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You could’ve had a bad WITCH.

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The storm outside was a downpour. The windows shook with each boom of thunder. Yet there in that room the air seemed to hum with electricity.

“Does she know my Lord, does she know who she is.” The man stepped closer to the center of the room. His long blonde hair nearly white against his black cloak.

“She does.” The figure seated hissed out. “Nagini has come to her, she has disclosed the truth.”

“Why don’t we bring her here then my Lord, to you, to us?” Another man asked stepping forward. More portly than the others.

“Because of the prophesy Nott, the snake must grow in the den, as it has been foretold. We have hidden her away in the muggle world for 11 years, we’ve kept her from those who would have used her for her power, and from that old kook who would have made her disappear. She has a role to play, and cannot do it from the inside yet.” The figure stood. His milk white skin shining in the fire light.

He paced in front of the fire his black cloak whisking about his ankles like smoke.

“Those of us who have children in school, do you wish them to seek her out my Lord? My own son will be starting school this fall as well.” The white haired man asked.

“No Lucius, she will draw out those dear to our cause automatically, the younger ones may not see it right away, but the elders will. She will be brimming with raw power, but she cannot be coddled or favored. She understands her role.” He answered.

Lightning flashed outside and the room was illuminated. The rows of dark figures in robes have one last nod before disappearing in a cloud of dark smoke.

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She laid there in the grass in the back of her property. Owning land just because was a rarity but she was lucky enough to be adopted into an upper class family. Adopted. That still seemed foreign to her. She hadn’t known until last year when she met a snake in the grass.

She had always been different. Able to do things science and logic couldn’t explain. At first she thought it was her imagination that the garden snakes would scatter when she asked them to, but when the large snake approached her to say hello she realized she had a unique gift.

Every day since she would escape out to the grounds and speak with her new friend Nagini. The snake told her all about who she was and where she came from, and what it meant that she was a witch, and had powers. She tried to act surprised when an older witch came by on her 11th birthday to inform her parents of her abilities. Her ‘parents’ had lied to her for 11 years, they knew she was adopted but never told her. Nagini suggested she keep that knowledge to herself until she needed it. And she would.

Laying her head back on to the snake she sighed.

“What’s wrong little love?” The snake hissed as it snuggled closer into her neck.

“I leave tomorrow for Hogwarts. What if I don’t get sorted into Gryffindor like I’m supposed to? My father will be so disappointed in me.” She whined.

The snake rubbed her face against the girls curls. “Don’t you worry little love, you will be fine. Your father knows you will make us all proud. And I will be there with you too, remember I’ll be in the forest anytime you need me I can come to you. Remember to just grasp the necklace your father sent you, and I’ll be there.”

“Thank you Nagini. I’m so glad I have you.” She curled into the snake.

“And I you, Hermione.”

Chapter Text

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The amount of people on the platform was nerve wrecking. Parents yelling at kids, kids yelling at everything, the steam engine; it was deafening. Hermione had said goodbye to her ‘parents’ at the street and walked through to the platform by herself. She didn’t want them exposed to any more of the wizard of world than they needed to be.

She stood next to the train with her trunk and eyed it wearily. The trunk was too heavy and the compartment was lifted so not only would she have to drag it, she would have to lift it as well. There was too many people around to do magic, Nagini reminded her she shouldn’t show it off before she got to school. She was going to leave to find a worker when two older boys stepped up and threw their trunks into the compartment.

One was medium build with shaggy dark hair, while the other looked like a modern day viking. Large frame with flowing blonde hair. She saw an opportunity.

“Excuse me!” She called out to them trying to make her voice cut through the noise. Thankfully they heard and turned to her. Both having to pivot their neck down to look at her.

“Do you think you could help me please, I cannot lift my trunk into the compartment and I haven’t seen any workers to help me.” She asked either of the two.

“první rok” The dark haired man rolled his eyes as he started to turn back around.
First years.... like that was her problem.

“mluvil jsi česky?” She asked him, hands on hips, letting him know that speaking Czech wouldn’t go unnoticed by her.

This made the man pause, he turned and raised an eyebrow at her.

“Do I speak Czech, of course I do... why do you? Who are you?” The boy asked rudely.

“What do you mean why do I. Do you ask everyone you meet why they speak English. What an odd question.” She huffed. “And I’m obviously someone who needs help lifting their bloody trunk.”

The blonde laughed heartily. His booming laugh cut through the noise of the platform and caught her off guard. She looked at him to see his blue eyes sparkling with mischief.

“Well Excuse us princess, please allow me.” He gave a faux bow and lifted her trunk effortlessly.

“Thank you.” She smiled at him.

“No, no, thank you princess. It’s not everyday someone puts old Toni in his place.” He laughed and swatted the dark haired boy on the back who was still glaring at her.

“Well regardless, thank you. You gentlemen have a lovely day.” She said her nose in the air as she strolled away to board to train. Never looking back despite the repeat boom of laughter that erupted in her wake.

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They stood silently in the great hall waiting to be sorted. She had met a few people on the train. None that stuck out to her enough to make a lasting impression. She did meet Harry Potter, and was able to show some of her abilities by fixing his broken glasses. Unfortunately he was sitting next to a Weasley boy who was most impolite and even a bit dirty, she tried to not stay long.

The hat took its place on the bench after it sang a song and the professor stepped up with a list of names. Alphabetically they read the names out to be sorted. She tried deep breaths until she finally heard her name called.

“Hermione Granger!”

Slowly she took to the dais and had a seat upon the stool. The older professor carefully sat the hat on her head as it started deliberating.

“Ah we’ve been waiting for an heir to return to Hogwarts. It’s been years. It’s easy to decide what to do with you, after all it’s your birth right...”

“SLYTH-“ the hat said aloud

‘Wait wait wait’ she thought hard. ‘Do not put me in slytherin. I HAVE to be put in gryffindor, you must put me there.’

“Hmm if you say so.” The hat was still speaking out loud and the students and staff were each confused with the stall.

“Then GRYFFINDOR!” The hat yelled and the Gryffindor table erupted in applause. She looked up to see quite a few confused faces around the hall. Never once has the hat changed his mind mid announcement.

At the end of the sorting. She found herself sitting next to Harry Potter, she took a deep breath and smiled. She did it.

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Chapter Text

Classes had been much easier than she expected. She had already read through the course books twice before school started, but it was obvious no one else had done the same. She was disgusted with how little the rest of her class seemed to know.

So naturally it didn’t take long for her to gain a reputation for being a know it all, resident swot. Whatever else they wanted to throw her way. She didn’t care. She spent most evening in the library. It wasn’t imperative for her to make friends. Although Potter was never out right rude to her, he more just went with the crowd, but was kind when he was alone. Then there was the Longbottom boy, he was kind to her as well, so she offered him help whenever she could because he struggled more than most.

She enjoyed potions class, yet probably would have like it better had she not be in Gryffindor. It seemed Snape had it out for the lions and even when she got all the answers correct he would sneer at her. She had seen him giving her strange looks after she brewed each potion correctly on the first try, but she shook it off. If he wanted to be rude, that was his problem.

On the topic of strange professors. Then there was her DADA class. Their teacher was new this year. Rodolphus Lestrange.

He had stared down every member of the first years when they arrived for his class. Minutes spent in silence as he walked around looking everyone deep in their eyes. Most shied away or cringed but she couldn’t resist the urge to raise an eyebrow at him as he closed in on her. When he noticed he raised his as well, and started a intense stare down. When neither of them cracked after five minutes, Professor Lestrange gave her an appreciative nod and moved on.

Unfortunately the appreciation from the professor ended her in the situation she was now. This morning he called Hermione up to volunteer to demonstrate the simple disarming spell. Problem was apparently it was simple for everyone. She went through nearly half of the class without so much as raising her heart beat. The professor called another up.

“Nephew, surely you can come up here and hold your own.” Lestrange called out to the class and confidently Draco Malfoy stood from his seat.

There were whispers in the room, apparently their relation wasn’t common knowledge for those outside of Slytherin.

“Of course Sir, Id be delighted to.” Draco drawled as he made his way to the front of the room. Giving Hermione an evil smirk as he took his mark.

“You’ll forgive me if I don’t catch her wand though Professor. I would rather not be exposed to her filth.” He sneered. The Slytherins and even some of the others in the room snickered.

She felt her eyes narrow and her blood pressure rise. It was one thing to ignore her, but to disrespect her in front of the whole class and the Professor would have to be dealt with. He would learn who his better was.

She couldn’t fight the cold smile that formed on her face as she took her spot on the stage. She looked at the professor and nodded, he gave the command to begin.

Loudly Malfoy shouted the disarming spell which she easily blocked with a quiet Protego. The beam ricocheted off the shield and landed noisily on the wall beside him. He looked up to glare at her and she just shrugged. Before he could cast another charm she lifted her free hand and non verbally called for his wand.

The crowd fell into hushed awe as his wand shot out of his hand and into hers. She turned to her Professor with his wand extended in her hand.

“Professor perhaps you can disinfect this before you return it to Malfoy. He obviously needs it to practice more.”

Professor Lestrange took the wand while eyeing her in appreciation. A smirk playing on his lips. There was mumbling in the class but she looked up to see some faces were looking at her with a new found respect. Potter and Longbottom were both almost bursting with glee. Both reaching a hand up to help her down from the platform.

When she looked over she saw the look on Malfoys reddened face. Pure fury and hate. A promise that retribution was coming.

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The lunch hall was lively as ever for dinner. News of the dueling first years had reached each house by now and people were quick to put their two cents in.

When Dolohov reached the table he saw the red faced Malfoy sitting with the first years fuming with rage. He was glaring at the Gryffindor table with such hate he was surprised it hadn’t caught fire.

“Thor what’s the deal with baby Malfoy?” He asked the Viking of a wizard sitting at the table across from him. He answered with a large smile.

“Remember that first year from the platform?” He asked and when Dolohov nodded he continued. “Apparently she put ickle Drakey in his place today in DADA. Beat the whole class and then insulted him, asking Lestrange to return his wand so he could practice.” The hulking blonde barely got the sentence out before dissolving into a fit of laughter.

He wiped his eye. “Oh man, I wish I was there to see it.”

Dolohov stared at the boy who was gripping his fork in rage. “So she’s better than him, why is he so mad. I get his has the Malfoy ego, but still it’s only been a month, he can get better.”

Thor wiped his eyes again. “Oh don’t you know, that’s the best part. Apparently the princess is a mudblood. And besides beating him in a duel she already leagues ahead of the others in ALL the classes. Can you imagine the look on his father’s face when he finds out. And no doubt Lestrange has already sent an owl.”

Dolohov followed Malfoys glare to the Gryffindor table. He saw the tiny first year girl sitting there as if she wasn’t being murdered by his glare. The Potter boy sat next to her and had said something that made her smile. She didn’t seem to notice the danger she was in.

“He’s going to kill her.” It was the only answer he thought of.

“Oh he’s going to try, that’s for sure. Part of me wants to interfere but I think I want to see what happens. There’s something different about her. After the way she acted towards us on the platform I would’ve bet my wand she was a pure blood.” Thorfinn rubbed his chin looking over at the girl.

“It explains the hat stall.” Dolohov added. At the raised eyebrow of his friend he continued. “She was the first year that the hat stalled on remember, it tried to put her here but at the last second chose Gryffindor. It must’ve realized she was a mudblood.”

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Thorfinn saw her in the library that night. He was going to return a book when he saw her slip between the stacks leaving the restricted section. He chuckled to him self.

“Well well well princess. Where have you been?” He teased leaning up against the stack.

She froze for a second but turned around and gave him a smirk.

“Hello older boy who lifted my trunk. How are you this evening.”

“Now surely you know my name princess?” He goaded.

She crossed her arms and looked him up and down. “Are you some kind of superstar or something?”

He laughed. “Or something. Thorfinn Rowle your highness” he bowed.

She moved her hand up to her chin and made a thinking face. “Hmm. I think I like superstar better..”

He smiled at her and she couldn’t help but return it.
“So princess, what is a first year doing exiting the restricted section?”

“Just some light reading. Usually no one notices me, not that you would ever know this since your built like a Viking... but there are a few benefits of being small.” She shrugged.
“What are you doing here. I thought people like you didn’t even know the library existed.” She teased.

He placed his hand on his heart is mock concern. “Princess you wound me. I have you know I came in to study, but unfortunately ran out of time and now I have to return this book and won’t be able to finish my essay. Mcgonagall will have my bollocks I’m sure.”

“Professor Mcgonagall, and if you are writing a NEWT level essay you don’t need to use this book anyways. These are the basics, you need this-“ she reached behind him and pulled a smaller tome from the shelf.

“Now she tells me...” he rolled his eyes in jest. “Won’t do me any good now princess the library is closing and these can’t be checked out.”

She quirked an eyebrow at him. “Are you not a wizard?”

She pulled out her wand and cast the Gemino charm on the book creating an exact copy. Then she waved her wand once more and shrunk the extra copy. She grabbed it and stuck it in the pocket of his robe before putting the other book back on the shelf.

“Now, don’t say I never did anything for you.” She winked playfully and went to walk past him. Still too shocked to respond Thor stood in the aisle for a second longer before gathering himself to leave.

“Princess wait up!” He called after her jogging to catch up. “Thank you for that.” He said once they were side by side.

She waved him off. “No need. You helped me on the platform, I helped you here. We’re even.” They stopped walking where their paths would split. “Have a good night superstar.” She smiled at him turning to walk away.

“Witch you know Malfoy is our for blood right?” He didn’t know why he brought it up but there was something about the little spit fire that drew him to her.

“I’m not afraid of Malfoy.” She shrugged.

He smiled at her in awe. “No, I imagine your not. Get some sleep princess.”

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Chapter Text

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At quidditch someone tried to hex Harry’s broom. The options were numerous considering that they were playing Slytherin and also people were upset a first year got approved to play. The broom toppled left and right flinging Harry from side to side. He barely had a grip on the stick as he was dangling hundreds of feet in the air.

Hermione noticed the snickering of the Slytherins and moved her eyes around the crowd to see who was casting the incantation. Her eyes stopped as she saw Professor Snape sitting next to what could only be the oldest Malfoy. Both were moving their mouths silently, one must’ve been trying to stop the other but she didn’t know which was which.

She turned to the Weasley to let him know and told him to wait at the bottom of the pitch to help Harry if he needed it. She snuck over and created a small fire on their robes. Causing them both to jump up and stop the assault on Harry’s broom. He made it safely to the ground. Even catching the snitch on the way down.

Once she met the boys on the pitch to her surprise they both embraced her. She wasn’t sure who to thank, Snape or Malfoy, but she had finally made friends.

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She had gotten her first detention. Being out of bed and out in the grounds after curfew. At least that’s all they could convict them of, thankfully.

She had been deep in study in the library when Harry ran in, Ron breathlessly following behind.

“Hermione, come quick we need your help.” Harry panted when he reached her table.

“What’s wrong Harry?” She asked looking up from her book.

Harry tried to whisper despite his lack of air. “That rock Hagrid has, turns out it not a rock at all. It was an egg!”

Her eyes widened in shock and she gathered her things to follow them out. None of them aware that Malfoy was in the stacks behind them listening.

They had just given the baby dragon to Charlie Weasley and were crossing the grounds when they were caught by Filch and Mcgonagall. The latter of the two looking extremely disappointed. With a smug looking Malfoy behind them.

Besides the obvious loss of house points they were each, yes even Malfoy, given detentions for that week. The first five days they spent cleaning cauldrons and trophy cases, but tonight they were to meet at Hagrids hut.

And as luck would have it, it was a group detention. Apparently everyone who was due to serve detention tonight was meeting there by the hut. 1st through 7th years in a group waiting on the edge of the forest. She groaned when they walked upon the group.

“Princess! What a surprise to see you here!” The Viking of a boys loud voice cut through the night. He was smiling at her his blue eyes sparkling in the firelight.

She rolled her eyes and smirked. “Superstar, I didn’t realize they gave celebrities detention?”

“Ah your boy Potter here proves that wrong.. but alas it seems there are somethings done in broom cupboards that are just inexcusable to Ol Filch.” He shrugged with a laugh.

She snorted pointing a finger. “Is that why Dolohov is here then?” Wiggling her eyebrows up and down.

Dolohov shot her a cold look with a sneer. Thorfinns jaw dropped.

“Now wait a minute. How do you know his name when you didn’t know mine?”

“Careful Superstar you almost sound jealous. Besides everyone knows Dolohov. Tall, dark, handsome, batshit crazy.” She couldn’t help the chuckle that escaped. Meanwhile Harry and Ron were staring at her as if she grew another head. “His reputation precedes him.”

Dolohov just raised one eyebrow at the tiny witch. Not knowing wether he wanted to be offended or not. He just shook his head going back to stare into the forest.

Thorfinn chuckled coming up to ruffle her hair. “You are a trip princess. One day I’ll figure you out.” He turned to walk back to his friends.

Hagrid arrived with filch and they split them into groups of three. Hermione found herself in a group with Malfoy and Dolohov. Harry and Ron tried to send her encouraging smiles as they too were separated. Harry was in a group with Thorfinn and a third year Ravenclaw, while Ron was with two sixth year Gryffindors. Thorfinn shot her a smile before she moved to stand next to her group.

“Don’t worry princess, I’ll look after him for you.” He laughed as he patted Harry on the back making him jut forward.

She rolled her eyes. Taking her spot next to Malfoy and Dolohov.

“What. An. Idiot.”

Each group was handed a bucket. Their goal tonight was to collect Waitomo worms. They were special worms that would glow two days before the full moon, and only then. They stores in the castle were very depleted so they needed as many as possible, thus the reasoning behind the group detention.

Each group set off roughly 100 yards apart. They were told to send up a flare if there was any trouble. They weren’t even 20 feet into the woods yet when Malfoy started whining.

“I can’t believe that big loaf sent us into the forest at night, under a full moon none the less. My father will be hearing of this.”

Hermione looked up at Dolohov and rolled her eyes.

“Kakoy rebenok..” she muttered lowly about what a cry baby she found Malfoy.

Dolohov couldn’t help but snort.

“Da.. razdrazhayushchiy” he replied that he was, and an annoying one at that. And she laughed along.

“sledi za svoim shagom” she warned him to watch his step pointing down at the roots that were growing up along the pathway that seemed to reach up towards their feet.

He nodded at her and adjusted his stride and wand light to illuminate his path. She did the same. Malfoy on the other hand kept his wand raised to look ahead and not a minute later one of the roots grabbed at his foot and he tumbled down a small slope.

He stood up quickly dusting himself off. Loudly complaining and cussing the very ground he walked on. He sent a few sparks from his wand into the roots.

“Malfoy calm down!” She scolded him. “You need to be quiet. We are far enough in where we don’t need to draw attention to ourselves.” She hissed.

He raised his wand and pointed it at her.
“Why don’t you shut your mudblood mouth. You don’t tell your betters what to do.” He yelled.

She rolled her eyes with a huff. “Well when I see a better I’ll be sure to remember that Malfoy, but as it is you need to be quiet.”

He had taken an angry step towards her when they heard the sound of branches cracking behind them. Then a long howl like sound.

Malfoy stumbled as he started to run up the slope. Trying to look around him at what the sound was. When the snapping sound came closer he tucked tail and ran screaming. Without so much as looking at the other two.

Hermione and Dolohov both watched him run off and turned to look at each other eyebrows raised. Hermione turned back around her wand raised high and Dolohov did the same. Illuminating the small clearing in front of them. Hermiones free hand came up to grip her necklace. Whatever was coming, they could use the back up.

Before they had any time to consider moving a figure emerged from the brush. A tall thick man with long black hair. He was rugged looking with scars and torn clothing. His beard was cut close but he had a strange glint in his eyes and when he saw them and smiled it looked feral, and his canines longer than a regular human. He stopped and took a long sniff in the air.

Much to his surprise Dolohov saw the small girl move in front of him and adjusted her arm as if to shield him from the beast. He was even more surprised when she spoke.

“What are you doing here wolf? This is centaur territory, do you have a death wish.” Her voice was calm and clear. He couldn’t detect any fear behind it.

The beast of a man sneered at her. His teeth reflecting in the wand light. He sniffed again.

“Would you believe I followed your scent little miss. There’s plenty of younglings in the woods tonight, but not like you am I right? I recognized your scent almost immediately. It’s awful dangerous for you to be out here so close to the full moon isn’t it?”

She shrugged a little. “No, I don’t think so.”

He growled lowly. “Do you think you get a free pass then? Is that it?”

He took a few steps towards them but she didn’t move. Dolohov went to step closer but she gave him a small shake of her head, and he didn’t know why but he listened.

“I’d think again before you threaten me..” she warned and he growled again.

“Do you think you could take me on little witch?”

“Maybe, but do you think you are the only predator in these woods wolf? My familiar is here and you just threatened her master. If I was you I’d leave before she treats herself to dog meat.” Her voice was so cold and calculated that Dolohov felt a chill run down his spine.

The wolf chuckled and went to take another step forward when a loud hissing filled the void around them. Dolohov thought the ground was moving when a large tree trunk sized shape moved behind them and wound itself into a raised position in front of the small girl. The snake was bigger than anything he had ever seen, nearly 20 feet long. The snake bared it’s fangs as it raised itself up for the kill.

“This is your last warning wolf. Go on your way now and I’ll forget tonight ever happened.” Hermione called out to him.

He snarled at her. But took a step back anyways.

“I’ll see you again little witch.” He warned her turning back to disappear into the forest.

The snake waited till the wolf was gone from sight before turning to the small girl and rubbing its large head against hers. Hermione raised her hands and petted the snake while they hissed back and forth between the two of them. The snake wrapped around her as if it was checking for injuries and Hermione giggled much to the surprise of Dolohov.

Dolohov took a small step back and it snapped a twig brining the attention of both girl and snake to him.

“Oh, I’m sorry how rude of me. Dolohov this is my familiar Nagini.” She said before hissing to the snake what seemed to be a introduction to him. The snake slithered over to him and circled him once before raising up in front of him flicking her tongue out and letting out a small hiss.

“She likes you!” Hermione clapped. “You can pet her if you’d like.”

He tentatively reached a hand out and patted the snake on its head. Before bringing it back into his robes.

The snake and the girl hissed back and forth for a moment before the snake circled the girl again, squeezing her in what must’ve been a good bye before slithering off into the woods.

“Well, I guess we should make our way back, no doubt Malfoy has already caused a scene.” Hermione said as she started to lead the way back.

“Want to explain to me what the fuck just happened?” Dolohov said stopping her forward progress.

She raised an eyebrow in question.

“Like maybe start with how you went toe to toe with a fucking werewolf and then maybe how your familiar is the biggest fucking snake I’ve ever seen, and then I don’t know maybe how you can speak parseltongue!” He came close to her his voice raising the longer he spoke.

“Keep your voice down!” She hissed between clenched teeth.

“You’re smart Dolohov, you’ll figure it out. I mean I knew my familiar was here so I wasn’t afraid of the wolf, it’s two days before the moon so it’s not like he could have infected us, gutted us maybe, but not turned us. And obviously if I couldn’t speak parseltongue I wouldn’t have met Nagini.” She shrugged.

Dolohov shook his head at her dismissive way.
“None of that makes sense. You’re a mudblood.”

She shook her head and let out an exasperated sigh. “I was RAISED by muggles. Your idiot housemates decided to crown me queen of the mudbloods. I thought you lot were supposed to be cunning.”

They walked as he gave her words time to set in. She was raised by muggles. So that must mean she wasn’t born to them, hmmm that was an interesting turn.

She stopped before they made it to the edge of the forest.

“Accio waitomo worms.” She said holding up the bucket as a large blob moved towards them and fell into the bucket.

She looked up at him handing him the bucket.

“Look Dolohov, I know we aren’t friends. In fact I’m sure we are far from it. But I’m not supposed to have Nagini at school, so could you please not tell anyone. If you can keep that secret for me, I’ll owe you one.” She spoke lowly in case the others were close enough to hear them.

He surveyed her for a while. She was something different. That was for sure. She was proficient in magic that she shouldn’t know, she was quick witted and didn’t seem to have any fear. But there was something else there too that was drawing him to her. Something darker maybe? He couldn’t be sure. But he wanted to know more, and had a feeling that he needed to keep her as an ally.

He walked closer to her and flung his free arm around her shoulder, walking them both out of the woods.

“Little lion I will keep your secret, but I think you’re wrong. I think we’re going to be good friends.”

Thorfinn shot them a funny look as they emerged from the forest together. He knew the little shit had gotten to him somehow but he never thought she win over Antonin too. He wasn’t lying when he promised to figure her out.

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Winter Hols was approaching and she had decided to stay behind at school. She didn’t want to be around her ‘parents’ any longer than she would need to. She had been digging up some secrets in her spare time and after coming across some rather big news she decided to reach out to her father for the first time. Any other contact they’ve had had always used nagini as a middle man. She penned a letter to him before walking to the owlry.

Father,

I hope this letter finds you well. I have recently discovered that Dumbledore is hiding the philosophers stone in the castle. From what I have put together there is a series of protections around it, but none that seem impossible to get around.

From the research I’ve done I can assume the stone has already gifted the old bat with extra years, depending on how often he visits it roughly 50 years or so.

I know the healing and life prolonging properties of the stone are things you would be interested in obtaining. If you wish it of me, I can retrieve it for you.

I will be staying at the castle during the holidays, the numbers of students staying behind is few so it will be safe to reply via owl.

-your daughter H.

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Chapter Text

They hadn’t seen the little witch much since before the holidays. They would pass her in the halls or at meals, Antonin would nod in her direction or give her the universal “I’m watching you” signal, and Thor would either wink at her or ruffle her hair, or if he was really trying to rile her up he’d blow her a kiss. So it was a surprise to them when she showed up one night at midnight in the hospital wing.

“Well well Well. If it isn’t my two favorite sixth years!” She mused as she just appeared at the foot of their beds.

“Princess!”
“malyshka.” They answered her in unison both equally surprised and confused.

“Are you all dense? Hexing each other on a stair case. What if you would have broken your necks instead of your legs?” She moved her hands up to her hips to scold the two.

“Aw were you worried about us Princess?” Thorfinn laughed.

She scoffed. “Not at all, I was just thinking of the valuable study time that would be wasted if we had to host a joint funeral here.” She rolled her eyes.

“How’d you know we were here little witch, and how’d you get in without getting caught.” Dolohov asked.

She bit her lip as if she was deep in thought. Looking back and forth between the two of them before coming to a decision.

“Well, it’s a secret. But we’re friends so I’ll let you in on it.” She winked. “The Weasley twins have a map that shows everyone inside the castle. I saw you two dunderheads in here and asked around and was told what you did to get here..” she frowned at them. “And then Harry has a invisibility cloak he got for Christmas that he let me borrow. So when I realized you lot have been bunked up since before dinner and surely you’d be hungry. So I popped into the kitchen and brought some snacks.” She shrugged at them smiling.

“Princess you brought us dinner, you must love us.” Thor smirked at her.

“No, I brought Dolly dinner, but realized it’s be rude on my part to let you starve.” She said cheekily. “Now, move those tree trunks you call legs so I can sit down.” She said moving between the beds.

He grinned at her and reached over and snatched her up by waist. The size difference between the two of them made it easy for him to lift her with little to no effort. She did emit a small squeak though as he sat her in his lap.

“Uh huh princess, for that comment you have to sit right up here with me. Now what did you bring us to eat?”

They sat together and laughed and talked for an hour. Making sure to keep the volume down so Poppy didn’t come check on them.

“So what will you all do after you graduate? I know you still have a year, but I’m sure you have plans?” She asked them popping a strawberry in her mouth.

“If all goes to plan, I want to be a curse breaker. I have to get Os in my NEWTS of course but I’m on par to, then I just need to apprentice under someone, maybe at Gringotts.” Dolohov answered first chasing chocolate pudding around in his bowl.

She nodded along with him, a curse breaker was a noble profession and one that sounded interesting to herself too if she was honest. She pivoted some in Thor’s lap and looked up at him.

“What about you superstar?” She bopped him on the nose with her strawberry before taking a bite. “Let me guess.. professional quidditch? Fly around on your broom all day while people throw you gallons and slags throw their knickers your way?”

“Ha ha. You’re something else.” He says as he tickles her sides making her squirm. “I have you know I have thought about other things, I can’t help that I’m so talented.” He smirks. “But there’s other professions that I could use my flying skills in. Like dragon keeping, or working for the ministry in creature tracking, things like that. And let me tell you it doesn’t matter what profession I’m in the ladies will throw their knickers my way regardless...”

He was cut off when she flicked his forehead.

“Don’t be so crude Rowle.”

“Yes Rowle don’t be so crude.” Dolohov cut his eyes to him.

“What about you little witch, what do you have your eyes set on?”

“By the time I get out of here I have a feeling it will be a whole new world.” She shrugged.

“And what will you be doing in it?” Thor raised a brow.

“Well ruling it of course!”

================================

Daughter,

Is there anything you need from me?

Yours,
Father

 

Father,

Enclosed are my measurements, I find myself in dire need of a spare wand.

Yours,
H.

=================================

To think she had almost left Harry and Ron behind was comical. It was a blessing in disguise how easily it was to convince them that someone was stealing the Stone for the personal gain of the dark lord. Of course someone was, and she was that someone, but they didn’t have to know that.

When they both were almost strangled in the devils snare she was regretting her decision. But the next two tasks were almost perfectly made for them. Harry with his flying skills against the keys, and Ron with his surprising skill in chess.

The next tasks with the potions gave her a bit of a pause, but it wasn’t something some logical thinking couldn’t deduce. Snape must have just contributed the bare minimum, pity really, she would have liked for him to challenge her.

With Ron injured her and Harry advanced together into the final room. The mirror or Erised. She had read about it of course. It was enchanted to show someone what their hearts desire was. Someone desiring to find the stone and use it wouldn’t have it, but Harry didn’t want to use it so besides the image of his parents he saw the stone in his pocket, and it was.

She held up the small bag for Harry to put the stone in. Once the bag was secure in her pocket she pulled out her spare wand and got to work. She only had to adjust Harry’s memories thankfully since Ron was left behind. She planted the memory of her sending him alone through the flames where he met a masked death eater who fought him for the stone and lost when Harry shattered it instead. Causing a whirlwind of activity in the small chamber whipping Harry around, breaking the mirror and destroying the evidence. Unfortunately it knocked Harry unconscious and the Death eater got away.

Giving herself a few cuts and bruises as well as burn marks on her clothes and skins. She curled herself into a small ball putting on her best “scared and alone” performance.

Chapter Text

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Waking up from the night she was forced to spend in the hospital wing, she was greeted by two surprising guest.

“Well look how the turns have tabled!” Rowle laughed heartily.

She groaned and pulled the covers over her head. “It’s how the tables have turned you git.”

The two boys laughed and one saw fit to release her from her cover cave.

“What are you two doing here? Superstar are you eating my chocolates?” She looked over at Thor who was munching on a chocolate frog from her pile of ‘get well soon’ goodies.

“Who me?” He mumbled through a mouth of chocolate. Dolohov swatted him on the back of the head.

“Don’t eat her food you prick.”

“Thank you Dolly. Now, care to answer my question?” She sat up trying to smooth down her morning curls.

Antonin swatted at her legs and sat down at the end of her bed.

“We heard you and Potter got in a scuffle last night. Something along the lines of most school rules ever broken by first years?” He raised a brow at her.

She bit her lip as she tried to come up with a story for them. Thor had reclined back in the empty bed beside them still taking bites out of the frog.

“Something like that.” Her words drifted off. “Kind of a hot mess really.”

“Well next time you go getting your self into a hot mess you get one of us alright.” Dolohov almost pouted. “Going in to danger with Potter and that red head. I mean honestly little witch..” he grumbled.

==============================

 

She sat quietly on the park bench facing the water. A small family of ducks swam by quacking. The only break to the overall silence of the morning.

Although the person approached silently she was still aware of them. Perhaps it was the slight hum that ran across her magic that gave him away. He took the seat next to her before he announced his self.

“This is a lovely spot you’ve chosen, any particular reason behind it?” His voice was smooth and deep.

“Nagini likes to hunt in the water. The Black lake has too many inedible things in it that she avoids it, but here she can take her pick of anything she likes.” She said casually.

Finally she turned to look at the man next to her. He was wearing a simple button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a pair of slacks. He had short cut hair that would have more curl to it had it been longer. In the same dark brown hue as her own. His eyes were similarly shaped but were a green opposed to her honey brown. He was a handsome man, she couldn’t deny it. He looked much younger than she knew he was.

“We have more similarities than I was expecting to be honest. Genetics are such a lottery I figured the percentage of being able to acknowledge us as kin would be slim. However you look entirely too young to be my father.” She cocked her head a bit to take him in more.

He raised a brow as the corner of his mouth twitched into a smirk. “And you sound entirely too mature to be a 12 year old.”

“Touché” She said as she nodded.

Slowly she pulled her bag in front of her and retrieved the small pouch that she stored the stone in. She handed it to her father.

“The bag is blood sealed, but yours will open it just the same. I had to do that Incase anything happened to me between school and here.” She explained.

He nodded his head eyeing her instead of the bag. “Very impressive daughter. I take it you didn’t have any trouble with Dumbledore then?”

She shook her head. “No, I left myself out of Harry’s memories of actually retrieving the stone. I felt a small bump of him trying to enter my mind while he was questioning my role but he didn’t press.”

“Are you familiar with Legillmency then?” He asked her.

“Yes, Nagini told me there would be wizards who would want to see in my mind instead of trusting my words. She warned me to learn to protect it.” She made eye contact with him. “So I have, I read quite a few books on it and worked around till I found was suited me the best. I’ve never been tested by anyone on your scale of course, but I’d bet I’m fairly proficient.”

“Do you mind?” He asked her moving his arm behind her on the bench.

“No, please do.” She nodded as she felt the thump of him entering. Like with Dumbledore it was soft at first but grew to a loud knock as he progressed. Finally after minutes he backed out.

Tom couldn’t help but be impressed. Where most had learned to build up walls that under enough pressure he could tear down his daughter had gone the opposite route. When he stepped into her mind he found himself in a meadow with a large lake in the middle from the surface he could see the glow of memories at the bottom but when he submerged himself he found it impossible to reach he was getting deeper and deeper before the pressure was even too much for himself so he removed himself from her mind.

“Hermione, that was most impressive. I dare say the best form of occulmency I have ever seen. I would ask you not to teach anyone else your ways though as I found myself unable to breach even one memory from you. How did you decide to do that? Have you trained in legillmency the same?” He was curious, turned in his seat to give her his full attention.

“No, unfortunately I have found I cannot do Legillmency. I have an eidetic memory, which is why I excel in my schooling, but it actually hurts me in terms of trying Legillmency. All the memories I see become my own and it’s tangled in my own mind. So I have decided to not pursue the art further. However due to the same affliction I have a lot of memories stored in my head. Nagini told me to imagine storing them all away and then building the walls but there were too many so I threw them into the lake instead. They weigh so much they sink. And you can’t tear down a lake.” She met his green eyed again and smiled. She could feel his appreciation.

“You know I was worried when you found out your true identity that you may be a liability to me and my cause, but now. Now I know you will only be a top contributor. You are quite the witch Hermione.” He rubbed his hand on her shoulder.

“Thank you sir, that means a lot to hear you say that. I strive to make you proud.” She smiled at him shyly.

“I have told my inner circle about you. They don’t know your identity, only that you arrived at school last year. They’ve all been quick to make their guesses. Lestrange was the first to know.. don’t worry they are all bound to secrecy by me. They can’t even out you to each other until I do.” He chuckled.

“That doesn’t surprise me professor Lestrange made it a point our first classes to stare down each student. I imagine he peaked in everyone’s mind and when he couldn’t mine he made his guess.” She shrugged laughing a little. “Did your pet wolf tell you he found me as well?”

“Ah Yes, said he came across you in the woods. Gave his word to keep an eye on you.” He scoffed.

She couldn’t stop her eye roll. “He made me very angry. He was almost a late night snack for Nagini.”

Her father chuckled. “Yes I heard. I believe you made him equally as angry. Greyback is used to being feared, not to being put in his place by 12 year old girls.” They smiled at each other.

“But his bark is worse than his bite, he is a loyal dog so we keep him around, but you know if he bothers you again Nagini could gain a few pounds.”

The two sat laughing at the bench. Looking the part of close normal family.

Before she left they spoke about Harry. She explained to her father that she could feel his magic in Harry, apparently that was a horcrux inside of him that contained a part of Toms soul. She suggested keeping Harry close, and he readily agreed. After all the enemy wasn’t an 11 year old boy. It was the system that failed wizarding kind.

Chapter Text

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July 31st saw her and her adoptive family in a car heading into Surrey. She had begged her muggle parents to make the trip with her after explaining the situation she knew Harry was in. He had told her horror stories last year about the types of people his aunt and uncle were and the way they treated him when he was home.

The Grangers knew these kinds of people, and knew that they would sway to people if influence easily. So that day they had their driver bring them into Surrey and stopped out front of 4 Privet drive.

When she knocked on the door they heard the commotion inside to have it answered. Harry came to the door and his eyes lit up to see the little witch standing there with a big smile on her face.

“Happy Birthday Harry!” She exclaimed reaching over to hug him.

“Hermione what are you doing here?” He started to ask when the loud stomps filled the air from his tubby uncle storming up.

“Who is it boy? What do they want!” Vernon threw the door the rest of the way open to see the small girl on the stoop.

“Who are you?” He asked rudely but Hermione didn’t bristle. Instead she dropped into a small curtesy.

“Hello Sir, I’m Hermione Granger.” She said with as much sweetness as she could.

“And what do you want?” He barked out.

“Oh!” She said turning around and waving at the car where her driver was standing. He nodded her way and opened the door allowing her mother and father to step out and approach the porch of the Dursley’s.

“I’m sorry sir, these are my parents, William and Hellen Granger, we live in Kensington. We were coming to invite your family to dinner tonight to celebrate Harry’s birthday. You’ll have to forgive us sir, I tried to write to Harry but unfortunately didn’t receive a reply. And well when I complained to mommy and daddy they had a car bring us over to extend the invitation in person.” She smiled the sugary sweet smile again.

“Well, I. I mean it’s awful last minute..” he was floundering.

“Oh I know Mr. Dursley and I do beg your apologies, we are only in the country for a few more days before we step off to our house in France so I wanted to get a chance to introduce our families and of course celebrate Harry’s birthday.” Hermione said and her mom stepped up behind her putting a hand on her shoulder.

“Harry is such a lovely boy Mr. Dursley, very fine manners, and is very well behaved. We knew he must have grown up with some very fine guardians.” She flashed her winning smile as well and Vernon flushed.

Hermiones dad groaned. “Plus you can’t very well leave me with these women all day Sir. I had to cancel a golfing trip and if I have to hear one more story about fashion week again I may check out.” He laughed it was fake Hermione knew but she appreciated the gesture.

By now Vernon was so flustered that he barely could stumble through an acceptance. The grangers cheered and told them they would send a car over to pick them up for dinner at a very upscale restaurant that evening. They talked Vernon into letting them take Harry with them now to keep Hermione company.

Once they were in the car the whole family broke out in laughter.

“Oh harry he is even worse than you described. How do you deal with them?!” Hermione groaned into him when she pulled him into another hug.

“This is crazy Hermione how did you do all this?” Harry asked still in shock.

Hermione explained convincing her parents to join her in a rescue mission. The car took them to the mall where her parents helped Harry pick out an outfit for the night, and also slipped some more correct fitting clothes in his bag. They had ice cream and shopped around it was a brilliant day.

Hermiones parents had stopped in a store while she and Harry stayed outside. He put his arm around her pulling her close.

“This has been amazing Hermione. I don’t know how to thank you. I’ve never gotten to do anything like this before. I only hate the night will be ruined by actually having to eat with the Dursley’s.” He groaned putting his head on her shoulder.

“Chin up Harry it won’t be so bad. In fact if all goes to plan, I imagine my parents will convince them to let you stay with us the last few weeks before school goes back.” She said patting his head.

Harry’s head shot up looking at her hopefully. “Do you really think so?”

“I do. Mom and Dad have a way of getting what they want.” She grinned.

===========•===================

Hermione was right. The Dursley’s were on their very best behavior that night. Having a car pick them up and escort them to a five star restaurant was all the motivation they needed to try to latch on to the granger family. Hermione even batted her eyes at Harry’s fat cousin who was being prodded to show her his finest manners.

Once the Dursley’s put together that her family was that behind the surgical center and the dentistry offices that made up most of Europe they were all too eager to agree to let Harry stay with them for a few weeks. William even offered to invite him for a round of golf when he had a free day. It all worked out as planned.

The grangers sent Hermione with a driver to pick Harry up. They laughed and talked the whole trip to her home. Harry’s mouth dropped when they pulled up to the drive.

“Hermione, do you live here?”

She giggled. “Yes Harry I told you my parents are wealthy.”

“Yes but I just thought they were new shoes for school wealthy not this blimey.” He laughed.

“Please don’t make a big deal out of it Harry, and don’t tell the others. I don’t want them to think I’m anything other than just me.” She said quietly.

“You’ll always be you Hermione, no matter how big your house is.” He slung an arm around their shoulder and they walked inside.

================================

After only two weeks of being at the Grangers Harry looked healthier and acted happier than she had ever seen him. He had access to good meals that put weight on his bones, a nice comfortable bed in his own room, and they spent enough time outdoors to get sun and exercise in. He felt like a new person.

They had owled Ron to tell him they would be going to Diagon Alley today to meet them there. A car took just Harry and Hermione to London to use the entrance there. Hermione needed to go to gringotts and Harry decided he could use a trip there too so they set off first thing to the bank. Armed with their change purses filled with galleons they set off down the street.

Eventually they met up with the Weasleys. Molly their mom hustled them inside the book store where there was a signing today. Hermione stayed towards the back not interested in being bustled about by the woman. She leaned against a shelf reading a book on animagi.

She was interrupted by someone knocking the book out of her hand.

“Watch it mudblood, people of value are walking here.” Draco Malfoy taunted.

“If you are these people Malfoy I assume the value is zero? You’d think after having all summer you’d come up with a better line than that.” She rolled her eyes.

Draco fumed and approached her angrily. He reached out for her robe when someone cleared their throat behind him.

“Draco, are you quite finished in here?” The smooth voice of Lucius Malfoy asked.

Hermione looked up from Draco to his father who looked regal with his long blonde hair and silver tipped walking stick.

“Yes father of course.” He backed up a step. “I was just asking Granger here how she enjoyed her summer holiday.”

“Ah, Ms. Granger is it. I have heard quite a bit about you. You finished top of the class last year did you not?” Lucius asked looking down on her skeptically.

“Yes sir I did.”

“Hmm how curious considering your unfortunate blood status. Are your muggle parents here as well?” He looked around the room as if to spot them.

“No sir, my driver dropped Harry and I off today in London. We entered the alley by ourselves.” She said matter of factly.

“Waiting on another opportunity to expose our world to them then?” He sneered.

“With all do respect Mr. Malfoy, I don’t plan on bringing them any further into the wizarding world than they have already been exposed to. They have never seen the alley or the platform and I use muggle post when necessary.”

He gave her a curious look.

“The inclusion of muggles into the wizarding world is dangerous. I know pureblood families tell their children stories of magic stealing muggles and what not, but understand they tell stories of us as well. Witches are portrayed as ugly and wicked, we have Candy houses in the woods to lure in children to fatten them up to eat them, and cackle behind our crooked wart covered noses.

But regardless of the children’s literature or camp fire stories told the witch trials were a real thing. They burned witches because they feared their power. That was centuries ago, now with the rise of muggle weapons what’s to stop them from nuking an area that is high in magic.”

“That’s a bold stance for a muggle born child. Especially one as young as yourself.” He commented.

She scoffed. “I’m nearly 13 sir, my brain is far mature enough to grasp the importance of the situation. And being muggle raised only gave me an insiders look at how intolerant to difference they are. My magic appeared while I was still in the cradle. I lived my life as a freak until I found my place in this world. I was feared because I was different, they wanted to paint me the villain of their stories. But I wasn’t different I was powerful, and now I accept that.”

“Wouldn’t someone so powerful be better suited as the hero ms. Granger? I hardly see you as a villain...” he turned his head some to look at her curiously.

“That’s because there are no such thing as villains and heroes Mr. Malfoy. The stories are written by the champions; the self proclaimed heroes, any one else get labeled the villain, even if that person was doing the right thing that was too difficult to ask others to rally behind. Fear is a motivator, but in the weak it’s an inhibitor. Those who are comfortable tend not to try to shake the status quo so to speak.”

“So the ones who are labeled the heroes then, in your eyes are unworthy of the status?” His pale blonde eyebrow rose.

She let her eyes drift to where Harry was looking miserable standing at the front of the store, being heckled by reporters, cameras flashing around him.

“Some yes, I do. People wanted a happy ending and with that wish created a pedestal they sat a baby upon. Even if I was naive enough to believe the hype, from one year at school with him alone I would know the magic that’s his isn’t anything to write home about. Yet his scar is a walking propaganda poster for the greater good.” She scoffed. “Harry is a good friend and a decent bloke, he didn’t ask for any of this. I’ve seen powerful wizards. He isn’t one.”

“And these powerful wizards or witches that you’ve seen. Is it in the mirror Ms. Granger?” He smirked at her knowingly.

She smiled back. “You flatter me Mr. Malfoy, And please call me Hermione.” She reached out her hand and he took it bringing it to his lips.

“It was so refreshing to meet you Hermione, I have a feeling we will be seeing more of each other.” He held the door open for her to leave.

“It was a pleasure Mr. Malfoy. Enjoy your day.”
And with that she left the store leaving a pleased Lucius and thoroughly confused Draco in her wake.

Chapter Text

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Hermione wandered around the shops waiting for Harry to re-emerge with the Weasleys. It was too crowded in there for her to wait indoors. She was eyeing the shop window of oddities when she saw a familiar reflection behind her. She took a deep breath and shook her head before turning around to confront her shadow.

“Are you following me?” She huffed. Her hands on her hips.

“Of course not Mani.” He grinned. “Just happen to be in the alley the same time as you. Fate.”

“Right, I believe that.” She rolled her eyes. “That’s not my name,and do you always stop to watch people you’ve only met once in the woods?”

He laughed. “Careful there Mani, I told your father I would watch out for you.”

“No, you told him you would keep an eye on me. Believe me we are both smart enough to know the difference wolf. Whatever game you think your playing stop. You won’t win.” She glared at him.

“See now all I hear there is a challenge. I told you before I’d see you again little witch and here I am. I leave you with the same promise that I will see you around. Now wether or not you see me...” he laughed and shrugged.

She watched as he walked away into the crowd, and disappeared among them.

“malyshka..” the voice behind her made her jump. She turned quickly to see the concerned face of Antonin Dolohov.

“Dolly! You startled me!” She smiled trying to shake the rage the wolf left her in.

“Sorry, I was across the street when I saw you, was that the werewolf from the woods last year?” He nodded his head in the direction the wolf disappeared.

She nodded. “Yeah, seems he didn’t learn his lesson last time.”

“You keep Nagini close then, I don’t like that he could sniff you out in a crowd this size.” He said seriously.

She gave him a warm smile. “Thanks Dolly. I will. Don’t worry your pretty head about it. This is a newt year for you. I expect all Os mister. I want to be able to tell everyone my friend is a curse breaker.”

They were interrupted by some yelling.

“Oi Granger!” “There She is!”

Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed.

“Of all the families I could have met. It had to be the damn Weasleys.” She groaned and Dolohov chuckled as two identical red heads made their way towards her.

“Sorry to interrupt.” “But we’ve been looking for this one.” “Can’t get ice cream till she’s found” “and ronniekins is complaining” “so you need to come with us” “before we hex him!” The twins alternated who was speaking. A skill guaranteed to give those around them a head ache.

“Well I best be off then. Dolly it was lovely to see you. I’ll see you on the platform ok? I imagine I’ll still need help with my trunk.” She winked at him before one of the twins swung her around and steered her towards the ice cream parlor.

================================

Harry and Hermione arrived on the platform together early. Harry smiled at the train thinking of how excited he was to be going back. He looked over at Hermione and couldn’t help but feel like he had made the best choice to become her friend. She had saved him this summer, he had never had any of the experiences he was able to thanks to her and her family. He had thanked her mom and dad profusely this morning before they left to catch the train.

The only thing he realized though is that they never spoke about magic or Hermione being a witch. Hermione never brought it up around them, was always very vague in her description of the school, and as they went to the alley and now the platform alone he realized she never brought them in to the wizarding world.

“How come your parents didn’t come to see you off?” He asked her.

“I try not to expose them to magic if I can help it. Besides the fact that I would feel utterly depressed if I learned that others had magic and I didn’t, there’s also the statute of secrecy to worry about. I don’t want them to have any more information that they could accidentally slip.” She tried to explain best she could.

He nodded thoughtfully. “I get it. My aunt hated my mom for being magical, and it’s obviously spread to my uncle and cousin. Maybe it’s best they don’t know at all...” he trailed off and Hermione nodded knowingly. That was a step in the right direction Harry. She thought to herself.

Harry saw Oliver Wood on the platform and went to speak with him about quidditch which Hermione had no wish to join in on so she went to put away her trunk.

She was reaching for the handle when a large hand grabbed it from her and sat it in the compartment.

“Ah aha ah princess allow me.” Thor laughed picking up the trunks before he turned around and snatched her up throwing her over his shoulder.

“Thorfinn Rowle you put me down this instant!” She scolded him as he weaved through the crowd.

“No can do princess I haven’t seen you all summer. I heard Dolohov got to see you and I’ve been insanely jealous since.” He laughed.

She huffed and propped her elbow up in his back so she could hold her head up.

“Ugh fine, where are you taking me then?” She sighed.

“I don’t know. Just walking around with you for now. I figure once we see Dolohov I Maybe can release you to your little lion friends but until then your my captive.”

“Yay me.” She joked.

They walked through the crowd and at Thor’s height it was easy for her to see over most of the crowd. Finally she say Dolohov over the heads of the others.

“There He is.” She pointed. “By the clocks.”

Thor made their way over to him alternating between spinning them and tickling her to get a rise out of her. Antonin looked up and saw them and grinned pushing off the wall to join them when they were interrupted.

“Oi Rowle, looks like you have some mud on your shoulder.” The cruel voice of Marcus flint said. He was surrounded by snickering Slytherin 5th years who thought he was clever for the comment.

She felt Thor tense beneath her and saw Antonins jaw tense so she knew she had to act before they started a rift between their own house.

“You would think someone with so much troll in their blood would do what he could to steer away from bringing up blood prejudice. But you know they are proven to be the biggest beast with the smallest intelligence...” she put her hand on her chin as she looked him over. “I can see the family resemblance.” She ended coldly.

Flints face turned blood red as the others around him didn’t know how to respond. There was a mixture of shocked faces and some that were trying not to laugh. The two that didn’t try at all of course were laughing loud enough now to draw attention.

Flints hands gripped into fist as he stepped towards her. “Why you little bit-“ He was growling.

“Thorfinn Rowle, do you normally make a habit of carrying around young women like sacks of potatoes.” The smooth voice cut through, the group turned quickly to see the Malfoy family approaching. Lucius held up his hand to stop Thor from answering. “Actually son, I’m not sure if I want to hear that answer.” He smirked. “However I do think it’s best to remember propriety in times like these...” he lead and Thor caught his drift as he lowered Hermione back to the ground.

Hermione straightened her clothes and hair before she turned to smile at the Malfoys.

“Mr. Malfoy, lovely to see you again sir.” She gave him a curtsy.

“And you as well Ms. Granger. Do you normally make it a habit of hanging around such a serpentine crowd?” He joked.

“No sir, not normally. Well, except for Rowle and Dolohov. We were all just having a fascinating discussion on genetics when you arrived.” She gave him her winning smile and his lip twitched with held in laughter.

The train whistle blew and she took it as her chance to leave.

“If you all would excuse me, I should go find my seat. Lovely to see you all again.” She said as she turned to leave. But Thor grabbed her arm spinning her around to him.

“Find us later princess.” He said as he noisily laid a kiss on her forehead. While he form was retreating he called after her. “And stay out of trouble!”

Chapter Text

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What a joke. Their new DADA teacher has obviously never gone up against any type of dark arts. The fool couldn’t even handle a cage full of pixies and he was expected to teach them. What on earth had Dumbledore been thinking when he hired him. Anyone of intelligence could tell he fabricated most of his stories. Even Mcgonagall gave him the side eye!

She was still heated when she took her seat beside Harry in potions.

“What’s got you fuming Mione?” He asked as he pulled her into his side. Ever since the summer together Harry had become much more comfortable with being physically close to people. A big improvement.

“I just don’t understand having a DADA professor who is completely incompetent. I doubt the man can even spell the word defense let alone practice it.” She groaned.

“What’s the matter mud blood, finally figure out no one wants you here?” Malfoy sneered.

Hermione rolled her eyes but Harry turned around quickly. “Say another word Malfoy and I’ll make you eat slugs.”

Malfoy was stopped from responding by the billowing cloak of Professor Snape entering the room and starting class.

Hermione stayed behind packing her books to speak to Snape when the class left.

“Excuse me professor, do you have a moment?” She asked him when she was finished.

“Just one, what is it Ms. Granger?” He asked coldly.

“Well sir I wanted to talk about our DADA professor Lockhart.”

Snape sneered. “What about him?”

“The man is a fraud sir.” She huffed. “I read those ridiculous things he calls books and when I asked him for specifics he can’t give them, more than once he contradicted himself trying to answer my questions.”

“I assure you I believe the man to be as incompetent as you Ms. Granger. Be that as it may, what may I ask do you expect me to do about it?” He crossed his arms leaning back in his seat.

“I’m assuming there’s a reason Dumbledore asked him here, although it’s one I can’t figure out. But for the students doing Newts and Owls it’s not fair to have a teacher who can’t teach. Those students are going to suffer from lack of guidance this year.” She began to pace. “I think if there isn’t a way to get rid of him and get a decent Professor in here then the only option is to restart the dueling club. I read about it in hogwarts a history.” She looked up at him hopefully.

He nodded silently.

“I’ll take your request to the teachers and see what they say. No promises Ms. Granger. Now, get to class before you are late.” He dismissed her.

=================================

She was walking in the corridors going the long way back from the library to enjoy a few more minutes of quiet before she entered the lions den.

She was about to turn down a hallway when she heard something coming from a different direction and followed the sound to see what it was.

There behind a statue was Dolohov. He had his wand drawn and a very worried look on his face. There was sounds behind him that sounded like rage. Every once in a wall the alcove would glow.

“Dolly? What’s going on are you ok?” She asked and he looked up shocked.

“malyshka, here get behind me,” he grabbed her and pulled her in between himself and the statue. “It’s not safe right now little witch.”

“What’s not safe, what’s going on?” She asked trying to look around him, but couldn’t pressed so close to his warm body.

“Thor got a letter from his father and he is truly pissed. The Rowles have kind of an affliction for being pyromaniacs when they rage, and he is raging. He is having accidental bouts of what seem like fiend fire. I pulled him down here so he can at least aim them out of the balcony.” He explained to her in a whisper.

She nodded through his explanation. Trying to come up with a plan. She pushed him back some to give herself some space.

“Ok Dolly I need you to trust me ok. I can help him. Just stay here and cast a shield charm and be a lookout for us just in case ok?” She looked pleadingly into his eyes.

You could see the emotion turning. He trusted the little witch. He had seen her do amazing things before. But Thor was right pissed and could be dangerous. After a minute of deliberations he decided to give her a try.

Slowly she made her way into the alcove. She could see the outline of Thorfinns large body leaning over the rails. His back was moving up and down rapidly with heavy breathing and his arms had a purple glow to them.

“Hey superstar.” She said in almost a whisper but it was loud enough where he heard and startled some. The glow getting a little brighter.

“Princess you shouldn’t be here. I’m not stable right now ok.” He shook his head without looking at her.

“I know but I can help you Thor, give me a chance to try ok. I trust you, you aren’t going to hurt me.” She tried to reassure him in the calmest voice she could muster.

He turned his head to look at her. His cheeks were flushed and his eyes were glassy. She could see the anger and the pain on his face.

She walked a step closer and he tensed up.

“It’s ok trust me ok.” She nodded and he returned the gesture.

She conjured a small stool to stand on so they’d be closer to eye to eye although he still had her by a few inches.

“Take a deep breath for me and call them back.” She said very calmly.

“I can’t. I don’t know how.” He shook his head.

“Ok let’s do it together.” She gave him a small smile. “Just in and out deep slow breath.”

He gave a few breaths with her coaching him. He was focused watching her face that he didn’t see her hands reaching out to him until her small hands landed on his forearms.

When he felt the contact his eyes shot up in alarm but she was still just shaking her head with a small smile and coaching his breathing.

“Ok now imagine your arms are like wands and your ending a spell. Your calling your magic back in to you.” She said slowly. He closed his eyes and she could tell he was doing it.

“It’s ok to go slow. Just keep breathing and focus.” Her tiny hands moved from his wrist up his forearms to his biceps slowly. “Imagine your magic following my hands.” She whispered as she leaned in to move further up.

Her hands went up his biceps onto his shoulders to his neck before slowly moving down his chest to his core. “There you go. Bring it back Thor you can do it.” They were so close her voice was just a raspy whisper.

When the only heat he could feel was the pressure of her two hands against his core he opened his eyes. He looked down to see the glow and flames were gone and looked up to see the smiling face of the little witch.

Without another thought he grabbed her in a tight hug. Wrapping his arms around her tight and sitting his head against her shoulder. She freed her arms from between them and wrapped them as much around him as she could. Running her fingers through his blonde locks.

“See, I knew you could do it Superstar!” She said as she patted his back.

“How did you know? How did you know the glow wouldn’t burn you?” He said pulling back to look at her. Feeling strange seeing her at almost eye level.

“Honestly?” She asked with a quirked eyebrow.

“Please.” He nodded.

She smiled. “Well Rowle, you aren’t the only one with a temper.” She laughed. “Two summers ago I burned a few acres of land when I heard some distressing news.. but I’ve been working on it. And now...” she held up her hand where it went from regular to glowing to back in just a few seconds.

Thor shook his head. “You really are amazing princess. I can’t imagine the witch you’ll grow up to be.” He reaches forward and put a curl behind her ear.

She blushed. “Want to talk about what got you so flustered?”

“Ughh” he groaned putting his head back down on her shoulder. “Do I have to.”

“No,” she laughed. “But I’ve heard it helps.”

“Fine.. my father sent me a letter saying he is planning on securing me a job with the ministry once I graduate.” He said through gritted teeth. Without thinking she ran her hands over his arms again to remind him to stay calm. “An office job with the ministry, destined to be a pencil pusher. Said my goals were childish and not part of the new regime plans. Whatever the hell that means.” He huffed.

“So I wrote asking what if I didn’t want to take the job, that I had other goals.” He shook his head against her shoulder. “He said if I want my inheritance I’ll do what I’m told, that I would be cut out as heir if I didn’t follow suit.”

“Oh Thorfinn, I’m sorry.” She said rubbing his back.

“It’s not anything you can do princess I just didn’t ever see myself behind a boring desk. I mean have you seen the size of me. I’ll have to have all my chairs custom made.” He tried to joke but it fell short.

“Maybe I can help Thor. I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But let me think on it a few days and I’ll let you know.” She smiled at him and patted his cheek. He leaned forward and kissed her forehead.

“If anyone can think of something it’s you Princess.” He said with a smile.

“Now let’s get out of here. Poor Dolly has been standing guard probably holding a shield charm the whole time.” She laughed and he cracked a real smile before following her out.

She was half right. Dolohov was still standing guard but he wasn’t still holding a shield charm, he was sitting next to the statue waiting for them to emerge.

“Got it under control now do we?” He asked raising a brow at Thor.

“Yeah I’m good Toni. Thanks man, and thanks for sending the princess in.”

“Oi I didn’t send her in. She went, and by now I know what she wants to do she does so I just stood back and let her.”
He turned to her.
“What about you, did you come out of this unharmed?” He was looking over her for any signs of injury.

“I’m fine Dolly,” she started just as he moved her chin.

“The hell is this?!” He growled at the small reddish purple circle on her neck. Thor came closer to look at what he was pointing out.

“Not a hickey if that’s what your thinking.” She giggled.

“No malyshka I didn’t think it was a hickey. What I think it is is a wand burn. Now before you deny it. Just don’t. Who did this to you?” He was practically growling.

She winced at his tone. “I’m not going to deny that’s what it is. But I’m not going to tell you all who did it.” She held her hands up before they could object. “I will get my own revenge, on my own time. He caught me off guard and it won’t happen again. He just wanted to scare me.” She tried to calm them.

“If I find out who it is malyshka, I’ll hurt him you know that right.” He said seriously.

“I know Dolly. I know you both have my back. Just like I have yours.”

===============================

The sign up sheets had been up for two weeks for the new dueling club. It wasn’t mandatory but encouraged for those 2nd year and up. They figured the first years would be able to catch up from having a subpar professor their first year.

It was the first night of the club, they had transformed the great hall into a dueling platform. The students stood off to the side of the raised platform waiting for the professors to begin.

Professor Snape stood with Professor Lockhart and Dumbledore at the front. Surprisingly Lucius Malfoy was there as well as a representative of the board of governors. It had been over a decade since a dueling club was formed so it was important that it was ran up to standards.

Dumbledore gave a welcoming speech and encouraged the children to learn what they could and respect the staff and each other. Then he left and let the other two (even though it should have just been Snape) take over.

When it finally was time for them to pull up a volunteer Hermione almost burst at the seams when Marcus Flint was called to the front. The troll of a boy had caught her off guard when she was leaving the bathroom a few weeks ago and pressed his wand so hard into her throat it left a burn. She had embarrassed him and he meant to return the favor but before he could they were interrupted by a group of passing ravenclaws.

Flint was big, not as tall as Thorfinn was but he was close and was heavier set. He had a big head and big beefy hands and a set of the worst looking teeth she had ever seen. He was intimidating to most students. When they called for a volunteer her arm shot up.

“Please Professor May I have a try?” Her sweet girlish voice made the other students turn to her in shock.

Lockhart tried to dissuade her.

“Well Ms. Granger I’m not sure if that’s such a great idea, Mr. Flint is not only a fifth year but he is also much bigger than you, it would probably be best to stay within your weight class.” He chuckled and tried to grin at her.

“I’m sorry sir, but if I was to be expected to stay in my weight class would that leave me to what fight elves and the fey folk?” She raised an eyebrow at the man as she gestured down at her small frame.

“Well you see..” he was trying to come up with another reason.

“Lockhart if the girl thinks she is fit to have a go at a fifth year and one of my own at that then by all means let her. She will never know to back down from a fight too big if not.” Snape sneered.

Harry and Fred Weasley helped her up to the platform.

“Why professor already assuming I’ll drown before you’ve asked if I can swim..” she tutted.

The two turned towards the professors while they gave them a run down of the rules and procedures. In the mean time the Weasley twins did what they do best.

“Alright ladies and gents let’s get your bets in” “who will come out the winner?” “The lion or the snake” “the boy or the girl” “the beauty or the beast” “the brain or Marcus flint” they laughed as the separated the group onto who they thought would win.

She wasn’t surprised when she looked over and saw how out numbered her side was. It was a small group of her Gryffindor friends, but not all of them. The Weasley twins, Terry Boot from ravenclaw and of course Dolohov and Rowle. Who when she made eye contact with her both winked. Flints side was jam packed with the rest. Most sneering at her or laughing at the fact she was going to be humiliated.

They took their spots to line up. Lockhart said he was going to give the countdown but when he said 1 Marcus faked a sneeze and sent a mild stinging hex her way that hit her hip. Instead of yelling out she laughed.

It was a cold heartless laugh that echoed in the room and sent chills down the spines of those watching.

“Oh. This will be fun.” She said taking her position again.

On three Flint began firing spell after spell at her. Each one increasing in both power and darkness. But without breaking a sweat she flicked her wand shielding them off to one side or another with a bored expression on her face. He was starting to wear down quickly just from physical exhaustion.

She sent up an Avis and a flock of birds swarmed above him diving down one at a time to attack his face. He screamed and began to fight them off and she saw her opportunity. She fired two spells back to back. The agumenti water sprout spell that hit him directly in the face immediately followed by the bubble head charm that trapped said water up against his face. Between swatting at the birds and trying to break through the bubble to be able to breath he dropped his wand. Hermione silently called it to her and stood there watching the big oaf fall to his knees in struggle.

“Ms. Granger.” Snape said and she looked up at him to see him pointing at Flint for her to end the spell. She twisted her wand and the birds disappeared in a puff of smoke and the bubble burst leaving a soaked Flint kneeling coughing and gasping for breath.

“Win goes to Ms. Granger!” Lockhart said giddily. “Very well done ms. granger. Very well indeed!” He patted her on the back.

Her small group of fans was hooping and hollering she gave them a small smile and a faux bow. The other side of the room was dead silent all stuck in a state of disbelief.

“Ms. granger care to explain to the group what you did there?” Snape drawled.

“Yes sir of course. I used three spells to successfully bring down Mr. Flint. The first spell I used offensively was to distract him, the second and the third I find to be complementary to use as an offensive weapon, as well as highly amusing.” She explained.

“Anything specific about those spells you find interesting?” He drawled.

“Yes sir, while Mr. Flint used powerful and even some spells which would be classified as grey to dark, I chose three simple spells. Each of which are with out a doubt classified as light.” She felt the tug of the smile on her lips.

“And what lesson can we all learn from that Ms. Granger?” She felt the thump of him trying to enter her mind.

“Well besides the fact that the size of the person has nothing to do with the power of their magic. But that I also used light spells to take down mr. flint easily. And had I chose to and had there not been anyone around he could have been killed. Which goes to further the point that maybe perhaps there is no dark or light magic but instead magic is magic and all about intent.” She shrugged.

Snape nodded his head and Lucius gave a small pleased sound in the back. Thor and Dolohov came over to offer their hands to help her down. Once she reached the floor she was again cheered and had the others patting her on the back and giving hugs.

When the group had ended and the others were filing out Snape asked her to stay back a moment. Not to leave her alone her two shadows stayed in the doorway for her.

“That was an impressive dual Ms. Granger. Although I almost feel you went easy on him.” Snape said.

“Well I wanted to make a point sir. I didn’t think he was a danger to me, if it wasn’t a practical setting I’m sure the outcome would have been the same just maybe a bit harsher.” She giggled.

Snape nodded. “The group went over well, so we can keep meeting. Your school mates owe you a great deal Ms. Granger.”

“It will be thanks enough to actually learn something sir.”

“Good evening Ms. Granger.” Snape said dismissively.

“Professor Snape, Mr. Malfoy.” She nodded to them goodbye.

As she was walking towards the door she stopped and turned around.

“Oh and Professor, you’ll find you’ll get much more answers from me if you actually ask.” She rapped the side of her head in a knowing gesture.

Chapter Text

=================================

Hermione was walking in the hallway when a small figure popped up in-front of her. A house elf, wide eyed and big eared bowed down.

“Excuse me miss is you missy Herminny?” The elf said.

“Yes sir, and who might you be?” She said as she bent down to be eye level.

“Sir! She calls Dobby a sir!” He gushed.

“My name is Dobby miss, Ive come to bring you to your father. He is wanting a word with the young miss.” The small elf cooed.

The elf reached his tiny hand towards her and she took it. She felt the pull of apparition behind her navel and before she could be disoriented she landed calmly in the sitting room of a manor. She looked down at her hands that were still grasped in the elf’s and smiled.

“Thank you very much for your help Dobby, will you be bringing me back to school tonight as well?” She asked him.

“Oh you no need to thank Dobby missy, i’s doing what i’s told. But it would be Dobby honor to bring the young miss back to hogwarts!” He bowed so low his nose almost hit the ground and he popped out of the room just as quickly as they had entered.

She looked up at the desk at the back of the room and her father was sitting there smiling. She looked over the room quickly and could determine that where ever they were it wasn’t her father’s home.

The decor was all white and a bit gaudy for her taste. The kind of thing that seemed to force ‘I have money’ down your throat. Growing up in the socialite and country club circle she knew what king of airs people tended to put on. Her ‘parents’ used the terms new and old money a lot. Apparently new money tended to have garish taste and would be tacky in their ways to show off wealth.

Judging by the style of the room and the layout of what she could see she knew it wasn’t new by any means. Probably an ancestral home, but that the people who lived there were pretentious. She had a good idea who they were.

“Is this Malfoy manor?” She asked looking up at her father again. He responded by a smile and a small shake of his head.

“Is it possible to get anything past you daughter?” He said as he stood to come greet her.

She laughed. “I know it doesn’t feel like you in here and honestly it’s a bit pretentious so I put two and two together.” She shrugged.

He laughed loudly. “You nailed it and you haven’t even seen the white peacocks he keeps outside. Pretentious is a good word.” He lead her over to the desk and to a seat.

“You’re early, I expected the elf to have trouble bringing you in. I didn’t know how trusting you’d be.” He said taking his own seat.

She couldn’t help but smile thinking of the run in with the elves she has had in the kitchens at school.

“I must admit I have quite the soft spot for them. I have found when you show them just a tad of common decency they can be quite loyal. Just a simple please and thank you go a long way with them. And it’s always a good thing to have powerful allies.” She grinned. Knowing her stance on house elves wasn’t wide spread through out the wizarding world.

But surprisingly her father just nodded his agreement. The door opened and Lucius Malfoy walked in with Professors Snape and Lestrange. She raised a questioning brow at her father.

“It seems the list who know of your identity grow by the season daughter.” He laughed. “Lucius came to me after your meeting in Diagon alley, and Severus just recently.”

She nodded hello to the two men he mentioned who returned the gesture. Rodolphus Lestrange approached her, taking her hand in his kissing her knuckles.

“Good evening my lady, how has my favorite student been?” He gave her a devilish smile.

“Hello Professor, I am well. I miss you at school though, our professor now is an incompetent git. His voice makes my skin crawl, and the girls at school fawn over him. I don’t get it, he’s obviously daft. What could they see in him?” She confessed grinning.

“Well I will have to tutor you then if you think you are falling behind, however I have heard from these two that you out dueled Flint? I think you have a grasp of second year knowledge.” He laughed patting her cheek as he went to take a seat.

An elf appeared with beverages for all of them and they sat down together.

“Father while I am happy to see you and the company, I don’t believe you brought me here for tea?” She pressed the silence.

Toms face cracked in a side grin. He looked around to see the others hiding similar expressions. His daughter was a surprise. She was almost too clever, and wasn’t afraid to show it. He liked that the ones who knew about her were more than impressed. He thought back to Lucius’ retelling of their meeting in the alley. How passionate she was about her beliefs and how she was able to grasp concepts way beyond the ability of most adults, let alone a 12 year old.

Then when Severus had approached him with his assumption that he had located his daughter he could have laughed out loud at the man. He had asked Hermione to explain herself as in what spells she used and why she used them when she did, but instead she perfectly explained to a large group of gathered students that the separation of magic into light and dark was absurd. And if Severus was to be correct used two very simple spells that wouldn’t even be found in the books on dueling spells to almost kill a boy who was over twice her size.

He was proud. It was a feeling he wasn’t used to. To be honest he wasn’t really used to feelings in general. Besides disappointment and anger. But here he sat in front of a 13 year old girl who he trusted more than anyone. And who’s skills he had the up most faith in.

“You’re right my dear, I didn’t bring you in for an after dinner tea. We have been discussing some possibilities for our next steps and I wanted to get your opinions and ideas.” He said folding his hands in front of him.

“Ok.” She nodded. “Im assuming next step is some type of ministry take over? Fudge is a pushover but has been brainwashed for too long by the like of Dumbledore and his merry men..” she started her mind already churning when a chuckling stopped her.

She looked up to see the grinning faces of her father and his circle.

“I should have known you’d already have an idea. You’re correct. We need more of us inside the ministry in positions of power. And of course in the wizengot.” He said pulling out some forms and handing them to her to look over. It was mostly names and positions of those in powerful positions and then people they had already in the ministry.

She looked them over nodding while summoning a quill to take some notes of to the side. They were talking while she was reading but she was too focused on what she was seeing than listening. Finally she spoke up.

“Ok I’ve got it.” She said handing the papers over. “I made a list of the positions that it’s crucial that we hold. And also those who are in those positions who could be swayed to our side and those who will need a firmer hand in doing so. Also a list of those best to replace the others.” She stretched her arms above her head.

“The thing is though that this can’t be a long endeavor. It has to happen quickly before anyone can start putting all the pieces together. So I suggest we get the masses and most importantly the media to look elsewhere. A smoke and mirror scheme if you catch my drift.” She sat forward her forearms resting on her thighs.

“Luckily I have a great idea that will not only distract pretty much everyone but it will also paint Dumbledore as an incompetent head master.” She grinned. “But I have a favor to ask first.”

“How very Slytherin of you daughter.” Tom smirked. “What can I do for you?”

“Thorfinns Rowles father is he in your inner circle?” She asked sitting back.

“Ogden yes he is. Why?” Tom eyed her curiously.

“He has set up an entry level ministry job for Thorfinn when he graduates, I’m assuming because he too has been told the ministry needs to be infiltrated. However, he threatened to take away Thor’s inheritance and birth right if he didn’t agree.” She was picking at her nails acting like she wasn’t too bothered by this.

“Now we know that we will have been in position long before graduation, and Thorfinn would be wasted at an office job. I’m not sure if you’ve seen him father but the boy is massive. 6’5 Viking like build. He doesn’t need to be behind a desk.” She made eye contact now.

“If you could write Mr. Rowle and tell him it isn’t necessary for him to place Thorfinn in a job. Convince him it’s a good thing if he goes into something like dragon taming, or even that ghastly quidditch. I will be very very grateful. Thor is one of my best friends. I don’t want to see him miserable in dress robes everyday.” She bit her lip waiting for an answer.

Her father smiled at her. “What a simple request. I will owl Ogden tonight my dear. Don’t worry your pretty head about it a minute longer.” He took out a piece of parchment out of his desk.

“So now I’m curious. What is your plan?” He leaned forward waiting on her answer.

“I’m going to reopen the Chamber of Secrets.”

Chapter Text

================================

Two days later Rowle was sitting at Breakfast with Dolohov. Half way through the meal like usually the horde of owls came busting through the windows and started delivering mail.

A regal looking black owl perched in front of Thor offering his leg. He groaned when he saw the bird and undid the scroll on his leg. Giving the bird a bite of his bacon before he few off again. He scowled when he went to open the scroll but his expression changed in an instant. His eyes widened with shock and a large smile filled his face.

“She did it.” He whispered but it was loud enough for Dolohov to look up. “She actually fucking did it!” He said louder.

“What are you on about?” Dolohov said through a mouth full of sausage.

Thor tossed the scroll at him while he looked around the hall searching. Dolohov undid the scroll his own eyes widening at what he read.

—-
Thorfinn,

After some thinking, and some persuasive outside encouragement I have come to realize I was wrong to try to force you into a ministry desk job. You are your own man and I know whatever choice you make will be one I am proud to stand behind.

I have heard there are dragon reservations that are always looking for smart, strong fliers like yourself. Perhaps that is something to speak with your head of house about getting an introduction to. However, if he says no I believe we know someone who will be more than willing to help.

Keep up with your studies, your mother and I look forward to seeing you at Christmas.

Your father.

P.s. It seems you have made a very interesting but lucrative friend. I will be interested in hearing how that relationship came to be over break.
———-

Dolohov looked over at his friend equally as shocked.

“How in the world did she do it? I mean she has to be the friend right? I know I haven’t been to your father to discuss anything.”

Thor shrugged. Still grinning like a mad man.

“I have no idea. But it has to be her. That part about dragon taming... you and her are the only ones who know that. She told me though that night in the alcove to give her some time and she would try to help. I mean it’s been 2 weeks. And she actually fucking did it. It doesn’t feel real. Like a hippogriff has been lifted from my chest. I can breathe again.” He was down right giddy. Bouncing on the bench seat.

When the doors opened and the little brunette walked in beside Potter it didn’t take a second for Thor to jump from his seat and rush over. She hadn’t even made it to the table yet when he came up to her. He grabbed her around the waist and lifted her in the air spinning her around. She only managed a squeak as he was laughing so loud he wouldn’t have heard much else.

He pulled her in close again still lifted off the ground and kissed her forehead three times in quick succession.

“You are amazing princess. I don’t know how you did it. But your amazing. You’re honestly the best thing to ever happen to me!” He kissed her cheek this time noisily.

“Well for whatever I did your welcome Superstar. Now maybe you could put me down?” She laughed her face reddened from his very public show of praise.

He shook his head stubbornly.

“No can do. Your coming to sit with us. We have much to discuss.” He looked down at the confused faces of Ron and Harry. As well as the rest of the Gryffindor table.

“Sorry folks but I am commandeering this little witch for breakfast!” Then he walked them both over to the Slytherin table where he sat her down on his lap across from Dolohov.

“Good morning Dolly.” She grinned at him then rolled her eyes at the strange behavior from Thor.

“Morning to you malyshka, you sure have made our boy happy this morning.” He smirked.

“Yes I have noticed, yet I still am not sure what it is I have done since I couldn’t hear anything over the rush of wind while he was spinning me around. In my school skirt no less. I’m sure half of hufflepuff saw my knickers.” She laughed.

Dolohov turned to look at table of puffs and glared. Picking up his steak knife he turned to her.
“Want me to kill them?”

She burst out laughing and he joined only for Thor to press the scroll from his father in her hands. She read it over nodding and giving a small smile.

“Well good! This is good I’m glad he changed his mind.”

Thor wrapped his large arms around her and smacked a kiss on the side of her curls. She blushed at the very public display of affection.

“And it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my very interesting and lucrative friend.” He squeezed her.

“Well I’m not sure about lucrative, but I am happy to be of some help. I told you I would do my best.” She smiled at the two of them. “You and dolly are my best friends. I would do anything for you both.” She reached across the table to pat Dolohovs hand.

=================================

The pair laid on the grass by the black lake. It was looking to be the last nice weekend for the year and they were taking advantage of the fresh air.

They had gotten talking on the topic of accidental magic and when and how the ministry was notified. Harry was under the impression that it wasn’t until your eleventh birthday but Hermione knew for a fact it wasn’t right. One of her worst cases of accidental magic was when she was a toddler, she caused a fire at her daycare and the ministry sent people to clear it up. Hermione told Harry that the day you are born magic knows and your name goes on a registry of sorts. That didn’t sit well with Harry.

“Hermione.” He said breaking the silence. He rolled over on his side propping his head up with his elbow. His shaggy black hair falling on his forehead.

“Yes Harry.” She said still staying laid on her back looking at the sky.

“Do you think he knew. Dumbledore I mean.” He cleared his throat. “Do you think he knew the kinds of people the Dursley’s were. How they treat me?” His voice was quiet but full of emotion.

Hermione rolled on her side matching Harry’s stance. She lifted a hand and brushed the hair from his forehead.

“Honestly Harry I’ve given that a lot of thought. Everyone thought you were the savior of the wizarding world and yet he shipped you off to live with muggles who he had to have known hated magic. It doesn’t make much sense to me. There would have been droves of families that would have volunteered to take you in and raise you in the magical world. If not as an infant then for sure when you had your first spout of accidental magic.” She sighed. “I want to trust Dumbledore I really do, but sometimes I wonder if he has another agenda we don’t know about.” She reached the arm out and grabbed his free hand.

“But I promise you we can look into it together to figure it out. And regardless of what we find. I’ll be there for you. You know that right?” She met his green eyes with her brown.

He smiled at her and squeezed her hand back. “I know Hermione. You’re the sister I never had.”

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Chapter Text

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Halloween night had many opportunities for the students to take place in the holiday. There was a large feast inside. The ghost hosted a dance in the dungeons, and then they had a large tent set up outside for party games, music and fun.

Hermione stood in their dorm room adjusting her costume in the mirror. She had a few ideas but decided to do a play on her small stature. She figured if she could own up to it herself then no one else could hold it above her. Reaching behind her back she used a sticking charm to attach the last of her enchanted costume.

Harry, Ron And Ginny were in the common room waiting for her. Neville and the Weasley twins were there as well finalizing their costumes.

“Holy smokes Hermione! You look amazing!” Ginny cooed at her as she entered the room. She came up and gave the girl a warm hug. Ginny has dressed up in a muggle mermaid costume. Because apparently real mermaids weren’t beautiful creatures but small murderous ones.

“Thanks Gin you do too, you remind me of my childhood!” She laughed.

Harry came up and walked a small circle around her clucking before pulling her in for a hug.

“I think I’m going to have to borrow a beaters bat for tonight. I don’t want anyone getting too close to my sister now.” He gave her a warning glare that only lasted a second before cracking a grin and they both cracked up.

He and Ron had both dressed as vampires, they were really quite insensitive costumes if you thought about it considering vampires were a part of the wizarding world, but being dressed as a fairy herself she didn’t say anything.

Ron and Neville both have her small side hugs, both boys a little awkward with the amount of skin on display with her costume. The twins however had no such reaction. They both went out of their way to be their charming flirty selves passing her back and forth between the two of them twirling her with compliments before they each put an arm around her and escorted them all down to the grounds for the party.

There was a huge tent set up on the grounds. Hagrid had set out charmed pumpkins that spoke back or sang to you all around the perimeter. They had long tables of snacks and drinks set up on the outside. A dance floor and an enchanted radio that was playing some of the newest songs into the night.

Their group split up some to get drinks and snacks and to check out the activities that would be taking place that night. She had wandered over to the drink table when she was interrupted.

“Hello Granger, you look lovely tonight.” The smooth aristocratic voice said. She turned around and gave the boy a small smile.

“Nott, thank you. But you better make sure Malfoy doesn’t hear you complimenting me, he might make you turn in your Slytherin card.”
She grinned.

He waved off the statement as if he didn’t care. Coming closer to her offering her a drink. She looked at the offered cup and raised an eyebrow in question.

“Relax Granger I wouldn’t poison you.” He said and she reached up and took the drink.

“I didn’t think you would. I just didn’t think I’d see the day when a snake would be cordial to me.” She took a small sip out of the drink and grimaced.

He laughed. “Yeah I think some of the upper years may have spiked it. I wouldn’t drink too many if I was you. Especially dressed like that.” He winked at her trailing a finger down her arm slowly.

She giggled some taken a back by his behavior. “Perhaps you should take it easy on the drinks too Nott?”

Before he could answer though they were interrupted by a new presence.

“Nott I’d prefer if you took your hands off the princess please.” Thorfinns deeper voice startled them both. They turned to see him and Dolohov standing there arms crossed. Neither of them seemed too pleased to see the two second years together. Nott held his hands up in surrender and backed away from Hermione and turned around but not before winking at her.

She turned to look at the two of them and crossed her arms.

“Are you two supposed to be dressed up as over protective big brothers?” She raised her brow at them.

Dolohov stepped towards her and tapped her nose with his finger.

“Don’t be rude little witch. We just know the way boys like him think, I would hate to have to break his hands if he put them on you again.” He gave her a smirk. And she just rolled her eyes.

“Then you best keep your eyes on the Weasley twins. Apparently they find me nearly irresistible tonight.” She winked at them as she walked away hearing them growl behind her. She looked down to see her dress lengthening and growing sleeves. She turned to give a chastising look toward Dolohov who was waving his wand with a shrug.

===================

When the party had become big enough where she could slip away she did. She walked behind Hagrids hut into the woods. She had gripped the necklace so that Nagini would stay close to her just in case. She was curious to see if he would show up. She had sent a message to him days ago.

She found a small clearing and took a seat on a rock there. It was windy enough out that she knew she wouldn’t have to wait long if he was coming.

When a twig snapped off to her left she couldn’t help but grin and welcome him.

“Hello Wolf. I see you got my message?” She called out before she saw him.

He walked out confidently from behind the brush. His long black hair hung over his large shoulders. He carried his massive frame around like it weighed nothing.

“Good evening Mani. I did. I will admit it’s the first time I have ever received post from a snake. Quite the experience.” He chuckled coming closer to her.

He took a seat next to her on the rock. Breathing in deep, she knew he was scenting her.

“Did you bring what I asked for then?” She asked strictly business.

“I did.” He said pulling out a small jar from his pocket. “What do I get for it?” He asked his face in a predatory grin.

She huffed our a long breath turning to look at him holding her hand out for the jar. He placed it in her palm and she vanished it into her bag.

“What do you want Fenrir?” She asked him, the first time she had called him by any other name but wolf.

He chuckled. “That’s not something you should ask a werewolf two days before the full moon mani. We tend to have a one track mind.” He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

She scoffed. “Oh please. I’m a child, you couldn’t possibly want that from me. You’re likely old enough to be my father.”

He laughed again making her narrow her eyes at him.

“I’m likely old enough to be your grandfather little witch. Tis the advantage of the condition. I heal quickly. I live freely, I look devilishly handsome long after wizards start to age.” She rolled her eyes at him. “But don’t worry, when you are no longer a child I’ll still be here. And I’ll still be just as ruggedly good looking.” He smirked.

“So for now I’ll just take your friendship. I’m a loyal servant to your father, I want to be on even ground with you.” He said seriously and she nodded. Just like the house elves, it never hurt to have powerful allies.

She stuck her small hand out towards him. “Very well. To friendship.” He went to shake her hand but brought it to his lips instead where he placed a lingering kiss on the back and ended it by dragging his tongue across her knuckles.

She looked at him questioning and he shrugged. “To hold me over the next four years.” With a wink he stood and disappeared back into the forest.

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The chamber of secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir beware.

The letters written in blood in the corridor brought large masses gathered to see what had happened. Poor Mrs. Norris hung there petrified. No one having a clue what happened.

It didn’t take long for the rumor mills to start. The chamber of secrets was built by Salazar Slytherin and was supposed to House a monster. But who would the heir of Slytherin be? The likely guess was it had to be someone in Slytherin and therefore the enemies of said heir could be everyone else in the castle.

Before Christmas three muggle borns had been petrified, the school was in a mild panic. The ministry was looking into the school and what was being done to protect its students. The board of governors had talks of closing the school if the monster behind the attacks wasn’t caught.

Naturally Harry and Ron blamed Malfoy. They were convinced that if he himself didn’t open the chamber then he would know who did.

“I’m just saying you all make him out to be a lot more important than he is.” Hermione said looking up from her book in the library while the two boys across from her gossiped.

“You know besides you two my best two friends are Slytherin. Malfoy doesn’t run anything over there, he bribed himself onto the quidditch team with new brooms, because he doesn’t have the clout to do it. He just acts like he is important and you all play into it.” She rolled her eyes before looking back at her book.

Harry and Ron stared at each other silently communicating. Before they could say anything she spoke again.

“But if you are so worried I’ve already been thinking of a plan for us to find out.” She flipped her book around and pointed to the potion listed.

Harry and Ron scanned the page and the description before turning to grin at each other and then her.

“This seems really difficult Mione. Are you sure you can do it?” Ron asked in a whisper.

Harry scoffed. “Of course she can. There’s nothing Hermione can’t do if she sets her mind to it. So when will we do it?” He asked eagerly.

“After the holidays. It takes a month to brew but it should be ready after start of term.” She told them before starting in on explaining the details and the plan.

Chapter Text

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The potion smelled like death. Rotten road kill would probably be more appealing than the chunky brown sludge she was pouring into their cups.

Armed with their respective hairs they were going over last minute preparations. They each had on a uniform. Harry and Ron had gone with Crabbe and Goyle so they would get closer to Malfoy. Hermione has chosen Primrose Parkinson, Pansys older sister and 7th year to see if she heard anything useful. She knew none of them would know but she had her own agenda to play out for an hour.

Dropping the hairs they all took a deep drink before gagging and running off to be sick. It wasn’t a minute later when they emerged in their new forms and made their way to the dungeons. Luckily they were able to follow a small group into the common room before with a covert nod to each other they split up.

Malfoy sat on one of the couches tossing a snitch in the air seemingly bored. When Harry and Ron sat down he started in on them.

“Where have you two goons been? Up at dinner this whole time, don’t you think you eat enough?” He sneered.

The two boys just shrugged before Harry spoke up.

“We were looking to see if we could find any more petrified mudbloods. We were hoping we’d be the first to find them.” He chuckled deeply. “Are you sure you don’t know anything about who the heir is?” He asked.

Malfoy groaned. “You know I don’t. We just talked about this yesterday. I wrote to my father and he told me not to worry about it. That the last time the chamber was opened was 50 years ago and only mudbloods were hurt then so that we won’t have to care.” He laughed. “Personally if it’s going after mudbloods I hope it gets Granger next.” He sneered.

Ron had to reach out to grab Harry as he tensed up and started to go after Malfoy. Before he could make a scene another voice joined the conversation. Theodore Nott sat his book down and laughed at Draco.

“Careful Draco with as much as you talk about Granger one might think you’re obsessed.” He accused the blonde.

Malfoy sneered. “As if I’d ever, she’s nothing but a filthy little mudblood. Besides don’t act like we didn’t all see you on Halloween trying to get closer to her.”

Theo shrugged. “She MAY be a mudblood.” It felt like he stressed the word. “But there no denying she’s wicked smart, extremely powerful and beautiful to boot.” He picked up his book to continue reading. “I think it’s safe to say that if she wasn’t labeled a mudblood half the school would be lined up to offer proposals.”

Harry and Ron both nodded in agreement and Malfoy blanched. Hermione as Primrose has walked by them and Theo eyed her curiously. Before Malfoy spoke again.

“I can’t believe you are saying this Nott. What would your father think if he heard!” Malfoy roared.

Theo shrugged again. “The Notts have always been gifted with a rare sight. We can basically see magic and trust me when I say there is no one in this school that compares to her. Even after all we’ve seen her do it’s basically an untapped well. My father would see that and understand completely.” He licked his finger before turning a page. “Plus everyone knows every once in a while a family needs some new blood before the inbreeding starts to get too deep.” He winked up at Primrose who laughed.

She came over and kissed his forehead. “Ever the romantic Theodore.” She walked by him to the shocked faces of Malfoy and Harry and Ron. They took notice and stood to make their way out of the door too. The potion wouldn’t last much longer.

Once they were at the top of the stairs leading out of the dungeons they all took a deep breath. Only to open the door and run into Thor and Dolohov. Harry and Ron squeezed by as she tried to move around them too before she started to change. She just got past when Thor reaches out and grabbed her arm.

“Where are you going Parkinson. It’s almost curfew.” He asked her.

“Why Rowle I didn’t know you cared.” She dramatically batted her lashes.

“I don’t; but there is something loose in the castle petrifying people so I’d rather not have someone from our house frozen in the medical ward.” He shrugged.

She tapped her chin with her finger. “I heard it’s only after mudbloods. Maybe you should check on your little pet lion.” She smirked.

“Don’t call her that.” He said roughly grabbing her arm again. She looked up at his blue eyes sparking in anger.

“You’re sweet Thor. You’re a good friend.” With that she leaned up on her tip toes and placed a small kiss on his lips. He froze looking at her oddly. She turned quickly to walk away with both boys staring at her.

Right as she was about to turn the corner she looked back to see them both staring in shock as the real Primrose Parkinson walked around the opposite corner on the way back to her common room. The two boys spun their heads around quickly and she just gave them a wink and a wiggle of her fingers before she took off running down the hallway ducking into the first secret passageway the twins had shown her.

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Snape was furious when he burst into the common room. His black cape was billowing dramatically behind him and the scowl on his face would make 4th year hufflepuffs cry. The whole house was gathered waiting to see what their head of house was so angry about.

“I will ask this one time and one time only. Know that if you tell the truth your punishment will be far less than if I find out it was you and you did not confess.” He growled at them. Causing them all to sit straighter in their seats.

“Did any of you break into my private storage room and steal potion ingredients from me?” He asked looking around the room trying to read their faces for any sign of guilt. When no one spoke up and he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary he sighed and continued.

“Then I need your assistance in identifying the culprit. Listen to the 7th years from other houses, keep an eye on them to see if any of them seem suspicious or like they are brewing anything on their own time.” He asked and the students gathered nodded their acceptance.

A fourth year girl spoke up. “Sir, are we only to watch the 7th years?”

He nodded grimacing. “Yes, the wards surrounding my personal storage are very extensive. It would take someone of considerable power and knowledge to disable them. Now that I say that perhaps we are only looking at those in Ravenclaw. I don’t believe the other houses possess anyone up to that magnitude. Not to mention the ingredients are those used in brewing poly juice potion, which is above even NEWT standards.” He sneered.

A throat being cleared brought the attention to the room. Theo Nott leaned forward with a strange look on his face. “Are you positive it was a seventh year sir, do you not know anyone else with that kind of ability.”

Two boys on the other side of the room looked at each other in question. They knew what poly juice potion did and they were pretty sure now that they saw the person who used it. Well, not the true person but the body no less. Silently agreeing to keep that information to them selves than to get reprimanded for not telling Snape sooner.

Snape looked at the almost knowing look on Notts face and processed what it was he was saying when it clicked what he was aiming at. Taking a deep breath he closed his eyes for a second.

“Never mind I believe I just realized who the culprit is. That will be all.” He turned around quickly his cape flapping.

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Three days later a basket appeared on Snapes desk with jars replacing the items that were taken. As well as a small vial of Acromantula venom with a note attached.

————

Sorry, I meant to replace it all before you noticed. Needed a cover story.
Please accept venom as a token of my apologies and gratitude.
- H.G.
-
——————

Chapter Text

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“Enemies of the heir beware?” Rodolphus couldn’t help but chuckle at the small girl. She turned and gave him her brightest smile despite the blush forming in her cheeks.

“What can I say I was channeling the Malfoy dramatics.” She laughed waving a hand in the air in an uppity move and he joined.

Even Lucius chuckled. It did have a nice flair to it. He tipped his glass in a mock toast. While the others laughed along.

Tom looked around at the group gathered. Dobby has brought Hermione back to Malfoy manor after she requested a meeting to go over what they had set up without the fear of an owl being intercepted. Nagini sat around her chair curled up around her legs. Hissing in content.

“Ok, so this is what I have so far.” She said summoning a stack of parchment from her bag.

“I have a copy of every missive I have sent and gotten in return from Dumbledore regarding the chamber. You can see he has completely dismissed me in everyone.” She handed the copies to the men in the room.

“I also have made sure that I have asked nearly every professor what they know about the chamber, and have had numerous others witness that.” She cleared her throat with a cough. “And then finally I have my letter to Fudge about what has happened at the school. I made sure I laid it on thick about the school not making a big deal out of the petrifying because it was only happening to muggle borns. I sent basically the same letter to the parents of those petrified so I’m assuming Fudge will get a rush of missives within the week.” She grinned at them.

Tom shook his head as he read over her carefully worded notes. At the moment there were 10 children laying petrified in the hospital wing and classes were still proceeding as normal. Dumbledore must have been pulling all his strings to keep the castle open, however he was losing ground fast. After Fudge received those letters there would be have to be consequences.

The old fools humerus knew no bounds. Hermione has written him letter after letter trying to have him aide her in locating the chamber to stop the attacks. The last one even a plea for help as she felt her time was coming. It was genius really. She played him right into their plans. And yet even being the boy wonders best friend didn’t give her a minute of the mans time.

“So I take it you have a plan for how it will cumulate then?” Tom asked her pulling his eyes from the parchment.

She nodded. “I’ve thought about it time and time again, and I think there’s only one real way to get the attention we need.” She bit her bottom lip.

Tom nodded his head already having came to the same conclusion himself after reading her letters.

“Very well, is there anything you need from us?” He asked her leaning his arms on the desk.

She paused for a moment and you could see the gears turning in her head as she played out every possible outcome. Finally she sighed.

“Honestly.... I need someone else on the inside. It’s a lot to make sure everything falls into place without having some kind of back up to help nudge people in the right direction.” She rubbed the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.

The others nodded sympathetically. They understood she had a lot on her plate and has thus far handled it all glowingly. However keeping up the facade on a daily bases had to be exhausting.

“Is there anyone you had in mind?” Tom asked her curiously. Knowing this would be a test to see if she went with her head or her heart.

“Well, I’ve been thinking. At first of course my mind went straight to Rowle or Dolohov, considering I trust them more than anyone.” She sighed sitting back. “But then I realized they are both 7th years and will be leaving in a few months and I’ll be back to being alone again. So I started to look at the younger years. Pucey has never been outright terrible to me. However he is a bit too popular to be able to just disappear to meet with me.” She shrugged looking over at the other men in the room. “And no offense Lucius but I would probably murder Draco within the first 5 minutes of trying to speak with him.”

Lucius And Rodolphus laughed. “Non taken Hermione. I believe he shares the sentiment. I no doubt once he matures a bit you all will be able to get along, just right now he isn’t quite ready.” Lucius said.

She nodded. “Agreed. Well.. then I found out something quite interesting. Did you know the Nott family has the ability to SEE magic? I mean, I have been able to feel it and I’ve heard that isn’t common. But apparently Theodore can actually see the magic in a person and can therefore determine how powerful they have potential to be.” Her voice had raised in excitement. “That has to be a useful skill, besides the fact it’s so fascinating. I wanted to ask him more about it but I wasn’t myself that day.” She looked over at Snape and winked.

Tom smiled watching how his daughter brightened at the thought of exploring a new topic. He could see her dying to dig her mind into the idea.

“Dobby.” Tom called out and the small elf appeared. He asked him to go and bring Theodore Nott and his father Thomas to the manor so they could speak. He was supposed to bring Thomas in but leave Theo out in the sitting room until they were ready for him.

After the crack of Dobby disappearing Tom turned to Hermione.

“Thomas and I went to school together, I’m only telling you this so you can be aware that he is much older than those you are used to dealing with.” He chuckled. “He didn’t age as well as I it seems.” The men around him laughed.

Very soon the door opened to the study and Thomas Nott walked in. He smiled and bowed to Tom.

“My Lord.” He said looking around the room he stopped when he got to Hermione and his eyes widened. He took a step towards her before bowing to her as well.

“Ms. Riddle I presume?” He took her hand bringing it to his lips with a smile.

Her father was right to warn her Thomas was much older than she would have expected. Pushing 70 for sure and was quite round in the middle, but he did seem quite nice so she returned the smile with a nod.

“Yes sir, however I go by Ms. Granger.”

Thomas took a seat while Tom and the others explained what has been happening getting his opinion on wether or not he thought Theo would be up to assisting.

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Theo sat in the sitting room tapping his foot. He couldn’t help the small smile that formed on his lips when he thought back to a few minutes ago when he was picked up from school. The look on Draco Malfoy face alone would bring him joy for years to come. Seeing his own house elf come pick up His roommate because the Dark Lord requested him was too shocking for the blonde git.

He had a slight idea of what he was being summoned for but wouldn’t know for certain till he was called back. His father was in there now which made him a tiny bit nervous. He lived to make him proud and was hoping this would give him the chance.

When he was finally allowed to enter the room he looked around at the company waiting for him inside. Two of his professors, his and Draco’s father’s. And then seated at the desk was a man who didn’t look any older than early 20s. He had dark brown hair and green eyes that shone out from his fair complexion. He knew he must be the dark lord so he bowed his head to him in greeting.

“My Lord.” He said as proper as he could manage as his eyes flicked to take in the rest of the room.

They landed next to his former professor Lestrange and he couldn’t keep the smile off of his face. He knew he was right all along but to see her in person felt like vindication.

“Hello Beautiful.” He cooed to her taking her hand and kissing her knuckles while she rolled her eyes.

“Hello Theodore. Every the flattery I see.” She couldn’t fight the small smile tugging at the corner of her lip.

Theo sat down to listen to why he was called in for. When he was asked about his and his father’s ability to see magic he was excited to share with them.

“It’s different for everyone obviously. For most it almost looks like they are holding a lightbulb in their hands. Others who aren’t so strong it is a large candle. Even for squibs like filch it looks like a match. Just the flicker of light.” He made a quick opening and closing of his hands.

“Other more powerful witches and wizards have brighter lights. You and Dumbledore for example have beacons of light. No offense sir I don’t mean to be speaking out of line here but you must have done something that fractured pieces from your magic because it isn’t whole when I look at it.” Theo looked nervous to say something so personal to his lord but knew he had to to prove that they really did know what they were talking about.

To his relief Tom just nodded in acceptance to his claim before asking him another question.

“So, Hermione said you made a statement about what you see when you look at her?” Tom lead him.

Theo smiled brightly before turning to his father who also smiled and nodded at him in encouragement.

“Yes my Lord, it’s why I was able to tell it was Granger even though she was using poly juice potion. Like I said for those who are powerful it’s like looking at a beacon but when you look at Hermiones sir, well...” he winked at the girl. “it’s like looking at the sun.”

Chapter Text

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Draco Malfoy paced back and forth in their bed room for two hours waiting on Theo to return. Every time he would stop to take a seat his anger would get the better of him and he would jump to his feet again.

With a crack that signaled their return Theo separated from Dobby and took a seat in his bed removing his shoes. Oblivious to the death stare Draco was giving him from across the room.

“Well!?” The blonde stomped his foot in demand. “Are you going to tell me what that was all about?”

Theo was loosening his tie when he stared into the grey eyes of his friend.

“I had a lovely evening at your home Draco, there’s not much else to say. I would imagine if you were supposed to be included you would have been there yourself.” He shrugged pulling the fabric over his head and changing into his bed clothes.

Draco clinched his jaw so tight you could almost hear the sound of his teeth gritting together.

“This is ridiculous, why you? If it’s at my house and has to do with my family I should know!” He continued his fit.

Theo couldn’t help but smile. “I don’t know for certain Drake but listen. I have told you before and I’ll say it one last time. Things aren’t always what they seem. I would suggest thinking hard about your actions in the future because one day when everything is out in the open you don’t want to be stuck with your foot in your mouth.”

And with that he slid into the covers, turning off his light and going to bed. Leaving a red faced Malfoy stewing over his words.

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A loud groan tore their attention away from the books as a red head firmly placed itself against the book on the table.

“I can’t. I can’t take another minute of this. My eyes are bleeding.” The red heads complaint muffled into the parchment.

Hermione rolled her eyes.

“Then leave Ronald. No one is forcing you to stay. We are just trying to get everything done to prepare for exams.” She whisper hissed.

Harry chuckled at his friends near constant bickering.

“Hey Mione, I didn’t tell you about my meeting with Dumbledore yet.” He started looking over his work at his pseudo sister.

Hermione looked up as well. Wanting to know why the old man had pulled Harry out of class and into his office earlier.

“He said he heard I stayed with you last summer and told me I shouldn’t have left the Dursley’s. He tried to convince me to stay with them this summer too, but I told him your family had already asked me to stay. He didn’t seem too pleased, I told him I’d be going to Rons for a few weeks at the end of the summer and he said I needed to spend time with my family. Like, does he not realize you all are the only real family I have? It’s almost like he doesn’t want me to be happy.” He scoffed.

Hermione shook her head but before she could respond Ron did.

“I wish you all could spend the whole summer with us, but we have to go to Egypt to visit Bill. But we’re real excited for you to see the Burrow. We can all play quidditch out back!” He said excitedly.

Harry smiled even as Hermione rolled her eyes. Ron knew she didn’t like the sport but he seemed determined to convert her into a fan.

“Yeah I can’t wait. I don’t think I could go back to Surrey now after spending the last few weeks of last summer with Mione. It was the closest I have ever felt to being a prince.” He laughed. “Honestly Ron you should come by and see it. I bet it’s even bigger than where the Malfoys live. Oh I bet ole pointy face would die to hear that.”

Hermione shook her head at them. Boys. Everything was a competition to them.

“Maybe I’ll be able to stop by when Dad comes to take us to the burrow!” Ron said excitedly.

They had packed up their bags to leave when Hermione waved them on to go ahead of her. She walked to the back to see her two favorite seventh years huddled over a pile of books studying for their NEWTS. She grinned as she moved silently closer to them.

“Boo!” She said and the two boys jumped in their seats.

“Bloody hell princess!” Thorfinn exclaimed with a hand pressed to his heart. “You scared the shit out of us.”

She moved around the couch and shimmied herself in between the two.

“Well I would hope not.” She giggled.

===

She sat quietly in between the two while they finished their studying. Her head rested against Dolohov while her feet settled across Thor’s lap. Neither boy complained to her making herself at home with them.

“This potions exam will be the death of me.” Thor groaned loudly slapping his book shut.

She ruffled his long blonde hair.

“Oh hush. You will do just fine. Just take your time and believe in your self. You’ll get at least an E.” She reassured him.

An arm wrapped around her as the sound of another book shutting echoed to her left.

“Well that’s a load of praise coming from you. Think he would be able to whip up a cauldron if poly juice potion while he’s at it?” Dolohov snarked pulling her in tighter to him.

She snorted. “If He has a month, bloody thing is fickle at best.....” She started realizing her mistake instantly.

“I Uh. Well I’ve heard at least. Oh bollocks.” She pressed her face against Antonins chest.

“Ah ha! We knew it was you! You cheeky little shit!” Thor roared coming in to tickle her sides while Dolohov held her tight despite her squirming.

“Ah stop stop you’re going to get us kicked out!” She pleaded through her laughter.

Thankfully they let up, allowing her to sit up enough to wipe the tears from her eyes. She elbowed them both with a grin claiming they were impossible.

“Impossible she says. Has the whole house looking into thieving genius seventh years only for her second year arse to be the one who pulled it over.” Thor rolled his eyes at her.

“Malyshka, do we even want to know what you were doing in our common room?” Dolohov asked from behind her where he still held her up against him.

She shrugged. “Just satisfying curiosity is all.”

“Hmm. And would that be the reason you locked your lips onto our boy here?” His voice was playful and she turned to see a smirk on his face.

Try as she may she couldn’t fight the blush that rose to her cheek. She had hoped they wouldn’t bring up the quick kiss. She rolled her eyes anyways trying to play it off.

“Yes yes. Curiosity of course.” She tried to wave them off.

“Curiosity killed the kneazle don’t you know?” Dolohov said. While Thor looked on with glee.

“Yes, but satisfaction brought it back.” She wiggles her eyebrows and winked at the big Viking. “What if I never see you all again after you graduate. I’d hate to live my whole life wondering what it would be like.”

Hoping that would be the end of the discussion she went to stand but was held back by the arms around her. She groaned as she was pulled into the lap of Dolohov. He grabbed both sides of her face and pulled her closer to him. He laid a big loud kiss right on her lips and she pulled back from him in shock. Her cheeks burning now.

“That way you don’t have to go through the trouble of brewing a month long potion malyshka.” He smiled at her.

She snuggled in to both of them trying not to think of kisses shared between them now.

“What will I do with out you all next year?”

=================================

Harry was at the end of his rope. He had looked around the common room and the library and great hall for an hour and there was still no sign of Hermione. He thought he was going to punch Ron in his round nose when he blew off Harry’s concern to play another game of chess. His own sister was with Mione yet he didn’t want to leave the comforts of the settee to help locate them.

Harry’s next move was to locate the twins. He knew they had something that acted as a map of the castle. First year they had shown Hermione and he knew they carried it around with them religiously.

Unfortunately when he found the twin terrors they let him know they had lent the map out to Hermione that morning and hadn’t seen her or Ginny since lunch. Their friend Lee however said he saw Mione with Ginny and her friend Elenor in the library earlier studying. Harry groaned making another trip down the stairs to the library. Curfew was less than an hour away. He needed to find them.

Making a point to look down every aisle twice Harry was getting worried. There was no sign of them anywhere. He didn’t really want to but he felt like he had no choice but to get professors involved. Walking out of the library he spied two familiar faces in a crowd ahead of him.

“Oi Rowle, Dolohov! Wait up a minute!” He yelled jogging to catch up with him.

The two seventh years looked at each other and shrugged. Whatever scar head needed they suppose they could hear him out for a minute.

“You lot haven’t seen Hermione around have you?” He asked them slightly out of breath.

They both shook there head no while taking in the small boy in front of them. They could see he was nervous. He looked desperate for information.

“Bollocks.” He rubbed his face beneath his glasses. “No one has seen her or Ginny in hours. She’s not in the library or our common room and I’ve been around everywhere else she would be multiple times. It’s like she vanished.” He groaned.

“Well sorry to both you both, if you by chance see her please tell her we are looking for her. It’s just not like her to disappear like this, especially with what’s been happening to the other muggle borns.”

He started to turn off down the corridor. Planning on doing one last sweep before going to Mcgonagall.

“Hey Potter!” Rowle called after him. Harry spun around to see the two older boys talking amongst themselves.

“We will help you look for her. If we all split up we are bound to find her sooner.” Rowle said as they walked up to him.

“Potter you take the upstairs hallways and your common room, Thor you start in the library and then go to the dungeons and potions lab just in case. And I’ll do a sweep of the great hall, and the grounds. Regardless of if we find her or not we will meet back here in 45 minutes.” Dolohov took control and they split up to find their curly headed friend.

============

Dolohov quickly walked through the hall looking for any sign of the little witch. He asked a few people he saw out but no one had seen her around. He left the safety of the castle and wandered the grounds looking for her.

He didn’t think she would bring the two other girls with her to see Nagini given that he didn’t think she had told Rowle about it and doubted that even Potter knew about her slithering familiar. He had to check though just to be sure.

After walking the path around Harris’s hut he didn’t see any sign of her. He considered trying to call out the werewolf to see if she’d be out there tonight but decided against it. There was a line of spiders heading into the forest that made his stomach churn. He hoped one of the others had better luck because at this moment he was officially worried.

================

Thorfinn used his giant frame to his advantage. His long strides made it easy to cover twice the distance as the others, and he demanded attention when he entered a room making it easier to ask everyone he came in contact with if they’d seen the missing Gryffindor.

After classroom after classroom came up empty and the halls were cleared due to the encroaching curfew Thorfinn made a quick decision to enter his own common room to ask around. Again no one was helpful until a group of second years walked down from their dormitories.

“Any of you lot seen Granger this evening?” He called to the group of boys.

“What’s wring Rowle. Worried your pet mudblood has run off?” Draco Malfoys cruel snark answered back first.

Wether it be the stress of his exams or the fear he felt that something was actually amiss with Hermione being gone Thor didn’t know. But something stopped his normal reaction control from working and before he knew what was happening he had already thrown the punch. Knocking the platinum haired menace to the ground in the blink of an eye.

People were quick to their feet and the voices grew louder as the two fat idiots behind Malfoy tried to stand him up quickly and escort him to the bathroom to clean up the blood.

“Nice hook Rowle.” A cooler voice said accompanied by a slow three claps. “I can say I’m jealous you got to him first.”

Thor looked up in shock at the words Theo Nott has said. Of all the second year boys in Slytherin he fit in the least. Super intelligent, funny, and he didn’t have the same flair for cruelty and dramatics that the others did.

“To answer your earlier question I have seen Granger tonight. I saw her with two first years after dinner going to the bathroom on the second floor. The one in the hallway haunted by the crying girl. Apparently she has a lab set up in there and she has been helping those two study for potions there.” He said leaning back against the wall.

“And how do you know so much about her Nott?” Thor couldn’t keep the slight growl from his voice. He didn’t know why he felt the need to keep him an arms length away from the princess.

Theo just laughed. “You And Dolohov aren’t the only Slytherin friends she has Rowle. She’s in most of my classes and she’s the smartest witch in school. I’d be a fool to not try my hand at friendship with her.”

Thor sneered. “So you’re using her for her brain?”

Theo shook his head in an exasperated manner. “Nope, not at all. I’m happy to just be her friend. Same as you right?” He cocked his brow.

Thor nodded looking up at the clocks. Curfew was minutes away and he needed to meet Potter and Antonin.

“Come with me Nott, you’re going to help us find OUR friend.” He grabbed the boy by the shoulder and led him out of the corridor.

Chapter Text

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Chaos. Pure and utter chaos is the only definition for the state of things at Hogwarts. Media personnel flanked the castle, parents were storming the gates to pick up their children, the Minister himself and the board of governors came in to remove Dumbledore from his post.

The three weeks following the night the four boys made a discovery in the second floor girls bathroom would go down in history.

 

The boys had gone together after meeting up to the second floor to find the bathroom that Theo had said Hermione had set up a lab. They instantly knew something was wrong when they stepped into the corridor and had to wade through ankle deep water to get to the bathroom doorway.

When they approached the open doorway they all took a harsh breath. The inside of the bathroom was destroyed. Thorfinn went to step in but was held back by an invisible force. Of course Hermione had warded the doorway. She was operating a secret potions lab she didn’t want anyone to be able to just pop in.

A small red headed figure was standing stock still gripping a sink. Harry tried to call out to her to get Hermione to let them in. But no matter how many times they yelled she never moved a muscle. They tried looking around and could barely make out a pair of legs on the far side of the room. The ceiling was filled with smoke where there must be a fire somewhere else they couldn’t see.

“Something’s wrong. Potter you and Nott go get professor Snape and Mcgonagall. I’m going to start taking down these wards so we can get in. Hurry!” Dolohov commanded the two second year boys and they both took off at a run. Splashing as they disappeared down the corridor.

 

Over the next three weeks the paper would flood with stories of the poor unfortunate souls involved that fateful night along with numerous postings of the past year of terror the students at hogwarts had been quietly dealing with.

Seven students and one ghost were involved.

Four boys who had to give their sides of the story multiple times to the staff and minister as well as to the press when they found out that Hermione had been dismissed in her worry about the chamber of secrets. Three pure blooded, one half blood, the public wept for them having to find their classmates and friends in such a state. Nott and Rowle senior would be quotes in the paper numerous times about the lasting effect they were sure the event would hold on their boys, and how they hope someone was held accountable for it.

Two students were petrified. Ginny Weasley was found frozen at the sink of the bathroom. A look of pure terror etched on her face. Her fingers gripped so tightly to the porcelain they had to break off the chunks to take with her to the hospital wing. The whole clan of Weasleys stormed the castle and were a permanent fixture next to the young girl, also demanding answers.

The other petrified student Hermione Granger was found in a heartbreaking situation. She was gripping the seventh and final student Elenor Bonds dead body to her a look of pure grief frozen on her face.

 

It was an accident. Anyone who knew she was responsible for the scene would know that. It was supposed to be the perfect set up. A pure blood a half blood and a muggle born all found together after all the threats being ignored. The outrage of it being kept quiet would have been enough, but now there was an innocent life lost.

 

Theo knew the moment he heard her cry out. The three girls were standing at the sink washing off a potion they had ‘accidentally’ exploded. They were all supposed to see the reflection in the large mirror in front of them, but sometimes the best laid plans can still crumble. Myrtle popped in just as the snake appeared and screamed. Ginny looked up in the mirror and was instantly frozen, but poor Elenor just turned around and was met with the gaze that ended her life. Myrtle was hanging in a strange petrified state as well, being dead already she couldn’t exactly die again.

Hermione screamed and Theo stepped out of the back stall and dropped his notice me not spell. He came to her side and held her best he could as she screamed in rage of her plans failing. The toilets and pipes breaking and shooting water all over the floor. Bouts of fire shooting from her person burning the stalls around them. He held her until her she calmed. His shoulder soaked from her tears. He helped sit her down safely next to a wall as she gripped the first year tight to her. He held up the mirror to her as she spoke to the basilisk and commanded it to go back to the chamber and return to sleep after petrifying her.

Theo waited till he heard the snake disappear before he took the mirror from hermiones frozen hand. Kissing the top of her head he slipped out of the bathroom and cast the wards on the door Hermione had taught him. He went to his room and waited. Knowing it wouldnt be long before the news spread to him. He wasn’t planning to be a part of the search party to find her, but felt it was better that way to be sure they were discovered that night.

 

Dolohov had broken through the wards right as Harry approached with Mcgonagall. The old professor sobbed when she saw the scene. Harry dropped down next to Hermione soaking his trousers but not caring. Theo arrived with Snape, and as soon as he saw the wreckage Snape turned to go to the floo for help. His black cloak billowing behind him. He made the call first to Malfoy manor, Lucius would inform the board of governors. Then He flooed the Dark Lord to let him know that although her plan was successful there was a slight hiccup.

Dolohov had to help Harry to his feet as he was wrecked with sobs while Thorfinn helped Mcgonagall maneuver the small corpse away from their petrified friend. Without waiting for assistance Thor lifted Hermiones stiff body into his arms and carried her to the hospital wing, all the torches flaring from his lack of emotional control as they passed.

 

There was still 3 weeks until the mandrake crop was ready for harvesting so Hermione and Ginny’s bodies laid with the 10 others in the infirmary. In those three weeks the papers reported every day on the state of the children, the school and the downfall of the headmaster. Hogwarts took up ninety percent of all news coverage. Rita Skeeter even printed copies of the letters sent to the minister and head master. However, if you looked closely between the obituaries and birth and wedding announcements you would also see some postings of people getting promoted within the ministry, and hirings that were taken place. Of course no one was looking that close, there was bigger news after all.

In another shocking turn of events children stepped forward with memories to give of the DADA professor Lockhart loudly and proudly exclaiming he knew the location of the chamber of secrets and the beast that resides in it, that given the opportunity he would easily vanquish it. When ministry officials confronted the professor they found he was lacking any and all knowledge of even the basic defensive techniques. After questioning the professor on his past endeavors they found he had plagiarized them all, and was then arrested for impersonating multiple esteemed witches and wizards.

 

Every day for breakfast and lunch Harry would eat in the bed next to Hermione. Some times Ron would join him to visit his sister and family as there was always a Weasley there to watch over the two girls. Then at dinner Thorfinn and Antonin would come and eat with her and spend the rest of the time until curfew studying next to her. They knew the little witch would never forgive them if they slacked off on their Newts just because she was laid up.

Harry was there by her side when she woke up. He hugged her so tight she thought she may crack as they cried on each others shoulder. He apologized time after time for not being there with her, for not pressing Dumbledore himself about the case. But he was shocked to tell her that nothing has happened since the night they were attacked and they removed Dumbledore from the castle. That now people were claiming that not only did Dumbledore neglect his duties as head master, but he may have also been the one to control the beast as well.

Mrs. Weasley helped Hermione and Ginny change as they were still stiff and emotionally drained she called the twins to have them escort the girls down to the great hall after they got the all clear. For the first time in two years both twins were actually respectful and helpful towards them. She apologized to them for taking their map for so long. But they just smiled and winked at her saying:

“You’ve already stolen our heart Granger.”
“What’s a piece of parchment after that?”
“But next time you go getting petrified-“
“Take our brother with you too...”
“Been a long three weeks.”
“And we need a break from the whining.”

She stepped away from them right before entering the great hall. After hearing the stories of what happened the last few weeks she knew she had others to see. She stepped towards the back doors and entered on the Slytherin side.

They didn’t see her walk in, as they were looking towards the main door. So she was able to sneak up right behind them without them noticing.

“You know after the end of last year I set the bar pretty low for this year.. and yet somehow I got a shovel and found myself coming in under it yet again. I can only imagine what will happen my third year. Perhaps I’ll get eaten by the giant squid...” She said she she sat in between the two calmly.

Throwing them both so off guard they were actually silent to listen to her. When the reality of what was happening they both jumped. Throwing their arms around the small witch crushing her between them.

“Witch if I find out you even looked at the lake next year I will come here and put a sticking charm on your arse to the seats in here.” Thorfinn told her as he still held her close.

She snorted patting his broad back before shifting to look at Dolohov.

“What about you Dolly? Are you going to threaten me to take better care of myself.” She gave him a watery smile.

He scoffed into her curls. “No malyshka, I’m going to charm some protective jewelry for you, and I’m going to brand you with a tracking rune that way you can’t go missing again.” He said matter of factly.

“I thought you said you weren’t going to threaten me?” She asked.

“I’m not little witch. After the hell you put us through these last three weeks that’s a promise. And I had planned that before you even reminded me of the shit you pulled last year. You’re lucky I don’t put you inside an unbreakable bubble.” He said and they finally released her.

“I’m really sorry I worried you all. I can’t thank you enough for all you did for me. Poppy told me you all came by every night to visit. I just hope I didn’t distract you from studying.” She said and they both laughed having called her thought process.

=========

Once their trunks were loaded she called politely for a house elf to take the two packages to the boys dorm for her two best friends once they finished their graduation ceremony. She shrunk her trunk and met Harry in the common room before they headed to the carriages together.

“You all packed then Mione?” He asked her still hovering over her in big brother mode as much as he could. She was thankful the stairs were charmed to her dorms or she was pretty certain he would have followed her up every time.

“Sure am, just had a owl drop off Rowle and Dolly’s graduation gifts. I’m still not sure if that’s a wizarding tradition or not but oh well, it’s done now.” She smiled and shrugged.

He put his arm around her leading her to the portrait hole.

“You sure you are ok?”

She shook her head yes. “I’m sure Harry. Let’s go home.”

Chapter Text

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“You know, I’m thinking this was a bad idea.” Harry gulped sounding afraid.

She sighed turning the page of her book with a slight roll of her eyes.

“Yes, that’s what I told you before you climbed up there. In fact I believe my exact words were ‘you’ll regret it once your up there Potter.’ And look at you, up there regretting it. Perhaps I can test out of divination this year.”

She laughed smugly shutting her book and sitting it next to her on the blanket. She looked over to where Harry was standing precariously on a branch that jutted our across the pond they had picnicked at.

They had been enjoying the warm summer sun when Harry had gotten the idea to climb the tree and jump into the pond. An idea that Hermione had quickly turned down, she offered to explain to him the physics of why it was a terrible idea but he said school was out for summer.

“I thought you were a Gryffindor Harry?” She teased.

“Oh that’s rich coming from you, I don’t see you up here.” He retorted his knuckles white from gripping the branches around him.

“Psh, everyone knows real cats don’t like to get wet..” she scoffed.

“The only reason you don’t want to get wet is because of that mane you call hair.” He laughed but had to quickly stop as it made the branches shake too much.

She rolled her eyes at him, considering just hexing him to push him in and get it over with but knew with the trace on her she would be drawing attention to herself by doing it. This last week was the first time her name wasn’t mentioned in the paper, and she wanted to keep it that way for a while.

This weeks headline was that Sirius Black had escaped Azkaban, a feat previously thought impossible. She was curious to get the inside scoop on black not knowing much besides that Rodolphus had married his certifiable cousin Bellatrix. Who thankfully was still locked away in the wizarding prison.

“What’s going on out here Mani?” The deep timber of Fenrirs voice called as he walked down the path towards the two teens.

Fenrir has been a reoccurring presence this summer since she returned to her adopted parents home. Her father had asked him to keep a closer eye on the girl since after the chamber he was afraid Dumbledore or one of his lackies may try to confront her.

What her father didn’t plan on of course was that Fenrir wouldn’t be a silent watchmen. Naturally the big brute made himself known quite often. Hermione had told Harry that he was one of the groundskeepers her parents employed and that he lived near by. A lie that thankfully since Harry never knew anyone that employed their own staff; believed.

“Oh nothing Fen, Just Potter being too scared to take the leap after he climbed all the way up the tree. I was just about to commit the memory of him climbing back down in defeat if you’d like to stay and watch.” She said loud enough for Harry to hear her barb.

Fenrirs loud laugh filled the area. He threw his head back and she couldn’t help but laugh along. She didn’t plan on becoming this close to the werewolf but there was something about him she couldn’t help but like.

“Go on Potter! Make the jump and prove little Mani wrong.” He yelled over to the messy haired boy before turning back to her.

“Where Nagini this fine day? I thought she usually spent her time in there?” He pointed at the pond as he asked her low enough where Harry wouldn’t over hear.

“Oh she’s in there. I told her to give him a tug if he ever makes it in. Will teach the fool to not listen to me.” She raised an eyebrow. And he laughed again.

“How much longer is he here?” He gestured at Harry again who was now trying to sit down on the branch but it was swaying under his ever moving weight.

She twisted her lip in thought. “2 more weeks. After the Weasleys get back he’ll be going to their house for the last 4 weeks of summer. They want me to come along as well, but well
that sounds like absolute hell so I’m going to wait to the last few days before dropping by. Plus I’m sure you know once Harry is gone, there’s going to be some relocation and remodeling done around here.” She looked up at him holding her hand out to block the sun from her eyes. He was smirking down at her.

“So I’ve heard. Can’t say I’m not glad to hear it. It will be much easier to look after you when I don’t have to hide from the muggles everyday.” She nodded I’m agreement.

She opened her mouth to respond but was stopped by a loud crack followed by a small shreik and a huge splash. She looked over to see a sputtering Harry emerge from the water.

“Woo hoo! Told you I could do it!” He cried victoriously.

She couldn’t help but laugh at him even as she shook her head in exasperation.

“Just the way you had planned too I suppose? I wonder if now would be a good time to warn you about the snakes?” She asked calmly.

The next memory would always be in her humor repertoire as Harry yelped before dramatically splashing his way towards the shore. Only to kick up a piece of moss that had him shrieking girlishly again.

“Not a word Mione. Not a word!” He threatened her weakly as he was bent over hands on his knees catching his breath.

=================================

“So, tell me about Sirius Black.” She started as she sat back in the chair of the Malfoy lounge.

“You know, it would probably be easier to keep the leaf in your mouth if you kept said mouth closed..” Rodolphus said as he scanned her for how far along in her practice she was.

Once a week she got to go alone to ballet practice, where she would walk into the center only to meet Dobby in the first empty room to whisk her off to meet with her father and his friends.

To combat boredom at the beginning of the summer she asked for suggestions on a new project she could work on and Snape knowing her skills in transfiguration suggested animagus training. Unfortunately none of them had trained in such an art, and although Fenrir transformed he didn’t know anything about the process for those not inflicted with lycanthropy. Though he did volunteer to include her in his affliction should she so please.

Rodolphus decided he would go along with the girl and try as well. Knowing that sometimes it was best to have someone along side of you in these types of magic. However he was now a full month behind his curly headed ex student as he swallowed his leaf on accident.

“As if I would take advice from you on how to keep it in my mouth, pretty soon the tables will have turned and I will be teaching you professor.” She wiggled her eyebrows with a laugh.

“So, Sirius Black?” She started again.

She sat and listened to the men in the room each share their opinions on Black. Obviously there was a deep seated hatred in Snape for the man, he had nothing positive to say about him. He called him reckless and ignorant, attention hungry and then ended it with ‘man whore.’

Lucius said he didn’t know much on him besides what he had heard from his wife, his cousin. But that he voluntarily cast away his status and family name while still in school and moved in with the Potters. He did admit his parents were batty and her own father laughed at that mumbling ‘understatement of the year.’ He said he had done twelve years in Azkaban for a crime most knew he didn’t commit, but no one did anything about it.

Rodolphus was good friends with his brother growing up and said they were quite different. Where Regulus was quiet and reserved Sirius was outgoing and boisterous. He did comment that he was powerful in his time and wasn’t as quick as the others to follow blindly with what the order preached. That he likely joined to stay near the potters who were the only family that cared for him.

“With a black it’s like flipping a coin wether they’re gonna be bat shit or not. One one side you have Narcissa. The prim proper pureblood with brains to spare. Then on the other; Bellatrix. Vulgar, brash, and has more than a handful of screws loose. I’d be curious to see where black lands after his stay.” He explained.

“Roddy you make her sound like such a gem, I wonder how she landed such a catch as you.” Hermione winked his direction. Normally she called him professor but went for a more playful tone.

He smirked back at her. “Her father was the highest bidder, it was nothing more than a business contract love. But, maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll die in there, then I’ll be an eligible bachelor again.” He wagged his eyebrows and the people around him groaned.

Hermione just shook her head at him.

Her father finally piped in and said that Dumbledore had used Sirius’ love for the Potter family against him. That he knew he would react violently when he heard that they had passed and he fell right into the trap. He caused a violent scene in front of muggles and was whipped off to the prison without a trial or the opportunity to question Dumbledore himself on the acts of that night.

They all admitted they were curious as to how the man escaped the inescapable prison especially with the power and soul sucking dementors that stand guard. At the time there were a few death eaters locked away they would like to have out. She found her self curious in the wizard himself, and what side he would find himself on now.

=================================

“Thank you again for your hospitality Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy. I hope to be able to return the favor as soon as Father and I are settled in.” The feminine voice said from behind the door.

“Of course dear, but don’t be a stranger until then.” His mothers happy voice returned.

“I wouldn’t dream of it. Roddy don’t you dare lose another leaf! Dobby if you’re ready.” The same voice was now speaking to his elf.

“Of course Miss!” Then a sharp crack let him know the elf had left.

The door to the study opened and the Malfoys exited followed by Rodolphus who was still snickering at the girls direct order.

“Hello uncle, I didn’t know you’d be by today.” Draco said as he made his presence known without letting them know he was eavesdropping.

Rodolphus turned and smiled at his nephew. He understood the boy was still upset that he hadn’t been let into the inner fold. However he knew why, he was still lacking in the maturity department and needed to prove himself that he wasn’t a ticking time bomb so to speak. He had hoped that since Draco knew Theo had been let in that he would try to adapt to his friends cool calm and laid back appearance, however that was yet to be seen.

“Draco, good to see you son. I just came by for a quick talk with your father and some associates. What are you getting into today?” He addressed him cheerfully.

Draco shrugged. “Nothing today, I have plans to go to the alley later this week with some of my mates, I was just coming to get some parchment to send off a letter now.” He nodded his head towards the door of the study they had just left from.

Rodolphus clapped him on the shoulder. “Well I won’t keep you. I’ll be in and out of the alley all week perhaps I’ll see you there.” And he turned and walked to the floo.

Draco entered the now empty study and looked around. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that would explain what they had all been talking about. He sat at his father’s desk and composed a letter to Theo to remind him about meeting him.

He had just rolled up the scroll and closed it with the seal and stood to leave. He dropped the scroll and leaned down to pick it up where it rolled under one of the wing back chairs by the fire. He placed his hand on the seat of the chair for leverage to push himself back up when he saw something else in the seat.

Tucked down the side of the cushion was a book. ‘Significance Of lunar cycles and their power in transformation.’ It was an old copy that he pretty sure belonged in the library. He was confused because it wasn’t like his father to take a book away from the library like this. He opened it and was flicking through the pages when he saw something else odd. There in between two pages, which he could only assume was there to hold someone’s place, was a small golden hair clip. It was rather plain but he could tell from the weight it was real. Yet it wasn’t anything his mother would use.

Odd he thought. He carefully stored it away to memory and replaced the book going off to the owlery to send off his missive.

Chapter Text

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She was sitting out in the back garden with her morning coffee when Nagini approached her. She loved this time in the morning where she enjoyed the quiet and solitude outside. Harry was a late sleeper. After so many years of being forced to get up early to cater and clean for his family she didn’t blame him. She was glad he was comfortable enough at their home to get enough sleep, and to not feel like he had to follow her everywhere.

Nagini slithered closer and laid her large head on her masters lap. Hermione reaches down to rub her smooth skin.

“Good morning Nagini.” She said lowly not wanting to break the quiet of the morning.

“Good morning my love. I hope you have slept well?” The snake hissed in reply.

Hermione smiled and nodded to her, still stroking her.

“I come to warn you little love, there is a different presence on your property. I have smelled it the last few days. At first I thought it was your wolf, but it is different. It has a human scent to it as well. Perhaps an animagus?” She hissed in warning.

Hermione furrowed her brows in thought. There shouldn’t be any wizard presence there except for Her, Harry and Fenrirs. All smells that Nagini was familiar with. Knowing this made her feel like she was being watched and she didn’t like it. She would keep an eye out as well as inform Fenrir. Chances are if Nagini smelt it, he would pick up on it too.

“Thank you Nagini. I will be sure to keep an eye out and I will let Fenrir know too.” She patted the snake while she went to stand to go back inside.

“Just stay safe Hermione. You are too important to be in danger anymore.” She wrapped her body around the small girl in a hug.

“Oh Nagini where would be the fun in that?” She laughed heading into the house.

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He rolled over in the bed expecting to find more open space but instead rolled into a solid form.

“Oof!” The form said as it pushed away from him.

Groggily he tried to open his eyes and was greeted by said form pushing his glasses onto his face. When the world around him finally came into focus he saw the smiling face of his best friend. Her brown eyes sparkling in the morning sun.

“Bloody hell Hermione!” He said through a yawn. “What are you doing in here?”

“Well good morning to you too Harry,” she scoffed. “I’m here because tomorrow is your birthday and you know mom and dad will want to take us all out in the muggle world, so today i thoght you and I could go celebrate in our world!” she sat up and bounced on the bed excitedly. “Plus, I read about something cool and I want to try it out!”

Groaning louder and longer than necessary he rolled out of the bed and got to his feet. Stretching out on his walk to his bathroom. He had grown a few inches over the summer, and was still getting used to it. A fact that Hermione found exceedingly annoying considering she herself had not grown at all. Stopping by the door he stripped off his nightshirt to toss it in the hamper near the door.

“Harry!” she chastised him. “You can't just change in front of me, its improper!”

“Hermione!” he mocked her tone. “I woke up this morning with you in my bed, your coffee breath all in my face.. if your going to call the properity police you're going down with me!” he laughed as he disappeared behind the door.

She waited until she heard the shower start before she got up to yell through the door how long they had to get ready, then she ran off down the hall to dress herself.
===================================

She rushed him down the sidewalk to a clear side street. She had his hand gripped in hers practically dragging him the step behind her. Until finally they came upon a quiet street with no one else but them on it.

“Ok this should do perfectly!” she squealed bouncing on the balls of her feet. She turned quickly looking at Harry.

“Ok Potter, so what color hair are you feeling? Blonde, or maybe be a weasley for the day?” she laughed at his confused expression.

“I just figured you'd rather us have some animinity today, i know i don't want everyone asking me about being petrified.” she explained and he nodded along.

After explaining that the magic used wouldn't be as obvious since they were away from her strictly muggle home she waved her wand around them both. Harry's unruly black hair turned a dirty blonde and gained some curls that sat nicely upon his head and covered his scar. She also changed his glasses from the circle wire rimmed he usually wore to a thick black rimmed square set. It was crazy how big a difference two small changes made. Hermione used her wand to straighten and darken her hair to deep black. It was so long without the curl it hung around her waist. She switched her own eyes to blue and pulled the hair around her eyes back with a golden hair clip that shone in the dark locks.

They smiled and nodded at each other. The disguises would work perfectly for them to have a quiet day at the Alley.

“Ok and here's what I was so excited to try!” she said happily as she lifted her wand up on the empty seat, and before Harry could question what she was doing they heard the squealing of tires and a double decker purple bus came screeching into existence. Hermione couldn't stop herself from doing a small happy dance.

“What is this?” Harry asked mouth open in shock.

She was about to answer when a man stepped out of the back dressed in a uniform that matched the buses coloring.

“Welcome to the Knight Bus, a bus service for the wayward wizard. My name is Stan, would you like to board?” The man said nasally.

Hermione grabbed Harry's hand and pulled him up to board the bus, handing over a few shillings for each of them to the uniformed man. They climbed inside and both were gaping at the inside of the bus. The ceiling was much higher than the two levels shown on the inside and there were numerous people in different states all around. Some were sitting like she and Harry were some were laying, and others were in deep deep sleep. They gave their destination to Stan and the bus took off with a shot. After only a few minutes they slammed to a stop outside of the leaky cauldron.

They both got down out of the bus with shaky legs. They turned to look at each other with similar green expressions.

“I think I will call a driver to come get us this afternoon. That's an experience I don't believe I ever want a repeat.” She groaned.

“I couldn't agree with you more Sis.” Harry replied.

Chapter Text

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“Ok!” She clapped her hands. “We’ve done lunch, stopped by the candy shop, got you some new robes, and we spent an entire hour in the quidditch supply store. Where would you like to go next?” She asked Harry as they sat to rest a minute on the bench.

He brought a hand up to his chin to think. “Hmm I need to get some treats for Hedwig before I head over to the Weasleys. Since you are leaving me to fend for myself with them I will likely write you daily.” He pouted. “So then I should also pick up some parchment and ink.”

She nodded along. “Then we end the day with ice cream?” She looked at him hopefully.

“Duh.” He laughed elbowing her playfully.

They rose together and headed to the pet store to buy some owl treats. She was wandering the aisles when she saw out of the corner of her eye that they were being followed. Harry had his arms filled with treats when she came to warn him. He looked around nervously when she started to laugh. A giant orange blur leapt passed them onto the counter.

“Merlin! What on earth is that!” Harry said in disgust.

Hermione shoved him. “What are you talking about Harry. Look at this handsome boy!” She cooed coming closer to the beast. “Look at you big boy, you have been following us haven’t you. Did you want some treats too pretty boy.”

Harry looked on in confusion. The thing Hermione continuously referred to as pretty and handsome looked like something out of a Jim Henson Muppet nightmare. It was three times the size of a normal over weight cat. It’s large head was accented by its smushed looking face. Even though he knew it was an animal it held a very human like expression on its face as if it was preening in Hermiones compliments.

The shop clerk was visibly surprised that the cat had made friends with his pseudo sister. Apparently it spent the majority of its days asleep or hissing at unsuspecting patrons. Harry couldn’t help but grin at the plan unfolding in his mind.

“Hermione this is Crookshanks. He is part kneazle.” Harry said as he approached the girl snuggling the beast.

She scoffed. “Well of course Harry. Look how smart and beautiful he is. He couldn’t have been an everyday cat. He’s too special aren’t you sweet boy!”

Harry laughed. “Well I’m glad you get along so well because He’s yours.” He handed her the receipt.

Hermione squealed as she jumped into Harry’s arms hugging him and thanking him before grabbing the nearly Hermione sized beast from the counter and showering it in kisses.

======================

The pair were sitting amongst the piles of their bags at a small table eating ice cream. Harry has chosen the plain vanilla with sprinkles which made Hermione roll her eyes over his lack of adventure. Meanwhile Harry was trying not to blanch at her choice.

“Pumpkin and chocolate do not go together Mione. You’re lucky we aren’t taking the bus back you’d spew before we even left London.” He pointed his spoon at her while he talked.

Hermione just rolled her eyes feeding a hand full of treats to her new pet that sat next to their bags. She had already called for a driver and was waiting until she knew they’d arrive before they left the alley.

Today had been just what they needed. A quiet day out in their own world for just her and Harry. No one recognized them so they didn’t have to avoid any over populated places or get asked hundreds of questions. She would miss Harry when he left for the Weasleys, but not enough where she was willing to go with him.

==============

Harry was leading them back towards the entrance of the alley, they had to maneuver through a thicker crowd and in a split second they got separated.

Someone had jostled Hermione enough where when she tried to push through a bag she was carrying broke and the contents spilled out towards the opening of a small alley way.

Before she could catch herself she flung her hand out and caught the items using wandless magic. Stepping into the alley she called the items back to the rapidly mending bag one by one. Sighing in relief that none of the glass jars of ink spilled.

“That was an impressive bit of magic.” A cool
Voice said behind her that made her jump.

She turned quickly to see a shock of blonde hair behind her. She took a step back to look into the smiling face of Draco Malfoy.

Trying to play it off that she got caught she shrugged her shoulders. “It was nothing. Just managed to stop a mess is all.”

He gave her a slow smile and looked at her deeply. “You can’t be much older than I and I know how difficult wandless magic is. And you didn’t even stop to think or try. Please, accept a compliment when one is given miss...?” He trailed off hoping to get her name. It was then that Hermione remembered her glamours she was wearing and silently thanked Merlin.

She was going to reply a nonsense name when Theo stepped around the corner obviously looking for Malfoy. He saw her and a huge grin lit up his face. He couldn’t stop a chuckle that broke free as he approached the pair.

“Ah, how lovely it is to see you out and about!” He cooed as he came over taking her hand to place a kiss on her knuckles.

Hermione laughed at Draco’s look of confusion and pushed away Theos hand and brought him in for a quick hug.

“You too Theodore! Did you get my owl? I’m hoping you are still coming on the 8th? Father says we should be all settled by then!” She spoke with the dark haired boy as if Malfoy wasn’t right next to them. All the while he was starting to fume at being left out of their obvious camaraderie. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore.

“Excuse me, but how do you all know each other and who are you?” He interrupted them.

“Ah and look how perfect the timing is!” Theo said as he smiled towards the alleys opening as a few other figures approached.

“Lord Lestrange! Look who I found in the alley today!” He hollered to the dark haired man.

Rodolphus came into the alley with a confused look but caught on rather quickly. After all it was only her eye color and hair color that changed. The rest was the same, but Malfoy didn’t spend the time with the girl he did. He smiled brightly.

“Good afternoon my lady.” He kissed her knuckles and she laughed.

“You all are something else.” She shook her head. “Lord Lestrange I’ve got 3 days left. I had ice cream and everything today and I’m still going strong.” She winked at him.

Rodolphus let out a loud laugh as Theo helped her lift her bags into her arms. She knew Harry would notice her absence soon so she was trying to leave the alley before being seen.

A loud deep meow from the mouth of the alley brought all their attention to the orange beast there. Hermione giggled as she called out in recognition to her new familiar.

“Coming dear!”

Draco watched as she bent down one last time to secure the last bag around her arm. He helped her to push it onto her wrist when a sparkle in the sunlight caught his attention. A small golden hair clip was there holding her long locks back.

A missing puzzle piece snapped in his mind as he watched the girl leave the alley the half kneazle right behind her. Ignoring Theo and Rodolphus conversation about leaves and sticking charms he made his way opposite of where the girl went off to.

================================

 

“Merlin’s beard Harry you weren’t kidding about this place! Don’t muggle Kings live in places like this?” Ron said as he turned around in awe as they waited for Ron’s dad to bring Harry’s bag down after speaking with the Grangers.

The Weasley patriarch arrived with Ron and his older brother Charlie to help bring Harry’s things and the two underage wizards back to the burrow.

“Honestly Ronald. Kings live in castles. This is a manor home. It’s not that fantastic.” She rolled her eyes as the red head was starting to walk on the coping surrounding the fountain ignoring her protest.

He pulled a sweet out of his pocket and stuffed it in his mouth before continuing.

“I’m just saying Mione. You should lead with this instead of the whole know it all swot look and you’d probably make loads more friends...”

Whatever else he said was lost to the sound of blood rushing to her face. She felt herself slip with her control and her fingers sparked. She didn’t know why Ron had to ability to get under her skin but it felt like he had a permanent residence there.

Charlie Weasley having seen the whole interaction take place was shaking his head at his dunderhead of a brother. Out of all his siblings Ron had the most tendency to put his foot in his mouth. He looked over to where the curly headed witch had stopped walking during his brothers rude spill. Her back had gone rigid and her hair looked like it had become sentient. He looked down to see her hand was also pulsing purple as she was rolling her wrist.

Without thinking he walked up to her and took said hand into his own. The touch was enough to shake her out of her thoughts. He smiled warmly down at her and gave her hand a squeeze.

“Honestly I’m glad no one really knows.” Harry was saying. “It means less competition for me to be her best friend, and that way she doesn’t realize she way to good for us anyways.” He turned and smiled at Hermione giving her a friendly wink before leading Ron around back to see the gardens.

Once the two boys were out of eye sight Charlie let go of her hand. He gestured towards the bench by the fountain and she sighed when she sat next to him.

“I’m sorry Charlie, thank you for stopping what would have been very difficult to explain.” She gave a mirthless chuckle.

“Ah it’s nothing Granger, next time you plan on roasting my brother just make sure the twins are around. I know they wouldn’t want to miss it.” He nudged her with his elbow, and they both laughed.

“I’m surprised you weren’t afraid, I can’t always control it you know.” She said after a gap of silence between the two of them felt heavy.

He snorted. “I live with literal dragons, a little fire isn’t going to scare me.” He turned a little to face her. “Plus the fact that you can control it at all is pretty damn impressive. I knew there was something special about you. The descriptions from my siblings were all too different for their not to be.” He raised a brow and she groaned. Throwing her head back with the sound her eyes closed and the wind blowing her curls around.

“I’m not sure I even want to know. I can only imagine, and what I am imagining doesn’t paint a pretty picture.”

Charlie laughed. “Well I’m looking at the muse right now so regardless of the picture I know the real subject is very pretty.” He started and Hermione felt herself blushing.

“But in honesty they aren’t bad. Well Ron is dense so from his description you were a walking library who puts homework above everything else which to him is just insane.” Charlie dramatically rolled his eyes.

“Then from Gin you are the sister she never had. She thinks you hung the moon, she likes that you aren’t a gossip or prissy like the other girls, she had too many brothers to grow up to be that so she feels alienated around other girls usually. But you changed that for her, she feels like she can be herself because you are.” She almost cringed at Charlie’s praise from his sister. If only they knew.

“But then I knew you were really special because of what the twins said.” He said and tilted his head to look at her but didn’t go on.

“Well, What did they say?” She finally pushed him.

“Nothing.” He said plainly and she scoffed.

“Ugh, I can’t tell if I’m offended if not..” She said her eyes wide honestly trying to judge her reaction.

“That’s the thing though, the twins talk about everyone. They always give me a play by play of everyone in school but definitely those close to the family. They will mention your name but nothing else. And those of us who grew up with the twins know they are sneaky and sly. If they find something special or that they think is valuable they keep it a secret and close to chest. Which is exactly what they are doing with you. I’d keep an eye on them if I was you. They are tricksters but they are smarter than they let on. I imagine they have plans for you and that big beautiful brain of yours.”

Hermione smiled thinking of his description of the twins. She knew they weren’t dumb. They tried to make too many people think they were for it to be true.

“It’s because I can tell them apart. It bothered them the first time I did it. They aren’t used to anyone knowing. I think that’s what got their attention.” She shrugged.

Charlie let out a deep booming laugh. “That will do it. Our own mother can’t tell them apart. Just if they give you a hard time let me know and I’ll tell you some of their embarrassing secrets.” He said as he stood reaching a hand out to help her rise.

“Charlie Weasley if you wanted me to write all you had to do was ask. Besides I’m always curious of how baby Norbert is doing.”

He laughed again as the front door opened and the Grangers lead Arthur out of the house.

“Well considering it turns out it’s Norberta, I think we will have plenty to write about!” He pulled her into a quick hug while Arthur called for the other two boys.

They had all Harry’s luggage and were stepping to apparate home. The Grangers bid them farewell and stepped inside while Harry gave Hermione one last long hug.

“I’ll see you soon right? And you’ll write to me as much as you can from Australia?” He presses while they were still hugging.

She laughed and stepped out of the embrace. “Honestly Harry it’s just a few weeks. I’ll see you soon. Don’t get into any trouble. And don’t miss me too much ok?”

He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before stepping up next to Arthur who would be taking him while Ron was going with Charlie.

“Impossible.” Harry said just as they all turned and disappeared on the spot.

========================

The doorbell rang at eight o’clock that evening and Hermione felt a cool smile fall on her face. A familiar magic washed over her as she went to the Hall to watch her adoptive parents open the door.

“Hello mister and misses Granger. My name is Tom Riddle.”

Chapter Text

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Magic.

Magic is an amazing thing.

For all the things magic cannot do, it can do a thousand more.

Magic can convince two grown adults that they no longer wish to live in England. It can make them change their tickets to one way. I can convince them to buy property in Australia because they enjoy it there the most.

Magic can erase the protective instincts of two parents. Magic can give false memories of non magical child, and then erase all memories of magic at all. It can make them feel good about signing contracts leaving someone they just met guardian of the child they’ve raised for 12 years.

Magic (and some strategically placed ministry workers,) can sign forms to transfer ownership of a manor house to a stranger. Magic can erect wards to keep anyone away who would have wanted to visit where the Grangers lived.

Magic can pack boxes and vanish them halfway across the world in an instant. Magic can completely alter the floor plan of a house without losing any of it’s structural integrity. In the time it would take a muggle to pick up a paint sample magic can paint and redo the interior of an entire manor house.

Hermione smiled up at her father sitting together in the sitting room of THEIR home.

She loved magic.

===============================

“Are you nervous.” He asked taking a seat next to her in the grass. Pulling pieces of grass out and letting them go in the wind.

“If I said no, would you be able to tell I was lying.” She cracked her eye open enough to give him a smirk.

“I’ve read all the books, I know the possible problems, but on the other hand I have done all the training and meditation required. I know I can do it. I just don’t know what it will feel like and I guess I’m a little concerned about that.” She grimaced.

“And now I feel like a total bitch for saying that to you knowing how painful your transformations are. I’m sorry. Just ignore me.”

He let out a warm laugh.

“Mani I asked you. I wanted the truth, and you told it. Never apologize for that. And by the way I would have known. I can hear your heart beat so I would have heard it rise. Unless it was a lie you convinced your self with of course.” He stretched out.

“Also I’m a little nervous for you. What if you shift into a bunny and I eat you, then all your hard work and terrible breath would have been for nothing.” He snickered and she swatted at him.

“Hush! I have seen enough to make a good guess. So if you eat me tonight it will be just because you wanted to. Not because I’m prey.” She crossed her arms laying back now too.

“Plus Nagini will be there too, She is concerned about the other animagus that keeps coming around. She wants to keep an eye on me since you will be otherwise occupied.”

He huffed. “I could still help. I’m not like those fools you read about. My wolf and I are one. We are the same mindset today as we are tonight. That’s why I’m always a bit...” He was thinking of the right word.

“Prick-ish?” She volunteered.

“I was going to say wild thank you very much. No wonder your cat is such a menace. He takes after you.” He shoved her and she rolled to her side.

“Don’t speak ill of Crookshanks. He is an angel. What did he do to you?” Her eyebrow was arched as she pointed at him.

He laughed again. “I growled at the beast and he hissed at me. I may just eat him tonight come to think of it.”

She narrowed her eyes at him but he didn’t stop his laughing. His massive body shaking in the grass.

“Fenrir I promise you, if you eat my cat, I’ll cut you open to get him back.” She lifted his large hand to her chest over her heart. With a cold smile and calm voice she said.

“Tell me I’m lying.”

================================

Tom stretched from his chair and moved to open the floo. Mentally planning to obtain a few house elves within the next few days. He wasn’t used to doing manual tasks himself, but he was pleased to be at his own home now with his daughter.

His daughter that he hasn’t seen yet this morning. He gave a small frown as he set off looking around the manor. He knew last night was the full moon and she was attempting to complete her animagus training but he didn’t hear one way or the other if she was successful.

He passed the sleeping form of Nagini curled up in an arm chair and gave a small sigh of relief. If there was something wrong she would know and would be with Hermione, not resting the day away. He had just started to send her a patronus when he heard a loud meow of her new familiar. He opened the cracked door to the study and saw the giant orange kneazle push his way past him to find his own napping spot. Tom shook his head at the way the cat carried himself like some kind of prince.

Stepping into the office he smiled at the sight awaiting him. There in Hermiones favorite chair next to his desk was a small but beautiful fox. Her black eyes watched him as he approached her smiling. He stepped close to examine her coloring. She was a deep red color with bright white fur on her stomach and tail. He couldn’t help but wonder if she would stay that size due to her small stature or if she would grow as she aged. He reached a hand out and ran it down her soft pelt.

“I take it last night was a success then?” He asked stepping back and watching in amazement as she shifted forms back to the 13 year old witch.

“It was amazing!” She gushed. The smile filling her entire face. Her now brown eyes shining with excitement.

“It didn’t hurt at all. I was nervous it would be painful but it was just a deep twisting feeling. I’ll be honest, I was hoping I would be something a bit bigger, but man am I fast. I easily outran Fenrir with out even getting tired. Don’t tell him that though, I think he was a little miffed. For some reason he convinced I was going to be a bunny..” she giggled.

He shook his head at her obvious excitement, he didn’t know how he felt about her friendship with the wolf. On one hand it made him uncomfortable, he knew Fenrir could be a monster when he wanted to be. But on the other, he was glad, Fenrir treated her like a member of his pack and would be fiercely protective of her because of that. And that was a good thing to Tom. The others wouldn’t understand, most of them still called werewolf’s half breeds, but he had a feeling that would stop when they were around his daughter or she would make them.

“I am happy for you. I knew you would be able to accomplish it.” He patted her head affectionately. “I have a few meetings today. I opened the floo already. Are you going to be in the house should I need you?” He asked.

She tilted her head a little in thought.
“Maybe, I think I may go out and run some more. Send me a patronus if you need me, chances are if I’m not outside I’ll be in the library.” She stood and kissed him on the cheek as she went to leave. She turned to look at him before she left the room.

“Oh and if Roddy comes by let me know. I plan on rubbing my success in his face.” She gave a very Slytherin smile as she left.

================================

She laid on the grass finally exhausted. She had spent the morning running and jumping and exploring the property through the eyes of a fox. It was an amazing experience. So many new smells and feelings, her eye sight felt better and man could she run. She was never very athletic, but now she felt so free. She laid next to the pond her and Harry spent many days at over the summer. She wondered wether she would tell Harry right away what she had done and accomplished. He would be super proud and impressed, but also probably a little peeved that she didn’t tell him sooner and trained with him to do it too.

Her nose picked up a strange scent in the breeze and she sat up quickly. Her eyes darting around for signs of life. She quickly shifted her form and made her way into the brush when she heard a growl. This wasn’t the same as Fenrirs. It was more canine sounding than wolf. She bared her teeth with a growl of her own, The fur behind her neck standing up.

A large black dog moved out of the shadows in front of her. It was mangy looking, too thin with thinning hair. Drool foaming around his muzzle where he was growling. She took a few steps back taking in the thing in front of her. Of all times for neither of Nagini or Fenrir to be close to her it would be now. Without knowing why she did it she threw her head back and gave a small howl. Hoping wherever Fen was he would pick it up.

The dog took a step back and tilted its head looking at the Fox with what could only be explained as a confused expression. After all, normal foxes don’t howl.

Knowing the proverbial jig was up Hermione quickly stepped away and shifted into her human form. She removed her wand from her arm holster and leveled it at the dog.

“You know, most people would assume you are the Grimm..” she said, her voice a little hoarse from the turn.

The black dog though shocked turned to leave the little witch be. Before he could slip away again Hermione twisted her wand casting a spell to create a ring of fire around the two of them. The dog jerked back with a yip and turned quickly to the girl.

“Like I was saying. Most would assume you are a Grimm, however I don’t. I can feel your magic from here. So, would you like to transform yourself. Or shall I do it for you?” She held her wand unwavering at the dog.

With a sigh the dog moved back and transformed before her eyes. Where before there was a mangy dog now stood a mangy man in front of her. He was wearing what she could assume was a tattered Azkaban uniform, he had no shoes on his dirty feet. He was shockingly thin and had long jet black hair that hung in greasy strings around his face and shoulders. His gave was pale and haunted looking, the skin she could see that was exposed on his chest was covered in tattoos.

But his eyes made her gasp. They were ice grey color and even though he had no color to his face at all they still were breath taking. He went to speak to her, his voice was gravely as if it hadn’t been used in years.

“I’m not trying to bother or scare you miss. I came here looking for someone.”

She nodded and looked him up and down again, she could only imagine how much he would have frightened your normal 13 year old.

“Harry Potter?” She asked and his head shot up.

“How did you know.”

She snorted a small laugh. “Well, honestly. You look like trouble.” She gestured at him. “And for some unknown reason trouble always seems to search Harry out.” She rolled her eyes as if she was exasperated.

A ghost of a smile formed on the mans face. As if he was suddenly in a memory.

“Look I don’t know you or what you want. But, Harry is my brother in everything but blood. And if you came here with the intention to harm him, well it will be the last thing you do. I would hate that you went through all the trouble to escape Azkaban to not even make it out of Kensington.” She raised her wand again.

He held his hand up in surrender, looking at the small witch with nothing but respect.

“I wouldn’t hurt the boy. I swear. I was close to his parents growing up. I want to protect him.” He almost whispered the last words but she heard them.

She crinkled her nose while looking at him deeply. She could see his pain plain on his face.

“Well, you aren’t going to protect anyone until you can take care of yourself first.” She said plainly. “I imagine had you approached Harry like this he would have hexed first and asked questions later. Really I’m sure anyone would have. You’re quite lucky you came across me.” She smirked and to her surprise he returned it. She tried to imagine what he looked like outside of the mess he was in now. None of the pictures in the prophet had been older ones, they all showed the mad man she was looking at now.

“Ok, so first things first. You need a shower, a change of clothes, and a haircut. Also for sure some good food. I can meet you back here in an hour or so and bring you clothes and money to get a hotel. I would stay in the muggle world if I was you until the press dies down some. Feel free to use the pond to clean yourself off,” She transfigured a pinecone into a bar of soap. “I’ll give you a haircut and shave before you head out, that way the muggles won’t recognize your mug shot.” She turned to head back to the house.

He called out after her. “Wait! Why are you doing this? Why haven’t you called the Aurors?” He asked in disbelief.

She took a deep breath before she turned around. Questioning herself as well as to why she was helping him. In her heart and mind she hoped that if she could pull him to their side eventually that would help her with Harry. After all he was a pawn and he deserved to know.

“Well Mr. Black, I think you deserve it.” She started and he seemed shocked she knew who he was.

“I can only assume you are Harry’s god father. He should have been able to stay with you when his parents passed. When you were arrested no one came forward to help you. Dumbledore stood by and watched them cart you off to Azkaban without a trial while he took Harry from our world and stuck him with the worst muggle family ever. His aunt and uncle and cousin were terrible cruel to him for 11 years.

I made sure he didn’t have to go back there after we met, even though Dumbledore tried to make him. Harry is my family like I said, but he deserves a real family, and you could give him that. You’ve been gone a while Mr. Black and I hope that during that time you considered that everything that was explained as black and white really isn’t.” She shrugged hoping he understood.

He nodded along with her picking up the soap and looking at the pond.

“Don’t call me Mr. Black, makes me feel like a dirty old man.” He cracked a smile.

She snorted and gestured to him again. “Says the dirty old man.” She chuckled turning to leave.

==============================

They had a table set up for lunch. Tom had procured two house elves and Lucius had sent Dobby to help train them. Considering the elf loved Hermione he took it as a wonderful opportunity and doted on the small witch at every turn.

The table was filled with the usual meeting group. Tom and Hermione, Lucius and Narcissa, Rodolphus and Severus and Theo and Thomas Nott. Fenrir also joined them, much to the chagrin of the others. Especially poor Narcissa who looked frightened to be at the same table. If he noticed he didn’t seem to care, sitting next to Hermione like it was normal.

Today was the first time they had gathered as a group at the Riddle Manor and were expressing their praise for the place liberally. After lunch was served Hermione decided to go ahead and break the news.

“So, something interesting happened yesterday...” she started setting her silverware down.

Rodolphus shot her a look across the table, his eyes squinted and lips pursed.

“If you are going to brag, I’m going to leave.”
He huffed. “Plus until I see it with my own eyes I don’t believe you finished.” He swooped his fork around while he spoke, disregarding and pure blood manners he was brought up with.

Before anyone else could chime in she shifted in her seat and transformed into her lovely red fox. She leapt across the table into Rodolphus’ lap and nipped at his nose before turning around and slapping his face with her bushy tail. She leapt back into her seat and transformed back. Raising a brow at his shocked face.

A loud clap broke their staring contest. She turned to see Theo wide eyed and smiling brightly clapping.

“Bloody brilliant Hermione!” He gushed. “You’ll have to help me when we get to school!”

She nodded in agreement turning again to look at Lestrange with her brow raised.

“You were saying Roddy...?”

The tall man chuckled leaning back in his chair absent mindedly rubbing his nose where she nipped him.

“Alright alright. Bloody good show. Pretty fitting for you too. Small and feisty, not to mention sneaky and sly. Plus I mean do I even need to mention a female fox is called a vixen?” He wiggled his eyebrows playfully.

She laughed when Lucius reached behind him and swatted his head.

“Thank you, but that’s not what I was going to talk about, yet it does have a part in it. Yesterday I had to great pleasure to meet the infamous Sirius Black.” She said very calmly looking only at her father.

Toms fork stilled half way to his mouth. Narcissa let out a loud gasp and dropped her fork that clanged against her plate. Both Lucius and Rodolphus’ eyebrows were nearly in their hair line. Theo looked like he was missing vital information and Fenrir and Severus both looked very angry.

“I think you should explain daughter.” Tom said calmly as he sat his fork down.

She took a deep breath before starting. “Well as it turns out the weird smell that Nagini and Fen has picked up on was an animagus, and it was him. I was only able to determine it after I shifted. The vulpine senses are much stronger than mine.

He takes the form of a big black dog. It looks exactly like a Grimm, and had I not been able to feel his magic I would have assumed it was. He looks terrible. Completely worn down, pale, skinny, and he was filthy with matted long hair.”

“Was?” Tom asked.

She bit the side of her cheek before starting again. “Yes, well I told him to use the pond to bathe and I brought him new clothes and did a few self care charms. Even cleaned up he still looked sickly and was clearly malnourished so I gave him some muggle money and sent him to stay at a muggle hotel for a while to get himself healthy again.”

Tom looked at his daughter oddly. He didn’t expect to be heading this today. Or ever if he was honest. “Why did you do all of that?” He asked.

“Besides the fact it’s the right thing to do?” She teased. “I mean he has been in Azkaban for twelve years as an innocent man. I told him what Dumbledore did. The sooner we can turn him on the old bastard the better. He is the last of the Black House, heir wise at least. It was the least I could do to make sure the name doesn’t die out. Plus he is Harry’s god father, he would be an excellent ally to have.” She shrugged.

“Did he say anything?” Narcissa asked trying to hold back a sob at hearing her only living cousin was going to be alright.

Hermione smiled. “He told me not to call him Mr. Black because he felt like a dirty old man, to which I told him from my view he was a dirty old man.” She chuckled. “He also said he trusted me even if I scared him, but that was because I may have cast a tiny spell that trapped him in a ring of fire before I threatened to force him to transform.” She shrugged.

Severus have her an approving smile and Fenrir clapped her hard on the back laughing. “That’s my girl!”

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