Time to End it

Scabior led her to a shabby looking hotel down at the end of Knockturn Alley. Walking past the man at the desk, who appeared to either be dead or sleeping, he reached back, grabbed her hand, and then led her down a long, narrow hallway to the end, where there was a locked door.

He touched his wand to the door and it opened for them. Just as he started to step aside for her to enter, there was a loud noise somewhere in the Inn, then raised voiced.

He pushed her roughly into the room. Once inside, Scabior pushed his entire body against hers, pressing her against the wall by the door. Moving so quickly that she didn't see him, or have time to examine how he did it, he had her hands in his, her wand on the floor by their feet, and her breath caught in her throat.

"What… what are you doing?" she asked, her voice catching with each breath.

"Can't be too careful, can we? You see, we were being followed; we were, so it reasons that the bloke following us might be here in the Inn. That loud noise we heard might have been him overtaking the clerk. He might be outside this door at this very moment, wand raised and at the ready."

"What rot," she murmured. A very loud noise, which sounded almost like an explosion, sounded somewhere close by, causing Hermione to yell in surprise.

Placing his hand over her mouth, he leaned in close and said, "I told you so. Keep quiet for a moment, won't you sweetness. Let's make sure there's no one about to storm into the room."

"I'd be of more help if you let me go. I can't even get to my wand this way," she said carefully, looking down at the floor where her wand was laying near her feet.

He smiled down at her. "If I let you go, I wouldn't be able to feel your soft body next to mine. I think I like things just as they are."

"Seriously…" she began.

"Yes love," he echoed, "Seriously." Then without warning or prelude, he placed his lips softly upon her for an all too swift kiss.

"I think the danger's gone," he said against her lips.

"I'm not so sure about that," she said in a whisper.

He smiled, but let her go, moving quickly over to the other side of the small room. The room had one window, one bed, a desk and a chair, a small wardrobe and that was all. It was neat, but mostly Spartan. Besides a couple of books on the desk and a small satchel with some clothing in it by the bed, there was nothing else in the room that would make it appear that anyone had been staying here for any amount of time.

"Is this your room?" she asked, although she already knew it had to be.

"Yes, this is where I've been staying. Nothing fancy, but it was close to you, and that's all that mattered," He moved to the desk, sat down, and held out his hand. "Come here, sweetness. I want to show you something."

"Could you not call me names like that?" she asked, coming closer. "I would prefer to keep this professional."

He laughed. "Oh, I can kiss you, can I, but I can't call you terms of endearment. How odd."

"I didn't say you can kiss me," she pouted.

"Yet when I did, you didn't protest, did you?" he argued.

"Now see here, Mr. Scabior, if you want me to help you, there will be no more kisses and no more 'terms of endearment' Do you understand?"

She no sooner made that statement when there was a loud commotion outside his door. She gasped once more; he stood from the desk, and pulled her up to his chest. Then he took several steps backwards, so that they were standing beside the wardrobe. If someone busted into the door, they wouldn't see them right away.

"What in the world is going on?" she said breathlessly. "I think I should leave. You need to let me go. Let me go now."

"You said you would help me," he said, his arms around her tight.

"I'll figure out something, but I don't want to be here," she continued.

"True, this is an unsavory place," he said, holding her tighter. "Hence the reason I'm protecting you with my own life, don't you know? By the way, while I have you here, perhaps we could start over, shall we?" he said, a bit more menacing than before. He still seemed calm, but Hermione could feel his heart beating – his chest against hers – her hands still in his, now behind her back. "I need to convince you to help me."

"Go on," was all she could say.

With her breasts pressed against him, he said, "I escaped from Azkaban two weeks ago. Call it an early release, without approval. I thought if I did that, the Ministry might place a rather large bounty on my head. As I already told you, they obliged nicely. I want that money, my girl. I want that money, I want what I deserve, and you're the person who will help me obtain it."

Releasing a modicum of pressure on her wrists, he moved their joined hands to his chest, but kept the rest of his body flushed against hers. He placed his mouth directly on her ear again. "I only want what belongs to me."

"And I'll help you, I will, somehow, but this is crazy! I can't help you from the confines of this room. I shouldn't have come here with you. Tell me how I can help you from here?" she asked, her voice catching deep in her throat, her breasts heaving against his chest, tears (which she refused to shed) burning the back of her eyes.

As quick as a cat, he moved their hands again so they were over her head, on the wall. Grasping both of her hands in only one of his, he held them high while he reached inside his dark leather duster for a piece of parchment. He kept it in his left hand as he released her hands with his right. Turning her around in his arms, smiling, irritating the hell out of her, he said, "Here, read this."

He shoved the piece of paper into her hands and finally stepped away.

Gazing down at the piece of parchment in her hand, she said, "It's a wanted poster. For you."

He leaned his head down to look in her eyes. "Do you think it's a good likeness? I frankly think I'm better looking in real life, but they've captured my essential good looks rather well."

She ignored his comment and went to sit at the desk. "Fifty thousand Galleons – that's a lot of money – for your return to Azkaban, where you'll finish the rest of your sentence." After reading the poster once more, she looked up at him, curiously, and said, "You only had three more months to serve! Why would you escape?"

His smile grew as he cocked his head to the side. Sitting on the desk, he looked down at her. "Well I could hardly collect the reward for my capture if I had waited to leave prison when my sentence was finished, could I?"

Placing the wanted poster face down on the desk by his leg, she said, "Where do I fall in to this scheme of yours?"

He shrugged, stood, and took two quick steps away from her, only to turn around on his booted heel. He bowed low to her, and then stood before announcing, "You've captured me darling girl, and in my very own room. How shrewed of you. Say a quick incarceration spell, then take me to the Ministry and collect the reward. Then, you're represent me at my hearing, because they WILL have a hearing, and you're defend me, get me a reprieve, and all will be well. And it won't hurt things when the Ministry finds out that I kept the Waller family from doing you harm. Chances are the Wallers are watching this hovel as we speak."

"What if I don't believe you? What if I incarcerate you, and then leave you to face your enemies on your own? Better yet, what if I decide to let your lying carcass rot in jail and not to give you the money?" she asked.

He laughed. "Oh, you'll turn the money over to me."

She sighed. "Why would I do that?"

"Here's how I reason it all," he started. "I worked very hard to capture you the last time, and it was all for naught. This time, you'll do all the work, I'll sit back on my lazy arse, and we'll all live happily ever after. I'm also actually doing a good deed for the first time in my life, for I swear I'm not lying to you about the threat to you, and I think you know that's the truth."

"Even if I do believe you, I still feel it's best to tell the Aurors and authorities about the threat," she leveled.

"And I'd go back to jail, where my life will be worthless. I won't have a sickle to my name. That's no good, darling. My plan is perfect, and you know it. Capture me, then lead me out of here, take me with you to the Ministry, get your reward, help me face my accusers, and then you can go back to doing whatever little do-gooders like you do, and I can go back to my life."

She barked out a laugh. "You mean you can go back to prison," she sneered. "I can almost promise you that they would force you to finish out your sentence, even if they didn't tack on more time for your escape."

He had the audacity to laugh at her. "No, sweetheart, you won't let that happen to me. Out of the goodness of your heart, you'll represent me at my hearing, convince them that I only escaped prison out of desperation, that I'm truly reformed, that I saved your life, and my sentence will be commuted. I mean, seriously love, what good is 50,000 Galleons to a bloke in prison?"

He approached her again, slowly, waiting for her reply.

"What good is 50,000 Galleons to a dead man?" she asked in return, her wand back in her hand, and pointing right at his chest.

That was when all hell broke loose.