Title: Mischief Revived
Fandom/Genre: Harry Potter
Relationship(s): Hermione/Fred, pre-Harry/Draco in background
Warnings: canon level violence, dub-con due to potions, mention of canon child abuse/neglect, very au, some revenge, character death (not main paring), some foul language
Summary: An unintended find unearths evidence of treachery and deceit that leaves Hermione shattered. Using an ancient and forgotten spell of vengeance, she's instead offered a second chance. The far reaching consequences of her choice could change the entire magical world.
_ _ _ _ _ _
Hermione looked around furtively before sitting down on a pile of boards with a sigh. She cast a disillusionment charm, and then for good measure, a silencing charm. Between Ron and his mom, she was losing her mind. Ron had been hounding her about getting married. She wasn't sure why she was hesitating, but it didn't feel right. The more they pushed, the more that feeling grew.
Ron had quickly proposed after the final battle. Despite their constant bickering, it had seemed like the natural progression for their relationship. It was only after she returned to Hogwarts for her final year that unease began to grow in her. Sometimes she'd feel so in love with him that she was ready to leave Hogwarts, forget about her NEWTS, and rush off and marry him. Other times doubt began to color her thoughts.
Hermione kicked at a lump rhythmically as she thought back to when she'd graduated. Ron's first words were, “So we can get married now, yeah?” He hadn't congratulated her. He didn't care how well she'd done. Most tellingly, he hadn't ever, not once, asked her what she wanted to do post Hogwarts.
They were all living together at Grimauld Place. Her parents had gone missing from Australia and she had nowhere else to stay. The Burrow was still a charred heap since the clean-up wasn't done. It had taken far longer than it had to, in her opinion. Mrs. Weasley declared that the work could only be done when she could be there, and only a select few were allowed to pick through the rubble. Harry, Hermione, and the older Weasley boys were not included in that list. Ron just shrugged when asked about it, “You know my mum's kind of mental.”
She had taken a break from vanishing the debris that Mrs. Weasley had approved to go, and managed to slip away for a bit of quiet. It was the first she'd had in weeks.
Hermione had knocked a bunch of dirt loose on the small mound she'd been scuffing at. Old ash and soot puffed into the air as she kicked harder when she thought about their behavior. She no longer got a single minute to herself. She slept in a room with Ginny, and Ron or Molly were somehow always near her the rest of the time. When she decided to go to Diagon Alley, suddenly Mrs. Weasley needed to go along for supplies. One of them would always find some reason to be in whatever room she was in. Several times Ginny walked into the loo when she was showering, claiming it was okay because they were both girls. Hermione had begun casting an imperturbable charm.
It was so bad that she'd even started dreaming of them chasing her all night long! She gave another good kick and there was a dull hollow thud, followed by the musical sound of glass.
Hermione dropped to her knees and began brushing the dirt away. She sincerely hoped she hadn't broken anything. Mrs. Weasley would be so happy to find something else saved from the ruin of her home! Her fingers found the edges of a box. Carefully she wiggled her fingers under the bottom and pulled at it gently. A second tug had it coming free, along with the lid popping open.
She sat back on her heels as a box full of glass orbs was revealed. When several lit with a gentle light, she sucked in a breath. Prophecy orbs!
Hermione gently laid a finger on one of the glowing ones, and a misty figure of a child rose from it. In in a piping voice it spoke, “Brightest witch of her age! Daughter of the Raven in the house of the Lion. Her soul entwined with the eldest child of mischief, present and past decide the future.” The little smoke figure turned and Hermione realized she was looking at a very young Luna Lovegood. The child waved and then dissipated.
She was reaching for another one when she heard Ron calling her name. She shut the lid, put the box back in its hole, and quickly shoved the dirt back over it. With some firm pats, it looked almost as it had. With a glance to see where Ron was at, she shuffled over several feet and bent to untie her shoe. With a quick flick she was visible again, and was re-tying her shoelace as Ron rounded the pile of boards. “Oye! Hermione! I've been looking all over for you.”
She straightened up and pasted on a smile. “I just needed a short break.”
“Oh. Well mum has sandwiches set up for lunch and I'm sure you're hungry. I know I am!” Ron grabber her hand, and her heart lurched in her chest. She adored this man.
She allowed herself to be towed back to where Mrs. Weasley had a table set up with lunch. “Ah, there you are, dear! Come have food!”
Hermione smiled as Ron pushed her to a seat near Harry and Ginny. “Everything looks great Mrs. Weasley!”
The plump matriarch slid a plate in front of her. “Here you go! Eat up.”
Hermione reached for a sandwich as Mrs. Weasley began to similarly hand out plates of food to everybody else. A small movement next to her caught her eye, and she realized that Harry had his wand out underneath the table. Hermione opened her mouth to ask him what he was doing, but he glanced at her and gave his head a tiny little shake.
She gave him a look that he would know meant “You're going to tell me later”.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Hermione woke with a start. She felt a light tap on her shoulder and instantly relaxed. She could just make out Harry's form in the darkened room. She slid out of her covers, and they slipped silently past Ginny's bed and out the door. The stairs were oddly creak free as they descended, and even Mrs. Black didn't notice them as they left.
Once outside Hermione whispered, “How did you do that?”
“It's something I learned in auror training.” He held out an old shoelace. “Here.”
She grabbed it, and with a tug, she found that she was now standing in a playground. Harry was already heading towards a swing set.
She sat on the seat next to him. “Where are we?”
He shrugged. “Near Privet drive. They'll never look here.”
They sat and gently rocked, as the wind blew Hermione's curls around her face. She waited and eventually Harry sighed. “They've been potioning us.”
Harry stopped abruptly. “What?”
“I finally put it together after lunch today.” She smiled sadly at him. “I recognized the wand movements. By the way, it's amazing you can cast those spells silently. That's great, Harry.”
Harry huffed a little laugh. “Only you, Hermione.” He started playing with his wand. “Kingsley managed to get the bill through the Wizengamot to have Aurors checked for potions and curses.” Harry muttered under his breath, “I think its common sense but you know the Wizengamot.”
He turned “Turns out I was potioned up to my eyeballs; loyalty potions to Dumbledore and then to Mrs. Weasley and Ron, love and attraction potions keyed to Ginny, potions to reduce my temper and keep me docile. He put in a floo call to the best healer in Europe. They found charms to limit my power, alter my memories and behavior, and block bonds.” He tipped his head back and looked at the stars. “My short lived career as an auror is over.”
Hermione was shocked. “Oh, Harry! They can remove the charms and flush you of the potions, can't they?”
He shook his head. “The weight of so many potions and charms for so many years...” He slid his hand under his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “They can't guarantee that I'm acting on my own or that I won't be influenced. They can't risk that.”
Hermione was adding in everything she'd been told to what she already knew or guessed. Certain bits of information suddenly made sense. “You found out about the potions, and guessed they were potioning both of us?” At Harry's nod she continued, “They obviously want your money and power. I don't know what they want from me yet, but I'm going to find out. I wonder if this has anything to do with... Harry. We need to go to the Burrow. I found a box of prophecy orbs and several of them were for me.”
“Oh great. More prophecies.” He rolled his eyes at Hermione's expression. “Fine. Let's go.”
Two apparitions later and they were back at the playground with the box. With the lid open, it was clear that more orbs were glowing this time. Hermione knew Harry wasn't going to like this. “Some of these are yours. More are lit than before, and they always glow in the presence of the person the prophecy belongs to.”
Harry glared at the box. “You know I hate this shite, right?”
“I know. I'm sorry.” Hermione stood up. Let me walk out a ways until only mine are lit, I'll pull them out. When I come back, the lit ones will be yours.
“Yeah. Fine” Harry crossed his arms.
Hermione walked almost to the edge of the playground before the box darkened somewhat. Using her wand, she floated her prophecies out of the box. She transfigured a second container from a rock, placed her orbs inside. Holding both, she walked back.
Harry reluctantly took the container. Three orbs were lit, and only one was dark. With a deep sigh he grabbed the first orb. Whisps of grey formed an unfamiliar face, “Two halves of a whole are the White Dragon and the Chosen One.”
He grabbed a second orb. A woman formed of mist appeared.
“Hair of ebon and eyes of green,
He will come.
To save the world,
Yet he is lost.
The Savior walks in shadow,
And his light will be the White Dragon,
And he will unlock the dragon's chains.
Hair of ebon and eyes of green,
He will come to save the world.”
Harry ignored Hermione when she went to speak, and grabbed the last orb. “The chosen one will prevail against darkness.”
Harry dropped the ball back into the box with a clank. Hermione squeaked a little at the rough treatment but Harry waved a hand at her orbs. “Well, lets see what yours have to say. At least I'm not the only one with a “destiny” this time.” He even did the air quotes with his hands as he spoke.
Hermione went through them one by one. One was the prophecy by a tiny Luna, and Harry seemed intrigued by that one. Two were by different people but the words were the same, “The Brightest Witch of Her Age will return for the Eldest twin of Mischief.”
The last one was Luna again. Her voice was clear as she spoke, “Chosen One and Brightest Witch, not all is lost. Your dreams will be reborn in the past.” The image paused as it dissipated, “Did you know that you'll be my friends?” With a small giggle the smoke flowed away and was gone.
Harry snorted, “Luna can't even be a seer in the normal way, can she?”
“This probably explains a lot about her. I know I dismissed her when we were younger, but she helped you find a diadem that had been lost for centuries. Not to mention, she was sorted into Ravenclaw. I'd thought she had mage sight, but this makes sense.”
“I guess. Why didn't she tell us about these?”
Hermione waved a hand. “I read about seers. They'll remember bits of things they See, but they never remember the prophecies they deliver. The Unspeakables researched it once. They came to the conclusion that Seers act as a conduit from Magic itself.”
Harry pushed into the sand, sending his swing gliding gently back and forth. “We need to get back soon.” He watched his best friend as he asked, “Why did you stay after you figured it out?”
Hermione's voice was hard as she spoke. “I'm going to figure out who and why, and then I'm going to burn their world down around their ears. You?”
“Pretty much the same. The Healer had to give me calming droughts at first. I wanted to kick them out of my house, and hex Ginevra and Molly.” He coughed and rubbed at his neck sheepishly. “I was informed that I needed to sit down, calm down, and do things the right way. There's an investigation going on because this kind of abuse breaks international wizarding law. I have to stay put and try to act normally. I'm going to need to tell them about all of this.” He waved his hand over the boxes of orbs.
“Yeah. All right.”
“They're going to pay for this, Hermione. I promise.”
_ _ _ _ _ _
“Hermione, dear, look at the lovely set of wedding robes in this magazine! I think you'd be beautiful in it!”
The woman in question gritted her teeth, pretended to look interested, and shook her head. “Thank you for the suggestion Mrs. Weasley, but that's not what I'm looking for. Besides, I've already told you that I don't want to get married without my parents there. Until we find them, I won't even entertain setting a date!”
A look of irritation flashed across the older woman's face before being quickly replaced with a sympathetic smile. “I understand, but you can't hold off forever. It might be years before you find them.”
“Then I'll wait. I'm only twenty. That's quite young for people to marry in the muggle world, you know.”
“In the wizarding world, it's common to marry straight out of Hogwarts! In fact, that's what Arthur and I did.”
Hermione gave a small smile, while seething on the inside. “Yes, but I will wait. I want my parents there. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to run some errands.”
“Take Ron with you. He's been dying to get a chance to see the new Comet that just came out.”
Hermione muttered. “I'm sure he has.” With a bright smile she spoke loudly, “I'm sorry Mrs. Weasley, but I actually have plans to go into London. I was going to catch up with some of my old muggle school friends and we were going to have a girl’s day of it: facials, and pedicures, and maybe even get our hair done.”
“Pedicures. It's where you go to a salon and they take care of your feet. It's very relaxing. I haven't yet decided what color polish I want on my toes, though!”
“Hmm. I think Ginny would love to try something like that. Why don't I ask her if she's available?”
As Mrs. Weasley was starting to stand, Hermione stopped her. “I'm sure I can take her some other time. I need to leave soon, and this is a day to catch up with my old school friends. I haven't seen them in years!”
Molly looked disgruntled but couldn't seem to find a way around it. “Very well. Enjoy your pedicuffs!”
“I will, thank you.” Taking that as her chance to get the hell out of there, she took the floo to Diagon Alley. From there she exited to London through the Leaky Cauldron, where she had changed into muggle clothes. Blending into the crowds, she walked a couple of blocks before slipping into an alcove. She muttered a notice me not charm and waited. Nobody suspicious walked by in the next few minutes and she breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe she hadn't been followed after all.
Just in case, she hopped into a standing taxi and picked a place at random. After arriving, she entered a restroom. After the only other occupant left, she apparated to the front of Gringotts. As she entered, Harry slipped up beside her. “We've got a private room set aside. I'll show you.”
As they walked through the main area and into a hallway, she noticed a man in blue robes following them. “Harry!” she whispered urgently, as she tugged on his sleeve.
Her friend glanced at the man and smiled reassuringly. “It's ok. He's with the ICW, and he's here to make sure nobody interferes.”
He continued to lead them onward until they reached an open door. Inside were half a dozen blue robed wizards and several goblins. A tiny woman stepped forward, not much bigger than Professor Flitwick. “Miss Granger, it's nice to meet you. I'm sorry that the circumstances aren't ideal.” The woman's voice identified her as American. “I'm sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Emily Whitmore, and I'm lead investigator in this case.”
“Hello Ms. Whitmore. It's nice to meet you. Thank you for looking into this.”
“It's Emily, please.” The woman gestured to the chairs. “Please have a seat. I’d think you need to be sitting for this conversation.”
Hermione picked up on the wording and tone and it alarmed her. She glanced at her friend and his face was grave. She could see the sympathy in his eyes. Her voice was shaky, “Harry? What's going on?”
He looked at the lead investigator and at her nod he spoke. “We think we know why Mrs. Weasley is so obsessed with you marrying Ron.” He hesitated.
“And...she's gone to great lengths to ensure it happens.” Harry grabbed her hands and shifted to look into her face. “You had a soul mate, Hermione. They made sure that neither of you ever knew.”
“Oh. That bit about “her soul entwined with the eldest son of mischief”. I think it means Fred, right?” Hermione bit her lip. “He was my soulmate? I wasn't sure about that. I couldn't think of anything else entwined souls could mean, but I hadn't access to research materials while being watched constantly.”
“Yeah. It probably means he was your soulmate.”
“I'm not upset…and I should be. Why aren't I, Harry? What did they do to me?”
Emily spoke up. “We suspect that a full medical examination is going to reveal that you've been subject to a potion and charm regiment much like Harry's. In this case, there are most likely bindings to prevent you from feeling or acknowledging any sort of soul bonds.”
“Oh my God.” Hermione sat back, stunned at these revelations.
Harry shifted closer and he squeezed her hands. “Hermione? Hermione, there's more.” He closed his eyes and when he opened them, she could read a well of emotion in them. “They may have had your parents killed to keep them out of the way.”
Hermione nodded, even as tears dripped down her face. “I think I knew. People don't just disappear like that, like they never existed. That sort of thing is limited to government conspiracies and magic.” She turned to the ICW representative. “How? WHY?”
Emily waved to another gentleman, who ruffled through a pile of papers. Finding the one he wanted, he spoke. “Records show both them moving to Sydney, Australia as Monica and Wendell Wilkins in 1997. They set up a dental practice using the fake identification you set up for them.” He looked up. “Great job with that, Miss Granger. Quite thorough.”
When Emily Whitmore cleared her throat, the man went back to tack. “Right. Sometime in early June they just vanished. The house was empty, utilities shut off, car gone. Neighbors can't remember them at all. Scans indicate they've been memory charmed. Same with the business. The building is empty, and all of their patients remember being treated by an elderly dentist who then retired. Muggle paperwork and computer systems still show them as having existed, of course, but they have effectively vanished.
He flipped a few more pages in the report. “Our best guess is that a Mundungus Fletcher and Sturgis Podmore handled this. The paperwork was buried but, an Elphias Doge requested an round trip international portkey created to Australia on June 3rd. All international portkeys get processed through the ICW and it's required to list who is traveling. They returned to England on June 15th.”
Emily spoke from her seat. “From Harry, I've learned that all three of these men were members of the renegade club that Dumbledore headed. Order of the Phoenix, I believe it was called.”
“Yes.” Hermione's heart was broken. “You still haven't answered why. Why would they do this? The war is over! I was on their side! Why would they do this to me?!”
Harry's arms wrapped around her shoulder and she could hear Ms. Whitmore speaking. “The answer to that is both complicated and very simple. The simple answer is that we believe that you are not only the last magical descendant of Hector Dagworth-Granger, but you are also a true daughter of the Ravenclaw line. You are worth a lot of money, Miss Granger. With your marriage to a pure blood like Ron Weasley, especially if they go with a traditional wizarding ceremony, all your money would belong to them.
“The complicated answer is that Albus Dumbledore was an evil mastermind who used any method available to create a world that conformed to his vision. He bribed, potioned, manipulated, and killed for his “Greater Good”. He's damaged multiple generations of young wizards and witches in England, and his foul influence spread like an ugly stain across most of the world. It's worst in Europe, but we've found remnants of his influence and manipulations just about everywhere. He had decades to spread his influence.”
“But he's dead!”
“He is, but his influence didn't die with him. His loyal followers are continuing his vision. He left directions to be followed after his death, and many still believe strongly in everything Albus Dumbledore stood for.”
Harry cleared his throat. “It's just like how he left the mission to gather the Horcruxes to us, Hermione. Even after he was dead, we were doing what he wanted.”
Hermione reared back in her seat at the mention of horcruxes. She glanced around at everybody in the room. “Harry!”
Harry's face twisted into a bitter grimace. “It turns out horcruxes aren't exactly a secret.”
One of the goblins spoke up for the first time. “We of the Horde are well aware of these foul things.” He growled and spat to the side. “Precious relics destroyed! What foolish wizards.” He bared his teeth at Hermione and Harry. “Our bank broken into, damaged, and a dragon set loose! We would have your heads on pikes for these trespasses, but we are informed that your actions are not your own.” He cursed in his own language, the harsh syllables echoing like slaps off the stone walls.
“No, horcruxes are well enough known in certain circles. Not many wizards use them because it makes them particularly vulnerable. They are quite easy to find and destroy.” Emily smiled at Hermione's shock. “Oh yes, I heard about your awful hunt. With just a little of the right information, all of them could have been found within days and your Dark Lord problem would have been over.”
“I didn't have to walk up to Tom and take a bloody fucking Avada Kedavra like suicidal martyr.” Harry's voice was filled with anger.
“We remove horcruxes without damaging the container, be it living or inanimate. They are an abomination.” A small goblin stood up and walked to Hermione. “I need to confirm that you are not of your right mind, else you face goblin justice.”
Hermione darted a glance at Harry and he shrugged. She squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. “Go ahead, please.”
A hand touched her face gently, and she was oddly surprised to note that it felt soft and warm. A sensation like water flowed through her and then the hand was removed. “As we thought. Same as the others.”
“Others? What others?” She looked around and noticed the solemn faces. Her mind whirled. “Neville. Something on that old wand? He got ever so much better after he got his new wand. It's like he was a new person.” She thought some more. “Fred, too. Probably George as well. Who else?”
“Practically everybody Dumbledore came into contact with.” Harry's shoulders tensed and then he looked away. “Even Molly, Ron, and Ginny. I checked while they were sleeping. We can't prosecute them, Hermione. Even though they were very willing and it looks like Dumbledore only obliviated a thing or two, they're technically victims.”
“What?!” Hermione stood up and slapped his hands away. “No! No! Look what they did to us. It's after he died and nobody told them what to do! They're doing this for their own gain! My parents are dead, Harry. DEAD. They should pay for that!” Her voice dropped. “You promised!”
“Mr Potter...” Ms. Whitmore stopped, and seemed to decide on something. “Ex-Auror Potter is bound by our rules in this matter. Legally he cannot seek retribution. He's bound by the oaths he took as an auror. Also, due to the that that he's been freed of the potions and charms, all actions he takes are his own and thus legally he can be prosecuted for any action he takes against the Weasleys.”
“But I haven't.” Hermione's voice was brittle and cold. “I never took those oaths and I still have all of that in my system. I can take revenge for both of us, and by your own words, I'm a victim. I can't be prosecuted.”
Ms. Whitmore sighed heavily. “In America we have something called “premeditation”. You've stated intent in front of a full office full of witnesses. While the ICW could and would take in your obviously distressed mental state, you'd likely spend time in Azkaban.”
“So you're telling me that these people can ruin our lives and we can't do anything about it? They get to do what they want while we get punished!”
“That's not precisely true. ICW representatives are at Grimauld place as we speak. The Weasley family will be purged of any and all potions, blocks, and charms. Then we will place notification alarms on them. Any attempt to subvert another witch or wizard’s will through known methods will result in their arrest. They will then be escorted from the premises and warned to have no contact with you or Harry.”
“It's not enough!”
“I agree. It's not, but it's all we have legally Miss Granger. I'm terribly sorry for what you've been through and the loss of your parents.”
Hermione sat silent through the rest.. She offered up her blood for the line test, and remained mute at the results. Money and a worthless title weren't enough compensation for all she'd lost. She nodded or shook her head for all else, but refused to speak.
The only thought running through her head was that if she couldn't have justice, she'd have revenge. She was the brightest witch of her age and she would find a way. The people that killed her parents and ruined her life would pay. She would make sure of it.