Summary: It is not the living we should fear. It is the dead. 6 years after the Battle of Hogwarts the unthinkable happens and Hermione finds herself not only in the midst of another war but also in the midst of conflicting emotions and a choice she thought she would never have to make.
Pairing: Hermione/Bellatrix and/or Narcissa/Hermione. I am not quite sure where this story is going to go eventually so I am leaving both options open.
Disclaimer: I do not own a single character or any original storyline, plot or item created in the Potter verse. Everything you recognise belongs to the amazingly talented JK Rowling. New plot belongs to me.
Rating: T but might change to M in later chapters.
A/N: This story has quite a few influences from Greek Mythology. I have researched some of it and the story of Apollo and Hyacinth is an actual myth. The Ruby Hyacinth I write about in later chapters is neither a myth nor a legend and has been solely created for this story. Any references to other Greek Mythology and gods can be found with the help of all knowing Google.
It was late. Security guard Thomas Davidson was making his usual rounds through the British Museum. In the yellow beam from his torch created strange shadows, even stranger than some of the exhibits displayed behind perplex glass, along the walls and made him feel as if all watching eyes followed his every step. He had only been working here for a few weeks, covering the nightshift. It was the shift nobody else wanted. Hourly rounds through the different rooms and the remainder of the time his eyes were glued to tiny TV screens displaying the scenes captured by the CCTV.
He held still and allowed his eyes to drift up along the full length of a large white marble statue. What seemed to stare back at him was the almost angelic face of a young man. Even the emotionless stone had managed to capture an astonishing beauty. Thomas frowned as his eyes found the small plaque describing the marble man. Adonis' beauty was legend and he became the lover of Aphrodite after she was wounded by Cupid. She sheltered him and entrusted him to Persephone to keep him safe. Persephone was also taken by Adonis' beauty and refused to give him back to Aphrodite. Zeus settled the feud between the two goddesses; Adonis was to spend one third of the year with each goddess and one third wherever he chose. He chose to spend two thirds with Aphrodite.
Thomas shook his head. Ever since the exposition about ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses had been set up, he had found himself wandering around the various statues, paintings and pieces of rock that claimed to belong to temples of Athena, Zeus and Apollo. He would read the plaques and find himself baffled over the complexity of history. Behind safety glass rested the pieces of jewellery, cups and plates that bore images of ancient Greece and other items recovered from burial sites, fallen temples and locations so far away Thomas did not dare think about them. He had never once set foot outside of England.
At the age of twenty five he had hoped to be in a different place in his life. A nice degree, a good job, a nice girl, maybe married her even. Instead, he had dropped out of university after his first year and ended up working at a scrap yard for a while. Hung out with the wrong friends, got arrested after getting caught up in a fight after a football game and only just managed to escape court. His parents still lived on one of the poorest, roughest council estates in London and even though he had moved out, the street where Thomas now rented his bedsit was little better than where he had come from.
He turned around when an unexpected noise echoed through the hall like a bullet out of a gun. It was a popping noise, but unlike any noise Thomas had ever heard before. The light from his torch danced off the walls and weary eyes desperately darted through the darkness in an attempt to locate the reason of the sound. Realising his hands were shaking, Thomas took a deep breath.
"H-hello?" he called and his voice seemed to carry on for miles in the darkness. "Jeffrey, is that you?"
Jeffrey was the man working here during the night as well. The two of them were the only people in the building. Well, the live ones anyway. People did not include the six Egyptian mummies that were located in one of the other rooms for the Ancient Egypt exposition that would open next week. Jeffrey was considered a care taker of sorts. Thomas never asked why Jeffrey worked during the nights.
"Jeffrey?" Thomas called again but there was no answer. Clutching his torch he traced back his steps and walked back to where he had come from mere minutes ago. He paid no attention to the partial trident that was depicted as belonging to a statue of Poseidon. His yellow beam had fixed on a dark spot between two large glass cupboards which were home to pieces of jewellery. Brown eyes narrowed.
His heart skipped a beat when the shadows moved and a tall, cloaked figure stepped out from between the cupboards. Thomas felt the cold wash over him and before he could even open his mouth to scream, the bright green flash of light had hit him square in the chest and his young body slumped down to the floor. The torch slipped from his fingers and clattered down onto the floor. It broke on impact and the light died the same instant Thomas did, shrouding the room in darkness. All that could be heard next was the sound of breaking glass.
It was a cold and dreary night and as he stepped out of the museum building, the cloaked figure felt his breath being stolen by the bitterly cold December wind. It had been so easy to walk in here tonight, to steal what he had so desperately desired. For years he had read about the item he now possessed, believing like all others it was a myth, a mystery. Until the announcement came it had been found, lying somewhere deep under piles of dirt. It had changed everything. And now he stood in the London night, gazing out into the city as it slept, before closing his eyes and calling up the image of his next destination. With a faint popping noise the cloaked shadow disappeared, swallowed up into the night.
When he reappeared he was no longer in London. In fact, he was quite far away from the nation's capital and its enchanting lights and seats of power. He found himself standing outside the rusty metal gates of a small and overgrown cemetery on the outskirts of a village so small it did not appear on any map. It lay in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the Scottish Highlands, and not even the villagers seemed aware of its existence. They buried their dead elsewhere. A small, narrow mountain path led up to the small burial site. A path so overgrown and impassable no one bothered anymore.
He pushed against the gates and they creaked as they opened. Withered leaves had collected against the over grown gravestones, names erased by the hands of time and the wraths of nature. Long gone were any memories that lived here. He carried on, his pace brisk and determined. He did not feel the bitter cold wind as it cut his skin. Temperatures had dropped to well below zero this high in the mountains. He felt nothing but the excitement in his blood. His heart pounded against his ribcage with every step he took, bringing him closer to where he needed to be.
The barren tree stood tall and proud, yet almost unnatural, like a silent marker. The frozen ground around it covered in rotting leaves and layers of frost. No headstones marked this grave and yet he knew it was here. He had been here many times, in the dark. It had taken him some time to find it and along the way he had resulted to any method he knew. But it had proven not easy to find a Ministry fool stupid enough to allow himself to be Imperiused these days. But the Auror he had encountered in the Leaky Cauldron one night, by chance, had been too drunk to know different. By the time dawn broke he had woken up with a hangover from hell and no memory how he had ever made it to Scotland. It had been cause for the Ministry to sharpen its "Do not drink and Apparate" policy for its employees. But the damage had been done. They just didn't know it yet. But by the time the sun would climb over the horizon, they would. And they would wish morning had never broken.
He dropped to his knees, his cloak rustling as it made contact with the leaves, and his fingers made contact with the frozen soil. From his pocket he took his wand, the same tool he had used to murder the unsuspecting security guard back at the museum. It was collateral damage; a sacrifice he was willing to make. All was fair in love and war. And this was war.
Aiming his wand at the soil the incantations fell from his lips so smoothly. He had practised, memorised, word after word. He had prepared himself for what he was about to do. He watched, is eyes widening in the red gloom created by his wand, how the earth underneath him began to split until it revealed not one but two dark wooden caskets, resting side by side. In the reddish light, Walden MacNair's face seemed to glow in a haunting, horrific manner and eager fingers cherished the dark wood.
"Master and servant to be reunited once more."