PROLOGUE PART 1
Summary: Hermione's secret is discovered by The Order of the Phoenix. Before Harry is rescued, she needs to be first. But from who? With the help of Sirius she learns to put the past behind her, and with the help of two Weasleys, they show her a happy future. But Hermione isn't who she thinks she is, what she discovers will change her life for good. Rated M for a reason.
Disclaimer: All original characters and canon events belong to J.K. Rowling. Non-canon events are my own ideas. I am not making any profit from posting this fanfic.
Just a quick note, I am a Northern Lass (for viewers that reside in England and understand what I mean) and although I try very hard to reign that side of me in, it does tend to show in my writing style and the slang, phrases and terms I use.
This is a Hermione/Fred/George triad.
Trigger Warning! Although nothing is described in detail, sexual and physical abuse and attempted rape is mentioned and implied, at least for the next few chapters.
Page count: 10
12 Grimmauld Place – Tuesday 11th July 1995
The newly reinstated Order of the Phoenix had a new headquarters. Below the ground floor lived the basement and the ground floor contained the kitchen and pantry, the main living room, the large and dark library and a study. The first floor contained a bathroom and four bedrooms, where the second floor consisted of a bathroom, four bedrooms, a small living room and a study. The third floor held four bedrooms and a bathroom, and the fourth floor contained a bathroom and four bedrooms, with the attic above that, which was where Buckbeak the hippogriff was kept for safety and privacy.
The house was remarkably larger than it appeared to be on the outside thanks to magic, and it was the childhood home of Sirius Black. It was a cold and dark place with peeling and mouldy wall paper, dark rooms, house-elves and animal heads stuck on pikes on the walls and every room was disgustingly decorated and covered in dust and filth. Everyone hated having to visit but it was the safest place for headquarters with the blood wards and the house being under the Fidelius charm for extra security.
The house contained many painful memories and hardly any good ones for Sirius Black and he thought it would make his mother roll in her grave to have blood traitors, werewolves and half-bloods in her house. The house where she had pushed her supremacy bullshit onto Sirius as a child. He thought it rather poetic that her home was converted into a safe haven for those fighting for The Order and against The Dark Lord and his followers.
Voldemort was back and the war had begun, but The Ministry refused to acknowledge the truth and remained blind to the true happenings in the Wizarding World. Sirius Black was a free man, his previous convictions over turned and his status regained and he was ready for a fight. He was ready to finish what he'd started all those years ago. And his first order of business was to avenge James' and Lily's deaths, which would not be pleasant for a certain rat.
The status of war had Molly and Arthur Weasley taking precautions and for the safety of their family, they moved into Grimmauld Place alongside Sirius Black.
It was early evening, around four o'clock, when the members of The Order of the Phoenix found themselves sat around a large wooden table in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place. Those present included Molly and Arthur Weasley, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Alastor Moody, Minerva McGonagall, Severus Snape, and as usual, Albus Dumbledore was leading the charge. There were many members of The Order, some had not survived the first war and some weren't deemed relevant enough to attend that particular meeting. This meeting was for the key players in The Order, the highest rankers and the ones with the most responsibility.
They were currently discussing the situation of the Wizarding World, discussing battle plans and missions when something strange happened.
An alarm suddenly sounded, the strange and loud noise filling the entire house. The occupants of the kitchen startled, but Dumbledore had a look of worry on his face and he immediately stood up from his seat, and when he did, the others followed suit.
"What is it?" Remus asked with a frown, not liking Dumbledore's reaction, or what the alarm could possibly mean.
"What's happening?" Mrs. Weasley asked with a fearful look on her face.
"Not long before the students returned home, I placed a series of wards around the homes of Half-bloods and Muggleborns that reside in the Muggle World, and if this alarm has been activated it means that one of my pupils is in danger," Dumbledore answered, whilst he busied himself whilst casting the Locator Charm so he could identify the source of concern.
"Harry?" Sirius said quickly.
With a flick and swirl of Dumbledore's wand, the address finally appeared before him, floating in the air in a strange blue mist.
"No, Miss. Granger," he spoke, his voice sounding strong, but remarkably calm. Mrs. Weasley gasped and clung to her husband. "I must get there immediately."
Dumbledore quickly left the kitchen with Sirius and Remus following behind him.
"We're coming too," Remus spoke with no room for argument from the powerful wizard.
"We owe a lot to the little witch," Sirius nodded in agreement, a fond tone to his voice. "And if she needs us then nothing short of death will prevent us from being there for her."
Dumbledore nodded in agreement, as they strode past the staircase in the hallway and towards the door, barely registering the four Weasley teenagers stood on the staircase with their hands covering their ears.
"What's going on?" Ron yelled over the alarm that seemed to be getting louder. Mrs. Weasley's eyes started pooling with tears, and one fell from her eye and slid down her cheek.
"It's nothing children, go back to your rooms. The alarm will stop shortly and everything will be alright," she spoke.
They stayed rooted in place and the looks on their faces told they were not going to move from the spot they stood on until they had their answers.
"Now children! We have no idea what we may find and you do not need to witness what it may be," her voice rose slightly.
"What's happening?" Fred shouted, ignoring her words like the rest of his siblings.
"What are you on about?" George yelled.
"Go back to your rooms now!" Mrs. Weasley shrieked.
That had them running up the stairs and back into their rooms, fearing for their Mother's temper and wooden spoon which she always seemed to have with her.
"I hope they get there in time," she cried into her husband's chest.
"I'm sure they will, Mollywobbles, I'm sure they will," he placated, but he wasn't sure if he was trying to convince his wife or himself.
Dumbledore, Remus and Sirius landed with 'cracks' of the telltale sign of apparition and they wasted no time in rushing from the alleyway and down the street until they reached the Granger house.
They stopped; it was still light out being that it was summer, so they had to be careful should muggle neighbours or passersby witness something they shouldn't. When they reached the house there were no signs of a break in. There were no loud noises. There was no dark mark above the house. There were no signs of dark magic. Everything seemed fine.
"Nothing's wrong?" Remus spoke confused.
"No, the alarm was activated for a reason," Dumbledore spoke with a frown marring his features.
He stepped forward and tried the door handle but it was locked, so he slyly used an Unlocking Charm, the tip of his wand peaking out of his sky blue robe sleeve.
The three men entered the house and they quickly and quietly made their way down the hallway and into the living room, where they found Mrs. Granger laughing madly with two wine glasses in her hands. Sirius and Remus both had enhanced senses of smell and they knew without a doubt that the wine glasses were half filled with muggle alcohol, and that Mrs. Granger had surpassed being drunk; she was on another level entirely.
"NO, NO, PLEASE DON'T! NO!" A blood curding scream tore through the silence and it came from above them.
Remus and Sirius ran for the stairs leaving Dumbledore behind. They followed the sounds and when they reached a locked bedroom door, Sirius kicked it open so forcefully, that it fell off its hinges and landed on the floor with a loud 'bang'.
That's when they saw Hermione laid on the bed, sobbing as a man laid on top of her. Sirius saw red, Black temper red! Without thought he dropped his wand and ran forward, where he pulled the man off of Hermione and onto the floor, and he started punching him in his face.
Hermione sat up and her sobs grew louder. Suddenly water started pouring in the room, lightning flashed and thunder roared. They were all being soaked from head to toe and they couldn't hear themselves think over the loud roar of the thunder clashes.
Sirius was momentarily distracted from kicking the shit out of the man and he looked over to Hermione. She was readjusting her summer dress and he could clearly see that she had a split lip, blood was pouring out of her nose, she had a black eye and she cradled her right arm to her chest protectively. He could see bruises in the shape of hand marks on her arms and legs and she had bruises on her wrists.
He turned back to the man on the floor and continued to land blows on every body part possible, until the man passed out.
"Sirius!" Remus called from Hermione's bedside. "SIRIUS!" He yelled, finally getting the raging wizard's attention, as he pulled back his fist and turned his eyes to Remus. "That's enough; we need to see to Hermione," the werewolf spoke.
That broke Sirius out of his fury and he rushed to the bed, where he pulled Hermione against him as she sobbed and he held her as tightly as he could without hurting her further. The lightning and thunder stopped and the pouring rain cleared. Everything in the room was soaked and Remus and Sirius looked at each other before looking at Hermione and then back to each other once more.
"Accidental magic maybe," Remus said quietly.
"That was not accidental magic," Sirius hissed. "That was something else entirely."
He looked down at the sobbing witch he held against his chest and he shook his head. Remus used his wand to dry everything in the room, including them, leaving no evidence of what they'd just witnessed.
"We don't tell anyone about this."
Remus nodded in agreement. "This is a job for the muggle police, they will see to it that Hermione gets justice," Remus spoke softly. "We can't heal her injuries, the muggle justice system will need to see it as evidence, but as a precaution we should document her injuries." Remus pointed his wand. "Accio camera," he muttered, hoping there was one somewhere in the house. Thankfully the muggle camera flew into the room and he caught it in his outstretched hand.
Dumbledore entered the room at that point, his eyes filled with sadness at the scene that met him. "Are you well, My Dear?" he asked.
Sirius glared at him. "Of course she isn't, Albus!" Sirius snapped.
Dumbledore didn't take it to heart. "The muggle police have been informed and are currently on route. I will heal Mr. Granger's injuries. Sirius, Remus, please escort Miss. Granger into another room and document her injuries."
Sirius was careful as he lifted Hermione into his arms and they left the room and entered the guest bedroom across the hallway. Sirius deposited her on the bed and Remus proceeded in taking photos of the injuries that were visible.
"Do you have injuries anywhere else, Hermione?" Remus asked kindly and she nodded in reply. "Do you need me to get you a pair of shorts?" he asked, noticing the way her eyes were glued to her legs.
She nodded again, and so Remus accioed a pair from her room and seeing that it would be difficult for her to put them on herself, he used magic to speed up the process.
Sirius stood up from being perched beside her on the bed and supported her weight as she stood too. She was still sobbing and with her uninjured arm she lifted her dress to show her stomach. What they saw made both men wish they could rush into the other room and Crucio the unconscious man on the floor. Almost her entire stomach was covered in bruises of different sizes and colours showing some were old and others more recent; they were blue, purple, yellow, orange and green.
One look from Remus had Sirius pinned to the ground. Hermione turned and showed them her back and she had similar bruises, though not as many.
"We're finished for now, Hermione," Remus said softly and he put the camera down on the bedside table.
Sirius sat on the bed with Hermione cradled gently against his chest and he rocked them back and forth comfortingly, muttering an old wizarding lullaby, he didn't even know he remembered.
His heart went out to the little witch in his arms. He had been abused by his parents, except they preferred to use the Cruciatus. If it was used correctly no marks were left behind and there was no proof of such mistreatment. He only felt the pain of the curse and he'd certainly never been sexually abused, he was lucky that his parents drew the line at that form of punishment, even if they were sick bastards.
He owed his life to Hermione, she was the reason he was no longer a fugitive. She'd put together a tight knit case for him and The Ministry never stood a chance. When he was on the run the previous year she had covertly sent him packages of food and blankets. He was alive, free and healthy because of her; she had looked after him, a complete stranger. The same for Remus; she anonymously sent him baskets of chocolate during the week of the full moon -but they knew it was her- and she kept his secret. She cared for everyone, and now he vowed to take care of her.
Dumbledore appeared in the door way, he handed Sirius his wand and he transfigured his robes into a muggle suit. Sirius was wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans and black hiking boots and Remus was wearing a white shirt, brown tie and brown suit pants and smart shoes, so they would both pass for muggles. Sirius made sure to cast a Glamour Charm over himself to hide his blood covered and swollen hands, and they all put their wands out of sight.
"The muggle policemen have just arrived outside of the house. Miss. Granger has no other living relatives and we need to find someone who will take parental guardianship, otherwise she will be placed into a muggle foster home," Dumbledore explained.
"I'll do it," Sirius said instantly and without thought. Dumbledore's eyes twinkled knowingly.
"I thought that may be the case. I have called in a favour and a Half-blood lawyer who practices in the Muggle World will be arriving shortly. I have healed Mr. Granger's injuries except for two. Sirius, you pulled Mr. Granger off of Miss. Granger, you later broke his nose and then knocked him unconscious."
Sirius gritted his teeth but nodded to Dumbledore's words. Dumbledore handed Hermione a piece of paper that had the address to Grimmauld Place on and she read it through her sobs and Remus took it from her and stuffed it into his pocket until could later be destroyed.
Dumbledore left the room and made his way down the stairs to coordinate with the police whilst Remus and Sirius stayed with Hermione, keeping her safe and protected.
Ten minutes later Dumbledore accompanied several members of the police force up the stairs. Some went into Hermione's room to arrest Mr. Granger and two came into the guest room, one was male and the other female. Their eyes hardened when they immediately saw Hermione's injuries and the way she was all but clinging for dear life onto Sirius' t-shirt as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Remus stood up and handed the camera to the policemen. "We've documented her injuries, it was more comfortable for her that it be done by us," he explained. The policeman blinked and then thanked him.
"We need to take a statement," he informed them. "Since Miss. Granger is a minor there must be a family member present."
"I'll stay," Sirius spoke.
"Are you a family member, Mr...?"
"Black, Sirius Black," he answered. Their eyes widened as they recognised him as the former fugitive that had been found to be innocent. "We're not related by blood, but we're family."
"I'm afraid that doesn't consent you to be..."
"Yes, it does," a man in his thirties stepped into the room.
He was wearing a grey muggle suit with a black tie and black dress shoes and carrying a brief case. He handed the policeman a letter.
"I am Miss. Granger's lawyer, Henry Farrow. Mr. Black is now Miss. Granger's legal guardian, it's signed by Judge Mullins himself," the lawyer spoke and the policeman turned his attention to the letter in his hand, reading it over before nodding.
"Mr. Black, you may be present, I think it will be more comfortable if we take the statement here rather than the hospital or station."
"She's right handed and appears to have a broken right arm," Remus spoke up.
"Miss. Granger may tell us what happened and my colleague will write the statement for her. Afterwards she will be taken to the hospital for medical care. We will also need statements from the three of you, and you will need to testify in court."
"Couldn't keep us away," Remus agreed.
"As a special request Judge Mullins has agreed to have the trial a week from today given the circumstances and for the safety of my client," Farrow injected and the two police officers nodded.
"Miss. Granger, are you up to telling us what happened?" the female officer asked softly. "There is an ambulance waiting to take you to the hospital once we are finished." Hermione sniffled but nodded.
After thirty minutes of Hermione giving her statement through sobs and ten minutes of Sirius giving his statement, he carried Hermione down the stairs and to the ambulance. A crowd of nosey neighbours and passersby had gathered and murmurs and whispers picked up when they saw Hermione being brought out of the house and placed into the ambulance.
Sirius accompanied her to the hospital, stating that 'Hell would freeze over, before he left her,' and after that, the paramedics didn't bother arguing with him. All the doctors could do for Hermione was attend to her confirmed broken arm. They took her for several scans and it revealed she also had two broken ribs which had to heal by themselves, along with her bruises and cuts. They weighed her and took her clothing for evidence; they took more photos and carried out a sexual assault test. Her lawyer had found them at the hospital and with him he'd brought Hermione some sleep clothes. A nurse helped her to dress and she was given some pain medication that had her drowsy and sleeping within minutes. Sirius refused to let her stay overnight in hospital and instead apparated them straight to Grimmauld Place.
12 Grimmauld Place
He shuffled Hermione in his arms so he could better open the door. The sounds of him entering the house attracted everyone and they rushed out from the living room where they had been waiting and they stood in the hallway as Sirius kicked the door shut with his foot.
Gasps filled the hallway when they saw Hermione and the women had tears in their eyes. Hermione was asleep in Sirius' arms, wearing a pair of pink sleep shorts and a white t-shirt. The clothing didn't hide her injuries and they could see the bruises on her and some blood stained her face where it hadn't been washed off entirely. She had her arm in a splint and it was in a sling.
"Hermione! What happened?" Mrs. Weasley asked quickly.
"It wasn't Death Eaters," Sirius said, his voice cold and dark, much like Grimmauld Place.
"Who was it then? Why was the alarm tripped?" Tonks asked confused.
He ignored the question. "We got there just in time. Her injuries aren't allowed to be healed as there is to be a muggle trial next week. She has bruising covering her stomach and back, two broken ribs as well as a broken arm, and she's underweight. I'm her legal guardian now." Mrs. Weasley looked as though she wanted to argue. "No, Molly, I am her legal guardian," he said, his voice leaving no room for argument, before he headed towards the staircase.
Unknown to them, two red headed twins were hid on the first floor landing and they'd listened to the conversation. When they heard foot falls approaching they apparated into their bedroom on the third floor.
They sat at the end of their beds and looked at each other in shock.
"Merlin, Granger!" they both whispered quietly.
"We might not t know what happened, but she didn't deserve this," George spoke.
"No, she didn't," Fred agreed. "You heard Sirius, there's a trial next week."
"We're of age now, we can use magic to follow them and find out what's going on," George suggested, and they both nodded to each other in agreement.
Sirius climbed the stairs and walked into one of the first floor bedrooms that had already been cleaned and it was free of dust and grime. The walls were a pale yellow; the queen sized bed was against the back wall and the bedding was white. There was light wooden flooring and white furniture in the form of a bedside table and a chest of drawers. There was a walk in closet and a bay window that had been charmed due to the fact her room didn't actually have a window. And completing the room was an en-suite bathroom which Sirius thought would be much more appropriate for Hermione.
He put Hermione into bed and covered her with the blanket to protect her from the chill of the dark house. He had a feeling he should stay and so he changed into Padfoot, jumped up onto the mattress and curled up at the end of the bed.
Two hours later Remus came up to the room with food. Sirius changed back and took the food from Remus but he stayed perched on the bed whilst he ate.
"When you left Albus and I gave our statements. Mr. and Mrs. Granger were both taken into custody and charged with physical and sexual abuse; it seems as though Mrs. Granger knew about the abuse and sometimes participated physically." Sirius gripped his fork tightly and the handle bent. "The trial is next Tuesday at ten o'clock. Albus, myself, you and Hermione have to be in attendance. He is also bringing along Minerva to speak out on Hermione's character. I have no doubt Molly and Arthur will wish to attend too. Dumbledore has called a meeting in a few days time so we may discuss what is to be said. We need a cover story as to why we were there in the first place, and we obviously can't reveal anything about magic, Hogwarts or her classes. On the statement I am still Professor Lupin, it explains why I was there too," Remus spoke and Sirius nodded. Remus turned his gaze to the sleeping Hermione. "How's she been?"
"The occasional whimper or mumbled word, but other than that she's been alright. Whatever they gave her was strong enough to knock her out."
"NO, PLEASE DON'T! I'LL BE GOOD, I PROMISE!"
The sleeping dog startled awake as he saw Hermione thrashing about in her sleep and crying. He quickly changed into Sirius, moved over to her and pulled her to him, cradling her gently as he whispered in her ear and rocked her until she calmed down. He was glad he had put silencing wards around the room otherwise the whole house would've woken up to her screams. He changed into Padfoot once more and Hermione clung to him in her sleep for the rest of the night.
The next day Hermione didn't leave the room. Remus brought up breakfast and a cup of coffee for Sirius and a bowl of cut up fruit and orange juice for Hermione. He used the password he knew Sirius had placed on the door, so only he and Remus could enter the room for Hermione's safety, comfort and privacy.
Ginny, Ron and the twins all emerged from their rooms at the same time and they made their way to the staircase. They watched as Remus whispered a password and entered the room, opening it just wide enough to enter, but not enough for the four teens to be able to look inside and see what was behind the door. When he d id open the door, they heard a loud sobbing and the twins looked at each other sadly.
"I wonder who's in there," Ginny said curiously.
"Yeah," Ron agreed, but the twins knew. "I wonder what happened after that alarm stopped," Ron mused and they all made their way down to breakfast.
Lunch was the same with Remus taking food up to Sirius and Hermione, the door opening and the teens hearing sobs, and it was the same with dinner. Sirius hadn't come out of the room since the evening before and neither had Hermione.
The rest of the week followed in the same manner. No one had seen or spoken to Sirius with the exception or Remus in the past six days. Hermione stopped spending the day crying after the third day at Grimmauld. Sirius explained where she was and they talked about many things.
Eventually he got her to open up to him about her parents and he had locked himself in the en-suite bathroom for two hours to help himself calm down, and to prevent himself from doing something stupid, like tracking down The Granger parents, murdering them both and ending up in Azkaban again, this time his crime of killing muggles would be accurate.
He spoke to her about his parents and his childhood and in doing so, they formed a bond. He had managed to make her laugh a few times when he spoke about his Marauder years and it warmed his heart to hear the sound. She had started eating the food Remus brought up for them after some encouragement and her quantity of food intake increased and she seemed to be slowly putting weight back on too, largely thanks to the Nutrition Potion they had been slipping into her pumpkin juice. She would have nightmares every night and Sirius would talk to her until she calmed down and then change into Padfoot and lay next to her until the morning. Ron and Ginny were still clueless as to who was in the room, but Fred and George knew.
It was now the day before the trial. Remus had been back to The Granger house to pack up Hermione's belongings and he brought them back to Grimmauld. Seeing that Hermione didn't have much clothing, Sirius gave Mrs. Weasley his vault number and told her to buy anything Hermione would like at Diagon Alley and he had Tonks do the same for the Muggle World since she had visited many times before.
"Hermione, where's Crookshanks?" Remus asked softly. "I couldn't find him when I went to collect your belongings."
Hermione started crying. "He killed him. Crookshanks tried to protect me and he killed him, I buried him in the back garden by the tree and that earned me a beating."
Sirius growled; he liked Crookshanks, he was his friend and he'd helped him when he'd escaped from Azkaban.
"I'm sorry," Remus said quietly.
"You should get some sleep, Kitten; the trial's in the morning," Sirius said.
Hermione nodded and crawled into bed, falling into a fitful sleep, but Sirius was there with her and she wasn't alone, but protected and safe.