The family of three appeared out of nowhere; the taller two grasping hands tightly. They shared a quick glance with each other through sorrowful eyes, then averted their attention to the small bundle in the woman's' arms. They exchanged another small glance and sighed simultaneously before walking forward.
'Are you ready?' asked the man.
'Not even close,' replied Walburga Black.
They turned the corner into a wide, deserted street; the only sound the steady clacking of Walburga's heels against the cobblestone road. A harsh wind attacked them; causing them to wrap their black cloaks around them tighter, and Walburga pulled the small bundle closer to her chest.
'We'll see her soon,' said Orion, his long black hair whipping his face as the wind blew between the gaps in the houses, 'Besides, we still have Sirius.'
Walburga huffed and looked down sadly at the girl in her arms. Her small mop of black, shiny hair was barely visible through the white baby blanket she was wrapped in. '17 years can't come fast enough,' she said, 'Besides; Sirius is a boy.'
'I'm quite aware of that,' Orion said, giving a throaty chuckle, 'What is the problem with Sirius? He shall grow up to become the Black family heir, and will marry Andromeda in order to continue the Black family name.'
'You wouldn't understand,' Walburga snapped. 'You're male.' She walked in fast powerful strides that left Orion a couple of paces behind, closed her eyes and took a deep, steadying breath; willing the tears that threatened to fall to disappear. Blacks never showed emotion, no matter how drastic the situation. But a lone tear managed to escape Walburga's eye as she thought about her task. Most people would consider it an honour to be called upon the Dark Lord. They would willingly give up their child to appease him; Walburga wasn't as willing. For years she had wished to have a child of her own; preferably a girl, of which she could spoil and dote on. Eleven months after she had gotten her one enduring wish, she had been ordered to part with her beloved child for the Dark Lord. Sure, her child had a twin brother, Sirius, but Walburga had always preferred females to males.
Orion had caught up with her, and Walburga quickly tried to discard the tear with the back of her hand. Orion saw the movement and grabbed his wife's wrist and looked at the salty tracks marring her face. His usually emotionless façade was replaced with one of understanding as his eyes flickered down to his daughter. He, too, had always wanted a child; he was content with Sirius, but Elladora had always tugged at his heartstrings in a way that Sirius couldn't. When his daughter looked at him through the trademark silver eyes, he would gladly hand her the world on a silver platter. He took his wife's face in his hands and wiped the tear away with a soft flick of his thumb.
'It will be okay,' he soothed, resting a gentle hand on the girl in Walburga's arms. 'Come – we're going to be late.' With one last swift glance in his daughters' direction, Orion placed a soft kiss on Walburga's forehead and started walking down the deserted street. They were nearing a dead end, but as they drew closer, the outline of a mansion became visible against the silver moon. A lone figure stepped out from the shadows and started walking towards them; the metallic thuds of boots echoing through the street.
'Ah, Walburga,' the figures voice carried across the street in crystal clear quality, 'I was beginning to think you had lost your way.'
'Not at all, Cygnus,' Walburga replied, as her brother, Cygnus Black came striding into view, 'Sirius wasn't happy to be separated from Ella.'
'Ah yes.' Cygnus nodded in understanding, 'Well, he is betrothed to Andromeda; an awful match if you ask me. The male should always be older than the female in my opinion. Are you sure you won't consider pairing Elladora and Sirius together?'
'Completely sure,' Walburga said firmly; Cygnus had brought up this conversation every time they had seen each other since Elladora was born, and she was getting irritated with giving the same answer every time. 'If anything, Elladora shall have a say in who she marries; I already have a list of suitors for her.' Nothing in that statement was true. In actual fact, Walburga believed that her daughter should not be wed. Not that she wouldn't attract males; if she had the Black family genes, she should have no problems finding a husband. Walburga just felt that no one would ever be worth her daughter.
Cygnus nodded again and offered his hand to Orion, which he shook half-heartedly. He had never been too fond of his wife's brother; he would be forever flouncing his three daughters in his face at every family reunion. Together, the three plus one child made their way to the large, iron gates, were Cygnus held onto both Walburga and Orion as he walked through them as if they were transparent.
'You need to be marked to gain access,' he explained smugly as he let them go, 'It's a shame you haven't been marked yet Orion; you are one of the few Black males who aren't.'
Orion shrugged, but he chose to say nothing. The truth was; he, along with his wife, thought the Dark Lord had the right idea; the muggles that surrounded their house were better off dead. In his time at Hogwarts, Orion had been disgusted at the number of Mudbloods tainting the school; there simply wasn't enough space in the wizarding world for anyone but the purebloods. Squibs were useless, Muggles were as good as dead and Mudbloods just got in the way. Once graduated, Cygnus had received the mark a mere year later, but Orion bowed to no one, and so chose not to receive the mark.
Stones crackled at their feet as Orion, Walburga and Cygnus strode towards the front door of Bulstrode Manor, which swung open as Cygnus pressed his left forearm against it. They stepped into a dimly lit hallway that stretched far into the darkness, and started walking towards the door at the end. It seemed that Cygnus had been here numerous times, as he ignored the piercing stares of the surrounding portraits of deceased relatives, where as Walburga walked behind Orion; eying the portraits warily. Cygnus halted suddenly in front of a large, oak door, and hesitated for a second before turning the brass doorknob, and gesturing for his companions to enter.
The drawing room was full of silent people, all seated at a long, wooden table. Their heads turned to the door as the three newcomers entered, and one man smiled a frightening smile.
'Ah, Cygnus,' a high, clear voice sounded from the top of the table, 'I see you have brought our honoured guests.'
Cygnus beamed proudly and lowered himself into a low bow, 'My Lord, Lord Orion and Lady Walburga Black have brought their child.'
A cackle sounded from the top of the table as a pale, white man came forth from the shadows; his fingertips touching each other in an evil manner. His blood red eyes gleamed through the darkness as he focused them on the child in Walburga's arms. 'You have done well, Cygnus,' Lord Voldemort said, never once moving his eyes from the young girl. 'Sit beside Abraxas.' Cygnus beamed again as he strode over to the eldest Malfoy, who was seated a mere three places away from Voldemort.
'Ah, Orion Black,' Voldemort said, addressing the man, 'I knew I would see you here one day. Come - sit'
Orion said nothing, but simply put on a blank expression as he walked forward to the seat across from Cygnus. Walburga, however, was avoiding looking at Voldemort, and was darting her eyes around the room in fear as she took her place beside her husband. Voldemort fixated his eyes on the fearful woman, and his cool, grey lips turned upwards into what could only be a grin.
'My dear Walburga,' he said, 'Look at me.'
The words were crystal clear, yet they only made a droplet of sweat travel down Walburga's forehead. Beside her, Orion was throwing her not-so-subtle glances; indicating that he wanted her to do as the Dark Lord wished. The scraping of a chair sounded and every Death Eater turned to the noise. Voldemort was making his way over to Walburga; his black robes billowing behind him. Once in front of her, he tipped her chin up with a scaly, white hand and looked into her eyes.
'Look at me.'
Red eyes met silver as Walburga had no choice but to look into his eyes. She blinked in fear, but Voldemort just kept staring; as if trying to peer into her mind through her eyes. Seconds passed yet no one made a sound; just sat in silence watching the exchange. A whimper sounded. Then another. Voldemort's thin brows scrunched up in confusion. The sound wasn't coming from Walburga, but rather the bundle in her arms. Voldemort looked down and grinned. He snatched the blanket from her arms, ignoring her gasp. Cradling the bundle in his arms, Voldemort pulled back the blanket to reveal an infant, who was blinking away the sleep encrusted on her dark lashes. Her short tuft of black, shiny hair fell in front of her trademark silver eyes as she slowly opened them and stared at the pale face of the Dark Lord. Her mouth opened in an 'o' as she stretched out a pudgy hand to touch the evil man's face. A collective intake of breath was heard throughout the gathered Death Eaters as they awaited their masters' reaction. Voldemort merely smirked down at the infant; his eyes gleaming with achievement as he walked briskly back to his master chair, Elladora still in his arms. His eyes held a manic gleam as he pushed the hair out of the girls eyes and placed her onto the table
'My loyal followers,' he began; his red eyes surveying the group, 'I am deeply sorry for calling you at such short notice,' he continued; not sounding remotely apologetic. 'I call of a subject of important nature; one that could guarantee us complete control over our world.'
Cautious whispers and excited murmurs broke out amongst the gathered followers; even Walburga and Orion looked at each other with raised eyebrows.
'Knowledge of the future is… vital in the time of war,' Voldemort began, slowly staring to walk around the table, 'It could decide the outcome – it could inform us of where we stand in the next decade.'
As he passed Walburga, Voldemort trailed a bony finger across the back of her chair; lightly touching her back, sending shivers down her spine. His deliberately slow movements and speech had each Death Eater hanging onto every word that dripped from his cruel mouth. Elladora sat oblivious on the table; her eyes wide with fascination as she put her finger in her mouth, effectively dribbling all over the mahogany.
'Which is why I have chosen a child to travel forward through time; she will learn of our place in the war, and in time, shall return to us to pass on such information.' Voldemort paused for his declaration to settle in amongst his followers. Mere milliseconds later, shouts of triumph and laughter erupted from the gathered; all of whom were amazed at their Lords latest scheme.
'My Lord, might I enquire as to why you have chosen a child to complete such a feat?'
Silence immediately fell upon the table as all eyes swivelled round to the man who dared question their Lord. He was of pureblood nature; his clothes tailored with not a stitch out of place, his pointed face complete with a dark goatee which matched his long flowing hair.
'Lupin…' The Dark Lord hissed, recognizing his newly recruited follower, 'You have a… problem with my choice?'
John Lupin sat shyly at his spot five seats from the Dark Lords vacant chair. It was very uncommon for a half blood to be accepted into the Dark Lords ranks, but after five years of service, his commitment often disguised his blood status; earning him a higher place in the followers.
'Not at all, my Lord,' he lied smoothly. He thought it was despicable that a child was being forced to leave her home to find information; even if it was information about the war. It was an abomination. Inhumane. 'I was merely inquiring as to who shall be housing her upon her arrival to 1979.' Lies.
Lord Voldemort smiled. John Lupin had proved to be an excellent asset to him over the past couple of years; in sharing the same blood status, the Dark Lord felt a special connection with John. Although he was not from a wealthy background, he shared the same views of that of the many purebloods seated at the table. All it took was a little push in the right direction five years ago and John came running to follow him…
'She shall be brought up in the house of the Lupin's,' Voldemort said; smiling as he saw the looks of horror on his followers' faces. They were all well aware of Lupin's blood status, and were obviously outraged by the fact that a pure-blooded witch would be brought up by such people. Voldemort paid them no heed, and turned his attention to John. 'I understand you have welcomed another person into your family recently…?
John beamed with pride. Remus John Lupin was everything he could have ever hoped for and more. At 8 months, he was already showing signs of accidental magic; the occasional flicker of flame if he didn't get his own way; the simple navigation spell when he lost his stuffed wolf toy. John knew the Dark Lord was disgusted by his choice in wife; it was frowned upon to have a muggle as your partner. But, John was undeniably in love with Anna Holborn, and so when the Dark Lord questioned his choice in partner, he simply stated that in marrying Anna, people never suspected his Death Eater identity.
'I hope that in putting the child in your care, it shall not affect your living arrangements with your son,' Voldemort said, not showing a lot of care. Lupin was quick to reassure him that it was a great honour to house the child. Voldemort slowly started walking back to his seat, his robes billowing behind him. Lupin breathed an inaudible sigh of relief as the Dark Lord walked away from him. It took every ounce of his self control to refrain from voicing his views on the task set upon the child's shoulders.
'Now, my loyal and dear followers,' Voldemort started as he sat down in his chair, 'we must alter the child's appearance; we cannot have Dumbledore recognizing this child in the future.' Malicious grins lit up the death eaters faces; Walburga blanched. If her daughter was to be posing as the daughter of a half-blood, the Dark Lord would rid her of her pureblood features, making her look like some ordinary child.
Elladora sat oblivious to the excitement around her, and started scratching the table with her tiny, stubby fingers. The Dark Lord looked down at her, and raised his wand. A flick of his wrist and Elladora's black shiny hair was instantly turned an ordinary brown. The Death Eaters cheered. Walburga let a tear roll down her face. Another flick and the brown hair became curly and messy. Another tear escaped from Walburga's eye. The child started to cry; she was becoming more aware of the changes happening to her and they hurt – a lot. A minute later, and the child sitting on the table was unrecognizable. Her brown hair matched her chocolate eyes, to which the usual excited glimmer was absent. Her nose was larger than its normal button-like state, and her teeth looked too big for her mouth. The Death Eaters were openly laughing now and Orion and Walburga tried to hide their disgust. Their child's appearance was the complete opposite of that of a purebloods; they couldn't recognize their own daughter.
The Dark Lord raised a hand, and instant silence fell over the table. 'Now – we must name her.' His eyes instantly seek out Walburga and Orion. His eyes lit up, and a grin spreads across his face. 'Ah, Orion,' he said, 'it seems only fitting that you be the one to name your daughter.'
Orion said nothing. His face was alight with embarrassment; no doubt Walburga's was too. The Death Eaters started laughing again.
'It can't be too pureblood now-'
'Make it extra muggle-'
'Can't be suspicious-'
With every jeer from the Death Eaters, Orion's face turned a deeper shade of red. He stole a glance at Voldemort, only to find said man staring at him, a thin eyebrow raised.
'Is something wrong, Orion?' he asked. The Death Eaters stared at him, waiting for his reply. Yet Orion remained silent. Voldemort tutted. 'Pity… Are you sure you do not know any muggle names?' At Orion's silence, Voldemort tutted again. 'Oh well – how about you, Lupin?'
Lupin fidgeted in his chair as he faced his Lord. 'How muggle does this name have to be, my Lord?'
Voldemort pretended to look thoughtful for a second. 'As muggle as possible.'
Lupin thought for a moment – he and Anna had both agreed on a name for a name if they were to ever have a girl. 'Hermione,' he said, letting the name roll off his tongue. It was Anna who had introduced him into the works of Shakespeare, and 'The Winter's Tale' had quickly become his favourite. 'Hermione is as muggle as a name can be.'
Voldemort gazed at Lupin proudly. 'Whilst I dislike the name, I am pleased with your choice.' He turned to Orion. 'Only the parents of the child can change their name. You must do it.'
Orion stood on shaky feet, breaking his hand from Walburgas tight grasp. He walked towards his daughter and raised his wand to her forehead. 'Mutare nomen- Elladora Black ad Hermione Lupin.'
Elladora glowed a brilliant white light for a second; the Death Eaters shielded their eyes with their robe sleeves. The child seemed unfazed however, as if nothing had changed. The light dimmed, and immediately a spell was cast at her, and words appeared above her head.
Hermione (Surname Unknown)
Born September 19th, 1979
Birth Parents; Unknown
As the words cleared, cheers rose around the table. The first part of their plan was complete. Voldemort raised his wand once more and pointed it to the child. 'Now, she will be sent to 8 Harworth Road, London, on the day November 6th, 1980.' A piece of paper was produced from the end of the Dark Lords wand. He threw it over to Lupin. 'Her identity.' There was a prolonged silence as the Dark Lord turned to the child. 'Deincepsspatium!'
As soon as the words left Voldemorts lips, bright light surrounded the child again, but this time, a look of sheer alarm was on her face as her eyes sought out her distraught parents. She was disappearing; fading through time.
Walburga ran forward and held out her arms to take her child, but her arms simply held the air. Like a ghost, Elladora was transparent, and growing more faded by the second. All too soon, she was gone.
'Robert – Robert come quickly!'
The quick footsteps of Robert Granger could be heard padding over the grass from the other side of the small garden; his tousled brown hair windswept from working on the flowerbeds all day. 'What, what is it Jane?' he said, looking around for any sign of danger.
Jane Granger stood riveted to the spot. She was staring at a bundle on the ground. Shakily, she bent down and picked it up in trembling arms. Pulling back the blanket, she gasped. 'R-robert...' she trailed off and looked up at her husband. Robert wordlessly took the bundle from her arms and cradled it. 'She has a note.'
He carefully took the note and unfolded it.
Born September 19th, 1979
Take Care of her.
Jane looked up at Robert again. 'What does this mean...?' Robert was at a loss for words. Only Jane's elderly mother knew of their inability to have children; they had only just realised their incapability, and so were still recovering from the shock of it all.
'We must take her to the police right away.' Robert said, already shrugging on his coat.
Jane looked heartbroken. 'But – but Robert, what if, what if someone left her... for us?' Robert paused. 'We still must take her to the police.' He took his wives face in his hands. 'If she is no one elses to claim, we will try to adopt her. But we must do the right thing just now.' Jane nodded.
A month later, the paperwork was complete, and Hermione Granger became known to the world of 1980.
A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry this chapter was a little delayed – I had to finish all the notes for this story... So the overall vote was for me to post this story – review or pm me to tell me what you think and I might update some more! Please tell me what you think!