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Mon Le Chevalier Noir

Chapter Text

Come Cover Me

With me
With you
In war for the love of you

For me
For you
Time devours passion's beauty
With me
With you
Tonight any dream will do

Not a world but your fine grace
Seduction in sleepwalker's land
November dressed in May on your face
Holding us now the lovecropper's hand

Come cover me with you

come cover

come cover me now

Nightwish

Album: Wishmaster (Written by Erno Vuorinen, Jukka Nevalainen, Samii Vaenskae, Sami Petteri Tarja Turunen, Tero Kinnunen, Tuomas Holopainen • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc 2000)

 

Silver Lioness's portrait.

 

Quand tu sauves une damoiselle, attention, fragile!*

 

A screech roused him from his nap. Bellatrix seemed excited about something. Deciding there was nothing for it, he elegantly apparated down the stairs and walked to the Dining Room. The sight that met his tired eyes should have gladdened his heart. Instead, it disgusted him. It was one thing hurting muggleborns one's own age but to attack the ones that could easily be children; that simply that was not Quidditch.

The Black motto: Toujours Pur, was taken to its fullest extent. No one had bothered to get to know Nymphadora Tonks before she was blasted off the tree for good. Casually he leant against the wood work panelling on the walls in the dining room of Malfoy Manor. Rabastan wondered if the Malfoy's motto was Always Blond. Judging from the portraits not one was raven haired like him or brunette like Andromeda Tonks. Salazar forbid there be a red headed Malfoy! Would not want them confused for a Weasley now, would we? He snorted rolling his eyes before coolly regarding the scene before him.

Lazily he swept his gaze around the room and saw Greyback and his pack of scoundrels holding onto three vaguely familiar looking prisoners. An ugly malformed boy with the look of mumps about him. A red headed baby weasel and a girl... he panned back to the girl. He recognised her as the mudblood. The clever chit that Dolohov almost killed in the Department of Mysteries. One of Greyback's crew was stroking her arm with his dirty fingernails. His eyes fixedly on her breasts. The way she breathed Rabastan could not blame him. His keen sea-green eyes took in the girls appearance.

Poor thing looks underfed. He preferred to dig his nails into flesh. She would need a bit of fattening up but he could well remember what she looked like in pictures before she was forced to be on the run. He watched as the Malfoy's pushed the wet blanket of a son into the fray. Bellatrix demanding to know if they were who Scabior and Greyback seemed to think they were.

Suddenly he stood up and spotted the sword in one of the Snatcher's hands. Gods, he gulped. Either these kids have got more guts than I thought or are incredibly stupid. The fact of the matter was someone was going to get it in the neck and he feared he knew whom Bellatrix was going to pounce on. He had to wait until the whelp finished and said a half-hearted lie over not knowing the three youths imprisoned in various scumbags clutches. The one he was worried about more so was the young witch. She was not a girl now. The way that Scabior was leering at her Rabastan knew he was looking at treasure. A Snatcher's eyes glowed like that in the presence of a gold mine or something valuable.

Reluctantly, Rabastan quietly pulled his attention back to the sword glinting mockingly at him whilst it ignored Bellatrix altogether.

Unfortunately, Bellatrix spotted the sword: “WHAT IS THAT!” she screeched. “TAKE THEM TO THE DUNGEONS!”

Rabastan chuckled at Scabior's disappointed look as he was about to lead Hermione of down to the prison of this ancient manor. Bellatrix latched onto Hermione's other scrawny arm pinching her pincers into the younger witch's skin piercing her young flesh.

“Except you, my dear,” Bellatrix grinned. “You and I are going to have a little girl to girl chat!”

“DON'T YOU BLOODY TOUCH HER. TAKE ME INSTEAD!” the ginger whelp screamed. “I SWEAR MALFOY, ONE HAIR ON HER HEAD AND I BURN THIS WHOLE BLOODY PLACE DOWN!”

He really was providing excellent entertainment for the jeering toe rags who laughed to a man at Weasel's antics. Rolling his eyes Rabastan waited until the idiotic duo were dragged down to the cellar. Scabior had hung back, fiddling about with his wand, a determined countenance set on his face. He shrunk further into the shadows. Rabastan wondered why the other man was wearing a girly scarf.

“Now,” Bella said deceptively calm walking around the dining room eyeing Hermione like she was a mouse to her cat. Rabastan though, saw fire in the Mudbloods eyes. This mouse would fight until her dying breath. “Let's play a game of truth or dare, shall we. Let me go first,” Bellatrix raised her fingers to her mouth giggling as if she was having a super time with her best friend and not about to torture a girl that could easily pass for her daughter in other universes. “Truth: Where did you get that sword?”

The young witch gulped. Rabastan could see her throat muscles move as her doe eyes widened in fear: “What sword?” she tried to sound nonchalant.

“That sword!” Bellatrix hissed as she pointed at the weapon now lying on the floor.

“I do not know,” Hermione shrugged her shoulders.

“Oh, come on, you must have forgotten the rules of truth or dare,” Bellatrix said in a manner that she was talking to the dumbest of witches, in reality, Rabastan could tell the mudblood was buying time. He could almost applaud her for trying to be Slytherin. “I pick Truth or Dare. If I pick Truth you have to answer the question, if I pick dare you have to do as I tell you, now let us try this one more time – and do not test my patience little mudblood.”

“My name,” the witch said as she casually threw some of her hair over her shoulder, “is Hermione Granger.”

“Your name is Undesirable No2.”

“I am Hermione Jean Granger. Have you been to see a healer about those teeth, my father would have fixed them for you – without pain medication!” she grinned impishly as Bellatrix dashed towards her but like the mouse to Bellatrix street cat, Hermione scuttled out of the way. The move caused the Malfoy trio to disperse, so Narcissa was one side of the room. Lucius was closer to Rabastan. Draco was out in the open with no protection. “My father is a dentist, you see, I grew up with screws being drilled into my teeth – with scrapers, little knives, needles. I grew up amongst what some consider to be the darkest of muggles. People tremble before my parents – what are you to me?”

Her lengthy taunt served to rile Bellatrix further. She raised her wand to aim at Hermione Jean Granger who dodged the hex in time. Rabastan heard Lucius painful gasp as they witnessed a Queen Anne chair shattered to a pile of firewood and fluff.

“WHERE DID YOU GET THAT SWORD?” Bella screeched. Rabastan twiddled his pinky into his ear to clean out the wax that noise brought up. “I WON'T ASK AGAIN!”

Effortlessly, Miss Granger dodged another curse but Rabastan could see that lack of food made her stumble about. During her little trip on a foot stall, Bellatrix aimed her wand: “This will cut you down to size,” the mad sister-in-law hissed. “CRUCIO!” she roared.

Hermione collapsed on the floor twisting, writhing as she was held under the spell, Bella's face could only be conjured by nightmares, twisting into unnatural angles of poisonous hate.

“Please,” Hermione begged earnestly. “I am telling the truth, we found it – we did not know where it came from but...”

“LIAR YOU'VE BEEN TO MY VAULT – ADMIT IT! YOU GOT YOUR MUDDY BLOODY SELF ALL OVER MY TREASURES...” Bella's eyes widened with only the coal fires of madness glinting in the centre of the dilated pupils. “I ask one more time,” she calmed down her tone of voice but the glint and contortions of a million agonising hexes passed through her mind. “Where. Did. You. Get. The. Sword,” Rabastan could see it took real effort for her to compose that sentence.

As Hermione was about to open her mouth to repeat the same answer Rabastan stepped in front of his sister-in-law, half an eye on Bellatrix, the other half on Scabior, he reserved a whole one on the girl. She was incredibly thin. However, she was hauntingly beautiful in her tragedy. It was about now that Rodolphus had to swagger by. Rabastan had to think on his feet if his plan was going to work.

“I think that is enough fun with her,” Rabastan said.

“But Rabby,” Bellatrix whined, stamped her foot like she did when she was six and pouted. “This stupid waste of space has been in our vault. I know it!”

Rabastan rolled his eyes and stared down at the girl still shaking from the violent Crucio she'd just been forced to endure. He could not believe he was once proud and capable of doing this.

“Then she should have been dealt with by all our charms and protection jinxes our ancestors placed in and around our vault. She does not appear battered, bruised or burned enough for me to consider that she may be telling the truth.”

Bellatrix sighed dramatically and folded her arms in a slouchy grump that was reminiscent of a teenager and pouted. “I s'pose,” she conceded glumly.

“What are we supposed to do with her now?” Lucius asked. Rabastan could see the beginnings of the same idea that had formed in Scabior's head. “We could play with her in other ways. I suggest my son takes her to...”

“Oh no you don't Lucius,” Rabastan said. “Do not even think of that. Having her here would control those moronic excuses of wizards she calls friends. Keep her here but in a nice bed... apologise for cruelties shown... we could,” he leaned into Lucius and whispered, “show we are gentleman first and foremost?”

Scabior then stepped out of the shadows: “I'll keep me eyes on her,” he volunteered eagerly.

“Yes, you would, along with your hands, fingers and tool too!”

“Hey, it's not only Lucius' destroyed wand that is 14 inches!” Scabior grinned. “She may be Undesirable No2 to the government but bloody hell, we are mostly men here,” he smiled. “I think we can all agree that if it was another list she'd be top desirable, wouldn't she?”

“So what?” Bellatrix scoffed. “She's pretty and you all lolly gag after her!” The mad witch snarled as she saw even her own husband surveying Hermione like a wolf would meat in a butchers shop. She snorted in disgust at the sight of drool dripping down Rodolphus' chin. “Get it through your thick skulls – she is a mudblood. SHE DIES!”

“No Bellatrix,” Narcissa spoke rising from her chair as regal as a queen. “She may respond better to seduction,” with this declaration she snapped her fingers and an elf appeared, the disgusting creature shuddered in its towel: “Ninny – Please sort the Teal Rooms for Miss Granger – give her everything she desires aside from her two friends Mr's Potter and Weasley!”

Ninny quivered and walked up to the still shivering girl. “Missy, Ninny helps you,” the elf said gently to an understandably timorous Hermione.

With that, the elf took Hermione to the Teal Rooms.

“I hope our Lord punishes you all for thinking with your dicks!” Bellatrix snapped.

“The main thing is,” Lucius sighed pinching the bridge of his nose, “that she won't be screaming bloody murder and the two whelps below won't try to foolishly escape. Sometimes, Bella, I wonder what you're thinking with because it certainly is not your rather questionable cerebral cortex.”

Bellatrix curled her lip and growled like a rabid dog before storming down to the cellar to vent her anger on the red head. Narcissa breathed a huge sigh of relief and walked up to her husband and proceeded to drag him to a secluded corner of the room, quickly she cast Muffliato.

“Now what do we do?” she asked. “Do we call the Dark Lord or...?”

“We wait,” Lucius asked. “We will allow Rabastan a little playtime with her and see if it yields the response we require.”

“If not...”

“We get her to Hogwarts under Severus' care. The man is as slippery as an eel.”

“What can we say to dissuade Rabastan from...” Lucius sighed and squeezed his wife's bicep.

“You were not this sentimental in the first war.”

Narcissa's eyes hardened: “I was not a mother in the first war,” she hissed as she cancelled the spell and walked into the centre of the room.

“If the girl does not speak,” Narcissa said to Rabastan and Scabior, “You two employ your...”

“Talents love,” winked Scabior, a matching smirk graced his lips.

“Quite,” Narcissa sneered as she carefully stepped back a few millimetres from the wretch, making sure the long skirts of her dress did not trail anywhere near the loutish brute. “If she does not respond to warm food, genteel kindness and Rabbie's flatteries then we shall call the Dark Lord. I shall go down to the dungeons and speak to the prisoners below.”

“That is if our dear sister has not harmed them,” Rabastan grimaced.

Narcissa turned her head and snarled at Rabastan: “Your slippery wand, as I know you refer to it as, had best not do your thinking for you,” she said coolly. “The girl needs to rest. She can barely stand right now. Remember that this is the residence of Earls, Dukes, and Lords... Not a farmyard barn full of bleating cattle.”

With that statement, she swept out of the room leaving behind a leering Lestrange, a smirking Scabior,and a humbled husband.

 

 

*(When rescuing a damsel... always handle with care!)

 

Chapter Text

 

Silver Lioness's portrait.

The Elf-Song Contract

 

The girl was shuddering due to the aftershocks of the Crucio she had suffered at Bellatrix wand. Her hands could barely hold onto anything. Though awake and somewhat cognizant of the fact that she was being looked after by quite a pretty house elf called Ninny who proceeded to put her into a light lavender sweetheart neckline silk chemise that Ninny had to resize as Narcissa was a few inches taller than her. Hermione loved the feel of the peacock hued silken sheets against her now clean flesh.

This was the last thing she was expecting when she was caught by that rather confident snatcher. Scabior... she sighed, it probably was incorrect of her to think this but under other circumstances, if they met in a pub or a club she may have actually fallen for him. No one had looked at her with such hunger before, not even Viktor. All the boys she had dated had treated her like she should be on the top shelf so as not to get hurt.

Well, she flushed, not all the boys. She remembered quite clearly how Charlie Weasley had bundled her into a bedroom during the wedding festivities and took her against the wall, fast and furious, pounding into her like his life depended on it. Not to mention that one time in an alcove with Blaise Zabini. An older Ravenclaw or two. Yet not one of them had looked at her the way Scabior did. Every step he took towards her oozed sensuality. Although she was afraid, it was not of his status as a bounty hunter for Umbitch that caused her spine to quiver, it was his intensity. The way he stared directly into her eyes, how his fingers caressed her hair with his fingers, sniffed her hair and murmured how she was his favourite.

Dazedly Hermione began to piece together in her mind what had happened to her. One minute she was sparring with Bellatrix, the next she was sexily attired, in a guest suite and being pampered. Did they seriously think it would take one day of kindness for her to be swayed? She knew how to keep a secret. Muggleborns had to! If you made books from top shelves float to you in a muggle house you had to learn how to keep secrets under all kinds of interrogation. Thank goodness she was not physically beaten like some had been, but for a girl who hated lying like she did, being told constantly that she was the worst sort of falsifier of facts the school had ever come across when she was only 6 was disheartening. Despite this, she still carried on with her little tricks and no one had managed to get any other answer out of her other than: “I wanted to read...” or: “The cat was stuck up the tree so I helped it come down...” then there was: “Of course I broke that vase it was horrid!”

Hermione was called precocious, badly behaved, was taken to child therapists, given mood altering drugs that were safe for her to take. Yet strange things still happened. So, if Bellatrix thought that she could break easily, she had another one coming.

“Is Missy well?” Ninny asked as Hermione sat up wincing.

“Yes thank you,” Hermione sighed, “just a little shaken.”

“It's to be expected. Mistress Lestrange puts Missy under dark curse. Ninny helps you become still again.”

“Ninny, where...” Hermione took in a deep breath. “Where am I exactly?”

“Yous in Malfoy Manor, Missy. Mistress Malfoy bes asking Ninny to brings Missy to Teal Rooms.”

Hermione glanced around now she was properly aware of her surroundings and noticed how light and airy the room was, the gauze curtains fluttering in the breeze. Light blues and greens coloured the walls with accents of silver running through. Her bed linen was comprised of dark teals, light purples, and pink silk sheets. Even her negligée matched... wait a minute? Negligée? Since when did she wear alluring silk nightwear?

“Ninny, what am I wearing?”

“Missy be wearing inappropriate clothes for witchy Missy. Missy ought not to be wearing muggly clothes. Ninny was most upset and Mistress Malfoy allowed Ninny to pick some things from her wardrobe to pass onto you. Mistress Malfoy is kind Mistress. You see!”

With that, Ninny placed a silver tray on Hermione's lap. The cost of this could have bought the Weasley's home thrice over! A small silver tureen and spoon were set on her lap. By it sat two giant hunks of bread, freshly torn from the oven and dripping with butter. A glass of red wine completed the meal.

“Ninny...”

“Eats Missy. Ninny hates thin witches.”

Hermione picked up the ladle like spoon and began to sip the heavenly broth within. It was clearly left overs. Her stomach growled in response to the soup landing in its welcome arms. Oh, Hermione sighed, she loved beef bourginon. Consequently she began eating like a savage.

“Missy, stop, Missy bes sick if Missy not careful!” The elf began pulling her ears and that made Hermione forget her hunger. “Thank you, Missy. You needs to eat slow. Always warming charms. Ninny knows best.”

Hermione nodded as she began eating at a snail's pace. Ninny sighed with relief. Hermione was about to eat more when there was a smart rap on the door.

“It be Mistress Malfoy,” Ninny whispered. “Bests to lets her in.”

This perplexed Hermione for she was sure that Narcissa could come and go as she pleased in this house. Ninny opened the door, it was not just Mistress Malfoy but Lucius and Draco, that entered. For some reason Hermione blushed when she gazed upon Lucius' more than interested stare. Grimacing, Hermione nodded her head.

“We see you are better,” Narcissa said as she sat on a chair by the bed. Hermione had to admit, she looked beautiful. Waves of golden hair fell like a waterfall in the summer sun down her back. She was arrayed in a dusky pink ballgown. “Are you enjoying your meal?”

“Yes, thank you, Mrs.Malfoy.”

“Has Ninny treated you well?”

“Ninny has been a perfect angel, Ma'am,” Hermione said.

Ninny puffed out her chest and smiled. She'd be going to sleep tall and proud. She liked Missy Hermione. Her time in Malfoy Manor would soon be over and she was nervous. In that moment she made a decision. Rather than go to an auction or be gifted to a stranger, Ninny wanted a warm Mistress. One that looked at her and thought she was worth it. Missy it was. With current Mistress permission of course. She coughed delicately.

“What is it Ninny?” snapped Lucius causing her to flinch. She remembered the rage he felt when Dobby had been tricked into believing he was freed by Potter. “Spit it out.”

His attitude riled Hermione, she was about to defend Ninny when Ninny defended herself: “I am Mistress Malfoy's Elf. I do not answer to you!” Ninny turned to Narcissa and walked up to her, “Mistress – I is soon of age to find new Mistress or Master,” her wide violet eyes filled with tears as she took Narcissa's hand then took Hermione's causing her to drop a bite of bread in the soup. “I founds one I likes. Please, Mistress Malfoy, I was borns here. I knows here. But I want to knows other people. I wants Missy here to be new Mistress.”

Draco guffawed so loudly at Hermione's wide mouthed expression, his father had to pat him on the back: “What say you,Miss Granger?” Narcissa said. A quirk of her lips told of her own amusement to this development.

“Um, may I talk to Ninny in private about this before I make a solid decision,” she said.

Draco was still bent double over laughing, so much so that Lucius had to bend down to pick his son up and guide the buffoon to the door – he did however catch a glimpse of pert Granger cleavage and licked his lips unintentionally. Once the men were out of the room Ninny climbed on the bed and looked at Missy's kind brown eyes. She would never hurt Ninny. No, this witch would be the mother she never had. Ninny took Hermione's hands in hers and guided them to her heart.

“When an elf decides on a Master or Mistress, Missy Granger, our soul sings insides us. Our hearts hums a new melody. It's individual to all elves and not all elves gets the chance to meets the wizards or witch they're supposed to be Elfs for. Missy Granger – puts your fingers on Ninny's forehead and I will show you what I means.”

Touched and awed at learning something new Hermione pressed her fingertip flat on Ninny's cool green flesh and closed her eyes – Ninny placed a finger on hers. Narcissa watched in fascination. This had never happened to her – this was how elves became servants in ancient time. This must be why it hurt them to be free and why they felt the need to punish themselves now, as they viewed it as a failure to find their true Mistress or Master.

Hermione gasped, widened her eyes and looked at Ninny like she was the most sublime being one could ever wish to see: “Ninny, that... that song is ethereally beautiful, where...”

“I never heards it before. Mistress Malfoys won't be ables to because I am not meants for her. I am meants for you, Missy Granger. Please, haves me, Missy?”

“What happens when clothe...”

“The song within us dies and we loses our stronger powers. Our abilities to protect what is ours. Ninny is yours,” with that the elf jumped off the bed and took Narcissa's hand in one of her own, then Ninny took a more prepared Hermione's hand in the other. “I, Ninny, elf-born. Sister to Dobby. Has found Elf song. Elf song sings in Miss Granger's presence. I ask of Malfoy Manor to let Ninny heed the call of her song to become Mistress Granger's elf.”

The house shook. Physically quivered. It was as if the Manor itself was shrugging its shoulders and said: I do.

A rush of purple smoke encircled the elf and the witches, they watched in ardent awe as silver strands entwined between the purple clouds and around the wrists of the elf and Mistress Malfoy. The cords were cut by a bolt of lightning, the bindings then fluttered towards the joined wrists of Ninny and Hermione. Ninny breathed better than she ever had at finding the chosen one through elf song. No one else in the house will she answer to now but Mistress Granger.

“Wow that was intense,” Hermione whispered as she watched Ninny take her tray. “Thank you,Ninny.”

“I lives to serve, Mistress Granger.”

With that,she popped out of the room. “Do you suppose I could leave her here until...”

“Oh no, Miss Granger, she will know. You are connected through magic older than the Founders themselves.”

“If I knew all of this I would not have...”

Narcissa sighed: “I know dear,” she said squeezing Hermione's hand. “Now, it will be up to you to tell Ninny what you desire from now on. Any clothes that were provided for you when she was my elf are now yours to do with what you will.”

“Thank you, Mrs Malfoy,” Hermione said feeling a little tired.

“Well, it is night – we are all to get some sleep.”

“My friends?” Hermione asked.

“Ninny is your elf,” Narcissa said, “she will do as you command save rescuing your friends - the wards may not recognise her if she tries to re-enter.”

With that, Narcissa swept out of the room leaving Hermione flustered. Hmm, I wonder...

“Ninny,” Hermione whispered.

Immediately the elf appeared curtseying so low her knees touched the floor: “Yes Mistress.”

“Two things Ninny,” Hermione smiled. “I would like you to find me a book to read,” Ninny nodded. “Also, I would like to know how my friends are.”

“Mistress friends are well. They have agreed to cooperate as long as you will,” a dark voice from the shadows said stepping out.

Sea green eyes met her wide brown eyes and she gulped. This was Rabastan Lestrange. The wizard who helped put two powerful Aurors into St Mungos – they still cannot remember Neville to this day.

“Do not be afraid, dear one,” Rabastan said taking slow but sure steps to her bed. “Do not be afraid. This house is dangerous not all of its habitants are, calm down, mon petit minou (1). So,” he said sitting next to her after Ninny had left. “You managed to secure an elf, impressive. A bond through elf song is rare in this day in age. You are an enigma, are you not?”

“Kindly refrain from touching me,” Hermione hissed.

“Je t'ai sauve (2),” Rabastan murmured as he leaned over twirling a coil of hair around his fingers. “Je t'ai sauve, Hermione.”

“Je n'ai pas besoin qu'on me sauve (3),” she snapped back.

“Oh you know your French madamoiselle, très superb!(4)”

“Oui, oui, très bien,(5)” she muttered trying to fight a yawn.

“Bon nuit, madamoiselle. (6)” Rabastan raised a hand to his smirking lips. “Fais de beaux rêves. (7)”

“Et tu, Rabastan, (8)” she replied back drowsily.

Rabastan skipped out of the room only to be confronted by big brother.

“Ça suffit avec le sauvetage des ennemis, (9)” Rodolphus hissed.

“Lequel d'entre nous n'a pas rêvé de sauver une jolie fille, mon frère, (10)” he winked as he patted Rodolphus on the back before hugging him.

“I hope you do not regret it, Rab.”

“I won't!”

“Just make sure that...”

“Evening gents,” Scabior stepped out of the shadows. “I could not help overhearing so – if you want a 24hr protector – I'll volunteer.”

“Get lost Snatcher – she may be muggleborn but she has more class than to be with the likes of you!”

Scabior picked up the tassels of her scarf and sniffed her scent in: “Nah, I think she'll like a bit a rough!”

With that Scabior firmly planted his feet outside her door. The Lestrange brothers sneered with disdain in unison at the Land Gypsy and stalked off in their aristocratic pride.

Once they were out of Scabior's line of vision he opened the door with his wand and crept into the luxurious chamber. Pleased to find his prey sleeping soundly in the centre of a huge four poster bed that was covered in silk teal, purple and pink silken sheets with a black lace coverlet. Curly hair softly framing her wonderful features, one hand tucked under her cheek whilst the other was curled around her waist, was a decided turn on for him. Smirking, he observed her being at peace with the world, not for long if he had a say in the matter.

“I'd rather have you than a vault full of galleons,” he whispered in her ear.

He stood up and unsheathed his wand, a murmured spell and his clothes disappeared. He cleaned himself up with Scourgify and Tergeo. Cautiously and silently he slipped in behind her. Scabior sighed as the cool sheets whispered against his muscular flesh. Tenderly, he brushed some curls from her face. With another smirk he spooned her compliant body in his arms. She snuffled sweetly in her sleep almost arching so her head now slotted under his chin.

“That's it, beautiful,” Scabior whispered against her damasked cheek. “My Gypsy bride, sleep well and dream of the open road...”

Poop-poop,” she mumbled as she squirmed deeper into his embrace.

Scabior fell asleep with a smile plastered on his face. He may be a gypsy wizard, a bounty hunter, but he was widely read. She clearly heard someone through her slumberous mind and replied to what she could understand.

All Hermione could feel was the safety of arms, the scent of wood smoke and parchment lulling her further into Morpheus embrace. For the first time in a long while, Hermione felt calm.

Sadly, it was not to last...

 

(French translation source: context2 . Reverso . net)

 

1 My Little Kitten.

2 I rescued you … I rescued you, Hermione.

3 I don't need rescuing

4 Miss, very excellent

5 Yes, yes, very good

6 Good night Miss

7 Sweet dreams

8 And you, Rabastan

9 Not again with the rescuing of the enemies

10 For which of us has not dreamed of rescuing a pretty girl?

 

Poop-poop is a reference from Wind In The Willows. Toad of Toad Hall says it dreamily after nearly being mown down by a motor car.

Chapter Text

Silver Lioness's portrait.

Comme Un Beau Diable*

 

Hermione shuffled in her sleep and turned around half-awake. The first thing she felt were a pair of strong arms holding her tightly to a muscular, if the tickling sensation meant anything, also hairy chest. Not that she minded a hirsute body. Gulping she looked down and noticed a burly decorated arm. Wizard tattoos of dragons sinously writhing around scantily clad medieval maidens. Further up on the bicep of the same arm, Hermione blushed at the sight of a half naked mermaid luring a practically nude man to the ocean depths. The other held Azkaban runes that had now faded due to being disabled by, she assumed, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Another one caught her attention. It was of a raven haired maiden in burgundy velvet dress with piercing blue eyes gazing at the moon and stars. The stars reflected in her eyes and her mouth slightly open as if she was tasting the argent moon on her dewy red lips. Next to her was a white wolf, her hand rested on the head of the silver beast.

Hermione found herself mesmerised by the movements of the woman's skirts as if they were in a breeze, her dark locks fluttering behind her. The swaying motions of the moonlit ocean intrigued her along with the flicking of the mermaids iridescent teal and silver tail. Hermione began to re-think her decision to never get a tattoo. After all, wizard ones were so much better than muggle ones. The ink brought them to life, so much so that one could almost hold conversations with the people, or feel the silken material of a dress under her curious fingers. The Mermaid was now kissing the man in the boat – Hermione watched in fascination as the man's hands danced over the mermaid's salt soaked flesh with fingers tangled in her long wavy dark mahogany curls. Mahogany curls? Hang on... She peered closely at the mermaid – it was – was her! A sensualised version of her at least. She was certain her breasts weren't that perky or round.

The man, however, had darker brown hair. A well looked after body of good build. Muscular and strong arms wrapped around the Mermaid. What stood out was the red streak of hair that hung over his twinkling true blue eyes. Hermione gulped. She recognised that red lock anywhere. Slowly, she turned around and the blue eyes of the man in the boat were now real and gazing lustily at her. She squeaked and started to struggle but all her captor did was chuckle as his hold on her tightened.

“Hey, you really don't wanna excite the wand down below, do ya sweetheart!” he purred.

“Get off me!”

“No,” he said firmly. “Listen here, Hermione, your friends are in the dungeons. Not just scar head but the ginger-whinger, a loony blond bint and a black kid – seems they all know each other...”

“Luna and Dean are here?” she gasped as the shock of this information temporarily stopped her bid for freedom.

“That their names?” Scabior sniffed. “Their continued survival is dependant on your behaviour – that means, little princess, that you are to do what we want – keep us happy and your friends will remain unharmed.”

“Why should I trust you, you filthy piece of Hippogriff excrement!”

“Now that's not nice, is it, sweetheart,” Scabior chuckled at her attempt at being insulting. “Been called a lot worse that Hippogriff dung I can assure you.”

Hermione did not contest that statement as she continued to twist and writhe in his arms in a bid for freedom. Suddenly she stilled as she felt something poke her lower back. It was something she had experience with but still – this man was evil and she was good, or at least liked to think she was, this man was scum.

“I-i-is th-th-that,” she stammered turning an interesting shade of red. “Um, well, go take a cold shower...”

“Oh no, darlin',” Scabior sighed as he rested his cheek against hers making sure his lips touched the shell of her ear. “I do not need a cold shower, I think the family sceptre rather wishes to be anointed by your sweet tight...”

Hermione gulped as she felt his fingers gently brush her seam, prising the slightly swollen lips apart. Her legs jolted at the feel of his assured fingers stroking her. Her fast breathing became ragged as his thumb brushed her little nub, she gasped and threw her head back exposing her neck to his lips.

Scabior licked his maw before descending upon her supple flesh. Petting her neck furiously, licking occasionally and nibbling at the places she mewled when touched, memorising them for a later date.

Another hand laid across her tender breasts, her nipples hardened into little points of sweet pain. The fingers on the other hand moved along her nub in unity with the circling thumb on her erect teat. Scabior dipped his head down to soothe the ache she must surely be feeling. As his tongue circled and massaged her nipple his hand was now stroking down below in earnest. She widened her legs farther apart so he could explore further.

“That's it, my Queen,” he rumbled. “My beautiful gorgeous Queen,” he lowered his mouth back to her breast. “I could worship and suckle forever at my Lady's teat!”

Hermione felt herself blush. Since when had a low-life's opinion mattered to her? But heck that was a quote was it not? Who cares! He rolled her on her back so he was now definitely above her. Scabior flattened his hands either side of her head as he languidly straddled her in all the elegance of a panther as it loomed over its prey.

“What have you done to me, Scabior? I don't normally...”

He smirked as he leaned down to capture her lips in a tender, lingering kiss. As he pulled back her lips tingled and her heart rate sped up. His eyes now turned ocean blue in the darkened lust he held for her. Breathing fast they locked eyes for a second.

“I am doing nothing, beautiful,” Scabior purred as he nudged her legs further apart with his knee. “I just want you, is that so hard to believe? That you are a desirable, sought after woman?”

Gulping once again Hermione shrank into the mattress as she still felt unsure about how this perfect stranger gazed down at her. She was not a woman. She was just some bookish know all. Did he not get that?

“We don't know each other!” she protested weakly.

His lips crashed down to hers. They kissed furiously. Mouths smashed in passions embrace. His teeth caught her lower lip, softly nibbling so he could explore deeper into her mouth the way his sceptre wished to explore further into her sweet, wet hole. Hermione gasped at the slightly sharp feel of teeth against lip – this allowed Scabior to lick the tip of his tongue against the now slightly throbbing flesh. Hermione opened her mouth wide. This action allowed Scabior to thrust his tongue fully into her – drinking her in – sweet juices mixed with the slightly musky taste of Scabior as their tongues duelled for dominance.

All propriety now abandoned, Hermione ground her sex against his now sore erection. “I,” thrust, “don't,” thrust and grind, “don't,” tongue-tangling kissing, “want to,” mutual neck petting, “call out,” he moaned as her little tongue flickered on his salty neck whilst she was trying to say what would normally be a simple sentence normally, “S-S-Scabior w-when I...” his hand was back to her labial folds, parting them with expert ease, “... I come.”

“Scream out Aloysius or Al,” he grunted as he found her pulsating cavern. He tested for virginity and was hardly surprised to find out she had been speared already. “Me name's Aloysius!”

“Aloysius,” Hermione gulped, gasped and panted at the same time as he thrust his middle finger into her. “AL!” she screeched as she gripped tightly onto what friction his finger can do. “OH NIMUE'S KNICKERS!”

He chuckled – Aloysius Kilgrave Scabior could honestly say he'd never heard that one before. He rewarded her creativity with another digit widening her to prepare her for his more than adequate manhood.

“Breathe, sweetheart,” he crooned as he lowered his hand to lick against her belly button as he began to thrust in and out of her grunting as she moaned. “That's it, breathe!” he blew against her puckered button and began licking and swirling the tip of his tongue into the whorls and grooves. Picking up the pace as his fingers continued stroking and challenging her. Then, without warning, he added a third finger, stretching her. He scissored them inside her to make sure she knew what he was doing to her. “That's it, beautiful,” he growled as he pushed inside her with earnest. “That's it, my girl,” he rested his forehead against her stomach. Hot breaths falling on her skin, enjoying the sight of goosebumps forming on her flesh.

Once he felt she was stretched and softened enough he stopped thrusting. Scabior slowly pulled his come-drenched fingers out of her passage and shifted position. He glanced back up at Hermione, proudly noticing how she had turned lovely shades of pinks and reds. Her hair in wild dis-array around her head as unruly curls spiralled over her shoulders and breasts. The fresher locks stuck to her with sweat acting as the glue. Her pupils were blown wide as her cheeks puffed slightly. Her breasts rising and falling along with her erratic breaths. She really was beautiful. Suddenly he felt a lurch of jealousy and possessiveness creep into his fibre and hated that she had been with men before him, how dare they touch what was not theirs!

“Who was it?” he asked, his tone turned darker, menacing, matching the glimmer in his eyes. “Who was it, darling?”

In her foggy haze, it took Hermione time to figure out what he meant: “Who was what, Aloysius?” her voice had deepened with Eros touch.

He tried to gulp down the urge to just enter her as he also failed to control his temper.

“The first one to seek your comfort?”

Hermione squirmed as she reached her arms up to hang around his neck. “A muggle boy in my neighbourhood. It was a goodbye romp. Nothing romantic. I will never see him again.”

He closed his eyes with relief. A muggle that she felt nothing for: “Well, put all thoughts of this muggle boy out of your pretty little head,” he lowered to capture her swollen lips in another bruising kiss. “Now, I am going to enter into you sweetheart, so hang onto the bedsheets because once I'm in... I'm in... I will thrust to both our completions but once you come and scream my name I will consider you mine, kitten. Got that?”

Hermione almost faltered at this rather possessive proclamation. “Yes Aloysius, I comprehend.”

He smirked as he shifted down on the mattress. He elegantly rested on his knees to really look at how debauched she had already become. She writhed still and he was not touching her. He picked up her legs from under her bent knees as he moved back to straddle her, keeping her legs wide apart, he sniffed in her aroma. A little growl left his lips as it wafted up to his sensitive airways. He kept his gaze locked on her wide doe brown eyes that were now almost black with passion.

“Mine!” he growled.

With that,he lined his rod with her dripping centre and began to inch in slowly. Watching her reaction Scabior was delighted at how controlled she was. Observing how she took in deep breaths to steady her nerves. He tilted his hand and out of the corner of his eye, he smirked at how Hermione's hands clenched into fists into the silken sheets of her luxurious bed. Chuckling inwardly at how white her knuckles were as she now writhed beneath him when; suddenly, to his pleasurable shock, she bared down on him. Shouting as she violently slammed herself balls deep, swallowing him whole.

“Muggle man taught you that, eh?” Scabior's eyes sparkled playfully.

Silently but with a smirk worthy of any Slytherin she knew, Hermione shook her head: “Blaise Zabini!” she gasped, as she raised her hands to stroke the tattoos on his biceps.

“Oh, you do like em dark, eh?”

“He was wonderful,” she sighed.

“Get him out of your head too!” Scabior snarled as he pressed his lips against hers.

“Don't be gentle,” she growled.

“My beautiful!” he swallowed thickly as she spoke those deliciously wicked three little words.

The time for words was over. Animalistic sounds echoed from both of them. Reverberating through their bodies. She coiled around him like a snake around his tree. Lithe limbs entwined so closely no one could know where each other began or ended. An ouroboros of human lust. The pace soon picked up as her walls tightened around his sceptre. Intending to milk him of all she could.

Her mewls and moans in perfect harmony of his grunts and growls. Fingernails dug into flesh. Teeth scraped against neck and collarbones. Hips danced against the other. Trying to take equally against the other. Her legs tightened around his waist as her heels dug into his butt cheeks urging him deeper and deeper inside her. Incoherently mumbling harder and faster. He grunting ascent as she picked up the pace. Not caring that the sheets slipped off the bed leaving both exposed to an unsuspecting interloper.

Their sweat mingled, the air heady with the scent of sex, their mouths duelled furiously. Then Hermione felt her insides coil, she felt as a wound toy, ready to be let go to race. Her hands gripped into his arms, drawing blood as her walls clamped fiercely onto his sceptre, grabbing hold with possessive alacrity. He reached between their bodies with one hand searching for her now engorged clit.

Her high pitched wails matched with the ferocity of her fingers scrabbling for something to grip onto, wishing for once, she had claws. Sweat dripped down his brow and landed on her lips – she darted her tongue out to taste him.

“My beautiful!” he grunted as he felt his own sac tighten – he rubbed her clit with his thumb whilst squeezing with his fingers. Her legs shook beside him, momentarily she stilled. Then...

“AL! AL! AL! AL-O-Y-SIUS!”

“HERMIONE!” he yelled triumphantly as his seed shot out, filling her.

He stayed in as he collapsed, utterly boneless, onto her quivering but excited body. Scabior did not care that he could be crushing Hermione. It was her that had to be gentle as she endeavoured to extricate him from her person. His now flaccid state allowed him to leave her body. Panting with effort as he rolled on his back. He found himself staring up at the intricate ceiling whilst she turned on her side, resting her hand underneath her cheek to observe him.

“What do you want from me?” she whispered as she circled her fingers lazily on his bulging forearms.

“Just you, love,” he said as he threw an arm around her waist pulling her into his embrace. “What did ya think I wanted?”

“Nothing,” she answered softly. Gingerly she crept her hand further along his body, eventually it came to rest on his chest – her fingers twirling his chest hairs. “Why me?”

“What's that?”

“Why me?”

“You are pure – in some respects – a blank canvas. Untainted. Loyal. Beautiful. You have magic eyes, did ya know that? They can be as tawny as an eagles, deep brown as damp earth and golden as lions fur. Your hair might look dull at a distance but when the light hits it you have gold, red, and flecks of black within. Hidden depths and shades that would take a lifetime to memorise. Why you, Hermione?” he turned his head, tilted her chin up with his still come covered middle finger, making her look into his eyes: “Because you are my Earth Queen – my Persephone.”

“That would make you the devil,” she whispered, lowering her gaze shyly.

“That it does, darling,” he chuckled as he kissed the top of her head. Wandlessly and wordlessly he summoned the sheets to cover them up and tucked her in his arms. “That it most certainly does.”

Before long the two unusual lovers were in a blissful, sated, slumber.

 

*Like the devil

 

 

Chapter Text

Silver Lioness's portrait.

 

A Genteel Rebellion

 

After that night, Hermione was no longer left alone by anyone. Ninny managed to fatten her up and build her strength up. Narcissa kept breezing in at half three in the afternoon for a tête-à-tête, helped along by pots of tea and a tray filled with savoury and sweet finger food. Whatever Narcissa found to talk to her about Hermione could only imagine. Then one afternoon she sighed and turned to her charge.

“What is the matter, Cissa?” Hermione never liked mentioning her by name but her 'hostess' insisted. Narcissa had rose elegantly from her seat in a rush, whereupon she bustled over to the window, looking out on the driveway where the Dark Lord was Apparating. “HE wishes to see you but first I must speak to you of a matter of importance.”

Hermione straightened her pale lilac acromantula silk robes made for her by Madame Dentelle - a High End Witches couturière from France – who now held permanent residence in Malfoy Manor. Only for the reason that Hermione may be presented in a permanent state of perfection at every little gathering the young witch was forced to attend. Otherwise her friends below would suffer, that was why she had not attempted an escape. She may have been granted her wand but the wards on the Manor limited its use.

“Pray, Cissa, what is on your mind?”

“I want you to tell me why my sister could have made a fuss over the possibility of you and your... companions... could have been in her vault?”

“I have no clue, madam,” Hermione said.

She had learnt fast, Narcissa could give her that. Miss Granger's ability to adapt would have made her a wonderful Slytherin. Goodness knows her son's exam results could have benefited if she was a member of their noble house. Still, now the Dark Lord had been summoned, Narcissa had to work those treacherous musings out of her head. Hermione rightly supposed her life of comfort would be over. Unless she betrayed her friends, that was something she could never do.

“I am an Occlumens and a Legilimens,” Narcissa said calmly as if she was remarking on the weather. “You know what that means do you not?”

“You could just rummage around in my brain to find out what we are all up to?” Hermione surmised.

“Just so, Hermione, our Lord is a powerful Legilimens, few can withstand him. You are far better just confessing to me.”

 “So you can inform him and...”

“My son, Hermione, is hating being at school now. I will not delve further into that particular matter,” she soothed her dress skirts. “It is a safe presumption that you are working on a way to end the war once and for all, are you not?”

Hermione nodded, not daring herself to speak. How bad was this going to be? How was she going to take it? Would her friends call her a traitor? She had been in the lap of luxury for a month now, it was April the 15th and there was something in the air that Hermione could not put her finger on. She watched the elegant blonde witch as all her own thoughts were whirling in her mind, a tempest of what-ifs and should I's battled against the shores of common sense. Narcissa smiled at Hermione and glided up to her, suddenly Hermione thought of Morticia Adams – in the end Morticia also loved her children even though she was darkly inclined.

“You want to help, do you not?” Hermione gasped.

Narcissa lowered her lashes and silently nodded: “My son is all Lucius and I will ever have. We tried years before him you know. No amount of potions or hospital visits could help. Do not think Lucius hates Arthur for his politics, the reality is intricately more complex than that.”

“Arthur and Molly, though poor, has managed to have seven magically strong and healthy children,” Hermione sighed. “My parents share that trial with you and Lucius. I am all they could ever have too – I took that away from them to protect them.”

Narcissa had been informed of Hermione's decision and execution of her of her parents memories. Lucius hushed her to sleep that night. Both had sworn to reunite her with her parents the night after the war had ended. “I have many reasons why I want this war to end but Draco's safety is my overall concern.”

“Understandable.”

Hermione chewed her lower lip, earning an eye-roll from her hostess. It would take longer to stop her guest of that habit, Narcissa sighed as she thought of how much more effort would go into refining Hermione. Yet, she smiled, she had mastered so much already. It was not the girl's fault she was birthed in the gutter. Some, she conceded, deserved to be at Hogwarts. This one did, she was still on the fence about Lily Evans. The woman could have had the finest mind wrapped in a delicious package for a husband but she stupidly fell into Potter's arms. There was a touch more class to Miss Granger than there ever was to Lily Evans.

“I wish to protect Draco. I do not want the Dark Lord to win. So if it is in my power to assist, I wish to do all I can towards that venture.”

Hermione prided herself on being able to read people. If Lucius was sitting here she may have doubted but she could and would not doubt the words of a mother in desperation for her only child.

“I do not know where the sword came from,” she said. “However, I am well aware how hard it is to steal from Gringotts. I am hailed as the Brightest Witch of my Age – yet I am not suicidal,” Narcissa smirked at that comment. “I want to live. I want to be able to be a mother myself someday,” she sighed as she put a small lemon and lime Battenburg in her mouth with a sip of earl grey. “A wand oath, Narcissa, then I will tell you.”

Narcissa nodded in agreement of the wand vow codicil, pleased the young witch showed a modicum of practicality about her. Gracefully Narcissa swished her wand out of her fine dress sleeve and moved it in circular motions in the air smiling when the tip began to glow.

“I, Narcissa Malfoy, do hereby consent to this wand oath set by Hermione J Granger.”

Hermione followed the movements Narcissa made and when her wand tip glowed Hermione gazed into Narcissa's eyes: “I, Hermione J Granger; do swear Mrs Narcissa Malfoy, to secrecy involving the activities pertaining to Hermione J Granger, Harry J Potter and Ronald B Weasley. She must protect the three bound by this oath. Does Narcissa Malfoy agree to these terms?”

Narcissa arched an eyebrow impressed with how the brunette witch worded her oath. Basically forcing her to protect the sons of her mortal and dead enemies.

“I consent to the terms of the oath set by Hermione J Granger,” Narcissa said confidently.

The wands both glowed green as the Oath took form in their cores.

“Now I have protected myself and my friends I shall tell you,” Hermione smoothed her skirt over. “The Dark Lord has been dabbling in the darkest of magic, discovered by Herpo the Foul. At school he enquired of Slughorn what Horcruxes were. He killed a Ravenclaw Muggleborn to make his first Horcrux – the diary. The diary you planned to plant on Harry. Instead Lucius decided to be pettier than usual and swapped it for Ginny's own diary instead. Harry destroyed it with a basilisk fang, the same basilisk was destroyed by a Phoenix and the sword. Gryffindor, a warrior wizard, imbued the sword with the power to soak in anything that would make it a more formidable weapon. Now the sword is a way to destroy other Horcruxes. The Gaunt family ring. The locket of Salazar Slytherin – something of Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws and we suspect Nagini too.”

Narcissa sucked in her breath over this succinct but clear history lesson. Her eyes widened in surprise. If Nagini held a piece of the Dark Lord's soul...? No one was strong enough or brave enough to get near that unnatural serpent.

“Would it surprise you to learn I dated a Ravenclaw before I married Lucius?”

“No it would not,” Hermione said, “it would make more sense than you dating a Hufflepuff.”

Narcissa smiled a little: “Quite, my Ravenclaw often spoke to the Grey Lady, apparently she would tell anyone who would listen, that she was killed at dastardly hands by a power hungry wretch of a wizard. I was telling some friends of mine this in our common room when the Bloody Baron floated over to my group.”

Hermione leant forward eager to hear what Narcissa had to say: “Did that frighten you?”

“Oh no, he's a perfect gentleman when you get to know him,” Narcissa insisted. “He filled me in on how he died. Helena died because she was the power hungry wretch, the Bloody Baron just wanted her home.”

“Helena as in...” Hermione's eyes were like saucers. “As in Helena Ravenclaw... what did she...”

“Her mother had a diadem. It would impart natural knowledge to all those who wore it,” Narcissa said.

Hermione was stunned: “Where did this take place?”

“Albania.”

“Quirrell,” Hermione breathed.

“Pardon,” Narcissa blinked thoroughly confused.

“Professor Quirrell,” Hermione said. “He told Harry he met the Dark Lord's spirit in Albania he was there to... to check on... Which means that the Diadem could be in the school and I think I know where. What did Hufflepuff have that was of importance?”

“She was the fecund one. She liked to provide good food and wine. She was the carer of the children so she would have some vessel that could...”

“A CUP of course,” Hermione cried. There was a permanent silencing charm in this room considering how often Scabior had visited her. “Hufflepuff had the Cornucopia Cup! Hogwarts: a History, you have yet to fail me!”

Narcissa chuckled at how excited the young witch had suddenly become. Well, she was happy now at least. The girl was now hurriedly pacing in the room.

“Well, HE gave the diary to you to look after, is it possible HE'D trust Bellatrix with something else?”

“Like what?” Narcissa sighed.

“Like Hufflepuffs cup. The diadem is most likely at the school,” Hermione was thinking. “Nagini is near him and will not be destroyed easily.”

“What do you suggest we do?”

“Rabastan has been flirting with me. Do you think he'd destroy the cup with Fiendfyre or the sword if it still...”

“We have it still,” Narcissa assured her.

Hermione's smile became a mile wide and her eyes sparkled prettily in her excitement. “If I promised Rabastan he could sleep with me do you think that he would destroy the cup?”

“Hmm, he may require something more from the way he cannot stop talking about how his petit minou is just the most beautiful thing he could see.”

“What would he desire?”

“The Lestrange name is in danger,” Narcissa said. “I could get Severus to brew the Fecundus potion to ensure your pregnancy...”

"Not sure,” Hermione faltered.

Logically the protein and carb potions she has been drinking to supplement her food and increase her appetite must have been made by Severus, she was still a little doubtful over his loyalties. Although she was not certain he is as black-hearted as Harry was determined to make himself out to be. Her weight had come back to what it was before they snatched the locket.

“Rabastan is dreaming of fulfilling what his brother could not with Bella.”

Hermione visibly shuddered at the thought of Bellatrix being a mother. It was a stretch to imagine the woman as anything remotely human.

“If this is the price I have to pay to end the war then so be it,” Hermione sighed.

“You welcome Scabior to your bed, Rabastan has more genteel manners about him,” Narcissa said primly. “You need to be worshipped by a proper Pureblood.”

Shaking her head with amusement Hermione glanced again at Narcissa. “Could I ask Harry to come up here, please? Allow him to get back to the school. I will explain to him our reasoning.”

Narcissa nodded: “Yes, I shall arrange that the moment you begin to charm to Rabastan.”

“Fine,” Hermione sighed. “Ninny!”

“How cans Ninny serves Mistress?” the elf bowed low.

“Could you please bring Mr Rabastan Lestrange to my quarters.”

“Straights here or...?”

“Walk him to the door, propriety must be observed,” Hermione said, to Narcissa's approval.

“Ninny hears and obeys.”

Moments later Ninny was standing outside with a bemused and sleep ruffled Rabastan. The Dark Lord had not called him to his side yet. Thank goodness for that, as he was uncertain over how he felt about the cause now. Azkaban was bad enough the first time around and he did not wish to be kissed. The thought made him shudder with fear.

Hermione opened the door and allowed him in her chambers now empty of Narcissa: “Miss Granger, you are looking well,” Rabastan bowed and planted a kiss on her proffered hand. “What do you wish for me, mon petit minou?”

Hermione blushed a little. To be considered a kitten was always a turn-on for her, but to hear it spoken in deep bass French... did soak her knickers a little.

“Rabastan, I have a proposition for you,” she said as she directed him further into the room. Ninny, a strict elf, stood in the shadows making sure bad wizard treated her mistress with respect. “How are your feelings for a pro-Dark Lord world?”

“Not favourable, Miss Granger,” Rabastan said as he crossed his legs and sank back in the dark violet velvet seat. He looked like he was a King. “I value my mind. I regret many things. One of those was torturing the Longbottoms. Believe it or not, Rod and I wanted to just scare them a little, most of the torture was caused by the madness of Bellatrix and her protégé, Barty Crouch Jr.”

“I believe you,” she said as she glanced at how sane he was after Azkaban. Sirius said that was proof of innocence.

“We believe the Dark Lord has given your sister in law something of his to hide in your vault. It is a Founders Artefact. One that was innocent. Helga was a carer, a mother earth creature, that is why her banner is the Badger. The witch imbued a golden cup that was able to multiply whatever food or liquid it held. A cornucopia for the masses for a time when food was scarce amongst the poor. It is placed in the Lestrange vault and...”

“You wish me to retrieve said item and destroy it do you not?”

Hermione nodded: “It is a Horcrux and can be destroyed by only two methods, Basilisk venom or Fiendfyre.”

“Hmm,” he tapped his thin but sensual lips with the tips of his elegant middle fingers. “What is in it for me?”

“I am aware your line will die with you and Rodolphus,” Hermione said seriously. “If you destroy the cup of Hufflepuff, it would not only earn you your freedom for I would guarantee it – as your prize – I am of fertile age. I am aware there is a frisson between us. I would proudly carry the child of my chevalier noir.”

Rabastan smirked, his sea green eyes darkened lustily at the witch before him. “Only if you marry me,” he said. “You must take a potion that ensures pregnancy,” he said. “Severus can brew one up – it will take 24hrs,” Hermione nodded. “I also want proof of pregnancy before I risk my life for this venture.”

“I agree but I must also have some sort of insurance on you too,” Hermione said as she gracefully sat down in the matching chair opposite Rabastan's constantly smirking face.

“What sort of insurance, minou?”

“I must see the cup with my own eyes before I allow you in my bed, Rabastan.”

“It will be done as soon as possible,” he said. “Pleasure doing business with you,” he rose from his seat. Hermione gulped as she saw how dangerously closely he resembled a cheetah due to the confidence of his swift long legged strides. “Good day, my future Lady Lestrange,” he smirked and winked at her as she tried to control her sexual impulses.

Where the hell was Scabior when she needed him?


Meanwhile, down in the dungeons, Narcissa briefly admired the lean body of Dean Thomas appreciatively licking her lips. With a sad sigh, the blonde slowly turned her head to look at Harry, who was not bad looking in his own right. She was thrilled that her promise to treat the prisoners well paid off in aesthetics.

With the assurance that they were fed good food three times a day made Ron happy at least. Harry stubbornly refused to eat at first. After seeing how well Dean, Luna, Ollivander, and Ron looked he caved in. His dreams were still haunted by images of Ginny lying motionless in the puddle of water contracting hypothermia. He was nonplussed about why Narcissa was here.

“I must admit,” she spoke quietly. “That we have underestimated you and Miss Granger, Mr Potter. Especially Miss Granger...”

Harry scowled. She may be Sirius cousin but she despised him and Harry found no reason to trust the woman. “Hermione better be unharmed!”

“She is sitting in a boudoir, wearing the finest of dresses, looked after by her own house-elf and we converse freely all the time. Miss Granger is a wonderful witch, a daughter I would have been proud to carry in this world.”

Harry and Ron exchanged bemused glances mixed with light frowns marring their brows.

“What is she doing?” Harry asked.

“Negotiating with us on how to help win the war,” Narcissa said cryptically. “She has asked for Mr Potter to be delivered to her room. So when an elf named Ninny comes, she will take you...”

Just then Ninny popped by Harry's side offering a little smile at the Boy Who Lived.

“Mistress friend Harry must comes.”

Without a chance for him to say no Ninny took hold of Harry's hand and snapped her fingers. Before long he found himself in a sumptuously decorated Teal set of rooms. Hermione appeared resplendent wearing a shimmering set of lilac robes that brought out her beautiful brown eyes. The colour immediately made his heart ache for Ginny.

“Harry,” she welcomed warmly, hugging him close to her. Good to her promise, Narcissa had kept Bellatrix at bay and he looked pretty good. “How are you?”

“Hermione,” Harry warned. “Mrs Malfoy has already told us you have been negotiating, what have you done?”

A little smirk graced her lips and Harry shuddered. She had become almost Slytherin-esque in his absence. “Have you ever heard of Mata Hari?” she asked.

“Can't say I have,” Harry shrugged his shoulders.

“Ah,” she led Harry to a light blue silk wing backed chair by the fire she invited him to sit with an ecumenically graceful gesture. “Well, she was a spy who used her body to get powerful men to spill their secrets. An intelligent woman nonetheless,” Hermione smiled. “I have been on the receiving end of Rabastan's charms for over a month now and have decided to utilise this in our favour. I can give him what HE cannot!”

“You do know HE'S here, HE can sense me here too.”

Hermione nodded. “I shall just have to explain when the war is won then,” she said. “Ninny,” Hermione whispered.

Ninny popped back into the room: “How may Is serve Mistress?”

“Please take Harry Potter to Hogwarts where he will find what once was lost but can be found if one wishes three times as hard for it to be discovered... He must then enter serpents lair with the object in hand allowing poison to seep out what should not be.”

Harry's eyes shot up into his hairline: “That sounds like something Luna would say!”

“What house is Luna in?”

“Ravenclaw but...”

“Seek the Gray Lady,” she sighed. “Then destroy what must be where what we fight for may be won.”

Harry nodded as he puzzled out what his sister had said to him. Hermione had brought out her beaded bag and offered him the map and the invisibility cloak: “I wish you could come with me,” he sighed.

“Do not sway from the course. Do not be distracted. I do not care what you see – you must remain as on point as you are when seeking the snitch, got it?”

“Yes Hermione,” he said. “Believe me, I know what is at stake here.” Images of Ginny's blood ridden body floated in front of him. Hermione was right – this was not the time for hot-headed recklessness. “I will do my best, Hermione.”

“That is all anyone can do.”

A few hours later Rabastan was back with the cup and Professor Snape whose own eyes widened at the state of Miss Granger. She stood as proudly as any Pureblood. She even had her own house-elf for pity's sake. Lucius was dressing her up and why was she acting like she owned the place? Severus could sense Narcissa's hand in this. He shook his head a little...

It was then he learnt finally to never underestimate a know-it-all.

 

 

Chapter Text

Sofia L'or

"L'ombre précédant l'aube”

 

Hermione sighed with relief at the sight of the cup of plenty dangling from a cocky dark grey wizard who was now making no attempt to cover the fact that he was undressing her with his heated gaze. She swapped her glance to Severus who was appraising her, perhaps also wishing he could strike some sort of deal with Rabastan. Hermione was surprised at her own visceral reaction to the two dark powerful wizards checking her out. The fact that she also had her bit of rough in the form of the definitely well-endowed land Gypsy made Hermione wonder briefly where that rule follower was? Mata Hari eat your heart out, she smirked inwardly as she coyly lowered her lashes to the floor, her head on a slight tilt to affect the air of a coquettish Pureblood Princess.

Severus was practically licking his lips at the thought of this Miss Granger wrapped around his waist as he pumped his 8 inches of virility into her making her shout his name as his fingers were disguised by her curls. Hot breaths falling onto naked shoulders as his arms held her firmly in place. Oh he could kick himself. He had yet to learn his lesson it seemed. It seemed he had a type. Gryffindor Muggleborn Princesses. For that was how she seemed in her sumptuous chambers and luxurious robes. Hair styled to perfection, taming those curls that fell in soft waves around her now sharply angled countenance. Her dewy lips were no longer the child's pout but a woman's smile. Then her eyes – Gods had he ever seen her eyes truly? For they were sparkling like darkest topaz against ebony circles that he was certain, held the galaxy.

She stood a woman. A witch. A witch HE had helped mould, teach and guide. If he had ever hated teaching he forgot it in that moment. Pride overtook his heart as it beat hard against his chest. He was speechless in her angelic glory.

“Miss Granger,” he finally gasped. “I barely recognised you.”

To this she arched an eyebrow: “Finally,” she smiled playfully. “You see a difference in me?”

“Forgive my cruelty to you, Miss Granger, that remark was childish and petty,” he stepped closer towards her and raised her hand in his, bowing and she gasped as his feathery touch sent scalding shocks down to her core. His lips brushed against her knuckles as his eyes kept a hold on hers. “Miss Granger, I am your humble servant, what would you have me do?”

Her mouth became dry: Take me on this bed, now! Was her hearts desire. Her mind, however, reminded her of her own advice to Harry. Not to allow distractions to sway him from the course. Little did she know that Harry was more focused than she at this moment in time. What was wrong with her? Since Scabior had released her sensuality she seemed to be lusting after men like she had been freed from some sort of prison and was quenching her parched heart.

“Did Rabastan bring you here, Headmaster?” she gulped down. Where was water, she needed Severus flavoured water immediately. “He was not...”

“A house-elf claiming to be yours came to fetch me.”

Hermione blushed as she remembered her ill-fated attempt at freeing the little things – she still held great fondness for them and wished their circumstances and employment choices were better than they were. Since her bonding to Ninny though, she had endeavoured to research all she could about Elf Lore before making a decision on campaigning for their ultimate freedom. Ninny was a mine of information. Hermione loved writing down notes and if there was no book on them – she would damn well write the bloody thing herself.

“Ninny,” Hermione sighed warmly. “She chose me the way my wand did and now I understand the truth of them.”

“Your intelligence was never in question, Miss Granger, neither was your passion. It was innovation and refusal to seek things of your own making that stopped you from...”

“Yes yes,” Rabastan rolled his eyes finally managing to get an in. Slowly the two academics swerved their gazes to him as if startled he was there at all. So lost in each others faces. “I have retrieved the item you wished for, mon petit minou.

“Right,” she said, swapping the demeanour of a coy maiden to a woman of purpose. “Professor Snape, I am in need of a potion. One that ensures fertility.”

“May I ask why?” he arched an eyebrow.

“I have entered into a deal with Rabastan,” was all she would say.

“The fertility potion requires the semen of the man who wishes to become your child's father,” Professor Snape said. “It takes 24hrs to brew and it is not exactly something encouraged in the halls of Hogwarts, as you know from your days as a Prefect. It may also not be required at all if you allowed a Healer to check your ovarum for signs of eggs and...”

“I have a family Healer – the soul of discretion – one that has never been afraid to speak her mind even to Bellatrix.”

“I suppose that is best,” Hermione sighed. “Would Healers...”

“The semen is the final product of the potion, many carry free vials for couples who have tried other more natural methods...” Hermione sighed at Professor Snape's frank statement.

“As my mother and her mother before her had problems with reproducing I fear I may too,” she sighed as she looked down on the carpet. “Fine, call the Lestrange Healer. If I am to join your family then I should become acquainted with the witch or wizard.”

Rabastan nodded as he walked over to her fireplace and grabbed her Floo powder to call their French Healer.

Professor Snape took her arm gently and led her to the farthest end of the room and cast a Muffliato: “What do you mean by negotiating with Rabastan Lestrange?”

“I am sorry I do not comprehend the question,” she said calmly.

“No need to become precious around me, Miss Granger,” Snape hissed. “What could you have possibly meant by such a... such a...”

Hermione giggled and her eyes turned to the view outside – the evening drawing in – the white peacocks miniscule but strutting nonetheless, the formal gardens bathed in rosy pink hues of spring twilight. Her mirth still evident in her shaking shoulders and the sparkle in her eyes.

“Only what I have to do to survive,” she said.

Severus faltered as he reached across with his hand and tenderly swept an errant curl behind her ear as he kept his gaze firmly locked on hers: “Gods you're amazing, witch!” he exclaimed before crushing his lips to hers taking her off guard immediately as she allowed him to passionately sweep her off her feet. “Absolutely incredible,” he swooped in for another kiss.

Hermione quickly checked where Rabastan was before allowing herself to drown in his arms. To be finally noticed and accepted as a woman was wonderful. To be noticed by such a clever and noble wizard (for Narcissa had informed her of the Unbreakable Vow,) was unadulterated intoxication.

She wished they could finish what they started but by then Rabastan had finished with the Healer and she was stepping through. Severus broke the kiss slowly momentarily burying his nose in the base of her neck and sniffing in all he could of her allowing that to fuel his fantasies should he require it. It was clear to him now that a witch like Hermione came every 19 years.

“The healer is here,” Hermione said.

Severus swiped the wand in a determined finite incantatem, they stepped further into the room where they found Rabastan stood next to a diminutive French witch about Severus age, with curly red-hair, green eyes, small round face almost covered in freckles. She looked to be about Hermione's weight and build. Severus heart was in his throat, yes he had just eulogised over Hermione in his mind, but here was a cross between Lily and Hermione. Her twinkling green eyes appraised him and the deep dimples affected Severus deeply.

Bonjour, Madamoiselle, (1)” the witch curtsied sweetly. “Je m'appelle Sofia L'or, je suis ton infirmière. (2)”

“Bonjour, mon infirmière (3). Je m'appelle Madamoiselle Granger, parlez vous anglais Madamoiselle L'or? (4)”

“Oui, (5)” the nurse giggled. “Désolé (6), I do speak the er, English.”

“Excellent,” Hermione smiled. “You were an attendant at Beauxbaton, yes?”

The nurse nodded, her cheeky grin still intact as her eyes slipped over to Severus Snape. Startled at how her heart sped as those night sky eyes settled on her and she blushed prettily in his awesome presence.

“Monsieur, are you Miss Granger's amour?”

“That would be me,” Rabastan said giving Snape a warning look.

“'Ence my services,” she winked as she walked up to Hermione. “C'est magnifique, Madamoiselle Granger, you are beautiful are you not.”

“Thank you, Nurse L'or.”

“Tut-tut, call me Sofia,” she smiled as she led Hermione to the bed. “What is it you er, require me for?”

“I am ready to be a mother and...”

“Oh très superb,” Sofia clapped her hands and twirled in the lime green robes redolent of all Healers around the world. “You have a mother energy – you are used to looking after others are you not?”

“I am indeed,” Hermione smirked as she and Snape swapped knowing glances.

“Bon, now you must lay back flat. No pillows,” she threw them aside allowing Hermione to rest evenly. “I must raise the, er skirts, of your robe 'igher so that I can inspect properly, oui?”

Hermione raised her robes up revealing smooth shapely legs that seemed to go on forever as they were finally hitched over her waist, the healer sanitised her hands with muggle hand sanitiser before placing germ repellent gloves on her hands.

“How long will this take?” Hermione asked.

“Half-an-hour at most,” Sofia said as she brought her wand out – a beautiful silver birch, then she chanted diagnostic spells Hermione had never heard before. Suddenly she felt a twinge in her abdomen and stomach. “Good,” she muttered, her wand tip glowed a clear white light indicating nothing was wrong. “You have been cursed by evil,” she said with no intent of an answer – quill and parchment rolled out of her bag and bobbed in the air besides the small nurse and jotted down notes of interest. “Ah, the fallopians,” she tapped one side of her stomach the wand glowed blue, “hmm,” the witch tapped the other side, the wand came back blue. “Not pregnant yet but I can tell you have been sexually active for at least three years, correct?” Hermione blushed. “Non, you are a pretty witch, you can surely 'ave all the men you desire, yes?”

“I doubt it,” Hermione sighed. “I am an insufferable know-it-all who lives in a library both mentally and physically.”

“Nonsense, you are vital. You are brave, the cœuer de lion resides in you. A strong heart, and good lungs. You are 'ealthy in complexion, so a little less pâtisseries oui?”

Hermione blushed again as she was always conscious of her weight. Something her great aunt inspired in her. Her father's aunt was minor nobility though to hear her talk you'd think she would be the next queen and she had always despaired of her gawkish great niece.

Sofia proceeded to bring out a clear looking potion and looked at Hermione: “If the men could er, turn their backs for a minute,” embarrassed suddenly, Severus and Rabastan stepped back towards the fire and sat in the chairs their backs to the bed, Severus cast a silencing charm around them. “Perfect,” she said. “I am going to need some er, urine,” Sofia whispered. “This potion allows the function,” Hermione nodded as she conjured a bowl, drank the potion as Sofia was busying herself with pipettes and another potion, Hermione flushed with embarrassment as she looked awkward after having pee'd in the same room as a Death Eater, an ambiguously loyal to the light Headmaster, and the pretty little nurse. “Not to worry it is natural.”

Hermione watched as Sofia gathered some urine in a pipette and squeezed it into the clear vial in her other hand and set it on the bedside table for the acids to emulsify and fizz. Sofia read over her notes so far and then after five minutes talk of her family – how they had connections to the Malfoy family through some Ancestor over 1,000 years ago. She chattered about her upbringing, she had a squib sister. Once the potion had stopped fizzing and hissing Sofia picked it up and swished her wand over the vial, the liquid changed to green. Sofia smirked.

“Well, I see no problem with you being able to conceive tonight,” she winked. “You have the potential to be a mother to – are their twins in your family?”

“My dad's side,” Hermione said.

“Bon, well, either the dark curse that hit you increased your fertility or you are just naturellement fertile.”

The silencing charm had faded. Rabastan jumped up from his seat and walked over to Hermione and Sofia: “So she is...”

“Yes, but if you are in a 'urry,” Sofia winked, “'ere is the potion that makes it a certainty.”

Rabastan took the phial. Sofia glanced at Hermione again and then took her eyes to the enigmatic dark man by her employer: “Thank you, Healer L'or,” he bowed to her and offered his hand to hers as they touched they jolted as they each felt electric sparks zing down their arms into their bodies. Quickly Severus withdrew his hand much to Sofia's disappointment, “Earl and the future Lady Lestrange of Châteaux Lestrange, will be forever in your debt for your prompt assessments.”

“It is what I am paid for, Monsieur,” she smiled as she grabbed his hand and drew through the crook of his arm. “As we are no longer needed let us go – I find myself much intrigued by you.”

Rabastan smirked playfully as he watched someone he considered a younger brother, walk off into the fireplace with the Lestrange personal Healer. Thus, leaving him alone with Hermione.

“Right,” Rabastan said bouncing on his heels. “Which door leads to your en-suite bathroom?”

“That one,” Hermione said shyly pointing at the one nearer her bed.

“Be right back,” he winked and clicked his tongue cheekily at her causing her to flush. “Oh, Hermione,” he said. “You do realise that scruffian Scabior is no longer permitted to join you in your bed. That spot is mine now.”

Hermione sank on the bed and tried not to sulk. Some perverse part of her really loved being a rapscallions lover. It made her feel rebellious – like a, well, like a teenager wanting to date the local rock star. Now she was finally ready to explore her sexuality more she had tied herself into a deal with the youngest Lestrange. She had a feeling he would want her all for himself. Rabastan came out of the bathroom about fifteen minutes later presenting her with the now complete Fecundus Potion.

“Cheers,” she said raising it with the same poise she would for a glass of champagne.

Hermione swallowed it down in one go. Suddenly she her insides bubble, her stomach cramped a little and then she relaxed. She turned to Rabastan assessing him with a look of pure adoration. She slunk off the bed and as the potion had injected her with hormones and Rabastan was a luscious candidate for the taking.

“What is it you call me?” Hermione murmured huskily whilst nibbling the softest part of his ear.

Rabastan wrapped his arms around her waist and buried his nose in the depths of her now languid curls. “Mon petit minou,” he groaned as he sniffed her in.

“Then I challenge you, Rabastan Lestrange, to turn me into a cat!”

“Gladly,” he growled as he began attacking her neck with his sensual lips. “You are my bride, Hermione, no one is going to stop me!”

With that he backed her onto the bed, where the edge of the mattress met the crook of her knees. Yielding easily as she elegantly fell on top of the mattress taking Rabastan with her. He laughed before crushing his lips to hers both shocked at the zings of electricity or magical current that seemed to course through both their veins ending in his pants and her crotch before splitting to travel down their legs and toes.

“Was that the potion or...?”

“I do not know, minou, but I am going to think it is divine providence that has allowed us to get this far!”

Before she could question what he meant he grabbed hold of her wand; immediately he vanished their clothes, they were both too impatient to do a strip tease for each other. Once naked she curled her legs around his waist digging her heels into his tight, firm butt-cheeks and began sensually to rock and grind her hips against his. Hermione had never felt the need she now felt for him as his slippery wand began poking tentatively at her entrance, wishing for permission to be granted before he entered. Because this was their first time together he decided to make it easier on her and reached a hand between their bodies.

Hermione's gasp echoed around the room as he thrust his fingers deep into her channel that had already gathered her own essence. Helpfully lubricating her, as he pumped them in and out, matching them to the rhythm of her gasps and the thrust of her hips. She'd swallow his whole hand if he let her. With his thumb he began coaxing her clit as it began to swell with desire. Hermione sought out his rod and began to pump him for all he was worth, soothing around the bulbous head and down the shaft, twisting her wrist to create a different sensation. When her fingernails scraped his sac he swore in French before gazing down at her – her hair in wild dis-array – definitely not a style Cissa would approve of – her eyes practically black with desire. Her bottom lip pouted, slightly dewy with the juice from her mouth. Hermione's panting increased as her legs tightened around his waist but before she could come he withdrew his fingers and removed her hand from his own prominent arousal.

“Ready?” he asked.

Speechless with unfulfilled desire, it was all Hermione could do to nod. Drool dripped from the corner of her mouth where he bent down to lick – he poked his tongue inside her mouth, rimming along the edge of her teeth. She opened her mouth wider to allow him access. He plunged his tongue deep inside as a demonstration of what was to come. His hands stroked up and down her curves, brushing along her breasts, his thumbs circled her erect nipples as they did her clit below causing her to arch forward in his capable hands. Her own rendered useless as she had flung her arms akimbo, her fingers fisting into the turquoise, purple and pink bedsheets. Rabastan stopped kissing and stroking her to a disappointed mewl, Hermione pouted, he groaned deep within. With his hand he parted her legs further apart and sat up on his haunches inspecting her ruffled state.

“Perfect!” he declared.

He gripped his now punishing hard-on, aligned it to her entrance, and smirked crookedly which only served to make Hermione moan: “Rabbie, please,” she almost cried with frustration.

Without mercy he pushed deep within her, allowing her walls to caress, throb and close in on him, clamping him tight to her. Together they began frantically searching for that high, that moment of completion. Panting, thrusting, grunting, groaning, mewling,and keening as their dance between the sheets rose to sweaty, passionate, heated movements. Any pretence at this being just a negotiation were torn asunder as his hips clashed against hers. Her nails gripped into his flesh. He lunged particularly hard into her, she bit into his neck and suckled the spot as his muscles tightened and coiled around her. She felt her abdomen twist inside. Sweat mingled with hot breath as they continued their passions embrace.

He leaned down to suckle on her nipple for something to do. The grazing of his teeth sent a spark down to her core as her grip on him become a vice-like clamp. His fingers reached between their slick bodies again: “RAB! RAB! RAB!” she began to chant in a high pitched voice.

“Minou, mon minou, mon petit minou!” he grunted with a thrust gritting his teeth together. “Come for me, come for me, that's it girl. Come for me, you're mine now, mine, only mine...”

His head flopped down so his chin rested in the dip of his collarbone as he tried to gather his breath. She rocked her hips and buried him all the way she could. Enjoying the feel of her clit being toyed with between his knowledgable thumb and forefinger, whilst hers cupped his balls. Coaxing his seed. Her body gushed as he pushed into her. Both screamed in exquisite joy their pet names for each other!

At the shock of their completion, they collapsed in a heap on the bed panting onto each other's necks. Goose-pimples began to form on their arms and shoulders. He waited for his ardour to cool whilst he had finished shooting seed into her, making sure it stayed inside her. He was boneless in his attempt to move as he covered their bodies over with the wrinkled silk and satin sheets. Contentedly the lovers drifted off in each others arms, far too weak to move, they stayed in the centre of the large bed.

Hermione clutched tightly onto him as she thought she saw something glint in the corner of her room. Not being able to care, she fell fast asleep with her new and now permanent lover, in her arms.

What the two lovers should have remembered however was …

… It is always darkest before the dawn!

 

 

 

 

Bonjour, Madamoiselle, (1) Good day, Miss.

“Je m'appelle Sofia L'or, je suis ton infirmière. (2)” I am called Sofia Gold, I am your nurse.

Bonjour, mon infirmière (3). Good day, my nurse.

Je m'appelle Madamoiselle Granger, parlez vous anglais Madamoiselle L'or? (4) I am called Miss Granger, can you speak English, Miss Gold?

“Oui, (5)” Yes

“Désolé (6)” Sorry

 

Chapter Text

Silver Lioness's portrait.

A Misinterpretation of Prophecy

 

Hermione awoke to the feel of cold steel against her throat. Rabastan was bound by Dolohov as Bellatrix cackled.

“A goat dressed as a lamb,” she whispered in Hermione's ear.

“I don't know what you are talking about!” Hermione gasped as she felt the flat edge of a crooked knife press against her throat. “Besides, you're a fine one to talk!”

Rabastan stood proud of her as he struggled in Dolohov's clutches. The dark square jawed Russian narrowed his slit like eyes at her, unsubtly hinting that he would like to sample her before Bellatrix kills her.

“I knew you were a whore,” Bella crooned as she stroked Hermione's hair as if petting her, she truly was psycho. If Hermione needed any proof of Rabastan's innocence it was right here. “You have had it easy for a month haven't you, you filthy Mudblood bitch!”

Rabastan began to fight against the bonds snarling at Bella. A cold voice entered the bedchamber that, slowly, Hermione began to love. Would still love.

“What is the meaning of this?” it said. The lights flared up in the room and Hermione paled as her gaze dropped on the tall unnatural form of Lord Voldemort. “Rabastan Lestrange, why did you not greet me on my arrival?”

“He was busy burying himself in a Mudbloods...”

“I can see and, indeed, scent the evidence of their activities in this room, Bellatrix,” Voldemort hissed. “Now, Rabastan, why were you engaged in vulgarities beneath you when you could have been in my presence?”

Somehow, Rabastan knew he had come to care for Hermione. He had made sure to treat her with respect before this night. He rescued her for a reason after all. He was tired of being alone. Tired of Rodolphus neglecting his duty to carry on the family line. Exhausted with the effort to pretend any more. He supposed it was true that in the presence of a good woman a man can only be inspired to improve if his intent was to love and be loved. Merlin did he want to be loved! Tonight, in Hermione's arms, he felt it.

“I decided to skip the bloodshed and seek out something far more pleasing to me.”

“Pleasing?” the Dark Lord tipped his head to one side as he swivelled his eyes on Hermione, pressed against Bellatrix' body with the knife still at her throat. She could not even gulp, let alone talk. “What is possibly pleasing about a child?”

“Forgive my flippancy, my Lord, but she is hardly a child. She is a woman in the eyes of the law in both worlds. She will be twenty next year. Not exactly insignificant, my Lord.”

Hermione tried to roll her eyes. What a time to choose to be brave, Lestrange, she wanted to say. Bellatrix now covered her mouth with her long pale ghostly hand. She could hardly breathe. How she wished she could claw or bite her – she dare not in the presence of Mr Short Fuse.

“Her blood is,” Bella hissed.

“OHO,” Rabastan chortled. Wiping fake tears of laughter with his shoulders as he could not with his hands. “IF you really believed in that Toujour Pur crap, Bellatrix, why did you not fulfil your part of the contract that our fathers drew up? You married at 17, Bella, you had plenty of time to have a child so don't you dare preach on your high horse!”

“My devotion is to our Lord.”

“Who required children from his faithful followers to teach and train,” the Dark Lord said. “Your brother-in-law makes quite the argument, Bella.”

“You advised me to prune what is poison in our family tree!” she screeched causing Hermione to wince.

“Ah yes, your half-blood niece with her half-breed mate,” he sneered, “and their cub...”

Hermione scowled. Any offspring of Tonks and Remus would count themselves lucky that their parents would be fun, loving, caring and sweet. Not that this mad bitch knew what any of that meant. Bellatrix pouted at her Lord, retaliating by digging her sharp nails into Hermione's skin. Tears began to form in her eyes due to the needle like pain they induced.

“I would rather have a half-breed child than let my family name whither into the dust as you have!” snarled Rabastan. Dolohov chuckled behind him as he whispered a cruel hex on the bones of his hostage's fingers. “I would rather...” before he could finish that statement Narcissa entered the room. Her wand alerted her, it was time to honour her oath. Narcissa had wished she had more time to form a plan.

“My Lord, what is going on?”

“I was about to ask the same of you, Mrs Malfoy,” Lord Voldemort purred. Narcissa was always a picture to gaze upon. When younger he had almost petitioned for her hand. They would have made a striking couple, at least her sanity was never called into question, “what is happening to the great houses of Black, Lestrange and Malfoy that a Mudblood is sleeping in the lap of luxury in the arms of a great scion of their house?”

“My Lord, we thought, Rabastan and I – that we could coax the truth out of the girl rather than torture her. Show her how kindness can be just as crushing as a Crucio when misplaced.”

“You intended to build her on a plinth only to knock it down in one fell swoop?” Lord Voldemort surmised.

“Indeed, my Lord.”

“How come I read a different scenario from your features Narcissa and Rabastan?”

“I swear, my Lord, we live only to see your vision and enlightenment reach the world,” Narcissa curtsied keeping her head gracefully down, only showing her eyes through her long eyelashes. “We wished to seduce Potters close friend to keep him controlled. I understood immediately that in order to keep him contained we must maintain good care of Miss Granger.”

“Hmm,” the Dark Lord considered this and snapped his fingers – Bellatrix's knife floated in the air into his hand where it seemed to belong. Hermione still dare not breath or fight. “Bellatrix let her go, I wish to question Miss Granger myself.”

With a huff of disgust, Bellatrix let go off of Hermione and sulked in a corner of her least favourite room in the Manor. Hermione gasped now for breath. The Dark Lord grinned as he glided over to her and sat beside her on the bed. In a nasty paradox of a father, he brushed her hair aside and smiled.

“I do not suppose you know where Potter is, Miss Granger?”

“Last I knew he was in the dungeons, is he not there now?”

“No, I went their earlier – a red-head boy that one could only assume to be a Weasley, jumped in front of that freaky Lovegood chit when I tried to torture her – he, I am sorry to say, is dead for his error!”

It took all of Hermione's will power not to cry. Not Ron. Her funny friend? The one she had a crush on since forever. The one who knew what her favourite sweets were. The one who bought her perfume? His goofy smile would be no more... she could only begin to wonder what Molly's reaction would be! She lowered her eyes and collected herself calmly before looking up and jutting her chin forward.

“He was always getting underfoot!” she said coldly.

“I can sense a darkness about you, Miss Granger,” he sighed. “Its just that I cannot overlook your filthy origins.”

“I am no longer in contact with my parents. We argued, they disowned me!”

“Indeed but that is not the core of the matter,” he sighed. “You cannot be Pureblooded. You will always be a blot on wizard-kind. However, if you are willing to birth Rabastan's bastard to carry on the family name, I suppose...” Hermione wisely kept silent through his musings.

“You always were able to talk a lot!” said a voice from the doorway.

“Mr Potter how kind of you to join us!”

Harry shared a look with Hermione and she shook her head: “Hermione please cover up,” he said with the confident air of a brother towards a wayward sister.

Hermione was about to do just as Harry required, when Dolohov used the heel of his boot to slip the sheets towards the floor his side, leering at her as she wondered now what to do. Rabastan wished he could cover her up but he was still held captive.

“I wish I could believe your story, Narcissa. It just does not seem right – too many things in this room suggest that you genuinely care about the girl's well-being and Rabastan would not be so afraid for her safety if it was a simple ruse to gain knowledge for my benefit.”

Narcissa gulped slightly. Hermione may not be warm with the witch but she had grown to admire her, the older witch bore things with such poise and fortitude that Hermione could not help but admire her. Even now, when she was close to being killed she was not trembling. I dated a Ravenclaw once, she had said. A colour in her cheeks. She clearly desired this Raven... hang on... Kingsley Shacklebolt had once mentioned dating a Slytherin... Wow, she thought about how sexy those two in their contrasts could be together.

Harry wondered where the cup was but had to get Hermione out of the room first. She could escape. He was meant to die. Snape had somehow found him, dragged him to his office poured some memories in a phial and shoved his face in the pensieve before the boy had a chance to breathe properly. It is of no surprise that Harry was shocked upon finding out that Snape was on Dumbledore's side still. Right now at Hogwarts the Headmaster had managed to surreptitiously sneak students out of the castle along with a pretty French Healer that looked as if she could be a future daughter of his and Ginny's. Some of the Order had been called. Neville was below helping to rescue his Luna.

It may have been the intention to fight at Hogwarts but somehow events had led towards Malfoy Manor. Draco had managed to convince a handful of Slytherins to come and stand up to their parents. Suddenly an almighty crash happened, alerting the Dark Lord to the attention of a battle going on in the grand halls and gardens of Malfoy Manor. His eyes blazed with fury as he glanced back at Hermione slightly lasciviously.

“Perhaps when I have won I may sample her delights for myself!”

“OVER MY DEAD BODY!” someone screamed. In ran Neville Longbottom holding his wand standing tall and proud. Hermione had never seen him so full of purpose. His next words filled her with nothing but love for her friend. “SHE'S FAR TOO GOOD FOR YOU, YOU MURDERING BASTARD!”


Bellatrix's eyes sparkled with joy. Neville gave chase and Bellatrix accepted the challenge. The battle had started – the school may be safe, but nothing could be said for the state of the Manor. Lucius was battling back to back with Andromeda Tonks – here to avenge the death of her husband. Remus was imprisoned in her home with a labouring Dora. She was here to fight in their stead.

“Funny Lucius,” Andie said. A hint of a smile in her light voice. “I thought I'd be duelling you not duelling with you!”

He pulled her down by her hand as a particularly nasty looking hex flew above their heads: “Lets just say I have been swayed by a rather stubborn, tenacious and wonderfully witty Muggleborn.”

She leapt over another incoming hex, he watched with nothing but love in his eyes. “You are amazing Andie,” he breathed, his silver eyes sparkled as his handsome face was open for the first time.

“Thank you, but despite what my sisters and parents think, I am still Pure! So it cannot be I that swayed you,” Lucius chuckled as he languidly blocked another hex from her.

“I don't suppose you have met,” Lucius sighed, “though you might have heard of her. Miss Granger,” he said. “Is the one who...”

Suddenly he stopped as he witnessed Bellatrix snarling at the sight of her traitorous sister still flirting with Lucius like she owned him. Her equally vile brother-in-law parrying back with twinkling innuendoes. She sent a Crucio to end all Crucio's at her sister's back. Lucius pushed Andromeda out of the way and took the curse himself. Andromeda fell down to Lucius' side, she started to cry until the toe caps of black dragon hide boots met her chin. Andromeda drew herself to her fullest height as the two circled each other like vultures around carrion.

“Are you ready to die, sister?” Bellatrix growled, talons pointing at Andromeda's face. Just as she was about to curse her sibling a stinger hit her arm and she looked up to see the determined face of Neville Longbottom, “I have other fish to fry, sister dear!”

“Do not let me stop you!” Andromeda sneered as she watched with admiration, Neville Longbottom flinging hexes over his shoulder, giving chase once more as he had found a way to corner the cackling she-devil.


 

Ginny was on the look-out, as Neville ran by, she promptly stood in the pathway prepared to aim her bat bogey hex at the witch. All Bellatrix saw standing before her was fresh meat. She was not allowed to torture the Mudblood, but this impertinent blood traitor would do nicely.

Before Ginny got a hold on the situation Bella pounced on her, pinning her to the floor as she tore at the girl's sleeve,baring the girl's arm as Bella was armed again with her knife.

“Hows about a nice ickle tattoo – don't you young people have them all the time. Let's see what describes you,” she giggled. “How about a B... ooh yes, B for Bitch!”

As she was about to start carving an angry fury screeched: “NOT MY DAUGHTER YOU BITCH – YOU WILL HURT NO MORE OF OUR CHILDREN!” violently Mrs Weasley threw back her wand, eyes wide with madness. “BOMBARDA MAXIMA!”

The curse hit squarely on a surprised Bellatrix chest – she flew into the air then her body exploded in tiny little particles. So fragmented that no blood, guts or other fluids dripped on the scene. Her knife and wand dropped on the floor, the only physical remnants that remained of the misguided and evil witch. Neville stepped back into the hall and picked Ginny up.

“Where's Harry?” Ginny asked.

“Duelling with You-Know-Who!” `

“Where's Hermione?” Molly asked. She had always loved Hermione as a second daughter and to think of her in pain saddened Molly's heart.

“She was getting dressed.”

Then Ginny asked where Ron was. “He's dead!” blubbed Molly as tears ran unbidden down her cheeks. “Died a hero to defend the Lovegood girl.”

Ginny allowed a few tears of grief to slip past her eyes. The Lovegood girl was in another hallway, teaming up with Dean – both shooting of artistic hexes and jinxes. The battle was raging all around Malfoy grounds. Dishevelled and scruffy, Lucius and Andromeda were holding each other's hands, had run towards the trio. Lucius glanced at Ginny in particular.

“I am truly sorry for your brother's demise.”

“He died a true Gryffindor,” Molly said stepping between the children and Lucius.

“Molly,” Andromeda stepped up breathing heavily. “Molly, it's all right, Lucius is on our side. He saved me from torture and death more times I can count today.”

“Is Miss Granger safe?” Lucius asked.


Neville shrugged. They heard a scream coming from down the hall: “Miss Granger!” he paled and ran through,proving how good he was at dodging spells. The other's followed him. They entered a set of Teal Rooms and watched as Rabastan was thrust against the wall as he was magically pinned, he could do nothing but watch helplessly on as Dolohov was half naked and slurping all over Hermione's body.

He was about to unfasten his pants. Ginny felt her heart beat in anger at the sight of her best friend so debased by her Uncle's murderer, she stepped forward as blood filled her from her ears down. She raised her wand and spoke clearly: “Antonin Dolohov;” the Russian turned and leered at the red head near the bed.

“I can take you another time,” he grinned as he swept dirty eyes over her body. “Just attending to my little Mudblood first!”

Harry heard but could not do anything as his battle with Voldemort waged on, destroying the beauty of this room. Ginny narrowed her hard gaze and pointed her wand: “This is a message from my Uncles Fabian and Gideon,” she snarled. “Go to hell!” with that she arched her wand and lifted him from her friend's scarred and battered body: “From Hermione too, I should imagine,” observing with coldness the scene of Dolohov flailing and rotating in the air, with the finality and intent needed Ginny yelled out: “AVADA KEDAVRA!”

Dolohov dropped down on the floor; a lead weight, eyes staring in shock as he realised he was beaten by a girl! Hermione turned her head and smiled in gratitude as Ginny helped her friend up off the bed and stood her on the floor. Molly came and used a few simple sewing spells to make a shift dress to cover her other daughter's modesty. Hermione grabbed her wand and freed Rabastan.

“Are you all right?” she asked as she fussed over him checking for bruises.

“It was never gonna be me, was it, beautiful?” a heart broken voice said from the doorway.

“Sorry Aloysius I just...”

“I'm not sayin' goodbye, darlin,” he smiled. “I will come back for you someday!”

With that Scabior Apparated out of the bedroom where he'd felt truly himself as he laid in the arms of his own personal Persephone. Hades came back for her, so would Aloysius Kilgrave Scabior return for his Goddess.


Rabastan watched Hermione lower her head sadly before she began fussing over him again.“I'm fine,” he smirked as he bent low and kissed her mouth. “Always wanted to know what it was like to be the damsel in distress!”

“Where's the cup?” she hissed.

“Don't sweat.”

“It needs to be destroyed,” Hermione mumbled into his ear as she held him close.

“It is in the bathroom,” he said. “Come on.”

“Wait, I am going to do something, just watch my back for me,” Rabastan nodded.

Hermione managed to silently summon the vial of basilisk venom from Harry's pocket when he's back was to her. Somehow she'd knew he'd put it in his back pocket, and it floated through the air towards her. Once it was within arms reach, she grabbed it, then she pulled her fiancé into the bathroom. Quickly and efficiently they both cast warding and silencing charms to fortify their hiding place for as long as necessary. Rabastan then cast his wand and the cup shimmered into view, Hermione used a towel to touch it and laid it reverently on the floor.

“Sorry, Helga, that your relic, your statement to the world had been corrupted into something evil,” she pulled the stopper out and slowly poured it onto the cup.

A noxious black mist erupted from the swirling smoke. An unearthly scream emanated from the fog. Rabastan held her tight as he attempted to cover her ears. Then a vision manifested through the fog: “Hermione, look at yourself,” it was her father tutting and shaking his head. “How come we had such an ugly,worthless child...”

“Daddy no,” she whimpered. “Please, daddy, no!”

“Why could you not be a normal girl like your cousin Maria?” it was the voice and disapproving form of her mother. “Why did you have to be the disgusting spawn of Satan!”

“Pour!” Rabastan ordered.

Hermione's whimpering had not stopped as the cloud next took the form of Ronald Weasley: “I only pretended to be your friend,” he sniggered. “In truth I hated you – I thought you were a miserable, irritating, boring little idiot. How could I be friends with someone who does not like Quidditch? That's part of our world. Want to know what I really thought?” Hermione's tears fell freely, “I thought you were an insignificant little bug, I pretended to be a blood traitor. I called you Mudblood behind your back. Draco and I had a bet how often he could make you cry whilst I stood up for you. You totally bought it. You were fooled. How could I ever like a worm like you?” Hermione was falling into despair, she had stopped pouring the venom on, Rabastan had to tilt her hand to make sure the Horcrux got the message. “You are a freak, beaver breath!”

Hermione was crumbling and shaking in what should have been her enemies arms but he held her close rocking and soothing her from this nightmare.

Then Viktor emerged: “Hermyowninny – I call you that because truthfully I never wanted to learn your name. It is disgraceful as are you. A lionesses heart? I doubt you even have one of a slug!” Hermione was shaking and wanted to throw up but she was suddenly given more determination to end it.

“Miss Granger you Gryffinwhore!” it was Harry now. “You slept with Death Eaters – you make me sick. I hate you. Always have done. Your grating voice, your despicable hair that, quite frankly, is an insult to anyone. Your unsightly horrible grabby hands – ink stains? Seriously, ever heard of soap? No one wants ink stained fingers as a feature on their wife. I would spit on you, spit on you now!”

“Spit on this!” Hermione's tremulous announcement was finished by the final drop that splashed on the now mangled cup.

“Well done,” Rabastan said once the black clouds dissipated. He began fervently covering the top of her head with reassuring kisses as he rubbed her arms and back. “One less. How many more?”

“The snake!”

“Good luck!” he scoffed.

Hermione dismantled the charms and wards and stepped out pale and trembling but fine nonetheless – one hand entwined with Rabastan, whilst the other was holding onto her wand. They were stunned at the sight that met their eyes. Neville was splattered in black goo. The crumpled body of Nagini lay at his feet!

Harry was laying unconscious on the floor with a cackling Dark Lord looming over him. Hermione let out a little mewl of pain as she turned her head into Rabastan's chest letting her heart ache for the loss of her brother.


Harry had been struck. It was just a matter of time. He was at Kings Cross. Or a version of Kings Cross. Something shimmered into view. A woman had come to meet him. She had a slender figure, long red hair and brilliant dazzling green eyes.

“Mum?” Harry questioned as he got up off the floor. “MUM!” he yelled as he ran towards her laughing. Tears drenched her eyes as she enveloped her son in a rib-crushing hug, both crying tears of joy. “Mum, it's you. It's really you!”

“Of course it is my dear little bambi,” she kissed her son's face all over just because she could.

“Mum please, what's happening?”

“It is time to go into the light, or you could stay here, you are not completely dead sweetie, oh how handsome you are! The choice is up to you my precious little thing,” she knelt down.

“Couldn't you come with me and say sorry to Severus,” he said. “He's awfully sorry about what he said to you.”

“You tell Severus I forgave him a long time ago but I cannot come with you, Harry. I had my dream. It's time to accomplish yours.”

“I know but Snape did not want to be a bastard,” Harry said. “He had a horrible childhood and he really loved you, mum. He's more than...”

Lily laughed with a silvery tinkle: “Sev and I will meet again,” she said, “but not for a long time yet – he has found another reason to live – the same one that you have. You can tell him this: I never stopped loving him!”

Harry looked into his mother's eyes wiping tears from his face and sniffed. He felt five all over again. “I don't want to leave without you,” he insisted.

“What of Ginevra?” Lily smiled. “I held you both in my arms – shall I tell you what you did all the time?”

Harry shook his head numbly. So he had associated with the Weasley's in the dim and distant past: “No.”

“You always made a grab for her hand. You always put her first – you refused to eat until she did. You seemed to connect to her in more ways than boundaries of love and hate. You are soul mates and you always were a bundle of excited joy to see her.”

Harry flushed, there were clearly family photo's he was not privy too: “Ginny would get over me.”

“Hermione will need you too, Harry, she will need you to weather her storms and fight some of her battles now.”

Harry could not refute that. With Ron now gone, he had other responsibilities. He could not die on a whim. He had to get up. He had to finish what he was destined to do.

“I want to live, mum but please, find a way back to me!”

Lily nodded, she faded into the white light one way and he was being pulled back the other way. Suddenly all was black. His eyelids flickered. The scar no longer caused him pain. The horcrux inside was destroyed in the first blast of the AK. He leapt to his feet and glanced at Lord Voldemort's shocked face.


“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO BLOODY KILL YOU, YOU LITTLE INGRATE!”

“Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom,” Harry shook his head and affected disappointment, “this will end and either you or I will conquer!”

Before Voldemort had time, Harry released an Expelliarmus – the Dark Lord's wand landed in Harry's hand – with angry fierceness Hermione had never seen caused her to tremble a little, but Ginny was anything but afraid, she was drooling over her lover. The red head was turned on by watching Harry taunt and mock Riddle. Neville had dispatched of Rodolphus Lestrange – he felt his work was done but instead of Harry casting the killing curse Hermione did. Murdered the Dark Lord with no other thought in mind but justice, penance, and she was just bloody angry enough to do it!

“Hey Lord Moldy Shorts!” Hermione yelled the nickname in honour of Ron's sense of humour, “AVADA KEDAVRA!” all her frustration and venom poured into this spell. He twisted and writhed, wriggled and squirmed his way to the so-called top and for what...

To be killed by a Mudblood girl!

“But I thought,” Harry said dejectedly. “I thought I was going to have to do it!”

“Harry you are not a killer,” Ginny said.

“The Prophecy said...”

“As the prophecy said – to those whose parents who had thrice defied the Dark Lord? Born as the Seventh month dies...”

“Which meant either Harry or I!” Neville spoke.

“September was the Seventh Month in Ancient times,” Hermione said, “I was born on the 19th, only ten days to go. My parents were loyal, successful people whose only crime in his book, were born muggle which is defiance in itself... To be parents who dared to accept their daughter as a witch and whose parents raised a Gryffindor. That prophecy could claim to be for so many others. It could have quite easily have been me and boy did I want to be the one to rid the world of that foul bastard forever!”

"Power that he knows not?"

"Justice, wisdom, love, honour - pick one?"

“So the prophecy has become obsolete,” Harry said. “All this waste because of listening to a batty old lady inside a dubious pub?”

Hermione shrugged her shoulders: “I keep telling you, Harry, life is what you make of it! It is you and you alone that decides what you desire the most...”

Hermione did not have time to finish as Harry strode across the room looking like Errol Flynn, he swept Ginny into his arms and kissed her properly!

So the war was won and everyone could truly breathe for the first time in forty years...

 

Chapter Text

Silver Lioness's portrait.

Child Adhara Rose Lestrange

EPILOGUE

 

APRIL 16th 2005

 

“ADHARA ROSE LESTRANGE!”

Hermione rolled her eyes sharing a chuckle with Ninny who was now serving her tea. Rigel and Adhara were twins, the result of the Fecundus potion. They fought with each other and for each other, sneaky as they come and both could lie with the best of them. Fred and George encouraged them. The two stumbled into the large living room where their faces were flushed.

“Care to explain what is going on?” Hermione asked her two six-year-old monsters.

“Rigel snatched a letter from Teddy Lupin to me,” Hermione rolled her eyes. “Teddy and Rigel are friends too, Adhara.”

“But Rigel...”

They could not finish as a three-year-old girl waddled in sucking her thumb and looked at her older siblings: “What's going on, mum?”

“Adhara and Rigel are fighting.”

“Is that all?”

Rabastan barked in laughter as he reached across to pick up his curly haired daughter, Nashira June Lestrange, the girl giggled as she squirmed in her father's lap. Hermione patted her belly. This would be her last if she had anything to say about it. Rabastan was not so easily persuaded, besides he had to make sure the name would truly survive and one son would not do. Healer Snape née L'or had pronounced Hermione fertile before they were ready again. In another three years Hermione would brood again. An unfortunate side-effect to using the Fecundus Potion. It literally seeped into the body and did what it said. Produced stronger eggs, increased hormonal responses and would seem to trigger when the last child had been truly weaned. When Hermione had found that out she was horrified to discover that she may be almost continually pregnant in her flush of youth – Rabastan had no complaints.

House-Elves loved to fuss over children – they were also multiplying as Ninny met a nice Elf from Hogwarts called Flib. Ninny and Flib were almost as bad as Guinea Pigs. As soon as they had one litter she seemed to be expecting another. In tune with her Mistress it seemed.

The next was another set of twins. Identical this time and boys, which was why Hermione had hoped that Rabastan would be satisfied but he shook his head. Hermione had said the same after little Nashira was born. The twins were already named when the sex was revealed.

“Celaeno and Asterope are particularly violent today,” Hermione sighed as she sat back wiping her brow, “Nashira, perhaps you can come and brush mummy's hair.”

“Okay mummy,” Nashira wriggled off her father's lap and skipped to her room, bronze curls flying behind her as she did so.

“What are you going to do about Rigel, mum?”

“Oh please children you can both write separate letters to Teddy, now leave mummy to rest, your future siblings are becoming as troublesome as you. These two are sure to be Beaters, Rabastan!”

“My father's genes must have contributed then,” Rabastan could not be more delighted. He wanted to set up his own Quidditch pitch in his grounds. To have a team ready made was the stuff of dreams. “We have three chasers, all we need now is a keeper and a seeker!”

“Hmm, we'll see, the Fecundus may have run out of effect.”

Rabastan's eyes crinkled around the edges in amusement. “We may as well complete the team, Hermione. You are not without room, help or health.”

Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled. “All right, we'll have two more, then we're calling it!”

 

SEPTEMBER 1st 2010

 

The Lestrange Litter, as they had come to be known as, for Hermione was still under the effects of the Potion. Her success was such that all infertile witches were now begging to use it. Hogwarts finally had uses for all the spare and disused classrooms. Talks were in session of even making a fifth house to accomadate the oncoming populace of magical britain. The huge family were surrounded by friends and their families on Platform 9 ¾ – Harry and Ginny were there to see their Godson off. The eldest not yet ready to start Hogwarts. Remus and Tonks had five more children. Ginny had three children and one coming. The Snapes joined them too as their daughter – Lily Eileen, was to board upon the Express. Lily blushed as she looked at Rigel. For an 11 year old he was tall, showing signs of a noble bearing, dark green eyes set in an almost translucent complexion, black curly hair flopped over his brow as he smiled at Lily, bowing the way his father taught him and captured her hand in his.

“My Miss Snape you grow more beautiful by the minute!”

“Rigel – stop play-acting father and Uncle Lucius would you!” Adhara snapped.

Lily giggled and hugged her friend as Teddy came up and slapped Rigel on the back. “Ready?” he asked.

Fathers helped levitate their children's trunks onto the train. Headmaster Snape and Madam Snape Apparated back to Hogwarts with their son, Regulus. Hermione gathered her twins in a hug which was awkward as she was, yet again, pregnant.

“Would you still love me if I was in Slytherin, mum?”

Adhara had developed the same habit as her mother when she was distressed. Hermione watched her daughter as she nibbled her lower lip.

“Nonsense, darling,” Hermione said warmly squeezing her daughter's bicep. “I love a Slytherin. Most of my friends are Slytherin. Why should my daughter not be one?”

Adhara nodded: “I don't want you to hate me,” she muttered.

“It is because of some wonderful Slytherins that I am here now, looking at you, and able to be with you. Please, Adhara, you are a beautiful girl – Slytherin or not – you are first and foremost my baby girl. Mon petit minou,” she kissed Adhara's forehead, “now, on the train and go and learn, make friends and start your life my darling.”

The next morning Hermione and Rabastan awoke to the news that Rigel and Adhara were, indeed, sorted into Slytherin. They smiled, kissed and settled back down into the covers.

All was well!