|Skulls and Crossbones
Author: Kneazle PM
AU. Harry seeks revenge against Captain Tom Riddle, who killed his parents in a sea battle 19 years ago. Before he can avenge them, he must return a runaway Princess to her family and find his father's hidden treasure before his enemies do! COMPLETERated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Harry P. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 63,207 - Reviews: 242 - Favs: 232 - Follows: 39 - Updated: 07-25-06 - Published: 08-05-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1462801
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Skulls and Crossbones
Disclaimer: All characters belong to JK Rowling. Ideas are taken from Peter Pan, Peter Pan: Return to Neverland, Hook, The Adventures of Nate and Hayes, Disney's Shipwrecked, Captain Ron, Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the Princess Bride, Disney's the Little Mermaid and The Three Musketeers.
Thus after Dangers past, now safe and well
The Story to our Friends we often tell,
And they to recompense us for our Tale
Do strive to drown us in a Cup of Ale…
– "The Third Journal of Jeremy Roch" (1699)
October 31, 1749 – All Hallow's Eve
"All hands on deck! We're under attack!" the tall, ebony-haired young man cried out, as gunfire and cannon fire was heard echoing through the night. He ran around the hull of his ship, The Marauder, before jumping the steps leading from the pilot deck to his captain's quarters, where his wife and son slept peacefully.
Yanking open the door to the quarters, he shouted, "Lily! Quick, take Harry and go!"
"James?" the sleepy voice asked, and in the darkness of the room, James saw his wife sleeping on the bed they shared, his son nestled in the cradle of her arms. "What is it? Is that gunfire I hear?"
"Quick, Lily," said James, his voice hushed and ragged. "It's The Dark Mark. They've found us. You need to get out of here. Please!"
Lily opened her mouth to reply, her green eyes wide with fright and defiance when they heard the sharp tang of metal hitting wood.
"Please Lily," pleaded James, "They've launched the grapples. You must get Harry out of here! Sirius' ship is mere miles behind ours, and Remus is behind him. I'll be safe, but you must hurry!"
Lily nodded once, before scooping their son into the protection of her arms. She tossed the covers aside, and glanced back at James, who stood guard by the door. He jerked his head to the bay window that overlooked the hull of the ship. Lily closed her eyes, blew a kiss to her husband, and began to work on the lock of the windows.
She could hear the sounds of their crew shouting at the other pirates, and heard the sounds of gunfire and cannon fire as The Marauder came under attack. With her hands shaking, she finally was able to unlock the window.
Lily pushed it open, and glanced down. At the back of their brig, was a tiny rowboat that was able to carry her and Harry to Sirius' schooner safely while everyone else was distracted. Lily proceeded to turn and begin her descent to the rowboat when she heard James curse. She didn't stop, but once she reached the rowboat, she kissed Harry's forehead, and thanked God that he was still asleep.
With one final glance, she grabbed onto the rope ladder and pushed the rowboat away from their ship, in the direction of Sirius' – she could even see his lights already.
Lily sighed inwardly before climbing the rope, and jumping through the bay window in time to see Captain Tom Riddle kick open the captain quarter's door, his bulk shadowing the moonlight that filtered in behind him.
"James Potter," he said in a silky tone, "We meet again."
"Riddle," Lily's husband replied, nodding his head as he yanked his sword out of its sheath by his left side. He pointed it at his opponent.
Suddenly, the two engaged in a rapid and skilled battle of the swords – the metal clanged every time they met each other, and sparks flew. They went around the room, knocking chairs and tables over as they moved. It happened so swiftly that Lily didn't see the dagger until it was embedded in her husband's chest. He fell to the floor, coughing up his blood.
With a look of disgust, Riddle moved towards Lily, demanding, "Where's the boy? Give me the boy and I will spare your life."
"Never!" the red-haired woman shouted, picking up James' discarded sword. She whipped it through the air, hearing it swish. "I'd rather kill myself than betray my son."
Riddle's face tilted up, his odd scarlet eyes glowing in the dark, and his pale face white in the moonlight. "So be it," he said softly, before stepping forward and lunging to the left. Lily feinted and turned right, only to spin and see her sword be knocked out of her hand, which was nicked and bleeding.
Riddle took one last step forward before his rapier came down. Lily didn't utter a sound.
Tom Riddle, or Voldemort as he liked to call himself, smirked before turning and stepping over James' body, leaving the room. He called a retreat, and left The Marauder to float in the sea.
The Marauder managed to withhold the blows it took by the time help arrived, but both James and Lily were dead by the time Sirius and Remus arrived onboard. Baby Harry was lying in Sirius' arms, eyes wide and awake when they stepped in the captain's quarters. He may have only been a year old, but the picture of her parent's slain on his family's brig was forever etched in his mind.
Chapter One – June 23, 1768
The sky was just fading to a dark blue as the sun fell in the horizon. Pinks, purples and oranges filled the sky as the sun glittered off the never-ending ocean before a young man, who stood on the main deck of a large brig. Stars glittered high above the young man, and a moon was slowly making its way over the horizon.
The young man wore a white shirt that had a v-neck to be tied with laces, and loose-fitted sleeves with tight cuffs. He also wore wide black breeches that fell to his knees, and were then tucked into a pair of black buckletop boots. A scarlet sash was tied around his waist to hold his shirt into his pants, and to attach his majestic looking sword to his left hip.
His messy black hair was not tied back in his usual red bandana, but left free so that the wind could play with it, which is greedily did. The young man paid no attention to it, however. He was staring at the horizon, seemingly lost in his memories.
"Oi, Harry!" a deep voice called out, high above the young man. Harry Potter turned around and looked up to where his quartermaster, Ronald Weasley, sat high on the crow's nest. In the fading light, Harry could barely make out his friend's vibrant red hair.
Amused, Harry watched as Ron scaled down the foremast and the shrouds before landing on the main boom and falling safely to the main deck of Harry's brig, The Marauder.
"So what did you see up there, Ron?" asked Harry, turning his face towards his best friend, and first mate.
"Nothing too out of the ordinary," shrugged the twenty year old. His blue eyes locked with Harry's green. "So what's bothering you mate? Thinking about… well… him again, are you?"
Harry turned back towards the ocean, leaning his elbows on the wooden rail. "Of course I'm thinking about Sirius, Ron."
"You can't keep thinking that his death was your fault, Harry!" Ron snapped, turning towards his friend and grabbing his shoulders. "He died fighting against The Dark Mark, and he died proudly!"
Harry turned around to face his best friend, and hissed, "Don't remind me! I was there – I saw everything that happened, remember? I was the one shouting out the orders to my crew, telling them to board The Dark Mark and to find Riddle! Must you remind me?"
Ron sighed. Ever since the death of his godfather nearly five years ago, Harry had changed. Although Sirius had died in battle against Captain Tom Riddle, a notorious and ruthless sea pirate, he had died proudly. Captain Tom Riddle was someone who didn't take prisoners and never let anyone live… if they did live it was pure luck. Harry, of course, couldn't see that – he was the one who shouted the orders and commanded his brig into battle. So when there were any deaths he took them upon himself as a personal flaw in his battle plans.
Ron shook his head and moved away from his friend, tugging on one of the tight cuffs of his own white shirt. It would take a miracle for Harry to come to realize that Sirius' death wasn't his fault. Now, where am I going to find one?
Shaken out of his thoughts, Ron glanced to see who had yanked on his sleeve, making him reach for the pistol he kept tucked in his waistband of his pants. He saw it was only Harry, watching him with those unsettling emerald eyes of his.
"It's The Pharaoh ahead of us," he said quietly, pointing out towards the almost-gone sun. Sure enough, a galiot with its sail fluttering in the wind was where he indicated.
"Are you sure they're the one? The one that has part of the map?" whispered Ron back, staring hard at the galiot. He glanced at his friend, wondering why they were still going on this wild goose chase Harry's father started so many years ago after losing his prized treasure.
Harry nodded, his right hand reaching for his sword. "That's the one. Let's go."
Ron nodded, and stood tall, squaring his shoulders. He took a deep breath and shouted, "ALL HANDS ON DECK! HOIST THE MAIN MASTS! MOVE THE MAINSHEET STARBOARD!"
Echoed shouts of his command and the sounds of people moving around the brig reached Harry's ears as he moved towards the quarterdeck. As he stood next to Ron, just off to the side of the pilot, Harry watched as his ship began to pick up speed whenever one of the sails were unleashed from their lines. The brig dropped a couple feet as it hit a wave, and bounced, in a gentle up-and-down motion. Inhaling, Harry remembered just why he loved being a privateer so much.
Harry's sharp eyes watched in grim amusement as they came close to The Pharaoh, which noticed their speedy arrival. Through his spyglass, Harry could see many people scurrying about, trying to get their galiot to move faster than his brigantine – and they knew who he was already, because his red flag (a black skull with two swords criss-crossing behind it) was easily spotted.
"Only a couple yards now," muttered Ron beside him, running a hand through his shoulder-length fiery hair. "Are you ready?"
"Of course I am," grinned Harry back, roguishly. "When I am never ready for a battle?"
Ron rolled his eyes, before pulling his sword out of its sheath. "PREPARE TO LAUNCH THE GRAPPLES!"
Below on the main deck, Ron watched his youngest and only sister, Virginia Weasley scamper around with her friend, Luna Lovegood. They were the only women aboard The Marauder and were heavily made fun of – but showed they were capable sailors more than once. Wincing, Ron realized that yet again Ginny would be going into battle and if anything would happen to her, he would hear it from his mother, Molly Weasley. That was not something Ron wished to experience, as Molly's voice took on an extra-loud decibel whenever Ginny was hurt and Ron could have put a stop to it.
"Harry," started Ron hesitantly with a twitchy smile, "Can I lock Ginny up in the forecastle?"
"No Ron, you may not," smiled Harry, his eyes still clued to The Pharaoh as they caught up with it and began to overtake the smaller ship. Ron sighed in dismay. "Now! Cast the grapples! Attack!"
Ron shouted back the orders and began to move towards a line that would carry him over to the other ship. Bloody Harry, he knows Mum will have me head if anything happens to Ginny. I bet he does that just to see me get worked up!
Harry's hands trembled as he grabbed his double-sided sword and grabbed tightly onto a line. He yelled out an "attack!" before flying over the few meters of water that separated the two boats from each other, and landed on his feet on the enemy ship.
As soon as he landed, a crewman from The Pharaoh charged at him, his own sword drawn. Harry sidestepped the attack, tripping the sailor before plunging his sword into his back. "Sorry," he said evasively with a grin, before pulling the pistol from his back out into the open. He didn't use it though; he kept to his sword.
He glanced around the deck before charging towards a group of sailor who were ganging heavily upon Luna and Ginny. Harry went about slashing one across the neck and stabbing one through the back before grinning at the younger crewwomen. "Hullo ladies," he said, tipping his tricorn hat to them. "Lovely night for a battle, isn't it?"
"Shut up Harry," said Ginny, pointing loftily over his shoulder. "Three coming at you, four o'clock."
Harry turned, his sword glittering in the moonlight and his pistol cocked and ready to fire. One crewman leapt forward, his sword drawn and coming down in an arch. Harry kneeled slightly and drew his right hand up on an angle as the two blades crashed against each other. Sparks flew across the deck as the steel collided, making Harry wonder just how strong his opponent was.
Gritting his teeth, Harry swung his blade around and caught the man on his left, a weak side, but the man parried it. Sidestepping, Harry countered the next swing by ducking. He sat back on the heels of his palms and then swiped his right foot out, knocking against the man's knees. The crewman fell the to deck, and Harry quickly pointed his sword at the man.
"Surrender now and be spared or die later," he snarled. The crewman blubbered, but threw his sword to the ground. Harry picked it up after placing his pistol safely in his belt sash, nodding at the young man. "Sorry," he said with a small smile. "I lied."
He then, with his sword's hilt, hit the young crewman hard against the head, causing him to fall to the deck unconscious.
Standing, Harry looked around the deck and spotted his crew, easily overtaking the smaller brig. Finally, he heard Ron shout, "WE'VE DONE IT!"
He grinned, as his crew cheered and yelled out their "hoorays!" He had a map that he needed to find.
He began his search in the captain's quarters, kicking the door open with the heel of his boot, pistol and sword drawn and in front of him as he entered the small yet stylishly done cabin. It was decorated in rich reds and gold, with the Spanish royal family's coat of arms hanging over the bay window. On the desk that was built into the cabin's wall, were a candleholder and a captain's log. However, underneath the log was a folded piece of parchment, which Harry picked up immediately.
He brushed some dust off of it, and let his eyes roam the parchment, looking for the clue that was needed to tell him if that was the map – and there, in the left top corner, he saw it. Messrs was written in fancy cursive script.
"Got you," he whispered, folding it and placing it in his scarlet sash. He looked around the room for any other valuables, and found none. Stepping out of the cabin, he took a look of his crew. They consisted of family and friends, those who had been part of his parent's crew, or the Weasley's. Of his crew, his closest friends were Ron, Ginny, Luna, Dean, Seamus, Neville and Justin. The rest of his crew was people either the Weasley's knew, or his parents had known.
He glanced at Ron. "Take what booty you can find, then get out of here." He glanced down at a dead sailor. "Dump the dead to Davy Jones' locker, and leave the alive tied up on the mainmast. Let them find their own way out of the rope."
With his orders being done, Harry grabbed a line and swung over to his brigantine, in a good mood. It had taken him nearly six months to find that piece of the Marauder's Map – a map his father and his three closest friends had created of the Atlantic, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and South Sea. What was special about the map, was that it showed where every pirate, privateer, corsair and buccaneer either made port, or where some of the more hidden and infamous treasures were located.
The map had been cut into ten pieces, and Harry had reclaimed six, and now the seventh piece. If the complete map fell into the wrong hands, they would be able to move through the water like a ghost, knowing every trade route and escape route possible and never be found.
Thus, Harry thought that it would be best if he took back the map as its rightful and only heir, and put it to rest in his English mansion in Southampton.
"Did we get it?" asked Ron from the doorway of Harry's captain quarters. Harry placed the seventh piece of the map down next to its mates. The words, Messrs Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, Purveyors of Aids to Mischief-Makers are proud to present THE MARAUDER'S MAP. However, three parts of the map were still missing: the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Harry had reclaimed the Pacific Ocean only recently, and needed the last three pieces; they were the pieces of his usual haunts anyways.
"We've got it, Ron," replied Harry, carefully refolding the whole incomplete map together and placing it securely in his desk. "Only three more pieces left, and then we'll rule the seas."
"Oh goody," replied Ron sarcastically, stepping into the cabin and shutting the door behind him. He went straight to the locked cabinet near Harry's bed and unlocked it; he extracted a bottle of stolen rum and uncorked it. Taking a swig, he asked, rasping as the liquid hit him, "So now what are we going to do?"
"We're going back to London to give our booty to the King, and then we're going to restock in Port Silver," answered Harry, turning to face his friend.
Ron nodded, taking another gulp of the amber fluid and coughed. "Great!" he wheezed. "Just what I need now is a way to get Ginny off the ship and to Mum where she can keep her safe at home!"
Harry groaned. "Ron, mate, we've been over this. Ginny likes being on The Marauder, leave the wench alone."
Ron scowled but said nothing, just hugged the bottle to his chest.
The room was dark and damp, hidden slightly underground surrounded by bushes and trees and flowers – nearly impossible to find except for those who were looking for it. The young adult who sat in the small room on two throw pillows of rich colours and material was reading a book. That thick book was titled, Pyrites and the Lives Of: Tales of Infamous Pyrates Who Ruled the Seas.
She was completely engrossed in the story, reading about the Potter family – a notorious family that ruled the Seas from the mid 1700's to the present. The son had inherited The Marauder, a deadly brigantine of a ship with a red flag – the flag that represented that they take no prisoners (although Hermione heard on numerous accounts from her cooking staff that Mr. Potter did take prisoners, because he didn't like killing ever since his godfather's death).
The woman who sat in this small room had bushy brown hair that she tamed by pulling it back into a braid, tied with a blue ribbon. She wore a fancy blue satin dress with square-bodice, princess styled. The skirt was gathered at the waist, and had a fancy pair was ankle-height lace-up boots. And of course, to finish her outfit off was the golden tiara that rested on the crown of her head.
For, young Princess Hermione Granger of Richmondshire was hiding from her wards and tutors to read about the adventurous life on the high seas.
"Princess Hermione!" a voice called.
"Bugger," Hermione sighed, biting her lower lip. She had two choices: run and find a new hiding place, or stay and pray that no one found her. She shook her head, scowling at the loose pieces of corkscrew hair that flew in front of her eyes, and bowed her head to continue reading.
The Potters have been the mortal enemies of the French family, Malfoy (or Mal Foi as they are written; translation: Bad Faith) and the Malfoy family's boss, Captain Tom Riddle.
The Potters are known for their privateering, under the English royal families' supervision. They are famous for taking the city of Port Royal, Jamaica, more than once, and before the deaths of James and Lily Potter, were one of the most feared fleets. Their fleet consisted of The Marauder, which was commanded by James Potter himself, The Grim, in command by Sirius Black (also deceased), The Werewolf, commanded by Remus Lupin, and The Scully Rat, in command by Peter Pettigrew, who betrayed the Potters and friends by being a secret crewman of Captain Tom Riddle's fleet, The Dark Mark. However, the British Royal Navy has yet to capture the criminal and is always eluding them.
"How horrible!" murmured Hermione, pushing her tiara back in place, for it had been slipping down towards her forehead, taking a bunch of knotted hair with it. She frowned as it snagged on a thick piece of wiry hair. "Oh, bloody hell."
"Bloody – why can't she just leave me be?" muttered Hermione, glancing over her shoulder at the voice, which was steadily growing louder. She snapped her book shut and stood, getting ready to make a mad dash for the castle entrance, when a voice exclaimed, "Oh, there you are, Princess Hermione! We've been looking all over for you!"
Hermione inwardly groaned, before turning on her heel, plastering a fake smile on her face. "Oh, you found me," she said insincerely, still smiling. Her face was frozen, and it was beginning to hurt. "How… wonderful… of you."
Her ladies-in-waiting, Lady Lavender Brown and Lady Parvati Patil giggled. "Oh, silly Princess Hermione. There's no need to tell us that!"
Lavender reached for Hermione. "Come! We must head back inside. Your tutors are looking for you!"
"Really," Hermione responded dryly, glancing away from her ladies-in-waiting. "I suppose it wouldn't hurt them to wait a bit more, now would it?"
Parvati frowned. "What are you talking about, Princess Hermione? You know that Sir Snape and Sir Remus don't like to be kept waiting."
Lavender nodded feverishly. "Especially that Severus Snape. If it's not so bold of me to say, but he's a vicious one, isn't he?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. Why, in the name of all things Holy, did my father have to stick me with the two most idiotic and simple-minded ladies-in-waiting on the planet?
Forcing a laugh, Hermione replied, "Oh, that's not too bold of you. I think that all the time!"
She then climbed out of her hole-in-the-ground room, glancing around. "You didn't!" she cried out, looking at Lavender and Parvati in shock.
"Why are you so upset, milady?" asked Lavender, surprised, as she too looked around the courtyard forest.
"Well, did it ever occur to you that having the whole royal guard sent to find me might not put me in the best mood?" asked Hermione, her mouth open as she took in the sight of twenty royal guards standing in the courtyard, all with pistols and riffles and swords drawn.
Parvati shrugged. "We are terribly sorry, Princess Hermione. We didn't think"—No, you didn't, but you never do, now do you? –"And it won't happen again."
"Let's hope," muttered Hermione, as she picked up her skirts and began walking towards the west wing, where her tutors would be waiting for her.
Swamped by guards on either side of her, Hermione wished (not for the first or last time, either) that she were not born into royalty. It definitely put a cramp on her secret adventures, the ones she knew she would never be able to experience in real life. Hermione secretly wanted a bunch of pirates to come, storm the castle, and kidnap her – that way she could experience her secret fantasy of being a corsairs kidnapped Princess… in which the evil fiancé of hers would come to her rescue, only she and the corsair had fallen in love and they battled to the death on the high seas – and her pirate would come out victorious and they would live happily ever after, without her parents pressuring her to ever get married to someone she didn't love.
Hermione inwardly sighed. Yeah, like that would happen. Keep dreaming, darling
"What are you thinking about, Princess Hermione?" asked Lavender, from behind Hermione. They were walking up the stairs that led into the west wing. Hermione could see Remus and Severus standing at the top of the landing, watching her with hooded eyes (in Severus' case) and amusement (in Remus' case).
She couldn't say that she was thinking about hiring a pirate to kidnap her, now, could she? So instead she kept her mouth closed and eyes up to face her tutors. As they reached the top, Hermione nodded briskly at the two men.
"Gentlemen," she said, smiling openly at Remus, and more closed-lipped at Severus. She then expertly moved her Pyrate book behind her back so that they wouldn't report back to her parents that she was reading books that she wasn't supposed to.
"Princess Hermione," said Severus stiffly, "If you're ready to continue your lessons… Do follow us."
Severus turned on his heel, his black frock flaring out behind him as he walked. Making a face behind his back, Hermione stifled a giggle as Remus winked at her. They had been good friends, and whenever she could, Hermione would have Remus quiz her on her pirate knowledge – he was after all, part of the infamous Potter fleet before their deaths.
Remus had first arrived in Port Silver nearly eight years when Hermione first turned eleven. He and Severus had become her tutors promptly, and Hermione remembered the fact that her father never ever did a background check. Hermione, being adventurous and spirited, learned early that Remus was the same Remus from the Potter clan, and that Severus had been a spy amongst the deadly Riddle crew nearly twenty years back. Feeding her love of stories, Severus and Remus kept Hermione entertained and without her parents' knowledge, taught her rowdy pirate songs, swordplay, and the laws of piracy.
Hermione watched her feet as she followed Severus to their tutor rooms. The marble checker-style floor made Hermione dizzy, but she liked looking at it rather than Severus' frock, because if she looked at his frock, she would begin to wonder if he was always uptight and if liked wearing throat-to-toes clothing that covered nearly every inch of skin.
She shook all thoughts of that out of her head, and stepped into the tutoring room, only to gasp. Her parents stood before her, staring hard at their only daughter.
"Hullo, Mother… Father," Hermione said jovially, looking at each of her parents in turn. Dressed in royal attire of deep blues and adorned with their crowns, they were the epitome of British (stuck-up) royalty. "Is something the matter?"
Queen Elisa Granger cleared her throat. "Darling… something has come to our attention."
"Really? What is it?" asked Hermione, hoping to sound very intrigued at whatever her mother had to say. She noticed that Remus was giving her cut gestures at her hands (where her book was) and then making a Blackbeard "arrr" face. Hermione frowned and glanced at Severus (who never really wanted to see her caught when she did something wrong) who was nodding along with Remus.
Hermione then noticed that her escort guards were still standing around her, like she was some common criminal.
King Theodore Granger stepped forward. "Hermione. We have been informed that you have been reading inappropriate books."
"Inappropriate books, Father?" echoed Hermione, her mouth dropping open. "Wherever did you get an idea like that?"
King Theodore nodded at one of the guards, who strode towards Hermione purposefully. "I'm sorry, Princess," the guard said solemnly.
"What –" Hermione barely had time to get the word out when the guard reached behind her and grabbed her Pyrate text. "NO! Give that back! Father!"
King Theodore took the book from
the guards' hands and shook his head. Similar chocolate eyes bore into
Hermione's. "I do not know why you have such a book in your possession, or how
you received it, but it is not something that a young royal such as yourself
should be reading!"
"Father, please! I like reading about pirates! It's interesting!" Hermione argued. "Besides, you're always saying that I should learn politics, and privateering has so much to do with the royal families of Europe!"
King Theodore visibly reddened. "Hermione Elizabeth Granger, you are forbidden to read any more nonsense books as these forever! Do I make myself clear?"
Hermione bowed her head. All her information about pirates was torn from her – there was nothing left to evoke dreams and daydreams. "Yes Your Highness."
She kept her head bowed and tried to hold back the tears that were threatening to fall. I'll never get my adventure, she thought to herself, so there's no point in reading about it. As a Princess of Richmondshire, it's my duty to prepare for my future as the Queen of some sovereign. I cannot waste my time with idle fantasies.
Unbeknownst to her, King Theodore was watching his daughter with a mixed expression on his face. Finally, after an internal debate with himself, he sighed and strode out of the room, the guards following him. Queen Elisa moved towards her daughter, but when Hermione didn't look up, she lowered her hand and left the room too. Only Hermione, Lavender, Parvati, Remus and Severus remained.
"You are excused, Lavender… Parvati," said Hermione, breaking the silence in a subdued voice. "I have my lessons to attend to."
"Princess," they curtsied, lowering their heads in a bow before turning and leaving the room as well, no doubt straight to the servant's quarters to gossip about what happened to Hermione today.
"I'm sorry, Princess Hermione," said Remus's soft voice as he took a few steps towards her. "If I had known that someone would learn of the book I gave you, I would never have taken the risk to indulge in your interest in the pirates."
"It's quite all right, Remus," sighed Hermione, finally looking up. Only a few tears had escaped before she reined control on her emotions. "It was bound to happen sooner or later. I must just admit to myself that I will never have a grand adventure that the pirates of old ever had… or that I will ever leave these confining walls."
Remus opened his mouth to argue, but Severus' hand on his shoulder stopped him. The two men shared a look, but then turned back to the nineteen year old.
Severus spoke, "Come, Princess. The season will soon be over, and you have to finish your education before you prepare for the ball tonight. We still have a lot of work to do."
As always, thought Hermione, before sighing, and sitting on a plush loveseat across from Severus and Remus.
The lights from Port Silver weren't too bright, thought Draco Malfoy as he glanced around the port through his spyglass. Fairly easy to slip in and attack.
He was onboard The Dark Mark, his father's boss' ship. Currently, his father Lucius Malfoy was in the captain's quarters with Captain Tom Riddle, one of the most ruthless pirates that the Caribbean, Atlantic and Mediterranean had ever seen.
And because Draco was onboard meant only one thing, his father would relay the job that was Draco's to do.
It's always my job, and never his, he thought bitterly. So when Potter beats me in a battle, I'm the one who gets yelled at for causing problems.
The tall blond-haired young man grimaced as he lowered the spyglass from his icy eyes. In the distance, he could hear faint laughter from guests at the royal ball, and could see the guards watching the courtyard and harbor.
"Perfect night for an attack, don't you reckon?" asked a deep voice from behind him. Draco turned; his blue eyes locked on his father's, his sword drawn and pointing at him.
"You know better than to sneak up on me, Father," sneered Draco, placing his sword back in its sheath.
"I couldn't help it," said the older man sarcastically. His eyes turned upwards before he looked at his son. "I have new orders for you."
"Take your ship, and attack."
"Port Silver? Is that why we're here?" asked Draco carefully, glancing back out towards the township. "Is there something specific I'm to find?"
Lucius nodded, although Draco couldn't see with his back to him. "You're to find a piece of a map. Remus Lupin – one of Potter's men, hid it. He's apparently working in the castle now as a tutor or the likes of to the royal family."
Draco wrinkled his nose in distaste. "Lupin? The one who commanded that old brig that was always falling apart?"
"Looked like it," corrected Lucius. "It bested your ship, if I remember correctly."
"Everything has bested my brigantine," muttered Draco, quiet enough so that Lucius didn't hear. Louder, he said, "All right. Anything goes? We take whatever booty we can find?"
Lucius nodded when his son looked at him. He turned and began to walk back towards the captain's quarters when he called over his shoulder, "oh, and Draco? Do not mess this one up."
"I will not," replied Draco, more to himself than to his father. He took a look through the spyglass one more time, before nodding. "All right," he muttered.
Draco moved across the main deck towards his best mate, Blaise Zabini. Blaise stood across the deck, facing out towards the ocean. His eyes were closed and he smiled serenely, his guard down for once. When Draco arrived near him, Draco spoke, "We're going back to The Dragon. We've got a town to pillage."
Blaise grinned, his dark brown hair falling over his eyes. "Excellent. C'MON MATES, IT'S TIME TO SET SAIL!"
Draco's crew heard Blaise's call, and rushed to meet their captain as they grabbed lines to swing over to the ship that grapples held next to The Dark Mark. Cheers echoed in the air, and Draco felt a simple emotion seep into his skin: joy. Oh, how he loved his job.
The crew sailed over the few meters of open seawater between the two ships, their boots not making any noise as they landed on the wooden main deck. The grapples that held Riddle's ship to Draco's were soon pulled free of the wood they were biting into, and the anchor was soon lifted.
Blaise shouted out orders to hoist the mainsails. Draco watched as the sails were unfolded and caught the wind, making the sails puff and catch. They sailed alee, silently towards Port Silver, until Draco realized that they were getting too close.
"Drop anchor," he instructed to Blaise. The anchor was lowered, and Draco grinned in the darkness.
He took pride in his brigantine. Although he never beat one of the Potter's ships in a sea battle, The Dragon was able to hold its own fairly well and Draco tended and loved it thoroughly.
"What now?" Blaise asked, as they stood in the inky water, far enough away from Port Silver to have the element of surprise, and close enough to The Dark Mark so that Riddle knew that they weren't just up-and-going. "What are our orders?"
"We attack Port Silver, that's our orders," Draco said in his usual, confident drawl. "Take whatever booty you can find, but we need to storm the castle. There's a piece of that precious map of Potter's there, and we need to confiscate it for his own good," the young man sneered. "No prey, no pay. Tell the crew that."
"Excellent. Shall I ready the canons, now?"
Draco nodded, and as Blaise moved away, he raised his spyglass one more time. The guards still did not notice the black sails and dark ship resting only yards away from their main harbor. Instead, they were laughing and joking while they were supposed to be on watch. He lowered the spyglass and saw Blaise standing behind him, saying that all was a-go.
Draco lifted two fingers, his fore and middle, before he grinned darkly. When the fingers came down, he heard the sizzle of fire touching particles of gunpowder, until –
Draco's grin intensified to a full-out smile. It had begun.
AN: I apologize if I've done wrong with the layout of the brigs and schooner, as I don't know nautical terms. I am however, learning and hopefully I can make the story very real and convincing. Thanks to Katie for beta'ing. Thanks to the following websites for their excellent information that has helped put this story together: piratesinfo.com, and aschulze.net/pirates/index "Swashbuckler's Cove".
AN2: [Sept. 9, 2003] Dates and ages changed – Ron and Draco are twenty, the Potter's died on Halloween. Thanks to Stoneheart for pointing it out!