Becoming Jean

By: Anni Re

Chapter 1: ½ of a Killing Curse

Hermione lay on the floor, staring numbly at the richly embellished, high arched ceilings, thinking that if a little light shined through this dark, dark house she was imprisoned in; it might actually be quite beautiful. Bellatrix Lestrange had tired of her, and had moved on to interrogate the goblin Griphook, who was sitting in a chair with the dark haired witch towering over him, demanding to know if the sword of Godric Gryffindor that she held in her pale, bony hand, was the real one, and not a copy like Hermione had protested it to be.

Hermione dared not to move. Her arm burned. It burned and bled at the same time. The word 'Mudblood' that was carved into her upper arm by the knife Bellatrix was holding stood out in crimson contrast to her white skin. Small trickles of blood dripped from the letters and collected in small pools beside her arm. Yet, Hermione Granger's eyes moved around the room slowly, but intently, trying to keep her focus so she wouldn't pass out from the pain.

Bellatrix Lestrange was shouting at the goblin, waving her knife around in his face, sometimes cutting into it. The Malfoy family: Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco, were grouped together close to their deranged relative. Their eyes were mixed with fear, but at the same time excitement at the possibility of returning to the Dark Lord's good graces by the end of the night. The snatchers that had brought she and her companions here milled about the room, not really paying attention to the Death Eater's interrogations. She caught a glimpse of silver and realized with a jolt that Peter Pettigrew was among them. Hermione watched numbly as the ex-Marauder descended down a set of stairs into the cellars. Her heart ached, for her friends were down there, trapped. Her best friends Harry, and Ron…

Hermione brought her attention back to the room she was in. There was only one set of eyes that were on her as she subtly explored the room; the amber colored eyes of Fenrir Greyback. The werewolf had been watching her ever since Bellatrix had stopped torturing her, ever since he had first seen her, hungrily watching her. Hermione had remembered from Lupin that his wolf sire had developed an unusual taste for humans, even when not under the full moon. Hermione shuddered internally, and when her eyes met his, they quickly darted away, as if she had been the one who had been caught staring. Fenrir chuckled deep in his chest, some of his sharp, yellowing teeth slipping out over his lip.

Bellatrix had tired of the goblin, satisfied with his assessment that the sword was a fake. With Greyback's laugh she turned and looked down at the young witch. Her eyes reminded Hermione of Sirius' eyes when she thought he was a mad mass murderer, emotionless, merciless, and glowing with insanity. Bellatrix crossed her arms and leaned on one leg, cocking her hip out, the dagger that marked Hermione a mudblood dangling at the end of her fingers. One of Bellatrix's sleeves was turned up to the elbow, her left sleeve. The burning sensation in Hermione's arm died with the sweeping chill that passed over her body. She had called him. Lord Voldemort was coming.

"And I think," said Bellatrix turning her head towards Fenrir, "we can dispose, of the Mudblood. Greyback, take her if you want her."

It was as if someone had sounded a dinner bell. Fenrir began walking towards Hermione with aggressive, predatory steps. Hermione staring up at him with horror filled eyes was trying to force her aching arm to raise her off the ground.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Fenrir stopped, confused and annoyed, and looked over his shoulder. Hermione peered around him. Harry and Ron had somehow managed to arm themselves and break out of their confinements in the cellar and were now plowing there way though the snatchers and the Malfoy family to get to Hermione, her red-headed hero leading the charge with Harry flanking him.

Fenrir didn't pay attention to the two teenagers that were battling his compatriots for too long. He turned his head around and once again started moving towards Hermione with a hungry look in his eyes, with Hermione all the while slowly scooting along the marble floor away from him.

But Fenrir was to be denied again. Bellatrix suddenly was behind Hermione. The witch seized a fistful of Hermione's thick and curly hair and jerked her up onto her feet by it. Hermione's head was then forced upward as Belltrix's knife found its way to her throat and was poised at the ready to slit it open.

"STOP OR SHE DIES."

The whole room suddenly stopped moving, as if the action had been caught in a muggle photograph. Harry and Ron were hiding behind the pieces of furniture in the room, their brains working fast trying to figure out how to get to Hermione.

"Drop your wands," Bellatrix whispered threateningly, "Drop them, or we'll see exactly how filthy her blood is!" Hermione knew she would do it. She halfway expected her to do it anyways, even if Harry and Ron complied. There was a pause, and the two boys did not seem to be cooperating. "I said, drop them!" The knife in Bellatrix's hand tightened against Hermione's neck. Hermione hissed, her head hitching itself higher when she felt the blade cut into her skin.

"All right!" Hermione heard Harry say, and moments later she heard the clatter of their wands rattling across the floor.

Hermione's heart sank in despair. "Let her kill me," she thought, "Let her kill me so they can escape. Let me die so they can live." But Hermione knew that neither Ron nor Harry would abandon her. And, if their situations were reversed, she would be doing the same thing. She would fight tooth and nail to rescue either one of them. She would do anything for anyone to insure their safety.

Hermione was aware that there was a conversation going on around her, but her mind was not absorbing it at the time. Her mind was far too preoccupied on what was happening on the ceiling directly above she and Bellatrix. Hermione's mind was rationalizing the slightly bizarre and completely unforeseen thing she was witnessing, thinking that the loss of blood from her arm was causing her to see hallucinations because…there was a house elf on the chandelier. Its scrawny, beige little legs were wrapped around the chandelier's thick black chain, and it was silently and steadily loosening the massive piece of metal from its holdings on the ceiling.

The oval shaped crystals that decorated the arms of the chandelier shook, dancing in front of Hermione's eyes. The supports of the chandelier within the ceiling groaned, creating lumps in the ceiling and they strained under the additional weight. It reminded Hermione of a tooth being pulled. The groaning garnered Bellatrix's attention, and everyone looked up and the chandelier, which was swinging precariously on its last thread, the house elf still wrapped around its chain.

And then it dropped it an explosion of creamy colored, powdered ceiling bits. Bellatrix screamed and released Hermione, skittering backwards to safety. The chandelier dropped on Hermione and she was on the ground again, pinned between two of the iron wrought arms. At that moment Fenrir saw a window of opportunity and lunged for it, diving for Hermione in the chaos, his fangs completely bared as he lunged at her. Three bolts of red light shot out over the shattered remains of the chandelier. Harry, now armed with three wands in one hand, hit the werewolf squarely in the chest with all three of the spells. The blast Stunned Greyback well into next week and Hermione watched as he was thrown backwards hitting the wall with an impressive thud, and then crumpling to the floor.

Ron sprinted for Hermione and began prying her out of the metal wreckage. Hermione saw out of the corner that Harry was doing the same thing with Griphook, who still had an iron grip around the hilt of Gryffindor's sword. Ron with Hermione and Harry with Griphook began racing back down the room toward the house elf that was not figure of Hermione's imagination; and not just any house elf, but Dobby, who was staring defiantly with his tennis ball eyes at his old masters.

Hermione felt more than saw the curse that barely missed she and Ron, hitting the wall very close to Dobby. There was a crack, and Narcissa's wand flew from her hand into Dobby's who began twirling it around in his long fingers like it was a miniature baton.

"You dirty little monkey," bawled Bellatrix. "How dare you take a witch's wand, how dare you defy your masters?"

"Dobby has no master!" squealed the elf. "Dobby is a free elf, and Dobby has come to save Harry Potter and his friends!" If it had been any other time in any other place, Hermione would have set off fireworks, and conjured bright and colorful flags with S.P.E.W. emblazoned on them and waved them around like it was a national holiday. However, since it wasn't, she could only smile weakly at the brave little elf teetering on the edge of a coffee table a few feet in front of her.

Harry had over taken Ron and Hermione with Griphook and the sword, on account of the goblin being lighter and less injured. Hermione saw Harry grasp Dobby's hand. At the same time Harry gasped and a look of fear passed over his face. Hermione looked over her shoulder. Bellatrix had thrown her knife, and it was spiraling in steady circles towards Dobby and his boldly spoken words. In her shock, Hermione stumbled, causing Ron to misstep. Instead of grabbing Dobby's outstretched hand, Ron's fingers wrapped around the front of Dobby's grimy and dirty tea cozy. Hermione watched the dagger get closer and closer to their group. It was almost traveling in slow motion she was watching it so hard. Hermione also felt Dobby's magic start wrapping around her, pulling them all away from this place. Any second now and they would be gone, safe. Bellatrix's knife reached them the moment Hermione felt Dobby's magic depart tugging them along with him.

But they didn't leave, and Ron started screaming.

The blade had pierced Ron's hand, and had pierced it deep, causing him to let go of Dobby the moment he and the others had left, leaving Ron and Hermione stranded in the hands of their enemy. Ron's knees buckled and he fell to the floor, dragging Hermione down with him. Bellatrix alone approached, a look of sadistic glee on her face. Ron pulled the knife out of his hand and tossed it away from them. He then put his arm over Hermione's lap and shielded her with his upper body, staring up at the Death Eater with bravery and anger in his eyes.

But Bellatrix only laughed at him, pulling out her wand, which had been concealed the entire time. "I like doing it better this way, anyways," she said.

And the she did it. "Avada Kedavra!"

Hermione watched the green light burst from Bellatrix's wand and pass into Ron. She felt him shudder against her, and in about a second his head rolled back onto her shoulder and his glassy eyes stared up at her.

But then she felt something, a strange sensation in her stomach. She looked down and saw a tiny sliver of green light, no wider than a thumbnail, pass around Ron. It made its way through the gap made by Ron's body and his arm that was still thrown over Hermione's lap, and entered her.

Hermione's grip on Ron loosened and she felt as if she were being pushed backwards, not in a forceful way, but as if someone was gently laying her on her back. Her eyesight grew misty, and then it went black.


Ok. So that's the first chapter of my new story, I hope you all like it. First off, all the direct quotes pulled from Deathly Hallows and any other book I pull from hereafter belong to J.K Rowling, all the characters belong to Rowling ect. ect. Please note that I am pulling from both movie and book universes, but mostly from the books, so don't go all purist on me lol. Also please note this is probably going to be a fairly long story, and currently it is a story that is still a work in progress. In which case, there might be some minor/major editing post a chapters original publication. If such an event happens I will place an * next to the chapter title indicating it has been edited. You can then go to my profile where you find the date for when I edited said chapter under the section dedicated to this story. I will leave the * by the chapter title for 60 days, however I will not remove any of the dates from my profile page. I am being pretty thorough in the pre production of this story so I don't know if this will ever be needed, but I do believe is safety nets. So that's that. Love you all. reviews are welcome. And see you next chapter.

Hello all again, so update. I'm in the process of editing so I will up updating chapters at a rather rapid pace so please don't be angry with me if I get your hopes up only to find that I just reposted an old chapter. For the most part it's just spell check editing but there will be a couple of changes plot wise that I will further detail and the end of each changed chapter as well as on my profile page. After the editing is complete I will post the next chapter which is pretty much finished. I'm editing a lot of this over Easter since I'm off work so hopefully this will just be a day long even so here's hoping.