Author's Notes: Thank you to my Beta Adele, who is a really cool person and was quick to beta this chapter. Thanks babe!
Warnings: Violence, Language, Supernatural themes, Necromancy, Non-con, Drug use, Angst, Cross-generation, Incest, Horror, Romance, Drama, Mystery.
Chapter Two – Restless
Then she clutches at his hair
Neither in want nor pleasure
Blotches of red on skin so fair
And screaming ripples for ever
Hermione Granger was not a virgin and even if she was, she figured she would still feel exactly the same.
She had only done it with Ron three times, and ever since, she has let herself believe that old line, ‘three times lucky’. The first time was excruciatingly painful, the second extremely uncomfortable and when the third time came along she thought she had felt something, even if it was a small spark of pleasure. She had always believed that if she really wanted to, she would do it again.
Not that now was a good time to think about sex, because she was currently sitting in the library on a Saturday afternoon, studying. Every now and again she would lift her head up and look around, expecting to see the ghost-boy who had visited her last night in her – very – realistic dreams.
She was almost completely sure that the spirit who had inconveniently latched itself onto her was the same Muggle boy who as seen the clearing, fighting with the painful splitting of his soul. He had been crying out for death while parts of him were ripped away in directions that no parts of a person were supposed to go. It was like sending a girl to an all boys school or putting a Quidditch textbook in the Herbology section in the library. It was wrong in every sense.
And now there was a spirit floating and misplaced and making Hermione’s fingers cold, her toes curl, her chest shudder with every breath and her dreams turn into whirlpools of frost, blood, suppressed memories and never ending darkness.
Dreams… and now she was reminded once again of that recurring dream of Ron baring his weight down upon her, her legs up in the air and spread, her brown curls splayed across the cotton pillows, Ron panting roughly in her ear, the sound of the headboard banging against the wall, and that tight, terrible pain –
She swore she had told him to stop. But, maybe he had not heard her? Maybe she had not said it loud enough? Maybe it was her fault, after all?
Hermione forced herself to put her head down and read, and before she knew it, the torches had been lit and there was no longer any light coming in through the windows. Yawning, she looked around and found that she was almost alone in the large library.
Walking back from the library during late nights was never a big feat, but now, with a strange prickling coldness creeping up her neck, and ghost eyes seeming to follow her as she walked… this was Hogwarts, she was suppose to feel safe here. She made a detour down some stairs towards the less familiar part of the school.
On the ground floor, overlooking the student gardens and all the green houses was a long corridor. It was open and breezy; the large arched glassless windows made up one side; all stone and magnificent. On the other side was a wall of stone and no doors, decorated with old tapestries showing grand symbols of heroes, gods and warlocks. The third last tapestry was golden and dark, displaying the grand black-winged pegasus Destiny and his friend, Prophet the finch who fluttered around Destiny’s head playfully.
“Password?” said Destiny in his royal, humble voice.
“No password,” Hermione announced. “My name is Hermione Granger.” On cue, Prophet flew to the edge of the tapestry and disappeared. A moment later she came back and Hermione lifted the tapestry before crawling through the tunnel in the wall.
Saturday nights in the Hufflepuff Common Room were the same: rock music, upturned furniture, laughter, hordes of intoxicated teenagers and a smoke so thick that you could hardly see two metres in front. Hermione was met with that night’s doormen.
Justin Finch-Fletchley took a drag of his home-made cigar. “Hullo Hermione,” he said, giggling ecstatically. “Haven’t seen you ‘round for a while.”
“Yeah,” agreed Susan Bones, taking the cigar from Justin and taking her own drag, deliberately blowing smoke on Hermione. “Finally got your dusty little nose out of a book, did you?” She looked at Hermione disapprovingly and gave her a tight smile. No one really liked Hermione coming to the Saturday night piss-ups because she had a reputation to be a party pooper.
Hermione pressed her lips together, suppressing a retort and turned to Justin. “Have you seen Harry and Ron?”
He shook his head. “Sorry.”
“I have,” said Susan indignantly. Hermione forced herself to look back at her. “I saw them go into the Girl’s Dorm. A group of Slytherins managed to dislodge the anti-boy ward.” Susan and Justin exchanged glances and then burst out laughing, clutching each other and ignoring Hermione.
She walked away from the two Hufflepuffs and tried to shuffle through the loud, obnoxious crowd.
A few forth year Hufflepuffs had formed a rock band and were playing loudly. Hermione had to side-step to squeeze through the throng of moving teenagers; same dancing half-heartily, some just standing around, and most talking loudly and flopping around the place like drunk rag-dolls. The foursome who unofficially called themselves ‘Girls Aloud’ had drawn up a table to the centre of the room and had gotten themselves on top to dance a strip-tease.
Lavender, Parvati, Padma and Parkinson were twirling their clothes around and when they saw Hermione they got a little more energetic in their dancing just to spite her. Hermione pressed her lips into a very angry grimace and turned away. She was almost to the Girls’ Dormitory door, when something soft, light and warm landed on her head.
She picked the violet bra off her head and spun around to see the four girls laughing at her. Parkinson had one arm across her breasts to cover her nipples, and the other was waving at her sarcastically.
“You really shouldn’t steal other people’s things, Book Worm,” she shouted over the top of the music. The girls laughed.
Hermione glared, bundled the bra up into a ball and threw it back. Then she pivoted around and stomped away, bumping hard into a snogging couple before making her way up the stairs of the Hufflepuff Girls’ Dormitories.
She looked into some of the rooms, until she opened a random door and saw Ron, Harry and Goyle sitting together on a bed. Strange panting sounds were coming from within the room.
Ron was the first to see her standing in the doorway. “Hey Hermione,” he exclaimed happily, opening his arms in greeting. “Come in, Babe!”
“Don’t call me that, Ron,” she scolded as she made to sit down. Before she could sit down properly, however, Ron grabbed her small hips and roughly moved her to sit between him and Harry. The boys’ large muscular arms pressed against her and she felt as if they were guarding her. She shifted to get comfortable and Harry sipped on his paper cup of alcohol while Ron took a drag of his joint.
Then she started. On the next bed, a girl was lying on her chest, her face pressed to the sheets and matted with sweaty hair. Her hips had been pulled up so her knees dug into the bed and her skirt had been pushed up. Thrusting hard into her, his trousers in a pool of material around his ancles, was Malfoy.
Hermione had to bite her tongue hard to stop her first wave of nausea. She had seen this before, many times; it was a favourite hobby between the older Wizards. “So who’s winning?” she muttered quietly.
Harry ignored her obvious resentment and held up his cup in his own personal toast. “I am,” he said, grinning. “Ron’s already lost.”
In the background, Malfoy’s groaning and humming got louder. Ron scowled. “Can’t believe he hasn’t blown yet,” he said.
There was also groaning from Goyle, but of a different kind. “I think I’m gonna be sick…” he muttered, trying to lean on Harry who kept pushing him off. Hermione turned to Malfoy.
“Isn’t she like, fourteen?”
A grey eye peered through mattered silver locks and blinked at her. Malfoy grinned. “Oh,” he panted, his thrusting never slowing, “I thought she was younger.”
Hermione took a deep breath but then regretted it when the potent smell of sex invaded her nostrils. “Hey!” Harry exclaimed suddenly. “Goyle’s time is nearly up. I’m gonna win!” Then he grabbed the stick of rolled up leaves from Ron and took his own triumphant drag.
“Ah,” said Malfoy, “ahhhh…”
Harry stood up, spilling some of his drink on Goyle, who had just bent over in the brace position. “You can’t go yet, Malfoy, fuck!”
“Shut… up, Potter,” Malfoy bit out, and he thrust faster and harder, his fingers digging deep into the flesh on he nameless girl’s hips. Harry sat down and started to panic.
“Not yet,” he muttering to himself and checking his watch. “Not yet…”
Malfoy suddenly froze, his flushed face screwed and his shoulders shuddering with every convulsion. He gripped the girl harder and let out a small cry. Hermione averted her eyes, but regretted it a second later when Goyle turned his head, leant over the end of the bed and regurgitated on the floor.
Ron groaned and Harry swore, and then pushed a passed out Goyle off the bed. “Fuck that’s disgusting,” said Harry as he threw the empty cup and stub across the room.
Malfoy pulled up his trousers and did them up. “Yeah,” he said, smirking in a dazed sort of way. “But he won.”
“Nah,” cried Ron instantly, standing up. “He was passed out!”
“Yeah,” said Harry, and he too stood up. Together they looked strong and unstoppable. “That money’s mine.”
Malfoy suddenly narrowed eyes. “You two better pay up by tomorrow night,” he growled softly, “or you’ll find yourself head deep in giant’s shit before your first lesson the next morning.”
Harry and Ron were unfazed. “It doesn’t work that way, Malfoy,” Ron sneered.
Malfoy, who had been making his way towards the door stopped close to the Gryffindors and cocked an eyebrow inquiringly. “No? How about…” he trailed off and glanced at Hermione. “We do this again; winner takes all.”
Hermione stood up, alarmed, and Harry frowned. “Who…” but then he stopped, because Malfoy was staring at Hermione.
Ron suddenly grabbed Malfoy by the shirt collar and manhandled him to the door. Malfoy, however, was also an athlete and just as strong as Ron, and he punched hard into Ron’s stomach, winding him just as Harry kicked Malfoy in the groin and Ron and Malfoy both doubled over.
“Potter you cunt,” gasped Malfoy. “I’m extra-sensitive there at the moment, you know!”
“Then stay the fuck away from her,” spat Harry, his eyes flashing fiercely.
Hermione was standing there, staring blankly as Ron sat on the bed clutching his stomach and Harry grabbed Malfoy’s hair roughly to aim a punch in his jaw. Her sigh was unheard as she turned away. She let them play, fight and fuck. She had read somewhere that Wizards had to do this in their early manhood, as part of their natural development. That had been the first time she had ever really doubted the information found in books. But, she knew that Wizard culture was an old one, and not a new democratic culture like Muggle Western Civilization. This was the way things were.
She pushed the sleeping girl down on her back, moving the skirt down to cover her abused flesh, and then moved to do up the nameless girl’s shirt. Hermione froze, staring suddenly at the two tender mounds of flesh glaring beautifully, like an offering, or sacrifice.
Hermione thought that maybe she should be mourning or angry for the girl, or something, but instead she just felt emptiness inside. Every time she sees them lying, frozen and bent, something inside her screams, cries and dies. And always, no one hears a thing.
She covered the girl with a clean blanket and continued to stare dazedly at nothing in particular. At one point, the boys had stopped fighting, Malfoy had left and a bruised and bloodied Harry and Ron had come to stand beside her.
Harry put and arm around Hermione’s shoulders. “Was there a reason you came to find us?” he asked.
“Yes,” she croaked, then cleared her throat as she snaked an arm around Harry’s waist and rested her head on his shoulder. “I’m scared to go to bed tonight.”
Hermione had always found silence and solitude in the room she shared with two girls who were never there. If Harry and Ron were surprised, they did not show it. “Then,” said Ron quietly, “you’ll just have to come with us.” He grasped her free hand and they left the room in which Goyle was groaning in his sleep unnoticed.
The good thing with having two male hormonal Quidditch-Professionals-In-Training as best friends, Hermione realized, was that what had taken her ten minutes to get through a crowd of intoxicated teenagers, took the trio only a few seconds. Ron and Harry and grown tall, large and strong in their adolescence, as well as overconfident. Hermione was squashed between them as they moved through the crowd; Ron and Harry shoving and elbowing people aggressively away so they could get through.
Half an hour later, and the trio were seated in the dark Gryffindor Common Room, munching on Ron’s emergency cookie stash.
“I don’t think he’s coming out tonight,” Ron confessed after what seemed like hours of tense anticipation.
“Shh,” hissed Hermione. “He might.”
“But Hermione,” Harry whispered, “you said that you were dreaming when he came. Maybe you have to be asleep to see him.”
Hermione looked into Harry’s green glittering eyes. “I don’t want him to visit me in my sleep,” she whispered harshly. “It’s wrong.”
Harry’s look was sympathetic; she could see it, even in the shadows. “Yeah, I know, but it might be the only way.”
“Anyway,” whispered Ron through a mouthful of food, “it’s kind of pointless waiting for someone in the dark.”
“I told you Ron,” she said, rolling her eyes, “he likes the shadows!”
“He might not. You don’t know.”
“Yes I do,” she said exasperatingly. “He’s my dream guy, isn’t he?”
“Dream Guy?” Harry asked suddenly, mirth tinting his whispers. “Is there more to this story, Hermione?”
“No,” gasped Hermione.
“Oh,” said Ron, “that explains why you want to meet him!”
“Of course not!” she snapped. She suddenly stood up, sick of their impatient boredom and stomped up the stairs to the Boys’ Dormitories.
She undressed quickly until she was only in her knickers and vest, and slid under the covers of Harry’s bed. At some point during the day before, she had figured out that the sad and lost Shadow Boy was the same who was calling for his soul the night of his almost-resurrection. If no one else saw him, if she was the only one, if he was only calling for her…
She had to help him. There was no other way.
A few minutes later, Harry and Ron came into the room. She heard them undress and then dress themselves in pajamas, and they slid into bed on either side of her. Harry spooned himself against her back and Ron hugged her from the front; their strong arms safe and warm.
It was not the first time the three had slept together, but this was the first time they did it for Hermione. They usually comforted for Ron when he was depressed about Charlie, or when Harry was grieving over Sirius, but never for Hermione, whose detachment towards her family allowed them to be safe in the other world. Their hands never wandered in their dozy comfort. Ron was not allowed to touch her like that anymore.
Hermione slept deeply, and when she awoke, she was alone in the bed. She was not surprised by this, as Ron and Harry practiced Quidditch whenever they could, but she was surprised to see one of the beds had its curtains closed tightly.
She yawned and got dressed silently, but before she put her shoes on, her curiousity got the better of her tiptoed to the side of the strangely silent and hidden bed. Silencing charm, she thought.
A mischievous smile crossed her lips and a hand reached out to gently open the curtains…
A sudden yelp was heard as the silence charm shimmered and broke, and a flushed and naked body tangled in sheets fell off the bed and landed on her feet.
“Hermione!” Anthony Goldstein shrieked. “I – I… um, hi!”
Before a startled Hermione could say anything, Seamus pulled back the curtains. “Shit!” His head disappeared again and Anthony and Hermione rolled their eyes.
Anthony gulped. “What, er, are you doing here?” he asked before letting out a nervous giggle.
Hermione recovered and put her hands on her hips, peering down at his mused black hair and red face disapprovingly. “I could ask you the same thing,” she said. “In fact, I’m a Prefect and I should go right now and find McGonagall, Ravenclaw.”
She was only being half-serious and Anthony smiled. They had become good friends through the whole Dumbledore’s Army thing. “Yes, but see, so am I, Gryffindor,” he mocked. “And it looks like you’ve been very a naughty girl.”
Hermione suddenly realized he was right and she pressed her lips together. Girls were not allowed in the Boys’ Dormitories.
Seamus’ head appeared again. “Aye,” he agreed, “what are you doing ‘ere, Hermione?” He grinned. “Oh, I see. Shagging Ron, is it?”
“No!” she cried. “No way.”
“Besides,” said Anthony, making himself comfortable on the floor, “Ron’s bed was empty last night. It was Harry’s that was occupied.”
Hermione decided to not think about how Anthony had come to know the Gryffindor Boys’ Dormitory so well. Seamus said happily, “Ah, so it’s Harry you had, then?”
“Nice one, Hermione, he’s a nice catch,” said Anthony as Hermione glared sleepily at Seamus.
Seamus was offended. “Hey…”
“I’m not shagging either of them,” Hermione clarified loudly. Seamus withdrew back behind the curtains moodily and Anthony tried to reassure him that he did not fancy Harry Potter. Their attention was not on Hermione anymore, so she put on her shoes and left.
Her first stop was the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher’s office. Crookshanks, strangely, followed her there, not straying further than a metre from her ancles. He had that scared, wide-eyed look cats often have, and it made Hermione frown worriedly. She got to the large wooden door and knocked loudly.
“Come in,” called Bill Weasley, and Hermione came in and shut the door.
He smiled indulgently from behind his desk; his tall, lean frame completely relaxed and his blue eyes shone happily. “Good morning, Professor Weasley,” said Hermione shyly.
He sat up and folded his hands on the desk. He smiled, and something about the way he was looking at her made her stomach clench unpleasantly. “Please,” he murmured, “call me Bill when we’re alone, Hermione,” he smiled that enigmatic smile again and she forced herself to return it. “Besides, you’re practically family.”
There would be a day when she would wish she had not heard him say that.
Hermione swallowed and said, “I came here to sign up for the Defense Association.”
“You were already put on the list.”
She nodded just as the door opened and Parkinson came in.
The Slytherin stopped stunned. “Ooh,” she said, “so sorry to interrupt.” She did not sound the least bit sorry.
Hermione rounded on her, no quite sure why she felt so angry. “You should always knock a teacher’s door before you come in,” she snapped.
Parkinson just smirked and stepped forward towards the very amused Professor. “I want to join the D.A.” she demanded.
Professor Weasley nodded. “You’re on.” Parkinson pivoted and strutted out of the office. Hermione said goodbye and followed.
“Parkinson,” Hermione called after the girl’s retreating back before she knew what she was doing. The Slytherin stopped and turned, eyebrows raised. Her blonde hair was pushed back by a headband and she wore a jumper and skirt. As Hermione walked towards her she realized that Parkinson’s skirt was short, and her legs were firm and slender and maybe a tad too long for her body. Hermione tore her eyes away, stopped walking and put her hands on her hips. “You shouldn’t talk to professors like that you know,” she said briskly. “It’s very rude.”
“Well excuse me,” said Parkinson sarcastically, “but I can do whatever I damn well please.” She smiled nastily. “I mean, who, may I ask, is Head Girl, and who, pray tell, isn’t?”
Hermione’s jaw clenched and her eyes flashed angrily. She bit back the urge to growl.
Parkinson pretended to tap her foot with impatience and she fiddled with her badge. “Well?” she teased.
“Why,” Hermione bit out, “are you joining the D.A.?”
The blonde suddenly laughed loudly. She clapped her hands together. “What is it of your business, Book Worm?” She stopped and tapped her chin in mock thoughtfulness. “Funny, I was under the impression that the Defense Association was a club for anyone who wanted to join.”
Hermione tucked a lock of hair behind her ear angrily. “It’s for people who want to fight in the war!”
“Well,” said Parkinson, “I want to fight in the war.”
“On the right side, Parkinson.”
“And who are you, oh lowly Prefect, to say what is right and what is wrong?” Hermione hesitated, and Parkinson sighed. “Look, I hate to tell you this, but you’re a really boring person and I have things to do.”
Pansy saw the flicker of curious hurt in Granger’s expression before she walked away and left Granger standing in the corridor.
And then Pansy was walking down the Hufflepuff corridor that was lined with open windows and where no teachers went. It was a beautiful detour, Pansy thought, but that morning just was not one of her mornings, and she tensed as she passed them.
They were smoking silently and they glared menacingly at her. I’m stronger than this, she thought. Don’t let them get to you! And usually, she would not care if people hated her; Granger, for example, was easy to hate, but there was just that small part of her heart that would not let them go.
She was almost past the three sharp figures, and she held her head high but she was trembling inside. Sigma Avery was the first to say anything. “Ssslut,” she hissed quietly, and the other two snickered.
“She looks like a cheap skank with her last season shoes,” murmured Blaise Zabini loudly. Pansy was almost past… almost gone… but she was stronger and angrier and she stopped.
Pansy turned to him and glared. “Well at least I’m not a deprived poof who wears neon green vests under his robes,” she spat, and then she walked away before they could have the last word.
She was still trembling when she sat down at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall. She did not care about what Zabini thought – he had never really mattered – but the way Sigma hissed at her with such hatred, and how deep down she felt like Artemis might defend her… Pansy felt sick inside, like a black bottomless hole was swirling longingly in her chest, and the fog so thick she could not see inside herself to see how she really felt. Fuck them, she thought. Fuck them, I hate… And their glaring eyes never left her mind.
“Ignore them, Pansy,” said Millicent. “They just like getting a rise out of people. They do it to everyone.”
“Yeah,” said Pansy, looking around at all the food but not really seeing it. “Yes, of course they do.”
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