raptureofthemoon: (tom whisper)
A little vignette.


"Delirium"



In delirium
Things are not what they seem
I am not alone
I dream

~"Delirium," Emilie Autumn


She always knew when she was dreaming. This time was no exception.

The sky was a shade of crimson she'd not seen since her parents had taken her on a trip to the Painted Desert. Red merged into silver merged into blue-black and the pinpricks of stars were growing brighter toward the apex of the sky.

She was barefoot.

She was always barefoot in her dreams, but nowadays the textures beneath her feet were much more prominent. She could feel the sharp tickle of the grass blades as she walked, the crumbling earth, the occasional jagged edge of rock or pebble unearthed from the soil. She could smell the rain dampened trees. Feel the ephemeral breeze that stroked her skin. And she could move herself along whatever path she chose, explore the shadowed corners of her ephemeral world at her choosing.

Lucid dreaming had been a practice she'd put time into for the last two years. Since the Department of Mysteries. Since the nightmares she'd found herself facing most every time she closed her eyes, nightmares that locked her down, froze her mind.

And if there was one thing Hermione Granger detested, it was not having her mind under her own control.

And so she spent many late hours in the depths of the Hogwarts library, researching sleep and dreams. A few complexly-simple charms and she found herself, if not able to prevent the nightmare, to at least wake herself up before screaming became necessary.

Tonight, she glanced behind her dream-self, saw the world drop off into a smoky abyss. Before her lay stone studded ground, a mesh of wrought-iron surrounding it, silhouettes of tombs rising out of long grasses like slivers of bone.

She felt it then, that tug in her belly, an invisible chord wrapped around her abdomen, pulling her toward whatever she was meant to see.

Time eclipsed, as it often did in dreams, and she found herself further along the sandy path and moving into the grass, toward a hulking shadow of a tomb.

Death in all his dark glory spread his angel's wings and held his scythe close to the tomb as though protecting against any who might draw too near, or guarding against that which might leave. She moved closer, ran her forefinger along the granite, traced the dagger sharp edge of the lettering that was so dark and shining it seemed to swim just above the stone.

Thomas Riddle

Witch mother, she thought, tracing the letters of the name, dead at his birth. Muggle father. Patricide.

Death, she thought, recalling a quote she once read, is terrifying because it is so ordinary. It happens all the time.

She flinched as long, cool fingers swept along her neck, drawing her hair back, gathering it at the nape.

What do you think, Hermione? came the voice over her shoulder, a mere whisper, chilling her skin.

"I think you traded one kind of ordinary for another," she said. "How uncommon is a serial killer who was abandoned as a child, bullied, abused? Really. There are myriad profiles for this sort of thing."

Silence followed. Then...

You've an answer for everything, don't you? Fingers curled hard into her collar bone, making her wince and she wondered if she'd ever be able to keep her mouth shut at appropriate moments. But that's alright, he continued, his breath was scalding her skin as he spoke, flowing down the line of her exposed neck. Just fine. Muggle science, he spat, and even magic theory can't even begin to ken the things that I do...

Rush of warm air and she felt his teeth close on her. Vicious bite into the oh-so-tender skin at the juncture of her neck and shoulder and she opened her mouth to cry out only to find his hand pressing tight to her lips. He pulled back, tongue laving over the wound he'd made; he blew air from his mouth making it sting. Warmth trickled down her skin, slipped between her breasts; she knew she was bleeding.

Go now, he said, wake, seek your answers. I'll be seeing you, soon.

The rest... )
raptureofthemoon: (tom whisper)
Title: On the Eve
Rating: G
Genre: AU
Summary: On the evening of battle, Hermione finds herself robbing a grave. More of a scene than a story, really.


The night had been full of shouts, screams, and the whip crack of hexes. Stars stained the sky chartreuse green. The silence, when she apparated to the cemetery, had descended on her like a shroud. And the normal night sounds seemed obscenely loud in the hush of the dead.

She had shrugged off her discomfort, followed the course that Harry had told her about, searching for the grave and for what lay beneath. If bone could restore, certainly bone could destroy, she had thought.

Tonight, her thoughts had, finally, proved right in the tests. And then the battle had fallen and she’d been forced from test to trial.

She was all focus, kneeling before the marble effigy of the Death Angel with its wings splayed to the night air, her mind on the spell that sifted six feet of dirt from bone. She tried to ignore the name standing out stark and oppressive on the tomb.

The earth parted and a moon-white sliver rose like a suddenly blooming flower. Slim and fragile. A finger bone, perhaps. She reached out to grasp it.

“Don’t kill her,” said a voice, offhandedly as one would remind a spouse to pick up a bag of crisps at the shop. She hadn’t heard them coming. No crack of apparation or a footfall. She slid her hand to her hip where her wand sheath sat snug. Too late. Violet light ricocheted off the scythe, blinding her.

She fell back among the grasses, chest aching, swallowing lungfuls of moist air in a panic as she tried to wrest her wand away from the hand that had appeared and wrenched her shoulder as it pulled her from the ground and disarmed her.

Wand light glinted silver off the curve of the Death Eater’s mask as he let her fall once more.

The sight wasn’t unexpected. What was unexpected, and what sent her shuffling uselessly against the ground, her aching limbs refusing to cooperate, was the movement behind the Death Eater. The pale, cold face coming into view as the half moon drew out from behind a cloud.

She’d never seen him before but she knew the face.

Ginny, while reluctant to talk to most about the time she spent with Riddle, had confided in Hermione one night in Hermione’s sixth year, after a particularly vicious nightmare had woken them both.

Over bowls of ice cream gifted from the elves in the kitchen, Ginny had told her about the boy with the black hair and the night in his eyes. A boy, Ginny had thought at first, who looked a bit like Harry, before she observed the coldness of his gaze, the lush and sometimes malevolent impiety in his movements.

Hermione had thought of the marble visage of the angels, blessed and fallen, she’d seen in her books the summer she spent attending an art class, the angles of their faces, the baby smooth curve of a cheek, the ancient knowledge in their stone eyes.

Back then, she had mentally placed black and blue on marble and thought it to life.

Now that marble was gliding toward her and the corners of his sinner’s mouth were turned up in a winsome smile.

“Miss…Granger, isn’t it? Hermione. I’ve heard tell you are the cleverest witch of your age.” He stopped in front of her. His gaze was heavy and it made her skin twitch. She stared at his shoes, black and half lost in the night shaded grass but for the shine. “But, I have to ask myself ‘What, might this clever witch be doing so far from home, so far from her falling comrades, and prostrating herself at the grave of my ancestors…”

She won’t answer. That’s to say, she can’t answer. Her lungs feel scorched and her throat is tight and she’s having trouble keeping the world in focus. When she blinks she sees two Riddle gravestones, half a Death Eater, and one and one half Dark Lords turned young again.

“No answer?” he asks. “Pity. We’ll have to do this another way.”

And with that there are arms around her, hands balancing her against a body, her feet are off the ground and then she is sitting on cold stone and there’s warmth at her back that keeps the chill at bay and she knows she’s cradled half in his lap. When she pries open her eyes she can see the dagger sharp edges of the letters that make up his name swimming in and out of focus behind his head.

He tilts her chin up with two fingers. His hands are softer than they have any right to be.

She can see the stars in his eyes, silver and white on blue and she wonders for a moment how it’s possible to be falling toward the sky; oxygen seems scarce and she can’t quite feel her limbs.

Then Riddle smiles, and she can breathe again.

“Clever girl, indeed.” His voice is an imitation of the night wind and she shivers. “I think we may have to see what other tricks this clever girl has up her sleeve.”

In a matter of moments the cemetery is empty of life once more.

On the ledge of the Riddle grave sits a fragile white bone crossed with impeccably polished vine wood that bears a dragon heart string at its core.

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dreaming through the noise

September 2015

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