Disclaimer: I own nothing and all mistakes are mine.
Chapter 8: Missing
"Could you be dead?
You were always two steps ahead, of everyone.
We'd walk behind while you would run."
Missing – Everything But the Girl
3 September 1996 – Spinner's End – Cokeworth
His vision was red.
He was trying so hard to keep control, but Moony was raging inside of him, angry that she and the cub had been lost.
When the Prewetts had asked him to come to Scotland of all places, Remus knew that it was about her. They had asked him to identify the signature covering the wards and he couldn't refuse them. He had spent a good deal of time with wards during the war and instantly knew who had helped her.
"Well?" The rude twin had asked.
"I'll take care of it," Remus had bit out, feeling the wolf become more apparent.
"I swear to Merlin, Lupin – "
Moony snarled, "I will handle this."
He had Apparated away in a fit of fury, knowing his destination. He had refused to offer common courtesy and had barged into the house, tearing down the wards meant to keep everyone out.
"Where is she?"
Snape rolled his eyes, flicking his wand to counteract the curse that was flung at him – in his own foyer, mind you – as he stepped further into his home. "You're not accomplishing anything, you know. Demanding to know where she is. Do I look like I keep up with whom you socialize with? Your Gryffindor stubbornness will be the death of you."
It had been late when he felt the wards of his home be forcibly removed. He had expected more than a disgruntled werewolf, but he was happy that it wasn't a rogue Death Eater instead.
Lupin slashed the air, throwing a nasty curse that was deflected easily. "Your signature was all over the house! You were her point of contact in the magical world. Didn't you feel your wards break? Someone took her!"
"Even if I knew who you were talking about – "
"Hermione, you idiot!"
" – I would have felt the wards drop."
"Not if someone had a plan to take her! The house was Unplottable, was it not? I've been tracking her for months and I couldn't find her bloody house until the Prewetts took me there," Lupin huffed, lowering his wand. "There was blood in her closet and…"
"She was pregnant," Snape sighed, giving up the charade. He ran his hand over his face in distress and yelled, "Fuck!"
"Was it yours?"
"What? No!" His face was screwed up in disgust. "I don't sleep with my students, wolf." Taking a deep breath, he started again, "I take it that you didn't tell the Prewetts?"
"I didn't know if the child was there's, however, she had a nursery set up and it gave it away. I don't think they've given thought to if she's moved on, they just want to make sure she's safe. I didn't tell them about her magic, but – "
"It failed due to her pregnancy," Snape said, begrudgingly lowering his own wand and leading the werewolf into his home. He handed the man a book from the mantle of his fireplace. "It took a lot of favors to track down. It better explains her link with the Prewetts…and why her magic left her."
Lupin flicked through the ancient book wearily. It was filled with bonds and triads and he knew that his little bookworm would devour it whole if she had a chance.
"Bringing Potter back from the dead depleted her magic to unhealthy levels," the professor explained as he grabbed his cloak. "Her child used every bit of magic left to preserve herself. That's why she's been unable to call on her magic for anything. By the records in this book, she should get her magic back after giving birth, but there's always a chance that she won't."
"You know who took her, don't you?" Lupin asked, watching the other man as he systematically prepared for battle.
A grimace came across the darker man's face as he slid his wand into the lining of his coat. "There's only one person that has been actively hunting for her and that's Antonin Dolohov."
"All the Death Eaters were caught – "
"He wasn't. Now, are you going to owl the Prewetts or shall I?"
4 September 1996 – Location Unknown
"Keep your eyes closed, zolotse," the voice above her said. "You need to adjust to the light."
She didn't know how long ago she'd been taken, but it felt like a fair while. The man that took her hadn't hurt her or caused her distress – fear of the situation didn't help, however.
The dark cloth was removed from her eyes and she kept them shut tight. Deciding to press her luck, she asked, "Can I have my hands free?"
"So you can try to escape?"
She shook her head, unsure if he was even looking at her. "I just…I need…"
The restraint vanished on one wrist and she instantly cradled her bump, sighing in relief when it felt completely normal.
"She's quite the fighter, you know. Just like her mother. Does the father know? I assume that if he did, he would've spent as much time looking for you as I did."
A chill ran through Hermione's bones and she opened her eyes, blinking hazily at the light above her. She made out a man standing next to the bed she was on and it took a few moments to realize that she was truly in the serpent's lair.
"Antonin, zolotse." He smiled at her, waving his hand to dim the light. "A Prewett, yes? That's the true father of your child? She's built a fair few spells around herself to ensure her safety. However, I'm not interested in hurting her or her mother."
She swallowed her newfound fear and asked, "Then what do you want?"
Whiskey eyes trailed him as he walked around the bed, his hand lying flat as it could on her stomach. "Did you notice that my mark disappeared? It should have killed you, but it's simply gone. Is that not interesting?"
"What are you hoping to accomplish?"
"Study, of course," Dolohov said as if it were the most logical thing in the world. "Your magic is strong for a muggle-born. Don't you think that it should be examined?"
4 September 1996 – Diagon/Knockturn Alley – Prewett Residence
"He knew where she was!"
"That doesn't mean you had to punch him!"
It was quite a scene.
Snape sat in a chair in the kitchen, his head tilted back to staunch the blood flow that was currently creating a mess down his face.
The Prewetts had seemed weary to let the werewolf and former Death Eater in their home. When the latter had revealed he had known where Hermione had been, all hell broke loose.
"Are you capable of putting aside the fact that I hid her in order to find her or would you rather I go and retrieve her myself?" The bite in Snape's voice was hindered by the nasal quality that had edged into it.
"You son of a – "
"Prewett, is was a formality that we came here first," Lupin interjected, clenching his teeth to keep from Apparating. "Now, can we all be adults and work together to get Hermione back? Or should Severus and myself take care of it?" The man's name sounded weird in his mouth, but it spoke of civility.
Gideon shoved his brother's hand off of his shoulder, sneering, "And who has her?"
"Couldn't this be done after I give birth?"
Dolohov paused the wand movements above her and appeared to think about it for a moment. His brow creased and he nodded in thought. "I suppose a few months wouldn't hinder the research. I'm not well versed in living with a pregnant witch, however. I couldn't let you return simply because I'm unsure if you'd return. But the idea does have merit."
She stayed silent as he contemplated, not wanting to screw up her chances. He wasn't violent, thankfully, and she was sure with the right amount of wit she could coax him into anything.
"I will think on an appropriate solution," he finally said as he aimed his wand at her, "Sleep for now."
It took minimal effort to break into the small house that Dolohov had been occupying since the end of the war. Fabian had expected that for someone that had taken someone else hostage, the wards would at least be difficult to break down.
The little group, that had been dubbed 'Hermione's Rescue Team', practically walked right up to the front door and inside without even breaking a sweat.
Restraining the dark wizard had been easy as well since he was too busy babbling about his research to really put up a fight.
"You can't take her! She's needed!"
"Yeah, by us, you twisted fuck," Gideon snarled, stabbing his wand into the wizard's throat and shooting a less than friendly spell at him.
Lupin and Snape bound the man easily as the twins took off to find their girl. They were surprised to find her relatively unharmed in a side bedroom, although she was quite pale.
"Hermione?" Gideon scooped her up into his arms, cradling her small body against his broad chest.
Fabian felt for her pulse and breathed a sigh of relief when it thumped against his fingers. "She's just asleep. Dolohov probably knocked her out for a bit."
"Let's get her home then, yeah?"
5 September 1996 – Diagon/Knockturn Alley – Prewett Residence
A constant, loud noise next to her head woke Hermione up. Her amber eyes blinked awake, slowly taking in the light from the hallway that was flooding into the room. She smiled against the pillow, her hand sneaking down to her bump and she caressed her swollen skin softly.
"Hello, my sweet little girl," she whispered, "I hope you slept well." A small flutter against her fingertips proved that the babe had heard her.
Rolling onto her back, she found the source of the noise that had woke her was Crookshanks purring away loudly in contentment. His claws were tangled in her hair and she giggled at the absurdity.
The clank of dishes from the kitchen drew her attention and she was instantly on alert. Her mind flashed back to the last time she felt scared and her memories came rushing back to her in a blur of fear.
Hermione felt crippled with anxiety, but with how relaxed Crookshanks was, she decided that whomever was in the cottage didn't mean her any harm.
Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, she shivered when her feet made contact with the smooth floor.
She barely noticed that she was only in knickers and a jumper as she pulled her hair into a messy bun on top of her head before she made her way out of her room and down the hall to the kitchen.
Hermione blinked at the men that were flitting about her kitchen as if they belonged there. Fabian was staring at the microwave as if it may bite him while Gideon was turning all the knobs on the range in order to produce a small flame below the pan.
"What… what is happening?" She asked, her head cocked to the side. She pinched her forearm hard, trying to wake herself up from the bazaar dream she'd been sucked into.
"Good morning, little love," Fabian greeted her with a lopsided grin. "Sleep okay?"
Her eyes bounced from green to blue and her brow creased. "This is a very odd dream. Did Dolohov manage to kill me accidently?"
Gideon stared at her intensely. "How bad did he treat you?"
"I'm just his research project," she shrugged, padding over to the refrigerator and pouring herself a glass of juice. "Obviously, it's fractured my mind, but it's a very good dream that I don't particularly want to wake from."
"Hermione…" Gideon searched for words, his concern for her bleeding through his features.
"You're not dreaming, witch," Fabian said bluntly. "Snape and Lupin helped find you and we thought you'd be more comfortable to recuperate here."
The deafening silence was broken by Hermione's glass shattered against the floor as it slipped from her hands. Her doe eyes were wide with worry and she shook like a leaf.
"You're safe," Gideon said, stepping forward and ignoring the crunch of glass beneath his boots. "You…and the baby."
Her hand snaked under her jumper and she felt the small bump reassuringly. Her brow creased once more and she quietly asked, "How did you find my house? It's Unplottable."
"When Dolohov took you, you sent out a type of emergency signal. I was able to Apparate to you, but we were too late," he answered, ending it a bit sourly.
She looked down, the juice pooled around her feet suddenly more interesting that was happening in the room. "Why are you both still here?"
Gideon practically leapt back in shock, pain twisting his features.
"Because we love you, you daft witch," Fabian snarked, mostly unfazed by her words. "You're pregnant, too – "
" – And it's ours, Hermione. That gives us a say in what happens to you."
Hermione scowled. "That's not the point – "
"Do you not what the child to grow up knowing us?" Gideon finally asked.
"Gideon – "
He held up his hand and cut her off. "That child is going to be a prodigy. With the brightest witch of her age as a mother and an Auror as her father, that child is going to be a mess of accidental magic until – "
"And what if she doesn't have any magic?" She asked, ignoring their shocked faces as she so casually revealed the sex of her child. "What if she never receives her Hogwarts letter? What if she never steps foot in Diagon Alley? What if – "
"We're all brimming with magic!" Fabian exploded, throwing his hands in the air in exasperation. "It would be highly unlikely that we would produce a squib – "
"I have no magic!" She screamed, her anger seeping into her bones.
"Hermione – "
"Dolohov said she was able to protect herself with magic, but what if it doesn't last? What if she becomes like me? I can't…I can't stay in the wizarding world when I have no magic. I can't be constantly reminded of what I was once able to do." She ran out of steam, her anger making room for despair. "I'm not the same witch either of you fell in love with; I'm not a witch at all."
They both stared at her for a few moments.
"I don't give a fuck that you're not able to do magic," Fabian asserted with a shrug. "You're my witch and I'm not going to give that up for a simple technicality."
"Neither will I," Gideon swore, "You and the babe you carry belong to us. Magic – or the absence of – won't change that fact." He sighed and looked at her feet, "And would you please step out of that bloody juice!"
"Oh, for the love of Merlin." Fabian waved his hand with a roll of his eyes to vanish the mess.
Hermione gave a startled squeal as her sparse clothes disappeared along with the mess on the floor.
The twins had their eyes glued to their girl. Green traveled to her ample bust while blue observed the swollen flesh nestled perfectly between her womanly hips that had spread with her pregnancy.
Gideon dropped gracelessly to his knees in front of her, his hands immediately going to her belly. He cradled the bump in his hands, a look of awe on his face. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he'd ever have a child so soon, but he was far from complaining.
"It's a girl?" He asked breathlessly, recalling what she had said only moments before.
She nodded, her eyes glistening with unshed tears. "But – "
"There's no 'buts', little love – unless we're talking about you're delectable arse – "
"We're staying with you whether you have magic or not," Gideon stated assertively as he looked up at her. "If we have to live in the muggle world, we'll adjust."
"But we won't adjust to losing you."
Hermione shook her head fiercely, tears now glittering against her cheeks. "You can't throw away your lives for me."
"Our lives are with you."
When Fabian stepped forward and captured her lips with his, all the fight fled from her body. His hand tangled in her hair and pulled so he could plunder her mouth freely. Her small whimper of pain fueled him and he pulled away, panting in pleasure.
"Are you able to accomidate both of us in your present condition?" Fabian asked, genuinely concerned. He'd never bedded a pregnant witch before and he didn't want to cause her to have a miscarriage.
Gideon's hands on her stomach cemented what Fabian had asked in her mind. She nodded slowly, her voice rough with lust when she finally spoke. "If I don't have one of you inside me in the next – "
She was cut short by Gideon rising to his feet and scooping her into his strong arms on the way up. Her legs found their way around his waist and he relished at how her bump felt against his flat stomach.
She felt Fabian behind her and she closed her eyes in happiness.
"I've missed you both so much."
Fabian kissed the hollow beneath her ear and whispered, "Never leave us again, little love."
Opening her eyes, she looked over Gideon's shoulder and saw the edge of dawn on the horizon. She was safe with her boys and nothing would ever take her away again.
She had found her forever.
Thank you all for allowing me to get this plot bunny out. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I loved writing it. Be sure to leave a review and let me know what you thought of the story as a whole.
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