A/N: Okay, so there was an anon request on tumblr for D/s, and that person left the choosing of my victims up to me. Bless their anonymous little heart. I asked my Falcons for help and Nexie said 'Hey, what about that Lestrange/Hermione story you had?'
So I had a whole huge premise etc. for a big story that I never actually finished or posted anywhere. I guess you could consider this a peek into their dynamic... um... slice of life?
Also, the working title of this one was 'Hermione and her giant Death Eating puppies of DOOM'.
"Sit still," Hermione said.
"Sorry, Mistress," Rabastan murmured.
Hermione sighed heavily. "I've asked you not to call me that," she reminded him.
Rabastan froze under her hands, his body tensed as he waited. Hermione sighed again.
"I'm not going to punish you for calling me Mistress," she said in a quiet, calm voice.
Neither of the Lestrange brothers took being yelled at well. Rabastan tended to shake and Rodolphus just shut down and waited for the pain to begin.
"It is... difficult for us to say your name," Rodolphus offered from the couch that Hermione had told them was theirs.
It had been disconcerting to have them seated at her feet like dogs, but they had stared at her blankly when she asked them to sit in chairs or on the settee in the living room. They managed to reach a tentative agreement only when she proclaimed certain things as belonging to them, and then made a show of not sitting in those seats.
"I don't understand, but I am trying," Hermione replied. "I just... it feels wrong."
"It feels wrong, to Bas, to not call you Mistress," Rodolphus pointed out.
"Right," Hermione muttered half to herself.
Silently, Rabastan held out the hairbrush. Hermione took it from him and began to brush his hair. Both of the Lestrange brothers had hair that Hermione envied. Thick, silky strands of blue-black slid between her hand and the brush. As Hermione brushed out his hair, Rabastan relaxed against her knee; it was a display of trust that never failed to humble Hermione. He leaned into each stroke of the brush.
"There," Hermione announced some time later. "All done."
"Thank you, Mistress," Rabastan said with a happy relaxed smile. He froze and stared at her with wide eyes when he realized what he had said.
"It's fine," Hermione said gently. She patted him on the shoulder. "Go read your book. Rodolphus, it's your turn."
Carefully, Rabastan got up off the floor and walked over to the bookcases that covered most of the wall in the living room. He selected a book and then walked over to couch where he sat with a stiff formality that hurt Hermione to watch. At the same time, Rodolphus had gotten up from the couch, walked over to her, and then dropped gracefully to kneel at her feet. The dichotomy between the stiff, careful sitting and the relaxed graceful kneeling never failed to set Hermione's teeth on edge.
It bothered her that Rabastan and Rodolphus were happier and more relaxed when they were able to kneel at her feet. It bothered her even more that she made them sit in a way they found uncomfortable so that she could feel more comfortable. She sighed and picked up the brush again. Rodolphus put his hand on hers and turned so that he could look up at her.
"We make you unhappy," he observed with a frown.
"Well, I make you unhappy so I guess it's a fair deal," Hermione retorted.
Rodolphus' frown grew darker. "You do not make us unhappy," he countered in an even voice. It was his 'I am not directly challenging you in any way, Mistress, but you're wrong' voice.
"I make you wear clothes and sit in the chairs," Hermione pointed out.
Rodolphus shook his head. "You also allow us to bathe every day, wear clothes, and eat regular meals."
"I just wonder if you wouldn't be happier somewhere else." Hermione spoke slowly, choosing her words with care. "Maybe there is someone who is able to be the sort of... of Mistress that you need."
Rodolphus immediately turned to Rabastan who was staring at Hermione blankly. His face had drained of colour and his hands were shaking. Rodolphus turned back to Hermione and he scowled.
"You are our Mistress."
"Yes... but, what if I'm doing it wrong?" Hermione bit her lip. "I don't know how this works. So far I've basically tried to do the exact opposite of anything Bellatrix did."
Rabastan and Rodolphus stared at her.
"You think that you're a bad Mistress?" Rabastan asked incredulously. He turned to Rodolphus. "Dolph... tell her."
"It is... not polite," Rodolphus muttered. Then he sighed and rubbed at his left temple absently. "We like you. As our Mistress, I mean. You care and you try so hard. We... appreciate that."
"But I make so many mistakes," Hermione protested.
"When you make mistakes, you listen," Rodolphus countered. "You learn what went wrong and you never repeat them."
"And you take the time to make us feel safe," Rabastan added softly. "You yelled at the St. Mungo's healers for not taking care of us."
"Of course I did," Hermione replied indignation at the memory rising within her. "You could have been permanently injured!"
"That is what makes you a good Mistress," Rodolphus said. Then he handed her the brush and turned around so that he could settle back into his kneel.
That was that. Rodolphus considered the matter settled. Now it was time for Hermione to do more important things—like brush out his hair. As the brush slid through his hair, Rodolphus allowed himself to relax against her knee the way Rabastan did. He had never done that before. Instead he had always held himself perfectly still. She bit her lip and continued to brush out his hair, carefully working out the tangles.
"There," she said at last. "All done."
"Thank you, Mistress," Rodolphus murmured. He stilled and turned to look up at her.
"You're welcome, Rodolphus," she replied and patted his shoulder. "You can both amuse yourselves for the next hour or so. I've got some correspondence to catch up on."
"Yes Mistress," they chorused.
Hermione hurried from the room.
A/N: Wow. I can't believe February is over. Thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, or made special requests. You guys kept this thing going and kept me on track. I love you guys!