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Mama, I'm Coming Home

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In the harsh and unforgiving cold of the English winter she stood, her arms around her abdomen. Ginny Weasely was no fool. She knew the end was near for her. There was no thread of hope to hold on to, no miracle waiting to happen which would save her from the terrible fate she was to face. She had tried to be strong, had tried to keep the promise she had made to her Harry, but she just could not go on anymore. There was nothing to look forward to. The wizarding world she had grown up in, the often cruel and predujiced but oh so wonderful world, had been replaced with a nightmarish inferno. Voldemort had taken his brand of destruction and laid waste to the magical community, all in his lust for more power. And there was no stopping him anymore. Her beloved Harry, the Savior of the wizarding world, her light in a world full of darkness ― was gone. Gone so young, all so that monster could rage around and inject even more of his evil into this world. Tears rolled down her eyes as she pictured his face, his beautiful green eyes sparkling with mischief. What she wouldn't give to just be able to hold him one more time, to look in his eyes and tell him how much she loved him, to hear his voice as he suggested one of those ridiculous baby names he had thought of. She sobbed even harder thinking of their baby, their unborn child who would never get to know it's father and who very well may not even get a chance to come in this world.

 

What hurt her the most was how she had to face all of this alone. How at the end no one was there to hold her hand, no one to reassure her, no one to tell her how much she was loved. She would die a lonely death, surrounded by evil minions and their even more evil master. Well technically she wasn't all alone, there were some members of the DA left, some very dear friends too and then there was Hermione Granger, the last remaining member of the 'Golden Trio' as the death eaters had mockingly termed them. But these people did not matter to Ginny as much as her own family and her Harry. So yes she was alone in the face of her inevitable end.

 

She looked towards Hermione, the older witch was bloody.and beaten but her pride and her Gryffindor courage were still intact. She held her head high and refused to bow down even when she knew there was no other way. Ginny wished she had Hermione's courage as well but frankly she just didn't care anymore. There was no point in fighting, not when there was no hope of winning. And she was tired, so tired. All she cared about was just getting it over so that she could finally be reunited with her family. Her Harry.

 

As she watched all of her fellow Light Warriors get their fate decided by Voldemort one by one, she couldn't help but look over at the monster sitting in the high throne, lounging there and watching the proceedings in bored manner. He would occasionally throw in a hex or two but he usually let his death eaters do all the work. There was an air of sadistic glee throughout the elegant ball room of the manor. Malfoy Manor to be exact. The triumphant expression didn't waver from his face either.

 

At last it was her turn to face the maniacal wizard. She tried to wipe all the sorrow and anger from her face that had made a permanent stay there ever since this nightmare started. Instead she held her head high, happy to greet death like an old friend. After all her end meant an end to all this pain too.

 

"Ooh look what we have here My Lord. The blood traitor. And not just any blood traitor but Potter's little slut", the annoyingly child-like voice of Bellatrix Lestrange rang through out the room. Many of the death eaters laughed and jeered at her words. She saw Voldemort straighten in his throne. "Ah little Misss Weassely iss all grown up. And sshe's been having ssome fun too" Voldemort hissed in his serpentine voice. Even more laughs followed his statement. She ignored it all. She just wanted it to be over. "I have no doubt it's Potter's spawn. My Lord will you allow me to have my way with her?" Bellatrix asked her Lord adoringly. "Well since you have been such a good servant to me my dear Bella, you may indeed do with her as you please" came the reply.

 

The next few moments were total hell for Ginny. She was hit by hexes, jinxes and curses from every side. She tried to protect her child as best as she could even though she knew it was in vain. In a few moments both of them would be dead. She could hear her friends yelling in the background, she could feel Hermione's mounting desperation as tried to reach her, she could hear the howls of laughter from the death eaters and Bellatrix's mad cackling. Finally she could hear Bellatrix get ready for the coupe de grace. She closed her eyes. This was it. The end. Her life flashed before her eyes. Her mother stroking her hair... Her father obsessing over another pointless muggle object... The twins completing each other's sentences... Charlie and his dragons... Bill and Fleur... Percy in his ministry robes... Ron eating like a Neanderthal and getting teased by Harry and Hermione... Harry... His sweet face as he kissed her... The day they found out about the baby. The tears fell again.

 

She could feel the heat of the curse reach her even before Bellatrix bellowed the infamous words "Avada Kedavra!!!". Suddenly there was a yell and then she felt herself pushed to the side as a body collided with her. Only by the bushy hair could she identify the person who had unceremoniously saved her - Hermione. She saw the older girl's eyes widen as she was hit by the curse. There was a roar of outrage from the death eaters as everyone watched how Hermione Granger cried out and fell down. She rolled over and groaned in pain, finally closing her eyes. Unconscious. Not dead. The uneven breaths could attest to that.

 

Everyone sat stunned. Hermione Granger had just become the second person in history to have survived the killing curse. All eyes turned to Bellatrix to see if the curse had rebounded. But it hadn't. Bellatrix stood gaping at the wand in her hand, perfectly unharmed, her eyes shifting to the unconscious girl every now and then. A barely audible "no" escaped her lips.

 

To say Narcissa Malfoy nee Black was shocked would be an understatement. She could not comprehend what was happening. How had the mudblood survived the killing curse? Well there was only one real explanation but it was preposterous to even think about that. But what if it was the truth. Dear Merlin that would change everything! Before she knew what she was doing, she uttered, "Bella".

 

The urging voice of her sister was enough to break Bellatrix out of the trance she was in. She looked in her sister's deep blue eyes and saw the same conclusion she had reached to, reflected in them. She didn't wait any longer. Rushing forward, she knelt by the girl and quickly pulled her into her arms lest anyone else try to harm her.

 

When Bellatrix pulled the unconscious mudblood in her arms, many of those present in the crowds thought she had finally snapped and lost her mind. Even the Dark Lord was shocked and it was an emotion he did not enjoy much. He did not like not knowing things. "What is the meaning of this Bella?" he bellowed. To add to his already growing disbelief, she did not acknowledge him. At all. Not with her usual adoration and not even with fear in the face of his anger. No her attention was completely fixed on the girl in her arms. Then she slowly turned towards him and for the first time in a long, long time he could see in her eyes a state he thought had long deserted her ― sanity. It was like someone else was staring at him through the face of Bellatrix Lestrange. And if he thought the end of his shocked state was about to come then he was sorely mistaken. She uttered the last thing he ever thought possible, "The meaning of this my Lord, is that this girl is my daughter."

 

There were gasps and exclamations from the crowd but Bellatrix was oblivious to it all. All her attention was focused on the unconscious girl, her daughter, her own flesh and blood. She smoothed the hair away from her face and smiled unconsciously at the springy curls, so much like her. The Dark Lord was furious. He wanted some answers but he knew he would not get them from Bellatrix. If she was the mother, then Rudolphous was the father of the girl. But as he looked up he saw Rudolphous standing looking at the two women in the center, aghast. Great, even more drama. The Dark Lord was about to go in a rage fuelled mania and kill everyone in the vicinity when he saw Malfoy's wife looking at Bellatrix with pity. They were both sisters. She would have all the answers. "You", he barked, "You tell me what's going on or I will kill you and your sniveling family". The woman practically jumped out of her bones and stared at him with wide eyes. Just when he was about to throw a crucio her way to loosen her tongue, she started speaking. "My Lord, this girl indeed is Bellatrix's daughter. We know this because of the Black Family Curse. It was an ancient curse which was placed on the members of the Black family. This curse prevents the parents from killing their own child thus ensuring the continuity of the lineage. Everyone in the family is born with the curse. The only reason the girl survived the killing curse from Bella's wand is because of the Black blood running in her veins. Bella can harm or even seriously injure the girl but not enough to kill her."

 

Silence rang through the room as she finished her explanation. Everyone wore varying degree of shock on their faces. As Lord Voldemort looked at his most devoted follower, he saw her looking at the girl and stroking her face tenderly. This wasn't the Bella he was used to. He must rectify the situation before it got completely out of hand. He would not let his most fierce warrior mellow down for the love of a mudblood.

 

"Well if you can't finish the job Bellatrix, then I must. Step aside, the mudblood will die by my wand."

 

"No!!!" she shrieked, "You can't kill her either My Lord." "Why not?" he wanted to know.

 

"Because it takes two to make a child. She's mine as she's yours." She dropped the bomb.

Chapter Text

The ballroom of the Malfoy Manor was not a safe place to be in the aftermath of Bellatrix Lestrange's earth shattering revelation. Many of the present Death Eaters fell under Voldemort's rage fuelled curses. He was like a spitting madman, throwing curses and spouting expletives. The army of Death Eaters, who were only moments ago standing proudly, frantically scattered in the face of their demented leader's wrath.

 

Lord Voldemort was mad. He was angrier than he had ever been. "Get out!!! All of you!!!" he screeched like a banshee. His followers wasted no time and quickly found the nearest exits. Soon the room was deserted. The only people left were the Malfoys, the Lestranges, the Dark Lord himself and the unconscious girl who was supposedly his daughter. He threw a disgusted glance at the filthy girl. He was going to kill Bellatrix for this. How could that crazy bitch lie right to his face for so many years. Lord Voldemort did not tolerate such crimes even from his from trusted followers. Yes he would kill both mother and daughter and be done with this whole drama.

 

As he was about to act on his homicidal thoughts, Bellatrix addressed him again with the sane demeanor that did not suit her at all. "I know you are displeased with me and you have a lot of questions My Lord, but let me tend to my daughter first, please. She has been hurt, by my own wand no less. Let me help our child." Looking at her right now, with the girl tucked in her arms, a pleading note in her voice, he did not recognize the stranger staring back at him. So he just stormed off the room, intent on cooling off.

 

After the dark wizard's departure, Bellatrix wasted no time. Quickly pulling out her wand, she levitated the unconscious girl in her private chambers in the Manor and barked an order at Lucius to get the best healer in the wizarding world money could buy for her daughter. Soon the girl was settled on her large, plush bed. Bellatrix began cleaning her and tending to her minor injuries. She anxiously waited for the healer to arrive, every second seeming like a year to her. She had already lost her daughter once but she would not do so again.

 

Meanwhile the Malfoys were still reeling with the confessions and revelations made under their roof. Especially the youngest Malfoy, Draco was in quite shock. Hermione Granger, the girl he had teased mercilessly for being dirty blooded was actually his cousin. And she was the Dark Lord's daughter. Draco had no doubt that his aunt was telling the truth about her daughter's parentage. He had seen first hand how devoted she was to their Lord. If the crazy woman had had a child with someone, it definitely would be the dark wizard.

 

Lucius Malfoy was also lost in the same train of thought. But being the schemer he was,he was busy thinking about the repercussions this could have in the future, especially the future of his own family. Bellatrix and by association, her daughter, were closely related to the Malfoy family. As such they were the most important for his family's chances of survival right now. If the Dark Lord accepted them willingly, then by association the Malfoys would be safe and protected. But if He was angry with them, the same anger could be extended to his family too. Whatever the Dark Lord decided, Lucius had a lot of planning to do.

 

Soon the healer arrived in Malfoy Manor and he was indeed the best healer that money could buy. Tyler Davis was one of the most sought after healers in the wizarding world. He had a reputation of pulling off the impossible and bringing people back from the brink of death. It was widely believed that he himself practiced the dark arts and that's why he had such good understanding of how to deal with victims of dark curses. As soon as he was led to Bellatrix's chambers, he got to work. Opening his small briefcase, he waved his wand and expanded the interiors. Within it were so many potions, gels, salves and lotions, most of which Narcissa hadn't even heard of ever.

 

It took a gruelling seven hours but finally healer Davis was convinced he had done all he could for the girl. He had told Bellatrix and the Malfoys that the killing curse the girl had taken had suppressed her magical immune system. So even diagnostic spells could hurt her if they were cast with too much power. He had given a combination of potions and salves which would help lessen the pain as well as regenerate her magical core. As for her still unconscious state, he only stated it was up to Hermione herself. She would wake up when her body had healed itself. With some parting words to Bellatrix, the healer left with the promise to come whenever he was called.

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It had been two days, two days since Bellatrix Lestrange had stunned the world with her shocking past. Two days since she had put her own daughter on her deathbed. Two days since she had heard from or seen her Lord. She knew the Dark Lord was angry with her for what he perceived as betrayal from her side. But honestly he didn't even give her a chance to explain things. Just stormed off! Bellatrix really hoped he would listen to her side of the story and soon.

 

A few hours later Bellatrix finally got her chance. Her sister Narcissa entered the room and told her the Dark Lord had requested her presence in the living room. She followed Narcissa and entered the room to find the Dark Lord already present along with Lucius, Rodolphous, and Rabastan. She tried to make eye contact with her husband but found that he was studiously avoiding her gaze. She sighed and turned towards the Dark Lord.

 

"My Lord -" she started only to be cut off by the wizard. "I'm very, very disappointed with you Bellatrix. Such utter betrayal  was not expected from you. All these years you never told me I had an heiress."

 

All of the room's occupants were shocked into silence. It was the first time their Lord had openly recognized the girl as being his. It was strange. He not only accepted her as his own but also gave her a potential position of power. Bellatrix felt a flicker of hope in her chest. Maybe he would spare her after all.

 

"My Lord your displeasure with me is understandable. But you must allow me to explain the reasons for me doing all this. It was never my intention to betray you for its me who has been betrayed" she pleaded.

 

"What do you mean Bella? Betrayed how? It's time you explained yourself" he commanded.

 

And so she did. For the first time ever, Bellatrix Lestrange told another soul the story of how she found herself on the path of becoming a mother.

 

Bellatrix Lestrange was worried. It was a rare occasion when the usually cold and cruel witch was perturbed. So whatever was troubling her must be something of grave importance.

And indeed it was something grave. Bellatrix was worried for her magic. For the past few weeks, she hadn't been able to perform spells and curses properly. All her spells produced twisted results. Even a simple accio was giving her trouble. And then there was the matter of her accidental magic. She had had various bouts of that too. It was like she was an inexperienced, small child with absolutely no control over her magic. And that was really horrifying for her.

It was safe to say that Bellatrix was almost scared. She was scared that something had happened to her magical core. That somehow her magic had been altered. And that notion was terrible to comprehend. But if she was one thing, it was stubborn. She refused to be frightened any longer. She would put an end to all her fears and get back on top of her game.

So she had booked an appointment with the best of the best healer - Tyler Davis. She would visit him and get an actual solution to her problem.

But Bellatrix was not ready for the bomb that was going to be dropped on her on her visit with the healer. After examining her only for a few minutes, the healer had turned away and sniffed in disdain. "Madam Lestrange why did you come to me for this problem of yours when you could have easily gotten it handled at St. Mungo's or by any ordinary healer in fact."

Bellatrix was highly annoyed. Here she was worried for her magic and this stupid man seemed to think it was an ordinary problem. She was really tempted to let the healer get a taste of her infamous crucio. But she didn't because she still needed his help. "Healer Davis, if you would just tell me what is wrong with my magic then I might have it handled."

"There is nothing wrong with your magic Madam Lestrange. You are simply pregnant. The erratic behaviour shown by your magic is simply a side effect of you being pregnant and the changes going on in your body. As the baby's magic is foreign to your own, your magic is simply trying to get associated with the ― Madam Lestrange? Ma'am?" But she was already gone.

If Bellatrix was worried before, now she was on the verge of a full blown panic attack. Pregnant? How could that be? She had to be sure. She just had to know if it was true. So she did the spell her mother had taught her and her sisters not long ago. With shaking hands she did the and was left horror struck when the results came out positive.

Now that she was sure that she was pregnant, she needed to figure out what to do with the baby. She had no doubts regarding the paternity of the child. There was only man she had ever slept with. But how would she tell him? She was sure the Dark Lord did not want children. Telling him would only earn her his wrath. The best course of action would be to quietly get rid of the baby. Yes that's what she would know. No one would know and she would keep her life and her position within the Death Eaters ranks safe.

Yet when the next morning dawned, she was still unsure about what to do with the baby. On one hand it was unwanted and unplanned pregnancy. In fact she had never wanted to have kids either, what with her oaf of a husband. But this child was not of her stupid husband, this was the Dark Lord's baby. The closest she could get to having him as her own. The ultimate gift from him. His own flesh and blood.

Ultimately she ended up keeping the baby. But she hid her pregnancy from the world. She used powerful glamour spells (courtesy of healer Davis) to hide her growing belly from everyone. Her husband would instantly know it wasn't his child and that would lead to one bitch of a scandal. And also she was pretty sure the Dark Lord would be furious with her. But she was having his child and that was enough for her.

 

Bellatrix paused in her recital, and sunk to a chair, her head in her hands. The next part was one of her most painful memories. It was like laying her soul bare for everyone to see. "What happened then Bella?" The soft tone of his voice was what brought her back from the painful onslaught of memories. She forged ahead.

 

Time passed quickly and before she knew it, Bellatrix was in her last stage of pregnancy. It was getting more and more difficult to hide it from the world. Her mood swings, cravings and erratic magic were getting difficult to control. She couldn't wait to finally deliver the baby and end this ordeal. Her husband was also getting suspicious day by day.

During the last days of her pregnancy, Bellatrix was sent on a mission by the Dark Lord. It was a simple mission, just interrogating a Ministry official regarding some rare artifact the Dark Lord wanted. She was to extract said information by any means necessary and Bellatrix was quite adept at that. But the mission had taken an unexpected turn. The Order had somehow known about the location where they were keeping the Ministry official and had carried out an attack. The surprise attack had been too much for Bellatrix and the two Death eaters assigned to her.

Currently Bellatrix found herself hiding in an alcove in the dilapidated house. She had been injured gravely, but that was not her cause of concern. In the midst of all the fighting, her water had broke. She had to get to St. Mungo's soon or she would loose her baby. But apparating was impossible. The Order had set anti - apparation wards for miles ahead. But she had to do something for her baby.

Using darkness as a cover, she started walking away from the house. She struggled through bushes and plants, supporting her abdomen all the way. Quietly, she put quite a distance between herself and the Order members prowling the house. She could see a couple of houses a few metres ahead. In her desperate state, she didn't even mind the fact that this was a muggle village and any help she could get would come from muggles.

After reaching one of the house, she started knocking wildly until an old, frazzled looking woman opened the door. "Oh dear! What happened to you?" Even though Bellatrix wanted to curse the old hag for asking stupid questions, she instead said the one thing that she had never said to anyone else, not even to her parents ― "Help me, please". The woman wasted no time and quickly brought her inside, where she deposited her on the rickety bed.

The next few hours were a complete nightmare for Bellatrix. The old woman had called one of her neighbours, an equally old and hedious lady, for assisting in the delivery. But both were novice and could not match up to the expertise of a healer or a mediwitch. By the time she had delivered the baby, she was exhausted beyond belief. Still she mustered up the strength to ask the women in a very raspy voice, "What is it?" "Oooh! It's a girl. Such a beautiful baby. She looks so much like you" both the women gushed. A small smile crossed Bellatrix's face. She had done it.

The women took the baby to another room for cleaning and Bellatrix used the moment to catch a breath. She had closed her eyes for a moment when she heard whispering coming from the other room. "Do you think she's asleep?" one voice asked. "Who cares? She's not in a state to do anything anyways. I say we just take off with the baby"  the other replied. Alarm bells started ringing in Bellatrix's head. "No... please no" she tried to choke out. But she was very tired and could not get up. She watched with her own eyes as the two women started towards the front door. But she didn't see them. All she could see was her wailing, squirming child in one of the women's arms. She stretched her arm desperately, trying to reach her baby. She begged Merlin or anyone listening to just do something and save her baby but it seemed no one was there to answer her prayers. The last thing she heard before passing out were her baby's cries of distress and one of the women's inconsistently mumbled "I'm sorry."

 

Bellatrix gasped as she came out of the storm of pain and anger raging inside her head. She looked around the room and saw most of the occupants of the room looked either sympathetic or shocked. Narcissa was openly crying. Even her husband looked somewhat forlorn. Several moments passed before she eventually broke the silence. "She stole my baby" the words came out weak and desperate. "That filthy muggle stole my baby." This time the words were full of venom and lethal anger that made the others flinch. Several glass cases and vases exploded along the room as her magic raged around in retribution for the wrong that had been done to her eighteen years ago.

 

And it was eighteen years worth of fury, of pain and heartbreak and of frustration that made Bellatrix Lestrange swear to herself that she would set fire to this whole world before she let anyone take away her baby again. Even if that person happened to be Lord Voldemort. 

Chapter Text

Five Days Later

 

Hermione Granger opened her eyes and groaned. The light in the room was almost blinding, piercing her eyes and scorching her brain. She screwed her eyes shut, trying to will away the migraine that was building up. Suddenly the drapes were closed and the blinding light went away. She smiled and snuggled deeper into the soft velvet sheets underneath her. Wait a minute. She didn't own velvet sheets. In fact the last time she even slept on a sheet was... Then she opened her eyes again and took in the room she was in. It was a massive bedroom with the finest of furniture and elegant decorations. But why was she here and where was 'here'? She racked her brain trying to think of the last thing she remembered. Her brain felt fuzzy and her limbs felt mushy. Had she been run over by a train or something? And then it hit her like a ton of bricks. The war... Harry... The Death Eaters... Ginny... Bellatrix... The curse... Hermione gasped. She was hit by the killing curse, she was sure of it. Then how was she still alive? And why was she swaddled in luxurious blankets? She was contemplating her predicament when she heard a cultured, smooth drawl address her, "Slow down Granger, or you're going to give yourself a headache." She looked towards the sound of the voice and saw, to her utmost confusion, Draco Malfoy sitting in one of the high backed chair.

 

"What are you doing here Malfoy?" she asked aggressively. It was automatic. Seven years of verbal sparring with the prat had made aggression and dislike her preferred weapons while addressing him. "Relax Granger, I'm not here to fight with you or hurt you. I was just making sure you were okay" he said with so much sincerity that Hermione was thrown in for a loop. Just who was this person? What in the world was going on? What was this place? Had she really died and ended up in a distorted version of heaven where she was swimming in luxury and Malfoy was some sort of twisted angel?

 

"I thought I told you to slow down Granger!" he now echoed sharply. She looked at him in surprise. He sighed, "Just take a breath. I can hear your brain working from here. Just try to relax. You did just come back from the dead."

 

"Oh really? Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn't noticed" she replied sarcastically. "Are you seriously telling me that I should not be freaking out here because let's see for one, I'm alive and kicking when by all means I should be a corpse. Then I wake up to find myself surrounded in luxury when given my blood status I should be rotting in a dungeon somewhere. And then my childhood bully talks to me without any insults and tells me relax as if everything is okay and not something demented and crazy. Are you really joking MALFOY!!" her voice rose in octaves along with her mounting hysteria, which made him cringe.

 

And then she was clutching her hair, twisting the strands all the while she mumbled to herself. "Oh god, this isn't real. This is a dream, a nightmare. A dead induced limbo. It's not real, not real. What is happening to me. Oh god, what is real..."

 

Draco watched her helplessly for a few minutes, then he decided to step in before she snapped completely. "Granger ― Hermione stop!" he exclaimed while grabbing her shoulders. The sound of her first name on his tongue and his touch jarred her out of her hysteria. She opened her eyes to find him sitting on the bed with her and quickly moved away. Draco could spy a few tears in her eyes.

 

"What's going on Malfoy?" she asked desperately. Draco hesitated. He didn't know what to tell her. How do you tell someone that their whole existence was a lie and that the life they knew had been shredded to pieces only to be put together into something so demented it was barely recognizable? Well he could atleast try to calm her. "Well a lot has happened since you were hit by the killing curse. I assume you remember that?" At her hesitant nod he continued, "A healer was brought in by my family to look after you. Your body and magic both need some time to be back to a hundred percent though. But in the meantime, rest assured that no one would try to hurt you or kill you again." Atleast he hoped no one did. But when one is housemates with the most evil wizard alive, one can never be sure.

 

"Yes but why? Why did I not die? And why would your family bother to save me? Why am I being treated like a guest and not as a prisoner? Why would no one try to kill me now? Why Malfoy why?" she practically screeched.

 

"Look Granger, there are some things different around here and a lot of stuff is going on..."

 

"Don't beat around the subject Malfoy. TELL ME!!"

 

"I can't okay? I CAN'T!" he finally bellowed. He took a deep breath and tried to calm down. "I can't tell you Granger" he began again, "I can't tell you the big secret because it's not mine to tell. Just know that your world is about to turn on its axis. Everything you know is about to change. Drastically. Conserve your strength Granger because I have a feeling you would need it to deal with the shit storm your life's about to become. And i know it would sound outlandish coming from me, but know this Hermione, if you ever need any help, I'm here. Now rest." With that he got up and started towards the door.

 

But before he could get away, Hermione stopped him to ask another question, "Malfoy atleast tell me if Ginny is okay." Draco smiled to himself, typical Granger. Always thinking about others before herself. Without turning around, he replied, "She's fine Granger but I doubt her surroundings are as pleasant as yours." And then he was gone.

 

 

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Left alone to her own devices, Hermione decided to explore the room she had woken up in. This room was obviously a bedroom. She could see four doors in total. Opening them one by one, she discovered an elegant bathroom, a walk-in closet and a walk-in shoe closet. Lastly, she opened the door Malfoy had disappeared from and found herself in some sort of receiving room - cum - study. There were comfortable chairs and couches and a coffee table, along with small study desk and four large bookshelves brimming with books. There was another door which she gathered led to the hallway. She tried the handle and was entirely unsurprised but disappointed nonetheless to find it locked. Of course she couldn't really expect her captors to give her the choice of leaving as she pleased. Her prison might be beautiful and laced with elegance but it still was a prison.

 

A couple of hours later found Hermione curled up in an armchair, a book in her hands. A house - elf had come and delivered a tray of steaming dinner and told her that 'his mistress wanted her to eat'. It had disappeared before Hermione even had a chance to open her mouth. As she was completely absorbed in her reading, she didn't hear the sound of a door opening and someone coming in until that someone cleared their throat.

 

Hermione jumped, startled out of her deep thoughts, to look at the face of the woman she hated the most, Bellatrix Lestrange. "You!" she roared. "You murderer!" she allowed all the hatred she had been feeling to seep into her words. Hermione took vindictive pleasure in the way woman's eyes widened and her face contorted. Although why Bellatrix Lestrange would be affected by her words was beyond her. Surely those same words had been thrown on her by numerous people before.

 

"Hermione please" the pleading voice brought her attention to the other person in the room. Hermione's burning eyes met the cool blue ones of Narcissa Malfoy. "What do you want?" she asked the older woman scathingly. "First your darling son was here not long ago talking to me as if we were childhood chums, offering me his help", she spat out the word as if it was the most vile thing ever, "And now you are here. So I ask you what is that you people want with me?"

 

"Please lets just sit down and talk. You haven't even eaten your dinner." When the only answer she got was the younger witch's stony silence, Narcissa sighed and again requested the other two witches to sit. "Hermione, Bella please sit. We have a lot to talk and it would be better if we are all comfortable while doing so." When all of them settled, Hermione as far away from the other two witches as possible, Narcissa took a deep breath and thought about where to begin with. They had already decided that she would be the one to tell the news to Hermione because the girl would not take well to Bella doing so. Her attitude towards Bella just proved that assumption right.

 

"Hermione, we aren't here to hurt you. We don't want to hurt you. We just want to talk" Narcissa started only to interrupted sharply by the girl, "What could you possibly have to talk to me about?" One thing was clear to Narcissa, the girl wouldn't be too receptive to anything she said right now. Any attempt at comfort would be outright rejected. The only way to approach this would be to tell her the truth and hope that her inevitable shock would give them the opportunity to present the whole story before the girl's fuse blew completely.

 

"Hermione, there's something that has been kept from you all your life..." When she saw the girl finally looking intrigued and a little apprehensive, she trudged on, "Hermione, you are not a Granger. The Grangers, they are not your parents. They are not your family. We are." There was pause, and then — "You are Bellatrix's daughter Hermione."

 

The girl's face was ashen; a mask of pure, unadulterated shock. For a few minutes everything was silent in the room. The proverbial calm before the storm. And then she exploded, "Seriously what the hell is wrong with you people? Of all the idiotic stories you could have cooked up, you tell me the one only an imbecile would believe. Whay do you insist on playing these mind games with me? If you think these ludicrous claims are gonna shake me, then you all are as dumb as you look."

 

"The fact that this story is the one least likely to be believable, is exactly the reason why it's true" Bellatrix spoke at last. "If we wanted to play mind games with you, we would have told something that you would easily believe and react to. But I'm not telling stories and I'm not playing games. Hermione, you are my daughter, the child that was stolen from me eighteen years ago. I have all the memories and all the proofs. There is no doubt. Nothing and no one can change this."

 

Hermione scoffed, "Oh great, so now you and your husband want to claim your 'stolen' child. Now?" All of her words were laced with barely restrained lethal anger.

 

Bellatrix gulped. She did not know how to say the next part out loud but it had to be done. "My husband is not your father."

 

"What?" the girl asked sharply, the one word full of derision and judgement.

 

"Hermione, you are the daughter of one of the most powerful wizard to ever walk among us" she looked deep into those big brown eyes and then said clearly, "Lord Voldemort."

 

There was a sharp intake of breath from the girl and then ― chaos erupted.