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The Greater Good is a Big Fat Lie

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“Still nothing to say, Mudblood?” Voldemort hissed at Hermione who lay prone at his feet.

The last thing she remembered was battling at the Department of Mysteries. A curse hit her abdomen, someone grabbed her from behind, and the world went black.

She awoke to the sound of dripping water. Pressing her hand against her abdomen she winced feeling the dull ache radiating throughout. Rubbing the grime from her eyes trying to adjust to the dim light adjusting her body to a sitting position. Three solid stone walls surrounded her, bars on the forth. A prison? .

She got her answer when Bellatrix cackled, tapping her wand against the cell to open the door and dragging her up a set of stairs by the hair, her body hitting each step as she struggled in her grasp, her body too weak to put up might of a fight.

Bellatrix’s maniacal laughter caused her to shiver. “There is no use in struggling, Mudblood. You are going to see My Lord.” She grinned back at her yanking harder on her hair. “Oh, yes. My Lord is very interested in you, Harry Potter’s Mudblood.”

Her mind was a muddled mess, her body ached from the curse. She hoped Harry and the others were able to escape the battle unharmed.

“Crucio.” Bellatrix screamed hitting Hermione with yet another round of pain.

The copper taste of her own blood grounded her. Her body arched a hoarse scream tore through her throat.

“Enough.” Voldemort said. Turning his head, he looked over at Lucius who stood to the side leaning heavily on his cane. “Lucius, bring me some of the legitimacy papers if you please. Perhaps we could loosen her tongue when we bring her family here.”

A broken sob was all Hermione could manage. Her body twitched on the cool floor trying to ignore the burning pain that ripped through her. The surrounding Death Eaters chuckled at her plight.

Voldemort yanked her hair into a sitting position. “No death for you I’m afraid.” He smiled down at her maliciously. “That is, not until I get the answers I seek.”

She flinched at the clicking of heels on the marble floor. Lucius wordlessly handed the parchment to Voldemort then shuffled back near his wife.

All the Death Eaters were present for this ‘special event. They had Harry Potter’s special Mudblood. There was no escape for her, all she could do was hope they would finally end her suffering. She wanted to die, eager even to embrace death to stop the pain.

Grasping Hermione’s wrist tightly he tightened his hold when she clenched her fists weakly struggling against his grasp. Shifting his grip, he raised his wand and sliced her wrist pulling her wound open over the parchment that lay on the floor watching as the crimson blood oozed from her flesh to the paper.

Shoving her away, he gathered up the parchment. His red eyes scanned the words as they slowly appeared. Sitting on his throne in the middle of the room he hunched over the parchment his eyes flicking to Hermione every now and then.

She was not a Mudblood.

She was his. HIS child.

Clenching his jaw with an audible click his eyes found Lucius. “Get me another,” he hissed.

Lucius's eyes widened for a moment. He turned on his heel hurrying out of the room.

Bellatrix sauntered to Hermione and nudged her with the toe of her boot and growled. “I will take immense pleasure in torturing your parents, you Mudblood whore.”

“Bella.” Voldemort snapped. “You will wait. Do not touch her again unless I give the order to do so.”

Simpering, Bellatrix gave him a wide smile before stepping on Hermione’s hand “accidentally” before she moved away.

Severus Snape, Death Eater, Potions Master at Hogwarts didn’t want to be here. He had no choice but to answer the call when The Dark Lord summoned him.

He tried not to flinch as the sound of crunching bones and Hermione’s pained cry. He narrowed his eyes at Bella. Thank Salazar for his Death Eater regalia. No one could see the sneer on his face directed towards the deranged woman.

Voldemort’s hiss of warning was a short reprieve for Hermione. At the sound from The Dark Lord’s throat, Bella stepped back.

When Severus arrived several days ago at Malfoy Manor, he had been shocked not only to see Hermione but at the condition he had found her.

He had been ordered to heal her. For what? Just to be tortured yet again.

He, of course, tormented her for years while she was in Hogwarts, but that was before she started working with him in private for the past two years. It was all part of the ruse as a spy to display his displeasure.

 

He didn’t hate her. Her swotty attitude he could understand. He didn’t suffer fools lightly, and apparently, she didn’t either. They were the same in that respect. She didn’t deserve this.

His time spent with her in private teaching potions became the one bright spot in his miserable life. She was intelligent, able to keep up with his own. She had matured over those years into a beautiful woman. He knew he was treading on forbidden territory, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted her as his own. Completely. He knew that would never happen no matter how much he desired her. His feelings he once held for Lily was a pale comparison to what he felt for Hermione.

Now he was here watching as the girl turned a young woman he had respect for being tortured for the past two days. She had vomited all over herself from the pain. The pain he knew well. He supposed it could have been worse for her with the perversion Voldemort displayed during these rare rivals.

Small mercies.

He was not sure he could have stood by watching her being defiled. She was too pure for that.

His head turned watching Lucius’s confident steps towards Voldemort, Lucius handed him the new parchment. Voldemort reached out snatching Lucius’s hand in his own slicing Lucius’s hand hovering it over the new parchment.

A moment of silence.

The parchment flared as names appeared. Everything revealed Voldemort already knew about the Malfoy family.

Looking back at the parchment Hermione had bled on, his mind went back to when he disappeared the first time. Of course, he took pleasures of the flesh. He had plenty of willing women to suit his needs when they arose. What he didn’t know was that he had a child with one of those women.

Hermione’s name had appeared with her date of birth, and the faded names of two people he could not read, all he could make out was the word adopted.

Hermione Jean Granger (adopted name): DOB: 19 September 1979

Father: Tom Marvolo Riddle DOB: 31 December 1926

Mother: Felicity Èmeline Rosier: DOB: 14 March 1959-

The lines ran down the page revealing Voldemort’s own heritage, as well as Felicity’s.

The date after Felicity's birth shimmered before his eyes. The numbers after were faded and didn't appear. Was she dead? How was it that this girl was his? Looking down at Hermione laying at his feet, it was hard to discern her looks, considering her face was swollen from the abuse.

He recognized the curls of hair, Felicity had the same wild curls, although they should be black.

When her eyes opened looking up at Voldemort, he narrowed his own. Her eyes were the same shape as his. Whiskey-colored met crimson before her eyes fluttered shut.

If she was indeed his daughter, she should have blue eyes. Both he and Felicity both had blue eyes. Unless…. unless someone had cast a spell and had glamoured her. Whoever hid Hermione, had hidden her well. There was one person who would want to hide her from him.

Albus Dumbledore.

Hermione moved to her side rolling in a fetal position letting out a pained whimper. Bellatrix raised her wand towards her. “Crucio.”

Voldemort’s head snapped up to look at Bellatrix. He stood up, rage washed over him watching Bellatrix fire the curse. He told her not to touch the Hermione until he gave the order. His word was law. It was always law.

Raising his own wand, he hissed. “Avada Kedavra.” A stream of green light exploded from the end of his wand hitting Bellatrix in the chest launching her back several feet landing on the floor with a dull thud. Her lifeless eyes wide open.

He looked around the room. “All of you leave, with the exception of the Malfoys and Severus.” He pointed at Bellatrix. “Rodolphus, take your wife and dispose of her. Next time I give an order, I expect everyone to heed my warning.”

Two Death Eaters, each grabbing an arm of the dead Bellatrix dragged her body behind them, the others following after. When the last of them cleared the room, the door closed with a small ‘click’.

Voldemort leaned down picking Hermione up in his arms. “Come, we have much to discuss in regard to the girl.”

All of them followed Voldemort silently through the halls of the manor up the spiraling staircase towards the guest wing of the estate.

Severus was glad for Hermione’s reprieve, as short as it may be.

Entering his suite Voldemort laid Hermione gently on the bed stepping away, he looked over his shoulder. “Severus, I want you to heal her again.”

Severus stepped forward raising his wand running a diagnostic spell. He flicked his wrist summoning a parchment and quill to take down notes for him while his eyes scanned the runes that flashed before him.

Dehydration, muscle fatigue, several small bones broken in her left hand, small lacerations on her body seemingly everywhere from the Cruciatus, the wound from the unknown curse from before had opened again.


“Narcissa,” Voldemort called beckoning her to sit with him near the fireplace. “You knew Felicity Rosier, did you not?”

Narcissa sat down elegantly in the chair crossing her legs at her ankles. “Yes, My Lord. She…she was my best friend, a cousin.”

Leaning back Voldemort steepled his fingers. “As her best friend, I assume you knew she was with child.”

“She informed me as such, sadly she didn’t tell me who the father was. She disappeared just before she was to give birth which was strange, she was so excited to have the child. She disappeared on her way to the here, she was ready to give birth.” She closed her eyes for a moment before looking into the fire. “I was to be the child’s godmother, I tried to find them, but she just up and vanished.”

“I see.” Voldemort nodded towards the bed. “The child was mine. She is mine.”

“My Lord?” Narcissa’s eyes widened following his eyes to the girl. “You mean that girl, Granger is yours?”

With a nod, he handed her the parchment. “Of course, I had no idea that Felicity was pregnant, if I had known, I would have ensured that the child was brought to me and taken care of.”

Voldemort waved his hand.  A tumbler and a bottle of Firewhiskey  Returning to his seat, he down it, placing it on the small table. He needed to formulate a plan. Hermione was on the wrong side of the war. He would ensure that she would be kept by his side from now on. Keep her safe from Albus.

“I would like for you, Lucius to find out who her parents are, where they live. Go to the Ministry and get me her file. Everything that is available on her.”

Lucius gave a short nod before turning to leave the room, his body moving stiffly. He was shocked to learn that the girl in question was his master’s child. He hoped that Voldemort never found out how much his own son, Draco tormented the girl on his orders.

Severus stepped over to Voldemort. “I shall return shortly. I need to get several healing potions for Miss Granger.” He handed him a small parchment. “These are the details of what I have found so far.”

Voldemort waved him away. “Go. Make sure you make haste and return as quickly as you can.”

Voldemort stood walking over at Hermione brushing a small curl from her face. “She looks a lot like her mother.”

Narcissa joined him at the bedside taking in Hermione’s appearance truly for the first time. “She does,” She said quietly. “her curls especially.”

Voldemort grabbed Hermione’s hand looking down at the scarred flesh pulling it closer. He narrowed his eyes at the words that were engraved into her flesh. ‘I will respect my betters.’ He let out a small hiss lowering her hand gently back down.

“Ask a house-elf to help you Narcissa, I want her cleaned up after Severus returns and heals her. I will discuss the matter of my daughter when I return.”

Once she was healed, he would look to see if she indeed had been glamoured,  hiding her appearance. First, he needed to get some of the answers to his questions.

Albus would pay for taking away what was his. He would make sure of it.

 

Chapter Text

“Severus, I want you to tell Dumbledore I have Hermione in my care,” Voldemort said looking up from the desk. “tell him I know everything. I suspect he had something to do with hiding her, I can only assume he disposed of her mother after.”  He leaned back in his chair motioning to the file in front of him. “there are a great many things I still have to find out about her. She is sixteen by birth, but her magical age is nineteen. I am sure he has something to do with that.”

Snape raised his brow. “Nothing has been shared with me by Albus regarding Miss Granger.”

Voldemort let out a low hiss. “Of course, he likes to keep all his puppets in line. I am sure she is part of his plans as well. You told me she has been working with you in private working on advanced potions.”

“Yes. I also heard from Mme. Pomphrey that she is learning advanced healing, too.”

“All to assist Potter for my defeat I am sure,” Voldemort said dryly.

Snape gave him a short nod.

“You can let him know I will allow her to return to his side eventually under certain conditions. Now, tell me about Umbridge? I heard rumors that my daughter had the centaurs attack her?”

Snape let out a small chuckle shaking his head. “Yes, she was interrogating Potter and wanted some more Veritaserum to get the answers she was seeking. Apparently, Miss Granger told her they had a secret weapon in the Forbidden Forest and offered to take her there.”

“How very Slytherin of her.” He smiled.

“Indeed.”

“Did you happen to see the small scar on Hermione’s hand? Tell me, did Umbridge use a Black Quill on her?”

“Yes, that was her favorite form of punishment who spoke out of turn. She would have them write lines with it until it disfigured their hand. I tried to heal her hand the best I could when I found out, but as you know that quill has dark magic so there was little I could do.”

He hummed in the back of his throat. “I will deal with her later. She is back at the ministry now, so it will be easy to get her to come to me.

“See what you can find out from Albus, I am positive that Hermione is my daughter now that her glamours have been removed, he is the few that I know capable of long-term glamours. My question is, to what end? Be sure to get enough out of Albus without showing our hand.”

“As you wish.” Snape bowed leaving the room.

“Oh, and Severus? Be sure you bring that potion you have been working on for me. I would like to see if it works.”

Giving a curt nod, Snape let without a backward glance.

There was an Order meeting that day, he knew Severus could speak to Dumbledore while there. Dumbledore was the ultimate puppet master. He wouldn’t put it past the man to place Hermione in hiding. Severus’s duplicity came in handy for him in fighting this war. He was an excellent spy for him.

He also knew that Severus was conflicted at times regarding the war. He could understand that, but what Voldemort wanted was a pure world, one that was not infected with Albus Dumbledore.

To him, there was no Dark, and Light. There was only grey. Albus drove fear into people. The fear had served him well when creating his own puppets to serve the light, or as he was so fond of telling everyone, The Greater Good.

Albus’s about-face was amusing to Voldemort in a way. There was a time with Albus himself made a blood pact with Gellert Grindelwald to find the Deathly Hallows in hopes to end the International Statute of Secrecy. A fool’s errand really. While he agreed that muggles posed a threat that needed to be dealt with his idea of a perfect world was far different than Dumbledore’s ideals.

Muggles did pose a threat, they were lesser creatures to him, easy to dispose of. Same with Mudbloods. They entered the magical world sharing that knowledge with muggles. Once muggles learned of their existence, he knew that muggles would want to gather up witches and wizards like chattel using them for their purposes. He needed to strike first installing fear into them.

Tugging the drawer of his desk he pulled out Hermione’s wand. Plucking it out he studied it. It was fine craftsmanship, delicate looking just like she was. Looking down at her file a small reading the about her wand a small grin tugged at his lips. ‘A dragon heartstring core’.

It was a well-known fact that dragon heartstrings wands were one of the most powerful when wielded by the correct person capable of a great many things. They were also known to easily turn to the Dark Arts. How extremely fortunate for him. He would work with her once she was healed.

Placing the wand back in the drawer he clicked it shut. He needed to go check on Hermione to see how she was healing. He had done damage to her himself tearing through her mind trying to gain the answers he needed. Her walls held well against his legilimency which had surprised him. Now, he understood. He was certain that she was his child and Albus had known that teaching her occlumency. It had to be Albus. It was a difficult skill to learn, very few knew how to learn either. Having her know at least occlumency proved to him even more that she was indeed his.

Entering the bedroom that Hermione was resting in he looked towards the bed where she was. Narcissa sat in a chair in front of the fire reading a book. He had moved Hermione once her initial healing was done to a room next to his so he could at least be closer to her. She was like a new prize for him in that aspect. A trophy that he wanted to lock away. Not that he would, she would in time, come to his side of things.

He wouldn’t let her see him right now knowing she feared him. The last time she did see him he had tortured her relentlessly. The potion that he asked Severus for would with any luck change his appearance back to the way it should be when he started splitting his soul taking on this appearance. Not that he was opposed to the way he looked, it helped drive fear into those around him. He wanted to finally make the change to hide in plain sight when going to the ministry, but now there was another reason for it. It was for her.

The potion in question was something Severus had been working on for months not quite correct. Each time he took the potion his appearance would flicker only briefly. There was something missing from it that he nor Severus could find. If the potion was ever perfected it would also get rid of all the ill effects that he had been the product of the Love Potion. He would be able to feel each emotion, not that he particularly needed or wanted to, he was a fine actor as it was, he was simply curious.

“How is she today?” He asked.

“She is still healing but improving a bit. Severus gave her some dreamless sleep so she would hold still.” Narcissa stood walking slowly to the bed standing next to The Dark Lord.

Voldemort tugged her sheet down from her chest letting it rest on her hips. Lifting her shirt slightly he checked to see how the dark curse was healing that Dolohov hit her with. His finger traced the dark purple line from just under her breast down to her right hip frowning. He set her to rights not wanting to look at the damage anymore. She would have that scar forever.

“How is she when she wakes? Has she said anything?” He asked.

Narcissa frowned. “She is confused a bit, but Severus said it was due to her seizures.”

“She’s having seizures?” His eyes widened a bit hearing that news. Sure, he ripped through her mind, but he didn’t think he had done that much damage to her.

“She has several a day, that is why Severus gave her dreamless sleep. She also has a challenging time speaking due to her voice being damaged.”

Letting a long breath Voldemort simply nodded. “Nagini.” He called.

His snake appeared slithering through the door moving towards the bed. He pets her head stroking it briefly. “I need you to rest with this little one. She is mine.” He explained. “let no one come in here other than the Malfoys, and Severus.”

Nagini nodded her head before slithering up on the bed coiling her body around Hermione’s, her head resting on the pillow next to Hermione’s head.

“I will be back shortly, I need to run an errand.” With that, he left Hermione in Narcissa’s care. He knew that Narcissa would be the best choice to do so. She was Hermione’s godmother technically and seemed overjoyed to have her there at the estate with her. Today he would make sure everything was in order so Hermione would be permanently staying with him.

Grabbing a small vial of Polyjuice potion had a prepared for emergencies he left the estate making his way to the Hampstead Garden Suburb to pay a visit to Hermione’s adopted parents. He wanted to see for himself if they had known that Hermione was not their own.

Apparating silently near the edge of the church that was at the end of the street Voldemort pulled his cloak over his head hiding his face as he made his way towards the small row of houses. He knew the number of the house which the Grangers resided in.

There in the driveway was a modest car so he assumed they were in, he was in luck. He thought perhaps they would be considering today was Saturday. Downing the potion, he shivered as his features morphed into that of Lucius Malfoy. Lowering his hood, he brushed his now long blond locks over his shoulder he lifted his hand knocking on the door.

The door opened by a middle-aged balding man. “May I help you?”

Voldemort gave him a pleasant smile. “Yes, sir. I am here about your daughter, Hermione.” 


Landing outside of Hogwarts, Snape made his way to his chambers, his thoughts on the small woman at Malfoy estate. She had been at the Manor for a week now and was still recovering. Snape was worried about her recovery. He couldn’t stay by her side like he wished to ensure she made a full recovery, he left that to Narcissa whom he trusted. The woman in question was now having seizures from the brutality of the curses she had endured.

Narcissa wrote him daily giving him an update on Hermione’s progress. The one thing he hated was that now Hermione was not speaking much. She just looked at everyone with a guarded expression on her face and spoke in a quiet whisper when giving an answer. He knew it was due to her vocal cords being damaged from her screaming, there was nothing he could do to repair them. In time they would know the extent of the damage if it was permanent or not.

He was glad the deranged bitch, Bellatrix was dead. When Voldemort had killed her, it sent a ripple of healthy fear into his followers. If someone as devoted as she was, was killed. No one was safe from Voldemort’s wrath that was certain.

“Severus, do you have a moment?” Albus popped up in front of Snape startling from his introspection.

He narrowed his eyes slightly at the headmaster before following the man. When he entered Dumbledore’s office, he was slightly surprised to see Potter, Wesley, and several other Order members already there. It was a good thing the Umbridge was no longer stalking the halls right now. He was sure she would find a way to enter the office demanding what was going on.

He crossed his arms leaning against the wall looking around the room. “I see we are having a meeting early.” He drawled.

“I was curious if you had any news about Miss Granger,” Albus said sitting behind his desk flicking his wrist putting up a silencing charm so the nosey portraits in the room could not hear what was being said. Snape raised a brow at the man to continue. “have you been able to see her yet?”

He had told Albus where Hermione was of course, in hopes they would come up with a plan to retrieve her, but it appeared to him as the week drew on, that was not the case at all. Albus was content just to leave her there not even asking for an update on her condition until today. He never trusted Albus completely. He could see now his concern was just for show.

Shoving off the wall, Snape lowered his arms to his side. “She is with her father.” He said intentionally leaving out the information who her father was. He wanted to see for himself if Albus knew.

“Oh, that is unfortunate.” Albus sighed. “I was afraid of that, I hoped he wouldn’t find out.”

“You knew.” He hissed. “you knew who she was but did nothing to protect her.”

Harry looked between the two his brows furrowed. “Excuse me, Professor.” He said looking at Snape. “can you please tell us what is going on? Is Hermione alright? Did she go home?”

“No. Mr. Potter, I can assure you Hermione is not alright. She is with Voldemort right now.”

“What?” Molly Wesley screeched. “Albus, we need to get her!”

Albus shook his head. “I am afraid that is impossible, Molly.”

“Why?” Harry asked. “I am sure Professor Snape can get her out.” He said his voice raised slightly. “you could do that, right?” His eyes meeting with Snape’s, begging him.

“No. I can’t. Not unless you wish for me to die in the process.” Snape informed him. “What you don’t understand, Potter is that Miss Granger or should I say, Miss. Riddle is Voldemort’s daughter. There is nothing legally we can do.”

“Sweet, Merlin,” Sirius muttered running his hands through his hair. “will he let her go?”

Snape scoffed. “Not yet, she will be with him…permanently. He will ensure that.”

“She can stay with me,” Sirius said. “she and Harry could stay at Grimmauld place, we can put her in hiding until this is all over.”

"You are still a wanted man, Sirius." Albus said. "they wouldn't be safe with you." 

“With the way the things are The Ministry, I don’t think that is a possibility either,” Arthur said. “The minister will see who she is, and even if we try to get to her, you know Voldemort has people already with Ministry walls. Even if he cannot come out and claim her outright, he will place her with someone who is decidedly on his side.”

“You mean a Death Eater?” Molly hissed.

“We could have avoided this Albus if you had shared her heritage with us,” Snape said in a dark tone. “now, you put her at risk being who she is. We could have put safety measure in place for her and now he has her. You know how Potter feels about the girl.” He paused for a moment letting that sink in. “he said he will allow her to return to Hogwarts, but not until he has some safeguards in place first, what that will entail, I have no idea.”

“I understand.” Albus waved his hand in the air. “perhaps she can pass information on to us on what she learns while she is there, Severus. Do you think she would be willing to continue to help the Order when she eventually returns?”

“Do you NOT understand what I am telling you?” Snape snapped at him. “the girl is still recovering from her nearly deadly injuries. She is surrounded by Death Eaters all day. She is his daughter. Do you honestly think that would work? That he would not know if she tried putting her at greater risk? That he would share any plans with her?”

“She can’t be trusted anymore,” Mad-Eye said slamming his cane on the ground. “we need to cut our losses.”

“This is Hermione we are talking about,” Harry growled. “Hermione. The only one I might add who has never betrayed me, who has never left my side once.” He glared over at Ron who sunk deeper into his chair. “we need to get her back before he does anything to her.”

“I think Mad-Eye is right,” Ron mumbled. “she is his daughter. We can’t trust her.”

“Un-fucking-believable.” Harry hissed as he stood knocking his chair back storming out of the room. Snape watched him storm from the room surprised by his outburst, not that he could blame him. He wanted to throttle Albus right now with those damn twinkling eyes and the serene fucking smile on his face like this whole ordeal with Hermione being with Death Eaters was just a tiny bump in the road. He had to rethink his loyalties to this man seriously. Maybe Voldemort was correct in thinking that Albus was the problem, creating sheep for the slaughter. 

“Speak to Miss Granger if you can, Severus. Perhaps we can use the information she gleams for us to help us win this. We will see in time if her information is correct and she can be trusted once she returns to Hogwarts. She could be of wonderful use for us being by his side.” Albus smiled up at him like Potter leaving in a huff was no issue. What should Albus care about Potter anyways, he was being fattened up to slaughter as well. 'Just like I am, like we all are.' 

Snape closed his eyes reigning in his temper. “For the Greater Good, right?” He seethed leaving the room before he hexed the man.

He knew that Voldemort would not harm Hermione, for that he was grateful for. It would be a tremendous loss to him personally if she was dead. He knew that his feelings for the girl boarded on inappropriate considering she was a student, but he was besotted with her. Completely so.

Per Albus’s request, he had been teaching Hermione intricate potions for the past two years on his off hours. At first, he was furious that she had been shoved at him for him to guide her. He was pleasantly surprised when she took what he had to offer her seriously, not throwing a fit like her fellow classmates, or should he say, fellow Gryffindor’s tended to do when things didn’t go their way.

He let out a silent chuckle believing the girl had been sorted into the wrong house. She should have been Slytherin. Especially when she led Umbridge to the Forbidden Forest having the centaurs to deal with the insipid woman. Clearly a Slytherin move. She was calculating. Of course, she was brave and loyal, but she had more traits of his house the more he spent time with her. Now he knew why. She was the descendant of Slytherin himself.

Entering his chambers, he removed his frock coat collapsing in the wingback chair near the fire sinking further into the seat trying to relax. ‘Only a few more days and I can see her again. I can make sure she is well.’  

Pouring himself a generous amount of Firewhiskey he downed it in hopes he would be able to sleep tonight and not have his dreams haunted once again with her on the floor screaming in pain.

Chapter Text

Harry sat at the edge of Black Lake picking up small stones skipping them across the lake trying to get his mind to calm down. His issue with Ron had not been settled since learning that Hermione was with Voldemort, not only that she was his daughter. That was close to a week ago.

Ron seemed content to wash his hands of Hermione, but Harry just couldn’t do that. She was the only one who has stood by his side without wavering. He loved her. She was his sister not in blood, but where it matters, in his heart. He would do anything to make sure she returned to him safely.

He left the common room when Ron started playing tonsil hockey with Lavender Brown. He had enough of Ron’s attitude. People don’t abandon people they love, they abandon people they were using. It was clear to him now that Ron was just using Hermione for her willingness to help him with all his classes, and he was using Harry because he was the Boy Who Lived.

Git.

He was having a hard reconciling several things that happened. Ron being a git of course, although he shouldn’t be all that surprised with it. The second was Professor Dumbledore content on leaving Hermione where she is. Not only that he suggested to use her as a spy.

He was already having doubts when it came to Dumbledore. He all but ignored him this year. He explained he didn’t want to cause Harry any more problems. He more than enough problems with Umbitch making it her personal mission to discredit him, not to mention torture him with that damn Black Quill. He now wondered if he could truly trust his professor. He would have to think about that over the summer.

Sadly, he couldn’t go to live with Sirius according to Dumbledore because Sirius was still wanted by the ministry. He didn’t believe that was the only reason. Grimmauld place was under a charm that kept unwanted people out, so why did he insist he go back to the Dursley where he was made into nothing but a slave and abused.

He needed Hermione back here so he could speak to her about everything. She usually led him the right way, she was his only true ally in all this mess.

“Hello, Harry Potter.”

Startled, Harry twisted his body offering a small smile to Luna Lovegood who stood behind him with her pants rolled up the knees. She kicked off her shoes padding towards the edge of the lake. “Hello, Luna.”

“What are you doing out here all by yourself?” She asked dipping her toe into the water.

“I just needed to think, ya know. Away from others.”

Nodding her head, she tilted her head back basking in the sun’s warm rays. “Things will be alright. Hermione will come back to us.”

“You know about Hermione? Did you hear where she is and who she is with?”

Luna looked over at him, her large doe eyes twinkling. “Yes, I know. I heard someone talking about it.” She smiled coming to sit next to him on the large boulder where he had settled. “I had suspected for some time that she was hiding who she really was.”

Harry raised a brow at her. “Her aura was off.” She said. “When looking at her you could see that there was someone underneath. When she comes back, she will look different, but she will still be our Hermione.”

Harry nodded his head looking back over at the lake. It was always this way with Luna. She spoke in riddles most of the time, but the more he spoke to her, he realized just how wise she really was. She didn’t care what others thought about her, she just was who she wanted to be. No expectations. He respected that about her.

“I just want her back here with me, with us. I miss her.” He said grasping the rock in his hand.

“Yes, there are many here who miss her light. That is what Hermione is, light. The darkness always craves the light, that is why people are drawn to her. She helps many that are here. Did you know that she helps many others from different houses that need it? I watched her one day at the library. There were a couple of young Slytherins that were struggling with their potions essay. She went and grabbed several books from the shelves placing them in front of them tapping the book telling them which page they would find the answers they needed.”

“I didn’t know that,” Harry whispered.

Luna hummed lightly looking out across the lake. “She is a rare being,” Luna said. “She doesn’t see people by the houses they are in, she just sees them.”

Harry let out a small chuckle shaking his head. “I guess your right. She has always been the champion for the lost, hasn’t she?”

“I think that now that she can be herself, things will become better. As I said, the darkness craves the light. She could be the change. Not everyone who appears to be good is on the good side, and those who are evil, are not always as they seem.”

“You mean Voldemort?”

Luna nodded her head looking over at him. “That is one example. Just trust Hermione.” Leaning forward she brushed her lips against his briefly before standing up slipping on her shoes walking towards the castle.

Harry’s mouth hung open a few moments before he snapped it shut, shocked that Luna had kissed him like she had done it before. Taking a deep breath, he tossed the rock he was holding into the lake. He needed to see Professor Snape. He would know how Hermione was, and if she was going to return to them any time soon.


 

Knocking lightly on Snape’s office door Harry held his breath hoping that he was in. It was Saturday and it wasn’t office hours.

He was startled when the door swung open on its own. Snape was sitting at his desk with a stack of parchment in front of him, his quill held in his hand. ‘Grading papers, shite. He is always in a foul mood when grading.’ Harry thought, swallowing hard before entering the room slowly. He jumped slightly when the door slammed shut behind him.

“Professor, I was hoping I could speak to you about Hermione.”

Snape set his quill down leaning back in his chair waving his hand towards the seats in front of his desk. Harry shuffled forward perching on the edge of one of the seats in case he had to make a run for it. Snape was known for losing his temper cutting you down with words.

“Well?” Snape drawled. “You came to me, Mr. Potter, what is it you wish to discuss concerning Miss Granger?”

“How is she? Will she be back soon?”

Snape raised a brow before letting out a small huff leaning forward. “Miss. Granger is still recovering from her injuries, I am sure she will return to Hogwarts when she is stable. She is not in any danger where she is.”

Harry clenched his fists looking down at the stone flooring. “Is it true? Is she really…is he her father?”

Snape was quiet for a moment. When he didn’t answer right away Harry looked up. Snape’s eyes bore into his slightly narrowing. “It is true. If you wish to know more details about her situation and help her, I would suggest learning occlumency like you were ordered to before.”

“I’ll do it,” Harry said quickly. “I will do whatever I need to do for her. I love her, she just needs to come back.” Harry saw Snape stiffen with his declaration. He raised his hands shaking his head. “Not like that, I love her like a sister. She is…she is my family.” He explained. Far too many people thought that Harry fancied Hermione, thinking that she did him, especially after what Rita Skeeter had written.

Snape stood motioning for Harry to follow him. They entered a side room, the room they used once before when Snape tried to teach him. Whirling around Snape pinned him with a glare. “I will teach you only if you are willing to learn, Potter. Do. Not.” He growled. “enter my thoughts again or I will not help you.”

“I understand, Professor,” Harry said.

“Sit there and let’s begin.” Snape pointed to a chair going to the small workstation preparing.

Harry looked up with Snape right in front of him, his wand raised. “Legilimens.”


 

Snape sat in his usual wingback chair cradling a tumble of Firewhiskey to his chest reviewing the events of the day. Potter had surprised him with the effort that he put forth learning occlumency. He was far from perfect, but he did improve slightly just with that one lesson which they spent four hours on. He gave Harry a schedule to work with him each evening along with several books to read on the subject to help him learn.

It would be beneficial for Hermione if Harry did succeed in learning. She could be sure whatever she told Harry would remain hidden, especially from Dumbledore. He still didn’t trust the man, honestly, he never did.

If Potter could learn occlumency then Snape himself could divulge several things to him. Potter was clueless not knowing he was being fattened up for slaughter. He would do what he could to keep that from happening. Lily was his first friend, his best friend. He would protect her son from Dumbledore’s machinations. This was just the first step in doing so.

He knew he had a part to play in Lily’s death. Dumbledore made sure that Snape told Voldemort about the prophecy. Dumbledore had promised him he would keep her safe. He didn’t fail at the task, he lied. Dumbledore knew that Pettigrew was a secret Death Eater and made him Lily’s and Potter’s secret keeper. It was intentional.

It wasn’t they trusted the wrong people, they were set up. The more he thought about the events he came to believe it was Dumbledore who set this all in motion. He wanted Voldemort defeated no matter the cost. That was why he wanted Voldemort to know of the prophecy, why he made Pettigrew the Potter’s secret keeper.

Everyone was expendable, it was for the Greater Good so why not. Snape would not sit idly by any longer. He had been a spy long enough to know how to play the game, and he would beat Dumbledore at his own saving many in the process.

He had something to protect now. Hermione. He wouldn’t trust Albus Iwillfuckyouover Dumbledore to do so. No. He wouldn’t chance it. He had already lost Lily to death, he wouldn’t accept it if Hermione was lost as well not when he could do something to prevent it. He would have to wait and see how things played out, but he was done being a pawn.

“Greater Good my arse.” He mumbled downing his drink slamming the tumbler down on the side table. He needed a good night’s rest so he could start making his own plans.

Chapter Text

Lucius tightened his grip on Hermione’s hand that clutched his arm. Narcissa flanking Hermione’s other side as they walked down the center of Diagon Alley. He could feel her tremble under his hand. “No one is going to harm you, girl.” He said.

Walking up the steps of Gringotts Lucius waved his hand, the doors creaked open allowing the three of them inside.

Hermione cringed when she caught her reflection in the gleaming metal. Her hair was raven black. She had woken up three days ago after a house-elf came to assist her to bathe. She let out a shriek when she looked in the mirror not recognizing herself. Her hair still had curls, yes, but the color was all wrong, and her eyes were the most drastic of the changes. They were a deep blue. Her features were slightly different, more defined.

She still felt like Hermione Granger for the most part. Her mind was still slightly muddled but each day she was feeling slightly better. She should, considering the number of potions she downed each morning and night.

She asked Narcissa why they had put glamours on her while she was at the Manor. No one was coming for her, she knew. She had been there long enough, so she gave up hope. She had no idea how long she had been with the Malfoys, but it was more than a week she was sure, possibly two.

Narcissa gave her a sad smile cupping her cheek affectionately for a moment. “Everything will be explained to you soon, Love. Do not fret. No one will harm you anymore.”

Knowing she had to save her strength, Hermione just simply nodded in agreement before letting the matter drop.

Striding purposely, Lucius led Hermione to the counter at the end. “We are here to open Ms. Rosier’s vault.”

The goblin raised a brow looking down his long nose at the three of them. “The Rosier family is extinct.” He said matter-of-factly.

Lucius handed the goblin a piece of parchment raising his chin. “As you can see, they are not.”

Reading the missive quickly the goblin narrowed his eyes slightly at Hermione. “Very well, follow me.”

Hermione took a steadying breath as they made their way into the depths of the bank. This was her first time in one of the rickety carts that barreled down further into the darkness the only light was the torches that were embedded into the stone.

Once they reached the bottom, they each stepped out swiftly from the small cart standing before a large ornate door. Turning her head, she looked around for a moment frowning when she spotted a large white dragon in the middle surrounded by large pillars.

The dragon was white shifting his massive body swaying from side to side. He tilted his head up letting out a single roar before he bowed his head once again. He was unable to move much due to the thick chains that held him in place. Her heart broke watching the poor creature.

She about to comment looking back at Narcissa when the goblin let out a small grunt looking over his shoulder giving her a dirty look. “If you are not related to the Rosier family, girl you will not be able to open the vault and you will forfeit your life.”

“I understand.” She said in a whisper.

“Then give me your hand.”

The goblin snatched her outstretched hand slicing her palm open without any preamble placing her hand forcefully on the door jumping away from her.

The tumblers in the door clicked several times before the door popped open. The goblin shook his head grabbing the edge of the door heaving it open.

Hermione peered down at the goblin raising a brow before she looked inside, her breath was stolen from her lungs at what she found. Mounds and mounds of gold, jewels, painting, and furniture were crammed inside. The vault as so deep she couldn’t see the back. She looked over at Narcissa who merely nodded her head.

Stepping carefully inside she waited for instructions. She had no idea why she was here. Narcissa handed her a velvet pouch giving her a small smile. “Take this and fill it with gold. You may look around if you wish. This is all yours after all.”

“Mine?”

“Why yes, my dear. You are the last in the line of Rosier’s. Everything here is yours.”

Looking around once again Hermione stepped forward with a shaking hand scooping up galleons placing them inside the pouch. Once she finished, she headed back to Narcissa trying to hand it back to her. Narcissa shook her head offering her a smile grabbing her hand leading her out. “That is for you when you go back to school, dear.”

Once they were out of the bank, Lucius placed her arm in the crook of his own. “That answers that question then.” He looked down at Hermione giving her a chuckle. “The goblin was correct, if you were not a Rosier, you would have died. That vault is handled by a blood lock, unless you give someone else permission to open it, it will only open to the blood that runs in your veins.”

“I still don’t understand. Who are my parents? They are muggles, or so they said they were.” Hermione rasped, her doe-like eyes blinking up at him.

Lucius frowned down at her squeezing her hand slightly that rested on his arm. “Not to worry, I am sure the answers you seek will be given to you once you are fully healed.”

“Can I…can I go see my mother and father? William and Jean Granger, or back to Hogwarts? I just want to go home. I am sure they will be able to explain everything to me.”

“No. Not yet. You are still healing, my little one.” Narcissa said wrapping her arm lightly around her waist as they walked. “You are still having seizures every now and then, and, well your voice is still too weak. It is best you stay with us until you receive the answers you seek. I am sure your...parents wouldn't have access to the potions you need.”

“I understand,” Hermione said.

But she didn’t.

She oddly felt like she was in a dream. A strange one at that. Lucius and Narcissa were being extremely kind to her. She slept in a beautiful room each night, and Professor Snape came to speak to her checking on her injuries and was being nice of all things.

Yes, she had a tentative relationship with her snarky potion’s professor, but he was usually abrupt with her. She knew that he was a private man, so she never pressed for anything more than his assistance when learning several different potions and how to identify herbs, where they grew, etc.

Some days were better than others when she spent time with him. She never knew which side of Professor Snape she would encounter when meeting with him.

She hated the fact that her friends, Ron and Harry always had cruel comments about him. She didn’t view him as Ron loved to call him, ‘a greasy git’. He was intelligent and deemed her worthy enough to share that knowledge with her. Of course, they didn’t know that. No one was to know he was instructing her extra per Professor Dumbledore’s request.

No. This was not real. She must have bumped her head while being with Harry to save Sirius. Otherwise, if she were in the care of the Malfoys, she would be still in the dungeon that Bellatrix had dragged her from, and she had not seen that person since she dragged her up those stairs. And she most certainly not a Rosier. She was Hermione Jean Granger, Muggle-born.

She knew her father’s aversion to anything magical, so it didn’t make sense to her that she was from a magical family, unless it was her mother who was a witch. She doubted that very much if she were, she was sure her mother would have hexed her father already for the heavy hand he used with both.

She had reasoned with herself to go with the flow of events now until she could discern if this was her reality or not. There was no need to panic and make things worse for herself. She would eventually get the answers she was sure, or at least that is what Lucius said.

She would wake up soon, and she would be back at Hogwarts or St. Mungo’s recovering. Whatever spell that she was hit with during the battle must have done something to her mind as well, keeping her mind locked up. If this was her reality, she would deal with that when the time came.

They apparated back to the Malfoy estate, Lucius leading them up the drive. Hermione looked around with interest welcoming the beautiful view of the house. White peacocks strutted around the yard pecking at the ground without a care in the world.

“They are beautiful.” She murmured.

“What? The peacocks?” Lucius asked following her line of sight. He gave her a bright smile chucking slightly as he turned forward once again. “Yes, they are. They can be quite nasty when approached, be mindful of that.”

“Yes, sir.”

Entering the house Lucius kissed Narcissa on the cheek and paused looking down at Hermione who watched her intently for a few moments. He leaned forward slightly causing her to flinch. He kissed her forehead offering her a small smile. “I have work to do. I will see you at dinner.” He turned and vanished down the hallway.

“Come, let us have some tea in the garden. The fresh air will do you some good.” Narcissa clasped Hermione’s hand leading her through the drawing room out the large French doors that stood open.

After sipping tea Hermione looked out across the vast yard of the garden enjoying the small spring breeze that brushed against her. She closed her eyes inhaling deeply savoring the sweet scents of the flowers.

“How are you feeling today?” Narcissa asked setting her teacup down on the saucer without making any sound, something Hermione had yet to master.

Hermione looked over at her. “Honestly, I am still trying to decide if this is real or not. I remember bits and pieces of the battle in the Department of Mysteries and being struck by…something. Everything after that was a blur. I often wonder, am I still unconscious? If I am, where am I really?”

“You are awake, my dear,” Narcissa said with sympathy. “You will learn everything, once you are feeling better, I would be more than happy to speak to you about any questions you may have.”

“I am sure I will have plenty of questions if what you say is true.” She said dryly. “I am still in favor of thinking this is a dream.”

“And why is that?”

“Well, for one, and I mean no offense by saying this, but Mr. Malfoy was never one to offer a kind word to me before. He did try to hex me before in the Department of Mysteries, so there is that.”

Narcissa raised her brow at that information. It bothered her, the mere thought that her Lucius could have killed Hermione. She was already so precious to her in the short time she had spent with her. A small piece of Felicity that she could have back. “And the other reason?”

“Professor Snape has been nice to me whenever I see him. It’s odd because he always called me an insufferable-know-it-all even when I was working privately with him with potions or even in the classroom.”

“That’s because you are.” A voice drawled from behind them.

Hermione let out a startled wheeze turning in her seat to see Professor Snape leaning against the doorway in all his resplendent glory. “P-Professor.”

He shoved himself off the door sauntering forward taking a seat next to Hermione. His lips quirked up seeing her blush deepen as she met his eyes. “Surely, Miss. Granger, I am not that bad to you?”

“N-no, no of course not!” She said. “It’s just…I don’t…” She twisted her hands in her lap looking down trying to get her brain to function.

“Severus, stop teasing the poor girl.” Narcissa chastised him lightly.

“Oh, but I do enjoy it. To see her speechless is a rare sight, Cissa, you must understand.”

He waved her off giving her a small chuckle looking back at Hermione. “I came to check that you are healing well. I have brought your weekly potions, but I wanted to check to confirm you were still in need of some of them.”

“I’m fine.” Hermione lied looking up at him.

He raised a brow. “Lying is not doing you any favors. Now, tell me, are you still have headaches.”

She nodded once.

“Seizures?”

She looked over at Narcissa and back at Snape. “Not as many.”

Narcissa took this opportunity to speak. “She is having one at least once a day, mostly in the evening if she has overexerted herself.”

“Continue her regime. If something drastic changes let me know. I also brought some dreamless sleep if she should need it.” He said. “I am certain you will be able to return to Hogwarts soon.”

He wanted to share with her the concern that Potter had for her, but he didn’t want to upset her unnecessarily. She would see him soon enough. He had been working with Potter for a week now, and was improving a great deal, he may even be good enough at occlumency by the time she did return. That was his plan anyway.

He offered an apologetic smile. “Miss Granger, I will need a few drops of your blood.”

Hermione shifted back paling slightly.

“It not for anything nefarious, I can assure you. It would help me a great deal.”

He leaned forward grabbing her wrist rubbing his thumb over her wrist. His lips tugged at the corners when he felt her heartbeat hammering in her chest. He met her eyes noticing how large they were, her pupils dilated, not of fear…but something else he was sure. ‘I will think about that later.’ “Breath, Hermione.” He whispered.

Her breath hitched slightly, her blush deepening. He bowed his head over her hand slicing it just enough to collect what he needed corking the vial once he was done.

Standing Snape looked down at Hermione patting her on the head gently, his knuckles brushing her heated cheek as he did. “I will come to check on you in a few days.”

And he left.

“Now I know I am dreaming,” Hermione said lifting her hands to her face.

Snape looked over his shoulder grinning as he caught sight of her bright blush. ‘There is hope yet.’

Narcissa’s tinkling laughter echoed around the garden as he left to find the Dark Lord.

Knocking on the large ornate double door, Severus opened the door when he heard the muffled voice telling him to enter.

Voldemort was sitting behind the desk, Lucius sitting in one of the chairs in front looking back as Snape closed the door quietly.

“Ah, Severus. How did your meeting go with Dumbledore, I haven’t had a chance to ask you?”

Snape sat in the other chair looking up at Voldemort. “It is as you suspected. He already knew you had her, and who she was to you.”

Leaning back in his chair, Voldemort’s hand came up stroking Nagini’s head. “Did he ask you to rescue her?”

Snape snorted. “No, it was actually Potter who begged me to find her a way out.”

“Admirable.” Voldemort chuckled. “And, the others that were there?”

“Mad-eye believes she can not be trusted any longer, and a few disagree. It appears that Potter and the mutt, Sirius are the only ones who genuinely care if the girl is brought back to them. Of course, Molly was horrified she was surrounded by Death Eaters, as she calls us thinking that she is being violated I am sure.”

“What an active imagination.” He mused.

“There is something else.” Snape paused bracing himself. He knew once he crossed this line, he would become deeper involved with the Dark Lord. Of course, it was known that Dumbledore wanted him to spy for him by Voldemort, so maybe he wouldn’t think too much into this piece of information. He needed to protect Hermione. “He asked me to see if she could be used to spy for him.”

Voldemort hissed slamming his hand on the desk. “Does he not realize the position he would place her in by asking her that? If I were not her father, you know good and well what would happen to her if she was caught spying.”

Snape nodded once. “I expressed the same concern. I haven’t mentioned it to Miss Granger yet. I wanted to tell you what he said. It seems he is still content on using her as a pawn.”

“I will never let that happen again. That man will pay for what he did to her.” Voldemort took a slow breath trying to calm his rage. “I visited her parents a few days ago. I was able to steer the conversation about Hermione being adopted. It was all there for my purview. Albus brought Hermione to them when she was only a few days old knowing they were looking to adopt. He also had Felicity with him. Mrs. Granger was more open to being read, and what I saw I know that he disposed of Felicity after. She was wearing torn and tattered clothing, and whenever she tried to speak out, to take Hermione back, he would speak to her causing her to blank out, following his directions. He used the Imperious curse on her I am sure.”

“Did you tell them you were her father?” Lucius asked.

“Don’t be absurd. Fudge doesn’t believe I am back. I can’t go around telling them that. I just simply informed them that family had come forward, hearing that Hermione was related to them wanting her with them.”

“Do you think they will tell Albus?”

“I am counting on it. I didn’t oblivate them, I used your likeness Lucius, so I am sure he will see it in their mind eventually knowing that Hermione will not be returning to them that they signed custody over to you. There is nothing they could do. I am glad for that fact. Her father…her father tried to beat the magic out of her when she was six, that was when Albus came back hiding her appearance and locking her magic. That man who adopted her is what muggles are, ignorant. A blight on this world. I left them alone for Hermione’s sake, not mine. I will need to gain her trust slowly if she is to accept me seeing things from my perspective that muggles are dangerous and need to be dealt with.”

“I told Albus that Miss Granger will return to Hogwarts and will have some precautions in place to ensure she is safe,” Snape said.

“Ah, yes. Thank you for bringing that up, Severus. When she returns, I want her to be resorted for one. I am sure she would be sorted in the correct house this time. Slytherin.” He paused for a moment tilting his head studying Snape for a few moments. “There is something else I am thinking about to help protect her, I will need to add an extra layer of protection for her when she returns next year seeing she will be there much longer, and the chances of her being harmed are greater, I will implement it then. I need her to bond with someone. I want that to be you, Severus. She is of age to marry thanks to him I am sure, and I think that you would make the most sense to Albus, although let him come to that conclusion himself. I am sure he would suggest you bond with my daughter thinking it would be best considering your…ties with me.”

Keeping his mask in place was difficult. His heart hammered in his chest at the mere thought of being bonded with Hermione. He didn’t want to show any outward emotion for Voldemort to read into. “As you wish. I will inform Albus when I return about the sorting and let him know you are thinking of bonding her to someone.”

“You can retrieve her Monday as long as he agrees to my terms. When she leaves school, she will return to me at Malfoy Manor. While she is there, please make sure you keep close tabs on her, that she is with someone who can watch over her.”

“I will write Draco and let him know to watch over her,” Lucius said shifting uncomfortably.

“Be sure he lets everyone know that she is off limits now and she is to be protected at all costs.” He narrowed his crimson eyes at the man. “Now, were you able to procure what I asked you for, Severus?” He asked looking over at Snape.

Snape pulled out two vials from his pockets setting them on the desk. He uncorked both pouring Hermione’s blood in the other watching the color of the potion that was within turn from a light crème color to a vibrant red. “This should complete the potion. It is my belief that since you share the same blood, that Hermione’s blood was the missing ingredient.”

He corked the potion giving it a slight shake handing it over to Voldemort who inspected it. “I had thought the same thing actually. I am positive this will do the trick.” He looked over at the two men sitting in front of him shooing Nagini away. “I would like for you two to remain here while I take this to ensure nothing goes wrong. If this works as I hope it does, I will be able to start seeing my daughter as soon as tonight.”

With their consenting nods, he uncorked the vial downing the liquid hoping that finally, he would be able to look in the mirror once again seeing the face of his younger years, and all the abnormalities that came with being a product of a Love Potion would be no more as well.

Chapter Text

Feelings were something that Voldemort was not used to. He was used to feeling the rage, yes, but anxiety, fear, no. He never felt love either. That was the curse of being a product of the Love Potion. Something he thought should be outlawed.

Now he felt everything. He had to actively work on not hexing everyone that he came across as he adjusted. He sequestered himself in his room for the past several days after regaining not only his looks, which pleased him but the feelings that came back along with it. Any abnormalities he had before were no more thanks to Severus’s potions.

He had caught glimpses of Hermione out his large bedroom window that overlooked the gardens watching her as she walked with Narcissa. She appeared happy and relaxed, but he felt the anxiety bubble up within him thinking about her. What if she didn’t accept him? He didn’t want to be like his own father. He wanted her to accept him.

On the positive side her room was close to his, so he was able to hear her soft footsteps as she left her rooms. It also helped ease his mind knowing he would be able to hear anyone coming near her room. He had set a charm at the end of the hallway sending off a signal to him telling him who it was entering the hallway. There were several people that simply would not be allowed to be near them.

Tonight, he was meeting with Hermione to speak to her about everything. It would be the first time she would see him for who he really was, as he was supposed to be from the beginning. Human emotions and all. Severus and Narcissa would be there to help them along, to help ease Hermione’s fears.

‘Her fears.’ He scoffed. He had his own to deal with right now.

With his emotions back he had more clarity about the war. He was going about it all wrong. He attacked muggles, yes, but that was because they didn’t know or need to be part of the magical world. It was Albus’s belief that muggles, all muggles could be trusted with the knowledge that magic exists, and that was not the case.

Muggles would abuse that knowledge forcing magical beings into servitude, and he would not let that stand. Mudbloods were also a danger bringing with them nonmagical parents who might let it slip that magic does indeed exist.

Tonight, he would tell her of his safeguards in place so that she could return to Hogwarts. He thought he learned enough about her to know she would protest to his demands, not that it mattered to him. The only way he would allow her to return was to do it his way.

Adjusting his clothes in the mirror he left his room to formally meet his daughter. 


 

Snape handing a small vial to Hermione. “This is a calming drought, it’ll help you tonight.”

Grasping the vial, she looked down at it with a furrowed brow. “What’s happening tonight?”

“You’ll get the answers to your questions,” Narcissa said.

“About my parents?” Hermione asked. “Will I be able to go home and see them?”

Snape placed his hand on her shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze. “I’m sure that question will be answered tonight.”

Taking a steadying breath Hermione downed the contents grimacing when the taste of ash flooded her mouth. She handed the vial back to Snape leaning back in the wingback chair waiting for the potion to take over.

Snape nodded at Narcissa when Hermione sunk further in the chair letting out a sigh her eyes drooping slightly.

Narcissa stood up making her way to the library door where she knew Voldemort and her husband waited.

Blinking her eyes over at Snape, Hermione tried to focus her half-lidded eyes. “What did you put in this?” She whispered.

She felt like she was high as a kite, nothing could touch her. She didn’t particularly hate the feeling, she knew she should be alarmed but the emotions would not completely surface.

Snape let out a deep chuckle, his lips tugging up in a smile. She thought he looked handsome with that smile. He should smile more often. “I may have made this particular brew slightly stronger.” He said.

“I’ll say.” She mumbled.

“Hello, Hermione.” A rich voice greeted her.

Lifted her head she saw a man standing in front of her smiling down at her. A very handsome man, his features sharp and defined. His black hair neatly combed, his blue eyes sparkling as he studied her, the robes he was wearing were of a pureblood she thought idly.

She formed a lazy smile trying to stand to greet him. He put out his hand to stop her from standing. “No need to get up.” He chuckled. “We wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.”

She bobbed her head in agreement.

“My name is…Tom.” He grimaced slightly. He hated that name and the man that he was named after. “I’m here to speak to you about a few things. Are you up for a little chat?”

“I think so.” She said.

“I know you have several questions as to why you are here, and I hope to shed some light on that, but first before I answer your questions, I need you to take a vow that everything you hear here tonight will not be shared with anyone outside of this room without my permission, can you do that?”

“I don’t have my wand.” She frowned.

“You won’t need it, Severus will be the one to bind the promise. I’m asking for an unbreakable vow.”

Swallowing hard she nodded her head. She wanted the answers so desperately. Would it be worth taking an unbreakable vow? In her mind it was. She wasn’t one to speak about things that others should know about anyway.

She flinched slightly when golden ropes wrapped around her wrists connecting her to Tom. She heard Snape ask her the question that she would agree to hold her secrets swearing on her magic, and her life.

“Yes.” She whispered slumping back into the chair when Tom released her hand sitting back in the chair next to hers.

Lucius handed Voldemort a drink of Fire whiskey when he took a seat near Hermione which he was grateful for. He would need it tonight. Lucius took a seat next to his wife clasping his hand with hers.

“Now that is over with.” He waved his hand dismissively. “Would you be up to answering some of my questions first?”

Voldemort studied her as she blinked her eyes several times tilting her head to the side. “What do you want to know?” She asked her expression guarded.

“Well, I was told by Severus that you are taking advance potion-making with him, was that your idea?”

Hermione cringed slightly. “I can’t tell you that.” She whispered.

“Is it a secret?”

“Well, I was asked not to speak to anyone about certain things.”

Voldemort hummed lightly. “What if I told you the reason why I’m asking is that it is my belief that Albus has lied to you.”

“Professor Dumbledore?

“Yes. Let me tell you what I think.” He paused. “I think that Professor Dumbledore asked you to take advanced potions.”

Hermione chewed her bottom lip for a moment before nodding.

“What you tell me will be between us, Hermione. I’m here to protect you.”

“Protection from what? I don’t understand anything that is going on.” Hermione said. “I’ve been here for Merlin knows how long, and all I’m told is my parents are not muggles, that their name is Rosier.”

“You’re adopted parents are most certainly muggles. Your real parents are not.”

“Adopted?” Her bottom lip trembled slightly thinking of the implications that this man next of her was telling her. There was no way she was adopted. Surely her parents would have told her something that important.  She was thankful for the calming drought, she was sure she would be freaking out more than she was. “You’re lying.”

“No. I’m not. Albus placed you with the Grangers when you were a newborn, Hermione. I know this for a fact. He knew who your real parents were. He placed you there to hide you from them.”

“He wouldn’t do that? Who are my parents that he would have to hide me?”

Severus seeing that Hermione was beginning to get upset moved his seat closer to her placing his hand on her arm hoping that she would remember that she was not alone here.

She looked over at him, her complexion slightly pale. “Professor? Is this true? Did you know?”

He shook his head. “I didn’t know until very recently. Dumbledore knew that the Grangers were not your real parents. Your parents knew I’m sure they didn’t tell you on his orders not to.”

Bowing her head, she closed her eyes. Why would Dumbledore do that? She had trusted him, believed in him. “Why?” She croaked. “Why would he do that to me?”

“He did it because of who your father is,” Voldemort said.

Lifting her head, she met his gaze steadying herself. “Who is he?”

“Me.” He said. “I’m your father. I do not go by Tom though. You may know me as Lord Voldemort.” He knelt in front of her taking her hand. “I will not hurt you, Hermione. You have my word. I had no idea you even existed before I had you bleed on the legitimacy papers.” He let out a deep breath. “I was a product of the Love Potion, you should know what that does to someone. Their child, which in this case, me. I had no idea how to love, or really feel anything. I simply didn’t care. I can tell you now that I feel everything. Not only can I feel, but this is how I’m supposed to look.” 

She took a sharp intake of breath. Of course, she knew what that potion did. She was surprised that Fred and George sold it as a novelty item, it was far too dangerous to be sold and bought that way. She studied closely watching for any deception, but she saw none. She had no idea what Voldemort looked like before, so it was hard to tell. All she could remember vaguely about him before was the crimson eyes that narrowed at her, his snake-like face a mottled grey that watched while Bellatrix tried to break her.

She shuttered.

Her brain was working hard to process what the man was saying in front of her. Lord Voldemort? She shook her head in denial. There was no way she was the daughter of the evilest man known to the wizarding world. He certainly didn’t look evil to her, he looked refined, but looks always could be deceiving. “No. NO that’s not true.”

“It is true Hermione. I’m your father, and I’m most certainly Lord Voldemort. I don’t know what truly happened to your mother, Felicity Rosier, I didn’t even know she was pregnant, or I even had a child until that day. If I had known I would’ve protected you. I will tell you that she disappeared just before she was to give birth to you on the way here to Malfoy Manor. Narcissa can tell you more about her when you are ready.”

“But…but you’re evil. You killed my best friend’s parents, and tried to kill him, too.”

“Yes, I did. There was a reason for that, that we will get into later. Right now, I want you to understand certain things about your parents. I’m not saying I’m without faults, you know everything I’ve done I’m sure, but that view is warped by the light or should I say, Albus.” Voldemort grinned up at her when Hermione raised her brow at him. “Not everything is black and white Hermione. Please try to understand that things are not always so clear cut. I admit that perhaps I went about cleansing this world the wrong way. That was before. Now that I’m finally restored, I can admit that. That doesn’t change the fact that Albus is as much to blame as I’m. He thinks muggles are harmless, that they mean no harm to magical beings.” He held her stare. “Do you believe that muggles can be trusted with the knowledge?”

Closing her eyes, she took a deep breath. Sadly, he did have a point. No. Muggles, in general, could not be trusted with the knowledge. She had lived in the muggle world long enough to know this. People usually feared what they didn’t understand. Even her father…. her adopted father if what she is hearing was true, often called her a freak.

Opening her eyes slowly she shook her head. “No. Not all muggles can be trusted. However, I don’t believe that muggle-born witches like I’m…or thought I was, poses a threat. They have rights, just as purebloods do.”

“I don’t completely agree with you, it’s the muggle-borns that pose a slight threat. It’s through their parents that the knowledge of us can be exposed. What would happen if that happened?”

“There has to be a better way then to kill them.” She argued. “I can see your point about muggles finding out, but I still believe that they shouldn’t be killed for being muggle-born. It’s my understanding that the population of the wizarding world is on the decline. I would think that having someone who is not born into a magical family, but rather magic chose them they would be accepted. It would bring new blood.”

“We are getting off track. We can discuss this later. Right now, I want to know what else Dumbledore has told you.” He squeezed her hand gently before standing up sitting in his chair once again. “I also would like to know why your magical age is nineteen instead of the sixteen as you should be.”

Letting out a small huff Hermione decided it was best to answer his questions. She needed to be careful when it comes to him. “My second year, Professor Dumbledore gave me a time-turner to use. I’ve been using it for the past three years.”

“What?” He growled. “Do you know how dangerous that is?”

“I know the rules of using it.” She shrugged. “He gave it to me so I could study with Professor Snape, and Mme. Pomphrey.”

“Did he tell you the reason he needed you to do that?”

“No. I suspect it had something to do with Harry. He once told me that I was the brightest witch of my age, and I was a fine example of a muggle-born witch.”

“He just wanted to use you as a poster child for muggles.” Voldemort seethed. “The one thing you must know is not to trust him, Hermione. He uses people. Makes them into his pawns. He used them for his own means, to get what he wants. Right now, he wants to destroy me with any means necessary no matter who is scarified.”

Snape cleared his throat. “It’s true, Miss Granger. There are things about Mr. Potter that you have yet to learn that Albus is privy too and has yet to let Mr. Potter know. Things I think he should know. In time I’m sure your father will share that information with you as well, but for now please know what Lord Voldemort is telling you is the truth.”

Hermione rubbed her temples trying to digest everything she had learned. She was glad that the calming drought was in her system or she would have hexed everyone here and make a run for it. Not that she could, she had no wand. She was trying to keep her wits about her. Why was Snape here with Voldemort? She has always thought he worked for the light, at least that what Professor Dumbledore said. Then it clicked. ‘He is a spy for the order, you’ve seen him there at Grimmauld place. Don’t panic. He won’t let them hurt you. He healed you.’

“When can I go home, or back to Hogwarts?” Hermione asked looking at Voldemort.

“You’ll be unable to return to your adopted parents, Hermione. You’re mine. My child. You belong by my side. If you want to go visit them for a brief time with someone as your escort, I don’t have a problem with that. I didn’t kill them if that is what you are thinking. Although now that Albus knows I’m aware of you, your adopted parents may be in danger.”  

She paled.

He raised his hand. “I have someone outside their house looking after them. I suspect Albus paying them a visit once again.”

“You didn’t kill them?” Hermione whispered.

“Of course not.” He scoffed. “They may be muggles, but now that is what they are. Muggles. I’m not a monster” ‘At least I’m trying not to be for you.’ He thought dryly. “They pose no threat yet. They would be safer with no knowledge of you or the magical world, but I thought you at least wanted to see them again before anything is done, as in oblivating them, not killing them.” He let out a breath. “I’m sorry you are unable to return to them, but it was for the best. I have to keep you safe, too.”

She nodded her head slowly. “Hogwarts?”

“You may return to school, but I have to have some safeguards in place, something you must be willing to do in order to return.”

“Such as?”

“I want you to be resorted for one.”

“But why? What’s wrong with Gryffindor?”

“Nothing is particularly wrong with the lions.” He said. “When you were first sorted, did that old hat say anything to you?”

Hermione frowned thinking back. “Well, he said something about my intellect, that Ravenclaw would be a decent choice, also it was too bad I was muggle-born that I would do well in Slytherin.”

“Of course, that is where you belong. You are a decedent of Salazar himself. That’s your house.”

“How could the sorting hat not know I’m not a muggle-born?”

“Glamours for one I’m sure. You look different now because this is how you are supposed to look. Your memories of your childhood, etc. It most likely confused the dusty thing. I’m sure that was also Albus’s idea to hide you, making you look different enough, have memories of your adopted parents thinking they were your real parents, as well as a charm making you appear muggle-born so you wouldn’t be sorted there.”

Swallowing hard she gave him a short nod. “I’ll agree to that, but what if I’m sorted back to Gryffindor?”

“That’ll not happen, I assure you.”

“Is that all I need to do? Just be resorted?”

“No.” He said shaking his head. His eyes met with Snape’s briefly before looking back at Hermione’s. “This next safeguard in nonnegotiable if you want to return next year. Please keep in mind it’s for your own protection I’m having you do this.” He held her gaze for a moment. “I need you to bond with Severus.”

“What?” She wheezed. “Professor Snape? Why? Why next year?”

“Eager, are you?” Voldemort chuckled. “I said next year so you could get to know Severus, with him courting you.”

Hermione looked over at her professor furrowing her brows. She was sure if she had full function of her faculties she would be panicking. “Professor?”

His hand drifted down her arm threading his fingers through hers. “I already knew about this request. I’m fine with it.”

“But…but what if you find someone you want to be with? What if I do?”

Snape frowned. “I promise you, Miss Granger, that would never happen for me. As far as you, I’m terribly sorry that your choices are taken away from you. I promise I’ll try to be considerate with you. When we court, you’ll be able to see a different side of me.” His lips tugged up forming a small smile. “Would it be so terrible to be bonded to me? You are in real danger and I would be the most logical choice to add protection. Your return to Hogwarts on Monday you’ll only be for a handful of weeks.”

“Well, it just seems odd thinking about you other than my professor is all. I’m a student, aren’t there rules against that?”

“Albus will agree, in fact, I’m sure he will even suggest it. It’s his doing that you are of age to be married now, correct?”

“Yes.” She sighed.

“Keep an open mind, Hermione.” Voldemort said. “Severus is someone who has served me well. He’ll keep you safe. I know that next year with the other students, and even with Albus, you may have a difficult time navigating things. If you were in Severus’s care, as his wife, no one would dare harm you.”

Hermione let out small snort thinking of that scenario. It is true whenever they saw Professor Snape with his billowing robes coming towards them everyone scattered like rats. It was only her time spent with him in private she was able to see a slightly different side to him at times. He would look at her with a softened expression rarely before returning to his customary scowl. 

“You’ll understand in time, Hermione.” Voldemort said. “You’ll return to Hogwarts with this new knowledge on Monday, when you do be sure to watch what is happening around you. What he is doing.”

“I’d like to see my parents before I return to school.”

“You may see your adopted parents tomorrow. I’ll accompany you along with Narcissa.”

“Thank you. I just…I want to hear it from them. I want to understand.”

“I can show you the memories I saw if you wish.” He offered. “some may be disturbing to see I must warn you, of your real mother, they saw her. I also know your childhood was far from pleasant.”

She grimaced slightly. “He just didn’t understand.” She bowed her head.

“Muggles usually don’t.” Voldemort said lifting her chin gently. He stood offering his hand to Hermione which she reluctantly took. He tugged her to a standing position where she swayed lightly. Wrapping his arms around her he rested his head on top of hers. An odd warmth filled him when she wrapped her arms around him albeit stiffly, but it was a start.

He was looking forward to learning to love someone, what better way then with his own flesh and blood. He was positive in time he would have genuine affection for her. From everything he heard about her, she was intelligent but affectionate as well. He supposed that was because she lacked that from her own home needing it like any normal person would. He was already protective of her. She was his.

Kissing the top of her head he handed her off to Narcissa. “I’ll see you in the morning to take you to see them. Try and get some rest. I’ll send Nagini up soon to rest with you.”

“You don’t have to do that do you?”

“Why not? Has she done something to you I should know about?”

“Well, no. She is just…I’m afraid she will bite me.”

“She would never bite you I assure you. She is quite fond of you, I promise. I’ll see if I can show you how to speak to her.”

Nodding, she let Narcissa lead her out of the room. Voldemort watched them go before he sunk into his chair. “Well, I think that went well.” He said grabbing the Firewhiskey downing the contents of the tumbler.

“I’m sure in time she’ll understand, she is far too intelligent not too.” Snape said.

Voldemort leaned back in his chair turning his head towards Snape. “You do know Severus that this bond is a permanent bond, correct?”

“I do.”

“See that you never harm her. If you do, I would have no problems disposing of you as I did Bellatrix.”

“You’ll never have to worry about that, My Lord.” Severus bowed his head.

If Voldemort only knew how much it pleased him that he was going to bond with Hermione, he may be dead on the floor right now. He already promised Voldemort that he would do his best when courting Hermione this summer to show her affection, although he would have to be careful doing so. Voldemort wanted her to be happy, but so did Severus. He would make sure it happened.

He could see the changes already with Voldemort, but that didn’t mean he would relax completely in his presence. He supposed it was due to Snape’s willingness to share more than he usually did when it came to Albus. That was because Hermione was in danger, real danger. He had already gone to Albus once to protect the woman he loved, Lily, and it is his belief now that the reason why Lily had died was because of Albus moving his pieces on the board to do so. He would never let that happen to Hermione. He would protect her. Always.

Chapter Text

Narcissa was quiet as she led Hermione up the stairs to Hermione’s bedroom. She was worried, terribly so that Hermione would be upset as soon as the calming draught wore off causing her to have a seizure. It was a lot to take in.

Hermione was now part of the sacred 28, something that Narcissa herself would see that she was well educated. Her manners thus far have been impressive given her…upbringing. She just wished Felicity was here to see how beautiful Hermione had become. She was an enchanting creature, one that she already had a protective streak.

Entering the suite, she led Hermione to the love seat in front of the fire, turning she flicked her wand adding a silencing charm and warded the door. She wanted to speak to her privately for a few moments before Hermione retired to bed.

Sitting next to her she grasped both her hands in hers feeling the coolness of her skin. “How are you feeling, dear?” She asked softly.

Hermione blinked up at her for a moment before a frown painted her lips. “I don’t honestly know. It’s a lot to take in.”

Narcissa nodded knowingly. “Do you have any questions about your mother?”

“Did you know her?”

Narcissa smiled giving Hermione’s hand a small squeeze. “I did. She was my cousin, a second cousin, but she was also my best friend. We were at Hogwarts together although she was just a few years younger than me.”

“So, that makes me your cousin?” Hermione asked before her eyes widened. “and Draco?”

Narcissa let out a small laugh smiling brightly at her. “Yes. Your mother named me your godmother, she wanted you to call me aunt, I would prefer that if that is alright with you? You can call me Aunt Cissa.”

Hermione nodded her head once bowing her hand looking at their clasped hands. She frowned slightly at the pallor of her skin. It used to be a lovely golden brown, now it was a pale rose. Something else she would have to get used to. “Tell me about her.” She said softly. “What was she like?”

“She was extremely intelligent, much like you are. She was so excited to have you, although she never did tell me who the father was. She said that they were too busy to deal with a child. I know if the Dark Lord knew about you, he would have taken you in. He has said so himself.”

“I am having a tough time reconciling that he is my father. He is supposed to be evil.”

“Yes, he has done many things that would paint the picture that way. I can see the changes in him already now that he is cured of the Love Potion. I hope you give him a chance, Hermione. I think with you being here, and him knowing you are his daughter things will not be so dark.”

“I will think about it.” She said looking up. “What else can you tell me about her.”

Narcissa lifted one hand up playing with a curl. “Your hair is just as curly as hers. You look a lot like her. It is like I have a piece of her back with me.” She smiled fondly at her lowering her hand. “She was going to name you Asteria after the mother of Hecate. She had great hopes for you.”

“Asteria,” Hermione said with a small smile tugging her lips. “I like it.”

“It would be fitting for you,” Narcissa said laughing brightly.

“When we visited the bank, the goblin said that the Rosier family is extinct.”

“Yes, the Rosier family was never that large, mind you, but you did have an uncle named Evan. He was a Death Eater and was killed after the Dark Lords fall the first time. He had a son named Felix who passed away two years ago on holiday visiting a dragon reserve. His mother died giving birth to him.”

Hermione shivered. “That’s awful.”

“It was,” Narcissa said.

“What about…. Bellatrix. I haven’t seen her since I was brought up here.” Hermione asked quietly.

Narcissa took a deep breath before letting it out slowly. “The Dark Lord killed her for not following his command.”

“She’s dead?” Hermione squeaked.

Narcissa gave a short nod. “She was my sister, but I think it was a mercy that she was killed. She had been in Azkaban for many years, and she was not the same since she returned. She would go after Draco whenever he was here during hols.”

“I’m sorry.”

Narcissa shook her head. “Don’t be. We were never close. Like I said, Love, she was not the same.”

“Did she had any children, married?”

“She was married but didn’t have any children. I don’t think she wanted any with her husband honestly. You see, it was a marriage of convenience, not love.”

“Her husband must hate me.”

“Not at all. I think he is relieved just like we all were.”

Hermione shifted uncomfortably trying to not to show the relief she was feeling knowing that Bellatrix was dead. She was Narcissa’s sister, and she already had respect for Narcissa. She had been kind and loving with Hermione since her stay here.

“Bipsy,” Narcissa called. A small house-elf popped up in front of them causing Hermione to jump. “Can you bring some tea and biscuits for us. Also, bring me the book on the Sacred 28 from the library please.”

“Bipsy will be right back.” She vanished with a pop.

“Speaking of marriage of convenience, is Tom serious about me marrying Professor Snape?” Hermione asked.

Narcissa grinned. “Do you not like Severus?”

“It’s not that, I think Professor Snape hates me and is only going along with it because he is afraid of Tom.”

“Severus does not hate you, my dear,” Narcissa said patting Hermione on her hand. “On the contrary, I think he is smitten with you.”

“What? Why would you say that?”

“I’ve known Severus since we were at Hogwarts together. He is my son’s godfather, so I think it is fair to say I know him well.” Narcissa raised a brow at her. “I know by the way he interacts with you, and the way he looks at you when you are not looking, and by the way, he enjoys teasing you.”

Hermione was silent.

“Now, tell me, how do you feel about him?” Narcissa asked taking the book from Bipsy when she popped next to her.

Hermione leaned over pouring tea for both her and Narcissa thinking that over. She didn’t find him repulsive as many others did, on the contrary, she thought he was handsome in the classical sense. His intelligence was attractive to her, she could honestly say she looked forward to spending time alone with him. She never put a name on what she felt for him because it wouldn’t have mattered. He was her professor. “I…I don’t know,” Hermione said lifting her teacup taking a small sip. “I don’t hate him. I enjoy spending time with him.”

“That’s a start.” Narcissa chuckled. “Please give him a chance. He has not felt any affection for anyone since he lost Lily.”

“Lily?”

“Your friend Harry’s mother. They were best friends for many years since they were just children. Once she fell in with James and his followers, they had a strained relationship. It broke Severus’s heart. He had been cruel to her lashing out because he was frustrated, I know it’s one of his greatest regrets.”

“That’s so sad. Does Harry know?”

“I have no idea if he knows or not.” Narcissa shrugged. “Now. This book is part of the Sacred 28, which you are part of. You may bring it to Hogwarts with you, so you have something to read. I will answer any questions you may have on the subject.”

Hermione grabbed the book with both hands looking down at the cover stroking it lightly with her fingers. “Thank you…Aunt Cissa.”

Narcissa beamed brightly at her. “Not a problem, little one. When you return from your summer hols, I will take you to your estate, I am sure there are plenty of other books on the subject there as well.”

“I have an estate?”

“Why of course you do. It is the Rosier Family Estate. When the last of someone dies, the estate goes into stasis, no one will be able to pass the wards unless they are a direct descendant of the Rosier family.” Narcissa said her eyes twinkling. “You can still stay here if that is your wish, but the estate is not too far from here. I am only a floo away if you do stay there.”

Hermione chewed that over for a moment. While it was good that she had her own wealth apparently, she didn’t expect to have an estate as well. “Thank you, for everything. I don’t know what I would do without your guidance.”

“You have had a lot thrown at you in the past weeks, but you have adapted quite well. I am glad to be here to help you in any way I can, Hermione. You are my family.”

“I had to adapt.” Hermione nodded. “I am trying to be logical about it. There is no escaping here, I have no wand, and I know if I did, I would be found.”

“Indeed,” Narcissa said dryly trying to fight the smile off her face.

Hermione placed the book on the coffee table. “Thank you for answering my questions about my mother. I am sure I will have questions later if that is alright?”

“Of course. Write to me while you are Hogwarts whether you have questions or not. I would be happy to hear from you regardless. I plan on taking you shopping tomorrow after we visit with your adopted parents, so we can pick up a wax seal for you with your family crest on it.”

“Thank you.” Hermione smiled up at her. “For everything.”

Narcissa pulled her against her chest rubbing soothing circles on Hermione’s back. “I am just pleased to know you are safe. You are very dear to me already, Hermione.” Pulling back, she kissed her on the forehead running her fingers through Hermione’s hair briefly. She stood waving her hand vanishing the tea set. “I will see you in the morning, Love. Take a nice hot bath and get some rest.”

Standing, Hermione smiled at her watching Narcissa leave her suite. She had a lot to consider, what she had learned while she was with the Malfoys had her head spinning in circles. She was the daughter of Voldemort, that thought made her stomach churn uncomfortably.

She made her way to the bathroom starting the tub pouring in vanilla scented oils before she started to strip her clothes. Spending time with Voldemort had been enlightening. She was still shocked to learn that he of all people was her father, but he seemed genuinely concerned about her.

She did know that any child from someone who had been under a Love Potion would be unable to feel any love, and he told her that he had been cured of that. She hoped that was the case. She would have to consider how to go forward. She was trapped here, and now that he knew who she was, she knew he would keep her close. Maybe marrying Professor Snape would be a viable option for her. At least he could protect her slightly, she hoped he could at least. Perhaps she could convince Voldemort not to harm muggles or Muggle-borns in the process.

Turning off the taps to the water she sunk into the tub letting out a low moan when the heat of the water hit her scar, it was still very tender to extreme temperature changes. Washing her body gently, her mind flipped through her current predicament. She was the daughter of the Dark Lord. Her mother was most likely dead. She was betrothed to Snape. Dumbledore was not as caring as she had been led to believe.

“One problem at a time.” She mumbled to herself.

Chapter Text

Hermione’s fingers tugged at the sleeve of her robes as she sat in the low chair in front of the vanity as Narcissa tried to tame her hair. She was anxious about going to see her parents. After they had breakfast, Voldemort took her into his office pulling out several memories for her to view in the pensive, memories from his previous visit with them.

After coming out of the pensive she sat heavily in the chair, her knees feeling weak. The memory of her real mother in her adopted mother’s memory was heartbreaking. Voldemort was right, Professor Dumbledore was the one who hid her. She didn’t want to believe him. Voldemort was the epitome of evil, and yet he was telling her the truth.

Did that mean that Dumbledore was the real evil one here? No. That couldn’t be it. Voldemort took his pleasure in killing muggles, and muggle-born. He didn’t see anyone for who they were, what they had to offer in the world, just that they were a blight. ‘Just like he thought I was.’

“Frowning will cause wrinkles, my dear,” Narcissa said in a sing-song voice.

Hermione jumped slightly pulled from her thoughts. “Sorry.” She said clearing her throat. “I was lost in my thoughts.”

Narcissa put the brush on the vanity meeting Hermione’s gaze placing her hands on her shoulders. “I know it’s a lot to take in, Love. I wish things could have been the way they were supposed to be in the beginning for you. Unfortunately, you cannot change what has already happened. You must move forward.” A smile tilted her lips. “The motto of your own house, The House of Rosier is Improvidus, Apto, quod Victum.” She said squeezing her shoulders gently.

“Improvise, Adapt and Overcome,” Hermione whispered.

Narcissa nodded pulling Hermione’s hair up twisting it in an elegant bun. “You have many people here that already adore you.” She said. “You will see in time that no harm will come to you.”

Hermione pursed her lips. “I’m not afraid of being harmed. I knew that was more than likely going to happen when I learned that…He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named came back and I am…well was a muggle-born.”

Narcissa chuckled shaking her head. “You mean your father.”

“Yes.” Hermione huffed crossing her arms over her chest. “My father. I wish I knew who to believe. Those memories.” She closed her eyes shaking her head lightly. “They have confused me even more. Who do I believe? Is Professor Dumbledore really evil?”

“Do you trust in my judgment?” Narcissa asked twirling Hermione to face her grasping her hands.

Hermione looked into her eyes seeing she was asking earnestly. “I think I do. You have been nothing but kind and honest to me.”

“I must admit I do not particularly care for Muggle-borns or muggles, but I do not hate them, but I don’t understand them, much like muggles wouldn’t understand our world. Albus wants a world with muggles involved, which is a dreadful thing. He also doesn’t want his students learning everything there is to learn about the magical world. Something has to change, don’t you think? He is very selective on what he has his students learn. I believe students should learn everything that there is to know.”

“I can see your point.” Hermione nodded. “We have muggle studies there, but nothing on pureblood society.”

Narcissa tugged Hermione up from the chair wrapping her arms around her. “You are such a treasure to me, I am glad I have you here. Remember, I am on your side. Everything will work out, you’ll see. My piece of advice is to watch and listen before passing judgment. I can tell you since you arrived The Dark Lord is not as angry, so I must thank you for that.”

Hermione nodded wrapping her arms around Narcissa holding her tight letting out a breath. She was pleasantly surprised at the kinship she felt with the older woman. It was hard to believe that she was Draco’s mother. She was warm, loving and full of life. Draco had a permanent scowl on his face. She would follow her advice, she had yet to lead her astray.

Pulling back Narcissa kissed Hermione on the forehead brushing her hands down her arms giving her a warm smile. “Come, your father will be waiting for us. Remember, I will be right there with you.” 


 

Apparating to the back yard, Hermione let go of Narcissa and Voldemort’s hands taking a deep cleansing breath. Her heart started to hammer in her chest as she stood there looking at the back door to her old house.

“We don’t have to do this, Hermione. We can wait.” Voldemort said looking down at her.

She met his eyes briefly before squaring her shoulders stepping away. She passed the back of the house, opening the small gate to the back yard making her way towards the front of the house. She was unsure if she should just walk in like before, but since she wasn’t alone, she opted to use the front instead.

Ringing the bell, she folded her hands in front of her listening to the footsteps from inside the house. Each step sounded like a death toll to her. ‘This is the last time you have to see him. He can’t hurt you anymore.’

Her adopted father raised her with a heavy hand thinking that the magic could be beaten out of her. That was her reason for not sharing the magical part of her life with her parents. The less the knew the better.

The door swung open revealing her father. His face had a pleasant smile on his face. “May I help you?”

“It’s me, Hermione. I wanted to come to see you. May I come in and see mother?”

His smile morphed into a glare. “Hermione. What are you doing here?” He said flatly. “You have already caused Jean enough pain.”

“Sorry, it wasn’t my intention.”

He paused for a moment before opening the door wider for her to step through. He didn’t wait for them to enter, he walked away stepping into the den where her mother was sitting on the small loveseat packing a box. “Jean, Hermione is here.”  

Jean looked up hopping up from the couch coming forward quickly hugging her. “Oh, my sweet girl. I’ve been so worried about you. Look at you! You look so different.” She said, pulling back cupping her cheek.

“I’m fine, mother. This how I am supposed to look.” Hermione said shifting out of her embrace. “I’ve come to pay a visit to you and…father.”

She didn’t bother to introduce Narcissa or Voldemort, she had a feeling they wouldn’t be staying all that long.

William Granger grunted sitting on the couch, crossing his arms over his chest. “Thanks to you, we now need to move.” He said tersely.

“Move?” Hermione said looking around. “Why?”

Jean moved to sit next to her husband. “Albus came by last night offering to pay us to relocate. He said you were in some sort of danger, and it would be best if we leave.” She said pulling out a tissue dabbing at her eyes.

“Where are you going?” Hermione asked sitting on the couch opposite of Jean and Willian flanked by Narcissa and Voldemort.

William scoffed. “We are not to tell you, girl.”

“Bill,” Jean whispered. “She is our daughter.”

“Not anymore, she’s not. I told you when that man appeared that we shouldn’t have taken her in. It was too good to be true.” He turned and looked at Hermione narrowing his eyes slightly. “She is a freak for Christ's sake, Jean.”

Hermione was not sure why she did it, but her hand shot out placing it on Voldemort’s knee when he hissed. He stilled looking over at her for a moment before taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. She knew he already took a vow not to harm them, but still.  

Jean stood. “Hermione, would you like to go up to your room and pack anything you want to keep?”

William stood as well blocking his wife’s path. “No. I’ve already told you, everything she has ever owned is going to charity. She gets nothing.”

Hermione stood narrowing her eyes at her father. “There is nothing here I would like to keep…” Her eyes drifted to her mother. “Mother. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, and I am sorry for all the heartache you must feel.”

Her mother sat on the couch turning her head trying to stifle a quiet sob.

“One question and I will leave you, why didn’t you tell me I was adopted? Perhaps this could have all been avoided.”

“We were told not to.” William ground out. “That man said it was for the best to keep it a secret.”

Voldemort placed his hand on Hermione’s arm leaning close to her ear. “I think it would be best for us to Obliviate them, Hermione. It would be a kindness, Albus would not be able to use them against you anymore.”

She clenched her jaw giving him a curt nod. She made her way towards the front door pausing for a moment. She took a picture from the wall of her and her mother clutching it in her hands. She watched as the image of her faded until all that was left was her mother smiling brightly at the camera. Hermione swallowed the lump in her throat when Voldemort joined them ushering her out the door to the back yard. Hermione stuffed the picture in her robes closing her eyes as Voldemort and Narcissa each grabbed her arm apparating them away.


 

 Everyone left Hermione alone when they returned to Malfoy estate from her visit and their short shopping trip. She told Narcissa she needed some fresh air, so she left for the gardens. That had been hours ago.

‘Little one, you have been our here long enough, you need to come inside.’

Hermione turned her head to find Nagini at face level at her blinking at her. ‘I am not ready to go back yet.’  Hermione answered looking away towards the horizon.

‘I must insssit.” Nagini nudged Hermione on the shoulder with her large head.

Hermione let out a huff, rounding on the large snake. Placing her hands on her hips she decided to give the damn snake a piece of her mind. She didn’t need a babysitter. She was in view of the estate for Merlin’s sake. She didn’t even pause to think that she could understand Nagini, she was just frustrated and wanted to be left alone.

Voldemort leaned his tall frame against the tree with a smile on his face. Hermione didn’t realize it yet, but she was speaking in parcel tongue. He found it amusing that she was telling off Nagini. No one dared to confront Nagini…ever. She was deadly. Apparently, Hermione trusted him enough to believe that Nagini would never harm her, or she was reckless.

Nagini was quite protective of Hermione already. She often spoke about Hermione when Voldemort was alone with her. She thought Hermione had a pleasant scent. She could tell that Hermione was indeed his by her scent alone, that was enough for him to have no doubts in his mind. Now, seeing her yelling in parcel tongue there was no room for doubt.

Narcissa walked up beside him her eyes wide before she let out a giggle. Voldemort looked down at Narcissa raising a brow before looking back at Hermione and Nagini. “Apparently, Hermione is put out with Nagini for telling her to come inside.”

“I was just coming out to check on her as well, it is almost time for dinner,” Narcissa said with amusement.

Voldemort hefted himself off the tree. “There is no need, Narcissa. I will tend to her. I want to speak to her alone anyway.”

Narcissa gave him a short bow before walking back towards the estate.

Voldemort cleared his throat loudly to gain Hermione’s attention. Two heads snapped in his direction. “Nagini, I will watch over her. Thank you.”

Nagini looked back at Hermione before flicking her tongue out tasting her cheek then slithering away into the brush and bramble.

Hermione stilled, her eyes wide as Voldemort stepped closer to her. “I see you can speak Parcel Tongue already.” He said chuckling.

“Wha-, I wasn’t speaking in…oh.” She looked at the spot that Nagini had disappeared. He felt pride well up inside of him watching her. He never knew he wanted to sire a child until she was standing right in front of him. She exceeded his expectations at every turn.

He pulled out her wand from his pocket swinging it between his fingers. “Would you like this back now?”

“Do you trust me enough with it?”

He let out a snort. “Indeed, I do. I wanted you to show me what you know, I need to make sure you can protect yourself before you leave for Hogwarts. I’m not worried that you will hurt me.” He said with a smile tugging at his lips.

Reaching out Hermione grasped her wand closing her eyes when she felt the familiar hum under her fingers. “Thank you.” She said looking down at her hand clutching her wand tighter.

“Let’s walk. You can show me what you know.” He said gesturing forward.

Falling in step next to him Hermione kept her gaze forward. It was an odd feeling walking next to Voldemort knowing any moment he could kill her.

“I wanted to tell you that Dumbledore wants you to spy for The Order.” He said.

“What?” Hermione’s eyes met his. His eyes were twinkling with mirth as she gaped like a fish.

“Hmm, yes. When Severus told him that you were here…with me, he asked if you could be used to spy.”

Hermione’s heart rate picked up as they kept walking, she turned her head forward not meeting his eyes. Did he bring her out her to kill her? Was this the end for her?

Voldemort chuckled wrapping an arm around her. “I am not going to kill you. You are my child. One that I just found. I just wanted to share this bit of information for when you go back. For you to see he doesn’t care who he places in danger, as long as he gets what he wants.” He squeezed her shoulder tugging her closer. “I will keep you safe…even from him.”

Hermione simply nodded unable to speak. Shock coursed through her. Not only were they not going to rescue her, but they also wanted her to spy. Thinking about it from simply from an outside point of view, it would be an attractive idea. But it was her life on the line.

Coming upon a clearing she furrowed her brows when she saw Dolores Umbridge standing there speaking with Peter Pettigrew. Her steps faltered.

Voldemort held her tight against him pulling her forward. “She will not hurt you again.” He said quietly.

It wasn’t entirely her she was concerned about. Peter was there, too.

“My Lord.” Dolores simpered as she caught sight of Voldemort.

Hermione wanted to vomit. She hated this woman.

“Dolores, thank you for meeting with me today.” Voldemort smiled.

Hermione looked up at him and did a double take. He was wearing glamours. He looked like he used to. The gray mottled skin, crimson eyes, and sharp teeth. She shivered.

“Oh, not a problem at all, My Lord. I only live to serve you.”

“Excellent, I am glad to hear that.” Voldemort said looking down at Hermione moving to grab her hand, his thumb brushing over her scar ‘I will respect my betters.’ “Tell me, Dolores, was this your handiwork?”

Tugging Hermione’s hand, she almost tripped if it weren’t for his hold. Dolores looked down at Hermione’s hand, her brows furrowed. She looked up at Hermione then back at her hand. “I don’t recall ever seeing this girl before, My Lord.”

He nodded releasing Hermione’s hand. “Perhaps if I gave you a name to go with this…scar, would that jog your memory?”  He smiled. “Does the name Hermione Granger ring a bell?”

Dolores pursed her lips. “Yes, I know of the girl, My Lord. She is the Mudblood that was most troublesome during my tenure at Hogwarts. Disgusting creature.”

Voldemort looked down at Hermione, his smile widening. “When you use one of the Unforgivable Curses, you have to mean it, Hermione.”

“Hermione?” Dolores’s widened.

“Yes, you see, Miss Granger, or should I say, Miss Riddle here is mine, and you hurt what belongs to me.” He said in such a tone, it seemed like they were discussing the weather.

Dolores fell to her knees. “Please, My Lord. I didn’t know this Mudblood was yours.” She wailed.

“Crucio.” Voldemort hissed aiming his wand at Dolores. He released the spell after several long moments watching her twitch on the ground. “You know now that she is mine, and yet you still call her a Mudblood.”

Umbridge let out a sob curling in on herself. 

“Hermione, I want you to try,” Voldemort said gripping Hermione’s wand hand leveling it with Dolores who continued to twitch on the ground.

“I…” She swallowed the bile in her throat. She remembered all too well how that curse felt. You eventually would wish for death.

Heaving a sigh. Voldemort turned her away from the twitching body. “Hermione, Albus doesn’t want you to use any of these spells because he deems them Unforgivable Curses, correct?”

She simply nodded, her body feeling numb. “You would get locked up in Azkaban for using them. For life. They were outlawed by the Ministry in 1717.”

Voldemort rolled his eyes. “Do you think anyone plays fair when it comes to that? If a Death Eater encounters you, or someone else, do you think they would pause using these spells simply because you don’t use them? No, they wouldn’t. This is not Dark Magic, Hermione, it was just invented by Dark Wizards. You know the Ministry of Magic and Aurors use these as well. It will not harm your soul, you simply must mean it when you use it. You must want to punish her. No one will know that you have used one, this place is surrounded by wards and she certainly will not talk. I just simply want to teach my daughter how to protect herself.”

Hermione gulped in a lungful of air as he turned her around standing behind her. He wrapped his arms around her aiming her wand hand again. “Now, say the spell…and mean it.”

Did she have a choice? You always had a choice in her mind. She had been curious about Unforgivables when she learned about them. Not that she would ever use them.

But…

Hermione looked at Dolores as she sobbed on the ground clawing at the grass. Her bright pink suit already stained with dirt, her hair in shambles. Her eyes drifted to Peter who was watching Dolores with an excited expression on her face. His hand rubbing his artificial one in anticipation.

Anger bubbled up in her watching him. Peter. That is who she wanted to hex, curse, and perhaps kill. Punish. He was the reason Harry didn’t have his parents. One of the reasons anyway. She would start with him.

Her aim shifted to that of Peter. “Crucio.” She yelled watching Peter drop, feeling the rumbling laughter of Voldemort vibrating her back.

Chapter Text

Draco,

Miss Granger will be coming back to Hogwarts today with your mother. Please be sure when she returns that you take an active role looking out for her, she is not a Mudblood like we were led to believe as I have stated before. Her true heritage will be explained fully once you return to the Manor. Be sure you keep others in line, or it will be my head.

Draco folded the letter from his father stuffing it in his bag his brows furrowed. Granger is not a Mudblood? This was the second note he received from his father in the past two weeks regarding her.

He didn’t hate her per se, she just annoyed him to no end with her swotty attitude. No matter how hard he tried he could never beat her in grades. She was at the top of their year. How could that happen with her being a Mudblood? Well, she wasn’t one, was she? Not according to his father that is.

Shifting his bag on his shoulder he followed the shuffle of the student body from the dungeons to the Great Hall for breakfast. He would have to remind the others once again not to touch Granger before she returned today. He shoved his way past the hordes eager to see his mother.   


 

Hermione wheezed as Nagini wrapped around her body squeezing. “Nagini.” She tried to shove the snake off her, it would do no good to floo with a snake wrapped around her body. “Can’t. Breath.”

“Nagini, release her,” Voldemort said tapping the snake on the snout. “She will be back soon, no need to get over emotional.” Nagini hissed before releasing her coiling around Voldemort’s feet.

“Thank you.” Hermione coughed lightly.

“Do you have everything you need?” Voldemort asked settling his hands on Hermione’s shoulders. She had to actively work on not flinching when he touched her. It did help that he looked like his new self, not the gray snake-like man that frightened her.

“Yes, sir.” She said quietly.

Voldemort scoffed before pulling her into his arms. He was anxious about her leaving. He didn’t like the feeling. He knew that Severus would keep her safe for the short amount of time she would be gone, then he would have the summer hols to spend with her. “Don’t call me that.” He said gruffly.

Pulling back Hermione tried to smile. “Thank you…father.” Her throat felt tight, but she managed to say the words. The closer she could become to Voldemort, maybe then she could really change his view on the world.

His eyes widened briefly before he turned his head clearing his throat. “Right. I will expect to hear from you soon.”

Was that blush on his cheeks? Did he not want her to call him father? She shook her head entering the floo next to Narcissa as Narcissa grabbed her arm throwing the floo powder calling out their destination “Hog’s Head Pub, Hogsmeade.”

Once outside Narcissa walked beside Hermione taking her hand in hers. That was one thing she noticed with Narcissa, she was very touchy-feely. Not that she minded, she enjoyed affection, and with Narcissa it was easy. She never treated Hermione like she was a chore, she seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with her.

Her mind began to wander as they picked their way up the narrow pathway towards Hogwarts proper. She had visited her parents, who she had considered her parents. The visit was strained at best. Her father was his usual gruff self, mumbling that it had been a mistake to take her in.

And that was that. They would never remember her.

She was surprised pleasantly so when Voldemort did not react to her father’s comments. Of course, she had him take his own unbreakable vow that her parents would not be harmed, killed or maimed by him or his followers. He easily agreed which put her mind at ease. At least they would be safe even if they didn’t remember her.

He had warned her this morning to keep her guard up when it came to Professor Dumbledore. To watch and listen. She promised him that she would. She wanted to have proof for herself what they were telling her was the truth when it came to Professor Dumbledore.

He seemed harmless in her eyes. He seemed concerned for her over the years. Now she had her doubts. Could it be a ruse? She was determined to find out. When she did, she had a decision to make.

“Mother,” Draco called shoving himself away from the entrance of Hogwarts. His eyes flicked to Hermione’s briefly before hugging his mother.

“Draco,” Narcissa said with such affection that it made Hermione’s head spin. Why was Draco such a git to everyone when his mother, Narcissa was this loving?

Narcissa pulled away grabbing Hermione’s hand once again. “Draco, I am sure you remember Miss Granger.”

“Granger?” Draco tilted his head to the side looking her up and down. She shifted uncomfortably looking away meeting the raised brow of Snape who was staring at her.

“Yes, she is a Rosier, dear. A cousin, look out for her, will you? Everything else will be explained back at the Manor.”

“Of course, mother.” Draco smiled at his mother, the picture of innocence. She didn’t believe it for a second.

Snape stepped forward. “Cissa, I will take Miss Rosier to see the Dumbledore now. I will send word after everything is said and done.”

“Of course, Severus. Thank you.” Narcissa kissed him on both cheeks before kissing Hermione on the forehead brushing her hair away from her eyes. “I will see you soon, Love. Remember to write to me.”

“I will, thank you, Aunt Cissa.”

Draco watched Hermione leave with Snape leaning closer to his mother speaking quietly. She was sure Draco was asking for details on what was going on, but the less that knew who her father was, the better in her eyes.


 

Dumbledore smiled at her when they entered the office offering her sweets which she declined with a shake of her head. “It’s wonderful to have you back at Hogwarts, Miss Granger. You have changed.”

“Thank you, Professor. It’s Miss Rosier now. I rather not use Riddle.” She said her voice soft due to the damage she sustained. “this is how I am supposed to look.” She tilted her head to the side, her black hair shifting over her shoulder. “someone put a long-term glamour on me.”

“Yes, well, at least you are back to rights. Now, I was told that it has been requested by your guardians that you are to be resorted? Most unusual.”

“I thought so too.” She smiled at him. “When I learned who my mother was, I had a tough time believing it.” She eyed him carefully. “Did you know her, Professor? My real mother? Felicity Rosier?”

Dumbledore leaned back in his chair. “She was a student here once upon a time, but I haven’t seen her since she left Hogwarts. I received a copy of your lineage from the Ministry as well as documents stating you are under the care of the Malfoys now.”

Hermione swallowed down her anger. She knew he had seen her real mother. Voldemort showed her the memories of the events. She was thankful that she learned occlumency, she could feel Dumbledore pressing against her shields, she was glad they held in place. She had an excellent teacher, after all, Dumbledore himself.

Strike one.

“It isn’t my choice sadly.” She said. “I would rather go back home, but now I can’t.”

“Yes, terrible news.” Albus nodded.

Snape took the seat next to her folding his arms across his chest not saying a word. Hermione couldn’t tell if he was bothered by anything at all. His face appeared wiped clear of any expression.

“Miss Rosier, did they tell you who your father was?” Dumbledore asked looking over his half-moon spectacles.

Hermione looked over at Snape then back at Dumbledore.

Dumbledore leaned forward. “There is a privacy charm in the room right now, no one can hear us. What you tell me will be between us.”

She straightened up in her seat. “Do you know who he is?”

He nodded. “Yes. I indeed know. Now, being at the Malfoy Manor puts you in a unique situation. I wanted to speak to you about a few things before we get you sorted.”

“Of course, Professor.”  She tried to keep her own expression natural which was difficult under these circumstances.

“You see, it is my belief that You-Know-Who has some of his followers there. When you return this summer would you keep an eye out for any activity for The Order? If You-Know-Who appears, try to send word on what you learn. It would be a tremendous help for The Order, and Harry.”

“Of course, I would do anything to help Harry, he is my best friend.”

“Wonderful. Wonderful.” His smile widened. “I am sure with your intelligence you will be able to find something out to help us. You can speak to Severus if you are able to, you can trust him.”

“It was because of Professor Snape I am here at all. He was able to heal me after what I endured. I trust him with my life now.”

“Yes, I heard you had quite the time there. I am sorry for your suffering.”

“Me, too. The Malfoys have been kind to me. Narcissa shared all she knows about my mother.”

“With you working with Severus for The Order, I am sure we can end this quickly with you being with the Malfoys.”

Hermione paused for a moment. “Will you swear me into The Order then?”

Dumbledore let out a small sigh. “I think the fewer people know of you being there to spy the better, dear. It would be unwise to let too many people know, that includes The Order.”

Hermione frowned. She didn’t trust him. She nodded her head, gently pulling out her wand waving it summoning her Patronus. She let out a small squeak when a panther stood before her. What happened to her cute little otter? Cleaning her throat, she spoke. “Professor McGonagall, please come to Professor Dumbledore’s office, I need to speak to you.”

Dumbledore raised a brow. She raised her own. “While I understand the need for secrecy with some, I would feel better if I knew that someone other than yourself and Professor Snape knew. He is also spy is he not?”

“He is.”

“You trust Professor McGonagall, correct. She is part of The Oder, and she knows who my father is?”

“She is, and she does.” He said.

“If we are to discuss me spying for The Order without being sworn in as a member, I want to have her as my secret-keeper. I find the prospect of spending any time in Azkaban a bad idea.”

The door clicked open and shut. Hermione turned smiling up at McGonagall. “Professor.” She cried out standing up wrapping her arms around the older woman.

“Och,” McGonagall said pulling Hermione back looking her over. In her haste, she had forgotten she looked different.

“Sorry.” Hermione looked down taking a step back. “I’m just excited to see you.”

“Miss Granger?”

Looking up she gave a small nod. McGonagall pulled her back into her arms rubbing her back. “Oh, my cub. It’s so nice to have you back safe. I heard everything that happened to you, my dear, are you alright now?” She asked pulling back.

Wiping her eyes Hermione nodded. “I’m fine, Professor. Just glad to be back.” She mumbled.

“Minerva, we were just discussing with Miss Gra-, Miss Rosier about some details of her new situation, she has requested you to be here.”

Hermione sat in her chair once again, Professor McGonagall transfiguring a small teacup into a seat to sit on her other side grabbing her hand.

“Professor Dumbledore has asked me to spy for The Oder on You-Know-Who,” Hermione said squeezing her hand gently. “I wanted to ask you to be my secret-keeper.”

McGonagall looked up sharply at Dumbledore. “You can’t be serious, Albus. She is just a child!”

“She is the best chance we have to gather information.” His eyes flicked to Snape’s briefly before looking back.

“What if he kills her! What then?” She snapped.

Dumbledore waved his hand dismissively. “He will not harm her, Minerva. You know how Tom is, he will covet her if anything. Severus can only be there in certain situations, she will be there all the time, it’s the perfect solution.”

Hermione chewed her lip watching the two argue back and forth. She was glad that McGonagall was disturbed about it just as she was about the idea. Dumbledore had no idea what he was asking of her. The risk.

“What if he makes me take The Dark Mark?” Hermione whispered looking down. She had been thinking about that for the last couple of days.

It was silent for a moment. “Then I think you should take it. It would make it that much more convincing.” Dumbledore said.

Snape stood up suddenly startling Hermione. “You know what you have to do to take The Dark Mark, I don’t think she will be able to do that.”

Dumbledore leaned back in his chair. “It’s my belief that if Miss Rosier knew the importance, she would be able to.” He said looking at Hermione.

“What do I have to do?” Hermione asked looking up at Snape.

He looked at her, sitting heavily in his chair pinching the bridge of his nose. “You have to kill someone.” He said quietly.

Hermione’s lips parted. “I have to…kill someone?”

“Yes,” Snape said harshly looking at her. “You have to kill someone to prove your loyalty. It also helps your soul to accept The Dark Mark. It taints it.”

She nodded looking down once again. Taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders looking up at Dumbledore. “I will do whatever it takes to ensure evil does not prevail.”

Which evil she was not sure. She hoped that she could convince her father not to give her the mark. She was keen on taking a life. She hoped that she could avoid taking The Dark Mark at all costs, but that seemed unlikely.

Dumbledore smiled brightly at her. “This will help the Greater Good, Miss Rosier. You are doing The Oder a great service. Harry a great service.” He paused for a moment. “If you do take The Dark Mark, I can glamour it so no one needs to know.”

‘Except for me.’ She thought bitterly. ‘You are quite good at glamors aren’t you?’

Snape stood up knocking his chair over in the process storming out of the room. She watched him go, her hands shaking at the prospect of killing anyone.

She didn’t tell anyone she already used an Unforgivable Curse. She thought it best not to. The less she shared the better. In that aspect, she was taking a page out of Professor Dumbledore’s book. She had already caught him in a lie today, her trust in him was breaking. That was the reason for asking for Professor McGonagall to join them. She would be damned if she would be accused of being a Death Eater and thrown into Azkaban if things went wrong.

She would watch, listen and wait. She was on her own side. The side that included a limited few. If the ones she loved were protected, she would do what it takes.

“Well, now that’s settled.” Dumbledore stood grabbing the old dusty hat smiling down at her when he placed it on her head. 


 

Dumbledore placed his hand on the small of Hermione’s back as he led her through the halls towards the Great Hall. He looked down at her not at all surprised that she was now wearing the colors of Slytherin. She was related to that house through Salazar. He had hoped that she would remain in Gryffindor, but this could still work.

Her love for Harry would keep her in line. He knew how they both felt for each other. Nothing romantic he knew, something akin to siblings, and how Harry reacted to the news that there was no plan on rescuing the girl, he knew that their friendship would last, and Harry could be easily manipulated if necessary if Hermione’s life was at risk.  

Wesley was another matter to tend to. He would have to think about that later. The boy was not as important to him as Hermione or Harry, he was just a nice piece to have on the board. Maybe in time, he could get over his mistrust of the girl and things would be smooth once again. If not, it wouldn’t matter, as long as he had Harry and Hermione still in play.

He had spent a lot of time grooming the girl to assist Harry and it would be a waste to have to dispose of her so early in the game no matter who she was related to. Her intelligence was an attractive attribute when placing her on the board of players.

He knew of course, who her father was when she was born. He had luck when he came across Felicity reading into her thoughts who the child’s father was while she was in Diagon Alley. He knew that he could use Hermione if necessary against Tom, and he did need her now. He could twist her to his will with her naivety with the world.

Too bad she was slightly damaged. Her voice was raspy and soft. Severus had told him to be mindful not to upset her for she could still have a relapse with seizures. Poor little thing. It would still all work out he was sure. She was strong enough.

Next, he would have to deal with the Grangers. He wanted to give Hermione a chance to visit her parents first before he disposed of them. He had told them they were in great danger telling them they had to pack up and flee, that he would be back to relocate them somewhere safe. He knew that they would relay that information to Hermione. When they were killed, it would help Hermione fight harder for the light thinking that Voldemort did the deed.

Pity they had to go.

Now there was Severus to deal with. He mentioned to him last week that Tom had planned to bond Hermione with someone. It had to be Severus. He couldn’t let her be bonded to anyone, and it would ensure both of his pieces were kept somewhat safe and able to continue the game.

Hermione could be Severus’s secret-keeper. She would eventually find out that Severus was a Death Eater and it would ruin everything if she was to speak about it, she knew he was a spy, but not a current Death Eater. If she were to bond with Severus, she would have to keep his secrets, if the bonding was done correctly. He would speak to Severus about that later. He knew he would have a fight on his hands once again when dealing with this issue with him, but he knew he would understand the reason behind it. It was for The Greater Good. Besides, it would help if Hermione did take The Dark Mark, she wouldn’t tell on Severus because she would out herself.

Yes, all the pieces were coming together nicely. Soon he would be able to make his move against Tom, defeating him finally. He had waited many years for him to reappear so he could make sure he stayed dead. Harry would see to that. Harry had to die to accomplish it, but the lives that would be saved outweighed the lives of a few. Tom had to go, and Albus had worked too long preparing for his demise to let it all go to waste.

“Thank you, professor.” Hermione looked up at him giving him a grateful smile.

He met her blue eyes with his own. “You most welcome, my dear. I know you may have a challenging time adjusting to your new house, you can always come to me, or Severus. I am even sure Minerva would be glad to help. Just make sure you do not share with anyone your new role for The Order.”

“I will keep that in mind.” She paused at the entrance looking around the room. “I am going to go speak to Harry if that’s okay?”

“Of course, there are no rules forbidding you from doing so.”

Yes, in time everything will work out. He still had all his pieces on the board, it was just time to readjust their roles. She had unknowingly become a particularly important piece to him. She was intelligent, but not in the way the world worked. He was most thankful for that fact.


 

Hermione stepped away from Dumbledore heading towards the Gryffindor table. She could see the mop of black hair knowing it was Harry. His hair had always stuck up all over the place no matter how she tried to smooth it down.

Quiet whispers started as she neared the table. She wasn’t certain how she would be accepted. She knew she looked different. Her once brown hair was now the same black as Harry’s. Her whiskey-colored eyes now a deep blue. Her features were more defined as well. At least her hair still had the wild curls about them it made adjusting slightly easier. She hoped he would recognize her.

Harry’s head poked up from the table leaning back in his seat catching her gaze. His emerald eyes widened briefly when she waved at him tentatively, before he all but tripped out of his seat bolting towards her. When he reached her he pulled her into to his arms burying his head in her curls. “You’re alright.” He breathed. “You’re finally here.”

He pulled back studying her. “Merlin you look so different.” He shook his head. “But I can see it’s still you.”

“It’s still me.” She gave him a watery smile. “I will always be me.”

Clasping her hand, he led her towards the end of the table where it was clear of people tugging her down to sit next to him. “Tell me what happened. Did they hurt you? Your voice, what did they do to you? And why the bloody hell are you wearing the snake’s colors?”

“It was difficult at first.” She said looking down at the worn table. “I thought I was going to die. I wished for death. My vocal cords were damaged from screaming I think.” She gave a small shrug. “They may heal in time, I don’t know. As far as being in Slytherin my new guardians requested I be resorted, but I will tell you about all about that when we have more privacy.” She said in a lower octave.  

Wrapping his arm around her he leaned his head next to hers, leaning close to her ear so they could not be overheard. “I’m sorry, I should have protected you. I asked for them to come to get you, but…they didn’t think they could. No one would listen to me.”

“It’s okay, Harry. It’s not your fault” She leaned back looking at him. “Is Sirius…is everyone alright?”

He gave her a warm smile. “Yeah, everyone made it out alright. We didn’t realize you were missing at first, not until we got back to Hogwarts. I’m sorry, I should have noticed.”

“Stop saying you're sorry.” She chuckled. “I’m fine. I’m here. I just need to adjust to the changes is all. As long…if you are still my friend, I will be alright.”

He let out a small scoff. “Like I told Ron, you are the only one that has never left me, ‘Mione. I will always be your best friend, my sister, no matter who your father is.”

She grimaced slightly. “I will never leave your side, Harry.” She promised.

“Well, isn’t this sweet.” Ron narrowed his eyes at Hermione. “I see that it’s true. You’re his daughter then?”

Hermione raised a brow. “I don’t know what you're talking about, Ron.”

“Likely story.” He grunted sitting opposite of the duo. “You’re even a bloody snake now!” He growled at her slamming his fist on the table.

“You don’t know, Hermione?” Harry whispered shocked. “You mean they didn’t tell you who…who your father is.”

“All I know is my mother’s name was Felicity Rosier.” She said. 


 

Draco scanned the Great Hall once again looking for Granger. He saw Potty sitting at the end of the Gryffindor table speaking to…’Damn it.’

Standing he adjusted his robes heading towards the Gryffindor table. She was already seated speaking to Potty, but that was not what caused him to increase his pace. It was the bright red face of the weasel. He was gesturing wildly yelling at her.

That would not do. He spoke with his mother about Hermione. Surprise didn’t even cover what he felt when he learned who Hermione was, his own cousin of all things. He promised his mother he would protect Hermione, and he would never break his word to his mother.

Leaning his palms flat on the table he turned his head towards Hermione blocking the weasel's view. “Is there a problem here, Rosier?”

He almost did a double-take at the uniform she was wearing. Slytherin. ‘What in Salazar’s name is going on? Did they resort her?’

“I don’t think so Malfoy.” She leaned over to look at weasel across the way. “Is there a problem, Ronald?”

“No.” He huffed folding his arms across his chest. “I guess there isn’t a problem.” He paused for a moment narrowing his eyes slightly. “Sorry, ‘Mione.” He said through clenched teeth.

She waved her hand in his direction knowing he didn’t feel sorry for snapping at her. “It’s alright, I know I look different, but I am still me. Nothing has changed.”

“Except who your father is.” He mumbled before letting out a hiss glaring at Potty who shook his head.

Letting out a small huff Draco gently grabbed her elbow. “Come on, Rosier. Let me introduce you to your new housemates.” He said looking down at her uniform shaking his head leading her away from the other two.

Chapter Text

Dear Aunt Cissa,

 I’m not sure if you heard yet, but I have been resorted into Slytherin. The transition has been strange, going from the towers to the dungeon. I’m only glad I’m not claustrophobic. How could you stand it being so cold down here?

Draco had been keeping a close eye on me since my arrival. I would even, dare say, he has been nice to me. He is my constant shadow for the most part.

I hope things there are going well. Only two weeks until the end of the term then we will be back for the summer hols. I didn’t have too much work to catch up on, but now the professors are trying to get us geared towards next year.

I will write again soon once I am more settled if there is time.

Love,

Hermione

 

Dearest Hermione,

 Your Uncle Lucius got quite the laugh about you complaining that the dungeons were too cold. He wanted you to know that the Snakes enjoy the cold, dear and you will adapt.

I’m glad that my Draco is keeping a close eye on you. I hope that in time you two can see past your differences and become great friends, as that was the wish of your mother and myself. We even hoped that if I did have a son, that you two would be betrothed. I know that is not going to happen now of course, but at least I still have you in my life and that is what matters the most.

Things here are well, dear. Do not worry so. Everyone misses you terribly and we are simply counting the days until the two of you return to us.

Love,

Aunt Cissa

 

Dear Father,

Hermione paused, her quill hanging in the air. Should she address Voldemort as father? He did turn slightly red the last and only time she addressed him as such. Chewing her lip for a moment she decided to keep the title. She was positive that he would tell her that he did not wish for her to address him as such. He was the one, in fact, that kept referring to her as his, his daughter, mine.  

She was going to keep moving forward, not necessarily spying for The Order, no. She had an alternative plan. She would try to get close to Voldemort in hopes she could help him see the world as a different place. At least she had Dumbledore’s blessing, not that she gave Merlin’s left testicle that she did, but it was a safety net for her in case. She would bring those whom she loved and cared for safely through this. She needed to think logically…think like a snake. She could act the part, right?

Bowing her head once again she gripped her quill putting it to parchment to write her letter.

Dear Father,

 I met with Dumbledore when I returned to Hogwarts and did as you asked and got resorted. I’m sure it comes to no surprise that I was sorted into your house, our house. Slytherin.

I’m doing my best to acclimate to the chill of the dungeons, the heating charms are working well at night. Draco has been extremely helpful to me while I am adjusting, it was on his suggestion that I started using them.

 I will be returning in two weeks for summer hols. I hope then we will be able to spend some time together to get to know each other better. I have had time to think about everything that transpired while I was with you before, and I think I would like to know what you are like, what my heritage is.

Professor Snape has been watching over me as well. Sadly, he cannot be my shadow as much as Draco is, but he ensures that he speaks to me several times a day to make sure I am alright. Sadly, many people are questioning why I am in Slytherin now wanting answers that I am not willing to share. I thought it would be enough that I was related to my real mother, Felicity. I do go by Rosier here. I promised you, taking the unbreakable vow that no one would know who you are to me until you deem it necessary. Some still accuse me of lying that I am still just a Mudblood. Draco does his best to play interference, however, he cannot be with me all the time as much as he tries to. I chose to ignore them.

Would it be wrong of me to hex them?

Give Nagini a pat on the head for me. I…I miss you both.

Love, Your daughter,

Hermione


 

Hermione sent the letter to her father with a hex on it, so if anyone intercepted it and tried to open it other than him, it would incinerate. She loved magic sometimes. She had sent her letter a week ago and still had not heard from him, which didn’t surprise her much. He was supposed to be dead.

Entering the Great Hall for breakfast she looked for Harry waving at him as she shuffled towards the Slytherin table with Draco. He had insisted that she eat with him. His reasoning was that she needed to show her fellow Snakes that she was accepting of Slytherin, and in time more people would not be so weary of her.

Adjusting herself onto the bench next to Draco she leaned her head on the table. She had not been sleeping well since her arrival, and mornings were the bane of her existence. She was used to sleeping with Crooks at night. She had asked Hagrid to look over him since some of her dormmates were downright hostile to her, well, one really. Pansy Parkinson. She warded her bed, trunk, and everything else she could think of. Unfortunately, she couldn’t ward a cat.

Hagrid was overjoyed to take Crooks in, and they both seemed to get along quite well. Even Fang liked him. She would have to ask Hagrid if he would take him this summer as well until she could figure out her living situation. She shivered thinking about Crooks and Nagini meeting.

Hermione let out a loud grunt when something landed on her head. “Ow.” She lifted her head shifting something large, and soft off her head. It crinkled when she touched it. Laying it flat in front of her, it was an ordinary brown package with strings tying it together. Looking up she noticed that birds swarmed the room dropping off mail.

Draco leaned over peering down at the package. He took out his wand waving it over it briefly before nodding. “It’s safe.” He shrugged.

Hermione rolled her eyes tugging at the string pulling open the wrapping. He was taking his job protecting her to the extreme sometimes. She knew he was right to check for something nefarious, it was just he seemed to think her dense and didn’t know any better.

Git.

Pulling the wrapping apart she let out a small giggle. She couldn’t help it. Inside was a large Slytherin blanket. Laying on top were two letters. Picking them up she shifted through them noticing one was for Draco.

“Here.” She said handing him the letter.

He took it furrowing his brows for a moment looking back at the package, and then the letter in his hand. “My mother sent you a blanket?”

Hermione shrugged.

Pansy let out a low hiss slamming her hand down on the table. “What? Are you two betrothed or something?”

Hermione looked up at her tilting her head to the side. “Would that be a problem?”

Of course, she and Draco were not betrothed. Ew. Not that he found him repulsive anymore, it was just that they were related. Albeit further away, but still.

Pansy stood leaning over the table towards her. “Yes!’ She shrieked.

Hermione looked around noticing the hall suddenly got deathly quiet.

“You are nothing but a bloody Mudblood!” She screamed pointing at her. “I don’t know how you got into Slytherin, or why you are wearing glamours to look different, but I see you for who you are! You are a Mudblood whore trying to go after a pureblood to better your station!” She was panting by the time she was done with her little speech.

Hermione let out a low sigh taking out her wand shrinking her blanket and letter putting them in her robes. She looked up at Pansy giving her a sweet smile. “I know it must be awfully hard for you to understand given your limited brain power to comprehend, but I am in Slytherin because I belong here.” Hermione stood slowly placing her palms on the table leaning closer to Pansy, so their faces were mere inches apart speaking lower. “I will try to explain it to you using smaller words for you to understand. You know my last name is Rosier. Use your brain, child. It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out that I am part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Get used to me being here, you’re stuck with me for two more years. This many.” Hermione said giving her a two fingered salute.

Draco jumped up grabbing Pansy by the wrist as soon as she drew her wand on Hermione. “Don’t.” He shook his head. “Don’t even try it Pans. I’m warning you.”

Jerking her hand away from him, she let out a growl. “Taking the whore’s side?” She seethed.

Hermione chuckled standing up from the table grinning at her. “You’re one to talk about being a whore from what I’ve heard.”

She would skip breakfast. She turned on her heel leaving a spluttering Pansy and chortling Slytherins.

She made her way back to the dungeons to read her letter. Drawing the curtains around her bed she flicked her wand warding it from intruders before pulling out the items enlarging them once again.

Picking up the blanket she rubbed it against her cheek feeling the warmth radiating from it. It was soft smelling slightly of a musky, spicy scent.

Hmm. It smelled familiar to her.

Picking up the letter she flipped it over breaking the seal.

My dearest Hermione,

Words cannot express the joy I felt getting your letter and your desire to get to know me better. I had feared you would turn me away knowing my past transgressions. I know I have said it once before, but I understand your reservations, as well as your fear. Please know you have nothing to fear from me. I will never hurt you. You are mine, and I only want to protect you. I hope in time our relationship will grow and you could learn to love me, as I already do you.

I know I have only known of you for only a few short weeks, but you are always on my mind, and my gut churns thinking of you in any real danger. Narcissa advised me that this is what love feels like. When you care about someone, you think about them, worry about them. You feel anxiety when they are not near you, unsure if they are safe. That is what I am feeling regarding you.

I don’t regret restoring who I was supposed to be. I can say however, I don’t enjoy all these emotions I feel when you are away from me. I am working on it. I have thought several times sending Narcissa to come and get you to bring you back to my side, so I know you are safe. Knowing your intelligence, and that education is important to you, I have refrained from doing so.

I sent you this blanket to help keep you warm at night even though you will be home shortly. I didn’t like the thought of you being cold when I could easily fix that for you. I had it charmed so it will always stay at the perfect temperature year-round. Thank Salazar you didn’t end up in Gryffindor again. I don’t think I could bring myself to purchasing one of those for you no matter how cold you were. (That was my attempt at a joke, I hope you understood that. This too is something new for me. Humor.) I slept with it once to ensure that it worked as it should.

Nagini is restless without you. She has taken to sleeping in your chambers at night. I read your letter to her and she perked up when you mentioned her. I don’t know who is more nervous about you being away, me or her.

Make sure you stay close to Draco, and Severus when you can. I understand they can’t follow you everywhere, shouldn’t follow you in certain places. It would put my mind at ease knowing you are trying to stay safe. Inform me immediately if anyone should give you a tough time with anything, and I will take care of it for you.

Keep your ears and eyes open, my little one. Trust in yourself.

See you soon. Stay warm.

Love,

Your father

Hermione smiled down at the letter. At least he was trying, and her effort to get closer to him was working. She let out a small shiver thinking about him handling anything. She would like to see Pansy’s face if she ever knew who her father was. That may be worth it right there.

She only had a week left here at Hogwarts and then she would be back in uncharted territory once again. She was preparing herself for it. She wished she could wipe her emotions from her face as easily as Professor Snape did. She would have to speak to him before they left.

Tugging her curtains back she placed her letter in her trunk placing a hex on it in case someone tried to read it, they would only read gibberish. She had her trunk warded, but she was not taking any chances.

She found Draco leaning against the wall at the foot of the stairs when she left her dorm. She gave him an innocent smile standing next to him. “Everything alright?”

“Did you have to goad Pans into a fight?” He asked as they started walking out of the dungeons.

“Am I to blame she came to the wrong conclusion?”

“No.” He sighed. “She is just…protective of me.”

“More like she obsessed with you.” Hermione retorted. “She is always watching you. It’s kinda creepy if you ask me.”

He let out a small snort shaking his head. “I know. She can be a bit much at times, just try to avoid her this last week if you can. I don’t want to be punished for failing to protect you if she should hex you. My father could be punished as well.”

Hermione grabbed his arm stopping him. “That won’t happen. If something happens to me, then it will be my fault, Malfoy, not yours. I will ensure no one gets punished for the actions of someone else.”

Draco rolled his eyes. “Still bossy I see.”

She let out a chuckle shaking her head walking again. “Maybe.”

“So, why did my mother send you a blanket? Is it too cold for you in the dungeon, Rosier?” He teased.

“It wasn’t from your mother.” Hermione paused for a moment. “It was from my father actually.”

“Your father? Mother never did tell me who he was. So, you know who he is?”

Hermione nodded not meeting his eyes.

“Well?” He prompted.

“I can’t say right now. I’m sure you will find out soon enough.”

When he did find out, she was sure he would be even paler than he was right now. She had to admit she liked this friendly Draco. They had banter back and forth now, but he was never insulting. It proved to her even more that you never knew what someone was really like until you got passed the pureblood/muggle-born bullshite that seemed to consume the magical world. Something she hoped to change. Some people were hopeless, like Pansy Parkinson.

‘One problem at a time, Hermione.’

Chapter Text

“Thanks for going with me, Harry,” Hermione said as she linked arms with him.

“I wanted to see Hagrid anyway.” He smiled down at her.

“I’m just glad he agreed to keep Crooks for me…permanently even though cats make him sneeze.” She frowned slightly.

“You know you can see him whenever you wish,” Harry said wrapping an arm around her kissing the top of her head steering her towards Black Lake. They had a half hour left before they had potions class and he was enjoying his time alone with Hermione. It was a rare thing these days.

He didn’t particularly like the way Ron was acting these past few weeks, and it had only gotten worse since her return. His resolve was firming towards ending the friendship. He needed Hermione in his life, he could more than move on if Ron was just a distant memory. Not that he wanted him to die, no, he just preferred to have one true friend than someone as fickle as Ron appeared to be.

Ron seemed to enjoy being in the limelight. Harry did not. He could see Ron’s jealousy towards him when he was part of The Triwizard Tournament. Harry had no desire to be part of it, he could have died. Hermione and Neville were the only ones who really offered support to him.

His arm pulled her closer to his side giving her arm a gentle squeeze thinking about it.

“It’ not that, not entirely.” She mumbled letting out a long sigh. “I just wish I could keep him with me. He has been part of my life for a long time now. I bought him the day I went to get supplies for my first year.”

“I know,” Harry said quietly. Trying to change the subject and cheer her up he smiled down at her. “Do you want to meet me after we have supper? We can sneak off and have a proper talk. We only have three days left before summer hols.”

“I would love that.” She smiled up at him. “Things have been busy the last few weeks, and I would like to talk to you about some things before we leave.”

“I’ve been learning occlumency.” He said quietly not meeting her eyes.

She stopped suddenly turning her body to look at him. “You have?” She asked, her eyes wide.

“Yeah, Professor Snape has been teaching me for a while now. We started just before your return.”

“Oh, Harry.” Hermione laughed wrapping her arms around his neck pulling him against her. “Thank you.”

“I would do anything for you, Hermione.” He said against her neck. “Professor Snape said I needed to learn it so you could talk to me.” Pulling back, he gave her a lopsided smile. “Now you don’t have to worry about telling me anything. Yeah?”

“Sounds, brilliant.” Hermione grinned releasing him as they started walking again. “That makes things so much easier.”

“Where have you been, Rosier?” Draco growled stalking towards her, Blaise and Nott walking a few paces behind him. His sudden appearance made her jump slightly.

Stopping she crossed her arms over her chest. “I was visiting Hagrid.” She said flatly. “I didn’t realize I had to check in with you before I did anything.”

Stepping closer to her, he towered over her. “Of course, you do. You know I have to protect you.” He hissed. “You know what’s at stake if I don’t.”

Harry shoved Draco putting himself between him and Hermione. “Back off, Malfoy. She is not yours.”

Draco straightened out his robes narrowing his eyes at Harry. “That is where you are wrong, Potter. She is my cousin. She is more mine, then yours.”

Hermione gave a small snort tugging at Harry’s arm. “If you two are quite done, I would like to get to class before Professor Snape docs points from our house.” She snapped.

Pity her freedom was short-lived, she was enjoying her alone time with Harry.

Storming off she looked over her shoulder at the four boys. “And for the record, I don’t belong to anyone. You two are my friends, but I will have no problems hexing your bollocks off if you can’t get along.”

She didn’t wait for an answer before she continued her fast clip to class, her thin fingers clutching at the strap of her bag. Merlin, those two. If they could just get along her life would be much better.

She could hear them bickering with each other as she crossed the courtyard towards the front entrance of Hogwarts. Ron was leaning against one of the pillars watching her approached. Lavender standing behind him with a grimace on her face looking between her and Ron.  

“’Mione.” He nodded.

Her eyes tightened as she looked at him. He had a scowl on his face, his fists clenching and unclenching as he stood in front of her. “Ronald.” She nodded back. “How can I help you?”

His nostrils flared as he looked over her head. “I wanted to talk to you…alone.” He clipped.

Looking around before she met his eyes. “We are alone as we are going to get. Did you need something from me?”

“Yeah, I was hoping you could help me with my essay like you usually do.” He said shortly.

She had all she could do not to scoff. He had been avoiding her for the past few weeks, and when she did see him in the shared classes, he treated her with hostile civility most of the time. She realized he was trying to be somewhat cordial with her so he could ask her for help.

‘Of course.’ She thought bitterly. He always leaned heavily on her expertise when it came to the format his essays needed, most of the time she ended up writing most of it herself. It wasn’t that he was dumb, far from it. He was just lazy too consumed with Quidditch or his current girlfriend, who appeared to be Lavender Brown by the scathing looks Hermione received from her when Ron started to speak to her about said essay.

Clearing her throat, she shook her head. “I’m sorry, Ronald, I can’t help you. We only have three more days here, and I have my own studies to concentrate on, besides it is due today, is it not?”

She thought she was polite about it. She didn’t want to have him be a total git to her with the remaining two years they had together. Honestly, the sooner he forgot about her, the better if this was his attitude towards her.

He narrowed his eyes slightly, his face turning a lovely puce color. “I knew when you told us that you were the same, that was a load of shite. You think you are better than everyone now, don’t ya just because your father i-.”

“Enough, Ron,” Ginny came jogging up standing next to her brother. “Just let it go.”

Ron looked down at her sister, letting out a low grunt. “Fine. Whatever.” He grabbed Lavender by the arm tugging her towards the front steps, his strides jerky.

Hermione gave a tentative smile to Ginny. She hadn’t had an opportunity to speak to her yet. “Thanks, Ginny.”

Ginny let out a humorless laugh. “Don’t thank me, Rosier.” She sneered at her. “My mum told us to avoid you just in case we upset daddy dearest.”

“Enough, Gin,” Harry said, standing next to Hermione putting his body slightly in front of hers. “Not now.”

Ginny watched him for a moment before rolling her eyes. She turned on her heel, stomping after her brother.

Hermione let out a sigh. “Thanks, Harry.” She paused for a moment, chewing her bottom lip. “You know, you don’t have to choose between them and me. You have been friends with them as long as you have me, well…at least with Ron. You know how Ginny feels about you.”

Harry shook his head leading her towards the front door. She heard Draco and the others talking in hushed tones behind her as they entered the building. Finally, Harry spoke in a quiet voice. “It’s not choosing you over them, ‘Mione. They are the ones acting out of sorts, not me. I am content being by your side. If it is a choice of you or them and they force me to make it, it will be their doing, not yours, not mine. Besides, I don’t see Ginny that way.” He grimaced.

“Thanks, Harry. I just wished things could be as they used to be, but this is not my choice either.”

“I know.”

Harry kissed her cheek before leaving her taking his seat in the front of class between Ron and Neville. Neville looked over his shoulder meeting her eyes giving her a half wave and smile. She returned the gesture grateful at least Neville didn’t treat her any differently.

‘Maybe because he doesn’t know what is really going on.’

She took her seat leaning back in her chair sitting between Draco and Blaise who seemed content to talk over her head. She didn’t care what they did at that moment. She was watching Professor Snape stalking around the room as soon as he entered.

He was her intended last she knew. The moments he spent speaking to her since her return have been only a few moments here and there, but he always stood close to her which she found soothing.

She tilted her head to the side taking in his features. His had a hooked nose, his hair longer than she remembered, and lanky. His features were severe, his black fathomless eyes often caused her to shiver when he pinned her with a stare while working alone. She found him handsome in the classical sense.

She didn’t care what someone looked like on the outside. Her past crushes were about more than that. Victor had a rugged appearance, but it was his sweetness that drew her in. With Lockhart, it was the idea of all the things he could do, she thought he was intelligent. She was wrong on that account.

Her own looks were different now, yes. She had to admit she was more attractive, but she wanted someone who saw her for who she was. Especially how cruel people were when she was growing up making comments about her bushy, unruly hair, and buck teeth. She let out a small chuckle running her tongue along her teeth. They were no longer larger than they should be, even straighter than they were when she magically fixed them during her fourth year. Still, she wanted someone to see her not as an object, and as a person. She knew she would get that with Professor Snape.

With Professor Snape she felt safe. Alone at night, when the events of the past few weeks whirled around her mind, she took notice of how he was a constant in her life now, for the most part. He was safe. What was better than having someone who made you feel safe. She never really truly felt safe before, even when she returned to her parents. Especially with her parents. Her mother did nothing to protect her from her father’s wrath.

She knew in time she could learn to love Snape, she was already greatly attracted to his intellect and looks, the rest was sure to follow. She already had a deep affection for him, although she was sure it was a one-way affection. She didn’t find him, unfortunate looking in any way.

She shifted in her chair thinking about other things that would undoubtedly happen if this was a permanent bond, at least she hoped that would happen. The furthest she got was with Victor with heavy petting with plenty of snogging. She wasn’t ready to go any further at that time.

But now…

Now she was. She was technically nineteen stuck in the body of a sixteen-year-old, she was more than ready to share that part of herself with someone. She knew under his frock coat, he had a lithe frame. His arms are stronger than one would think with what you assumed he was slight. When they worked alone, at times the room would become overheated he would remove his robes, and coat, his crisp white shirt pressing against the muscles of his arms surprised her. Especially when he would pick up cauldrons moving them like they were merely the weight of a feather.

His fingers were long and nimble. She was often transfixed on them when he would use them to sort herbs, or even use his wand. The way he did it at times was erotic in her humble opinion. ‘I wonder what he could do with those fingers…or his mouth.’

She shook her head rapidly popping the mental image of him having his wicked way with her, the things she wanted to do to him in return. ‘No.’ She let out a frustrated sigh ‘He probably sees you are a student right now. How can I change that, and have him see me as more? He was forced to be with me.’

Just one little shag? Just a little one to tie her over? It wasn’t like she had ever slept with anyone before, and never would again after bonding with Snape. She would never cheat on him, or anyone she was with for that matter.

‘I bet he knows what he is doing. Merlin, I need a release.’

She wasn’t a prude in any stretch of the imagination, she often pleasured herself, but had not in several long weeks. She shifted in her seat again her eyes drooping thinking about his mouth on her, his hands, his…

Draco nudged her smirking down at her. “Why is your face red with a goofy look on your face, Rosier?”

“My face isn’t red.” She retorted bringing her hands to her cheeks feeling the warmth under them mentally swearing at herself. She looked up to find Snape watching her as he spoke to the class giving directions, his eyes lingered a few moments longer than he normally did before he rounded his desk sitting behind it shifting parchment under his hand.

Hermione looked around as the class got up going to the stores. She caught Draco’s wrist looking up at him. “What’s going on?”

He snickered leaning on the desk close to her ear. “If you weren’t busy imaging naughty things with Professor Snape, you would know that we are brewing for the infirmary today.”

Her mouth opened and closed several times wanting to deny it. ‘Bullocks, did Professor Snape notice?’

Draco leaned back crossing his arms over his chest, his hip resting on the desk as she shoved her seat back stalking towards the small room where the ingredients were stored, careful to avoid everyone. She felt like everyone just knew what she had been thinking about.

Fuck.

She had been working diligently for the past hour trying and failing mind you, keeping her eyes off of Snape. She kept her head down brewing potions, which she could honestly brew in her sleep if required, sadly it gave her plenty of time to revisit her fantasy she built up in her head.

Draco nudged her arm nodding to the front of the room where Professor Snape was apparently speaking once again, she had been so lost in her own thoughts she failed to notice. “What?” She hissed at him.

He motioned towards Snape who was looking at her with a flat expression. “Miss Rosier a word after class if you please.”

She swallowed hard when he scowled at her turning around making his way to his desk dismissing everyone.

Harry placed his hand on the table when he stopped to check on her. “Do you need me to wait for you?”

Draco snorted stuffing items in his bag. “She is fine, Potter. I will make sure she makes it safe to supper.”

Harry glared over Hermione’s head at him. “I wasn’t asking you, Malfoy.”

Hermione placed her hand on top of Harry’s. “It’s fine, Harry.” She smiled up at him. “I will meet you at the entrance of the Great Hall after dinner so we can talk.” She looked over at Draco and then back at Harry. “Privately.”

He looked at her for a long moment before nodding his head. “Alright, just be careful, ‘Mione.” He said walking away.

Draco huffed as he stood. “I will wait for you outside of the room.”

“Not necessary, Mr. Malfoy. I will ensure Miss Rosier makes it unscathed.” Snape answered roughly.

Draco shrugged his shoulders leaving the room without another word.

Snape flicked his hand the doors slamming shut with a deafening thud once everyone was gone. Hermione squirmed slightly in her seat looking up towards the front of the room, too scared to make eye contact with him when she heard the door’s lock click shut. He seemed he was in a mood this afternoon and she didn’t want to suffer his wrath.

If he was still angry with her, she much rather he skipped the lecture she knew he was going to give her. She didn’t mean to zone out today during class, it was his fault honestly. The idea of him was stuck in her head, if he hadn’t been there, she would have been able to distract herself with something else. Maybe.

Holding out his hand to her she looked at him, blinking. “Come.” He said.

She squared her shoulder clasping her hand into his as he pulled her from the chair barely giving her time to grab her bag, leading her towards the back of the room through a side door. She tried to look around as they entered his private office, but his long strides made that almost impossible as he led her through another door hidden behind a large tapestry to a stone corridor.

“Um, Professor?”

“Not yet.” He said not looking at her.

He stopped suddenly at a large stone wall at the end corridor turning his head slightly to look at her. “Give me your wand.” He let go of her hand, holding his own out towards her.

Furrowing her brows, she pulled her wand out of her pocket handing it to him silently. He whispered an incantation she couldn’t hear, placing her wand on the wall in front of him. The stones flared briefly before the stones moved to reveal a large wooden door.

Handing back her wand he opened the door gesturing her inside. She shuffled forward tentatively looking around the room as she entered. The room was circular, dark gray stones making up the wall. Sconces flared to life giving the room a soft glow. No paintings were on the wall she noticed as she continued her survey, just bookshelves stuffed with hundreds of large tomes. Her hands itched to look at them. A large glass window looked out at what she thought was Black Lake. Several closed wooden doors were pressed into the stone between several of the bookshelves making them almost hidden.

“Please, have a seat.” He gestured towards the green leather couch with a Slytherin blanket thrown on the back. A small coffee table with several tomes separated the couch from the green wingback chair across from it which sat next to the fire.

She stepped over to the couch placing her bag next to her feet as she sat down. She crossed her legs at her ankles, folding her hands in her lap waiting for him to speak as he busied himself in the room. She thought Narcissa would be proud of her.

He walked over to the roaring fireplace flicking his wand extinguishing the fire. She heard a small click as he turned to make his way to the couch sitting at the other end. His body shifted slightly angling towards her, his long arm resting on the back of the couch.

She looked over at him as he stared at her. She cleared her throat delicately. “Professor?” She said chewing her bottom lip hoping he was not angry with her. 


Snape’s heart was beating hard in his chest. Hermione was finally here in his private chambers. He was having a tough time keeping himself in check honestly. The way she was looking at him chewing her delectable lip was almost his undoing. He wanted nothing more than to grab her shoving her against the wall having his way with her.

He had to wait. It would do no good to scare her with his actions. ‘There will be time for that later.’

It didn’t help that he had to sit behind his desk trying to look busy, his eyes on Hermione under the fringe of his hair. She had been looking at him with a dazed look on her face since he entered the classroom and started talking. He knew it was an invasion of her privacy, but he scanned her thoughts wandlessly worried about her well being, she thought her ill. What he found there made his mouth dry.

She was thinking about him. More than that, what their relationship would be like, their intimate relationship. If he had not been the master of control for the past several years, he would have dragged her from her seat, bend her over his desk to show her exactly what he could do to her. Repeatedly.

He wondered if Draco was able to hear her thoughts as easily as he had. Merlin, he hoped not. He was shocked that her walls were not strong today as they usually were. He would mention it to her later. Much later.

“Miss Rosier, I wanted to speak to you about us courting.” He said slowly trying to keep the roughness from it. “I had a meeting with Professor Dumbledore this morning regarding that particular subject. He was most anxious for me to make a claim on you, to start to court you before you left Hogwarts. I just used your wand to have the wards recognize your magic so you may enter here at any time, after all, this will be our chambers come next year.”

“Oh.” She said softly. A beautiful blush painted her high cheekbones as she averted her eyes from his.

Shifting closer his knee bumped her hip as he grasped her hand in his much larger one. ‘Delicate.’ He thought. Her eyes met his, her blue eyes seemed lost for a moment. “Relax, Hermione. I am not going to bond with you right this minute.” He said with a small chuckle.

Maybe within the next ten minutes.

She squeezed his hand offering him a lopsided smile. “I’m just surprised is all. I was sure he would object to us…you know with me being a student.” She took a deep breath. “I’m just not sure how to proceed, I’ve never had a real boyfriend before, and only kissed a few times, and have no idea how courting works in the wizarding world. I am assuming this will be a real bond?” She said lowered her head.

Reaching out he lifted her chin with his forefinger rubbing her bottom lip gently. “I already realized that. This will be a real bond, a real marriage. I know this must be difficult for you, and I promise on my magic I will not hurt you.”

“I never thought you would, Professor.” She whispered her lips parting slightly.

“To start how about you start calling me Severus in private settings.”

“As long as you reciprocate and call me Hermione.” A smile tilting her lips.

Removing his hand, he fished something out of his pocket. “I have something for you. It is custom for a Wizard to offer something to his intended. It was my grandmother’s, but I would love for you to have it, and wear it.” He moved her hand slightly before sliding something on her left ring finger.

He held his breath as Hermione looked down at her hand, her eyes widening briefly before she snapped her head up meeting his eyes. “I-I can’t accept this. It looks expensive!” On her finger was a large black diamond, smaller diamonds glittered that were embedded in the scroll work of the white goblin-forged metal that worked around the band under the faint light. It was perfect for her. He wanted her to wear it. To have that claim on her so others would see she was spoken for. Permanently.

When Lord Voldemort mentioned that he wanted him to bond with Hermione he made a trip to his vault at Gringotts. He was sure she was under the assumption that he didn’t have money like the Malfoys. That was not the case. He was very well off. He had several potion patents that paid handsomely each month, not to mention what his Grandmother had left to him when she passed several years ago. He was the last in the line of the Prince Family. He hardly spent any of his income, Hogwarts provided almost everything he needed, and there was no need to move from Spinners End with him being alone.

When he retrieved the ring, he had it enchanted as well. Now, if she encountered any poison the ring would glow a bright red. That should protect her when he was unable to be by her side.

Shaking his head, he placed his hand over hers. “I must insist. It is a family heirloom, and I certainly am not going to wear it.”

She let out a small giggle her eyes twinkling with mirth. Merlin, he loved this woman. “Thank you…Severus.”

His heart skipped a beat. It was the first time she said his name. It mattered not that her looks had changed, in his eyes it was her that he loved, although he would miss her whiskey-colored eyes he knew in time he could love her fathomless blue just as much.

She reached up tentatively her arms hovering near his shoulders looking uncertain. He took pity on her wrapping his arms around her small frame holding her tight against his chest. He breathed deeply enjoying her scent. This was the first time he could really catch her scent with her being this close. ‘Vanilla, and slightly burnt sugar. Delicious. I wonder if she tastes as good as she smells.’

Pulling back, he cupped her cheek, his thumb rubbing against it softly. “I would like to kiss you now if that is alright?” He whispered, their faces mere inches apart.

Her face turned even pinker as she nodded. He leaned forward slowly judging her reaction before pressing his lips softly against hers, his eyes sliding shut. Her lips were softer than he thought. He let her adjust to the feel of his lips on her own before he grew bolder sneaking his tongue against the seam of her lips encouraging the kiss.

Her tongue darted out mimicking her movement. Lifting his hand, he cupped the back of her neck taking control of the kiss, molding his lips against hers as he slipped his tongue into her mouth for the first time. He felt all his blood drain to one area causing him to shift slightly.

Kissing her was like home. She felt like home. It was odd for him to feel such a strong visceral reaction to just a kiss, but that’s what it was. Of course, he had his share of kisses before, but none of them compared to this. The one kiss he shared with Lily had been brief, just a peck on the lips, nothing so beautiful as this kiss.

’Merlin, where did she learn to do that with her tongue.’ His breathing increased when Hermione sucked on his tongue, sucking it into her own mouth then twirling her own around his. Pulling back slightly before she did something that he would be his undoing he placed several soft kisses on her lips leaning his forehead against hers.

Her warm breath brushed against his lips as she gasped for air. “I would say we are compatible.” He chuckled still trying to regain his breathing.

“I think so.” She giggled wrapping her arms around him holding him close still slightly panting. He needed a moment before he could escort her to dinner, it would do no good trying to walk right now. He may pass out from the lack of blood flow to his brain. 


 “Hermione.” Harry waved to her as he exited the Great Hall. He walked up beside grinning down at her. He looked around before leaning close. “Come with me while I go get my cloak.”

“Why do we need your cloak?” Hermione asked walking next to him.

“Just in case we run late.” He said walking up the flight of stairs.

She looked back behind her then back at Harry frowning. “I don’t think I should go in there.”

He stopped tilting his head. “Why not? It’s not like you’ve never been in there before.”

“I know,” She shrugged. “I just think it would make the others uncomfortable.”

“They can sod off.” He grumbled. He turned and looked at her. “Fine, you can wait for me at the portrait.” He conceded. “It will only take me a second.”

“Fine.” She grumbled walking silently behind him.

She ended up waiting for him near the top of the stairs looking down at her ring admiring the beauty. Her cheeks flush pink thinking about the kiss she shared with Snape. She wanted more, but she thought it might be off-putting for him if she threw herself at him. It was going to be a real marriage, and she didn’t relish the idea of never having sex.

“Where is your shadow?” Pansy’s nasal voice issued from close beside her.

Hermione looked over at her shrugging her shoulder. “Your guess is as good as mine, Parkinson.” Her eyes drifted towards Daphne Greengrass who was shifting from foot to foot looking extremely uncomfortable looking from Pansy back to Hermione worrying her lip.

“You think you’re so clever don’t you,” Pansy said sneering at her. Hermione let out a small chuckle unable to help herself. Pansy had the same sneer as Draco used to have, she wondered if it was part of the Pureblood upbringing.

Faster than Hermione could follow, Pansy let out a shriek. “Diffindo.” Her wand raised making a slashing motion.

The burn to Hermione’s cheek caused her to suck in her breath. Staggering to the side one hand clutched her cheek, the other trying to find her wand. The warm feeling of her blood coated her fingers causing her to apply more pressure, she would deal with that later after she hexed the bitch. Squeezing her eyes shut for a moment she gathered herself shifting her body slightly to put some space between them.

“Hermione! Watch out!” Daphne screamed pitching her body forward, shoving Pansy to the side to reach her. But it was too late. With a rumbling groan, the stairs shifted leaving nothing but air as Hermione lost her footing falling off the edge of the landing.

Hermione’s heart leaped in her throat both arms shooting out trying to find purchase only finding air as she descended. She let out a hoarse scream as her left arm slammed against the railing of a set of stairs, flipping her body in another direction. She heard the crunch of bones, but it was nothing to the feel of her arm being shattered into tiny pieces.

Panic flooded her body knowing when she reached the bottom her body would break, Gryffindor Tower was on the highest peak of the castle. There would be no surviving this.

Chapter Text

A moment of clarity hit Hermione as she descended from the tower. She had her wand gripped in her right hand. She was a witch. She could save herself.

Reigning in her panic she opened her eyes wide pointing her wand at the floor. “Arresto Momentum.”

Twisting her body, she kicked her feet out landing in a crouched position her body curled forward protecting her left arm, her hair shifting forward covering her face from everyone. The few students that were passing by came rushing towards her hovering around her each asking if she was alright. She was not alright. No. She was livid.

“Hermione!” Daphne shrieked. The sound of thundering footsteps brought her attention to the commotion behind her.

“Let go of me!” Pansy hissed.

Standing slowly to a standing position Hermione lifted her head up parting the curtain of hair. Gasps echoed off the stone walls. She turned slowly facing Daphne who held a struggling Pansy in her grasp.

Daphne winced seeing the blood dripping freely from the slash on Hermione’s face. She took a step back slightly when Hermione took a slow step towards the pair. Students shuffled back feeling the chill in the air that surrounded Hermione, she blocked out their excited whispers, she had business to attend to right now.

“You’re hurt. We should get you to Mme. Pomfrey.” Daphne said her voice shaking.

Hermione’s lips curled into a cruel smile. “Not necessary Daphne. I think Parkinson and I were in the middle of a discussion,” she said in a voice as cold as ice.

Pansy stepped back once more as Hermione stepped towards her once again, Daphne’s hand tightening around her arm. “S-stay back,” she stuttered trying to yank her arm free.

Letting a dark chuckle, she didn’t listen to the pleas of the girl in front of her. She was mere inches apart from the pair when Daphne coming to her senses released Pansy’s arm jumping away.

Pansy let out a startled cry as she toppled backward landing on the steps behind her. “Where is all your bravado now, Parkinson? Is it not a fair fight for you when your opponent is actually in front of you, and ready?” Hermione twisted her wand in her hand raising one foot to rest on the step, so her body hovered over Pansy.

"I am going to take you apart," Hermione spoke her next word as if it was five, "met-tic-u-lous-ly.” She jammed the wand into the tender flesh of Pansy’s lower jaw. “We can do it do it the magical way or the muggle way.”

“Miss Rosier, what is the meaning of this?” Professor McGonagall’s voice was followed by the clicking of heels.

Hermione gave Pansy’s a warning glare before tucking her wand in her robes, stepping back offering her hand to Pansy to help her up. She could act the part just as well as she could. Instead of taking her hand though, Pansy glared at Hermione before swatting her hand away standing up brushing her robes.

“Miss Rosier, I believe I asked you a question.” The sound of impatience was clear in her professor’s voice.

Turning slowly, Hermione put on her most charming smile. “Everything is fine, Professor. Just a misunderstanding.”

Professor McGonagall tucked her hands in her robes her lips pursed in disapproval. “You are bleeding Miss. Rosier, do you care to explain why I was alerted to a spell going off within these walls that were not in a classroom?”

Hermione shifted her stance slightly lifting her right hand to touch her left cheek. “I have no idea, Professor. I must have received this injury when I tripped into Parkinson. Unfortunately, she thought I shoved her which was not the case. I was just explaining what happened.”

McGonagall’s eyes flicked between Pansy and Hermione. Her eyes narrowed slightly before she gave a curt nod. “See that there are no more misunderstandings between the two of you. Go to Mme. Pomphrey, Miss Rosier to see about your wound.”

“No need professor, I can heal it when I get back to my dorm.”

McGonagall’s robes swished around her as she turned to shoo the student body away from the scene walking away at a fast clip.

Hermione turned her head to Pansy. “You have been warned, you will not get another.” She said before she walked away.

Walking slowly towards the dungeons the pain from her arm began to throb. Sucking in a sharp breath she leaned against the rough wall closing her eyes for a moment hiding in an alcove. The pain was consuming her. She knew it was broken and needed to be tended to. Going to Mme. Pomphrey was not an option. If she went there when the wound on her cheek was cleaned, she would know it was a spell that did the damage, she couldn’t have that.

She wasn’t protecting Pansy from being punished for attempting to kill her. She wanted to divvy out the punishment herself. She was not someone who needed someone to protect her. She could very well protect herself unfortunately for Pansy she was about to learn that lesson.

“Fuck.” She took a sharp intake of breath trying to think clearly. She needed to send word to Harry what happened so he wouldn’t worry. Pulling out her wand she summoned her Patronus sending a brief message letting him know she would speak to him soon. Maybe she could speak to him alone while they were on the train, they would have hours with any luck, of uninterrupted time together.

As the panther jetted away, she shook her head. She would have to send a message to her father as well, and soon. She didn’t need him coming to her raising holy hell because someone thought to hurt her. She would do that after she healed herself.

“Hermione?” Hermione jumped slightly hearing Professor Snape’s voice so close to her. She turned her head, her eyes wide.

Snape let out a small growl stepping closer to her. “What happened? Why are you bleeding.”

“I’m fine,” Hermione said stepping out looking around the corridor to ensure they were alone. “Tripped is all. I was on my way to heal myself when I stopped to send a message to Harry.”

There was no need for him to know everything right now. She supposed she needed to tell him everything that did happen. Eventually.

Snape narrowed his eyes grasping her left arm tugging her slightly. The jerky movement on her arm Hermione let out a small shriek falling to her knees. Pain radiated up her arm to her chest when the bones crunched against each other in his grasp.

Dropping her arm like he had been burned Snape leaned down picking Hermione up with ease pulling her right side to him. “We will discuss this in private.” He said curtly.

“I can walk.” Hermione tried to shove him away wiggling her body in his arms.

He tightened his hold narrowing his eyes at her. “Stop your moving I will drop you and your arm is already injured.”

“What if someone sees us.”

Snape shook his head looking forward again, the wall forming an archway as he approached. “No one will notice us.” He said. “I put a Notice-Me-Not on us.”

She didn’t see him use his wand, but that was not unusual. He was the master of wandless and wordless spells. She relaxed her body further into him grabbing her left arm as gently as she could as he entered his chambers walking straight through his bedroom to the bathroom.

It was the first time she had seen his personal bathroom. She was pleased to note that everything was neat and tidy not a thing out of place. To the left was a large tub that was sunk into the stone. It was not as large as the prefect’s, but it was still impressive. To the right was a large shower stall with stone benches that appeared to be built from the stone wall jutted out.

Snape set her down on the loo going to the sink opening a large cabinet. He pulled out several towels, potions, and a flannel. He set the items on the ledge of the sink wetting the flannel kneeling in front of her. “This may sting.”

She clenched her jaw, his smooth motions of cleaning the blood away nothing compared to the pain in her arm now. He raised his wand whispering a spell, she felt the tug of her skin stitching together.

Lowering his wand, he sat back on his haunches studying her. “Do you want to tell me what really happened?” He leveled her with a look that would have peeled paint off a wall. Having spent enough time with him, he didn’t scare her anymore.

She glared back at him. “I fell.” She said flatly.

He nodded his head, his eyes flicking to her cheek. “That is not from falling, Hermione. If you are going to lie, at least make it convincing. That was due to a spell. Now, I will ask again before we start healing your arm from your fall, what happened?”

Letting out a harsh breath, she turned her head looking at the stone wall above his head. “I will tell you what really happened if you promise to let me handle it.” She said meeting his eyes once again.

He began gently removing her robe giving her another small nod. “If that is what you wish.”

“It is.” She growled. “I was waiting for Harry near the stairs next Gryffindor Tower when Pansy approached me.”

His hands still looking up to meet her eyes. He stared at her for a moment before he tugged her gently forward to slip her robe off her shoulders. “Continue.” He said gruffly.

“We exchanged a few words when she shot a hex at me.” She said attempting to shrug.

“That doesn’t explain your arm.” He said slicing the fabric of her shirt with ease.

“I may have fallen from the Tower to the bottom hitting a set of stairs on the way down.” She mumbled looking down. “If I didn’t stop myself from falling, it would have been much worse.”

She heard his sharp intake of breath his hands stilling on her arm. She looked up at him through the fringe of her hair seeing the murderous expression on his face. His Adam's apple bobbed twice before his voice came out deadly calm. “You realize you could have been killed, correct? And yet, you do not wish to see her punished.”

“Yes.” She said through clenched teeth her anger bubbling up once again. “She is mine to punish. I will not have others fight my own battles. If I do, then when no one is there to protect me, someone could kill me. I need to let her see I am not scared of her. I can protect myself.”

Placing his large hands on her knees her rose to his own so he was eye level with hers. “An admirable goal to have. Spoken like a true Slytherin. Even though it is against my better judgment I will allow you to, as you say, handle Miss Parkinson. Do not break any rules, it will not matter that you and I are courting, I will have no choice but to punish you as well.”

“Fine.” She grumbled.

Snape took his time scanning her arm seeing the extent of the damage of her arm. “You have several breaks in your arm. It is going to take several days to heal correctly, even then we may need to rebreak parts of it to ensure it sets correctly.” Flicking his wand once again a bandage wrapped around her arm, she felt the bones shift. Surprisingly the pain started to ebb as soon as the bandage snapped into place.

Standing he handed her two potions. “Skele-grow, and a pain potion.” He waited for her to down the potions before he vanished them away. “Wait in here and I will have a house-elf come in and assist your bath. You have blood in your hair and neck.”

Hermione raised her hand feeling the crusted remains of blood that had dried in her hair wincing when her fingers tangled in the unruly curls. Snape leaned down brushing his lips against hers before he left the room leaving Hermione alone.

Grabbing her wand, she summoned her Patronus. Taking a deep breath and letting out slowly she began to speak.

“Father-there was an incident at school this afternoon, and I sustained an injury. Please, do not worry, I am fine, and Severus is taking good care of me healing my injuries. I will explain everything when I see you in two days.” She paused for a moment. “I miss you, and I am looking forward to seeing you soon.”

She was struggling with the zipper of her skirt when she heard the small pop. A small house-elf smiled up at her shooing her hands away snapping her fingers removing the rest of Hermione’s clothing. “My name be Kibkey, little miss. Master Snape be telling Kibkey to take care of you.”

Hermione frowned down at her as the house-elf got to work. “I can finish the rest, Kibkey, I just needed assistance with the zipper. Thank you.”

Shaking her head, Kibkey motioned for Hermione to enter the large tub that had been filled. “Master Snape said that you may be refusing my help. He wanted me to tell you that this is not a request. He also wanted me to tell you that your belongings have been moved here from your previous chambers, that you be staying here from now on. He has left on an errand and will return to you shortly.”

Hermione lowered herself into the water with a grunt not pleased with being told what to do. She tried to remember that Snape was trying to look out for her wellbeing. She had to admit that she did like the thought of him caring enough to see to her needs. For far too long she didn’t have anyone that genuinely cares about her apart from Harry, now she had several people who did.


 

Severus stopped next to his wingback chair tossing his robes onto it. He turned his head looking at Hermione who was curled up in a tight ball on the couch, his Slytherin blanket wrapped tightly around her. He moved closer to her slowly so as not to wake her. He wondered why she was sleeping on the couch when the bed was available. He thought for sure since they were courting now that she would understand that she would get the bed to sleep in, it was his duty to take care of all her needs.

In the wizarding world his wife would be considered his property, of course, not everyone thought along that line. Lucius being one. He and Narcissa even though they did have an arranged marriage did absolutely love each other. He hoped in time he and Hermione could have the same.

Letting out a deep breath. he frowned. Maybe he was asking too much from her. The kiss they did share was more than he expected, as were the thoughts that were bouncing around in her mind last week while watching him teach. He needed to have an honest conversation with her soon about expectations on both. They would never make any progress if they never discussed their own feelings for each other. They had been thrown together, not that he was complaining. At least she didn’t find him repulsive like many of the thoughts he heard from others. On the contrary, the images in her head were very erotic circulating around him.

Leaning over her, he brushed a stray curl from her face, his long fingers tracing the cut on her high cheekbones that had started to heal, to the curve of her jaw. She was beautiful, and his. He pulled her up gently into his arms making his way to his personal chambers. He wanted her near him tonight when she slept. When she had relayed the story to him what happened between her and Miss Parkinson, he had all he could do not to go track the chit down, killing her. He needed Hermione more than she knew.

Placing her on the bed he tucked the blanket around her on top of the blanket while he took care of his own nightly routine. He was sure she wouldn’t hex him in the morning when she woke up in his bed, and with him next to her. He would keep her on top of the blanket covered in his own Slytherin one to keep her warm while he lay beneath the blanket on his bed so she would not panic thinking he was trying to take advantage of her while she slept.

Entering his chambers once again he slipped under the blanket shifting his body to the side so he could watch Hermione sleep. She was starting to whimper, her body jerking occasionally. He wanted to wait to see if she needed another pain potion before he tried to sleep. He leaned on his elbow, his head resting on his palm taking in her features. Her brows her furrowed, her head tipping back. His eyes widened in surprise when she let out a low moan.

“Severus, please.” She whispered in a hoarse voice.

Should he? Should he slip into her thoughts to see what she was dreaming about? He could easily accomplish it without any effort. He was so attuned to her now he merely had to look at her to enter her mind.

Taking a steadying breath, he shifted back slightly to keep himself from reaching out to touch her. She was asleep, and that would be a violation of trust. He squeezed his eyes tight when her hips started to gyrate slightly letting out another whimper. Not pain then, well…not the kind that a pain potion would help. He would have to go to his bathroom once again to take a cold shower with the noises she was making, or perhaps, take care of the very real issue he was starting to have.

Lowering his hand, he adjusted himself letting out a low hiss. He was painfully hard which was a problem he encountered frequently when in her presence, except now he didn’t feel the same that usually followed it. He was courting her, she would be his wife soon. It was only natural to have a response such as this with someone who you were attracted to.

His eyes blinked open meeting Hermione’s half-lidded eyes staring at him. Her small tongue snuck out of her mouth licking her lips. “Severus?”

Clearing his throat, he moved his hand about the blanket resting it by his hip. “Are you in pain?” His voice low.

She shifted closer to him almost flush against him through the blanket. “No.” She whispered. “Can I ask you a question?”

His lips tilted slightly pleased that with have a conversation with her would help slightly with his problem. “You may.”

Lifting her hand, she threaded her fingers through his hair. “Do you really want to be bonded with me?”

Ah. So that was what she was worried about. It seems he was not alone in that fear.

“Yes. You may think that this is something that was thrust upon me, and I am only doing this because of who your father is, but that is not the case. When he asked me, I was…pleased at the thought of being bonded with you.”

Closing her eyes her body relaxed into the mattress. “Thank you.” She said tilting her head back to look at him. “I am also pleased. I know we discussed this would be a real marriage before, but I didn’t know, I don’t know how you really feel about me. At times I feel you do care, at least for my wellbeing, and there are times I think you loathe me.”

Placing his hand on top of hers he gave her a small smile. “No, I do not loathe you. I find that I do care about you a great deal. I hope in time, you could feel the same for me.”

Not a lie, but not the complete truth. He more than cared for her. She would be the only one he would ever want. No need to burden her with that much right now. In time she would see by his actions.

She leaned forward capturing his lips tugging at his hair. He let out a small growl at the back of his throat as he reciprocated slipping his tongue into her mouth tasting her. Her body trembled slightly when he smoothed his hands from her shoulder past her breast to rest on her hip squeezing them slightly before tugging her even closer.

“Please.” She gasped as she broke the kiss.

Shifting the blankets away from him he leaned his body over hers. “Please what, Hermione? What do you want?”

He needed her to say it. There would be no miscommunication when it came to their relationship to the physical realm.

Her fingers moved to tug at the buttons of his black silk pajama top. “I need you.” She froze leaning her head back removing her hands suddenly. “I’m…I’m sorry, Professor.”

She tried to move away from him, her movement frantic throwing the blanket off her. He grabbed her right forearm tugging her down onto the bed with him once again. “Don’t call me professor while we alone, Hermione, especially in bed. You are my intended. Now, tell me why you are sorry? You did nothing wrong.”

“I was throwing myself at you like some sort of slag.” She cried out. “I thought maybe I was moving too fast for you.”

Rubbing his nose along her cheek he gently nipped her ear. “Relax. You are not moving too fast. We can go as fast or as slow as you wish.”

“I want to be with you. Isn't it too soon?.”

Leaning back, he looked down at her. “As long as you are certain that you want to move forward in this direction, I don't think it is too fast. This is our relationship, we should do what makes us feel comfortable. If you must know, I want you, too.”

She nodded her head cupping his cheek, her thumb running over his bottom lip. “Yes, I am sure. You are mine, and I am yours.”

He let out a groan meeting her lips in a fevered kiss shifting his body, so he was settled between her thighs. Her legs came up around his waist tugging him against her core rubbing her clothed sex against him.

He removed her clothes slowly while kissing her moving downward along her collarbone once she was nude beneath him. There was something perverse to him that he was still completely clothed having her writhe under him completely at his mercy.

Taking her rosy nipple in his mouth he took it between his teeth, his tongue flicked against the hardened nub, paying equal attention to the other. His fingers lightly stroked her skin as he kissed his way down her abdomen, down her thighs. He stopped to kiss the inside of her knee on both sides widening her legs further.

Her fingers tangled in his hair tugging painfully when his tongue licked her for the first time. She tasted of sweet musk, a flavor he could get used to tasting frequently if he had his way. He wanted to devour her, all of her. He buried his face further into her folds, his tongue lapping her, his nose rubbing against her jewel.

“Please.” Hermione cried out, her body jerking. “Sooo close.”

Twirling his tongue around her clit, he moved his hand, slipping his fingers inside of her adding another stretching her for him. He knew he was gifted and didn’t want to cause her pain. This would be her first time that he knew of. She had told him that she had never had a lover, and he knew that she was not one to lie about such a thing. Of course, he had never heard any rumors of her being intimate with anyone either. The school populace couldn’t hold that kind of secret, unfortunately, he knew exactly who was shagging whom over the years. He would be the only one to bring her pleasure from now on. He wanted to show her how pleasurable their lovemaking could be.

He nipped at her clit before sucking it hard into his mouth, his fingers pumping in time with his tongue flicking against her. Her hips jerked forward burying him further into her fold, her hands gripping his hair in a death grip, not that he cared.

His length throbbed painfully at the sound of her moaning her name. His eyes opened looking up the length of her body, watching her as she came back down, his tongue still working her. Her breast bounced slightly with her panting breaths. Merlin, she was beautiful when she came, and she was his.

Her grip loosened enough for him to move up her body kissing up her body to kiss her once again. No words were spoken as he stripped his clothes hovering over her. He rubbed his length against her wetness before he slid in slowly giving her time to adjust.

Hermione’s fingers clawed at his back letting out a low hiss when he was fully seated within her. He waited for a beat watching her expression for queues. He swiveled his hips slowly, withdrawing slightly before pumping back into her.

“Okay?” He said, his voice dark and raspy from him holding back his adore.

“Yessss.” She moaned. “Move. Harder.”

She didn’t have to ask him twice. He pulled back then slammed back into her jostling her body slightly. He lifted her right leg holding it against his hip, slanting his lips against hers to kiss her deeply. Her breathing turned ragged against his after a few minutes, he could feel her walls flexing around him with each thrust. It felt like nirvana being buried deep within her. There was no war, no light or dark, there was only them coming together as one.

Moving his head, he kissed her cheek before burying his head in her neck biting her lightly as she clamped down around him. It was only three thrusts later he was joining her being thrown over the edge. Le petite mort, a little death.

Regaining his breathing he rolled off her pulling her against his chest, his fingers dancing down her spine as they tried to regulate their breathing. For once in his long miserable life, he was sated. He would cherish and protect what was his with his last breath. Anything she ever wanted, she need only ask.

Moving slightly Hermione leaned up brushing her lips against his. “Thank you, Severus.”

He let out a low chuckle tucking a stray curl behind her ear. Her eyes widened locked on his left forearm. FUCK. He had forgotten about his mark. His body froze, his euphoric feeling crashing down around him. His stomach rolled waiting for the inevitable fear she will show, or disgust.

‘Just like Lily did.’

“You’re a Death Eater?” She whispered her eyes never leaving his Mark.

“Yes.” He said gruffly.

Her eyes drifted towards his slowly. He could see the confusion flash in her eyes briefly. He knew what would be next. He didn’t plan on waiting around for her to show fear. He couldn’t bear to see that look on her face. He shifted to move out from under her, pushing gently on her shoulder to disentangle himself looking away from her.

Hermione yanked his arm pulling him back down onto the bed. She scrambled on top of him straddling his hips. He held his breath, his eyes closed. He felt the warmth of her hands on his face.

“Severus, look at me.”

Reluctantly he opened his eyes meeting hers in the dim lighting of the room. The look on her face was not one of disgust, fear or pity. It was a tender expression. She leaned forward placing a chaste kiss on his lips.

“You don’t have to hide who you are from me. You are mine, as I am yours. I know you are a spy for the Order, it is only reasonable that you would have to take The Mark. You are a good man, Severus Snape. It matters not to me when you received this Mark for all I see in front of me is you. All of you.

“You have been nothing but good to me since you were thrown at me by my father. The man who placed that Mark on you. I know what you had to do to receive it, you told me yourself what that entails. I don’t think any less of you for having it, I care about you. So, please, don’t hide from me thinking the worse. I want us to work, be happy. The only way we can do that is to be open with each other. I accept everything about you, flaws and all. I hope you will do the same for me, you already know I’m not perfect, I have many flaws of my own.”

His breath rushed out of him when she finished speaking, her fingers gripping his face tenderly. It was the first time in his life he had someone tell him that they accepted him, that they cared for him. He raised his hand cupping her cheek in return. Turning her head, she kissed his Mark giving him a warm smile.

He let out a strangled groan when she did. Hermione’s eyes darkened slightly as she placed her hands on his chest leaning forward shifting her hips against him as he began to grow hard once again. Grabbing her hips, he guided her feeling his own arousal slide between her folds.

He would be careful this time, taking his time with her. He grabbed her left hand kissing the fabric that covered her broken arm tenderly. He would show her how much he loved her, even though she didn’t love him in return…yet. He would give her every reason to in the future.

 

Chapter Text

Draco rubbed his sleep crusted eyes making his way to the Great Hall for breakfast. He didn’t get much sleep last night due to the fact his Godfather informed him what happened to Hermione last night, and who hurt her.

She was resting in Snape’s personal quarters still as far as he knew, he hadn’t seen her this morning. He would have to speak to Pansy yet again to get her to understand that Hermione was off limits. If she continued to go after her, then he would be forced to take matters in his own hands. He promised his mother, and he would never break a promise to her no matter how he felt about his life-long friend.

Stirring his teacup, he looked around the hall for any sign of Hermione. Pansy shuffled towards the table giving him a bright smile sitting across from him. “Good morning, Draco. Did you sleep well last night?”

Placing his spoon down he picked up his cup taking a small sip looking over his rim making eye contact with her. Her smile faltered when she noted his eyes were narrowed at her.

Lowering his cup to the table he folded his hands in front of him. “No, Pans, I didn’t sleep well.” He raised a brow at her. “I think you know why too. Why did you attack Rosier?”

Pansy scoffed fixing her plate for breakfast not meeting his eyes. “She fell, I had nothing to do with it. Even ask Professor McGonagall what happened.”

 “I don’t have to ask her.” He hissed. “professor Snape came to me last night telling me exactly what happened between the two of you.”

Pansy shrugged. “If that were true, then why didn’t he speak to me if there was an issue.”

“Because Rosier asked him not to say anything. She will handle it herself.”

“What could that stupid Mudblood do to me? She is just a slag going from one to another. First, she is all over Potter, then Wesley. Now that she is in Slytherin and thinks her station is equal to ours she is after you. I was simply trying to teach her to keep her hands to herself and not touch what belongs to someone else.”

“Oh? You think I belong to anyone?”

Pansy blushed brightly. “You know I am asking my father for a match with you.”

Draco shook his head. “No, Pans. That will never happen. I like you as a friend, and lately, I’ve been struggling with that. You and I.” he said pointing between the two of them. “will never happen. Even if your father approached mine, I would still refuse. You need to get over this and move on.”

Pansy slammed her hands on the table. “What? Are you going to marry that cow?”

“Actually, no. Rosier, or should I say Hermione is not only someone I consider a friend now that I have had the opportunity to spend time with her, but she is my cousin. So, you see, she will always be in my life, whereas you will not be if you are not careful. The connection to my family could greatly benefit you, or harm you are depending on which way you act.”

“You would pick her over me?” Pansy screeched.

Draco chuckled. “Easily. She asks nothing from me in return. She just wants to be friends with me because we are family. All she wants is friendship, Pans. She doesn’t hang all over me like you do even though I asked you not to. You need to back off her, I will not tell you again.”

Pansy sneered at him. “I haven’t done enough to her. Maybe that little cut on her face will disfigure her enough.” Pansy said as she scratched at her left cheek. “now everyone will see how hideous she really is.”

Daphne coughed lightly turning her head. “I really don’t think that would take away from her beauty. Hermione is an extremely kind person inside and out, even that scratch would not make her less so. I agree with Draco, Pans. You need to let this go. You almost killed her yesterday.”

“Whose side are you on, Greengrass?” Pansy snapped.

Daphne lifted her chin meeting Pansy’s eyes. “I just don’t think you are being fair to her. She has done nothing towards you, yet you have made it your mission to torture her. It’s a very unattractive trait if you ask me.”

“Pans just let it go. I told my mother I would protect her while she is here. You are making that impossible for me to do. My father said if she is not, it will be his head and mine. So, back off.” Draco hissed at her.

“Who the fuck does that slag know that she needs to be protected. Her mother is dead. I am sure her father is, too. She may say she is a Rosier and related to you, but I think she is making the whole thing up to increase her station. You are all fools not seeing it.”

Theo let out a low whistle from behind the paper. “I don’t think so, Parkinson.”

Theo tossed the paper at Draco tapping the headline.

Illegitimate Child of Who-Know-Who Found to be Hermione Rosier.

By: Rita Skitter

It has been brought to our attention, dear readers, that Hermione Rosier, formerly known as Hermione Granger, Gryffindor Princess, famous Muggle-Born witch, has recently been found to be the daughter of The Dark Lord. Her mother, Felicity Rosier is listed as Miss Hermione Rosier’s mother. Documents at The Ministry confirm the claim via Legitimacy papers.

The question remains, did Miss Felicity Rosier hide her daughter from The Dark Lord sending her to be raised by muggles?

We reached out to Hogwarts yesterday for comment, but Headmaster Dumbledore stated that Miss Rosier would not be giving any statements at this time. He did, however, mention that her new guardians, Lady, and Lord Malfoy have taken her in, and she has been resorted into Slytherin. That comes as no surprise as she is a decedent of Salazar Slytherin through her father. The Headmaster asked that everyone respect Miss Hermione Rosier’s privacy as she tries to adjust to this shocking devolvement. Lord and Lady Malfoy were not available for comment.

It was not long ago that Miss Hermione Rosier was caught having an affair with Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived. How will Mister Potter feel about his fallen Princess now being in Slytherin? Will their young love be able to stand the test of time?

See the continuation of the story on page 5b.

 

Death Eaters Strike Again! Murdered Couple Found with Dark Mark Above House in Hampstead Garden Suburb Were Adopted Parents of Hermione Rosier.

 

“Fuck.” Draco paled skimming the article. He would be lucky if he wasn’t killed upon his return to his estate. His heart hammered in his chest thinking that perhaps his father was already dead if The Dark Lord had heard that Hermione had been injured.

Tossing the paper at Pansy pinched the bridge of his nose. “That is who she knows.” He looked up at her as she picked up the paper. “if my family is injured because of this Parkinson, I will never forgive you.” 


 

Albus sat back in his chair watching the chaos unfold. His plan was working well. He met with the new Minister of Magic yesterday after going around Obliviating everyone who had seen Voldemort there the night of the Battle of The Department of Mysteries. He wanted to seclude Voldemort so he could trap him that much easier, make him relax enough to make a mistake.

He tried and failed before to convince everyone that the man in question was back. Fudge, the previous Minister defied him at every turn. Now that Fudge was spouting that Voldemort was back, it was easy enough to erase any memory he had of him making Fudge seem unstable. He needed Fudge out of the picture so he could exact his own plans without anyone knowing anything until Voldemort was no more, then he would be praised as the hero as he should be. It would also help seclude Harry keeping him in line, he would be known to be a liar. Albus would be there to comfort him leading him all the way to Voldemort’s demise, his own as well.

It was for the Greater Good after all. Sacrifices had to be made.

He told the new Minister that it was all the Death Eaters trying to scare the muggles and magical folks into hysteria nothing more. Thankfully Minister Scrimgeour believed him. Being the former head of the Auror Department, Scrimgeour knew all too well how former Death Eaters could be.

To drive his point home, on the way from the Ministry he stopped to pay a visit to the Grangers to ‘move’ them into hiding. It was late in the evening, so the neighbors were already sleeping making it that much easier for him. It was simple enough to Avada them, they were, after all, muggles and posed no real threat. No one would suspect him.

When he left, he stood there for a moment outside their house in the dark shadows of a tree thinking what else he should do to frame the Death Eaters for this attack. He needed to give Hermione that extra little push towards The Greater Good knowing that Voldemort was charismatic and could convince her that the Death Eaters were harmless.

No. He couldn’t have that. She would be used as a spy for him. She would be easier to manipulate if she feared her father and the people who followed him. Raising his wand in the air he called out a spell. “Morsmordre.” He was lucky that you didn’t have to be a Death Eater to perform that incantation, it had come in handy already a time or two.

He was disappointed to learn when he returned to Hogwarts that Hermione had been attacked. Of course, the portraits were most anxious to share the news with him what transpired between her and Miss Parkinson.

That was his reason for letting it slip to a known associate of The Prophet knowing that Rita Skeeter would run the story. With any luck, the student body would leave Hermione alone so she could concentrate on her task at hand. She was a valuable piece on the board, and it would do no good if he had to dispose of Miss Parkinson or any other student who were foolish enough to trouble her. Even better, the paper mentioned the passing of her adopted parents as well. The article was already speculating that Death Eaters killed the Grangers to punish for touching what belonged to their Lord.

It was perfect.

He would speak to Hermione about sending her home early giving her no time to recover from the tragic news, her emotions would still be on the edge when she returned to the Malfoys. He was sure Voldemort was there or at least coming to visit. Hermione would be more than willing to spy now. Severus could ensure to guide her properly as well as protect her. Voldemort was a fool to think of bonding Hermione with someone to protect her. Severus was his spy that Voldemort trusted. Having Severus bond with Hermione properly would help keep her in line. She would have to listen to Severus no matter what if Severus used the bonding ceremony that he had suggested. She would become his property, and Severus’s word would be law, just like his word was law to Severus.

He knew Hermione was in Severus’s chambers at this moment with him. It was the perfect place for her to be at this moment. He didn’t need her to speak to Harry before she left. They needed to be kept separated for the time being. The reason was he needed Harry to go back to the Dursleys where he knew he was mistreated. He would be so worn down enough by the abuse and his worry over Hermione he could get him to take action against Voldemort. Albus would convince him that when Voldemort was dead, he would find a way to clear Sirius. Not that it would matter. Harry had to die in the process, the point was moot, but Harry didn’t know that, nor would he ever.

Standing up to the podium he cast a Sonorus charm he held his hands up in the air. “Silence if you please.”

He waited for a few moments before the excited whispers died down. “I’m sure most of you have read the news in The Daily Prophet regarding Miss Rosier. This is not a ruse or false story. It is a fact. Miss Rosier, is indeed his daughter. I would ask you to give her time to recover from the shock of this situation. Yesterday, Miss Rosier was injured.” His eyes flicked over to Miss Parkinson who was looking slightly green. “she is currently recovering and will be leaving Hogwarts today. I am sure when she returns at the start of next year you all will be on your best behavior and help her. Now, enjoy the rest of your day, and I will see you tonight for the Great Feast.”

He stepped down from the podium cancelling the charm walking towards the Slytherin table to get Mister Malfoy. He would have him accompany Hermione home. He needed Severus to remain here for a bit longer.

Harry jogged up to him before he made it to Draco. “Professor, wait.” He called out. “can I go see Hermione if she is leaving today?”

Albus plastered on his best fake frown. “I’m sorry, Harry that would not be a good idea right now. I am sure you can understand, she is extremely distraught hearing the news this morning and is now packing her belongings to leave.”

“But…” Harry started.

Albus raised his hand. “I am sure you can send word to her when you return home.”

Harry’s shoulders sagged giving him a defeated nod walking back to Gryffindor table. 


 

Hermione brushed the tears from her eyes trying to regain her composure. Severus sat next to her on the couch, his arm around her holding her against his chest trying to offer some comfort for her. She was grateful for the contact right now, she thought she would shatter at any moment.

It was just too much.

She was outed as being the daughter of Voldemort, and her adopted parents had been killed. For what reason? For knowing her.

She wasn’t upset that her adopted father was gone, it was her adopted mother. Her sweet adopted mother was no more. Her father had promised by making the unbreakable vow. How did he get around such a vow ordering the deaths of her parents?

If she had been thinking clearly, she was realized sooner that he couldn’t instead of having her anger build up at him. When you make an unbreakable vow, you would die if you broke it. She knew her father would never risk that.

Her mind whirled around trying to think who would do this. If Bellatrix were still alive, she would put money on it being her that did the deed, but as it were, she was most definitely dead. Was it Peter, Umbridge?

“Who would do this?” Hermione sniffed pulling back from Severus’s arms.

“I don’t know.” He said quietly looking away.

“But you suspect.”

He gave a curt nod. “Until we can figure this out, keep your shields up at all times. Let no one know what you think.”  He cupped both her cheeks wiping the tears from her cheeks carefully. “I do, but now is not the time nor the place to discuss such things.”

“I just want this to be some sort of nightmare.” She closed her eyes, the tears falling freely from her lashes. “the only good thing out of this is you.”

She opened her eyes slowly looking up at him. He leaned forward brushing his lips against hers briefly. “I’m not going anywhere. I promise you. I will protect you; we will get through this.”

“I know.” She whispered placing her hand over his.

He stood kissing her forehead. “I need to get you some bruise paste for your cheek before we venture out of the room.” He placed his hand on her head for a moment brushing her hair from her forehead before stepping towards his chambers. “and something for your fever.” He called over his shoulder.

She frowned placing her own hand on her forehead. She did feel slightly warm, but that was probably due to growing her bones back. The process will take longer from the extensive damage so it would not be entirely unheard of for her to run a fever.

She leaned against the cushions on the couch tucking her legs under her brushing her hands against her face to get rid of the tears. She willed herself to stop crying, it would solve nothing being a blubbering mess. Her face was already red and splotchy from crying. She cringed slightly. ‘How unattractive.’

She silently admitted how she liked how attentive Snape had been to her. He handed her the paper after setting her on the couch putting his arm around her as she read the news. He was safe. He would keep her safe. 


 

Severus entered the bathroom gripping the edge of the sink. He swore under his breath thinking over the current situation. He knew The Dark Lord would not harm the Grangers. He was trying to get closer to Hermione, and that would most certainly turn her away from him.

The only other person who would want to get rid of the Grangers would be Albus. Any Death Eater that acted on their own accord without The Dark Lord's permission was signing their own death.

He took a deep breath letting it out slowly trying to calm his racing heart. He knew that Albus would use extreme measures to get what he wanted; a prime example of that fact was Harry. He knew that Harry would be made to die. He would be the one to defeat The Dark Lord. He was just fattening up Harry for the kill. But why the Grangers? He suspected the reason was to keep Hermione off balance, but this was extreme. 

'So isn't keeping Potter in the dark about his fate.'

He wouldn’t let Albus lead the boy in question to his death. It wasn’t that he liked Harry. He tried to remember that Harry was part of Lily, his first best friend, his first love. Unfortunately, Harry reminded him of James a great deal. Hermione loved Harry so he would work on accepting him for her sake. He wanted her happy and having Harry in her life would make that easier.

If he thought for a moment that Harry had romantic feelings for Hermione, he didn’t think he could do that. He already lost one woman to someone else, he would be damned if he would a second time, especially to another damn Potter. She was his, just as much he was hers. She went as far as saying so last night. Tonight, he would take her back to his bed just to remind her how much they were good together. He would have to remain at Hogwarts a little longer before he could be reunited with her again, that would be difficult for him to have her leave him, but it was a necessity.

Opening the cabinet door, he plucked the bruise paste pocketing it, exiting the bathroom. He stopped just inside his bedroom door to the sitting room tilting his head to the side. He heard voices.

Albus. Fucking great.

Wiping his face of any expression he entered the room. Albus looked up from the wingback chair smiling widely at him. “Ah, Severus. Come, join us.” He waved his hand.

‘Like I need your bloody permission to sit in my own room.’

Sitting next to Hermione he looked down at her testing her shield silently. They held firm making him relax on the inside.

Albus shifted forward in the chair looking at the two of them. “I was just discussing with Miss Rosier that I think it is best for her to leave soon to give the student body time to acclimate to the news of her heritage.”

Hermione blinked up at him giving him a small nod. “Professor Dumbledore said that everyone will want to talk to me. He thinks it would be best if I just leave now for my own safety.”

“I see,” Severus said through tight lips. “she can certainly stay here with me for the remainder of her time, Albus. There are no more classes. Today is spent packing and then there is the Great Feast.”

Albus frowned. “I know it is a lot to ask Miss Rosier, but I do feel like it would be in her best interest.”

“I understand,” Hermione whispered. “I would like to see Harry before I leave.”

“I am afraid that is not possible, Harry, as you can imagine is far too busy right now to speak to you. I am sure everyone is asking him questions as well. I think it would be best that you did not see him, you can send him word over the summer, just give him some time to recover.”

Severus grabbed Hermione’s hand when it twitched. “As you wish, Albus.” Severus nodded in his direction. “is the Malfoys coming to collect her?”

“No, I asked Mister Malfoy to join you at the apparition point in an hour after he was done with his own packing, he can take her to the estate.”

“I am already packed,” Hermione said quietly looking down.

“Excellent.” Albus smiled. “there are a few other matters to discuss before you leave my dear. First, I am sure you saw the story about your adopted parents.”

“Yes,” Hermione said looking at him.

“Terrible news, I am sorry to hear of their death. I hope while you are with the Malfoys you will keep in mind to gather all the information you can on Tom’s whereabouts. He did after all he murder your parents, the people that raised you. You may not know this about him, Miss Rosier, but Tom is a very possessive man, he considers you his, so I am sure he felt the need to…end them for raising you.”

“But h-“Severus squeezed Hermione’s hand in warning. She took a deep breath. “you’re right.” She said quietly. “I’m afraid that he will do the same to me if I anger him.” She said frowning her Albus.

He waved her concern off. “I highly doubt he would harm you, dear. This is what makes you a perfect spy. If you could manage to get closer to him, make him think you accept him, he would pull you into his ranks. You would be doing The Greater Good a great service, Harry a great service. You wouldn’t want him to harm Harry, would you?”

“Of course not!” Hermione growled. “Harry is my brother.”

“Just remember what I said. Tell no one you are a spy for The Order. The only ones who know are the three of us…and Minerva. Any information you find out be sure to send it through Severus or to me directly. The Order thinks you can’t be trusted, so any information you pass along to any of them will be disregarded and Minerva is not high enough rank to field the information.”

“I understand, Professor.”

“Thank you, Miss Rosier. Remember if you must take his Mark, be ready to do so. It is imperative that he believes that you to be on his side.”

Hermione squeezed Severus’s hand harder. He was having to clamp his jaw shut from not snarling at the man across from him. He was just shoving Hermione into what Albus assumed was a death trap. The thought of Hermione taking The Mark made his stomach roll. She was too pure for that.

‘Not for much longer.’

Albus stood smiling down at Hermione. “Be sure to bond with Severus soon as well. He will be able to keep you safe and tell if you are in danger if the bonding ceremony is done correctly. I think it would be best that you do that as soon as you can when you return to the Malfoys.”

No words were spoken when he turned to leave. Hermione watched him with a blank expression on her face. He was proud of her for closing off her emotions. When the green flames died down Hermione slumped against the couch as if her strings had been cut. “Fuck.” She hissed.

Fuck indeed.

She looked over at him chewing on her bottom lip. “We have an hour before we have to meet Malfoy.” She said shifting closer to him. She grabbed his shoulder swinging her right leg over his hips straddling him. “Help me forget.” She said capturing his lips.

And he did. He brought her to heights he had never known before. They were each sated when they met Draco over an hour later. He left her with a promise that he would see her soon giving her a long, seductive kiss with a gobsmacked Draco looking on in horror.

Chapter Text

Draco blinked his eyes trying to clear his vision, surely he was seeing things. His godfather was kissing Hermione in a way that someone did when they were lovers. His wasn't sure if he should laugh or yank them apart. 

Snape gave him a smirk meeting his eyes as he bent down brushing his lips gently against Hermione's once more maintaining eye contact. "Let me know if you need anything, I will join you as soon as I can." He said looking down at her brushing her swollen lips gently. 

Then he was gone.

Draco snapped his mouth shut as Hermione turn to look at him. “Let’s go.” He said roughly turning to head to Hogsmeade.

She reached out for his hand grabbing it gently in her own. “Are you ready to apparate?”

“You can apparate?” He asked. “how is that possible?” His brows furrowed in confusion. She was the same age as him, she shouldn’t be able to apparate until she was seventeen.

She grinned over at him, her eyes twinkling with mirth. “It’s a secret.” She squeezed his hand tighter. “hold on.”

He sucked in a sharp breath as he felt the familiar tug behind his belly button. When he cracked his eyes open, he let go of her hand giving his mother a small smile as she approached the pair. “Mother.” He pulled her into an embrace holding her tightly. “is everything alright?” He asked gruffly, worry coloring his tone.

His mother pulled back cupping his cheek. “Everything is fine, my dragon.” She reassured him.

Narcissa pulled Hermione into her arms rubbing her back. “How are you, my little dove?” she whispered.

Hermione pulled back. “I’ve had worse days.” She frowned.

“Come, he is waiting for your return.”

Draco shivered following the pair up the long drive to the estate proper. He didn’t need to be told who he was. He squared his shoulders swallowing the dryness in his throat. He didn’t enjoy the idea of being punished by The Dark Lord, but he would accept his fate with grace as was expected of a Malfoy.

His eyes drifted to Hermione watching the sway of her hips. He scowled thinking about that kiss she shared with his godfather. He almost swallowed his own tongue the way Snape held her close grabbing her arse pressing her against his body.

It was one of his deepest secrets he would never dare tell anyone. He had been infatuated with Hermione for years now. It happened just before seeing her at the Yule Ball with Krum. She looked enchanting, stunning really. He knew he had been cruel to her intentionally to play his part. A part of him was mortified he was attracted to someone of her…station. Try as he might, he could never get her out of his mind.

Spending time alone with her over the past few weeks only drove those feelings higher. He loved her laugh, the glint she would get in her eyes when she was trying yet failing to look innocent. Her looks had changed a great deal. She looked more refined, her body having even more curves, enough to make his mouth water. He wanted to taste her all over, but overall, she was still just Hermione. Her bossy, swotty attitude was still there underneath it all. No matter how hard he tried and failed mind you, he could never really muster up the hate for her.

How was she with Snape? When did that happen? He knew it would be an impossibility before to be with her given she was a Mudblood, but now that she wasn’t, he had sadly hoped things could change in time when they finally did become comfortable with each other. Yes, she was technically his cousin, but cousins married all the time in the magical world. They were distant ones at that.

No matter, at least she would remain in his life and he could admire her from afar. He would never put himself in the crosshairs of his godfather. He was deadly and he had no wish to die. More so her father.

He shivered.

Entering the drawing room, he looked around seeing his father standing across the room next to the fireplace with a man he didn’t recognize. His shoulders relaxed slightly following his mother and Hermione into the room knowing at least for now he wouldn't have to face The Dark Lord's wrath. 

His mother whispered something in Hermione’s ear before giving her a gentle shove forward. He grabbed his mother’s hand in own. Hermione’s eyes met his briefly before she stepped closer to the two men standing in the room with their backs to them.

The look she gave him made him stiffen in worry. She looked…apologetic, almost afraid.

“Father. I have returned.” She said quietly stopping behind them.

His eyes widened in fear when the man in question turned around. He had the same eye color as Hermione, their features too similar not to be related to one another. He knew immediately who it was. ‘Fuck.'


 

Hermione braced herself for the onslaught she knew that was coming. She was glad that she had a few delicious moments with Severus before she had to leave his side. Her body and mind were relaxed as she faced the man that was her father.

Hermione squared her shoulder as Voldemort turned around. Before he could get a word out, she spoke. ”Why?” she asked. ” why did you out me as your daughter in The Daily Prophet without giving me a warning you planned on doing so?”

Voldemort narrowed his eyes. ”I didn’t.” he took two steps forward so he was toe-to-toe with her. ”are you ashamed to be my daughter?”

”Of course not!” she scoffed.

She meant it. She had time to be separated from the situation to think clearly about her heritage, about him. He had yet lie to her as far as she knew. He showed her that he did care about her, wanted to know her. He, of course, had changed since the first time she had the distinct displeasure of meeting him. No longer did he wear the face of a snake. He was as he should be.

She was coming to terms with the dreadful things he did in his past. That what it was, the past. She now realized that not everyone appears to be what they were. Everyone had a past, sadly, his past was dark comparatively. Now that he changed, she would watch to see for herself if he was just plain evil that no matter how many potions he downed it would be the same. She could already see that he was indeed trying.

Hope. It gave her hope that she could make it through this war not losing herself completely doing so. She already knew she had darkness within her as well, but there was also light. It was tempting to embrace the darkness letting it overtake her.

She wouldn’t. Not yet.

She did as he asked, she watched and listened to what was happening around her. It was with this new knowledge of what she learned that she decided to place her faith in him tentatively. Dumbledore was indeed up to something. She had caught the lies he had told her so far, how many he told her that she didn’t catch she didn’t know. She wouldn’t let that stand any longer. She would protect those she loved even if that meant The Dark Lord.

She shook her head clearing in thoughts. ”Then who would do such a thing?”

His mouth tugged up into a small grin pleased with her answer, pleased she believed him. He grabbed her face, holding it tenderly. ”Use that beautiful brain of yours. Who do you think would benefit from telling the wizarding world that you are mine?”

”He.., ” She wanted to deny it, but she was already weary of Dumbledore. ”for what reason? Dumbledore sent me home for Merlin’s sake!”

Letting her go he leveled her with a look. ”Was there not an incident yesterday?” his eyes straying to her cheek.

” I fell.” She said flatly.

”You’re a horrible liar you know.” He took a deep breath letting it out slowly. ”you will tell me what really happened.”

She rolled her eyes looking away from him. ”I will handle it.”

”You will do no such thing!” he snapped. ”you will tell me who dared to harm you, and you will tell me now!”

”No!” she snapped back narrowing his eyes at him. ”they are mine to punish!”

His head jerked back in shock.

She waved her hand in the air. ”You’ll just go after them. I must do this myself. I will not bow down to anyone who thinks they can go after me thinking I’m weak. This incident was my own fault. I let my guard down.”

His eyes flicked to a pale Draco then back to hers. ”And where was young Draco when this happened?”

Hermione stomped her foot in frustration. ”You will not punish him, or anyone else for something I did.”

”Oh?” He gave her a cruel smile. ”you dare to tell me how to handle this. I was given promises that you would be kept safe. Promised that was broken.”

”You can’t!” panic welled up inside her. She grasped her father’s robes looking up at him. “please.” she whispered leaning her head against his chest. ”they are my family.”

Arms circled around her pulling her close to his person. ”I will accept your request if you tell me everything that happened. I will even let you punish those who are responsible, you have my word.”

She sagged against him. ”Thank you.”

She leaned back meeting his eyes. ”I’ll show you.”

She closed her eyes briefly pulling forth the memory she wanted to share. Opening her eyes she gave him a curt nod bracing herself for that pain that would surely follow.

She held perfectly still as she felt him enter her mind. Her body relaxed in his hold feeling the gentleness he was using with her.

He pulled back from her mind, everything coming into focus once again. His face contorted in anger. ”If you don’t punish her, I will.” He growled.

Letting her go he looked over at Lucius. ”You will bring Edward Parkinson to me. Today!”

”Father wait!” Hermione reached forward grabbing his arm. ”you promised me.”

”I did.” he turned facing her. ”however, her father is mine to punish. He is my Death Eater; he needs to learn how to follow orders. I will also make sure that his daughter’s punishment is up to my standards.”

He slipped through her grasp when walked away in a fury. How did she expect him to react? She was his daughter, a newly discovered daughter. She was angry with herself for not being more diligent about her own safety. She knew that he would be angered with what happened, that is why she wanted to tell him in person. At least Hogwarts was safe for the time being from his wrath. The Parkinson family was a different matter.


She didn’t see her father for the rest of the day after that. She had expected to see him when she went down to the dining room for supper surprised to only see Draco, and Aunt Cissa sitting there.

The conversation stayed clear of what had transpired when they returned to the estate for which she was grateful for. She excused herself early from the meal claiming that she was tired and needed her rest.

Narcissa stood gathering Hermione in her arms. “Don’t fret so. You know frowning will cause wrinkles.” She smiled down at Hermione running her fingers through her wild curls. “he will be alright. He is still adjusting to these…feelings.”

She gave her a nod smoothing out her face, kissing Narcissa on the cheek before she left.

She was unable to sleep tossing and turning on the large bed. It seemed so cold and empty without Severus next to her. The coldness she could understand, Nagini was curled up on the pillow next to hers. She let out a silent breath before swinging her legs over the side of the bed grabbing her silk robe. She needed out of this room to think. The gardens always seemed to help with that.

Padding quietly down the halls she exited to the gardens through the drawing room. She closed the doors behind her with a quiet snick hoping not to wake anyone.

She walked a few paces to the large column to the left, leaning her body heavily on it. She lowered herself to the ground pulling her knees to her chest resting her chin on her knees. Her eyes gazed at the stars that twinkled gently in the sky, listening to the hum of the insects. She relaxed. This is what she needed.

“You shouldn’t be out here alone. Have you not learned anything?”

She stiffened briefly turning looking over her shoulder at her father who stood there with his arms crossed looking down at her. She looked back at the sky after a moment. “Am I in danger here that I don’t know about?” She asked quietly.

His shoes clicked against the tiles walking next to her. He paused for a moment before he lowered himself next to her. The rustling of fabric then the pressure of his jacket hanging around her shoulders made her smile. The weather was balmy, she wasn’t cold in the slightest. “Thank you.” She said quietly her hands coming up to pull it firmly around her.

“You are always in danger.” He said just a quietly. “Death Eaters come and go here. You have not been properly introduced to anyone as mine. They will just assume you are a treat.”

“I have my wand.”

He let out an elegant snort. “They will attack before you even realize they are there.”

She shook her head looking over at him. “I will keep that in mind.”

“We didn’t finish our conversation earlier.” He said shifting slightly closer to her.

“You left.” She shrugged.

“I apologize for leaving abruptly.” He was quiet for a moment. “I had to calm myself.”

“I know. I’m sorry for making you worry.”

“I will always worry about you.” He said simply. “I find that even though you are here near me, I still worry that you are safe.”

“Nagini is with me most of the time. I will be fine, father.”

“There are things we need to discuss. I have had time to think about several things while you are away, and it is important that I make you understand your position now.”

“Did you kill my parents?” she asked suddenly.

“Your adopted parents. And no, you know I didn’t. I wouldn’t be sitting here if I did.”

She let out a defeated sigh burying her head on her knees. “I know.” She mumbled. “do you think Peter did it as payback for what I did to him?”

“Wormtail? No, he is the biggest coward there is. He wouldn’t dare cross me.” He brushed her hair from her face. “I do know who did though.”

She lifted her head looking at him. His fingers brushed against her cheek before cupping it. “As you know, I had my followers keeping a watch out for them.”

She gave a small nod.

“They saw Albus walking out of their house hiding in the shadows, but they saw him as he exited. He was the one who summoned The Dark Mark over their house, and he was the one who killed them.”

Hermione closed her eyes feeling her chest tighten. In the back of her mind, she had already known that. That was the reason that Severus told her to always keep her shields up, not letting anyone know what she was thinking.

“Are you sure?” She asked opening her eyes again feeling the wetness fall from her eyelash.

“I do. I have the memory of it. They went to check on your parents after, but it was already too late. I’m not turning him into the Ministry yet, I will keep gathering his wrong-doings without him even realizing it before it is too late.”

Her breath hitched. She understood his reason for waiting, it was a long-term tactic, this was war. She wanted to know what reason Dumbledore had to do this. “Why kill them? You already oblivated them, they posed no threat.”

“Did you tell Albus that I would not harm your parents? That I took a vow not to?” He raised an elegant brow.

“Of course not. I was told not to tell him anything.”

“Tell me, how would you feel if you thought I did, would you still be willing to get to know me? To get closer to me?”

She chewed her lip for a moment. “No. I wouldn’t. It would prove that you wouldn’t care about how I feel. It is no secret I didn’t love my adopted father, but my mother…” her lip trembled. She swallowed hard trying to regain her composure. “my mother was an innocent.”

“I know that.” He said wiping the tears from her eyes. “I am terribly sorry I was unable to protect them. I didn’t want them to be killed knowing it would upset you. Sadly, no one saw him enter their home.”

“I hate him.”

“He wanted that hate turned towards me, Hermione. Don’t forget he thinks he is the master of manipulation. Will you tell me what he spoke to you about? I want to know so I can protect you.”

She sniffed wiping the tears roughly when he removed his hands. She told him everything that happened when she arrived, how Dumbledore lied about seeing her mother. How he was trying to keep her and Harry away from each other after she was attacked. That when he spoke to her about the news about her adopted parents, he was cruel about it, telling her that Voldemort murdered them in a detached way not appearing sorry for her loss.

“Anything else?” Voldemort gave her a hard look. “did he approach you about spying on me?”

She knew that look was not directed at her. She nodded. “Yes.” She shook her head closing her eyes. “he believes that you and your followers are here at Malfoy Manor, that it put me in a unique position to feed him information on what your plans are.”

He scoffed.

“He didn’t want me to be a member of The Oder, he wanted my situation to stay a secret, to only send him or Severus information, that no one would trust me anymore.” She took a deep breath. “I made a condition of my own. I made Professor McGonagall my secret-keeper. I had already caught him in a lie during our conversation and I didn’t trust that he wouldn’t send me to Azkaban.”

“Excellent thinking.” He smiled down at her.

“He also told me to take your Mark to convince you.” She whispered looking away. “he said that he would glamour it so no one could see it.”

“You can’t glamour my Mark.”

Her eyes widened turning to look at him. “You can’t? Does he know that?”

“Of course, he does. Severus has one. Have you not seen his yet?”

She blushed, feeling the warmth tingle her cheeks. “Yes, I did.”

“Did Albus explain to you what you have to do to accept my Mark?”

“Why do I have to kill someone?”

“It taints your soul making it easier. The Mark is dark magic.” He pursed his lips slightly. “I need you to take My Mark, either way, Hermione. Since you left, I have thought a lot about it. I was conflicted before not wanting to taint your soul, but now I must insist.”

She stared at him for a moment, her heartbeat humming in her chest. She thought about this, too. She knew what she would ask for in return if he did. “I will do it for you, father.” She said evenly. “but I have one request before I do so.”

“And what is that?” He looked at her with amusement. “Did you want to kill Parkinson instead of punishing her?”

“No.” She said. “I want Wormtail.”

He let out a small laugh. “You really have it in for him, don’t you? You want to kill Wormtail for your initiation?” He stroked his chin. “I will allow it.”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to kill him, well I do, but I have something else planned for him. I want him turned into the Ministry to stand trial for killing all those muggles framing Sirius, for betraying the Potters. I want him to rot in Azkaban for a long, long time remembering every vile thing he has ever done in his life. He is a coward, a rat and deserves to be punished.” She said panting lightly from her anger rising.

“You surprise me. Although, I shouldn’t be. You are definitely my child.” He chuckled. “I will agree to that. I will send him with a nice red bow on him to the Ministry with his memories of the incident so they can view them.”

“Thank you.”

“Anything for you.” He stood offering his hand to her. She clasped his hand with hers and he tugged her into a standing position. “we have a lot of work to do this summer. Severus tells me that Albus is most anxious to have you bonded soon.”

“I thought we were courting this summer, and bonded before I go back to Hogwarts.”

“Plans change often when dealing with Albus. Severus came to me last week showing me the bonding ceremony that Albus wishes for him to use.”

“And?”

“It is an old ceremony that is hardly used. Essentially you would be his property that would have no choice but to obey Severus, no matter how much you wish to object.”

“W-what? He can’t be serious. I refuse to become someone’s property no matter how I feel about them. I have my mind for Merlin’s sake and know well how to use it.”

“He is completely serious about this; I think he wants to ensure you stay the course thinking Severus is firmly in the light. He doesn’t realize that Severus is riding the line between the light and the dark and has done so for many years. I know he is a spy for The Order as he is for me. I also know I can trust him otherwise I would not have him bond with you. He sees Albus for who he is, and recently he expressed his concern with Albus taking things to extremes, like placing you in danger.”

Hermione paled.

Voldemort pulled her to him tucking her head under his chin. “There is so much I have to share with you, little one, and I will soon. For now, I think you need to rest, you are still healing. You will be bonding with Severus next week and taking the Dark Mark. My plans for the future have changed, I know with you by my side I can make that happen.” He kissed her forehead taking her elbow leading her back in the estate.

Chapter Text

Hermione woke early even before the sun peaked over the horizon. She got very little sleep, but her internal clock was telling her she needed to get up and start the day. It was no use trying to go back to sleep now.

Gathering her strength, she shuffled to the bathroom summoning her clothes along the way. Stripping as she walked, she stepped into the shower turning on the water to as hot as she could tolerate it. A cold shower would help her wake, but her muscles were still protesting from the fall she took two days prior.

She finished her morning ablutions her mind working overtime on her current situation. It was now clear to her that Dumbledore was not the man she thought he was. Her father had information regarding Harry that she hoped that he would share with her. He seemed to open up to her last night while they were alone together. There were many things she needed to accomplish to take Dumbledore down, but first, she needed all the information.

Entering the smaller family dining area, she fell into her seat leaning her head on the table. Draco let out a snort shaking out the paper turning the page. “I see you’re not a morning person even when you’re not in school.”

She pried an eye open to glare at him. “I didn’t sleep well.” She mumbled.

“Here.” He said pushing a steaming cup across the table to her. “drink this, it’s just how you like it. Tea with one dollop of honey.”

Sitting up straight she stretched her arms over her head her back letting out a loud pop. “How do you know how I like my tea?” She asked picking up her cup taking a long sip enjoying the rich taste. It was perfect. Not too sweet or bitter.

He hid his face behind the paper clearing his throat. “I pay attention, Rosier.”

“Well, I appreciate it.” She chuckled leaning back in her chair sipping leisurely.

Narcissa swept into the room, looking every bit of a pureblooded wife. Not a hair out of place, clothes pressed and neat. She smiled at them as she gracefully sat in her chair. “Good morning, my dears. Are you two well this morning?”

Draco lowered the paper folding it placing it to the side. “Yes, mother, I hope you’re well.”

“Of course.” She smiled over the rim of her cup before taking a sip. “I wanted to speak to both of you this morning before you made plans for the day.” She looked at Hermione. “I will need you for a brief time this morning to go over your bonding ceremony with Severus.”

“Bonding ceremony?” Draco looked between his mother and Hermione.

Hermione cleared her throat shifting in her seat. “Yes. It was a request from my father to keep me safe while at Hogwarts.”

He crinkled his nose slightly. “I see.” It appears that the kiss he witnessed between the two of them was not something new then. They had both hidden their intentions well, he was still trying to recover from the shock.

“Father mentioned something last night about a particular ceremony that…” her eyes flashed to Draco’s and then back to Narcissa. “that was suggested a particular one that someone wants us to use.”

Narcissa smiled at her grasping her hand. “I have spoken to Severus about the ceremony as well. He in no way wishes to use that ceremony with you. There will be elements of it that we will use, but you will not be bound to him as his property.”

Hermione let out a relieved sigh squeezing her hand in gratitude. “I am glad to hear that. I would have to refuse no matter my feelings towards him.”

“Oh? How are you two getting along?” She asked with mirth dancing in her eyes. “you know how Severus can be, he is tight-lipped not giving me any details.”

“I understand he is a private person.” Hermione smiled shyly. “I will not divulge any details to you either. Suffice it to say we are getting along quite well, surprisingly so.”

“It really is no surprise to me, my dear. I already told you he is completely besotted with you.”

Hermione shook her head releasing her hand picking up her cup taking a sip. Their relationship was a whirlwind passing several stages at an alarming rate, but there was just something about Severus that drew her towards him. They already had several things in common. She was looking forward to getting to know the rest of him.

She had witnessed his tender side. He was gentle with her as if she were made of glass. She felt safe and cherished. She never knew she would be one to crave such feelings when it came to a relationship, but she did. She loved how he cared about her making sure she was happy, safe, taken care of.

Never did she have that experience even with her own parents. They were her adopted parents, but that shouldn’t have mattered. They should have cared if she was safe and happy. She supposed her mother did in her own way. She was just as much as a victim of her father’s abuse as she was trying to protect her when she could, but it was never enough.

Thinking of her younger self she wondered if she would be different if she did have that perfect upbringing. She always overcompensated trying to be the best at everything she did hope it would please her father. If she was good enough then maybe he would show her kindness. It never mattered what she did. She was a freak in his eyes. She excelled at everything that he threw her way, martial arts, piano lessons, even school. It was never good enough in his eyes.

She tried to show him that magic was not something to be afraid of, but to enjoy, that is was a part of who she was, that she was gifted with this, that it was special.

Her heart felt heavy as her mind conjured up images of the beatings she had. She was just a helpless child. Even when she did learn magic, she couldn’t use it to protect herself, she wasn’t allowed to do so outside of Hogwarts, not even using the skills she learned in the muggle world she learned to protect herself, she never dared to use it. Even when she did turn of age, she never dared to use magic in his presence. She wanted that acceptance from him, that love. A love she never got.

‘I will be a better mother. My child will never know the depravity of that man, or what it is like to be thought of a freak for being who you were born to be. They will live in a better world.’

“Are you alright?” Narcissa asked placing her hand on Hermione’s arm.

Hermione blinked a few times shaking her head. She set her cup down gently looking over at her. “Yes, I apologize, I was lost in thought.”

“It’s quite alright, dear,” Narcissa said squeezing her arm gently. “now, about the ceremony. I will be eight days from now, next Saturday.”

“That soon?”

“Yes, it is a full moon that night as well as the Summer Solstice, most fortuitous.”

Hermione listened intently as Narcissa went over the details. She was quiet taking it all in learning that she wouldn’t have to lift a finger in planning. It was already planned out.

“What about my dress robes?” Hermione asked furrowing her brow.

Narcissa let out a tinkling laugh. “You will not need dress robes; this ceremony is very ancient and will require you to be nude.”

Her face flushed. “Naked?” She whispered. “will it just be Severus and me?”

Narcissa gave her a grin. “No, there will be plenty of people there to witness your union.”

She swore under her breath. “Can’t I at least wear a thin robe at least to cover up?”

“No, I am afraid not, my dear. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. As you know, witches and wizards are very sensual beings. Sex plays a big part in magic. This particular ceremony will strengthen your bond on both parts as well as bless it.”

“We don’t have to…” she shifted in her chair. “You know…consummate it in front of everyone do we?”

Narcissa pressed her lips together trying not to laugh. “Technically, no. However, everyone, there will be encouraged to…celebrate after.”

“Fuck.” She breathed. “you can’t be serious?”

“Language, dear.” Narcissa giggled. “but yes, I am serious about this. We are offering our magic to solidify your bond, what better way than to release it in that way.”

Hermione shook her head rapidly. “I…” She choked on her words.

Draco stood suddenly clearing his throat. “I am going to the stables.”

Hermione jumped up joining him. “I will go with you.” She said a little bit too loudly in her panic.

Narcissa picked up her cup grinning up at them. “I will take you to your estate, Hermione, this afternoon after we meet for lunch, don’t be late. I know how you can be Draco when out there be sure she is back in time. I wish for you to join us in going.”

“Of course, mother,” Draco said smoothly. He bent over kissing her cheek stepping next to Hermione offering his arm to her.

Hermione gripped his arm tightly as he led her away.

They walked in silence through the gardens to the path that led to a large building that Hermione hadn’t seen the last time she was here. To be fair it was some distance from the estate proper, so she was not too surprised.

She released his arm when Draco grabbed his wand flicking his wrist to slide the huge door open. She paused her step as he stepped inside the building. She looked around the field for a moment taking out her own wand.

Draco poked his head out. “Are you coming, Rosier?”

“I will be there in a moment.” She said turning away from him concentrating on a happy memory.

Her Patronus appeared once again as a panther sitting patiently curling its tail around its body.

“I need to send a message to Harry.” She said. “Make sure you do not relay the message until you are sure he is alone.”

The panther nodded shifting its body slightly waiting for her to begin.

‘Harry. I am sorry we didn’t get an opportunity to speak before I had to leave. I asked Dumbledore if I could speak to you, but he told me you were too busy to meet with me. I hope you are not upset with me, Harry. I will explain everything to you soon. I am working on a way for you to go live with Sirius. Keep you DA coin close to you, I will be coming for you soon. I love you; I will see you soon.’

She took a deep breath eyeing the panther. “Now go.”

She turned seeing Draco leaning against the tall frame on the two-story doorway. He raised a blond brow at her. “What was that?” He nodded towards the spot her panther had been.

“What, the Patronus?”

“Yeah.”

“I needed to contact Harry.” She shrugged. She stepped closer to him peering up at him through the fringe of her hair. “what is your Patronus, I’ve been curious.”

He heaved himself from the doorframe turning away from her walking into the depths of the stables. “I don’t know. I can’t produce one.” He called over his shoulder.

Now that was just sad to her. She followed him into the stables looking around in wonder. Various mythical creatures were stabled within. There were several winged horses that poked their heads out of their stalls trying to gain Draco’s attention.

She stopped at a stall her eyes wide. “Y-you have an Occamy?”

Draco looked over his shoulder at her while stroking the neck of one of the Abraxan horses she noted. “Yes, that is my father’s though. I wouldn’t get too close to her; she is a bit temperamental.”

Hermione shifted back letting out a shaky breath stepping closer to Draco. They had more money than sense.

Draco grabbed Hermione’s wrist tugging her in front of him lifting her arm so her hand would rest on the horse’s large neck. He let go letting her explore the velvet feel of the horse’s fur. She let out a giggle when his neck muscle twitched lowering his massive head to nudge her closer to his chest. “What’s this gorgeous boy name?”

“Bucephalus,” Draco said opening the paddock to let the massive beast out.

Hermione backed up as Bucephalus moved forward scrapping his massive hooves on the ground. “No star on his head though.” She commented idly watching Draco rubbing him down.

“He does, just not on his head.” He pointed to the rear of the horse. Hermione craned her neck around to see. On his hindquarter was a white patch of fur in the shape of a star.

Draco flicked his wand conjuring a large step placing his hands on Bucephalus’s back pulling himself up. His legs swung over the beast tucking them just under his large wings. He looked down at her with a small grin on his face beckoning her to join him.

“Oh no!” Hermione said backing up a few paces. “I don’t fly, like ever.”

Draco let out a small snort. “What do you mean you don’t fly ; you’re a witch aren’t you. We learned how to fly the first year.”

Hermione blushed slightly looking the other way mumbling something quietly.

“What was that, Rosier? I didn’t catch that.”

She glared up at him. “I said I’m scared of heights, as it was I barely passed the class with Mme. Hooch if you recall.”

“Oh, I remember.” His smirk widened. “I didn’t know you were afraid of heights though. What happened to your Gryffindor bravery?”

“I’m a snake now, we prefer the ground.”

Flicking his wrist, he levitated her towards him. She let out a loud hoarse shriek, her arms and legs flailing helplessly in the air until she was seated in front of him.

“NO!” She tried to jerk out of his hold when his arms wrapped around her grabbing the mane tightly.

“Hold still, or you might fall.” Draco chuckled. He let out a small clicking sound kicking the sides of Bucephalus who lowered his head down slightly before taking off.

Hermione grabbed ahold of Draco’s wrists tightly, pressing her body against his. He leaned his head to the side resting his chin lightly on her shoulder. He looked over at her from the corner of his eyes seeing her eyes squeezed shut. “Open your eyes, Rosier. I promise you won’t fall. I was joking.”

She kept her eyes firmly shut only opening when her body jostled against his as the horse landed on solid ground. Draco tugged his wrist from her hold removing himself from her person. She eyed him as he slid smoothly off the back lifting his arms towards her beckoning her down.

“Come on, Rosier, we don’t have all day.” He tilted his head to the side. “unless you want to remain up there.”

Taking a shaky breath, she swung her legs over smoothing her summer dress down to keep her modesty. She leaned forward slightly reaching her arms towards him as she felt herself fall forward. She let out a small shriek as Draco caught her easily, his arms tucked under hers holding her weight until she gained her footing.

“Thanks.” She whispered looking up at him.

He patted the horse on the backside as he walked towards a small cluster of trees that were at an edge of a lake. She followed behind him looking around enjoying the peacefulness that it provided. She could hear the birds chirping, the flap of their wings flitting from tree to tree. The air cooled considerably when she stepped into the shade following Draco to a large tree that was a few feet away from the edge of the water.

He slid down the tree bending his knees resting his forearms on them. He looked up at her nodding to the place next to him.

Tucking her dress behind her carefully she sat down as gracefully as she could manage. She tucked her legs to the side looking out across the lake. “It’s beautiful here.” She murmured picking at the grass next to her.

“We can go swimming here if you want.” He commented looking over at her. “There is nothing in this lake that will eat you.” He offered her a smile.

“Maybe later.” She giggled at him. “I didn’t bring my swimsuit.”

He shook his head looking back across the water. “Sometimes I wonder if you even realize you are a witch. We can transfigure our suites ya know.” He said a bit sarcastically.

She nudged him with his elbow lightly. “Stop being a git, you know what I mean. We have no sunscreen, towels or suites with us.”

“Again, easily remedied with a few charms, Rosier.” He said leaning back against the tree.

“Do you swim out here often?”

He gave a shrug. “Usually I come out here with others to swim when they come over. Blaise, Nott, Pansy, and Daph.”

Hermione wrinkled her nose. “I am sorry about Parkinson. I know she is your friend.”

He tilted his head to the side, his face serious. “I grew up with her, I’m not sure I consider a friend anymore. You need to understand Pureblood society, Rosier. She was warned, told to leave you alone, yet she continued. She brought this on herself.”

She sucked her lip between her teeth. “I know.” She said quietly. She placed her hand on his arm. “I just don’t want to hurt you, ya know. I know in the past we were not on friendly terms, and you most likely hated me. Now I have been thrust into your life, I am sure it has been difficult for you to play babysitter.”

He let out a humorless chuckle looking out back across the lake. “That’s where you are wrong. I never did hate you. Don’t get me wrong, I did try to, but I never did. I had a part to play, we all did.” He was glad that she didn't know how much he didn't hate her. Last night he decided that he did want Hermione in his life. If he couldn't have her the way he wanted her, at least he could really get to know her on a deeply personal level. In time he knew that he would move past his admiration for her, and perhaps even love her like a cousin and not as something more. Time. He just needed time. 

“I hate that.” She whispered bowing her head. “I wish that status didn’t play a huge part in anything, that you could be friends with whom you wanted to. I understand now that who someone plays a large part in their place in this world.”

Draco closed his eyes letting out a snort. “We are matched with someone who will bring status to our family.”

“Like Parkinson? Is she your betrothed?”

“Salazar, no!” Draco had a look of horror on his face when he looked at her. “she wants to be, but that will never happen. She is…unhinged.”

“I’ll say,” Hermione mumbled. “I am your family now, Malfoy, I want us to get along. I hope you and I will become closer and you will actually like me.”

“I do like you, Rosier.” He ran his hand through his hair. 'More than I should.'

“Well, how about you call me Hermione then, instead of Rosier.” She offered him a tentative smile.

“Alright. Call me Draco.”

“Done.” She beamed up at him.

“What was it like being raised by muggles?” He asked his face showing curiosity.

Hermione grimaced slightly leaning back against the tree. She looked out across the lake letting out a deep sigh. “It was not…pleasant.” She said quietly. “my father was…well…” She furrowed her brow. “he didn’t understand. He thought I was a freak.” Her voice cracked slightly.

He simply nodded watching her expressions cross her face.

“Mother tried her best to protect me from him, but it never did any good. He, um, beat her as well.”

“He beat you?” Draco asked his voice hard.

“Yes.” She whispered closing her eyes. “he tried to beat the magic out of me, not understanding it was just who I was. I thought if I were good enough that maybe someday, he would see that I was simply different, not bad. I hate that my mother was killed, but that man will never get pity or sadness from me.”

She sniffed opening her eyes wiping the tears that threaten to fall thinking about her mother. She looked over at him. “What was it like being raised as a Pureblood?”  

He shrugged. “Expectations were always high for me, but my father nor my mother never beat me. I’m a Malfoy, I always must act my station when in the presence of others. The only time I am free of that obligation is when I am here, alone.”

“I’m sorry,” Hermione said frowning.

He gave a casual shrug. “It wasn’t all bad, Ros- Hermione.”

“Do you want me to teach you how to cast a Proterons?” She asked shifting her body turning towards him.

“I’ve tried before, it just won’t happen.”

“You have to concentrate on a happy memory. It took me a long time to produce one, but I managed it. You must have a happy memory somewhere in there.” She grinned at him knocking her knuckles against his head lightly. “Think about playing Quidditch, when you fly, a happy memory with your parents.”

He raised a brow at her his lips tugging at the corners. “I will think about it later. We need to go back soon to go to your estate soon.”

Her shoulders slumped slightly. “Alright, if you need help, please come to me Draco.”

He stood offering his hand to her tugging her up with ease. “If it’s that important to you, I will.”

She hugged his arms as they walked toward the field where Bucephalus was grazing lazily, his tail swishing occasionally. His head snapped up looking towards the darkened forest to the left of the field stomping his foot, scraping it against the ground letting out several loud grunts.

Draco stopped when entering the field swearing under his breath. “Come on, we have to go.”

“What’s wrong.” She looked around in panic following Draco’s movements.

“I forgot how close this was to…something.” He froze midstride when a large man entered the field, his gait long and casual.

Hermione held onto Draco tighter as the man strode forward a feral grin on his face. Hermione’s eyes widened in fear as he came closer. He was huge close to seven feet tall. He had a large furry face, his hair in dreadlocks down past his shoulders. His shirt was open showing his barrel of a chest, his muscles rippled under the hair.

“Draco?” Hermione whispered moving her body behind his.

“Don’t move.” He whispered back as the man came to stop in front of him.

“Young Draco.” The man grinned down at the pair. “I thought I caught your scent.” His eyes moved to Hermione’s slight figure, his grin widening. “Is this your bitch, or did you bring us a snack?”

Draco straightened his spine, his arm coming out to cover Hermione as much as possible. “This is my cousin; she is here to visit.”

“Cousin, eh?” He tilted his head to the side, shifting his body to get a better look at Hermione. He leaned his head forward making both Draco and Hermione flinch. He grabbed her arm tugging her forward.

Draco grabbed her arm pulling her closer to him. “She is not to be touched.” He stated firmly.

The man waved his hand dismissively. “I just want to look.” He bent his head closer to Hermione taking a deep breath. “You smell delicious.” He purred.

Hermione stiffened. “I can’t say the same about you.” She growled.

The man’s head jerked back looking down at her. He let out a bellowing laugh tilting his head back. Birds scattered from the branches screaming out warnings. He looked down at Hermione capturing a curl tugging it lightly, releasing it watching it bounce back. “She’s feisty, I like that.”

Draco gave a curt nod. “We must be leaving; mother is expecting us.”

The man stepped to the side extending his arm out for them to pass. Draco grabbed Hermione’s arm tightening his grip. Hermione looked over her shoulder, the man was still watching her. He bowed in her direction. “I hope to see you soon…my little lamb.”

She could feel Draco tremble against her once they were in the air. Who was that back there that made Draco of all people scared?

“W-who was that?” Hermione turned to look at his ashen face.

Silver eyes met hers. “That was Fenrir Greyback.”

Her eyes widened, images of Remus Lupin flashing in her mind. She had heard about him. He was the reason Remus was a werewolf now. He bit Remus as a child, forever changing his future.

She looked forward letting out a stream of obscenities. Once she calmed down, she came to the realization that her hit list was about to get longer.

Chapter Text

Narcissa along with Lucius and Draco escorted Hermione to her new estate. They left her alone after reactivating the wards to accept her, as well as any visitors she may want to pass through. Narcissa could see that Hermione was overwhelmed but pride welled up within her when Hermione straightened her spine fording ahead. Right now, Hermione was in the office that was once her grandfathers speaking to the head house-elf and his second in command.

“When will The Dark Lord arrive?” Narcissa asked sitting on Lucius’s lap wrapping her arms around his neck.

“He had a meeting to attend to this morning with some of the others that are in the Ministry. He should be here soon. She opened the wards for him to pass through, didn’t she?” Lucius asked kissing his wife’s neck.

“Yes, she made sure he would be able to follow.”  She let out a sigh looking towards the closed door. “How long do you think she will be in there? Should we go in and check on her?”

Giving her hip a gentle squeeze, he nipped at her neck. “No, love. Hermione will be fine. She will adapt well to her new role. I am sure she is just getting to know the house-elves is all.”

Draco snorted from the couch he sat on; a book perched in his hand. “More like trying to free them.”

Narcissa let out a startled breath looking at her son with wide eyes. “You can’t be serious?”

Draco looked back down at his book hiding his smile. He would give anything to be in that room right now listening to Hermione trying to free them. It would not go over well at all. 


 

Hermione eyed the two house-elves in front of her, her fingers tapping restlessly on the large oak desk. She stood suddenly pacing the room chewing her bottom lip, her wand tapping against her thigh.

The head house-elf, one as old as Kreacher if Hermione had to guess watched her. He could sense her trepidation. “Young mistress.” He said, his voice wispy.

“Hmm?” She stopped pacing turning her attention to him.

“Tippy is wondering what your commands are.”

Hermione sucked her lip between her teeth tilting her head to the side studying the pair in front of her. “You said that you are attached to this land, correct?”

“Yes, Young Mistress.” The other house-elf said, she worried the fabric of her dress looking up at Hermione in fear.

Hermione sat in a chair in front of the desk crossing her ankles sitting up straight. “I know your fear is I will try to free you.” She paused shaking her head in frustration. “I certainly do not need fifteen house-elves to look after me, however.” She gave them a small smile. “I wish to change a few things around here. Tell me, how were you treated before?”

They each looked at each other, then back at Hermione. “It is not our place to determine how we were treated by the master of the estate before you, Young Mistress,” Tippy said, his ears shaking slightly.

She could see scars that littered each of their arms and legs. One of Tippy’s ear had been torn mangling it. “I understand.” She said calmly. “While I know I can not give you clothes, I do wish for you each to make your own clothes. You can make clothes, correct.”

“Yes, Young Mistress.” Lolmy, the younger female house-elf said.

“I will procure you fabric, as much as you desire. It is my wish that you make clothes. I don’t care if that match, as long as they are clean.” She smiled at the images of Dobby and his extravagant taste in clothes popped in her mind. “In regard to your sleeping quarters. I want you all to have your own room, and bathroom. If you need help with that, let me know. If you wish to share a room with someone, say a child or spouse that is fine. I want you to work out a schedule, to give each of them time off each week to do something for themselves.”

“Take…a…time off?” He looked horrified.

“Yes.” She said firmly. “I can manage taking care of myself, but I know that you are tied to the land, my family. It would upset you not to serve. However, I want you to take time for yourselves as well. If I can’t free you, I want you to at least take time off. This is your home, too.”

She waited for them to give her a nod of consent. “Lastly, if one of my guests asks you to do something that will harm you, or raises a hand to you, you are to come and find me immediately.” She softened her expression. “I want you to consider me your family, to stop calling me Young Mistress, but Hermione.”

Tippy made a small noise in the back of his throat. “That would not be appropriate, Young Mistress.”

Hermione let out a defeated sigh. “I understand. We will work on that later. You may go and inform the others of these rules. I will meet with everyone once I get settled here so they can also hear it from me. Be sure to work on expanding your living quarters today for I will check on that later. I will have the fabric delivered to you by tomorrow.”

Tippy bowed at her snapping his fingers disappearing with a small pop.

Lolmy, her small hands tugged at her dirty dress, her large eyes watering. Hermione knelt on the floor sitting on her haunches. “What is it, Lolmy?” She asked softly.

She sniffed pulling her dress to dab at her eyes. “You’re the Little Miss that Mistress was going to have.” Her small lip trembled. “Lolmy thought she would never see you again.”

Hermione tentatively reached up pulling the small house-elf into her arms. “I am glad to be here,” She said quietly. “Perhaps someday you could tell me about my mother.”

She patted Hermione’s sides lightly before shifting out of her hold. “Lolmy has lots of stories to tell you, but you can speak to your mother soon.”

“She’s alive?” Hermione whispered.

She shook her head a frown appearing on her face. “No Young Mistress, her portrait should wake up soon, they all should.”

With that, she popped out of the room.

Hermione stood slowly turning her body around the room slowly taking in the paintings in the room. She thought it odd that they didn’t move when she entered the house, it never occurred to her that they would be placed under a stasis spell as well. Her stomach did a small flip thinking about the chance to speak to her mother, but also the sadness that came with it knowing that her mother was indeed gone.

She pinched the bridge of her nose thinking of everything she had to accomplish. She should really go and check on her Aunt Cissa, but she needed this time to get her house in order. She was pleased that they were waiting here to ensure that if she needed assistance, she would be close by. Her love for them grew just a little bit stronger.

Shuffling through the drawers she pulled out parchment grabbing a quill from the desk to start her list of things she needed to do over the summer.

 

  1. Get Harry away from the Dursley
  2. Bond with Severus
  3. Get the Mark
  4. Punish Pansy
  5. Message Remus about her wolf problem

She paused her writing for a moment. Thinking about Remus gave her an idea. She was told by Dumbledore not to tell anyone that she was a spy for The Order, that she wouldn’t be trusted. The things she learned about Dumbledore recently made her doubt many things about his word. Maybe the Order members, well, a few would still trust her.

A grin tugged at her lips a plan coming to mind. She never took an unbreakable vow not to tell anyone. No, she said she understood the need not to. No promises were brokered on her part. What a silly man to have enough faith in her not to especially with him keeping her away from Harry recently and the lies he told her.

She would have to make a small list of people she trusted that worked for the other side. There should not be another side, there should only be one. How could she pull them into her plans without damaging their reputations, and help bring Dumbledore down? She would first need to show them that he was not all he appeared to be.

She would have to put that to the side for now, but it was worth consideration.

She jumped slightly when the loud knock came at the door. “C-come in.” She said shuffling her papers around.

Voldemort stepped inside, Nagini slithering at his feet. He grinned over at her as he quietly shut the door behind him taking a seat in front of her desk. “I wanted to come by and check to see how you are settling in.”

Leaning back in her chair her shoulders slumped. “Fine.” She said her lips jutting out in a small pout.

He let out a chuckle leaning forward. “You’re a horrible liar, you should work on that.”

She smirked at him sitting up straighter. “I am well, father. Things here couldn’t be better.” She said sweetly.

He barked out a laugh shaking his head. “Not much of an improvement, we still need to work on that.” He stood offering his hand. “We need to talk, but we should check on your guest. Poor Narcissa thinks you are withering away in here.”

Standing she placed her hand in his letting him lead her from the office to the formal sitting area where Narcissa and the others were having tea and biscuits. He led her to the loveseat pulling her down to sit next to him. “Drink something to satisfy Narcissa that you are not on death's door.” He grinned over at her.

“Sorry, Aunt Cissa,” Hermione said sheepishly fixing her tea.

Narcissa waved her hand dismissively at her. “I was just worried that you were overwhelmed, my dear.”

“Just a little.” She admitted.

“Did you free all the house-elves?” Draco asked a smirk on his face. “I have a bet with father that you would at least try. He thinks that you would know better.”

She stuck her tongue out at Draco before taking a sip of her tea. Draco looked over at his father with a triumphant smile. “You owe me five gallons.”

Lucius looked horrified. “You didn’t.” He breathed out.

“No, I tried but I know they are tied to this land and the family. It would be cruel for me to do so.”

“Indeed, it would.” He said, his frame relaxing slightly.

“Now,” Voldemort said lifting his arm to wrap it around Hermione. She flinched.

“Sorry.” She said quietly turning her head to look at him. “It’s a habit. I-I’m not afraid of you.”

He placed his arms around her pulling her to his side. “I will never hurt you again. He will never hurt you again.”

Looking up at him she gave him a small nod relaxing against him. “Sorry.” She said again.

“Do not apologize for that, Hermione. I know why you flinch. It hurts me to think I am one of the reasons why.”

“You’re not.” She said leaning back looking at him. “For so long I had to have my guard up, I know I don’t with you. I have to actively work not to flinch with sudden movements. Please, father, don’t think it is because of what happened before. I would prefer not to think about what happened when you first met me and move on to what we have now.”

His expression softened looking down at her. His heart gave a little tug seeing the sincerity in her gaze. “I would like that too, my little one.” He said brushing her hair away from her cheek. “I will never hurt you like that again. You are so very important to me.”

“You are to me too.” She said blush painting her cheeks. “I like having a father who does care about me. I know you do. You have shown me care since learning I am yours.”

He gave a wide smile. Mine. She is mine. She is part of me. Mine to protect.

His hand slid from her shoulder down to her hand clasping it in his own giving it a gentle squeeze. “I need to speak to you about several things I didn’t get a chance to last night.”

She gave a nod shifting her body slightly so she could see him better, to watch his facial expressions.

“I mentioned you taking my Mark last night. Do you understand why this is important to me?”

Draco took a wheezing cough choking on his tea, his eyes wide looking at Hermione. He had not heard that part.

“Young Draco,” Voldemort smirked over at him. “I am sure your father has already spoken to you about you taking my Mark as well.”

“Yes, My Lord,” Draco said clearing his throat.

“Then you understand the reason why my daughter needs to take it as well.”

“Of course, My Lord.” He said his color draining from his face.

Voldemort narrowed his eyes slightly at Draco before turning to Hermione. “I know that Dumbledore told you to take the Dark Mark to make it appear that you are accepting of me, and I do hope that is not the reason you have agreed.”

“No,” Hermione said, her voice hard. “He has lied to me on several occasions already. I know your past, most of it, I think. You are my father. I’m part of you. As I have said before I will take your Mark without hesitation because I want to, not because I’m some great spy. I think I understand your point of view now regarding Dumbledore and other things.”

“Wonderful.” His smile was wide, his eyes shining true joy. It was startling to Hermione.

“But…”

“But?” He asked tilting his head to the side.

“I don’t want to kill someone in order to do so.”

Voldemort leaned back his arms crossing his chest. He stroked his chin studying her. She didn’t dare to move or avert her eyes. “The reason you kill someone is to taint your soul, my little one. It helps prepare it to accept it.”

“What if I already accept it.” She paused letting out her breath slowly. “I can see that I have dark tendencies, I’m not as pure as you think I am.”

“Truly.” He mused. “I’ve heard several things about you that just might seem that way.”

“Your blood flows through me, father. I’m part of you as well. I don’t want to kill an innocent.”

“Who said anything about killing innocents?” He raised an elegant brow at her.

“Don’t you kidnap muggles to…you know.”

He let out a small snort. “I have, yes. I will not lie to you, Hermione. You know how I feel about muggles; they are a danger. But…” He held up his hand when she started to protest. “I have already changed my tactic when it comes to this war. You agree muggles are a threat, and while I do think we need to strike fear into them to let them know their place, I also agree that maybe your way might be better. To let them live their muggle lives never to know about us.”

“And the muggle-born witches?”

“We will discuss that later. I still don’t agree that they are not a threat.”

She pursed her lips. “Alright. I would be more than happy to speak to you further about that later. Just let me say one thing before we continue, what if you never found out that I was your daughter, that you thought I was a muggle-born witch, how does it make you feel thinking about me being treated with disdain, possibly killed?”

“But you’re not.” His voice came out like a whip.

“Only because special circumstance brought me to you that day. If I hadn’t, you would have never known. I would have remained Harry Potter’s special Mudblood Whore.” She said narrow her eyes.

He closed his eyes to keep his anger at bay. He knew she had a point but to think of her being harmed, or even killed angered him to no end. “I will think about what you said.” He said in a low voice looking at her. “But do not ever refer to yourself as such again.”

“I won’t. Thank you for listening, that is all I ask of you.” She smiled up at him squeezing his hand in gratitude.

“The Mark, I can understand your issue with having to kill someone. They will not be innocents though, Hermione. They will be a few from the outer circle that has displeased me a great deal. They will be killed either by your hand, or mine.”

“Then I would prefer it to be yours.” She said. “I will only kill when my life is in danger.”

“Are you sure you could kill someone even then.”

She gave him a hard look. “You have no idea what I am capable of when I am crossed, or you cross those I love.”

“I hope you’re right.” He said nodding. “Your life will be in danger because you are mine. That is why The Dark Mark is important to me. You simply have to touch it with your intent on me and it will summon me to your side no matter where you are, I will be able to find you.”

Hermione shivered. “That’s…scary.”

“I know where all my followers generally are. I can summon them each individually, or as one.” He shrugged. “The Dark Mark is of my own design. I imbue my own magic into them.”

“Then there shouldn’t be an issue with me accepting it, as I said I have darkness already within me, more so now. When I told you, I’m embracing you and The Dark Mark, I meant it. I will not sit idly by and let some bloody tosser play puppet master any longer.”

“Language, dear.” Narcissa chimed.

“Sorry.” She said. “He is a wanker though.” She mumbled.

Lucius laughed covering it with a cough when Narcissa gave him a pointed look.

“I will agree to your terms. It will hurt, Hermione. Some even pass out before it is completed.”

“I understand,” Hermione said. She knew it was no walk in the fucking park. It is the DARK Mark for Merlin’s sake. She was not getting some cute tattoo of a bunny hopping around in a field. “I’ll be ready.”

“The ceremony will be tomorrow. I will introduce you to my followers. When I do, I want you to come forward and tell them who you are yourself. You need to appear unafraid. Speak with determination, let them fear you knowing if they cross you, they will be punished.”

She gave him a nod. She could do that, right? Of course, she could.

“It will be Miss Parkinson’s punishment as well,” Voldemort said with a smirk. “They will need to see how you are willing to punish someone.”

“Is there a particular way you wish for me to punish her.”

“No.” He smiled. “I will leave this up to you, I am interested in what the muggle way is that you threatened her with.”

“Gladly.” Hermione grinned up at him. She was tired of the insipid girl, her only hesitation was hurting Draco, but since he all but gave her his blessing she would show Parkinson that she was not one to be trifled with.

“Perhaps you are correct in saying there is some darkness within you.” He chuckled.

She shrugged. “She was warned. She chose not to listen.”

“I met with a few of my followers this morning. There is disturbing news within the Ministry. As you know, Dumbledore wanted it known that I was back. Now, the people who backed up his claim were Obliviated.”

“Who would do such a thing?”

“He did,” Voldemort said. “He was a fool enough to do that in the Ministry with portraits looking on. He thinks he is untouchable, also one of my followers witnessed him doing so. He came upon Dumbledore with Fudge during the process.”

“Does Dumbledore know he was caught?”

“No,” He gave a little laugh. “He thinks he got away with it, I have the memory for safe keeping for now adding it to the others I have so far of his wrongdoings. This morning’s Prophet was enlightening. Dumbledore himself stated that Harry Potter was mistaken that I am not back. He even went as far as to meet with the new Minister of Magic telling him the same thing, that Potter is just a confused boy.”

“How could he?” Hermione cried out in outrage. “Why would he do that to Harry. He saw you there himself! Harry told me as such.”

“Yes, he did. It is my belief he wants to get Potter secluded so he can bend him easier to his will.” He shook his head. “It won’t matter, I’m keeping my promise to you and sending that little gift to the Ministry in two days’ time so you can get him out of his current situation.”

“Thank you.” Hermione’s body slumped slightly. “Why would he do that to Harry. He is already considered an outcast at school always being questioned.”

“Don’t you think it would be easier for him to come up with a reason for him for doing that, tell Potter it was for his own protection? I think he wants me to think I am free to do as I please hoping I’ll make a mistake, but I’m on to him.”

“He wants me to spy for him, how is that going to work if he claims you are not back.”

“He wants you to tell no one that you are a spy, correct? Everyone thinks you have been taken in by the Malfoy family because that was your real mother’s wish. Even if The Order questions him as to why, he will always come up with a good excuse, you know that.”

“Sadly, I do.”

“With that being said, it has also come to my attention that the new Minister Scrimgeour met with Dumbledore just before you left Hogwarts. I’m not sure what was said in that meeting, but I think he was trying to convince the new Minister that I was not back as well. What he didn’t count on was Scrimgeour is a former Auror. There is a plan to raid the Malfoy estate soon to check for Death Eaters and Dark Artifacts. I think he is just making sure I’m not really there.”

“What?” Hermione let out a small shriek. “That can’t do that, can they, not without cause?”

“They have done it before,” Lucius said gaining her attention. He looked over at Narcissa. “It has been what, two years since the last raid?”

“They do that to you often?”

“Yes, since the first war. They come every two to three years rummaging through our estate.”

“You have to leave,” Hermione said looking at her father. “You can’t be there when they come.”

“This is why I’m talking to you about this. I would like to move everyone here, to this estate.” He raised a brow at her. “If you have a secret-keeper, no one will be able to find it except those who you want to know. The Death Eaters will enter through a central floo and won’t be able to find this estate on their own.”

“Fuck.” Hermione breathed.

“Language, dear,” Narcissa said with a slight chuckle.

“Sorry.” She said worried her lip with her teeth. “You want to use this estate as Death Eater central?”

“Well, that is one way to look at it. I don’t want to be separated from you is the other reason. I don’t like the idea of you being alone here.”

“Severus will be here soon.” Hermione countered.

“Yes, Severus.” He frowned slightly. “Nagini tells me his scent was all over you when you returned from Hogwarts. Is there something you wish to tell me?”

She let out a choked laugh. “Not particularly.” She wheezed trying to take in a breath.

“I could always speak to Severus about it,” Voldemort said.

“You will not.” Hermione narrowed her eyes slightly. “What did you expect. You want us to bond. Did you honestly think that we would never touch each other, or even kiss for the rest of our lives?”

“Truthfully, yes.” He snapped at her.

“Salazar, father.” Hermione threw her hands up in the air. “That would never happen. I want children someday. You know how that works, right? I need to be-”

He held up his hand shaking his head. “Nope. Don’t want to hear it.” He shook his head harder. “Please just don’t say it.”

“Then don’t think about it.” She growled.

“Fine.” He huffed, “but I will be speaking to your intended about a few things.”

“You will not.” She said. “He is mine, don’t go…” waving her hand in the air. “Mucking it up for me. I agreed to be bonded to him, you should be happy that I actually do like him.”

He let out a low growl running his hand through his hair in frustration. “Fine.” He snapped. “If he hurts you…”

“He won’t, father. If he does, I know what to do. You taught me the spell remember.”

A grin spread across his face. “Yes, I did, and I expect you to use that particular one if he ever crosses a line with you.” He shook his head. “Back to the point. I want everyone to move here.”

Hermione sunk back into the couch. “Can we ward off particular parts of the estate so they cannot cross those areas. I need to know that I am safe to walk around without being surprised. If I have guests over, I want them to be safe, and not come across something they shouldn’t see.”

“Yes, dear,” Narcissa said. “We have our family wing warded off. I can show you how. The house-elves can assist you as well making it impossible for even your guests to go into certain areas and keep the others out.”

“Thank you, Aunt Cissa.” She smiled over at her. “What about the wolves?” She asked looking back at her father. “Are they moving as well?”

Her father’s face was blank for a moment before his mouth parted slightly swearing under his breath. “I had forgotten about them.” He looked at her for a moment. “How did you know about the wolves?”

“One of them approached me today.”

“Who? Who was it?” He hissed.

“Fenrir Greyback.”

His whole body stiffened. “Did he touch you?” He asked in a deadly voice.

“Only my hair.” She patted his hand. “He didn’t hurt me, father, Draco made it clear I was not to be touched.”

His body relaxed looking her over she was certainly looking for scratched or even a bite mark. She didn’t want her father ruining her plans for the wolf. No. She would contact Remus first to see if he wanted that distinct pleasure. It would be far easier for Remus to gain access to Greyback now. He was, after all, going to be on her property.

She wanted her father to know that she was aware of the man, to keep the said man in line while she formulated a plan to take him down. Greyback was known for biting and infecting as many people as he could without any concern for their wellbeing.

He would pay one way or another, she would see to it.

Everyone in the room stiffened when a large translucent stag appeared in the room standing in front of Hermione. She bolted from her seat standing in front of the stag reaching out her hand letting out a startled breath. She knew it was silly, it wasn’t real, she just wanted that connection to her best friend, her brother in so many ways.

‘Hermione- I hope this message finds you. I’m not sure what you are working on to get me out of this bloody mess, but it needs to be soon. Have you read The Daily Prophet today? I tried sending messages to Dumbledore, but they all come back unable to be delivered, I am unable to reach him. I don’t know what is going on and I don’t know who I can trust except for you. Dumbledore wouldn't let me see you before you left, he told me you didn’t want to see anyone, that you were busy packing and too upset. I think we need to talk, and soon. If you come for me, be warned, I am being watched. I love you, ‘Mione, please come as soon as you can.’

Hermione bowed her head when the stag disappeared. The temperature in the room dropped several degrees and the cups shattered. Her anger was palpable. They were surprised to see it manifest in such a way.

Voldemort stood slowly not to startle her. He placed his hand on her shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze. “It is alright, little one.”

She turned and looked at her father, her eyes wide. “You will not harm him.” She hissed. “He is my brother.”

Voldemort pulled her into his arms holding her tight. “Cousin, actually. We are related to the Potters.” He kissed the top of her head. “I will not harm him; I very much want him to stay alive. Dumbledore just made a deadly mistake, he just handed Potter to us on a silver platter, one we can pull to our side to take Dumbledore down.”

Hermione looked up at him. “You promise no harm will come to him.”

“I swear on my life and magic. No one will harm Harry James Potter.”

Chapter Text

Committed to your task
Jealousy behind your mask
Pieces are in place
Thirty for your last disgrace
Holding of your tongue
Dealing things that can be undone
Blood over your hands
Palm inside your master plan

The Betrayal Act III-Nickleback


“Tippy!” Hermione snapped.

Tippy appeared in front of her with a small pop bowing his head. “You called, Young Mistress.”

Hermione made a small sound in the back of her throat at the way he addressed her, she would deal with that later. “Yes, I need new wards in place. The eastern wing of the estate will need wards for our new guests that will be arriving soon. Have all the rooms prepared. Make sure all that who stay in the eastern wing stay on that side, no one is to venture to any other rooms of the estate except for those there. Make one of the rooms into a dining room for them to take their meals. Set up a floo connection in one of the rooms to to the Malfoy estate.” She paused , “be sure to ward the outside of the estate as well, they are only to access that part of the estate, venturing no further onto the grounds. Extend it out to the forest just past the orchard.”

She looked at her father for a moment who gave her a small nod.

“The family wing of the estate I need those rooms  prepared as well. Ward it from intruders. No one is to enter that side of the estate except for the few that are allowed. Everyone present right now may enter, Severus Snape, my intended and a few others. I will return shortly with a guest going directly into my bedroom, the master suite.”

“As you wish, Tippy will see that it is done.” He popped away.

Hermione grabbed her beaded bag tugging it open with force mumbling under her breath. Her father furrowed his brows following her to sit on the couch next to her. “Where are you going?”

“To get Harry.” She hissed rummaging through her bag. “I know you said two days, but I need him here with me until he can go back to Sirius. I will not have Dumbledore make him doubt himself and use him any longer. He is my best friend and I can’t stand it knowing he is upset and suffering when I can fix that for him.” She looked up at him letting a small huff of breath. “I want you to be my secret-keeper for the estate. You are supposedly dead, that works out that much better for us. I am activating the F i delius Charm.”

“You can’t go get Harry, you heard what he said, he is being watched. Dumbledore will know it was you. It’s not safe.”

Hermione let out a small snort, shaking her head pulling out a coin from her bag. “I know that I’m changing my appearance before I go.”

She held the coin in her hand pulling out her wand tapping it gently. Get ready, be there soon. The words appeared in a wisp of smoke before disappearing.

“What was that?” He father asked.

“It is a charmed coin I made this year; it is a way to communicate.” She shrugged palming her coin waiting for Harry’s reply.

“You made that?”

She gave him a small tug of her lips. “You would be surprised what I can do. I’m not one that anyone should cross.”

“I’m learning that.” He shook his head.

Warmth tickled the palm of her hand where she held the coin. Lifting it she tapped her wand waiting for Harry’s message to appear. Ready, need healing.

Standing abruptly, she cinched her bag closed placing it across her chest. “I will return shortly.”

Her father stood grabbing her arm. “You shouldn’t do this alone.”

She placed her hand on his, and the other against his cheek. “I have to.” She said in a soft voice. “I’m stronger than you think, I will be safe and return shortly.”

Pulling her against him, he held her tight for a moment. “If you get in trouble…” He tightened his hold on her. He wanted to protect her, to lock her away from everyone, forever. He knew he couldn’t, but the thought had occurred to him.

“I’ll be fine.” She mumbled against his robes. “I’ll be apparating directly into my room, you can wait for me there.”

Releasing her, he kissed her forehead. “We will await your return.”

“Thank you.” She breathed, she stepped back flicking her wand over herself. Her ebony locks shortened to platinum much like Narcissa’s except for bright red streaked throughout. She adjusted her body adding a few pounds, her face and body becoming plump, her eyes shifting to a muddy brown color. Her clothes morphed into muggle jeans, trainers, and a green silk shirt.

Draco grimaced looking her over. She caught his eye frowning slightly. “Am I recognizable?”

“Salazar, no.” He wrinkled his nose. “It was just shocking to see you…change like that.”

She shrugged her shoulder. “I just wanted to look different enough that none would even imagine it’s me.”

“You’ve succeeded.”

She rolled her eyes at Draco, blowing a kiss to her Aunt Cissa and left with a quiet pop.

“She is even more powerful than I imagined,” Lucius said thoughtfully. “not many can change their appearance so quickly like that, and that coin, Salazar that was ingenious.”

Draco cleared his throat clearly uncomfortable. “She is much different at school.” He said, “she is brilliant, yes, but she never exposes what she does know like what we just saw, which is terrifying.”

“She is my daughter.” Voldemort smirked sitting down flicking his hand cleaning up the shattered china. “of course, she is brilliant. I am only glad she is on our side now.”


 

Hermione landed outside the suburb of Privet Drive. She patted her hair feeling the shorter locks glide through her fingers. Shrinking down her bag, she pocketed it, moving her wand to hide beneath the long fabric of her sleeve.

She walked with purpose pass the small row of houses, her eyes shifting around keeping an eye out for anyone she knew. She started whistling a tune relaxing her gait as she approached number 4.

Her eyes caught movement across the street, where under a large tree stood someone in the shadows. It wasn’t anyone she recognized, nor could she get a clear look at their face. Taking a quick settling breath, she unlatched the small gate that led to the front door of Harry’s prison.

The neatly trimmed hedge along the stone walkway was at odds with what she knew to lay within. The place looked homey; the yard speckled with bright flowers looking in every way like a home where happiness lives. Her own home had the same façade, it made her stomach churn.

Knocking on the door politely, Hermione folded her hands in front of her trying to appear demure. Heavy footfalls issues from the other side of the door making her pulse quicken.

The door was yanked open by a large man with small beady eyes, they were trained intently on her. His large mustache twitched slightly. “May I help you?”

“Forgive my intrusion, sir. My name is Penelope Clearwater, I go to school with your son, and I was in the neighborhood, I thought I would pop in and have a chat, I do apologize for arriving unannounced.” She said softly smiling brightly at him.

“Dudley?” He looked her up and down before giving her a small nod. “Yes, please do come in. I’ll fetch him for you.” His heavy frame moved back letting her slip through the door.

He closed the door with a thud, flicking the lock. “Dudley.” He barked causing her to jump slightly. Hermione waved her hand casting a Muffliato wandlessly to keep from the neighbors hearing.

Hurried footsteps came down the stairs. Hermione’s eyes widened as she caught sight of Harry. Looking her over, his shoulders slumped.

“No one called you boy!” Mr. Dursley snapped. “Go back to your room.”

Hermione swallowed the lump in her throat as Harry turned slowly taking a step back up the stairs with a slight limp. He’s been hurt, beaten most likely. His right eye was blackened, clothes were dirty, what else was he hiding?

Stepping towards the step Hermione looked up the stairs. “Wait!” She called out, “Harry!”

He turned around almost losing his balance. “ ’Monie?”

“Yeah, it’s me. Ready to go?”

He nodded, turning and rushing up the stairs.

Mr. Dursley turned puce looking from Hermione to Harry and back at her. “You said you were here for Dudley,” he accused.

Hermione raised a brow at him, and crossed her arms over her chest. “I  said no such thing. What I said I was that I was here for your son and went to school with him. You just made the assumption I was speaking about…Who was it…? Ah yes, Dudley.” She raised a brow. “Nephew, son, I get them mixed up sometimes.” She gave a small shrug.

“GET OUT!” He bellowed grabbing at her arm.

She whipped out her wand pressing it against his cheek. “You will release me, right now,” she hissed.

He dropped her arm, his eyes on her wand, and took a step back. Dudley and Mrs. Dursley poked their heads out from what Hermione assumed was their sitting room wondering what the commotion was.

“Vernon!” Mrs. Dursley shrieked coming to her husband’s aide.

“No harm will come to any of you,” She smiled sweetly at them. “but I am taking Harry with me.”

“You’ll  do no such thing!” Mr. Dursley growled, “he is to stay here and wait for Dumb…Dum…”

“Dumbledore?” Hermione offered.

“Yes, him.”

“I’m  afraid that Harry will not be here to accept that arrangement.” She shuffled back casting a charm on all three. “In fact, you will not be able to speak about what you saw here, or even remember what really happened. You will think that Harry simply ran away, you woke up to find him missing, only leaving a note.”

“Yes.” Mrs. Dursley breathed, “he did run away.”

It was a charm of her own making. It wasn’t Oblivation, not really. It was a charm that when thinking about a memory it would become difficult to grasp it, it would confound you until your brain started thinking about something else entirely leaving a false memory. It left no signature of memories being altered, unlike Obliviate that left gaping holes in your memory bank.

Harry made a racket carrying his cage that usually housed Hedwig banging it against the wall as his muttered to himself. Hermione looked up at him then back to the Dursleys. “You will find the note that he left you in the sitting room. When Dumbledore shows up, you will give it to him. You won’t remember us being here.” She stated firmly, “now go enjoy your tele time. There is no need for you to just stand here.”

The three of them blinked looking around confused for a moment before shuffling back into the sitting room leaving Hermione with Harry standing behind her on the steps.

“What was that?” He asked quietly.

“I’ll explain later,” she grabbed his hand pulling him down to her, “did you pack everything? You’re never coming back here.”

He gave her a lopsided smile. “Everything I own is in my trunk, and Hedwig will find me,” he patted his jeans pocket.

“We are apparating from here, and you’re right, you were being watched.”

He scowled down at her for a moment. “I know.” He said bitterly. “I noticed it as soon as I arrived here. Let’s get out of here.”

Squeezing his hand in hers she apparated them away.


 

Harry wobbled slightly when he opened his eyes. He began to panic when he noticed they were not alone. Sitting on the couch he saw Draco, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, and him. The Dark Lord, the enemy of The Order. He looked like his old self, the one Harry met in The Chambers of Secrets.

He stumbled over to a chair and in his haste flipping himself over the back, the chair clattering to the ground.

“Harry!” Hermione shrieked. “Calm down, you’re safe here.”

He fumbled for his wand, his breathing erratic as his eyes searched the room for an exit. Hermione lifted her wand disarming Harry quickly before he could make a colossal mistake, she then pocketed his wand.

“Hermione,” he wheezed scooting back towards the wall. “Why? I trusted you.”

Hermione knelt in front of him grabbing him by his shoulders yanking him to her, so they were nose to nose. “You can trust me. You have my word you are safe. You’re in no danger here except from yourself. You’re clearly already injured, and you’re only making it worse.”

“Trust you!” he growled trying to shove her away. “Do you know who that is?” He pointed a shaking finger at Voldemort.

“My father,” Hermione said softly looking down gripping his shoulders tighter.

“My parent's murderer!” He snarled at her.

“That too.” She said quietly. “I know it’s a lot to ask Harry, but I need you to trust me and listen. Please. If…if you don’t like what you learn and hate me after, I’ll  understand.” She sniffed lowering her hands, putting them in her lap.

“Maybe Ron was right, that you can’t be trusted.” Harry growled shoving her away.

She recoiled as if she had been physically hit by his words. Something in her snapped. A divine rage washed over her like she’d never experienced before, it left her breathless for a moment. She embraced it, feeling the magic within her shift slightly uncoiling as if it was stretching.

She stood abruptly, the charms melting off her body, her clothes shifting back to what she had been wearing before. Harry looked up with wide eyes regretting his words. Before him, Hermione looked down at him, her black hair moving behind her shoulders, small sparks of electricity shifting them around and her eyes had an eerie glow. He was stunned, he had seen her upset before, but never like this, and it frightened him.

“You will listen to what I have to say, Harry James Potter!” she hissed angrily. “you have no fucking idea what I have been through this past month. I was taken from your side brought before the man that I would later find out is my father. I was tortured by his hand, and that of a mad-woman for hours, my mind  torn apart, while trying to find out your secrets, but I never fucking faltered because it was for YOU!”

He tried to speak but she silenced him with a glare.

“Now my life is no longer my own, it never really ever was. For years, for fucking years, Harry; I‘ve been by your side saving your ass repeatedly, never asking anything from you. When you needed me,  I was there. Today, I came to get you, knowing you were hurting, due to all the lies that have been printed because of the fucking tosser you worship. Albus fucking Dumbledore murdered my adopted parents making it look like Death Eaters. He murdered my real mother placing me in a  house where I was shunned, called a freak, beaten for being who I am. Hiding who I really was just because he wants to murder my father. It’s all a fucking game to him, and we are his puppets! For the Greater Good, my arse!”

She took a ragged breath, her head pounding, she felt the magic tingle against her skin, deep within her core. “You have no idea all that I’ve done for you, all because I love you. For the past three years, I’ve been using that time-turner per Dumbledore’s instructions, not only taking my classes at Hogwarts but extra classes with Snape and Pomphrey and managing to help you and Ron when you ask. On top of all that shit, I’ve had to take correspondence classes to appease my bloody adoptive father for the muggle world. I slept for three fucking hours a night just to repeat the damn day again. My summers were no better with what my father forced me to be. The perfect fucking daughter. So, if you think I can’t be trusted, and you want to go back to Ronald , your best mate, the one that left you several times already, go right the fuck ahead. But let me tell you this. If you leave without hearing what I have to say, and you feel you can’t trust me. Do NOT ever call for me again. Ever.”

A fat tear fell rolling down her cheek. Her whole body trembled as Harry looked at her. His heart pinched painfully, it had always hurt him to see her cry. He looked from her to Voldemort who was looking on with narrowed eyes but staying firmly put, no wand or threatening moves made.

He released a shaky breath standing up to pull her to him his eyes never straying from the occupants in the room, he jolted slightly feeling her magic tingle against his skin before it started to recede. “If I don’t like what I hear, I will leave.” He pulled her closer. “and you’ll  be coming with me.”

Harry moved toward the couch shoving it further away from the other three with him holding her close to his side pulling Hermione down on his lap when he sat down. She made a small sound of protest, but he held her firm against him.

“Narcissa,” Voldemort said his eyes on Hermione’s pale trembling form. “Please get some potions for Hermione, she is looking pale, I am afraid she may have a seizure soon.”

“Seizure?” Harry whispered looking down at Hermione who had a blank look on her face, her face extremely pale.

“Yes, seizure, Potter.” Voldemort hissed at him, “because of what I did to her while she was in my care, for protecting your secrets. When she gets overly upset, she has a relapse.”

Harry adjusted Hermione in his arms as her head lulled to the side. “I…I didn’t know.” he said in a panicked voice, “she never said anything.”

Voldemort stood up stepping closer to Harry who recoiled holding Hermione closer to him. “I’m going to take my daughter from you now, Potter. I’ll not hurt you unless you try to keep her from me.”

Harry swallowed thickly unwinding his arms from Hermione’s waist watching Voldemort come closer to him until he was leaning down taking Hermione gently in his arms. He gave Harry a curt nod backing up slowly sitting on the couch with Hermione tucked against him sitting on his lap.

He kissed her forehead speaking in soothing tones to her trying to rouse her. He knew he should have stopped her when she got upset and tore Potter a new one. Honestly, he did want to, but he so enjoyed watching her in all her glory. She was beautiful when provoked, powerful. He could feel the power coming from her brushing against his own magic, it felt familiar to him, so like his own. She was his, his daughter, a part of him. He felt pride sink into his bones watching her.

He hated that she mentioned what she had endured while under his care the first time. He still felt regret about those hours he spent watching Bella torturing her, he; himself, tearing through her mind even though her shields held, and he was redirected, she never did falter as she’d said. He had damaged her, something he couldn’t take back. All he could do was protect her now, even if it was from her friend, the one she considered a brother.

Now though, he was worried. He would not show weakness in front of the others in any circumstances, but he wanted to strangle the boy across from him for upsetting her. Harry didn’t deserve her loyalty as far as he was concerned, she should only be loyal to him, her father. An impossible task he knew, but he craved her acceptance and was doing his best to change his way of thinking, the way he fought the war all for her.

He wanted to watch her grow and flourish around him, to shower him with love as a daughter should and he would do the same in return. He promised himself he would be the best father he could to her no matter the example he had growing up in that dreadful orphanage. She made loving her so damn easy.

He pursed his lips watching her shudder slightly in his arms her eyes were glazed over clearly not focused on anything. Her lips were moving but no sound was coming out. Maybe, he should call Severus to tend to her? Severus was her intended, and he would want to know if Hermione was in distress.

But no, he couldn’t do that right now. Severus was settling things at Hogwarts before he could join them again. He would wait and see how she fairs and if she didn’t awaken soon then he would send for Severus. Narcissa knew what to do. Besides, Severus would be here tomorrow for Hermione’s induction as a Death Eater.

Narcissa bustled back into the room as Hermione let out a pained whimper, her body jerking slightly. Brushing her hair back from her face Narcissa uncorked several potions coaxing Hermione to drink. Her slender fingers rubbing Hermione’s throat gently, encouraging her to swallow the potions one at a time. Narcissa withdrew her hand watching her closely for a moment for the slightest change, that she was aware. Hermione’s skin felt cold and clammy to the touch, a warning sign that things were not going well for her.

“I think she will be alright; she just needs to rest.” She cupped Hermione’s cheek, leaning close. “Hermione, can you speak to me, love?” she asked in a soothing tone, “you’re alright now, dear. Just try to relax.”

Harry was not one to usually sit idly by when Hermione was in danger. But, his body was frozen in complete shock at what he was witnessing. If he had not seen it with his own eyes, he wouldn’t have believed it possible. Voldemort was tender with Hermione. It was clear he did love her already. He understood all too well how Hermione drew you close to her without even trying. She was accepting of others, a champion for the lost.

His eyes drifted to Draco who had been silent during the whole exchange. Draco’s face was pinched watching Hermione twitch occasionally. Was that concern? Harry’s stomach dropped, the guilt building in his gut watching the three other occupants in the room as they fussed over Hermione, concerned for her wellbeing and he was the cause of it.

He knew she had been injured while away, he was never told the extent of it, however. He should have known the way her voice was raspy whenever she spoke that something dreadful had happened. Screams, she said it was due to her screaming. She was still healing, healing from her ordeal while away, and from the fall she had two days ago.

She was always someone so fierce, a force to be reckoned with, in his eyes. Seeing her wilted in front of him didn’t settle well with him. How much had she hidden from him? He’d no idea about her home life, shock had shot through him when she told him she’d been shunned by her own parents. He’d thought she had a cheerful home, one at times he was ashamed to admit he felt bitter jealousy knowing she still had parents that spent time with her, loved her. Same with Ron.

But she didn’t.

He was the biggest arse alive.

Voldemort stood with his burden walking towards the large bed on the other side of the room. “Young Draco, would you be so kind as rest next to Hermione to ensure she does not need anything while I speak with Potter?”

Draco jumped from his seat walking briskly towards him. He assisted Voldemort by pulling back the covers for Hermione to be placed under. He slipped her shoes off before Voldemort placed her under the covers tucking them around her, adjusting her pillows slightly and kissing her forehead whispering something softly in her ear, before stepping back.

After she was tucked in tight, Draco kicked off his own shoes sitting on top of the covers right next to her. He narrowed his eyes at Potter for a moment before summoning his book from across the room.

He was furious with The-Twit-Who-Lived. He knew he’d treated Hermione with disdain over the years, but as he explained to her, he’d a part to play, no matter his true feelings towards her. He always assumed that Hermione had a close relationship with Potter, she was always snapping at anyone who dared ridicule him like a vicious guard dog.

His wand hand had itched when Potter shoved her. He’d wanted to hex him, specifically his bollocks for touching her in such a way. He found out more about her in those few moments of her eviscerating Potter than he had in five years of school. She’d hid her pain well, no one would’ve ever suspected that so much was placed on her slender shoulders, bearing the burdens of others.

She was amazing, and terrifying.

He leaned back against the plush pillows looking down at Hermione watching her even breaths, her eyelashes fanned out across high cheekbones, before he started to read keeping a silent vigil over her.


 

“Lucius, please go to the estate and retrieve those special memories I have stored. Have the house-elves send my belongings here as well.”

“As you wish, My Lord,” Lucius said giving Harry a cutting look before he left.

“Tippy,” Voldemort called.

A soft pop and the withered elf stood before him bowing slightly. “You called, My Lord?”

“Your mistress is resting for now.” He nodded towards the bed. “I would like for you to send up some soup, something light for her to eat when she wakes. Are all the wards in place?”

“Yes, My Lord.”

“Excellent. If you could retrieve the family pensive bringing it to me that will be all.”

Tippy looked over at Hermione for a moment then back at Voldemort. “The Young Mistress will not wake until morning, her magic has shifted inside her, I can feel it, but Tippy will do as you requested,” and he vanished.

“It’s the potions,” Narcissa said patting Voldemort on the arm. “I gave her some dreamless sleep with her other potion to help her hold still as she heals. It’s for the best.”

Running a hand through his hair he looked over at Hermione and back a Potter. “I have tested your shields Potter and they are sufficient. I am going to share everything with you that I feel is pertinent to the decision you will soon have to make.”

“Decision?” Harry asked quietly.

“If you will remain her friend or toss her to the side, but there is more to it than that.”

“I would nev-.”

Voldemort raised his hand. “You already did, boy. You pushed her away physically. If I had not promised her that I wouldn’t harm you on my life and magic, you would be dead right now. It doesn’t mean that I won’t punish you if you ever hurt her again. I can keep you alive for a long time, a very long-time vow be damned.”

Harry snapped his mouth shut.

“First, let me explain a few things before we go any further and we wait on Lucius to return. Do you know what a Love Potion does, or should I say to a child that is a product of one such potion?”

Harry cleared his throat. “It is believed that the child in question will not know how to love, to make those human connections.”

“Correct in one, Potter. I’m the product of such a potion. My mother was enamored with a muggle. ” He growled, “she dosed him repeatedly for years gaining his attention and eventually his marriage bed.

“She stopped dosing him when I was conceived thinking that he must’ve felt love for her after spending so much time with her, but she was incorrect. He cast her aside leaving her alone. She died giving birth to me at the orphanage where I grew up only requesting that I be named after him.”

Harry swallowed giving him a short nod that he understood.

“You must know that any maladies I had are now gone thanks to Hermione. It was in her blood that I was cured. I now feel everything . It’s true that I killed your parents and tried to kill you as well. I can’t give them back to you, but I can make things better for the both of us. We were both used by Dumbledore setting this whole thing in motion and he will pay.”

“I don’t understand, what’s  going on?” Harry asked slowly. “Hermione tried to tell me, but we never found the time to discuss it before she left. What does Dumbledore have to do with you killing my parents?”

Voldemort stood walking over to the liquor cabinet pouring two tumblers of Fire Whiskey handing one to Harry before he sat down once again. “Have you ever heard of a Horcrux?”

“No.”

Voldemort raised his glass giving him a meaningful look. ”You may need that, Potter. Before, I share the details of what they are, you need to know you are one.”

Harry ended up have two more tumblers of Fire Whiskey while listening to Voldemort telling him what exactly Horcruxes were. It made his stomach roll thinking that a piece of the man he hated was part of him. Thankfully, since learning Occlumency the pain in his scar and flashing emotions or thoughts from Voldemort were few.

Voldemort leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees. “Now that you know what they are, and how you became to be one, let me tell you why I tried to kill you.” He pinned him with a look. “Prophecies. They are such fickle things, don’t you think?”

Harry nodded over his tumbler taking a long sip enjoying the burning sensation. “Mr. Malfoy mentioned something about that,” Harry said eyeing Lucius who had returned.

“Yes, I tasked him with obtaining the prophecy that is about you, and me.” He smiled a little, “it was destroyed during the fight, so it matters not. Do you know what the prophecy said?”

“I didn’t have time to really listen,” Harry said.

“In essence, it stated that the one that could vanquish me will be born as the seventh month dies, and I would mark them as my equal…either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives.”

Harry paled slightly.

“I heard about this prophecy during the first war from Severus. What you need to understand it was at the behest of Dumbledore that Severus tell me .”

“Why?”

“He wants me destroyed, Potter. He had to have you marked as my equal to do so.” He gave a casual shrug, “that is not the only thing he did to ensure that I got to you. He knew, he always knew that Wormtail was one of mine, and yet he was allowed to be in The Order. He sent Black and Lupin on missions when word got out that I knew of the prophecy. Of course, Wormtail being best friends with your parents, it was easy for him to become their secret-keeper for the Fidelius Charm to be activated. It was either you or the Longbottoms. I chose you because you were easily accessible.”

Harry took a ragged breath slamming his tumbler down on the table. Narcissa stood slowly crossing the small space to sit next to Harry and rubbed his back slowly. “Slow, deep breaths, Mr. Potter.” She said quietly.

Harry blinked up at her, surprised at her tender actions. Malfoy was a tosser, so he assumed that both of his parents were as well. Everything he thought he knew was crashing down around him. She was concerned for him, mothering him. Who was this woman? Didn’t she understand that he was the enemy?

She gave him a gentle smile. “If you would please allow me to treat your injuries while The Dark Lord continues to relay the story, it would put my mind at ease.” She said quietly.

He shifted away from her slightly trying not to hurt her feelings. “No thanks, I’m alright.”

“I’m sure Hermione would feel much better knowing you are taking care of yourself; she left here in a whirlwind to get to you, knowing you’d been injured. I’m positive when she wakes, she would be happy to see you unharmed and healing.”

He studied her for a moment before his frame relaxed. “Alright.” They had made no move to harm him so far.

“While Narcissa tends to your injuries,” Voldemort chuckled,  shaking his head, “let me continue with the information you’ll  need to decide where you’ll stand in this conflict.”

Harry went to speak but Voldemort raised his hand shaking his head. “If you please, I would prefer to wait to answer any questions, after viewing the pensieve. then we’ll discuss everything. There is much to get through. I will require an answer from you in the end. Will you stand beside my daughter in her quest to end Dumbledore for all the lives he has ruined, or will you leave her permanently knowing that you may have to kill her  in the end.”

Harry slumped slightly giving a short nod in acceptance. He would listen and find a way to either take Hermione away from Voldemort or join her. Killing her, he couldn’t even stomach the thought of it.

“Severus, as you know, told me of the prophecy. Just so you know I am aware and have always been aware he is a spy for The Order.”

Harry took a sharp intake of breath, his eyes widening. Shock coursed through him; he could taste the bitter metallic taste in his mouth.

“Yes, I knew. He still is. His duplicity has served me well over the years. I trust him. I trust him so much I asked him to bond with Hermione to keep her safe when back at Hogwarts.”

Harry jumped up. “You can’t be serious!” He yelled.

Voldemort stood, looking over his shoulder at Hermione who remained unaware of what was going on and back to Harry. “Will you keep your voice down?” he hissed, “She is sleeping.”

Harry sat abruptly, his posture stiff as Narcissa turned his head to cast a healing spell on his bruised face. Harry’s eyes turned back towards Voldemort. “She can’t bond with him.” He hissed. “He is…he’s  a git.”

“You may think that Severus is a git , but that’s because he has played his part well. He knows that you are being raised by Dumbledore only to be led to your death. It has been difficult for him coming to terms with that. You may not know this, Potter, but Severus was your mother’s best friend from childhood, he was in love with her and begged me not to harm her, any of you.

“He went to Dumbledore asking to make sure you were protected knowing that Wormtail was working for the Death Eaters, but it was too late, the deed was done. All Dumbledore said was that they trusted the wrong people.”

Harry wiped the tears from his eyes roughly. He didn’t want to believe a word this man was saying to him. What made him pause was Hermione’s words from earlier…’ we are all his puppets’ . If Dumbledore knew he had to die for Voldemort to be destroyed then maybe, just maybe she was right.

She was always right. Damn it, he didn’t want to believe any of this.

“Are you ready to view some memories to confirm what I am telling you is the truth. They are memories I have been gathering for several months now before I even knew about Hermione and some from after.”

“Yes,” Harry said in a hard voice. “I want to know who I can trust.”

Voldemort poured one of the memories in the pensive watching it swirl. He looked up at Harry. “After you,” he said gesturing to the pensive.

It took over an hour for Harry to view all the memories. They had to stop at one point for Harry to bolt to the bathroom to throw up. He had seen it all. Everything Voldemort had gathered against Dumbledore.

So many memories from several different people showing Dumbledore, his deceptive attitude, his knowledge that he knew that Harry had to die. Him Oblivating several people at the Ministry. Hermione’s adopted parents memories from the day she was brought to them, her meeting with them the final time, and the final nail in the coffin, her meeting with Dumbledore where he asked her to spy for The Order, but not telling anyone and him killing her parents blaming it on Death Eaters.

He saw the way she accepted her father’s request to take his Mark, encouraged even from Dumbledore knowing it would mark her for Azkaban or death by doing so. She did it for him, to have Peter delivered to the Ministry so he could have his own life back, to live with Sirius, not being a toy at the hands of the Dursleys or a tool for  Dumbledore.

Everything she has ever done has been for him. She loved him. He didn’t deserve her as a friend, a best friend. He was selfish knowing he was the Chosen One not taking into consideration that Hermione would be molded into Dumbledore’s chosen scapegoat.

He vowed he would stay with Hermione, following her lead. She had never strayed from his side doing everything to keep him safe. She didn’t even know he had to die. He didn’t want her to know, he knew she would march up to Dumbledore and kill him. Voldemort was right, they needed a plan to take Dumbledore out, and he, Harry was now willing to join forces with the enemy to do so.

“Fuck.”

Chapter Text

Severus tilted his head from side to side and cracked his neck, rubbing the back of it. His other continued to stir the bubbling potion he was working on. Supplying the infirmary before he left for the summer was not something he wished to do.

He wanted to be with his intended. As it was, their length of courting had been cut short per Dumbletwits request. He had been looking forward to Hermione seeing the other side of him, not just the dour potions professor that had a perpetual scowl on his face because of all the dunderheads he had to deal with, not to mention his strings being yanked by a puppet master.

How he looked forward to cutting those strings permanently.

Time. He needed time to accomplish what needed to be done to do so. He already resigned himself that he would be helping Voldemort win this war now that he was assured that Hermione would be safe. She was not only safe from Voldemort’s wrath, but she was also his daughter and Voldemort was extremely possessive of her, just like he was. She would make it through this intact. They would make sure of it.

Thinking of Voldemort, he let out a small chuckle. The man he once feared had certainly changed since the potion he created for him to cure him of his maladies. The missing ingredient was Hermione’s own blood. He wondered if that was the reason Dumbledore had hidden Hermione. He had to know that Voldemort could have been cured of his lack of true feelings with Hermione being part of Voldemort.

His jaw clenched, images he had seen in the pensive that Voldemort had shared with him about Hermione’s upbringing made him want to rip Dumbledore to shreds. She was abused, terribly so. The correlation between his upbringing and his was astounding. She wasn’t poor by any stretch of the imagination unlike him, but the wrath of her father certainly was. He was sure she had witnessed her mother being abused as well.

Perhaps that was why they were so drawn to each other. Both broken, kindred souls that just wanted to belong in this world. He would never harm Hermione in any way, either physically or emotionally. She was his to protect and protect he would. He would gladly destroy anyone who dared harm her.

She didn’t need his protection he knew; she was self-reliant, resilient. She was an impressive force with not only the knowledge she wielded but her magic. He was amazed at her abilities with magic, not that he never dared to praise her before, in fact, he would go out of his way to make a cutting remark towards her. It was his job to be hated by everyone. That was the part he was cast to play by Dumbledore. The greasy git, the bat of the dungeon. The evil professor.

He was none of those things.

At least Hermione saw glimpses of his real self. The one who could love and be loved in return. One who wanted to share his life with someone. To have a family. It was something he never dreamed he would accomplish ever. He knew his life was not his own, he never dared to dream to have someone to love and be loved in return, a family.

Sucking on his bottom lip he thought about having a true family. He was the last in his line of Prince. He had no heir; he thought the line would die with him. Now, perhaps he could extend that line. It would be some time down the road, but he was not opposed to having children of his own. He enjoyed being Draco’s Godfather watching Draco grow, holding him as a babe. He let out a small snort thinking of the small, delightful child he once held. Now he was a not so delightful, at least at school.

He knew at home Draco was a completely different person. When he was sheltered within his own home, he could be who he was, no expectation on him to be the perfect heir. He could just be Draco, son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, the people Severus considered his family. Lucius a brother, and Narcissa a sister.

He would have to sell Spinner’s End soon, there was no reason to keep it. He could and would build Hermione any house she wanted. He heard Lucius mention that Hermione had a Manor of her own. He had not had the chance to ask her if that is where she wanted to live. If she didn’t want to live at her estate, he could easily rectify that. He would ensure they had a resplendent home. She wouldn’t have to lift a finger, nor galleon. He had more than enough funds to do so.

“Severus, you in here? Is it safe to come in?”

“Yes, Albus. I’m about done for the evening.” Severus said with a bit impatience. Albus had been hovering since Hermione left continuing badgering him about the bonding ceremony. It was already late in the evening, he had expected to be left alone, he had hoped to be left alone.

“Ah, I am glad I caught you before you left tomorrow.” Albus entered standing by the door folding his arms inside his robes. “You will be joining Hermione soon, is that correct.”

Repressing the urge to roll his eyes he simply nodded. Waving his wand, he lifted the heated cauldron from its burner extinguishing the small flame underneath, placing it on the large wooden bench to let it cool. “Yes, that’s my plan. Is there something you needed before I left in tomorrow?”

“No,” Albus said absently looking around the room for a moment. He seemed to come back to himself giving him leveled look. “It’s my understanding that you will be bonding with her next weekend during the Summer Solstice?”

His jaw ticked. “Yes.”

“Splendid.” His eyes twinkled over at his half-moon spectacles. “Splendid. You will remember what I mentioned about the bonding.”

“How could I forget.” He said dryly folding his arms across his chest. “I know the particular one you wish for me to use, and it will be done. You know a ministry official has to be there, so you can take their word for it.”

Albus waved his hand dismissively at him. “Now, Severus, that is not what I meant. I just want to make sure you know the importance of bonding to her correctly. We need to make sure she stays in our control, Tom is very charismatic, we don’t want her succumbing to the darkness now, do we.”

He stiffened narrowing his eyes slightly. “Rest assured, Albus, I know exactly what the Dark Lord is like. As her husband, I will make sure she is brought to the correct side of this war.”

He smiled over at him; his shoulders relaxed a fraction. “Knowing how Tom thinks it will be easy for you to guide her to help her get closer to him.” Albus nodded. “Your assignment to bond with her will help you accomplish this. Make sure she understands the importance of this, even if she is required to take The Dark Mark to accomplish it. I am sure you can manage to get close to her seeing how she will be your wife.”

He bristled. A fucking assignment. Are you serious? She is not a fucking assignment; she is going to be his wife for Salazar’s sake. The bond will be permanent. He cleared his throat trying to keep his voice even. “Rest assured, Albus, she will have no problems getting close to him. He’s already possessive of her.”

“Is he?” Albus’s smile was wide seemingly pleased with this information.

His stomach knotted tightly knowing he shared too much.

“I was certain he would be; he has always been possessive with things he believes are his. He will insist she takes The Dark Mark to keep her closer knowing him.” He said stroking his beard, a thoughtful look on his face. He was quiet for a moment Severus watching his expressions change frequently. He didn’t like it.

“When she takes The Mark, be sure she makes it through. I am sure she will need healing after.”

“Are you going to glamour it when she returns?” He hissed lowering his hands to his side, balling his fists.

He let out a small chuckle. “You know as well as I do you can’t glamour particular mark.”

“Then why did you tell her you could?”

“Oh, yes I did, didn’t I?” He waved his hand in his direction stepping closer to the exit. “I was trying to ease her burden. Once Tom is destroyed, it will fade. I knew she would be bonded to you, sharing your quarters, so there was no fear of anyone seeing it when she returns. She doesn’t need to know that particular right now. I’m sure she will understand once I explain it to her.”

He left.

After several long minutes, Severus flicked his wrist slamming the lab's door shut. He let out a loud scream picking up a case of empty vials throwing into the stone wall. Seeing the destruction didn’t do anything for his ire one bit. He needed to finish his task here so he could go to see her.

He needed her. To see her knowing she was safe, away from Albus at least for now. Taking several deep breaths, he set to work, he would finish everything tonight. 


 

Stepping into the sitting room Severus paused his step noticing a large cream envelope laying in front of his fireplace. He picked it up noticing the elegant script of Lucius. Flipping it over he dragged his thumb under the fold until he broke the green wax seal of The House of Malfoy unfolding it.

My dear, old friend,

 I know you are planning to return to us tomorrow after you went to Spinner’s End. I thought you may want to come here and check on Hermione before you went. There was a small incident tonight when Mr. Potter arrived.

Details will be explained in full later. Suffice it to say that your intended, my niece, had a few words with Mr. Potter regarding his behavior. I must admit that it was glorious to see her fangs come out, a true Slytherin. You, my friend, have a very stunning and powerful witch on your hands. I will have to show you the memory of it when you return.

Narcissa wanted to ask if you will bring some extra potions. In her distress, Hermione had a minor relapse having a small seizure. Do not worry, she is resting now, the house-elves have assured us that she will be fine. We have her being watched over for the evening.

The floo network has been established at her new estate, your signature has been keyed in. You may use the floo at Hogwarts if you wish, just say ‘Rosier Estate, Hermione’s bedroom.’ I know she will be pleased to see you.

Until then,

Lucius

Severus closed his eyes pinching the bridge of his nose. He took a calming breath to stave off his anger. Bloody Potter. What was he doing there with Hermione? If he did anything untoward towards Hermione, he would take immense pleasure in tearing him apart. He had already lost one woman he cared about to a Potter; he would be damned if he would another. Hermione meant far more to him than Lily ever did. At least Hermione reciprocated his feelings.

He knew that her feelings for him were not as deep, but his hope in time she would be able to love him as he did her.

He hated that the thought of Hermione going to the arms of another kept niggling at the back of his mind, especially the thought of her and Potter. She was not like the other students here at Hogwarts. He grimaced slightly thinking of her as a student, for that was what she was, his student.

But.

She was going to be Seventeen in September, the magical age of almost twenty. No, what he felt for her was not inappropriate. It was a relief to him when he learned that her age was not actually sixteen. Her body and mind certainly didn’t appear to be that. Now he knew why.

Another thing Albus did. He didn’t know if he should kiss Albus’s feet and thank him for not making him feel like a lecher or strangling him for putting stress on Hermione’s body like that. It was a well-known fact that messing with time-turners was a fickle thing. One wrong move and you could destroy yourself. He was thankful that she was at least intelligent enough he didn’t have to worry about that.

Tucking the note in his pocket he summoned his belongings to his bags making his way to his personal lab. He grabbed several he knew that would assist her in recovering. Pausing for a moment he grabbed a few vials of prohibere gravudutatis.

His heart clenched slightly fingering the vials from the shelf. He recalled the day he was going to teach Hermione how to brew that potion. It was a birth control potion that was frequently requested by Poppy. The conversation he had with her about it stunned him into silence.

She had blushed brightly looking up at him with whiskey-colored eyes relaying to him that she was already aware of that potion for she was already brewing her own. Anger bubbled up within him at the mere thought of her having sexual congress with anyone even though he knew it was irrational.

She must have seen something in her face because she quickly explained that the reason for doing so was because they were technically at war. She knew there was a very real possibility due to her status as a muggle-born she would be a target for devious things if captured. She had heard stories from the mutt about the first war. She was far more perceptive than he gave her credit for. Sadly, he had to agree with her reasoning.

Per his request, he asked her to bring in her own personal brew to test the potency and efficacy. Being the insufferable-know-it-all he was not surprised that her potion was nearly as perfect as his own. She would make a brilliant Potions Mistress someday if she so desired, she had an affinity for it.

Tucking the vials in his pocket he cast a quick tempest shocked at the time. It was 3:24 in the morning. He had worked far longer than he intended. Adrenaline rushed his system as he summoned his belongings shrinking them down to fit in his other pocket walking towards the floo. The thought of seeing Hermione in near moments made his stomach tighten in anticipation.


Hermione blinked her eyes open in the dim room hearing a small noise. She tugged at the blankets to move; they didn’t budge. She thought for a moment that someone had used a sticking charm until she saw dark hair against the crisp while pillow next to her.

Her heart leaped in her throat, her heartbeat accelerating thinking it was Severus, but the body was too short. A pair of glasses gleamed on the table beside the bed. Her sleep-addled mind tried to process where she was and who was in her bed.

Then she remembered. Harry.

Wiggling her body out from under the covers she leaned over the body seeing the relaxed face of her best friend deep asleep. “Harry.” She whispered shaking his shoulder lightly. “Harry, wake up.” She said a little louder.

A low moan came from his throat blinking his eyes open slowly. She leaned back bumping into something. She looked over her shoulder seeing a sleeping Draco on her other side. What the hell? Why were they in her bed?

Harry shook his head slowly reaching out for his glasses slipping them rolling over onto his back, his sleep-laden eyes blinking slowly.

“Harry?” Hermione whispered once again. “Why are you in my bed?”

He bolted upright his eyes wide open looking over at her. “Merlin, Hermione, don’t scare me like that again.” He croaked tugging her against his chest.

“What are you talking about?” She mumbled against his shirt.

He placed his hands on her shoulder, holding her out at arm's length. “You- forgive me Hermione- you had a seizure after you, um, got upset.”

Images flickered in her mind as she remembered the previous night. She narrowed her eyes slightly folding her arms over her chest. She was pleased to note she was still dressed in her clothes from the previous day, and it would seem Harry and Draco were too. At least there was that.

She let out a low snort. “Then stop being such an arse.”

His arms fell to his lap giving her a small grin. “I guess I deserve that. I’m sorry for what I said. I…I do trust you. I trust you more than anyone. I should have known you would never put me in danger.”

“Yes, you should’ve.”

“Forgive me?” He asked, lowering his head slightly looking at her with a pitiful face.

Letting out a small scoff she shook her head. “You know I do.”

“Thanks.” He breathed. “Your father explained everything to me, and I’m sorry I didn’t realize everything you were going through,” he took a slow breath leveling her with a look. “but Hermione, why didn’t you ever tell me things were so bad for you at your home, or anything else?”

She lowered her hands giving a small shrug. “I don’t know, Harry. Honestly, everything has been happening so fast, I already knew you had a lot to deal with and I didn’t want to burden you with anything.” She looked towards the curtained window. “In the morning, well, later today we can discuss what you spoke about with my father?”

He gave a short nod. “Okay, but you can always talk to me, ya know.” Harry groused. “I feel like complete shite knowing that I come to you for everything not even knowing what you were dealing with.”

“Don’t worry about it, Harry. I’m glad that my father spoke to you. Did he hurt you?”

Harry shivered. “No, but I was warned severely never to upset you again.”

She let out a small giggle covering her mouth not to wake Draco. “Sorry.” She mumbled trying to contain her laughter. She wished she had been there to witness it; her father was downright scary when he was pissed.

Harry snorted before his face turned serious. “Snape, really, Hermione?”

She stiffened lowering her hand. “It’s Professor Snape, and what about him?”

“You’re going to,” he waved his hand. “he said you are going to bond with him. How could you even think to do that?” He grimaced. “He’s a greasy git.”

“Do not speak about Severus that way.” She growled. “I…” she was shocked by what she was about to say. Plowing through she decided to say it anyway. Perhaps Harry would understand. “I think I am falling for him, that I love him. You don’t know him as I do.” She whispered the last part softly.

“You love him?” Harry’s voice pitched high, shock clearly on his face. “You can’t be serious, he is too old, to mean, he’s everything you’re not.”

She cuffed him on the back of the head.

He winced. “What the hell was that for?”

“I will not allow you to bad mouth him. I am serious about him. He makes me feel…safe. Wanted. I have never felt that way with anyone, so connected on every level. I have been drawn to him for years but knew there was nothing I could do about it, he would never want someone like me, but by some miracle he does. So please, I’m begging you, just try to be happy for me, and treat him with respect. It would please me a great deal.”

“Fine,” he rolled his eyes clearly not pleased with this conversation but knowing it was impossible to argue the point with Hermione. “but if he hurts you, I swear to Godrick I will hex him.”

She gave him a brilliant smile wrapping her arms around him. “Thank you.” She whispered against his ear.

Pulling back, she lowered her hands to her lap picking at the blanket not meeting his eyes. “That still doesn’t explain why you are in my bed. Didn’t Tinny show you to your own, and why is Draco here?”

Rubbing the back of his neck he gave her an apologetic look when she looked up. “Yeah, about that. When you had your seizure, Draco watched over you while I had that delightful conversation with your father.”  

She raised a slender brow. “And?”

“Well, when we were finished, Mrs. Malfoy tried to show me to my room, but I told her I would prefer to stay close to you to make sure you were really alright.”

“That doesn’t explain why Draco is here.”

“He wouldn’t leave me alone with you. He told his mother if I stayed here, he stays to make sure I didn’t upset you again.”

Hermione looked back at Draco smiling gently at him. It was a surprising chivalrous move on his part.

She jumped slightly when he spoke. His face still smooth, his eyes closed. “That’s because you’re a tosser, Potter. I told you she is my cousin, she belongs to me, more than you.”

Harry looked around Hermione leaning closer to Draco. “Actually, Malfoy, she is my cousin as well, so she belongs to me just as much.” He hissed.

“A believe that Hermione has accepted my proposal to court her, and we are to be wed in a week, so if anything, she belongs with me. She is not some piece of property you can just claim and argue over.” A rich baritone voice drawled from the shadows.

“Severus?” Hermione whispered, her heart beating double time.

Stepping to the end of the bed, Severus Snape stood eyeing Harry and Draco with a deadly look.

Hermione struggled with the blankets shoving them back slipping out from under them with difficulty, Harry and Draco didn’t move a muscle.

She stumbled on her hands and knees crawling to the end of the bed standing on unsteady feet before launching herself at him.

Catching her in his arms, Severus grunted wrapping his arms around her gripping her arse holding her tight against him. She peppered his face with kisses wrapping her arms around his neck. “I can’t believe you’re here.” She let out a little laugh nuzzling his neck. “I missed you so much.”

He gave Harry and Draco a smug look squeezing her backside. Planting soft kisses on her neck he gave her a light nip before pinning the other two occupants in the room with a dark look. “If you boys will excuse us, I would like to get reacquainted with my intended.”