IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTES
1) As stated in the summary, this is an Alternate Universe story. A LOT is different from the canon, so please be patient before jumping to conclusions about characters/concepts/anything else (such as the nature of the Death Eaters), as all things will be explained/expanded upon as the story progresses.
2) Content warnings: Smut, violence, possessive behavior, possible bondage, possible sadomasochism. Despite these things, this story might not be as dark as expected.
3) This was originally tagged in the summary with *pureblood/werewolf!Hermione* and *poly-fic*(as well as *Sporadic Updates*), but as many of you know, we are only allowed a limited number of characters in our FFN site summaries (which is why authors often change up their summaries as they go along, or look back on an older work, because some better version occurs to them after the fact, or why some summaries seem a mess, because they're scrambling for a way to sum up their plot in a small space [that being said, maybe try a work that has a summary you've glimpsed and thought 'well, that seems a little interesting, but the summary is kinda meh'. It might simply be that the writer was at a loss for summarizing—trust me, even published authors struggle with blurbs]). In order to make space for an updated version of the summary which gave a more adequate view to potential readers of what they're getting into by clicking on this fic, I had to do away with anything extraneous. Despite the label of 'poly-fic', there may be some M/M scenes.
4) Updates will be sporadic, chapter lengths may vary wildly (some may be 5k, some may be shorter than 2k).
Disclaimers: I do not own Harry Potter, or any affiliated characters, and make no profit from this story.
* Orias Mulciber (who appears in a number of my other DE fics) is my take on the canon character of Mulciber.
Brock O'Hurn as *Orias Mulciber; Jason Momoa as Fenrir Greyback; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Rodolphus Lestrange; Henry Cavill as Tom Riddle, Jr./Lord Voldemort
"We—we truly never wanted for you to find out like this," Mum—no, no, this woman wasn't Mum, not anymore—Dahlia said, her fingers pressed to her chin, as she always did when she fretted.
Hermione, uncertain how to feel about any of this, just now, opened her mouth to snap a retort, but the words never came out. Instead, a terrible, hacking cough erupted from her.
She shielded her mouth with her hand just in time, but she could already feel the slick warmth on her palm. Pulling her hand away, she saw the blood. She saw the faint glow of iridescent glittering mixed with crimson—the sign that she was losing her magic along with her blood. Every witch or wizard had a unique hue to their magic. Hers was a shade of purple.
She might not have realized this was no natural illness if she'd not noticed that faint glow. But, with that faint glow came the awful realization . . . . This type of illness only struck pure-bloods.
If she had contracted it, but her parents were Muggles, that only meant one, tragic, thing.
When she'd confronted them about it, she'd hoped for something. A denial, some reason she was sick that was perfectly logical and wouldn't mean her entire life changing . . . . Anything, at all.
But Dahlia Granger's response was to turn a mortified expression on her husband, William, and collapse crying in his arms. The tear-broken whispered shout, We should've told her long ago, still rang in Hermione's ears.
At the sight of her daughter coughing so violently, Dahlia reached toward her. She couldn't say she was wholly surprised when the young woman backed away from her touch. It hurt, but no, it did not surprise her.
"What I think you mean to say," Hermione said in a rough breath of sound as she snatched up a tissue to wipe her hand, "is you never meant for me to find out."
"Don't take that tone with your mother, young lady!"
Dahlia winced at her husband's interruption. Hermione. on the other hand, schooled her features and turned a cold expression on the man she'd been raised to believe was her father.
"Oh, I don't believe you have the audacity to reprimand me for being disrespectful right now. You lied to me my entire life, and you dare tell me not to take a tone!"
She could see it in his face that he regretted his words, already, but he was not prepared for her response. His brown eyes—the ones she'd always thought she'd inherited from him—widened at the small, twisting sparks the girl was emitting with her unchecked anger.
"You're right. We never thought you would find out. If we'd known you'd get sick like this—"
"I'm one of them, aren't I?" When her adoptive parents merely gaped at her, Hermione forced herself to repress another coughing fit. She would not let her rage be stymied by their sympathetic expressions. "I'm one of those . . . those Black Market magic-babies they had all those reports about years ago, aren't I?!" She'd never before had cause to think her father's sudden promotion that meant them moving to a different city around that same time was suspicious.
Much like what was happening to her, now, some of those Black Market magic-babies had contracted the pure-blood illness, which led Scotland Yard and the Ministry of Magic into a joint investigation of the matter. It seemed too much to imagine that she'd been stolen from her true family as an infant and . . . sold to the Grangers. However, it also seemed too much to hope for that they'd adopted her through legal channels and she just so happened to be the child of a pure-blood family. Most of the buyers who'd been interviewed after their arrests had admitted to wanting the fame and comfort it would bring their family to have a Muggle-born witch or wizard as a child, and that terrible racket guaranteed such an outcome, unlike traditional adoption, or natural pregnancy.
To her knowledge, these people had never exploited her status for their own gain. But then, perhaps the reason for that was not as selfless as she wanted to believe, even now. Perhaps they'd only kept a low profile to protect themselves from being connected with all that.
Sniffling hard, Hermione shook her head. Tears of anger beaded in her eyes, and she did not want Dahlia and William to mistake them for being caused by any other emotion. She knew from their silence they were ashamed, and they would only need to feel shame if her accusation was true.
She swallowed hard as she fought against another tickle in the back of her throat. "Why?"
"At the time, we didn't know the agency was operating illegally," William said, sitting down, finally, beside his wife. He clasped his hands before him, his gaze on his own fingers. She had every right to her anger at them, and Dahlia was absolutely correct that they should've told her long ago. "However, some of the papers they had us sign to finalize your adoption seemed . . . suspicious, at best. We were so happy to have a child, that by the time it occurred to us to look into it further, it was too late. You were ours and the wretched woman who'd arranged the whole thing seemed to vanish. We were afraid that if we brought the situation to anyone's attention, we'd lose you."
Hermione's heart wrenched a little at that. She wanted to stay blindly wrathful toward them, but she knew in her heart they were not awful people. Yet, even so, she recognized that there was a level of selfishness to their decision.
"What about my birth parents?" she asked, unable to stop a single tear that broke free to roll down her cheek. "Don't you think there might've been a chance I could've been returned to them, had you done the right thing?"
Again, the Grangers lapsed into an ashamed silence.
"I see." Again, Hermione sniffled. "Do you even know who they are?"
"No," William said.
Dahlia, on the other hand, let out a low rush of breath before she said, "Yes."
"What?" her husband demanded, turning to face her.
Wringing her hands, the woman shot to her feet and started to pace. "You know my grandfather was a Squib, from a prominent pure-blood line, despite that they disowned him."
"He may know this, but it's news to me," Hermione said, her shock forcing her to give into a coughing fit. Though her eyes were squeezed shut, she could hear William and Dahlia both start toward her. She raised her free hand, warning them away from her.
When her lungs calmed, she looked up, capturing the other woman's pained blue eyes. "Why was I never told this?"
"I thought you might one day be tempted to reach out to them as you got older. That, perhaps, being a witch, yourself, you might want to mend fences with them." Dahlia shook her head, still pacing, still wringing her hands. "I thought the truth might come out, somehow, that way. But I knew there had been illnesses like this in the past. So I . . . I found that horrible woman, and I told her that if she didn't give me the information about your birth parents, I would go to my grandfather's family and tell them precisely what her precious Umbridge Foundation was up to."
"Why didn't you tell me?" William stood, catching his wife by the shoulders as she turned on her heel to start back the other way.
"You'd made it perfectly clear you wanted nothing more to do with those people. But I knew if something like this happened, we would not be able to help Hermione, but maybe her birth parents could. So, I did the only thing I could do, I used my family's name as a threat, and Dolores Umbridge folded."
William's expression showed that he wasn't sure how to feel. He wanted to be angry with his wife for keeping this secret, but was too relieved at her forethought to really allow such a negative emotion, just now.
Hermione understood quite clearly in that moment that no matter what she did, she would likely never see the Grangers, again. They may have been dishonest about her origins, but they had raised her as kind and loving parents. Her birth parents might not have a cure, but they were her best shot. The authorities would have to be informed, and then William and Dahlia Granger would be arrested and sent to Durmstrang—the Muggle equivalent of Azkaban in the frigid north.
There was only one thing she could really do.
Holding back any more tears, Hermione said, "Give me the information, and then go."
"You have to go, or they'll lock you away. Just leave, don't tell me where. I have to report this to the Ministry of Magic." She glanced at the couple before her only once. "You have until their officers arrive to pack up and be gone. It's all I can do for you."
"All I was given was their names," Dahlia said, bracing for the reaction from both the witch in the room, and her own husband. ""Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange."
Hermione gasped, fighting the way it caused her to want to cough, once more. From the corner of her eye, she could see William Granger dragging Dahlia toward the staircase by her elbow. Clearly, they would discuss that their daughter was, in fact, the long-lost Lestrange heir they'd seen advertisements and reports about all these eighteen years as they hastily threw together whatever they dared take with them.
Her fingers trembling, she could only blink in shock several times, waiting for the feeling to flood back into her limbs as she reached for the telephone. Every magical child living in a Muggle household was entrusted from an early age with an emergency number for the Ministry—for troubles Muggles were incapable of managing.
This certainly qualified.
She had her parents names, but she could hardly just pop up on their doorstep, claiming to be their child—they'd probably had impostors swarming their home for nearly two decades. Never had it crossed her mind to imagine they could be her parents! But then, perhaps it was not so surprising, Baby Lestrange had gone missing at one year old, they'd been searching eighteen years, she was nineteen now. It could be simple coincidence, still, but math didn't lie.
Sniffling hard, and forcing away another bout of coughs, she dialed the number. She'd never had cause to use it before, and was jarred by the very un-Muggle-like instantaneous connection to an operator.
"Ministry of Magic, Muggle-born Oversight Office. How may I help you?"
Hermione swallowed, blinking away fresh tears as she said, "Yes, I . . . . My name is Hermione, and I have reason to believe I was one of the children sold by the Umbridge Foundation."