"Oh god we're doomed!" Ron squeaked, eyes locked on the werewolf that had him, Harry and Hermione cornered atop a cliff over the lake. Harry had a strange expression on his face, not so much scared as, unsure. He looked at the werewolf, then at the fifty foot drop to the churning grey waters below and back to the werewolf. Suddenly a determined look came over him, "do you trust me?" he asked closing his eyes, "in theory?" Hermione gulped, "then take my hands and close your eyes" he said, they did so and almost immediately felt a strong breeze swirling about them, then came a peculiar feeling, as though ice were flooding their veins, to be replaced seconds later by fire, until the wind died away and the fire cooled. "You can open your eyes now" Harry's voice stated calmly, his accent sounding strange. The others opened their eyes and took in their surroundings.
They were in a large room; the floor appeared to be black marble, highly polished so that it resembled the lake at night, in one corner was a raised platform upon which was a spectacular black grand piano. Turning to Harry their eyes widened in surprise to see him in a thigh length, dark green coat and matching shorts, a blue shirt, dark purple tie and knee high, gartered white socks and high heeled black and white pumps, an emerald and silver ring on his left thumb . However, when they had been on the cliff top, he had been in a white shirt and jeans with his usual white leather collar around his neck, in its place now sat a white medical bandage, held in place with what seemed to be a silver dress maker's pin. Moreover the entire outfit had a distinctly Victorian look to it.
"What?" he asked, noticing them staring, "nothing" Hermione mumbled, trying not to laugh, "Welcome home Young Master Emrys" a voice came from the door, "Grell!" Harry called as he threw himself on the feeble looking brunet. The man chuckled as he patted the small boy on the head, Harry pulled away smiling, "we weren't expecting you home, otherwise we would have put on the tea" the man; Grell, Harry had called him, said politely, at that moment he looked up and added, "it seems you are not unaccompanied however", Harry jumped as if he had forgotten they were there, "oh yes, Grell Sutcliff, I would like to introduce Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger" he said, "a pleasure," Grell bowed formally, "I see we shall be requiring Madame Hopkins' services once again" he added to Harry noticing the rather shabby pauper's clothes Ron and Hermione were clad in. "it seems we shall, might I ask you to warn- I mean alert the rest of the household?" Harry changed his words at light speed, "it shall be attended to Young Master Emrys" and with that Grell left as quickly and quietly as he had appeared.
"You must have some questions" Harry said turning to Ron and Hermione. "You bet we do" Hermione said angrily, she looked upset, "very well," he sighed, "follow me" and with that he turned and went out of the door. Following him, they were awestruck at their surroundings. The entryway was large with a wooden floor, the front door was made of dark wood and the lintel was barely an inch from the ceiling. Opposite this was a grand staircase which was carpeted in deep scarlet with gold carpet fasteners (A/N Carpet fasters are those metal rods that you see across the back of the steps that keep the carpet in place), the stairway split in two and on the wall between the two stairways was an elaborate gold frame housing a painting of two boys, one was instantly recognisable as Harry, the other was slightly older, with one blue eye, the other, presumably missing, was covered with an eye patch.
Harry led them up to the second floor and into a comfortable lounge, he sat in a dark green and silver arm chair and gestured them to sit down opposite, they took their seats nervously. "Let me guess, where are we? Is the first question on your minds" Harry smiled at them encouragingly, Hermione nodded, "well, I suppose the question isn't really where but when, because, as I am sure you have noticed everything seems distinctly 'old fashioned' as you would say," he smiled, "well, it is currently June the eighteenth, eighteen ninety, so as I am sure you have realised we have travelled back in time one hundred and five years exactly" Harry gave a slight laugh at the stunned expressions on their faces. "How?" Hermione squeaked, "Well, you know about my, unusual, ancestor?" he said choosing his words carefully, "you mean Hades, god of the underworld?" Ron said. "Yes, the descendants of gods have certain powers, mine is a strange ability to travel between my own timeline and that of my adoptive brother Ciel Phantomhive" Harry explained. "Is that the boy with the eye patch from the painting downstairs?" Hermione asked. "It is indeed" they turned to see the boy from the painting leaning on a cane by the door, "Ciel" Harry said rushing to hug the older boy, who smiled and placed a gentle kiss on his little brother's scruffy black hair, "I saw Grell downstairs, he told me you were home, I am surprised you are back so soon" Ciel said raising his visible eyebrow questioningly, "I did not have much choice, we were cornered by a werewolf on top of a cliff, it was a choice between an impromptu visit, falling to our deaths or getting eaten" Harry informed him, his mother's ring, usually on the silver chain around his neck, glittered on his left thumb as he scratched his cheek. Ciel nodded, "you must be Ron and Hermione" he smiled as he held out his left hand, a blue stone set silver ring sparkling on his own thumb, "nice to meet you" Hermione said shaking his hand. At that moment the door opened.
"Young Masters, forgive the intrusion but Madame Hopkins has just arrived and is waiting in the downstairs lounge" the man with black hair and dark red eyes said calmly, "thank you Sebastian" Ciel said, the man bowed and left. "That was one of the three butlers working here at Phantomhive Manor" Ciel said, "three butlers?" Ron asked, "yes, one for each master of the house, the house belongs to the Phantomhive family but the head of the Trancy family and his servants have lived here for some time, the Trancy servants and the Phantomhive servants work well together" Harry explained, "oh, so whose butler is whose?" Hermione enquired, "Sebastian is Ciel's, Grell, who you saw earlier is mine, and Claude, the other butler, belongs to Alois Trancy" Harry said. "We should not keep Madame Hopkins waiting" Ciel said, "quite right; a gentleman should never keep a lady waiting, no matter how irksome she may be" Harry said.
"Grell, ma chérie! Ça va?" the undoubtedly French woman was a force of nature, Hermione decided, as she swooped down on the brown haired butler and kissed him on each cheek. "Bonjour Madame Hopkins, et bien merci, et vous?" Grell trilled back in a very feminine voice, "bien merci" Madame Hopkins replied (A/N Madame Hopkins asks; how are you? To which Grell replies; Hello Madame Hopkins, and well thank you, and you? Then Madame Hopkins says; well thank you).
"well then, where are these poor petites that require my urgent attention?" Madame Hopkins asked looking around, "bonjour Madame Hopkins" Harry said with a polite bow to the woman, "Emrys you are to formal, call me Nina" she smiled, blue eyes sparkling as he came further into the room, "forgive me Madame," the raven tilted his head and blinked as he spoke, "then perhaps a compromise, shall I call you Madame Nina instead?" she giggled as he placed his lips to her white silk covered fingers. "Oui," Madame Hopkins, Nina, blushed, looking up she spotted the two teenagers. "Mon Deiu! It will take all of my expertise to turn these ducklings into swans, but I can do it" she said as she walked slowly around the two, "may I make a suggestion Madame Nina? Not your usual overly frilly feminine style for Hermione, she simply detests overly lacy clothing" Harry politely pointed out, "of course, she is, how you say? A polar opposite? Of mademoiselle Elizabeth, no?" Nina smiled understandingly, Harry nodded. After this she began taking measurements in another room, when she returned with Hermione she said that the clothing would be ready the following day and gave Hermione a sternly disapproving look as she left, "let me guess, she chastised you for not wearing a corset?" Harry asked, placing an arm around her shoulders, she nodded. "They're not that uncomfortable once you get used to them" Ciel said over his tea cup, Ron and Hermione gave him a startled look that caused Harry to laugh, "in our line of work, we often have to go under cover or in disguise, one previous case meant Ciel had to go to a party disguised as a girl" Harry explained, "line of work?," Hermione asked, "what do you do?", "why, we my dear, are the Queen's guard dogs" said a voice, "Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Alois Trancy" Harry introduced boredly, "oh, Emrys, do I bore you that much?" Alois caught Harry's cheek with his fingers and placed a swift kiss on his lips, harry swatted his hand away and turned his head. Hermione's heart was doing somersaults inside her chest, she had just witnessed a genuine, real-life yaoi moment, she let out a small squeak. Everyone's heads turned towards her, perhaps it wasn't as small as she'd thought. Harry and Ron laughed as she blushed, "Hermione has a thing for same gender couples" Harry explained, "only the boy ones" Hermione protested. "well we shall have to make sure to satisfy her appetite, shan't we boys" Alois said, sitting on Harry's lap and pulling Ciel onto his own. "Sebastian" Ciel growled menacingly, "Grell" Harry hissed, equally as threatening, "alright I'm moving" Alois said sliding deftly out from between the two brothers, Harry squeaked as Ciel's full weight fell on him, unsupported by Alois. Ciel jumped to his feet and was raising his hand to strike at the blond boy when he was stopped by Sebastian, "let Young Master Emrys have his moment" he said, "what do you-?" Alois began but was cut short by a deep, menacing hiss that echoed through the room like the snap of the hanged man's neck as the rope brings him sharply to a halt.
DUM DUM DUM!
What hideous best could be making that noise? Stay tuned for chapter two to find out!