light R ~ Hermione/Narcissa ~ Slight AU - scarred!Hermione. Light bondage. Written for the pinch hitters at fem_exchange
Narcissa sometimes tells her the story of how she had found her picking flowers in the sunshine, and had stolen her away from the nymphets to bring her here to be her Queen.
Hermione finds herself occasionally longing for the cellar under the floorboards; the dusty darkness where she spent days bound and wandless and alone, with nothing but echoing footsteps and cracks of light that fell across the cold ground in hopeless streaks. She would flatten herself against the wall, arms tight behind her back and knees drawn up close, away from the light but close to the door - ready for food, ready to fight. Her shoulders would slump as the hours crawled by but she knew that this would end, one way or another, eventually and she could wait, tired and dirty and hungry but with fists clenched, she could wait.
Her room now is still cold but bright, well-lit from the large windows facing a lush of green, expansive garden (she doesn't look). The walls are pale and bare, an endless blend of seamless light and shadow with no streaks or markings, nothing to focus on. She's still wandless, mostly alone and occasionally bound, but there's a bed and a chair and floorboards for her to tiptoe over (she likes to pretend that if no one can hear her, she's not really there). Her hands stay loose, thin and pale - fingers itching to grip something (a quill, a wand), anything but there's only dust and arms and door handles that won't turn, so they stay open and empty.
There used to be a mirror on the wall, a large, ugly and ornate antique that hung squarely opposite the bed, but she shattered her own reflection within four days of being moved into the room.
For two days (two more cold nights curled on the floorboards, distrustful of the chair and downright scared of the bed) Hermione was left alone in the room, stretching and healing and readjusting to the constants of time. There was no record of how long she had been in the quiet darkness - no night and day to mark the time and so it could have been days, could have been weeks, broken up by fitful dozing and the occasional (drugged) dreamless slumber. No one other than the house elves bearing food had ever gone in to see her, and although she always tried to talk to them it just seemed to make them vanish again even quicker. They settled into a routine (perhaps not the most fitting description, but routine meant order and sense so Hermione called it that, made it the focal point of her endless-day-night existence) of her quiet 'thank you' and the crack as the house elf swiftly disappeared.
On the third day of bright captivity, Narcissa Malfoy walks in and orders her to get up off the floor.
Narcissa sometimes tells her the story of how she had found her picking flowers in the sunshine (it had been dark and drizzling, and she'd been inside reading a book about Dragon Importation Regulations) and had stolen her away from the nymphets (Ron and Harry were at a Quidditch match) to bring her here (the cellar under the floorboards, or the bright cold room), to be her Queen (helpless captive). Hermione always thought it sounded about right, and never questioned why she agreed to go (the early days had been about fight escape survive, and in later days that was quietly reduced to just survive, and she forgot to wonder how everything changed), lying cold against the sheets and still with one wrist tied to the bed.
In truth, Imperius and a memory charm was all it took. She still wanted her to be her Queen, though, a pretty little Mudblood (oh, they conditioned her so well) with those almost dainty reminders etched in like trophies.
The bed is as comfortable as expected, the sheets light and silky but cold to the touch as Hermione's shirt is pulled gently off and she lies down on top of the covers. She tries to cover herself up with her arms but Narcissa immediately takes a firm hold of one wrist and brings it over and above Hermione's head to bind it to the metal framework of the bed - Hermione lets her gaze follow it until it disappears from view, tilting her head back slightly, and is almost surprised when she feels deft fingers tying a coarse, thick rope around her arm.
Her breath catches as wave of rich, expensive perfume rolls over her, and her hand twitches as a soft kiss is pressed into the palm. Her other wrist is tied (above her head, close to the other one - her fingertips can brush and she strains to link them) and then a trail of feather-touches down her arm and skimming her shoulder, joined again by lips as touches dance down her torso. They feel delicate and almost apologetic, and Hermione catches a murmur of "my pet" as a kiss is placed on her neck (for a moment she wonders if she is some kind of present, kept hidden until the big day and then dressed up all pretty to be gleefully unwrapped), then a chaste kiss to her chin, then there's a brush of lips against her cheek, against sensitive marks and Hermione flinches without warning. Narcissa draws back for a movement, but does not look her in the eye.
She lowers her head again and she's mouthing things against her skin, sounds that feel like burning whispers and "sorry, I'm so sorry" and Hermione doesn't understand this at all, but the rope is still tight around her wrists and those hands are so soft, delicate and almost delightful and so she doesn't respond, silently starts almost cataloguing each sensation as something new, something to remember. She twists her head towards the window, the door, notes every lock and hinge and catch while she tries to wriggle a hand free - the friction licks painfully across her skin but hardly moves - and barely notices the fingers trickling down her sides, skimming her hips (she arches a little without thinking, and, oh) while her thighs are peppered with kisses.
Heat (she had forgotten about the good kind) suddenly flares up inside her and any struggling trails off into a boneless shiver.
The mirror is a horrid thing, obnoxiously gold and heavy and big and so utterly unlike the elegance of the rest of the house. It fills at least half of the wall and Hermione cannot bear to look at it, almost twitching with determined suppression as she ignores the window and turns her back on the mirror, leaving her with two walls and a corner to fill her time with (it still haunts her, somehow, flashes out of the corner of her eyes when she's still fully turned away from it or looming dreadfully the first (third) night she uses the bed - no reflection of anything but the shadowed wall above her, but she knows what is lurking just out of sight).
Narcissa indulges her for three days but on the fourth she is in the room when Hermione wakes up, standing in front of the mirror and carefully brushing her hair with her fingers. She turns when Hermione stirs and smiles almost sweetly at her, asking her so politely to come and stand with her - she does, without hesitation or compliant, but keeps her head bent low and her gaze fixated on the floor.
Her hands are soft and warm as she places her hand on Hermione's shoulders and steers her so she's standing in front of her, facing the mirror and her back pressed flush against Narcissa's chest. She lets her hands stroke down her arms and delicately take hold of her wrists, pulling her closer and dipping her head so she can whisper so softly into her ear.
"Look how beautiful you are, my pet." But Hermione can't even look up from the perfect hands encircling her wrists, pale and manicured fingers pressing almost painfully into her own marked skin, the bruises from the night before still stark and burning when touched. She watches Narcissa's hand as it releases one of her wrists and trails lightly up to her neck, before roughly pushing two fingers under her chin and forcing her head upwards. Hermione quickly shuts her eyes, not caring what it might cost her, and tries to forget the brief flash of a scarred face.
Narcissa leaves immediately, all touches gone and Hermione is cold again, with just the bed and the chair and the mirror that taunts her. She raises her head, just a little, and her face gazes shyly back at her with its perfectly dreadful marks running over her cheek and chin. She has never been vain but oh, there is so much wrapped up in those few little scars (fights and death and war and oh, god) that it is impossible to look at them without something breaking inside.
The mirror shatters so easily under her fist. The glass splinters, cracks then cascades down in a shower of shards, dancing across the floorboards in a glittering mess. She feels the stings and cuts but barely registers them, just watches as the scattered pieces sparkle as they settle across the room and she lets the tiniest smile flitter across her mouth. (it feels like the stirrings of something new, intangible and twisted, and Hermione thinks she might like it)
It's all gone in the lazy sweep of a wand and Narcissa doesn't even look at her as she orders her to sit on the edge of the bed while she cleans and heals each tiny scratch decorating her skin, purposefully ignoring the bloody mess of her hands. Hermione expects (craves, perhaps) punishment, yelling, a cane across her already bleeding knuckles or her hands roughly tied again as she's forced to her knees, but instead Narcissa cradles her hands gently in her own and tuts lightly, the barest touch of her thumb stroking the broken skin.
"Seven years, my pet," she says, and it sounds like a promise.