Chapter 57

Every morning students were finding their things weren't where they placed them the night before. Even personal items placed under heavy wards seemed to vanish for no apparent reason. The teachers still thought it nothing more than school children pranking one another as none of their things had gone walkabout.

"Harry, don't you think things are getting a little,.. crazy?" Marshall asked one breakfast while a good portion of the students were absent, still searching for their things.

"Crazy? Most definitely." Harry agreed readily. "Too far? Not at all. No one's even been injured." The 'yet' implied at the end of that sentence scared Marshall more than he would have cared to admit.

"I wonder who's doing all this." Another student seated near them both remarked. Both boys looked up to the boy who wasn't wearing his cloak. Likely it had been 'misplaced'.

"One can only imagine. Maybe it's one of the teachers trying to get us to strengthen our warding abilities." Harry suggested.

The boy's eyes lit up at that suggestion. "Great idea! That must be it!"

Marshall barely restrained himself from giving the boy a pitying glance. Nothing he could possibly do would stop the chaos magi. Anything he could do would be literally ripped to shreds as they continued on their merry way.

Harry on the other hand gave the boy a wide, encouraging smile, eager to see what might occur.

"Ms. Nott," Voldemort greeted as Hermione entered his office. A greeting and a subtle reminder of her birthright.

"Sir" she replied meekly.

"You have found yourself in a most interesting position in this world, how do you find it?" He started out.

More than a little surprised, Hermione didn't answer right away. She hadn't been expecting this from the powerful Dark Lord. "I find it's a bit challenging, but to be truthful Mr. Nott, uh, that is o say my father, has been quite encouraging. The library is fantastic and it's nice not having to hide part of who I am during holiday."

"I had expected as much. Growing up in the muggle world can be quite daunting I imagine." He commented, pretending he hadn't gone through nearly the exact same thing as a youth. "I was wondering how you were getting on with your newly found brother? You two are in the same year, correct?"

"Well sir, he's in Slytherin and I'm in Gryffindor so we never really knew one another very well. Things are fairly strained at the moment. He seems to think it should be so easy to acclimate to the wizard world from the age of eleven with really no warning or introduction."

Voldemort steepled his fingers in front of himself on his desk. That could either be a problem or an asset depending upon how he presented it.

"I see. How did you find your entry into your new world?"

"Astonishing of course, but there weren't any books or classes to explain why anything is the way it is. I've only just now realized there are cosmetic charms." Hermione huffed.

Voldemort froze. Having been a male, personal grooming had been done in large part in semi-public and the charms were easy to learn. He had never really given much thought to the female side of the situation.

"Surely your history class sufficiently taught you some aspects?"

"From Binns?" Hermione snorted. "Even I think that class is a joke. The only thing he ever teaches is the goblin wars."

"That's not even remotely applicable to you as wizards." Voldemort groused. "Well clearly some things need to change, obviously I will be in position to enact those changes. I would like for you to act as something of an... adviser in private. Considering your unique position, it would be of great assist and one it seems I could certainly use."

Hermione sat, stunned. She certainly hadn't expected that when the elf had summoned her to the Dark Lord's office.

"You want me to advise you in regards to... muggle born children?" She asked, slightly sumbfounded.

"It would appear as such a thing might not exist, knowing what we do now. I would say rather that it would be in regards to the muggle raised." He corrected, fighting the tick in his jaw.

"Obviously if the child is a half blood, it would be necessary to review their situation. In most cases it would benefit the child to grow up in a magical household where they would learn more quickly what they will need in our world as well as make friendships that will later benefit them in life."

Hermione nodded absently. This all made perfect sense. "But wouldn't that make me a... a death eater?" She asked.

Voldemort pretended to go into thought at that. "If you were of a mind to take my mark I would not object, obviously, but given your current schooling situation I would be satisfied with an oath of loyalty. You should consider yourself lucky the position you find yourself in. This is not an offer I make often."

Hermione was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth and quickly agreed, making the oath and in so doing, sealing her fate. Voldemort would wait until later in the holiday to inform her of his task for her.

A/N: I know it's been forever since I updated. I don't know how often I'll be updating but either bear with me or offer to adopt. I hate 'are you going to continue this' reviews and PMs.

As always, if you enjoyed, please review!