A little darker than my other stories… perhaps closer to the ending many truly wanted for Carpe Diem. Check out this Post Wizarding War story!
Summary: She spent the rest of the night playing beautiful, haunting melodies for him because, in the end, there was nothing else she could do. Hermione/Voldemort. Post War.
Her heart racing and palms sweating, she followed him. It felt strange to be walking the corridors as opposed to pacing in her room, but there was something liberating about this new freedom, something that made her heart flutter in excitement and her hands tremble in nervousness. Hermione had no idea where he was leading her to, but she knew she would follow him into hell at that moment if only to escape from the monotony of pacing her room like a caged lion.
When he had come to her minutes before, she had not expected him to request she follow him somewhere. Her life had been based on their routine, after all. She had been sitting in her favorite chair by the large glass pane window, gazing forlornly at the full moon and trying to ignore the memories hovering on the edge ofits beamswhen he had entered. He always came to her at night, engaging her in some sort of interesting and yet ultimately fruitless discussion. It was their routine, but that night, he had broken it.
“Come with me,” he had bid as soon as he entered, not even waiting for her response before turning in a swirl of black robes and walking down the hall.
She flinched in surprise, but quickly followed. Leave her room? She never left her gilded cage, indeed, had never felt the desire to do so. She remained silent behind him, not questioning him even though the break in their routine frightened her.
Leaving her comfortable prison scared her, but she was also exhilarated. She hadn’t felt this sort of excitement in ages and it reminded her of the old days when she was happy and free. It tasted bittersweet and she almost ran back to her room, not wanting to face the truth of her existence. She didn’t want things to change; she didn’t want to remember the way things were.
But they had already arrived where he had been leading her to and turning around now would be pointless. She watched as his thin, pale hand stretched out and twisted around the door knob, openingthe door.
Hermione followed him in quickly, excited and scared of what he would show her.
She froze two steps into the room, not even hearing him lock and ward the door behind her. Bay windows lined the eastern wall and heavy velvet curtains were pulled back allowing the silver moonlight to cascade across the grand piano that sat in front of her.
For a brief moment she was eight years old, standing in her parents’ study watching her father caress the black and white keys expertly in a magical dance that hypnotized her. The memory faded as she felt his presence behind her, urging her towards the instrument.
“Play it,” he whispered into her ear, his cold breath tickling her neck and causing goosebumps.
Horror filled her. She wouldn’t be able to handle the memories if she played. There would be no forgetting the pain of her past.
But still, a part of her yearned to remember. A glimmer of her old self rejoiced in the freedom he was offering her.
She shakily walked over and sat behind the piano, fear and excitement coursing through her veins and down to her fingertips where she began to play a haunting melody that was both happy and sad.
As the notes coursed through the room, Hermione closed her eyes, allowing her instincts to lead her in the song. Unbidden, the memories she fought so hard against during the day overpowered her.
She saw herself huddled on the stairs and listening to her father play Mozart and Beethoven in the study where he had locked himself in to forget about the bad day he had had at work. She saw David Granger playing Disney songs for her as she sang along, horribly off key. She remembered how after some dinners she and her parents would adjourn to the study room where David would play, and Linda Granger would knit, and Hermione would sit on the floor watching her father in awe.
As Hermione played she saw her father’s fingers drifting across the keys. When he had played, the music seemed to be flowing from his head and toes and through his heart out of his fingertips onto the keys. When her father had played, the music had come from him, not the instrument.
David Granger had been a real musician. He had long, thin hands that had been perfect for yielding dental tools, perfect for writing and tickling, and perfect for playing the piano.
Asthe song became darker, more raw, she recalled her father’s fingers broken and bleeding as he laid dead on the floor by his piano, his lifeless eyes staring at her, pleading with her.
Her mother was found in the bedroom; she had not awakened from her dream.
Hermione’s breath came in painful gasps and tears streamed unnoticed down her pale cheeks as she took out her sorrow on the keys. As the notes became more frantic and darker she saw other memories of the past year. Flashes of green light on a battlefield, shouts of curses and hexes ringing in the air. In the end, no one could be trusted; causes were abandoned in favor of survival and friends were left behind to die.
She remembered the moment they had failed. She saw Harry and Voldemort walking in predatory circles around the other and time seemed to freeze as they faced off. They were speaking, but no one knew what words were exchanged between them, but there was something Voldemort had said that had made Harry pause.
The Dark Lord took advantage of that hesitation.
Hermione had watched in horror as the green blast hit Harry, the momentum causing him to fall lifelessly to the ground, his body covered in mud, sweat and worse. She remembered someone screaming bloody murder but before she could register that the mournful cry was coming from her, she had passed out.
And she had awoken on a soft bed in a modest bedroom, her injuries healed and her right wrist bandaged.
He came to her that night, a dark angel of mercy that welcomed her into his domain.
At the thought of him, Hermione opened her eyes and met his stare from across the piano. Her playing, which had been rough and fast in her emotions, steadied. She played as though she had nothing else in the world and deep down she knew she was playing for him.
His red eyes glinted at her, never revealing his intentions. She never knew what ran through his head; never knew why he had spared her and kept her safe from those that would harm her.
After a week of silent visits, she had broken their quiet and had asked him why, but he had only answered with an oddly patient, “Does it matter?”
No, she realized. It didn’t matter why Lord Voldemort came to her, acting as her savior and executioner. Nothing mattered anymore.
Her fingers stopped, the last strains of the song echoing in the room. She removed her shaking hands from the keys and remained still as he glided around the piano to her. When he spoke, she was staring at the moonlight shimmering on the dark piano.
“Do you know what tonight is?” he hissed softly behind her.
She blinked and two tears coursed down her cheeks. “How can I not?” she whispered, her voice thick with the tears she would not let fall.
One year ago he had won. One year she had lived with him. One year they had been together.
He placed a hand on the small of her back and Hermione shivered.
“Happy anniversary, Hermione,” he murmured, his voice dark and alluring.
She sighed. “Happy anniversary, my lord.”
She spent the rest of the night playing beautiful, haunting melodies for him because, in the end, there was nothing else she could do.