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III. Transformation




I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears


“Over My Head (Cable Car)”-The Fray


You moaned as the piercing sunlight reached your sleep-weary eyes. As you began to sit up, you felt as if a thousand thestrals were trampling on your head.

“Ugggghhhh...” you groaned to no one in particular. However, soon enough Raine was at your side.

“Good Morning, I’m glad you have finally joined us from the drunken dead,” the annoyed woman scowled, then softened it with a small smile. She snapped her fingers authoritatively for a house elf, which appeared at once.

“Get the hangover potion stores I brewed, Reemy,”she ordered. This was why you married this woman; this is why you still respected this woman and the sanctity of your marriage. She got things done and, above all, she had tact. She knew everyone’s limits and never went beyond them without a good reason. If she wanted to find out about something, she didn’t go straight at it.

Raine passed you the flask of potion which you gulped down quickly. Bless her. “Thanks, love,” you gave her a rare smile. Today was off to a pretty decent start, you mused.

“Draco, don’t forget, you’re due at Malfoy Manor, the East Wing, at one o’ clock this afternoon to discuss ‘matters of importance’ with the Dark Lord and Lucius,” she raised an eyebrow in wait for your reaction.

“Fuck,” you collapsed back into the couch again, “how did I miss that?” Raine looked up at your taller frame with a smirk evident on her lips. Now you remembered; she had told you a week ago and again last night. She wouldn’t actually expect you to remember that, would she? Miserable vindictive creature. You scowled at her like a small child. She tossed her dark chocolate locks smugly and turned her back on you. You rose slowly again, and walked toward your boudoir. It would be altogether too trying as it was without the added pressure of being criticized for your dress. After picking out your best robes and passing your wife’s careful scrutiny, you walked outside to the secluded apparition point.

You faced your grand estate, though it was far less grand than Malfoy Manor, your official rescidence. Cypress Lodge was your ‘second’ home. However, you spent the chief of your time there, your father and yourself agreed that staying at the Malfoy Manor would stunt your own growth. Or something along those lines, probably as having the both of you under one roof might lead to your death. You had bought it upon your betrothal to Raine Marlatt, the ancient manor house was going to go to ruins soon and the Muggle realtor couldn’t wait to get rid of it. The gothic arches and crumbling brick had their charm, certainly. Most of the rooms were furnished in classic aristocratic style: tapestries, torches, knights, heavy upholstery, antique furniture and the like. However, the rooms Raine decorated - the ones you spent the most time in - were strictly modern and functional. Neither she nor you could stand the impracticality of the traditional decoration for purposes other than decorum.

Tall, old, and intimidating cypress trees stood guard over the twisting lane that lead to the manor gates. Truthfully, the ancient trees had sold the house to you. So perfect, so brooding, so mournful. Yet, in your opinion, they were at the same time stately. They were a perfect fit for a Malfoy.

Lost in your reverie, you snapped back to attention promptly. Then, with a sharp crack, you disapperated to your rooms in the West Wing. You met Narcissa, your mother, in the front parlor, where she gave you a worried smile and exchanged short pleasantries. It had to be serious, and Lucius must have told her to keep it short. Otherwise, you would have been chatted to about society’s frivolous matters for at least an hour. You quickened your pace as you walked to your father’s quarters.

You knocked slowly, once, twice, three times. Your father opened the door, nodded briefly, and let you into the dark office. The heavy deep green drapes were drawn as they had been since you were born. The fearsome presence of the Dark Lord lingered in front of the ancient mahogany desk. You were quick to kneel deeply and touch the hem of his robes with your lips.

“My Lord,” you spoke in soft reverence.

“Rise,” he said after a few moments. You uncurled yourself and positioned yourself next to your father who sat in an old leather armchair. The Dark Lord settled himself behind the desk. “Lucius, Draco. Welcome. You know today commemorates a special occasion,” he began. Your mind searched frantically. How could you have forgotten an important date? Why didn’t Raine remind you?

“Draco. Draco. Draco. I am surprised; you do not remember your own initiation?” the Dark Lords cold, piercing, haunting voice reverberated through the room. You dropped down on your knees once more.

“I offer my deep apologies, my Lord. I did not realize it has been ten years.” You rose again after he nodded curtly, his blood-red eyes piercing your own steel orbs. His gaze sent shivers up through your spine. Despite ten years in his service, he still had that power. The omnipotent power; that was what had attracted you, that was what kept you.

“Yes, yes indeed. It has been ten great years, Draco. You were but 18, fresh out of the Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Such a terrible institution...” The Dark Lord trailed off, “but no matter, that is being corrected now. We shall focus on the manner on hand. Save that unfortunate incident in 1997,” you cast your eyes down. You would pay for letting Snape, jsut that once, do your job time and time again. But you were far over your head, drowning in the bigger scheme of the time, even as one of his most faithful servants now, you still stood stoicly by the fact that it was completely improper to do that. Quickly, you cleared your mind of those foolish thoughts and focused back on your lord's chilling address. “you have served me well. You will become one of my most trusted servants like your father. During these past 10 years, the Morsmorde has been sent up time and time again by the both of you. The Volderian Reign has taken hold, and the world is being purified.” His cold voice rose to a fever pitch that made you almost want to collapse to the floor holding your hands over your pounding eardrums and cry for your mother. Yet you remained standing, your face was stoic, the best reaction to the Dark Lords proclaimations most of the time.

It was your father who addressed you next. “Now, Draco, you are not so young. Married and owner of several businesses. You have matured. For many years, I have pondered, when to step down? And now is the time you take your rightful place as the head of the Malfoy household. You will be the holder of all Malfoy shares, and I will live out the rest of my days in peaceful retirement.” Lucius spoke without pretense and without benevolence. This was expected, and the time had come. You wouldn’t say you weren’t honoured and excited, but the anxious passions of your adolescence had died. A younger version of your father, you were always in control. Those impetuous desires of ten years ago had been suppressed; you knew how to control yourself now. When all was said and done, subconciously, you knew this wasn’t true, but repeating always made it more believable.

“Yes, Draco, with that momentous honor, I present you with one even more momentous. Your father was one of my most trusted, most loyal. You will take his place in my ranks,” the Dark Lord stated his will simply, without question. You bowed to both of your superiors in turn.

“I thank you both kindly. I will perform these duties to the best of my abilities,” you swallowed and let a smile onto your face. The men responded in a similar way. Albeit, the Dark Lord’s smile was strangely haunting - it was menacing, really - though you did not think it contained manevolent intent, this time. Indeed, just this time, just for now, he was pleased.

The Dark Lord had committed many murders or had his servants murder in his name over the years. All of them were deserving. Some had the honour of playing a part in the Dark Lords plot, others were for the sake of purification, and you knew that you loved each death. Hearing the last breath of life drift out of a person was morbidly invigorating, knowing you had such power.

“Now Draco, I have a gift for you,” the Dark Lord smirked, causing you to inwardly shudder. No gift from him came without any strings attached. He rewarded you well, but this was an unwarranted action. No doubt this gift would serve a dual purpose. The poweful senses of your body heightened and your mind began to race. Your palms began to feel clammy as you thought of all the ghastly possibilities. Could torture be considered a gift? You certainly hoped it didn’t.

The Dark Lord swept his arm around the room grandly, stopping in a corner. “Come.” The shadows in the dark corner stirred and your eyes snapped to them, searching for the identity of the figure. The trembling figure slowly unfolded itself and reached a tentative bare foot onto the cold stone floor of the office. The skin was rough and callused, the ankle eerily skinny. It was like that of a child, yet you didn’t think the Dark Lord had decided to give you a child as a gift.

For what seemed to take an eternity, the figure finally stepped in front of you, her walk feeble and accentuated by a limp in the left foot. Finally the Dark Lord spoke, “Draco, might I present you with your newest charge and personal servant, one I know you used to detest so much - Hermione Granger.”

You gasped audibly. This emaciated, death-pale, sickly, subservient figure was Granger? It truly couldn’t be. The formerly untamable brown locks now hung lank, limp, and dirty at her sides, deprived of nutrition. The previously robust and fiery Gryffindor looked like she had been dragged to hell and back. For that matter, knowing the Dark Lord, she probably had been. But why the fuck was she not dead? She was Scarhead's right hand! Surely, she would have been among the first to die.

Hermione Granger was never a particularly beautiful girl during her Hogwarts years, but she was an adolescent girl. Youth and bloom bring beauty to any tolerable face. They make the complexion radiant, the breasts pert, the muscles toned. And if your memory served you correctly, she had just been entering her first bloom at the end of Hogwarts. One would have expected her to be at the peak of her beauty at 28, fully matured and enjoying the spice of life.

But she had been robbed of the charms of both youth and bloom. Her cheerful disposition and the devil-may-care impetuousness of young adults, along with the glowing radiance of sexuality that most young women had, both appeared to have ended far too abruptly. The war would have done that to anyone, certainly, but you could not even begin to comprehend what must have been wrought on her to bring such a drastic change.

You traced her figure with your eyes through the barely covering rags she had on. Her legs were stick-thin, so thin that you actually considered summoning a chair before you remembered exactly who you were looking at. Her hips jutted out unnaturally, no pleasant flesh to meld them into her body. Her waist was the waist Raine envied so often, although you did not see why. It was extremely thin, but it was simply too thin. Did she ever eat? A voice in your head quietly whispered, “Probably not, if she has been under the Dark Lord’s care.” The once supple breasts had lost their bounce and a fair bit of their volume from Graduation Day. Her arms were spindly, truly bones and skin. Her collarbones and rib cage were pronounced so far as for even you, the cold-hearted Draco Malfoy, felt compelled to stuff broth down her throat.

But that was just her body, which could be fixed with loving care and food. Her face, however, would haunt your dreams forever. The cheekbones stood out, every plane of her face so pronounced, making her almost ethereal. The lips were a thin line that probably had not seen a smile in years. But most of all, her chocolate brown eyes. They threw you completely off your almost infallible guard, which should have been heightened at this meeting. They scared the hell out of you. They were haunted; she had seen and gone through things that you couldn’t even begin to imagine, despite your years in the service of the Dark Lord. The rest of her was purely lifelessness, as if she was living though she shouldn’t be. But her eyes, they had depths you couldn’t fathom… an otherworldly abyss.

But the quick spark, the burning Gryffindor anger, was no longer there despite all your searching. The pure hatred of the eyes that burned into yours ten years ago no longer existed. They had truly beaten her down.

You shivered involuntarily and averted your eyes. How the hell had she survived?


The Dark Lord cleared his throat impatiently, quickly bringing you back to reality and you snapped your attention back to him.

“Draco, you have said nothing, are you displeased with my gift?” the Dark Lord asked menacingly. Nobody was ever displeased with his gifts if they valued their lives.

“Of course not, my Lord. I thank you deeply,” you moved to bow low before him.

“You’re welcome, Draco. It’s yours for the taking. I’ve beaten all the impertinence out of it. I don’t why it’s alive though, I thought it would have gone with its precious Weasley,” the Dark Lord smirked sadistically.

“Thank you my Lord, you are too kind,” you spoke lies in servitude, morbid admiration, and fear, knowing fully your lord was anything but. Lord Voldemort always did things for a purpose, and you would bet the entire Malfoy estate that Granger wasn’t just a tenth anniversary present.

The cold, illustrious figure nodded his head, and then seemingly decided that the business he had come to do had been done. “Well, Draco, that is all, do as you wish with it, you may enjoy it very much.” The Dark Lord’s voice sounded even more sinister than usual, you could practically see malicious intent pulsing from him. “One thing though, don’t kill her-yet.”

You bowed to him and knelt to kiss his robes before he Disapperated with a sharp crack.

Lucius turned his head toward you, “Tread warily, my son, it may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
He turned to leave the room without a second glance.




You turned your eyes back to Granger, or rather ‘it.’ You had to remember that now, she, no it, was as object. You would have stared in open, impolite incredulity for hours, just letting the past catch up to you and trying to merge it with this odd present, no pun intended.

Granger, the girl who had managed to totally control you, to have you at her feet begging for mercy, was dressed in rags and barely alive in front of you. Your mind had dramatized the entire situation to exaggerated proportions over the years, and the unfortunate conflict had become a cataclysmic event by now. You never knew why you couldn’t shrug it off, but you just couldn’t. It was part of you. It contributed to your persona. It added 100 tons of fuel to the fire. And it was all Granger’s fault.

But not anymore, she had finally been defeated. She was a weak, subservient creature before you. Never again would such a thing happen. You wanted to smirk, but you couldn’t. Everything was just too different. It was almost as if it wasn’t really her. She was too changed. None of the fiery hellion you remembered remained. Victory just wasn’t as sweet with that haunted look in her eyes. She had walked through the proverbial inferno. And you felt the deadly curiosity to know exactly what they had done to her, and if it was as bad as you imagined, why did she continue to live? What did she have to live for?

You were still staring at her, lost in your own thoughts when you noticed she was shaking, though you could not understand why. You sprang up. Of course she was shaking; she had been exerting herself far past her stamina to keep standing that long. She had been standing on willpower alone. So she still had some of it left...

You mentally kicked yourself. ‘It’, not she. But that would be a bother, and you knew it before you had ever made that resolution. While you would certainly call her an ‘it’ aloud, you were a creature of habit. Granger would have to remain a ‘she’ in your mind.

She was shaking more severely now, and you knew she couldn’t hold out much longer. You took a few quick steps toward her, and took her in your arms bridal style. She was your charge now, and a certain amount of the Malfoy alpha dominance came into play. You couldn’t just leave her here with your mother, she would have to come back to Cypress Lodge and meet Raine. That would certainly be interesting, and you had the uncanny feeling you would be sleeping on the couch for a few nights, though certainly none of this was your fault.

Granger was a featherweight in your strong arms, and if she had a problem with being carried she did not complain. She wouldn’t even have had the strength to do it; she closed her eyes in exhaustion before you even reached the fireplace, deciding against the somewhat sickening effects of apparation. Of course, spinning around wasn’t all that comfortable either, but it surely beat being squeezed.

The already grand fireplace expanded enough to fit the both of you comfortably, the emerald green flames licking at your legs. “Cypress Lodge!” you stated clearly.

You were mentally exhausted. Her presence had just reinforced last night’s reverie, and truth be told, you had no idea what the fucking hell you were going to do with her. The Dark Lord expected you to beat her, torment her and probably eventually kill her. Maybe even have your way with her. Only you wanted to do none of those things at the moment, they seemed to have no real point, and you were simply too overwhelmed to do anything.

Either way, it looked like she would break with even the slightest harsh touch or word. It wasn’t exciting enough to tread on the already downtrodden as it took a good portion of the thrill out of victory. And the crumpled figure in your arms was about as downtrodden as you had ever seen.

You stepped out of the fireplace in your library and brushed both you and Granger off. What were the house-elves doing? Weren’t they supposed to keep the fireplaces free of soot? You wrinkled your nose in disgust.

Her eyelids fluttered open, “Malfoy?” she coughed.

You studied the haunted shadow of a woman in your arms for a moment. No use tormenting her now, she barely knew who you were. “Yes, hush, we’ll talk later.”

She opened her mouth as if to speak, but shook her head and then closed her eyes again in exhaustion and sank back into her slumber.

You walked quickly, silently, to the servant’s quarters, and looked for an empty room. Finding none, you summoned a house elf that was standing by. You could tell it wondered what was going on, but had neither the courage nor the impertinence to ask.

“Come here, Misty, hurry up,” the house elf scampered to your call, “She is very ill, make sure she has a comfortable room, and some warm broth and bread when she wakes up, all right? But most of all do not, under any circumstances, let her out of that room without my permission. And do not, under any circumstances, tell Raine before I do.”

“Yes, Master Malfoy, Misty will not be telling Raine about the ill girl, sir. Misty will not be letting the girl out, Master. The girl will be as comfortable as Misty can make it, sir.” She chirped in that annoyingly high voice.

“Not that comfortable, just enough so that she can recover a bit, she doesn’t need the Queen’s palace,” you sneered, annoyed. The house-elf nodded vigorously and showed you to a room you didn’t even know you had.

You looked around; there was a twin back with a slightly lumpy mattress in the corner, a small, boring wooden desk, and a nice window that afforded a beautiful view of the grounds at the north side. The floor was hard stone, although there was a rug spread in front of the fireplace, which you lit with a quick flick of your wand. It was comfortable enough, but nothing that would be out of the regular proprieties. You convieniently chose to ignore the fact that the Dark Lord probably expected you to give her a moth eaten blanket, meager bits of stale black bread, and a cold stone dungeon room. “This will do very well, thank you.”

You lowered Granger carefully onto the bed, and then left without a second glance. Now why had you put her in such a decent room? You should have thrown her into the dungeons. But with the way she was looking now, she might not even last the night if she was down there. But she most likely survived the last ten years in one. Oh well, you didn’t want her to die before you could figure out how to use her to your advantage. After all, she was one-third of the now infamous “Golden Trio.” You also had the nagging feeling that the Dark Lord wouldn’t be all too happy, as an understatement, if you had her dead the next day, expressly against his orders.

You sprinted to your private quarters, highly perturbed and in great need of distraction. Fortunately, the perfect distraction came straight into your arms, literally.

“Draco, baby, what’s wrong?” Raine purred.

You hesitated for a moment, wondering if you should tell her flat out. After chancing a glance at her, you quickly decided against it. You were a coward when it came to Raine, and it had saved your pathetic ass several times.

“Nothing,” you shrugged off her concern and led her to your bedroom. She spread out on the extra-large and lavish canopy bed, and you sat down on the edge of it looking her over.

Raine Calypso Marlatt Malfoy was a walking contradiction. On the outside, she looked incredibly sweet and demure, extremely feminine, and rather reserved. Her large, innocent eyes, and soft, silky dark chocolate hair was not exactly prime for intimidation, your Auntie Bella’s looks were far more suited for that. Raine was a diminutive, petite figure, with delicate features and an impish cuteness. But underneath all that lay the heart of an amazon, and she wasn’t afraid to show it every possible chance.

She was, by far, even with woman like your mother and aunt, the best manipulator you knew. You had seen her turn your father’s opinion toward her in two hours, whereas your mother and you had been working at it for two weeks and had gotten nowhere. And as you watched her plant the idea in your father’s head, you had the feeling that you were playing the part of her marionette as well.

Except you both knew full well that you weren’t. Both of you knew that you were the only man with any control over Raine Malfoy, and that she was head-over-heels in love with you. And you were pretty sure you returned her affection, just perhaps in a different form. You weren’t exactly sure how you felt about her. You loved her, certainly, but you weren’t exactly sure how. It was almost as if she were a best friend with benefits that just happened to be your wife. But you weren’t about to say that. She was one of the few women you could stand, and she was your perfect companion. Sure, she didn’t really excite you and cause the all-consuming flame of passionate young love, but that was all right. She provided a sense of comfort that you couldn’t find anywhere else. She understood you like a best friend. In fact, she was your best friend.

So her loving passion wasn’t fully requited, but so what? No one but you had to know. Your mum always beamed when she saw the two of you together, whispering something into the others ear, or anticipating the other’s next action. Even your father gave an occasional smile. And the papers, oh god, the papers. They just couldn’t get enough of you and your so called “perfect” marriage. Somehow, in the pureblooded society you lived in today, not cheating on your spouse made the marriage perfect, and therefore you were both in deep love with each other. Oh well, everyone knew journalists tended to be sensationalists so you paid it no heed.

And now you had two amazons under your roof. Granger and Raine were far too much alike for your comfort. Except that Raine was far more attractive, but that was neither here nor there. Granger’s amazonian tendencies took on a different form, a full-frontal attack. No clever manipulations, and she would never wield sex as a weapon like Raine.

“Draco?” her musical voice broke into your thoughts, “Are you just going to sit there all day?”

In response, you let your hands explore her well-formed body absently. However, your thoughts had drifted to another body, one much thinner, and much odder. There was a sense of foreboding looming in those haunted eyes. What had happened to her? Your natural curiosity had become oddly consuming. Why was she here? And how the hell was this a normal ‘present’?

“Draco! You’re not into it today! Are you sure you’re all right?” Raine scolded, reaching up to touch your jaw softly.

“I’m fine, Raine, really, just tired. Meetings with the Dark Lord tend to be exhausting,” you lied smoothly.

“Oh, all right, well get some sleep then, all right?” Raine brushed her lips against your forehead and left the room. Fortunately, she didn’t think it necessary to point out that it was only about three in the afternoon.

However, the last words, spoken softly, she heard from your mouth were, “Why does she live?” You drifted off quietly into a fitful sleep, and Raine convinced herself that she had heard you wrong, picking up The Volderian Herald and beginning to silently laugh at the society pages. All the while she was trying to brush your odd question out of her naturally suspicious mind.

{A/N– Yay for Dani, the fantabulous beta, again! Woot! Woot!

Anyway, this is where our story really begins, and I hope I’ve left you all wondering what I’m planning next. This should certainly prove to be exciting. :) Anyway, I have left certain particulars about Raine and Draco’s relationship kind of foggy on purpose, as it will come into the light as the story moves on. I’m aiming for around 10 chapters as of now. I’m sorry for the relatively late update, it’s been nearly a month, I know, but it’s a pretty long chapter, so I hope that will make up for some of it. I’m really sorry guys! *blushes*

Thanks so much for all your wonderful reviews, and keep them coming, they are very helpful and motivate me to update! I was also extremely pleased to see that this has been added to several of your favorite stories! Thanks! It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and such! If you’re new to this story, thanks for reading this far! But don’t be shy, leave me a review, I’d love to hear from you!

Love,
Jean

P.S. Standard message still applies, if you wish to be notified when every new chapter comes out, leave me your email address in a review. :) Thanks!

P.P.S. YAY! Hermione is finally here. ^_^
P.P.S. Who wants to stroke my ego? Keep me writing quicker. ;) Anyway, I posted a meet the author thread, although I doubt it will be very popular, and I would love to answer any questions you have. Even if it's something slightly like "What is your favorite place to set a story in?" post it anyway, please. Add some more air into that balloon, I want to break into the stratosphere. ^_^ Thanks guys, and no obligation of course, now that you have read this. (Maybe) (Just kidding) No, but for real, absolutely NO obligation, only if you're feeling inquisitive or kind.}

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