A/N: I'm doing the official disclaimer here and now. I do not own any of the characters that are mentioned in this fanfic, I do not own any of the places that are mentioned in this story. This story sort of follows the storyline of the 'Harry Potter' franchise that belongs to J.K Rowling. There is no copyright intended in this chapter or any future chapters that will follow. Many Thanks.
A/N: Warning: This story starts in the summer between 4th and 5th year, after the death of Cedric Diggory. Some of the characters will appear OOC and there will be distressing chapters later on, which is why this story has been rated M. There will be swearing and disturbing violence, I will mark the truly disturbing chapters so hopefully, the more sensitive reader will have advanced warning. Many Thanks.
Hope you enjoy! :)
Chapter 1 - Grimmauld Place
Hermione Granger sat in her empty childhood home on a lazy mid-August evening. It had been only seven weeks since the murder of Cedric Diggory and the return of Voldemort. Dumbledore had taken her parents, much to their displeasure, and moved them to a secure location for protection. Hermione had no idea where they were, she just knew that they were safe and for now, that was all that really mattered.
You see, things were happening already now that Voldemort had returned. Hermione had received word a few days ago that there had been a Dementor attack on Harry and his cousin Dudley close to where they lived in Surrey. The Order had immediately come together and decided that other muggle homes, such as the Granger's, could be under threat as well depending on what Voldemort knew about Harry and his friends. So, as a precautionary response, Hermione was going to be spending the rest of the summer away from her home and her parents would be sent somewhere safe and protected.
Hermione was sat in her kitchen with her suitcase and a few other personal effects. She was waiting for an order member to come and collect her and escort her to Grimmauld Place where she would spend the rest of her summer until her fifth year at Hogwarts began in September.
'It could be worse' she sighed to herself.
She wasn't sure how long she sat there just thinking about how everything was now going to change. This was it, war would be imminent and there was nothing that could be done about it except fight.
A knock at the front door broke her line of thought and she moved to answer it. As she looked through the hole on the door to see who it was, she became slightly anxious when she noticed her potions professor, Severus Snape, staring directly back at her as if he knew she was watching him through the spyglass.
"Today would be wonderful, Miss Granger, if you don't mind" he stated impatiently whilst tapping his foot.
Without any further hesitation she threw the door open and came face to face with the man.
"Come in Professor" she said meekly.
They professor swept into the house and walked straight past Hermione and straight into the kitchen and shrunk her belongings.
"Ready to go Miss Granger?" He inquired.
Hermione just nodded, she knew she would stutter if she tried to speak and was in no mood for his mockery tonight.
Hermione took one last look around her house and moved towards the door where her professor was waiting for her.
As they navigated the quiet, nearly dark streets of her town she couldn't help but let her mind wonder to the enigma that was Severus Snape.
He was dark, brooding, a death eater (even if in disguise), sarcastic, belittling and downright terrifying. However, she couldn't help thinking about the other side of him that no one knew about. Surely to be this deeply involved in The Order and go as far as putting his own life on the line for them, there surely had to be more to him than what he let on.
She chances a glance at the professor and noticed he was staring back at her with a raised eyebrow. Bugger. She had forgot about him being a legillimens, she flushed red before staring back at the road ahead.
"Thoughts like that can become dangerous if one is not careful, I suggest you desist, Granger" he threatened.
Severus Snape was astounded by what he had seen in the young girls head. There was no horrible thoughts or images of ways she wished she could maim him but instead, there was the desire to understand him and give him the benefit of the doubt.
'Stupid Chit' he thought bitterly to himself.
They eventually reached a safe apparition point and without a word he grabbed her arm, linking it with his, and dissaperated in a cloud of dust.
Hermione had never apparated before and no sooner had they landed she felt her stomach turn and her face turned green as she let go of her professor, turned her head away from him and threw up what seemed like everything she had ever eaten. She grimaced, she hated being sick.
After a couple of minutes the sickness stopped and the post-apparition nausea vanished. She couldn't believe she had just lost the contents of her stomach in front of Snape. He would surely hold this against her in her classes. She groaned.
"Quite finished Granger?" He looked down his nose at her and vanished the mess she had made.
Hermione nodded a switch that they continued the rest of the journey to headquarters.
Upon arrival Hermione was led towards the kitchen where other Order members were gathered around the table discussing their next moves.
Snape entered the room and a hush settled across the members as they knew Hermione would be following in behind. She was still a minor, she was not yet an Order member and they had no desire for her to be involved in such matters yet.
In the kitchen sat Remus, Moody, Sirius, Tonks, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Kingsley, Snape, McGonagall and Dumbledore.
"Hermione dear, welcome, you look awfully pale child, let me fix you something to eat" Mrs Weasley fussed over her.
"I'm ok thank you Mrs Weasley" Hermione replied hoping that Molly would just leave her be.
But Molly seemed to ignore her request and went about bustling for something for her to eat.
"Come and sit Hermione" Remus invited her in the vacant seat next to him.
"How are you?" He asked concerned. Everyone knew about her being separated from her parents and that she must feel a little out of place here without her friends.
In truth, Hermione was more than a little uneasy. Apparently when Harry had learned that she would be spending the summer with his godfather and he had to remain with his aunt and uncle, he went mad and was so angry at the situation and had snubbed her letters of apology that she had sent to him. She would have to rebuild some bridges before school started again.
"Now Miss Granger, you will be staying here for the rest of the holidays, as you have already been informed" Dumbledore addressed her.
"There will be Remus, Sirius and Severus staying with you so if you need anything you will find one of them to assist you. I will be checking in frequently to give updates and discuss the situation and the changes that may come about this summer. I must ask you Miss Granger not to go exploring too much in this house. It comes from a very old wizarding family that upheld...ideals, and you never know what you may come across here dear. However, I am sure that you will be shown the library that is here and this will keep you occupied" Dumbledore explained.
Hermione smiled at the thought of new reading material and the opportunity to broaden her knowledge. She could research and hopefully feel slightly more prepared for the tough times ahead.
"That's put a smile on her face, that's our Hermione" Mr Weasley beamed.
"If you can wait 10 minutes for the conclusion of this meeting then I will show you and Snape what rooms you will be staying in" Sirius smiled warmly.
Hermione smiled back and expressed her thanks before being led out of the kitchen by Molly and a plate of food.
Hermione wandered into a room and quickly discovered the Black family tree room and had a look at the centuries of history. She saw a few names that she noticed such as Bellatrix, Narcissa Malfoy, Andromeda (although it has been burned out) and Draco Malfoy.
"Pretty morbid family tree isn't it?" Sirius questioned from the doorway which he was leaning against with his arms crossed.
Hermione just smiled slightly timidly as if she wanted to apologise because it was his family but didn't want to apologise because of the family members.
"It's alright, I hate them to" he whispered and grinned.
Hermione grinned back "Sorry Sirius but I didn't know what this room was until I had walked in. I was automatically drawn in by the history of it, being muggle born I've never seen something like this. I feel as if I've been incredibly intrusive though so for that I apologise".
"Some things never change do they Granger?" a mocking voice sneered from the doorway.
Hermione turned around and there was Snape stood arms folded, looking extremely bored and again very impatient.
"I'm waiting for the pair of you to finish reminiscing so I can be shown to my...room" he said with disdain.
"Don't blow your cauldron Snivellus, we are coming now" Sirius hissed back at his childhood enemy.
Hermione watched the exchange with great curiosity. She wondered what the history was between Sirius and Snape but she didn't dare ask, she wanted to keep her kneecaps where nature intended and so kept her mouth firmly shut as Sirius led her and the potions professor up the stairs towards the first floor.
"MUDBLOOD SCUM" a voice shrieked from nowhere.
Instinctively, Hermione ducked and grabbed her wand pointing it in the direction of the voice which was seemingly thin air.
"HOW DARE YOU AND YOUR FILTHY BLOOD ENTER MY HOME! HOW DARE YOU! VILE CREATURE, WATCH YOUR BACK LOTS OF NASTY THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO YOU HERE! the voice screamed at Hermione.
"Oh shut up you old biddy" Sirius yelled back and pointed his wand at a portrait of a woman who was looking directly at Hermione with such hate and disgust that it unnerved her to the point where she almost pissed her pants.
With a flick of his wand, Sirius caused some black curtains to cover the portrait which promptly shut it up. He then reached out; to where Hermione still had her wand hand outstretched towards the painting, and gently pushed her arm down.
"That's my Mother, charming woman isn't she?" Sirius stated whilst still looking at the now pale Hermione with concern.
Snape placed his hand on the girls shoulder and began pushing her away from the scene and towards the set of bedrooms that could now be seen from the staircase. They began to walk down the long hall and Sirius eventually stopped.
"Snivellus, this is your temporary room" Sirius stated as he opened the door. She peeked into the room and instantly knew that Sirius had a death wish.
The room was flowery with subtle pinks and purples that coloured the walls and the carpet was a crimson colour.
Snape looked murderous whilst Sirius was trying (and failing) not to laugh, he had obviously done this on purpose and had done it to get a reaction and a rise out of Snape. He was definitely going to regret this.
"I thought it being out your inner feminine side and inner Gryffindor Snapey, enjoy your stay won't you" Sirius said and with a quick from quickly flounced out of the room.
Hermione was left staring wide eyed at the room and Snape suddenly realised she was still there. He growled as he turned to face her, he sneered and then he slammed the door shut in her face. Hermione was expecting this so let it be and she quickly moved to catch up with Sirius, who had gone into a room that was two doors up from Snape's.
"This will be your room Gryffindor princess" he said. The room was standard but was duck egg blue, her favourite colour.
"I will let you get settled in kitten. The bathroom is through the door that's between you and Snapey, you will have to share the bathroom unfortunately but do feel free to use the library and the kitchen whenever you want. If you are unsure of anything you can, like Dumbledore said, come to see one of us Order members or you can call for Kreacher the house elf, I warn you though, he is not pleasant even when he is in his best mood" Sirius explained.
"Thank you Sirius" she said. With that, Sirius left her to unpack and settle in to her new accommodation for the summer.
After unpacking Hermione decided to change into her pyjamas as it was dark now and as it was summer, she guessed it was nearly eleven and because today had been an extremely emotional day, she was feeling quite tired so she decided she go and have a quick look at this library and then she would go to bed.
She made her way back down the stairs and found the kitchen again. She knew that the library must have been beyond the kitchen because she had explored the other rooms that were downstairs.
"It's this way" a voice rang out in the silence. She spun around to find Remus grinning at her.
"Come on, follow me. The library is just through here" Lupin explained.
Hermione followed Lupin into the Library and she gasped in awe at the magnificence of the room. The room was huge with a massive fireplace that made the room shine. She noticed that there were a few desks and comfortable chairs and sofas. What she marvelled at was the amount of books that there was, because of the height of the room itself there was a ladder attached to the bookcase itself so that you could reach the books that were placed higher up. Hermione wanted to pinch herself to make sure she wasn't dreaming and she became vaguely aware of a voice calling her name.
"Earth to Hermione, everything ok?" Remus laughed, she was so lost in the library that she had literally gone into daydream world.
Hermione blinked and once again became fully aware of her surroundings and then she began to ask some questions and made inquiries about the history of the library and if some of the books were family journals, was there anything that she shouldn't look at and if the library was categorised.
Lupin laughed and shook his head at her questions "There are family journals in here, mostly at the top and when you come into the room the books on the left are wizarding books and the the books on the right are mainly classic muggle literature. You will know if anything is dangerous or you shouldn't look at it because the book will be warded so you won't be able to open it" Remus told her.
He yawned "I'm off to bed Hermione it's been a long day, Good night" Lupin said.
"Good night Remus" she smiled back.
She wanted so badly to spend all night in here looking through the books but she knew she was far too exhausted for that so she went and looked at the classical literature and found one of her favourites , Jane Austin's 'Sense and Sensibility'. She loved this book, whilst other girls were waiting for their Prince Charming to ride in on his white horse like a knight in shining armour; Hermione was still waiting for her Colonel Brandon. She always thought that the sweetest men were the men who knew what it was like to love and lose because these men would treat everything they had as sacred and she just wished she could mean that much to someone someday. She took the book and made her way back towards the kitchen to grab a glass of water to take to bed in case she got thirsty in the night. She then trekked up the stairs and realised that as it was probably after midnight by now, she would tiptoe as quietly as she could past Snape's door. She made it to her bedroom and set her glass and book down on the bedside table and realised she should probably use the facilities before getting into bed.
She made her way to the bathroom and relived herself before quietly making her way back to her bedroom. She opened the bathroom door and lightly closed the door.
"What do you think you are doing Miss Granger?" Snape asked coolly as she stepped out of the bathroom.
"I-I was going to the lavatory sir" she replied confused. Was it such a crime to go to the bathroom?
"Don't be dense, it doesn't suit you Granger. I meant a moment ago when you tried to sneak back up the stairs and past my room" he raised an eyebrow.
She blushed, not quite so stealth as she thought she had been then.
"I went and got a book and a glass of water from the kitchen" she said honestly.
"Well, next time I want you in your room by ten thirty, this may not be Hogwarts but I still expect you to be in bed by a decent hour and so the same curfew that is in place at the school will be enforced here as well" Snape grinned knowing that this would piss her off.
Hermione silently fumed, how unfair! This was the summer holidays after all. What right did he have to boss her around when she is out of his jurisdiction.
"Is that all sir?" She spat out bitterly at him.
His smirk grew "Awwww, the Gryffindor princess is getting all angry because she is tired. Run along little girl and get to bed, should I find you wandering these halls for any reason other than to use the facilities, you will find yourself in numerous detentions come September, am I clear?" He drawled.
"Yes Professor, I find it generous that you would permit me to use the facilities if needed, I thought you would have stopped that as it could annoy you" she said honestly.
"Miss Granger, yes it would annoy me however, I may be strict but I am no monster. You are human with needs and we can't have the princess causing herself damage now can we?" He stated rhetorically.
He continued smirking again "Unless of course you have an accident and piss the bed, then I will aid you with magic, at the expense of mockery of course" he finished.
Hermione flushed red, embarrassed, how dare he suggest that she would wet the bed and how dare he think about mocking her if she did? The nerve of that man.
She turned her back on him and walked into her room, slamming the door as she went. She climbed into bed and found that she was too exhausted to begin her book so she turned out the light and immediately started to drift off.
'This is going to be a long summer' she thought to herself.