze had touched my neck and I had looked into nothing behind me. But I had understood immediately, in a matter of seconds, that they were there and waiting to get into the house with my help. Almost immediately I had fallen, was ruthlessly thrown off balance, crash-landed onto the hard parquet floor and a male body landing on me had pressed the air out of my lungs in those seconds.

I could imagine how pleasantly inclined the two men had been. That there had been two, I had felt intuitively. My feeling in the alley hadn't been wrong after all, they had already been there at the time. That's what they called luck!

Too annoying that I had been caught; I could have shown my colours right away, although it had been too much fun to break the warding spells... And the scales fell from my eyes. I was so stupid! Now it became clear: the waterfall was a signature. How else could they have followed me into the alley without touching me? That was brilliant! I had said that the curse was excellent, over my excitement I nearly forgot my own failure.

Then I startled from my thoughts and looked at my mirror image again. Lucius seemed to have gone off the deep end just a little bit, judging by the way he had pounced on me. I bared my teeth and then slowly ran my tongue over my lip. Why was the man always so fond of blood?

I still couldn't explain his reaction to my bitten lip. Shaking my head, I looked at my arm which I had bitten into and which provided a perfect dental impression of my teeth. When I had heard the fabric of my skirt tearing, which was now slipping from my hips to the ground, I had briefly felt ill and when his hand had struck my cheek with full force, slapping loudly, I had had to hold back the painful outcry, but my pride wouldn't allow it any other way. So, during him beating me through the sun and moon, I had rammed my teeth deeper and deeper into my own flesh and tasted my own warm blood.

I had thought he would knock the skin off my bone when he didn't stop bringing his hand down on my ass. He clearly had experience in how to create the greatest pain possible.

Wow, that was truly hurting. I wanted to doubt that I could sit and I couldn't think of any clever turn of phrase to help me. That annoyed me. The clou had been that he had turned me around and more or less jumped at me. He had pulled my hair so hard that I thought he would pull it out in clumps.

When I didn't answer his question immediately, something seemed to snap behind his eyes, as if a knot had burst. He had attacked my mouth with a frightening vehemence that knew how to scare me. So passionately... He had kissed me hard and when I refused to submit willingly, he had bitten my lower lip roughly, brutally, and when I wanted to scream, he had seized the opportunity and conquered my mouth with a force that was unparalleled.


I had pressed my hands defensively against his broad chest. If I had tried to move a boulder, it would have had the same effect. One hand, buried in my hair, had held my head like a vice and I had attempted to hold my throbbing and terribly aching hip above the floor as he had pushed himself on top of me inch by inch. I had known where this would end: he would do the same as Snape had done.

Yes, that had become evident, he had lost control just like the other man had when he had discovered the mark. What had made Lucius so angry that this usually unemotional man threw emotionlessness overboard and ruthlessly assaulted me?

Even if I hadn't wanted to, I had briefly fallen into a tunnel vision when I thought of the pain that Snape had caused me when he had forced me and I had begun to be afraid of what Lucius would do. But I had slowly forced my brain to work again. If I didn't defend myself, just as I had back then, maybe he wouldn't be as rough as Severus and would regain his senses earlier. Or so I had thought hopefully. I had been about to submit to my destiny when I had been suddenly separated from this hard, demanding mouth that had brutally tormented my lips.

I watched Lucius's face being roughly pulled back by his hair and heard someone make hissing sounds that I could barely hear through the loud, rushing blood in my ears.

When I then had sensed him removing his fingers from my hair and felt him run his thumb over my lip, I had closed my eyes involuntarily and thought: It doesn't matter anyway, you knew what could happen. Throughout the whole ordeal, I had tried not to think of Draco!

While he was healing me, he had put on the emotionless mask again. Only faintly, I had seen something flashing in his eyes, but I didn't know what it was. I still couldn't believe it that he had healed me partially after being so brutal before.

The man was really inscrutable, incalculable, simply dangerous.

I couldn't believe it, S-Severus had saved me. Probably out of self-interest though because he certainly didn't want to watch Lucius fuck me in front of his eyes.

I had kept my eyes closed and fervently and sincerely thanked my good fortune. Lucius could have whipped my ass with a belt or a crop or whatever, I would have been fine with it, if it had remained at that but it had gotten a little out of hand.

I would have to face it, you always had to and hey, what had actually happened?

Mm-hmm. Thanks to Severus, nothing... Not only could I deal with it and live with it, I could laugh about it. When I had turned around, Severus had stared at me with big, dark, but blank eyes, and I had swallowed heavily because he looked at me so intensely. Then it had seemed as if he wanted to do something, but the spark had been gone from his eyes as quickly as it had appeared and so I doubted my observation.

He ordered me to change and hurry. Owwa, my backside hurt. Lucius had really hit hard and strong!

Take it as it comes, be glad about your proverbial happiness, for once, I thought almost hysterically and unbuttoned the blazer and slipped it from my shoulders. I now applied a Scourgify and an Episkey to myself. All bite wounds and other unimportant injuries disappeared. Only my battered skin was still burning like fire, but well, I'd have to endure that.

When I turned to my wardrobe and picked out a wide silk dress in tunic style that covered everything, I hurried. I chose the knee-length garment with reluctance. I would have loved to wear trousers after what had happened but I was sure I wouldn't be able to bear it on my burning, glowing skin. I regarded how the grey-white patterned dress fell lightly around me and lay lightly on my abused backside. The sleeves also fell halfway down my arms and were flattering me. I now fixed my hair and combed it through, letting it fall openly into my face, and finally slipped into grey ballerinas and straightened my posture, inside and out.

Let's go! I was curious to see how much resistance I would have to face.

I carefully went down the stairs and stepped, now with my head held high, into the living room, noticing that Lucius was sitting on one of the chairs further back in the passage to the dining room and Severus was standing opposite him in the shadow by the wall. Both of them immediately turned their piercing eyes towards me as soon as I entered the room.

The sense of threat exuded by these two men was almost palpable and gave me goosebumps, which I desperately tried to suppress. When I saw Lucius sitting at the table in all his glory, rolling his cane in his left hand and Severus, as dark as he was, almost disappearing into the shadows, I had to admit that they were truly impressive.

I stopped in the doorway and looked straight into their faces. With these Death Eaters it would be fatal to show weakness. Those were the psycho games they loved so much. But please, bring it on, I could do that too. Hence, I provocatively raised an eyebrow while shrugging my shoulders and began to speak.

"Now that you are here in my home, may I offer you something to drink?" I asked politely, quite the perfect hostess, overlooking that Lucius had beaten me through heaven and hell a few minutes ago.

Both of them didn't let it show what they thought about my cold-bloodedness. But good, that's how we were, hard to read. I set myself in motion and walked towards the bar which was in a corner of this room and which my father had always loved. I poured Muggel whiskey now that I knew that Severus drank it - for example, when he had been with us in the cottage at Christmas.

I looked at Lucius, lifting the Scotch, and he nodded, so, armed with one glass for each of them, I went first to Severus who was closest to me. He took his glass out of my hand, thereby rubbing his thumb as if by accident against mine and gave me a slightly ironic smile, which I returned cold, only to turn to Lucius.

When I wanted to put Lucius' glass on the table in front of him, he already covered it and grabbed almost my whole hand with his. He tried to upset me, but no, I wouldn't do him the favour. Therefore, I let go slowly and not hectically under all circumstances and went back to get my glass.

"Take a seat,"' he ordered suddenly.

"I think I would prefer to stand," I proclaimed nastily and grinned with all my teeth showing.

"Lucius, you forget, she can hardly sit down," it came smugly from the dark corner and I would have preferred to throw my glass at his head because of his spite.

"Oh, I really forgot. What would I do without you, Severus, my friend?" Lucius professed with a very pronounced, sarcastic undertone.

"I ask myself the same question... sometimes," he replied spitefully.

At that point, I realized that they had excluded me completely from the conversation, which was funny, and so I sipped on my whiskey. I had treated myself to an extra large portion, as not only the two bloodhounds I saw in front of me annoyed me, but also this bald Columbo, who thought he had to pin the death of zombies on me. He'd better watch out that I didn't turn him into one one night. It would be quite simple... I was revelling in my violent fantasies when I was rudely dragged back to reality.

"I'm talking to you, Hermione! What are you smiling about so... pensively?" The words blew around my ears with clinking coldness and I looked at Lucius apologetically.

"Forgive me, Lucius, I didn't want to snub you... I was mentally absent for a moment," I confessed calmly and with emphasis on politeness.

"Will you share with us where your mind has been?" the blonde devil asked predatorily.

"As you wish... I don't know if you were at the cemetery..." Both nodded. I sighed. That figures. "...well then you can imagine that I was annoyed with the bald guy. I just enjoyed some satisfyingly violent fantasies about him," I honestly admitted and received raised eyebrows from these two very different men, which almost made me snicker.

"To set you straight: you have not only snubbed me, or us, but have offered a shocking affront to us," Lucius revealed pompously.

Confronted with his cool tone and the icy gaze from the steel-grey eyes, one could get slightly ill and I felt myself affected. In order to cover this up, I quickly drank another gulp.

"I didn't want that... really," I shrugged my shoulders and heard a sincerely uplifting, derogatory snort from a dark corner. Honestly, the man wanted to annoy me. Hey, I could try!

"Hermione, you should think twice before lying," Lucius hissed so dangerously quietly that you could think he hadn't said anything. I just nodded obediently. "Once again: Why did you commit this slight?"

I began to pace up and down, because I could not sit down thanks to this conceited blonde peacock, and now I glared at them with great anger.

"Why? Why should I tell you in detail that I am going to the funeral? I didn't want to; it's not that great. Draco knew about it, he just couldn't accompany me ... Which was probably better, not that an Order member sees us together," I defended myself with forced logic.

"It doesn't matter that you had to bury your parents?" An icy breeze in Lucius' tone showed his disbelief and I stopped abruptly.

"What, Lucius? Do you now want to pretend to mourn for me?" I approached him angrily. Yes, I was furious.

"Well, let's put it this way, you don't seem very sad! Are they really in there? If that's the case, we can still have a look today," Severus interfered mistrustfully.

"That's none of your business!" I replied angrily, and then immediately reprimanded myself.

Let him look!

"But please, look into the coffin... You will see them then, but hopefully I don't have to deal with it myself," I brusquely fended him off.

I took a quick look at Severus and did not know what the gleam in his eyes meant. He would be shocked and not happy if my parents were lying in the coffins, because then he would think I had let them go off the cliff. Although nothing better could happen to me than everyone thinking they were truly dead. And I owed my parents this silence after I had already taken their past away from them.

"It is my business as you belong to us," Lucius whispered now with a note of finality in his voice and hit the table with a fierce blow. Ouch, surely but slowly his hand had to hurt, damn it!

"Then be happy, there is only one family left for me," I said now very coldly, looking at him insistently and without shyness.

"Yes... the only question is: What happened?" he asked threateningly, taking the same line as Severus.

"You want to know what happened? Father was too stupid to steer his car properly and managed to race down the cliffs of Dover... Now, I would be alone if I didn't have you," I said, sounding downright cocky towards the end.

"And what did you have to do with it?" he continued pressing threateningly. Oh, how he annoyed me!

"What do you think Lucius?... Do I really have to say anything more about this?" I gave him a resolute look and turned away.

I looked out of the window into the garden and glanced at the little garden house. I hoped that Severus and Lucius wouldn't sense the necromantic magic. I didn't know how long and strong it lasted. When I turned back around decisively, I noticed how Lucius was about to say something, but I beat him to it.

"Can't we drop the subject of parents? They are no longer here," I asked in a whisper, unexpectedly moved, and noticed how he scrutinized me attentively. He remained silent for a long time.

"You want the life insurance?" he responded to my request in his very own way.

A circumstance that amazed me, but also pleased me. Perhaps, he accepted my silence.

"Of course. I'm entitled to it," I said haughtily.

"Why? There is one thing you will never have to worry about in your life and that is money," he announced snobbishly. He glared at me while drinking from the crisp, dark amber scotch.

He impressed me thoroughly. He seemed so completely cold and unapproachable. The fact that, a few minutes ago, he had revealed a fiendishly irascible and dangerous other side of himself to me made me swallow, but I wanted to dig my heels in.

"Principles," was my concise answer, whereupon he shrugged his shoulders.

"I still don't understand where you, firstly, learned about the secret passage and, secondly, how you managed to overcome all the barriers," he diligently approached the point that annoyed him the most and scratched his bloated ego.

The worst thing about it was... He could allow himself to be so arrogant, for he not only pretended to be, he was as he presented himself: a powerful, impressive, and dangerous person. Since the events in the hallway, I have wisely kept my distance from him.

"Well, Hogwarts is as old as the Manor and it's teeming with secret passages, so I wandered a bit around the Manor," I said. I didn't have to rub his nose in the fact that I had discovered the documents in the library. "And well, the barriers were really good, Lucius, and the last spell is amazing. A masterpiece! I congratulate you both on this brilliant curse... A little longer and this bloody waterfall would have lost its trace. I think I already know what kind of a clever, diabolical method Severus..." I lost myself in my thoughts and chewed thoughtfully on my lip. Yes, I was slowly finding out what elements he had incorporated, but there was a mental error.

How could this have happened to him if he had used the Arithmetic Formula on an example...? I roughly estimated the sizes and measurements I would need to build the spell in the tunnel:

50 (Mu)= 1E (Za). One calculates: 50 = 36 + 14.36, this is then bundled and pushed as 1 into the next place. I now calculated the task, which I already had in my head. 19691 (Mu)= F6Z in the magic system. O+Z= 1N.N and 1 is brought forward. The rest as usual. Subtraction and multiplication; the subtraction is the same as the addition, but backwards.

Yes, exactly! It took shape in my mind. That was a good approach. If you raised the whole grid structure to another level, the warding spell would be as good as irreversible because you tied it to the whole. Yep. He had overlooked this one decisive step. But since I came from the Muggle world and looked at the application the other way round, because I still used the decimal system as I had learned in Muggle primary school and then translated everything into the magic system of Arithmancy, it had a different meaning for me. Exciting. In this form, it would be a desirable protection for the Manor.

"Hermione! ... Hermione! ... Damn it, will you answer now!" I was shocked from my mental calculations into which I had drifted and looked at Lucius with slightly glazed eyes.

"Oh... I'm sorry, I just recalculated the error I found in the curse," I excused my absent-mindedness and waved him off. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Severus straightening up a little more during my statement "... Ah, you wanted something else... Well, how do you think I get a lot of my information? With a friendly 'please, please, please'? I go and get it and as it seems, I become better with each time! Please, no spell or curse is unbreakable," I said snootily, now fully concentrated on him again.

"And how did you teach yourself that?" he followed up curiously.

"How...? Oh, you ask questions. I don't know. By being quiet? Use Hogwarts as a practice field? Severus' storeroom was a pretty good exercise. Most other wizards protect their homes like shit. Even the Muggles are more imaginative! And the Ministry is a joke. But rest assured, against all these ridiculous protections, the Manor is a fortress," I explained to Lucius calmly, coolly and coldly.

"You are very cold-blooded," Lucius proclaimed, leaning back while he looked at me with intrigue.

"Be happy about it. Severus always says that makes me perfect for you. Or would you rather I act for you and mime the howling bunch of misery that I am not?" I retorted arrogantly, glaring at him.

"Don't push it too far! You truly have ventured far ahead into dangerous territory with your arbitrary actions," he growled and aggressively raised his aristocratic head towards me.

"What do you want? An apology? I'm sorry Lucius... I'm sorry that I defied you, but I wanted to be alone!" I snapped and turned my back towards him.

I continued to play the role of the innocent that I wasn't. Did I despise myself for my acting? No, not really, I was actually very proud of myself.

"Well, dear, I don't know how to tell you this, but my blinkers regarding you have shifted since Narcissa. But after today, I want to say, I have discarded them. Does my son know... what an ice-cold bitch you are?" Lucius asked predatorily.

Oh, was he worried as a father or did he just want to know if his son had seen through me before he had?

"Oh, Lucius, I very much hope so," I flashed him an amused smile. "He never underestimated me," I acknowledged proudly, only then did I turn around again. "But please, believe me, I didn't want to harm you or the family. I just wanted to get my past behind me. I didn't want to tell anyone anything. Questions here, questions there... However, if I had known what that would entail, I would have acted differently," I now lowered my proud head quite humbly in front of him.

"You are not going to buy that from her, do you?" the scornful and very cynical voice of Severus sounded for the first time in a while.

"Stay out of it," I turned around to him in a flash and looked at him angrily.

"What? Do you want to tell me you don't mind?" he alluded to Lucius' lapse.

"...no, that's not it. Alas, I know I deserved it, even if my arguments cannot be dismissed," I replied resolutely.

"Stop it now, you two! Your argument gets on my nerves," Lucius lamented conceitedly. Instantly, I heard Severus snort. The blonde continued with a wolfish grin on his face.

"You, young lady, will now try even better to obey the rules. I want you to work through the curse with Severus. I noticed your insinuations earlier and I expect, wish and demand honesty from you. If you should violate my conditions again, you will face dire consequences! In that case, you will be lucky if you are still allowed in the park, not to mention the corporal punishment that will await you." His threats sounded rather salacious. I could only nod heavily and defeated.

"Do you have everything you need from here? We should leave! I have appointments and you are lucky that, unfortunately, they cannot be delayed any longer. But how does the saying go? It is only a pleasure deferred!" He rose, walked towards me and I forced myself not to step back. "Come along," he said, gripping my upper arm less than gently.

I had to suppress a tremor when he grabbed me, closed his hand around my arm, and our skin was touching again. I couldn't read anything on his face when he touched me. Was it similar for him? Did he feel something? I dared to ask myself that almost fearfully.

At that moment, Severus stepped up to us.
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