AN: This story was written for the Quidditch League Fanfiction competition. My prompt as Seeker was to incorporate the phrase, "It was just easier to accept."


Draco entered his parents' bedroom, careful to avoid stepping on any of the broken glass. The Aurors had left a bit ago, and now it was up to Draco to clean up the mess. He had called for a house-elf to deal with such a domestic task, but none would answer him; none were left alive to answer.

What in Merlin's name happened here? Draco wondered, shifting sideways along the wall. The center of the room was a mess; the ceiling had caved in, coating everything in a fine layer of dust that was only disturbed where the Aurors had stepped. Blood was conspicuous by its total absence; not a drop had been spilled, even though both of his parents had wounds to their necks.

Snorting, Draco immediately discounted the Aurors first thought: Vampires. His parents' neck wounds didn't look like vampire bites, and the entire Manor had been spelled against such monstrosities. Those who were adept at the Dark Arts learned the anti-Vampire wards first. It was just easier to accept that such creatures existed and guard against them rather than die in pursuit of their extermination; those most knowledgeable about the Dark Arts were usually Slytherins, and Slytherins weren't famous for their self-sacrifice.

The Aurors had been less than helpful. A cursory once-over and the proclamation that the second-most notorious Death Eater of all time was dead was the extent of their effort. Draco lifted a large sliver of wood with his leather boot and snarled, kicking the shard onto what was left of the bed. What a fucking mess.

Raising his wand, Draco took in the rest of the room before drawing a complex rune in the air. "Reparo Maxima!" In barely a second, almost everything was put to rights. Almost.

Buried under the rubble, two words were burned into the carpet on the floor: For Lily

Draco hissed. "Goddamn you, Granger."

He Apparated directly to Spinner's End.


Hermione was just sitting down to tea when her front door blew open and a furious blond man stormed into her living room.

"You've gone too far, Granger! My parents are dead!" His voice cracked on the last word, belying how close he was to tears.

She sipped her tea and smiled sweetly, chilling Draco to the bone; his Aunt Bellatrix had been tainted by every person she had killed, but Hermione practically glowed. "Draco, that's marvelous!" She grabbed a notebook and pen that were on a table beside her chair. "Test was a success," she spoke as she wrote. "The spell's range appears to be unlimited."

Draco slapped the notebook and pen out of her hands. "Did you fucking hear what I said? My parents are dead! You murdered them, Granger!"

Seemingly oblivious to his rage, Hermione picked up the pen and notebook, finding her place as she continued taking notes. "Time of day appears not to be a factor, nor do wards." She flipped through the notebook to a different page. "Spell affected parents of one of our partners; may have to reevaluate his standing within the enterprise."

Draco had had enough. He drew his wand and flung the only spell he could remember while in such a rage. "Avada Kedavra!"

Green light enveloped Hermione and then dissipated into her stomach, but she did not die or even lose consciousness; instead, she stared at Draco, shaking her head in disapproval. "Did you really think that you could kill me?" Hermione opened her hand and offered it to Draco. "For Lily."

Droplets of black liquid flew from her eyes, nose, and mouth. They enveloped Draco before he could dodge, covering his face in ebony death. He parted his lips to scream but only emitted a wet gurgle; the droplets converged on his mouth and forced their way inside. His neck bulged and then exploded outward, the black droplets absorbing all of the blood as it left his body.

The droplets flew back into Hermione's mouth as Draco's lifeless body fell to the floor. She swallowed every drop of fluid, her lower abdomen swelling with the power of Death.

"Finally," Hermione whispered, gently caressing the swollen, cramping bulge. "Come back to us, Severus." She keened as her uterus bore down hard with a strong contraction. "Return to me." She removed her clothing, carelessly piling it on the floor near Draco's cooling form.

Her labor was hard; screaming in pain, she spread her legs and bent her knees, pushing with the additional leverage. With one last high-pitched wail, she birthed a writing mass of darkness; a creature seemingly made of living ink.

The blob made to suckle at her breast, but Hermione gently nudged it towards the body on the floor. "No, love, not to me. Eat this one last death so that you may be free."

The blob turned to Draco and hesitated. It let loose a wet cry of distress, and Hermione soothed it with soft caresses that left dark stains on her fingers. "He was the last of the Death Eaters, Severus. You know it had to be done," she crooned softly to the wet form. "Now enter Draco's form and seal the breach." When the blob tried to back away, Hermione's voice lost its soft tone. "Will you really risk the unmaking of reality for the sake of one body?"

Whining piteously, the dark creature oozed to Draco's open mouth and poured itself inside. Almost instantly the body began breathing and transforming, taking in heaving gulps of air as it accommodated the dark creature's DNA.

Hermione cleaned and healed the damage caused by the birth before redressing. She was fighting a particularly stubborn button when she heard his voice for the first time since the battle.

"I assume we were successful?"

Unspeakable Hermione Snape smiled at Unspeakable Severus Snape. "Yes, my love, they are gone." She kissed her husband and hugged him tightly. "You were also right about your reaction to Draco, should he have been the last one. You very nearly didn't want to go." She hugged him tighter. "I had to manipulate you in a rather cruel way, and I am sorry for it."

Severus Snape drew in a breath through his large nose, savoring the scent of his wife. "There has been enough death for Lily."

Hermione pulled back and stared into her husband's dark eyes. "Yes, enough death for Lily. Now, life for Hermione."

"For Hermione." The dark wizard pulled her tightly to him once more.