Chapter Ten

Being with Thorfinn was easy. After being alone for so long and trying not to be scared out of her wits, there was a comfort to being with him even if Hermione knew it was wrong. She was only using him to stay alive long enough to figure out how she was going to make her escape. It was entirely possible that Thorfinn was her only chance to ever escape her captivity alive. Keeping him on her side, even if it meant manipulating his feelings and seducing his body was critical. He was the only person who could hope to keep Dolohov from murdering her painfully.

There were some delightful advantages to using Thorfinn, she'd been able to discover. The wizard knew his way around a witch's body. While her experiences hadn't been terribly extensive, she was getting quite the education inside the Shrieking Shack. Despite only being out of St. Mungo's for mere hours, his stamina and strength was impressive. Determined to make up for lost time, they were awake well into the early morning hours.

Taken in positions she never would've imagined would feel so good or make her scream so loud, her body was exhausted. A pleasant ache she'd read about but never had the opportunity to experience for herself settled into nearly every muscle she possessed. All previous encounters before that night were usually rushed, hurried moments. She learned the valuable lesson that there was a big difference when a skilled lover was able to take his time.

"I could keep going for hours. You are an addiction, Princess."

They collapsed in a messy tangle of bare limbs. No longer active with their minds on other pleasures, they both realized how cold the room had gotten while they were otherwise engaged. Thorfinn pulled the top sheet and heavy blankets over them seconds after reigniting the fire with a spell. The room was almost cozy. When she felt him wrap his arms around her from behind Hermione could imagine for a few moments that she chose to be there and he was the wizard she wanted. Unfortunately, reality had an uncomfortable way of seeping back into her thoughts.

"You only say that because you were stuck in a hospital bed for weeks."

He chuckled as he gently tightened his grip on her. Following all that they had done, the embrace felt more intimate than it had been before. She wasn't sure she liked it at all. It was taking all of her self-control not to push him away and scream at him to leave her alone. All of the progress she made cementing his loyalty to her could potentially be lost if she didn't handle the immediate aftermath just right.

"Maybe a little is because I was stuck in hospital. Not all. You feel amazing. I want to keep going."

Her laugh was even genuine. Not everything had to be faked with Thorfinn. No, over and over again that night she didn't have to pretend at all.

"You might but I'm exhausted. I want to go to sleep."

"Fine. We sleep, but I should warn you that my favorite is morning sex."

"Of course it is. Go to sleep them. Maybe I'll be interested when we wake up."

The way he brushed his lips against her head made her cringe inwardly. Able to thankfully keep her thoughts to herself, she didn't think he noticed how little she cared for that tiny show of affection. If she received it from anyone else, she might have liked it. From him it just felt wrong.

Would Kingsley understand if he knew what she was doing? Thinking about him never failed to make her sad. She wished more than anything to make him proud. His opinion meant more to her than anyone else's. If he threw open the door in that second, would he be glad that she was devious and used the weapons she had available or would he be disgusted?

A tear rolled down her cheek that she hastily wiped off. If Thorfinn knew she was crying, it could be a disaster. She didn't exactly regret what just happened. It had been quite a lot of fun after all. She just resented that it was necessary. If the war never happened and they met in Hogsmeade again, she would've probably taken him up on his filthy offer and she would've enjoyed every second. Doing it just to manipulate his feelings made her feel gross.

Thorfinn's heavy breathing behind her put her at ease again. If he was asleep, it wasn't possible that he saw her tears. Carefully wiping them away so she wouldn't accidentally jostle him awake, she was able to relax enough to fall asleep too.

She wasn't sure why she thought he might have been joking about liking morning sex. Maybe because it was difficult to take him seriously. Even when he was, he still had a tendency to joke around and laugh too much. Waking up to the feel of Thorfinn's lips on her neck and his hand moving up and down her bare side, she had to laugh. The man was insatiable.

"You cannot be serious. You're still recovering from your injuries."

Thorfinn's laughter usually could draw at least a smile out of her. If circumstances were different, they could've had a fun relationship with lots of laughs. But the idiot chose to be a Death Eater. That wasn't easily overlooked. It couldn't be overlooked.

"I promise you, Princess, I'm well enough for what I want to do."

When he moved his massive body to hover over hers, she pushed him away with another laugh. Covering her mouth with her hand, she turned her face to the mattress.

"Stop. I haven't even brushed my teeth yet."

"Oh, is that what's bothering you?"

It was easy to forget how strong the brute was. Hardly any effort was needed for him to pick her up entirely and flip her on the bed. In just a heartbeat she went from having her head on her pillow to her face hitting the foot of the bed. Completely exposed to his gaze, she heard him groan in appreciation. There hadn't been much light the night before other than the flames from the fireplace. Some of the morning sunlight shone through the cracks in the boards covering the windows. His hands gently pulled her legs up onto her knees. She couldn't breathe anticipating what was about to happen next.

"Fine. We don't have to be face to face."

He moved his large hands to her hips. One finger slid through her folds, checking to see if she was ready for yet another round. Chuckling when he discovered that she was already wet with hardly any effort, he guided his hard cock straight inside her waiting body with a single hard thrust. Hermione cried out, loving the way she felt so full even if she hated herself for thinking so. Thorfinn held himself completely still inside her for a few seconds, long enough to drive her mad enough to rock her hips backward involuntarily. Her body had a mind of its own.

No further encouragement was needed. With both of his hands back on her hips, Thorfinn slammed into her at a punishing pace. They were both so ready there was no need to take their time. Unused to how good that position could feel, she had to grab fistfuls of the blankets to ground herself. It was intense. He hadn't been exaggerating that morning sex was his favorite. It also seemed to be his expertise. Over and over he pounded hard into her, drawing out delightful moans that only encouraged him to go harder. She wasn't sure she was going to survive the experience.

There was a mirror across the room that was placed in the perfect position that the two on the bed had a view of everything they were doing. Thorfinn pulled her hair enough to force her head up to look. Mesmerized by watching him behind her, she couldn't help but stare. Was it going to feel that amazing every time? She only thought the previous night had been good.

Something at the door caught her attention. Looking away from the mirror she tried to figure out what she saw. It was difficult to keep up any sort of concentration for very long with the wizard doing his best to keep her incoherent and screaming. But something didn't sit right in her stomach. A flash of movement at the keyhole made her gasp. Thinking that he had hit a particularly sensitive spot, Thorfinn tried to make her do it again.

"Thorfinn, stop."

So lost was he in what he was doing, he didn't hear her whisper. It took her raising her voice and reaching behind her to slap his arm to finally get his attention enough to stop moving while still remaining tucked firmly inside of her.

"There's someone out in the corridor. I just saw them move past the keyhole."

Not worried by what she just announced, Thorfinn only laughed and resumed his thrusts. She stared at the keyhole waiting to see more movement until she had to close her eyes and groan.

"Probably just Grandpa wanking on the other side of the door wishing he was me."

He didn't care if they had an audience. If anything, he seemed to like the attention. She didn't like the thought of Dolohov being on the other side of the door watching what was happening inside. What if Dolohov thought that meant he was free to do the same to her? She was using Thorfinn, but if Dolohov was involved, he would be using her.

"What if it's not him?"

"Then we're giving Malfoy an education. You can't tell me that brat knows what to do alone with a woman."

The thought of Draco being on the other side of the door was less terrifying than Dolohov, but it still felt wrong. She didn't want anyone watching them, especially when she didn't know who it was. Slapping his hand again, she made him stop. Knowing they wouldn't be able to keep going until he satisfied her curiosity, Thorfinn got up from the bed. Annoyed and rolling his eyes like a petulant child, he crossed the room to open the door.

There was no one on the other side. He poked his head out to see if he could catch a glimpse of someone running away. Either they left before he got off the bed or she was mistaken about someone being there. Sometimes light from the rising sun could play tricks on their eyes. It was a plausible explanation, but it didn't satisfy her fears. She had to trust her intuition. Thorfinn used a spell to plug up the keyhole so it couldn't be looked through on either side of the door. It only sort of helped calm her down.

"Now, neither one of us has come yet and that's just a horrible way to start the morning."

His playful, yet predatory grin encouraged her to invite him back onto the bed. Soon he was able to distract her again from the thought that they had some creep standing outside the room watching them. Truthfully, it hadn't taken much effort. It had been rather frustrating to get so worked up first thing in the morning with no resolution. Once Thorfinn set his mind to making both of them come, it didn't take long.

Moments after he ripped another scream out of her that left her throat feeling raw, the wizard followed behind. They both lay back on their pillows to catch their breath. Able to see him fully in the light of the morning, Hermione noticed the nasty red scar on the shoulder of his wand arm. The wound was worse than she realized, nearly cutting his arm off completely. Without thinking much about what he might think, she lightly traced the scar with her fingertips.

"I suppose I should apologize for this."

For a couple of seconds he seemed confused. His brow furrowed. Realizing what she was confessing to, he burst out in his familiar loud laughter. She felt a little calmer. At least it didn't seem like he was about to punish her for hurting him so badly in battle.

"That was you? I should've known after I saw all the little Potters that you were one of them."

"I didn't want to kill you, but I needed you to stop throwing all of those curses at me. Even with your terrible aim one of them was bound to hit me."

He chuckled.

"Cheeky little witch."

Silence invaded the room that wasn't exactly comfortable. Neither of them wanted to bring up the fact that they were on separate sides of the same war. If, no when, she eventually escaped her captivity, Hermione would go back to fighting him. She couldn't let herself feel guilty for survival. Almost as if he could read her mind, a frightening possibility she hadn't considered yet until that moment, Thorfinn reached across the bed to brush a lock of hair off her face.

"I'll figure out a way to get you out of here. I promise. Even if I have to kill both Malfoy and Grandpa to do so. I'll get you out and take you somewhere safer."

It really did mean a lot to her that he was willing to put himself in potential jeopardy just for her well-being. Had he convinced himself yet that he was in love with her? That was a step she wasn't sure she was ready to push him to yet, but if it was necessary, she would. Deciding to forget for a moment that she was just using him, she pressed her lips against his and pretended what was happening was all real. The kiss was very tender and sweet. His arms wrapped around her back, easily pulling her across his body.

The door to the bedroom opened without any warning. A gasp of surprise from the intruder alerted the two on the bed to his presence. Horrified to see Draco staring at her completely naked on top of Thorfinn, Hermione pulled the blankets over them both, hiding her head underneath them as she did so.

"Turn around, Malfoy!"

The younger wizard had a healthy fear of Thorfinn. Doing as he was ordered, Draco dropped the basket of food he brought on the table and ran out of the room as quickly as he could. Only when she was assured they were alone again would Hermione dare to pull the blankets off of her head.

She was mortified. It was one thing to do what she did and quite another to have Draco see it. Based on how startled he was to find them naked, he wasn't the one watching from the keyhole. That thought made her even more nervous about the voyeur she knew had been outside. She could've accepted Draco. It would've been awkward, but the alternatives much worse.

A sharp hiss and then a heavy sigh from Thorfinn further ruined their morning. Never wanting to leave his master waiting long, he jumped up from the bed to immediately get dressed. Before he rushed out of the bedroom, he promised that he would come back to her as soon as he could. Experience taught her not to get her hopes up. The last time he made that promise he ended up spending weeks in a hospital bed fighting for his life. There were no guarantees every time he left that room after being summoned by Voldemort.

Being alone again unnerved Hermione, especially since she still had the mystery of who was watching them hanging over her head. Unable to stay in the bed a second longer, she got up to take a long shower. The evidence of the night before needed to be washed away and the hot water helped to warm her up. A chill settled in her ever since she woke up that morning that she couldn't shake.

When she stepped out of the bathroom fully dressed, she wasn't surprised to see Dolohov sitting in the chair staring at the bathroom door. Somehow she even suspected he might show up sooner rather than later. She sighed, not in the mood to deal with him. He was exhausting and she didn't have the energy. As she crossed the room to start making up the messed up bed, he made a dramatic sniff of the air.

"It stinks of sex in here. I take it you've seen the overgrown child?"

Feeling extra punchy, she didn't even try to censor her words.

"You should know. You were watching through the keyhole."

Dolohov smirked, evidently finding their conversation much more enjoyable than she did. If she was half-insane, she might feel the same way too.

"If I wanted to watch, this chair is much more comfortable and provides a better view than the tiny keyhole. I would just enter the room if I wanted. No, if you think someone was peeking at the keyhole, I'd put a galleon on it being Little Malfoy."

Hermione didn't think he was lying. How she knew that she wasn't sure, just that she did. If it wasn't him and it wasn't Draco, who could it have been? She knew there was someone out there. Did someone else know she'd been kidnapped? That could either be very good or very, very bad. If the wrong person knew, she could be dragged off to Azkaban or worse to Voldemort. All she'd done with Thorfinn would've been for nothing.

"Are you angry with me for not telling you he was going to survive?"

How could she answer that properly? She wasn't sure. It required a delicate response. If she said the wrong thing any tiny bit of progress she might have made could be lost. She chose to act almost bored by the question.

"I'm sure you had your reasons. It doesn't matter."

He smirked again, making her heart pound even harder against her chest. Was she convincing? She almost wished she could read his mind. A split-second decision was made to try to make a little more progress getting the dangerous wizard on her side. He seemed to be the sort that liked honesty, especially when it was difficult.

"I won't lie to you that I'm glad Thorfinn is alive because he seems to be the only barrier keeping you from murdering me."

Dolohov gave a slight shrug of his shoulders. There was no need for him to confirm. She knew she was right.

"But, now that he's going to live I can see the humor in what happened to him. You said Ron Weasley levitated a tree trunk on his head?"

He nodded. A real chuckle she didn't even have to fake came out of her mouth. If she wasn't mistaken, the wizard looked as if he wanted to smile but was keeping himself from doing it.

"When I was a first year, the Defense professor set a mountain troll loose in the castle. I didn't know that because I was in the lavatory. Not until the troll came inside the room with me. I was sure I was going to die, but Ron levitated the troll's club over his head to knock him out. We didn't know many spells but it worked."

Never would she get used to hearing the sound of Dolohov's amused chuckles. They just sounded wrong. She tried to act as if his laughter didn't scare her.

"Interesting similarities between the two events. I've wondered more than once if the overgrown child had troll blood somewhere in his ancestry. I knew his mother at Hogwarts."

His dramatic grimace might have made her laugh under different circumstances.

"Not the most attractive of witches. I think her father's vault was large enough to make up for that when it came time to find her a husband."

Hermione bit her lip to keep from actually laughing out loud. Was Dolohov really making a joke? Or was Thorfinn's mother really that unattractive? If so, she was pleased that he clearly took after his father. Deciding that he had wasted enough time in her presence, Dolohov stood abruptly to his feet.

"If you want to let a half-troll crawl between your thighs, that's none of my business, but don't think I actually want to watch it."

He left her alone in her prison cell even more confused than when he entered. Would she ever understand anything about the frustrating wizard? Or was it best that she not even try?

Thorfinn wasn't able to return that night. All through the long, cold hours shivering in the bed alone, she tried not to worry. Until she was able to find a way out of the Shrieking Shack, she wouldn't be comfortable without the burly wizard present.

Despite tossing and turning for most of the night, eventually she was able to fall asleep. A loud knock on the bedroom door woke her up sometime mid-morning. No one had ever bothered to knock before. Suspecting she might know who would, Hermione rolled her eyes.

"You can come in, Draco. I'm alone."

Immediately the door opened to confirm her suspicion. As he entered the room he seemed so uncomfortable she almost laughed. He went straight to the table where the basket of food he brought every few days was sitting.

"I forgot to pick up the empty basket when I was here yesterday."

"Sorry about that. It just sort of happened."

To her astonishment, he was daring enough to turn around to actually meet her eyes. She thought he would never be able to look at her again after seeing her naked.

"It's none of my business, but for what it's wroth, I understand."

Hermione sighed.

"So you're not judging me?"

Why it was so important to her to know that he didn't judge her, she didn't know. Draco shook his head.

"No. Rowle can offer you protection. There's no shame in that. I'll just make sure I knock before I enter from now on. Rowle's pale arse nearly blinded me. Couldn't see properly for hours afterward."

A bubble of laughter coming out of her surprised Hermione.

"Are you making a joke, Draco Malfoy?"

"I suppose I am."

He offered her a half-smile before picking up the empty basket and making his exit. There was a big part of her that wanted to run after him, beg him to release her from the room. If she kept track of time closely enough, she thought Hogwarts was back in session. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be back inside the castle like nothing was strange or out of the ordinary?

With nothing else to do once the bed was made, she laid back on top of the mattress. Daydreams about being back in school flooded her brain. What she wouldn't give to be able to just go to a lesson without fear. Even if she was able to get inside and attend classes, it would never be like it was before Dumbledore was murdered by Professor Snape, but it was nice to imagine.

A noise in the corridor startled her out of her thoughts. It had been a long time since Draco left her alone, at least a quarter of an hour. She hoped it was Thorfinn returning after his long absence, but feared it was Dolohov coming back just to be creepy and unnerve her some more. Whoever it was didn't immediately reach for the doorknob to announce their presence. That was strange.

Once again she saw movement at the keyhole. Thorfinn's spell to plug it up either wore off or was removed. Convinced she wasn't insane and curious to know what was happening, she jumped off the bed and ran to look through it herself. All she was able to see was a flash of dark fabric before thick smoke filled the keyhole. She had to turn away to cough. When the rest of the smoke finally cleared, she could see no one in the corridor. They were gone.

Author's Note: Who do YOU think is peeping in the keyhole? ;)