When Hermione Fights
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  Railing Against Fate, chapter 120

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Anzahl der Beiträge : 107
Anmeldedatum : 25.10.14
Ort : Bodensee

 Railing Against Fate, chapter 120 Empty
BeitragThema: Railing Against Fate, chapter 120    Railing Against Fate, chapter 120 EmptyMi Dez 18, 2019 7:45 am

Chapter beta: Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy




After I had quarreled with myself and railed against my fate, yada yada yada... I had kicked my own arse mentally, annoyed by myself, realizing that it was my fault. I hated people who complained afterwards. No, I didn't like them and I didn't want to be one of them.

After that, it wasn’t long until I picked myself up again and started to undress. I tore the dress off my body and wrapped myself in my sleep robe. Today, I wouldn't leave - Stop! I took off the sleeping robe again and now stepped into a long dress, which was made of a light, airy, grey fabric, but fell down on me in a minimalist way, with half-length sleeves and a high-neck. At second glance, it reminded me of a potato sack with a braided belt around the middle that emphasized my waist. But it was exactly what I wanted. Yes, once more I wanted to cover myself and after the thought occurred to me that a newly widowed wizard might call for me in a rage - I could picture it clearly - yes, I wanted to be fully dressed. I wouldn't be able to cope with a repeat performance or anything of that sort, but why always provoke?

I went to the bureau and sat down, wanted to start working, but one thought preyed upon my mind.

Why? Why the hell did I always get so defensive with the three of them? Why did I always let them take the reins out of my hand as if I couldn't defend myself? Okay, well, they were physically superior to me in terms of physical strength, mass and muscle by far, but I would be able to get one or two hits in, I knew too many tricks for that by now!

So why did I always get into such a stupor, let them do a lot... oh, nonsense, let them do anything they wanted to me without resistance?

Thus, I started my analysis, which as always would be shockingly honest and open.

Was it sexual dependence, sexual subservience? Was it that? I dared to ask myself that.

Face the truth, Hermione, I advised myself, you find Severus really attractive, especially when he is behaving differently. I got to know him here at Manor from a much more intimate side than at school. He was... Yes, what? Nice? Not really, but he was an interesting man, a highly intelligent man who wanted me. Any fool could see that and I was no fool!

I had worked through my darkest night; I could deal with my sexuality and live it out too, as I had impressively proven with Draco today. But Severus... To imagine that with Severus, to let him get so close to me again, that was difficult for me, if not to say almost impossible. Not only could I tolerate him getting physically close to me, but I also liked him. I enjoyed it when he hugged me or kissed me. But more? No, then I felt the pain well up deep inside of me again and then came the fear that clasped my fast beating heart.

I had only one question:

Why did he want me? He had already had me three or four times. Why should he continue to want me? Severus Snape was not like that! In what way was there a difference between me and the other whores who had spread their legs for him? Exactly, nothing, except that I, Hermione, was now a member of his family and was in a relationship with Draco!

So why did he still want me? For my own sake or to show Draco that he, too, could have it all? Was it one of those dominance games that they always lived out so intensively here and indulged with a passion?

I cannot and could not imagine that he had feelings for me other than lust, greed and immeasurable desire. But what triggered it? I wasn't that good in bed, I thought cynically and snorted. Why would he want me? Well, I had an intellect and a spirit that probably knew how to captivate him. But otherwise? No, it was probably male vanity that drove him!

Also consider his irascibility for Sirius, who was no longer alive, but still made him freak out every time he was mentioned. It could only be that he wanted me to give myself to him as I had done to Sirius and Draco, voluntarily, under other circumstances. As it seemed to me, he perhaps felt offended since when I had slept with him, it hadn't been just for fun but always with ulterior motives. I could even understand that, that hadn't been nice of me either!

And now I had the dilemma that he wanted to have me again, only this time under different conditions, oh yes... unfortunately!

Because I had to admit to myself: yes, he managed to excite me; yes, I felt attracted to him. I even liked his bad-tempered, grumpy nature and I enjoyed his intelligent company, but thanks to what happened that night, I froze to ice when he went further than hugging me or kissing me. As soon as he was about to let himself go and clearly show me his desire, I panicked!

Everything inside me tensed up. I know that wasn't rational. He would never let himself go like that again, never forget himself like that one night, for that he respected me too much as a member of the family, but the fear and anxiety remained. I knew it sounded pathetic. When it happened, all I could do was plead and beg him to stop, for which I despised myself abysmally! I grimaced sufferingly and let my face fall into my palms with a tortured sigh.

As if Severus wasn't enough, Lucius stalked around me like a nebulous, but unfortunately always very present danger. What drove him?

He had seen me and knew he wanted me. He didn't know anything about Draco and me at that time, which made it all the more scary. I seemed really irresistible to the male members of this family. As ominous and controlled as Severus always seemed and was, one could not ignore that Lucius was the head of the family and certainly not the Right Hand of the Dark Lord for nothing and so I groaned into my hands, unnerved.

Lucius, in particular, only once wanted to exercise the power to possess what he had imagined from the beginning without any ifs or buts. The probability that there was more? No, not with Lucius; Severus probably had more intimate feelings for me than Lucius!

Then a persistent whisper from the little devil on my shoulder reminded me: "If that is the case, why did he heal your lip?" That didn't match my perception of him, that grey eminence who never felt sorry for anything! Alas, I wouldn't be able to answer the question of why he did it. I even doubted that he had the answer!

So I proceeded on to the next question. Why did I stay and freeze with Lucius as well, without vehemently defending myself? Well, he was allowed to do everything... He knew that and I was not so stupid as to turn him completely against me! So I admitted to myself here my surrender and his power over me. And the power that Lucius had drew me like a moth to the flame!

Well, I wanted to be honest. Of course, I liked him too. Hey, he was Draco in a few years! He had the same charisma that attracted me to Draco, even though I was frightened by his cruelty, which he hadn't even begun to show me. But I daringly assumed that he managed to outshine even Severus here. What did this tell me?

His bites, his thirst for blood: he loved to cause pain only to play lasciviously and seductively with it, which he had done with me twice before. Severus caused me pain because he forgot himself and his suppressed emotions broke free from time to time. Nobody always managed to close himself off, including Severus. But Lucius liked to cause pain; he enjoyed it without remorse. That was what made him healing me so shocking.

I did not assume that Lucius regarded me with any other aspects than avarice and possessiveness. If I were to give in to his urge once, he would be satisfied and content to have won and thus a hundred times easier to gratify than Severus. Well, I hoped so, but I wasn't sure.

And what about Draco? I was more intimate and loving with him as ever before with anyone else. He knew so much about me that no other person had ever known at once. I knew he felt a lot for me and I for him!

That was the aspect I despised about myself. I found the other two men sexually attractive. To put it in a nutshell: Severus' mind attracted me and with Lucius it was his power! What was it with Draco? Exactly, both! He often talked to me about his plans and let me see deeply, even if he didn't tell me everything and was still silent about them, because he was still working on their realization. But what I knew and saw showed me that Draco combined all that I desired. Power, intellect and sexual attraction!

Therefore, I wondered how this should go on. Would I always be able and want to resist when Draco emphasized so much that I belonged to him? What would he do if I laid with one of them, what do I know, by chance, voluntarily? Would he be able to compartmentalise that? Would I be able to compartmentalise that?

Or would our relationship be over then? I knew I could separate it. Please, I had already been laying with Severus when I was with Draco and Severus just hadn't known who I was. If I went to bed with him again now because I found him attractive and exciting, well no, that wouldn't change anything on my part about me wanting to be with Draco! But then came the decisive point: I didn't want to, because that inner panic didn't let me or it get that far!

How Draco would feel if I were to sleep with Severus, I developed the thought further anyway. Nothing major. He had stood above it then and he would stand above it now. If I did it voluntarily, then it would offend him in his pride, but he would overlook it, as he had done in the past. That would not destroy our relationship, I was sure of that!

With Lucius, yes, things looked different there. He was so similar to Draco and Draco resembled Lucius so much! How would he react if I became weak of my own free will?

Not good, that was clear. But would he be able to compartmentalise it? I did not know. Most likely he could even do it, I should not lose sight of Draco's cold-bloodedness. How had he said at the beginning? Family is different; and in addition, he would be hurt, insulted and angry, but probably even more so towards his father than towards me.

His biggest concern was always that I could give in, because he knew Lucius' irresistibility. If it happened, I assumed that he would swallow his wounded pride, because I had become too important to him, Draco, in all circumstances. Not only because he wanted me, because we wanted each other, but also because his plans meshed with mine.

Then and there, I made a decision, because I never wanted to hurt Draco intentionally or willfully. I would resist; I was strong enough for that. Even if a situation became uncontrollable, I would still always say NO! No matter what happened then, at least I wouldn't lose face either to myself or to him, and I didn't mean that as an alibi, which released me from my morals, but sincerely.

I had enough! I was strong and I was not their plaything. I would reduce my sexuality to zero. Yes exactly; from now on I would wrap myself in these all-covering burlap sack dresses. I knew that I had provoked Severus and Lucius in the morning, but right now I was not sure whether I was really and truly willing to pay the price if someone decided to claim it. For this reason, I wanted to keep my distance, draw a line, because the realization that I reacted and acted in such a different way with these three men than I otherwise did really shook me to my core.

It was a shame that I, who had done and was ready to do everything - fighting, killing, even playing with corpses and all that unbendingly, at the risk of my life - became the willing and easily malleable object of these three deceitful snakes. However, that was not what I wanted to be. No, I had to get more profile in dealing with them. It couldn't go on like this, damn it! I straightened my back and hit with my flat hand firmly on the table and shot angry glares through the room.

Not even Draco could I allow to continue ordering me around so high-handedly. Not that I didn't want to or that I bore a grudge against him, but in the future he would have to play his power games without me, after all I had to see to myself first. I decided to prefer keeping to the shadows when dealing with the three men and to make myself almost invisible.

At that moment, I thought of something to settle my debt to Lucius. The thought might be a bit absurd and bizarre, but it had worked before, so why not? It would be worth a try. Exactly, and should something go wrong, I would schedule it for the day before our departure for the Hogwarts Express, so the next day I would be over the hills and far away. I just hoped my gift to express my gratitude would please him and keep him away from me forever!

An abysmally evil smile spread over my features as the idea took shape inside my mind. Being very happy with it, I now took up paper and pen and wrote my instructions to Rita, setting to work, because there were things more important than sex and my role in it, I thought pretty drily.

I ordered her to open a door for Lucius Malfoy as soon as the news of Narcissa's death became public. Her articles should immediately reveal the Death Eaters as guilty and ask the question why and preferably provide the answer right away. She should show what an upright member Lucius was in the magical world. Yes, I liked that and then I gave her my last order... Oh, the good girl wouldn't like that I ordered this, but it would be all the more amusing. I gave her detailed instructions and made the appointment one day before returning to Hogwarts. Oh, that would be fun, I thought.

Now, with a new zest for action, I also tackled the warding spell, pointing out its weaknesses and recreating it so that it would be almost perfect. Then, I made a clean copy and cast Aparecium over it to make the writing invisible, and rolled the parchment up to give it to Severus later. It seemed to be my white flag of apology, I chuckled at myself!

It was good, after my tiresome self-reproaches and doubts, to do something meaningful again and not weigh these imponderables against each other.

There was a plop and a little house-elf with his flapping ears stood in front of me and looked at me fearfully. Oh, as it looked, the master of the manor was in a bad mood when the little servant looked so scared. Thus, I looked at him with a friendly smile, raised a brow inquiringly and, timidly, he conveyed the message. I took a quick look at the clock and saw that it was shortly after nine p.m.; more than ten hours would have elapsed by now. Had she already passed away?

Wording, if we were not in such a distinguished house: "Get your ass over here right this instant!" But so, it was phrased very formally and I just nodded, rose immediately, automatically grabbed the parchment roll and hurried away to comply with the request.

A few minutes later, I took another deep breath and knocked loudly, only to open the door of the small salon on the ground floor. I saw the flickering light of the fireplace in the darkness of the room. Some candles were also lit, as the night had chased away the summer sun.

I entered with my head held high and spotted the empty chair next to Draco. But first I walked towards a disgruntled Severus sitting in his dark green leather armchair, who didn't seem to have gotten over the afternoon yet if I read the hard look in his eyes right. Wordlessly, I presented him with the role and he raised his head in surprise. So far no one had said a word. However, everyone's eyes were fixed on me and me alone.

Now he raised his brow like in slow motion while tilting his head and I began to wag the parchment. When he finally took it, I immediately turned away and slid into my seat next to Draco. I crossed my legs and draped the fabric of my long dress. I looked around attentively and curiously.

Lucius now lifted his glass and drank a sip without letting me out of his sight, then looked at Severus, who had opened the roll and after a short hesitation had solved the spell to read my calculations with a deeply furrowed forehead. Then the dark man looked up abruptly to give me his verdict in the form of a brief nod, which I returned with a shy smile. I saw Draco's questioning and pondering glances at me, but I couldn't and didn't want to react to them now, and continued to look around uninvolved.

Phew, I guess that meant Severus acknowledged my apology. I also saw how it flashed in the three pairs of eyes as they took in my appearance, which was in stark contrast to this morning. Then, I had worn an extravagant, short, elegant dress. Now I was dressed exactly the opposite way, high-necked and anything but sexy.

Calmly, I looked into Lucius' grey eyes whereupon he lifted the glass in his hand. I nodded, answering the silent question, and a short time later held a glass of my own in my hand.

"You may be interested to learn that my wife passed away an hour ago! The Malfoy family is in mourning," he said very pathetically, but gravely and focused me. From the corner of my eye, I saw Severus folding his hands one after the other and laying the tips of his index fingers on his chin. Draco next to me crossed his legs and leaned back. Finally, I braced myself up for an answer.

"How unfortunate!" I sounded slightly sarcastic and cheerfully raised my glass to him.

Lucius curled his lips contemptuously.

"We are among ourselves here and I want answers now! The healers in St. Mungos still do not know which poison caused Narcissa to die a slow, cruel death they could barely ease, unfortunately. On the other hand, all things come back to us, do they not, my dear?" Lucius remarked calmly and very quietly and I knew now was not the time to play games, and especially not after my decision earlier.

"Good. You haven't talked to Severus yet?" I asked and he shook his head.

"You do not deny it," he observed calmly and I shook my head. "I demand to know how YOU were able to arrange that so quickly. It also means that you have left the manor again, against my orders! What do you not understand about them?" he hissed angrily and his now storm-grey eyes glared angrily at me as he clenched his hand around his glass.

"Lucius, I had to act quickly and I did! You gave permission for me to do with Narcissa what I wanted and, well, I did," I explained emotionlessly and drank a sip that did me a lot of good at the moment, although I was amazingly calm and serene. The next words from Lucius astonished me, but apparently he had had a long time to think about it and so he had probably already worked out his strategy concerning me.

"All right, Hermione, we have a deal: you talk to me openly and honestly for once and I will forget your disregard for my orders, ignore it and you will not be punished. Besides - no, no, do not look like that! - I even offer you that you will be rewarded for your openness. You may leave the manor if you tell ME where you are going. To avoid any misunderstanding, it is not enough for Severus or Draco to know where you are going; you have to tell me personally! Do we have an agreement?" he expressed his grandeur as he sat enthroned before me. I nodded in agreement and cleared my throat before answering.

"Surprising, Lucius, very surprising, but very well! We have an agreement," I accepted solemnly and could see both Severus and Draco holding themselves back and smirking into their drinks.

"So, where do I start? I wanted to get rid of Narcissa for several reasons. She would always have been a danger to me; that's unacceptable and I was very grateful when you gave me the opportunity and the permission," I bowed my head in gratitude to him and showed him my respect. "How could I plan it so quickly? Well, I am always prepared for everything... Why do you look so piercingly, Lucius? Oh, Severus has, no could not tell you yet, I forgot, my spell! Narcissa is not my first - wait, let me count... - the fourth, yes the fourth," I confessed honestly and I saw how he looked at me with widened eyes. He seemed slightly surprised, even if he didn't change his facial expression.

"Continue! Your spell?" he demanded harshly and slightly impatient.

"Yes, mine. Good Severus probably didn't tell you that, did he? I developed it and it is very effective, as Severus surely explained to you," I announced proudly and let my gaze wander briefly to Severus, who was still hiding a smirk behind his glass and now curtly nodded approvingly, but then again watched Lucius with anticipation. Lucius' mind was working, I saw that, but he probably decided that there was something more important.

"Well, so you are creating spells, that should not surprise me anymore, but there is time for that later," he explained coldly. "Go on! I want to know who the other three were and how!

"Oh, you want all the names now, don't you?" I lifted my eyebrows in jest and sparkled amusedly at him. I could see how his gaze went to Severus and Draco and he very quickly realized that they already knew. I could see him briefly clenching his lips, as if angry that he was the last to know. That didn't suit him at all, as it seemed, and so I continued quickly. "Bole... yes, I cut his throat. You know, I always carry my daggers!"

Lucius' jaw dropped for a moment when I confessed that so frankly. He knew for sure how badly damaged Bole had been and now also that I had Derrick on my conscience and had obviously dealt with two full-grown Death Eaters at once. This still managed to shock him. I continued with a nasty smile

"Then Umbridge, on whom I tested my first Avada. I performed it splendidly." I paused for a bit and Lucius nodded impatiently, so I continued. "Then Jugson. You know when and where... And now Narcissa. How? I explained it to Severus earlier; if you want more scientific information, I refer to him, but to summarise it all: it was scorpion venom. Time until excitus: ten hours. Where did I get this so quickly? Please Lucius, I am prepared. I have built up a larger supply of poisons and venoms! And why so fast? The opportunity was good. Not that I was afraid that my curse might have gotten broken, no, that not! I only had in mind that it could be beneficial for the family if Narcissa fell victim to a public assassination and died very dramatically! Remember Lucius, in principle I did this only for you!"

A questioning and not quite happy expression appeared on his face, but the anger that he had shown at the beginning of the conversation had vanished in the meantime. But I was not out of his bad books yet.

I continued calmly, explaining to him: "Your social standing will climb to unexpected heights by leaps and bounds. I have given instructions that tomorrow a heartbreaking article will appear in the Prophet blaming the Death Eaters for the deed... What? Don't hold your breath! Yes, I have my contacts there as well and can influence what the Prophet writes, to a certain extent, but I will be happy to give you more information about that later.

"Alright, moving on... That's the best thing that can happen to you, my Right Hand, isn't it? Even the Dark Lord will be very pleased at how solid your position in the Ministry will be from now on. Everyone will pity the poor widower, who has now also lost a family member to the war, the fight, to evil," I ended my litany, leaned back relaxed and sipped my drink with relish, almost hearing Lucius and Draco running through the various possibilities in their minds.

I dared to look at Severus, who seemed slightly amused and sent me a look that struck a cord inside me. Pleasant, unpleasant, I could not name it.

In this second, Lucius cleared his throat and demanded my attention again.

"Chapeau, my dear. Nobody can blame you for not thinking ahead. If it were less thoughtful, I would be angry about the publicity of what you have done. I would have preferred to eliminate Narcissa in a less attention-seeking way, but the way you did, I am pleased and see the advantages that result for me. I already recognized this to some extent in the hospital, especially since I could observe some Aurors examining Narcissa's arm to see if she had the Dark Mark or not. Here, I benefit from the vanity of my deceased wife, who always refused to accept the Mark and never wanted to join the ranks. That would have meant work she was not willing to do! You are very conniving and deceitful, worthy of a Slytherin and a jewel of the House. I am very proud of you!"

His openness amazed me, but apparently he really acknowledged me and that made me very happy. He seemed to like that I had not only indulged in my revenge, but had tried to use it wisely and to make the most of it.

"Very shocking to realize that you are no longer innocent. I would not have expected an ice-cold killer. Umbridge... Yes, she was a pesky woman. And Jugson, well, that was in the heat of a battle, but still very interesting and then Bole and Derrick; you are going to tell me more about that on occasion," he looked ponderously into his fireplace. Surely he knew how terribly they had been mangled. What was going on in his head right now? Too gladly I would have looked behind this closed face.

"Well, if you were not always such a conceited peacock, Lucius, you would have listened to me sooner," Severus sounded very spiteful in his irony.

"Oh, you can only nag all the time," Lucius said over his shoulder.

"Gentlemen, now that this is done, I would like to inform you of the next steps I have planned," I stated clearly and received immediate calm with everyone looking at me. "Well, it's like this, I would like to leave you for a while -" I couldn't get any further, being interrupted by three loud voices, and rolled my eyes.

“No.”

“Out of the question!”

“What are you thinking?”

“Are you joking?”

Those were the statements and I waited silently for the storm of indignation to blow over.

"May I now? Thank you! Alas, I'm serious. I ought to and would like to retire for a week, partly to my parents' house... and now please let me speak! This is getting too dicey for me. Starting tomorrow the manor will be teeming with condolence visitors and when the good fellow citizens are gone, the Dark Lord will arrive with his pack and I don't want to cross Bella's path here. That would be too dangerous for me!

"I will be accessible at any time. I hope Draco will come to me whenever he can and stay the night with me. Severus can find me and should something happen, Draco can reach me through the coin or with the patronus," I listed my reasons. Only one I concealed, because I also had to take care of Harry and the others in the cottage.

Okay, I was also fleeing the events here. First Lucius attack, then Draco's game in the morning and now Severus assault in the afternoon. I needed rest to find my strength and face the three men as an equal partner again, but for that I had to recharge my batteries. To see three such strong personalities every day and to stand up to them was a strain on my nerves and as much as I always liked to present myself as inhuman, I was unfortunately still a human being. I wanted to pull the ripcord before I lost face. Because one thing was clear: if I did it cleverly, I would be the one who controlled them, and for that I had to be strong, not insecure.

Lucius was still contemplating, didn't seem convinced yet, but this time too I had revealed something new that he had noticed immediately.

"What coin can Draco use to reach you?" he asked. He looked first at me, then Draco, who ultimately answered.

"I'll explain it to you later, Father! I have nothing against it if Hermione needs this and I can only agree with her argument regarding the fuss that will begin next week," Draco said. "I would come to you every evening," he gave me a warm look, but I also saw concern flickering briefly in his gaze. I showed myself grateful that he stood by me, that meant a lot to me.

"Oh... Draco, you only want her for yourself and to rob us of her sight," Severus interjected ironically and showed his teeth. He seemed to be in an aggressive mood after this afternoon and Draco laughed at the statement and I rolled my eyes. But then Severus spoke further and surprised me. "I see the onslaught and the public attention in a similar way. It could even happen that Dumbledore and McGonagall show up to express their condolences. It would not be good if the old man were to suspect even in the slightest that Hermione is living here. I am not even going to start with Bella," he took our side very deliberately, which made me gratefully nod to him as well.

Lucius had listened to everything, maintaining an uninvolved countenance, and sat motionlessly in his wing chair, looking very stately, as straight as he held himself. It was easily recognizable that he always made his decisions very carefully and so he looked at me.

"You do not see me pleased with the thought that you are leaving the manor, but your arguments about next week cannot be dismissed. When did you want to leave?" he asked calmly and considerately. I didn't have his approval yet.

"Immediately, tonight," I admitted and he indignantly raised his eyebrow.

"You have my permission! I understand. We also have to ask for an audience with the Dark Lord as soon as we have finished the family meeting, to inform him of the events and to plan everything else. The battle in Knockturn Alley also requires my attention as some Death Eaters were involved and injured. Fortunately, none of our ranks died or were arrested. Another attack on Azkaban would have been unpleasant. Now a question that intrigues me: Did you take part in the fight?" Lucius' curiosity was reflected in his eyes and Draco had also bent forward a little so as not to miss anything.

"Yes, I did! I can't fly yet, but these aurors are very amateurish. I almost laughed myself to death when they asked us to take off the hoods. They were actually serious!"

We all laughed up loudly and then raised our glasses in a cheer. If only it could always be so harmonious. We were just having a good laugh about the stupidity of others.

"And don't worry, I had everything under control. The fight was laughable in contrast to the one in the Department of Mysteries. But well, this time I just had to look after myself, maybe that made it easier. A few explosive spells here and there... Wow, the rabble fought back quite well! A Cutting Curse hit me at the calf, which is not worth mentioning, as it has already healed. I quickly left the fight behind me and saw to it that I got away quickly," I said succinctly and showed an unimpressed front.

"Impressive. It seems you are very versatile," Lucius confessed and a predatory grin adorned his features.

"Lucius, stop, you will not think this through to the end," Severus growled resentfully and slammed his hand threateningly down on the armrest, which made Lucius turn his head around angrily. But he didn't say anything which made me raise my eyebrow. What was that supposed to mean?


"All right, Severus! But if she is so good in combat and has already quite a record as a young lady, she would be certainly of interest to US! Your morals and your scruples seem very flexible, my dear," Lucius said very deliberately, but also visibly pleased. When he took another sip of his drink, he didn't let me out of the sight of his cunning eyes and under his gaze someone could become hot and cold, all at once.

What was going through the mind of the blonde demon? Of interest to whom? Who was 'us'?

Did he speak of the Death Eaters because Draco, like Severus, had become noticeably tense at Lucius' words? Was he serious? That would be interesting. I wasn't even particularly shocked. I raised my glass immersed in thought and breathed in deeply, enjoying the peaty smell, and then sipped lightly. Mh-hm... Intriguing. The possibilities that would open up! The cogs in my brain started turning!

But not now, I would have enough time for that in the cottage and so I rose.

"If that was it, gentlemen, I would now like to get my things. Only the essentials," I stated and Draco also got up quickly.

"Yes, good! Hurry up, I want to leave in twenty minutes," a distracted Lucius ordered and Severus stared him down angrily. He was still going strong when I left the room.
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