Double Time Trouble
Hermione Jane could not have been more surprised to see the elderly Malfoy house elf pop into place beside her, except by what it immediately did and said.
"Head of House is dead, long live the new Head," it said, bowing to her.
She nearly choked on her waffle.
Glancing over to Hermione Ann, she was no help, too busy being amused with a 'now you know how I feel when you girls do it to me' grin on her face.
Coughing to resume her ability to breathe, Hermione Jane managed to swallow before letting loose the undignified squeak, "WHAT?"
"You is new Head of House Malfoy," the elf repeated, still not rising from its bow.
"But..." she glanced at Ann, momentarily at a loss. "Why me? How?" she sputtered back to the elderly elf whose gaze was still respectfully locked on the floor. "Girls can't become Heads of House, can they?"
"All boyses be dead," the elf expounded, "Or you be right, no girlses even considered. It next go to matron, only she not capable. She no respond, nor could elfses rouse her. So next it be going to yous, who being eldest. Long Live the Head!" it repeated.
Jane gazed helplessly towards her sister, who was too busy laughing to be any help.
Hermione Jane was now in her ninth hour of being Head of House GRANGER!
That had been the first thing she'd changed. The second had been the house seal, and third had been the motto.
She'd agreed with Tina, the Malfoy line needed to end! And, since physically it had already done so, now all that was left to do was wipe it out spiritually, erasing its legacy. And since the wealth, the gold and properties and so on, would still exist no matter who owned them, she felt justified in transferring everything to herself.
It was all very complicated and technical, but House Malfoy had just died, and left in its place, holding all properties, power and principals, House Granger. And boy hadn't THAT been a headache!
She was quickly settling into it, though.
Documents had been left behind detailing all the house businesses, property and interests. House elves had dutifully made copies of all of the papers involved in the Malfoy family's legal activities for the house archives, and had sent new copies of those up from storage for her to read, while the records of illegal dealings, journals of blackmail and the like, had been safeguarded and warded against theft and fire and any number of curses.
Lucius had not been the only head of house to be attacked in his study, or to perish in flames. And for the house to thrive, the new controller had to know things, so provisions had been in place over generations. Detailed journals had been kept of just about everything, which she was currently devouring, just like the voracious bookworm she was.
Where else was she to find details on the things she had to change?
The little elf hadn't lied, though, when he'd said no girl would even have been considered for the Head post if any boy had been alive. Even if there had been a close male relative of another family line, she'd never have been promoted to this task.
But, thankfully for her at least, the dearth of males as a direct result of the mass Death Eater die-offs of last night had left a clear opening for her.
Hundreds of male purebloods had died, and what males survived, generally younger sons and other non-inheriting relatives, were needed by their own houses. Contrary to most people's expectations, joining two houses under one head generally destroyed the lesser of the two, ending that line, and so was avoided whenever possible - even if that meant putting a girl in control!
Hermione had then, of course, done exactly what those protocols had been intended to avoid, and put an end to the House Malfoy. Okay, all it truly amounted to was a legal name change, and the switching about of most policies, but the spirit of what had been intended was the same.
Proper magical adoptions had been performed, using Hermione's natural parents, her hair was now back to brown, and that was that. None of the members of The Great And Noble House of Granger bore any Malfoy blood, so the old line was as good as gone. The only thing left of the Malfoys were some memories, and not even terribly many of them, as their close friends and associates had come down with a nasty case of dead last night.
However, in the act of cleaning up her own house, Hermione was startled yet again when she uncovered the major influence file, and discovered just how many families were under obligation to the Malfoys.
Or, rather, Grangers.
She was still going over that information hours later, absently eating sandwiches the house elves had brought up, only to be quite surprised to see a Ministry owl fly in. And when she had detached and read the note, discovered the last thing she'd ever expected to receive in her life: a summons to appear at the next Wizengamot session as a voting member.
Great. It was set for early in the morning, too, and Hermione Jane had already worked more than a sixteen hour day just setting her new family straight. And, if some of the secret Malfoy 'political strategy' pages could be believed (and why not? They'd been the most politically influential house save for Dumbledore alone, for years), she had a long night of work ahead of her just getting ready for the event.
Because when she first walked through those Wizengamot doors, certain details would be recorded about both her and her family that would set the standard of her influence there forevermore. And if she failed to make a VERY significant showing, then with the lack of Lucius and other major players, now deceased, that would set the stage for Dumbledore to rule uncontested for the foreseeable future.
NOT something she was willing to just let happen!
Rather than see everyone she cared for tortured to death 'For The Greater Good' Hermione sighed, then set about her new workload with a determined air. It would be a long night, and she sent the elves for some Pepper-Up potion. Letters immediately got sent off via owls to various magical families under obligation to her that were vulnerable to this, demanding meetings tonight. Lucius had not had so much influence due to bribery alone. He, like every other major player, had a number of votes in his pocket. Now she could afford to take over many of those to use for her own purposes, although surprisingly not all.
The mass deaths last night had released a good number of votes Lucius held, as the very people he held under coercion no longer existed in mortal form. However, just as many, if not more, families had become vulnerable to her, seeing those mass deaths had removed all of the male heirs to those lines, leaving them unable to defend themselves against other, lesser, bits of influence they could otherwise have ignored.
She might have had more sympathy for them, save for the facts that these people had all been active Death Eater families, or else they wouldn't have been part of last night's die-off, and it was their dealings with Lucius in the first place that left them vulnerable to his games.
Those letters sent, she was off to St. Trinians to collect on those Life Debts owed to her. It was now two-thirds of the school, and binding those people as retainers, forcing magical adoptions upon them, and registering them as 'wands subject to the Head of House's control' would set her up in a position nobody else had enjoyed in centuries, as being in control of a small army always carried political weight, no matter what your environment.
Of course, none of those girls could actually *use* wands, or at least not yet, but some early experiments with the babies she'd removed from St. Trinians proved that magical adoptions to the right parents (and hers qualified) did give a functioning magical core, and that was all the census takers would care for.
And better still, the adoptions made it legal, unlike Dumbledore's Order or Voldy's Death Eaters, as they would simply be members of a family that she was head of.
Among the Malfoy papers left behind to train a new head of house in event the last one had perished without passing on those skills, was a very old book that referenced what the author called the four cornerstones of power. One of those was wealth, along with the ability to produce it. Another was military might, and while she had the first, shortly after this trip to St. Trinians she'd at least be able to give the impression of the second.
The author had listed support of the clergy as third, and she could tell that section of the old manual had not been read very often, probably not for generations. But on giving it a short skim to familiarize herself with the general concept, had discovered what the man had meant by this being important was in their use as foils to control one's reputation and public opinion. So she'd just mentally crossed out 'clergy', put in 'media' instead, and put it back on the table as a viable route to establishing or maintaining power.
Lastly had been the holding of important titles, and while the man had meant and talked about noble courts and obtaining the ear and confidence of the monarch, she could see the exact same thing applying equally to the Ministry and Minister today.
The rest of that book was about strategies, using any one of those forms of power to make inroads to acquire the others. But as she left to go collect those owing her life debts from out of St. Trinians, it struck her that while the Malfoys had possessed oodles of the first, and had been making serious inroads into the fourth, she was adding to that the second. However, the undisputed master of the third form of power in their world was Dumbledore.
She'd have to see if she could do something more about correcting that.
The halls of St. Trinians were as stable and quiet as they'd ever been, which meant that just about everyone had passed out due to the after-battle party, naturally.
But still, that made it easy to collect everyone she needed, using charms to track them and levitating their comatose bodies onto cots she'd transfigured, that were in turn stacked like cord wood on a carpet that she'd enchant as a portkey. Straps would hold the girls in, and the cots themselves would be bolted down.
Doing portkey travel to this many stoned or drunken girls ought to put the Vomit Comet to shame, of course. But that was a price she was willing to pay for fast and easy transport of so many dangerous and rebellious people.
The rebellious part wouldn't last much longer after she'd bound them with magic. But every one of those girls would have died without her intervention, so she, and magic, considered that a fair exchange.
Hermione would even do what she could to ensure these girls got a better life out of the bargain, as these *were* friends, after a fashion, and she didn't want to turn into a copy of Dumbledore, where the lives of those who assisted her became meaningless, a cost to doing business.
No, they might not like shaping up at first, but does anyone like boot camp? Nobody ever said it was pleasant, but it did shape good soldiers, and that was what she needed right now.
As Hermione departed, mind already filled with plans for a mass adoption ritual, planning to just transfigure the carpet they all laid on into the necessary pattern for the ritual circle, and then following that up with the poison neutralizers so they'd become immune to the vast amount of drugs they regularly got stoned on so they wouldn't any more be destroying those minds she was going to be relying on, the St. Trinians Headmistress secretly caught sight of her mass kidnapping and smiled, before vanishing off into her office to approve the hundred or so transfers of those waiting to join their rambunctious little death trap, now that they had room for them at last.
It looked like their little witch was going to get in some early practice after all, and decided not to spook her victims into complicating the issue simply by incarcerating them beforehand.
A true St. Trinians girl! And, like all of her successful prodigies, it was a shame to see her go.
The Headmistress would have followed mandatory standard procedure and sent the girl's file to law enforcement, to keep a lifelong eye on her, but, as with all of the most successful of her students, the girl had apparently stolen her own school records before going away.
It warmed the cockles of her heart to see those lessons had taken root so deeply. Ones like that would always go far.
Next morning Hermione Jane arrived at the Ministry chambers bang on time - a mistake, of course. She'd forgotten how lazy and inconsistent wizards were. The actual meeting would not be starting for several hours. Although that did grant her time to establish her bonafides, giving the clerk receiving her papers coughing fits as his eyebrows went to his hairline over the long list of names she would be voting for - along with the much longer list of retainers.
A certified list of armed retainers that long, willing to fight in defense of the person presenting the list, had not been seen in many a century. But, as she pointed out, it was perfectly legal, as they were all family.
The Ministry clerk nearly choked on his spit in surprise when he learned she was right.
The chief topic under investigation for the meeting, of course, were the mass die offs of what was now the night before last. The Ministry had even intercepted one of the unopened packages, and managed to retrieve the contents without killing themselves.
Now they were trying to figure out what those odd shaped things were.
"Can you identify these?" a Ministry official pled, holding forth the muggle hand grenades to an eighteen-appearing Hermione as she entered the voting chamber. Apparently they had been asking everyone just on the slim hope of getting a lucky fluke of someone who had the oddball, fringe expertise to actually know what those objects were.
Fat chance of that in a chamber packed with pureblood lords.
Seeing the man so desperate to find somebody, anybody, who was enough of a magic creature genius to tell him they were an odd kind of metallic egg, or an herbologist to identify them as a magic fruit, or a master of obscure potions to tell him they were an odd form of potion bottle native to some other country they could then blame for all of this, she decided to play with him.
"Ah, yes. Muggles call them Love Pineapples, and send them to each other to show how much they care," Hermione told him with a straight face, then smiled disarmingly. "I can swear to that under veritaserum if you like."
She left the man looking even more confused and befuddled than before.
The Headmaster of Hogwarts paced in his private chambers and scowled.
That Wizengamot meeting had not gone well.
In retrospect, it was obvious why it shouldn't. Mass deaths among powerful and influential families was the fastest way to great upsets in politics. Old families vanished, their power blocks disintegrated, old familiar resources fell into new hands who had fresh ideas on how to use them, once-dependable alliances shifted or took on new forms, and among all of this the known quantities departed, to be replaced by fresh new faces, as once-obscure family lines got catapulted to the forefront of power politics. Quite a few eager innocents looked startled today to find themselves at the reigns of real power.
And some of those catapulted from obscurity into power, like the Granger family, now held quite a bit of it through accident or inheritance, and would surely need his direction as to how he required them to wield it before his carefully orchestrated game could once more resume its march towards progress.
A bother, but then what could one expect? New players to the game always brought with them new ideas, new headaches, until properly dealt with, tamed and brought to heel. Why did the young always feel they had to fix something?
Now he would be forced to ride herd on what was almost a brand new Wizengamot, so the ideas that he would have to stamp out would no doubt multiply and try to flourish, for a time. He had seen this once before, on a lesser scale, back during the troubles with Grindelwald, when a surprising quantity of unexpected deaths among the old families had caused a scene of political chaos not unlike this one.
And that was the real reason he'd taken down his old friend.
These new players at politics could and would be indoctrinated. However, his opponents always got to some of them first. New power blocks would form. Old allies would become new enemies, and yet surely he'd find new friends among the heirs to old opponents. All of that was as anticipated. He'd lived through it once before. But, if the old man was honest with himself, what truly annoyed him was how the political landscape of Magical Britain, once as familiar to him as Hogwarts' welcoming halls, and as dependable and predictable as an old pair of socks, was now strange to him. It had become a wild, untamed territory, and what he begrudged most was the effort it was going to take to subdue it to his will once more.
At any other time he might have welcomed a challenge, but it would take a great investment of time when he was already quite busy. Worse, they were already dealing with a crisis to the future of all purebloods where he required all of his influence to bring about the desired end mandated by The Greater Good.
Dumbledore looked chagrined as reports came back from the auror forces investigating the deaths of hundreds of purebloods, almost universally reporting that hundreds and hundreds of muggleborns, halfbloods and muggles had been kept as slaves in those residences.
That was going to serious complicate his efforts to get the surviving purebloods pardoned!
It was all very well and good for the upper ranks of society to get a little rambunctious from time to time. It kept the blood flowing and reminded everyone of who was on top. But to leave witnesses?
It was one thing to get the purebloods off when all that was left behind were dead bodies or those driven insane so they could not testify. A simple imperious excuse worked fine in those cases. But when there were survivors who could testify, and explain who saw what and who cast what would severely complicate the issue.
There were, for example, a wide number of spells requiring an emotional content before they could be cast. The Unforgivables numbered among those, but most of the best dark curses did as well, and any witch or wizard with the least brain understood that while the imperious could control actions, it could not produce the emotions necessary to cast those spells. So, ipso facto, if witches and wizards were caught casting those spells, they could not have been under the imperious curse.
No, with living witnesses to report who cast what, where and why, getting what purebloods remained forgiven of their childish little antics was going to be vastly more complicated - in a fresh and chaotic Wizengamot that had already slipped from control!
Dumbledore groaned. If only he still had a decent slush fund for bribes! But while he had wealth, his income had dropped down to the pittance he actually earned, which was as nothing compared to those donations that had once generously supported him.
His new batch of servants were not nearly so gifted with political influence and wealth; which was why none of them had been among his original followers. They were his second string only because they'd been plainly inferior, not deserving of inclusion back when he'd still controlled the first batch.
And that inability of his new followers limited his options.
No, until he had an income on par with a small nation again, he could not control politics with a bag full of coins, as he once had. Nor would his arguments carry themselves on nothing but the weight of his reputation anymore, either, as dozens of his former supporters held votes on the Wizengamot - votes they'd once used at his request, but now were turned wholly and implacably against him, tearing out the core of what had once been his voting block.
And worse yet, those desertions had caused other heads, the fresh and young new faces among them, to wonder why Dumbledore's most loyal followers now couldn't stand to look at him. Stories were getting told, and worse, they were the truth! How was he to handle that scene of political crisis and save the pureblood lords from their crimes at the same time?
But then, no sooner had he asked himself the question than Albus had his answer, and he smiled.
It was so obvious! Why hadn't he done this before?
"Yes, my lord?" the potions master knelt with his face towards the ground.
The oily voice of Voldemort was smooth, but the furthest thing from reassuring. "It has come to my attention that there are several spies within my ranks, reporting on my movements to our enemies. Do you have anything to add about that?"
"My lord.." Snape began.
But Voldemort went on as though not having heard him. "Hundreds of purebloods died last night, Severus. The majority of our forces, in fact. Now, who, I wonder, had access to our ranks, was a legilimancer who could have learned their identities, and had regular contact that he might have passed that information along to our enemies?"
Snape spent a moment in paralyzed silence, frozen by his own fear.
"Ah." Voldemort sighed. "As I suspected. It's so hard to assassinate someone when you have not been introduced socially. Anyone can attack anyone else, but only a friend or ally can betray you. After all, 'It is necessary to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back.' Why did you betray me, Severus?"
As he opened his mouth, desperate to answer, Snape's excuse choked off into a scream.
What followed in the next half hour made it the most painful of Snape's life. Voldemort was an expert. There were purely mental tortures in there, as well as physical, and mixtures of them both as he was simultaneously broken in every aspect. This wasn't just an execution, it was a lesson on why no Death Eater should fear their enemies more than they feared their lord himself, and hardened men soiled themselves at the display.
Snape's mind broke not long into this, but he was simply Obliviated each time to start the game of breaking him anew. He was well into his third bought of torment induced insanity when the incongruous sound of applause caught the attention of everyone in the chamber.
Eyes went to the source, and there stood Dumbledore, his robes as brilliant an eyesore as usual, a merry expression on his face as he applauded the Dark Lord's torture technique. "Oh, Bravo! Bravo, Tom! I never should have thought of using a badger so ironically. It brings tears to the eyes for mirth, that Severus should have tortured the badger house at Hogwarts for so long, only to receive worse at the hands of their emblem. Bravo!"
Sixty wands, representing every Death Eater missed by last night's attack, now pointed toward the old man, who paid it all no heed as he calmly walked forwards toward the throne, stepping over the bleeding potions master as he did so, as if his 'dear friend' was nothing more than an unpleasant stain on the floor. "Oh, Tom. I can't even tell you how proud you make an old man. But enough of the pleasantries. I'm afraid I find myself here on far more distressing business."
Voldemort would've cocked an eyebrow at the old man if he still had one, seeing as how Dumbledore was now surrounded by a veritable forest of Death Eater wands. Amusement clipped his tones, as he spoke. "You came to defeat me, here at the source of my power?"
Dumbledore's face and voice were genuinely genial as he waved that suggestion off. "Oh, no Tom. Never. You do far too important a work. Why, I am among your greatest supporters," he said, flooring half the room. "Why do you think I pretend to oppose you, then do everything in my power to hamstring your enemies from the inside? No, nothing is better than to have your enemy flail about incompetently, and I have been doing that for you all along, leading your enemies into your traps at every opportunity. No, you and I have no disagreements with each other, Tom. You do the work I would do myself if I were still a younger man. No, I'm afraid we have a more urgent problem. Almost none of the Death Eaters captured in these latest raids were without a company of slaves kept in their basements, and the testimonies of living victims is something I no longer have the power or influence to merely brush aside. Nor do I have have the money I once did for bribes. So I came here to call upon you for help to release them. I could allow you to rescue them, but then their good names would be ruined, and I no longer have access to where witnesses are being kept, having recently been cut off from most of my sources of information. So, if you wish those good pureblooded men and women rescued, it will have to be done the expensive way. I'll need roughly eighty thousand galleons apiece to grease the right palms to see these wonderful pureblood paragons set free."
Almost against his will, the Dark Lord's gaze tracked over to the replacement for Lucius, who was not half so competent, but the best he now had. The man responded with a bow, having already looked into the matter using Lucius' old network. "Unfortunately, my lord, my contacts have already estimated that they would require almost twice as much per person."
"Oh, there are still a few good people out there who recall their old headmaster fondly," Albus said with a genial smile, certain he was among friends and unafraid to show it.
Snape bled on the floor just inches behind his feet.
Voldemort still wasn't convinced. It had to be a trick. Leaning forward on his pale throne, he probed, signaling to a servant nearby, "You would betray your own side like this?"
For the first time this encounter, Dumbledore's face grew grave. "You mistake in that, Tom. Your purpose and mine are the same: domination of the world by purebloods, and magic rule of muggles. I merely led those fools who opposed you so I could ensure their deaths, as some had gifts and talents that could have endangered the cause. Now most of the very worst of them have escaped my command, and begun to fight you on their own, using the very genius and abilities I had always squashed before. That resulted in the slaughter of last night, and worse may yet follow, for they have only begun to tap their gifts. Now we must make sure of their destruction before they begin to gain momentum. No longer can I simply lead them like lambs to the slaughter. They must be hunted and destroyed before those blood traitors and halfbloods cause real damage to our pureblood society."
Dumbledore's harsh face faded, and his eyes brimmed with emotion. "Can I even tell you how many times I put down initiatives to remove our ancient, pureblood rights or, worse, to establish equal hiring measures for blood-filth at the Ministry? No, things are getting out of hand, Tom, and it is time we unite our forces, if not openly, then at least secretly, and combine to wipe out those who would change our society to benefit mudblood filth!"
Voldemort himself could not have poured more pure emotion into a recruitment speech. He smiled, bringing forth the tray of fist-sized rubies he'd signaled for earlier. "You intrigue me, old man. Here. This should be enough for the bribes you need. Let us see if you can be as true to our goals in deed as you have just been in word."
Albus was back to smiling as he accepted the golden tray of jewels. "I am gratified to be working together with great minds such as yours, Tom. I'll see our fellow purebloods free shortly. Then perhaps we can coordinate, my information with your followers, to wipe out the halfbreed filth once and for all."
Dumbledore spun about on one heel and, once more stepping over Snape without a downward glance or even a word, made his way back out of the throne room, leaving Voldemort to wonder if there was really any point to finishing off the spy after all.
He waved dismissively towards the still raggedly breathing body. "Get this out of my sight." He gave a cruel chuckle, "And fix it up. If his master dithers, it can be for round two of the same. If not, he could be a valuable liaison between us."
"So, how is the Hero of the Revolution and his lovely mother, Hmm?" James Potter came home ready to shower his beloved wife and their son with truly deserved affection.
But that night had other plans, and though nursing Harry, Lily's attention was wholly on other things. "James, look at the portrait!"
James spun around. Truly, ever since establishing the network of safehouses built in trunks hidden in muggle post office boxes that their beloved ally Athena had suggested, he had been feeling safer than ever. But the framed object hanging above their mantle was neither a portrait, neither was it a conventional window. Sirius and he had worked together to make a one-way version of the two-way mirrors they'd once used in school, and enchanted a shop window overlooking their house on Godric's Hollow, then hung the receiving end over their mantle here in the safehouse they were now living.
What that mirror showed now was a large force of Death Eaters gathering around their old home, including a great many that had recently been pardoned by Albus.
James and Lily watched in silence as the scene played out. First, his own simulacrum came to the front door, shot out a few spells and triggered a handful of old-style traps they'd left around the place. None of that did very much good, of course, and the dummy went down to the Death Eater's combined spell-fire almost immediately. Then the Lily simulacrum came to one of the upstairs windows, looking out with fear on her face and a baby in her arms before ducking back inside. The force of Death Eaters naturally followed, although an equal force stayed outside, making sure to surround the house and cut off all exits so she couldn't get away.
The couple watching didn't need to see anything obvious to know that anti-portkey and anti-apparation wards had already gone up over the small home. That was a standard tactic, and part of any organized assault by Death Eaters.
Then the four crates of muggle TNT in the basement went off.
James smirked as the picture disappeared. But he could imagine the destruction. A fuse lit by a magic candle that only lit when his simulacrum was destroyed had been the trigger for that trap, and only a few seconds worth of fuse had been used. Just enough, really, for a fast moving force of Death Eaters to storm the house and get within the jaws of that trap.
"The sad part about this," James whispered quietly, after they'd stared at the blank mirror for a while, "is that I don't even think they know what they are trying to achieve. The purebloods already control every aspect of the Ministry, our economy, the magical education system... there's no power left for them to gain. They already control every aspect of our society. So what are they trying to achieve?"
Lily shook her own head sadly, before transferring her attention to Harry. "It's Darwinism, pure and simple, honey. Eugenics, the philosophy of breeding people for good results, is central to evolution. If you don't practice the first, you don't really believe in the latter. And, if you ask any animal breeder they'll tell you to produce superior breeding stock, you've got to eliminate the weaker animals from the gene pool. So, racism and genocide are central to evolutionary beliefs. You can't logically separate them. Without 'Survival of the Fittest' there is no evolution. If you believe in evolution, for it to stop ends the whole point of existence. So they believe the strong *must* eliminate the weak, that their existence is an insult to life itself, and only by preventing those 'lesser creatures' from breeding and polluting their gene pool will the fate of their race improve. So really, they want exactly what Hitler and his Nazi's wanted, the total elimination of 'lesser species' of humanity. And, like every egocentric maniac, they believe themselves to be the perfect examples of the superior form of life that must survive."
James smirked. "Yet they find themselves being the ones eliminated."
Lily smirked also. "I think the real irony is these proud purebloods are such loyal adherents to a very muggle philosophy. If you believe in spirits or souls, and as kids at Hogwarts we interact with them daily, then the entire basis of evolution is ruined. You cannot believe in an immortal soul and evolution simultaneously. They are opposite beliefs. The philosophies that support the one utterly reject the other in both cases. Either our capacity for souls was created by the same Being who created us, or they cannot exist. There is no provision for how spirits come about by accident. Serious science won't even touch the subject. So that they are so drowned in their Darwinist ideals that 'lesser races' must be eliminated, when they know the primary principles behind that belief are false, is utter hypocrisy of the worst order."
"And that," James toasted her a glass, "is purebloods all over."
It is strange how the oddest chance comment can spark you to new work on something old again. In this case, it was someone asking the question of what Hermione Jane was going to do with the Malfoy Headship, now that both Lucius and Draco were gone, or if she was even going to get it. And, well, that kicked off ideas as I thought about the question myself.
All of the Malfoy males were dead. Narcissa was unavailable, having been petrified, with James and the Marauders killing off hundreds of Death Eaters last chapter there would be few if no cousins available to take over, and that left Hermione Jane the eldest.
And, it must be said, delivered quite a swift kick to Dumbledore's political anthill.