"Hermione, I've told you before!" Harry yelled, in the frustrated tone that he always seemed to use when speaking with his former best friend.
"Then tell me again, Harry, because apparently I've forgotten!" Hermione yelled back, narrowing her eyes at the Boy-Who-Lived.
"You are strictly to research," he replied, lowering his voice slightly, but his irritation was still evident, "You don't go on missions, you don't make the plans—that's it!"
"I DON'T WANT TO JUST RESEARCH, HARRY!" She shrieked, getting louder and angrier, "I WANT TO ACTUALLY BE APART OF THE ORDER!"
"YOU ARE!" Just…not in the sense of missions," Harry argued, "I can't do this." He turned to look at Ron and Ginny for backup, before dropping into an armchair in the corner of the room. Just great, Hermione thought, I definitely want to hear their opinions on this. She rolled her eyes.
"Hermione," Ron said, softly, trying to soothe down the angry witch, "Harry's right. You just aren't cut out for battles."
"It's not your fault that you're better at researching than carrying out actual missions." Ginny added. The condescending tones in both of their voices set Hermione off more.
"SHUT UP, BOTH OF YOU!" Hermione yelled, running a shaking hand through her bushy hair in frustration, "Merlin, Harry. You even let Ginny go on missions, but I'm not even going to ask why—I already know the answer."
Harry shot Hermione a pointed look, daring her to continue with her train of thought.
"I'm sorry, Hermione," she mimicked, "Ginny can go on missions because I'm shagging her." With an angry sigh, and before even bothering to look at Harry's reaction, she stomped from the living room up to the bedroom she shared with the aforementioned Ginny.
It had been five years since the trio's seventh year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and it seemed so far that the Order was defeating the Death Eaters—at least in terms of raids and battles. Hermione, as could already be told, had been stuck with researching only—since the moment they had graduated. She could be given assignments ranging from researching defense spells, to looking up dangerous creatures that they could come across working for the Dark Side. Harry had become the leader of the Order of the Phoenix after Dumbledore's death, and had dubbed Ron as his second in command. Ron, Hermione scoffed, a second in command. He's about as useless as dueling as he is with the Unforgiveables—he couldn't kill anyone if his life depending on it. It was true, as they had learned in their fourth year Defense Against the Dark Arts class, a wizard couldn't just say Avada Kedavra and expect immediate results. There had to be powerful magic and intent behind it, and Ron had not quite mastered the 'powerful magic' bit. The intent, however, was there. As the years had gone on, the Order became more and more vicious—using Unforgiveables as a first option, instead of a last resort. Logically, Hermione would be a more capable second in command than Ron, and there would have been a time in their past where even Harry would have known that. There was something else behind them keeping her from missions other than their disintegrating friendship, and Hermione did not like not knowing something.
The 22-year-old Hermione Granger had changed little from her Hogwarts years. She still had bushy hair and still read all of the time, but the tension between her and her former best friends was only growing throughout the days.
What was interesting was, a few weeks ago, they had hardly been talking to her at all. They had regarded her like a time bomb that was about to explode—this had lead Hermione to the conclusion that they were hiding something from her.
After pacing around in her room for a bit, and not calming down, she rushed into the Order's library—the only place in Headquarters that could help her calm down, and the only place she was sure that her friends would never enter. Ha, great friends they are. Always Harry this, Harry that. I swear it's as if he's the only one in the world! And Harry himself is worst—always strutting about, ordering people around, taking nothing but the most important jobs—as if he's the only one capable.
Hours passed as Hermione sat in the library, though she had done more thinking than reading. Finally, as Hermione headed downstairs, something dawned on her. No one cared about her; they needed her book smarts, but all they cared about was the safety of Harry. If she were to die tomorrow, would anybody even mourn her? She had tried to remove the resentment forming in her mind, but the more she thought about it, the more it grew.
As she entered the dining room, she saw what she always did this time of night: Harry talking to Ginny and Ron and the only seat was next to Lupin, who was too busy talking to Tonks to bother with turning toward Hermione. She watched carefully as the food was served, knowing that it was just going to cause the bitterness to rise in her even more—Harry's helping was just about double of everyone else's. Typical Mrs. Weasley, she thought, rolling her eyes, and looking at her own small meal. Everyone else at the table had more food than herself. This is just ridiculous, Hermione thought, and then finally tuned into what Harry was saying,
"Ron, Ginny, I want you two to get together and make a list of who you think would be the best on this raid. Lupin, Tonks, do some recon on who would be at the abandoned manor. Mr. Weasley, Bill—"
"What about me, then?" Hermione interrupted, her arms folded across her chest.
"Now, now, Hermione, you shouldn't interrupt Harry." Mr. Weasley scolded, before gulping down his butterbeer.
"Right," Ron stated, looking at Hermione with narrowed eyes, "as you were saying, Harry?"
"Thank you, Ron," Harry said, sending a pointed look at Hermione, "and if you must know, right now, Hermione, I need you to research any creatures in the area so that there are no surprises."
Hermione shook her head in disgust, but of course, no one saw it—they were too focused on Harry. Hermione tuned back out of the conversation. After picking at some food, she excused herself and went back to the library. Might as well begin my research early, she thought halfheartedly, as she searched the book titles for anything about dark creatures. One title caught her eyes, The Dark Arts. Something was drawing her to the book and before she realized it, she was sitting down reading it. Why would the Order have such a book in their headquarters, Hermione wondered. It dawned on her that they must expect people to only read this book to gain insight on how to defeat it.
She stayed up all night reading book after book on the Dark Arts, and was now hopelessly drawn to the subject. It was when she was reading a biography of an imprisoned Death Eater, who agreed to give this information for a shortened sentence, that she realized it. Each Death Eater was treated with respect—they all went on missions, were rewarded for triumphs and punished for mistakes. Everything they did seemed right—they certainly wouldn't stick her with research duty, they would use her to her full potential. Have I been living up to mine? Following Harry around like a puppy since I was eleven years old, doing what anyone asks of me, researching when I should be fighting… have I been fighting for the wrong side all along? She shook her head at the thought, No, what am I saying? The Death Eaters were not the good—they were the bad, the evil, the insane, and the bigoted. But the more Hermione thought about it, the more she realized, the Order's attacks were as brutal and barbaric as the Death Eaters—they had now resorted to killing entire families of Death Eaters, even though they'd done nothing wrong. It wasn't their fault that they'd been born into that life. But, was that life the life that Hermione wanted? She didn't know. All she knew was that she didn't want the life she had right now. Pulling out a piece of parchment from her began, she began a letter,
I'm taking a vacation from all of this. I will probably visit my parents, and travel a bit. Sorry if this is inconvenient, since no one else wants to research, but I just really need some time away. I'll be back soon.
Grabbing the note, she headed for her bedroom. Ginny was nowhere to be seen, thankfully. Undoubtedly in Harry's room, Hermione thought, as she levitated everything she owned into her trunk. Once she was sure she hadn't forgotten anything, she put the note on her bed, and Apparated to the Leaky Cauldron.
She was given a room immediately and as soon as she found her Gringotts key, she headed to the bank. If she wanted to learn more about the Dark Arts, she'd have to have money for Knockturn Alley.
She had only heard about Knockturn Alley from what Harry had told her about his one accidental visit, and he hadn't described it well at all. The place was simply amazing to Hermione; everything was so dark and enchanting. But the first store that caught her eye was the bookshop. Perfect.
The bookshop was filled with nothing but books on the Dark Arts. It became a haven for Hermione, who visited the shop every day. Since she didn't have enough to buy every book, she made a deal with the owner. He would allow her to read a certain number of books for that day, as long as she'd buy at least one book by day's end. So that is what she would do. After reading hours a day, she'd find the book that she considered to be the best, the most informative, or just the most intriguing, and she'd buy it.
After a few weeks there, she had read the best books in her life. She reread every book she'd bought, but that still wasn't enough. She read more and more, until she was halfway done with everything in the shop. The storeowner was shocked and impressed by her dedication to learning all she could about the Dark Arts; he told her that if she worked in the bookshop while he went on an urgent trip, she could read all she wanted. Marcus, the owner, was very secretive about where he had to go, but Hermione didn't dare as questions for she didn't want to miss out on this opportunity.
So in the days of Marcus's absence, she would read unless a customer came in, in which case she would help them look for any book they were searching for, then once they had paid she would go back to reading. Reading these books was helping her so much, giving her insight that she had never before imagined. She discovered that practicing the Dark Arts shouldn't be illegal, because they were remarkable gifts. If someone was skillful in the Dark Arts, they should be being worshipped, for performing well in this art was harder than it appeared.
A week later, her paradise seemingly ended, because Marcus came back. Luckily, she'd had so much spare time in the shop, that she had completed every book. Marcus entered the shop in the evening, when Hermione was rereading a book about Dark Spells. But he had not entered alone. A pale man with long silvery blond hair and icy blue, almost gray, eyes entered with him. He looked her over, seemingly unimpressed, before pulling her up to her feet.
"Look at me, wench," he snarled, cupping her chin in his rough, calloused hand. Hermione blinked slowly and breathed in deeply, but looked the frightening man in the eyes, "you are being given an opportunity that most people would kill or imprison you for. You, Hermione Granger, a mudblood, best friend to our enemy, will come with me to my Manor, where you will be taught everything you need to know about the Dark Arts. If you live to see past your training, you might just be presented to the Dark Lord as an honorable servant.
"The road to being a servant of the Dark Lord will be tough. It was tough for me, but I am not a mudblood. Everyone will be rooting on you to fail—hell, I'll be rooting on you to fail. But Marcus has a very strange faith in you, as he stated when he came to talk to me.
"I will give you the rules now. If you don't want this chance to prove yourself, I'll give you a five second head start before I come after you—you won't live if you don't take this opportunity. Firstly, everyone is your superior. You will call the Dark Lord master or my Lord. Everyone else should be called sir or ma'am, or whatever name they have specified for you to call them. I mean anything—my son, in particular, has taken it upon himself to make the recruits call him ridiculous names, but the ones who disobeyed…"
He let the sentence trail off, and speak for itself, before he continued.
"Recruits are punished for their mistakes, but very rarely rewarded for their triumphs. If you make it past your training, you will be highly rewarded for your victories, but still punished by the Dark Lord for your disobedience or errors. You are to respect your teachers at all times. Imagine that you are back at school; you need all of that dedication plus ten times more. This is your real school, not Hogwarts. At the end of training, there is one task that is asked of you. You must do it—even if you do your entire training perfectly, if you do not complete your task, you are killed.
"Being a Death Eater is more important than anything else you could do in your life. You will never receive a mission that is not crucial to our success. But whatever that job may be, you must complete it. The Dark Lord does not accept failure. You are rewarded if you complete a different task well. You are rewarded if you save another member from screwing up their mission completely. But most importantly, you are greatly rewarded if you bring anyone from the Order to us that might lure in Harry Potter.
"In most certainty, you will be used as a spy. Because of this, you'll have to go back to the Order headquarters and act like you are still one of them. Again, that is, if you live through your training. Even if you hate them with every fiber of your being—and you better, you will have to go back. You have to get information from the meetings, and you will have to somehow convince them to let you into the higher-level meetings. I don't know how you will do that—seduce one of the men perhaps. If you hear about a raid that is about to take place, and you know that we have members in that location, you need to contact someone there immediately. But I am not jesting when I say, you need to make it not look suspicious. You will be most useful as a spy, and if you are discovered… The Dark Lord will not be pleased. He will not kill you, seeing as you have read almost every book on the Dark Arts ever written, and will still be helpful to our cause, but it would be beneficial to never be discovered as a spy. Take Severus, for instance—no suspected him until he had to kill that old fool Dumbledore, since my son couldn't complete his task, and I tell you, Draco was punished severely for that failure. Severus, of course, had to flee the school. But he is still a loyal Death Eater. We need someone at the same age of Potter to be in his ear, spying for us and hearing what the ones closest to Potter are saying.
"That's it for now. Do you have clothes? I suppose you have taken up a room in the Leaky Cauldron. Go get your belongings, I will meet you here in ten minutes—don't be late."
Hermione blinked, like she had been taken out of a trance. Even though the man had only been speaking for probably about five minutes, it felt like a million years.
"Yes, Mr. Malfoy, sir." She told him, before nodding and exiting the store. She wandered quickly but aimlessly down the path, deep in thought. If she was worried about keeping Mr. Malfoy waiting, she would have been running, but she had been living out of her trunk since she had arrived in London, and did not have much to repack. How lucky could I be? Hermione thought. She was about to go looking for the Death Eaters, but instead they came for her. She was obviously far more useful than the Order gave her credit for. That was the only thought circling her mind as she reached her room in the Leaky Cauldron.
She peeked inside her room, and as she expected, her trunk was almost completely packed. She threw in a few trinkets that were lying around and closed the lid. Quickly, she shrunk the trunk and placed it carefully in her pocket, before heading back downstairs.
Once she had reached the lobby, she threw money on the desk along with the key, and exited to head back to the bookstore. The entirety of the way there, she was daydreaming about what her life would be like as a Death Eater.
When she reached the darkened bookstore, she saw a figure waiting outside. He was in the shadows, but she could tell if was Mr. Malfoy.
"I'm here, sir," she whispered to him, but he didn't respond. He simply strode up to her and grabbed her arm in a vice-grip. In an instant, they were Apparating. Hermione was now used to the strange sensation one felt in Apparation, but it was an unusual feeling to not know where they were Apparating to.
But before she could blink an eye, they appeared in the entry hall of what Hermione could already tell to be an enormous house. The Malfoy Manor, Hermione thought, in awe as she looked around at the room. She noticed a painting of the Malfoy family, which she read had been painted by the most famous Wizarding painter of the age. There was so much to look at, but no time, since Lucius did not let go of her arm and quite literally dragged her through huge sitting rooms, studies, libraries ("wow, this is the biggest—" Hermione exclaimed, but was interrupted as Lucius dragged her out of the room), and a ballroom, before reaching their destination. A… broom closet.
"You will wait here until I find your adviser." Mr. Malfoy ordered, before shoving her into the tiny, dark room. Hermione was utterly confused.
"Very welcoming, this lot," Hermione muttered to herself, with a smile, still unbelieving at she was here. She shifted her position on the wooden flooring, pulling her hand to her chin and placing her elbow on what seemed to be a box. It wasn't…
"Damn!" She muttered, as her elbow went into a bucket of water. As she pulled her arm out abruptly, she rammed into the side and spilled the entire contents onto her faded jeans. What a first impression she was going to make on her adviser. Clumsily, she searched around for a rag or towel of some sort. She found none. Are you a witch or not? She asked herself, shaking her head and she went to her pocket to pull out her wand. The door swung open.
"Mudblood," asked a male voice from the door. Hermione squinted into the brightness, until she made out a tall figure. It was Malfoy. I guess it's not such a bad first impression after all, she thought, glumly. "Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Man, am I going to have fun with this. Get out here; you look like a complete disaster."
Surprised to see him offer her a hand, she grabbed it and he pulled her to her feet. As she stepped out of the closet, an excruciating pain filled her body. She felt as if a million needles were piercing through her skin, a thousand daggers were stabbing her, a swarm of sharks were attacking her—but not just one of those, all of them. At once. She let out a scream, as her body fell to the floor in a heap. She was shaking by the time Malfoy lifted the spell, her heart beating twenty times faster than usual. She was sure that she was sweating like a pig. Although she didn't want to stand, she didn't even want to move, she knew she had to. It probably wasn't accepted to just be weak and stay on the floor. So, she wobbled to her feet, hobbled over to the wall, and promptly collapsed against it.
"Bloody hell, Granger, have you had no experience with the Cruciatus Curse?" He asked her, almost sounding worried. Still spasming from the aftershocks of the spell, she glanced at him,
"Of course I have." She snapped, spitting out blood from her mouth where she had bit down on her tongue.
"You haven't. Why is that, mudblood?"
"Because—because," she started, "they don't let me go on missions. I just—research. And research, and research and—" the sudden anger gave Hermione her strength back. She pushed herself off the wall and began pacing, "I can do more than research, and they know it—they know it! They've got bloody Ronald as Harry's second in command. RONALD! As if he can do anything right—he can barely use the Cruciatus. He's the same age as you. That," she pointed at Malfoy, "bloody hurt—pain beyond pain, like it's supposed to. Ronald can barely make a rat shudder with his Cruciatus. He tried it on me once when I made him really angry. I laughed. LAUGHED! Because it was so bloody funny. It felt like I got stung by a bee—a BEE!"
"Granger, are you okay? You sound mental."
"I'm fine," she spat.
Malfoy was quiet for a moment, considering something.
"I'm surprised to hear you say Weasel put the Cruciatus on you." He told her, giving her a look, "He's supposed to be your best mate—surprised you're not married by now with at least two little poor redheaded babies."
"Would I be here now if we were still friends?" Hermione asked, seriously, "Things at the Order were not good for me, Malfoy, let's just leave it at that."
"Right," he said, changing the subject, "My father has determined that I'm to be your adviser—so I'm in charge of you for the duration of your training. You will call me," he paused, and Hermione remembered Mr. Malfoy talking about the stupid names Malfoy Junior had recruits call him, "my superior sexy beast at all times. Now, why do you have water all over you?"
"Because of that stupid bucket," Hermione told him, pointing at the spilled bucket. He looked pointedly at her, "my superior sexy beast." She added quickly, looking anywhere but at his face.
But even she couldn't deny that Draco Malfoy was a 'sexy beast,' however much she despised the term. His silvery blond hair still looked as it did in school, at least from the point where he had stopped abusing the hair gel. His gray eyes were still were emotionless, unless they were sparkling with amusement upon tormenting her. She could see the definition of his chest and abs through his black t-shirt, and he looked good. She didn't care; he was still the annoying prat he was and always would be.
"Well, we don't have time for you to change. There's too much to do—this is the perfect time for you to run the obstacle course. Recruits do this a lot. First time will be the hardest; you either finish or you die. There is no giving up. Follow me." Draco Malfoy told her, as she began walking down the hallway. Hermione followed, taking in the artwork and the artifacts around her. They did not have to walk long, until the reached a door that was all black.
"There's the deal—I'll be in the room above you, the ground in it is unbreakable glass. So I'll be able to watch everything you do, you will not be able to hide a mistake from me. I also am skilled Legilimens and will be able to hear everything you are thinking. I'll know what you fear. The first time, there is no time limit. Now go, but stand right where you enter until I give you the signal that I'm ready for you to begin."
He opened the door and Hermione stepped into the pitch-black room. The door was shut behind her and she heard the click that signaled that the door had been locked behind her. Well, no turning back now. She tried to get adjusted to the darkness, but found she couldn't. Ha, I bet the darkness is charmed so people can't get adjusted to it. Hermione thought, quickly coming up with the counter-charm. Now that I think about it, I bet saying Lumos will probably send whatever is hiding here at me. I wonder how many others have thought of it being artificial darkness, she thought, as she waited for the signal. He could have told me what the signal was. What if I missed it? Her thoughts were interrupted by another voice in her head. Sorry for the delay, just going through your thoughts. I find it fascinating that you sleep naked. Her face flashed red with embarrassment, and she was glad for the darkness to be hiding it. You had no right to go through my private…er…thoughts. Can I start now? She could almost feel him smirking. Go right ahead, but I wouldn't do what you were planning. Not smart at all. Narrowing her eyes, she thought, why should I believe anything you say? Well, I have done it before, he replied. You're tricking me, and I know it. I'm not an idiot. There was a pause, like he disappeared from her mind, could have fooled me.
But Hermione wasn't going to listen to his mind games. Quickly and silently she muttered the counter-curse. In one smooth, fluid movement all the darkness from the room had vanished. Hermione could now see that she was in a narrow hallway; there was absolutely nothing around, but she was sure there would be soon. With her wand out, Hermione began to move cautiously forward. The empty hallway was eerily quiet. She actually would have liked it better if something jumped out at her, because then she wouldn't be wondering why nothing was happening.
"Whoa!" Hermione screeched, as she was thrown onto the ground. The world spun around her for a moment, and her eyes got blurry. "Ow!" she kicked at the creature trying to attack her. She now saw it was a Nundu, an animal that resembled a giant leopard. It was dangerous since it moved so silently and its breath caused diseases. Hermione held her breath. A sharp pain went through her leg, and she felt a warm liquid on her leg. The Nundu had cut through her jeans and pierced her skin.
"Conjunctivitis!" she muttered, pointing her wand at the creature. It shrieked and wobbled, its eyes now crusted together. With her breath still being held, Hermione got up and limped past the creature and along the path. The blood from her leg was dripping on the floor, but she couldn't stop to heal it. She had only walked probably half a minute when she saw what looked like a black cloak that was probably about half an inch thick. A Lethifold, Hermione thought. She tried to remember what she had read about it. A Lethifold...a Lethifold is a carnivorous creature that glides along the ground in search of prey to suffocate and digest. The only known spell capable of repelling a Lethifold is the Patronus Charm. With its cloak like appearance and susceptibility to the Patronus Charm, a Lethifold is similar to the Dementor, and possibly some distant relative to the species."
"Expecto Patronum!" Once Hermione's Patronus had scared off the Lethifold, Hermione went on. She figured she was doing pretty will. The next creature that crossed her path was an Ashwinder, a pale-grey serpent with glowing red eyes. A blazing fire roared behind it. Quickly, Hermione went forward and hit the creature with a Stupefy. Since she was right next to the fire, she easily doused it with the Extinguishing Spell.
The entire obstacle course took Hermione three hours and fifteen minutes to complete. She was just about to pull open the door to exit when she was hit with the same intense pain of the Cruciatus curse. She bit her lip so hard that she tasted the irony taste of blood in her mouth. Her feet became weak, but she stayed standing, grabbing onto the doorknob for support. She blinked in surprise, because she was now standing next to Malfoy. The doorknob had been a portkey.
"Malfoy," she gasped, "can you not accept that I completed the course well?"
"No that's not it," he said, looking very amused, "you were the slowest person that has ever done the course, including Crabbe and Goyle, and with the most injuries no less."
"What? That can't be—I did it in three hours. That has to be faster than—"
"No," Malfoy said, shaking his head, "you were the slowest. You know all the spells to get past the creatures, but you're too technical. You have no instincts—you have to repeat a paragraph from a textbook in your head to get the information—don't try to deny it," he replied, as she opened her mouth, "I can hear your thoughts, remember? It's fine, it doesn't really matter right now. Next time, you'll have a time limit of two hours, and then one hour. Once you've mastered the one-hour, you'll have a break from the obstacle course. But at the end of your training, you'll have to do it again in less than an hour." Hermione nodded,
"Sure. So what's next?"
"Wait, I'm not sure who you're addressing. Was it me?" Draco asked, amused.
"My superior sexy beast. Are you really going to insist on me calling you this for all of training?"
"Count on it," Draco said, "Now follow me. You look like you need something to eat."
"I do," she said, gratefully and followed him down the hall. She was limping, and didn't know if she should heal herself or not. Maybe they wanted her to embrace the pain, as a show of strength. Or maybe they wanted her to heal it right away.
"Just leave it be." Draco told her, he must have once again been reading her thoughts.
"I really would just love it if you would stop doing that!" She snapped, as they walked into the dining room.
"You were wondering and worrying like crazy," he whispered to her, before walking toward his father and gesturing for her to follow him.
There was a long wooden table with probably about thirty chairs around it. Five of these chairs were currently occupied. In one of them sat Lucius Malfoy, in black robes with a cool expression on his face. Narcissa Malfoy sat next to him in a black skirt and a white blouse. Her expression matched her husband's. She saw Bellatrix Lestrange, who Hermione remembered from her fifth year. She looked a little better, the time out of Azkaban had done her good. She wasn't as pale and her face as sunken. She actually looked quite pretty, in an intense kind of way. Bellatrix was talking jubilantly with a man who Hermione remembered as Avery. The last person was, surprisingly, Professor Snape. He looked the same as he had at Hogwarts; his life on the run hadn't affected him too much. His hair was longer, and he was paler, but overall he looked basically the same.
"So, she did the obstacle course?" Lucius asked Draco in a muted voice.
"Slowly, but yes. Surprisingly, she knew the darkness was false—she knew that it was simultas obscurum," Draco said quietly.
Lucius turned to look at Hermione. "You knew it was simultas obscurum? Yet the course took you the longest, and you have more injuries than anyone has ever gotten? Why is that, Miss Granger?"
"Well, sir, when I was in the Order, they didn't let me go on any missions. All I was allowed to do was research, so I never got any real life experience in the field."
"And you can do the counter-curse on the first try?"
"Yes, sir, I've always been able to read about spells and then am able to do them easily."
"And yet you scream and almost faint at my son's Cruciatus Curse? You are weak," he spat at her, "and you will need to get stronger if you want to pass as a servant of the Dark Lord. Now get something to eat quickly and get out of my face as soon as possible."
Hermione was shocked at his words. She was the only one who knew it was simultas obscurum and yet she gets yelled at for feeling pain during the Cruciatus? But what could she do? So she backed off, and took a seat at the far end of the table. She took a roll and some pasta and began to eat as speedily as she could. She felt the looks from around the table, and knew what they were thinking. I'll show all of you.
After dinner, she waited for Malfoy outside of the door. There was a brief meeting after dinner, and recruits were not allowed into meetings. With a sigh, she inspected her wounds. Besides the scratch from the Nundu, she had minor burns from the fire with the Ashwinder, some abrasions and burns from the Acromantula, a few bites from the Erkling and a twisted ankle from running from a creature she couldn't quite figure out how to slow down and dodged every curse she threw at it. Hermione heard laughter from inside, and put her ear to the door.
"Do you think she'll make it past week one?" Narcissa asked.
"No," Avery replied, sounding very, very amused, "if you can't face the Cruciatus, you can't—"
"But that was simply because of her lack of field experience, am I right?" Snape asked.
"Well, yes," Avery said.
"She might be able to make it past training. But I doubt she'll be able to do the task we ask of her." Lucius said.
"Do we already know what the task is?" Bellatrix wondered, eagerly.
"Not completely. It'll test to make sure she has no more good feelings for her precious Order."
Author's Note: Hi, it's August 1st, 2014 and I am finally getting around to seriously editing and rewriting this story. It was just such crappy writing since I wrote it when I was a lot younger. I will probably just rewrite a chapter a day and be done with it in a few weeks. I don't really know why I'm writing this, but I guess I felt like a disclaimer was in order if you go from a decently written chapter to a shitty one, it means I haven't updated it yet! Not that I'm shitty..don't let that stop you from reading. Form your own opinions and read on!