I have always loved Pureblood Hermione and BAMF Hermione stories. I always have felt curious about her story and history.
This is my take on the popular trope.
The story is canon up until the night the Order moves Harry from Privet Drive. After that, it's a free-for-all and will be completely AU. Many of your favorite characters may be somewhat OOC. While it's my goal to keep the essence of a character, I also will be playing with their stories and personalities a bit.
This story will be dark. It will include AD/MW/RW/GW bashing. It will feature a strong but bitter Hermione, a confused Harry, and a sorta-good LV.
If that doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy then please just click that back button!
The beginning of this story will be similar to many other Pureblood!Hermione stories, (I mean, how many ways can a girl find out she's not who she thinks she is, right?) but will, I promise, be quite unique.
For the rest of you - please enjoy!
Absolution: a release from guilt, obligation, or punishment.
Hermione Granger stood nervously among the members of the Order of the Pheonix that were gathered at Number Four, Privet Drive. Tonight the Order was relocating Harry Potter, in a gutsy move with six of them taking Polyjuice Potion (brewed by Hermione, thank you very much) with seven escorts. The order hoped to create enough confusion and distraction with their being multiple Harry's to follow, that they'd all make it to safety.
Hermione had been paired with Kingsley Shaklebolt, a dark-skinned wizard with a voice that she was certain melted many women over the years. They would be journeying on a thestral back to the home of the Weasley family, The Burrow.
As Hermione and Kingsley mounted the thestral and prepared to leave the wards over the home at Privet Drive, Kingsley reminded her to be on her guard.
"Constant vigilance, Hermione," he said. "We'll probably see some dramatics tonight, and who knows what the Death Eaters will try in order to determine which one of you is the true Harry."
She nodded, and the two took to the skies.
Within moments, streaks of spellfire lit up the sky around her. Green, red, and yellow lines burned into the darkness of the night, and the shouting reverberated in her ears.
She couldn't tell who anyone in the dark black robes was, as they had covered their faces with intricate silver masks. She saw one of them toss a stunner at Moody, who tumbled backward off his broom towards the ground. Her heart was in her throat, and she gasped as Bill and Fleur, who was also disguised as Harry, swooped down to cast an arresto momentum before he struck the ground.
The group quickly split up, as they all couldn't follow the same path back to the Burrow, and Hermione lost sight of Hagrid, who was carrying the real Harry.
Beside her, a Death Eater chased upon their broom, shouting maniacally, but oddly not casting any spells.
A female voice shrieked and pointed a wand in her direction. She was quick to cast a shield, but the spell came right through and hit her in the shoulder. She expected pain, darkness, and fear, but the only thing she felt was the telltale bubbling off the polyjuice wearing off. A few seconds later her skin felt as though it was stretching beyond her body. She screamed, a mixture of terror, pain, and exhaustion.
"Hang on, Hermione," Kingsley shouted, steering the thestral in the direction of the ground. She felt wards snap around her as they landed, but she was still screaming and couldn't focus on where they were or why they had landed when they weren't even close to the Burrow.
Kingsley wrapped his arms around the screaming witch, pulled out his wand and cast an Expecto Patronum. His lynx appeared and he barked to it. "Go to Arthur. Something has changed Hermione. We're headed to Grimmauld. Bring Nymphadora."
He knew he couldn't take this little witch to the chaos of the Burrow while she was screaming bloody murder and looking the way she did.
He apparated them to the front step of 12 Grimmauld Place, and stepped through the door, quickly dismantling the traps set up after Dumbledore's death.
He carried Hermione gently into the sitting room. She was writhing in his arms, though her screaming had abated, leaving her whimpering meekly.
Seconds later he heard a crack outside. He pulled out his wand, pointing it at Arthur Weasley as he walked through the door.
"What did your wife tell me when we explained the plans for tonight?" he demanded of the red-haired man.
"She said we couldn't afford to sacrifice anyone before we'd even begun fighting again" Arthur responded. "She said we shouldn't take the younger ones, but George and Fred argued that they were all of age and could make their own choices."
He then turned and snapped at Nymphadora Tonks. "What was the last thing Moody said to the two of us?"
"Constant vigilance is not enough. You must look ahead to see where the enemy is planning to strike," she answered.
Kingsley sighed and looked pointedly at Hermione, who was still clearly in some sort of pain.
Tonks quickly began casting diagnostic spells over the young witch who was squirming on the sofa. Every single one came back clean. There was no spell damage, no lingering effects that should be causing her pain, and certainly nothing that would explain why she looked the way she did.
"Hermione," she whispered, reaching out to gently grasp the girl's hand. "Can you hear me?"
A low moan escaped the young woman and she responded. "Tonks. My skin feels like it's burning. It was like it stretched and every piece of my exploded and then reformed. It... it hurts less now but I have no idea what the spell was. How did it get through my shield?"
Kingsley stepped forward. "Did you hear the incantation, Hermione?"
Tonks helped the girl to a sitting position. A small gasp came from Arthur as he looked at her.
"Yes, I think. I think it was revelabo occulta. I can't be sure. It was so loud with the spells and screaming all around us. I think it's latin. It didn't hurt, at first. I just felt the polyjuice wearing off, which is odd because it should've lasted us an hour. After that is when the pain started." she answered, looking between the other three occupants of the room.
"Why are you all looking at me like that? The pain is almost gone. I'm fine. Everything is fine." she said quickly, nervous that she was in some sort of trouble for having been hit with the spell.
Tonks reached into her pocket and pulled out a pale yellow potion. "This is a modified pain potion. It will curb the majority of the pain while allowing you to stay awake and it does not affect your magic levels like other pain potions can. It's really only supposed to be used by the Aurors, but I think you're going to need it."
As Hermione drained the potion, a large tiger Patronus bounded into the room.
It spoke in a voice that Hermione did not recognize.
"Nymphadora, something has happened. The Black Grimoire screamed. I felt the family magic shift, I'm sure you noticed it as well." The voice was female, rich and elegant.
Tonks sighed. "Nymphadora" she mumbled under her breath.
Kingsley cleared his throat, hoping to encourage more information from the pink haired witch.
"I did feel it." she glanced at Hermione with a strange look in her eye. "Something changed in the Black family tonight. It was like a shudder in my bloodstream. If the grimoire screamed, it means... well it doesn't mean anything good, but I think we're looking at the change."
Hermione stared blankly at her, unsure of what she was missing.
"What is it? There's no one left in the Black family, right? Wasn't Sirius the last one?"
"That's what we all thought. Sirius was the last male in the family. Except..." Tonks hesitated. She conjured a small mirror and handed it, face down, to Hermione. "I think you might be the reason the grimoire screamed."
Hermione turned the mirror over and peered into the surface. A gasp flew from her lips as her hand reached for her face. Her eyes were molten silver and her hair jet black. Her features remained the same, her body had not changed.
"What is this?" she whispered.
Tonks stood. "I don't know. But, those are the Black traits. We need to see the tapestry."
Author's notes: I used a google translator for my made up spells, forgive me!
revelabo occulta roughly translates to "reveal the secrets" a spell that would remove any glamours or identity hiding potion effects.
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Again, and always, wow wow wow and thank you for your feedback! It really feels awesome to hear you are liking the storyline!
For those who have questioned the parentage of Hermione, I promise you don't have to wait long as her parentage will play a big part in the story!
I do try to respond individually to reviews, but I often forget whom I've responded to already because I'm kind of a scatterbrain! If I missed you, please know that I truly do appreciate you leaving feedback!
This update comes sooner than I imagined it would, but only because the inspiration struck and I'm at a back-and-forth with myself over the next chapter in The Deepest Hearts.
Family: a person or people related to one and so to be treated with a special loyalty or intimacy.
The tapestry room in the Black home, located at 12 Grimmauld Place, was a dark and musty place. There was no furniture in the room, which only served to further highlight the faces strung across the fabric walls. The tapestry seemed to have a bit of a life of its own, and it was clearly very, very old. There were holes scattered around the edges of the fabric, and Hermione guessed that the Doxy infestation that the Order had cleaned out several years ago was the cause.
There were several dark patches on the tapestry, where faces had been burned off, a testament to the disowning the family seemed so fond of. Along the top of the tapestry, nearly to the ceiling of the room the words The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black were scrawled in bright, glittering gold thread. The family motto appeared beneath it. Toujours Pur. It was a beautiful piece of work, Hermione thought, even if the family was quite disgusting.
She ran her fingers across the fabric, stopping to look at faces and names she'd only heard in stories or in passing. The tree was made of thin gold "branches" in the same thread as the family motto, and beneath each photo was a small scroll with the name of the occupant and their birth and death dates.
She knew some of the people on the tapestry. Narcissa Malfoy nee Black, the Mother of her classmate Draco Malfoy was connected to Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black, and a dark burn scar was all that was left of Andromeda Tonks.
"Tonks," she asked, "Why aren't you on the tapestry?"
Tonks approached the smudge that was once her Mother's photo. "When a person is disowned from the family, their lineage is deemed complete. No marriages or births will on the tapestry after they are blasted off."
Hermione approached another burn mark on the wall, this one beneath the names of Walburga and Orion Black. She knew this was the photo of Sirius Black, and she felt tears burn her eyes knowing that even in death, he would not appear on the tapestry.
She followed his line and traced her fingers to his brother, Regulus Arcturus Black, born in 1961, died in 1979. There was a small golden thread spiraling out from beneath his photo and Hermione sucked in a gasp.
"What is it?" Tonks inquired, striding the few steps to stand next to Hermione.
"Oh... oh Hermione." Tonks wrapped an arm around the girl, trying to find words to comfort her, to ease the pain and confusion she must be feeling at that moment.
Hermione's legs crumpled beneath her, and she slumped to the floor, eyes glued to the portrait on the wall labeled Lupa Hermione Black.
The picture looked as if it'd been taken that very moment, and Hermione's mind reeled with questions, fears, and more than a bit of anger.
"How is this possible, Tonks?" she moaned. "My parents... I mean the Granger's... they've talked about my birth! They have photos of us at the hospital! They adore me! I can't be some... I'm...."
Her voice stuttered to a stop, as she broke down in sobs.
"I'm just Hermione," she whispered miserably.
Across London, in a warm and welcoming cottage owned by Ted and Andromeda Tonks, a woman with ebony curls paced the floor, waiting for a response from her daughter.
When the Black Grimoire had shrieked, Andromeda nearly blasted the thing to pieces. She'd never heard a Grimoire scream in such a manner, although it wasn't too much of a surprise, the book was designed to hold the darkest information about the family.
She'd been given the Grimoire two years prior when Sirius took up residence in the home at Grimmauld Place. He respected the family spells, despised them, but respected them, and he certainly didn't want to see that book in the hands of some of the members of the Order of the Phoenix.
When the book screamed, an ominous glow came from the pages, and Andromeda couldn't resist flipping the book open to find the source.
As she paced, the book lying open on the sofa, its contents no longer glowing, Andromeda knew that something didn't add up.
The book had led her to a passage on a spell that would hide living children from the Black family. It was created by Cedrella Black, another woman who'd been blasted from the tapestry because of her marriage to Septimus Weasley.
The book detailed a spell that would allow outside sources to manipulate the tapestry to hide marriages and births.
It was designed to hide family members in danger, without a person needing to access the tapestry in order to hide their loved ones, if they could simply send word to the home the tapestry lie in, the current occupant could cast the spell over persons who would be affected.
The spell could be removed either by the person who cast it, or when the person who was hidden was in danger and would need familial protection.
Andromeda had never heard of the spell being used before but imagined Cedrella created it before being blasted off the tree, to protect her future children and spouse should her face not be burned from the wall.
As she paced, thinking about the spell, worrying about her daughter, and wondering who was hidden, a large Eurasian eagle owl swept onto the windowsill, tapping the glass urgently.
She knew this owl. Her sister bought this owl after graduating from Hogwarts, and she knew that others must have felt the shift in the family magic, too.
There has been a shift in the Black family magic tonight, as I am sure you're already aware.
I went to Bella, begging the family Grimoire, but was shocked when as the oldest living Black family member, it was not in her possession.
The book lied last in the hands of Sirius, and with his passing is probably hidden away at Aunt Walburga's hovel.
Bellatrix did not feel the shift in the family magic, I think her magic is corrupted, from the darkness and the years in Azkaban.
I have placed a great deal of danger upon myself by reaching out to you, but I am reminded of the importance of family, as you're the only Black left that hasn't completely lost themselves.
We must know what has caused the change. I may be a Malfoy in name, but I am a Black at heart, and we are all that is left of the family, now.
Please tell me you can get to the tapestry and the book, sister. We must determine the cause of the shift. Perhaps Aunt's old house elf will respond to you. I tried calling him, to no avail. He wailed on the carpet about his Master's young miss and to be honest, I think he's quite mad.
Andromeda started blankly at the letter. She had not heard from her younger sister since being disowned nearly 25 years ago.
Of course, she knew Narcissa would feel the shift in the magic, any remaining persons with Black blood would have felt it.
"Kreacher," she snapped out the name of her Aunt's beloved house elf.
The wrinkled elf popped into the room, wearing a dusty and battered towel, cowering under his arms and weeping.
"Kreacher does not answer to the bad Black witch. Yous was blasted from the family," he muttered.
"Oh shut up," Andromeda groaned. "Something changed in the family magic tonight. I need to see the tapestry."
"Kreacher cannot take you to the tapestry. Kreacher's Miss is seeing the wall." The house-elf groaned and slammed his head against the floor. "Kreacher said too much."
Andromeda sighed before dismissing the elf. Someone was viewing the tapestry. She knew Nymphadora was with the order tonight, and the Order had access to the house.
She flung on a deep black cloak and stepped out of her home into the blackness of the night, apparating to the Burrow to await more news.
Andromeda arrived at the Burrow to a scene that could only be described as chaotic.
There were people everywhere, and before she could take two steps forward, a wand was shoved into her face.
"Tell me the last thing your daughter said to you tonight before we left" Remus Lupin demanded of her.
"She said that I needed to quit imagining the two of you in a relationship," she responded.
Remus laughed, gripping her in a tight hug. "That's right! You know she's mad for Amelia, don't you?"
Andromeda glared at the man, humor in her smile. "Where is she? Is she back?" she inquired.
"No. She was here, waiting to heal in case of injuries. Kingsley called on her and Arthur. They haven't returned. They have Hermione with them. I didn't see them take any hits, but something must've happened."
Before the conversation could continue, a bright weasel Patronus leaped between them.
"We're on our way back. Please clear the room. Upper-level Order members only. There's a situation we need to discuss." Arthur's voice rang out, silencing the room.
"I'm staying," Andromeda demanded.
"Yeah, me too! Hermione's not back yet! I won't go without her!" Harry shouted.
Remus rolled his eyes, frustrated with the level of emotions running rampant in the cramped space.
"Tonks and Arthur left to meet Kingsley and Hermione, one of them might be injured. No one stays except Upper-Level members. Molly, Moody, Bill, Fleur, and myself." he boomed. "We'll fill the rest of you in as we can."
Shouts erupted, but Molly began pushing the younger Order members out of the room.
"Remus, listen." Andromeda grabbed the man's arm, forcing him to face her. "Something happened to the Black's tonight. Our grimoire screamed and the family magic shifted. Even Narcissa owled me about it. I called the Black elf and they said their young miss was looking at the tapestry. You know only the Order has access to Grimmauld Place. Tonks is there, I'm sure. I'm staying."
The man sighed, leading her to a seat.
The telltale cracks of apparition sounded outside, and Remus strode to open the back door.
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
Ah, you guys have been purely fantastic with the reviews/follows/favorites! It totally warms my heart!
I'm trying something a bit new with this story that I've never done before, and that's the idea of flashbacks. I don't think I'll be using them often, just when important past events need to come to light without a ton of dialogue getting in the way. If it doesn't seem to flow well, drop a note and let me know what you think! I always love hearing all of your thoughts!
This entire chapter is a flashback that ended up a bit longer than I expected! I know you're all getting super impatient to hear about Hermione's other parent, and I promise, it's in the next chapter! I hope to have it out Saturday! It's almost fully written, and I will do my darndest to get it to you as quickly as possible! (P.S. THERE ARE HINTS THOUGH, JUST SAYIN.)
JULY 25, 1997
(Two days before the Battle of the Seven Potters)
Severus Snape stood to the left of the Dark Lord in the drawing room of Malfoy Manor. He was clad in thick dark robes, a hood pulled over his head, and an intricate silver mask covering his face. Gathered in a circle around the room were 15 other inner circle Death Eaters, all similarly clad, with the exception of Bellatrix who rarely wore her mask, who chose to flaunt her mania with pride and risk identification.
He knew this meeting was called to discuss the Order's moving of Potter in two days and felt a sickness in his gut that he'd be unable to pass along any information to protect Harry and the other Order members.
"My companions," hissed the Dark Lord, bring the meeting to a start, "We are gathered to plot and plan a mission that will occur in two days time. The Order will be moving the Potter boy from his childhood home on the 25th. They will be expecting an attack from our ranks, and we will provide that."
A murmur of agreement and excitement swept through the gathered ranks.
"However, the boy is not our focus this night," the Dark Lord continued.
Confused gasps and whispers were rampant among those gathered in the room. The Dark Lord seemed obsessed with finding and killing the boy, and they couldn't understand why he'd changed tracks in this hour of opportunity.
"Yes, yes, the boy is still my priority, do not concern yourselves with little Harry Potter," he spat, "This night we have another agenda."
The Dark Lord stood and began walking the room along the inside of the circle formed by his followers.
"You see, nearly eighteen years ago, one of my most loyal followers disappeared from my ranks. I was, as you can imagine, quite furious that this young man would seek to betray the oath he swore to serve me. I tracked him through his mark, found him on the verge of death and horribly sick, at the hands of Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix."
Severus froze, he had absolutely no idea what the Dark Lord was talking about, and the only follower that went missing before the Dark Lord's own disappearance in 1981 was his childhood friend, Regulus Black.
"Yes, I can see you're working out whom I mean, aren't you." The Dark Lord continued, "I found Regulus Black, a gifted servant, bloody, weak, poisoned, and left for dead in a small cave meant to hide one of my personal artifacts. The nature and location of the cave are not important, but what is important for you, my brethren, to understand is this.
Regulus Black was snatched from his family home in the middle of the evening, we believe with help from the older Black sibling. He reeked of the Imperius curse, and his memory had been obliviated."
Voldemort continued pacing in the room, raising tensions within the crowd.
"When I found him, I brought him back to dear Walburga, who consulted the Black family grimoire on my behalf, in an attempt to save those memories. Luckily, the Black family have developed a spell that will remove memory charms and allow the inflicted full viewing of their memories without lasting harm. Naturally, Walburga did not wish to share the details of this spell."
A chuckle swept through the crowd, they all knew Walburga was just another Black who was a bit too mad, a bit too secretive.
"When Regulus's memories were returned, not only did I witness the elder Black sibling and Dumbledore casting dark magic on the young boy, attempting to deceive me with a fake betrayal, forcing poison down his throat, leaving him for death amongst a mass of inferi, but the worst offense of all, they stole his love, and his future child away from him as well."
Severus felt dizzy with the information. The Dark Lord was speaking as if Regulus was alive, and if that was the case, where was he? He remembered Regulus's love affair back at Hogwarts, a ridiculous matchup that Severus found disgusting but gave Regulus a twinkle in his eye. He never imagined it to be serious enough to lead to a child...
His head swam. He knew the person Regulus had been with. He knew that person was still an order member and was not in any way a parent of a child.
It was only after blinking several times that he realized the Dark Lord was still speaking.
"Yes, yes", the Dark Lord hissed, "Regulus found himself a partner during his years at Hogwarts. While it wasn't one of my... standard, given his loyalty and my own benevolence, I would have welcomed his partner and child among us. However, the same night that Dumbledore stole Regulus from his bed, he stole his partner from right next to him. Black's memories show the partner was also obliviated, made to forget Regulus, to forget the majority of their school relationship, their love, and even their child, even though they still rested within."
Whispers were making the way through the room. Did Dumbledore hide a pregnancy? From the person who was pregnant?
"By the time I found Regulus, healed him of the poisoning and obliviation, there was no way for us to go in search of the partner or the child, so we waited. When there were no new children amongst members of the Order, we assumed the child lost." Voldemort continued.
"Regulus was not as easily deterred as myself, however, and continued his research within the Black family grimoire. He had returned to his family home numerous times to look at the family tapestry, and while he could sense magic over it that didn't feel as though it belonged, he could not uncover it.
He was able to find a spell, many months later, within the same book that helped to restore his own memories. This spell would allow for a person's lineage to be changed, or hidden, within the tapestry. He discovered this spell had indeed been cast on the walls within his home, and when he unfurled it, found his own daughter spiraling out from his own place on the family tree. A daughter born in September of 1979, just months after his ordeal."
Voldemort stopped talking at this point, returning to his spot at the front of the room, lounging in his gilded chair, a veritable throne in the room. The hooded man next to him stepped forward and lowered his hood.
Severus nearly choked, for standing in front of him was a man he believed dead for 18 years, one of his only true friends after having lost Lily in fifth year, Regulus Black, in the flesh.
"I decided at that time to allow the rumor of my death to continue. If Dumbledore believed me dead, he would not try quite as hard to hide the child." Regulus spoke.
"I have waited for years. I believe I know whom the Order is disguising my child as, and I believe that the Black family grimoire has a way to reveal her to us." he continued. "There is a spell, that will work only on those of Black lineage, that roughly translates to reveal all secrets. Our Lord has given me permission to teach you all this spell, and you will cast it on as many members of the Order as possible on the night of Potter's transport. The spell will not affect those who are not of Black lineage, except to feel like a stinging hex. For the one affected, it will feel quite painful, if they are truly disguised by magical core glamours like I believe they are."
There was silence in the room when Narcissa stepped forward.
"Reggie," she whispered softly, "who is she?"
Regulus turned and looked at his cousin, whom he had not spoken to in so many years.
"I believe the Order hid my daughter amongst muggles, casting her as a muggle-born witch. She's in Draco's year. Her name is Lupa. Lupa Hermione Black.
Severus hissed in a sharp intake of breath.
"You may know of her as Potter's muggle-born best friend, Hermione Granger."
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
So, I took on a part-time job that has me working mostly nights/weekends so I'm going to try to write during the day and update as much as possible. It's not like... a hard job, but it's a job and my family doesn't get paid when I just write fanfiction, lmao!
ANYWAYS, if updates get sporadic, feel free to drop me a message or comment and I'll let you know where I'm in regards to updating the story!
Confusion: disorder, upheaval, tumult, chaos.
Hermione entered the Burrow tucked tightly under the arm of Nymphadora Tonks. She hadn't stopped shaking since reading the tapestry. She let out a sharp scream when a wand was shoved in her face.
"Who the hell is this!" Bill Weasley hollered, "You can't just bring strangers to our home, Tonks!"
"Relax." Tonks sighed heavily, "It's Hermione. Can I get her sitting down? It's clearly been a tough night."
A gasp was heard from Andromeda, and Tonks was pretty sure the look on Remus' face bordered on sadness and fear.
Tonks led Hermione to the large wooden kitchen table, setting her down at the side bench and gesturing to Molly to give the trembling girl a hot cup of tea.
"As you can see, Hermione has undergone some changes tonight. We'll explain what we can, but there's still much we don't know." Kingsley stated.
Meanwhile, across Britain, a small group of people had gathered in the resplendent drawing room of Malfoy Manor.
"Was she revealed?" Regulus asked, eagerly awaiting news of the night.
Bellatrix spoke first. "Yes. I cast your revealing spell at every person I could, regardless of if they looked like Potter or another. She was riding a thestral! A thestral!" she cackled. "She was with the Auror, Kingsley Shaklebolt. At first, there was no response, but as I started flying away, I heard the screams and so I turned to follow. They flew beyond some wards and didn't come back out, so I came back to the manor. I am not sure where they are at this time."
"I sent an owl to Andromeda," Narcissa said, "I told her that I felt the shift in the family magic. I took advantage of the rumors regarding Bella's state of mind and told her that Bella did not feel the shift. I am hopeful that my insistence on protecting the Black name will have her responding to me."
Severus stood silently against the back wall of the room, feeling as though he was drowning in information and conversation. He knew the order still had access to Grimmauld, but he couldn't access it himself safely. What he wanted to do was storm to Hogwarts and demand answers from the portrait of Albus Dumbledore, but the timing wasn't right.
"Regulus," he spoke softly, "The girl, Hermione, she's... she's more than just smart, she won't stop until she has all the answers of what has happened to her this night, and in regards to her own history. I would think you only need to be patient, and she'll reach out to someone here."
Regulus nodded, and the group adjourned to their own rooms within the expanse of the Manor.
At the Burrow, Kingsley had just finished telling the story of the Death Eater screeching a spell in Hermione's direction, her screams, and their apparition to Grimmauld place, and his subsequent summoning of Tonks and Arthur.
Tonks took over the conversation, explaining how she received the Patronus from her mother, and she looked to Andromeda to explain what she had experienced that night.
"When there is a change in a family, other members of the family can often feel a subtle shift in the family magic. This is most often because of deaths, births, and marriages." She noticed several occupants of the room nodding as they had experienced this within their own lines.
"When the event is highly traumatic, or hidden secrets come to light, this shift can feel rather violent." She continued. "When the Order took over Grimmauld Place as it's headquarters, Sirius gave me the Black family grimoire. Being disowned, it truly belongs to Bellatrix, but Sirius entrusted it to me because he didn't want it falling in the hands of anyone it shouldn't at the family home.
I had placed it on the highest bookshelf in my living room and simply forgotten about it. I was awaiting the return of my daughter from your mission tonight, and the book screamed." she explained.
Molly coughed sharply, choking on her tea. "It screamed, Andromeda?"
"Yes." Andromeda continued softly. "The Black family grimoire is unique in its characteristics, the book is nearly sentient in its old age and with the magic in its pages. When the family status changes significantly, the book will notify the family, it just chooses a poor way to do it."
"So... Hermione was the change?" Remus asked.
"When I arrived at Grimmauld, she was screaming, clearly in pain but every diagnostic spell came back clean, no spell damage or dark magic on her at all. Within a few minutes, she was only whimpering, and she was able to sit. I gave her a pain potion and once she was calm enough, we took her to the tapestry room." Tonks said.
The room grew quiet, the occupants waiting to hear what was found on the tapestry. The only sound was the tinkling of Hermione's teacup as it rattled in her hand against the saucer she held in the other.
"The only change on the tapestry was the addition of a daughter. It was Hermione's photo. Her name is Lupa Hermione Black. It was right there, clear as day." Tonks continued.
"So Sirius had a child?" Remus inquired, "Who is her mother?"
Hermione let out a choked sob at the question and dropped the cup and saucer back to the table.
"No," Tonks said quietly, rubbing her hand in slow circles on Hermione's back, attempting to calm the girl. "She is the daughter of Regulus Black."
Remus stood quickly, his chair scraping the floor loudly. "But... that can't be right. Regulus... he..." Remus stuttered. "How? Who is her Mother, Tonks?"
"There was no mother on the tapestry. It was just Regulus." Tonks answered.
"How do we know it's real?"
Andromeda snorted, a rather ineloquent sound coming from the most put together woman in the room.
"You mean, besides the fact that she looks like a Black daughter? Those eyes and that hair?" she sneered. "Of course the great Order of the Pheonix can't trust old magic."
"There is a spell, known to all members of the Black family. It was created by one of our patriarchs who found himself outside his marriage bed more than appropriate, and those extra-marital conquests came with certain... shall we say, consequences. He developed a spell to show familial relation to members Black family." Andromeda continued, "Either myself or Nymphadora can cast it, and it will show the relation between the three of us in the room."
"Do it," Hermione whispered roughly. "Cast the spell, let's get it over with."
"The spell is designed to show not just that people are related, but to some degree, how they are related," Andromeda explained. "A golden thread will indicate parental relationships. If Regulus or Hermione's other parent were here, there would be a golden thread connecting them. A silver thread connects those with a sibling relationship. Grandparents are indicated with a light blue thread, Aunts, and Uncles with a light red thread, and cousins are indicated with a light green line, but any relatives more distant then 3rd would likely not show up at all."
Tonks waved her wand and murmured the incantation under her breath, careful not to let anyone hear the words of the spell, to protect the Black family secrets.
A golden thread stretched between Tonks and Andromeda, the parental relationship. A thin green line reached between Hermione and Tonks as well as Hermione and Andromeda.
Hermione stared blankly at the lines bisecting the room leading from her body. A look of shock was on her face at the unexpected line thrumming from her chest.
A gold line.
Her eyes rose to follow the thread, wondering who in the room could be her parent and why the hell they didn't say anything all the years they'd known her.
She found the confused gaze from across the room. Gasps and sounds of horror and bewilderment filled the room as the two locked eyes.
"Remus?" she whispered before her vision blackened and the room disappeared.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Thank you, everyone, for all the reviews and comments! I continue to appreciate your support and kindness!
I do have a bit that I'd like to say but I'll put it in an author's note at the bottom of this chapter!
Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
Remus watched the girl collapse, heard the din of screaming voices surrounding him, his name being called repeatedly, but he certain he was frozen in place. He stared at the girl with the black curls grey eyes and that thin gold cord thrumming from her chest reaching out to connect to his own.
He knew someone was trying to get his attention, but all he could think about was Regulus Black, his Reggie and how he hadn't seen him since the sixth year, and there was absolutely no way that this spell could connect them all.
He felt a small hand grasp his arm, leading him from the chaos in the room as the girl was levitated to a nearby couch.
Tonks. His best friend. His confidant. The only person who even knew what he used to feel for Regulus Black.
"Remus," she whispered harshly, "A CHILD! You have a CHILD and you never bothered to say anything!".
"I don't have a child," he responded. "I can't have a child! I'm a man, Tonks. How in the world do you think I have a child with another man! Something's wrong here!"
She was gripping his arm so hard, he was certain there'd be bruises in the morning. "That spell connected her to you, Remus. It's never been wrong. Something happened, why won't you tell me!" she nearly yelled in response.
"Tonks. Please," he pleaded with his friend, "I think I'd remember having a daughter, don't you! That's no small feat! I don't have children! She's not mine!"
Andromeda watched the pair closely, before making her way across the room.
"Remus, did Regulus ever show you the family grimoire?" she asked.
"What, no?" he answered, "We were just friends and no one shares those types of family secrets with just friends! Especially with Sirius being my friend, the family would never risk that!"
"The family grimoire has a transfiguration spell to allow for male pregnancies. It's been shared with others before, but not often. I wonder if..." Andromeda trailed off, turning to look at the girl who was slowly coming to on the couch.
"No. Andromeda, I don't have any kids!" Remus shouted, feeling more than a bit overwhelmed.
"Clearly, you do," she responded sharply, before stomping away to sit next to the shaking girl in an attempt to bring her some small modicum of comfort.
90 miles away, in Wiltshire, Regulus Black paced the floor of his room. He wanted nothing more than to apparate to the Weasley home, take his daughter, and disappear from their lives. He'd waited so long. Years of heartbreak and turmoil, of watching his daughter grow from afar and the man he once loved have no idea he even existed.
"Kreacher" he called the elf of his ancestral home, knowing he'd answer even though he hadn't seen him in nearly two decades.
The elf popped into the room and nearly fell to the floor, sobbing hysterically. "Master, Master" he sobbed, "Oh you've come back, Master!"
Regulus kneeled down, speaking softly to the elf shaking on the floor. "Kreacher, I am sorry I was gone for so long. I had to stay hidden. You have done so well all these years, protecting our home. Tell me, what happened tonight?"
Kreacher sniffled, attempting to gain control over himself in the presence of his long adored Master.
"Kreacher felt the family magic shift, sir! I was just cleaning the Ancient and Noble Family of Black home, and I felt it! And then they came. I just hid in the shadows, Master. They've been in the house for years, since Sirius, the traitor, let them in with the old headmaster of the school! I can't keep them out, but I watched, oh I did!" the elf said.
"And tonight, tonight they came again and it was only two of them. The big man whose skin looks like chocolate and the girl..." he whispered, "your girl, the one we thought was the mudblood girl! She was with him, just screaming and crying!" The elf broke down in sobs again, throwing himself on the floor, muttering about how he didn't protect his special little miss.
"Kreacher," Regulus said firmly, "You didn't know who she was, it's okay. None of us knew, for quite a while. Please continue."
"The big man sent for two others. The father of those with the red hair, and the daughter of disgraced Andromeda." the elf continued, "She calmed my miss down, gave her a drink for the pain, and took her to the tapestry. There she was, your little miss, the special little miss, right there from your picture sir! Lupa. The special miss cried, oh she cried, and they took her back to the family of the man with the red hair, Sir."
"So she knows, good. Thank you Kreacher, you've done so well. Please fetch Narcissia for me, and then go back to the home. Alert me immediately if anyone enters or tries to enter the home." Regulus commanded.
"Yes, sir!" The elf squeaked, before popping out of the room.
Narcissa entered the room gracefully mere moments later. "Regulus, Kreacher came for me." she said.
"Yes, I have found I do not wish to keep waiting for word on my daughter. Do you have any suggestions?" he asked the blonde witch.
"I imagine Andromeda and her daughter are with your child now. Her daughter, Nymphadora, is a member of the order, and good friends with Remus Lupin. If I know Andromeda, she'll have cast the Black family parentage and relationship spell." she said primly, "I already sent an owl, but I could send another, perhaps?"
Back in Ottery St. Catchpole, Hermione was sitting quietly on the couch, looking awkwardly across the room at Remus. Andromeda sat next to her, rubbing calming circles on her back.
"Dromeda," she whispered to the witch sitting next to her, "How can Remus be my parent if Regulus is as well?"
"There are many secrets to the Black family, things we don't often talk about, but many times in our families history have our males mated with another male. You will learn that family is quite important to us, and the continuation of the line is something that is not taken lightly. Many generations ago, a spell was created to allow partial transfiguration to males to allow for the carrying of a child. It was often left as a permanent change for those who wished for more than one child, but it could be removed, as well." Andromeda explained, "The spell has been shared with other families, but many couples chose to be quite secretive about these things."
"But Remus seems just as shocked as I am... Tonks said he doesn't know anything about me. How can I be his child if he doesn't even remember being pregnant with me!" Hermione questioned.
"I don't know, dear." Andromeda sighed heavily, "I fear there is something dark at work, and while I've read the grimoire several times, I may need to consult the spells within another time to see if there is a way for us to figure out why Remus doesn't have recollection of you."
As the two witches sat in an uncomfortable silence, that familiar owl pecked at the window. Andromeda was startled a bit, that her sister would reach out to her twice in one evening.
Before anyone else could let the owl in, Andromeda lept to her feet. "It's for me," she said firmly, daring anyone in the room to question her.
She unfurled the scroll with a scowl on her face.
I am deeply sorry to reach out to you a second time this evening, I know this must be a terrible shock to you.
It has come to my attention, through certain circles, that the shift in the family magic may have been a hidden child.
My sister, I have also come to the knowledge recently that there has been much more hidden than we ever expected. I imagine there is a great amount of confusion for you and the child, and I can answer some of those questions for you.
I know you have no reason to trust me, as our family cast you out so many years ago.
Please sister, let me help.
I would implore you to meet with me, no matter how briefly, so I can share this information with you, so you can help the child.
I wish you no harm, nor any harm to the child. They are a member of our family, and they must be protected.
Please respond by owl or Patronus. You may set the parameters of our meeting. I will arrive alone. Bring your Auror daughter or even the Shaklebolt Auror.
Yours in sisterhood,
Okay, I can admit that a few of the reviews left me a bit saddened because I mean... it's fanfiction you guys, it's not supposed to be too serious! It's for fun!
So, to answer some of those questions -
Mpreg? Yeah, so? It doesn't seem too far-fetched in my mind.
Like, Slughorn disguised himself as a chair. McGonagall turns into a cat. A freaking hat decides the personalities of children? Like, this is the Wizarding World, anything is possible!
Some of you were really upset about the idea of an Mpreg in a story.
The pregnancy happened nearly 20 years ago, and once Remus remembers it will be of little importance to the ongoing story, but if it bothers you that much, you're not at all obligated to read the story! As much as I love love love my readers, I do not want anyone to be uncomfortable.
Chapter 6: Chapter Six
Ya'll make me just ridiculously happy.
I apologize for not updating faster, life has been a bit insane lately, and between the political rhetoric that's swamping the US and the issues with abuse and assault and all, it's been a bit hard to get out of my head, something I think a lot of women are probably experiencing these last few weeks, but I digress. ANYWAYS. I have basically sat down and written a few sentences here and there and finally, there's a full chapter for you!
To those of you who pointed out my mistake with the house-elf Kreacher - THANK YOU! I've fixed the previous chapter to reflect the correct spelling. You'd think I'd learn to spell these things a bit better, but alas, I probably never will!
Recollection: to recall to mind; recover knowledge of by memory; remember.
After returning home, Hermione in tow, Andromeda pondered over the missives she'd received from her estranged sister. Any living member of the House of Black would have felt the shift in the familial magic, but Andromeda wondered how Narcissa could have known it was a child.
Amidst the chaos at the Burrow with Remus, Andromeda refused to release Hermione into the hands of those outside the family. The girl had clung to her throughout the evening, the spell casting, and further discussions. She was fearful and confused and admitted to feeling a deep sense of rejection that Remus refused to admit his parentage of her, despite that she herself hadn't known that the Granger's weren't her biological family.
Andromeda was more than a bit suspicious of what Narcissa could want, or have information about, especially given that the two ran in completely different circles, and the contacts Narcissia mentioned were certain to be unsavory. However, Andromeda also valued the importance of family, like every Black, and knew she'd have to listen, at least, to the information her sister had to share.
A crack of apparition rang out in the stillness of the field that Andromeda stood beside, gazing longingly at a rich stone cottage perched among massive willow trees. The Black sisters often summered at this cottage as children, located in Farran Wood, outside of Cork, Ireland. It was the last place she'd seen her sister before her family disowned her for marrying Ted. She'd never returned to the cottage, although Sirius had spent time here after his escape from Azkaban.
Narcissa arrived in a swirl of silk, fine blonde hair trailing slightly behind her in the breeze. Her robes were deep steel blue, tailored to fit her body perfectly, and her knee-high boots were made of fine leather. Andromeda scoffed at the picture of perfection in front of her.
"I see you haven't changed much, Cissy," she said sharply, "Still dressed to the nines even with no one to impress."
"'Meda," Narcissa spoke primly, dropping into a small curtsy, not wishing to antagonize the sister she hadn't seen in nearly two decades. "Let's go inside, I'll have Totts make us some tea."
Andromeda nodded quietly, following Narcissa past the thick wards and into the cottage.
After Narcissa had called upon the old elf to serve tea, the two sisters sat in high backed chairs across from a roaring fireplace, staring silently at each other, as if neither could bear to be the first one to speak about why they were truly here.
Eventually, Narcissa broke the quiet, "Sister, I know the shift was a child." she said softly.
"You can't possibly know that." Andromeda sneered.
"Yes, I can. I know who it is, I know who the parents are, and I know how it happened." Narcissa said flatly.
Andromeda gripped her cup of tea tightly in her hand, her hand shaking with the realization that Narcissa knew more about the situation then she had anticipated.
"How do you know all of that?" she asked her sister.
"I..." Narcissa trailed off, looking unsure of what exactly to share with Andromeda, "I found out from the source, just the day before the shift, actually."
Andromeda stared at Narcissa, bewildered. Was Narcissa saying she knew about the child before the shift?
"Narcissa," she asked, "Are you saying you knew there was a Black child?"
Narcissa leaned back into the chair, slumping her shoulders slightly, a sight that looked completely out of place on the aristocratic woman. "Yes. There's much you don't know, and I want to share it with you." She looked at Andromeda with glistening eyes. "I want so many things, sister, but I can't trust the Order. I know you're not a member, your daughter is, but in order to share this information with you, I need you to vow that you'll not share it with the order, without specific permission from myself or the other person included in the information."
Andromeda furled her eyebrows, unsure how she felt about swearing confidentiality when she already knew that Hermione was the daughter of Regulus and Remus.
"I already know who the girl's parents are," Andromeda said flatly. "Why would I swear myself to secrecy when I already have the information?"
"There's much, much more." her sister answered.
After a few minutes of silent contemplation, Andromeda agreed to the vow, magic swirling around her as she swore to keep the secrets her sister was offering. She then sat, a bit impatiently, waiting for Narcissa to begin.
"The night before the Order was scheduled to move young Potter, the inner circle was called to meet with the Dark Lord. We assumed that it would be about the boy, and the Dark Lord's plans for capturing him." Narcissa explained.
"But, we were all shocked when that's not what he wanted to speak with us about at all. He told us a story, that I might not have believed even I didn't see the evidence before me, about Dumbledore kidnapping Regulus and attempting to frame him for a betrayal of the Dark Lord." she said, "The Dark Lord explained that Regulus was nearly killed, being forced a horrific potion and left for dead, but the Dark Lord found him through the mark, helped him escape to safety and Aunt Walburga found a spell in the grimoire that helped save Regulus' memory, and his life."
"You see," Narcissa continued, "In addition to kidnapping Regulus from his bed, Dumbledore also wiped his memory, installing false memories within him that he'd desired to betray our Lord. He could have died never realizing he was forced into this horrible situation".
Andromeda was horrified that the so-called "Leader of the Light" would kidnap a boy, and alter his memories, but she wasn't entirely sure her sister was telling the truth.
"First of all, there's nothing that proves that, and Dumbledore is dead so we can't exactly ask him." Andromeda scoffed, "I don't see how this has anything to do with the child, either."
Narcissa gave her sister a small smile, "There's a bit more to the story than just Reggie's kidnapping." she continued, "You see, the night Dumbledore stole Reg out of his bed, he also stole his lover and child from the room as well. They were together that night, in Grimmauld Place, and Dumbledore and Sirius broke in, separating the two forever."
"It is a bit hard to believe you," Andromeda said slowly, "because the lover you speak of has absolutely no recollection of being pregnant or with Regulus in any way, and again, like Dumbledore, Regulus is dead so we can't ask for his memories either."
Narcissa was still, ever silent as the minutes dragged on between them. Her perfectly manicured nails tapped out a staccato on the arm of the chair.
"So, the wolf has no memories of the relationship, the kidnapping, or the pregnancy?" she asked gently, "We thought that might be the case, as Regulus' memories had also been tampered with."
The blonde then took a deep breath, inhaling almost like a gasp before blurting out, "Reggie isn't dead. He's been hiding all these years, and the grimoire can restore Lupin's memories, and you're going to have to do it because as it is, I can't imagine them coming to parlay with us without those memories restored."
Andromeda's hands were shaking, with anger and fear and shock. She'd never seen her sister look so nervous or speak so quickly, as though the words escaped her mouth without her permission.
"Alive?" she asked. "Reggie is alive?"
"Yes," Narcissa whispered in response. "I didn't know. Not until that meeting. None of us did except the Dark Lord. But he's alive. He's well. And he wants his daughter back."
"Fuck." It was the only thing Andromeda could think to say.
When Andromeda arrived home, she hastily made her way to her sitting room, tearing the grimoire from it's resting place and flipping violently through the pages looking for the spell that Narcissa guaranteed would bring back the memories of Remus Lupin.
She knew she wouldn't be able to explain about Regulus or the meeting with Narcissa, but if she could get Remus' his memories back, then she might not have to do any explaining at all.
As she scanned the pages of the ancient tome, her heart beat furiously in her chest, her mind warring over the best course of action. She whipped out her wand, conjuring her patronus.
"Go to Nymphadora. Tell her to come home, urgently, and to bring Remus with her," she instructed the spectral blue tiger.
She sat on the comfortable sofa, years of use forming it to fit the members of her home perfectly. Her eyes were drawn to the spell she'd just found, realizing this must be the spell Walburga used to restore Regulus' memories.
The floo lit bright green, and her daughter stumbled through, tugging Remus by the hand.
His face was puffy and swollen, and she knew he'd been crying. Her heart broke for the man standing in front of her.
She rose from her seat and gestured to the two to sit down.
"I believe there's a reason you don't remember Hermione," she said, deciding to jump right into the necessary conversation.
Remus hung his head, "I remember Regulus, I mean... we weren't close. We were friends though, in my sixth year. After everything that happened with Sirius, I knew that Reg couldn't be bad, not if he helped Sirius escape to the Potters. I approached him in the library and we developed a tentative friendship. I feel like there's more but, I can't remember."
Andromeda kneeled next to him, handing the grimoire to her daughter, as she took one of Remus' hands in her own.
"There is a spell, in the book, that I would like to use upon you," she explained, pointing to the open tome on Nymphadora's lap. "It will remove any memory enchantments that have been placed upon you, regardless of who cast them or when. I don't know the answers, Remus, but I know there's a broken-hearted girl lying upstairs and a Black spell that says you're her parent. If you don't remember, there must be a reason why."
Remus nodded gingerly, looking in her eyes. "I don't understand. How could I not know?"
Andromeda sighed sadly, "I don't know. There's much to be discovered, I think. The spell might help you remember something, anything, about the situation."
A tear splashed onto her hand, as she realized Remus was crying.
"Okay," he said, "I mean, it can't hurt, right?"
Nymphadora wrapped her arms around his shoulders, squeezing him tightly as he chocked out a small sob.
"Do you want to do it now?" Andromeda asked.
Remus didn't trust himself to speak, so he only nodded his agreement.
Andromeda pulled out her wand, taking the book back from her daughter to review the spell incantation and wand movements. She pointed her wand at Remus. "memoria restituet".
Remus jerked back against the couch, muscles tensing. A groan escaped his lips as his eyes slammed shut.
It was several minutes before he leaned forward with a sharp gasp, his hands balled into fists, rubbing his eyes.
He looked at Nymphadora, then Andromeda.
"Merlin," he said softly, "I remember."
The women looked at him, waiting for him to continue.
"I remember Reggie, I remember... it was... Dumbledore. He..." Remus stuttered. "He..."
The man stood, pacing the room. "She's mine. She's my daughter," he said, to no one specific. "Gather the Order," he said to Nymphadora, before quickly changing his mind.
"No, wait. Not everyone, not everyone." he seemed frantic. "Get Shacklebolt, Moody, Minerva, and Vance. Summon them immediately. I need to tell you what happened. It can't wait."
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Thank you all for your continued support of this story, despite the most random update schedule ever!
I've had a lot going on, personally, that has kind of taken my muse and gone "haha no". I just haven't had the emotional wherewithal to continue writing when I'm barely getting through the day.
Please note - this story will contain an M/M relationship, in flashbacks and in future chapters. There will not be any M/M smut, not that I have any issue with it, but because I can't write it.
That relationship will only be highlighted within the next 2-3 chapters to continue telling the history of the relationship to explain how we are where we are now.
The main relationship in this story will be Draco/Hermione, but there's SO MUCH more to the story than that romance, so I hope you stick with it!
Plan: a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.
Tonks left the room quickly, heading to the foyer to start floo calling the Order members that Remus had requested.
When he was alone in the room with Andromeda, he let his head drop heavily into his hands. It was clear he was feeling a great amount of despair given his circumstances, and Andromeda wasn't sure how to approach the man.
"Remus," she said, a gentle voice soothing his frayed nerves.
Remus sighed heavily, before beginning to explain. "I'll tell you everything once everyone arrives, Andromeda, but we will have to swear them to secrecy. This is... well it will be hard for people to believe. It's hard for me to believe and it happened to me!"
When he heard the floo chime in the adjacent room, he spared one more glance to the woman who had been another Mother to him.
"And you should know," he told her, "I won't go back to the Order."
The requested Order members had gathered in the cottage within the hour, and Remus sat quietly at the head of the table in the dining room, the others gathered around the table, sipping tea, and waiting for him to begin.
"Thank you for coming." Remus began, unsure of where to start, "You've all been filled in on the situation regarding myself and Hermione."
The gathered crowd nodded solemnly.
"Tonight, Andromeda cast a Black family spell that returned all memories to me that had been stolen from me. It's... a lot. It's a lot of memories. Now that I have them..." he trailed off.
Andromeda reached across the table and squeezed his hand, "Why don't you start at the beginning?"
Regulus and Remus had curled up in bed and fallen asleep quickly, after a day filled with laughter, shopping for their child, and setting up a nursery across the hall from the room they were currently sequestered in.
Remus couldn't remember a time when he'd felt as happy as he did now. He'd been with Regulus for nearly two years. Remus graduated from Hogwarts in 1978, and Regulus had left Hogwarts at the same, taking his NEWTS at the MInistry instead of returning to the school. He'd taken up the Lordship of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black and was apprenticing for a wards mastery. Remus was working in a bookshop on Diagon Alley, but mostly spent time with the man he'd fallen in love with, and preparing for the birth of their first child.
This pregnancy was something the couple had dreamt about, with Regulus wanting to continue his family line, and Remus just wanting a true family to cherish. They'd visited many healers, and learned about an option to temporarily transfigure Remus' body to allow for conception and gestation. He found that he loved being pregnant.
The two were torn from the comfort of their slumber when the wards to the home began blaring loudly. Regulus shot out of bed, grasping his wand tightly.
The door to the room blasted open, and Regulus jumped in front of Remus. Both were shocked when Albus Dumbledore walked through.
"What are you doing here?" Regulus demanded, his wand pointed at the old man's chest.
Dumbledore flicked his wand lazily, and Sirius stumbled into the room.
Remus gasped loudly, understanding quickly the struggle his best mate was undergoing.
"The Imperius" he whispered, agony threading in his voice. "He's trying to fight it."
Regulus was raging. His brother had always had a hard time combating the dark curse. Their father favored it as a method of punishment, and Sirius was punished often.
Dumbledore let out a maniacal laugh when he realized the wizards had recognized Sirius' struggle.
"Yes, I couldn't get through the wards without a Black. I asked him nicely, but he refused. Imagine." the old wizard was crazed.
"I had no choice, you see. I need to destroy an artifact, one I've located, and I can't have Voldemort realizing it was me, so what better way to manage it than to simply have one of his own do my dirty work."
Regulus was confused, although it was clear that Dumbledore was talking about him. "What do you want from me?" he asked.
"I need you to die, simply. To drink a poison that will make you relieve every horrible moment of your life. Your drinking it will allow me to steal the artifact, and leave a fake in its place. One that will point to you as a betrayer of your Master." Dumbledore responded blandly.
"I won't do it." Regulus was shaking, anger racing through his veins. "You can't."
"Oh but I can," Dumbledore drawled, "Imperius".
A bright flash lit the room, and Regulus stumbled to his knees. Remus leaped into action, but was a moment too late, as Dumbledore had grabbed both young men and apparated away.
Remus was crying openly as he told his story. The gathered witches and wizards were silent, a mix of confusion, shock, and anger taking hold within them.
"He came back several hours later," Remus said quietly. "I tried to leave the house, to get help, but he must've cast something that kept me from flooing, apparating, owling... anything."
"When he came back, I didn't know what to do... I was seven months pregnant, scared. Regulus wasn't with him when he returned." Remus continued, "I screamed myself hoarse, trying to figure out what was going on. He never told me what happened. He never told me where he took Reggie, or where Sirius was."
Remus choked back a sob, and Tonks left her chair to kneel on the floor beside him.
"It's okay, Rem." she whispered, "We can stop now."
"No." Remus growled, "You need to know. I need to say it."
Tonks grasped his free hand, as his other was still tangled with Andromeda's. He was gripping the women tightly as if he could draw strength through the touch of their fingertips.
"He took me to Hogwarts." Remus' voice trembled as he spoke. "I was so confused, so scared. I can't be imperiused. Because of Moony, but I couldn't risk fighting back, not with the baby, so I went along, just hoping to live long enough to somehow escape. When we got to the school, he took me to the infirmary. Pomfrey was there, she was imperiused too. I was in such shock. She'd been so important to me, I knew whatever was happening she'd never have gone along with it willingly."
He drew in a breath, steadying himself. "But there were others, who weren't under his power. They were there willingly." he continued in a rasp, "And that fucking monster had Poppy take my baby right there. It was too early, I knew. There was such a risk. But she came out screaming and crying and I didn't even get to see her before Dumbledore whisked her and Poppy away. I was given a dreamless sleep potion, too weak to fight."
Gasps were heard around the room, the tension in the air was palpable.
"When I awoke, he was sitting there, by my bed, with this smirk on his face. He told me my daughter was born. That she would live. That she was healthy but small. I thought... I thought he'd give her to me. He asked me what I wanted to name her, and I said, Hermione. The daughter of Helen. It was Reggie's favorite Greek legend. As soon as I answered he whipped out his wand... He stole all my memories. The memories of Reggie, of our relationship. The memories of Sirius and what had happened that night. And the memories of Hermione. When I woke he sent me to the wolves. Literally. I never even realized..."
He had trailed off, and more than one person in the room was crying.
It was Moody who spoke first.
"Who else was there, Lupin. We can't do anything about Dumbledore, not now, with him gone, but if Order members were aware..."
Remus scoffed, an angry sound erupting from him. "Oh, the Order knew. And more than one of them. They knew." He raised his glance from the table to look at Moody. "Molly Weasley, Caradoc Dearborn, Fabian Prewett, and..." his voice trailed off.
"And who? Who else?" a small voice said, and the room turned to look at the girl perched in the doorframe between the dining room and the kitchen. No one had noticed her arrived, and Remus wondered how long she'd been there.
She stepped fully into the room, her magic was crackling around her as rage rose within her. Sparks were cascading in her hair. Remus was almost afraid of her, but he remembered Regulus' hair doing something similar, in moments of anger or passion.
He struggled then, not wanting to believe the person sitting in that room would be willing to hurt him in such a way. Someone he loved.
"The other person... it was Lily. Lily Potter."
Chapter 8: Chapter Eight
I'm gonna just keep on the most random update pattern ever, because life is really taking it out of me right now and I've got honestly so much hard stuff going on, but writing these stories takes my mind off it for a bit, so I'll be here.
I love love love all your reviews and comments and though I haven't been responding individually, please know that your feedback really makes a world of difference and I adore it completely!
To the person who wanted Sirius alive, I'm sorry! Not sure I can pull that one off in this plot :)
Heartache: emotional pain or distress; sorrow; grief; anguish.
The mood in the room was a mixture of tense rage and somber heartache. The gathered members of the Order of the Phoenix were quiet. Words had been spoken, shouted, whispered, screamed until voices were hoarse and raw and tears flowed freely. There were those who found the idea of it all overwhelmingly difficult to believe and comprehend, and those who wanted to react, seek vengeance, right those wrongs.
Andromeda sat next to Kingsley, both of whom were staunchly in the seek revenge category. Kingsley, while an auror, understood the importance of family, especially of a family so close to the end of their line. His own family was down to just him and one other, and if his child was ever stolen... well he wouldn't be as calm as Remus.
"Andromeda. You mentioned at the Burrow that you heard from Narcissa?" he asked. "Has she reached out any further?"
Andromeda knew she'd need to be careful about how she answered this question. "Yes. In fact, I met with her at the Black family cottage in Farran Wood. I am not at liberty to detail the discussion, I apologize."
Kingsley furrowed his brow. He knew Andromeda. He trusted her beyond measure. He knew if she wasn't sharing the information, there was a good reason why.
"Can you ask her to come here? Assure her we mean no harm, that we are asking for her assistance," he asked Andromeda.
Tonks interrupted. "I can't imagine she'll come to a house full of Order of the Phoenix members."
A bark of laughter resonated in the stillness of the room and heads turned towards Hermione.
She sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the crackling fire, with a smirk that seemed out of place on her innocent face.
"I'm certainly not a member of the Order of the Phoenix anymore." she started, "And I'd hope after hearing what happened to your friend you won't be either. How can we follow a madman who would steal a child, wipe Remus' memory, Imperius Sirius, kill Regulus! How could it even be a suggestion?"
Remus felt pride swell in his chest. He thought there'd be more outrage from her regarding her parentage, but she was taking it in stride.
"I agree," Remus spoke softly. "Knowing the life that was ripped from me... I might even consider fighting against the Order. I'm completely disgusted."
He looked around the room, and his expression grew stern. When he spoke, there was a roughness to his voice. "And really, if any of you disagree, I think you should see yourself out right now. I've had enough people I thought were friends betray me in one lifetime."
No one moved. He expected to at least have some argument over their desertion of the Order, but with all the rooms occupants agreeing to break their allegiance to the group, he addressed Andromeda again.
"Now that we've settled that, Andromeda. Can you please contact Narcissa. Let her know who is here. Tell her what we've discovered with my missing memories, that we're leaving the order, and we're requesting her assistance." he asked.
"What do you want her help with?" Andromeda asked, not sure where Remus was going with this.
"Hermione was planning to leave over the summer to hunt horcruxes with Harry and Ron. She'll need to be re-enrolled at Hogwarts," he said. Then he turned to Hermione. "Hermione. I think you should consider claiming the Black line. It's just you now. Sirius left the inheritance and property to Harry when he comes of age, but as Regulus' daughter, you have a right to all of it. More importantly, the Black name will provide you protection in the upcoming war, regardless of whether you stay neutral or chose to work against the order."
Andromeda stood and pulled out the old Black grimoire, flipping through the pages. "It says here, the line can be claimed with blood and magic at Gringotts. Of course, your paternity would be tested, and the family magic that passes through us all would be tested as well. I could never claim the line because my family magic was greatly weakened when I was disowned. Narcissa can't claim it because she's a Malfoy. You would be the one."
She was careful not to say Hermione was the only Black left, but she knew she couldn't share the secret about Regulus.
"Right, so at least put in the letter that I plan to do it and would appreciate her assistance as one of the few remaining Black family members in good standing." Hermione sighed as she answered.
"In the meantime, I'll make more tea. And take a shower. It wouldn't do to be in muggle jeans when Narcissa Malfoy arrived," she said with a small chuckle, rising and making her way into the kitchen.
Remus followed Hermione into the kitchen after ensuring that Andromeda was sending an urgent owl to her sister.
Hermione was sitting on the counter, feet dangling against the cupboards, hands wrapped around a steaming cup of hot chocolate.
She looked up when she heard him enter, giving him a small smile. "I know I said I'd make tea, but I just find something very comforting about hot chocolate," she explained.
Hopping down from the counter, she set to making another cup of the milky beverage, knowing just how Remus liked it after summering at Grimmauld and spending time with him there.
She handed it off to him, and he gestured to her to take a seat at the kitchen table.
As she settled into her seat next to him, he reached an arm around her shoulders and gave her a tight squeeze.
"You seem to be taking this rather well," he said.
"Well, I mean..." she stumbled a bit in her speech, trying to find the right words. "I've known for years that I was adopted. My Mum and Dad always called me their miracle. They couldn't have children. Mum was infertile. They said they'd been wandering a park in London when they saw a group of kids playing, and one woman just running all over trying to control them. When they were right by her, a little boy fell and was screaming and the woman just had this panicked look like, do I leave the pram here and help the boy or what? So my Mum told her they'd wait and help her watch the kids. I was in the pram, wide awake and quiet and they just adored me. When the woman came back, they were asking her about me, thought she might be my nanny, and the woman told them I was up for adoption, a ward of the state, that I'd been left at a firehouse when I was just a baby. I barely survived."
Remus looked stricken. The idea that his daughter had a rough beginning didn't settle well with him at all, but he knew the girls parents adored her. She had been raised well.
"We talked that once I was older, I'd search for my birth parents with their help. Now I guess I don't need to." Hermione smiled, squeezing Remus' hand, hoping to provide him with a bit of comfort.
"I was going to obliviate them. Before Bill and Fleur's wedding. We'd talked about the war and the dangers of me being Harry's best friend and a muggleborn. They agreed. The plan was to send them to Austrailia. After the war I was going to go back and get them, but if I didn't make it, they'd never know, and they'd be safe." she sighed heavily. "I don't know what to do now. Maybe I should still send them. Voldemort might still kill them, even if I am a Black, they are muggles. I don't want to lose them, Remus."
"Have you contacted them since all this has happened?" Remus asked.
"No." Hermione slumped down, her head cradled in her arms on the large table. "I'm not really sure what to say. Hi, Mum and Dad, I found my parents, turns out I'm not a mudblood and my parents are both men! They'll never understand."
"Give them some credit, dear girl," Remus advised. "They handled you being a witch quite well, didn't they? They love you, Hermione. They'll understand." He stood and strode to the cupboards, pulling open the top drawer on the far end of the row. He slid a piece of parchment out, placing it before Hermione and handing her a quill and ink pot.
"Write them a letter." he said, "Invite them here. We can bring them in a few days, maybe a week. I'd love to meet the muggles who raised my daughter into such an incredible young woman. We'll settle everything with Narcissa tonight, make plans over the next few days. They will have to be protected, and I will do everything I can to help. I promise you."
Hermione smiled up at him, tears glistening in her eyes. She lept from the table and flung herself into his arms, crying silently, her cheek pressed against his chest as her tears soaked his robe.
"Thank you, Remus," she whispered. "Thank you so much."