Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Art by Jilly James
Hermione stood to one side watching the frenzied activity of Bill and Fleur's wedding. It wasn't every day that people got to celebrate the bonding of a Alpha Sentinel and his Guide.
Sentinels and Guides had become rare over the last 200 years in the Wizarding community. The inbreeding among certain Pure Blood lines that had been implemented to secure such talents had actually caused it to die out in many bloodlines. If it hadn't been for Squibs carrying the genes for both Sentinel and Guide, passing those traits on to the children they had with their Muggle mates, it might have died off entirely.
Some families realized this and actively sought out Halfblood or Muggle born mates to strengthen their own bloodlines with their diversity. The Weasleys were one such family and they were fortunate with how often both Sentinels and Guides were born into their family. Even those members that never came online often carried the genes to be passed on to their offspring.
Arthur himself would never be a Sentinel but he did carry the recessive gene, as did Molly, and it showed in their children. Bill was a strong Sentinel who came online the moment he met his Guide, Fleur. Hermione was still angry when she thought of how Molly tried to prevent their bonding. Any fool would know that their meeting wouldn't have brought Bill online if they weren't a perfect match.
Charlie wasn't a Sentinel but he did carry the recessive Guide gene, and while he would never be a Guide himself he was a strong empath, using those skills among the dragons he worked with. If he ever chose to have children, there was a strong chance that they would inherit the gene and be Guides themselves.
Percy did not inherit the gene. This might explain his rigid behavior and need to prove himself. Molly certainly pushed her children to succeed and was obvious in her disdain of anyone that did not carry the genes for either Sentinel or Guide.
Ginny would have been a strong Guide. Her experience with Tom Riddle's diary ruined those chances though. While she still carried the genes, and could pass them onto her children, she would be forever dormant. The wounds to her mind and soul during her possession would never allow her to come online.
Hermione's gaze drifted over to where Ron was trying to chat up several of Fleur's bridesmaids. He had been rather vocal in his claims that he would “bed a Veela” before the wedding was over. The “wrongness” of him made her skin crawl.
Having been a online Guide since she was 11 and a strong empath made it uncomfortable for her to be around some dormant Sentinels. Ron wasn't dormant due to injury or trauma, there was just something wrong with him on a fundamental level. He displayed a level of greed, selfishness, and disregard for the Tribe that no Sentinel would be capable of.
That might not be a problem for much longer though if Fleur caught him trying to chat up Gabrielle. She was very protective of her baby sister and wouldn't hesitate to castrate Ron in front of everyone present in her defense. The look on Gabrielle’s face though said that she was more than capable of defending herself and that Ron was just seconds from receiving a knee to the groin.
Dismissing Ron from her mind, she glanced over at Harry who looked rather bemused as he talked to Luna. Luna, like Hermione, had come online at a early age. In Luna's case it was the death of her Mother that caused her Guide abilities to activate. Strong, beautiful, and otherworldly, Luna was a natural Seer and spoke of taking up The Way of the Shaman after Hogwarts. She was already in tune with the spirit world to an amazing degree and Hermione felt she would do quite well with a bit of training.
Harry on the other hand, was a latent Sentinel. The Potters at one time had been a line known for producing strong Sentinels, but James was the first Potter to come online in several generations It was said that he came online the first time he held his son Harry in his arms, vowing to die in the defense of his son. A vow that he sadly kept.
This made Hermione think of that old fool Dumbledore and the meddling of both he and Molly in Harry's life. Dumbledore knew that Harry carried the Sentinel gene. That was one of the reasons he placed him with the Dursleys and directed them to often isolate Harry. Dumbledore hoped that this would bring Harry online early, although what he thought he could do with a 5 year old Sentinel that didn't have a Guide with him Hermione would never know.
The times Harry had been tested and put in danger along with the rest of the students were more attempts to force Harry to come online. Dumbledore finally seemed to realize that it was entirely possible that the abuse and neglect Harry had suffered as a child had the opposite effect and that he might never reach his full potential. Dumbledore's last desperate bid to force Harry to come online had been the night Snape killed him. He had apparently thought that losing his influence would finally trigger Harry's Sentinel abilities.
He had planned on forcing a bond between Harry and Ginny whether they were compatible or not. Molly had even tried to dose Harry and Ginny with love potions to force the bond but had been found out by Bill before she could carry out her plans. Ginny had been horrified that her Mother would attempt something like that. In the resulting argument it came out that Molly had been dosing Arthur with love potions for years.
Unlike Arthur's family, Molly's had long practiced inbreeding to try to produce more Sentinels. It had failed and the only ones born to her family had been her brothers Fabian and Gideon who had died shortly after their Muggleborn Guide Marlene had been killed.
The family had been appalled that as identical twins they would share the same Guide as bonding was genetic and they were genetically identical. That their Guide was also Muggleborn was just another strike against the match as far as the family was concerned.
Molly carried the Sentinel gene and so she had looked for a man that also carried the gene in the hopes of producing an army of Sentinels to fight for the light. When she was unable to attract such a man on
her own she resorted to the use of potions.
She seemed incapable of seeing that what she had done was wrong. Arthur was as furious as anyone had ever seen and had ritually cast Molly from the family, stripping her of his name and familial magics. She was very shocked when none of her children took her side. Most were disgusted by her actions. Ron though, Hermione had the feeling that he hadn't protested merely because he wasn't willing to give up living in the family home to live as an outcast with his Mother.
From behind her came the comforting herbal scent of the twins with undertones of pine from George and rosemary from Fred. Forewarned to their presence, she was able to calmly greet them when they each flung an arm around her shoulders with a cry of “Save us! Save us!”
“George, Fred,” she greeted them with a nod. “If you've pranked your Great Aunt Muriel again there is no power on earth that could save you.”
“Hermione, you wound us greatly,” George said, smiling down at her from her left.
“Would we prank our beloved Aunt at our own brother's wedding?” Fred asked from her right with faked innocence.
“Yes, and often. You have already pranked her on three separate occasions that I know of in the last two days.”
“Besmirching our good character it is.”
“How can you wound us so?”
“Doubting us like that and all.”
Hermione could feel her lips twitching. Fred and George seldom failed to put her in a better mood.
“Why do you need saving if it's not from the wrath of your Great Aunt?”
“It's our virtue that needs saving, dear Hermione,” said Fred.
“From them.” George tilted his head toward a group of Fleur's bridesmaids who saw him looking at them and giggled.
“They've been following us around saying things...”
“...in French and giggling. The older one has even been..”
“...pinching our bums when she thinks she can get away with it.”
“She's offered to strip search us to see if...”
“...the carpet matches the drapes. Whatever the hell that means.”
“Oh. Oh my!” Hermione couldn't help laughing at that, and covered her mouth with her hands to try to
stifle her laughter. “It means she wants to see if you are both naturally ginger or if you color your hair.”
The look of surprise on George and Fred's faces did nothing to help Hermione get control of her giggles.
“Well that's just stupid, isn't it George?”
“Right you are Fred. What possible reason would we have to color our hair?”
“Just because gingers are naturally superior to mere mortals in a thousand different ways.”
“Smarter, faster, better looking...”
“Much more virile than your average bloke.”
“So much stamina you see...”
Hermione could feel her grin threatening to split her face. She really shouldn't encourage them but she couldn't seem to help herself. There had always been something about them that always made her smile and laugh. She really had been a rather solemn child before they had landed in her life. She had certainly smiled and laughed more in their presence in the last 6 years than the rest of her life combined.
"Enough you loons!"
“Ah Hermione,” they chorused, “you know you love us.”
That, thought Hermione, was part of the problem. Having lived 7 years online without bonding, 6 of those years while living in a community that had a larger than normal concentration of Sentinels, had her fearing that she'd never find her perfect match.
She couldn't go and fall for the two of them. Sure they were her friends, and wouldn't intentionally hurt her, but if she allowed herself to get close with them only for them to come online and find their true Guide, well she wouldn't stand a chance against that.
No use hoping that it would be her either, they would have someone stronger, talented, beautiful. Having them would be like living a faerie tale and she had given those up by the time she was 3.
“I'm not sure why you two have come to me with this. It's not like you both aren't capable of defending yourselves.”
Fred shrugged. “We are trying to stay in our new sister-in-law's good graces.”
George nodded. “No one in their right minds angers a Veela, especially on her wedding day.”
“Under the circumstance she will understand. Anyone that won't take no for an answer and stop for an order will find no sympathy from her.”
“Besides that's her cousin Lisa and they can't stand each other. She only included her in the wedding party to keep peace in the family.”
Fred looked surprised. “How do you know all of that?”
“Because I felt horrible about how Molly was trying to alienate Fleur so I befriended her. It was nice for both of us to have a female friend in the sea of males.”
George looked at Fred. “Are you picturing the two of them kissing too?”
“I'm not answering that on the grounds that I want to live and either one is dangerous when crossed but together they'd be unstoppable.”
Hermione just sighed. “Look do you want my help or not?”
“Of course we do!” They chorused, “give us your plan, oh wise one.”
“Lisa is deathly afraid of rodents. Fred, your transfiguration is the best, you create a rodent to drop down her top. Preferably a very lively mouse or small rat.”
Fred looked at her in awe. “Where have you been hiding this evil streak? It's sexy as hell.”
Hermione just rolled her eyes before turning to George. “George, you're on potions. If you don't have something to add to her drink that won't make her either burp or fart continuously or better yet both then I'll eat the floral centerpieces without salt.”
“I think the centerpieces are safe. Fred is right, this evil streak of yours is dead sexy.”
George grabbed her hand, twirled her in a circle, and pulled her in kissing her soundly before twirling her toward Fred. Fred grabbed her, dipped her over, and laid a passionate kiss on her as well. She told herself the only reason she grabbed onto him was from fear of falling, but that excuse sounded thin even in her own mind. Fred then righted her up before he took off with his twin to wreak havoc on one pushy Veela.
She could only stand there blushing helplessly as she watched them split off from each other to stalk their unsuspecting prey. So much for staying emotionally detached from them both. She was in so much trouble.
Hermione shook herself. There was no sense in standing there staring after them like a love-struck 12-year-old. She decided to go rescue Harry from Luna's well meaning attention. Suiting action to her thoughts she cut through the crowd, snagging three glasses of sparkling juice from one of the tables George hadn't gotten to yet.
When she joined them, Luna was talking about the annual Flobberworm migration. Hermione had noticed in the past that Luna tended to work Flobberworms into the conversation when she was worried about something she had Seen.
Luna and Harry both smiled in greeting as they accepted the glasses of juice from her.
"That was quite a pair of kisses Fred and George laid on you," Luna said with a dreamy smile.
"It was at that," Harry frowned. "Do I need to give the twins the shovel talk on how to treat you right?"
“Shovel talk?” Luna asked.
“As in 'They will treat Hermione with the respect she deserves or I'll hit them over the heads with a shovel and then use it to bury them'.” Harry said. “It usually falls to a male relative like a brother to give that talk to a woman's prospective suitors and since Hermione doesn't have any siblings I'm more than willing to step in that role to make sure she's happy.”
Hermione wanted to be stern with Harry, but she was secretly pleased that he cared enough about her to be willing to face the twins in her defense.
"No need for that Harry. The boys are just my friends and were thanking me for a bit of help."
"Really?" Luna asked. "I'm your friend as well and have never tried to snog you senseless. Have I been remiss in my duties as a friend?"
Hermione looked at Luna and saw the amusement sparkling in her big blue eyes. Luna's sly humor really shouldn't surprise her after all this time.
She glanced over at Harry she noticed his eyes were glazed over. Luna and Hermione shared an amused look as they both reached over and slapped the back of his head.
"Ow!" Harry yelped, "what the blazes was that for?"
"You were picturing us kissing, weren't you?"
Harry's blush was answer enough.
"What is it with boys imagining two women kissing? George was going on about how hot it would be if I kissed Fleur earlier."
"Well Fleur does have really nice lips," Luna mused. "So Harry, when you were picturing Hermione and I kissing, were we naked? Hermione has bigger breasts than I do, but I do think mine are perkier. More than a handful is wasteful I always say."
Hermione really shouldn't find Harry's blushing and sputtering as amusing as she did. Still, he didn't get this much, being teased by someone who wasn't trying to be cruel. Just getting to joke and laugh with someone without every single thing he did and said being analyzed by a harsh public quick to judge. As his spluttering turned to genuine laughter she decided that he needed this and smiled at Luna.
“That was well done Luna, Harry looks a lot less tense now.”
“Breasts seem to have that effect on boys. They never quite get over that infantile obsession with them.” Luna grinned before once more looking solemn.
“What is it Luna? Have you Seen something that has upset you?”
Luna blinked at her. “How can you tell?”
“You tend to talk about Flobberworms when you've Seen something disturbing.”
Luna looked away for a moment. “I have, and I haven't. Something is coming, something big, but so much depends on the smallest of actions. Past a certain point the future fractures into dozens of possibilities, each with their own possibilities. Branching off wildly. I see bits and pieces, like reflections in a shattered mirror.”
“I also can't See my own part in what is to come past a certain point. It is so hard to see one's own actions even for a trained Seer, and Hogwarts doesn't provide that training.”
It was true enough. Hermione had been appalled when she realized that Luna had constantly active mage sight since the death of her Mother when she was 9. Realizing that Dumbledore had not even noticed or tried to help Luna was what had finally got her to take a closer look at the supposed Greatest Wizard and she hadn't liked what she had seen.
“Is there anything that we can do to help you? Anything you can tell us?”
"Not without overly influencing the future. I have prepared for certain possibilities but they may or may not come to pass. The only thing I can tell you is if the opportunity presents its self, follow the white rabbit."
Luna then smiled dreamily and skipped off to where a group of children were listening to a storyteller. She sat among the children in the grass in a total disregard for her gown which made a puddle of rich color around her.
"White rabbit? Does that make you Alice and if so am I the Mad Hatter?"
"No Harry, you're Alice. You have better legs to go with that blue dress."
"That's just a wee bit disturbing don't you think?"
"No I'm imagining you with shaved legs and it works surprisingly well."
“You're a twisted Witch, you know that right?”
“That's what I like about you Harry, you always say the sweetest things.”
He just laughed and put an arm around her shoulders.
“It's selfish of me, because I know what you went through when you came online. How your parents were forced to send you to the United States for a year to train with a Wolf Guide to gain control of your empathy. You would have been in Fred and George's year if that hadn't happened, but I'm very glad you were in my year instead. I don't think I could have survived this long without your help.”
“I'm glad we were in the same year too Harry, but the answer is still no.”
“I could have sworn I didn't ask a question.”
“Of course you didn't. You were just planning on going off by yourself yet again you self-sacrificing idiot. Not going to happen. We're together in this thing until the end.”
“It could get you killed Hermione.”
“No place is safe in this Harry. Even if I fled the country, which isn't happening either, I wouldn't be safe. Like you said you wouldn't have survived this long without me, why break that trend now?”
Harry just sighed. “I can't help wanting to keep you safe. Hermione you are the closest thing to family I have in this world and it would just about kill me if you were hurt just for helping me.”
“Harry if something happens to me, no matter what it will not be your fault. If you need to blame someone blame the bigoted power hungry idiots that are forcing a bunch of teenagers to fight this war. You are family to me too, but I'm not fighting for you. I'm fighting for a better future for us all where talent and hard work are the deciding factors, and blood status doesn't decide a person's fate.”
Harry could only gaze at his best friend in admiration. Hermione's compassion and bravery were always amazing to see. As a empath she couldn't help but work for the greater good of the Tribe. Not Dumbledore's twisted version, but a bright future where everyone from the lowliest of House Elves to the loftiest of the Pure Blood were all treated equally.
“And that right there is why the brightest witch of our generation was sorted into Gryffindor instead of Ravenclaw."
Hermione ducked her head and blushed at the praise and Harry just grinned and kissed her on her forehead.
“I always wanted a brother you know, but Mum was in labor for 2 days with me and was determined not to have anymore children. I thought if I had brothers and sisters that maybe they would be my friends, that they would have to like me if we were siblings. Who knew that all it would take was magic, a bit of luck, and a mountain troll to get me the brother I always wanted?”
“I always wanted a big family too. I'd lay in my cupboard and pray that I'd wake up far from there, someplace safe, surrounded by family that wanted me. Now look at me. I have sisters in you, Luna, and Ginny and brothers in Neville, Bill, Charlie, and the twins. We may not share blood, but we chose each other and I think that's even more important.”
Harry didn't often express his emotions like that and she could tell he was slightly uncomfortable so she just smiled and leaned against him. They both turned and gazed out over the dancing party guests.
There was a shriek and Lisa went running past, her bridesmaid dress billowing behind her.. She was belching cheese scented clouds of glitter and from the sound of it was farting God Save the Queen. She was being chased by a hoard of mice who were wearing hats, wee boots, and waving miniature swords. The leader squeaked out, “Charge!” and Lisa fled belching, farting, and screaming toward the Burrow just ahead of an outraged rodent army leaving only the vague scent of cheese behind. George and Fred were nothing if not inventive.
Hermione couldn't help laughing so hard that tears streamed down her face. Served the bitch right for putting her hands on what belonged to Hermione. Wait? What? Where did that thought come from? Hermione shook her head trying to suppress that thought. Fred and George weren't hers and never would be.
Those thoughts were broken by the feeling of Harry trembling beside her.
“Are you alright there Harry? You're looking a bit pale and you are shaking.”
“I'm not sure Hermione. I feel strange, like when you're alone in a spooky house and get the feeling that something is coming up behind you but nothing is there. I'm jumpy and I don't know why.”
Sounds of surprise drew their attention to the middle of the dance floor and a white glowing cat of some kind. They heard Auror Shacklebot's voice issue from it's mouth.
“Alpha, the Ministry has fallen, the Minister is dead. Prepare yourselves, they are coming.” **
There were screams, shouts of fear and denial, and frantic rushing about from many of the guests. The only exceptions being the Order members, Guides, Sentinels, and a few of Harry's students from the DA. Luna immediately took charge of the children, herding them together, conjuring a few toys to comfort the littlest ones and placing them all within a strong shield.
Bill's amplified voice rang out through the crowd, “All Sentinel's and Guides within the range of my voice and magic to me. Do your duty. Protect the Tribe.”
His eyes shone with power as he released his spirit animal with a swoosh of his wand, his wife and Guide following suit a second later. The spirit form of a huge male lion burst forth it's red mane bristling as it roared. From over head there was the scream of a bird of prey. Fleur's giant eagle voicing its fury before swooping down to join the lion. A bright light burst forth from them as they joined together forming a large gryphon.
Hermione gasped in surprise. She had heard of this but never witnessed it before. In some Sentinel and Guide pairs their spirit animals were capable of blending together to form a new magical creature. It was the mark of a true pairing. No one could now doubt that Bill and Fleur were soul mates.
Luna also swished her wand calling forth a beautiful and delicate gazelle of some sort that bounded away through the milling people. Hermione followed suit calling forth her own spirit guide, a black and white border collie. It cocked it's head to the side before also bounding off into the crowd. Spirit guides couldn't do much during a battle but distract and warn, but they did have a calming effect and she hoped they would help with crowd control to keep panic born madness to a minimum.
That would come in handy sooner than expected as the crashing thunder of Death Eaters apparating around the wedding party sounded loudly.
The talentless showoffs.
They were either barely trained or using the sound to strike fear.
Hermione would bet on both as the shear numbers of black robes had to mean that Voldemort was recruiting heavily from the barely trained masses as canon fodder. Self trained Wizards that didn't have the power or money to be invited to one of the established Wizarding Schools. They'd be all the more dangerous for their unpredictability.
With Harry pale and shaking the way he was Hermione stayed by his side to defend his back. Not that she would have run off during the fight anyway; Harry had been training the DA to work in pairs so that they would always have someone they could trust to guard their backs.
Defending Harry's back as she was, Hermione could only look on helplessly as several Death Eaters rushed Luna's position.
Luna stood calmly in front of the children she was protecting and with a delicate swish of her wand shouted, "FLOREM IMBRI!". Causing a stream of exotic flowers to flow from the tip of her wand, draping the four attacking Death Eaters in garlands of flowers.
The Death eaters looked at each other in surprise and then began to laugh. “What are you trying to do little girl,” the biggest of the lot asked, “trying to defeat us with sunshine and flowers? I'll teach you a thing or two you pathetic... ACHOOO! Blood tra... AAACHHOOO!”
All four of the Death Eaters that had been hit by Luna's spell began sneezing uncontrollably, their whole bodies jerking with the force of their sneezes. Two of them managed to knock each other unconscious as they hit their heads together as they both bent forward violently from the force of their sneezing. Their skulls hitting together with such force that their masks shattered driving shards into their faces.
Hermione and Harry shared a quick grin as they each fired off spells at the opposing fighters. Trust Luna to come up with an unorthodox yet incredibly powerful spell like that. The dreamy smile and little girls voice caused many to underestimate her much to their woe.
Time seemed to slow for Hermione as she saw several spells heading toward Harry. She managed to deflect two of the spells, being hit by the third, a beam of dark purple as she shoved Harry out of the way.
The force of the spell pushed her back, slamming her into on of the tables. The purple of the spell danced over her skin like lightning leaving numbness in it's path. She felt herself being jerked back up, her arms held tightly behind her by rough strong hands as her wand fell from her suddenly nerveless fingers.
It was not just the spell and impact that held Hermione immobile. Instead it was the feeling of not one or even two, but FOUR Sentinels coming online nearby. It felt as if gravity had just stopped for a moment before slamming back into her.
She tried to absorb the emotional shock of it, but it was difficult because all four seemed to be in a near feral state. Coming online suddenly was never easy but having it happened in the midst of a life or death battle was far worse. If they were lucky the Guides for the new Sentinels were online and present. If not... well the bloodbath would be legendary.
If they came online only to lose their Guide during the battle one could only hope that they held onto enough sanity to warn the innocent off or to apparate to a secluded area. The blast as their magic released in waves of grief would be devastating. The last time something like that occurred was in 1908 in a remote area of Russia. The Muggles referred to it as the Tunguska Event.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Moments earlier and across the dance floor from Harry and Hermione's position, Fred and George both stumbled, grabbing onto a table as they both came suddenly online.
Their senses were immediately flooded with data. The sight of people running and fighting for their lives a blur of colors. The shouts of fear, anger, and yelled spells a loud drone in their ears. The acrid smell of fear and the stench of burning flesh near to over powering.
Three things saved them from going into an immediate catastrophic sensory overload and shutting down.
First would always be their mental connection with each other. As twins they shared a mental and emotional bond that could almost rival that of a Guide.
Second was that they had been slowly coming online during the previous few days. The impending marriage of their oldest brother and Alpha had begun to trigger the change.
Third and most importantly was the realization that their Guide was present and in immediate danger. Nothing was more important than the safety of their Guide.
Their eyes held a faint glow as a red feral haze drifted over their vision. Only two thoughts remained coherent in the haze of their feral state. Protect the Guide, protect the Tribe.
Fred flicked his wrists, silver dueling blades dropping into his hands as he spun, slashing across the face and throat of an approaching werewolf. Blood sprayed from the cuts, the werewolf futilely clutching at his wounds as he fell. Fred continued the spin, blood missing him as he kicked out, hitting a robed Death Eater who was charging his twin.
George bared his teeth at the idiot his brother had kicked.
The sight of the glowing eyed man before him caused the Death Eater to lose control of his bladder as he briefly regretted his life choices. With flick of his wand George cast a silent blood freezing hex on the still falling idiot whose body shattered on impact with the ground.
Two down, dozens to go. George and Fred continued their way across the battlefield, killing anyone foolish enough to get in their way.
Protect the Guide. Protect the Tribe.
Silver flashing, spraying blood.
Protect the Tribe.
Wands flicking, the screams of the enemy.
Protect the Guide.
Bill and Fleur could feel the impact of four new Sentinels coming online around them. As the Alpha pair they had a unique bond with all members of their Tribe.
Bill could also feel the feral state of his brothers. A part of him mourned that his brother's first experience as Sentinels was a feral battle lust instead of the more gentle way he had come online. That extreme joy as he met his other half. He shook it off and pushed those feelings aside to concentrate on the business at hand.
The Spirit Animals were certainly proving themselves useful. Few wanted to come up against a angry Gryphon, even if it was only in spirit form.
Bill and Fleur looked on in amusement as a delicate gazelle bounced, twirled, and somersaulted with abandon in ways that no normal animal could do. It was working the Death Eaters up into a froth of fury with it's teasing and one lost all control of himself, shooting hexes off wildly accidentally hitting two of his own people before coming within range of Fleur's wand. A quick reducto from the Guide's wand and the Death Eater was no longer a problem.
Bill just shook his head. Obviously Voldemort would hire any idiot that was capable of holding a wand these days. They were still dangerous for their unpredictability and sheer numbers, but as long as the defenders kept that in mind they should be alright.
Unfortunately that small distraction was all it took for Severus Snape to come up behind Fleur. The traitor grabbed her, fisting his hand into her hair, backhanding her and knocking her wand to the ground.
“If it isn't the Veela whore.” Snape sneered at the struggling woman. “Time to teach you to respect your betters.”
“Release my wife now!” Bill snarled.
“Now Mr. Weasley,” Snape said as he dug his wand into Fleur's throat, “you wouldn't want me to slip and rip out your whore's throat now would you? I suggest you throw down your wand and surrender now. The Dark Lord may even be generous and let you have your little slut back eventually. After she spends time entertaining her betters that is.”
Snape smirked as Bill tossed his wand to one side. “I always knew you could be counted on to see reason. Like the coward you are.”
Bill's hair bristled with electricity and his eyes began to glow an eerie blue.
“Severus Snape I charge you with with damage to the Tribe. Betrayal of one who considered you a friend. Murder and accessory to murder in the deaths of James and Lily Potter who were the last bonded Alpha Sentinel and Guide pair in Wizarding England. And lastly pair bond interference when you attacked my Wife and Guide. As the reigning Alpha Sentinel I order you to release my Guide and surrender yourself to my judgment.”
“Forgetting something aren't we?” Snape asked as he tilted his head toward where Bill's wand lay discarded in the grass. “Besides I'll never submit to so called Sentinel justice after what it has cost me.”
“She would have never been yours!” Fleur spat at him. “You are dormant. Damaged. She was...”
“Shut your mouth you filthy whore!”
The only warning Snape had that he had pushed the Alpha too far was a low, animalistic growl, right before being fiercely grabbed by his shoulders. The impact was forceful enough to jerk him forward into the flashing claws that suddenly raked his face. The pain was blinding, and he jerked against the pulling weight in reaction, even as he let the woman go. He felt himself flung into weightlessness, crying out his surprise, before he hit something solid with a resounding crash and a flurry of torn tent wall. Trying to catch his breath, Snape frantically swiped the moisture out of his eyes, trying to see what had attacked him so suddenly and just how bad the damage was. The sticky, wet heat of his own blood coated his fingers, and that was the only glimpse he got before he registered the approaching roar. His heart in his throat, Snape tried to scramble away from it through the debris of the fabric entangled buffet table he had landed on. He didn't get far.
Fleur felt a flash of satisfaction when she had raked her perfectly manicured nails across the idiot's face, even as her senses were becoming overwhelmed by her Sentinel's fury. She felt no remorse when she ducked out from under Bill's reach, and the interloper's body flew away from her. She backed up to give her mate more room retrieving her wand with a casual wave and a summoning charm. She really would have to thank Madame Maxime later for insisting that she practice wandless charms in preparation for the Triwizard Tournament. A receding part of her mourned the blood that had sprayed over her beautiful dress, but she found herself resisting the urge to delicately lick her nails clean. Stupidity might be catching after all.
She watched her now roaring mate stalk his prey. Her Sentinel's spirit animal was never more evident as he moved with catlike grace toward the downed Death Eater. The fool had dared to lay hands upon her, and now would pay. Nothing in her could be summoned to help calm her Sentinel. This was too long in coming, and the Guide chose to let Fate take it's course. She also mourned that their perfect Gryphon was gone for now, replaced by her eagle and her mate's lion. They could not stay joined in the face of Bill's feral rage and her own blood lust. The eagle was screaming it's own anger, and the lion was poetry in motion as it loped after the man shaped toy.
Bill's conscious mind had receded long before he had reached over Fleur to latch onto Snape's shoulders. His rage was perfect, and he smiled with glee as he flung his prey toward the tent wall. Finally, he could deal with this one, once and for all. No more restraint. His Guide was in danger, and he would protect her, no matter the cost. That fact that he would enjoy this was secondary. He could nearly taste the taint of Snape's fear as he roared and quickly stalked toward the downed man. Splayed fingers flexed, the lion in him wanting long, sharp claws to rend and tear the weak flesh beneath the black robes. Bill settled for a crushing grip on Snape's right arm, his wand arm, and brought it sharply across his knee. Snape's wand dropped from suddenly nerveless fingers. The wet snap and frantic howl of agony wasn't enough. Not nearly enough. The lion swiped at the man again, and Bill flipped the Potions Master easily, to grip a leg. The resulting crunch and scream were loud, but not nearly as loud as the roar of satisfaction from his lion. The rumbling in Bill's chest was nearly a purr of pleasure as he toyed with his prey. Each limb shattered against Bill's knee, and still the man tried to crawl away when Bill allowed himself to look over to his Guide as her eagle screeched in joy. Bill grinned, and let his prey fumble a few desperate feet, before he pounced again.
Bill would later say that the rest was a red haze that he could barely recall, but that would be a lie. His perceptions were crystal clear. Every action was considered, weighed, and executed with precision. The gentle man in him wouldn't, and couldn't, regret a thing. He was an Alpha Sentinel, and this animal had dared to try to take what was his. That would never be tolerated or forgiven. His Guide was sacrosanct. Snapes ribs buckled under the relentless pounding of Weasly's fists. Each snap fed the growling purr rumbling constantly in Bill's chest. The black eyes, that had coveted what was his, he would save for last. He wanted Snape to witness his own death. He wanted him to watch and feel a Sentinel's full wrath. He was careful that broken ribs wouldn't puncture a lung, but they did puncture skin. With a vicious, sudden jerk, Bill dislocated Snape's left shoulder. He waited for the screams to fade before reaching for the right, and deliberately dislocated that one as well. Bloodied knuckles then went to work, methodically altering Snape's features. Nose pulped, jaw broken, cheek bones shattered and still the man found breath enough to scream. It was satisfying. It was wet and bubbling, but still satisfying.
When his hands grew sore, Bill straightened to stomp heavily on Snape's pelvis, feeling the grinding shatter of bones beneath his heel. The resulting scream likely curdled the bellies of the wedding guests, but that was the farthest thing from Bill's mind at the moment. Stomping his enemy into dust was his primary purpose. Only the reassuring heartbeat of his Guide in his ears give him any sense of his surroundings. His focus was eliminating the threat and keeping her safe. A kick turned his prey over, and another vicious, calculated stomp snapped Snape's spine. Now paralyzed from the waist down, there was no hope of escape, and Bill kicked Snape over again to watch the realization enter the man's eyes. This too, was satisfying. It made the Sentinel in him grin, and his lion roared again. Useless arms rose from the ground and waved helplessly, likely a signal of surrender that the Sentinel ignored. Taking a knee, Bill looked deep into Snapes eyes and found what he was looking for at last. Fear, resignation, regret, and finally, defeat. The Sentinel was satisfied.
Bill's gaze never shifted as he reached down and took hold of Snape's broken jaw, and with a vicious twist, snapped the man's neck. He watched the light die from the black eyes that had too often followed his beloved, and he watched while the knowledge of death filled them before the light went out forever.
Hermione struggled to throw off the confusion from the hex and assess her situation without drawing too much attention to herself. She looked up through her hair to see see Harry on the ground beginning to push himself up from where he had fallen.
Lucius Malfoy, pimp cane and all, stood over him and cast a immobilizing spell.
Hermione noted that the spell was only partial successful as Harry's body continued to tremble slightly as he fought the immobilizing effect. The slight glow to his eyes and the way he snarled at Lucius were the other clues that she needed. The needs of the Tribe, the orders of the Alpha pair, and the danger to the sister of his heart had done what Dumbledore had failed repeatedly to do.
Harry Potter had come online.
The hands holding Hermione tightened roughly causing her to cry out. This made Harry growl deep in his chest and his spirit guide to shimmer into sight at his side. The large form of his cobra flared its hood, hissing at the Death Eaters.
Lucius smiled coldly. "So this is what it takes to bring the great Harry Potter online hmm? Threaten his Mudblood Guide? How very fitting considering your own Mother and how she contaminated the bloodline of a once noble pureblood house.
"Don't call her that!" Harry snarled.
"Do not think to tell me what to do, Mr. Potter! You obviously don't realize who is in charge here!"
"Well it certainly isn't you Lucy. So how is old snake face these days?"
"You will be silent! Let's see how smug you are while we are torturing your Guide." Lucius turned and smirked at Hermione.
"She's not my Guide you inbred idiot!"
"Of course she is, my sources have told me how you spend most of your time with her."
"I hope you haven't paid them yet because your sources missed the obvious."
"Enlighten us Mr. Potter, what exactly did they miss?
"One, Hermione is nothing more than my friend, and two," here Harry smirked, "I am most sincerely gay."
“More lies. What kind of fool do you take me for?”
“Is this a trick question?”
Hermione couldn't help snorting at that. Obviously a certain snarky blond was a bad influence on Harry.
Unfortunately the sound made Lucius focus on her.
“Whether it is true or not is of little consequence. Except...” here Lucius's smile turned cold an calculating, “except it is well known that you are the only of age male that Granger spends any time with...”
Hermione really didn't like where this was going.
"Yes," said Lucius as his eyes traveled coldly over Hermione's body, "the Mudblood will be quite useful in gaining more power for the Dark Lord."
He smirked at Hermione's shudder of disgust.
"Pretend your disgust all you like. It is well known that those of lesser breeding are base creatures controlled by the needs of the flesh. You will go out in pleasure and the shedding of your innocent blood will help fuel our Master's victory."
"Don't you touch her you sick bastard!"
"Tut, tut. Such language Mr. Potter."
Hermione glared back at Lucius defiantly.
"It wont do you a bit of good you know. For those disgusting rituals to work, for the shedding of 'innocent' blood the victim needs to have something that I don't."
"And what would that be Miss Granger?"
"A intact hymen."
The look of shock on Lucius's face was priceless.
"So it's true then what they say about Mudbloods being whores then."
Hermione would have liked nothing better than to wipe that superior sneer off of Malfoy's face. However, she couldn't discount how dangerous he was. Through her empathy she could feel Harry beginning to fight off his paralysis and the rapid approach of more than one feral Sentinel. So, keep talking and delay the fool. If there was anything Hermione excelled at it was talking so...
"I didn't say I've had sexual intercourse you myopic misogynistic madman. I said I no longer have an intact hymen."
"Semantics Granger. One necessarily follows the other. If you have not been rutting around, then how can you explain your supposed lack of purity?"
"Funny you should ask that. Have you heard of the Tollis Puritatem Elixer?"
"The purity removal potion? Really Miss Granger, one of the Old Man's golden trio resorting to blood magic? What is the world coming to?"
"Too many people paint blood magic with the same unicorn sacrificing brush. Not all blood magic is dark. The Tollis Puritatem only works if it is brewed by it's intended recipient and if they include seven drops of their own blood freely given. It won't work if it was brewed by another of if the blood was given under duress."
The look of shock on Lucius's face just wasn't getting old.
“I found the instructions in an old potions book and taught it to every single female at Hogwarts. You will not find even one girl that hasn't brewed and taken the potion. Not one will be fit for you to sacrifice.”
“Preposterous! None of the daughters of purebred lines would take such a potion!”
“That might have been true at one time, but not after what happened to Millicent Bulstrode.” Hermione swallowed heavily. She may not have liked Millicent but no one deserved to die that way, betrayed by her own parents to curry favor with Voldemort.
“After that I could hardly keep up with the requests to be taught how to brew the elixir.”
“More lies!” Lucius reached out and grasped Hermione's chin in one gloved hand. “It won't save either of you from...”
Hermione couldn't control her reaction to having her face grabbed and using Crabbe's hold on her arms as leverage she pulled back both of her knees to her chest, kicking out. Malfoy lept backward but she did manage to connect with her left foot, raking the high heel of her shoe down his leg and narrowly missing his genitals.
Harry laughed as Malfoy stumbled backward hissing in pain. An insane rage filled Lucius's face as he drew his wand and turned on Harry.
“Draco? What is the meaning of this? How dare you interfere?!?”
Draco Malfoy stepped out of the shadows, placing himself between Harry and his Father. His wand was in his hand but angled toward the ground.
“How could I not interfere? You were about to use the killing curse on my Sentinel!”
“Yes Father. I've been online as a Guide for over a year and have known who my partner in life and magic would be for just as long. I was fortunate in having friends to help me through such a trying time and get me the help that I needed both in controlling my gifts, and hiding them from you.”
True enough. Though Luna was the first to realize that Draco was coming online, once his gifts blew wide open it was Hermione who began his training. Hermione and Luna had taken turns working with him to help him to control and disguise his abilities.
During that time they also witnessed the blossoming relationship between Harry and Draco, though Harry tried to hold himself back somewhat, both to protect Draco and his own heart. Obviously he never thought he would come online and expected Draco to eventually leave him for a Sentinel.
"Draco, what foolishness is this? No son of mine will be a weak and foolish Guide hitting his knees for a male Sentinel, especially not that one!"
Draco's spirit guide appeared next to him. The large boa constrictor hissing at Lucius before slithering over to Harry's cobra. There was a bright flash of light and rising up in front of Harry was the large spirit form of a basilisk. Fortunately for all concerned the spirit guide did not possess the same deadly gaze of it's living counterparts.
"Well no Father of mine will be a bigoted, small minded, murdering, psychopathic Death Eater. I guess we will both have to learn to live with disappointment."
"You've always been weak and a disappointment. I blame your Mother for coddling you so. No matter, it is a disappointment I have no problem getting rid of!"
With that Malfoy's wand slashed toward his son with a shout of "Incendio!"
Draco stabbed his wand at the fireball casting a flame freezing charm before casting the banishing charm to fling the resulting ball of ice back at his Father.
With that the duel began in earnest, with rapid volleys of spell fire as they circled each other. Draco seemed hyper aware of the position of Hermione and Harry and was obviously trying to lead Lucius away from them both so that they couldn't be hit by stray spell fire.
Crabbe jerked on Hermione's arms again dragging her out of the way and away from Harry. Hermione feared for both of her friends. While Draco avoided using any of the darker spells, Lucius used little else.
She winced as Draco lunged out of the way of a particularly nasty organ liquefaction hex. He landed heavily on the ground. He was slightly winded but managed to keep hold of his wand and roll over on his back facing his Father.
"Finally, this farce is at an end. Die now knowing that your halfblood boyfriend will soon follow! Avada Kedava!"
Draco managed to get his wand up and yell, "Cogita Ovi!"
The silver spell streaked out and enveloped his Father in a shining bubble before Lucius completed the killing curse. The gleaming inner walls of the bubble reflected the green curse back at it's caster, ricocheting wildly within the confines of the sphere. Lucius was hit by his own curse a half a dozen times before the bubble exploded, the killing curse dispersed upward from the explosion before fading out leaving only the crumpled form of Lucius Malfoy on the grass.
Draco stared at his fallen father for a brief moment before scrambling to his Sentinel, casting a quick finite at him before gathering him in his arms.
Harry clung to him shaking. “Sorry! So sorry!”
“Shhh, Harry it's okay. I have you and he will never stand between you and I again. He could have stood down and didn't. He made his choice to follow a madman and has paid the price for that.”
“I'm not worth it. Not worth you being forced to kill your own Father.”
“Not worth it? Harry you are worth everything to me. You are my partner in life and magic, my Sentinel, and judging by our spirit guides my soul mate as well. I will live and die at your side if you will have me.” Here Draco looked uncertain.
“Yes. Oh yes! So worried. Worried you'd bond with another. Leave me...”
“Never. My heart beats only for you, my Sentinel.”
“Lucius was a dead man the moment he chose to threaten you Harry. Pair bond interference is punishable by death. Besides that, it was his own spell that got him in the end. No court would say differently, and certainly not our Alphas.”
The spirit form of the basilisk separated, the cobra and boa constrictor fading out as Crabbe Senior stared at the scene in front of him in disbelief, his jaw slack with shock. Unfortunately for Hermione his grip on her arms remained tight.
She could still feel the two feral Sentinels approaching when suddenly they were in front of her. Fred with silver dueling blades in hand, George with his wand out. Both had obviously been in battle, though their wounds appeared to be just a few minor nicks and scratches, and a bit of scorched hair in George's case.
Their eyes held an eerie blue glow and they radiated power. They turned to Crabbe and growled as one.
Hermione couldn't help thinking dazedly that they were magnificent in their fury. Wait a minute... their Guide? Her?
Hermione's spirit guide ran up as Fred and George's spirit guides shimmered into existence next to them. A striking red and white setter by Fred's side and a lovely English setter next to George. The spirit guides moved together between the two of them, brushing shoulders before merging together in a bright flash of light.
Hermione could only gape at the large Cerberus in front of her. Red and white head on the right, black and white in the middle and the distinctive English setter head on the left.
Her mind froze and refused to accept the implications of this as the Cerberus lowered all three of its heads, snarling at Crabbe with bared teeth and raised hackles. Crabbe screamed, jerking Hermione by the arms and throwing her toward the giant dog in a bid to save himself before turning to flee.
Hermione windmilled her arms as she flew through the combined spirit guides, stumbling before being caught gently by the two new Sentinels. The Cerberus separated into it's separate forms before the three spirit dogs wagged their tails and faded out. George silently summoned her wand from where it had fallen and presented it to her as both Sentinels tensed to follow Crabbe.
Hermione grabbed onto them both. “No, stay with me. We must help Harry.”
Fred looked militant. “He touched you Mione. Hurt you.”
“He must pay,” George growled out.
“He will, but by other hands. We need to help Harry and get him to safety. I need your help as I'm still a bit shaky.”
At that the twin redheads stilled before each delicately touched her hair, arms, face and back to assess her condition.
“Your will is ours Guide,” they said quietly. The devotion in their gazes breathtaking.
Hermione felt trapped for a moment in their gaze as if death and destruction were not all around them before pushing aside her confusion to attend to the tasks at hand. The battle was not over, and the lives of many were at stake. She could moon over her inappropriate schoolgirl crushes later.
Crabbe fled in mindless terror across the battle field before tripping over what was left of one of his fellow death eaters. He fell heavily to the ground before rolling over to point his wand behind him, breathing a sigh of relief that he wasn't being followed by the huge three headed thing that had attacked him.
He looked around carefully. It wouldn't do for word to get back to the Dark Lord that he had fled during battle. None of the few remaining Death eaters were looking his way but he noticed a willowy blonde standing guard over a group of children nearby. Now this was more like it. He lumbered to his feet and charged his new prey with a bellow.
Luna backed away from the hulking form of Crabbe Senior. He had her trapped between the edge of the shield she had constructed to protect the children and the wedding tent. Suddenly Crabbe jerked backward as the spirit form of a large silver-back gorilla leaped through the side of the tent, roaring and beating its chest.
Neville Longbottom followed his spirit animal slashing through the side of the tent with raw power. Gone was the sweetly shy boy. In his place stood Lord Longbottom, warrior and brand new Sentinel practically feral in defense of the Tribe and his Guide.
Neville growled deep in his chest as he threw a handful of seeds at Crabbe. Realizing what he was doing Luna followed that up with two spells. One sent a gentle shower of water cascading over Crabbe, the other dumped a load of fragrant and steaming dragon dung down upon his head.
Neville smirked in a way that would have had Luna climbing him if they weren't in the middle of a battle.
Crabbe was frantically trying to wipe the hot dragon dung from his eyes as Neville pointed his wand and hissed out "cresco". The seeds suddenly sprouted, their growth accelerated by Neville's magic and the rich dragon dung coating the Death Eater.
A large and aggressive devils snare whipped up from the dung covered robes. Crabbe screamed and tried to struggle out of his robes but the plant reaction was quick and deadly.
Neville directed his devils snare to protect the innocent by attacking anyone wearing the dark robes and masks of the Death Eaters. It responded by flinging bits of Crabbe at a group of attacking werewolves as it used one of the legs to pummel the largest of them over the head.
Neville turned to Luna, raising a trembling hand but stopping short of touching her face.
"Guide," he whispered brokenly.
Luna smiled, taking his raised hand in hers and pulling it to her face and kissing the palm.
"Yes. Your Guide my Sentinel. I have waited so long for you, but now we will never be lonely again."
"My Guide?" he said in awe.
"Oh yes," Luna said with a smile pointing to where her gazelle was nuzzling Neville's gorilla. There was a flash of light, and their joined form was revealed.
Luna had finally found her crumpledhorn snorlack.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Fred stored his blades with a flick of his wrists, and pulled his wand from its holster. Then together with his brother helped Hermione over to where Harry was standing with the aid of Draco.
Hermione quickly realized that with both Harry and her suffering from the after effects of spells, and Harry still being in a bit of shock they would be more of a liability than help on the battlefield. George, Fred, and Draco may still be able to fight but in reality all three would be more distracted with protecting them than guarding their own backs. It was time to leave.
This posed a slight problem, as when she had packed her bag she had only planned on Harry and herself. Obviously Draco could not be separated from Harry and it was obvious by the protective demeanor of the twins it was plain that they would not let her leave them behind either.
“Hermione, look!” Harry said pointing to a glowing bunny sitting under one of the tables. It turned and hopped a few paces looking over its shoulder in an obvious invitation to follow it.
“So that's what she meant! Her patronus!” Hermione exclaimed. “Well after you Alice,” she said to Harry gesturing after the patronus. “Follow the white rabbit!”
The others seemed confused but willing to follow Hermione and Harry's lead as they followed the glowing form of Luna's patronus. They moved as stealthily as possible, skirting the edges of the battlefield. Hermione would feel bad about abandoning the others to fight but the battle was already dying down.
While she did feel a duty to the rest of the Tribe, she felt that they would better serve them by leaving. Besides the genetic imperative to protect the Tribe, was the one to defend her family. For Sentinel and Guide alike the drive to protect their family was just as primal if not more so than the one to protect the Tribe providing those drives weren't in conflict. Harry had long been her brother since the Halloween when he had leaped on the back of a mountain troll in her defense.
Draco had become a dear friend to the surprise of them both. His fledgling bond with Harry put him in the same category in her mind. Mentally and emotionally Hermione would always see Draco Malfoy as her brother, and there was nothing at all she wouldn't do to protect them both.
Not long before the arrival of Shaklebolt's patronus, Ron had been trying to once again chat up Fleur's sister Gabrielle. She had finally had enough of his leering and poorly veiled innuendo and he found himself on the receiving end of a pitched drink, slap to the face, and knee to the crotch. She then stomped off leaving him curled around his bruised groin.
With the arrival of the Death Eaters, Ron managed to roll himself under one of the tables unseen. He hid for the most part, only taking action occasionally when it looked like he would be discovered.
During a lull he worked his way carefully out from under the table and looked around. He had hopes that he could sneak up behind Gabrielle during the confusion of the battle to take her out. If he did it right no one would ever know he was responsible for her death instead blaming it on the Death Eaters.
The stupid bitch should have been honored that a pure blood wizard such as himself was willing to overlook her creature blood. At least long enough for a quick shag. It wasn't like her stuck up bitch of a sister had any problem throwing herself at Bill.
Ron clutched his wand tightly as he he moved through the party debris. He constantly scanned his surroundings for Gabrielle as well as keeping an eye out for danger to himself.
Suddenly he stopped slack jawed in shock and growing anger. Across the wrecked dance floor he could see his brothers Fred and George with Granger. They were touching her hair, arms, and back and their eyes were raking over her body. Hermione for her part was gazing at them with love-struck devotion. It was sickening.
That stupid Mudblood whore! She was his! Always meant to be his! Promised to him by his Mother, payment from the Headmaster for managing Harry.
Finding out that he was dormant was a great blow. He had so looked forward to the easy life of a Sentinel. Trusted and respected where ever he went. If he couldn't have that, then having a hardworking wife to support him and bear his children was a decent consolation prize.
Sure she was Muggleborn, but at least she carried the Guide gene to pass on to his children. Really bearing children or being a mistress was all a Muggleborn or Halfblood was good for. It wasn't like he'd lack for other company, he was sure someone like Lavender wouldn't protest too much for being his bit of fluff on the side as long as he occasionally tossed her some cheap trinket.
He watched with growing anger as the twins put their arms around Hermione and helped her over to where Harry was clinging to Malfoy. Wait, what? Potter and ferret face? Since when?
This was all too much for Ron's temper to take. He'd show them. He'd show everyone. No one messed with Ronald Weasley and walked away.
He pulled back his wand to do a broad slashing hex. With enough force and a bit of luck he'd be able to take them all out with one strike. Any survivors would be in no condition to strike back and he could take them out at his leisure.
He smiled in anticipation when a sudden shout of “EXPULSO!” stopped him in his tracks as his wand exploded violently, shards of wood stabbing into his flesh and the force of the explosion itself shattering the fingers on his wand hand.
He couldn't believe what was happening. His own sister was standing there pointing her wand at him, the glowing tip centered on his head. Standing near by was Gabrielle, fireballs held in both hands as she glared at him.
“Are you brain damaged? How could you try to curse your brothers and their Guide in the back?”
“Granger doesn't belong to them! She's mine! Always meant to be mine! They stole her! I'll show them, show everyone what happens when someone takes what belongs to me!”
“There is your answer Ginny,” Gabrielle said as they both stared wide eyed at a raging Ron, “no one sane could act this way.”
“Shut up you whore! Bitch! Slut!”
Gabrielle let loose one of her fireballs, impacting on Ron's groin and melting the fabric into his skin. His screams of pain as he fell were most satisfying.
The barrage of stinging hexes Ginny hit him with only adding to his screams of pain.
"Don't you dare talk about my Gabrielle like that you worthless piece of shit!" Ginny screamed at him.
Wait, what? Ron shook his head in confusion. Obviously the pain was messing with his hearing because his sister couldn't be implying that her and Gabrielle were a couple. That wasn't possible. If the Veela wouldn't sleep with him there was no way she'd go for his little sister.
He looked up only to see his sister in a tender embrace with Gabrielle. The Veela's hand in Ginny's vibrant hair as they shared a kiss.
He tried to use the distraction to crawl away only to be hit with a violent kick that knocked the air from his lungs and flipped him over on his back. He gasped for air as he looked up in shock at Lavender Brown who had her wand drawn and pointed at his heart.
She smiled over at Gabrielle and Ginny. "That is so hot! I don't suppose you have room for a third?"
Ginny and Gabrielle just laughed shaking their heads and leaning against each other. Ron could only stare up at them all in shock. Was he the only sane one left?
Ginny smiled at Lavender. “I'm not built to share Lav but if you're interested I heard Dean and Seamus are looking for a third.”
“Really?” Lavender looked both slightly skeptical and intrigued.
“Yep,” Ginny nodded. “If it helps you decide I can tell you that Dean is hung like a centaur and that he waxes poetic often on the things that Seamus can do with his tongue.”
Wait Dean and Seamus? And how on earth did his innocent little sister know that Dean was hung like a centaur? Ron shook his head slightly. The world had gone mad.
He looked up to find Neville, Luna, Bill, Fleur, and his Father standing around him with wands drawn. None of their faces looked sympathetic.
“As Alpha Sentinel it is my place to judge you for pair bond interference when you tried to attack our brothers and their Guide in the back, not to mention trying to attack Harry and his Guide. However, this is also a family matter so I am willing to let our Father judge you first before I get my turn,” pronounced Bill.
Ron turned to his Father. Surly he would see that they were all making too much of this. It was only that know-it-all Granger after all. Not to mention Malfoy who was no doubt just as dark as his father was. Yes, everything would be fine now as his Father straightened everything out. He'd realize that Ron was worth 10 of his brothers.
“Ron, what did you think you were doing? How can you possibly justify trying to attack your brothers in the back? Not to mention Harry and Hermione. They're your best friends for Merlin's sake!” Arthur asked.
“Friends? With Granger and Potter? Are you mad? Granger is a Muggleborn and a bossy know-it-all! Potter thinks he's so much better, with his money and fame thrown in my face! I wouldn't have had anything to do with them, but Dumbledore insisted and Mum agreed.”
“They promised. That if I helped manage Harry, informed on him, that I could have Hermione.”
“You can't own people Ron!”
“Shut up Ginny! If you had just done what you were supposed to you could have been the next Lady Potter and we would have had all that lovely Potter wealth when that fool gets himself killed. But no, you had to throw a fit and get Mum disowned!”
“Your Mother drugged me with love potions and would have done the same to Harry and Ginny if Bill hadn't stopped her. That's called rape Ronald.”
Ron scoffed and Arthur sighed and seemed to shrink down, looking very old in this moment.
“This is my judgment as Weasley Patriarch. For the attempted murder of your siblings and friends I cast Ronald Bilious Weasley out from House Weasley. I strip you of all familial rights, magics, and name. Let him be counted among the dishonored and unnamed. So mote it be!”
Ron screamed as the magic snapped around him, removing the connection he had with the well of family magics since he was a small child. He instinctively reached for his magical core to try to defend himself only to find it weak and feeble without the foundation of his family magics.
Arthur looked to Bill. “Family business concluded Alpha. While he is no longer a Weasley and this is now Sentinel and Guide business I do ask that you spare his life. Enough people have died in this war without adding to that number.”
Fleur reached out and hugged her father-in-law. “He knows to much to just let him go. You know this.”
“I know but I had to ask,” Arthur said miserably. “He used to be my son.”
Bill nodded. “He used to be my brother, but the loyalty to family ends when that family member endangers the Tribe. Still as you said, enough blood has been spilled this day. For someone this miserable and selfish death might come as a relief, and I hardly see how a quick and easy death serves justice in this case.”
“Ronald Bilious, formerly of the House of Weasley, you are charged with damage to the Tribe, pair bond interference in trying to murder your brothers and their Guide as well as Sentinel Potter and his Guide. Through no fault of our father you never learned to put the needs of the Tribe first.”
“Thus you are given a second chance. You are to have what remains of your magic bound before being obliviated back into infancy and left in the care of a Muggle mental health facility. As the reigning Alpha Sentinel this is my Judgment what says the Tribe?”
Fleur nodded from where she stood with Arthur. "This is fair."
Luna took Neville's hand in hers. "This is fair."
"This is fair." Neville agreed.
"Fair judgment Alpha, though I wish I had toasted him a bit more." Gabrielle growled.
"The Judgment is fair," Ginny added, "though I think we should also do something about his appearance to keep him from being traced back to us."
"You're all insane!" Ron screamed from where he lay. "You think you can judge me? You're letting Squib Longbottom and Looney have a say? Ginny's just as dormant as I am and her whore isn't even that!"
"Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood are the next ranking Sentinel and Guide pair presently with the Tribe. Like Fred, George, and Hermione they are Betas. If we went by the American scale Neville and Luna would both be 5 out of 6 on the scale. Hermione and her Sentinels rate as 6 and if Fleur and I weren't present it is possible that they would have been able to serve as the Alphas."
"As for Gabrielle and Ginny, while Ginny is Dormant she is nothing like you. Her dormancy is the result of injury. Gabrielle carries the Sentinel gene and if her Veela traits weren't overpowering she would be a strong Sentinel in her own right. Through no fault of her own while there are Veela and part Veela Guides that come online there has never been a online Veela Sentinel. None the less she and Ginny are a perfect match and will undoubtedly produce Sentinel and Guide children should they ever decide to start a family. Their place is honored in the Tribe and their counsel will always be sought."
With that Bill and Fleur raised their wands, hitting a screaming Ron with streams of magic as they bound his magical core before casting a strong obliviate, reducing him mentally to a toddler and rendering him unconscious.
"Now how do we do this where he wont be traced back to us?" Arthur asked.
"Make it seem like he's the victim of a hate crime." Gabrielle answered. "Some Muggles have strange ideas about gender and the like. With his damaged groin he might be better off having gender reassignment surgery anyway, where they make him a female physically."
Fleur nodded. "We change his hair, make it longer and lighter, change his face a bit, and put him in a nice dress before having Kingsley drop him on the front steps of a good hospital. With no identification, no one coming forward to claim him, and with him mentally regressed they'll probably treat him as someone going through a male to female transition. Best we can do for all concerned."
Arthur could only nod. This would at least save the life of his youngest son, which was more than he could have hoped for. Maybe with a new start and new gender Ron could finally grow into a decent person.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
The rabbit patronus led them away from the Burrow and toward the Lovegood home. It veered off the path and led them to bushes beside a ditch. Underneath the bushes they found five backpacks, and a rainbow colored hula hoop hanging from the branches above them.
The men all exclaimed in surprise because it seemed that 4 of the backpacks belonged to each of them. The patronus hopped up to Hermione, nuzzling her and in the process transferring a great deal of information to her. Luna was always on the cutting edge when it came to the mind arts. Her sweet dreamy voice came from the rabbit.
“I have packed your packs with everything I could foresee you needing and a few more things besides. All are charmed feather light, and have expansion charms. Everyone has extra food rations as that's something you forgot Hermione. George I packed extra potions in your pack. Fred you have the cooking supplies. Hermione has the extra medical supplies. Draco, I packed extra lube for you and Harry.”
This startled a laugh from Draco and caused Harry to blush bright red and tuck his head into the side of his Guide's neck.
“The hoop is a one use portkey to one of the safe houses Daddy and I have set up. Hermione with the information I passed on to you I've made you the Secret Keeper for that location. Use it to rest, recover, and bond. I wouldn't stay there more than a few days before moving on if I were you but keep it in mind if any of you need a safe place to hide.”
Here the rabbit paused, looking around at each of them. “Neville and I will do what we can to support the Alpha pair until your return. Be safe my friends.” With that the rabbit faded away to a wisp of light, then was gone.
Hermione took a deep breath. “Right packs on everyone and get ready to grab the hoop. Remember hold on tight we don't know how bumpy the ride will be.”
George quickly distributed the packs, and they each put theirs on, Draco helping Harry with his and Fred trying to carry Hermione's as well as his own. He sheepishly handed it over when she glared at him.
“I am not a damsel in distress Fred Weasley and I'd thank you to remember that fact!”
“Never even entered into my head love honest!”
Hermione just rolled her eyes at him ignoring the warm feeling his endearment caused. Oh yeah she had it bad.
They all gathered around the hulahoop.
“Everyone ready then? Grab hold!” Hermione waited until everyone had a firm grip on the hoop before calling out the passwords. “Blubbering Humdinger!” They all felt that familiar being squeezed through a tube sensation before being deposited rather forcefully on the ground.
Hermione was lucky that George broke her fall. Unfortunately for both of them Fred landed on them next. Despite everything the feeling of being surrounded by their warmth and scent was very appealing. From the way they both took their time getting up, and the way they buried their noses in her hair she dared to hope they felt the same way.
Hermione looked around as the twins helped her to her feet. They were in what appeared to be the run down front garden of a small shack. It might have been charming at one time in the distant past but it now looked as if a mild breeze would topple it.
The roof sagged and a large nest of some sort poked out of the broken chimney. There was a door at least but it hung crooked on one remaining hinge and the sagging porch looked like it would collapse at any moment.
Draco looked around in disgust. “Charming. I realize that beggars can hardly be choosers, but this is ridiculous. Are we supposed to nest in the chimney with the squirrels?”
“Appearances can be deceiving Draco, but we aren't quite where we're staying just yet.” Hermione pointed to a small rabbit statue next to an overgrown pathway. “We keep following the rabbits.”
Draco could only shake his head, “Don't get me wrong, I'm rather fond of Luna, but why cant this be a bit more straight forward than following a bunch of bunnies?”
“Well if I were looking for fugitives and found this place I'd assume that they were in the house. This would make it more difficult for any followers.” Harry mused.
“Don't confuse him with logic Harry. I've told you before that Wizards don't deal well where logic is concerned.”
“Oy! What you mean by that?” George complained. “I'll have you know I'm very logically minded indeed.”
“I'm calling bullshit.”
“You wound me deeply Harry.”
“You invented a potion that caused someone to fart 'God Save the Queen'. How is that logical?”
“Worked didn't it?”
Draco just rolled his eyes. “Could you please knock it off? We're too exposed here! We need to find the safe house Luna mentioned.”
“I just think you're a bit eager to find that lube Luna mentioned.”
“Fred! Not helping!” Hermione scolded.
Fred just smiled. “You're incredibly attractive when you're angry Mione.”
“You're also quite lovely when you blush love.”
“I think that's a first. Hermione Granger unable to speak. Nicely done George!” Draco snickered.
Hermione stomped past the rabbit statue and onto the path. She accidentally hit Draco in the face with her pack as she walked past him. Twice.
Harry growled a bit at that.
"That's adorable Harry," said Fred, "like a puppy having a snit."
George nodded, "but growl at our Guide again..."
"...and we will rip out your spleen..."
"...through your left nostril."
“Lay a hand on my Sentinel and you will never be the same.” Draco said with a cold smile. “Hermione might object but I think you'd both make lovely girls.”
“Would you idiots quit threatening each other and come on!” Hermione yelled from the path.
Fred and George stared at a coldly smiling Draco before sharing a look and calling out, "Coming dear!" and following their Guide.
A coughed out, "Guide whipped." coming from behind them.
"Shut it Harry!"
"Will you idiots knock it off? It's not like we are on a secret mission while on the run from Death Eaters or anything."
“That growly voice is dead sexy.” George called out.
“I will hurt you.”
“Oh yeah baby! Beat me! Hurt me! Make me yours!”
Everyone stopped and stared at Fred.
“I now know more about my Sister's future sex life than I ever wanted to.” Harry shook his head.
Hermione could only sputter in embarrassment as her face blushed a brilliant red.
Fred smiled. It was always such fun to wind Hermione up like that.
Hermione stomped down the path muttering about idiots thinking they were funny. She finally stopped in front of an overgrown hedge and waited for the others to catch up with her. The hedge was covered in Easter themed baubles in stained glass. Eggs and bunnies in multicolored glass cast colored light around them.
"We're where Granger? All I see is a lawn that needs weeded, a pond that needs cleaned, and a hedge in desperate need of a trim. A wise person would burn it all down and start over."
Hermione reached out tapping a white bunny ornament three times. “Kingscross.”
The hedge rippled like water on a pond and Hermione stepped through.
George smiled, “A pass through! Luna is brilliant!” He went to go through the hedge only to get a face full of shrubbery.
“You tried to come through without tapping the rabbit and saying the pass phrase didn't you?” Hermione's amused voice came from beyond the hedge.
“I admit nothing!” George called back before tapping the ornament three times, muttering the pass phrase, and stepping through.
The others quickly followed them through the hedge into a bright, flower filled meadow. The scent of the flowers heavy in the air, the laughter of sprites tinkling like bells as they flitted among the blooms.
Lawn gnomes wearing rabbit masks and carrying small spears ranged along the pathway leading up to a small crystal castle not much larger than a child's playhouse.
“I can't believe she remembered.”
Draco turned to his Sentinel. “Luna? You can't believe she remembered what Harry?”
“Luna would come and sit with me sometimes when I was in the infirmary. She's one of the few people I felt safe talking to about my childhood. She knows what it's like to be treated like a freak for something she can't help so I knew she wouldn't judge me and would never tell anyone what I said.”
“Anyway, we were talking about childhood dreams and I told her that when I was about five or six, long before I knew magic was real, I used to dream that I'd be whisked away to a magical crystal palace, someplace just big enough for me, where my family couldn't find off in a magical faerie land.”
“My Aunt found the pictures I'd drawn of my magical palace and had a fit. She tore them up and burned them all while slapping me in the face and screaming that she'd beat the freak out of me.”
“I'd like to hunt your family for sport Harry.”
Harry shook his head. “It wasn't all their fault Draco, you know that. It's not like Dumbledore gave them a choice anyway. How would you feel if the way you found out your only sibling was murdered was to stumble over their baby with a note pinned to their nappy? A note that specifically said that your sibling was murdered because of that baby? Add in the accidental magic because I was sick and in shock and it's no wonder they were traumatized.”
“That doesn't excuse their behavior Harry!”
“No it doesn't, but it does make it more understandable. They had no say at all in taking me in even thought it put them in great danger. Hopefully they will be safer and happy with me out of their lives. I've long learned to let go of things in the past that I cannot change and just try to move forward.”
Draco just stared at his Sentinel. It was always amazing to see him show such compassion and forgiveness. At one time it seemed a weakness to him, no doubt the training from his father manifesting itself. Now though he was just awestruck by the strength of character Harry displayed.
“Shit George, we better head indoors soon or we will be witness to Malfoy defiling our new brother right here in the flowers!”
“In the flowers? How very.... common of you.” Draco drawled before grabbing Harry by the wrist and dragging him toward the crystal castle.
“Who's Guide whipped now Harry?!”
“Do shut up George, if Harry likes a bit of slap with his tickle I certainly don't want to know.”
Hermione just rolled her eyes before grabbing on to both of their sleeves and towing them behind her toward the castle.
“Yeah we all know who's Guide whipped here and it isn't Harry.”
“Put a sock in it Malfoy.” George called back. “Besides who wouldn't do anything Hermione wanted? Brains...”
“It's a heady combination.”
Hermione could only blush. She really wished they wouldn't say things like that. Everyone knew she wasn't beautiful. Unmanageable hair, indifference to the latest fashions and beauty charms, with her head always in a book. That was not anyone's idea of beauty.
“Stop that Hermione.”
“Stop what George?”
“Doubting yourself and assuming that we're having you on. Have we ever lied to you, even to get out of trouble?”
“Then why don't you believe us when we say that you're beautiful?”
“I'm not calling you, either of you liars it's just... I know I'm not anyone's idea of beautiful most of the time. I got a bit of notice after the Yule Ball when people saw me in fancy robes with a ton of Sleek Ease in my hair but that died down quick enough.”
“We may have had a bit to do with that,” Fred admitted. “In our defense though a lot of them were just assholes that wanted in your knickers. So we may have.... threatened them a little bit.”
“And by threatening them a bit they mean hanging Terry Boot off the astronomy tower and cursing several of the 7th year Slytherins with breath that would make a vulture gag.” Draco put in gleefully.
“Not helping Malfoy!”
“Not trying to Weasley!”
Hermione blinked a few times looking from Fred, to George, then Draco and back again. She opened her mouth, thought better of it and turned back toward the safe house. She could deal with the crazy people she was stuck with after they were all safely inside. Maybe after a few hours sleep they'd actually begin to make sense.
“The wards on the door have been linked to Draco and I since Luna was more familiar with our magic. We will have to enter first to key the rest of you in.” Hermione explained.
“Also there are spells on the doorway itself. To repel anyone of ill intent, dark magic, and also cleansing spells. Those are all of Mr. Lovegood's design. He may be dormant due to injuries he received during the last war, but he understands Sentinels very well and knew that none of you would want the smell of battle or the enemy on your person, your Guide, or in your sanctuary. So do try not to blow everything up when you feel the spells activate.”
“Draco, would you go first?”
Draco nodded, his his wand out and ready, a dueling blade sliding out of his sleeve and into his other hand.
“Thirty second intervals. Give the cleansing spells a chance to work and for us to get out of the way of the next one through.”
Everyone nodded, but Harry caught Draco's sleeve in hand. “Don't go where I can't follow Draco.”
The tender smile on Malfoy's face was stunning. “Never if I have a single thing to say about it Harry. Right behind me after a count of thirty, okay?”
Harry nodded and released Draco's sleeve somewhat reluctantly.
Harry and Hermione watched as Draco tapped the door with his wand letting the wards recognize his magic and keying in his Sentinel before stepping through the door.
"Another pass through. Remind me to ask Luna for her notes on this later, it's more complex than the pass through at Kingscross and that's really saying something considering its age and the Muggle repelling wards."
Harry nodded absently as he slowly counted to thirty, never taking his eyes from the door. On thirty he stepped forward, tapped the door with his wand to make sure it would accept his magic, and then followed his Guide through the doorway.
George took over the count then, as Fred stood guard, his back toward the safe-house.
When he reached thirty, Hermione took her place before the door, using her wand to key them into wards before stepping through. George, then Fred joining her at thirty second intervals.
They found themselves in a cozy sitting room. Nothing fancy to be sure, but full of comfortable looking chairs and sofas with light wood paneling on the walls and a stone fireplace at one end of the room.
There was a muted pop and two house elves appeared before them. The female was wearing a blue dress and white apron. The male was wearing mismatched socks (one red with gold snitches, the other blue with white clouds), a jumper that declared him Harry Potter's #1 Fan, and a rather dapper top hat upon his head. Or at least it would have been dapper if it hadn't been that particular shade of eye burning orange.
“Dobby? Winky? What are you doing here?”
“Harry Potter sir! Miss Luna be asking me to be helping with safe place for you, youse Grangy, and youse mates! Dobby being volunteer to help his friend Harry Potter but couldn't be leaving his Winky behind.”
Winky nodded. “I be good elf and taking care of Dobby's friends. I wishing safe place for me, my Dobby and our children.”
Hermione surprised everyone by kneeling down and embracing both elves.
“Thank you both for volunteering to help us. I'm sure Luna will have no problem with you staying here Winky, even after we have to move on. When is your child due?”
“I be having twins Miss Grangy in five months.” Winky announced proudly as Dobby looked on in wide-eyed shock. She giggled, “Dobby not be knowing this before now.”
Harry congratulated Dobby as Hermione stood and stepped back.
“Dobby will being discussing with Winky about not keeping secrets. Just because Winky is far too beautiful for Dobby doesn't mean she can not be telling important things!”
Winky just leaned over and kissed her mate on his cheek.
“Yes. Well...” Dobby grumbled before resuming his normal manic behavior. “Oh Master Draco! I has been forgetting! Dobby be moving Mistress Cissa to another of Miss Luna's safe places with Dobby's family! Youse Mother being safe from bad snake man.”
You could almost see the tension leave Draco as he sighed in relief.
“Thank you Dobby! I know Mother will be safe with your sisters taking care of her.”
Dobby bounced a bit happily before offering to show Harry and Draco to their rooms leading them off to a door on the right side of the room.
“If Miss Grangy and her Wheezies be following Winky I be taking you to you rooms as well.” Winky offered before heading off to a door on the left side of the room.
Hermione didn't notice the look Fred and George shared before they all followed Winky out of the room and down a well lit hallway and through a carved wooden door at the far end.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
They found themselves, not in separate rooms as Hermione had assumed, but in a lovely suite. To the right was a sitting area with comfortable chairs and few decorative tables. Along the back wall of the room on the same side was a small dinning area with a round table and three chairs.
To the left of a doorway in the back wall was a few cabinets with bowls of fruit, covered plates under shimmering stasis charms, bottles of pumpkin juice, butter beer, and various other drinks. There were also rows of potions on the shelf above. Hermione recognized pepper up, hydration droughts, and nutrition potions at a glance.
On the left side of the room was a huge round bed. The mirrored headboard and sapphire coverlet shimmered in the soft light of hanging globes scattered around the room. This was obviously set up as a bonding suite. Bloody hell she was in no way ready for this.
She turned to Winky, to say what she wasn't sure, when the elf interrupted her thoughts.
“Doorway over there be leading to bathing room. Is plenty of food, drinks, and potions to last up to a week. Be remembering to take breaks on occasion and be drinking lots. No sense in finding mate only to die of thirst or exhaustion while bonding!”
With a wink, curtsey, and a pop she was gone.
Lovely. Even the elves were being Yentas over the whole thing. She lifted her eyes to see what George and Fred thought of this. They looked back at her quite calmly as if they expected nothing else than to be shown to a bonding suite with Hogwarts resident bossy bookworm.
Both of them smiled at her in what she could only think of as a predatory way. It should not be as hot as it was, but her Guide genetics seemed to find it quite attractive. If she was going to be honest with herself, the rest of her genetics were totally on board with that as well.
That they were both online Sentinels would always be attractive, but honestly Fred and George would be attractive without that. Smart, talented, magically powerful, and owning their own successful business at such a young age; many a woman or man would be more than glad to take her place.
Hermione shuddered in anticipation at the heated looks from her Sentinels. She couldn't help being a little apprehensive at what was to follow though. The tollis puritatem elixir may have removed the physical sign of her virginity, but having a potion dissolve her hymen was vastly different from actually having sex.
Not that she was completely ignorant of the pleasures of the flesh. She had discovered the wonders of her clitoris by the time she was 14. She had not, however, ever inserted even her own fingers into her body. It might be old fashioned but she wanted to save herself for the one she would bond to. Giving them the gift of herself and the knowledge that she had waited for them.
She had never considered that she might have two Sentinels though. If Sentinels and Guides were rare identical twin Sentinels were rarer still.
The Twins shared a look.
“Hermione, whatever happens between us...”
“Is your choice. We would never...”
“Ever try to pressure you...”
“Into doing something you weren't ready for.”
“Or into doing something you do not want.”
“If you do not want us...”
“We wont hold you to us against your will.”
Hermione drew a shaky breath. “If you don't bond, you will eventually zone out and that could kill you. Especially with the war going on.”
“Doesn't matter,” George replied.
Fred nodded. “Your safety and happiness is our only concern.”
"You are sure I'm your Guide?" Hermione hated the note of insecurity in her voice.
Fred and George smiled as they spoke in unison. “Never more sure of anything in our lives.”
“Pheromones and genetics. I don't want nature to push you to accept someone you don't really want. You'll just come to resent being bound to someone like me later.”
Hermione's mind was screaming at her to not mess this up, but at the same time she didn't want to make Fred and George hate her later, for being bound to a bossy, bushy haired bookworm when they could have just about anyone else. They were strong Sentinels, and could forge a bond with any willing Guide easily enough. It might not be their perfect genetic match, but that way at least they could have someone they chose instead of someone genetics forced them to accept.
“Stop it Hermione,” George said shaking his head. “It isn't pheromones making us want you, we've fancied you for years.”
“To be sure,” said Fred, “at 13 we weren't thinking of shagging you senseless, but we knew right away we wanted to get to know the pretty first year who was far too solemn.”
“So we set out to get to know you, to be your friend.”
“By the next year, our thoughts weren't so innocent.”
“I'd see you nibbling on your quill...”
“Eyes all intent as you worked out a problem...”
“And I'd just want to snog you silly.”
“It is a really great thing that Wizarding robes....”
“Are so loose as we would have totally embarrassed ourselves...”
“Walking around with the evidence of our attraction as it were.”
Hermione looked at the two in shock. “You never said anything. Never even asked me out for as much as a couple of butter beers.”
“Well we couldn't really do that,” Fred said with a wry grin.
George nodded. “There are two of us after all and it's not like we could both ask you out.”
“Even if against all odds you said yes...”
“It would have given you quite a reputation around Hogwarts,”
“And not for your excellent testing scores.”
“Neither of us was willing to hurt the other by being the only one to ask you out either.”
“So we decided that your friendship was worth more than any drama.”
“We had hoped that at least that way we would be able to stay in your life when you found your Sentinel.”
“Imagine our joy when we realized that we are your Sentinels.”
“Genetic imperative. Though neither of you were online your Sentinel drives were still there. That part of you must have found my being an online Guide attractive.”
“Why are you trying to talk us out of wanting you?” Fred demanded. “It's not lack of attraction on your part because the Sentinel senses are working fine luv, and I can smell the pheromones.”
George reached over and slapped his twin on the arm.
“Consider this Hermione,” said George, “you were there when Fleur and Bill's spirit animals combined to make the gryphon right? What made that happen?”
“Spirit guides can only combine into a new magical form if they belong to a Sentinel/Guide pair that are also soul mates.”
“Right,” Fred nodded. “The bloody big basilisk then?”
“That was Harry's cobra combining with Draco's boa constrictor.”
“So that means Harry and Draco are soul mates as well?” Fred asked.
Hermione nodded looking puzzled. “Not that I'm not thrilled for them, but what does this have to do with anything?”
George shook his head at her. “Hermione, knowing that, what possible explanation could there be for your border collie joining with my english setter and Fred's red and white setter?”
Hermione could only stare at both of her... her Sentinels. Her soul mates. How could she have possibly missed that? Brightest witch of the age when it comes to books and oblivious to what was in front of her.
Fred and George just looked back at her calmly, giving her all the time she needed to come to her own conclusions. She didn't doubt that they would agree with whatever she wanted to do. Even if it meant that she refused to bond to them which would eventually cause their deaths. She was surrounded by self-sacrificing idiots.
Right then. She waved her wand and one of the chairs and the small table next to it both jumped up and ran over to her before returning to their inanimate state. She took off her jewelry, setting the earrings and necklace carefully in the small dish on the table. She then reached up and took the pins out of her hair, shaking it out as she dropped the hair clasp into the dish.
She heard George take a sharp breath, but didn't look at her Sentinels as she slipped out of her dress robes standing there in just her bra, panties, stockings and shoes. She turned her back to them as she draped the dress robes over the chair.
She stepped out of her shoes, as she unclasped her bra and dropped it into the chair. She rolled her thigh high stockings down and off her legs, raising each foot to the chair seat to accomplish this before adding the stockings to the pile on the chair.
Taking a deep breath she shimmied out of her silk panties letting them fall to the ground before silently levitating them to the chair and placing her wand on top of everything. She paused for a moment, before turning to face her mates.
She looked up to see that both of her Sentinels had shed their clothing as well. They stood still, loose limbed and unashamed letting her look her fill. Holding true to their promise to let her set the pace.
They obviously had nothing to be ashamed of, tall, lean, lightly muscled with a scattering of freckles across their skin. She tried not to stare at the obvious signs of their arousal but it was hard... DIFFICULT, it was difficult. The small patches of ginger hair at first giving her pause before she started laughing.
Fred and George shared a look before turning back to their laughing Guide.
“Well at least she isn't pointing and laughing.” George said.
“Spoke too soon there brother mine.” Fred said tilting his head towards where their red-faced mate was pointing and giggling madly.
“Strangely enough that wasn't the response we were hoping for.”
“Care to share the laugh with the rest of the room?”
“Our egos can take it.”
“What's a little naked humiliation amongst friends after all?”
Gasping and panting Hermione tried to get a grip on herself. She figured more than a little bit of her laughter was delayed hysteria considering the battle, seeing men and women fall around her, and gaining herself not one, but two Sentinels.
Finally she managed to gasp out, “the carpet matches the drapes!”
George and Fred shared an amused look before they joined her in laughing. The deeper, masculine sound coupled with the way their eyes shone caused Hermione's stomach muscles to tighten in anticipation. If she were to be honest with herself, something she'd avoided often before now, she'd always found their laughter attractive. This was on a whole other level though.
Fred and George seemed to notice this and moved closer to her. Slowly and watching her face carefully for any sign that they were not welcome. She smiled at them though she was certain her nervousness showed on her face and the herbal pine and rosemary scent of the Twins got stronger. Pheromones she realized. They must have been on the cusp of coming online for a long time and were unknowingly projecting a mild form of bonding pheromones whenever they were in her presence.
Hermione shivered as their heated gaze trailed over her form. She could swear she could feel it caress her skin. When they got to the large, hand shaped bruises on her arms they both made a wounded noise, their finger tips touching the marks slightly and seeming to pull the residual ache away.
"It's all right, I'm here, and I'm safe," Hermione whispered.
"He touched you..."
"He wont ever be a threat to anyone again," Hermione promised. "Neville got him with a devil's snare for threatening Luna."
The smiles on the faces of the Twins were a bit evil and shouldn't be as hot as they were. She figured they both knew how it effected her by the way those smiles turned to smirks. The sexy bastards.
"Neville Longbottom is forever a brother to us."
“He's a good man, and will make an amazing Sentinel with Luna by his side.” Hermione managed though the nearness of the George and Fred was making it difficult for her to concentrate.
She could feel the heat radiating from their bodies and the scent of pine and rosemary was thick in the air. She felt saturated in their scent and swayed slightly as the warmth of arousal pooled in her belly. She suddenly felt hungry for their touch, which surprised her somewhat as she'd always held herself apart from others out of privacy and a desire to preserve herself for the one she would bond to.
They circled her, eyes seeming to caress every inch of her skin before ever laying hand to her. Then it was only the barest of touches, fingertips sliding over her skin in a way that was both arousing and frustrating.
Fred stopped before her smiling. “Patience Guide, we get there when we get there and half the pleasure is the journey.”
She just huffed at him. Trust Fred to be a closet romantic.
Her response just amused her Sentinels. Fred leaned forward carefully, giving Hermione a chance to adjust to his presence or change her mind before cupping her face gently and lowering his mouth to hers.
Dear merciful Merlin. She had only thought the kisses they had laid on her half in jest at the wedding were amazing. Obviously she had no frame of reference at the time because never had she truly been kissed before now. Her eyes fluttered shut as she enjoyed being the focus of Fred's attentions.
When he finally lifted his mouth from hers she moaned in disappointment. This turned to gasps as George was nuzzling the back of her neck, scenting her as he kissed and licked along her neck and shoulders. She couldn't help arching her back at his attentions, her heaving chest flushed from arousal.
This caused Fred's eyes to drop to her breasts. Men were so predictable. He looked back at her face and she could see that his pupils were blown wide open, only the barest ring of blue remained as he drank in the sight of his aroused Guide for the first time.
This was a dangerous time in the bonding process. A Sentinel could get so absorbed in his Guide that he could zone out. Hermione indulged in her own need to touch, reaching out and running her hand up Fred's arm to help ground him in the here and now.
He leaned into her touch slightly letting her know she was doing the right thing. She continued her tentative exploration of his skin, keeping her touch light to not overwhelm his senses.
Her own senses, feeble as the were in comparison with her Sentinels, were near to overwhelmed. George's touch along her back was maddening. Featherlight caresses and kisses, whispered endearments against her skin.
Add in the closeness of Fred who had finally given into temptation to touch her breasts and she was not far from begging for more. As he lowered his head, sucking on one hard nipple as his agile hand toyed with the other she couldn't help whimpering. The tug and pull seemed to go straight from her breasts to her pussy and if she had the ability to concentrate for more than a moment she might have been slightly embarrassed at how wet they were making her.
Fred slid his other hand down her body to cup her mound. “You have no idea how hot it is that you keep yourself shaved.”
Hermione blushed. “Permanent hair removal spell. Everything below the neck when I turned 16. Body hair can be irritating to a Sentinel.”
His thumb caressed the smooth skin. “I need to... can I? Please?”
“Yes. Anything. Please!” Hermione gasped out and helpfully widened her stance to give him better access.
Fred grinned and whispered out a spell, the magic rushing over her pussy leaving warmth and additional wetness behind. Lubrication spell she realized, as one of Fred's fingers parted the lips of her pussy and began rubbing her clit.
So good. So very good. She gasped and shivered as his other fingers joined in driving her mad. He slid his hand farther back one finger rubbing over her opening before pushing it inside her for the first time.
She arched her back, throwing her head back on George's shoulder as Fred continued driving her mad. He continued to rub his thumb over her clit before plunging two fingers back into her. The slight stretch burned a bit, but any discomfort was far outweighed by the pleasure those fingers were causing.
He went back to kissing her, plunging his tongue into her mouth as his fingers continued to plunge in and out of her grasping pussy. She just moaned as the burning pleasure built within her. Then Fred curled his fingers within her body, pressing up as his thumb rubbed her clit vigorously and she was suddenly there.
The force of the orgasm was far beyond anything she had experienced before. Her back arched, and she pulled her mouth from Fred's as she groaned through the pleasure. Her head fell forward onto Fred's shoulder as she tried to remember how to breathe.
Over a minute later and Hermione was still weak in the knees and seeing stars from the first orgasm she'd ever had with a partner. The difference between Fred using his hands to get her off and masturbating alone were vast. It was like comparing Stonehenge to a handful of pebbles.
There was a bit of disorientation and when she opened her eyes she saw that they had changed places. Fred now stood behind her, supporting her against his strong chest as her knees were still wobbly. George now stood before her, lightly caressing her body with eyes and hands learning every inch of his Guides body.
He sunk one hand into her hair, and used it to tilt her head and guide her into a kiss. Here again she was reminded of the differences between the two brothers. Both were gentle with her, but Fred was a bit more wild, teeth coming into play after a few moments.
George though kissed her oh so sweetly, a series of small kisses, the gentlest of touches as his lips brushed hers turning into more passionate kisses as they progressed. He lifted his mouth from hers for a moment and she couldn't help but shiver as he gazed into her eyes.
Like Fred his pupils were blown wide as he drank her in, but it was the look of wonder that made her shake. He looked at her as if he couldn't believe his good fortune. As if he had been given a priceless gift and couldn't believe that this luck was his. As if it wasn't Hermione instead that was so lucky that George and Fred were willing to look past her bossy bookishness to bond with her.
George smiled at her before using his thumbs to tilt her head back to get access to her neck. He leaned in and added taste and scent to the bonding process as kissed and licked at her body. She couldn't even begin to hold back her gasps and moans at his attention as he worked his way down her body, going gracefully to his knees in front of her.
She realized she'd said the last bit aloud as she felt Fred's chuff of laughter against her neck and looked down into George's amused eyes. Both men had their shields completely down at this point and she could feel their emotions washing over her even though she had not yet been able to completely relax the protections on her mind and heart.
Passion, desire, protectiveness, humor, friendship, joy, and yes love washed over her.
Her eyes burned a bit with unshed tears at the knowledge that all this was hers, freely given. No mistake, no second thoughts, no joke. These two amazing men were hers and hers alone.
“You understand now Hermione?” Fred whispered against her neck. “We are yours and you our ours...”
“Beloved.” George added before pressing a kiss to her bare sex. The warmth of his magic flowing over her as he silently cast cleansing and lubrication spells on her.
Hermione's back arched as her body responded to his magic, the feeling of warmth and lubrication within her new but not unpleasant as the magic relaxed her muscles causing her to lean more heavily against Fred. She thew her right arm up over her shoulder, sinking her hand into Fred's thick hair to better support herself as George lifted her left leg up over his right shoulder to get better access to her pussy.
This also gave Fred better access and as George began using his tongue on Hermione's clit, Fred ran his left hand down her back to her ass, squeezing one cheek before sliding his lubricated fingers down the cleft of her ass.
His fingers rubbed over the loosened opening causing her to gasp and tense slightly at the new sensation. Fred continued his fingers path, but also started nibbling kisses along her sensitive neck while caressing her breast with his other hand.
Hermione relaxed back into her Sentinel's embrace again, shuddering and moaning at the new sensations. Head thrown back, and pale skin flushed in pleasure she could only moan at their attentions. The feel of George's tongue was sinfully good and she would have followed him blindly off a cliff if only to keep that wicked tongue pressed to her hot flesh.
The feel of Fred's finger breaching her was decidedly odd and more foreign than when he had used the same hands on her pussy. She had a hard time concentrating and could only gasp for air and groan as he removed his finger before pressing two fingers back in. The low ache backed her off slightly from orgasm, but she was already close again.
Her right hand still buried in Fred's hair she reached down with her left hand to caress George. She ran her fingertips through his hair as he used his tongue to drive her wild. He looked up at her as he worked her flesh and she felt so trapped by his gaze that she almost didn't notice the increased burn as Fred added a third finger.
Eyes never leaving hers, George ran his tongue over her clit over and over. She again felt the burning pleasure build until a wicked tongue swirl combined with Fred biting at her neck pushed her over the edge.
She shuddered and shook almost sobbing in her pleasure. Her Sentinel's steadied her through this, George lowering her leg off of his shoulder and standing, caressing her body with his as he arose. A muttered spell cleansing his mouth before he again took hers in a searing kiss.
Releasing her mouth he kissed at her throat before once again working his way behind her to scent her behind the ears while playing with her hair. The feel of his strong chest against her back, and his hard dick against her hip was driving her mad.
Fred again stood before her lightly caressing her body. She was strongly reminded of a conversation she'd overheard among a few laughing Gryffindor boys who were bragging about supposed sexual conquests. “No woman is as eager as one that already has.”
This was more than a little true because if her Sentinel's didn't fuck her soon she was sure she was going to kill someone. She'd had a taste and now she wanted more. Now if not sooner.
Any nervousness she'd previously had was long gone. Endorphins and Bonding Pheromones were totally awesome.
She began herding her mates toward the bed. Neither seemed to give much notice to where they were, kissing and caressing her as they made their way across the room. A bit of wandless magic from Hermione and the shimmering coverlet slid off the bed pooling on the floor exposing soft blue sheets.
The back of Fred's knees bumped into the bed causing him to sit suddenly. Hermione just giggled at his surprise, pushing at him and urging him further back on the bed.
Fred went without protest, laying back on the bed and moving a bit backward while watching his Guide with hungry eyes. Hermione didn't hesitate, climbing onto the bed after the Sentinel, straddling his hips, her hands on either side of his chest. George groaned at the view this afforded.
She grinned over her shoulder at him. “See something you like?”
She blushed a bit at this, basking at the emotions coming from her mates. For the first time in her life she was able to trust that a man wasn't just having her on to embarrass her. She knew they meant every word. They truly loved and desired her and it was more than a little heady.
Her body began producing more bonding pheromones in response to her emotional state. This in turn influenced her Sentinels to produce more of their own bonding scent. The fragrance of pine, rosemary and honeysuckle filled the air.
She threw her head back, eyes fluttering shut from the way her whole body was thrumming from the bonding scent. She began rocking her hips, rubbing her wet pussy along the length of Fred's dick.
Fred grabbed her face in his hands and began kissing her a bit wildly. George was behind her caressing her skin and trailing kisses down her spine. The fire once again built low in Hermione's belly and her back bowed as she came keening and sobbing through the pleasure.
“Now! Please now! I need you both!” Hermione gasped out. “Oh please!”
Fred and George's magic once again whispered across her skin relaxing muscle and increasing lubrication. Fred used his hands to urge her into position, the head of his cock against her pussy but waited until she opened her eyes and looked in his, nodding her assent before lowering her onto his shaft.
She groaned as he filled her, the ache of being fully entered for the first time quickly fading in the face of the bonding imperative. Fred groaned as well as she snugged up against him and for the first time he felt the wet heat of his Guide.
Hermione laid down against him, forehead on his chest trembling for a moment. This close she was feeling strong emotional feedback from Fred and it took her a few moments to adjust to this.
George ran his hands down Hermione's back. She could feel them trembling against her skin. She raised her head, looking in the mirrored headboard to meet his eyes.
“Please George,” she begged.
George took a shaky breath, lining his cock up against her back opening before slowly pushing forward. She felt the head pop through the ring of muscle, and the ache of being stretched as he gently rocked his hips until he was all the way inside. His whole body shuddered and his hands clenched briefly on her sides before he stilled.
The feel of both her Sentinel's inside her, surrounding her, their combined scent saturating the air was almost more than she could bear. Her shields were already thin in the onslaught of the bonding drive and she was unable to block out any of the emotional stimuli.
Passion, pleasure, joy, love, wonder, and fear brushed across her shields. The later gave her momentary pause until she thinned her shields more instinctively. The fear her Sentinel's felt was the fear of pushing her to far, of scaring or hurting her. Both were unmoving in a near zone out to keep from inadvertently harming their Guide.
She delicately probed their fear. Uppermost in their minds was the feral battle lust they experienced when they came online. How easy it was to kill in defense of Guide and Tribe. They feared losing themselves in her and the bonding drive as they had in battle causing them to be too rough and injuring her as a result.
Most civilized people would be horrified when forced to kill. Their Sentinel genetics actually shielded them there, kept them from going into shock from what they had to do to protect the Tribe. What they both didn't seem to realize was that those same genetics protected them from harming their Guide here. They had been willing to sacrifice themselves if she had turned them away after all.
Fred lay under her, his eyes squeezed shut, head thrown back, and hands clenched in the sheets. Hermione looked at Georges reflection in the mirrored headboard, to find him with his eyes shut and head hanging down a bit. Both men were breathing hard and fast which felt interesting to say the least, but she wanted more and now.
The need to bond was near to overpowering. With her mates frozen it looked like it was up to her. Figured that the person that was most recently a virgin would have to deal with taking the lead. Still George and Fred had shown no reluctance to follow her lead before, and maybe she could shock them into action so they'd stop treating her as if she were fragile.
Good thing she had spent so much time reading the Magical Illustrated Karma Sutra or she'd have no idea what to do next. Fortunate indeed that she had spent so much time in research watching those little animations do incredibly kinky things to each other.
She got pushed up off of Fred's chest, her hands on the bed on either side of him as she managed to get her knees under her. Instinct drove her as she rocked forward, then back onto the twins cocks. All three gasped at the sensation.
Oh this was good. So very good. So she did it again, and again. Each time rocking forward a little bit more, each time going pushing back on her Sentinel's cocks just a little bit harder. Other than a few gasps and tightening of hands there wasn't much of a reaction so this time when she pushed back she began grinding her hips against her mates.
This got their attention and they both gasped, eyes flying open as she continued rocking and grinding back against them.
“Must I do everything myself?” She gasped out.
Both men chuckled which felt very interesting sandwiched between them as she was. The vibrations seemed to travel down their cocks which raised her own pleasure a notch.
“Move!” Hermione all but commanded. “I'm not a fragile flower!”
George's hands gripped her hips hard stilling her movements. She couldn't help but to whine in response, though she'd deny it with her last breath. She could feel George's smile as he leaned forward, scenting at her hair and kissing the back of her neck. He twined the fingers of one hand in her hair and using that and a grip around her waist managed to pull her upright until she was sitting astride Fred's hips, her back against George's chest.
George continuously licked and nibbled at her neck his small thrusts driving her mad as they still weren't allowing her much movement. Fred's hands roved her chest, caressing her breasts and rubbing at her sensitive nipples.
“What do you need Hermione?” George whispered in her ear sending shivers down her spine at the low tone and feel of the rumbling in the chest pressed against her back. “We will deny you nothing you ask for.”
“I need to come! I need the bond! Oh Merlin please!” she begged shamelessly.
Both men growled a bit at that and let Hermione once again drop down to all fours as they picked up the pace. Gasps and the slap of skin on skin was all that could be heard until Fred worked one hand down to where her was joined with Hermione and began rubbing her clit. That pushed her over the edge once again and she came screaming.
Their thrusts got a bit more ragged at that as they felt her inner walls squeezing at their cocks. They picked up the pace again hunting for their own release.
Hermione gasped and shuddered between them as the last hold on her shields came down under the physical and emotional onslaught. Her shields spiraled out like an exotic bloom as tendrils reached out for her mates.
This was the moment that they had been waiting for and she felt her shields wrapping around her mate's hearts, minds, and souls as she drew them in. There was a loud noise, much like that of a dislocated limb popping back into place and light streamed from all three as the bond settled.
All three screamed out as they came, the physical pleasure magnified by the emotional connection. Hermione shuddered through her fifth orgasm, as she felt not only her own pleasure, but the pleasure of her mates as well.
It resonated in their minds and hearts with one simple word. “Hello.”
So much emotion in that simple word. Hello: recognition, joy. A rejoining of souls, once one in another life, the pain of being apart, the ecstasy of reunion. The knowledge that in this life, as in previous lives they would no longer be alone. The knowledge that in future lives they might momentarily be separate again, but would find each other anew. Three hearts beat as one, three minds joined in joyous reunion. Lonely no more. Hello: you are home and you are my home. Forever more.
As the glow faded Fred and George managed to roll to the right as not to crush Hermione between them and carefully disengaged.
Hermione couldn't help groaning at the loss and yeah she was going to be sore once she came down off the bonding high but it was so worth it. Fortunately, magic users healed faster than those that did not have a large magical core and Sentinel's and Guide's healed faster still.
The soreness should fade in a few hours which was a good thing as she was sure her mates would want to take advantage of the privacy offered at the safe house to spend most of the next week in bed imprinting on their Guide. If not she would be sure to encourage them in that direction.
That was for later though as at the moment she couldn't stop gasping for air nor could she stop her legs from shaking uncontrollably. Her skin was so sensitive that she was sure if her mates were to do so much as caress her breasts she would come again and she was sure she'd pass out completely if that were to happen.
She rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling as she tried to get her heart rate down to normal and regain the ability of forming coherent words.
She opened her mouth, “nnggg...”. Looked like it would be a while until she regained the power of speech.
“Ffffttt...” came the muffled reply from George before he managed to roll over on his side to keep from suffocating.
Fred nodded jerkily, “wawng...” agreeing with his twin.
Dobby stood outside their doorway, alerted to the settling bond by the outpouring of wild magic and the bright light that managed to leak around the closed door. He blinked his eyes feeling a bit drunk off of all the magic in the air before snapping his fingers and cleaning up Miss Grangy, her Weasies, and their bonding bed. No need for them to fall asleep in the world's biggest wet spot. They might catch a chill after all. With that thought he also extended his magic enough to lift the coverlet from the floor and drape it over them before popping away to see how his mate was handling the overflow of raw magic.
He found Winky in their quarters glowing with a warm golden light, her eyes closed and head thrown back as she channeled the magic into their unborn twins. This above all things was why Dobby and Winky had chosen to help. Not that they wouldn't have done so anyway, they owed much to Harry Potter and his friends.
House Elves depended on the magic they received from bonding to Wizards and Witches. They needed this to survive or their own magic would begin to twist inside of them, driving them mad with the pain to the point that their death came as a relief. The absorption of magic was even more critical for pregnant Elves and the amount of magic the mother could channel into her unborn offspring not only determined a successful pregnancy and birth, but the strength of the children. If the mother couldn't channel enough magic to her babies she risked miscarriage or babies that were weak and did not live very long.
Considering how his Winky was lit up like a small sun this wouldn't be something they had to worry about. Another pulse of wild magic hit them, this time from Master Draco and Harry Potter sir, and the glow intensified. Considering how brightly Winky was glowing, not only would the pregnancy be a successful one, but her children would also be among the most powerful seen in generations.
Dobby stopped to consider how much more power would be generated in the following days due to close proximity to two sets of bonding Sentinels and Guides and gulped. He had better catch up on his sleep while he could as it could be years before he could stop chasing after his children long enough to get a good nights sleep.
Winky opened her eyes and smiled at him as the glow faded a bit but didn't retreat completely. He couldn't help but to smile back at his beautiful mate. He really wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks to the magical gifts from Harry Potter, Miss Grangy and their mates, the future of Dobby's family was assured. Despite the coming war and hard times, the future was looking brighter all the time.