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Time Will Tell

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The girl sitting in front of an antique mahogany vanity sighed, her dark loose waves of hair transfigured back into their original state of bushiness and a few shades lighter. Her red eyes covered by a fabulous muggle invention called contact lenses and her pale skin expertly concealed with make-up to give her a much healthier glow. The young witch hated make-up with a passion, not finding the point in getting one's self gussied up only to impress those around her, she found it much more practical to busy herself with her studies. But she had no choice now; she had to do what she had to do, at least it appeared as though she wasn't wearing anything albeit her dark lashes looked much too thick and luxurious. It was as if she had a pair of false lashes on; she only hoped it wasn't too noticeable.

Taking one final look at herself in the mirrored vanity, she stood up at a speed that she was still not quite used to and cursed under her breath, she would have to watch how she moved from here on out. You see, this girl was no longer just the brightest witch of her age, she held a dark secret, one she couldn't even tell her two best friends about, Hermione Jean Granger was a vampire.

Looking around her room to make sure she didn't forget anything she caught a glimpse of a ring on her desk. Placing it on her finger, she gazed at the silver ring and the dark green emerald that was set at its center and inwardly thanked every higher being she could think of for the peculiar type magic that was used for this literal lifesaver known as a daylight ring. Magic she now harbored within herself.

Grabbing her trunk, she loosened her posture a bit to appear less rigid and apparated to an alleyway beside King's Cross Station, this was it, the true test was about to begin, the act of the century, she should truly be sorted into Slytherin if she passes. Plastering a smile on her face, Hermione made her way to the station towards the entry of platform nine and three quarters.

She genuinely smiled at the view in front of her, the smell of the train and the looks of excitement on the faces of the first years. She smiled at the friends who haven't seen each other since, before the final battle at Hogwarts, the hugs that were exchanged and the tears shed made her heart ache for those who would never be able to come back. As she made her way towards the train she smelled them before she could see them, Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley.

Turning quickly on her heel she grinned with her teeth at her two best friends, opening her arms wide to embrace the two of them. Hermione managed to convince Harry to come back for their seventh year he hesitantly agreed due to her nagging about the importance of receiving an educational degree, Ron quickly agreed afterward. Although there was pain that came at the back of her throat while being so close to their necks she pushed it aside quite easily, these were the two people she loved most in the world, even her short-lived relationship with Ronald did nothing to affect the bond they shared, she wouldn't allow her thirst ruin their perception of her.

"'Mione" Harry finally broke the silence after they broke apart, "How've you been?" he raised an eyebrow and tilted his head slightly to the side. "Would it have hurt you to owl once in a while? We were worried sick, we haven't heard from you since your short letter saying you've returned from Australia. We were about to send out the bloody Aurors to make sure you were okay." He huffed in annoyance and crossed his arms, Hermione could tell Harry spent a lot of his time at the burrow, she felt like she had just received a howler from Molly Weasley, at this point, Ron decided to chime in.

"Bloody hell 'Mione, we thought you didn't want to speak to us anymore, 'specially after everything that happened between you 'n me." he awkwardly scratched the back of his head. "I thought we were okay."

She looked sadly at her two friends and opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by the train's conductor stating it was the last call for passengers. She exhaled in relief and walked towards the train inwardly thanking the conductor for time to think of her reply.

Once she entered the train, Hermione walked toward the trios usual compartment and found that it was empty. The sight made the young witch want to cry, it would be their last time going to Hogwarts as students, and although she had much to hide and it wouldn't be easy for her, she prayed it would be simple for Harry, hopefully, his most boring year yet. The boy who lived didn't need any more pressure on him, with everything that has happened surely that wouldn't be too much to ask for, right?

She sank into her usual spot with Ron to her left and Harry on the bench in front of them; she quickly got to work on her apology. "I'm so sorry...," Hermione inhaled, something she no longer needed to do but still came as second nature to her, what could she say, old habits died hard, and in her current situation it was a good habit to have. "In Australia, I couldn't reverse the obliviate I cast on my parents, I tried and tried to figure out what went wrong but to no avail." It wasn't until Harry reached over and gave her a light squeeze on the knee did she realize she had tears trailing down her cheeks.

The tears that fell were not tears for her parents, no, Hermione Granger knew perfectly well how to reverse the damage she had done to her family, she just never had the opportunity to do it. You see, she met Him there, the man who gave her the gift (she did use the term gift very loosely) of immortality, and his name was Elijah Mikaelson, a type of vampire not even the wizarding world knew existed, he was an Original.

"We're sorry 'Mione," Harry looked at his friend, no sister, with such sadness in his eyes green eyes that it only further broke the Gryffindor princess's heart. Ron draped an arm over her shoulders and pulled her to him, "Ya 'Mione; we'll help you figure out what to do, maybe you should've let us come with you in the first place." Hermione wanted to cry again, as she looked at the two people she loved most in the world, she wanted to tell them the truth, she truly did want them to go with her, but she couldn't allow them to feel guilty. After the war, she left nearly immediately to go to Australia, and while Harry and Ron did offer, she knew they needed time to grieve especially Ron who needed to stay with his family after the loss of his brother Fred.

The pain that came with lying to her best friends was certainly never going to fade, she could only imagine how angry they would be with her for withholding such a significant aspect of her life, but she was scared. Terrified really, Hermione was now a being who had an entire chapter dedicated to it in Defence Against the Dark Arts, although, she was not the same type of vampire she learned about, she was a whole new species that even Elijah Mikaelson couldn't explain. They believed it had something to do with her magical blood, a type of magic that not even Originals knew existed. And as she sat there in front of Harry and Ron, under the protection of glamour and concealment charms, she realized what a truly lonely existence she now had; she could only ever be herself when she was alone.

The knock on the compartment door pulled them all out of their thoughts and Hermione had to stifle a laugh when she caught the look of absolute glee that laced Ron's features at the sight of the Honeyduke's Express cart. The feeling of Nostalgia nearly made her forget all of her problems and struggles she would have to face in the upcoming year. The feel ended as quickly as it came when she remembered the most important aspect of her new life, feeding. Thankfully Hermione had been appointed head girl this year and therefore would have her own quarters in the castle, yet another wave of sadness wracked her mind, she wouldn't be staying in her beloved Gryffindor Tower this year. Another problem she would have to face would be to convince the head boy to give her control of the patrols after curfew.

As Ronald stuffed his face with handful after handful of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and the variety of other sweets which he shared with Harry, Hermione sipped on iced pumpkin juice. The thick air between the three slowly began to dissipate which lead to the trio reminiscing about the old times, a time before everything was ripped away from the each of them. They spoke of times of happiness, fear, sorrow, the very stepping-stones to the unbreakable bond they now shared, and as the train made its way closer and closer towards Hogwarts, the sugar finally caught up with the two boys who fell into a comfortable slumber.

As two-thirds of the golden trio slept, with Ron snoring slightly, Hermione smiled at how peaceful they appeared, if someone were to gaze at these two boys, they would never believe the pain they have both experienced. With a sad smile on her face, she turned towards the window with thoughts of secrets that would make her unfavorable to the compartment members, issues for once in her life, she would have to face alone, not even Elijah would be there to guide her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Harry Potter, who had woken just moments before, nudged his adopted sister awake when the train came to a halt. Hermione woke with a start, rubbing her eyes, she glanced around her realizing she was on the Hogwarts Express and let out a shaky breath of relief. She looked up to see Harry peculiarly staring at her, his eyebrows furrowed in thought; this made the girl nervous turning to look at her reflection in the window, she appeared relatively normal her eyes dry from the contacts but still covered in the faux brown. Little did Miss. Granger know was that when rubbing her eyes, Harry noticed a slight shift in color, which he chalked up to his imagination for the moment. "Must have had too much sugar." Harry thought to himself.

"We're here 'Mione, are you prepared for a spectacularly boring final year?" he asked. Hermione chuckled and nodded before turning her attention to a drooling Ron Weasley. Scrunching her face in disgust, she spoke. "Ronald Bilius Weasley, do you not have any manners!?" she stated exasperatedly, "If you're going to do something so revolting, do so in the confines of your bed!" the yelling startling the Ginger awake, which in turn caused him to fall off of the seat with a bang.

"Bloody 'ell 'Mione, What're ya on about?" he said rubbing his head, she chuckled before replying. "We're here Ronald, please wipe off the dribble from your chin and straighten yourself out." He replied gruffly before taking his sleeve and wiping his face, Hermione cringed in disgust.

The trio stood together near the door of their compartment making sure to straighten their robes. Hermione smiled and pulled them both in for a hug "Let's go, it would be frowned upon for the head girl to be late." Harry smiled at her and Ron rolled his eyes, "Still the same old Hermione." they said simultaneously which in turn caused the girl to roll her eyes and chuckle.

Harry and Ron exited the compartment first while Hermione made sure to cast a quick scourgify on the seat which Ron drooled on. Praising her self she smiled at the now clean spot, she turned and made her way out of the compartment only to ram right into a strangers chest and fall on top of them, hitting her head on the way down. Had Hermione not been a Vampire, she was sure this little inconvenience would have left her with a few bumps and bruises even if a stranger broke her fall. Absentmindedly rubbing her head, she went to move to look up at who exactly it was she knocked over so that she could properly apologize. The instant Hermione shifted her head she regretted that slight movement, never in her short existence of being a Vampire had the scent of blood impacted her in such a way, it was a nearly torturous pain at the back of her throat. She felt her fangs beginning to poke themselves from under her gums, could feel her instincts kicking in. With all the strength she could muster she held her breath and willed herself to look up, what felt like an hour in actuality must have been a few seconds, as she opened her mouth to speak she was cut off by the stranger.

"Merlin Granger, get off of me." Scoffed a familiar voice that held a rasp of annoyance tinged with a hint of superiority. That voice, a sound she thought she would never have to hear at Hogwarts again, the voice of none other than the bouncing ferret himself, Draco Lucius Malfoy. Instantly she was snapped back to reality, using a speed she could only hope passed off as human, she was on her feet, a look of disgust gracing her features.

"If you were only watching where you were going Malfoy, we wouldn't have to deal with this right now." she crossed her arms, she knew Malfoy was not at fault this time, but she would never apologize to the ferret, he did not deserve her remorse.

Rolling his eyes and huffing in annoyance, he stood, "That is rich coming from you mudblood, you're the one who ran into me." He growled, clutching his arm. It was at that moment she noticed the blood trickling down. "Look what you did, If-" At this moment Harry and Ron turned around, noticing that Hermione wasn't behind them, they arrived just in time to witness the verbal assault between the Slytherin ferret and the Gryffindor Princess.

Hermione snapped "What Malfoy? What were you going to do 'have your father hear about this!?'" She mocked. "Sorry ferret, he won't be much help from his cell in Azkaban!" Hermione spat in reply, her blood boiling, without even giving that blonde git time to retort she turned on her heel and stomped off towards the exit of the train, the smell of blood nearly driving her mad with thirst. Harry and Ron quickly followed her after shooting glares of hatred towards Malfoy.

"Somethings never change, huh Harry?" Ron asked as they jogged after Hermione. Harry chuckled "No Ron, the never do."