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Hermione tried to calm her breath. She had run all the way across the manor to reach the library as quickly as possible. During the time she took to dress up in whatever costume this was supposed to be, she had decided the library was the ideal hiding spot. Not only did she love books, but it also had only one entrance, many little nooks to hide it and, which was the best thing about it, a gallery stretching around the whole room. If she went up the stairs and then sat down on the floor, she should be able to see anyone coming inside. As there were two different stairs leading up, she would always have enough time to escape if someone actually looked for her up here. The moon shone through a window next to her, but not quite bright enough for her to be able to read.

When her heart finally calmed down and her breath normalised, Hermione started to think. What did she actually want tonight? Lucius had been honest when he told her she would like the men he invited. Antonin Dolohov had been a bit of a surprise, but then again he was one of the closer friends of Malfoy. She didn't actually fear the man any longer, but there was something in his behaviour that made her nervous. He always seemed to hold back with her. As if he was hiding something.

Thorfinn on the other hand had been a delightful surprise. She got to know him during one of her visits to Lucius in Azkaban. He had made fun of her, but it was good natured. With his huge body that seemed to consist only of muscle, his wide grin that sometimes reminded her of Ron, and with his ability to put her at ease she had quickly come to like him. Just like Draco, Thorfinn seemed to have joined the Death Eaters without actually realising what he was getting himself into. Only when he and Antonin Dolohov had tried to capture her in that random restaurant she, Harry, and Ron had escaped to after the wedding, he got to experience war first hand. She herself had stunned him and Harry told her that afterwards Voldemort had forced Draco to torture him for the mistake. Hermione was rather sure that at that point, Thorfinn began to loathe being a Death Eater.

There was something about Rowle, though. Perhaps it was because he reminded her of the Norse god Thor, not just because of the similar name, but because he was as tall and well-built and blond. Whatever it was, she felt a certain attraction to him. Sexual attraction. Perhaps it was because she was rather small and he made her feel even smaller? She couldn't find a rational answer, but she felt it. Whenever they met, she felt the pull towards him. If he found her tonight, she would let him do whatever he wanted. Just thinking about getting cornered by him, captured in his big, strong arms, pinned against a book shelf or down on a table … Hermione shivered in anticipation.

Then there was Rabastan Lestrange, the brother of Rodolphus, who for some reason or another was married to Bellatrix Lestrange. From what Hermione heard, Rabastan had spent many years in Azkaban. He was fifteen years older, but still a handsome young man that somehow always reminded her of a trickster or rogue. His lean figure, his dishevelled looks, the way he took nothing and nobody serious never failed to put a smile on her face. He had a loose mouth, which she had often enough been on the receiving end of. He loved to make her blush with his naughty comments and titillating smiles. Sometimes Hermione wondered whether he was all talk, no action. Perhaps tonight she would finally find out whether the promise his smiles held would ever be fulfilled.

"I can see you up there, Granger!"

Hermione stopped dead. There went her plan, right out the window. She had been so lost in her thoughts that she had not watched the door as closely as she should have. Standing, she looked down the gallery to the entrance. Hidden in the shadows, she could make out the figure of a rather tall man. She knew who it was just from his voice, though: "Why alert me to your presence, Dolohov? You could have sneaked up on me, it seems."

He stepped forward into the moonlight: "I felt uncomfortable sneaking up on you."

Hermione made a step forward, too, so she could lean on the balustrade: "Why is that?"

Dolohov shrugged in obvious annoyance: "Do you really have to ask that?"

Suddenly she wondered whether his attempt at her life had made a bigger impression on him than on herself. Lowering her voice, she asked solemnly: "Do you regret what happened back at the ministry?"

He didn't answer immediately. Instead, Dolohov went slowly up the stairs, giving her time to escape, if she chose to. When he reached the top, he stilled, not stepping any nearer. His eyes shimmered in the moonlight: "I hate the man I was back then. I wanted to kill a child, Hermione. I would have done anything the Dark Lord ordered us to do. Anything. If that meant cursing a child, I'd do it. I did."

Hermione felt the sudden urge to hug him, but as they were still playing the game, she forced herself to remain where she was. Even though he was larger than her, she would be able to outrun him if given a head start. She needed to stay alert. Still, she smiled at him: "I don't hold it against you, Antonin. It was war. We fought on different sides. I did horrible things, too, I assure you."

He shook his head in disbelief: "You actually want me to believe that, girly? You doing something horrible?"

A mean smirk appeared on her face. She had never felt it would be right to boast about her darker acts, but now, at this very moment, she couldn't help the thrill that ran through her when she remembered certain things. Giving her voice a seductive tone, she said: "I kept Rita Skeeter in a jar forever."

"You didn't!"

"I led Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest where I left her with angry centaurs. You know what centaurs do to human women."

Dolohov blinked several times. He took another step forward: "I thought you were a Gryffindor."

Her smile grew wicked: "Actually, the hat had a hard time deciding where I should go. Ravenclaw would have been an option. And let me tell you, there's nearly nothing a Ravenclaw wouldn't do to gain knowledge. I'm the same. But on top of that, there's almost nothing I wouldn't do to protect my friends. If it means to do horrible things, so be it. If you're worth it, you're worth it."

"Fuck," came the low whisper from Dolohov, "Hermione, you have no idea what your words mean to me. What they do to me."

Only she had a rather good idea what she did to him. She could hear that his breath was laboured, she could see he was shaking. She could hear that his voice was darker than usual. Hoarse.

Above all, she felt the heat spreading in her own body.

"You should run now, little fox."

The heat intensified. Antonin wanted to capture her, but not just to win this game. If she let him, he would devour her and Hermione couldn't see a reason why she shouldn't let him. But it was too early. She wanted to see what the other men got before deciding who actually got to capture her.

Yes, she had decided that in the end, it was up to her who would capture her and claim his price. Because if she wanted to, she could get herself out of any sticky situation.

"Would there be a way to persuade you to let me go?"

Antonin eyed her cautiously: "Maybe. Depends."

Certain of her victory, Hermione pulled her top over her head, revealing her naked chest. Her breasts shimmered silver in the moonlight, while she traced the outline of her own body with her hands: "What do you think?"

"You're supposed to be innocent," Dolohov growled, "Granger, what are you doing?"

Hermione raised an eyebrow: "Didn't we just talk about my past wrong-doings? What exactly is so innocent about me?"

He took a step forward, but instantly Hermione retreated, holding up her hand: "No, nothing of that. If you want to catch me now, you'll have to fight for it. But if you're interested in something else … and if you were to agree to letting me go afterwards … we could come to a deal."

Playfully, she let her hands roam her own body once more, sliding over her breast, her stomach, down to her hips and back up into her hair again. There was something about this magical night that made her confident in her own body. She just knew she looked good, just as she knew that the huge man in front of her was aroused just watching her from afar.

"State your terms," Dolohov said with gritted teeth. She could see he had a hard time keeping his distance.

"One kiss," she suggested, "and you'll let me go afterwards. You wait here for five minutes before you try to follow me."

"Deal," he breathed and in the same moment he closed the gap between them, pulling her in his arms.

His lips came crashing down on her, without hesitation, without giving her time to protest. He backed her against the wall, his full body pressed against her, his hands groping her exposed breasts. A moan escaped Hermione's lips and eagerly she pressed her hips against his. His mouth was demanding, forcing entrance into her mouth, plundering her with his tongue, but she loved it. As careful as he had been before, he now was almost violent in the way he took her.

One of his hands let go of her breasts to roam down her back until it reached her bottom. He kneaded her butt cheeks, quickly bringing down the second hand too, before lifting her up to grind his hips into hers. She moaned again, meeting his movements. Heat spread from her centre through her whole body and she wrapped her legs around him, forgetting that this was supposed to only be a kiss. She wanted more. She needed more. The feeling of his muscular chest, his strong arm, the way his erection pressed against her.

Only when one of his hands wandered further down, ghosting against her folds, Hermione's brain awakened again. Pushing away from Antonin, she whispered: "I think that's enough of a kiss, don't you agree?"

He didn't let go of her: "No. Things just got interesting. Forget the deal, forget this stupid game."

She chuckled at his greedy voice: "Come on, Dolohov, I said no."

Huffing and obviously unhappy, he put her back down: "Way to ruin the mood. What's your problem, Granger, you seemed to enjoy yourself."

She grinned back at him while slipping into her top: "I did, very much so. But the night is long and I really want to play this game. Let's say if you catch me again, I'll grant you one wish, okay?"

"One wish?"

She gave her grin a seductive note: "One wish. Anything you wish, I'll do. Anything."

Both his hands came down on the wall beside her head. He wasn't smiling when he leaned down to bring his lips next to her ear: "Be careful how you word your promises, little fox. You said anything and you'll do well to remember that. Anything."

A shiver of anticipation ran through Hermione. She wasn't actually afraid he'd do anything to her that she wouldn't agree to, but just his threatening words, his dark voice made her knees weak. With another deep breath, she ducked from under his arms: "Anything, I promise. Now, five minutes before you move from here. Don't forget that."

Antonin's eyes glittered in the silver moonlight while he watched her descend the stairs. Just when she reached the end, he shouted after her: "Until we meet again, little fox."

She waved back at him before slowly sneaking out the library door. Now that her safe spot in the library was no longer an option, she would need to find a new hiding place before running into another hunter. The thrill of the suddenly more demanding task sent shivers down her spine. She was more than ready for the next round.

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