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Intuens in Praeteritis

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When Hermione was yanked suddenly from her time with a dizzying whirl she certainly didn't expect to end up over fifty years in the past in 1935.

She had appeared in the middle of Potter Hall, right in front of Henry Potter; the Potter patriarch. Henry and his wife, Aldea Potter née Fleamont, questioned Hermione extensively and Hermione, an exhausted broken war hero at the age of eighteen, broke down and told them everything.

Henry and Aldea, after discovering the death of their grandson James and the horrible ordeals that their great-grandson Harry suffered, decided that they were going to help this young witch change everything for the better. That started by giving her a de-aging potion and then blood adopting her. With the blood adoption, now ten-years-old, Hermione truly became a Potter, with a mass of messy black curls and hazel eyes barely changed from her original colour. 

She also became Henry and Aldea Potter's third and youngest child; the younger sister of Charlus and Fleamont Potter. Charlus, seventeen and in his last year of Hogwarts, and Fleamont, named for the now obsolete family his mother came from, fifteen and finishing his OWLS.

She passed the final few months before her new brothers came home, and she met them for the first time, planning with her parents. At this point in time Voldemort would be very easy to defeat, with only two horcruxes, and Hermione was feeling confident. Her biggest worry, after Voldemort, was making sure that the future of one Sirius Black would change.

The years passed very quickly, and Hermione Potter breezed her way through Hogwarts. With the help of her parents they had found and destroyed Voldemort's horcruxes and, in a battle between the powerful Henry Potter and the weakened dark wizard, Voldemort was defeated. It felt almost too easy to Hermione, but she wouldn't question it. With his defeat Hermione moved onto other plans; and that all started in the weeks before her seventeenth birthday, and before she started back at Hogwarts.

August 30th 1942
Potter Hall – residence of Henry and Aldea Potter

"Father, could I speak to you?" Hermione asked, popping her head around the corner of Henry Potter’s office door.

Henry looked up from the Wizengamot papers he was forced to read as a member and prominent pureblood (and the defeater of a rising dark power), "What is it my darling?"

"Could I talk to you about my betrothal?" Hermione’s inner 90s feminist balked at the thought, but in the current climate of 1942 Wizarding Britain, it would greatly benefit her if she married the wizard she had in mind, "I was wondering if I could suggest someone to meet?"

"Hermione, love, of course you can. I'm not like the Blacks or Malfoys; I will not force you to marry someone you don't want to. I wouldn’t force you to marry if I could get away with it!" Henry looked rather offended that his daughter would think he would force her to marry if he had another choice.

"I know, father." Hermione said, smiling happily at him. Before the conversation could progress any further, however, her eldest brother Charlus came rushing into the room, looking rather hysterical. Something that Hermione found hilarious, but she tried hard to stifle her laughter, as Charlus looked genuinely worried for some reason.

"Father! You can’t honestly be thinking of marrying Flea to Reisha Fawley?! You know that they fought loads at school! She’s a bitch!”

"Language Charlus. Also you’re twenty-four now, you should know better than to burst into my office like this. I was in the middle of talking to your sister. I'm sure you could save your immature freak out for another time." Henry looking disapprovingly at his oldest child over his glasses.

Charlus cringed, "Sorry father." He burst into a grin when he turned to Hermione, as if he hadn’t noticed she was in there as well (he probably hadn’t). His deep voice boomed as he scooped the small sixteen-year-old into his muscled arms, "'Mione! Looking lovely, little sister! How I've missed you!"

"Charlus put me down!” Hermione screeched, patting his cheek in a gesture inherited from Aldea when he set her feet back on the floor, “I've missed you too big brother." 

"Now Charlus, I will arrange a betrothal contract with whomever Fleamont wishes. Just like me and your mother allowed you to marry Dorea Black, we will allow him to choose his future wife; be it Reisha Fawley or someone else." Henry raised an eyebrow at his eldest child, who finally relented, nodding reluctantly and settling down into the free chair beside the fireplace in Henry's study. Hermione sat back down as well.

"Now Hermione..." Before Henry could say anything more, Hermione interrupted.

"Father, could we have this conversation in private?"

"Oh! Of course Hermione, love. Charlus, go find your mother and tell her to ask the house elves to start dinner early.”

“But father!”

“Charlus, this conversation is none of your business.”

Charlus reluctantly left the room, sending his younger sister an intrigued look as he went and narrowing his eyes contemplatively. Hermione and Henry finally had a chance to talk properly about Hermione’s marriage prospects and on September 1st she left for Hogwarts feeling confident that by Christmas her father would have organised a meeting with her potential suitor and his father and they could sort out the betrothal contract when she went home for the holiday. She didn’t take into account the possibility of her older brothers finding out about whom she was going to be engaged to and confronting her about it as soon as she arrived home.

December 17th 1942
Potter Hall – residence of Henry and Aldea Potter

“Hermione! Can we talk to you please?” Fleamont asked loudly, shifting slightly in place.

Hermione narrowed her eyes at Fleamont, who was looking decidedly suspicious, but followed him into the large library of Potter Hall. Her suspicions weren’t alleviated when she entered the room to find Charlus sitting seriously at one of the tables. Dorea and Euphemia, were also there, though they looked like they had been forced into whatever this was. Fleamont had married Euphemia Fawley – the younger sister of Reisha – not long after Hermione discussed her own marriage contract with her father. She sat down at the table between Euphemia and Charlus, narrowing her eyes suspiciously at her brothers.

“Hermione, how could you?!” Charlus suddenly exclaimed into the silence that had fallen. Hermione was startled.

“Charlus!”

“No, Dorea! Alphard Black? Seriously!? That’s whom she wants to marry? SHE COULD HAVE CHOSEN ANYONE ELSE! Like a Longbottom or an Abbott or a Prewett! Anyone but a Black!” Charlus was shouting now, on his feet, his face red with anger and his perpetually messy black hair on end and sparking. Fleamont, Euphemia and Hermione all sucked in shocked breaths.

What did you just say, Charlus Potter?” Dorea Potter, née Black, rose to her notable height, her voice sharp and cold.

“I… um, Dorea. You know I didn’t mean you.” Charlus backtracked, looking slightly afraid of his Slytherin wife.

“Oh, of course not. You just delighted in insulting my house and my nephew.” Dorea narrowed her pale grey eyes at Charlus, crossing her arms over her impressive chest.

“Dorea…”

“No, Charlus. I love you, and I know you love me.” Charlus relaxed slightly but took a nervous step back from his wife when she stepped closer to him threateningly, “but you don’t get to insult my family in front of me! I know that a lot of them are problematic and some, like my brother Pollux and niece Walburga, are awful people. But don’t judge all of us on the awful ones! I turned out okay didn’t I?” Charlus nodded frantically at his wife, pointedly ignoring his siblings’ snorts of amusement.

“I'm sorry Dorea.”

“Good. Now, leave poor Hermione alone! Alphard will be a fine match for her to marry and you will do nothing to stop this. Maybe, with a sensible witch marrying into the family, Pollux and Arcturus will clean up their acts and stop trying to get my niece Walburga and my second cousin Orion to marry! Their children will be rather mucked up if they do. They’re bloody cousins!” Charlus chuckled and pulled his hot-headed wife into his arms.

“Don’t worry, love. Hermione will sort them all out.” Charlus grinned at his baby sister, who rolled her eyes at him.

Hermione didn’t say anything about her knowledge that Orion and Walburga would indeed marry. If she had any say in it their children, who didn’t turn out fucked up through genetics as much as nurture, wouldn’t have the awful upbringing they had in her past. It was the reason she was haggling for the marriage contract with Walburga’s younger brother. He hadn’t gotten married in her original timeline, and she knew that he had loved Sirius, even after he ran away from home, considering he had left everything to his nephew. Hermione had a solid plan in her head that would leave Alphard as the head of the Black family and in the perfect position for them both to adopt Sirius and Regulus.

She considered to herself briefly that in this second life she should have been a Slytherin.

December 28th 1942
Black Estate – Residence of Pollux and Irma Black

Hermione followed her father and mother through the wards of Black Estate, dressed impeccably in beautiful pale blue robes that her mother had had tailored for her. She was entirely curious as she followed her parents up the long path to the imposing home, wondering why Pollux Black, who was not the head of house, lived in the Black Estate – the largest of the many Black properties. She was sure she’d discover at some point.

The large mahogany doors swung open as they climbed the steps up to them, and a House Elf was waiting in the spacious entrance hall to take their outer cloaks. The House Elf then led them through the large house towards a set of imposing doors. They entered the grand dining room of the home and Hermione was struck by how much Black Estate resembled Malfoy Manor, and how much both of them contrasted the warmth of the expansive Potter Hall.

As they entered the room the three males rose from the table. The two women stayed seated; Irma Black, née Crabbe, had a distinctly blank look on her face as she surveyed the three Potters entering the dining room, Walburga, her eldest child and the only daughter of Pollux and Irma Black, was not doing as well at disguising the disgusted sneer on her face. The expression was reminiscent of the older Narcissa Malfoy that Hermione had seen in Diagon Alley in the summer before sixth year and Hermione wondered vaguely whether Walburga ever had a different look on her face.

Irma was a surprisingly beautiful and delicate looking woman (especially for a Crabbe) with pale blonde hair pulled into a tight chignon and icy blue eyes; Hermione could see where the woman’s granddaughter Narcissa got her colouring. Walburga had the dark mass of curls and sharp, hooded grey eyes that marked out the Blacks. Dorea, Walburga’s aunt, possessed the same features – though she was certainly made more beautiful by her kindness – and both Bellatrix and Andromeda had inherited the same qualities from Walburga’s younger brother Cygnus.

Pollux had a polite, if forced, smile on his handsome face. He looked so much like the future Sirius, though healthier, that it threw Hermione off. He had the same long dark hair, though his was pulled back from his face neatly, and the dark grey eyes that his daughter and eldest son both possessed too. Cygnus had the same ugly sneer on his face that his elder sister did and it twisted what would otherwise be handsome features into a grotesque look. His eyes, the same grey as Sirius’, were as cold and distant as his mother and his dark blonde hair was pulled back into the same style as his father.

Alphard made Hermione’s breath catch in her throat with his beauty. She had, of course, seen him briefly at Hogwarts, but being in different years and different houses lent to barely any interaction. He had his father’s (and future nephew’s) dark, wavy hair and his was also pulled back from his face. This highlighted his high cheekbones and angular face, and made him look sophisticated. His grey eyes, unlike his father and sibling’s, were warm and sparkling as he appraised Hermione appreciatively. Hermione had not expected to be so attracted to the sixteen-year-old, but as she took a seat at the table between her parents and directly opposite Alphard, she couldn’t deny the heat rising in her cheeks and swirling in her stomach.

Pollux’s voice was like a bucket of ice-cold water over her rising temperature, “It’s a pity that your sons and my sister couldn’t make it, Henry.”

“Indeed, Pollux. I'm afraid Charlus and Dorea were otherwise occupied, and Fleamont found himself indisposed; Euphemia is only a month away from giving birth to his heir, you see.” Henry smiled politely, refusing to show his true emotions in front of the Black family. Having been a Pureblood for seven years Hermione was now used to these kinds of dinners and the subtle gloating that happened at every meeting. When she’d first arrived it had thrown her off a lot, but Aldea had spent a long time with her new daughter going over every Pureblood custom and teaching her everything that she would have learnt in her first ten years had she not been adopted.

“Ah, congratulations. How wonderful, we always need more purebloods in our society.” Irma’s voice was just as icy as her eyes and gratingly high-pitched. Hermione forced herself to not bristle angrily at the blonde woman.

“Of course. Now, let us eat dinner and then we may discuss the business.” Pollux said, snapping his fingers for the House Elves to lay the table.

Hermione was overly surprised at the fact that the Blacks all seemed to be so much quieter than she was expecting after experiencing Walburga’s portrait. She supposed, examining the girl, that she would become so much louder in her disapproval after she was out from under her father’s thumb.

Dinner passed slowly and painfully as the Potters suffered through the stilted and uninspiring conversation, all of them wishing for the warm familiarity of their dinner table at home. By the time dinner was over Hermione just wanted to leave. The only things keeping her from committing murder were Alphard’s warm eyes and amused smiles. After dinner was over Walburga and Cygnus were dismissed and the leftover males escorted the women to the sitting room, leaving them there whilst they left to discuss the possibility of a betrothal contract.

-----

Alphard had never planned on getting married. He had no intentions of carrying on the family name of the family that he loathed greatly; the only person he held in any regard was his aunt Dorea who had recently been married off, surprisingly, to Charlus Potter. Though he supposed that his grandfather cared more about Charlus’ status as the Potter heir and son of Henry Potter, who had recently destroyed a dark wizard (though the Black family weren’t very happy about that, it had been a decision to show which side they were on and keep their clout in the ministry). There was also the fact that Potters were the third richest family in the Wizarding world; after the Blacks and Malfoys. Potters were no longer considered blood-traitors in the wider Pureblood community, hence their hasty inclusion into what was now the Sacred Twenty-Nine, so Dorea’s marriage to Charlus had been a very smart move on his grandfather Cygnus’ part.

Pollux had informed him, overly smugly in Alphard’s opinion, that a wizard had requested a discussion over a marriage contract between his daughter and Alphard. Alphard had been surprised. At sixteen he had no way of declining his father’s request so he had agreed blindly with no other options placed before him. He had been very annoyed when his father entirely refused to tell him who the contract would be with and had nearly hexed his older sister into oblivion when she suggested that it would be another contract with their second cousin Arcturus to marry his daughter Lucretia. The fear that he would be like Walburga, forced to marry a relative (not that Walburga was unhappy; quite the opposite, in reality) made him feel sick. Luckily his fears were assuaged a few weeks into October when she was betrothed to Ignatius Prewett.

For the entirety of his Christmas holidays he had nervously awaited the 28th for the dinner with her family and then consequent meeting with their fathers where he would have to pretend to want to marry whatever Pureblood witch it was and then would have to sign his life away to a marriage he didn’t want, with no choice to do anything else.

He fidgeted uncomfortably at the formal dining table, waiting for the other family (whomever they were) to arrive, and only stopped squirming when his mother, sitting next to him, slapped his hand and sent him a stern glare. Cygnus smirked at his older brother from where he was sitting in Alphard’s usual seat opposite Pollux at the head of the table. The seat was Alphard’s rightful place as the eldest son, but he was forced to sit between his mother and sister for this meal so that he would be sitting opposite whatever awful witch he would be betrothed to by the end of the night.

When he heard the two sets of light footsteps approaching the door and the one heavier set he swallowed uncomfortably and prepared to stand up, as was proper. He rose from his seat, like his father and brother, when the doors opened, but refused to look up from the table when the mystery trio entered the room. He only looked up when his mother’s bony finger poked him hard in the ribs and she scowled pointedly at him.

His world froze around him as he locked eyes with the girl. He could feel the surprise permeating his body as he stared in shock at the three Potters seating themselves at the table. Of every Pureblood family he had expected at that meal, the Potters had not even made the long list. Henry Potter was an interesting man indeed, to allow two of his children to marry someone from the Black family, especially as, though Dorea would have been Charlus’ choice, Alphard was almost one hundred per cent certain that Henry would not have allowed his daughter to choose whom she married. The idea of a pureblood wizard in the 1940s allowing his daughter to choose her potential husband was ludicrous. As much as Alphard thought the double standards were ridiculous there was nothing he could do about it.

Alphard let his eyes run over Hermione Potter’s gorgeous silhouette. She had always been a point of fascination with much of the Hogwarts population. The head girl was regarded by many of them to be some kind of seer, with her uncanny knowledge of the future, yet the girl had never taken any Divination classes, declaring the class woolly and useless. Unlike her two older brothers, she had not been announced when she was born and the first that most people heard of the youngest Potter child was when she was ten. However, this was not entirely strange for the daughters of most pureblood families, Alphard knew that his family had done similar things before. She was also one of the most beautiful girls in school, but she had no interest in boys or anything other than her schoolwork, or the people she considered family. Judging by Fleamont’s protectiveness throughout her first two years at the school, neither of her brothers would have tolerated any potential boyfriends during her time at Hogwarts.

And now here she was seated at his family’s dinner table in pale blue robes looking amazing and soon to be betrothed to him. She was the perfect mixture of her parents. With her father’s dark curly hair – tamed into an elaborate braid currently – and her no nonsense Gryffindor attitude and her hazel eyes and pale, freckled skin, inherited from her mother, she was a vision and Alphard found himself entranced by his future wife. He had to control the typical teenage male reaction he felt coming on as he walked her to the sitting room, her arm looped through his and her delicate floral scent washing over him. Alphard suddenly felt much better about his impending wedding and marriage.

In the study Alphard settled in as his father and Henry Potter pulled out pieces of parchment ready to discuss all the terms of Hermione and Alphard’s marriage. By the end of two hours they were finally finished with their discussions and all three men were pleased with the decisions made. Pollux was looking especially smug as the Potter’s were shown out; having his eldest son betrothed to the only Potter female would look very good for the family and Pollux had made sure not to mention the fact that Henry Potter had chosen to betroth her to the third in line for the title of head of house, as opposed to the Black heir – Orion.

As Alphard got ready for bed he considered the fact that he was to be married to Hermione Potter after his schooling was finished with and found himself very happy with the prospect. Anticipation built up within him, even though there was still a year and a half until they could be married.

March 3rd 1942
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Entrance Hall

The next few months in school were torturous for Alphard, as he watched other wizards flirt mercilessly with his fiancée. The only house to refrain from it were the Slytherins, as Alphard had informed them smugly of the impending second union between the immensely powerful Black and Potter houses. He felt rather angry that Hermione had clearly not done the same thing, so by February he had requested that his father send him a Black family heirloom with which he could mark Hermione as spoken for. When he had presented her with the delicate rose gold and ruby bracelet in her head dorms, where they meet weekly to get to know each other, she had swooned in a very un-Hermione-like manner and accepted his beautiful gift readily.

The minute the jewellery on her wrist had been noticed every pureblood and half-blood who knew about or observed the betrothal steps had immediately stopped pursuing her. They recognised the bracelet that marked her clearly as to be married. The Muggleborns, who had no idea of the pureblood betrothal customs and were used to the muggle tradition of engagement rings, didn’t back off. Alphard did not appreciate the continued attention directed towards Hermione from oblivious Muggleborns, and some half-bloods, and it all came to a head near the end of March when one of the seventh year boys made an obvious move on her.

Alphard was just coming up from the dungeons, on his way to meet Hermione at the bottom of the staircase and escort her into the great hall. A tradition that any betrothed couple in Hogwarts participated in, and one that confused many who did not participate or know about the traditions.

She was waiting at the bottom of the staircase as usual, dressed in her silvery casual robes; which looked finer than most dress robes thanks to the money that Hermione had been born into. Alphard, likewise, was dressed in casual robes made of fine materials, and as he looked around the entrance hall it was obvious who exactly was a pureblood, or from a rich family, just by their robes. He never thought much of the distinction between purebloods, half-bloods or Muggleborns, not really caring himself, but when he crossed the hall to see some boy hanging around her like a bad smell he was suddenly not feeling as courteous towards anyone that didn’t understand that she was taken.

His nostrils flared as he neared them both noticing that it was Lucas Middleton, a Muggleborn Ravenclaw, who was attempting to chat up Hermione, and not noticing the way she was trying to politely get away from him. She was speaking as Alphard approached.

“… I’m flattered but…”

“Oh come now, Hermione, don’t be like that.” Middleton put his hand lightly on Hermione’s arm in a flirtatious manner, and Alphard nearly growled at the other boy, “I’ll take you to Madam Frosterops in Hogsmeade and we can have a romantic dinner and then, well… then we can go back to your rooms and…” Alphard interrupted the pair before Middleton could say something lewd or inappropriate to the girl.

“Where do you get off thinking you can use Miss Potter’s first name, Middleton?” Alphard’s voice was clipped and he was aware in that moment that he sounded more like a Black in his anger than he ever had before. At this point in their relationship Alphard still called Hermione ‘Miss Potter’ regardless of how many times she corrected him. Until she formerly told him to call her Hermione he would refrain, just as he had been properly raised to do.

“Fuck off, Black! Who the hell asked you?” Middleton spun to face Alphard, a scowl on his face that he probably thought was intimidating. To Alphard, who had grown up with Walburga as a sister and Irma as a mother, it didn’t even register as a threat.

“Middleton, I will give you one chance to back away from Miss Potter.” Alphard’s voice was cool and collected, although inside he was feeling anything but. He was dimly aware of everyone in the entrance hall turning to watch them. He also noticed that all of his family that were currently at Hogwarts - Orion, Cygnus, Walburga and Lucretia – had congregated behind him; angry at the insult to their house, whether they cared about Alphard or not. Other Slytherins were standing near, ready to step in if Alphard’s future wife was threatened in any way; they looked after their fellow snakes and currently Alphard’s fiancée was being threatened – an insult very high up on their no-go list.

“Oh yeah, Black? And what are you gonna do, huh? Why the fuck do you think you can get involved? You’re just some slimy Slytherin.” Middleton eyed Alphard like he was a piece of dirt on his shoe which angered Alphard, made the Slytherins, that Middleton had yet to realise had them surrounded, snarl and made Hermione bristle.

“Take your hands off of her, Middleton. You have no business touching who isn’t yours.”

“Oh really, and I guess you think she’s yours, huh, Black?” Alphard sent Hermione an apologetic look for talking about her like she wasn’t there, but she waved her hand in a silent ‘go ahead’. He had the vague thought that Middleton was incredibly stupid for a Ravenclaw.

“Well if you’d stop being as slow as you so clearly are maybe you’d be able to understand that she is spoken for.”

“By you?!” Middleton barked a derogative laugh that grated on Alphard’s, and every other Slytherin’s, nerves, “Like she’d ever date a snake like you! She’s a proper Gryffindor who’d never look at you, Black!” Alphard became more on edge as more people gathered in the entrance hall to watch the spectacle, some Gryffindors were trying to get through the circle of Slytherins around Hermione, Middleton and Alphard, but were being held back by the few Gryffindors who understood what was going on.

“Middleton, take your hands off of me. Now. I don’t want you touching me, and I don’t want to go out with you!” Hermione snapped, her voice like flints striking together.

Alphard scowled when Middleton just laughed and patted Hermione on the arm patronisingly, “You’re just befuddled darling. Once I get this slimy snake to piss off we can talk properly alright”

“You know,” Alphard said conversationally, sounding as calm as ever, and every family member grinned menacingly, recognising the cold tone inherited from his mother in his voice, “I don’t plan on dating her.”

“Hah! So what? You just came over here to start something for no reason?”

“You have no idea what that bracelet on her wrist means, do you Middleton?” Alphard said incredibly patronisingly and every pureblood that was watching who hadn’t understood before gasped. It was very dramatic and Alphard, usually more low-key about confrontations, just managed to control his grin. Middleton looked even more worked up now; the prospect that he didn’t know something loads of others in the hall did, clearly irked him.

“It’s just a fucking bracelet, Black!” Middleton screeched, his voice becoming higher with his ire. Behind Alphard his second cousin Orion snorted condescendingly.

“Oh, Middleton, you really need to learn more about the Wizarding world. Any piece of jewellery given to a witch by a wizard is a prelude to a betrothal contract. If the two both understand that, then they are obligated to draw up a contract.” Alphard said superciliously, his fists clenching at the thought of having to explain himself to this idiot.

“What the hell? When do you think this is? The 1800s?!” Middleton stepped between Hermione and Alphard in a parody of protection, “Did she even know this before you gave it to her?! You just trapped her, you dick!” Alphard sighed, annoyed at this moron who was ruining his evening, he knew that he needed to explain this now however. With so many people to witness this it would be all over the school in a few hours and people would finally understand that Hermione was his, not anyone else’s.

“Well, no I didn’t, because if you had been listening right now, you would have heard that I said ‘if the two both understand that’. In our case, however, I gave her the bracelet to show that she was off limits – something you obviously didn’t understand.”

“What you didn’t even fucking ask? What kind of wizard are you, Black?” Middleton just kept sticking his foot further in his mouth, and if Alphard wasn’t so annoyed, he’d find it amusing. Walburga scoffed and finally spoke up, clearly as fed-up as her younger brother.

“Look, you idiot mudblood,” Alphard winced and looked down ashamedly, “do you ever use your fucking brain?! Honestly…”

“Walburga, leave it. It’s my business.” Alphard interrupted before anything more insulting could come out of his sister’s mouth. Walburga stepped back, sneering at Middleton, “and Middleton, I didn’t need to fucking ask. Our father’s drew up a betrothal contract over Christmas. I’m going to marry Miss Potter next year and nothing a sycophantic git like you does will change that.”

“What, so your father’s just trapped you both in a barbaric marriage contract and expected you both to go along with it?” Middleton mocked, not realising the impact of his ill-chosen words until some of the Gryffindors, Slytherins and Hufflepuffs watching jumped in, suddenly angry. The Ravenclaws watching were torn between standing up for their housemate and protesting against his ignorance.

“What the hell, Middleton?”

“It is not barbaric!”

“It’s tradition, fuckwit!”

“I’m gonna KILL you Middleton! My parents had a betrothal contract!”

“So did mine!”

“I’ll help you kill him!”

“Abraxas! Don’t actually hex him!”

Alphard cast a silencing spell over the entrance hall so that he could speak over the din, “Middleton, take a look around you at the amount of people you just insulted. Almost every fucking pureblood and most half-bloods in this hall have parents who had betrothal contracts and most of our generation have them too. It’s very rare that they’re involuntary. In fact,” Alphard turned to the others standing around, most looking furious, “who in here is part of a betrothal contract?”

His cousins’ and siblings’ hands were the first to rise into the air – the Blacks may not be the nicest people in general but they stuck up for family, always, even if it was just to maintain the family name and reputation –, followed by his and Hermione’s. Around the entrance hall masses of hands rose in the air. It was suddenly more obvious than ever who in the hall was a Muggleborn. Alphard turned back to Middleton with a sneer on his face, still angry with the boy for daring to lay a hand on Hermione.

“See, Middleton? Don’t insult our ways when you don’t know them.” Alphard smirked at the boys slightly chastened look, that was until he spoke up again.

“Alright, whatever. Hermione here is still gonna be forced to marry you, Black.” Alphard thought that Middleton looked ridiculous trying to be mean, and grinned darkly at the Ravenclaw.

“Look Middlet…”

“No, Alphard, don’t. I can talk for myself.” Hermione stepped forward and around Middleton, coming to stand beside Alphard and looping her arm through the crook of his elbow.

“See, Black!” Middleton gestured at Hermione as if she was validating what he was saying.

“Shut up, Middleton. I was not forced into this marriage. I requested that my betrothal contract be drawn up with Alphard and my father agreed.” Hermione’s voice was stern, her thick dark curls were more wild than usual, sparks flickering at the ends, and her deep hazel eyes flashed angrily at Middleton. Alphard was so attracted to her in that moment that he didn’t have the capacity to be surprised that Hermione had been the one to request Henry Potter drew up a betrothal contract with Alphard, “Come on, Alphard. Let’s get to dinner.”

They left the entrance hall, the rest of the Black family and Slytherins following them out and soon Middleton was left in the middle of the hall looking lost.

August 21st 1943
Potter Hall – residence of Henry and Aldea Potter

The next year and a half passed quickly, and much too slowly all at once and before Alphard knew it the wedding was upon them. Over the time they had had available to them, him and Hermione had grown incredibly close, and though it wasn’t love yet there was a definite attraction. The wedding passed them by in a blur and the reception was much the same as Hermione was welcomed into the Black family. Charlus and Fleamont watched the proceedings; looking incredibly sad that Hermione wasn’t a Potter anymore.

After a few hours of mingling they finally made it round the ridiculous amount of guests that had been invited to the wedding and reception. Alphard had been gifted the second largest Black property for getting married and that was where they apparated to when they finally escaped.

August 21st 1943
Black Manor – residence of Alphard and Hermione Black

They appeared with a pop outside the imposing manor, and looking at it Hermione decided that she was going to renovate it as soon as possible. Hermione nervously followed Alphard up the stairs of their new home, her fingers fidgeting with her red and gold robes. Alphard gave her the tour and she listened with half a mind, only paying attention in the library. The rest of her thoughts were focused on the room they came to last – their bedroom – and what was to transpire in there tonight.

They made their way into the bedroom and Hermione took a nervous seat on the edge of the bed. Alphard shed his outer layer of dress robes, leaving him in a silk shirt and loose trousers as he kicked off his shoes and socks. Hermione fiddled with the edge of her dress robes, looking up surprised from where she was staring at the floor when Alphard placed a gentle hand on top of hers.

“Hermione? Are you going to be okay? I know you haven’t done this before, so we don’t have to do it yet.”

Hermione shook her head quickly, turning her hand over under Alphard’s and lacing their fingers together, “I want to do this. I'm just nervous.”

“Will you allow me to try to help?” Alphard asked, desperate to make sure his new wife was happy. She nodded frantically, staring down at their interlocked fingers still. Alphard grasped both her hands tighter and pulled her gently to her feet so that she was facing him. He pressed his wand to her stomach and whispered the contraceptive charm. He slid his hands under the edges of her outer dress robes, after letting go of her hands, and helped her out of the extravagant outfit, so that she was left in a long under-gown that was so thin it was almost see-through. Alphard could see her dark nipples and the thatch of hair at the apex of her thighs through the gown and he groaned desperately as he let his eyes scan her beautiful body.

She shifted nervously again and Alphard took her face gently in his hands, locking their eyes together, “You’re beautiful Hermione, absolutely breath-taking. Making love to you will be no problem for me, if it isn’t for you. Are you okay still? If you want to stop at any point during this, just say so. Please.”

“I'm okay. Thank you, Alphard.” Hermione finally locked eyes with her husband and her breath left her in a large whoosh when she saw the raw desire in his eyes.

He leant down slowly, giving her time to pull back if she wanted to, and pressed his lips gently against hers. Hermione let out a surprised squeak at the action, but quickly relaxed into the gentle pressure. She whimpered as he ran his tongue lightly over her bottom lip and opened to him easily. This was nothing like she imagined kissing him would be and she was entirely giddy at the thought.

His tongue slid past her lips, tangling with hers as he pried her lips open further to taste her properly. Hermione was breathless and moaned his name desperately as he pulled back from their kiss. She felt a momentary stab of embarrassment at the thought of being so forward but his dark eyes as he observed her stopped the thought in its tracks.

He helped her slowly onto the bed and lay her out beneath him. He sat back momentarily to let his eyes rake over her partially exposed body and felt the throb in his groin to remind him how much he wanted his new wife. He hastily pulled off his shirt and felt an immense sense of gratification when Hermione whimpered urgently as her eyes ran over his exposed chest.

He leant down again and pressed his lips against hers more frantically, drinking in her little moans and whimpers as his tongue swept past her lips and into the warmth of her mouth again. She wrapped her arms around his neck and let her fingers spear through his dark hair; suddenly needy. Alphard deepened the kiss even further, a deep groan resonating from his chest as he plundered her mouth.

Alphard ran his fingers lightly up Hermione’s sides, brushing against her breasts gently as he raised his hands to her shoulders. She made a desperate whining noise that had Alphard involuntarily bucking his hips forward into her. Hermione made a surprised sound at the feel of his length pressed intimately against her core and instinctively shifted her hips against his. Alphard groaned deeply at that and pulled away from her lips, panting heavily.

“Is this still okay, Hermione?”

“Alphard. Please. I… I need…” Alphard kissed her gently once on the lips before moving his mouth elsewhere, latching his lips to her neck and sucking gently causing her to whimper at the new sensation. He marked her as his and let out a deep groan of desire when her hands slid down from his hair and gripped tightly to his muscled back. When his rough hands – calloused from Quidditch – reached for the hem of her thin gown and started sliding it up her thighs slowly she moaned frantically at his touch and adjusted her body slightly; shifting her hips to try to find some friction.

He chuckled quietly, grinned up at her and pressed a searing kiss to her lips. He glanced at her for confirmation briefly before he pulled the final barrier of clothing from her body. He groaned deeply as he saw her body for the first time; he didn’t know where to look, his eyes skipping over her alabaster skin as he gazed at her breasts, her nipples already hard and standing at attention. He swallowed heavily as his eyes skimmed down to her slit, wetting his lips as he watched her hips shift slightly against the bed, a sign of her impatience; even if she didn’t know what for.

“Alphard?” Hermione’s unsure voice came from above him and he looked up at her, letting his eyes trail her body slightly as they rose to her face. She looked hesitant and slightly uncomfortable and Alphard felt suddenly guilty.

“Hermione, you are gorgeous.” He took her face gently between his hands and pressed multiple tender kisses to her face and lips. He carried on until he felt her relax under him, pulling back to look into her eyes, “Are you still sure? I won’t carry on if you aren’t.”

“I’m sure. I just… I need. Something.” Hermione looked uncertain again and Alphard smiled calmly at her, reassuring.

“I know what you need. If you’ll let me?” Alphard kept his gaze steady on her face; encouraging her. She nodded and he pressed a heated kiss to her lips.

She was surprised at the intense feelings Alphard was stirring inside of her, fanning a flame she didn’t know was burning until he looked at her with such intense desire in his eyes. She dug her fingers into the taut muscles of his back, incredibly turned on by the way they flexed beneath her hands as he kissed down her throat and behind her ear, sucking suddenly hard and pulling a surprised noise of powerful pleasure from her. When he began sliding his mouth over the skin of her neck Hermione gasped and moaned as he sucked a line of kisses to her collarbone.

When his fingers skimmed lightly up her sides again and brushed against the underside of her breasts, Hermione squeezed her eyes tight and tried to steady her suddenly erratic breathing. She felt like she was drowning in the sensations Alphard was causing within her as his body moved to hover above her and he stirred a heat within her gut that spread to her nether regions.

He trailed a line of kisses down between her breasts, ignoring them completely, which caused her to let out a needy whine that had her immediately embarrassed. The embarrassment vanished when he sent her a heated look, mouthing kisses into the soft skin of her stomach. When he reached her bellybutton his movements stopped and he looked up at her with a hunger that surprised her. Swiftly he moved back upwards, crushing his lips against hers in a devastating kiss that had her letting out a surprised squeak that descended into a long moan. He sought her tongue out with his own and groaned against her when he found it; briefly letting his hips buck forward again into hers.

Frantically, Hermione gripped at his back, the sensation of his length pressing against her with only his trousers as a barrier causing something animalistic to stir within her. Suddenly Hermione felt an immense need to touch Alphard and reached out, pressing her fingers against the bunched muscles of his chest. He groaned intensely, kissing her long and deep as she traced her fingers over the lines along his body, savouring the dips and creases along the lines of his chest and stomach. A high-pitched whimper escaped her throat, vibrating against his lips as she ran her fingers along the edge of his trousers. He groaned in response, grabbing her hands up from his stomach and sitting back slowly from her.

“Do you want me to take them off?” Alphard asked, his eyes darting over her flushed face. She looked incredibly embarrassed as she nodded slightly, “Hermione, you have no idea how sexy you are right now, there is nothing wrong with you, I promise.”

She looked up at him, happy tears sparkling in her eyes. He pressed a tender kiss to her lips before pulling back and shucking his trousers. She glanced down briefly, her academic brain immediately curious, and quickly looked back up at him, her eyes wide and her face even more flushed with embarrassed shock and something else (that Alphard hoped was arousal).

“Are you going to fit?” she squeaked out, letting her eyes drift back to his cock.

“Yes. I will. Don’t worry Hermione. I’m going to look after you.” He reassured her, controlling his urges.

She tugged him back down into a searing kiss, comforting her doubts with something that had already become a familiar and heady sensation. She cried out when she felt his hands finally pass properly over her breasts; his fingers gently feathering over her soft skin until he had one palmed perfectly in his hand, the pad of his thumb brushing slowly, but repeatedly over the rosy peak. She let out a surprised and incredibly turned on whine at the feeling and he groaned in response, immensely aroused by her responsiveness.

When his hands left her skin, she whimpered desperately at the sudden lack of him. But that whimper turned into a startled moan when he tore his lips from her mouth to crawl down her body and pull one of her aching nipples into his mouth. He let his tongue glide slowly back and forth over the pebble of flesh, grinning against her when she made the sweetest little noises, her hips bucking against him and her hands flexing on his back. He sucked gently on the nipple before replacing his mouth and switching to the other breast, treating it to the same actions until Hermione was shifting her hips against the mattress; desperately searching for something she couldn’t identify.

"Alphard... please... I need." Hermione whimpered, her hands sliding up and down his back, eased by the sweat glistening on them both.

"Patience love," Alphard whispered as he removed his mouth from her breast with a wet pop that caused a rush of heat in Hermione’s belly. His gorgeous grey eyes stared at her face, his hardness throbbing at the sight of her so heated and uninhibited beneath him. He kissed her hard again as his hand finally slipped between her legs and ran up her thighs lightly until he got to her centre. He pulled away from their kiss and glanced at her for confirmation, which she gave with a shaky nod.

His black hair hung like a curtain in front of his eyes as he slipped his fingers between her lips and finally touched her properly. He groaned deeply in his chest as he felt just how wet she was for him. The noise and touch of his fingers against her slit made her shiver and she involuntarily bucked her hips up into his hand; the sudden and desperate need for friction strong and surprising.

He moaned just as urgently as her, briefly kissing her again, before pulling away to look into her eyes, “Merlin, Hermione. You’re so wet.”

“Is… is that a good thing?” she asked, entirely unsure.

“Holy… fuck yes it is. It tells me how much you want me and you’re dripping darling. That’s definitely a good thing. A bit of an ego boost if I’m honest.” He grinned up at her in that cheeky way that he had and Hermione’s cheeks heated even as she shifted her hips slightly and moaned pleadingly for him to do something.

He removed his hand and put it on her hip, holding her in place as he slid down her body so that he was in line with her pulsing core. He gently held her lips apart with his fingers and inhaled deeply at the same time, letting the scent of her arousal wash over him, drug him and bring him into a heady trance. Before Hermione could ask what he was doing he pressed his mouth to her, lapping eagerly at her centre. She let out a loud cry, grunting her surprise when his tongue ran over her a few times until he rose slightly and, without any more preamble, took her clit into his mouth and sucked very lightly on it. She just managed to hold in her scream as she shoved her hips into his face, not able to hold back her extreme reaction to the shock of pleasure that ran through her.

She trembled at the feel as he pulled her higher and higher up the cliff of her pleasure. Her fingers speared through his long hair, holding him to her quivering lower lips and crying out her desire to the ceiling when he slid a long finger inside her. A few minutes later she came so hard that sparks danced behind her closed lids, two of his thick fingers buried in her quim and his mouth just pulling away from her throbbing clit.

He rutted his hips against the mattress gently, trying to relieve some of the pressure as he waited for her to come down from her powerful orgasm. He was immensely pleased at that moment that he had the experience he did, because otherwise he was sure he would’ve come already. She breathed his name gently, pulling him up to kiss him deeply and surprising herself at liking the taste of her pleasure on his lips. His fingers dug into the skin of her hips and thighs as he closed his eyes and fought to focus and control his reaction to her smell and taste. His cock twitched at the delicious way she continued to roll her hips against him even after coming so hard.

He gripped his hard length in his hand and, after checking one last time that she was okay, he rubbed the tip of it against her wetness, glad that he had already stretched her sufficiently with his fingers. Both of them whimpered desperately at the sensation and he broke away from her mouth to look down into her dilated eyes.

Alphard pressed one last heated kiss to her swollen lips before he slowly buried himself inside of her in one long thrust, breaking through her hymen in one stroke and apologising quietly against her lips as she let out a sharp cry of pain against him. He waited patiently for her to give the go ahead, hissing at the feel of her exquisite tightness, rippling around him as she adjusted to the new sensation. Finally she nodded and shifted her hips lightly against him, he groaned loudly and dropped his forehead to her shoulder, pressing kisses there.

“Alphard?”

“Give me a minute love. You’re so tight... it feels so good..." he moaned loudly, pressing his face tighter into the crevice of her neck as she dug her fingernails into his shoulders. He pulled out of her and she whined at the loss, shocked when Alphard dropped to his back beside her, the hurt building in her was wiped out when he reached over and, with his incredible strength, pulled her to straddle his hips. She stared down at him, surprised and unsure.

“It’ll be better like this for you the first time. You can control everything now.” She smiled happily at him as he spoke. Her smile faded into an open mouthed, pleasurable look when he pulled her back down onto his throbbing length.

They started slowly, his hands on her hips lifting her up gradually and pulling her back down just as deliberately. It let him feel every inch of her wet and tight insides as she slid down him gently and it tortured him with the sensations.

Every stroke wound her tighter and tighter around him, an unfamiliar building pressure that burned hot. With every movement of her hips up and down his length Alphard would ease out leaving her feeling empty and desperate to be filled again with his thick cock. He pulled her down and kissed along her throat before pulling back gently and pressing against her forehead, letting her eyes focus on his face; screwed up in pleasure as she slid back down his length.

“Alphard. I need you,” she moaned, grinding her hips down as he reached as deep within her as possible. She rocked back and forth, faster and faster, instinctively; the new angles that caused making her moan high-pitched and shudder on top of him. He growled at the change of pace and angle, his hands on her hips digging in slightly as he sat up to take one of her nipples into his mouth, tonguing it in time with her shifting hips. She whimpered desperately, her hips moving faster and faster as she searched for the amazing feeling of coming again.

A groan vibrated in Alphard’s chest and through to her nipple still in his mouth and she cried out loudly at the sensation, shouting Alphard’s name to the ceiling as she rocked back and forth on top of him. Her head was tipped back and she was moaning with abandon now, her earlier embarrassment and uncertainty lost to the pleasure wracking her body as Alphard grasped her hips again and pulled them down against him hard, slamming into her as deep as possible and pulling broken moans from both of their lips.

Hermione watched with eagerness foreign to her, her lips parted as drops of sweat fell down her heaving chest onto his sculpted body beneath her. Her eyes raked over his beautifully formed frame until her hazel eyes flickered down to where they were joined, watching with intense pleasure as Alphard controlled her hips, pulling her down again and again onto his throbbing length.

Alphard pulled back from her heavy breasts and brought his grey eyes to the same place where they were currently attached; heavily satisfied pants leaving his lips as he watched himself disappear into her body with every drop of her hips. Her moans coming faster and thicker as she rippled around him, pleasure passing through their bodies together as she shivered in his arms, gripping tighter and tighter to his cock as she came closer to the precipice.

As the coil inside of her wound tighter and tighter in an unfamiliar sensation before tonight Hermione could also feel Alphard swelling even larger within her and she let out a heady moan at the feeling. She moaned his name desperately, balancing on the edge of her orgasm and eager for something to push her over.

Alphard groaned in response, throwing his head back as he moved one hand from her hip to rub lightly over clit, stroking her higher and higher until with a whimper and gasp of “Alphard” Hermione was coming around him. Her eyes were wide and she panted hard as she came down from the heights, her insides gripping tight onto his cock as she rippled around him.

Her wetness increased until Alphard thought he would drown in the amazing sensations around his length. Alphard rode out the waves of her climax with her, pulling her tight to him and kissing her deeply and lovingly as the fluttering velvet walls pulled him in as deep as he could go, firmly gripping him like a pulsating vice. He came hard a few thrusts later, grunting out her name through his pleasure as his eyes glazed over and his lips parted to let out his panting breaths.

He relaxed back into the mattress, holding her tight to him as they both came down from the amazing orgasms they’d had. She let out a contented sigh against him, pressing a loving kiss to his chest and snuggling closer as he wrapped his arms further around her, relishing the feel of her breasts pressed against him as he slipped out of her body. Alphard rolled them carefully onto their sides, still holding her tight to him and leaned forward to kiss her softly when she looked up at him with eyes still hazy with pleasure.

“I didn’t think it could be like that.” She said, laughing lightly as she looked up her husband. He smiled back happily at her as he pulled the covers up and around them, pulling her back into his arms as he lay back down. She rested her head on his chest and he smiled contentedly.

“Neither did I. It wasn’t like that the last times I did it.”

“Good.” She smirked up at him, narrowing her eyes, “you belong to me now. No more talking about the witches that fucked you before.” He chuckled and saluted her jauntily.

“You’re it for me now, Hermione. Don’t worry.”

May 12th 1955
Black Manor – residence of Alphard and Hermione Black

Hermione was twenty-nine now and three months pregnant, an interesting development in the course of her thirty-seven years of being alive. Though she had always known she would end up with two children when she finally carried out her plans to adopt Sirius and Regulus, she had never planned on getting pregnant herself and having children with Alphard. There was no way, however, that she was going to tell the love of her life that; he would be devastated.

The past twelve years of marriage had been amazing and Hermione had focused her attention on revising laws in the ministry, weeding out the corruption and appointing people that benefitted a more tolerant ministry – a process that she had controlled from the side-lines as Alphard had risen through the ranks of the Ministry to become Minister a year ago. With his influence she knew that when the time came to implement her plans regarding Walburga and Orion’s future sons she would be able to do it easily; especially as he was currently the most respected Black in the Wizarding community.

Tonight, however, was all about their home life as they invited the Potters and (reluctantly) Alphard’s branch of the Blacks to hear the news of their impending pregnancy. Aldea and Henry arrived first, the former in beautiful maroon robes that made her look younger than her fifty-seven years. They took their daughter in their arms; so proud of the woman she had grown up to be. Henry smoothed down her still unruly Potter hair and kissed her forehead.

“Where’s Alphard, lovely?” Henry asked as Hermione and Alphard’s (reluctantly inherited) house elf, Libby, took Aldea and Henry’s outer robes. Hermione led them through to the sitting room, and handed them both a glass of wine, taking a glass of water for herself.

“He’s upstairs, trying to decide on which dress robes will look more imposing to Pollux,” Hermione said, rolling her eyes at her husband’s ridiculousness.

“Oh dear.” Aldea sighed as she took a seat beside Henry on one of the sofas in the vast room, “Does Pollux still go on about Alphard’s inability to give him an heir?” Hermione nodded sadly, taking a seat on the loveseat nearest her parents.

“It’s like Pollux forgets that his son is the Minister of Magic. Honestly!” Aldea sighed sympathetically at her daughter, feeling sorry that she had such difficult in-laws.

“Well, why can’t Pollux put pressure on Orion to give the family an heir?” Henry asked, shaking his head at the ridiculousness. The Potter family already had one heir in Euphemia and Fleamont’s twelve-year-old son Hardwin. To them however, having never really cared too much about carrying on the name, their second child and daughter, Iolanthe, was just as important.

“I’m pretty sure that Arcturus is putting a lot of pressure on them to have an heir. One day soon I’m going to hex Pollux, if he keeps pressuring Alphard like this. I can’t stand it, you know? I thought once we moved out Alphard would feel like he was out from under Pollux’s control, but it really doesn’t seem like it.” Hermione sighed, staring down into her water angrily, “I had to change the wards a few years ago so that Pollux would stop inviting himself over and dictating what Alphard did with his life.”

“I suppose he wasn’t very happy about that?” Henry asked, frowning angrily at the thought of his son-in-law’s father being so presumptuous.

“No. He wasn’t, but there’s nothing he can do about it now that Alphard is Minister.”

“Well thank Merlin for that. He’s a horrible man.” Aldea looked thoughtful for a second, her Ravenclaw brain clearly ticking over something in her head, “maybe we should ask Dorea to talk to him about it?”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea, mother. Alphard just wants to let it blow over, but I have plans in place.” Hermione smirked deviously and Henry’s eyebrow rose as he looked at his daughter.

“You should have been in Slytherin my dear.” He said, consideringly.

Hermione chuckled but didn’t say anything as Alphard escorted Charlus and Dorea into the room at the point. Hermione watched her sister-in-law and her heart broke as she noticed the slightly damaged expression in the woman’s eyes. Though both her and Charlus looked poised and content in their immaculate robes, the underlying tension between them shone through for Hermione. In their late thirties now, Dorea had obviously nearly given up on the possibility of having any children with Charlus, and judging by his defeated position he had given up too. Hermione desperately wanted to reassure them and tell them that they would have a son in five years but she had agreed with her parents when she arrived in the past in 1935 that she wouldn’t reveal her real birth time and place to anyone; even her older brothers.

By the time Hermione pulled herself out of her reverie, Fleamont and Euphemia had arrived (leaving their children at home with their house elf) and the atmosphere in the room was relaxed and cheerful. Beside her, Alphard took her hand in his and pressed a light kiss to it, sending her a look so full of love that her heart ached as she looked back at him. The discussion in the room had moved onto lighter topics than Pollux Black when Charlus and Dorea had arrived and Henry and his two sons were now in a lively debate over the merits of different brooms. Aldea rolled her eyes and her daughter and two daughters-in-law chuckled and nodded their agreement.

The pleasant atmosphere was broken when they heard the voices of Pollux and Irma Black in the hallway and every Potter stiffened in their seats. As the two entered the room the men rose and any conversation that they had been having became stilted and overly polite. By the time they made it to the dining room Hermione had a tension headache developing and she could see that Alphard was very carefully controlling his anger. Walburga and Orion had arrived not long after the Black parents and Cygnus had arrived with his wife Druella. The only one of Pollux’s children to have produced children so far, Cygnus was always overly smug; Pollux delighted in taking him down a peg every time he saw him, however, by pointing out that Cygnus had only produced three females and no heirs; which was pitiful in Pollux and Irma’s eyes and nearly as bad as not having any children.

Hermione managed to sit through Pollux’s digs for the majority of two courses before she finally decided that it was time to announce the reason that everyone had been invited; and maybe be able to cut the evening short. If only to escape the Black family that she had married into.

She nudged Alphard with her elbow discreetly, knowing that if she spoke up to Pollux he would not listen to her – something that grated on her nerves a lot. Alphard looked over at her curiously and frowned when she gestured for him to go ahead, unsure what she meant until she pointed at her stomach meaningfully. His eyes widened and he nodded inconspicuously before turning back to the table and standing from his seat.

He cleared his throat purposefully and when everyone looked at him, he spoke, “I have an announcement to make.” Eyebrows rose around the table and Aldea and Dorea both narrowed their eyes at the couple at the head of the table. Aldea was the first to put it together when she noted Hermione’s glass of water, but she said nothing and waited for Alphard to announce it before reacting.

“What is it, son?” Henry asked, eyeing his daughter and son-in-law consideringly. Pollux sitting at the other end of the table appraised them both as well, though his eyes were much more critical than Henry Potter’s.

“Hermione is pregnant with our first child.” Aldea finally let out a happy squeal and, all decorum forgotten, rushed to scoop her daughter up into her arms. Dorea and Euphemia had similar reactions, enveloping their sister-in-law in their arms and drawing Alphard into the family hug that Henry, Charlus and Fleamont soon joined. All of the Potter’s (and two Blacks) ignored the Blacks watching the display of emotion disapprovingly from the other end of the table.

The moment was broken when Pollux’s voice cut through the joyful ramblings of Aldea, “Well that took you a long time.” Hermione felt her brothers’, father’s and husband’s arms all tense where they were wrapped around her, but she just shook her head gently.

“Why don’t we all sit down again.” Her family complied and when they were all seated Hermione looked imploringly at her mother to make this better. Aldea smiled at Hermione and did just that.

“So, darling, tell us everything.”

“I’m three months along, and we found out that it’s a going to be a boy a week ago when we performed the spell.” Hermione said, smiling gratefully at her mother and squeezing Alphard’s hand.

“Ah, so there will finally be a Black heir.” Pollux said, looking pleased; an expression which did not suit his face or countenance, “That’s good considering that Walburga and Orion here have decided to fail me and Arcturus at producing children and Cygnus failed his duties as a Black man, having only daughters.” Hermione tightened her grip on Alphard’s hand to prevent him from doing anything and Aldea sent a stern glare at her husband and sons, warning them to stay civil.

“Yes, father. I will have an heir, that is, of course, all that matters.” Alphard’s voice was dangerously cold and sarcastic as he glared down the table at Pollux.

The rest of dinner passed in much the same manner; veiled threats bouncing around the room between the males, whilst Walburga glared manically at Hermione and Cygnus and Druella both tuned out the room. Finally, the Blacks left and the Potters were able to relax in the sitting room again, Hermione snuggling up to Alphard whilst Charlus paced angrily around the small room, his temper flaring uncontrollably. In the end Dorea escorted her husband out, congratulating Hermione and her nephew with a slightly sad and defeated look in her eyes that made Hermione feel instantly guilty for delivering her news in such a way. Dorea’s lack of children had been a dig made by her brother that evening that had caused her to respond with a snapped reminder that their sister Cassiopeia had yet to even marry.

October 4th 1959
Potter Hall – residence of Henry, Charlus and Dorea Potter

Aldea Potter’s funeral was a sombre affair. She had passed unexpectedly a week before and her husband, three children, and four grandchildren had been shocked and horrified at the turn of events.

Marius, Hermione and Alphard’s son, named after Alphard’s disowned uncle, had been born in December of 1955 and two years later they invited Astre into the world too; she had been named in the same tradition as much of the Black family; her name meaning ‘celestial body’. There had been much joy in the Potter family for those four years, and Hermione had been feeling especially excited as Walburga announced her pregnancy (with the ‘true heir’ of the Black family), particularly because it meant that Hermione could execute her plans soon.

The only comfort that Hermione felt in Aldea’s death was the fact that she knew her future; knew that Charlus would eventually have a wonderful son and grandson and that they were finally safe from the evilest wizard to ever live. The aftermath of the devastating funeral found the Potter family grieving together in Potter Hall, staying together for as long as possible.

Hermione was seated beside Alphard on one of the loveseats, she was out of tears and her puffy eyes were dry for the first time in a week. Her left hand was clasped tightly in Alphard’s and each of them were holding a child on their lap; both of whom were fast asleep, not understanding the full gravity of what had happened. Across the room Dorea sat between Charlus and Henry, her eyes were red rimmed and she had both arms wrapped across her five month pregnant belly. Charlus was staring into the distance, his shock and devastation written on his face, one hand held an empty tumbler and the other was trapped under Dorea’s arms on her belly. Henry’s head was bowed, his black speckled grey hair hanging over his eyes as he stared into the depths of his whiskey, silent tears streaming down his face into his thick beard; a week’s worth of untamed growth.

Euphemia was sitting in an armchair near the fire, her face had fallen into lines of distress as she held her sobbing twelve-year-old daughter, Iolanthe, as close as possible, trying her best to comfort her through the loss of her grandmother when Euphemia could barely deal with it herself. Hardwin, the oldest of the Potter grandchildren at seventeen, was lying prostrate on the floor staring up at the ceiling as tears pooled in his eyes and drifted down the sides of his face. Every now and again an anguished sob would escape him and he would pound his fists angrily into the floor as he lay there listening to his sister break in his mother’s arms.

Fleamont wasn’t in the room. In fact, he was across the other side of the large mansion. Yet they could clearly hear him from where they all sat together. His screams and cries were heart-breaking to hear as he threw item after item around the kitchen. The crashes of plates breaking bust through the bawling they could hear him doing, and finally Hermione had had enough.

She rose slowly from her spot, passing Astre over to her husband and leaving the room to help her brother. She walked carefully into the kitchen, stepping around the broken pieces on the floor over to where Fleamont was currently pounding his fists angrily into the dust of what she assumed used to be the now broken sliding door leading out to the patio.

“Flea?” she asked tentatively as she approached him slowly, not wanting to startle him and make him injure himself even more.

When he looked up at her he looked broken with his tear stained face and bloody knuckles, “‘Mione?” his voice was a barely there croak, breaking around her name as he looked up at her sadly. She crouched down beside him and took his hands gently in hers. With a wave of her wand she silently fixed the broken and bloodied knuckles and then pulled him up from the floor and across the room to a clear part of the room.

“Oh, honey. Flea. Look at me, darling.” Fleamont looked up from the floor, tears streaming down his face.

“‘Mione… I can’t do this without mum. How do… oh god.” His voice cracked and Hermione’s heart broke a little more with it, “How are… HOW ARE WE MEANT TO CARRY ON!?” he screamed, grabbing the closest thing to him and launching it across the room as he turned from his sister; renewed keens echoing around the room as they fell from his anguished lips.

Hermione had tried, she had tried so hard to keep herself together for her family as she was cracking inside but her usually rational older brother’s tears and screaming had broken the dam and she crumpled to the floor beside him weeping. Her tears ran down her face in streaks into her open mouth as she wailed her pain into the floor, rocking back and forth with her arms wrapped tightly over as stomach as if that would keep the pain inside and stop her breaking. Fleamont dropped to the floor beside her and they clung to each other tightly, clutching hands and flexing fingers as they tried to rationalise what would dare to take their mother from them when she should have still had fifty or more years of life in her.

Charlus found them in this position a few minutes later and seeing his siblings broken on the floor of their destroyed kitchen he collapsed to his knees next to them. He took them into his arms and pressed them as close to his own body as physically possible, as if that would glue them back together. He cried silent tears into their wild black Potter hair as they both clutched tightly to him and moaned their agony into their older brother.

Charlus and Dorea ended up moving out of Potter Cottage in Wales after the funeral and back in with Henry to keep him company and, when their first and only son James is born in March, distract him from thoughts of Aldea. As the months passed after Aldea’s death the other Potter family members also found ways to distract themselves from thinking about her as much as they could. Though they did still make sure to mention her and remember her how she would have wanted to be remembered.

Hermione found herself distracting herself in the comfort of her new nephew Sirius’ cute baby smiles. She offered to look after him as much as Walburga allowed – which was an inordinate amount considering that both Walburga and Orion cared little for their first son past the fact that he was the heir to the Black family. Hermione’s plans for the reorganisation of the Black family were slowly developing as she waited for Regulus to be born. In the meantime she amused herself with comparing baby Sirius to the adult Sirius that she had known in the future; to her never-ending sadness she thought about the fact that his baby-hood was probably the only time Sirius had ever been truly content with every aspect of his life. She had vowed to change that as soon as she found herself in the past and nothing would stop her.

September 14th 1961
Black Manor – residence of Hermione and Alphard Black

It had been a month since Regulus was born and Hermione had already seen him and his brother four times in the intervening time. Finding herself looking after them whenever Walburga got tired of dealing with children.

That evening Hermione was busy trying to convince Libby to let her prepare dinner (and getting nowhere). Alphard just shook his head at his stubborn wife, balancing four-year-old Astre on his hip as he gathered his papers off of the dining table in the smaller, informal dining room that they used most of the time. Marius was seated at the table eating the cheesy pasta that Libby had made for the six-year-old earlier that evening.

Just as Hermione opened her mouth to make another argument against Libby there was a loud crack and Kreacher, Walburga's house elf, appeared in the midst of the family.

He bowed low to the two adults before speaking in his croaky voice, “Mistress says that Kreacher must bring young master Sirius and young master Regulus to here. She says that she will punish Kreacher if they keep crying.”

Hermione gasped, outrage filling her features as it often did when Alphard’s older sister was mentioned, “bring them here right now please, Kreacher! Tell Walburga we will keep them for as long as she wants.” Alphard nodded along with his wife’s judgement.

Kreacher popped out quickly and appeared back a few seconds later with a black-haired boy under each arm. Regulus was, as usual, quiet and settled comfortably into Alphard’s arms when he took him off of Kreacher. Sirius, however, appeared anything but the cheerful child he usually was, his eyes were streaming tears down his face as he screamed and cried. Hermione immediately took the little boy into her arms, ignoring Kreacher as he popped out and sending Alphard a brief look to tell him to look after the other three kids whilst she checked on Sirius. She heard Marius asking his father what was wrong as she carried Sirius into the sitting room.

“Sirius, darling, what’s wrong?” Hermione gently brushed Sirius’ silky black hair off his forehead, pressing the back of her hand to it to check for fever; when she found nothing she proceeded to check the rest of her boy for injury. The day she discovered the bruises and scrapes that pointed to abuse that not-even-two-year-old Sirius was receiving from his parents was the day that she changed her plans for their fall from grace and started her new plans (which would happen as quickly as humanly possible, if she had any say in it).

She held him close for the rest of the day and, after telling Alphard what had happened to their nephew, they decided that they would keep the two young Blacks with them until they could formally adopt them. Hermione smiled grimly, her plans were going to happen; she just wished that the reason for their earlier execution had been different.

September 23rd 1961
Ministry of Magic – Wizengamot

Once Hermione collected her evidence and hired the best possible magical lawyer – an easy feat when one was a Black, a Potter and the wife of the Minister of Magic – she got Alphard to call a meeting of the Wizengamot so that Sirius and Regulus would never have to grow up with Walburga and Orion Black as parents.

Hermione was glad that Dumbledore had yet to be the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and that she’d have Alphard presiding over the proceedings. She took a seat on the prosecution side of the designated area in the large round room, her eyes scanning over the witches and wizards sitting in the seats behind Alphard’s desk. Her inner Muggleborn balked when she looked at the full seats for the Sacred Twenty-Eight (which had become twenty-nine when Henry Potter defeated Voldemort). Having been a prominent member of pureblood society for the last twenty-six years, however, Hermione was well acquainted with many of the witches and wizards that were sitting in the seats, and even friends with some of them.

Her eyes scanned the seats, analysing the members seated there; Maicus Abbott, Hannah Abbott’s grandfather, would be an ally; Marcus Avery would not; neither would Arcturus Black, for obvious reasons; Marianna Bulstrode was a wildcard; Aricticus Carrow would be against her; Bartemis Crouch Sr. she knew from the future but she wasn’t sure how he’d be now, without the guilt of his son weighing on him; Lucian Fawley, Euphemia’s older brother, was a good friend and would no doubt be on her side. Marcus Flint Sr. would hate the idea of listening to a woman and would be against her just to spite her; the Gaunts were either dead or in prison; Lycoris Greengrass, grandfather of Daphne and Astoria, was a man that Hermione had a good rapport with and would no doubt be highly against the abuse of children; Sciliana Fleamont née MacMillan, her maternal grandmother, had taken up the family seat when her father died. She sent Hermione a surreptitious wink from the seats and Hermione relaxed a bit, having her there.

Abraxas Malfoy would side with her because it would look good, politically, to help the minister; Thodoros Nott would do the same; Ollivander would no doubt side with her; Primus Parkinson, however, was most likely to be against her; Ignatius Prewett, who she knew held a great hatred for his wife’s brother – Orion Black –, would be on her side. For obvious reasons Charlus Potter, who had taken over the seat from Henry when Aldea died, would be on her side. She sent him a slightly panicked look and he just raised an eyebrow at her, she nodded, knowing that he was encouraging her without being obvious about it. Both Evan Rosier and Thorfinn Rowle would hold the same views as Marcus Flint towards women; Micah Selwyn, Kingston Shacklebolt and Roger Shafiq were all good friends of Alphard’s and would undoubtedly be on her side; Horace Slughorn would be on her side for the same reasons as Abraxas Malfoy and Thodoros Nott. Out of those left at the end of the sacred twenty-eight area, only Septimus Weasley would be on her side; Markin Travers and Julius Yaxley both being highly against the Potter family.

She supposed, as she sat there waiting for Alphard to call the room to order, that some of the families she thought would be against her may well side with her because of her status as married to the Minister. There were also the other members of the Wizengamot to consider, though none of them had as much clout as the purebloods did – something that Hermione was planning on changing at some point.

Finally Alphard stood and silence fell over the room. Hermione kept her eyes on her husband and studiously ignored Orion and Walburga sitting in the seats on the defence side of the room.

“Now. Before we begin the trial, is there any additions from either side?” Alphard turned to the defence side of the room who shook their heads, when he turned to Hermione she took a deep breath and stood from her seat.

“I would like to add two defendants to the case for the prosecution.” Alphard barely managed to control his surprised reaction and gestured for Hermione to go on, “I have evidence that both Arcturus and Pollux Black abused their own children and grandchildren.”

There was a sudden ascension of noise as many of the purebloods stood from their seats horrified, none reacted as badly as Walburga who jumped from her seat, raised her wand at Hermione and screamed “Crucio!”. Hermione managed to duck in time and the red spell burst against the wall behind her.

“Restrain her!” Alphard instructed the Aurors, silencing the rest of the room with a quick spell, “She will have a separate trial later for the attempted use of an unforgiveable in the form of the Cruciatus curse against Mrs Hermione Black, prominent member of the Black and Potter families and wife to the Minister of Magic. The new accusation will be added to her prior convictions. For now she will be taken to Azkaban prison to await her new trial.” Alphard said, appearing calm and in control. Hermione didn’t think she had ever been more turned on by her husband than in that moment. Alphard waved his wand over the room, removing the silencing spell, everyone stayed quiet as they watched what the Minister would do next. When Walburga had been removed from the room, Alphard turned back to the jury. “I would like you to keep this incident in mind when this case progresses. In light of Mrs Walburga Black’s actions I ask that the Aurors take Mr Arcturus Black and Mr Pollux Black into custody.”

The trial was postponed until Pollux Black could be fetched from Black Estate and when it finally resumed Hermione made sure to shove the evidence of Sirius’ abuse into the faces of the Sacred Twenty-Nine, going so far as to demand the use of veritaserum on Orion, Arcturus and Pollux. Just when they were ready to vote and Hermione could see that both Alphard and Charlus were unsure whether she would win, and the men would be put in Azkaban, she pulled out her trump card; a vial of Sirius’ memories of incidences. With that final piece of evidence they took a vote; Hermione had been right on who would vote for or against her, with Bulstrode and Crouch both voting on her side in the end.

Alphard stood from his seat, trying not to look smug as he stared down at his head of house, father and brother-in-law, “We, the Wizengamot, declare Mr Arcturus Black, Mr Orion Black and Mr Pollux Black guilty of child abuse and torture of a minor. We also declare Mrs Walburga Black guilty of the same in her absence. We hereby strip Mr Arcturus Black of his title as Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black and strip Mr Orion Black and Mr Pollux Black of their positions as heirs to the title of Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black. In their absence Mr Alphard Black, next in line, is instated as immediate Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black and his son Marius Black is instated as heir to the title of Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black. All four of the accused are sentenced to a minimum of twenty years in low security cells in Azkaban.”

Hermione watched smugly as the three Black men were escorted out of the room by Aurors to go to Azkaban. She felt immensely satisfied as she walked with Alphard up to the Department of Records to have him officially instated as Head of House and to adopt Sirius and Regulus as theirs officially. By the time they left the Ministry it was evening and Hermione and Alphard Black were now the parents of four children instead of two.

The newspapers had been present at the trial and, whilst they were going to report on the arrests of the four Blacks, it had been agreed (with pressure from Hermione) that neither Sirius’ or Regulus’ names would be mentioned so as to keep attention off of them.

They had collected a blood adoption potion so that, like Hermione, Sirius and Regulus would be genetically their children. Hermione was happy that Regulus would never have to suffer having Walburga and Orion as his parents and determined that Sirius would forget the abuse he had suffered at their hands. She had been worried that when Sirius and Regulus were given the blood adoption potion they would lose what made them Blacks; but to her great relief it didn’t seem that way for Sirius. Sirius retained his silver-grey eyes that both Alphard and Astre possessed and though he got the slightly messier hair of the Potters, he looked more similar to Alphard than Charlus or Fleamont. Though Regulus got the hazel eyes that Hermione and Marius both had and the messier hair as well – so much so that he looked more like a brown-eyed version of Harry than Sirius – he still had the Black temperament.

For the first couple of years as Sirius and Regulus’ mother Hermione had found it incredibly odd to have the boy that she had known as a nearly forty-year-old man call her ‘mum’, but she had quickly gotten used to it. When Sirius and Regulus were nine and eight respectively Hermione and Alphard had sat them down and informed them of their adoption. Hermione had been surprised by Sirius’ reaction to the news. When Hermione had accidentally called Walburga and Orion their real parents, Sirius had lost it.

“They’re not our real parents!”

“Sirius…”

“NO! You’re my mum, not some horrible woman who hit me! Dad isn’t my uncle! You adopted us, right?”

“Sirius, honey. Of course we are! We just wanted to tell you about your birth parents…”

“Mum. Please. Can we never talk about them again? I wanna pretend they’re not alive. YOU’RE OUR PARENTS!”

“Alright, sweetie. Come here.” Hermione had wrapped her arms tightly around Sirius and pulled him close to comfort him, “Regulus? What do you think?”

“They’re not our parents.”

September 1st 1971
Kings Cross Station
Platform 9 ¾

Hermione stood on the platform wrapped in Alphard’s arms as tears streamed down her face, to her children’s never-ending embarrassment she was holding them all close as she sobbed into their clothes. Regulus was going to be the only child left at home after this year with James and Sirius both heading off to Hogwarts for their first year. Marius was starting his sixth year and Astre was starting her fourth year. Both of Euphemia and Fleamont’s children had already finished Hogwarts but the family was there to see off their cousins for their first year. Dorea was also sobbing into Charlus’ arms as she held James tight to herself, refusing to let him go.

“Mum? Can I talk to you?” Hermione looked down at Sirius who had a worried frown on his face, she sent a glance at Alphard who took the shoulders of their other children and steered them away so that Hermione could talk with Sirius.

“What is it, love?” Hermione asked, pushing Sirius’ messy black hair out of his eyes and pulling him in for a hug.

“I’m going to disappoint the family.” Sirius mumbled into her chest. Hermione pulled back and crouched down to look her son straight in the eyes.

“How are you going to do that?” She grasped his chin gently and directed his gaze to lock with hers, “Sirius?”

“I’ll get into the wrong house…”

“There is no wrong house, Sirius.”

“Yes there is! Every Black ever has been in Slytherin!”

“Indeed they have, except me, I’m a Black aren’t I?”

“Yeah… but only by marriage…”

“What house was I before I got married, Sirius?”

“A Potter.”

“Indeed, and what house are Potters usually in? What house is your cousin James desperately wishing to get into?”

“Gryffindor.” Sirius mumbled, looking away from Hermione briefly, “but both Marius and Astre are Slytherins! And they have a Potter for a mum, too.”

“Whatever house you get into I will be immensely proud of you, Sirius. I was a Gryffindor you know?”

“Yeah” Sirius nodded, looking confused about where Hermione was going with this.

“If I were the kind of person to place bets, which I’m not of course,” behind them Charlus snorted amusedly, Hermione flashed her middle finger at him, “I would say that out of all of my children you are the biggest Gryffindor. Wherever you are though, I don’t want you picking on anyone in any other houses. Bullying is despicable. Do you understand?”

“Yeah,” Sirius said nodding, his eyes wide in awe as he looked up at his fierce mother – the woman who had changed Wizarding Britain for the better.

“Good. Tell James that as well for me?” Hermione kissed Sirius and stood again, smoothing out her immaculate dark red robes. She then hunted out her husband and other children (who weren’t standing very far away) and kissed both Marius and Astre before sending her three oldest children off onto the train with their cousin James Potter.

Hermione smiled, incredibly satisfied. All was well.