NEW STORY! Dramione Wartime AU
Main characters: Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Blaise Zabini (because I can't write a Dramione without Blaise), Seamus Finnigan, Fred Weasley, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Lupin, the Order...
Timeline: Canon up until the end of sixth year. Wartime AU. Starts three years after Dumbledore's death.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
The midnight moon crowned the sky above, casting shadows through the dense forest. A few bats flew over the treetops. The fluttering of their wings broke through the overbearing silence of the night.
It was the Summer Solstice, though none of the forest's inhabitants were aware of such a fact. The tightly knit pattern of trees and bush prevented any human interference within the borders of the woods. Only animals and vermin called this place home.
In fact, the only witnesses that night were a few nocturnal birds and animals. An owl was perched on a tree branch, eyes narrowed and surveying the forest. He was the first to notice the change in the wind.
The trees started to wave slightly in the night air. What had been a calm night changed suddenly. The wind picked up quickly, sending tremors through the Taiga.
The owl grasped his tree branch with his talons, refusing to be upset by the Anemoi's whims. Ruffling his feathers in discomfort, the bird turned his attention back to the woods he protected.
That's when he first saw her.
The trees were bending to the wishes of the air. Down in the dense forest, the owl watched as the old rooted ancestors moved to the side to make a path. From a break in the treeline emerged the first and only human the owl had ever seen in his woods.
It was a woman. She walked through the forest slowly but with a secret purpose she carried in her chest. Her bare feet touched the forest floor gently as she carried on. Each step sent a wave of energy through the ground, the roots, and the trees.
The owl tilted his head at the intruder, confused but not threatened. As if sensing she was being watched, the woman's large green eyes snapped to where her watcher was sitting. Seeing nothing but the bird, she gave a visible sign of relief.
"Hello, dear friend," she said softly. "Thy watchful eyes have startled me."
The owl gave a small, little hoot in response.
The woman smiled. Now that she was standing still, her image and beauty became clear.
She stood tall and willowy. Long, auburn hair fell to her waist. A small crown of flowers and vines adorned the top of her head. Fair-skinned and lovely, her large green eyes and demure mouth possessed a secrecy to them. Behind the beauty was something mysterious and powerful.
She was dressed in a long grey cloak which barely covered the navy dress she wore beneath. Strands of gold adorned the sleeves and wrapped gently around her waist. Her bare feet peaked out from beneath the layers of dress. Upon her breast lay a large blue sapphire. It seemed to emit a soft glow. It was attached to a bronze chain which hung around her neck.
She was almost other-worldly. Her entire person sent an unusual energy through the forest, which pulsed through the heart of every living creature in the vicinity.
It was almost magical.
The woman turned away from where the owl was sitting and continued walking deeper into the trees. They all moved obediently out of the way.
The watcher flew off its perch and slowly glided through the air in pursuit of the strange human. She seemed to know she was being followed, but it did not seem to deter her from advancing.
Eventually, she came to the deepest part of the wood. Around her, the trees changed to open a small meadow. She walked across the soft grass to the centre of the clearing.
The owl landed on one of the moved trees and settled itself to watch.
The woman knelt on the ground. She looked over the forest floor for a moment, lips pursed in concentration.
Eventually she nodded to herself. She lifted her hand and waved it slowly over the ground in front of her.
Suddenly, the ground began to move. It rumbled for a moment, and then collapsed to make a small cavern at her feet. The owl squawked in fear and confusion.
The woman held up her hand. "Patience, young one," she whispered. "I must concentrate."
The owl ruffled its feathers with indignation at the order.
The woman lifted her hands to her neck and grabbed at the bronze chain. She lifted it over her head and out of her auburn hair. She held the large sapphire in her hand. The moonlight shone upon her from the break in the trees, causing the jewel to sparkle.
"'Tis too powerful," she murmured, caressing it gently. She looked over her shoulder at the owl watching her. A smile played at the corners of her lips. "Come down here, dear one," she said, gesturing for the bird to join her.
The owl took off from its perch and soared down to the woman. He landed on her shoulder, letting his talons sink into her coat.
If she felt any pain, she gave no sign of it. She lifted the large jewel so that the owl could see it up close.
"You see this?" she said quietly. "This is a sapphire."
The owl gave her a look that she recognized easily.
Chuckling, she continued. "But it is more than a beautiful jewel. It is a holding place for powers beyond your wildest imagination. They call it the Le Fay Sapphire. It holds all the magics of my family. Tis a great responsibility to even hold it in my hand."
She sighed. "However, little one, hard times have befallen this kingdom. Desperation outweighs sensibility. Mad men with pitch forks hunt for me, and for this jewel. With it, they would be unstoppable."
"Even the king has begun eyeing it," she admitted, voice smaller than before. She took a deep breath. "Not that I could not defend my legacy against Arthur, but I cannot defend myself completely against that meddling sorcerer of his and the rest of the kingdom."
She reached up and ran her finger gently down the owl's feathers. "Life should not be lived in hiding, young one. But thou should always protect what they must. Thou must prevent power greater than imagination from falling into the hands of the wicked."
She took one last look at the sapphire, then lowered it into the hole she had created. She waved her hand once more over the ground, and the stones that had fallen away quickly took back their place. There was no remaining trace that it had even existed.
The woman reached into her large sleeve and pulled out a small dagger. She held her palm out flat over the buried sapphire. With her other hand, she ran the dagger across her palm sharply. She winced, but kept going.
She balled her cut hand into a fist and squeezed. Slowly, small droplets of blood oozed down her fingers, and fell to the ground. As her blood consecrated the forest floor, she muttered strange words under her breath.
Her bleeding hand glowed violet at her mutterings. Suddenly, sparks flew outwards, circling her, the ground, and the terrified owl resting upon her shoulder.
They were engulfed in the sparks. As they encircled the duo, the winds picked up. Dust from the ground flew into the small tornado. The woman kept muttering, louder and louder as the forest witnessed the cyclone of magic and nature.
The enchantress's eyes snapped open, and she shot a small grin at the little bird who was gripping onto her shoulder for dear life. Her hair waved wildly behind her, but she stayed rooted to the ground. The owl watched as her eyes glowed bright gold for a moment. She turned her attention back to the patch of ground before her.
"Oh spirits," she said, voice strong. Her blood still poured onto the spot. "I vow on my bloodline to tie my life and the lives of my daughters to the sapphire. As long as the Le Fays remain, the jewel shall stay hidden. 'Tis my duty. 'Tis our duty. I command you, spirits of the earth, hide this power beneath your surface." The winds continued pounded them. The woman looked around one last time and took a deep breath before shouting.
"I command you!"
At her final order, the winds died.
The dust of the woman's spell floated to the ground with grace. She opened her palm to see that it had healed. The blood was gone.
On the ground, in the place where she had been draining, nothing remained of her ritual but a small medallion. It was a part of the floor. It could not be moved by force nor by will. Upon it was an image of a willow tree.
The woman lifted up her left arm and pulled back the sleeve of her dress. On her wrist was the same image of the willow tree. It seemed to have burned into her skin. She let the sleeve cover it once again.
The woman sighed and stroked the owl's feathers. Her new little friend gave a little hoot.
"It is safe for now," she whispered, smiling at the bird before her cheerful expression was replaced by something more somber. She sighed. "I am not fool enough to believe that this is forever. However, my bloodline is strong, and one day, when my daughters become Protectors, they shall fight the darkness."
She smiled once again, and stared down at where the hidden cavern lay below the ground.
"They shall fight the darkness, and they shall win."
The woman sat quietly in her husband's study. She tried to keep her eyes from flitting to check the clock hanging upon the wall.
He had left her and their daughter nearly four hours beforehand. The young girl, barely a few months old, was asleep in the nursery at the moment. She was only a room away if danger approached. The wards were strong, but nothing seemed to be strong enough in this day and age.
The woman clutched her arm in pain. The birthmark of her clan, a willow tree on the inside of her wrist, burned whenever the family or their secrets were in danger.
The mark had begun to itch the moment her husband had been summoned by the Dark Lord. As soon as he had floo-ed away, the itch had increased into a full out burn.
She kept breathing, trying to ignore the pain and the worry that accompanied it. The mark had never burned her before. In fact, she only knew of its purpose because of her mother's warning. It was traditional that when a woman of the clan became of age her mother was to reveal the ancient secret of the family. The woman thought back to the day her mother had told her.
The fear that had overtaken her was nearly crushing.
When the daughter came of age, the burden of their ancestor was passed down to her. When her mother had told her little girl the truth, the elder woman had been unable to hide the relief of knowing that her time as Protector was up. It was her daughter's turn now to show her strength.
The woman thought of her little girl in the next room. In twenty years' time, she would step into the role that had been meant for her since birth.
It was an honor, her mother had said. It was an honor to hold this power and to protect it against the wickedness.
The woman thought of the mark on her husband's arm. She shivered. Wickedness was all around.
As her husband's absence hit the five hour mark, the woman found she could no longer sit and wait. She stood up on shaking legs and walked from the study and into the next room. She stood at the door for a moment, her eyes resting on her sleeping daughter.
The little girl rolled over, eyes blinking open.
"Hello love," the mother whispered. She walked over to the crib and lifted her daughter into her arms. As she cradled her darling girl, she heard the doors of the manor burst open from below.
She froze as another burn quaked through her mark.
"Tiberius?" she called. She held her daughter to her breast with one hand, and reached into her pocket with the other. Pulling out her wand, she made her way to the door.
As she reached the hall, she looked towards the staircase. Her husband had just reached the top.
She sighed in relief. "Oh thank Morganna, I thought that…"
He shook his head quickly. This was when she first noticed his bedraggled appearance. His robes were torn all over. A cut from his eyebrow to the corner of his mouth was still bleeding. His hair was singed everywhere.
She fell silent. Her husband made his way to her quickly, wrapping her in an embrace.
"We are no longer safe," he whispered, pulling back.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh Celia, he knows."
The woman's heart dropped out of her chest. "He….he knows?"
"How?" Celia asked desperately. "We've hidden for…for centuries. Over a millennium!"
Tiberius clutched her face between his hands. "He does not know everything. He does not know the ritual."
She paused. "So we are safe."
He shook his head. "No. He tried to beat it out of me."
"How did you escape?"
"Snape showed up," he whispered. "He had heard something that was of utmost concern to the Dark Lord. He put Lucius in charge of me, but the bastard has nothing on me in terms of skill."
Celia suddenly saw the gravity of the situation. She looked around desperately. "We must escape. We must go into hiding. We must do something!"
Tiberius's eyes saddened considerably. "You know we cannot do that. You are a Protector. You cannot hide forever."
"We've been hiding for over a millennium!" she cried desperately.
Tiberius kissed her forehead. "Not well," he murmured. "Everyone knows the legends."
"Legends," she spat. "Not truth."
"It is your blood, my dear Celia," he whispered. "We must stand tall and strong."
"This is not your fight," she said.
"But it is," he reminded her. "I am loyal to the Dark Lord, but I am firstly loyal to my wife. And you, wife, are loyal to this cause. Your entire family is. This is your purpose."
She took a deep breath and steadied herself. "The bloodline must survive," she said quietly.
Her husband nodded. "The bloodline must survive."
The two of them looked down at the babe curled up in Celia's arms.
"Our darling," Tiberius whispered, caressing the cheek of his daughter. "She is our only chance."
Celia nodded. The mark on her arm had started burning again. "He is coming," she whispered, eyes suddenly fearful.
Tiberius felt it too. "You must take her!" he said, quickly, ushering her back into the nursery. He closed the door tightly behind him, as if a wooden door would stop the darkest wizard of their generation.
"Where?" She demanded.
Tiberius turned to her quickly. "Just because a Protector cannot hide does not mean the next generation cannot."
Celia froze. "You can't be suggesting…"
"What other choice do you have?" he cried. "The bloodline must survive!"
The woman stared at her husband for a moment, then nodded. A few seconds later, she disappeared into thin air.
Tiberius choked back any and all tears he had. He ran from the room and down the staircase. Once he had reached the grounds, he turned back to look upon the manor that had been in his family for generations. Without a moment's hesitation, he set the whole thing aflame.
There must be no trace. No trace of his daughter. No trace of his wife's family history. The whole affair must die that night. In the flames of the night, any record of their secret burned. Nothing but ashes remained when the Dark Lord finally arrived.
Tiberius did not try to fight as his old master broke the wards. No, he stood tall and strong, as he said he should. He stood as the Protector, while his wife did her duty to secure the bloodline. She needed to secure the bloodline.
The Dark Lord realized almost immediately that his wife had escaped. In a bout of rage, he turned on the husband.
"Good luck, Hermione," he whispered just before life left his body.
Review :) I'll try and update this once a week. I already have the first five chapters written.