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A Greek Inheritance

Chapter Text

She was fourteen when she took to the Room of Requirement to study; to get some bloody peace from Viktor Krum’s entourage. It was sweet of him when he finally plucked up the courage to ask her to the Yule Ball. He saw her earthly charms that others shunned. Still, a girl needed peace to study, and when she stumbled upon the Room of Requirement, she was enthralled. Hermione always made to learn outside of her studies, and learn Hermione did.

She learned about Helga Hufflepuff’s earth magic, and how being a ‘mudblood’ originally meant to have inherited from the earth— that the ley lines of the earth strengthened all living plants and animals inherent magical potential. Hermione was awed at the books the Room of Requirement supplied her, from copies of Helga’s private journals to mythology from Crete where her mother Diana Deo hailed from before meeting and falling in love with David Granger during their baculauretes as they studied abroad. Diana Deo became Diana Granger and never set foot on Crete again, despite her family trying to call her back. She did uphold with her daughter the olde family traditions on the equinoxes and solstices, as well as seasonal festival days, which Hermione was astounded to read similar rites in Hufflepuff’s journals and a few other guides to ritualistic Earth magic. Hermione wasn’t able to dwell much on the fascinating Earth magic she felt calling to her— she was constantly barraged with helping her best friend not lose his life during the Triwizard Tournament, her first boyfriend, and dealing with that dung beetle of a reporter named Rita Skeeter.

It was during the summer holidays before her fifth year at Hogwarts, while she was performing the familial tradition of celebrating the height of summer at the solstice that Hermione thought to question her mother. Their family was never religious, but her father never joined mother and daughter for these traditions. Traditions that Hermione now knew as rituals and rites and was astounded it took her so bloody long to figure it out—and what it might mean about their family.

“Mum, I was doing some personal reading this year and… well our family traditions were described in some of the books. The ones you said you practiced with your mother, and she with hers and so on.” Hermione began, as they comfortably sat side by side at the yearly bonfire they’d lit, fragranced with sage, mint, basil, Saint John's Wort, sunflower, and lavender. Each sipped on sweet grape raki brandy her mother made from her family’s traditional recipe; it was Hermione’s third year at being allowed to have more than symbolic grape juice. She was allowed to drink the alcohol at their traditions after her first period, when her mother told her she was a woman in her family’s tradition.

“I’m not surprised they are very similar. My family on Crete celebrated the Olde Ways, and on Crete, there wasn’t always such a disconnect between those who practiced wand waving and those who didn’t.” Diana Granger chuckled at the look on her daughter’s face, evaluating if her mother was joking or being serious. Diana smiled at her daughter, relishing how lovely it was to reconnect with her roots and also with her daughter who seemed to be growing farther away from their family as Hermione progressed through her schooling.

“Mum… these Olde Ways… they’re barely even celebrated by wizards anymore. I don’t understand how I was raised with traditions passed down in your family that are dying out.” Hermione persisted, sipping the raki and inhaling deeply the herbal incense of the fire.

“Oh darling, I’ve told you how Crete was! My family— I love them dearly— they never really accepted me, given what I wanted to do. I wanted to go to university and then have a career. Not be a housewife with a dozen children underfoot.” Diana laughed, and the sound carried over the crackling bonfire in the field beyond their home. Later, once the sun had set David Granger and their neighbors would join them for the mid-summer bonfire, but it was always Diana and Hermione who prepared it, even from Hermione’s earliest memories.

“Mum… I feel silly asking this, but no one in your family had magical talent, did they? Even the slightest bit? Hermione asked, feeling ridiculous even asking knowing that her parents were as surprised as she was when Hermione received her Hogwarts letter. Her mother looked at her pensively.

“There were stories, legends really, back on Crete. About the old families. My family particularly. I thought they were nonsense, just mythology and the fact that Crete was supposedly one of the places where many Greek myths and epics took place. But once you were born, my sweet Hermione, I did always wonder…” Diana trailed off, but Hermione was on the edge of her seat.

“Wonder what, Mum?”

“If the stories were true, my darling. What I thought myths were in fact, true. You being a witch certainly made it a possibility.” Diana looked thoughtfully into the fire, sipping her brandy. “Sometimes I regret naming you after Hermione, the daughter of Helen of Troy— you are caught up in a brewing war and none of it is your fault.”

“Mum, you can’t be serious! My name has—“ Hermione began but was cut off.

“I was named after Diana, goddess of the hunt, a Roman equivalent of Artemis since I already had a cousin of that name. Supposedly, our female line descended directly from Demeter.” Diana Granger looked at her daughter.

“You are the beauty I always knew you’d be, my darling.” Diana sighed, changing the subject slightly, reaching over and brushing her daughter’s unruly curls, so very like her own, away from her face.

“Mum, I have this bushy Greek hair and no one even sees me as anything other than know-it-all-swot Hermione Granger.” Hermione said exasperatedly.

“Good. Let it stay that way. I would rather you be Hermione than Persephone.” Diana smiled lovingly.

“So… do you think they’re true, the stories your family told? Is that why we have our traditions that align with every equinox, solstice, and seasonal celebration?” Hermione asked quizzically, looking into her cup as if it may hold the answers she sought.

“Possibly. We cherish the Earth, my darling, as the females in my line always have, no matter who we actually descended from. We celebrate to remember where were came from, to ground us and to see through the next year.” Diana reminded her daughter as she did every tradition they celebrated together, and in her letters to Hermione reminding her to recognize them on her own at Hogwarts. Something Hermione always complied with secretively on her own, not that it was very difficult given that Harry or Ron wouldn’t have even noticed if she wasn’t actually heading to the library.

“Of course, Mum.” Hermione smiled at her mother. “You know, with this war… you will be targeted. I’m a target not just for being friends with Harry but for being muggleborn and—“ Hermione was cut off by her mother.

“If anything, you are earth born— more connected to the Earth than any of those witches and wizards as your school. They do not properly celebrate any of the seasonal days or respect the Earth as our Mother and the giver of life that sustains us.”

“Why Mum, you sound positively religious there.” Hermione giggled. “But, I agree. They may think ‘mudblood’ is a slur, that my blood is dirty, but I only see myself closer to the Earth. I learned such fascinating things about ley lines in my research. I’m hoping that maybe I can draw on the ones that intersect right at Hogwarts in my Samhain rite. Actually, I think you might find this interesting— I want to incorporate runes in order to call upon the ley lines and use their protection for the school. I walk the grounds frequently and the wards feel old and weak. I think they need the Olde Traditions, from what I read in my research.”

“Just don’t tire yourself out my Hermione. And keep yourself safe. You’ll be using that smokeless blue fire for your bonfire, yes?” Diana queried.

“Of course. There’s a little glade outside the Forbidden Forest— I’m almost positive it’s where the school founders had their rituals to raise the wards and celebrate the seasons and Earth.”

“That’s my Hermione.” Diana leaned over and gave her daughter a side hug.

“I meant what I said about the war, Mum. I’ve got to leave soon to help with Harry and Ron and everyone resisting Voldemort’s return. I’d feel better if you went to Crete and stayed with your family— I can tell everyone you and dad fulfilled your dream to go to Australia but… Your blood kin is in Crete. The traditions will have bound your family to the land and in return, the land will protect you. While you claim that none of our family have been witches… I think the Deo family effectively raised wards that will keep every one of you safe.” Hermione’s seriousness caught her mother off guard.

“When do you think we must go? You father and I do have responsibilities to our patients—“ Diana began, sensing the dire warning her daughter was imparting.

“At least a year. We will have at least one more summer solstice here. And I’ll try to get away this summer to spend Lughnasadh with you. Actually, they won’t stop me. I’m already giving up my summer to their cause, they can give me a few days to spend with my family and my mother so we can uphold tradition.” Hermione tried not to sound bitter.

“They need you, my sweet Hermione. And you will need their assistance until they realize your worth beyond their sheltered world views. As if magic can only be performed with a wand and their schooling.” Diana teased.

“You know I like to use my wand in front of other magicals. It’s polite and doesn’t cause anymore undue attention to the fact that the lot of them are lazy and inbred.” Hermione said with bite.

“That they are my dear. But you will always be my darling who can make sick flowers bloom in her hands, and trail stardust behind her.” Diana smiled warmly, reminding Hermione of some of her earliest displays of magic. Truth be told, Hermione never stoped practicing what she discovered on her own with her hands as a child, and a wand was merely a focus for other elements that was not perfectly align with her connection to Earth.

“The stardust was always your imagination, Mum.” Hermione winked as they clinked glasses and drank. Soon enough, the neighbors and Hermione’s father joined them for the bonfire, no one the wiser to the significance aside from the two Grecian women who built it.

Chapter Text

The start to Hermione’s fifth year was equally utterly frustrating in dealing with the Pink Toad (a name she privately used for the woman who dared to call herself a witch and overstepped her ministerial bounds on Hogwarts grounds), and yet also terrifying with Harry and the visions and insights into Voldemort’s mind that plagued him. Coupled with the lack of defense training, Hermione simply took matters into her own hands. She organized and set up a training group affectionately called Dumbledore’s Army or DA and asked Harry to teach everyone who joined. He really was a fantastic teacher, and so much more patient than Hermione could ever dream to be. When not practicing with the DA and desperately avoiding attention, Hermione hid frequently in the Room of Requirement researching wards and ley line rituals, and talking privately with the centaur hired to teach Divination, though she refused to take the subject herself under Trelawny.

Firenze teaching made Hermione wish she was taking the class, but talking with him privately was more than enough. He immediately recognized her earth magic and told her a bit of what the centaurs had passed down about areas known in the Forbidden Forest. He also divulged where in the extensive grounds that old Earth rituals had been held. Hermione gained even greater respect for Firenze as he told her privately how she could best summon ley line magic and gave her warnings to prepare herself in advance lest she get hurt. He explained to her that any centaur would always recognize a witch descended from the Deo clan and have upheld their pledge to them—even if it had been centuries since his herd had moved from Greece. He suggested should she ever be in danger from centaurs, to repeat “Mia mágissa Deo dínei tis efcharistíes tis” or ‘A Deo witch gives her regards’ as her status as a child may go challenged.

Hermione was grateful for Helga Hufflepuff’s journal on Samhain when she sought the glade beyond the Forbidden Forest, where the first wards of Hogwarts were erected.

Hermione had no idea, however, of the audience that slowly gathered to watch her rite. Centaurs stayed at the edge of the Forest; the whispers of the bright Earth witch of the Deo clan had reached them, even if Firenze had been cast out. Animals that were sensitive to the magic were attracted, staying as hidden as possible.

A human had trailed her: a spy and double agent. He knew she was up to something and Severus Snape wanted to know first-hand what trouble Hermione Granger was getting herself into this time. No doubt, he would have to rescue her from her stupidity, but upon noticing the centaurs and other magical creatures gathered to watch her, Severus Snape stayed his course of action. He would see what she would do, remaining hidden in the shadows.

Hermione set to warding the glade to keep herself safe and unharmed by those bearing ill-will. It was the only ward she knew how to cast safely, and she wasn’t about to risk her Samhain rituals on badly cast wards. She carefully cleared a patch of ground and conjured a fire pit, before casting her speciality smokeless blue flames to begin the rite. She took off her plain cloak, revealing the ritual robes she’d been working on, weaving runes in aesthetically and magically. She began by casting a circle of protection, weaving in runes and charms to give herself space for what she was preparing to do. Between the robes and circle, she hoped this was enough preparation Firenze had told her to do. Pocketing her wand, Hermione began her rite.

“Aftó to Deo stélnei ta sévi tis stous progónous tis kai stous progónous aftís tis gis.” *

“Salazar Slytherin galere— ic i ingecíege! Godric Gryffindor galdorcræftiga— ic i ingecíege! Rowena Ravenclaw— leódrúne helrýnegu ic i ingecíege! Helga Hufflepuff— helrýnegu wyrtgælstre ic i ingecíege!” **

As she spoke the words, Hermione could feel the power gathering in the circle and within her body. As she did as a child, Hermione elegantly brought her hands up and out before holding them high above her head, discharging the magic she was channeling, the circle she cast around her keeping it from spreading yet. The rest of the ritual would be cast in English, now that she’d given purpose and called upon the Founders. It was time to perform Helga’s ritual that the Room of Requirement translated for her.

“Elements of Fire, Air, Water, Earth— Protect this land. This land is Hogwarts. Protect those who inhabit here. Protect the children. Magic, I call upon thee to strengthen the wards of the school as cast by the founders, as invoked by Salazar Slytherin, first caster. As invoked by Godric Gryffindor, first master of the school. As invoked by Rowena Ravenclaw, architect of wisdom. As invoked by Helga Hufflepuff, a mistress of Earth. I am Hermione Jean Deo Granger, I invoke the ley lines to bring my rite power to reinforce the fading wards. I am Hermione, Daughter of Diana, and I will ensure that this land be protected!”

Wand in one hand, both arms raised, Hermione swirled the gathering magic around her with her empty hand. The bright light suffused with blue mixing with the gold and silver and bronze and black of the Founders’ magicks, strengthening as the tension built, the pressure and power of the magic nearly suffocating Hermione. She until she felt the peace described in Helga’s journal before slashing down swiftly with her wand, dispersing her circle and the pent up magic from the elements, the ley lines, and the residual magic of the Four Founders. Hermione fell to her knees, as Helga’s journal stated happened on her first renewal of the wards alone. Breathing deeply, Hermione raised her head and smiled.

This was her biggest and best Samhain rite to date— she couldn’t wait to write to her mother! Hermione sat speaking to the blue flames in front of her, in reflection of the year and her revelation on her ancestry. Hermione took from her pocket a bottle of ale she’d bought at the Hog’s Head and poured it out next to the waterproof blue flames, asking for blessings in the new year and safe passage through the trying school year. Lastly, Hermione brought out of her other pocket some bread and cheese as offerings, bowed her head in respect for her ancestors and the Founders themselves who aided her this night. She stood and vanished her flames and fire pit, leaving the ring of stones that marked her ritual fire.

Lastly she dispelled her ward and suddenly became aware of the intense concentration of magical beings at the edge of the forest. She could see the centaurs who nodded in deference to her. A unicorn walked up calmly to her and bent it’s head, tentatively Hermione stroked it’s mane as she’d learned in Care of Magical Creatures class. Several hairs came loose in her fingers and the unicorn merely bowed its head again before trotting off. A gift of five unicorn hairs! Hermione quickly braided them and stuck them in her pocket as she donned her cloak. Now that her fire was out and the rush and heat of magic had faded, she was starting to grow cold.

As she started for the castle, a hand grabbed her and Hermione nearly screamed, but seeing Professor Severus Snape, Hermione merely whimpered instead. Surprisingly, his face didn’t hold its normal malice, but something akin to wonder and awe.

“Miss Granger, you truly have impressed me. But where in the seven hells did you learn that?” Severus Snape whispered, taking Hermione’s arm gently under the watchful eyes of the centaurs. He had no death wish and didn’t want to give the impression he was harming Hermione.

“The— The Room of Requirement, Sir. The Room gave me a translated journal of Helga Hufflepuff’s on Earth Magic and how to use it to strengthen the wards. I wanted to know more about my family traditions I always practiced with my mother. Her family is from Crete; they have kept the Olde Ways since before anyone can remember,” Hermione whispered, stunned at her professor’s behavior but still scared.

“I must escort you back to the Castle. You are out of bounds, and it is past curfew. You cannot be seen by anyone,” Snape hissed at her.

“But— a rite on Samhain, I have never missed one. No one has ever bothered me!” Hermione protested.

“Invoking the founders in their tongue, your lineage— Sweet Circe, girl, did you think no one would notice that wave of magic unleashed upon the grounds? How did no one know you were a Deo? I thought they never left Crete, if they were more than just legend!” Snape tugged sharply at Hermione’s arm.

“I only just found out myself! My mother was the only one to leave. How was I supposed to know that my mother’s family was important? Everyone just told me I was a mudblood!” Hermione spat. Snape went rigid for a moment.

“Don’t call yourself that. You are clearly an Earth witch of the Deo clan. This Room of Requirement gave you a Founder’s Journal. Did it never occur to you to tell someone?” Snape snapped at her.

“And just whom would I have told and how? That horrid Pink Toad is listening everywhere. Harry is too overwhelmed and Ron is well, Ron. He’s a pureblood and just doesn’t understand.” Hermione’s shoulders sagged at the thought of her best friends whom she couldn’t confide in.

“No thought about the bloody Order that you and your friends were so hell bent on trying to join?” Snape growled.

“Why? I was doing what they should have done— what Dumbledore and every previous headmaster should have done. The wards were weak and failing. The Room of Requirement gave me the materials I needed to research the wards and protections for the school, what would be needed from me, and what steps to take to protect myself. Excuse me for wanting a little safety in this school instead of the chaos it is descended into!” Hermione snapped back, unable to conceal her anger.

“I agree with you, Miss Granger. The wards have been weakening since before I was a student. I didn’t know of any mage strong enough in earth magic to summon the ley lines as Helga Hufflepuff did. Apparently Hogwarts needed a Deo witch to do it,” Snape grumbled.

“Will you stop calling me a Deo witch? It’s bad enough that Firenze calls me it, and the Olde Traditions require it, but I assure you I am Hermione Granger,” Hermione said waspishly.

“In your ritual, speaking the absolute truth to magic lest it immolate you, you identified as one of the Deo clan. Miss Granger, you simply are one,” Snape drawled like he was talking to a first year, as they were approaching the castle. Hermione huffed in response.

“Please don’t tell anyone. I don’t even fully understand it myself. It’s just necessary for the traditions,” Hermione conceded. Snape looked at her curiously.

“Have you never asked your mother?” he asked coolly.

“I tried this summer, and she said that when I got my letter and was clearly a witch, all of the old stories from her family, passed down generation to generation suddenly seemed plausible,” Hermione answered uncomfortably.

“What stories, Miss Granger?”

“Of Artemis and Demeter, amongst others.”

“You’re descended from them,” Snape responded.

“Me? Descended from mythological gods?” Hermione snorted.

“Demeter’s common surname in Greece was Deo. That is what being a Deo witch is. Her line was believed to be that of myth, and if not myth, legend,” Snape answered softly.

“Professor… what does this mean for me? I mean, tonight? Mum always asks me to do the traditions even if we’re not together. We discussed briefly me strengthening the wards here during my next ritual. We weren’t really given much time to do more than a basic Lughnasadh rite with Harry arriving at Grimmuald. No one wanted to let me go home for a few days,” Hermione said in a meek voice.

“I cannot say what this will mean for you. For tonight, I’ll just say that a group of dunderheads were setting off fireworks and I caught you on a stroll after curfew. I don’t lie for students, Miss Granger… but I will keep your identity to myself. Though Albus will know something changed with the wards. I’ll leave you to deal with him,” Snape responded as they neared the front doors of the castle, which opened with a flick of his wand.

“But, Professor!” Hermione said loudly.

“Hem, hem!” Dolores Umbridge in a hideous pink robe met them in the Entrance Hall.

“Ah, Dolores. I caught a student on a Samhain stroll hoping to pick up some of the olde ways that no one bothered to tell the bookworm no one practices. I did not catch the hoodlums that set off the fireworks at the far edge of the Forbidden Forest. If you excuse me, I need to take Miss Granger to see the Headmaster about her punishment and detention that she will no doubt serve with me,” Snape sneered at the obnoxious witch who kept trying to interrupt him.

“I do think, as a ministry representative and member of staff that I should—“ Umbridge began but Snape cut her off smoothly.

“No, I can handle escorting a wisp of a girl. She’ll be scrubbing cauldrons for the next week. Now, I must get to the Headmaster to inform him of my report as he is the headmaster of this school,” Snape finished nastily, jerking Hermione Granger’s arm to make her follow him to the Headmaster’s office, leaving Dolores Umbridge gaping like the horrid Pink Toad Hermione thought of her as.

They walked in silence for 10 minutes until they reached the corridor where the Headmaster’s office was located.

“If I may, sir— that was brilliant. What a toad.” Hermione rolled her eyes and Snape snorted.

“I’m not allowed to dignify that with a response,” he responded with a slight smirk.

“Cockroach Cluster.”

The password made the stone gargoyle jump aside and Hermione was ushered up the stairs by Snape.

“Ah Severus! Did you feel— Miss Granger! What a pleasant surprise! Why, may I ask, have you been escorted to my office so late in the evening? Hopefully you didn’t over indulge in Halloween excitement!” Albus Dumbledore looked up surprised from a stack of brittle old parchments on his desk that he shuffled into a drawer and out of sight.

“I caught Miss Granger outside on the grounds after curfew. It seems that she felt the need for a Samhain walk.” Snape paused to snort in derision. “I did not catch whoever was likely setting off fireworks farther out on the grounds.”

“I see. Miss Granger, what do you have to say for your actions? I’m afraid I will have to assign you detention. It is a very unsafe time to be alone and out of bounds, particularly as our star muggleborn student.” Professor Dumbledore fixed Hermione with a piercing stare, at which Hermione lowered her eyes, her cheeks flushing in anger that was easily mistaken for embarrassment.

“I was taking a walk like I always used to do with my mother at home. We’re very close, and I didn’t get to see her much this summer being at Headquarters,” Hermione responded softly, marshaling herself.

“And you felt that a walk at night, alone, would make you feel closer to your mother? Miss Granger, I certainly expected better sense from you of all my students. I’m very sorry to have to take twenty points from Gryffindor for your negligent behavior, as well as assign you detention for a week. Severus, please escort Miss Granger back to Gryffindor tower. And… you may oversee Miss Granger’s detention. I’m sure there are plenty of tasks in the potions lab that a student could do.” Albus Dumbledore looked down his nose at the flushed girl and his surly teacher, who had yet to release his tight grip on her elbow. Hopefully a week of detention with Severus would put the girl to thinking more clearly about her safety.

“Of course, Headmaster,” Severus Snape sneered, turning and pulling Hermione along, down the stairs and out of the headmaster’s office.

“I cannot believe that man!” Hermione grumbled a couple of corridors away with Snape still tugging her along.

“Miss Granger, if you wish for no one to know your lineage, then it is safer for him to misunderstand you and underestimate you,” Snape replied coldly.

“True,” Hermione continued to grumble. “You know, I can walk on my own, thank you very much,” she said, yanking her arm from his grasp.

“But this looks more like I am disciplining you, and as you should know, appearances are everything,” Snape sneered, grabbing Hermione’s arm again.

“Anyway, the Headmaster looked to be trying to puzzle out the shift in the wards you renewed when we walked in. You’re incredibly lucky that he didn’t suspect you were behind it,” Snape said as he steered them up a staircase.

“Oh? And why is that a good thing?” Hermione asked, semi-interested.

“Because he’ll use you, girl. Don’t you see it? How he uses and endangers Potter? I knew his Aunt; his mother’s family lived down the street from my own. I doubt she’s changed from the shrill harpy she was when I last saw her when I was 17.” Snape revealed.

“But I thought he had to live at his Aunt’s for his safety?” Hermione asked quietly.

“There could have been other measures taken. He could have gotten Sirius Black exonerated with two adult witnesses— even if you did try to knock me out, would I be a very good professor if a 13 year old girl could best me?” Snape sneered.

“Dumbledore is playing a game of power with the Dark Lord and we are all pawns. I thought there was no difference in who won until I saw your rite tonight, Miss Granger. There have been myths and legends through time that when hope becomes naught, a member of the Deo clan would come and serve justice. Some societies were leveled and destroyed for their crimes. Others would be elevated into golden empires. The gods have always been ruthless but also merciful,” Snape said softly as he steered them closer to Gryffindor Tower.

“I am no god, Professor. I am a clever witch with a perchance for books and a duty to perform the earthly rites as familial tradition dictates.” Hermione looked away from him.

“The Deo clan have been called gods, others have called them demons, and my mother called them saviors of a last resort. They judge without cruelty or compassion, though they contain both in abundance. They are more than human, with powers each must discover on their own,” Snape continued.

“I can’t be—“ Hermione started but was shushed with a wave of Snape’s hand.

“No one really knows what a Deo can do until she discovers it herself. You mentioned this ‘room’ you use to study that is hidden, and that it gave you books. Practice there. Discover yourself. And do not get caught. Do not be caught up as a pawn.” Snape looked down at the short witch, who at 16 had already reached her full height of 5’5”.

“Why are you telling me this?” Hermione asked, confused.

“Because you are salvation, and you are the only hope I have left. I do not expect to live through this war; I am a pawn for both sides. But you can end the game, the war, before it fully gets underway. I can only appeal to your good nature for that, despite that I am a surly, bitter man,” Snape answered softly, turning to face Hermione.

“Because my mother’s family name is Deo, we practice the old ways and come from Crete?” Hermione asked, surprised and still uncomprehending.

“Yes. The magic you commanded tonight is that of the Deo. And one should always be honest with the Deo clan, they should honor any Deo, and see to their protection. You, Miss Granger, will be protected by me, not because I am commanded by a meddling fool who has no idea what you are, but because it is the right thing to do,” Snape said solemnly.

“Ah, well, okay then. I accept?” Hermione answered meekly.

“Good. During your detention next week I will teach you to protect your thoughts, a branch of magic called Occlumency. Otherwise, I will have to treat you as I always have, lest attention be brought upon you, Miss Granger.”

“I will be eager to learn, Professor. And I thank you,” Hermione responded.

“You will practice every night by emptying your mind. It will help once you start your training,” Snape said, switching into his more professorial voice.

“Of course, Professor.” Hermione nodded, wondering how she was going to get her mind-- constantly swirling with thoughts and emotion-- to quiet down, let alone empty.

“I will leave you here. I assume you can find your way to the portrait entrance at the end of the corridor?” Snape raised an eyebrow and let go of Hermione’s arm.

“Yes, Professor.” Hermione grinned, practically skipping down the hall, thoughts of new knowledge swimming in her head.

Snape could only shake his head and sigh, before heading down to his quarters in the dungeons.

Chapter Text

Wednesday November 1st, 1995 dawned cold and crisp. Hermione stretched out in her four poster bed in Gryffindor Tower, loathe to get up. While normally she was a morning person, today she simply felt delicious in bed. Everything felt so much more, as it had since coming down from the high of channeling so much magic for the ward strengthening. She could understand better now why some people would do anything for power, if it meant feeling like this. But, Hermione was nothing but responsible and dragged herself from bed and dressed; her roommates blissfully quiet in the mornings even if they were supposedly awake. Not bothering to do much more than run a hand through her hair and throwing on her school uniform with standard robe on top, Hermione grabbed her books for morning classes. It should be a rather easy morning with Arithmancy and Transfiguration. Hermione made her way to breakfast, knowing that Harry and Ron were likely having a lie in with a free period in the morning, though she knew they should be practicing Vanishing Spells for Transfiguration. She was not their mother and far be it from her to make them adhere to any sort of schedule.

She fell into a seat at the Gryffindor table next to Ginny Weasley in the Great Hall. Ginny looked over blearily at her.

“You look way too good for this early in the morning, Hermione. Did you do something new with your hair? It looks good.” Ginny greeted her friend and continued her morning contemplations over a cup of tea she wished would help wake her up.

“Oh you know, just ran a hand through it this morning. Can’t always be bothered to deal with these curls before coffee” Hermione chuckled as she poured herself a cup, hot and black as she preferred it.

“Hmm, well something does seem different. You seem… more.” Ginny smiled absently before picking up her things and a spot of toast. “Care of Magical Creatues— best be off. Don’t want to dawdle with the Slytherins and Pink Toad about. Apparently someone set off fireworks last night on the grounds and Fred & George swore it wasn’t them! So best to keep a low profile, eh?”

“Yes, Gin. Best thing to do.” Hermione responded, heart sinking. She finished breakfast quickly and started off towards the Arithmancy classroom, when she was stopped by Luna Lovegood, a surprising (in both action and ability) member of the DA.

“Good morning Luna, how are you?” Hermione asked politely. Luna was always pleasant, but odd. Sometimes her mind worked too fast for her words, Hermione surmised, and the fantastical creatures she dreamed up were very entertaining but well, imaginary and without proof of existence.

“I’m quite well, Hermione. It seems that you are too— your aura is exceptionally bright today. Did you have something to do with the rite last night that utilized ley lines and old magic? I see colors that aren’t your own clinging to your aura.” Luna smiled brightly while Hermione scowled and pulled the witch closer.

“Luna, if you know what’s good for you, you will be quiet this instant. We can talk more freely in the Room of Requirement later if you like, but right now I’d rather not get any more attention that I was already assigned for a mere walk on the grounds!” Hermione hissed angrily, Luna’s eye’s went wide as saucers.

“Oh, of course. I think I understand. I’ll just… I’ll see you later? Please?” Luna asked hopefully.

“Of course, Luna. I’ll see you later. The Room at 7, if that works for you?” Hermione tried to let go of her anxiety and smile at the insecure girl. Luna Lovegood was confident in many areas but she lacked severely in confidence in her ability to keep friends.

“That is perfect, Hermione. I’ll see you then!” Luna gave a merry wave and jaunted off to her first lesson of the day, while Hermione trudged off to Arithmancy. The class was mostly given to O.W.L. study with occasional instruction by the teacher to keep the class at pace and completing the assignments that would ensure they were more than prepared to receive Outstandings on their exam. Much of the material had been covered the year prior, and this year was merely more complex than new theory all together, which would be attempted only once the students chose to pursue a N.E.W.T level. Hermione had already taken to utilizing both practice O.W.L exams and practice N.E.W.T.s to test her ability in many of her classes, so she let her mind wander during this period. Once it reached a suitable topic she could work out some arithmancy equations on, she turned her mind and quill to figuring out just how much the renewed wards would effect the upcoming war and adding the variables such as her being a Deo witch, Snape’s protection and status as a double agent, and what Voldemort might do if he knew, and if he didn’t. The equations were long and complex, and as she added variable after variable, strayed into N.E.W.T level, not that she minded. This work was merely to show the professor she was utilizing the working time in class, even if she’d already completed the assignment the day it was assigned. This would take quite a bit longer than just a single class period for Hermione to work out, but for once, it was looking like things were working out in her favor.

Transfiguration was the same as it ever was. Hermione mastered the vanishing spells quickly, and then spent the rest of the period helping Harry and Ron. Honestly, if the two had any sense they’d simply pay attention instead of writing notes to each other in the beginning of class. Thankfully there was lunch next to distract the boys, and then double Herbology when she could partner with Neville, who had a green of a thumb as hers struggled. It was through his expertise that Hermione was turning into a functional Herbologist. She knew the course material yes, but the practical work was difficult— plants just didn’t like her the way creatures did for some reason. Neville assured her that if Hermione only talked to the plants, they would grow better. Begrudingly this year she tried and found very much to her surprise that it was working. She never thought much of her own voice, but the power of voice and connection must mean as much to the growing of plants as it did to other Earth magic, she supposed. And she did talk a lot to animals, if she thought about it.

Care of Magical Creatures dragged on after double Herbology. They were studying Kneazles which was interesting, had she not already learned all she could in the standard texts and then in more obscure texts when Hermione deduced her beloved Crookshanks was half Kneazle. Thankfully enough, the period was short and soon she was free for the evening. Hermione grabbed a light dinner before rushing up to Gryffindor Tower, mumbling something to the effect of going to the library to turn Harry and Ron’s interest away from her.

At 7pm sharp, Luna Lovegood met Hermione at the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy and the troll ballerinas. With a quick decisiveness, Hermione paced outside of the room three times, seeking a place to explain to Luna her predicament that would also be suitable for self-discovery as Professor Snape put it. Luna always seemed to be on the road to self-discovery, and Hermione felt no shame in asking for help in this predicament.

The Room provided a smallish area, filled with sumptuous pillows and a few low tables, many books strewn on them for reading, and floating candles like in the Great Hall to provide optimum light. Hermione led Luna in and shut the door, before demanding an oath of silence before she began her story. The younger girl readily agreed, knowing that if Hermione Granger asked for a vow of silence, not only was the information valuable and worth knowing, it was likely to be dangerous in some form, which gave Luna a thrill, especially when she was told that Luna herself was the first friend she’d be telling. And so Hermione started her tale of the previous night, the ritual to strengthen the wards, how she’d always practiced Olde Ways with her mother, finding out the importance of her mother’s family in the wizarding world, and that she was now under the protection of Severus Snape, double agent and spy.

Luna nodded, quickly absorbing what she’d been told.

“So you must be interested in the self-discovery that Professor Snape mentioned. This is a luxurious space to discover oneself in. I’d be happy to help— my family, or rather, just my father and I since my mother died, have kept the Old Ways. It was a way to stay connected to her after she’d passed, to honor her. I’m surprised how out of favor the Old Ways have fallen. Maybe you will cause a renewal of interest in them, when your status is finally revealed!"

“I hope it never is” Hermione grumbled.

“But if it isn’t, the war will become much much worse without a Deo clan member to intercede. And who better than you? You can summon ley llne magic, as evidenced by last night. Now you just need to learn to do it at will. And what else you can do. Will you be like Demeter or Persephone and have flowers grow in your footsteps? What will your happiness bring, as opposed to sadness or anger? These are all things you will need to experiment with and document the potential in each situation. And then of course Old Magics, and how they can be applied. You’ve started with warding, but there’s blood magic and sex magic as well, the very two oldest forms of magic in the Western European lands. I can’t really speak for other lands, but blood and sex usually were the perpetrators magicks and rituals that lead to magic and it’s own furthering and refinement from them. I would think you should at least be knowledgeable in them, if not dabble a bit. They aren’t inherently bad or good, but just simply one of the oldest forms of magic. These days anything old or not Dumbledore approved gets labeled at Dark magic, when it can be powerfully good.” Luna concluded.

“Do you not agree with Dumbledore’s curriculum?” Hermione asked curiously.

“Oh no. Daddy says— and I agree now that I’m old enough to have looked into it myself, that much is lacking in our schooling. Why, as children we never needed a wand to conduct our magic and at Hogwarts we’re taught to be dependent upon it. So much so we might as well be muggles or squibs should we lose our wand! And the old ways aren’t observed nor taught, unlike the muggle studies course. Other things are available to students that shouldn’t be— I mean, you got a hold of Moste Potente Potions in second year from the library! What other things have been allowed to happen? No, no, I cannot say I fully agree with my education here. It’s one of the reasons I cherish the lessons with the DA and Harry. It’s true, self-driven learning. And why I am happy to help you.” Luna blushed slightly at the end.

“I am most very thankful, Luna. You are a wonderful friend to help me. I knew you would understand.” Hermione learned over and hugged her friend, and after a slight hesitation from Luna who seemed out of sorts at someone willingly hugging her, hugged back.

“I can promise that the Room will provide us with the most interesting material we could ask for that would likely never be on a Hogwarts curriculum. Shall we get started?” Hermione motioned to the books, and the girls giggled as they selected their own tomes, along with parchment and quills for note-taking.

Luna, Hermione found, was a wonderful study partner. Complimentary, in fact. They had different ways of viewing the world, but could peacefully debate any topic. Hermione and Luna’s conversations were so magnetic that Ginny Weasley found herself getting involved and willingly taking on the extra study time. After all, self-discovery of oneself as a witch, and Hermione’s status as a Deo revealed to Ginny under sworn secrecy, was far more fascinating than anything else Ginny had going on aside from perhaps quidditch and the DA. She was in between boyfriends anyways, so the time was well spent. The three of them read through most of what Hermione had started on warding and ley lines, and before deciding to move onto Luna’s suggestion of blood magic, as it tied into wards, and stepping from there into the rest of the complex topic, how it could be used in both dark and light forms, the intent of magic.

Their playing and self-discovery was as important as their debates, wands only sometimes used as the witches cast and created and conjured and crafted their own magics, pulling from their essence and souls, far beyond what a Patronus would take for casting. Their sessions tended to end in giggles and delight as the girls summoned magic, bent it to their will, commanded it, and above all, learned about the origins of magic. At one point a portrait of Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff became a fixture in their haven, giving instruction when needed and calling praise for Hermione, Luna, and Ginny. All three felt it was a gift that the Room of Requirement would allow for them to not just learn on their own, but under the supervision of two of the founders.

A few weeks into their meetings, Hermione, Luna, and Ginny had begun debating blood magic, and how the current blood based feuds could impact it. The portrait of Rowena looked thoughtful for a moment and disappeared from the frame, while Helga rolled her eyes and sat at the large table where the two sorceresses normally oversaw the three witches. To the girl’s surprise, Rowena came back into the frame with two stocky men, one with red hair and a generous beard, the infamous Sword of Gryffindor at his side, and the other being physically dragged into the frame by the other two. He too was stocky and wide framed, lots of muscle and a sword across his back, a wand peaking from his dark green robe sleeve. His long dark hair was braided back and his eyes were a striking stormy gray green. Noticing the three girls staring and giggling at this antics, the man in the portrait abruptly stopped and sneered, before taking a seat at the table with the others.

“Girls, with your discussion today I thought you should talk to Salazar, who is a master at potions and blood magics. Sadly most of his work went down in history as being just Dark Arts, and his work on blood magics and reservations on admitting muggleborns to Hogwarts has painted him a villain.” Rowena introduced the surly looking man in the green robes with the striking eyes.

“Godric,” she continued, “helped him in a lot of his research, though they ultimately disagreed on the admission of muggle-borns.”

“May I ask was the reservations were? As I am muggle-born?” Hermione asked tentatively.

“The spread of Christianity was taking over the muggle population and their church forced them to do much violence when there was once peace. It was a danger to the children to tell them they were magical, because of what their families or communities would do to them. Or what they would sometimes do to the other students trying to atone for their perceived sins. It was safer.” Salazar Slytherin replied haughtily.

“It was not safer, some of those children were so repressed in their magic with no outlet they ended up becoming obscurials!” Godric Gryffindor shot back from across the table.

Helga held her hand up for peace. “Not now, Godric—“

“But if the child were to become an obscurial, it would have happened and they have died before they even got to Hogwarts, unless you enrolled earlier than 11.” Luna said thoughtfully.

“My sentiments exactly, fauntlet.” Salazar smiled at Luna.

“Hmm, I always thought 11 was such a late age to begin teaching magic. Some of the easier things, along with writing, languages, and numbers could be taught in years prior. I don’t know what I would have done without my muggle primary school. And having to help some of my fellow students who are born to magical families; their grammar is just atrocious!” Hermione shrugged.

“So it seems the tables have turned. We hoped that headmasters would change with what the times called for, rather than stalling on traditions. The important traditions, it seems, have been dropped whereas others are preserved for what, nostalgia?” Godric snorted and Salazar chuckled in agreement.

“We heard about you, Deo. Even as portraits we felt our residual magicks respond to your invocation. Very well done.” Salazar complimented sincerely.

“Thank you, sir. I am just Hermione though. However I am the only Deo that waves a wand, as my mother put it.” Hermione blushed.

“And you followed the my journal so exactly, with an elegance I never was able to bring to the rituals.” Helga smiled.

“You were radiant for days after, I remember.” Ginny added, grinning at her friend.

“It was my best Samhain tradition yet. Though I have yet to plan my Saturnalia. I’m sure my mother has something fun in mind.” Hermione continued to blush and turned to Ginny and Luna. “Though she did say that you both are welcome to join us. I wrote to her about our time here in the Room, and she’s ever so proud of us. She has some interesting theories on blood and lineage too, that pertain to you.”

“Oh?” Luna cocked her head and the rest of the group listened on in interest.

“Well, for instance, you, Luna, she thinks may have a bit of the aura or even blood line of the Norse god of the moon, Máni. You’d mentioned having some Scandinavian roots as well as Norse ancestry, and with your particular views of animals and nature, my mum thinks that’s where it comes from.”

“That would make sense. It would explain why no one sees the Nargles or believes in the Crumpled Horned Snorkack, if they actually belong to another world and have only slipped through— they are native to Sweden after all. Daddy’s family is from there.” Luna nodded thoughtfully.

“And me?” Ginny asked tentatively.

“Oh, mum thinks that most of the wizards and magical folk of the British Isles are descended from Tuatha Dé Danann. Makes sense, no? Especially with the desire to keep the bloodlines separate from muggles?” Hermione asked, looking to the Founders in their portrait and found them nodding in agreement.

“It was a popular theory, even in our day. Though I believe the belief of being descended and gifted of magic by gods has been forgotten and merely the idea of superiority and blood supremacy have lingered, sadly. Time does such cruel things.” Godric sighed.

“It does. But, I guess you sirs both would be the best to ask— when I was found by Professor Snape after renewing the wards, he said that legend said that when hope became naught a Deo witch would come to right society. Was that a theory even back when you were alive?” Hermione asked nervously. The four founders looked at each other pensively, nodding.

“Yes, child. While Salazar traveled the farthest of us all, the Romans had already been to England and their fall was said to be the work of a Deo woman stolen from her family on Crete to be a high ranking general’s wife. The Deo clan was always the most wronged yet the most just, and the most kind.” Rowena answered.

“I traveled to Crete and met the Deo clan that lived there then. The women were earth mages, unlike the witches and wizards I’d met in my other travels. Your mother’s words— calling us wand wavers— that is what the Deo clan called me. We shared knowledge and I left a different man. My last trip before I left Hogwarts for good.” Salazar said, emotion straining his voice.

“You met my ancestors?” Hermione asked in wonder.

“Yes, sweetling. And you look exactly like them. It’s as if you’d been plucked from my memory. One of the daughters worked with me, interested in my wand waving in a way the others were not. She said a granddaughter of hers one day would pick up a wand and reinstate my magic and she was curious about how wand waving worked. I scoffed at the time as I was pushing the boundaries of magic, even collaborating with the Deo clan as I did. I had no idea what she meant until you renewed the wards. And that’s when I knew her words were prophecy and a Deo that picked up a wand was among us. Helga suspected first, however.” Salazar winked over at Helga Hufflepuff who laughed genially. The four of them had been painted shortly after the founding of the school, sometime in their forties, yet Salazar still played up boyish charms towards Rowena and Helga, while Godric laughed or joined in.

“I made sure the room provided you with all the materials you’d need, including my journals, when I realized you were going to attempt to strengthen the wards. I overheard you talking with the Centaur, Firenze, is his name? I am glad that at least some part of the school has improved to the point of cooperating with other magical creatures to pool knowledge.” Helga responded happily.

Luna, Hermione and Ginny shared an unhappy look. Ginny spoke up, “We’re not sure how long it will last; there’s quite a bit of pushback. Especially from the Ministry. There’s a war brewing, which is one of the reasons we’re in this room so often. If we’re not learning Defense, it’s the three of us learning everything that we can that has been forgotten and likely useful. Blood magic, for instance, could save a life just as much as take it. It can provide the strongest of wards.”

The Founders nodded in agreement.

“Blood magics were some of the first magics that our ancestors accomplished without the aid of wands or Gods.” Salazar began with a mischievous grin on his face.

Chapter Text

Hermione had never been more excited to head home for the winter holiday. Granted the last two years she’d stayed at Hogwarts, but this year was different. Her family was going to Crete, and Luna and Ginny would be joining the Deo clan for Saturnalia. It was all planned— the girls would take the Hogwarts Express back to King’s Cross and activate the portkey Hermione had arranged for at the ministry. Initially Hermione was going to create one herself, but decided to go through the ministry at her mother’s behest. The three girls realized the privilege they had in celebrating a high festival with the Deo clan, and didn’t want to let anyone know more than they were spending time with Hermione’s family in Greece for the winter holidays.

Harry and Ron were rather peeved they didn’t get an invite to Greece with Hermione’s family, but after explaining how very traditional her parents were and that Luna, Ginny and she were going to be focusing on girl things that things smoothed over a bit. Harry and Ron bragged they’d be doing ‘guy things’ and Hermione had to wonder when that was different than well… ever?

In a different part of the castle, Severus Snape was preparing to leave himself as the Dark Lord had decided to have the Malfoy family host Saturnalia on the 17th of December, but thankfully not a week long affair some some still hosted. In fact, he was fairly certain that Miss Granger was taking Miss Lovegood and Miss Weasley with her to one of the longer, likely thoroughly debaucherous celebrations if the discrete whispers in his classroom had any bearing. Though, he was somehow smug in remembering that both Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley would both be staying the winter holidays at Hogwarts. As he was about to head out, Severus heard a distinct cough from his adjoined sitting room. Wand immediately out, the wary spy slunk into the room finding no one. A non verbal ‘Homenum Revelio’ did nothing. Severus was perplexed; he definitely heard a cough come from this room and there was no human presence, transformed or not. Scanning the room, he looked for anything out of place. The elves knew better than to hide themselves from him in his quarters lest he accidentally hex one again (it truly was an accident and he apologized profusely to the little creature while ordering it and it’s brethren to never sneak up on, spy upon, or generally hide themselves from him within his quarters— it is a very difficult life when you’re both a Death Eater and double agent spy).

There. There was a random portrait frame laying on the side table. The occupant must have walked off, but what was a random portrait miniature doing in his sitting room? Severus studied the background, devoid of it’s occupant— a disturbingly similar room to the one Severus was in. Who on earth would have had a miniature portrait painted in the potion master’s suite in the dungeons? This set of rooms had always belonged to the potions masters of Hogwarts due to their proximity to the potions labs, potions ingredient stores, a large private lab for their own usage.

“Ah, Severus. How good of you to finally deign me with your appearance. I’ve been waiting.” A mysterious voice proceeded a stocky man with striking gray green eyes into the portrait miniature.

“I am afraid sir, that you have me at a loss. I do not know who you are, or why you would have been waiting for me.” Severus spoke politely to the painting. You never knew when one could be incredibly helpful— everyone seemed to overlook portraits and being on their good side had paid off for Severus since he was a student at Hogwarts himself. The portrait however, huffed indignantly.

“Everyone knows Godric bloody Gryffindor by sight yet me, ME! I cannot even be recognized by my own house or head of house it seems, as you were in Slytherin before you lead it.” Salazar said snidely. Typical bloody Godric. He still hadn’t figured out how everyone knew him by looks and despite ALL of them being on those, whatchamacallits, Chocolate Frog Cards, the candy that the students and the current odd headmaster loved to eat and collect— He, the Salazar Slytherin was forgotten. Much more so than Helga, and whose work was largely forgotten (as sad and pitiable that was to have happened)

“My sincerest apologies, Lord Slytherin—“ Severus responded, startled before the portrait cut him off again.

“No matter. And technically I’m no Lord, that was my brother. I went and founded a school and traveled. Much better occupation of my time.” Salazar chuckled. Severus quirked a half-smile.

“Call me Salazar. The girls do, and I am to understand you are the Deo witch’s self-proclaimed protector. I am going to need a favor from you, in regards to the young witch. I need to talk to my grandson… heir… whatever he’s calling himself these days.” Salazar rolled his eyes.

“He goes by Lord Voldemort, but prefers his… followers… to call him the Dark Lord.” Severus replied delicately.

“Yes, yes. I don’t exactly care. Brilliant thing about being a portrait. Had to locate the miniature frame Helga insisted we all have done after the founding of the school. Rowena managed to enchant them shortly before I left. Had a house elf leave it in here. Poor thing was scared to death of crossing you. You don’t beat the little creatures, do you? It’s poor form—“

“I do not, however I am not the easiest man when startled, especially as a double agent and spy for your heir who prides himself on having and controlling the most vicious of sycophants to lord over” Severus replied darkly.

“Ah, yes. Back to my heir. I need you to take me, well, the frame, to him immediately. It concerns Hermione. The Deo witch.” Salazar nodded, while Severus raised a brow.

“I do know Miss Granger’s first name and her status. However, I do know that none of the other portraits know of it, so I am curious as to how you do.” Severus asked pointedly. Salazar gave him a look.

“You really are going to make me answer this.” Salazar sighed. “First, even as portraits myself and the other founders felt her invoke our residual magic on Samhain. Second, Rowena and Helga have been overseeing and teaching her and her two female companions in the Room of Requirement, and dragged me and Godric to help teach them about blood magic— at the girl’s request to learn, mind you.”

“Blood magic, why am I not surprised Miss Granger is involving herself in blood magic?” Severus pinched the bridge of his nose.

“As Ginerva said quite correctly when we started, it can heal a person just as much as kill them, and provide the strongest wards. It’s neutral magic and the girls have made some very interesting conjectures. If we had time we’d debate all day but alas they have the sorry excuses for classes here and Godric and I just have to debate without them with Helga making sure we don’t come to fisticuffs over it.” Salazar shrugged.

“Sorry excuse for classes?!” Severus’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head.

“I do approve of most of your potions lessons, but it’s a bit slow. And teaching for a test, isn’t that a bit beneath a true potions master?” Salazar mollified the irate man in danger of crushing the delicate frame he was in.

“It is. I don’t have any say except even the students themselves are slow. Miss Lovegood is proficient, but Miss Granger and Miss Weasley are two of my brighter students.” Severus shook his head ruefully.

“Indeed, indeed. Now that you know how I know Hermione, I do need you to take me to my heir. There is much I need to discuss with him lest my own promise to a Deo mage be broken. They do not take kindly to that.” Salazar shuddered.

“Which is what?” Severus asked suspiciously.

“Nothing that will harm the girl, protector. She’s coming well along in her skills as a sorceress, and her companions as well. But as you said, my grandson prides himself on having vicious followers, and I need to ensure he protects her as well. Make the job on you a little easier, particularly if Hermione faces no threat from my heir.” Salazar answered waspishly.

“I see. You know that Miss Granger wishes to keep her status as a Deo private?” Severus asked.

“Private or not, her safety is my primary concern. She knows that she cannot hide who she is forever, especially as she grows into her magic. She is particularly gifted.” Salazar said sagely.

“That she is.” Severus sighed. “You are in luck I am on my way to a Saturnalia celebration your heir decided should be held. I suspect it will be nothing short of a horror show, but I will ensure you get a private audience with him as soon as possible.”

“Thank you, Severus Snape. I am very appreciative.” Salazar nodded as he was slipped into the potion master’s cloak pocket, Severus smirking that even as a portrait Salazar Slytherin would not admit to a debt.

 

Severus swept out of the room and from his quarters. In no time at all, he was outside the Hogwarts gates and apparated to Malfoy Manor, where he quickly let himself in and asked a house elf to show him to where the Dark Lord currently was, and to announce him.

“Ahh, Severus. How good of you to come to my little soiree this evening. It is most unbecoming how lapse in the Olde Traditions everyone has become.” Voldemort was in a luxurious private study, with books and notes scattered about. Research of some sort was clearly being undertaken. The Dark Lord stood, reveling his height of over 6 feet. His white skin was like marble, crimson eyes like fresh blood. His nose was flat, with slits for nostrils, his lips thin, and head bald. He lacked his former beauty before he was reborn, but the Dark Lord never professed to care. He knew his snake-like visage frightened many and would occasionally draw out ’s’ sounds to heighten the illusion and fear. Amusing, but unnecessary with Severus Snape, no matter how much drawn out alliteration he could use… maybe later in front of Wormtail; the little rat sadly lacked ’s’ in his own names, but Severus Snape frightened the pathetic excuse of a man almost as much as the Dark Lord himself. Yes, later he’d frighten Wormtail for his amusement, if only to draw out a mistake he could torture him for. He couldn’t kill his servant for being pathetic, since the man had performed the rebirthing spell for him, but Voldemort could still torture him. Which he did, frequently. It was amusing.

“Quite agreed, m’lord.” Severus bowed politely. “The Olde Traditions should never be forgotten or disregarded.”

“It was quite a surprise to me to hear about a magnificent display of supposed fireworks during this past Samhain. It seemed to be the wrong sort of story, and yet, I cannot get a sold truth for no one knows it. Severus, you are my main follower on campus, my most loyal. What happened, Severus? I cannot imagine it was truly fireworks. I felt something that night, and I can only imagine it was connected.”

“I— I have someone you should meet, my lord. I think he will explain better than I what happened on Samhain.” Severus produced from his pocket the portrait miniature while Voldemort merely raised a non-existent brow. This, this was the answer? The Dark Lord raised his wand as the portrait spoke.

“Now that is certainly no way for my heir to thank someone for a favor. Severus, give me to my ungrateful descendant and begone. This conversation is private.”

Voldemort lowered his wand. He remembered a conversation one night with the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw who insisted that her mother and the other Founders were portraits, but they preferred to remain unseen. That her mother had discovered a spell to animate portraits in the likeness of their persons, replicating memories and movement within and to other pictures. As a student, Tom Riddle was put out that his own ancestor would hide from him. And now it seemed the great Salazar Slytherin was seeking him out. Greatness was indeed on his doorstep.

“I see, Severus. Thank you. I hope you see you at tonight’s festivities.” Voldemort took the small portrait and sat back at his desk.

“Sweet Circe, boy, what did you do to yourself? You had been much more handsome where you were at school.” Salazar Slytherin said in shock when he got a good look at his descendant. Voldemort scowled.

“Reborn to a body through ancient magics and some of my own creation. One cannot beg their choosing of looks. My power and mind are intact; that is what matters.” Voldemort answered. “A Dark lord doesn’t need to inspire love to those who look upon him. Just obedience.”

“Ah, yes. That whole ‘Dark Lord’ thing. What were you thinking with that? Wasn’t one war enough? Why haven’t you had any children or grandchildren? Most of your sycophants have.” Salazar shook his head. Voldemort chuckled mirthlessly.

“Me? A Father? Children get in the way, smell horrendous, and create mess.” Voldemort sniffed. “I am a Dark lord, that does not make a kind or loving father.”

“It does not preclude you from carrying on the Slytherin line.” It was Salazar’s turn to laugh mirthlessly. It sounded exactly the same as his heir’s. “Your grandfather Marvolo thought he would be able to get out of it because his father had ruined his reputation and lost the family’s money gambling, but he had a shack and when his young cousin came of age, a marriage contract between the two of them surfaced and he too, was required to carry on line.”

“And you’re what, going to tell me you have a marriage contract for me? I have no living relatives— Marvolo never knew I existed, Morfin was crazier than a bag of cats, my mother,” here Voldemort sneered the title, “ensnared a Muggle into marriage and pregnancy with a love potion and my father despite being a rich muggle and knowing I existed, did nothing to remove me from poverty at the orphanage. I do not think any of them would have found someone this far in the future for me to ‘continue the line’ with, contract or not.” Voldemort’s face was twisted in anger. “If you were human I’d flay you but as you have information I intend to pry from you, I won’t burn your portrait yet.”

“Ah, about that— I did take some precautions before I had myself smuggled out of Hogwarts by the potions master. House elves are truly brilliant little creatures, you should utilize them more.” Salazar smirked as Voldemort did a test spell that bounced off of the frame.

“Now, yes, while it’s not marriage or a written contract, it’s still binding. You don’t want to cross the Deo clan.” Salazar continued and Voldemort stilled.

“They are myth; I looked for them in Greece and found no leads. I read in your notes in the Chamber about meeting with the clan and wanted to meet with the mages myself. Descended from Demeter, no less. With the human Iasion from Crete, before Zesus struck him down in jealousy.” Voldemort responded.

“Still a bloody know-it-all. You even respond like she does.” Salazar snorted.

“Like whom?”

“Like the descendant of the Deo I promised my heir to when she said one of her own would one day pick up a wand and reinstate my magic.” Salazar snapped. He was getting nowhere quickly. Why did his family have to be so difficult?

“You promised me to a Deo.” Voldemort’s voice was flat.

“A witch who was also a Deo. But the whole killing the muggle-borns thing isn’t going to go over well with her. She considers herself one, even if she is a Deo.” Salazar sighed.

“Why me?”

“I only said heir, not my fault you decided children were smelly.” Salazar replied snarkily.

“Do you know who the Deo is? You must, if you’re coming to me now.” Voldemort scowled. “Does this have to do with whatever happened over Samhain?”

“Yes. She renewed the wards on Hogwarts, invoking the ley lines, and invoking all of us Founders in our tongue. Funniest part is the headmaster still can’t figure out how it was done. She’s brilliant, and keeps herself hidden in plain sight. And she has some very keen protectors, including the whole of the Centaur herd in the Forest.” Salazar responded.

“How did Dumbledore miss that? He should have felt the shift in the wards more than I did, as the last of your descendants.” Voldemort was perplexed.

“You keep him rather… preoccupied. He’s more concerned with his power game with you than running Hogwarts.” Salazar said with derision.

“That would be his own fault. I do ensure nothing happens during the school year, do I not? Or keep it to the end of the year after the children take their finals? Education is important.” Voldemort chuckled.

“I would accuse you of having a sense of humor but it is beneath you with your former good looks. Let’s hope the Deo thinks differently. You’re going to need to become her protector— the headmaster has a death wish for just about everyone, including possibly himself.” Salazar retorted. Voldemort sobered.

“Her protector? A muggle-born witch? You are joking.”

“A Deo with as much power as you at only 16.”

“The witch is 16?! Are you out of your mind? Of course you are, you’re a sodding portrait.” Voldemort almost reached for his wand again before remembering the protective charms on the miniature.

“It wasn’t so weird in my day. Women married and had children soon after they experienced their first blood. Aside from magical folk, the muggles had very short life spans. Anyone who lived over 35 could wield some sort of magic.” Salazar shrugged.

“Age aside, you’re saying I have to become her protector. As in formally, I’m guessing. I would have to offer her my fealty.” Voldemort’s brows furrowed.

“Yes, you should. Particularly if you want to keep enjoying that new body of yours. She’ll kill you properly if not persuaded otherwise and you won’t be able to outmatch her. The Deo are fierce and ruthless as they are kind and caring. It’s a little disconcerting now that I think of it. But, they are fair. So, get on her good side and protect her. Stop killing muggle-borns just because their magic comes from ley lines rather than the Tuatha Dé Danann. Bring back the Olde Traditions. Stop letting petty politics get in your way. The line of Slytherin never has before.” Salazar intoned.

“So why be against muggle-borns at Hogwarts if you respect their linage?” Voldemort asked, looking for a lie or any way out of giving his fealty to a 16 year old witch.

“Same question, every time. It always comes down to this. I rue the day I cared about the students enough to think that it’d be safer for them if their violent church didn’t stone them or burn them for being witches when they found out. The spread of Christianity is why I was against muggle-borns at Hogwarts because it was safer for them not to have any more reason to be accused of witchcraft!” Salazar responded passionately.

“And blood?”

“I studied blood magic, some historians along the way twisted everything up. Godric was my research partner and he and I only disagreed on admitting muggleborns because of how to protect them. He thought they’d become Obscurials, I thought if they were going to become an Obscurus, it’d happen much earlier than we’d get to them and we wouldn’t be able to reverse the damage.” Salazar explained.

“Hmm. So who is it that I need to pledge fealty to? The child witch, who is she? I must have heard of her, if she was able to secretly renew the wards on Hogwarts by herself. Last time it was even attempted was in the 1500s by a full coven of 13 Earth affinity witches.” Voldemort half said to himself, half to Salazar.

“Hermione Granger.”

“Friend to Harry Potter.”

“The one and only. She will be deciding this war, no one else. Secure yourself by her side, and you live. It’s simple enough.” Salazar said smugly.

“And the prophecy? About Potter and myself?” Voldemort looked skeptical.

“Have you ever thought gods to be bound by prophecy? The Deo clan are favorites of Fate and Destiny. They are judgement, wronged yet compassionate. You’ll be far greater and have far more power as her consort than her enemy. Well, as an enemy you’ll just end up dead.” Salazar deadpanned.

“I shall… think… upon this. Now, I’m supposed to be getting ready to attend a Saturnalia celebration. I suppose it is time I see in what state the purebloods are in when it comes to keeping the olde ways.” Voldemort rose and left the room, leaving a muttering and annoyed portrait of Salazar Slytherin on his desk.

Chapter Text

If there was one thing Voldemort really didn’t like, it was shoes. After a decade of disembodiment, he grew to like not having to wear shoes. Plus, once he could feel the ground again in his new body, it was glorious! Why waste such a beautiful feeling with shoes? He could feel the ley lines through the bare earth, ground himself for extraordinary magic everyone expected from him and save a lot of money. It just wouldn’t do for a Dark Lord to wear thong sandals or some other nonsense. No, being a Dark Lord was satisfying people’s perceptions and ideas, so unless he extorted exceedingly expensive Italian leather loafers out of Lucius (the man may be an annoying peacock, but he did have good taste in shoes), Voldemort typically went without shoes and merely threw a protective charm around his feet so he wouldn’t get any filthy muggle diseases from stepping on a nail or some ridiculous thing.

Pulling out of his reverie in front of his wardrobe, Voldemort selected a pair of expensive black Italian lambskin loafers he had Lucius buy him, and a set of spectacular silk dress robes with silver embroidery trim that he made Narcissa procure. The Malfoy family was obnoxious but they were useful. It was part of the reason he made his temporary home with them while having Riddle Manor remodeled. He was pleased to note that during his ‘death’ the goblins finally got his paperwork finished on seizing the house from the Muggle authorities who never recognized Tom Riddle Jr. as a legitimate heir to the Riddle Family. Now he had their muggle money that had been appreciating in value and their muggle manor. With the groundskeeper taken care of, Voldemort was free to place muggle repelling charms, blood wards, and every security measure he could like. He even took over the land and remnants of the shack that belonged to the Gaunts. Yes, it was good to be Voldemort.

He threw a furtive glance at his study, where the portrait miniature of Salazar Slytherin was still grumbling loudly. Voldemort thought being a disembodied spirit was pretty awful, but as for being a portrait… Voldemort shuddered. At least he was alive. That’s what mattered. He’d cheated death so many times now it was almost becoming a game, immortality. Though the words Salazar had said haunted him, that if he didn’t align himself behind the little Deo witch he would die, and properly. Voldemort had researched the Deo clan and knew they were a secretive bunch, and was heartily disappointed when he found nothing, not a trace of them— figuring that they must have been legend and myth after all. But to be told that he was essentially bound to one, and that it could supersede the nagging prophecy that plagued him the last decade and a half, causing his first downfall. What a fool he’d been! A baby! Bested by a toddler! Sodding love and blood protections. How was he supposed to know that a mud blood— no muggleborn, must get in that habit— would invoke magic that was generally frowned upon in the wizarding world. Nobody just mucked about with blood magic these days.

His musings kept him busy as he walked through the corridors of Malfoy Manor. He’d chosen a delightful suite in the guest wing he used in his youth when he visited Abraxas Malfoy, though what a pity the man never deigned to actually join forces. Slippery one, but his son was easier to catch, and his grandson will be the easiest of all. After several long corridors and a flight of stairs, Voldemort entered the grand foyer to greet his loyal servants before opening the doors of the ballroom to start the Saturnalia feast. Afterwards he’d sit on his throne and watch his little minions debauch themselves in celebration of a holiday none of them practiced anymore. Sad thing, really, letting the olde traditions slip. It was one of the things that really made the wizarding world special and separate from muggles. Now they all celebrate the holidays that the muggles do— probably because it’s easier and it’s essentially taught in the school. Centuries of headmasters failing to adhere to the important traditions is what got everyone into this mess. Muggle loving fools.

“Ah, Severus-sss. How delightful to sss-see you. I mus-ssss-t welcome you to our little sss-Saturnalia ssss-soiree.” Voldemort spied Wormtail shiver in fright nearby as he talked to some other followers. The snake bit really did not get old.

“Yes, m’lord. It looks like an excellent turn-out. Everyone is excited to uphold the olde ways as is their duty.” Snape quirked a corner of his mouth up, knowing fully well that the drawn out “s” was purposeful and done for the Dark Lord’s amusement. Well, he had to find amusement somewhere.

“I had a very productive conversation, following your departure. I would like a word with you alone before the feast begins.” Voldemort said quietly to Snape and received a nod, so they both left and entered the first room they could find, surprised to find the second sitting room occupied with three girls, still in their Hogwarts uniforms, bound and gagged and looking very angry.

“Well, shit.” Snape broke the silence and the Dark Lord stifled a snigger.

“Who had the audacity to do such a thing without permission?” Voldemort asked, trying to keep calm. He didn’t know the other two.. well one of them could be a Weasley, but the middle one was definitely Hermione Granger, best friend to Harry Potter. He’d seen her face enough in the boy’s dreams through their thrice damned connection.

“I could not begin to assume, m’lord. We could ask the girls.” Snape replied silkily. Voldemort raised a hand and the gag on the Hermione disappeared.

“Hello, little witch.” He began, uneasily. How was he supposed to greet her? Flat out say that he knew she was a Deo and he was supposed to be loyal to her if he followed what Salazar Slytherin said.

“Hello, Voldemort.” Hermione responded, her lips pursed in annoyance.

“I suspect, Miss Granger, introductions should be made. Miss Granger, this is the Dark Lord. My Lord, this is Hermione Granger, the witch whom Salazar Slytherin must have told you about." Snape interjected.

“Why would Sal want to talk to you? Interesting, powerful, but why about me?” Hermione’s eyes narrowed at Snape.

“It was Salazar’s request, Miss Granger. He had your safety in mind. Apparently rightly so. Do you know who did this to you? What exactly happened?” Snape asked.

“Do you mind? This is rather uncomfortable and I don’t know the right unknotting spell. Some mangy looking man— Pettigrew I think— tied us up the muggle way so it’d be harder to get the ropes undone with magic.” Hermione huffed. Voldemort quickly lifted a hand and the three girls were rubbing their wrists and ankles, trying to get the circulation back.

“Thank you. No, I do not know who messed with our portkey from the ministry. Instead of taking us to Greece, we landed in this room, with the rat of a man waiting for us and petrified us and took our wands before binding us. I really need my wand back so I can make a portkey and explain to mum why we are so late for—“ Hermione stopped her sentence and glared at Voldemort.

“Late for what?” Voldemort asked delicately.

“None of your business. This is all your fault, anyways.” Hermione huffed, looking away.

“Now Miss Granger, I had nothing to do with your kidnapping nor would I have authorized it. I see no benefit here for myself. Do you, Severus? No, of course not. Give me your arm, Severus, I must summon Wormtail to answer for this.” Voldemort sniffed haughtily.

Just then the door opened and Peter Pettigrew, aka Wormtail, stumbled in, shoved be Lucius Malfoy who stood shocked in the doorway, upon find his master speaking with the evening’s entertainment.

“Ah, my dear… sss-servants. How lovely for you to join us-sss. Miss-sss Granger here was-sss jus-sss-t explaining how sss-she’d been kidnapped with her companions-sss.” Voldemort stalked over to Wormtail who cowered, not that Lucius didn’t, he just had slightly more elegance and dignity in his cowering.

“My lord! I heard that the mud blood and some friends applied for a portkey while at the ministry and took the liberty of re-arranging their destination to, uh, join us, for our Saturnalia celebration.” Lucius Malfoy said with effort.

“Lies-sss. Lucius-sss, you know how I detes-sss-t lie-ssss.” Voldemort narrowed his blood red eyes at him.

“Well I did think they would make a good sacrifice or entertainment for the evening like the old revels but, uh, you don’t seem to be in the mood?” Lucius did everything he could not to stammer. Malfoys don’t stammer.

Hermione shared a look with Luna and Ginny.

“I did not authoriz-zz-e this-sss, Lucius-sss.” Voldemort glared at Lucius before turning on Wormtail.

“Wormtail, these girls told me you bound them the muggle way. Are you not a wiz-zz-ard? Can you not handle 3 underage witches-sss?” Voldemort hissed at the visibly scared and cowering man. Maybe he could let up on drawing out the ’s’ sounds and hissing, but he was rather enjoying their fear.

“The-the-the Granger girl is very clever, m’lord. I didn’t trust her to not be able to get out. S-s—so I bound them up the muggle way, and gagged them just in case.” Peter Pettigrew was ready to wet himself he was so scared of being on the end of the Dark Lord’s wand again.

“I’m sorry, I know this must be horribly entertaining but a whole clan of Earth mages were expecting us over an hour ago. I’m going to send a patronus that we have been detained due to a Ministry mix-up so don’t fire at me.” Hermione interjected snidely, also rather amused at the cowering and fear Lucius and Wormtail were displaying. They both certainly deserved it. Voldemort threw an annoyed look over his shoulder and nodded.

“Expecto Patronum.” Hermione said sedately, casting wandlessly— her otter blooming from her fingertips with a message imprinted, vanishing into the rapidly approaching night.

“Again you impress me, Miss Granger.” Severus Snape murmured while Hermione and her friends shrugged. It was one of the more recent self-discovery sessions the three of them decided to work on that spell wandlessly. Voldemort himself looked intrigued, Pettigrew hadn’t stopped cowering and Lucius had a wary eye on her.

“I believe these girls are worth far more as guests for this evening than sacrifices or entertainment.” Voldemort said disdainfully towards Lucius who bowed his head.

“Sacrifice? Really? It’s just— do you even have a temple to Saturn here? Or are religious about the Greek or Roman gods at all? Because it just is insane that you would consider ‘sacrificing’ in Saturn’s name three virgins. I mean, come on. One, he’d be happy with a cow, two he’d be pissed you wasted virgins! Don’t you know anything about the old ways?” Hermione asked snottily, unable to hold her tongue any longer. Voldemort chuckled, Snape looked mildly horrified, while Lucius looked completely scandalized.

“What would you know about Saturnalia, mud blood?” Lucius hissed at her.

“Certainly more than you, Lucius.” The Dark Lord chuckled, turning his back on him, deciding on a better, more fitting punishment for Lucius and Wormtail.

“Miss Granger, would you and your lovely companions join us for this… humble… Saturnalia? Your expertise is sought to teach Lucius more about this significant holiday, and Wormtail, you will ensure that the girls have their every whim catered to while they are here.” Voldemort asked Hermione kindly, with sincerity in his voice.

Hermione looked at her companions who were slightly on edge, but imperceptibly nodded.

“We shall require our wands as an act of good faith. I have celebrated many Saturnalia, from the tame to what I had hoped tonight would be the beginning of the thoroughly debauched. Should you disappoint, I’ll burn the building to the ground.” Hermione responded.

“And if we, shall we say, exceed expectations?” Voldemort inquired.

“I’ll allow this to slide unpunished.” Hermione responded. Summoning the wands off of Wormtail, Voldemort return their wands with a quiet apology each. The girls were stunned.

“Would you girls like time to change before the festivities begin?” Voldemort asked.

“Yes. We will be ready in 15 minutes if you all leave now. Wormtail, Lucius, you may wait outside the door to escort us to the celebration. I imagine since you mentioned it, you would enjoy a sacrifice?” Hermione asked blithely.

“Yes, as the closest we would have to a priest, we would be most honored if you would, Miss Granger. Lucius has white Peacocks, one of which would do nicely, don’t you think?” Voldemort answered smoothly, Lucius looking sick at the idea of one of his prized peacocks being slaughtered.

“Good enough. Please make sure there is a dais, a silver dagger, and a chalice. Also, bring the bird to the dais as well so we don’t have to hunt around for it. Ruins the mood and makes the magic sluggish. We will see you in 15 minutes.” Hermione watched the men leave the room and turned towards her friends.

“Well, it’s not Greece, not yet at least. We’d only miss a feast there, but at least I’m not related to everyone! Besides, I’ve always wanted to lead a Saturnalia.” Hermione giggled unshrinking her travel bag from her pocket and digging through for the robes she’d bought in Hogsmeade for the first night of Saturnalia. Ginny and Luna were doing the same.

“It is rather funny to watch Voldemort fall all over himself for you. Why do you think that is? I mean, he’s nothing like the Tom Riddle in the diary that I remember.” Ginny shook her head while tugging on her dress robes and discarding her Hogwarts uniform.

“It’s probably because if Voldemort has talked to Salazar, then he knows Hermione is a Deo. And the Deo clan are higher status than purebloods, and with her powers as a witch, Hermione is someone to acquire.” Luna decided.

“More like I would be acquiring him. I wonder if being a Deo could trump that stupid prophecy between him and Harry. Now that would be a nice power to have!” Hermione giggled, and the other girls joined in.

“Almost ready.” Hermione transfigured all of their robes white for the sacrifice, since she’d be playing the priest and Ginny and Luna would assist her. Hermione transfigured a scarf to match and used it to cover her head.

“Shall we play a game?” Hermione smirked, knowing her friends wouldn’t catch the muggle movie reference. Her companions grinned savagely at her. After a few quick words of instruction, the girls headed out the door.


As promised, Voldemort erected a dais that would be easily seen by everyone, but not near any of the food or eating areas. Nobody wanted to be eating peacock blood with their pudding. The peacock in reference was the fattest of the lot, waddling in circles in the magical pen he’d set up. A silver dagger and chalice were placed on a low table also on the dais.

Hermione was pleased with the decoration as she was escorted in with Ginny and Luna by Lucius, Wormtail trailing them pitifully. The girls moved sedately, without hurry or interest. Once on the dais, Hermione noticed there was no representation of Saturn in the room to enjoy their Saturnalia celebration. She pointed her wand to an empty area of the large dais and conjured a block of marble, before transfiguring it into a statue of Saturn lounging on a chaise to observe and enjoy the celebrations. Hermione smiled at her handiwork before turning back to Luna and Ginny, who’d gotten the bird, the knife and the chalice and returned to the center of the dais.

Hermione removed her headscarf in tradition for holiday, and began to speak loudly in Greek.

Krónos, sas timoúme aftí ti vradiá stin ellinikí ierotelestía. Egó, i Hermione Jean Deo Granger, eímai o ieréas sou kai to machaíri sou se aftó to gíino vasíleio”* Hermione took the dagger from Ginny as her two companions held out it’s delicate neck. Luna placed the chalice under the neck. Hermione felt the magic reaching out from the audience and the Earth, readying for the ritual sacrifice to begin the Saturnalia.

Aftó to pagóni sas dínetai se epithymití thysía gia tin efcharístisí sas. I efcharístisí sas na mas férei efcharístisi.”** Hermione slashed the dagger over the patch of neck bared between Ginny and Luna’s hands, releasing the pent up magic and letting the lifeblood of the bird splash upon them and the dais, the chalice catching much of it. Hermione took the chalice from Luna in exchange for the bloody dagger. Hermione slipped her wand from her pocket, raising the chalice above her head, wand in one hand and chalice in the other.

Aftí i zoí eínai dikí sou, Krónos. I zoí mas eínai dikí sas.”*** Hermione again let the magic build as it was called up by the words of the ritual and the spilling of blood. When at it’s peak, Hermione brought her wand down sharply releasing the magic. The room was left in a heavy bliss due to the magic just performed, and was quietly stunned for a moment.

Voldemort clapped, causing the room to erupt into applause. With a nod, the music and celebration truly began, the Death Eaters and other supportive guests mingling amongst each other, starting the feast and continuing to drink. Voldemort went up to the dais as Hermione was cleaning up, leaving the chalice as offering to Saturn on the statue’s chaise, while Ginny and Luna murmured an appropriate prayer before quickly burning the body of the bird in smokeless flames and vanishing the ashes. For the white robes covered in blood, Hermione waved a ‘Tergeo’ over them, leaving the robes and dais spotless, before lifting the color changing charm on their robes.

“That was an excellent display of ritual sacrifice, Miss Granger. Tell me, have you done this before?” Voldemort asked her, sounding almost humorous.

“Usually my mother is the one to sacrifice while I assist. Tonight would have been my first sacrifice witnessed in the Temple of Saturn.” Hermione answered, allowing Voldemort to offer her his hand to assist her down the steps of the dais, while Ginny and Luna were assisted by other inner circle members.

“You have brought new meaning to the rite that has fallen out of practice by purebloods, an error I hope to fix amongst all of the wizarding population. The olde traditions are a significant part of magical culture throughout history. Earlier Severus told me that you’ve practiced all of your life and never missed a sacred day.” Voldemort continued.

“I have never missed a rite or tradition. A Deo would never even if we could ever. We honor the olde ways, through which we honor the Earth. During today’s celebration of Saturn and the turning of the wheel, we take our time to find pleasure and give thanks for the bounty that humans enjoyed under his rule.” Hermione returned, a small genuine smile forming on her lips. “The sacrificial magic is already adding a heady feeling to the room, which will only get thicker as everyone feasts and dances.”

“Let us begin then, Miss Granger, and we shall show our proper thanks to Saturn.” Voldemort bowed slightly, and held out his arm for Hermione to take and be escorted to a seat of honor at the feast. Without hesitation, Hermione took it.

Chapter Text

The evening was turning out to be significantly better than Severus had thought it would be, mainly because of the unexpected ‘guests.’ Initially he’d been worried he’d have to babysit them for their protection. However, the girls were competent with severe stinging hexes, and frankly after the ritual sacrifice, many of the minor Death Eaters stayed away. Anyone who was a clear favorite of the Dark Lord was always given a wide berth and these three witches were charming and being charmed by Voldemort himself. 

He’d hardly seen his lord so animated in academic discussions as he was with Miss Gr— No, tonight she was Hermione, per her request. Just as Miss Lovegood and Miss Weasley were for the moment Luna and Ginny. Disconcerting at first but plied with enough mead by the two girls he realized he didn’t mind at all. They were growing up to be such attractive, strong witches. And Miss— no, Ginny— Ginny did have such lovely red hair. Severus always did have a thing for redheads. Before and after his crush on his childhood best friend, Lily Evans, Severus Snape always had a hard-on for a pretty red-haired witch. He could even admit that Molly Prewett before 7 children had been quite attractive.

Hermione was rather enjoying herself chatting with Voldemort. He knew so much about so many obscure topics she wanted to learn about and know, and his traveling had been extensive in his youth after his graduation from Hogwarts and stint working in Borgin & Burke’s in Knockturn Alley. Hermione was rather jealous, as she’d always wanted to travel and study more. She asked him question after question, receiving surprisingly well thought out answers and both were happy their mead glasses had been kept full.

“Come to the patio. I wish to feel the air on my face and grass under my feet. It’s not a Saturnalia if I don’t get both!” Hermione giggled as she stood up with help from Voldemort, who stood at her indication. Luna and Ginny quickly rose to join her, with a hesitant Severus and disgruntled Lucius. Lucius spent the entire evening listening to conversation that sounded more like lectures on who’s studied which boring and obscure magic that nobody uses anymore. Lucius’s wife, Narcissa trailed after the group, along with a few other interested parties within Voldemort’s inner circle. They had caught on to the fact that while underage and looking practically like prey, the young witches were to be admired as those whom the Dark Lord wanted his followers to be like. They upheld the Olde Ways more than just through mechanical movements— they understood and brought magic to the rituals and rites that had not been witnessed in centuries. The Olde Ways were more important than bloodlines apparently, if they could produce that sort of magic.

“No shoes! Come, it’s still a lovely evening— the grass is wet with dew!” Hermione’s laugh was a magic of it’s own towards the others in the group who had not yet given themselves to the pleasure of the night like the rest of party had inside. All remained in tight control of themselves as they were bred to do.

“Oh, you lot are not participating in tonight. Tonight is about pleasure— it’s Saturnalia!” Hermione giggled and pulled a very small hip flask from her robe pocket. Luna and Ginny grinned, conjuring shot glasses for themselves. Voldemort looked intrigued, but stayed still. Hermione conjured a shot glass of her own.

“A gift from Fred and George— they charmed this little flask for me to refill itself. While not as traditional as mead, it’s still traditionally Greek; Ouzo!” Hermione filled the glasses that Luna and Ginny drank quickly, and Hermione chased them with hers. She then refilled the glasses and they were passed along. Hermione gave hers to the Dark Lord, Ginny to Severus, and Luna to Lucius.

“Drink, drink, drink!” The girls chanted and Severus merely shrugged before complying. Voldemort felt like he was entering some weird dimension of school days he thought he’d missed. He complied with the Deo witch watching him; her lovely rosy lips compelling him to drink. Lucius sighed and knocked back the drink, choking a little on the strong anise taste.

“Opa!” Hermione called, laughing and filling the glasses over and over and conjured more, as everyone joined in, pressured by the three young witches. After a couple of shots the group that had started staid and sombre, relaxed and joined in the jibing and laughing. Even Voldemort had a bit of a silly grin on his face.

“Let’s dance! Dance, dance, dance! No shoes, if you want to feel the ley lines. We’re so lucky to be so close to several converging. Stonehenge is nearby, no?” Hermione called, kicking off her shoes and pressing the flask into Lucius’s hands. She took off into the darkening night, barefooted on the manicured lawns of Malfoy Manor. With a steadying breath, Voldemort followed suit, toeing off his shoes and stepping out on to the lawn. Luna and Ginny were next, shoes off and running hand in hand, with Snape striding after them. The group eventually converged on the lawn where Hermione charmed some bushes to sing, replicating medieval style music. At first it was Hermione, Luna and Ginny dancing— the curtseying and holding hands, stepping delicately in a circle. Soon a few other women joined them, including a flushed Narcissa whose eyes were sparkling with good humor and drink. As the women danced barefoot in the grass under the moon, a white-blue aura was building, starting with Hermione’s steps and following to every other in the circle. Voldemort looked on in awe as simple dance was invoking the ley lines that converged so close to the Malfoy property. A another “Opa!” and laughter caught his attention as Narcissa misstepped and nearly fell, but surprisingly joined in the laughter as she righted herself— unlike the very prim Lady Malfoy that everyone knew her as. This Saturnalia she was called back to her girlhood when she’d dance with her sisters, laughing and hoping they might call up some innate magic instead of accidental bursts now and then.

Hermione called to the men to put away the flask and join the dance. Severus was the first to comply, putting himself between Luna and Ginny, Voldemort taking a space next to Hermione and so on the men filled in the circle and they broke off into pairs circling each other, palms together, before bowing and stepping back into the full circle with everyone, turning, turning, turning— the magic gathering under their feet, white-blue and twinkling, lighting the dance under the moon, warming the witches and wizards gathered in the cool night. The 7 degrees celsius was downright balmy compared to the cold of Hogwarts in the Scottish highlands. When the magic was at a dizzying high, everyone turning and laughing and dancing and returning to the circle, Hermione called out for everyone to raise their wands. And wands raised, they praised the magic of the evening and released their circle and the pressure that had held sway over their dance. With a quick and deft move with her wand, Hermione sent the gathered ley line magic rushing out over the grounds. She grinned as she turned to Voldemort who was looking at the little witch in undisguised interest. Everything she did this evening seemed to be so natural for her, unlearned, just instinctive. Who knew what rite they’d just performed, dancing under the moon.

“Come!” Hermione giggled and tugged at his hand, urging him to follow her away from the group and farther into the grounds where the light of their ritual hadn’t penetrated. He noticed little white snowdrops blooming in the wake of her steps, disappearing when she was more than five paces away.

“Aren’t you coming?” Hermione asked, her voice lowering— rather seductively for a 16 year old. Rather than speak Voldemort complied, striding after her and she laughed and ran on. He felt the urge to chase her, capture her and against every ounce of personal restraint and control he did. It didn’t take long, only a few hundred meters and they were in a glade hidden in a small thicket of trees on the extensive Malfoy grounds.

“Caught you.” Voldemort’s tenor tickled her ear as he wrapped his arms around her.

“I wanted you to.” Hermione turned in his arms, looking up at him, his face in sharp relief thanks to the moon light.

“Everyone fears me, yet you do not?” Voldemort’s sense of self-restraint kicked back in.

“If you meant to kill me you would have already. And besides, who else would I choose as my first lover? Some silly boy at Hogwarts…” Hermione ran her fingers up his arms. “Or one of the most powerful wizards?”

“You’re playing with fire, witchling.” Voldemort took a deep, steadying breath as Hermione’s light caresses traveled to his shoulders.

“Perhaps I want to,” she whispered, standing on her tip toes, tilting her full lips towards his.

“I may not look like one, but I am a man, Hermione. And if you continue I cannot stop.” Voldemort’s sense of control was again waning.

“Why have anyone when I can have a man who looks like a god?” Hermione’s lips brushed his jaw bone, unable in height capture his lips.

“A god, you say?” He murmured as he leaned into her touch, allowing her scent to engulf him. It was arousing to be so desired, not as a powerful leader which his followers saw, but in such a primal sense as a man— particularly since he’d recently spent a decade disembodied. He’d not given into lust or desire in decades and it was catching up with him. His own long fingers began gentle caresses of her body: her waist, her back, one hand traveling to the back of her neck while the other traveled south towards her intimate regions.

“Mmm, yes. Like I’d imagine the Sumerian god Enlil” Hermione toyed with the top button on his silk dress robes.

“Who was banished to the underworld for seducing a young goddess. Tell me, Hermione, do you want me to seduce you?” Voldemort leaned down, planting small kisses on her brow.

“Oh, but I am seducing you, see.” Hermione smirked. “A blood rite on Saturnalia— just a few words to draw power. Here, in the grass where we can feel the ley lines.” She started undoing the top buttons, nimble fingers working quickly. He groaned slightly, trying not to rip into her clothing.

“I am a cruel man, Hermione. Many call me evil, but before I fuck you into being a more powerful witch with your rite, I swear upon my spirit my fealty to you,” Voldemort whispered in her ear as his hand that had kneading her bum crept upwards, buttons and closures coming undone in it’s wake.

“I accept your vow.” Hermione gasped as his magic disrobed her, her robes falling into a heap on the ground. He stilled her hand on his chest for a moment and she felt his magic rush out and complete a similar disrobing spell on himself. His body was lean and taut, muscle and skin and bone. It was well proportioned and very symmetrical— more so than any natural born body, shining like white marble under the moon and his crimson eyes burning into hers. She blushed slightly under his scrutiny. She’d never been so bold before, and the drink was making her head fuzzy. She’d always dreamed of a moment like this, but with Voldemort— the Dark Lord of all people— taking the lead in her fantasy was surprising. The whole evening was surprising with his downright kind treatment of them, and disdain for his pureblood followers who clearly did not keep the olde traditions as well as she did. And her status as a Deo seemed to lift her above all others in his esteem… 

Hermione did wonder briefly what Salazar must have said to his kin to ensure he’d swear fealty— and what an oath that was. Her virgin blood rite, the strongest one a witch could make in her lifetime, had been in her plans since she, Luna and Ginny started learning about blood magic. Why not use what would happen eventually to draw magic into herself, to make herself a more powerful witch as she became a woman in not just body but in deed as well? And here she was being worshipped as if she was a goddess herself. 

Biting and sucking and kissing and caressing, Voldemort was relentless in his worship of Hermione’s young body. She sighed in his arms as he gently laid her down in the soft grass. If he wasn’t already, he would indeed be banished from society for this act, but what a seduction it would be. He wondered briefly if the girl would tell anyone about her rite and selection of partners to take her virginity— clearly as a Deo she could have her choice of partners— and her choice was him. There was so much power available to her, ready to flow through her or even just in her vast personal reserves. The thought of it made him harder than her gentle, timid caresses. One of his elegant hands wrapped around hers, showing her exactly how he preferred to be touched.

Hermione wrapped her small hand around his hardened cock, rubbing and pulling at the velvety length with his hand guiding hers. The thrill of foreplay with a man was new to her and she enjoyed how he took the lead to show her what he liked. Dark Lord or not, he was a man and this was going to be an enjoyable experience and not some awkward tumble. His other hand, that had been massaging her breasts with the occasional pluck at her nipple that would cause a breathy gasp, made its way down to her virginal center, one long finger gently probing insistently, first gathering the wetness that had been forming and spreading it around her opening and onto the small bundle of nerves that caused her small frame to twitch and a chuckle to escape him. Slipping inside her with that one finger, he internally groaned at how warm, how wet and how tight she was. Working her now, he plunged one finger in and out of her, stretching her, before adding a second along with a stroking motion over the hidden spot inside her; another spongy bundle of nerves. Hermione’s breaths were coming in pants now and she felt herself getting closer to something desirable, something she’d never achieved in the few times she’d touched herself and the one other time she’d allowed her first boyfriend to touch her.

“Please, please!” Hermione chanted over and over not even knowing quite what she was begging for. Logically she knew it was an orgasm: she’d heard about them and that it could be difficult for a female but it seemed that Voldemort was a very skilled lover. Her begging brought out the more base side of Voldemort that was all Dark Lord who thrived on power and pain and begging, the sweetest of all being the pleading of someone who truly wants something that is in his power to give or deny. In a skilled move, he brushed his thumb over her clit, the nub of nerves going haywire with every motion as he brought her closer and closer and kissed her more forcefully, swallowing her pleas and pleasure and moans. And in the next moment she was there— falling over the crest and seeing stars as her tight passage rhythmically squeezed his fingers. He prolonged her pleasure, slipping a third finger in her and continuing his stroking and stretching as her muscles clamped down on him. Her small hand encased in his never stopped rubbing him, each stroke masterfully teasing his erection against her soft skin. He pulled his fingers from her, licking them each, tasting her pleasure and enjoying the sweet tang of her musk. He kissed her again, so she could taste herself on his tongue, something she found incredibly erotic.

“I’m going to take you now, little witch. Whatever words you need to say, now is the time,” he whispered huskily in her ear, as he drew her to him, slipping an arm under her shoulders, the other hand still enveloping hers on his cock. Despite his size and girth she was not terribly afraid because of the alcohol perhaps, or the rite, or just that she knew she was ready.

“Krónos, paradído tin parthenía mou aftí ti nýchta. Pros timín tou aímatós mou, evlogíste me efcharístisi, evlogó me ploúti, evlogíste me ton Króno me dýnami.” * Hermione chanted as the Dark Lord, hand still wrapped around hers, guided his length to her sopping core. Together they guided him into her as he gave gentle thrusts, slightly moving deeper into her until he reached her barrier. At her nod, he thrust forcefully through and she cried out, clutching the back of his neck as her back arched. A few tears escaped, which he kissed away, savoring the saltiness of her tears. He rested his forehead on hers, holding her close to him, trying to keep his breathing steady as he waited for her to be ready to continue.

Hermione’s breathing returned to an acceptable level and she gave her hips an experimental thrust, pushing him even farther into her, which she hadn’t thought was possible. Voldemort groaned slightly above her and began moving, slowly at first, dragging out and then pushing in— further than his initial thrust until she felt overstuffed, his balls slapping against her. And the process would repeat again and again until she thought she’d go mad. She tried pushing her hips up, meeting him this time for his slow thrust and felt a delicious shock of pleasure run through her. Voldemort moaned slightly and began to speed up his pace, Hermione meeting him, every thrust, lifting her hips so he’d be fully seated in her before he dragged himself out and thrust himself back in.

As they engaged in the dance as old as time, light was suffusing the glade, emanating  from the couple copulating on the grass. Similar to when the ley lines were summoned, they gathered power and magic as they fucked, sex being an age old rite of summoning magic— one that even muggles participated in even if they didn’t realize it. It took innate magic to create life and the act of creating it would still summon power. This exquisite experience of being human was one Voldemort had missed significantly while disembodied, though it’d been quite a while since he’d indulged in any sexual activity, believing himself above it. Some things you don’t realize you miss until you can’t have them. Yet here he was, fucking power into a gorgeous young witch who was the only person he’d come across in his many years of life to being close to his equal. He would be loathe to give up fucking, but knew it wouldn’t be the same with anyone but Hermione. How was it that he woke up this morning as The Dark Lord Voldemort and by the night was balls deep in a little witch who he’d pledged his spirit in fealty to? Mysteries of magic and power and Saturnalia, one could suppose, he thought cupping her cheek and kissing her fiercely. 

He knew he wouldn’t last much longer going at the pace he was and it was time to make his little witch come with abandon. Slipping a hand between them as he thrust into her with more and more speed and force, little gasps and moans slipping from her lips as sweet as candy, Voldemort traced her engorged clit delicately, making Hermione buck and writhe beneath him. Smirking into her hair he matched his tracing to his thrusting rhythm and quickly Hermione was gasping and mewling and suddenly her muscles clamped down on his cock tight as a vise as he thrust home once, twice more in her pulsating orgasm before he found his own release. Both of them stilled in the expectant air that seemed to coalesce around them, the aura of the power generated in their coupling seeping into her skin, leaving her glowing with both power and the healthy post-orgasmic haze.

“That was,” Hermione began but her panting caused her to pause to breathe, “absolutely amazing.” She kissed where his nose would be if he had one. While she felt sticky and sweaty and starting to chill now their exercise had ceased, she noticed Voldemort didn’t seem to sweat at all. Perhaps it just wasn’t fitting for a Dark Lord to be sweaty, no matter what the activity. He was truly godlike, poised above her, arms cradling her, his white skin shining in the moonlight, and his eyes like pools of blood. She considered that others would be frightened by the sight, but she was not like other girls. She only saw a powerful, godlike man who had not only fucked her for the first time, but made it well worth remembering.

“Mmm. That it was, Hermione,” he murmured, smoothing her curls out of her face. He dipped his head and trailed open kisses along her neck, savoring her taste and smell after sex. Quite against her will, the cold caught up to her and she was shivering and covered in goosebumps everywhere that he didn’t cover her.

“You are cold. Come to my rooms, I will warm you up again, if you like.” Voldemort smirked at her, a mischievous glint in his red eyes.

“I would like that.” Hermione smiled back as he slid out of her, casting a quick cleansing charm as he plucked up her robes to throw over her, before gathering his own to do the same. He pulled a bit of earthy debris from her hair and smoothed out her curls before offering his arm to walk her inside.

Once at his rooms, Hermione was questioning her sanity at going at it again with the Dark Lord. Some would question her sanity for wanting to fuck him once, much less let him take her virginity. Hermione mostly worried she’d be destroyed in pleasure and it’d just never be as good again. Sworn fealty or not, she didn’t assume that she’d be riding the Dark Lord whenever she chose, even if she was Deo witch. Plus, she was a little worried her untried body would protest. However, the time for declining was past and now was still Saturnalia, a time for pleasure. She’d simply have to hope that Saturn was on her side in indulgence in sexual pleasures.

Once they were inside his bedroom, the two looked at each other in confusion as loud sounds of sexual congress filtered in from another room. Quickly crossing to the study, Voldemort spelled the sconces alight and his anger melted into vague annoyance and amusement. He crooked a finger at Hermione who joined him at the door and stifled a giggle. Salazar was apparently entertaining a Malfoy ancestor in his small frame, barely visible under voluminous skirts, which hid all but the unmistakable Malfoy blonde hair.

“Glad to see you indulging in Saturnalia fun, Sal,” Hermione called from across the room, startling Salazar who nearly fell off the bench on which he was entertaining his lady friend.

“Ahh, little Hermione. And my heir? How lovely to see you both… I’ve missed something.” Salazar looked between the two of them and shrugged, murmuring soothing words to the blonde woman that he’d be resuming in a moment.

“Or nothing at all. Enjoy your Saturnalia, Salazar. We’ll catch up another time.” Hermione giggled, extinguishing the lights with a flick of her wrist and pulling Voldemort back into his bedroom, firmly shutting the door to the study as the giggling and moaning started back up again between the portraits in the next room.

“Now little witch, where was I… Yes, I was going to warm you up while I continued worshipping your beautiful body.” Voldemort undid the buttons on her robes and set to work, not wasting a moment.

Hermione was in bliss.

Chapter Text

 

“Salazar! Have you seen Miss— Hermione?” Severus spotted Salazar Slytherin escorting a flushed portrait of a young Malfoy ancestor in 18th century French dress through some landscapes when he called out to him.

 

“Ah, Severus. And Luna and Ginny! Have you been enjoying your Saturnalia?” Salazar asked, eyes dancing in merriment. The group were rather flushed, similar to his companion, and more than a little disheveled.

 

“We have, Sal. We have very much. Probably as much as you. However after dancing Hermione ran off with the Dark Lord, and well, it’s been a few hours now,” Ginny returned with a smirk.

 

“We suspect she’s fine, but Sev is nervous all the same.” Luna smiled dreamily while Ginny elbowed Severus with a giggle.

 

“He has nothing to be nervous about. They are, ah, enjoying their Saturnalia. Have you met Annette?” Salazar changed the subject, introducing his companion.

 

“Annette, how lovely to meet you. Have you had a pleasurable Saturnalia?” Luna asked politely.

 

“Oui, mademoiselle. Ze Dark Lord and your friend ee-nterrupted us, but we did ‘ave fun. Eet ‘as been too long since I celebrated Saturnalia!” Annette giggled, leaning to Salazar to steal a quick kiss that made the Founder blush slightly.

 

“The delights of a visiting portrait. I will ensure we meet again very soon, Annette. If you would mind terribly letting me speak with my friends privately?” Salazar requested and Annette Malfoy nodded before scurrying off to her own portrait frame in another room.

 

“I wish I had been alive to enjoy the French of the 18th century. What an uninhibited bunch!” Salazar grinned broadly while Ginny laughed outright and Severus stifled a snigger.

 

“So, Hermione is with Voldemort?” Ginny asked.

 

“Yes, and having a very good time if her cries of pleasure were anything to go from.” Salazar smirked as Severus went a little pale and Ginny high-five’d Luna.

 

“I take it you ladies have no concerns about your friend being with the Dark Lord?” Severus raised a brow at them.

 

“With the way they were having intellectual sex during the feast and the eye-fucking going on, I thought it was a given!” Ginny laughed, with Luna nodding in agreement.

 

“She did seem to radiate a bit— how much magic was she channeling this evening? She might have a hard time coming down from it all tomorrow,” Salazar asked.

 

“Hermione was careful, Sal. She only channeled the sacrifice, and then dispersed a group invocation of ley lines while we danced outside under the moon. Though if she’s um, enjoying the Dark Lord then she would have done a virginal blood rite to draw in power.” Luna responded offhandedly.

 

“She— what?!” Severus was dumbfounded but Salazar looked quite pleased.

 

“That’s my little sorceress! A virgin’s blood rite on Saturnalia while riding the high of ritual magic channeled. She will gain quite a bit of power through that.” Salazar nodded, pondering the implications.

 

“This was the blood magic you were teaching them?” Severus asked, torn between bewildered and appalled.

 

“Circe, no! The girls did inquire about virginal blood rites but we barely covered it. I suspect Godric and I were only confirming what the girls already knew, given the books the Room of Requirement was supplying them,” Salazar laughed. “You should really join them sometime, Severus. Perhaps a Potions lesson that I cannot do because I lack a corporeal form.”

 

“Ooh, Sev that would be amazing!” Ginny purred, grasping Severus’s arm to her chest. The long suffering Potions professor, reminded of his station, was starting to feel a bit peaky.

 

“I don’t think Sev likes to be reminded he’s our professor;” Luna laughed. “I don’t see why not. A knowledgeable man is much sexier than someone who’s just pretty to look at—“

 

“And then you want to hex them as soon as they open their mouth!” Ginny finished. Salazar laughed while Severus shook his head.

 

“I doubt my heir will be finished with our little sorceress any time soon, so I would find a guest room in this mansion for the evening and continue enjoying Saturnalia.” Salazar winked before slipping off himself, no doubt in search of Annette or another pretty Malfoy portrait to busy himself with.

 

“Come, Severus. Let’s finish our celebration. We can go back to your room.” Ginny grinned and she and Luna led the way back to the guest room they had been in previously, Severus following behind them enjoying the view, pretending to be put upon by the girls. It wasn’t every day he got to play with two flexible witches who were more than eager for him.

 

 

The next morning was much smoother and serener than Hermione had hoped for. She’d woken up in the arms of the Dark Lord, his cool skin soothing against hers. They enjoyed yet another round of sex, luxuriating in the aftermath of channeling magic from the night before— it definitely heightened the senses and added to their coupling. In the light of the morning Hermione cupped his face and merely stated, “My Enlil,” with a smile before slipping out of bed to the bathroom to clean up what cleaning charms could never accomplish: the actual feel of cleanliness after a wash. Her morning ablutions out of the way, Voldemort escorted her downstairs to breakfast, where Ginny and Luna were already seated with Snape in between them. A wink from Ginny told Hermione there would indeed be stories for telling once they left.

 

Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy arrived and breakfast truly began, the Malfoys seated to the left of the Dark Lord. Hermione was seated to his immediate right, and her friends along with Severus next to her. About halfway through breakfast the group was interrupted when Draco Malfoy burst in, eager to see his parents. Instead, he was downright shocked to see schoolmates he detested sitting at the table with his parents and the Dark Lord, with the worst of them at the Dark Lord’s right hand!

 

“Mother— oh. Erm. Hello,” Draco spluttered, unable to comprehend the situation.

 

“Ah, young Draco. Good morning. Do join us for breakfast.” Voldemort smiled wanly, gesturing to the open chair next to Draco’s mother, Narcissa.

 

“Did you have a good evening at Theo’s, Draco?” Narcissa asked warmly, as he sat and motioned for a house elf to serve him coffee.

 

“Erm, Yes. It was quite nice. There were a few of us whose parents were well, here, so we had our own little Saturnalia,” Draco mumbled, as the Dark Lord looked at him with interest.

 

“I’m glad the younger generation is taking to upholding the Olde Ways much more than the previous.” Voldemort commented.

 

“It is nice to connect with one’s roots. If only basic rites were taught at Hogwarts still, we may not have seen a decline at all,” Hermione responded, sipping her coffee, amused at Draco’s look of indecision on how to respond.

 

“Indeed, such a shame.” The Dark Lord nodded in agreement.

 

“Did you have an enjoyable Saturnalia, my Lord?” Draco asked, probing the situation he couldn’t comprehend.

 

“Quite. Hermione and her companions performed a magnificent ritual sacrifice,” Voldemort paused as Lucius choked briefly on his morning tea, still upset about losing one of his prized white peacocks. “And she led us through invoking ley lines through dance.”

 

“That was the first time that actually worked for me,” Narcissa inserted.

 

“Oh?” Hermione asked, interested.

 

“My sisters and I, when we were little girls, we’d try to channel our magic under the moon through dancing. Last night was a lovely reminder of that.” Narcissa smiled at the young witch across from her.

 

“It could have been the location— the Manor here is wonderfully located close to many ley lines converging. With wands out and magic flowing, it does make it easier to invoke petty magicks through dancing. It’s the repetition I think, in dancing, that helps it work. Plus stating one’s intent can help,” Hermione mused as she set her coffee down and returned to her breakfast plate.

 

“I can say we did not have such a perfect location as here when I was a girl.” Narcissa smiled at her husband and clasped his hand briefly. Draco was numb with shock, his coffee forgotten on the way to his mouth. Granger led a sacrifice? And invoked ley lines that his mother was unable to? And Granger cozy at the right hand of the Dark Lord? Clearly he must have stepped into some alternate dimension, that included Loony Lovegood and the Weaselette getting cozy with his godfather Severus.

 

“My mother always insisted I trailed stardust when I danced barefoot on the earth, but after research I realized it was just latent ley line magic.” Hermione smiled and the Dark Lord looked pleased.

 

“How young were you?” Voldemort murmured, leaning over to Hermione, brushing a curl from her face.

 

“Since I was four, at least. We live outside of London, but there is a ley line behind our house.” Hermione blushed slightly at the Dark Lord’s attention, and the deliberate inattention of everyone else. Draco on the other hand, was staring.

 

“I see you’ve forgotten your manners, Draco. Or perhaps you need an introduction? This is Hermione Jean Deo Granger,” Voldemort said silkily, stressing the ‘Deo’ in Hermione’s name. Hermione raised a brow at him before continuing with her meal.

 

“I’m sorry, Ganger, I did not mean any disrespect. I’m sure you have been shown every courtesy in my home,” Draco tried to redeem himself.

 

“After I was aware of her presence, yes. Hermione has kept her status as a Deo well hidden over the years. It would not do after her service to us,” here Voldemort smirked at her, “to not respect her wishes.” The implied threat was clear: do not say anything about Hermione being a Deo witch.

 

“Yes, well it was a lovely celebration. However, ours has just begun and we are expected in Greece to continue Saturnalia for the entire duration. Luna, Ginny, if you’d join me in the parlor when you’re done, we’ll portkey to Crete.” Hermione stood gracefully, and Voldemort stood with her, causing everyone else to stand in respect.

 

“Let me escort you to the parlor then,” Voldemort decided, extending his arm to Hermione and guiding her from the room. Everyone else resumed their breakfast, a very perplexed Draco still trying to puzzle out the situation he was just in.

 

 

Once in the parlor, Voldemort pushed Hermione against a wall and kissed her ferociously.

 

“I still want you, little witch,” he breathed, his hands ghosting over her flesh.

 

“And I you, my Enlil. But I will see you again if you are amenable.”  Hermione smiled coyly.

 

“That I am,” The Dark Lord murmured, sucking on a sensitive spot on her neck.

 

“What will you be doing in the mean time?” Hermione asked, curious despite the sensuous distraction.

 

“I can’t promise to sit around and do nothing, little witch, though my oath to you stands. Some of my devoted followers remain in Azkaban and I would like for them to be reunited with their families.” Voldemort nipped at her ear.

 

“And kneeling at your feet as well, I expect.” Hermione giggled.

 

“You see right through me, little witch.” Voldemort nuzzled her neck, licking and sucking. Hermione let out a slight moan.

 

“Promise me you will leave Harry alone. I— I will find a way to subvert the prophecy,” Hermione whispered breathily.

 

“As long as I am not provoked. I will defend myself, Hermione.” Voldemort drew back and looked at her with his burning red eyes.

 

“I expect no less, my Enlil. Do what ye will, I do not seek to control you. I ask that you give me time,” Hermione responded. A slow smile spread across Voldemort’s face and he kissed her fiercely again, thankful that he took Salazar Slytherin’s advice and pledged his fealty to her.

 

“Write to me,” Hermione said as she extricated herself from his grasp to create the portkey. Rummaging in her pocket she found her DA galleon and enchanted it with their destination with a quiet ‘ Portus.

 

“I will, and we will continue our conversation from last night. I am very interested to hear what you and your companions are teaching yourselves in the Room of Requirement. I always found it’s iteration of everything lost in the school to be quite interesting. You never know what you’ll find in there, particularly books.” Voldemort leaned back against a chair, studying her face and kiss-swollen lips. Hermione looked into his smoldering eyes.

 

“We will meet again, soon. I promise.” Hermione leaned over and kissed him deeply one last time as Ginny and Luna came into the room, escorted by Snape. Ginny whistled and Snape looked peaky again. He couldn’t quite comprehend the Dark Lord as a sexual being, particularly in his new body.

 

“Thank you for your exquisite company last night, my dears. It was enlightening. I do hope we meet again in auspicious circumstances.” Voldemort nodded at the girls.

 

“We were pleased to have been your guests, my Lord. Khaîre *.” Hermione responded, a curve of a smile lighting up her face as she, Ginny and Luna took hold of the galleon portkey that whisked them away.

 

 

The rest of the girls winter break in Greece was wonderful, and their story of having a mixup at the ministry with their portkey was accepted without question. The three young witches enjoyed Saturnalia with the Deo clan, and were pleased to learn from them directly some of the earth magic that was particular to the Deo mages. One of the elders was thrilled to find out that Salazar Slytherin’s memories lived on in a portrait. Her own great grandmother had told her stories of a English wand waver with striking eyes that shared much knowledge with the clan. She was pleased that the portrait instructed the girls despite shying away from contact with most others.

 

When not celebrating Saturnalia or studying with the Deo clan, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna got around to telling their experiences of Saturnalia and discussing them in detail. Ginny and Luna were still virgins, but had gotten up to some heavy petting and sexual foreplay with their Potions Professor. They hoped in the new year to perform their virgin blood rites preferably on one of the solstices. Ginny and Luna congratulated Hermione on completing her own and wanted to know every detail about what the Dark Lord was like in bed and what it was really like to lose one’s virginity. They made plans to continue their self-discovery sessions once back at Hogwarts, and to needle Snape to join them for Salazar’s suggestion of a potions lesson. They also planned on exploring the Room’s iteration with all of the lost things of Hogwarts.

 

Voldemort, conversely, found himself rather listless after Saturnalia. He would have rather spent more time getting to know Hermione Granger. It frustrated and annoyed him to no end, particularly when coupled with Salazar Slytherin’s pestering questions. More than once he threatened to burn the frame, to which Slytherin laughed, only to be shoved into a dark desk drawer. With no other portraits in his study, Voldemort was able to get some peace. With little else to take his mind off of things, the Dark Lord threw himself into planning the breakout of his devoted followers from the wizarding prison Azkaban. It was a fun exercise in logistics and strategy, which he suspected he’d share eventually with Hermione when he could find a way to communicate securely with her.

 

On his birthday, the 31st of December, Voldemort sent a short missive to Hermione wishing her well in the new year and signing it from ‘Your Enlil.’ The pet name had grown on him considerably since she’d departed, as he turned over his memories with her fondly. Plaguing his nights however, was the same dream over and over— of a door at the end of a long corridor, where he knew the prophecy about himself and Potter was stored in the Department of Mysteries. It was becoming maddening. Little did he know that Harry Potter was also plagued with the dreams, and that he would seek the assistance of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Or that his trusted spy, Severus Snape, would be assigned to teach the boy Occlumency.

 

Chapter Text

Hermione was beyond thrilled to receive the short note from ‘Her Enlil’. Saturnalia had ended with a large ceremony at the Temple of Saturn, and Hermione had worn a laurel crown she’d crafted by hand, learning from her Deo cousins. She placed an everlasting charm on the stasis spell she’d cast on it, and sent the crown back with the owl that had brought her note, to let him know that she was thinking of him as well. Plus the earthy smell reminded her of their time in the grass during Saturnalia, so she had kept a small sprig of it for herself as a keepsake.

Hermione, Ginny and Luna chose to activate their portkey back to the Ministry a day early to do a bit of shopping in Diagon Alley before they had to catch the Hogwarts Express back to school. Diana wished them all a fond farewell, and pressed a discrete shopping list of some Earth magic ritual materials into Hermione’s hand along with a crisp ten pound note. Their studying with the Deo mages left the three witches with plenty to think about, and they were quite excited to pick out supplies that the Room of Requirement couldn’t supply them.

 On the train ride back to Hogwarts, Luna, Ginny and Hermione were discussing particulars of some of the herbal remedies the Deo clan had taught them when their compartment door slid open. None other than Draco Malfoy slipped in and shut it tightly behind him, looking a bit sheepish.

 “Here, Granger. I guess you left this in my father’s possession during Saturnalia. He wanted you to have it back with his sincerest apologies.” Draco held out Hermione’s charmed flask, which she had completely forgotten about.

 “Oh! Thanks, Malfoy. That was, um, kind of your father,” she said.

 “Yeah, especially the part about apologizing for kidnapping us,” Ginny sniggered. Hermione elbowed her in the ribs and Ginny gave out a squeal of pain.

 “He… no, I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know about any of it. Really I don’t. I was asked to apologize by my father, and I did just that even though I’m not a bloody owl. I really don’t want to know what actually happened over Saturnalia.” Draco held up his hands in protest.

 “Are you sure, Draco? Because we had an awfully good time with—“ Luna began.

 “Nope! Don’t want to know! Father says he’s sorry to the lot of you. I best be off, need to go find Theo and Blaise.” Draco backed up in horror, trying to unlock and slide open the compartment door in haste and failing.

 “Severus. He and Voldemort are both very well—“ Luna continued as Draco jiggled the door in frustration, finally getting it open.

 “Endowed,” Luna called after him as he slammed the the door shut, making it bounce back open a few inches. Luna looked at her friends and the three of them dissolved in giggles.

 “Really Luna, I think you scarred the boy for life!” Hermione wheezed out between laughs.

 “I can’t say I’m sorry!” Luna grinned, the other two nodding in agreement, before drying the tears of laughter from their eyes and continuing their herbal remedy discussion. The rest of the week, however, Draco Malfoy could not look at any of them nor his godfather Severus Snape in the eye without blushing.

“What’s gotten into Malfoy, d’yathink?” Ron asked at dinner a couple days later.

“What?” Hermione asked, looking up from the book she was reading.

“Malfoy. Something’s up with him. He keeps blushing. It’s weird,” Harry answered.

“Oh. I hadn’t noticed.” Hermione smiled faintly, though it was a complete lie. She, Luna and Ginny had taken to trying to make eye contact as often as possible with Malfoy to get him to blush on purpose. To them, it was absolutely hilarious.

“Mmm. You’ve been weird since you came back from Greece,” Ron decided, continuing to plunder his plate.

“How so?” Hermione asked, slightly irritated and snapping her book shut.

“Well, like that. And you don’t listen to us anymore. It’s like you’re on another planet,” Ron complained. Hermione sighed in exasperation.

“It’s nothing, Ronald. Really. I’m just trying to catch up on reading I didn’t do over the holiday with my family,” Hermione lied. She was reading a book the Room had given her on advanced warding techniques 

“Why are you giving her such a hard time, Ron? Hermione reads all the time anyways,” Ginny interjected at her brother.

“Oh, like you’re one to talk. You went with her,” Ron snapped.

“Is that what this is about? Because we went to Greece and you didn’t? I’m sorry, Ron, but I told you already how my parents wouldn’t have approved.” Hermione sighed again.

“But you’ve spent summers with us!” Ron said.

“That wasn’t under their supervision, and they knew there would be plenty of adults around. We’re getting older Ron. What was fine two years ago isn’t necessarily fine now,” Hermione tried to explain. 

“What is that supposed to mean?” Ron asked bitterly.

“Really Ron? She’s talking about puberty.” Ginny rolled her eyes.

“How is that supposed to matter?” Ron insisted.

“Because Hermione’s a girl and you and Harry are boys. Obviously .” Ginny huffed. “Just because you haven’t noticed it, doesn’t mean no one else has.”

“I’m not even going to have this conversation. Again. Ginny, I’ll see you later.” Hermione grabbed her things and walked out of the hall, leaving a grumbling Ron and a very amused Harry behind, who had watched the proceedings trying not to laugh. Ron was his best friend, but he was pretty thick most of the time. Harry completely understood that Hermione had reached an age where her parents were uncomfortable with her spending all of her free time with boys.

It wasn’t for several more days that Harry was able to catch Hermione alone, after a DA practice. Ron was being difficult and not wanting to talk to Hermione, whereas Hermione wasn’t interested in dealing with his petty jealousy. Harry wanted to tell Hermione about the odd dreams about the corridor with the locked door and get her opinion. His first Occlumency session with Snape had gone horrifically, and Harry was hoping that perhaps Hermione had read something on the topic and could help. Hermione always knew how and where to research in the library to find answers. Maybe she’d assist him in the library to help him with closing his mind, Harry hoped.

“Hey, er, Hermione. Good work today for the DA. I was wondering if we could, you know, chat a bit?” Harry asked Hermione after everyone had left as innocuously as possible, in groups of two and three spaced apart.

“Sure Harry, what’s up?” Hermione brushed a stray curl from her forehead and looked at one of her best friends. No matter what happened, Hermione always felt that Harry was like a brother to her, solid and true no matter Ron’s temperamental personality and his mood swings. Harry felt similarly about Hermione; she was the sister he never had and was always there for him even if she didn’t always agree with him. He felt his friendship with Hermione was of the ilk that Sirius talked about with his father— they might as well be family because no matter what, they were just there for each other come hell or high water.

“I was wondering if you’d read or knew where to start looking for books in the library on Occlumency.” Harry shuffled his feet a bit, feeling a bit embarrassed. 

“Well, yes, I mean, it’s not exactly something you can learn from a book but I have read about it. Why don’t we come back in here after everyone has left— sometimes the Room turns itself into a library for me when I need a quiet place to study and the library is full.” Hermione smiled genuinely.

“Though, why are you studying Occlumency? I know you, Harry James Potter, and you don’t study obscure branches of magic for fun.” Hermione raised an eyebrow at him, suppressing a laugh.

“You caught me.” Harry gave her a lopsided grin. “Dumbledore is having Snape give me Occlumency lessons because I keep having these weird dreams. He thinks I might be linked to Voldemort, and sometimes— this sounds so bloody weird— I swear I can feel his moods.”

“Why isn’t Dumbledore teaching you himself? It just seems so odd that he’d have Professor Snape tutor you, though I’m sure he’s a very good Occlumens if recommended…” Hermione caught herself before letting anything slip about Severus.

“I don’t know, to be honest. And it’s really hard because Snape hates me, like he hated my dad.” Harry kicked the floor nervously.

“I’m sure, Harry, that’s not the case. Professor Snape is just… difficult. Surly even. But I’m sure he doesn’t hate you.” Hermione rested her hand on Harry’s arm.

“It sure doesn’t feel that way. C’mon, it’s our turn to leave, we can go out and then come back in to turn the room into your library,” Harry said dully.

“Harry, whatever happens— remember I’m always here for you, yeah? We’re best friends, you’re like my brother. I’ll help you learn, and maybe together we can get it.” Hermione smiled brightly at him while they slipped out the door. Hermione paced by the door and asked the Room for a library setting with books on Occlumency. Walking back in, Hermione was slightly disappointed that the portrait where the founders usually talked to her, Ginny and Luna from wasn’t there. But it was for the best, Hermione reasoned. She hadn’t told Harry yet about any of her experiences this year. And after Saturnalia, it seemed most unwise until she could do anything to supersede the prophecy tying Harry and Voldemort together.

“That’d be brilliant, Hermione. I could use all the extra help. I don’t even know how I’m supposed to empty my mind before bed.” Harry sighed, happy for Hermione’s help but depressed with his situation.

“What are the dreams about, if you don’t mind me asking?” Hermione probed lightly, hoping that the insight would help her figure out how her lover and her de-facto brother were connected.

“It’s always the same or very similar. It’s a long corridor. I swear I’ve seen a place like it before but I just can’t remember. And then it’s always got a locked door at the end. Sometimes I see this white ball filled with smoke, about the size of a muggle tennis ball,” Harry said thoughtfully, while he slid into a comfortable chair and Hermione flitted about the bookshelves in the Room, plucking a few references on self-trance techniques and Occlumency.

“I think these should help. Have you ever tried meditating before, Harry? You know, like muggles do?” Hermione placed the stack of books on the table next to Harry’s chair.

“No, I haven’t. Should I?” Harry asked, bewildered on the change of subject. 

“Well, when I wanted to learn Occlumency, I read about it a bit. And that whole emptying your mind— I mean, I thought it was ridiculous and impossible—“ Hermione’s explanation was interrupted by Harry snorting in laughing assent. Hermione gave him a look before continuing.

“Like I said, I thought it was impossible but muggles do it all the time with meditation. So I have a book back in my room on muggle meditation techniques my mum sent me. It was really helpful. Focusing on your breathing is a good way to start emptying your mind,” Hermione said helpfully.

“Huh, I never would have thought of that at all, Hermione.” Harry looked thoughtfully at the books.

“There may be a reason I’m told I’m clever a lot.” Hermione stuck out her tongue at Harry, who laughed.

“And terribly modest about it!” He joked. 

“Well it’s that or think I’m a know-it-all, and I’d rather think I’m clever,” Hermione giggled.

“You are clever, and an amazing witch. I probably don’t tell you enough. You help us all the time and I appreciate it a lot. But it’s not the only reason I’m friends with you.” Harry grinned.

“Is it my good looks? I knew this hair must be good for something!” Hermione laughed and Harry joined in.

“Yes, Hermione. I’m friends with you because your hair is the only one that puts mine to shame.” Harry rolled his eyes.

They spent the next hour taking notes from various books and compiling tips and techniques that Harry could try, while Hermione was keeping a second set of notes on warding and how to go about practicing setting up wards. She wasn’t sure if it’d be useful for the DA to tackle as a whole, but it was something that she felt should be in her arsenal of spellwork.

 

It wasn’t far into January before the news broke that a mass breakout from Azkaban had happened and 10 notorious Death Eaters were now free. Hermione felt rather guilty about it, especially seeing Neville’s face as he stared horror-struck at the paper. Someone— a Slytherin no doubt— later spread a story that Neville’s parents were tortured to insanity by some of those Death Eaters. Neville only confirmed the story with a short nod and a whispered “Lestranges” that Hermione would have missed had she not been paying extra close attention to him. She began to really feel conflicted then, and unsure who she could even confide in about it. After three days of her guilt gnawing at her to the point where Hermione was having problems eating, Luna and Ginny pulled Hermione into the Room in their haven with the portrait of the Founders to talk.

 “I just— I feel so guilty about Saturnalia and continuing to keep in touch with him when he’s done so many evil things. I mean, Neville’s face when he saw the paper about the breakout. I can’t even imagine Harry’s if I told him I fucked the man who killed his parents.” Hermione’s pent up guilt and frustration was pouring out of her rapidly, tears falling and soaking her jumper sleeve as she tried to wipe her eyes. 

“Well, Hermione, he is the Dark Lord . It’s rather implied in the title,” Ginny said, hesitantly.

“Oh I knew it logically. And at the time I could only think about how powerful he was. I never thought much about auras until I was in his presence. His aura just exudes power and it’s intoxicating,” Hermione sniffled, trying to stop the flow of tears.

“Hermione, it’s okay to be with someone even if they do bad things to others. The important thing is that he hasn’t hurt you,” Luna attempted to make the best of things. 

“He hasn’t hurt me personally, but Harry’s like my brother. He never got to know his parents and had to live with his horrid aunt and uncle because of the Dark Lord!” Hermione wailed.

“Now Sweetling, if you permit me to interrupt—“ Salazar Slytherin began, the only Founder who ventured into the room with a crying Hermione over relationships. The Founders agreed that since it was Salazar’s heir, he had to be the one to talk to her. The others would be biased against Voldemort, whereas Salazar was the only one who could conceive of being impartial.

“What is it, Sal?” Hermione asked, a hint of bitterness in her voice. 

“You can’t blame yourself for a past that has nothing to do with you. And from what I’ve gathered around the castle and the whispers in the staff room, the Longbottoms were tortured after my heir’s downfall,” Salazar responded. 

“If you take all the hurts of the world onto yourself, you will never be happy, Sweetling. Let the others bear their own issues; you have plenty of your own as a Deo. You’re growing very powerful, and you’ve made quite an undertaking in attempting to bridge the gap between the perceived Light and Dark. People will be hurt and upset with your choices no matter what you decide— do not let them influence what you do. Do what feels right and natural to you,” Salazar continued sagely. Hermione sniffled, her tears slowing.

“Talking with him, he becomes my Enlil. It’s like he’s a different man from the Dark Lord. He swore his fealty to me on his spirit. It took me awhile to puzzle that out. Why not on his blood? And I realized, his first body died but his spirit endured. Throughout everything that he has done his spirit endured. He made the most enduring oath he could to me, and then we completed my blood rite,” Hermione spoke, half to her companions, but mostly to herself to try to puzzle out her own thoughts.

“Perhaps the influence of a Deo witch is what he needed?” Ginny interjected, her voice lilting into a question rather than a statement.

“It seems plausible.” Luna nodded.

“I don’t want to control him, or change him. I don’t want that responsibility,” Hermione said glumly.

“His actions are not your responsibility, Sweetling, regardless if he is your consort or your concubine,” Salazar answered pointedly, drawing a watery laugh from Hermione at the thought of Lord Voldemort as her concubine.

“But others will judge me for it, regardless. I knew the breakout was going to happen and I didn’t tell anyone,” Hermione said regretfully.

“Nobody could have done anything to stop it, except make it harder and perhaps get people killed in the process. Some things just can’t be changed.” Luna shrugged.

“She’s right, it wouldn’t have done much good, except cost lives if anyone even believed you. The ministry and Prophet are blaming Sirius, and have been trying for months and months to discredit Harry.” Ginny sank back in her chair, depressed.

“You guys are right; it probably wouldn’t have helped but I still feel guilty about not even trying to say or do anything.” Hermione twisted her hands in her lap.

“Sweetling, there will come a time when the best course of action for you will be to not make any action at all. It is a very hard lesson to learn,” Salazar sympathized.

“Aside from Severus, I don’t think there’s anyone that I could have told that I would have trusted with the information. Dumbledore is too secretive and caught up in the whole Good versus Evil saga, as well as forcing a prophecy to come to pass through Harry. And everyone else I would have previously trusted filters through Dumbledore. I can’t help it but I do not trust him,” Hermione fretted. Ginny and Luna nodded in agreement.

“Trust yourself, Sweetling. You are a Deo witch— your instincts are keener than most,” Salazar recommended.

 

Chapter Text

“Detention Miss Granger! I distinctly told you to not help Longbottom with fixing his botched potion!” Severus Snape growled across his classroom. He swore the cheeky little witch was doing things on purpose to aggravate him.

“Yes sir.” The cheeky witch in question tried to sound dull and depressed. It almost came out sounding angry, which also suited her needs. She needed a detention with Snape to have him pass along a message for her she didn’t otherwise really know how to send.

“You will stay after class to arrange your detention, Miss Granger,” Snape said menacingly, with more than a decade of practice under his belt. He disliked being angry at her, but today Hermione Granger seemed to just be purposefully pushing his buttons.

Once the students had filtered out, and Harry gave her a supportive pat on the shoulder, Hermione approached Snape’s desk.

“When shall I attend detention, sir ?” Hermione asked graciously, a curve of a smile sneaking through.

“Keep up that attitude and you’ll be serving your detention with Filch,” Severus growled again, annoyed with her.

“I wouldn’t dream of it. When would you like me?” Hermione asked with more innocence in her voice, as if she were a second year. Severus gulped at her choice of words. Not her too— Miss Weasley and Miss Lovegood were becoming more difficult to hold at arm’s length. They seemed exceptionally interested in breaking his moral code as a teacher. No formal rules were in place at the school, but it was an unspoken rule to not engage with the students. 

“This evening at 8pm. You are smart enough to be grading essays of the younger years,” Snape replied, marshaling himself. Hermione gave a short laugh.

“I could be revising my own year, and probably some of the advanced classes as well,” Hermione gloated. 

“Yes, however appearances are important. Hurry along to your next class. I don’t want to have to write you a note for being late.” Snape dismissed her with a wave of his hand. Hermione scurried off, not bothering to tell him she had a free period before dinner. She had a letter to perfect and some reviewing she wanted to do before her detention.  

At 8pm precisely, Hermione knocked on the Potions classroom door before going in. Snape was at his desk and waved her over with a hand, not bothering to look up. Hermione grinned. 

She shut the door tightly behind her, and set to warding the door with various spells she’d been wanting to practice and get right. After about 8 layers of wards, she threw up a silencing charm for good measure as Severus looked up at her, startled and asked her what the hell she was doing. 

“Oh, I just wanted to practice some spells that I’d only learned in theory. I think they worked quite well, but Luna and Ginny will stroll by in 10 minutes and let me know later.

“I see.” Snape sat back in his chair uneasily. “I assume this room of yours was unfit for this practice?”

“Quite. It’s own protective charms and spells make the warding spells I wanted to try quite impossible. If they work correctly, the door shouldn’t even appear to passersby, hence Luna and Ginny taking a stroll in the dungeons in a few minutes,” Hermione explained, walking up towards the desk where her professor sat and boldly taking a seat on the corner nearest him.

“Miss Granger, I really don’t think—“ Snape spluttered, attempting to rise before Hermione spelled him into the chair.

“I need to beg a favor, Severus,” Hermione stated, her face neutral.

“I can’t see how this is appropriate,” Snape stammered, growing warier by the moment, stuck to his chair with a very forward and strong witch who had clearly started coming into her own as a Deo. The girl would have been powerful even before her rite with the Dark Lord Snape thought moodily.

“Stop acting like you are my professor and remember who you pledged to yourself to— me, by the way. And as far as I can tell, a pledge to a Deo supersedes others.” Hermione smirked. 

“Fine. Hermione, my Lady, what is it that you need from me?” Snape ground out, now vaguely annoyed. 

“Dispense with the titles, I’m just Hermione. I need you to deliver this to the Dark Lord. I can’t use the school owls obviously and I don’t want to know where he currently resides nor have a post owl from Hogsmeade traced. I can’t borrow my friends’ owls for the same reason. I will personally repay you for this favor.” Hermione set an envelope on the desk, addressed solely to ‘My Enlil.’ Snape looked at it for a moment. 

“Yes, Mistress . I can get him the letter without trace or suspicion,” Snape replied with snark. “All of this really wasn’t needed if you wanted a letter sent.”

“Oh, but I didn’t want to arouse suspicion and I do need to repay this favor. Luna and Ginny were quite descriptive about their Saturnalia after we parted ways. I have to admit, there is something else I would like to practice, and I thought you might be amenable to accepting.” Hermione smiled mischievously. Severus paled, visibly. 

“I value my life, Hermione. Do not ask—“ Severus began but Hermione pressed a finger to his lips, noting how soft they were. 

“He pledged his spirit in fealty to me, Severus. You have nothing to fear from him. Besides, I wouldn’t want to disappoint my Enlil… I doubt he is waiting around for me, and frankly, I can do what I please. He’s pledged to me, not the other way around. So, protector, will you allow me this? In return for this favor I am asking?” Hermione asked, raising her eyebrow and trying not to smirk. Severus was quietly pondering his options. He did not want to engage with a student, but she’d warded the door and subverted the whole situation entirely. 

“Yes, Deo witch. Hermione. I submit myself to you.” Severus’s voice cracked a bit, thinking of what possible things that could come to pass in the next hour or so, the supposed duration of her detention.

“Excellent.” Hermione grinned and hopped off the corner of the desk, standing before him. She slipped off her bulky black school robe and revealed an ivory chemise that left little to the imagination. Severus gulped, feeling himself grow hard at the sight of her young body, subtle curves flaring sensuously under the silky fabric. The chill of the dungeon classroom made her nipples stand out proudly and he wanted nothing more than to taste them. 

“I thought this might set you more at ease, Severus. To remember who I really am.” Hermione smiled slyly, taking in the flush that came to his cheeks, the tightness in his trousers, and the way he wet his lips in unconscious anticipation. 

She drew closer to him, standing right before his chair before she knelt, placing her hands on his thighs and caressing them. His erection began really straining at his trousers, his teaching robes having been tossed over the back of his chair already. 

“I’m glad you want this as much as I do, Severus,” Hermione purred, her hands moving towards his hardened crotch, applying a slight amount of pressure as she massaged it. Severus couldn’t help but groan in want and need. He was still stuck to his chair, otherwise he would have thread his fingers through that riot of curls upon her head. 

“Do tell me what you like, I don’t want to disappoint,” Hermione said as she slowly unbuttoned his fly, enjoying the slow and sensuous torture on him. 

“Witch, I want nothing more than for you to fuck me with your mouth, but I suspect you will be practicing more technique than is actually necessary to accomplish the task,” Severus growled, his deep voice gravelly with desire. 

“Hmm, yes. That will likely be the case. However your… feedback… is appreciated.” Hermione smirked, looking up at him with her enticing eyes that always managed to look so innocent, like the doe of his Patronus.  

She freed him, the temporary release against the strain of fabric agonizingly short, as she took him in her small hands. His erection was just as impressive as Luna and Ginny had described, but she was personally more attracted to the god-like phallus that completed her virgin blood rite. Severus was human, and his penis was pink and veined, causing an almost purple sheen with a deliciously large head. Hermione licked it tentatively, as she worked him with her hands, in the same manner that the Dark Lord had moved their hands together during Saturnalia. The thought of it was enough for her to start becoming wet, especially as Severus moaned despite biting his lip against it. 

Hermione swirled her tongue experimentally, gaining another soft moan. The taste wasn’t bad— it wasn’t terribly different from skin after sex, which she was familiar with. The pre-cum was saltier than his velvety length, but she paid little mind to it. She wanted to perfect this and wasn’t likely to get another shot at it without lowering herself to the student body of Hogwarts. Severus ground his teeth at his lack of control in the situation. He was completely at Hermione’s mercy as she began to lick his length and suck more earnestly, small groans and moans of appreciation slipping out. She’d yet to even take him fully into her mouth and he was definitely at least halfway there. Slowly, almost timidly, Hermione opened her mouth wide to swallow him— Luna’s advice ringing in her ears. Keeping a light suction, she bobbed her head slowly at first, and picked up the pace with his panting breath. 

“Oh, oh Sweet Circe— I’m, I’m almost there— fuck—  Hermione!” Severus moaned as Hermione’s quick pace and luscious mouth and relentless attention brought him to completion. Her nervousness on the taste of his cum was dispelled, realizing it was just incredibly salty and the fastest way to get rid of it was to simply swallow. And swallow she did, every last bit, before licking his sensitive dick clean. 

Hermione grinned up at Severus, his head thrown back in pleasure and release. He looked down at her with awe. What a magnificent witch. 

“I’m so glad you enjoyed that,” Hermione said, lifting the sticking charm from the chair as she stood. A small wet spot had formed on her dress, where her slick slit had pressed on it while she knelt. Severus, busy tucking himself back into his trousers, noticed it directly in front of him, and his hand shot out to stop her as she made to turn to pick up her robes. 

“Oh no, Hermione. I must beg a favor of you now— I couldn’t possibly let you walk away after that, with your dress so.” Severus’s eyes glittered and Hermione raised a brow, before blushing when she realized she’d dampened her dress with her enjoyment. 

“What—?” Hermione began as Severus swiftly pushed her onto the desk in front of him, pulling up her skirt. 

“A favor, Hermione. Please do not deny me this, not now.” Severus had a boyish grin on his face, lighting it up and making him look much younger, closer to his actual age. 

“I could be persuaded.” Hermione smiled, setting her hands down to balance herself when Severus used his own wandless sticking charm on them, pulling her exposed center to the edge of the desk towards him. She hadn’t worn panties and the thought of that made his mouth water. The Dark Lord had mentioned— several times actually— how delectable Hermione had been, especially given that he’d only had her for an evening of pleasure. Now it was Severus’s turn for a taste. 

Hermione expressed a minor noise of dissatisfaction when she realized she couldn’t move her hands. Severus merely smirked at her and pressed his palms on the insides of her knees, putting her on full display. Hermione was torn between blushing at being so exposed and pleased that Severus looked like she was a Saturnalia feast. 

He used another sticking charm on her now, so that he could continue unimpeded. Hermione wriggled a bit, but he merely tutted at her. Severus drew his long fingers, calloused  from years of potions making, gently down her thighs making Hermione quiver. She supposed she deserved this treatment after her own favor to him. It was maddening not to be able to move! 

Closer and closer his finger tips moved towards her center, drawing small circles here and there to prolong the tension. Hermione was absolutely quivering with anticipation, her already wet core starting to leak. As tentative as she had been, Severus finally leaned forward and licked her leaking lips, delighting in her sweetness. He thought she tasted how she looked— sweet and innocent. As his fingers and lips descending on her, teasing and caressing, Severus thought about how brilliantly lucky he’d been to discover her as more than a student. She would be a powerful sorceress and she was just coming into her own; a time when he felt privileged to be near her, let alone touch her. 

Hermione cried out softly as Severus lapped away at her, his tongue exploring her and while his fingers gently teased her clit relentlessly. She could feel that delicious pressure building low inside her, the very center of her being flaring with heat and desire. She unconsciously began to rock as much as she could, the sticking charms being eroded by the flaring of her magic and desire in the throes of her passion. Severus couldn’t take the time to marvel at her magnificence while he plundered her, fingers moving from clit to her tight passage, crooking to stroke her sensitive g-spot. His tongue massaged her clit, drawing out her keening. Without mercy he brought her to completion, a gasp and drawn out moan, Hermione’s head resting on her panting chest.

Severus gently removed his fingers from her, cleaning each one before returning his attention to her and licking her clean as gently as he could, her shudders of ecstasy stroking his pride. He leaned back, putting his hands behind his head, noticing that his sticking charms had been completely undone by Hermione when she came undone. She was a powerful and magnificent witch, he thought proudly. 

Hermione slid off his desk, her skirt falling into place as her feet hit the floor.

“Thank you, Severus. I appreciated your favor very much,” Hermione whispered as she kissed him softly for the erotic thrill of tasting herself on his lips and tongue.

“You are quite welcome. It was my pleasure.” Severus smirked as Hermione stepped away and tugged on her school robe, putting back into place the barriers that came with appearances. 

“Have I fulfilled my detention, sir?” Hermione asked, once her robe was in place and she looked much more like the schoolgirl she should be.

“Yes, yes you have. And don’t think you can do this every time you have detention, you cheeky little witch.” Severus grinned before narrowing his eyes at her.

“Oh, I knew this was probably my only chance,” Hermione said as she walked towards the door, dispelling the wards with decisive slashes of her wand. “However, you may end up having Miss Lovegood and Miss Weasley in detention in the future. It was my impression each wanted a word with you… privately.” Hermione giggled as she lifted the silencing charm, leaving a gobsmacked Severus Snape at his desk, letter for the Dark Lord staring up at him. Perhaps it wasn’t so bad to be Severus Snape right now. He’d certainly paid his dues over the years to both the light and dark sides.

Hermione hummed to herself as she left the dungeons. Luna and Ginny found her on the second floor.

“So?” Ginny asked excitedly.

“You were right. I owe you two galleons.” Hermione smirked.

“And you owe me three!” Luna grinned, nudging Hermione.

“You know I do. I would say I am jealous of your Saturnalia, but I happened to have had an exceptional one myself. It was quite enjoyable. And,” Hermione paused, “I told him as I was leaving that he might be seeing each of you in detention shortly.”

“You’re a witch’s best friend, Hermione. I love you,” Ginny squealed as she hugged Hermione, Luna joining in— the three of them giggling uncontrollably.

“C’mon. Let’s use the prefect’s bath. I probably smell right now and I do not want to get caught like this!” Hermione tugged her friends towards the large bath on the fifth floor that Hermione had gained access to that year. The girls had bathed together in Greece, stripping away any last barriers between each other. They were companions and compatriots, a triad of witches with Hermione as their leader. Who knew what they’d be able to accomplish together when the time was right.

Chapter Text

“Ugh, I am never making a bet with either of you again, especially concerning Severus. I’ll go broke!” Hermione grumbled digging through her bag that Ginny had been holding onto for her during her detention.

“I told you the detention scheme would work,” Ginny announced triumphantly.

“And you wouldn’t believe me when I said he wouldn’t let you go without giving you something in return. Severus is a giver, not a taker,” Luna reminded.

“I know, but I shouldn’t have bet on it,” Hermione put the designated galleons into their waiting hands.

“We’re only going to spend it at the apothecary for more supplies, so it’s not like you’re really losing out. We’ve got the Vernal Equinox to plan, and I’d really like to try a rite in the glade you did your Samhain ritual.” Luna smiled serenely as they entered the Prefect’s Bath.

“We do have a bit of time before the Vernal Equinox and I was hoping…” Hermione bit her lip.

“You were hoping You-Know-Who would want to get down and dirty with you again?” Ginny giggled, testing out some of the different taps in the tub while Hermione warded the door.

“Your wards during your detention were excellent, Hermione. It was exceptionally difficult to look at the door to Severus’s classroom. But it was definitely there and not invisible,” Luna mentioned. Hermione paused in her warding.

“Hmm. Well, I guess that works well in the castle, but I really want a place to be unseen once I ward it. Maybe I need to try outside of the castle? But then I have to wait until September when I’m 17,” Hermione groaned and finished her warding.

“I wonder if Fred and George know— I mean they’ve apparently been inventing things for such a long time and they must have used their wands while underage at home,” Ginny mused.

“I should ask them. Also, we need to do something about Harry. I’m worried,” Hermione stated as she slipped into the now full bath, scented with lavender and lots of bubbles thanks to Ginny. The other girls finished undressing and followed her in.

“Oh, this is heaven!” Ginny purred, luxuriating in the warm bath that was the size of a small swimming pool. It was much larger than the hot spring they’d bathed in while in Greece.

“You know,” Luna said, “Daddy could publish something in the quibbler to get his story out.”

“I think that’s…” Hermione paused. “Luna, that is a brilliant idea. Rita Skeeter happens to owe me a favor— not like that! — and I’m sure she’ll write the article.”

Ginny was giggling. “I know you wouldn’t go near Skeeter. It was just funny given the favors you just exchanged with Severus!”

“You’re just jealous that I managed to get him to do anything in his classroom, on his desk,” Hermione said with fake crossness.

“You mean he ate you out on his desk?!” Ginny squealed. “That’s my top fantasy since Saturnalia. Maybe…” 

“I think you might just have to earn yourself a detention from him, Miss Weasley. I told him to expect you. If I were you I would learn some wards first or at the very least throw up a double layer of notice-me-not charms and a thorough silencing charm,” Hermione grinned.

“I just want him to agree to my virginal blood rite. I can’t imagine anyone else…” Luna pouted. 

“You might have a harder time with that. But, if the lot of us can meet up for the Vernal Equinox someplace other than Hogwarts… You probably have a better chance,” Hermione pondered. 

“Which works excellently with your plan to bed old Voldie again. I don’t know what you see in him, Hermione,” Ginny commented. 

“He’s just… I don’t know. His presence is intoxicating. Like you were saying about auras, Luna— his just exudes this power and it calls to me.” Hermione shrugged.

“I wonder if Helga knows more about auras. I’ve never heard of someone’s magic or aura calling to another.” Luna cocked her head to the side.

“Well, we have DA on Thursday, our next session on Friday, and then I’ll see if Skeeter will meet with me in Hogsmeade on Saturday about that article— Luna, would you join us as a representative of the Quibbler? I’m sure I can convince Harry to do it by then,” Hermione said confidently.

“Oi! What about me?” Ginny thrust out her lower lip and made it tremble quite convincingly. 

“I would say it’d be an excellent day for a Saturday detention ,” Hermione sniggered as Ginny’s eyes went wide as saucers.

“Yes, yes, I think it would be. I’ll see if I can sneak something off of Fred and George,” Ginny grinned, laying back in the bath.

 

As it turned out, Ginny didn’t need to steal from her brothers at all— instead, they supplied her with a full arsenal of prank items since her target was Snape. Little did they know what their little sister was truly planning. And said plan went off without a hitch: a firework lobbed into a cauldron while making eye contact with Snape who couldn’t believe what he was seeing, nor the quickness of her quidditch honed reflexes.

“DETENTION, MISS WEASLEY!” Snape bellowed, despite being covered head to toe in  Draught of Peace. He was seething that the little trio of witches had decided that pissing him off and getting detention was the best way to get him alone. He did have office hours clearly posted.

“I should make you serve with Filch for that stunt, Miss Weasley,” Snape growled later as he held her after class to arrange her detention. 

“Oh, sir, I promise I’ll make it up to you all day on Saturday,” Ginny responded trying to look as innocent as possible.

“You had better.” Snape looked down his long nose at her, the potion he’d been dosed with having a much stronger hold on him than he’d hoped. Ginny had been quick with her wand and a ‘ Tergeo’ to clean off the potion, which had mollified him even before the potion took full effect.

“Now, leave my sight and I do not want to see you until Saturday,” Snape mumbled. He expected he’d be sleeping through dinner: even Pepper-Up wasn’t going to be able to counter this much Draught of Peace. Thankfully, it was his last class of the day. Ginny scampered off, and Snape stumbled back to his quarters to sleep off the potion he’d been dosed with. At least, he reflected as he tumbled into his bed, it would be a particularly good and restful sleep.

 

Saturday dawned cold and clear— a perfect day in Hermione’s opinion. She wasn’t one for Valentine’s Day, and apparently Harry had a date no less, but he promised to meet Hermione and Luna at the Hogshead afterwards though Hermione didn’t think it was the best of ideas. She had wanted him to meet with her and Rita before his date, but Harry was set in his ways. Hermione sighed and turned over, surprised at an odd bundle on her bed.

“What is this?” Hermione asked herself quietly, opening the package wrapped in brown paper.

A note fell out, as she removed a beautiful blue leather diary. The gilding on the corners and the gold edges of the pages were amongst Hermione’s favorite details for books. She took the note and read it, wondering who could have sent her such a lovely gift.

 

“My Little Witch,

I regret the lack of communication prior to your letter— I immediately set to work on rectifying the situation of us not being able to communicate without an intermediary. I hope you like the diary, as it is linked to one I have. We can communicate without the need for owls, no matter the distance or wards between us. I didn’t want to purchase something pre-charmed; spelling it myself ensures that we know that our communication is private. Once you offer a drop of your blood, it will only open at your touch and readable by you, even if someone was to look directly over your shoulder.

I look forward to seeing you again, and hope it will be soon. 

Your Enlil”

 

Hermione felt a thrill of pleasure race through her as she grabbed the book again, feeling the magic that pulsed within it. Yes, it felt like his magic. She grabbed her prefect pin from her side table and opened to the first page that read in shining green ink:

To Hermione from your Enlil

Hermione stuck her thumb with the pin and allowed a fat drop of blood to drip onto the page below the inscription, before sucking on the wound. The blood was immediately absorbed into the pages, leaving no trace behind and the book glowed slightly as the blood warding was completed. She was incredibly flattered the Dark Lord would go through so much trouble just to talk to her. As she held the book, feeling his magic resonate in it, a memory crossed her mind. This book— Voldemort’s magic— it felt like the locket she’d picked up when they were cleaning headquarters. The one Sirius said she could have, since it was broken and no one could open it. It had felt fascinating in her hands and she couldn’t say why she wanted the broken locket, but she couldn’t bring herself to put it down either.  

Hermione went and rummaged in her trunk and found the locket in the velvet beaded bag she’d put it into for safe keeping. She figured she’d eventually charm the bag to hold more, but until then it could hold the beautiful locket. She slipped the locket out of the bag and held it in her palm. She could feel the pulsating magic in it, and it was much stronger than the book which she knew a lot of magic and spellwork had gone into. Holding the locket she could feel like he was there with her, if she closed her eyes. Opening them, she looked at the locket again, before putting it on.

She’d have to ask the Founders about it, probably Sal. She’d forgotten to quiz Helga last night about auras, though she was up early— Yes, she could go now to see them quickly on her own. She wasn’t due at the Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade until 2pm, and her status as a prefect allowed for her to leave late, though she was sure she could also smuggle herself through one of the secret passages if needs must. Hermione threw on some casual clothing, and headed off towards the Room of Requirement. It was fairly early in the morning for the students on a weekend, just after 7 o’clock. She didn’t anticipate meeting anyone and she did not. She paced quickly and entered her haven.

“Good morning, Hermione! Are Luna and Ginny joining you today?” Helga Hufflepuff greeted her.

“It’s just me this morning. I realized I had some questions I forgot to ask you last night. While I was talking with Luna and Ginny the other day, Ginny had asked me— well she asked me what I saw in Sal’s heir.” Hermione paused at the somewhat sour look that crept onto Helga’s face at the mention of Salazar’s heir.

“Go on,” Helga urged Hermione.

“Well, I couldn’t quite explain it. A lot of it is how I feel when I’m in his presence. It’s so intoxicating and the power calls to me. I never was particularly into auras or anything, but I swear his magic is calling to mine,” Hermione finished nervously, wondering what Helga’s response would be. Looking at the portrait, she was surprised to see the woman deep in thought.

“Well it isn’t unheard of, for two magical beings to be bound to one another,” Helga started.

“It was like this before he pledged his fealty to me, Helga. When I was first in his presence, I wasn’t intimidated like I thought I would be. Instead I found myself interested instead of repelled, given all I knew about him,” Hermione added quickly.

“Like I said, it isn’t unheard of for two magical beings to be bound to each other. Not by pledges or other bindings one may undertake in their lifetime, but by fate. It seems like you are drawn to him because you are fated to be near him. It has been equated with the notion of soulmates, but I’m not sure if that is really the correct term. From what I believed and learned, and what Sal learned when he was with the Deo clan, sometimes fate and destiny link two beings so that events come to pass or objectives fulfilled. It doesn’t mean that the souls are matched for one another, it’s more that their fates are twined together at least for awhile. Some instances in history the fate-bound found themselves free after specific events were achieved and so forth. I believe that as the Founders of this school, the four of us had a fate bond that drew us together to create this school,” Helga finished, a small smile playing on her lips as she thought back to the early days of Hogwarts’ founding.

“Wow, that is fascinating. I wonder if Sal would know more from the Deo perspective, having learned from them?” Hermione asked. Helga nodded quickly and stepped out of the frame. It was more than 10 minutes before Helga returned with a sleepy Salazar in tow. 

“Helga, I really wish you’d just tell me— Sweetling!” Salazar yawned widely sitting at the table. Helga disappeared again and returned with steaming mugs she must have procured from some other painting.

“Helga, you were always my favorite, you know that dear?” Salazar dropped a kiss on her brow as he grabbed his mug.

“Sal, we know that’s only half true. You enjoyed the ladies too much to ever have a true favorite,” Helga laughed.

“Oh, he still does. He enjoyed quite the Saturnalia at Malfoy Manor, didn’t he tell you? Charmed a few of the portraits there.” Hermione grinned and Helga laughed harder while Salazar blushed.

“Sweetling, it’s not very polite to talk of such things,” Salazar muttered into his cup before nearly choking on his drink when he looked up at Hermione. 

“Sweetling, where on earth did you get my locket?” he demanded, standing up and going right towards the frame.

“Oh, I wanted to ask you about this. It’s yours?” Hermione asked, confused. 

“Yes, I gave it to my wife upon the birth of our son. It had been in the Gaunt family until my heir’s mother apparently sold it for a few measly galleons to feed herself and still died at the orphanage where she gave birth to him,” Salazar said darkly.

“That’s… that’s just awful.” Hermione sat heavily on a chair.

“So how did you come across the locket, Sweetling?” Salazar asked.

“It was in a house— I was staying at my friend’s godfather’s— I’m sorry I can’t be more specific but there’s powerful enchantments protecting the residence. A very old pureblood family lived there and my friend’s godfather is the end of the line. He doesn’t know how the locket got there either. But I can feel Voldemort’s magic in this. Much more strongly than than this book he enchanted for me so we can communicate without trace or censure.” Hermione held up the diary she’d been given that morning. 

“This diary has some distinctive spellwork, including a blood ward so that only I can open it and only I can read from it, now that I’ve completed the ward with a drop of my own blood. He doesn’t have that laying around, obviously,” Hermione continued. 

“But this locket, this locket feels like him. Like he’s with me. I just put the two together in my head this morning when he sent me the spelled journal. I had to beg a favor from Severus to have a letter sent to him untraced earlier this week,” Hermione pursed her lips.

“I see, Sweetling,” Salazar said, nodding. Helga looked rather uncomfortable but sipped from her mug. 

“And… I guess the reason I wanted to talk to you this morning, aside from not understanding why these two objects feel so differently with his magic in them, is why I’m so drawn to him. Helga was saying that fate sometimes binds individuals to each other so that certain events happen or objectives achieved. And that you’d maybe know something about it from the Deo clan when you studied with them.” Hermione shrugged.

“Oh Sweetling. This will be a different conversation than I anticipated,” Salazar said, going back to the table and sitting down. Helga looked at him as intrigued as Hermione was. 

“Sal, what do you mean?” Hermione asked.

“You remember my telling you that one of your ancestors studied with me more than the others? That she said one of her granddaughters would pick up a wand and reinstate my magic?” Salazar asked.

“Yes, it was our first conversation,” Hermione smiled.

“Well, as it felt like the right thing to do at the time, I promised my heir to hers,” Salazar replied, his countenance turning to stone in anticipation of a bad reaction.

“You promised your heir to me? All the way back then? So everything I feel…” Hermione trailed off, conflicted and upset. 

“Nothing can truly replicate emotion. We make potions and spells that for a time can mimic emotions, but nothing actually creates emotions, Hermione,” Helga cut in quickly and Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. 

“So I’m merely drawn to him, despite everything he’s done, because of Sal’s promise to my ancestor,” Hermione surmised. 

“Yes. And I’m certain he feels a similar pull, but the fated bonds, like I told you earlier, only pull you towards the person. It won’t cause any feelings or emotions. I can’t say I very much liked Sal the first time I met him, but I did feel the pull between all of us when we came together to build this school. We were so very dissimilar, and had vastly different ideas on how to create a school. It’s the work of fate that even got the place standing! Well, except Godric and Sal. Those two were always thick as thieves.” Helga laughed her lovely carefree laugh that set everyone at ease. 

“Does he know, Sal? Is that what you were telling Voldemort before I met him?” Hermione asked, remembering. 

“He knows that I only promised my heir to the Deo’s descendant who would pick up a wand. I told him it was you, and that if he wanted to continue living, he shouldn’t make an enemy of you and instead become your protector. He felt that formally swearing fealty was the way to do it and I did not disagree. When he left the room, he had not made up his mind on what to do; I was informed later that was when you two first met,” Salazar replied heavily. 

“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” Hermione wanted to know. 

“Because I didn’t want to frighten you, Sweetling. I wanted to talk some sense into him before you two crossed paths and apparently I was only just in time as it was. He had asked me why him, and I replied I had only said heir. I had no idea who you would be, or who he would be. After he’d graduated Hogwarts I hoped he’d hurry up and have kids so that the title of heir would be passed down,” Salazar replied glumly.

“But he never did. And now he and I are bound by fate. But that only is a pull between us and our magic. Not between our thoughts or emotions. That’s at least real, right Helga?” Hermione appealed to the witch. 

“Yes, dearie. Everything you feel is real and yours. Everything he feels is real and his. Fate just provides the pull as a nudge towards what it wants accomplished,” Helga supplied. 

“Sal, you said that my ancestor’s words were a prophecy. Are there records anywhere of prophecies? Because supposedly there’s one between Harry and Voldemort and I don’t want either of them hurt. And I’d like to hear my own as well,” Hermione asked Salazar. 

“In our day, they were kept in a cave full of mysteries and secrets beyond comprehension. It was protected by wizards who swore their lives and to never speak. Their only duty would be to protect the secrets of the cave. Later, their order was made a part of the Ministry of Magic and given special leave to build their department deep underground in and around the cave. It became the Department of Mysteries and the protectors were given the name Unspeakables as they do not speak of their work. I’ve gathered that there is a whole hall of prophecies now— the records are memories stored in spun glass of varying sizes. But only the witch or wizard that a prophecy is about, along with the record keeper of the Hall are able to move a prophecy from it’s spot.” Salazar answered.

“So if Harry and I went, we could view our prophecies… That would take a lot of work to accomplish but it is not impossible,” Hermione nodded, half talking to herself.

“Nothing is impossible if you are a Deo witch. You did not have to accept my heir— I promised him to you but your ancestor did not make an answering pledge of you. She merely thanked me for ensuring that you would not be alone ‘amongst the wand wavers’ she called us,” Salazar noted. 

“That… that does make me feel better. I was curious as to the pull I felt and his aura of power being so intoxicating, and not in the sense that I wanted to serve, just be near him. That was the fate bond of the prophecy, was it not?” Hermione asked.

“Her prophecy was… not along those lines, no. But it was the fate bond. I can’t put the memory in a penseive for you, but I can recite her prophecy. If you view your prophecy in the Department of Mysteries, you will see my memory of her speaking it. While I wasn’t positive it was prophecy at the time and scoffed a little, I still did my duty and had it recorded. It’s number 919.” Salazar was cut off by Hermione gasping.

“Sweetling?”

“That’s my birthday. September 19th. 9-19.” Hermione said, awed. Salazar and Helga smiled.

“Give me a moment to remember her exact words—” Salazar cleared his throat and spoke:

“One day, centuries from now, one of my granddaughters will pick up a wand. She will reinstate your magic, Salazar Slytherin. She will end the blood feuds. Her will shall decide the outcome of war, as Deos have done before her. Deo Witch will be one of her titles, but she will shun all but her name.”

Salazar paused before speaking again.

“After your ancestor said her prophecy, I responded ‘To her I promise my heir.’ You were fated to reinstate my magic; It felt like the right thing to say at the time,” Salazar finished.

Chapter Text

Hermione was practically dizzy with the thoughts that swirled in her head as she left the Room of Requirement. She held tightly onto the locket around her neck, feeling the soothing pull of magic from Salazar’s heir. Hermione hated calling him Voldemort, but she knew that calling him Tom would irritate him. She felt like they had reached a happy medium with ‘Enlil’— a name that held no negative connotations for either of them. She walked slowly back to her dormitory, trying to sort out her thoughts. She knew that HE would be expecting her to write to him as soon as possible, but Hermione wanted a clear head before she did so. She took a detour towards the kitchens to grab some breakfast from the elves, not up to facing the Great Hall at the moment.

 

She will end the blood feuds. Her will shall decide the outcome of war…

 

Dumbledore, Hermione decided, must not know of the prophecy concerning her. But how did the prophecy with Harry and the Dark Lord come to pass? The prophecy pertaining to her was made to and recorded by Salazar Slytherin! Hermione knew that no matter what, she had to figure out what exactly the prophecy was that concerned Harry and her lover, the man to whom she was fate bound for an unspecified amount of time. She would ask Enlil when she wrote to him.

Some fruit and a breakfast roll in hand, Hermione resumed her trek back to her dormitory. She didn’t want the responsibility she felt was being thrust upon her with this prophecy. She didn’t even like divination— it was such a load of bunk. You either had the sight or you did not.

Of all the magics that could be and were taught, Divination was the most useless. Like with muggles, there should be a social studies class on wizard cultural through the ages, that was separate from History of Magic. Rites, rituals and traditions were being lost to time. Knowledge of what herbs to use in bonfires for which holidays, learning how to channel ritual magic and how to protect oneself while conducting rites; all of these traditions were being lost to time and Hermione hated it. She hated that the school was clinging to traditions that meant nothing and seemingly on purpose losing knowledge that should be preserved. If she were headmistress… oh if she were in charge much would change.

 

My Enlil, 

Thank you for such a gift. It is most flattering and heartwarming that you chose to expend such energy to craft me this lovely journal and spell it for us to communicate without censure.

I must admit, I am conflicted on two counts. First is the prophecy that Sal heard from my ancestor: about the Deo who would pick up a wand, end the blood feuds and decide the outcome of war. Second is the prophecy between you and Harry. If my prophecy existed, why would a second one naming a different deciding factor of seemingly the same war be made? Something feels off and I really must investigate it. Sal says all the prophecies are in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry.  

The Vernal Equinox is coming up, but sadly Easter break is not until the following week. Ginny, Luna and I will be doing a traditional ritual in secrecy— but we haven’t decided where we will go for the break. I do not want to be stuck in the castle with that horrid Pink Toad by the name of Dolores Umbridge.  The Pink Toad is the absolute worst person to walk the grounds of Hogwarts. She’s making it difficult to use the Room of Requirement without suspicion.  The Pink Toad is killing me with the ridiculous ‘assignments’ she has out of a ‘theory’ book for Defense Against the Dark Arts— we haven’t learned a bloody thing! I practice in the Room with Ginny & Luna alongside our other extracurricular studies with Sal and the other Founders. If I didn’t study outside of that pathetic excuse for a class I would fail my O.W.L.s! And of course, the Pink Toad is doing her damnedest to stop us from studying and practicing outside her ‘theory only’ syllabus.

I must ask how you achieved the breakout of Azkaban. I’ve been thinking about it as a logical puzzle and haven’t found the fault yet that you must have exploited. I’m sure your devoted followers are sincerely happy for what you have done for them, even if the rest of the country is terrified. Even in Hogwarts many have sought out Mme Pomfrey for calming draughts. You do like grand displays, don’t you?

Do let me know if you would like to plan anything for my upcoming vacation from school grounds I have— I miss you, my Enlil… It has been too long.

Your Little Witch.

 

Hermione smiled as she closed the journal, trailing her fingers over the soft cerulean blue leather. She would check later for a response. For now, she would take a luxurious morning bath in the Prefect’s tub, and then prepare for the meeting with Rita Skeeter and Harry.

After her bath and meditating in the sweet fragranced water, Hermione felt a lot better about the prophecies influencing her life. She at least felt that there was more of a path moving forward. Perhaps with Voldemort’s help she could break into the Department of Mysteries, much like he had already done with Azkaban. There she could view her own prophecy and with either Voldemort or Harry with her, she could view theirs—though she did wonder if a prophecy had to be removed to be viewed, or if she could incite the prophecy to share itself with her wand. Luna was more of the seer sort anyways, being attuned to auras and such, so if anyone could figure out how to make the prophecies speak without being touched, Luna possibly could. Rowena and Salazar would also be good references, if the Room couldn’t come up with textual sources for her.

Dressing in her standard jumper and jeans weekend look, Hermione pulled on her fur lined boots and reapplied a warming charm on the lining of her cloak as she drew it on. She was happy to have the weekend off from Prefect duties, frequently taking the weekday evening shifts when others would rather be putting in time studying, attending Quidditch practice or finding a discrete corner of the castle for snogging. Luna met up with Hermione in the Entrance Hall and the two shared a coach to Hogsmeade with Terry Boot and Ginny’s ex boyfriend, Michael Corner, both of whom were in the DA. Pleasant conversation was made, but Luna and Hermione extracted themselves from the boy’s company to search the used bookstore as well as stock up on supplies at the apothecary.

Luna was having much better luck in the bookstore than Hermione, gathering titles like The Moon and The Goddess in You and The Moon’s Influence on Ritualistic Magic. Hermione was searching for anything relating to the recording of prophecies and how it was done, but found little of actual use. There was a dusty volume entitled A Seer’s Guide to Prophecies that Hermione hoped might be interesting but she wasn’t sure. Their browsing took longer than they expected, so Hermione grabbed a book on Advanced Arthimancy and Runes before paying for their purchases. The trip to the apothecary was perfunctory and to the point— they bought herbs for putting in ritual fires, some to try different blends in their fires when not working on specific traditional rites. The two witches also purchased potions ingredients to replenish their supplies and then some; Salazar had promised to oversee some advanced brewing even if he lacked a corporeal body.  

At a quarter to 2pm, Hermione and Luna made their way to the Hog’s Head to wait for Rita Skeeter and Harry. Skeeter arrived promptly at 2pm and ordered a pint after ensuring the girls were paying. The formerly flush witch was looking rather skinflint— robes hanging off her frame a little less decoratively than before and Hermione could tell that Skeeter had charmed her hair blonde instead of using a more permanent and effective potion for the peroxide look the woman favored. Luna hummed happily to herself and Hermione insisted they wait for Harry before talking business. To placate Skeeter, Hermione ordered the woman a light meal, hoping that if she was eating, Skeeter couldn’t take nasty notes with that lime green quill of hers. In fact, Hermione had a newly charmed quill for the occasion that she would gift to Skeeter in efforts to keep the conversation to what Harry actually said rather than the made up lies that Skeeter had built herself up with in years prior.

15 minutes late, Harry came in, grumbling about witches and crying and what the bloody hell was he supposed to do. He crashed into the seat next to Hermione and gave her a hug, before greeting Luna and Rita— a cold, calculating look being tossed at the latter witch.

“Now that Harry’s here, let’s get down to business. We ordered you a butterbeer, Harry,” Hermione said, sliding the extra bottle of butterbeer in front of her over to her friend. A muttered ‘Thanks’ was heard in response. Skeeter swiftly looked over the boy and tried to get an angle on him and what role she was to play.

“Well, Little-Miss-Perfect, you summoned me here. What is it that you want? Am I to apologize to Harry? Seems a bit late in your game for that,” Skeeter sneered at Hermione, who smiled sweetly back at her.

“Oh no, Ms. Skeeter. I have a proposition for you. Harry, here, is once again being slandered by the media. We would like you to write the truth behind the story. You still are a mighty force behind a quill, Ms. Skeeter. Think of what a comeback you’ll have— an exclusive interview with Harry telling of Vol—“ Hermione’s speech was cut off abruptly.

“Don’t say his name!” Skeeter hissed, wincing horribly.

“Why ever not? It is said that fear of a name just increases fear of a thing itself. And as the writer of this wonderful exposé, I will give you specific warding spells I’ve tested out myself. You will not be harmed for this, I guarantee it.” Hermione smirked deviously, omitting that she’d be paying her lover all sorts of favors to ensure the safety of this vile woman if need be and that the warding was against people not working for Voldemort. Soon, Hermione was sure it wasn’t going to matter much anymore.

“Okay, so who would ever dare publish it? The Prophet won’t touch it…” Rita Skeeter began, throwing a more interested look at Harry, who was resolutely starting at the table and drinking his butterbeer.

“Oh, Daddy’s going to publish it in the Quibbler. He believes everything Harry has said as the truth.” Luna smiled serenely, using her I’m-paying-much-more-attention-than-you-think-is-possible charm and dialing it up a notch. She knew it disconcerted people, but Luna enjoyed throwing people off balance and seeing the ripples in their auras as they tried to wrap their minds around her. Luna and Helga Hufflepuff had some very interesting and in depth conversations about auras and how to manipulate them while in the Room of Requirement.

“Is he now? How much does this pay?” Skeeter asked, getting down to the heart of the matter. Due to Hermione, she was down to her last galleons, and needed the job badly. She didn’t want them to know how badly she needed it.

“Daddy says it’s an honor; I don’t think any of the writers actually get paid… But you will receive copies of course,” Luna said, unfocusing her eyes to look distant. Hermione was trying not to roll hers as Skeeter looked horrified.

“Look, Ms. Skeeter— I will put twenty Galleons towards getting this article written. With the truth and no embellishment. I even purchased a lovely eagle feather quill that I charmed myself for dictation, so that you’ll have the most correct notes of what Harry says.” Hermione produced the quill in the box it’d come in as well as a new bottle of charmed ink, a fresh sheaf of parchment, and a bag containing the twenty galleons as promised.

“The ink is charmed like the rest of the ink I own— with my own charm for self correction in spelling and grammar and who doesn’t need more parchment?” Hermione slid the stack in front of Skeeter who pushed her empty plate away.

“I can’t see why I shouldn’t take the job. However,” Rita Skeeter narrowed her eyes at Hermione, “the question is why are you doing this? And asking me?”

“Simple. I need a favor. I want this published. You are a reporter who is in need of a job and knows not to cross me, particularly when I’ve gone to lengths to make this an attractive proposition. I am very kind to my friends, Ms. Skeeter.” Hermione smiled blandly. Skeeter gulped, remembering when she’d crossed Hermione Granger and how she’d ended up trapped in a jar before being blackmailed into not writing any decent paying articles— even if it was pure speculation to sell papers rather than the truth.

“You do this for me, Ms. Skeeter, and I will personally ensure more work comes your way. A friend in the press corps is a valuable friend indeed.” Hermione emphasized her words to make her point.

“Alright, Little-Miss-Perfect, you’ve got yourself a deal.” Rita Skeeter swept the bag of galleons off the table. “Well, shall we do this now, or someplace more private?”

“Harry, do you want Luna and I to be present for this interview?” Hermione turned towards Harry, who had finished his butterbeer and was spinning the bottle around in his hands.

“That’d be nice. It’s not… easy… to talk about. Cedric was a good man.” Harry sighed, looking up. The poor boy looked tired and world weary at just 15.

“How about I grab some more drinks, and Luna and I will be right here if you need us, okay?” Hermione smiled genuinely at her best friend, squeezing his shoulder. A brief smile flashed on Harry’s face in gratitude.

Chapter Text

When Hermione finally sunk into her bed that evening, she felt drained. Harry had told her and Ron about his terrible date with Cho, for which Hermione did feel slightly responsible for— given that Cho was upset that on Valentine’s Day he was to meet with another witch after their date. Nevermind said witch was his best friend and more like a sister with how she looked after him. Cho was upset and still grieving Cedric, which Hermione had to remind the two boys. It was so obvious to Hermione, yet seemed to be quite obscure to Harry and Ron. Ron proclaimed that Hermione would make a killing if she could translate ‘girl’ into ‘guy’ to which Hermione could only roll her eyes. Ron was going to have to do some serious growing up if he ever hoped to marry. Privately, she thought the same about Sirius Black, but also realized he had a lot of difficulty being a prisoner in the torturous childhood home to which he never wanted to return. Sometimes Hermione had an inkling that Dumbledore did what suited him best, and not what was best for those who depended upon him for care, students included.

Her new notebook glowed slightly, which she realized meant that she already had a response to her letter. A thrill of happiness ran through her as she grabbed the journal from the nightstand and opened it.

My Little Witch,

I would be both pleased and honored if you would join me at my estate for your Easter vacation. I realize that it would normally be a time of fierce studying for O.W.L.s, however your description of the ‘Pink Toad’ leaves much to be desired. Say the word and she will be disposed of. I would say that I’m being humorous, but you know I would if you wanted. Such disruption in knowledge and education is repugnant, and I believe it is one of the reasons the olde traditions are falling more and more into obscurity, when they are the lifeblood of wizarding culture.  I have never had a more magical and enlightening Saturnalia than when you lead the rites and rituals. I’m appalled at those who profess to want to follow the olde ways when they do not follow through. I was remiss in thinking that the Purebloods would keep their own traditions alive.

You were born to right the wrongs that I set out to fix. Seeing you perform with such grace and innate alacrity, I can acknowledge how flawed my attempts at a coup have been. Upon questioning, my ancestor deemed I was fit to hear the prophecy pertaining to you. I will agree it is suspicious that a second prophecy was made, particularly after you were born, in regards to the same issue. I know now that I did not receive the whole prophecy regarding myself and your friend, and it plagues me night and day that I do not know it all. Perhaps a dual investigation into these matters is necessary. Should you accept my invitation to stay with me over your vacation, I will share with you what I know. I would prefer the opportunity for a discussion rather than our written prose.

And regarding Azkaban, I did think of you as I worked through breaking the wards— the application of runes and arthimancy in them was most fascinating. Perhaps when you see my notes you will be able to spot the weakest points that I exploited into faults. Of course, most useful was being able to confer with the Dementors. It is done through an advanced form of Legilimency where communication occurs instead of the reading of thoughts. My freed servants are grateful indeed, to be welcomed back into my fold, though some will need rehabilitation to be fit to serve again. The madness induced by years of being trapped within one’s darkest thoughts has left many lacking their former usefulness and glory. I know that Sirius Black has been cleverly hidden by Dumbledore— how did he fare with rehabilitation? I do not wish to have such mindless beasts serving me as those came out of Azkaban.

And really, Little Witch, would anything but dramatic be expected of me? I shall aim to work covertly as long as possible, but a Dark Lord is expected to have such displays prior to his first move for power. 

My invitation extends to your companions as well. I am interested in the dynamics of the triad you have formed, nor would I want to deprive you of their company, as much as I would like to keep you to myself. Severus will apparate you here, should you accept. It is a lovely estate in the countryside. There is a convergence of two ley lines farther out in the fields, and I am planning a ritual circle to be prepared there. Perhaps you have advice on preparations? I would appreciate your expertise on the matter.

Your Enlil

Hermione’s toes curled in pleasure at the thought of spending a week with him. With her, he was Enlil— a brilliant, educated man of strong opinions and interesting debates. Unfortunately to the rest of the world he was Voldemort, the Dark Lord. She did find it interesting that he said the dramatic displays were expected of him, rather than his desire. She wondered how much of his image as the Dark Lord was foisted upon him, much like the sensationalism Harry faced both for and against him. Hermione wrote two words before going to sleep, intending to write a proper response in the morning.

I accept

 

The Vernal Equinox was fast approaching leading Ginny and Luna to giddiness at being included in Hermione’s rite. They planned it thoroughly— how to escape the castle to the glade by the Forbidden Forest, what herbs to use in the fire, to what they should do and say. While it was agreed they would not invoke ley lines during this rite, keeping it basic for their first ritual together as a triad, Luna and Ginny did begin making their own ritual robes embroidered and imbued with protective Runes and charms.

Hermione and Voldemort traded letters through their journals— and he even expressed his mirth at how Hermione was able to both black-mail and bribe Rita Skeeter into not only telling the truth, but to have it published in the Quibbler, which lead to a second printing it became so popular. Hermione humorously promised, should he want his own expose, she would be happy to arrange his own interview with the notorious reporter. Sadly, Ginny was unable to get permission from her family to go on another vacation with Hermione and Luna, having missed Christmas with her own family. Luna’s father was busy with the Quibbler and paid little attention to the fact that his daughter was fabricating a story about staying with Hermione’s muggle parents to write a report for Muggle Studies, whereas Hermione convinced her own parents that she would be staying with Luna and not far from Ginny’s family. Cover stories completed, Severus was engaged and accepted favors from Luna to escort them to Voldemort’s estate, which was coupled with the order from the Dark Lord to escort the girls and stay for the duration of the break.

 

On the Vernal Equinox, the triad woke before dawn to gather their prepared items and sneak out of the castle to the glade Hermione had done her Samhain ritual. They carefully made a circle with stones that had been painted with runes. They used Hermione’s specialty blue smokeless flames for their ceremonial fire, and tossed in dried herbs they had prepared especially for the rite: clover, vervain, honeysuckle, and scotchbroom. The triad had spent the previous evening weaving flower crowns from conjured flowers, which they donned with their runic robes for their ritual, finishing with Hermione casting wards around their circle. Snape had been made aware of their plans but they still erred for caution. Much like with Hermione’s Samhain rite, magical creatures and those sensitive to magic gathered near the glade, and Severus Snape covertly watched— not wanting to miss what would be the triad’s first ritual conducted together.  

Ginny stepped forward around the fire to begin the rite.

“I, Ginerva Mairwen Weasley, daughter of Mairwen, begin this sacred rite. I invoke the blessed Brigid, goddess of dawn and knowledge, to call Spring to this land,” tossing a sachet of the herbs they’d previously used into the fire.

“I, Luna Elisabet Lovegood, daughter of Pandora, call upon the Goddess Idunn to bless this land with Rejuvenation to Spring. I plead that her mercy also extend rejuvenation to the souls in our lives who have seen much weariness in the days past and the days to come.” Luna followed Ginny’s motions, stepping forward for her invocation before tossing in a sachet of the dried herbs.

“I, Hermione Jean Deo Granger, daughter of Diana, call upon Demeter, mother of Earth and goddess of grain. I beseech you to bring a bountiful season, from seed to harvest, to this land. I thank you for the life that has sustained us, and ask for our continued grace by your will.”

“We give thanks to our ancestors and the ancestors of this land,” The triad finished together, bowing their heads briefly before sitting around their ceremonial fire. There they broke bread together, eating and drinking pumpkin juice as they greeted the dawn in flowers and white robes. They were quite pleased with their first ritual together with the three of them taking equal part.

The animals that had gathered to watch the rite by the triad also bowed their heads before going their separate ways. Severus Snape stayed hidden, trailing the girls until they made their way inside the castle. Stealth was needed by all as dawn arrived just past 7 o’clock that morning, and by the time they had finished, it was close to 8am. While the triad was not going to breakfast, the girls utilized a disillusionment charm to hide themselves until they could get to the Room of Requirement and change, having stashed their school robes there prior to leaving for their dawn ritual. Snape, remaining unseen by the girls, took his silent leave of them and went to the Great Hall for breakfast.

 

While no magic had been channeled for the ritual, something that Hermione had warned Ginny and Luna about— that not every rite or ritual would require such—all three had been feeling light hearted and full of exuberant energy that day. The secret meeting that evening of the DA seemed to go quite well until it was quite obvious that something was amiss. Dobby the house elf popped up mid-meeting and was having difficulty telling Harry what everyone was guessing very important.  Once the message was imparted that Umbridge was laying in wait to ambush them, panic broke out in the Room of Requirement. With desperate need for everyone to flee undercover, Hermione, Ginny and Luna at once began casting disillusionment charms and telling everyone to remove them with a ‘Finite Incantatem’  once they had reached a safe and discrete area near their own common rooms.

Hermione placed a hand on the wall of the room and begged internally on her own blood and the Founder’s grace for another, separate exit from the room to an empty hallway. Slow to respond, while Luna and Ginny finished the Disillusionment Charms and Harry was trying to convince Dobby not to injure himself, Hogwarts obeyed Hermione’s request and a second door formed on the far side of the room. Neville cried out that there was a new door that appeared for them, oblivious to Hermione’s communion with the Room. With the DA disillusioned and leaving to safety, Hermione, Luna, Ginny and Harry looked at one another— Harry in complete surprise at the witches who handled the situation while he was talking to Dobby. The others didn’t seem to take notice of the fact that Hermione had orchestrated the disillusionment charms and delegated to Luna and Ginny, and if anything expected the resident Know-It-All to do it. Harry on the other hand, immediately was slightly suspicious.

“We’re going to need to talk about this,” Harry leveled at Hermione, taking notice of the triad’s stance— Ginny and Luna protectively flanking Hermione.

“I suppose we will. However, Harry, we got everyone to safety. What’s our next move?” Hermione responded, unintimidated.

“I’m going out the normal door, they can catch me. You three disillusion yourselves and get away. Take Dobby with you. Dobby— I want you to go back to the kitchens and hide. If Umbridge asks you anything about this evening I want you to lie and say you didn’t see us or warn us or anything. I forbid you to hurt yourself!” Harry ordered. 

“Be the Martyr, Harry. We’ll discuss this later, as you said,” Hermione said, disillusioning herself and her companions, as well as the House-elf and leading them out of the door the Room provided to an unused corridor that everyone had quietly and quickly dispersed from. Lifting the spell from Dobby, Hermione urged the little elf to follow Harry’s request immediately.

“Are we really going to let him take the fall all by himself?” Ginny whispered to Hermione.

“It’s who he is, Gin. He’s been manipulated to play the hero and not care about himself. I think I’m going to tell him about our sessions together in the room,” Hermione whispered back.

“I agree, there’s not much else we can do.” Luna sighed.

“Okay, let’s not hang around here then,” Ginny said as they took off at a quick pace from the corridor, finding themselves right near a passageway behind a tapestry towards Ravenclaw tower, and the stairs to Gryffindor. They parted ways, each feeling slightly uneasy about the evening’s progression.

 

The next morning, they awoke to the news of Headmaster Dumbledore disappearing from the castle and grounds after stunning the Minister for Magic, two Aurors, and Umbridge herself. Apparently Umbridge had even taken it upon herself to lay hands on Marietta Edgecomb, whom the jinxed DA sign-up sheet labeled a SNEAK across her face in large pustules. Covertly, Fred and George gave Hermione high-fives for the ingenious non-removable jinx (Hermione refused to give up the counter-jinx). Harry felt guilty for Dumbledore having to leave— all because they named their Defense group Dumbledore’s Army on a whim— while also having conflicting feelings about confronting his best friend, about exactly what he wasn’t sure, but it was something important he knew.

Chapter Text

Hermione paced in the Gryffindor common room the night before everyone was due to leave for Easter break. She was waiting to meet up with Harry so he could come with her after curfew to the Room of Requirement There she’d reveal everything she, Ginny, and Luna had been up to that year— though the triad agreed that it would be for the best to not divulge anything in regards to Voldemort and the bare minimum on Snape. The Founders were in agreement with the girls on informing Harry but also of keeping certain events to a ‘need-to-know’ basis.

“Ready, Hermione?” Harry whispered to her, invisible under his cloak. Hermione jumped, startled from her thoughts.

“Yeah, follow me,” Hermione whispered back, making her way to the portrait exit. She held it open like she was pausing for thought so that Harry could slip through ahead of her. 

“Young lady… You do realize it’s after curfew?” The portrait of the Fat Lady asked, trying to be stern.

“Yes, but I can’t sleep and thought I might take a bath in the Prefect’s Bath… It’s just so soothing and relaxing. The stress of O.W.L.s is keeping me awake and I just—“ Hermione lied through her teeth to the Fat Lady, who held up a hand.

“Say no more, I have seen generations of students suffer through their O.W.L.s. They are very stressful and you are a very responsible young lady. Be back soon and don’t get caught!” The Fat Lady tittered, always protective of her students but appreciative of the Gryffindor boldness and bravery that frequently ended up with rule breaking.

“You know I won’t.” Hermione winked at the Fat Lady before disillusioning herself.

“Very good, my girl! You are getting more and more talented with that spell! I cannot see a shimmer or shadow even!” The Fat Lady praised Hermione as the invisible girl strode off, Harry at her heels.

“So you, Luna and Ginny meet in the Room? I thought you just went there to study?” Harry whispered as they made their way to the seventh floor corridor.

“We do study there. And it used to just be me, but Luna and Ginny… well I’ll tell you very soon. Shh, we don’t want to be caught!” Hermione shushed him and lead on.

 

When they reached the room, Hermione paced in front of it and the door to her haven appeared. She opened it, and Harry brushed past her before she went in. Once inside, each removed their means for invisibility. Harry looked around the room, seeing the low tables of books, comfortable pillows and a painting of a large wooden table with four chairs but no occupants. Hermione sat on one of the pillows and motioned for Harry to do the same.

“Might as well get comfortable, Harry, it’s a bit of a long story you see.” Hermione cracked a half smile.

She started at the beginning— how she found the room useful for studying on her own in 4th year, how the room provided her with books on Earth Magic and translated copies of Helga Hufflepuff’s journals. She explained how she and her mother had always practiced ‘family traditions’ that she realized were rites and rituals belonging to earth magic and the olde traditions that have almost died out in wizarding cultures. Hermione told Harry about Samhain, and that her ritual mirroring Helga Hufflepuff’s to renew the wards had caused what everyone thought to be fireworks.

She told him of Snape and how he explained the significance of her mother’s family in the wizarding world, before vowing to protect her and suggesting self-discovery to find out her potential as a Deo Witch.

Of how Luna saw her aura and asked questions, leading to a similar discussion in the Room as Hermione was currently having with Harry.

Of how Ginny became so interested in Hermione and Luna’s conversations that she was brought into the secret and the three of them formed a triad, studying and practicing magic in new and olde ways.

Of the Founders appearance in the currently empty portrait, assisting in their studies and teaching them techniques lost to time.

Of how their trip to Greece was really the triad celebrating Saturnalia with the Deo clan and learning earth magic from them, quite unlike the modern british wizarding understanding of magic, eschewing wands in favor of their hands and the ancient traditions of the Deos, descended from Demeter.  

Of their ritual on the Vernal Equinox, and that Hermione and Luna were to be doing a ritual for Ostara over Easter break, and that Ginny was being kept at home since she missed Christmas with her family.

And finally, Hermione told of the prophecy that her ancestor spoke to Salazar Slytherin.

Harry’s impatient nature had suspended itself for the moment, absorbing everything Hermione was telling him, not interrupting her but nodding and motioning for Hermione to continue.

“That’s… wow, Hermione. You’re like, royalty— no— a god to wizards,” Harry responded when Hermione had finished.

“To some yes. It’s a bit weird, and well, I don’t really want anyone to know. At least not for now. Snape… I know things have been difficult between you and him, but he really does protect me, Harry. He made a vow and I accepted it. It’s binding. And supersedes other pledges because I’m a Deo. Snape is worried I’ll be taken advantage of and having seen what’s happened to you first hand…” Hermione trailed off and Harry nodded ruefully.

“Yeah, it sucks a lot. That’s why only you and Ron are my best friends. I wish you told me sooner, Hermione. Why couldn’t you tell me?” Harry wanted to know.

“Harry, you’re my brother and I love you. You’ve had so much going on and you’ve been so stressed… I couldn’t add to it. And at first I was a little worried you might tell Dumbledore. His actions have been making me really uncomfortable. You, for instance, are made to stay with your hateful Aunt and Uncle when Sirius could have taken you in— anyone could have with a simple blood magic rite. Don’t give me that look, it’s not dark magic! Your mother performed a blood magic ritual to protect you when she died. The protection Dumbledore talks about, your mother’s sacrifice— that doesn’t happen naturally without a rite. I’ve researched it, Harry. I can give you the books…” Hermione chewed on her lip as Harry looked down at his hands, confused and torn.

“You mean… my mum did blood magic? That’s what saved me?” Harry asked quietly.

“It did, Harry. Blood magic is neutral— it can save lives or end them. And blood wards are the strongest there are, magically. It’s one of the oldest forms of magic. Salazar said that it was the first magic wizards did without the aid of gods,” Hermione ventured.

“So you’re on first name terms with Slytherin? Wasn’t he against muggleborns? I don’t get it,” Harry spat, his confusion causing him to lash out in anger.

“He was worried about their safety as Christianity swept the world. People were dying, Harry, and the most vulnerable were children. A lot of muggleborns had their magic so repressed by their family and communities and church that their magic became these creatures of darkness, Obscurials. Their repressed magic would usually kill them by the time they were 8 or 9. Sal and Godric argued over it, Godric thinking they could still be saved and Sal thinking that by not interfering, no additional harm would come to them with a validation that they were witches. Things are easier now, with the majority of the world not believing in magic and ignoring it a lot of the time, but back then it was life or death.” Hermione sighed. Harry nodded petulantly.

“And the…m… word?” Harry asked, looking pitiful as he couldn’t bear to say ‘Mudblood’ to his best friend’s face.

“Mudblood was an early description of how muggle-borns got their magic from the earth and ley lines, rather than being the mortal descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann— the ancient gods of the isles.” Hermione smiled at Harry and took his hand. “Once I learned what the word originally meant, it was a lot less hurtful. I actually found it a bit funny. I am earth-born— my magic is not just that of the Deo clan as none of them could wield a wand.”

“And all of this… is just forgotten? How does a whole culture forget their roots?” Harry marveled.

“I’m not sure, but I think the direction of Hogwarts’ teaching over the centuries has affected it. Even purebloods don’t keep up the olde traditions like I do. Luna’s family does it, but they’re labeled weird. So we learn and practice magic in here at least once a week. Somehow I’m going to be involved in the war, but I don’t think it will be with the Order. Or against it. Just rather… on my own. At least I’ll have Luna and Ginny to support me,” Hermione said, shrugging nervously.

“You always can count on me, Hermione. Especially if it means I don’t have to battle Voldemort one day.” Harry squeezed her hand.

“That is something I’m trying to figure out. The prophecy about me was made in the 11th century. The prophecy about you was made in 1980; but I’d already been born. Something doesn’t feel right about it and I want to find out. The problem is that all prophecies are kept in the Department of Mysteries in the Ministry.” Hermione nodded slowly as she explained, “I think I’m going to have to break in to get to both of them, but only the people who the prophecy is about can remove it from it’s shelf in the Hall of Prophecy.”

“I’ll go with you and take it off the shelf. I want to know what this prophecy about me is too. I agree with you; something isn’t right about the second prophecy involving me. Both prophecies can’t come to pass, which means one is false. I learned that much in Divination at least.” Harry gave a short laugh.

“Exactly. And just… Dumbledore keeps grooming you into being the hero. And he’s basically keeping Sirius prisoner in Grimmauld Place— which is torture because he hates that house. But Dumbledore needs the place for the order. I just don’t trust him, Harry,” Hermione confessed. Harry looked at his best friend for a few moments, trying to comprehend everything.

“I… I’ve never known you to be wrong, Hermione. I really have to think on it though. I do think it’s weird Dumbledore has been so distant with me this year. And what you say does make sense. I just don’t know if it means that I don’t trust him. I do respect that you don’t want him to know about you though,” Harry responded slowly.

“I understand, Harry. I’m not asking you to change your mind, it’s just this is what I’ve observed. And I do think it’s important for us to find out exactly what your prophecy says, and how to determine if a prophecy is false. Part of mine has already come to pass— I am a Deo and a witch with a wand. If I am the one to decide the outcome of the blood feuds… Oh Harry, I never understood before how your prophecy must make you feel. I’ve been so nervous and afraid and I don’t want the responsibility. We’re just kids! Why are we being pushed towards war?” Hermione looked at Harry, tears filling her eyes.

“It’s pretty exhausting, isn’t it? Being ‘The Chosen One’ and all. At least no one knows about you.” Harry hugged her.

“Yeah. They just print awful things about me because I’m your friend, not because I might be ‘The Chosen One’,” Hermione laughed bitterly and Harry couldn’t help a snort of laughter.

“We’ll figure it out, Hermione. Remus is right, you’re the brightest witch of our age, and if anyone can solve it, it’s us. We’ve gotten through everything this far, yeah?” Harry asked, a half smile tilting his mouth.

“Yeah. We’ll get through this. Together.” Hermione smiled back at him.

 

Chapter Text

The excitement that coursed through Hermione’s veins was almost uncontainable. Ginny was understandably put out, but had wrangled the promise of an overnight with Hermione from her parents, which made her feel slightly better. That was the cover story for both Luna and Ginny to tell their parents as to their whereabouts for Easter break. Professor Snape was to meet them disguised as Hermione’s father. Hermione only hoped that Luna wouldn’t do something horribly embarrassing that everyone just passed off as her dottiness, when in reality, she was being quite wicked. Quite wicked indeed.

But wickedness must be catching because her own thoughts turns towards her Enlil, and how she’d be in his arms again in a few short hours. Hermione shifted uncomfortably, thinking that she must be mad to do something like honor a request to wear the same panties that she did on the equinox without washing them but she did as her lover asked. Distracting herself, she thought on their exchanged words. She knew he’d been working on a ritual circle in the field behind the manor that had once belonged to the Riddles, and before that, Gaunt family.

Enlil wrote her letters about the runes he was working with, the spells he worked on, but also now and then his boyhood, and the family that he felt was rightfully his as the last heir of the blood of Slytherin. The Gaunts were once mighty and powerful across the fens, descending from Slytherin himself. But then the pro-muggle laws passed and any time a muggle was harmed only a Gaunt would be blamed, when really the Black family perpetrated much of it. The Gaunt family dwindled and fell to ruin and drinking and gambling and incest to keep the line of Slytherin pure. There was no large family anymore, where a second cousin might marry a fourth cousin and the line of Slytherin was protected.

Here, Enlil was so bitter for his mother, for himself, and what had become of the Gaunt family. He wrote of restoring his house and it’s honor, rather than domination of wizard kind. Hermione thought of the notes and letters they traded in the past week, and how much more balanced Enlil was than before. Hermione smiled to herself thinking of Saturnalia as she hummed softly to herself. One grounds oneself in the Olde Ways and the rituals-- her mother was quite right. Oh, her mother. She should write a few times and maybe even send a postcard the muggle way; Enlil did say there was a small town a short walk away.

Before she knew it, the train arrived and there, pristine and unassuming, stood a man who by looks was her father. Hermione knew without a doubt it was Severus. No one else had exactly the same presence he did, but no one seemed to notice as he stood quietly, hands folded in front on him, in a smart sport jacket and trousers. All in all, he looked to be a very ordinary muggle man. Slowly Hermione reached out to greet him first-- even the smell was her father!-- and grazed her lips across his cheek like she always did, albeit with her actual father and not Severus in disguise. Luna bounded across more enthusiastically, grabbing the man by the ears and giving him a spectacular kiss.

“Hello, Mr. Granger. It’s very nice to see you. Thank you for letting me stay at your house this weekend.” Luna said brightly as Severus-Mr.Granger stood rigid and unsure. Hermione placed a hand on her faux father’s arm.

“It’s okay, Daddy. It’s just Luna’s… special way of saying hello sometimes.” Hermione glared at Luna who was acting absent-minded again, putting on her ‘Spectra-specs’ that she wore as fashion statement.

“I… see. Come along, girls. Ginny, are you coming with us this time?” Severus-Mr.Granger asked.

“Oh um, well my mum--” she waved a hand at the gaggle of redheads about 2 meters away--” said she would allow an overnight. So it depends which night is convenient , Mr. Granger.” Ginny smiled up at the man with as much innocence as possible, twirling her hair and fiddling with the hem of her skirt.

“Ginny, dear,” Mrs. Weasley came bustling over with her matronly air having hugged the stuffing out of Harry and Ron already, and decided some stuffing needed hugging out of Ginny as well.

“Erfgh, mum--” Ginny struggled to free herself, and succeed marginally.

“I just wanted to say, how kind it was for you to look after our sweet Ginerva over Christmas. We do want to see her, but such strong female friendships are important in a girl’s life. I can pick her up Tuesday, if that’s alright with you--” Mrs. Weasley started to release Ginny, whose face was awfully red; it wasn’t obvious if it was due to embarrassment or lack of air.

“It is not a problem at all, madam. Your daughter is a delight to have around.” Severus-Mr. Granger said, trying not to sound strained. This seemed to be his hardest double agent role yet, and all because of three teenage girls hell bent on destroying him. With pleasure or with pain, he was not sure.

“We were planning to go to Diagon Alley with the girls on Wednesday, but Tuesday is equally amenable.” Severus-Mr. Granger added, relieving Hermione of her momentary panic about the Weasleys showing up at her parents’ house.

“Yes, yes, that would be perfect, and then the girls can still have their shopping day together!” Mrs. Weasley said, a giant smile on her face and capturing Hermione and Ginny in a giant hug from which Luna quickly stepped out of the way of while maintaining her supposed inattention. After one last squeeze that Ginny was sure might break a rib, they were let go and she breathed sweet, precious air again.

“Indeed. We must be off to our auto-- my wife is waiting anxiously.” Severus-Mr. Granger nodded his head politely and steered the girls away from the Weasley matron, who waved and shouted one last goodbye to Ginny.

Once outside of Platform 9 ¾, Severus-Mr. Granger beckoned the girls to follow him to an unused private waiting area where they closed the door and apparated to the Gaunt estate. Voldemort had reverted the name back to that of his magical ancestors who once owned the manor instead of the dirty muggles who cheated them out of it, and later on, cheated his mother and himself from a decent life. He’d had the manor renovated, and essentially magically rebuilt after decades of disrepair and disuse. There was the time that he was a homunculus within these walls, but he prefered not to think of such times. One would never know it was even the same place, now that the renovations were complete and the new wards laid down.

And now his little witch would be with him for an entire week; his cock hardened again thinking of her soft lips and lush cunt. He had to be careful though. He needed her assistance, as much as he was loathe to need any assistance. Needing hers, however, was not an unpleasant feeling. While filing the research for his rebirthing spell, he found that it had not quite succeeded. He calculated that the botched serpentine body was due to Wormtail not being adept enough of a wizard nor affiliated with Earth magic, like He, Lord Voldemort. The spell should have been spoken in parseltongue, but without the aid of another speaker, the modern English translation had to do: his current body being the result. Should he create an anchor in his little Deo Witch with a permanent bond, he would be able to complete the spell, now balanced thanks to the Equinox and Hermione’s light affiliation.

He only needed one full horcrux to properly reabsorb the soul-- Damn Malfoy for not doing the easier horcrux resurrection spell like he’d been bid in case irreparable harm came to Voldemort. The largest piece of his soul that had been stowed away was going to need to be called back to his body. It couldn’t cross the veil without him but Soul Magic was difficult to perform by the strongest practitioners, as he knew having split his own soul. But if he could split it, he could repair it, especially with his little Deo to help him. And then he would enjoy his little witch and his anchor in her. It wasn’t exactly a step towards immortality, maybe even a step back. He just needed her to agree of her own free will to be the sacrifice in which he would anchor himself.

The door to Voldemort’s study clattered and there she was, a frizzy halo of curls bouncing around her as she went to him.

“My Enlil” Hermione breathed, throwing her arms around him and taking in his scent.

“Hermione. My little witch.” Voldemort wrapped his own arms around her, guiding her to stand between his legs where he could feel like he encased her.

“I missed you.”

“And I, you. Are you tired from your journey? Tea will be served in the large dining room, shortly.” Voldemort looked into her face, reveling in the happiness he saw there. Even as a half serpentine man, this little witch wanted him.

“That would be lovely. But right now, all I’d really like is you.” Hermione grinned mischievously and kissed him with abandon, which was readily returned.They were not in time for tea. They did however, make an appearance at supper. Sat again at Voldemort’s right hand, Hermione was surprised to see that there were several of the Death Eaters that had been broken out of Azkaban. The wizards and single witch were all bedraggled and twitchy, constantly scanning for something to come out and hurt them. The witch sneered at her.

“I know you, mudblood. Potter’s little whore, the papers say.” She had crazed heavy-lidded eyes and grizzled black curls that would have once rivaled Hermione’s own.

“Be nice Bella.” Voldemort warned, sounded tired. He snapped his fingers and Wormtail rushed in and began serving the meal.

“I am hoping that my presence will assist my faithful servants in returning their former behaviors and habits.” Voldemort mentioned casually watching Bellatrix Lestrange admire herself in the soup spoon while her husband Rodolphus slurped loudly and his brother forsook all flatware, drinking straight from his bowl. Fenrir Greyback was seated about mid table, across from Severus, who was flanked by Ginny and Luna.

“Did you bring us dessert, m’lord? These ones look awfully tasty. You know how I like them young” Greyback flashed a grin of too many teeth that may have been sharpened.

“Greyback, these are our guests. You will treat them with respect or you will meet the end of my wand.” Voldemort spat coldly, everyone stilling for a moment while the threat was processed and understood.

“Yes… m’lord.” Greyback greedily eyed Luna and her silvery blonde hair. Oh how Fenrir loved blondes and how it looked with their blood smeared in it. Hermione took note of his leer, a shiver of disgust running down her spine. She continued to eat with the utmost manners, which Hermione was surprised to see that the Lestrange brothers began to copy. During the second course, Rodolphus grunted and elbowed his wife Bellatrix to copy the manners. Bellatrix eyes snapped to Hermione’s, simmering with disgust and hate. Delicately, Bellatrix stuck her nose in the air, and managed to bring out every little bit of pureblood etiquette that she’d been taught with her little sister, Narcissa.

Voldemort chuckled to himself, seeing that Bellatrix viewed Hermione as a rival for her-- with both her husband and the Dark Lord. Bellatrix’s thoughts were practically screaming at him she was thinking so loudly. Such a pity she didn’t retain her brilliantly devious mind from before her incarceration. A loud shriek of terror and anger broke him out of his train of thought. Looking up from his plate, Voldemort was amused at the visage of Wormtail cowering, having dropped the gravy boat on Bellatrix, who was now proceeding to beat him with her fists and kick at him. Her blows though many, were light with lingering lack of muscle strength from the 10 years she spent in Azkaban.

“Bella, stop-- you are a witch. If you are displeased, you use your wand.” Voldemort called over, annoyed at the interruption. But the comment only urged her on, her fists raining down on the cowering rat.

“Bella, the Dark Lord said stop.” Rabastan, her brother in law, was on his feet and using an Augamenti on Bellatrix who started up with an unearthly shriek that could rival a banshee’s.

“Are you going to listen to your Lord, Bella?” Rabastan growled at the witch who was crying and desperately trying to get away from the stream of water.

“Yes, yes! The Dark Lord is my master, MY MASTER!” Bella cried and screamed while Voldemort motioned for the Lestrange brothers to take her away from the room. Rodolphus stopped at the door briefly and lifted his dark eyes to his master.

“I’m sorry, my Lord, for the way my wife has behaved. She will be disciplined and returned to you when you wish to give her your punishment.” Rodolphus nodded again at Voldemort and followed his brother and wife-- easy to track by the screaming and shrieking that echoed until they left the current wing of the house.

“I apologize, we are still rehabilitating some of the former prisoners.” Voldemort stated succinctly and motioned for everyone to eat again, a non order that was followed immediately.

 

It was much later, after Luna and Ginny were shown a room for them, next to Severus and across the hall a suite was symbolically shown to Hermione but she knew down from the top of her curls to the tips of her toes, she’d be spending every night in the Dark Lord’s bed. She wasn’t sure if the gods would be on her side for indulging in copious amounts of sex like they had on Saturnalia; she was already a little sore from the afternoon’s antics in various positions around his study. She was sure that they had lots to talk about-- from the fact there was a false prophecy to the notes he promised to show her on ‘The Liberation’ as Voldemort jokingly called it, as if he were the bourgeoisie of Paris and Azkaban the Bastille.

She changed into a new nightgown he’d had made for her: a lovely off-white confection of semi-sheer silk and strategic ruffles, with matching ribbons that she tied into her braid to keep her hair tame during the night. Hermione felt absolutely decadent as she twirled around in it, eagerly intent on on thanking her Enlil personally, when her door popped open without a knock.

“Oh dear, wrong one. What’s one dessert now versus another later?” Fenrir Greyback leaned against the doorframe, in his grubby clothes, reeking of body odor and goodness knew what else. Hermione bit back bile that rose her her throat.

“No.” She replied, wand still in hand from having used it on her hair. She leveled her wand at Greyback, who laughed coarsely.

“Sweet, sweet little mudblood. You’ll fuck the Dark Lord but you wont fuck a real man? Ah but I am more than just a man, I am a wolf and wolves are dangerous to deny.” Fenrir growled, advancing on her until her wand tip was at his chest, never wavering.

“Little pixie has spirit. Brave are you? A Gryffindor? Why would the master want some pathetic pixie like you?” He looked her up and down in the little nightgown and Hermione felt a hot rage flow through her. This was not for him; he was not fit to even look upon her in this state.

“Get out now.” Hermione snarled at Greyback, pressing the tip of her wand into his chest where the superheated tip from the spell she was preparing burnt into his clothing and stung his chest.

“I don’t think so.” Fenrir Greyback moved to disarm her like one would a child and Hermione quickly spun away, the DA constant practicing having formed essential muscle memory for unexpected dueling and fighting.

“Get back here you little fucking slut, before I fuck you back to front and then I’ll bite your fucking throat out.” Greyback lurched towards her menacingly and once again, Hermione neatly stepped out of the way, infuriating the uncontrolled werewolf, only two days from the next full moon. He let out a furious howl that echoed through the wing of the manor, unintentionally alerting Severus across the hall and Voldemort in the adjoining suite-- not that anyone but Hermione knew which bedroom he used. This wing was for his personal use for when he did not want to be disturbed. Unfortunately, for Fenrir Greyback, Voldemort was very disturbed when he flew as smoke into the room and felt the palpable rage emanating from his defensive little witch, pushing the Dark Lord into a murderous frenzy. He cast curse after dark curse, twisting and painfully wrenching the werewolf from the inside out, burning him alive and at last he paused to look again at Hermione whose barely concealed breasts were heaving heavily.

“Are you alright?” Voldemort twisted his wand vigorously and Greyback let out a high pitched whine as his eyes rolled back into his head.

“Yes. I am okay.” Hermione nodded. She lifted her wand and chanted an earth magic spell utilized by metalsmiths to conjure temporary models that she’d read about in a book. A short, silver brand was soon in her hands, beautifully engraved with “Mia mágissa Deo dínei tis efcharistíes tis” or ‘A Deo Witch gives her regards’ in Greek. She stepped forward with it in her hands and offered it to Voldemort, who took it and inspected it, before clasping her hands around it. Voldemort released his spells on Greyback and immobilised him before Greyback could even roll over and spit out the blood dribbling from his mouth.

“You are lucky Greyback. My little witch has decided to mete out judgement for your actions.” Voldemort grinned nastily at his servant whom his master could hear screaming and cussing in his own mind while the petite witch came towards him with the silver brand. Without warning Hermione struck out, catching Fenrir at the neck and pressing it in as the skin hissed and burbled nastily. The brand had to subsequently be torn off, coming away with a sick squelch of rotting, necrotic flesh and the disgusting accompanying smell of long-decaying meat. The black flesh twisted elegantly into the words, Hermione’s neat handwriting clearly visible.

“She was kind to you, Fenrir Greyback. Kiss your Lady’s feet for her mercy.” Voldemort lifted his immobilizing spell and Greyback promptly was sick all over himself and passed out from the pain.

“Well, just as good as-- I didn’t want him coming any closer to me as it was much less kissing any part of my body.” Hermione shuddered, vanishing the vomit that had gotten on the floor and banishing the smell that accompanied werewolf flesh meeting pure silver. Voldemort levitated the body to the corridor and sent for Wormtail, securing a ward on his witch’s room and bringing her to his room. He nodded to Severus who had hastily thrown on clothes and clearly awaiting orders.

“You may go back to your witches and keep them company, Severus. Greyback will surely have learned his lesson from our witch.” Voldemort dismissed the clearly relieved Severus who slunk back into his room.

“I am sorry little witch, for his actions. But I do not deny that I would have murdered him had you not decided your own judgement.” Voldemort said, leading Hermione to sit on the bed. There were only a few functional pieces of furniture in the room; a wardrobe, a nightstand and the bed. Nothing was overly ornate, just simple pieces of high quality. Hermione was finding out that was who her lover was: A man of simple tastes who also kept up a public image for others to make his quest for power easier.

“I was so angry. I rarely get that righteously angry. Sometimes when faced with the Pink Toad, I wonder how I manage, so I guess I would not always keep my temper controlled.” Hermione responded, tucking her feet under her. She accepted the glass of port that her lover offered her.

“And yet, you left him alive with a life-debt you can use, Hermione. Do not forget that. What you see as harsh, was merciful towards him.” Voldemort sat next to her on the bed, sipping his own glass of the sweet red wine.

“That does seem as odd to me, but that would be the difference between your world and mine, and the experiences I still lack.” Hermione gazed into her glass, chewing absent minded on her lower lip. Voldemort lowered his head to hers, enjoying the warmth of her neck against his cool skin.

“Not entirely. You have much to grow and learn, but everyone grows and learns throughout their lives. It is simply a different aspect of the world than you are used to-- I used the easiest to manipulate in order to gain power, but that also means that many of my associates, the easiest to manipulate, come from the dregs of society in addition to the extreme upper class. I catered to the purebloods and made everyone else just think that’s what they wanted because it gave me power over them all and placed me at the very top where I wanted, and still want to be,” Voldemort continued.

“It makes sense, though the Purebloods have a history of viciousness towards anyone not of entirely pure blood. I’m amazed you overcame that, and during the reign of Grindlewald as well.” Hermione murmured, trying to keep her breath steady with the Dark Lord’s lithe form curled about her, his presence much more intoxicating than the wine they sipped.

“Power is might. With the blood of Slytherin a given, a Merope Gaunt being listed as my mother on my birth certificate, the ability to speak parseltongue combined with raw magical talent and being a very good student, I was able to intimidate many and eventually formed my plans with the Knights of Walpurgis.” Voldemort shrugged. The Knights of Walpurgis, he’d previously wrote Hermione, was his group of followers that eventually morphed into the Death Eaters as he extended his influence from the scions of the Pureblood elite to downtrodden magical beings of all kinds.

“However, I don’t think the beginnings of my reach for power was what you wished to discuss most, Little Witch. My ancestor deemed me worthy enough to hear your prophecy as well, and I assume you have come to the conclusion that one is fake?” Voldemort sat back up straighter, sipping his wine.

“Oh, yes. Actually, Harry came to that conclusion. I dropped Divination my 3rd year. Yelled at Professor Trelawney and everything. Stormed out even.” Hermione blushed deeply as she made her confession.

“Divination is not for everyone. Each element type of magical affiliation has their own predilections for specific types of divination. However, Severus has commented on her drunkenness and incompetence at least once a year for the fifteen odd years he’s worked at Hogwarts.” Voldemort chuckled pulling Hermione closer against him.

“Has he?” Hermione asked, amused.

“Oh yes, and Lucius informed me that Severus logged at least one complaint about her per year while I was… disembodied.” Voldemort found himself nuzzling her hair, a fluffy cloud of curls that smelt of sage and verbena. A telling combination if one thought of the old fashioned meanings of flowers, Voldemort mused, thinking upon the etiquette he read up on in his youth. The lemony fragrance of verbena, of youth and protection, of peace and healing, mingled with the herbal scent of sage, of wisdom and immortality-- his little witch would be his Amortentia if he brewed it.

“Little Witch, I need you” he murmured in her ear, making her shudder with a thrill a pleasure.

“Do you now?” Hermione preened under her Enlil’s attention. Sometimes she felt awfully young in his arms, but he seemed to enjoy that, her innocent exploring, her not-so-innocent enjoyment as he taught her about her body and let her explore her desires.

“I’ve discovered a critical flaw in my rebirthing spell, and with the initial spell performed sub-par so close to Litha*, I became this instead of my former self.” Voldemort continued to hold her and caress her.

“And if I do this ritual with you, will you be balanced by the Equinox? By grounding yourself in the Olde Ways, you pledge yourself to them for life.” Hermione rocked back and forth slightly, her lover’s embrace growing warmer as she tried to relieve some of the pressure building in her. Small kisses were dropped on her delicate neck-- much too easy to break or snap, Voldemort thought with a slight pang.

“Yes, my sweet one. If we lay together in a runic circle where the ley lines cross, I can anchor myself firmly in life, within you, balancing out the uneven spell. It was meant to be earth magic, but I had no followers skilled enough with it. I composed the spell in Parseltongue, which also must have impacted it when it was cast in modern English.” Voldemort began rubbing circles on Hermione’s scalp as he fisted his hands in her curls, demanding a kiss. Hermione moaned with sensual delight.

“Why me, Voldemort?” Hermione looked up into his crimson eyes, calling him by the name he preferred but she would not use. It made him stop in his seduction.

“Because you, Little Witch, are strong enough in earth magic. Because you know who I am, behind it all. Because you are you, Hermione. You are a Deo, you push me to reconsider and re-evaluate long-laid plans. Challenge me, Hermione.” Voldemort bit lightly on her earlobe, surprising Hermione with how much she liked it.

“What if my prophecy is false? What if it’s yours that is true?” Hermione trembled slightly, wondering what her lover might do.

“It can’t be-- the blood magic that protected Harry Potter was performed by his mother. Severus was very fond of her, but estranged. I would not put it past Dumbledore to have instructed her to perform it. Blood magic is uncommon, and has been since the 16th century. Much of the research has been lost, but the ultimate protection of a child through sacrifice was not. It was initially created to save children during war and raiding-- when a mother would very likely sacrifice everything for her children.” Voldemort drew back from Hermione thoughtfully, his arm securing itself around her waist, keeping Hermione and her scent close.

“So I am, what, the Chosen One now?” Hermione asked.

“No my dear, you are Hermione. Of all the things you are, the summation will always be you.” Voldemort kissed her deeply, his tongue seeking out hers. Hermione groaned with want.

“Is that what you really want, me? I don’t understand.” Hermione trembled, but this time from her lover’s caresses. Her brain was too overwhelmed with physical pleasure that her thoughts had become fuzzy and distant. She knew she wasn’t thinking clearly enough to converse intelligently.

“I’ve only ever wanted one thing, Hermione: Power. I made myself into what I envisioned would give me endless glory and power, only to find that I was my own unmaking. I pledged my spirit to you; I would not have done so if I hadn’t wanted you.” Voldemort continued his tender caresses, interspersed with quick  nips and light tugs that made her slick with desire.

“I am power to you?” Hermione rose to her knees on the bed, so that she was taller than Voldemort, looking down with her hands balled on her hips. She wasn’t angry, she was so turned on… but this conversation was important. Where did she stand with this man, a man who was so clearly not what he projected.

“You are, to my own surprise, everything. A witch, a Deo, and my confident. I do not tell others what we share in our diaries.” He murmured, running his hands up her legs, slowly gathering up the hem of her nightgown.

“Oh Enlil,” Hermione gasped, her breath quickening. “You are my confident as well. I don’t know what I would do without your conversation.” She lifted her arms for him to raise the nightgown over her head, revealing the matching knickers that were now mostly transparent with how drenched she was.

“My dear Little Witch, you should have mentioned something before” Voldemort chuckled, a fingertip grazing the wet silk that stuck to her skin.

“You tease, Enlil” Hermione started unbuttoning his robes.

“I take great pleasure in it.” He growled, holding her hips to keep her steady on her knees, before burying his face between her thighs. His tongue flickered out, and he tested and tasted and teased the unyielding silk that covered his young consort’s juicy cunt. Hermione threw her head back with a cry of surprise, enraptured with the close physicality of her lover. He wanted power and he wanted her. She felt divine as he worshiped her, his mouth and his steadying hands all she could feel until she felt such an unbearable pressure on top of her impending pleasure.

“En--Enlil--I, I can’t--” Hermione stammered as Voldemort quickened his pace, his tongue working the wet-roughened silk against her clit. “I can’t, I have to pee--” Hermione panicked but steady hands calmed her and coaxed her pleasure.

“Please, I-- I can’t come.” Hermione was practically vibrating as she quivered uncontrollably.

“You can and you will” came a very muffled answer from below, as her panties were shoved down and the puff of cool air against her swollen clit suddenly tipped her over the edge. Hermione screamed with the blinding pressure of her own pleasure, Voldemort still licking and sucking and even slurping.

“I didn’t-- you know--?” Hermione asked, still on very shaky knees being supported by his hands on her hips, nightgown tossed to the room and her golden skin gleaming in the candlelight of the room. He looked up at her, his own personal goddess to bind himself.

“No, you did not urinate. You had a very spectacular orgasm.” Voldemort looked ridiculously pleased with himself as he looked up at her, his hands again moving on her thighs and hips. “You are so beautiful, Hermione.”

“Kiss me, and then fuck me. I can’t-- I need--” Hermione swayed before putting her hands on his shoulders.

“I will obey.” Voldemort grinned mischievously before pushing her down on the bed, banishing his robes and pouncing on her, no part of their bodies untouched by the other.

 

 

Several floors and an entire wing away, his faithful Death Eaters huddled amongst themselves in the second sitting room. Fenrir Greyback staggered in, the smell of rotting flesh clinging to him.

“Rabastan, you have the steadiest hands, help this poor bastard.” Rodolphus Lestrange  motioned from his armchair for his brother to tend to the unhealthily pale werewolf in the doorway.

“Hold his head, Rod-- it’s his neck, ya see--” Rabastan pointed out the brand and the decayed flesh that would soon spread. The dead flesh would have to be cut out.

“Fine, bring him over here. Need a seat, Rabby?” Rodolphus pulled a ottoman under a lamp and Rabastan shuffled the barely conscious Greyback over.

“Who did it? The Dark Lord?” Bella whispered, peeking from behind her mess of black matted curls.

“Mudblood. Fucking Mudblood bitch.” Fenrir groaned as he was plied with firewhiskey. They didn’t have any pain relieving potions and no one wanted to bother the Dark Lord. He seemed different than they remembered, but they’d never spent so long in the same location as him before. The Dark Lord was a solitary man who ruled over them, not some mudblood fucking traitor.

“Okay, Rod, hold tight. Not sure how much this will hurt, Greyback, so chew on this” Rabastan stuck a leather shoe in the werewolf’s mouth, while Rodolphus held Greyback’s head so that Rabastan had access.

“Hey Bella, you still have that knife?” Rabastan looked up from examining the wound.

“Clean it and give it RIGHT BACK.” Bella flounced out of her chair, dropped a dagger in its sheath on his lap.

“Yes, Bella.” Rabastan replied automatically, his mind already at the task at hand. It was a phrase that was on… ‘A Deo Witch Gives Her Regards,’ in Greek. Rabastan hesitated.

“What are you waiting for Rabby?” Rodolphus whispered angrily, Greyback semi-unconscious between them.

“She isn’t a mudblood, Rod. The bitch is a fucking Deo.” Rabastan said, slicing into Fenrir Greyback’s neck, debriding the flesh so it could heal properly. Only the gentle curves of the lettering showed that wound to be different from the multitude of other scars, from fighting and hunting as a wolf.

 

Chapter Text

When the sun was almost at its zenith on Sunday, Hermione stood outside an impressive runic circle set into the ground where she could feel two ley lines cross. She shivered slightly, her nakedness under her own protective ceremonial robes seemed to catch the nonexistent wind. No one else was needed in the ceremony, not as witnesses or participants. Severus had taken Ginny and Luna potions ingredient gathering in the woods looming at the edges of the fields. The Death Eaters had made themselves exceptionally scarce after Fenrir’s Friday night  fracas with the petite witches, or well, Hermione in particular. It suited Voldemort’s needs-- he was pleased to have Hermione to himself and for the renewal ceremony they refined together the previous day.

They decided that the protective runic robes Hermione designed were unneeded for Voldemort during the ceremony, as he would need to absorb the energy that Hermione would be channeling within the circle. Hermione and Voldemort bathed separately, cleansing themselves for the ritual magically and spiritually. Hermione prepared the baths with Ginny and Luna-- sage and frankincense for offering the cleansing smudging, bay leaves and rue herb within the steaming waters offering protection from the wildness of the elements they were summoning, runic protection and ritual for the magick. For the final touch of the ritual baths, a few drops of Dragon’s Blood was added to support the channeling of magic, particularly that of healing. The bath was based on a recipe Helga Hufflepuff had left in her Earth Magicks journal, supported herbally and magically by the teachings of the Deo Clan that the triad learned during their Saturnalia stay with them.

Cleansed and shivering slightly, for while the weather was much warmer than early spring in the Scottish Highlands, the air was still quite cool for midday on March 31st. At the true height of the day, the brightest light and no shadow, Hermione and Voldemort stepped into the circle hand in hand. Hermione bid her lover to lay in the center of the circle, the runes of the Elder Futhark and Alchemical symbols assisting in protection and channeling at the crux of the ley lines crossing. It was a neutral circle, perfect for any ritual Voldemort would want to conduct there-- be it a Light, Dark, or balanced ritual. The ritual Voldemort created with Hermione’s assistance would offset the imbalances of using a dark water ritual that needed a strong base in Earth magic that Wormtail was incapable of producing properly. Hermione had noted that while the time of year for rebirth, the rest of the astrological elements were conflicting during Voldemort’s initial rebirth. They created the new ritual around the waxing gibbous moon and the dates, working around mercury in retrograde as they could not have wanted a more auspicious day otherwise.

Prior to Ginny and Luna’s departure for the day with Severus, as Hermione was exiting her bath, Severus and the other girls were asked to witness the wand oaths that were necessary to perform the ritual with mercury retrograde-- all communications and bonds had to be thoroughly vetted and made clear with intent. Hermione crafted the circle magically on top of the runic base, calling on the elements and ley lines.

 

Hermione then raised her wand and began chanting in Greek:

Aftó to Deo iketévei ti theía tis, tin Persefóni na lávei ypópsi tis tin klísi tis. Aftó to Deo kaleí tin Afrodíti na katalávei ton póno tis. Eímai i Hermione Jean Deo, kai kaló tous theoús gia tin anagénnisi. Anagénnisi tou sómatos, anagénnisi tou nou kai anagénnisi tis psychís.*

Hermione lowered her wand to point directly at Voldemort and continued her chant:

O Tom Marvolo Riddle, epísis gnostós os Lórdos Voldemort, vrísketai káto apó ton órko mou. Eímai i Hermione Jean Deo Granger, kóri tis Dímitras, kóri tis Diana. Akoúste tin énstasí mou, Persefóni. Akoúste tin ékklisi mou, Afrodíti.

Here Hermione straddled her lover, lifting the hem of her robes so her bare, most sensitive parts were flush against Voldemort’s growing erection now that they were skin to skin.

Ópos o Ádonis, o Voldemort échei xanagennitheí. Anazitó ta dóra tis theías mou gia na apokatastíso to sóma tou, to myaló tou, tin psychí tou.

 

Voldemort was having a hard time remaining still as the energy built within the circle, flowing through him and around him while his Little Witch performed powerful magic atop him. To see her hair unbound and flowing as she glowed with the channeled energy, served to speed the ritual along as it would be sealed in sex. While he had been wary about utilizing sex magic for this ritual lest his young witch fall pregnant with whatever monster that would be born of his body, Hermione was resolute that fertility magic would be needed for the ritual, and that it wouldn’t be fertility of her womb they would be heightening. As if she were privy to his thoughts, Hermione ground deliciously down onto him and he bit back a groan.

“My Enlil, your anchor awaits.” Hermione whispered, deftly opening her robes and allowing Voldemort full view of her small yet perky breasts he adored sucking on. At her words, Voldemort sprang into action, barely able to wait another moment with such a goddess straddling him. For he could see Hermione in her glory as the wand-waver of the Deo Clan: a binding of two ancient powers of magic and godhood, making her a nubile young goddess in her own right. Voldemort wrapped his elegant fingers roughly around her waist and surged upwards, his length throbbing, seeking out her center. With a deft hand, Hermione guided him to her entrance and nodded-- for this ritual it had to be consensual and an equal meeting. Voldemort had to want the rebirth and his new anchor to foster the rejuvenation of his body’s form, and be willing to follow the young woman to whom he pledged himself. Hermione had to be willing to be the anchor for his life, to rend him back to a whole human with a whole soul-- only the Queen of the Dead and the Goddess of Spring Persephone, and Hermione’s Aunt countless times removed, had such power. And it was the love Aphrodite had for Adonis, shared by Persephone, that was stronger than death. This act of trust, of love, of sex, of magic would pave Voldemort and Hermione new paths.



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Hello Readers,

After a strong start and then fits/starts in continuing, I have come to the decision of stopping this story where it is and archiving it. As is, I'm pretty unhappy with it and it needs some major restructuring. Particularly, I've been unhappy with parallels I've been reading about child abuse and large age differences in relationships. I have zero desire to be a proponent of that on any level, so this story is going to need an overhaul if I am to complete it.

In the mean time, I'm participating in the 2018 Year With Tom Riddle as well as the Tomione Secret Santa 2018--new stories coming and this one will get an overhaul.

 

All the best,
BeeStung2025