A/N JK owns Harry Potter and I write for no monies. Part II of a Trilogy. Hermione starts her new job. Italics are speaking through the Bond.
Many thanks to my Beta DatPGurl for helping me out.
Chapter 6 The Department of Rights of Magical Creatures
After a long discussion, Hermione and Severus agreed to keep the information to themselves other than that which mentioned their progeny. Hermione decided not to announce the news to her friends while she pondered what to do- her friends knew that Severus was alive and would not be surprised, but others would question her.
Hermione proposed a neat solution to Severus, one that would explain her pregnancy, "I could marry a member of the Order."
He was adamantly against it, reminding Hermione that consummation in Magical marriages was traced. "I will not share you with any man, even if it is only once. Sacrifices will be made in this fight, but that will not be one. You are mine only." Severus fiercely expressed.
Severus remembered when they lost a child two months into Hermione's first pregnancy. He felt she handled it well. Both shed many tears and eventually moved forward. He knew it still bothered her because she didn't tell him until the end of the first trimester for her second pregnancy, with Stefan.
Severus came out of his memory and found Hermione before him dressed in standard Ministry robes. He moved from the leather chair, placing down a copy of The Daily Prophet, and wrapped his arms around Hermione, kissing her.
"Be wary of Binns Hermione. If you think anything is amiss, you will leave and come back to me." Severus insisted.
Hermione sought to reassure her husband, "Everything will be fine, Severus. He has a vested interest in me- remember his threat? We've practiced my Occlumency skills, and while not up to your standards, I've thought of an alternate memory for the globe."
"Be safe, Hermione." He whispered to her.
Hermione smiled at Severus, "I will. Besides, Arthur is there, along with Percy, so I will be safe."
Severus watched Hermione turn on her heel and Disapparate.
Hermione arrived at the Ministry of Magic and found Arthur waiting for her. "Minister Binns asked that I escort you to his office."
Hermione fell in step with Arthur, sensing nothing from her ex-Father-in-Law, who remained silent until they arrived at an elevator a distance away from the others. "This is the private elevator to the Minister's office. He gave me this for you." Arthur stated, handing Hermione a piece of parchment. She quickly scanned the first page, finding a list of expectations for Heads of Departments, and an outline of duties, particular to the Rights of Magical Creatures Department. For a man bent on taking over the world, Binns played the role of the politician admirably. She flipped to and read the second page. She gave the parchment back to Arthur and nodded.
Arthur gestured for Hermione to enter the elevator first, then immediately grabbed for a hand hold as soon as he followed her. Hermione watched the door slam shut, suffered the gut wrenching pull, and endured the sudden stop of the elevator. The door opened with a feminine voice stating, "Office of the Minister of Magic."
Arthur placed Hermione's arm on his and led her to the receptionist. "Mavis, I have the Head of Rights of Magical Creatures, as requested by the Minister."
Mavis taped her wand on her desk. "Minister, Madame Snape has arrived."
A voice was heard, though not seen, "By all means bring her in. You can tell Arthur he is released."
Arthur heard the words and shook Hermione's hand. "Welcome back, Hermione. I'll see you at the Ministry canteen for lunch." Hermione watched him leave and followed Mavis into the office of Minister Binns.
"Welcome back, Madame Snape," Binns murmured, shaking her hand. "Please, take a seat."
Hermione sat down, immediately discussing her responsibilities, when she felt Binns slip into her mind. His tactic was clever and not by the books. Hermione managed to hold the altered memory and continued the discussion, feeling Binns rifle through her mind, looking for the revelation of the globe. She answered the question on her goals for her department, while simultaneously pushing forth the false memory of a broken relationship, hidden pregnancy and miscarriage with a Muggle. She nudged forward the concocted memory of the globes revelation while wrapping up the conversation with the Minister.
Binns stood up, motioning for Hermione to do the same, "I'll escort you to your new office."
Hermione dutifully followed the Minister, entering the elevator and quickly finding herself at the last level, which was Ministry Maintenance.
Binns opened a grimy door. "I'll find better accommodations later, but this is the best currently available."
Hermione looked at the battered desk and chair. "It's fine Minister Binns; most of my work will be out in the field anyway, as I plan to meet with those I work with on their home turf."
Binns nodded to her and left. He made his way back to his own office, pleased that he provided what was promised, as he moved towards his goal. He wanted to keep Hermione under his watchful eye.
Hermione watched Binns leave then sat down, pulling out drawers and finding nothing. Conjuring a piece of parchment, she sent a request to the Administrative department requesting parchment, quills, and a single file cabinet. Tapping her wand to the parchment, Hermione watched it transform into a paper airplane and zoom out the door.
Hermione settled into the rickety chair, thought of her meeting with Binns, and felt for her Bond.
"Stellar office, Hermione."Severus professed, with a faint sense of a chuckle.
Hermione sent along a reply, "Yes, indeed. Binns rummaged through my mind as we talked. It was quite distracting, but I did manage it."
Severus was immediately alert, "No one should know how or be able to do that. It must be because of his Bonding to the Lord of the Dark. You must be careful."
Hermione quickly changed the subject to something much lighter. "I'm going to the Centaur herd on Hogwarts' grounds tomorrow. They have a unique reading of the stars and like to see a reaction."
Severus allowed the topic change."A good idea for you to know them."
"I wonder what will happen when you meet the Trolls and Vampires," he mused, giving Hermione the distinct impression he was smirking.
Hermione ignored her husband's remark and went to work, outlining her goals and making a decree for her office.
Donovan went to work, as usual, and found his Head waiting for him at his desk. "I've an assignment for you Donovan, which will require you to be released from this department until it is complete."
Donovan has only had face-to-face communiqué with his new boss twice since the change of Heads of Department, so he knew it was important. "Always in service to expand on the unknown," Donovan safely replied.
His Head seemed satisfied. "The standard response from everyone. Not quite as grand as that, but the Minister wants a representative from the Department of Mysteries to assist the newly formed Department of Rights of Magical Creatures. You are her advisor and will use the resources of our department to aide her. I'm sorry Donovan, for giving you a thankless job, but you've nothing on your plate."
"Who is the person I will be assisting?" queried Donovan.
"Madame Snape. You are one of my best and the Minister emphasized that I send the best to aide Madame Snape in bringing the various magical creatures under Ministry control by recognizing their current rights. You have the full resources of the Department of Mysteries available to you." He handed Donovan a parchment of transfer to the newly created Department of Magical Creatures. "I expect a weekly report of plans and contacts, for the Minister wants to track the progress being made."
"I'll report to Madame Snape immediately and send my report as required." Conjuring up a box, Donovan packed up his desk. "Where is the office?"
"Maintenance section for now. It's temporary while the Minister arranges a new office."
Donovan nodded, used his wand to shrink the box, and placed it inside of his pocket. "I'll be on my way then."
Hermione sat in the grubby office thinking of the Centaurs. She immediately thought of Firenze, the Divination professor at Hogwarts. Firenze had made amends with his herd after the war. Hermione concluded that he would be the best place to start. She wrote her request down and sent it out just as she heard a knock on her door. Pointing her wand at the door, she watched it open to reveal Donovan.
Donovan introduced himself and explained why he was there, "I was told to report to you. You have the full resources of the Department of Mysteries available to help you. I'm to be an advisor to you."
Hermione moved to Donovan and shook his hand like she never met him, playing along. "Welcome, Unspeakable Donovan, to the Department of Rights of Magical Creatures. I've been told my office is temporarily here so we will have to make do." Conjuring up a chair and thankful of a familiar presence, despite not being able to show it, Hermione motioned for him to take a seat.
Hermione recited the brief summary of her goals she just outlined. "I've sent out a request to meet with the Centaur herd at Hogwarts as they have most interaction with witches and wizards. They are unique in their star-gazing and –interpreting abilities. I intend to present myself to them and foster an understanding between them and the Ministry; I will make clear that their concerns are in the forefront of my mind, and that the Ministry would like to work with them into accepting a role in the Wizarding World."
"Madame Snape, I will research previous Ministry interactions with Centaurs and provide you with a history to assist. It is an honor to work with one of four that saved our world." Donovan made to leave.
Hermione stood when the wizard did and held out her hand, "Welcome to the Department of Rights of Magical Creatures." Donovan shook it and left without a word.
Hermione sat back down and began to plan. The Giants would be last on her contact list.
Hermione sent a message that she was having a hard time finding the Centaur herd in the Forbidden forest and Flitwick allowed her to stay at the castle for a week to give her a chance.
Days passed with Severus reading the Daily Prophet, keeping an eye on the obituaries. Binns in charge, with control of a Master Assassin, Severus waited for the trail of bodies. Near the end of the week, he found it. Supporters of pureblood independence were listed in the obituaries every other day. Rumblings in the Prophet said that they were murdered for their pureblood cause, despite being listed of dying of natural causes. It was time to have a chat with Slightly.
Severus moved to the brass coat stand and grabbed his travelling cloak. He wrapped it around himself, turned on his heel, and Apparated away to the assassin's residence.
Arriving with a loud crack, Severus looked around quickly and found no one. Moving the hood of his traveling cloak to cover his features he knocked on the door.
"Go away! I told you before I'm not interested in your trinkets." A muffled voice sounded out.
"Trouble with panhandlers, Slightly? I suggest you let me in before I'm noticed."
The door immediately opened and Severus strode past the wizard, hearing the door slam behind him.
Severus pulled down his hood. "You've been busy Master Assassin. Why have you not contacted me?"
"Like I could, Snape." Slightly growled out. "You never gave me a contact. You're a clever wizard and I figured you would watch the obits and come calling when you found a pattern. If you want me handled properly, then you will have to give me a handler. You had one in the past did you not? Oh yes, I remember, you killed him."
Severus remained calm at the direct reminder of his hand in the death of Headmaster Dumbledore. He could not blame him. "I'll get you a handler, who will provide a pleasant respite later. You've a list and I need to see it. No doubt Binns is planning to put Pureblood and Muggle rights against one another. I predict your list contains hits on Muggle rights activists next week and then after that you take out one of each with poison that will flag. Binns will require all associations to register and be approved. The Order of the Phoenix will refuse and thus be placed on the State Secrets Acts watch list and Binns will go after known members and they will disappear as there is no accountability."
Slightly looked to him impressed and handed him the parchment listing the names. "This must be done or my life is forfeit. As long as I don't draw notice he will treat me the same. He is confident and ignores the obvious, which is my saving grace."
Severus placed the parchment down. "It was my saving grace as well." He murmured.
Severus stood up. "A raven will send you a parchment with your handler." Watching the features of the assassin change to worry, he said, "Don't worry, it will not be me or Potter. You'll be safe enough and pleased. You will allow me unrestricted access to your residence." Handing him a coin, Severus explained, "This will allow you to pass messages. You will carry it always. Use it for the most urgent of messages until your handler is revealed."
"A bit cryptic don't you think, Snape?" Slightly growled back.
Severus smiled. "It is and that is the best you have to work with. Continue on with your list and I will brief Potter."
Slightly waved his wand. "You have direct access here. Please use the coin for Binns arrives unannounced from time to time when calls me."
Severus nodded and turned his heel, Apparating away.
One the seventh day of Hermione's stay at Hogwarts, Firenze joined Donovan and Hermione in the Forbidden Forest.
"They have moved deeply into the forest. I am a guide only and have no input. Bane has agreed to talk to you."
Hermione patted Firenze's mane. "It's the best I could hope for."
They followed Firenze deeper into the forest