Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, the characters, locations, or cleverness. It all belongs to the wonderful J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Studios.

Hermione Jean Granger,

We would like to express our excitement that you shall be spending another year with us at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, will be coming to your residency at noon on the 29th of August to discuss your new duties as a returning prefect, among other topics of importance.


Minerva McGonagall

Hermione stared down at the letter as excitement bubbled up inside her. The summer had been far too long and cruel. Writing to Harry and Ron had only made her more anxious to return to the magical school of Hogwarts. She had grown weary of wasting away her days rereading the books upon her shelves, and instead had settled on numerous occasions for counting the amount of times Crookshanks' tail would tickle her nose with his wants for attention.

However, a sense of confusion overwhelmed her. Why would she be receiving a letter about her return to Hogwarts? She had never received one in the past few years-save for the first letter she had ever received regarding the matter: her acceptance letter. Going into her sixth year, she felt this was a bit odd. She couldn't help but assume that the formalities were only due to the ending portion of the letter that stated Dumbledore would be coming to her home soon. Something within told her that the new prefect duties weren't the sole topic behind his impending visit.

Folding the letter back up and placing it in the envelope, Hermione walked out of the kitchen and jetted up to her room. She plopped down on her bed and stared up at the ceiling. Her cat, Crookshanks, jumped on top of her purring noisily in an attempt to get her attention just as she had imagined he would. Gently stroking the ginger colored cat, she sat up and pulled a piece of stationary and a pen out of her nightstand. Using the stand as a hard surface, Hermione began writing to her two best friends since her first year at Hogwarts-Ron and Harry. She had yet to hear from them for about a week and was left to assume that Harry had probably arrived at the burrow, and in a rush to leave the Dursley's both he and Ron and forgotten to write. She rolled her eyes slightly as she imagined the two of them getting into mischief about the kooky structure that Ron called home.

She wrote to the both of them on a single piece of pink-tinted stationary that she was to be expecting Dumbledore later in the week, and if all went well, perhaps she could join them before they all boarded the train for the new semester. She glanced at the small clock ticking on the wooden surface of her nightstand and quickly jotted down her remaining words before folding the paper neatly and sliding it into a matching envelope. She jotted down the address of the burrow on the back, and licked the seal shut. She heard the grandfather clock in her sitting room chime the hour.

Hermione rushed over to her window as 3:00 p.m. struck. A medium-sized, dark brown owl sat upon the windowsill. Hermione found it convenient that an owl came on occasion from the Wizard Postal Service so she could easily communicate with Ron and Harry. Even though Harry was more than likely at the Weasley's home, she remembered what happened a few summers ago when she had attempted to call Harry by phone. It wasn't a very pretty incident. From then on she decided that it would be best to just send him letters via owl post. After handing her letter over to the owl's awaiting claws, she watched as it took off into the sky.

Plopping down on her bed once more, thoughts of what her new duties could possibly be, friends, and the ever-nearing school year flitted through her head at lightning speed. She closed her eyes and decided that there was nothing more she could do than patiently wait on the arrival of Albus Dumbledore.

The days scurried by in a frenzy of anticipation as the date approached in which Hermione would be speaking with the Headmaster of Hogwarts. She had told her parents at dinner on the very day she received the letter of his coming and they couldn't have been more excited about meeting the man who Hermione had told them so much about. They had communicated with him previously by letter-particularly under the instance of her experiences in the battle at the Department of Mysteries within the Ministry. Being muggles, he could not tell them as much as most, but he was able to tell them just enough to put the two loving parents at ease.

"The Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, will be coming to your residency on the date of August 29th at noon to discuss your new duties as a returning prefect, among other topics of importance," Hermione read aloud for possibly the twelfth time to herself that day. Focusing on the last bit of the letter, she couldn't help but think that there was something very urgent he needed to discuss with her.

At around noon the Grangers sat down in their living room waiting for Dumbledore to arrive. Hermione, who was pacing the room in both excitement and nervousness, paced over to the window and peered up into the sky which was scattered eerily with dark gray clouds.

"Hermione, sweetheart, do sit down and relax. I am sure he will be here soon," Mrs. Granger chided and patted the cushion next to her on the side of the large couch that was not occupied by Mr. Granger.

Most people claimed Hermione received her looks from her mother, and it was easy to understand why. They both had the same delicate hands for careful work and smallish noses that twitched often with distaste. On her slightly tanned skin, Mrs. Granger had a light dusting of freckles that mixed with age spots that had formed over the past few years. She had curly brunette hair, but much unlike that of her daughter's, it was smooth due to a practiced hand and rolled slightly to flatter her face.

Then there was her father. He sat nearby, a smile crinkling his brown eyes as he watched his daughter pace anxiously about the room. He had darker hair than that of the two females of the family, but it had already become riddled with slight streaks of gray. Sometimes Hermione wondered that if her parents' aging was due to the stress at their shared practice as dentists, or if it was simply because of her.

Furrowing her brow, Hermione, feeling obligated to sit down, did so beside her mother and took a deep breath.

Not but a moment later, the large brick fireplace that had a small fire crackling merrily in the hearth seconds before lit up brilliantly, flooding the room in green light and flames. Ducked low, out clambered the Headmaster in pale blue robes with a matching hat. He straightened himself up with some difficulty and placed his hand on his lower back as he did so.

"Getting a little too old to be using the Floo Network, I do believe," Dumbldore commented more to himself than the awaiting company. He shifted to face a beaming Hermione and a confused looking Mr. and Mrs. Granger. He reached out and shook their hands, respectively. "Ah, it' so very nice to finally meet the parents of one of our most prized students," Dumbledore said with a smile, "it is truly an honor."

"The pleasure is all ours, Mr. Dumbledore," Mr. Granger stated, quickly gathering himself and motioning for the elderly appearing professor to take a seat in the armchair to the left of them.

"Would you like anything to drink?" Mrs. Granger kindly offered as he eased into the chair.

"A cup of tea would be absolutely charming, thank you," Dumbledore replied, as Mrs. Granger got up from her seat to go prepare the drink.

"So, what were the things you were wishing to discuss today, Professor," Hermione piped up.

"Well there are a number of things I would like to discuss, but we shall stick with the most important for now." Dumbledore's eyes averted from the Grangers, to the window displaying the swirling, dark sky above. He stood up slowly and moved over to have a better look out the four-pane window. When the Grangers said nothing, he continued, "Being a prefect at Hogwarts is a great honor. And as such, one can find many responsibilities—some of which aren't always easy."

Mrs. Granger walked back into the sitting area, carrying an ornate tea cup—which Hermione recognized as their fine china, used only on special occasions—and handed it to Dumbledore.

"Thank you kindly, Mrs. Granger," he offered as he gave an appreciative nod and she sat, smoothing her dress, before sitting back down with her attentive husband and daughter.

Dumbledore turned from the window and looked at the family gravely and spoke in a calm tone, "As I am sure Hermione has told you, there is a war beginning. Not only in our world, but yours as well. Times have changed—and ultimately—so has the way society functions."

Hermione saw this statement as unusual, but nothing really shocked her anymore since the return of Lord Voldemort nearly two yeas ago. She knew, just as well as anyone in the wizarding world that dark times were upon them. You could tell that things weren't right-even in the Muggle world. Dark storms continued to roll in day after day; there was a certain chill in the air, and a sense of uneasiness seemed to fill each alley and street.

"Upon my journeys to the Ministry of Magic, I visited the Department of Mysteries where your daughter fought alongside her friends against Lord Voldemort and his fellow Death Eaters—as I am sure you are fully aware," Dumbledore said to Mr. and Mrs. Granger as he paced the room with a flicker of foreboding on his face. The Grangers nodded and Hermione instantly sat up straight. She knew whatever he was about to say was the "important" business that was mentioned in her letter.

"I went back to check on the progress of how the cleaning up of the aftermath was going. Although nearly all of the prophecies were smashed during the fight against the Death Eaters, a few remained intact," Dumbledore continued back to his pacing, his concentration seeming to grow by the minute. "A few of these prophecies were not of major importance, but I happened to hear of when a certain prophecy was revealed.

"One of the Ministry workers, Kingsley Shacklebolt, luckily had been at the scene when the prophecy began to reveal itself. Being one of my close colleagues he agreed to let me retrieve this specific memory so I could see it for myself." Dumbledore walked back to the window looked out of the window as the rain started fall from the ever-graying sky. Then with a wave of his hand all the curtains in the home were let down and swept in front of the windows. With a second wave of his hand the sound of the pouring rain outside disappeared entirely. Hermione assumed that he must've placed a charm on the house that prevented outsiders from listening in.

Dumbledore turned back to the family with a calm smile, "Must take precautions, you know." He paced himself back to the chair and sat down. "The prophecy Kingsley was fortunate enough to have heard was a very peculiar one. Miss Granger, as I am sure you know of the prophecy that concerned Harry and Lord Voldemort. But coincidentally, I believe this prophecy to also obtain to the Dark Lord and Harry as well.

"The prophecy revealed itself as follows," Dumbledore cleared his throat and withdrew a piece of parchment from the sleeve of his robes. Adjusting the half-moon shaped glasses upon his face he held the paper out in from of him and began to read:

"The one who is deemed sound shall inherit his fortunes and his faults; the heir of a great legacy, the harbinger of many truths.
A magic beyond any other; never written down or spoken.
The power of blood will be given as once was taken; purified from any barrier.
Time will hold no boundary, for the heir shall know none.
Familiar to them, they will stop the opposition from great success.
Either of the two forces cannot be vanquished without the aid of the heir.
All shall fall as the ninth month approaches..."

Dumbledore folded the parchment back neatly without saying a word, and neatly slid it back into the sleeve of his blue robes. He leaned back in the chair, resting his interlaced fingers on his abdomen, and his eyes falling quizzically on Hermione. She squirmed slightly under his intense gaze as she tried to put together the purpose of the prophecy and why he was telling her. Mr. and Mrs. Granger seemed that they were struggling to keep up at this point and settled for waiting for an explanation.

"The prophecy spoke of an individual who would be close to one of the two; either Voldemort or Harry, I assume. I gathered that this person may have not originally been pureblood, but upon a deep magic of sorts, that this individual will become a pureblood. But not just any pureblood, it said seemed to voice that the person would become a direct descent of a great wizard-an heir. The prophecy also said that this particular individual, upon the decisions they make, will aid in the defeat of the enemy. Of which force the subject chooses to side with, it is entirely their choice. Consequently, that is why I am here."

"I am not entirely certain if the individual will be foremost on Harry's side or Lord Voldemort's. I have done much research into this while traveling to hopefully uncover more about who this person may be and who the teller of this specific prophecy might be," Dumbledore stated.

"You mean there isn't a record?" Hermione asked confusedly.

"None that could be found. In each prophecy that is captured within a glass holder orb, the teller's identity is also captured. However, when this prophecy was unveiled, nothing could be traced but the fact that it was a male's voice," Dumbledore said inquisitively. Hermione's brow knitted together in thought.

"Although the Dark Lord doesn't believe in friendships," the Headmaster stated, pulling her from her musings, "he does have close advisers that he trusts with his most crucial deeds. But it has come to my attention that Lord Voldemort is not very likely to harbor any sort of half-blood or less as a Death Eater, considering his strong stance on pureblood supremacy. This has brought me to the conclusion that unless Voldemort has some sort of secret adversary, then that leaves an ally of Harry."

Dumbledore stood back up and moved over to the fireplace, looking at the glass ornaments that sat on the mantle. "I knew you and Mr. Weasley were the closest to Mr. Potter. But I also knew that although Mr. Weasley's family may be considered blood traitors, they are still, first and foremost, purebloods." Dumbledore picked up an ornament of a translucent, glass rose and held it up to catch the light from the fixture overhead. He marveled at the rainbows scattering within the finely crafted piece before sitting the object back on the mantle, and turning to the Grangers. "This has left me with only you, Miss Granger."

Hermione stared incredulously at the elderly wizard's accusations. Her mind scanned through the possible half-blood Death Eaters, but she couldn't even come with a beginning family for a candidate. Hermione knew Harry would have automatically suggested Severus Snape. Harry had always had his suspicions of the dark potions professor, but she was aware of the coldness he had held present toward him since their first year. Harry's dislike of Snape clouded his judgment more than what should be plausible, in her eyes. Besides, if Dumbledore had this information, he has already taken it into consideration and closed the possibility. Hermione stared down at the carpet, but finally found her voice, "What does this mean, Professor Dumbledore?"

"It could mean many things, Miss Granger—or it could mean nothing at all. I knew that you would always help Harry with whatever you could, including facing one of the darkest wizards of all time. But considering that the prophecy is correct, I suspect that your decisions will require more complicated matters than just deciding where your loyalties will lie.

"If it is true that you are the individual who the prophecy pertains to, then a good question to ask now is how will this prophecy come into effect? Of which wizard or witch will you be a descendant of? It could unlock answers to this vague compilation of knowledge, but only time will tell." Dumbledore walked closer towards the fireplace opening.

How could he be leaving so soon? Hermione abruptly stood out from her seat on the couch. "But sir, how will I know if I am in fact who the prophecy is talking about?"

"I do have a few good theories at which I would like to test, but it will have to wait until start of term. For now, I must be going. But Miss Granger, I am unsure if Voldemort has yet to learn of the prophecy, but due to the possibility of conspirators and tracking of owl post, I think it is best if we do not speak of this until school has begun." Dumbledore waved his hand once again like he had before their meeting had fully begun. The curtains flew back from the windows to their original state and the sound of rain—which was now pounding even harder—could be heard once more. "Have a good day, Miss Granger. I shall see you in September."

Dumbledore gave Hermione's parents a final, parting smile and nod as he disappeared through the fireplace in a green, fiery burst. Hermione stood unmoving and stared at the now calm fireplace. Her head reeled as she tried to process everything Dumbledore had told her.

"Hermione dear, are you alright?" Her Father's voice came to order.

"Yeah… I'm fine… I think I'll go up to bed for a while. I didn't rest well last night," Hermione said, excusing herself lamely as she filed out of the room. She plopped down on her bed while a curiously understanding Crookshanks curled into her side. Hermione stared silently up at the ceiling as she stroked the purring feline, wondering what this would mean for her. The rain continued to pound heavily as low rumbles of thunder could be heard off in the distance. She sighed and ran a hand through her unruly mess of brown curls, not caring that they were now tangled and frizzed.

After sometime of lying still, Hermione pulled a box out from under her bed and grabbed the letters from Ron and Harry that she had gotten the day before in response to her last letter. Her assumptions were correct; Harry was safely milling about the burrow with Ron and the rest of the red-headed Weasley's, but none the less, hearing from them was a comforting thought. She longed to write Ron and Harry and tell them about what she had just discussed with Dumbledore, but because of his orders, Hermione refrained from informing her friends and decided to wait until they would meet again at the start of the semester as sixth years students.

And we didn't even discuss prefect duties... Hermione shook her head slightly and sighed.

"Draco! Hurry and get dressed! Your Mother and I are waiting!" The sounds of Lucius Malfoy filled the Manor as Draco hurriedly got dressed in his room on the second floor. Cursing under his breath he pulled on a finely pressed jacket as he ran down stairs.

"Now there's a good boy," Narcissa Malfoy said while giving her son a peck on the cheek. "Quickly now, we mustn't be late." She ushered her son towards his waiting Father.

"You never told me where we're going," Draco said impatiently.

"Patience Draco, you will find out soon enough," Lucius said curtly. Draco scoffed at him, but couldn't help but notice the sense of urgency in his father's eyes and worry in that of his mother's.

It wasn't necessarily anything new. Ever since his father participated in the fight against The Order of the Phoenix in the Department of Mysteries, his two parents had been nervous that the Ministry would discover his part in it and send him to Azkaban. Had Potter given in to his father's simple request, things wouldn't have escalated and the Malfoys wouldn't have to be walking on pins and needles. Draco frowned at the image that had formed in his head of the scarred boy.

Lucius, held up his arm in a fashionable manner. Draco—even though he originally despised apparating due to the uncomfortable feeling—was beginning to get used to it now due to the recent inability to travel by Floo Network. It was too closely monitored by the Ministry to chance. Draco reluctantly took his father's arm and the uneasy sensation spread through him again, as though he were being squeezed through a tube.

Mere seconds later Draco, Lucius, and Narcissa were standing in front of an old, rundown mansion. Lucius and Narcissa walked ahead toward the entrance of the dreary structure. Draco followed them quietly, though he could not help but wonder why in the world they were here.

Inside the mansion were many trinkets that sat along various end tables, scattering the edge of the walls every few feet. The rug that stretched throughout the long hallway was covered in thick dust and grime. Draco grimaced at the filth polluting the floor as it began to stick to his polished, black shoes. Making their way up the stairs, the Malfoys turned the corner and stood before an arched, wooden door that was clearly carved elegantly despite the dust that clung to it. Lucius knocked on the door and entered. The room appeared to be a library holding hundreds upon hundreds of dust sodden books that covered the walls.

Inside stood an array of disgruntled death eaters chatting quietly to one another. They seemed to also be curious as to why this meeting was called on such short notice. Despite the dirt, Bellatrix leaned up against the book shelf uncaringly, eyeing the others in the room while stealing careful glances at the dark lord seated beside her behind the only desk in the vicinity.

"My Lord, we are here, as you wished." Lucius bowed lowly. Towards the desk in the center of the room that Voldemort himself now stood up from behind.

"Nice to see you once again Lucius, Narcissa," Voldemort said in an eerie, semi-welcoming tone.

Narcissa bowed, "Thank you, my Lord." The Malfoys joined the other death eaters and awaited the information each of them longed to hear.

"Now that you all have arrived there are a matter of… things… I wish to discuss," Voldemort said with a hint of both disgust and grim pleasure. "You see it has come to my attention that a certain prophecy was discovered here recently while the Ministry was cleaning up the Department of Mysteries." Voldemort swept his white, bony fingers absentmindedly across the books behind the desk—turning away from the listeners momentarily. "This prophecy is the reason why I have summoned you all here.

"I've also heard that, Draco," Voldemort's eyes averted to the blonde haired boy, "has become a prefect at my… Alma matter… as of last year," Voldemort gave a sneer of utmost hatred as Draco tensed under the Dark Lord's stare. "This prophecy concerns one of your classmates I do believe, Draco.

"A close friend of Harry Potter's, is the topic of this prophecy. I am sure you are familiar of a Mudblood with name of Hermione Granger…?" Voldemort cocked his head to the side in question, although he knew his answer. Draco nodded. Voldemort turned his focus back on the group as a whole, allowing Draco a breath of relief as the tension lifted from his shoulders.

"The prophecy says that either an ally of mine or Potter's will help decide the fate of who is to win this war. The ally will have been a Mudblood that becomes a pureblood due to a magic that was set years before even the first war apparently… It is subsequently important that I have her on my side or at least within my grasp. Not only will she possibly determine the outcome, but it is thought that she will inherit powers of such rarity from her newly bestowed ancestors, powers that could prove useful to our cause," Voldemort deducted, speaking more to himself than the people that stood in the room.

The dark wizard focused his attention back on the young Malfoy heir. Draco didn't like being singled out—particularly in front of this specific set of people-But he kept his face stoic and attentive. Voldemort then continued.

"You see Draco, it shall be your duty to keep close watch on the little Mudblood. Find out what it is that Dumbledore has been discussing with her and report it and any other changes back to your father who then shall report to me promptly. This mission solely rests in your hands, Draco, do not disappoint me." Voldemort was now nearly face to face with Draco with a look of threat, hostility, and evil plastered on his fleshy face. Draco gave a firm nod. Although he knew he did not have the option choice to refuse, he wished to do so, to go back into the comforts of his own room and away from the darkness that surrounded him... but he knew the consequences all too well.

Voldemort rounded back to the molded desk. "I expect a report within the next few weeks, Lucius."

"Yes, my Lord." Lucius bowed deeply, and with no further acknowledgement or warning, Voldemort vanished, allowing the an unsettling quiet to deafen the room. Voldemort's followers turned to one another murmuring and occasionally glancing at the blonde, young man before they also vanished one by one.

"Consider it an honor, Draco. And do not disappoint me either…" Lucius commanded to his son in hushed tones. Even though his father had spoken quietly, he gave a voice of authority that Draco had learned was best not to ignore.

"Yes, Father," Draco spat under his breath as they apparated back to the Malfoy Manor, leaving the death eaters to speculate and place bets on the outcome.

Author's Note: Well, there's the first chapter of my first, real fanfiction, "Cobras and Canaries". Yes, this will be a Hermione/TomRiddle fanfiction. There are plenty of things that may confuse you at the moment with this chapter, but I have written quite a ways ahead and the story will unfold and it will become much easier to understand. I already have the plot lined out, clearly, so I just hope I find readers who will enjoy my work enough for me to continue the story.

If you like it, please, let me know! Feedback, Suggestions, and Criticism is always taken seriously and I truly do appreciate it. So feel free to message me, favorite or review!

Thanks for reading!