Why hello there, readers. Welcome to my humble story! Read, review, do what readers do best! Enjoy! All Human, no specific date, happily ever after guaranteed.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing.
This story is un-beta'ed because, as of right now, I can't get a hold of mine.
Five Years Ago
His hand came down hard right on my cheek and made me cough out a lot more blood while his two guards laughed at me from behind him.
"Hermione!" My sister screams from the chair next to me.
"Tell me how you know about the painting." The man said, wiping my blood off the back of his hand.
I don't know why I couldn't have been more careful. I should have known I would've gotten caught eventually. And now here I was, endangering mine and my sister's lives.
Although I was a little justified.
Our parents had died 7 years before. They were hit by a drunk driver when I was 9 and my sister, Daphne, was only 7. We had been moved around to so many foster homes, since we didn't have any family, that we could barely remember any of our caregiver's names. Finally, two years ago, we ran. We ran away from our home in Chicago with no where to go but the streets.
I had had numerous jobs in the past two years, all of them barely paying enough to feed us for a week. Then I found a way to make us enough money so that we could actually eat a good meal, or maybe even buy a toothbrush.
I thought I was good at it. I had robbed 27 houses and gas stations so far, only taking necessities. I didn't like to steal, but when you have your little sister is shaking from the cold beside you every night, it can make you desperate. But I had only made one mistake.
And that was trying to rob the big house on the hill. I had seen someone carrying a large rectangular object into the house. There had been several news reports sayings that this house was suspected to have several stolen paintings inside, but the police didn't have enough evidence to get a warrant yet. So, I figured I would just go in, see if it was the painting, claim the reward offered for it, and go on my way. Boy, was I wrong. The house belonged to none other than 45 year old Tom Riddle, suspected art seller on the black market.
"N-News." I stuttered, still spitting out blood.
He slapped me again. "What is your name?" He said very low.
"H-Hermione. My name is Hermione, and that is my sister, Daphne." I replied, trying to loosen my arms from where they were tied to my chair.
"Well Hermione, now that you've seen the painting, we're going to have to kill you and your sister. Bellatrix, burn the painting. We can't sell it now-"
"Not the irises!" I blurted out before I could stop myself.
The three had surprised looks on their faces just before Dolohov smirked.
"How did you know which painting it was? No one knows. It's not on the news yet." He informed me, gripping both sides of my chair as Daphne screamed for him to stop. He growled and turned toward Daphne. "Shut your mouth or I'll kill her where she sits!"
Daphne immediately stopped screaming.
"No, back to the matter at hand. How did you know which painting was stolen and why did you try to steal it from me?" He whispered in my ear.
I closed my eyes and whimpered as his whiskey-filled breath hit my nostrils. "Irises by Picasso is my favorite painting. I've studied art for years and I know where every painting is and how long it's been there. I remembered someone said it was missing on the news! I was just trying to feed my sister and make sure she didn't get sick, honest! I'm the only family she has left!" I cried.
"Crouch!" He suddenly yelled.
"Sir?" The tall, bearded man said from behind him.
"Do what you want with Daphne and then kill her. Bellatrix, take the painting and put it in the cellar. I'm going to have a little conversation with this one." He said, walking into the back room for a moment.
"Yes sir!" The man identified as crouch smiled, then walked toward my screaming sister. "My, you're a pretty one, aren't you?"
She screamed again as he roughly took her chin into his hands and kissed her full on the lips.
"Don't touch her you loathsome, evil little troll!" I screamed out of pure rage at the man. When he didn't move away, I tried to find a weakness. "You're just like every man in the world! Taking advantage of unwilling girls because it makes feel all good inside! If you were with an actual willing woman, you probably couldn't even get it up!"
He pulled back and gaped at me.
"You'll pay for that one." He growled as roughly grabbed my shirt and pulled his fist back.
"Crouch!" Tom yelled as he came back into the room, stopping crouch from punching me in the face. "I said I was not done with Hermione. I was trying to reward you by giving you the other girl, but you've just lost that privilege. Dispose of Miss Daphne."
The next few seconds were a blur. Daphne let out an agonizing scream as Crouch grabbed her from beside me, I spit the blood in mouth onto his face, Bellatrix came back and started to question Tom and I screamed as loud as I could.
"I'll do whatever you want! Take me wherever you want, just don't kill Daphne!"
Tom held up his hand and everything stopped. "What was that?"
"Y-You…. You can have me. Just please, please don't kill Daphne. Let her go and take me instead." I whispered, my head slumping to my chest as I felt nothing but utter defeat.
"What! N-No! Hermione, no! You can't do this!" Daphne screamed.
"Ah, I was hoping you would say that." Tom smiled before pulling a needle and syringe out of his pocket. "This will make Daphne forget everything that happened the past few hours. Untie Hermione, Crouch."
The man, with a scowl on his face, reluctantly untied me. I ran toward my sister who was openly balling and pleading with me not to go.
"H-Hermione, you c-can't do this. I-I need you. You c-can't-" She stuttered.
"Shh, I know," I whispered, holding her against me. "I love you, okay? You're not going to remember any of this, so I'm going to write you a note, alright?"
She nodded and Bellatrix handed me a note pad.
I love you with all my heart. Do not look for me. I need you to take care of yourself while I'm gone. You've always been such a strong girl, and don't you ever forget that. I'm sorry for leaving, but I have to do this, for you. Just know that I love you, and it is my request that you look after yourself. Never forget where you came from.
A stray tear made it's way onto the back of the paper as I folded it up and shoved it in Daphne's jean pocket. I took her face in my hands, kissed her forehead, and pulled her back.
"I love you, sis. I'm doing this for you and I know you understand, deep down." I whispered. She nodded. "You look so much like mom, Daph. Don't forget everything you've learned and take care of yourself."
"O-okay," She whispered back. "I-I love you too."
I gave one last week smiled before walking back to Tom, who laid the syringe in my hand, saying I should be the one to give it to Daphne.
"I'm sorry." I murmured as I stuck the needle in her arm and pushed the plunger down. Within a few seconds she was unconscious.
"Very good, Hermione," Tom clapped from behind me. "You will make a wonderful addition to the team. Bellatrix, take her upstairs to clean up. Crouch, drop Daphne off in the alley behind the homeless shelter. We're leaving in half an hour. Get the rest of the guys to load the goods into the trucks."
Bellatrix gave me a weak smile and lead me into a bathroom upstairs where she proceeded to clean my face and dress my wounds.
"I'm sorry all of that happened to you." She murmured while stitching a particularly nasty cut across my arm.
"Why?" I blurted, my eyes still closed.
"I was just like you when I was recruited. Young and alone with no place to go." She replied, and I opened my eyes to finally look at her.
She had to have been no more than five years older than me. 22, 23 at the most. Her hair was extremely curly, her teeth rotted, and her facial features soft yet defined. If her teeth had been fixed, I could say Bellatrix was a very pretty young woman. Come to think of it, her laugh seemed very forced while they were hitting me.
"What happened to you?" Words were flowing out of my mouth like vomit.
She smiled weakly at me. "My father raped me when I was 16, so I ran away. A year later, Tom found me and decided I would make a good thief. I'm grateful that he's taken care of me, but his methods of torture and abuse make me want to kill him sometimes."
I didn't know what to do at that point. Should I comfort her or say nothing at all? The latter proved to be a wise choice as she finished stitching me up and led me back downstairs. Once there, She sat me down in a chair right in front of Tom.
"Where are we going?"
"Let's get something straight first," Tom said, shushing me. "You traded your life for your sister's. That means until I say so, you belong to me. If you try to escape or contact your sister, I will not kill you. I will kill her and let you live with the guilt."
I nodded and rubbed my stitches.
"We are going to train you. I lost another employee on the field yesterday, so you will be taking her place. From this point on, you owe me. If I tell you to steal something, you will steal it. If I tell you to move somewhere, you will move. If I tell you to kill someone, you will do so without question, are we clear?" He dead-panned.
I thought about it for minute. It's all for Daphne. This is so Daphne can live.
"Yes sir." I whispered.
"Good." He smiled. "And call me Tom. I have a feeling you're going to be a very valuable asset."
I ran through the aisles of yet another jewelry store in Italy. Whenever I wasn't doing some big robbery, I was making petty thefts. Like taking all of the diamonds out of a prestigious jewelry store.
I made sure to always carry my lipstick with me. It was the same shade my mother used to wear, blood red. I can't remember when I started doing it, but at every robbery, I would leave a broken heart drawn in lipstick on the glass.
"Damn it." I swore as I cut my hand on a particular sharp piece of glass. I lifted a 20 ct. diamond out of its casing and quickly shoved it in my bag.
I was the best thief Tom Riddle had. I could steal anything in under thirty minutes without triggering any detectors or being seen by a camera. I always wore a black body suit, a mask and the black satin gloves Bellatrix gave me for my 18th birthday.
As I tip-toed to the back of the store and lifted myself back through the open panel in the ceiling, I thought of Bellatrix, or Trixy, as she told me to call her.
I've missed her so much.
I never thought I would be jumping across buildings with 200,000 dollars worth of diamonds in my bag. I never thought this would be what I was supposed to do. I felt so disgusted with myself that the guilt would consume as I tried to sleep at night. But the one feeling that I hated would never go away.
After every job I have, I feel so alive. Like there's nothing I can't do; nothing I can't take. Tom had conditioned me to be a criminal and a murderer. Whatever it takes to make it on the black market. So far, I had killed 4 people. All security guards who stood between me and my assignment. I had only shot a total of 5 bullets in my life. My first mistake was wounding a guard instead of killing him last year. Tom was not happy with me that day.
"Didn't I tell you not to let anyone see you?" Tom screeched as I told him about that night's events.
"I got the painting, isn't that what matters?" I replied.
"Now they know what you look like!" I had never seen him this angry before. In my five years of being with him and his group, he had only gotten angry at me once.
"I was wearing my mask! No one saw me!"
"Well that guard knows how tall you are, your eye color, what your body structure is, and that you have long brown hair! That's enough to start investigating you, Mia!" He shook his hands angrily at me.
"I-I'm sorry." I murmured.
"No, no sorry isn't good enough this time." He scowled.
And that's why my hair was now a lighter brown and cropped in a short pixie cut, I wore blue contacts, and I was 20 pounds thinner. I had never been this skinny in my life and I was bordering underweight. It took me 3 years just gain enough to be classified as average weight, and now I was just as skinny as the night Tom took me under his wing, so to speak.
"It's me, Mia." I whispered to a man standing on a street corner, and lifted the bag in my hands.
"Good." He replied.
He then led me into a building and straight to a trap door.
"Thanks Tony." I smiled at the man I had known for 5 years.
"You're welcome. Were you careful?" He asked concernedly.
Bellatrix, Antonin Dolohov and Harry and Ginny were the only people that I actually liked in my new life. Like me, they were all recruited by Tom in their teen years because they were running from something. I felt like they knew what I was going through. I cared about them, and if anything happened to them, I would be devastated. I already was for Trixy.
"Yes." I smiled back at him.
As soon as he nodded, I slipped through the trap door and ran right into a series of tunnels. It took me about 5 minutes to get back to the house from the rendezvous point. Tony was always there when someone was given an assignment to lead us to the tunnels, so if someone was following us, we would lose them at the building. As I opened a panel in the ceiling, the familiar smell of pasta hit my nose, making me smile.
"Tom! I'm back!" I yelled, coming through the panel, closing it, and walking up the stairs and into the kitchen.
"Good, Mia. Did you get everything? Were you seen?" Tom said, turning around to stare at me with pale blue eyes.
"Yes, I got everything. There were no cameras, just motion detectors. I jumped around them, and even managed to grab an extra watch. I did cut myself on a display, though." I said, setting the bag down on the table.
"Good, good." Tom murmured before he started to rifle through the bag.
He was turning fifty this year and his hair was beginning to pepper with gray hair. He would always say that he was getting to old for this….. Whatever this was, and he was going to retire soon. But that never happened.
"This is all very nice, Mia. Go upstairs and get Ginny to help you with that cut, then come back downstairs; I have a new assignment for you, Harry and Ginny." He smiled, not taking his eyes off the diamond ring he held in his hand.
"Yes, Tom." I replied, beginning to walk up the stairs before turning around to ask one last question. "Have you heard anything from Bellatrix, yet?"
"Sorry Mia, but I haven't. Not since last month." He took the time to look up at whenever we talked about Trixy. She was supposed to be back 2 weeks ago from her assignment. "I'll tell you if I do."
I nodded and made my way upstairs. I was going to miss this particular house when we were gone. I loved the way the marble pillars outside shined at mid-day. I loved the carvings on the doors and granite floors. One house every six months was depressing. So far we had been to 9 different countries.
"Knock knock." I smiled, knocking on a red and gold door. The door opened to reveal a bubbly redhead.
"Hermione! You're back!" She squealed, throwing her arms around me.
"Well hello to you too, Ginny. Where's Harry?" I laughed, prying her off of my shoulders.
"He just got back about half an hour go. He's in the shower now." Her smile faltered in the slightest at that.
Harry Potter was my partner in every big assignment we had. Tom showed up with him 6 months after he got me. Whenever we were faced with a problem, I was the one to come up with a plan and he was the one to execute it. We were the perfect team.
He had married Ginny Weasley 6 months ago, a computer specialist who worked for Tom after her family was murdered, calculating how much everything we stole was worth and how much Tom could sell it for. The story of how Harry and Ginny got together always made me smile. It was last year-
"Hermione, didn't know you were here. How'd it go?" Harry suddenly said as he walked out of his and Ginny's bathroom.
"It went good. Actually, I came up here to-" I said, holding out my arm.
"Oh my gosh!" Ginny interrupted. "Come sit down, I'll get the first aid kit."
"Ginny, it's not that-" I tried, but she simply dragged me into a chair and told me not to move. "How do you live with her, Harry?"
He smiled and hugged me. "What can I say? The heart wants what the heart wants. Plus she does this thing with her hips-"
"Agh!" I screamed, covering my ears with my hands.
I heard Harry laugh and walk toward his closet. He was always saying little things like that because he knew I did not care to hear about my best friends' love lives. It was just one of the things that made me laugh about them.
"Okay Hermione, give me your arm." Ginny said, whom I hadn't noticed was standing right in front of me.
Once Ginny was satisfied with the state of my arm, I led her and Harry downstairs into Tom's office. Once we were there, we idly talked about whether or not we thought we'd be moving again as Tom walked in and told us to listen.
"Alright boys and girls, today we're here-"
"Tom." I rolled my eyes at his antics.
"Right. Anyway, your new assignment will be taking place in New York. I've been informed that my partner there has spotted several historic paintings and artifacts being bought and shipped into a house on the east side. This is where you come in, Hermione. Your knowledge of art enables you to pick which ones will be the most valuable." He started.
"Well then why are we going?" Harry piped up, motioning between himself and Ginny.
"Harry, you are going to help Hermione move everything once she has it. Ginny, you'll be there purely for prices. We don't want any paintings under half a million. Those don't sell. There's about 20 paintings and artifacts in all, and as a guess, only 10 of them will be worth taking." He finished. "Now I need to speak with Hermione. If you two would please go pack your things. This could take months, so make sure you have enough."
Harry and Ginny both nodded before quietly exiting the room.
"Tom?" I questioned.
"The man who owns these paintings and artifacts will not give them up easily. He belongs to a very rich and prestigious family. You need to get close to him. You have to make him trust you." He eyed me warily.
"Wait, are you telling me to fake a relationship with this guy?" I asked, flabbergasted.
"Precisely." Tom confirmed.
"But I can't! There's nothing special about me." I said.
"You obviously have yet to see yourself clearly, then." He said to me, leaning forward and handing me an envelope. "Here. That's everything you need to know about him. You leave tomorrow."
"Thank you." I said automatically, scurrying out of the room as fast as possible.
"Oh and Mia?" Tom called one last time.
"Yes?" I yelled back, sticking my head back into the room.
"There's a photo on the bottom that I think you've earned." He smiled.
That was the thing with Tom. He could be a cold and ruthless puppet-master, but he liked to reward each of us every once and a while for good behavior. He had given me many gifts in the past, but for some reason, I already knew what this particular reward was.
"Thank you, sir." I said, slipping up and accidentally calling him 'sir'.
"I know." I responded, running out of the room and up to my own.
I ripped open the envelope and pulled out the picture on the bottom, promptly bursting into tears as I clutched it in my hands. Tom had given me four pictures of her in total, but this was the best so far. It was a picture of my sister in a porcelin white dress, standing next to a dark-skinned man in a tuxedo. Underneath the figures were their names.
Nathaniel Tyrell Woodard
Daphne Lynn Granger-Woodard
This made me sob even harder. Of course I was extremely happy that my sister had found someone who made her happy, but I was also extremely sad that I missed it. She was twenty now. And I'd missed five years of her life. For all I knew, she could think I was dead.
But I did this- I'm doing this- for her.
It was all so she could have a life, get married, and have little kids of her own. It was always for her. I made a promise when my mother died that I would always take care of Daphne and never let anything bad happen to her again. I found that Daphne had been adopted 6 months after I disappeared from her life. She graduated from highschool at 18 at the top of her class and married last month.
As long as I stay with Tom and his crew, she's safe. Her husband is safe, her future kids are safe, and her life will go on happily. As long as I follow orders.
I quickly got out my tape and stuck the picture on a board in my room with the others. There were now four pictures of Daphne, all at different ages in her life. And one picture of me, daphne, my mother and my father all crowded around a christmas tree when I was 8. That was my most prized possesion.
"Hermione?" Came a small, quiet voice from my doorway. Ginny walked in and stood beside me, staring at the pictures on my wall. "You miss her, don't you?"
"Everyday." I resspoded without thinking.
Ginny simply stood beside me and rubbed my back while I finished crying. She knew what it was like to lose your family. Hers had been killed when a few teenagers in her town were setting off fireworks. One had gone haywire and hit her family's house, catching it on fire along with the ones around them. She had gotten out through her window the second before her house colapsed. She was 8 at the time. For some reason, though, the police never found her youngest-older brother's body. Ginny still had hope that Ron was alive somewhere, but with the state of her burns and the house, the likelihood that he had died shortly after the fire was great.
She undertsood that words wouldn't make me feel any better, only worse. So when I dried my tears and she aksed if I was okay, I said yes, truthfully.
"So what else is in the folder?" She smiled, looking at the folder on my bed, trying to change the subject.
"Tom wants me to pretend to be with that guy so we can get the paintings. It's supposed to be his information and picture." I replied.
"Well then what are we standing here talking for? Look at the picture! He could be cute for all we know."
"Doesn't marriage mean you're not allowed to talk about other guys?" I smiled at her.
"I meant cute as in cute for you. Harry will always be my hot and sexy-"
"Agh!" I yelled for the second time today.
I rolled my eyes at the ginger and made my over to my bed and picked up the folder. I slid out the top picture and stared at the beautiful blonde man who was wearing nothing but a towel.
"How in the world did he even get these pictures?" I asked, blushing.
"I don't know, but he's very... er... muscular." Ginny replied, giggling at my embarrassment.
I quickly tucked that picture behind the rest of the papers and skimmed through the other photos. Him in a tuxedo, another shower picture, him in jogging pants, more shower pictures... geez. Whoever this man was, he was blessed.
"What's his name?" Ginny asked.
"Um," I murmered, putting away the pictures. I searched through the files, finding things like his social security number, and finally came across his birth certificate.
"It says his name is Draco Malfoy."
A/N: Thank you, thank you. Please review, I'd love to know who's on board for this story. In my mind, the Tom Riddle of this story likes to pretend to be a father figure. You'll find out later why he prefers to recruit kids and train them himself, rather than already trained guards. Anyway, I'm so excited for this and I've already got it planned out, meaning I'll update about once every week, two weeks at the most. Please review, it's super easy now! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next update. -Nikki a.k.a.- Twipotterfreak28
P.S.- I never really meant for this story to be humorous at all, so please excuse the occaisional joke thrown in there. My funny bone's been acting up lately.