A Day and A Night

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Chapter 38: A Brother and a Sister:

Two large, black birds circled the predawn sky, towering above a hillside. One swooped low, tilting its large wings toward the ground, while the other remained high in the sky. A girl looked up at the bird swooping low with a mix of curiosity and anxiety. She watched as the second bird flew back over the hill to places unknown. Her eyes still trained on the second bird, now merely a small fleck on the pink horizon, she suddenly turned startled, when a man appeared behind her and said her name.

“Jennifer?” The man stood between the girl and a small cave on the side of a hill.

“Milo?” The girl was shocked. She hadn’t seen Milo for a very long time. She started to throw her arms around him, but he held his hand out to stop her. “What’s wrong, Milo? I’m so happy to see you. Aren’t you happy to see me?”

“Jennifer, what have you done?” he asked. “How long have you been here?”

“I came back months and months ago. Even after you’d banished me. You thought that spell you put up would block me from returning, but I found a way to come back. Milo…I have a secret. I become a wondrous creature at night. I can do things. It’s better than magic, which I can also do, you know. I never told you, but I can, just like my aunt Violet. Isn’t that wonderful. I’m like you. We can be together, and we can be more than just friends. I love you, Milo. Do you love me?”

He didn’t answer her question. “You’ve become a monster, and you aren’t even aware of it. You’ve done horrible, terrible things, and I’ve suspected you for a long time, and I even smelled you here, weeks ago, but I was in denial, because I thought the killings had stopped, but then you killed again. To think, I tried to protect you by telling the Aurors that one of the dead girls was you, so they would never suspect you, but then you killed again!” He took her shoulders and shook her hard.

“Don’t be angry with me, Milo. All I’ve done is gotten rid of the women who were in my way,” she said, unabashed. “Those girls wanted to be your mate, and I couldn’t let that happen, so I killed them, but that’s all I’ve done.”

“No, you killed my Cat!”

“You mean your brother’s fiancée? No I didn’t,” she said, looking wild and confused. “I only killed the outsiders who wanted to fulfill your destiny, and become your mate. I gave them all jewelry that my aunt Violet made, to keep track of them, and then once they were here, in Glendora, I destroyed them, but I wouldn’t hurt your brother’s mate. I wouldn’t.”

“That’s the thing, Jennifer. She was never really his mate. You stupid, misguided girl! I tried so hard to befriend you." Milo turned for a moment to pace in front of her before continuing. "You’re his mate, not mine, but you’ve done terrible things, and for that, you’ll be punished. She was my sister, and you killed her. We had the same mother, and I just found out that she’s dead, too, but I don’t blame you for her death because it happened years ago and I could care less about that evil woman. The woman who raised me was my mother, but I know you killed the rest of them. I know you can’t help what you’ve become, and that’s why I’ve never punished you before, but I will punish you now. You will be punished for killing my sister.”

“NO!” the girl shouted. “I killed Hermione Granger up on that tower!”

Milo shook his head, and pulled out his wand and said, “No, you didn’t.”

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Two men waited on the loch between the villages of Glendora and Dorchester for more Aurors to arrive. The Aurors who had just left had been called back, the ones working in Dorchester were joining them as well, and even more were coming from all over England.

Harry Potter had requested fifty men and women in all. Excessive, perhaps, but with these volatile people, it might not be enough, so he sent word that more were to be at the ready. He told the Minister of Magic that they found out the identity of the murderer, but not her whereabouts, and that Hermione Granger was again missing, and presumed kidnapped.

His mouth was set in a grim line, and he walked back and forth near the water’s edge, kicking reeds and rocks, clenching his fists, trying hard not to let his anger show. He looked over at Draco Malfoy, a man he genuinely didn’t like, but who apparently was in love with his best friend, as he sat down on his haunches, pulling on the tall grass, and staring out at the still water. Draco didn’t seem angry, indignant, or irate, like Harry was. The man in front of him seemed overwhelmingly sad and out of place.

“Malfoy,” Harry spat, ruder than he meant to say it.

Draco stood up, turned around, and looked at the other man.

“If you think she might be in the place that you told me about earlier, then go, look for her there, but if she’s not there, come back here immediately, do you understand? And if you find her, send me some sort of sign.” Malfoy had wanted to go to Dorchester castle to search for her, but Harry insisted that they wait for the other Aurors, so Draco was forced to come to the loch and wait.

Now Harry could see that was a mistake. He had to let the other man go. Malfoy merely nodded and ran off in the direction of the castle.

Harry Potter looked up in the sky, saw a large black bird lunge over the lock, tilt its wings, and then fly off in the direction of the woods. Then he looked back toward the water as the first boat was approaching, filled with the Aurors who were stationed in Dorchester. Finally, this thing was going to end.

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Iver Dorchester descended the steps of the old, charred castle that was once been home to his family and went directly to the dungeon, to the old mating chamber. His brother told him that he could find Hermione Granger here. He threw open the doors. All of the torches had long since gone out, and even with the light from his wand, it took him a moment to locate her on the floor. She noticed him as well, and she began to back across the ground, her hands in front of her.

“I won’t hurt you, I promise, Hermione,” he said. With one wave of his wand, all the torches lit again, and he fell to his knees in front of her. Her face was streaked from tears and dirt, her clothes torn and stained. She had dried blood on her neck and lip, and at first Iver backed away when he saw it, but then he inhaled, realized the bleeding had stopped, and reached for her, relieved.

“Where’s your brother?” Hermione asked, her hand still out in front of her to stop him.

“He went to find Jennifer Cravens. He thinks she’s the murderer. She’s my mate. It’s just a long story, and frankly, I just don’t have time to tell it to you right now.” He reached in a pack on his side and handed her a canteen with water. He handed her a small bundle with food, and then most importantly, he handed her a wand. Her wand.

Then he stood up. “I’m leaving you here for a while.”

“Please, no, I can’t spend another moment here!” she pleaded.

“It’s really the safest place for you. Milo set up a ward so that Jennifer wouldn’t be able to enter. He told me that he suspects that Jennifer Cravens is the killer, and we are going to punish her, but you must remain safe until we do. Besides, if I know Malfoy, he’s likely to come for you very soon. My brother and I left him and Potter not too long ago, and he’ll come for you. When he arrives, tell him to keep you here for now, or to take you out of Glendora completely. If you need to escape the chamber, merely say, ‘Slàn leat’, which means goodbye. It’s will open for you.”

“Oh, Iver, you know my Gaelic leaves a lot to be desired! I’ll never be able to say that!” she said.

He stared at her with wide eyes, and even though the situation was bleak, and she had been through a rough time, he laughed. He pulled her to him, kissed the top of her head, and said, “You’re so funny sometimes, Hermione Granger. I’m so glad I got to know you. I wish you a long and happy life. Please, take care of yourself, if I don’t see you again.” He stood up and said the word to her again in Gaelic. She repeated it just fine. He smiled, put up his hand and turned to go.

“You know your brother tried to rape me, don’t you?” she said as he reached the door.

He turned back to face her. “He told me…well, he told me he stopped though. I’m so sorry, Hermione. He’s sorry as well. Forgive him, please. He was overwhelmed. I know that’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.” He turned again but she called out once more.

“Iver! Did he also tell you that he bit my neck? He drew blood. He took my blood, just as surely as if he was some animal...or a vampire,” she said steadily. “That day you were locked in the chamber with me, and I was bleeding, you didn’t even do that, and you are the one that supposedly suffers from vampirism, not him.”

He stopped. He turned around slowly. “What? You must be mistaken. Our people no longer allow that, and he’s never shown signs of vampirism before.”

“Look at the dried blood on my neck and my shirt. Is that a mistake? Look at the wound on my neck! He didn’t tell you that did he?” she asked.

He looked torn, conflicted. “No, he didn’t tell me that. I wasn’t aware he had committed a blood offense against you. That’s very different, but he’s my brother, and he’s always taken care of me. He loves me more than he loves anyone in the world, and I love him, and these murders have taken a toll on him. He really didn’t know for sure the murderer was Jennifer Cravens until tonight. He only suspected it, and he wasn’t even certain where he might find her. We’ll take care of her. She’ll be stopped, and he’ll be punished for his blood offense against you.”

He walked back over to her and leaned back down. He gave her a small smile and continued, “If he did hurt you, I know he’s sorry about it, and he’s going to punish himself more than I could ever punish him for it. Forgive him, Hermione. He’s not been himself. His mother and sister were killed, and his whole world is slipping through his fingers. I’m sorry he hurt you, and he’ll never do it again.” He gave her another weak smile, and then left, closing the door behind him.

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Draco reached the outskirts of the castle’s remains just as a large black bird flew overhead. He couldn’t believe it was a coincidence, it had to be Milo or Iver. He ran into what was once the castle’s Great Hall, down the stone steps, slipping once. He cut the side of his hand on a jagged stone. He stood back up, ran to the chamber, lit the torch by the doors, and placed his hand on the latch and opened the doors to walk inside the chamber to find Hermione.

He entered and closed the doors behind him. The muted sounds of sobs drifted toward him. If she were hurt, he would not hesitate to kill someone. She was sitting by the wall, huddled in a small ball, looking lost and forlorn. Even from this distance, he could see that she was racked with sobs. Her hands covered her face, muffling the sounds.

He looked around, noticed they were alone, and then he wondered if she had noticed that he had entered. He knelt beside her, and said her name in an attempt to comfort her. “Granger? Are you hurt? Are you okay?” It didn’t matter what her answer was, because he could see that she was certainly NOT okay. She lifted her face, lowered her hands and looked at him with eyes so dark, so deep, so round, so sad that his heart broke.

“You finally found me,” she said. “How did you find me? Did you finally feel that I needed you?”

“No, I didn’t feel a thing,” he said back. He felt stupid saying that, the moment it left his mouth. He reached for her arm, but she shrugged him away.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. She struggled to stand. He again tried to offer her some assistance, but she wouldn’t take his hand. However, she was too weak to stand on her own. She tumbled back to the ground.

“Hermione, let me help you,” he urged. He stretched his hands out toward her.

She grasped his injured hand and she touched the blood on the side of his hand with her fingers. She asked, “Why didn’t you feel me?” Her doe eyes stared daggers into his soul.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know,” he said. He withdrew his bloody hand from hers, wiped it on his shirt, and then added, “I’m here now. What happened? How did you get here?”

She shook her head, hung it again, covered her face with one hand and said, “Milo.” That was all she said. Just one word. Milo.

“Milo brought you here?” he asked back

She looked up at him and yelled, “YES, MILO BROUGHT ME HERE!”

“Okay, sweetheart,” he said. He didn’t know what else to say. “Let’s get back to the castle.”

“You didn’t feel me,” she repeated. “Why didn’t you feel me? Was it because Milo was successful?”

“For Merlin’s sakes, Granger!” he snapped. “I’m sorry! Maybe I couldn’t feel you in this chamber, but I guessed that you were here, and I’m here now. Doesn’t that count for something? I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I wish I had, but I didn’t. Why did Milo bring you here? What did you mean by Milo being successful?”

“He brought me here to make me his mate,” she said very softly.

“What?” He sincerely didn’t hear her. He knelt back down, reached over with one hand, and stroked her hair away from her face. He placed his wand from his hand in a jut on the floor, so that it could afford him light to see her better. He saw that her clothes were torn, and that there was blood on her face, near her lip. “What did you say, again? Why were you bleeding? Why are your clothes torn?”

“Milo brought me here to complete the three steps of mating,” she said just as softly as before.

Draco stood up. He grabbed his wand and held it so tightly that it almost snapped in two pieces. He then shined the light from the tip right at her face, as if he were interrogating a suspect. “What did he do?” She shook her head no. “TELL ME!” Draco demanded.

“NO!” she shouted back. He walked toward his right, to get a better look at her, and he saw the blood on the neckline of her blouse. He rushed to her, fell to his knees, grabbed her shoulders, and then pulled back the collar of her blouse. He saw two puncture wounds and dried blood.

“That bastard bit you?” Draco shouted.

She began to hit at his hands. He released her. He stayed on the ground by her and demanded, “What else did he do? He did the blood bonding, what else? Did he rape you, Hermione?”

If she said yes, he would kill him. He would. He would do it without any qualms, whatsoever. His head felt as if it would burst in two. He felt such a surge of emotions and pain that he felt overzealous, and overwhelmed. He realized that he was just now feeling her residual feelings, rebounding back toward him, combined with his own feelings, and together they were almost too much for him to handle. He closed his eyes for a moment, and struggled to remain on his feet. It was his nightmare, come true.

He opened his eyes, and said, “It’s alright, Hermione. I feel you now. I know what happened. You don’t have to tell me anything. It’s okay. You’ll be fine. You don’t have to brave anymore. Let me be brave for you.” He fell back to his knees, pulled her into his arms, and she went willingly.

His arms tightened, and she felt both happy and sad in his embrace. She gave up all pretenses, and gave into the strength and support he offered her. She felt his warm lips near her hairline. “It’s fine, it’s fine,” he repeated.

Her heart finally slowed from the full, battle, drum roll, to a fine, steady beat. Her breathing calmed from shallow breathes to a deep, luring, calmness. Her headache began to lift, and the pain that encompassed her entire body became nothing but a dull ache. Her vision, which was blurred before, was sharper, and her mind became clearer. She grasped his arms, and he rocked her steadily. He continued to say that he was sorry, that he could feel her now, and he would never leave her again.

She tilted her head toward his, his warmth and his essence filled her with calmness and peace. She placed her head against his shoulder and sighed. She looked once more into his steel grey eyes and she reached for his face, her fingertips skimmed the outline of his brows and nose. He caught her hand in his and kissed her fingertips gently.

Her spirit felt battered and bruised, but not broken, not when he was near. He kissed her hand again, on the outside, then her palm, then her wrist. Her heart felt as if it would take flight at each lovely sensation.

Inside, where he used to feel an empty, raw, numbness, he now only felt love for her, and the contrast of the before and after were almost too much for him to bear. He felt besieged by the newfound feelings, and he placed her gently on the floor, because he wanted to savor each new emotion, and he wanted to do this first by making love to her, right here, right now, right in this chamber. First, he passed his wand over her body, slowly, to heal any injuries, or any remnants of Milo’s indiscretion and mistreatment.

He stretched out beside her, her arms around his neck, and he kissed her face, all around, the light from the torches playing with the features of her face. He couldn't believe how beautiful she was, and that she was really his. She submitted to his passionate embrace…forgetting time, place, and what had occurred earlier. She lived in the moment. He did not have to bring her to this point in time, she came willingly. She had no care or concern right now except for the man beside her.

She loved everything about him. She loved the way he caressed and embraced her. She loved the way he gently undressed her, and placed his coat underneath her. She loved the way he placed a warming charm over her, and the careless smile that came to his face when she blushed as he took off his own clothing.

Suddenly, there was no time, or space, or danger from the outside world. There was no chaos, no murders, and no monsters. There was only love, pleasure, and desire. She gasped when his mouth found her breast and then her nipple, and he kissed, sucked, and pulled her into a mad, frenzy, want.

He palmed her breasts, and kissed down her stomach. She felt weightless, light, and devoid of dark thoughts. She was filled totally with him, wanting him, needing him, being one with him. He stroked down her stomach, his hand flat, to her hip and thigh.

She wanted him.

He kissed down her body...She wanted more.

He kissed and teased her breasts...She needed more.

He stroked between her legs, and entered her with his fingers, making her gasp, making her cry out, and still, it wasn’t enough. There was only awareness, and need, and want, but she still needed so much more. He kissed her mouth again, long and sweet and full of promise.

Then he moved inside her, stroked her fully, engulfed her, and she cried out, and begged for more. She needed more. He gave her more.

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