Author: liidg PM
A change of circumstances ends with Hermione on a dangerous mission. Will she be able to keep true to her cause when faced with dark temptations? This is dark, very much Rated M, A/U and quite a bit OOC.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Bellatrix L. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 63,139 - Reviews: 240 - Favs: 265 - Follows: 88 - Updated: 09-14-11 - Published: 08-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7312360
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
She only had a few hours until battle and now she had to make a shift in her plan. She had no intention of raising her child on the run or in a war which meant everything needed to end tonight. Fortunately she had planned for every contingency and a few tweaks to their plans would do the trick. She had a friend to save first and went in search of Ginny. She finally found her flying around the quidditch pitch. She waived for the girl to land and the two decided to take a walk around the lake, after a couple minutes of walking Ginny finally decided to open the conversation.
"What's up Hermione?"
"It's time to choose Red. I wish I didn't have to make you choose, but the stakes are too high now. I am sorry."
"What are you talking about?"
"I know about the letter to Harry. I know you warned them and I expected that you would. I told you from the beginning that you were the one true person fighting this war. How could you not warn your family? Part of me was always hoping today would never happen but I think I always knew it had to happen. It's ok. Draco knows as well. The fact that even after all the hell your family has put you through you would still try and save them is part of the reason he loves you so much. Unfortunately everyone knows, Harry announced the letter to the entire Order and then gave a list of reasons why everyone should ignore your warning. We know everything that was said at that meeting. I know they are coming through the One Eyed Witch entrance. I don't know what happens after that but that I know for sure. Ginny if you raise an army to help them your army will be slaughtered. I promised Minerva McGonagall I would try and protect the students, don't make me break that promise. Look me in the eye Red…..I have too much to lose to risk silly noble gestures. I will do whatever it takes to win this battle."
Ginny was stunned by Hermione's revelation, "How? The letter….Hermione I…"
Hermione took her hand, "Two ways, spies in the Order and as far as the Honeyduke's part goes….he told us. Honeyduke is a loyal Death Eater. Everyone assumed that somehow selling candy made him a patron of the light but his whole family has been devoted to the dark arts for years."
"But Harry said his brother was murdered defending Dad's office and Order secrets!"
Hermione laughed, "It is always amazing how a story gets twisted as it is retold again and again. His brother was killed in your Dad's office but he wasn't defending it. The coward was trying to hide and before you ask I know because I am the one who killed him. As it turns out the two brothers hated each other and had been fighting over the shop for years. Apparently they had quite the protracted legal battle over their holdings. He was thrilled by his brother's death and felt he owed me one. Look I know why you want to help your family but please understand I can't let this happen. I will do whatever it takes to win. Ginny…..I am pregnant."
"Merlin's balls! How the hell did that happen? Wait…whose baby is it?"
"It's Bella's baby. We conceived with the help of a little magic. I do understand why you want to protect your family but I am going to protect mine. You have a choice Ginny. Everyone knows but they understand why you did this. Draco loves you and will happily marry you. The Malfoys understand and don't hold it against you. We will happily make you part of our family. You can choose to be a Malfoy or you can stay out of this. They light will lose tonight and many will die. I have promised Minerva to protect the students the best I can but the combatants' fates will be grim. You don't have to be one of them. If Harry had heeded your warning he would live to see tomorrow. If he cared about your safety he wouldn't have revealed to a room full of people, several of whom are spies, that you are the one who sent the warning letter. He didn't reveal to a single person in that room what he was coming here for but he easily gave you up. He protected Dumbledore's secrets but not yours. What of their letters back to you? Did they pressure you to help them fight? To recruit more students to die for them? Did they tell you that you must answer the call of the light? Did they let you choose? No? Of course not. I can't give you much of a choice but I will let you choose. You can help us or you can stay in the dormitory with the rest of the students tonight and pick up the pieces of whatever is left of your family when this is over. I cannot let you warn them. You don't have to choose a side. You can stay out of this if you want. For now you will be spending the afternoon having tea with the Carrows to make sure you don't send information to the other side. Let's go!"
She headed to her quarters after dropping Ginny off. She figured she had an hour until the ball began and everything was addressed. Severus and Draco could deal with any unexpected problems that arose before the festivities began. She was going to take a nice long bath figuring a good soak would loosen up the tension from the day. When she arrived in her quarters she stripped down and headed into her bathroom when she found that not only was a bath already drawn but it was also occupied. She finally truly knew that she made the right decision. She stepped into the large sunken bath and snuggled into her wife's waiting arms.
"I figured you would end up here soon enough love although I was starting to get worried….and a bit wrinkled. How did things go with Ginny?"
"I think she will choose us. Her family hasn't exactly been supportive and she is madly in love with Draco. I didn't tell her everything. I couldn't. We will see how she handles this but I wanted her to choose willingly, not be forced. She doesn't know that the Dark Lord has marked them all for death."
"You know it's for the best angel. We kill off the Order and no one is left to form a rebellion. We are sparing the professors and the students as you requested. You will be able to keep your promise to McGonagall but the remainder of the Order will meet their end tonight. If we let them live they would come after us….after you….after Druella…."
"Druella? You have already named her?"
"It's just a thought….you know we always name after our dead. We could name her after your mother if you want."
"No baby, I know you loved your mother and miss her terribly. We will name her Druella. Plus I can shorten Druella to Dru. There isn't much I can do with Eris."
"Practical on everything, one of the many reasons I love you. There is something else…..I don't want you there tonight."
"I know baby and I don't want to be there but I have to. I can't sit back and do nothing. I don't want to live in a world without you, in a world where they win. We both know that if they win the best I can hope for is they steal our baby from me before they kill me but they will most likely kill us both immediately."
"Are you ready for this angel?"
"No, are you?"
"Yes. We will prevail together or die together but our love is eternal."
The party had begun without a hitch. The guests began to arrive around seven and by eight the ball was going full swing. Harry's attack on Hogsmeade began at a quarter to eight when the first squad began its distraction tactics by lobbing a variety of fireworks into the village. They began apparating in and out of various locations casting spells with each appearance to draw the guards to them. They apparated to their drop in point dispatching the few guards that were there and made their way through the passage up to the school. When they hit the other side of the passage they took out the two Death Eaters standing guard.
Ron had figured a few of the new recruits were probably spies so all of the new recruits were added to the squad that served as a distraction and they apparated into the shrieking shack. He smiled at the thought of all the Death Eaters waiting for them in the One Eyed Witch passage that were probably bored out of their minds. Hermione never would play wizard's chess with them; strategy was never her strong point. They figured anyone in the group not a Death Eater would be carted off to Azkaban but they would end up at the Ministry first for questioning. Once they defeated the Voldemort taking back the Ministry should be easy enough.
They started crossing the grounds in sets of four and five avoiding the patrols. The first group in quietly petrified the guards at the courtyard entrance and dragged their bodies in to a closet to hide them. Once they stowed the guards away they headed up a set of stairs on that side of the castle to the Room of Requirements. He hadn't known how many people to expect when he got to the Room of Requirements but he was counting on at least fifteen or twenty more wands. The room was empty except for Hermione.
Ginny was pacing about the room. Spending the evening with the Flora and Hestia Carrow was not what she had envisioned for the final battle. She was still reeling from what Hermione told her. She couldn't believe the biggest swot in Hogwarts history was pregnant before she graduated. She knew Hermione would do anything to keep her family safe and she had seen her handiwork in the past. It didn't matter what Hermione said about Azkaban, no one was actually going there. Hermione would kill them all tonight. It was the logical thing to do and Hermione was always logical. She wouldn't want prisoners; she would want to make a statement. Harry and the Order couldn't afford to let people live either. A stupefy only lasted so long and they were significantly outnumbered. Neither side would be firing many stunners tonight. She couldn't handle the waiting and worrying. She hit the twins with body binds and ran out to join the battle.
Harry was looking around the room mystified that no one came. The Room had taken the form of the practice room for the D.A. complete with the news clippings still up and practice dummies lining the walls. Deep down he had expected there to be a small army awaiting him and at least one or two of the professors. The Order packed in and Harry could see they were also shocked. Everyone had expected Ginny and at least the Gryffindors, no one expected Hermione standing in the back of the room alone.
"They are locked in their dormitories. There will be no more students following you foolishly into battle." Hermione had appeared out of nowhere and was walking towards him.
Ron was floored, "But the One Eyed Witch passage? Wizard chess!"
She smirked at the confused looks of the other Order members but she knew what he was saying, "All of the years we spent together and you didn't think I would consider you using another passage. Do you really think chess is the only measure of strategizing skills? It didn't matter how you entered, you were always going to end up here. You foolishly sent your advanced unit to their deaths to gain an advantage you never had. You assumed the Room would protect you like it protected us fifth year. If you had ever read Hogwarts: A History like I told you to you would know the Room of Requirement will protect students and that is why it worked so hard to keep Umbridge away from us. Umbridge was harming the students and was considered an invading force. For all of your planning you missed one thing…..none of you are students! You are the invading force. Harry I am here to try and convince you to surrender. If you do the wizards and witches here will be sent to Azkaban and rehabilitated. If not they will die tonight."
"You didn't think this through. You shouldn't have come alone. YOU KILLED SIRIUS! Are you going to try and duel me Hermione, you were never one for practical skills. Do you really think that your books will help you now?"
"Try me Potter."
He sent out a stupefy which she easily deflected, "Predictable as always Harry. You never could see the angles."
The others were content to watch so far not wanting to interfere with Harry's personal grudge.
"You were always bound to the obvious and the easy." She rapidly fire three jinxes out in a row shooting out a stinging jinx and a cracker jinx in one movement and then followed with flipendo. Harry had only managed to counter the first two and was knocked back five feet by the flipendo. Ron threw up a shield to block Hermione's next spell and sent a Densaugeo hex her way. She blocked and laughed. The Order had moved forward and were now in the center of the room, once again foolishly following Harry Potter to their deaths.
"Really Ron, Densaugeo? So the heroic Harry Potter is having someone else fight his battles again. Tell me, the advance unit you sent to Honeyduke's….did you tell them they were going to die? That they were apparating into a trap? Did they blindly follow you to their deaths just like all the people here? Look at them Harry….they are all going to die for you. They think you're their savior."
"You are so confident that you are right you are going to risk the Room opening the doors for your Death Eaters. You're alone Hermione, do you really think that you stand a chance if the Room chooses us. Do you really think you can kill me?"
"Honestly Harry, it's like we were never friends sometimes. Did you ever know me to be unprepared…..oh and I was just proving a point….I can beat you but you aren't mine to kill"
Harry realized his mistake with the practice dummies minutes to late and as Hermione finished her sentence the Death Eaters threw off their glamours.
Voldemort hissed, "You really are a fool Harry Potter" and walked over to where Hermione was standing. "Well done as always Hermione...So Harry, how you like my new wand? It was a gift from Dumbledore, I think it suits me."
Harry had heard that Dumbledore's grave had been robbed but he didn't realize for what. The jibe worked perfectly and he attacked Voldemort in a rage. As soon as the two started fighting the battle broke out around them as the Death Eaters set upon the outmatched and outnumbered Order members. The Order had moved deeper and deeper into the room during Hermione and Harry's fight and the entrance was now fully blocked by Death Eaters. They had been led into a trap and there was no escape.
With all the chaos no one noticed the door opening to allow entry to one more redhead. Ginny stunned Alecto before she could fire an Avada at Charlie and started to fight her way to her family. Hermione saw the girl enter and was saddened to know she would have to kill her. She returned her focus to Oliver Wood who was fortunately better with a broom than he was with a wand. She threw up her shield to block his jinx and hit him with Avada Kedavra. Seconds later felt a burning in her back as she was propelled to the floor. She rolled over despite her burns and saw Fleur Weasley coming towards her, her eyes glinting with anger. She felt for her wand and saw that it had been knocked across the room.
She tried to backpedal towards it as Fleur closed the distance between them and she realized she wasn't going to make it. She saw the girl step over Yaxley's body as she moved towards her. Clearly the Veela had no qualms about killing.
"I never trusted you! Nag, nag, nag! All you did is nag and study. You always acted superior to the rest of us, say goodbye Hermione!" She closed her eyes and concentrated on trying to raise a wandless shield when she felt something swish past her. She opened her eyes to see Nagini wrapping herself around Fleur. She saw an Order member pull a knife and head for Nagini and she ran to her wand, snatched it up and hit him with an Incendio before he could strike turning the would-be assassin into a ball of flames.
"Nagini, remember that French food gives you heartburn" she hissed and with that she jumped back into the fray. The forces were thinning and Harry and Voldemort were still in the middle dueling. The Dark Lord knew he couldn't battle his own soul with a wand, even the Elder wand, and was just playing with Harry while his Death Eaters destroyed the Order. He needed the Elder Wand to keep his wand from being destroyed like his others. The Elder wand was invincible so although he couldn't kill Harry with it, Harry in turn could not rely on the same protections from their previous duels.
The Order was thinning as they fell to the Death Eaters' superior numbers and combat skills. Hermione was now fighting Bill who was doing a fantastic job of trying to kill her to avenge his wife. He was skilled with a wand and an even match for Hermione. They were blocking each other's curses with ease and had been dueling for a good ten minutes without letting up. Hermione was blocking a slicing hex when she heard a familiar voice scream "Draco!"
She turned in time to see Ron hit Draco hit with Sectumsempra. Ginny ran to her fallen boyfriend and started chanting the counter-curse to save him. Both Hermione and Bill stopped fighting as Ron turned his wand on Ginny.
"He is the bloke you have been taking up with? You're shagging Malfoy? You traitorous bitch! He just fucking killed Lee, George and Charlie! He killed your brothers! Fine! You want be with him…then you die like him" Ron moved to hex her. Ginny reacted quickly and deflected his curse not thinking of the consequences outside of Draco and her safety. Ron had reaped what he sowed as the Sectumsempra rebounded and struck him down. Bill took the opportunity and punched Hermione sending her down again and moved in to finish the job. Before he could follow up with a curse Bellatrix hit Bill with entrail-expelling curse, the results of which were both disgusting and fatal. Molly went to avenge her son and was dueling with Bellatrix all the while screaming at Ginny about killing her brother. Ginny didn't even look up from Draco as Molly and Bellatrix fought nearby.
She just kept chanting 'Vulnera Sanentur' over and over as she healed Draco while her brother sat dying next to her. She only had time to heal one of them. One of the Order members fired a Reducto curse at Ginny missing her by only inches and blowing apart right next to her. Hermione pulled herself up and started firing off covering fire so Ginny could pull Draco away from the fight. Once he was secure in the corner Ginny joined her in fighting off the other Order members. Ginny had chosen her side.
Bellatrix knew that not only her life was on the line but that of her wife and child and she had never been more focused in her life. Molly, who was distracted by her daughter's betrayal, never had a chance as Bellatrix destroyed her defenses and screamed "Attero pectus pectoris" finishing her with Dolohov's curse. Hermione grabbed Ginny's arm as Molly collapsed to the ground and cautioned her, "You chose your side Red. You need to keep it in until we are done and then you mourn for your family in private. OK?"
Ginny nodded her agreement but the girl was shell shocked and sat in the corner guarding Draco as the battle continued. Most of the Order was gone and Harry looked exhausted from defending himself against the Dark Lord. He had no idea that the last twenty minutes had been about toying with him enough to weaken him and deal the final blow. In a desperation move Arthur, in a fit of rage after losing so much of his family, tried to hex the Dark Lord from behind. Hermione jumped in between the two and blocked the curse instinctively. She fired an Avada back and Arthur was on the ground before she had even realized what she had done. Her instincts were now honed to guard her Lord and she realized she was truly his servant now. Voldemort stopped dueling, looked to Arthur's body and laughed.
"Look around Harry Potter. Look at their bodies. Their deaths are your responsibility. They died like fools following you to their slaughter. You have lost boy…it is time for you to join your loved ones."
Harry screamed and charged the Dark Lord firing off stupefies as he ran. Voldemort easily deflected the spells and once Harry was close enough he pulled the Basilisk fang out of his sleeve. Hermione could see all the hope drain out of Harry's eyes as the Dark Lord buried the fang in his chest. The battle stopped and the few Order members remaining dropped their wands surrendering to the Death Eaters.
"My followers, I give you Harry Potter….the boy who died!"
Draco had woken back up and he and Hermione led Ginny out of the room. No Order member in the room would be allowed to live whether they surrendered or not, including Ginny's remaining brothers. Draco brought Ginny back to his quarters to let her properly process what happened and grieve. Hermione didn't have that luxury now and scourgified herself and transfigured her robes into a dress.
She was one of the hosts of the party and would be expected to make an appearance. The Great Hall had been well guarded to make sure none of the sixth or seventh years managed to sneak out and no one had heard a thing. The party carried on throughout the battle. She nodded to the guards letting them know they could relax a little and then entered the hall heading straight to the bar for a glass of juice and a gillywater. She took a seat near Minerva and passed her the drink.
"Gillywater, your favorite. It's done. No current students have been harmed. Tomorrow the victory will be announced in the Prophet. Harry never had a chance."
Minerva sighed. She expected this news but hoped against it, "and Ginerva?"
"She chose Draco. I kept my promise Minerva. No students were touched, the goons will be gone by morning and Severus will be giving a speech tonight ushering in a new era at Hogwarts…..free of the conflict and stereotyping created by the house system. I know there will be rebellions but do try and keep them out of the school."
"That's not my problem, it's Severus' problem."
"Severus will be taking a position in the Ministry as will I. Among the things he will be doing tonight in his speech is announcing his retirement and his replacement. Hogwarts is supposed to be about having a safe place to learn to practice magic not about wars and politics. Even the Dark Lord appreciates that. Logic and reason are rewarded by this administration. You chose to protect the students over politics and you will be rewarded and given the opportunity to continue to do so. With oversight of course."
"Of course. The Carrows?"
"You get to sack them. A pleasure doing business with you Minerva."
Moments later her wife came by and pulled her on to the dance floor.
Hermione was snapped out of her memories by Pius finally wrapping up his speech. She was sitting on the dais behind him with Severus, Bella, Ginny, Lucius, Draco and several others who were being honored with Order of Merlin awards for their service in the Second Wizarding War. Hermione was seriously showing now and all she wanted was a cool glass of lemonade and some shade. She had dreamed a few times about what it would be like to carry an honor as high as Order of Merlin First Class but she had never imagined it would come this way. She took Ginny's hand and smiled at the witch.
Ginny and Draco were to be married once Ginny finished up her NEWTs. Unlike Hermione, there would be no surprise ceremonies or pregnancies. Ginny had taken a few months to mourn for her family but accepted her fate and adapted to her new life quickly. She loved Draco and she loved the Malfoys and in the end it was enough.
Hermione was to head the new Department of Defense and Strategy which was a nice way of saying War Department. She would be working closely with Severus who was Head of the Department of Mysteries. The two had their run of the place and Pius Thickiness was merely a figure piece. They ran the Ministry. Bella was still the Dark Lord's favorite enforcer and was given a title of Unspeakable but she only answered to the Dark Lord and still had no use for the Ministry and its rules. Hermione loved this about her.
She had found that life was easier once she committed to switching sides. She sometimes thought about her parents…her real parents and wondered what they would think about the hypocritical monster she had become but then she would put her hand on her stomach or Bella would do something sweet and she realized it didn't matter. She had a new family now and the life she always dreamed of. She was one of the most powerful witches in England and as the Dark Lord increased his domain her power would increase as well.
She stood to accept her Order of Merlin and realized that if she had to do it all over again she would choose the same path.
The Dark Lord sat in his study looking out at the party in the garden below. The ceremony for the Order of Merlin awards and the celebration after were held at the Castle. He looked down upon his Inner Circle who were enjoying the afternoon. It looked like Hermione was trying to fix up Dolohov again. He chuckled at the thought and was surprised she hadn't learned after that dreadful date she had sent Severus on. All of his cabinet and Inner Circle who had made it through the war had been rewarded lavishly and he made sure they were taken care of.
He used the distraction of the party to finish up the last of his tasks in this matter.
"My Lord I have brought everything you requested….the potion used on Granger, the letter from Moody and file on Severus."
Moody had owled him before his demise with the damning evidence. It was a vial of memories of Hermione and Severus' deceptions, a vial of the potion that changed Hermione's bloodline and a file on all of their Order activities. Moody was always a clever Auror and he figured if he couldn't kill them himself he would make sure their fellow Death Eaters did so. The Dark Lord took the three items and tossed them into the fire destroying them completely.
"My Lord, if I may, why didn't you keep them? Why are you letting a mudblood walk among your followers and the traitor Snape live?"
"Peter, social beliefs are merely excuses for the strong to rule the weak. In the end it's always about the haves and have nots. I don't care that Granger is a mudblood. She was a force to be reckoned with from her first day at Hogwarts and she was the secret behind Potter's success. The minute Dumbledore decided to change her blood status and make her a spy he handed me the war. He presumed she would be driven away by our darkness but he didn't count on the Order giving in to their own. He did not understand that we can and do love and could not fathom that wrapped in that love, the lure of the dark would be so strong. Creating Hermione Malfoy Crouch was his most brilliant plan and his ultimate undoing. He saw Hermione and Severus as soldiers, as tools to use in the fight. He saw my Death Eaters as mere caricatures. It never occurred to him that Severus and Hermione would find true friendship and love among them, that they could make a life among us. Severus was torn about Lily and thought he loved her but all he really needed was family. Hermione became that family. Bellatrix is my greatest enforcer but she was erratic and lonely. Hermione gave her stability and love. Hermione felt unwanted and unappreciated. She saw Harry and Ron as brothers but they never embraced that role…..Severus filled it perfectly. She always felt like the ugly duckling but Bella's obsessive personality gives her all of the love she sought. They are the perfect balance to each other. Bella will be loyal to me with her last breath and Severus and Hermione were both loyal to their side until their side betrayed them and even then it took multiple betrayals before they finally turned. They chose me. Do you even understand the risk I took that night Peter? I gave them everything they needed to destroy me and they chose me instead. I knew she would choose to give her child a life in my world, in Bella's world. She murdered Weasley to protect me. Their loyalties are to me now and absolute and I will never betray them. This world needs a pureblood so she will be a pureblood. In England it will be blood but in the next country the rallying cry will be something else. I have no intentions of stopping here. The three of them are a perfect triumvirate of terror and with their help I will claim this world. I will be greater than Merlin. I will rule over this world and they will be the ones standing beside me…they will be the key to MY success and I will give them everything they desire. I have no intention of anyone finding out about Hermione and I know she and Severus will never tell. I just needed to destroy all of the evidence. Hermione is going to be sad she missed this."
With that he hit Pettigrew with a Petrificus Totalus, "Nagini…dinner."
I hope you liked it? If so, go ahead and hit that little button and let me know! I would like to again thank all the people who faved and reviewed.