I don't own any of the Harry Potter characters
Ok, so I've been reading rather a lot of Lucius/Hermione recently... and although this was going to be a one-shot, I haven't even touched the surface yet, so it will probably be about a five/six chapter fic. Let me know what you think!
In the heat of battle, there is nothing like looking into the eyes of someone you have loved for twenty two long years, only to find them burning with hatred and fear as they look back at you. Nothing in the world could have prepared him for this moment, and as he looked at her caramel eyes, fixated on his with such revulsion, he could practically feel the violent rise of bile in the back of his throat.
"What are you waiting for Lucius?" The cold piercing voice sent shivers down his spine and his wand shook uncontrollably in his hands as it sounded in his head. "Bring her to me. Let us make an example of the filthy Mudblood." He dared not look away from her, not wanting to see anything else, not wanting to weaken his minds defences by allowing the image of his tormentor to flood before his eyes.
"Come on father!" A voice sounded, and he knew it only too well. It was the voice that he had listened to for many years, one that he had tutored in the art of language. His voice was panicked, angry, and yet tinted with concern. "He'll kill us if you don't bring the fucking Mudblood to him! Just do what he says!"
Lucius Malfoy's head snapped round. The platinum coloured hair on the young man's head was identical in colour to that which draped around his own face, and there was no denying their relation were you to look at them. However, in that moment, hearing those words slip from the lips of his own son, he had never wanted anything more than to hit him, to throttle an apology out of the pathetic weed and make him understand...
"Go to him, Draco," he ground out, stepping forward and wrapping a hand around the young woman's wrist, pulling her roughly towards him. "Tell him that his orders will be carried out in due course. I shall be there as soon as I have dealt with her."
The boys grey eyes flashed, but he had long since learnt not to anger his father, and turned heel and ran up the hill, through the debris of scattered bodies, discarded masks and broken trees, towards the magnificent castle that had become a fortress for the damned.
Lucius looked down at the shaking girl held firmly against his chest, the mask of bitterness and angry resentment falling as he locked eyes on her. The hair was the same as it always had been, slightly unruly, golden brown curls cascading around her face. She had a cut on her left cheek, and her nose was bloodied. The wand she had carried for seven long years had been torn from her grasp and now resided in Draco's pocket, rendering her useless against the towering, horrifying figure of a man who had tormented her mercilessly from the moment they had met five years ago in Flourish and Blotts. He looked at her injuries, taking in the gentle trickle of blood that led to her neck, staining the collar of a slightly large shirt that was unbuttoned and untucked beneath a 1990 NYPD jumper. He looked at the tears on her slim fitting jeans, the graze beneath a rip at her left thigh, a slight stain of red just below the knee, and he pulled her against him harder, enveloping the girl who, after some seconds stood utterly still, now struggled, crying out against the enclosure of such forsaken arms. Her pleas echoed through the night, and he knew it was necessary, knew they had to think he was hurting her, but hot tears spilled down his cheeks as he held her struggling form against the fabric of his robes, lips close to her ear, breath on her skin as her sweet scent of vanilla wafted into his nostrils so familiarly, corroded slightly by the reek of fire smoke, and the tang of blood which he had long since become accustomed to. "You have to remember me." He whispered.
Her screams were louder, her body more restless than ever as she attempted to beat her fists against the chest to which she was so painfully clasped.
"Hermione," he said softly, voice choked, and though he wasn't sure she heard him, didn't know if she had blocked him out or even registered that he was speaking at all, he went on. "Remember me! I can't do this without you... light the darkness Hermione... you have to light it up!"
And at his words, a tree exploded nearby, illuminating the cold black night with sparks of fire. The force of the blast knocked the wind out of Lucius, but even as he gasped for air, he felt her struggling body go limp in his arms, and looked down to find her eyes closed and her breath shallow.
She was terrified as she opened her eyes, body shuddering at the thought of what he might be going to do, or what he might already have done. The silence scared her more than tortured screams, and the crumpled position of her body made her feel utterly abused.
With one long breath, she briefly opened her eyes, looking around her and letting out a small gasp of surprise. She was in Hogwarts, of that she was almost certain, and yet it was tidy untouched by the effects of war. She couldn't understand. It was the fourth floor corridor, and she had seen for herself earlier that evening that the suits of armour that had stood, as they were now, so sedate and ornamental, had come to life and joined their fight against Voldemort and his followers. She could have sworn too that the windows before her had fallen victim to a blast of light that had shaken half the school, blowing a hole in the wall, and yet, now there was no sign of damage whatsoever. Even more odd was the fact that sunshine leaked through the window, and though she knew she had passed out she could not imagine how so much time had passed, or how she could possibly have survived....
And suddenly, she realized that she must be dead, in heaven perhaps, and that at any moment all those wizards and witches who had lost their lives in the war would pour out of the doors to welcome her.... and yet they didn't. Standing up, she wondered if she was the only person in the world who had been sad enough to call Hogwarts her 'heaven'. She wondered if somehow, through all of her bookish ways and constant worrying about grades, she had overlooked the fact that actually, this was not heaven when without those she cared about... Maybe she could change it... maybe it was a test... Purgatory, perhaps? She gulped, and was just about to call out when she heard footsteps pounding down the nearby staircase.
She would have gasped, but she was too shocked to inhale any air whatsoever. A boy her own age was racing towards her, an ecstatic grin on his face as he sprinted down the few hundred metres corridor, short, platinum hair glinting slightly in the sunlight as he ran. She could have sworn she knew him, for there were so few people with that white a colour of hair, and yet the face was too sharp for it to be Draco Malfoy, and she had no time to concentrate fully, for he had nearly reached her, and was opening his mouth to yell "RUN!"
She wouldn't have done so – she didn't know him, there seemed nothing amiss, and she really didn't want to leave the abandoned safety of the corridor in the middle of a battle- but then a loud 'bang resonated through the corridor, following by flames flying down the stairs from the fifth floor banister. Laughing his delight as he looked back over his shoulder, the boy continued to run, and Hermione, deciding that perhaps running might work to her advantage, joined him, fast on his heels as he skidded around the corner, skipped the miniature staircase and darted into a hidden alcove. She stopped when he hid, unsure where to go, but a hand darted out, pulling her into the small, tight fight of the alcove, just as flames tore down the rest of the corridor, eye-wateringly hot, and then disappeared from view apparently leaving no harm whatsoever in its path. The boy against whom she found herself clutched was laughing weakly, chest rising and falling beneath her cheek, the softness of his laugh comforting to her as she clasped unwittingly onto his arms, fear clutching at her heart. It took several moments for the boy to stop chuckling, and he looked down at her with a quirked eyebrow, the shadow of the alcove too much to make out any defining features except the aristocratic jaw line.
"And then there were five!" He said softly, as though expecting her to wholly understand his meaning. Timidly, she asked, "five what?" Then wished she hadn't.
His darker eyebrows crinkled against the white alabaster of his skin, and he pulled her gently out of the alcove, looking up and down the corridor before releasing her. His head was turned briefly, but when he looked back at her, it was her turn to frown. He had the same facial contours as someone else, though she could not place who, for something seemed out of place and wrong.
"Do I know you?" She asked, though in hindsight she realised the perhaps she had made a mistake; asking someone's identity in the middle of a war was tantamount to saying "if you're the enemy come get me!"
He looked at her, eyes raking over her body and attire, and she couldn't help but feel that she was being scrutinized, and an involuntary shudder passed over her. "No," he said thoughtfully. "No I don't think so... I certainly don't know you by any means." With another frown he said, "Ninety-ninety? Aren't you a little... ahead of your time?"
She looked down in confusion as his eyes fell to her chest, then blinked. "Hardly... its ninety-ninety..."
"In fourteen years," he interrupted with a drawl of sarcasm. She blinked, certain that she had heard that same drawl somewhere else, but also completely and utterly shocked with the revelation now dawning on her.
Before she could make the connection as to who he was, he held a hand out. She looked at it. It was well crafted, in as much as a hand could be. It looked delicate and yet manly all at once, and the paleness of his skin contrasted with the black colour of his –now she thought about it- rather tight fitting sweater.
"You shake it," he supplied, with a hint of amusement. When she didn't move, but continued instead just to look at him, he sighed and moved forward, gripping her wrist gently with his left hand and lifting it so that it was level with his right. With a smirk at her blatant shock, he wrapped his fingers gently around her palm, then exaggeratedly lifted the hand up, lowering it, then repeating it once more. She looked at him blankly, apparently shocked, before he dropped the hand and looked at her with a grin etched on his thin, elegantly shaped lips. "Now that we've managed the simple task of handshaking – though I openly admit that we may have slightly passed that stage given I had to manhandle your body in order to succeed with it – my names Lucius."
Her heart stopped, her breathing rate increased, and she thought she was going to hyperventilate. With a gasp, she closed her eyes and counted to ten. It was impossible. There was no way this was happening. It was a bad dream; nightmare, really, given that her dreams would have a positive message, and there was no way that this could end well. She looked at him, sure that she was sweating, a cold sweat she couldn't control, making her body shake and shudder repeatedly.
He looked worried. "Are you alright?" He asked, his voice actually showing concern, which scared her even more.
"Fine... I'm fine... I've got to go. I've got to..." she looked around in horror, hoping for a hole to appear so that she could simply throw herself into it.
"You've got to what?" He asked, crossing his arms and leaning casually against the wall, arms crossed as his eyes looked her over once again.
The first thing he noticed was the fact her hair was full of dust, leaves and mud, making it look slightly grey in colour for some parts, whilst others shone caramel brown and looked tantalizing as her hair fell in slightly frizzy curls. Then there was the dried blood on her nose and cheek, as though she'd just run away from a fight in which, he assumed, the other girl had come off looking much less presentable. There were rips in the muggle clothing she wore, the jeans ripped at the thigh and knee, both slightly grazed. The jumper was rather loose but slim-fitting, the collar of a mans shirt poking out from the collar, stained slightly with blood, presumably from the trickle which ran down her neck. What had she been up to? He met her eyes and quirked an eyebrow. "Well? Any answer at all here, I'm simply dying to hear it."
His sarcastic drawl had no effect on her at all. She was too fixated on the horrifying truth that the man who had clasped her against him as she struggled for dear life, fully intent on taking her to a man who would kill her and all those whom she loved, was now stood before her as a late-teenage boy, looking overly casual, completely at ease, and as though he had nothing to hide.
And now she understood why she hadn't recognized him instantly; naturally, his hair was shorter and left some difficulty in distinguishing the difference, but there was also the fact that the grey eyes which were so cold and unfeeling in – she gulped at the thought- twenty-two years time were full of laughter, happiness and even a small amount of flirtation, which made all the difference to the set of his face. His lips were no longer drawn into the miserable straight line that made his genuinely attractive demeanour appear threatening and unnerving.
"You don't talk much, do you?" Lucius sighed, pushing himself off the wall and tapping his toe impatiently.
"You've what?" He asked teasingly, the grin on his face wide enough to show perfectly straight teeth that seemed to literally glitter. Hermione found herself actually catching her breath.
"I've got to go and see..." she searched for inspiration, anything at all, then let a manic grin spread on her face as a light bulb seemed to go off in her head, "DUMBLEDORE! I have to see Dumbledore!"
Lucius looked at her in bemusement, "Dumbledore's away on official business at the ministry. Has been for a week. Don't you live here? Have you not noticed how he's not been at meals?"
Hermione blinked, then opened her mouth inconclusively several times before saying again, "I haven't been here before..."
He looked her over again, then shrugged. "I didn't think I'd seen you before... you know, McGonagall's here... she might be able to help. But if I take you to her, you'll owe me big time, because I just had to lie to her in order to get out of a weeks detention cleaning gum off desks without magic."
Hermione couldn't help but smile at the familiarity of McGonagall's punishments, having endured many years listening to Ron and Harry making complaint after complaint, and occasionally having to join them.
"Do I take it that idea appeases to you? Or shall I continue to stand here and watch you grin to yourself like a banshee with premature dementia?"
Hermione blinked. "I... I think I'll be able to find my way by myself... thank you."
He laughed. "You've never been here before, remember?" He rolled his eyes as she looked speechless, then sighed. "Look, McGonagall's all over the place the last few weeks, she's in charge of everything, and right now the only place you'll find her is the last place you'd want to go alone, alright? So why don't you just come along like a good girl and try not to trip over your jaw at my devastating good looks?"
She felt familiar anger drawing up in her stomach at his utter arrogance, and reasoned that this man was really no different to the man in twenty-two years time, and though it should have terrified her, it was more comforting to know that she needn't feel guilty for not liking him. "Really, I think I'll manage alone," she said coldly, crossing her arms and turning on her heels to head up the stairs they had just leapt down, towards McGonagall's office.
She practically heard the smirk on his face as she stepped on the first step, and snapped back round to see him still standing patiently, arms crossed and toe tapping lightly, facing the place that she had just stood as though expecting her to rematerialize.
"You won't find her that way." He turned around and grinned at her. "And it really would be easier for all parties if you just allowed me to accompany you, saving us all from having to pick your body off the floor with a spachelor when you walk off the end of a staircase."
She was infuriated. Not because he was making her out to be a complete idiot, but because he was acting as though she should want to go with him, and as far as she was aware there was no reason for him to believe so, aside from the fact that she had been pressed rather questioningly against him, though she reasoned that that was as a result of his own foolish actions.
"Look, I don't need to be mollycoddled and lead around the castle like a two year old! I managed to find my way up here didn't I?" It was a rhetorical question, and she instantly hoped he took it as such, but instead he looked at her inquisitively.
"How did you manage that, by the way? Since you haven't yet seen McGonagall, and Dumbledore isn't here, how could you possibly have gotten into the grounds?" His eyes narrowed, and suddenly the Death Eater he was to become was ever so briefly recognizable. She shuddered in fear, closing her eyes and counting to five before opening them again. He hadn't looked away.
"I... I had... someone let me in."
He looked at her as though asking for more, but apparently he realised it was not going to further his knowledge and dropped the issue. "Either way," he said, slightly mistrusting in his tone, "I'd better take you to McGonagall, or someone's going to report you as an intruder and we'll all be in for a party." He approached her and offered a hand for her to take. She looked at it, looked at his face, then rudely pushed it away. He looked shocked, but didn't question it further, indicating that Hermione should go in front of him. She looked at him nervously, then decided that, at this moment in time, he could have no idea of who she was, and had no reason to harm her. She stepped forward, keeping a respectable distance between them and moving away whenever he edged slightly closer. He sighed at her elbow, then led her on the familiar path through the school, leading her as though he had lived there his whole life, so fast that she was barely able to take in her surroundings. She noted briefly a few differences from the building in her own time; certain paintings were not yet there, while others were completely unknown to her and she wished she had time to look at the plaques beneath them in order to see why they might have been removed in her own time. Oddly, there was nobody else in sight, and she wondered why that might have been, but there was little
She supposed it should not have surprised her that he lead her to the dungeons, though it took her a few moments to notice that she was not actually taking the corridor to the potions classrooms, but another corridor she had never before ventured down. He stopped abruptly at an iron door, so fast that she walked right into his shoulder, setting her recently clotted nose bleeding again so that she swore loudly, her voice echoing down the murky corridor. He sent a scathing look her way, which actually shocked her, given that he hadn't been overly cruel or scary in his recent addresses of her. "You have the tact of a blast-ended skrewt," he hissed. "Do you want everyone in the castle to know there's a complete stranger here? Have you any idea how much they'll panic when they realize you've managed to get in without any explanation?"
"I have an explanation; I just choose not to share it with you!" She hissed, surprised inwardly that she had the guts to stand up to the legendary dark figure of Lucius Malfoy, whether seventeen or not.
"Well then you're cutting off your bloodied nose to spite your equally bloody face, because nobody will believe that you are here for anything other than sabotage while you keep your cards so close to your chest." He knocked harshly on the iron door, and the loud thuds resonated through the room, sending chills down her spine. The door creaked open, and Hermione nearly squeaked at the sight of Minerva McGonagall, twenty-two years younger, prettier and less intimidating, and she breathed a sigh of relief as the shrill voice that had served seven years of teaching transfiguration fell on all too welcoming ears.
"Mister Malfoy, I told you explicitly not to disturb me unless you had adequate reason and unless..." her eyes fell on Hermione, face bloodied and clothes torn, and she instantly quieted, stepping out of the room quickly. "Explain yourself Mister Malfoy! I do not recall authorising a visitation!"
Lucius rolled his eyes arrogantly, "as if I'd have invited her Professor! I found her in the corridor and she wanted to see Dumbledore, and since he wasn't here, she asked for you. I was only being helpful which I believe is in my job description as Head Boy." The typical Malfoy sneer was plastered across his face as he spoke, but she found it surprising that it looked rather comical in this situation, since the moment McGonagall turned her eyes on him, he shied away from her. She snorted. Like father like son. He was acting like Draco's clone.
"You may leave, Mister Malfoy, thank you. Perhaps you will head to the kitchens and have them send up sandwiches and juice for our guest?" It was not a request, and he clearly knew not to take it as such, but the annoyance on his face was plainly evident as he turned on his heel and headed gracefully down the corridor.
"Perhaps we, Miss, should continue our conversation behind closed doors." She pointed graciously to the door and held it open for Hermione to enter. She bit her lip and then walked in, feeling the chill of the room as she did so. McGonagall indicated for her to take a seat in an uncomfortable looking wicker chair, which she did reluctantly, seating herself nervously.
"I apologise for the setting; my job is very scattered at the moment, and I haven't had the time to make all of my inhabited rooms as comfortable as I would have liked. Now please, explain your situation. This was clearly not a planned visit, judging by your attire?"
Hermione nodded, then looked at the floor. "I don't really know how I got here... I don't understand it all Professor."
"May I ask, how do you know Albus and I? I have no recollection of our meeting, and though my memory isn't what it once was, I have not yet reached the point of dementia. Please, continue." Her hand waved wearily, as though she was stressed, and Hermione felt guilty at the very thought of leaving her problems impressing on McGonagall's mind.
"I really don't know if I can tell you Professor, with no disrespect meant but I... I don't quite know what effect that might have on... the future." She brought a hand to her lips and chewed nervously on a fingernail, deliberately looking away from the woman seated across from her.
"You speak in riddles, my dear, and I haven't the energy to decipher it. Tell me your name, and perhaps we shall go from there." Looking up, Hermione saw that she had draped a hand across her forehead, and felt an upheaval of sympathy for the older woman.
"Hermione Granger," she said softly.
"And where do you come from?"
"Here," Hermione answered honestly, "only not from now... I'm... not at home."
McGonagall nodded tiredly. "And I suppose that the jumper you are wearing has something to do with that? I don't think I've seen anything of the sort, even in the muggle world, and I doubt it would have been emblazoned with a year fourteen years in the future without good reason." Her eyes seem to twinkle ever so slightly as she looked at her, and Hermione nodded glumly.
"I honestly can't explain it Professor; one minute I was..." she pondered, then decided not to tell her the whole truth; it could upset the course of everything in the wizarding world, and though it might work out in their favour, she had no idea who might be harmed in doing so, "busy. And then I fainted, and woke up to find Lucius Malfoy running down the corridor towards me and had no idea what happened." She heard the panic in her own voice, but couldn't control it, nor did she try.
McGonagall appeared lost for words, and she reached for parchment and quill after only a moment's hesitation. "I shall write to Albus immediately; time is not a matter with which I would consider myself well learned, and I think Albus may well be better educated to explain the situation to you... for now, you should rest Miss Granger; I shall see to it that you have a room prepared.
She felt utterly terrified when a knock sounded on her door; the room she was in was unfamiliar enough as it was, and she wasn't yet sure that she could face visitors. Nervously, vaguely thinking it might be Dumbledore, she rose and opened the door, cracking it open only slightly to see the blindingly white blonde hair of Lucius Malfoy. She nearly shut the door again, hoping he hadn't seen her, but he had, and his hand shot out to hold the door open, apparently anticipating her reaction.
"I came to apologize," he said, his voice quiet, as though afraid someone might walk past. She frowned at that; the first shock was of course that Malfoy's were not especially renowned for making apologies- the second was that as far as she was aware, he had done nothing worth apologizing for, given some of the atrocities he was destined to commit. "I was completely insensitive earlier; I had no right to pry into your private business... I'm sure you have... reasons, for not disclosing your story in its entirety... I just... wanted to make sure there were no hard feelings."
He looked humbled, and Hermione was intrigued by the whole plethora of differences between this Lucius and the one she knew he would grow to be, and she couldn't help asking, simply for assurance, "who are you?"
And he smiled at her, a slight chuckle rising in his throat. "I told you.. Lucius Malfoy..." she looked blank, and he grinned, eyes dancing, "ladies man; mans man; man about town..." he shrugged. "I'm surprised you haven't heard of me, I'm something of a legend, even if I do say so myself."
She smiled nervously, "thank you." She went to shut the door, but he held it open once more.
"Wait," he said, almost desperately. "You know my name.... won't you grant me yours?"
Nerves bubbling in her stomach, unsure whether this was a good idea of not, she whispered, "my names Hermione Granger." Nothing else. She simply left her name hanging in the air, her head turned to the side, eyes on the floor.
He nodded, though she didn't see it. "Thank you... goodnight Miss Granger."
Dumbledore returned the next day, and Hermione listened to him raptly, praying that he could help her, send her home, make everything better.
For once, Albus Wilfric Brian Dumbledore could do nothing. Since there was no determining factor which had sent her, there was no determining factor to send her back. As a matter of safety, he decided that she should attend the school as a student, and she found herself looking at a familiar tattered hat as she sat in the office, hands visibly shaking as Albus' blue eyes watched her sadly. She didn't look at him. Instead, she placed it on her head, listening to the familiar voice in her ear.
"You've changed." Was all it said primarily, and she felt her shock at that statement.
"You remember me?" She thought back, confused.
"I am not a mortal being, Miss Granger- I remember things from years in the future, things that nobody can comprehend," the mournful tone was not lost on her, and she felt intimately sorry for him.
"How have I changed?" She queried, confused.
"Grown up. Changed. Not negatively, either, if it pleases you."
"Why do I need to be re-sorted?" She asked, crinkling her brow as it spoke back to her.
"Because times change."
The reply was blunt, but she did not bother to ask for further information, since the hat seemed to be avoiding the subject. "Very well," she said. "But where should I go?"
"Perhaps, Miss Granger, it is a choice that you yourself should make... you know the year, the people with whom you will be staying... it is your choice."
Hermione thought. Her initial answer was obvious; Gryffindor was where she belonged, was it not? She had belonged there for seven years and she had been happy. But then, the truth dawned on her, and she felt a pit form in her stomach. She could not well spend the next spell of time in the company of James Potter, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew without harbouring a tremendous guilt in the knowledge that she had had the fortune to meet Harry's parents, whilst he had not.
"I can't be in Gryffindor." She thought sadly. "I couldn't live with myself."
So what then? Hufflepuff? She knew it was slightly wrong of her, but she couldn't imagine being within a house so widely disrespected throughout the rest of the school, especially when Ravenclaw housed so much wisdom and knowledge; surely that would be the best choice?
And yet... It seemed that there was an inept pull drawing her to the house of Slytherin, one she could not begin to fathom. She hated Slytherin and all that it stood for; she hated the segregation, the arrogance, the smarminess and the blatant disapproval of anything un-Slytherin. But then, there was the pull of the unknown, the slight fear and excitement that coursed through her at the knowledge she could discover things from a different end of the spectrum. Caught in the midst of a war in her own time, she wanted badly to find out what happened in the past that made so many young Slytherins become Death Eaters. Why did Snape turn? Why was Malfoy so very different in this time when he was so cruel and domineering in her own? Did they already know Voldemort, serve him from within the fortress of the Castle? She felt the side of her which had become so open, so prominent since meeting Harry and Ron, the side that yearned for adventure, sniffing at the air, wanting to know, needing that superior knowledge; maybe then, when she returned, she could find a way to end the war and save so many lives...
"Will Slytherin accept a Muggleborn?" She asked.
The hat seemed to chuckle in her ear. "What do you think?"
She smiled, "they aren't exactly on a need-to-know level, are they?"
This time, the hat really did seem to resonate laughter through her brain, making her head ache slightly as it did so. "You think as though you are one of them already Miss Granger. Good luck."