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*Ok, so here is chapter 2, sorry about the wait. Please R&R, thank you!*

Chapter 2~ You're Dead

Winter Day 19

They’ve disposed of one person per day from this vault since I was taken to the council. I don’t know if these women have also been given the choice of becoming vampires. If not they are most certainly dead. Narcissa Malfoy is one of those that still reside in the vault. Every time I look at her I see his eyes. They burn holes through my dreams, and so I do not sleep. I can still see him slipping away, how he knew it was end. How did we not see it? Of course those that would not join Voldemort would not willingly become part of his new world. But we never realized how many there were, tucked away in the crevices of the world, waiting for their chance. And they found it. As the balance shifted, they took the power that was being clamored for. Quick and silent, they stole the world. And now what shall become of us? What has become of the muggles? I dread to know what has happened to the world outside of these walls, but at the same time I must know. What has happened to Mum, Dad, and Annie?

“Hermione?” Hermione looked up, startled from her thoughts by her name.

“Mrs. Malfoy.” Hermione frowned at the blonde woman before her. Narcissa had a look of powerful resolve coupled with disdain across her face. She looked upon Hermione as though she were an unpleasant spider she would like to crush.

“When you were brought into this cell, you were screaming about the final battlefield.”

“Lord Voldemort is dead, if that is what you want to know.”

“That is not what you were screaming about. You were screaming about . . .” she hesitated. “Blue eyes, and refusing to let go.”

“I-I was?” Hermione’s voice faltered, she did not remember anything between letting go of Malfoy’s arm and waking up in the vault.

“Who were you screaming about?”

“It was Malfoy, he knew they were coming.” Hermione said, staring holes into the floor. She knew the next question, and dreaded answering it.

“Is he-?”

“Dead.” Hermione said quietly. Narcissa nodded once and retreated back to her corner. Hermione could hear her quiet sobs, even as she wrapped her arms around her head, trying to muffle the sound. Even though the Malfoys were cold, heartless people, they could still experience loss. On the inside Narcissa Malfoy felt the same as Hermione, empty and hollow. Hopeless, because what if there was nothing more to live for? What then? Die in a stone cell, forgotten and unimportant. And what if they did die? What lay beyond? Could there really be a heaven when hell resided on Earth? While these thoughts chased themselves around in Hermione’s head, the door to hell opened, and in walked the devil in the form of Vee Velatresca.

“Get up Witch. I told you I’d be back.” This time Hermione did not resist, just rose from the floor in silent resolve and followed Vee from the vault. “They want you back at the council, I don’t know why. You don’t seem that bloody important to me. Maybe you’ll get your death sentence.” Vee finished nonchalantly.

“That’s a very pleasant thought. Thank you.” Hermione stated dryly. They spoke no more until they reached the chamber where The New Order held council. Vee smiled sardonically once before they entered, but did not turn her gaze to Hermione. When Hermione walked across the threshold she could tell immediately that something had changed. The shadows held more figures, and all seemed to be on edge. There was tension upon the air that seemed to make breathing difficult, but Hermione relished it. There’s something that’s making them uneasy. This world must be more than they bargained for.

“Hermione Granger, we meet again.” Vance said loftily from his podium. “I trust you’ve been well?” What the hell is with the pleasantries?

“Fine, thank you.” Hermione replied with a fake smile.

“It has been brought to my attention, that you we close friends with a certain Harry Potter.” Hermione raised an eyebrow in question. “We had not realized your relevance to the Order of the Phoenix. Don’t look so surprised, yes we know about the Order of Phoenix. This underestimation, will now be corrected. Since you refused to join us, and we have deemed you too valuable to kill, we have come up with another option.”

“Who was your source?” Hermione demanded. She had to know if Harry or Ron was still alive, maybe they had let her name slip.

“That would be me, Granger.” One the shadows strolled into the light, and Hermione’s knees buckled.

“M-Malfoy?” Hermione gasped and Vee hooked one skeletal hand around her upper arm. “But, you’re dead. You’re dead, I saw you die. You’re dead.”

“You’re rambling Granger. And clearly I am not dead, or else I would not be standing before you today.” Malfoy said cockily, sliding a pale hand through his hair.

“But how?”

“Unlike you, Granger, some of us know when to accept a good offer.”

* * * * * *

Winter Day 21

I’m not exactly sure how I got here. I didn’t walk by myself. After seeing him, it became more a blur. I have no notion of time except for the food I am brought once a day. They have placed me a vault of my own. It is complete solitude. I fear that I shall go crazy. The walls seem to twist and move and when I shut my eyes to block them out, the nightmares force me to open them. I know that I have woken up screaming more than once. I don’t know why I am still alive. They say I am of value, but I don’t know what value I could be. A hostage or bartering chip, maybe. But if they have taken over, who is there to barter with?

* * * * * *

“Vance, I don’t know why you insist on keeping her alive. Just because some Death Eater told you to?”

“He isn’t a Death Eater Vee.”

“He was three weeks ago!” Vee and Vance stood a small office on the ground floor of Gringotts. It had been made into Vance’s office as well as his bedchamber. “What happened to you? You weren’t this easy to push around before.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, Vee was pressed to the wall, Vance’s hand tight around her throat.

“I am not easy to push around.” Vance said as Vee’s feet came off the floor.

“You wouldn’t kill me.” Vee choked out.

“You’re right.” Vance said setting her down, but not removing his hand. “I still have use for you. And I have use for the boy. Let him feel that we will listen to him, security will make him more venerable.” Vance dropped his hand from Vee’s throat, across her shoulder and down her back.

“What are you planning?”

“Not yet.” Vance whispered into Vee’s neck, gently pulling on the ties of her corset.

* * * * * *

“The properties of Alkanes. Single carbon bonds, the longest chain names the alkane. One carbon is Methane, two is ethane, three is butane, four is propane, five is pentane, six is heptane, no, that’s not right. Heptane is seven. Hexane is eight, no hexane is six. Eight is, it’s oh damn it!”

“What are you muttering about Granger?” Hermione’s head snapped up, she had been remembering every bit of logical information she knew, to try to keep herself from going insane. She hadn’t heard a voice other than her own in over a week.

“I’m just trying-trying to re-remember.” Hermione said, her voice shaking.

“Re-remember?” Malfoy taunted leaning against the door of her vault. “Granger I surprised you remember how to speak.”

“Sod-off Malfoy.” Hermione said, dropping her head into trembling hands.

“You look like hell, Granger.”

“I said sod-off Malfoy.”

“That’s no way to talk to me; I might just leave you alone again. How long do you think you can last Granger, with no contact with anyone?”

“What do you want, Malfoy?”

“Well, it’s not really what I want. Rather it’s what Potter and Weasel want.”

“They’re alive? Where are they? I want to see them!” Hermione stood quickly upon hearing Harry and Ron’s names, but instantly regretted it. The lack of food and movement in the past week, had made her very weak and she found the world spinning when she stood. Malfoy eyed her oddly before he spoke.

“You can’t see them; I’m just supposed to bring proof that you’re alive, so they stop the bloody threats to kill themselves. You really do look like hell Granger.”

“We’ve been over that already, Malfoy.” Hermione said sliding to floor. “What do they want as proof?”

“Well, I offered to cut off one of your limbs, but they didn’t like that idea very much.” Malfoy said, kneeing down in front of her. “So I came up with instead.” Malfoy reached a pale hand to the back of Hermione’s head. As soon as his flesh connected with hers, she pulled away.

“You’re so cold.”

“That comes with being dead Granger.”

“Why did you do it? I told your mother you were dead.”

“My mother? You’ve seen her?” Malfoy’s voice sounded strangled as he grabbed a hold of a piece of Hermione’s hair at the base of her neck.

“Yes, she was with me in the last vault. Why did you do it?”

“Power, Granger. It’s a wonderful thing.” Malfoy then pulled the strands of hair that he held between his fingers and Hermione screamed. He left her in the vault, curled up on the floor, a fresh trail of blood running down her neck to make a soft plunk, plunk, plunk, upon the floor.

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