Disclaimer: These aren’t my characters. I’m just snatching them for a spot of entertainment.
Thanks go to RobisonRocket for beta reading this for me.
I’ve written this for NotSoSaintly as a birthday gift. This is part one of a trilogy, which I have plotted out in my mind.
About this story, I could have marked warnings—such as suicide attempt, death, abuse, or something like that, but I fear that would be misleading. None of this happens to Hermione. It’s only mentioned in passing. Therefore, I did not put those warnings here, afraid it might turn away some tenderhearted readers when there really isn’t cause. Or is there? Bwahahaha…
“A waste is a terrible thing to mind…”
-C. Collins, Senior Trip 1993 (after many Budweiser beers)
The thin line of Hermione’s lips curved down into a frown as she neared the edge of the cliff, the strong wind whipping about her and nearly knocking her over, the moon shining down on her through the thick, smoky clouds as if making her visible purposely so that her pursuant could easily find her. “Take me if you want,” she muttered at the invisible breeze and glaring moon. “I don’t care any longer. Light my path and push me over the edge!” Tears began streaming down her cheeks once again, but she no longer noticed them. She’d always come to this place to think when needing time alone. She’d never once thought in all her months here that it would be her final destination. It held a magnificent view at any time of day, reminding her of the grounds at Hogwarts, of when days were good.
Hogwarts. That had been so long ago, hadn’t it? The war had long since been over with Voldemort the victor. She’d watched, bound and gagged, as Ron had been killed brutally twenty feet away, listening to the Death Eaters taunting her with calls that she’d be next and for her to watch what was coming. They’d told her that Voldemort had hexed Harry so strongly that he’d simply disappeared from existence, leaving no trace behind. She’d never heard of anything that would truly allow for that, but then again, she hadn’t the knowledge or experience that Voldemort had. Truth be known, he’d invented it himself.
God, the screaming had finally stopped! She could only fear that he was gone—dead. As Rabastan Lestrange lowered his trousers and roughly pushed into Ron’s limp arse, laughing along with the others as he did so, something odd happened. The tight bindings on her hands had melted away, leaving her flesh sore but free. A voice whispered into her ear softly, “You will have to go while you still can. I’ll come to you soon.”
“Harry?” she tried to whisper, her gag not letting anything come out. It had to be Harry! He’d had the Invisibility Cloak, so it was possible that he truly hadn’t been obliterated as the Death Eaters thought!
“Shhh. I’m going to take this gag off of you and put a Portkey into your hand. There’s a warded, Secret-Kept home for you to stay in until I can join you.” Something was pushed into her hand, and the foul-tasting flannel that had been shoved into her mouth vanished. Before she could form any words, a tug from behind her navel pulled her away from the dirty floor of the cave she’d been brought to.
When Hermione had appeared in the quaint cottage, she’d felt as if things couldn’t possibly get any worse. She’d immediately wept for the losses she’d seen—the suffering, the horrors—yet she’d still firmly believed that Harry would make things work. After all, he hadn’t been destroyed! He’d just freed her. He’d made arrangements for a safe house in case all else failed. He’d used his glasses as a Portkey to get her away!
The home was comfortable and well stocked, but hours stretched into days and then into weeks with no sign of Harry or anyone else. She couldn’t Disapparate, she had no wand, and she couldn’t leave the small wooded area surrounding the cottage. It was as if she were a prisoner again—only this time, it was Harry who was her captor.
Just as she’d been certain that she’d go mad if she spent one more day alone with nothing but death and dismay as her company, Harry appeared. He’d been injured badly and had been unable to follow her directly as he’d planned.
“Oh, Harry, thank God!” she cried, jumping up from her chair, running to him, and throwing her arms around him. “I thought you’d never come! What’s happened? Where are the others? Have we won?”
He shook his head but smiled softly. “Let me sit.” He began to limp towards the couch, and she put an arm around him to guide him.
“You’re hurt,” she said once he’d seated himself. Tears welled in her eyes. “Is everyone lost?”
And he had. He’d told her details of the deaths, plans made by the few left, reasons to keep her hidden away, and why he’d have to leave at times without taking her with him. She hadn’t cared. Not really. So long as he returned to her and kept her abreast of everything going on, she’d been quite happy to keep their home tidy, help him plot out strategies, and research things for him in the books he brought her. Eventually, however, she’d found out that the Harry that had returned to her was not—nor had ever been—the Harry she’d known.
Shaken from her thoughts by a shout in the distance, Hermione looked down and gazed over the edge of the cliff. She was very high up. Surely the fall would kill her—no chance of only being maimed or paralyzed. “Dead is better. Dead is better,” she muttered, finally voicing the mantra that had been flitting through her mind for the past few days. She took a deep breath, intending it to be her last before she stepped off the cliff to her destiny, but a gust of wind hit her and knocked her back on her arse.
“No, no, don’t,” she said tearfully. “Why does something always keep me here when I know I should go?” Was it a sign? Was she making a mistake? Was she truly mad—just as Harry—no, Snape!—had implied. Why did it feel as though she'd done this before?
“Hermione?” Harry asked from her doorway.
She sat up, rubbed the sleep away from her eyes, and squinted as she tried to adjust to the darkness. “What is it?”
“I heard you moaning.” He was closer, though still not visible to her, even with the small slither of moonlight filtering in through the window.
“Had a nightmare?” His voice was just to her left, and she startled slightly.
“N-no. Harry? I can’t see you.”
Her bed dipped slightly as he sat down beside her, right near her knees. “I’m right here.”
His voice sounded deeper, almost silky. She was certain sleep had left it that way and paid no attention. “I don’t remember having a nightmare. I don’t even feel uneasy.”
“A good dream them?”
“If it were a good dream, why would I be moa—” Her words died on her lips as she realized his hand was on her bare thigh, rubbing her gently. A good dream. Swallowing, she said, “I can’t remember any dream, only sleeping.”
“It’s hard for me to hear you making sounds like that… me in the next room, wanting to come in and comfort you.”
“Really, it wasn’t anything bad that I know of.” Hermione sucked in a sharp breath as his hand moved up beneath her loose nightshirt and traced the crotch of her knickers. “Harry?”
Before she realized what was happening, his lips were against hers, one hand behind her head cradling her neck, the other rubbing more firmly against her center. Losing herself in his minty kiss, her hands moved up to circle his neck and draw him closer. Oh, how she wanted him! For the last few months, he’d been invading her mind at night and even during the daytime. All of her fantasies were the same—him coming into her bedroom during the night and taking her, just as he was about to.
Lowering her down and moving between her parted legs, he gruffly said, “Do you know how much I want to fuck you, Hermione? How I’ve wanted to for so long now?” He gyrated his hips firmly against hers, proving his words true by shoving his thick, hard erection against her. “Can we?”
“Yes… yes… take me.”
Wasting no time, they anxiously pulled away their clothing and hurriedly coupled, him pushing into her possessively with long, steady strokes while she eagerly met him each time in search of fulfillment. At some point thunder began rumbling in the distance, and rain soon followed, pelting against their roof. Her orgasm hit her with sudden fierceness, causing her to close her eyes and let go of reality—for many moments, she knew nothing but pleasure, nothing but Harry, nothing but feeling needed and sated and wanted.
“Unh… Fuck… yeah….” grunted Harry, bucking erratically as he met his culmination.
She opened her eyes just as thunder clapped and lightning struck, causing the room to light up nearly as brilliantly as if it had been early morning. And it wasn’t Harry whose head was tossed back, eyes shut tightly, mouth slack, in ecstasy.
It was Severus Snape.
“Oh my God!” she yelled, trying to scoot out from under him. “NO!”
Crawling back towards the ledge, she heard his voice again. “Hermione, what are you doing? You’ll be killed! Get away from that ledge!”
“Leave me alone, Snape!”
“Stop calling me Snape!” he said, closing the distance, wand pointing at her.
“I know who you truly are! I saw you!”
“Hermione, please,” he begged, “it’s mental! You know me. Come back from that ledge, baby. Listen to me.”
“Baby? Baby?” she cried shrilly, scooting closer to the edge. “Don’t you dare call me that!”
“I’ve lost everyone, Hermione. I can’t lose you, too. Stay with me.” He fell to his knees in the grass only a few feet away from her, wand lowered, eyes beseeching. “I don’t know what you think you saw, but we can fix this.”
“You’ve been keeping me drugged! It’s all clear to me now! I didn’t drink your potions for the last three days, only pretending to believe that I didn’t know who you were and that I’d had a terrible vision, but my mind is sharpening, coming back to me!”
“We’ve been over this. It was just the shadows cast by the curtain that made my hair look longer and nose look a little hooked. Please—”
“How could you act like him? How could you have sex with me knowing I thought you were Harry?” She shook her head. “Dead is better. It’s where Ron is… where the real Harry is… where they all are!”
“I am Harry. If you’d take your potion, you’d be able to deal with your grief and anxiety better. Remember when you asked me to start giving it to you? I don’t know why you suddenly suspect me or think I’m Snape.”
“Because I saw you, Snape! While we were shagging! The lightning hit, and you were having an orgasm. Couldn’t keep up your invisibility charm or glamour while that was on your mind, eh?” she accused.
He inched forward slightly, extending a hand. “You must have been dreaming, or… I don’t know what exactly, but you’ve got to trust me. I’m all you have. All you need.”
She pulled at her hair and screamed. Everything was muddled and yet it wasn’t. What was real? What wasn’t? She could hear Ron’s voice inside her head, saying, ‘Dead is better.’ He was right. Poor, sweet Ron. They’d done such horrible things to him, and they would have done it to her if Harry… no, Snape… hadn’t freed her.
“Why did you free me?” she asked almost inaudibly. “Was this some plan to torture me? To drive me mad? To have a free fuck when you needed it?”
His words were followed by a piercing scream, as she chose that moment to lean back and let herself fall from the cliff. Her stomach was tingling madly, clenching and unclenching. The wind was blowing her clothes and hair about wildly and whistling as it beat against the mountainside. She could feel herself falling… falling…
Southern’s Notes: Ever felt like you were going crazy? Like up was down, left was right? Uh-huh. Me too. Hermione’s not certain what the hell is going on. Is that Snape or is it truly Harry? Any ideas as to wtf is going on? Teehee.