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Chapter 3: Finding The First Horcrux
The first thing Hermione could hear when she woke up was the sound of rain spattering the outside of her tent. Her eyes fluttered open and she sat up to find that she was alone. She took a deep breath and ran her fingers through her hair as she climbed out of bed. Hermione walked over to her floor length mirror and felt her eyes widen in shock when she saw her reflection. She noticed that she had become even more beautiful than she was before. Her hair had become more silky looking and she had grown a few inches taller than what she had been when her glamour charm had disappeared. Hermione sighed and removed her cloak with millions of thoughts racing through her mind. She knew she couldn't spend the rest of her days wearing her hooded cloak and that sooner or later someone would find out that she was the daughter of Voldemort. Shaking her head she walked over to her trunk and pulled it open. Hermione knelt down in front of her trunk and began rummaging through it. After a few minutes she pulled out a pair of black hip-hugging pants, an emerald green t-shirt, and a fresh pair of black lacy undergarments. She rose to her feet and sat her clothes on the counter. Hermione transfigured one of the spare beds into a huge porcelean tub and filled it with steaming hot water. She stripped her dirty clothes off and climbed into the water. She sighed and closed her eyes as she felt her muscles begin to relax. Hermione then grabbed her coconut scented shampoo and poured some into her hand before massaging it into her hair. She was in the process of rinsing her hair when she suddenly felt someone take the cup from her hands. Hermione kept her eyes closed and waited until her hair was completely rinsed out before she opened her eyes. She then turned around and saw Draco sitting in a chair beside her.
"I didn't expect you to come back" Hermione stated and Draco looked into her eyes as he began massaging conditioner into her hair.
"I guess I deserved that" Draco responded unaware of the fact that his mates father was listening from the tree line outside.
"Why did you come back" Hermione questioned and Draco sighed as he continued massaging the conditioner into her hair.
"I had to see you...If you want me to leave I will" Draco replied as he began rinsing his mates hair once again.
"I just don't understand that out of all the witches in the world it was me that ended up being your mate" Hermione whispered as she pulled her knees to her chest. She stared at the water and soon felt Draco run a soapy cloth across her back. She closed her eyes and suddenly felt her skin begin tingling.
"Hermione I know I've treated like shit for the past six years and I'm sorry...I've never wanted to be like my father...I've never wanted to follow his evil ways" Draco stated and Hermione's eyes flew open as she turned to him.
"If you never wanted to be like him then why did you act like him" Hermione questioned and Draco sighed as he continued bathing her still unaware of the fact that her father was listening.
"Because if I didn't my father would torture me...He's never been an actual father to me...If I don't excell in everything he tortures me...He even beats my mother" Draco replied and Hermione looked down at her hands with millions of thoughts racing through her mind.
"How long has he treated you like that" Hermione questioned and Draco took a deep breath as he lifted her leg out of the water so that he could run the cloth across it.
"Since I was old enough to walk" Draco replied and Hermione looked at his left wrist. She felt her eyes widen in shock when she saw that it was completely flawless.
"What happened to it" Hermione whispered and Draco chuckled as he began rinsing the suds off her skin.
"It disappeared when I gained my Veela inheritance...Once a witch or wizard gains their inheritance their mate becomes the most important person in their life" Draco replied and Hermione looked into his eyes as her heart started pounding rapidly within her chest.
"Draco how do you know that I'm your mate" Hermione questioned and Draco smiled as he looked into her eyes.
"I think I've always known I just wasn't sure until last night...From the first day I've met you I've always smelt strawberries and coconuts...When I saw you last night that smell was stronger than it had ever been before" Draco responded and Hermione became confused as she looked into his eyes.
"How were you able to sense that before you got your Veela inheritance" Hermione questioned and Draco chuckled as he helped her out of the tub. He summoned a towel and began drying her off.
"I asked my mother about it last night when I got home...She said that it's very rare that a potential Veela senses it's mate before it gains it's inheritance...She said that it only happens when a veela and it's mate were fated to be together before they ever met" Draco replied and Hermione nodded as her skin began tingling beneath his touch. Once she was completely dried off she pulled her clothes off and drained the tub before transfiguring it back into a bed.
"How long did it take for your senses to fully develop" Hermione questioned and Draco sighed as he ran his fingers through his hair.
"About a week" Draco stated and Hermione nodded as she dried her hair with a flick of her wrist. She walked over to her trunk and pulled out a pair of socks along with her sneakers. She pulled the socks onto her feet and then pulled the shoes on.
"You should probably get back before anybody notices that you're gone" Hermione said and Draco took her hand into his own as he gently pulled her towards him.
"Please be careful" Draco whispered and Hermione looked into his eyes as her skin began tingling once again.
"I will" Hermione whispered back and Draco tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as he pulled her into his arms. Unable to contain himself any longer he leaned down and claimed her lips in a deep tender passionate kiss. Hermione closed her eyes and coiled her arms around his neck as flames of desire began to lick at her skin. He flicked his tongue across her bottom lip and groaned softly when her lips parted beneath his. She tangled her fingers in his hair and moaned softly as he probed her mouth with his tongue. He pulled her soft body against his and tangled his fingers in her curls as he massaged her tongue with his own. When the kiss finally ended they were breathless.
"I'll try to come and see you again soon" Draco whispered as he rested his forehead against hers.
"Ok" Hermione whispered back and Draco claimed her lips in another brief passionate kiss before pulling away. He tenderly caressed her cheek and exited the tent without another word. Hermione sighed and ran her fingers through her hair as she tried to get her heartbeat under control. She touched her swollen lips and smiled as a wave of happiness washed over her. The next thing she knew she could hear a loud crack signaling that someone had appariated. Hermione walked to the mouth of her tent and pulled the opening aside to find Narcissa standing outside the border of her protection spells. She stepped out of the tent and packed it up with a flick of her wrist. She then put it into her purse and stepped through the border revealing herself to Draco's mother causing her to jump.
"Dear Merlin you about gave me a heart attack" Narcissa stated and Hermione ran her fingers through her hair as she looked at the woman.
"I didn't mean to...You really shouldn't be here...If your husband catches you talking to me he'll be very angry" Hermione responded and Narcissa laced her fingers together as she looked at the young woman before her.
"I've come to ask for your help...I can't take my husbands cruel treatment anymore...I know you have no reason to trust me but I was hoping you could convince the order to help myself and my son" Narcissa replied and Hermione took a deep breath as she shrunk her purse before putting it into her pocket. She was about to respond when she suddenly heard wings flapping towards her. She looked up and saw a solid black owl flying towards her. The owl dropped an envelope into her hands and landed on her shoulder. Not wanting to be caught out in the open reading the letter she grabbed Narcissa's hand and pulled her behind the protection border. Hermione then ripped the envelope open and pulled the letter out. She unfolded it and began reading it silently to herself.
I know that you overheard the conversation the other night and I just want to let you know that if I had known beforehand I would have told you...I don't agree with the fact that Arthur and Molly chose to keep the truth from you...Lupin had told them to tell you before he arrived with Harry but they had chose not to tell you...They felt that Dumbledore wouldn't have wanted it...Lupin knows different and he asked me to tell you to be careful...You're precious to us sweetheart and neither of us want to lose you...If at any time you are approached by my Aunt Narcissa or my cousin Draco please tell them that they are welcome at my parents house...I'm staying there now because I'm pregnant and I can't do much...Please be careful Hermione.
P.S. The Owl is yours...Her name is Midnight
Hermione sighed and folded the letter up before putting it into her pocket. She then looked up at Narcissa with millions of thoughts racing through her mind.
"If you truely want help for yourself and your son you can go to your sister Andromeda's...She's said that you both are welcome there" Hermione said and Narcissa nodded as she laced her fingers together.
"Thank you" Narcissa replied and she disappariated without another word. Hermione sighed and ran her fingers through her hair. She was about to disappariate when images began to surge through her mind. She closed her eyes and suddenly found herself looking into a courtroom. Hermione looked around and saw that Umbridge was sitting in the highest seat with her potronus walking around. Hermione looked up and felt her breath catch in her throat when she saw hundreds of dementors hovering near the ceiling of the courtroom. She looked back at Umbridge and saw that she was questioning someone. Hermione looked over and saw a woman sitting in a chair. She was about to look back at Umbridge when a piece of paper caught her attention. She looked at the picture and saw that was a muggleborn registry. Hermione felt bile rise in her throat when she found her name on it.
Hermione's eyes flew open and she shook her head as her heart started pounding rapidly within her chest. She couldn't believe that the deatheaters would go as far as to question muggleborns about their use of magic. She clenched her fists and flared her nostrils as she disappariated. Hermione landed in the atrium of the Ministry of magic two seconds later and made her way to the elevator. She stepped inside and hit the button for Level Ten. When she arrived at her destination she stepped out and cast an invisibility spell on herself unaware of the fact that Harry and Ron had seen her. She walked towards courtroom ten and stepped inside quietly. She looked at the front of the courtroom and felt hot burning rage boil in her blood when she saw the slytherin pendent hanging around Umbridges neck. Hermione pulled her wand out and aimed it at the woman as she revealed herself.
"You know if I'm not mistaken you have something that doesn't belong to you and I want it" Hermione called out causing several heads to turn her way. Umbridge rose to her feet as she gripped her wand.
"Well well if it isn't Miss Granger...So nice of you to join us...I think I'll have your wand if you don't mind" Umbridge responded and Hermione flicked her wrist summoning the womans wand with a non-verbal spell.
"Nice try but you see I have no intention of handing over my wand now give me that pendent before you really piss me off" Hermione replied as she walked towards the high platform.
"I'll do no such thing and who are you to order me around you little mudblood" Umbridge retorted and Hermione flared her nostrils as her whole body began to tremble in anger. She aimed her wand at the woman and panted heavily.
"Leviacorpus" Hermione snarled and Umbridge screeched as she rose into the air above Hermione's head.
"Put me down at once" Umbridge screeched and Hermione ignored her as she summoned the woman closer to her.
"You never should have pissed me off...I'm warning you do not test me" Hermione snarled and she ripped the pendent off of the woman's neck before disappariating. Hermione landed back in the middle of the woods two seconds later unaware of the fact that her father was still standing by the treeline. She placed the pendent on a rock and took a deep breath as she tried to figure out how to open it. She stared at the Slytherin symbol and closes her eyes knowing she'd have to open it in parsletongue. Hermione opened her eyes and spoke the word open in parsletongue. Less than a minute later the pendent flew open and she suddenly felt a chill surge through her bones. She shivered and aimed her wand at the pendent. She was just about to cast the Fiendfyre charm when the pendent began glowing brilliantly. When the glowing faded Hermione found herself staring at a younger version of her father. She stumbled backwards and felt her heart start pounding rapidly within her chest.
"You don't need to fear me" The younger Voldemort stated and Hermione took a deep breath as she gripped her wand.
"Forgive me if I have trouble believing that...You have been trying to kill me for the past six years" Hermione responded and the younger Voldemort sighed sadly as he shook his head.
"I'm sorry for that...It was never my intention to have you fear me" The younger Voldemort replied and Hermione ran her fingers through her hair as she fought the nerves that were bubbling within her. She was about to respond when she suddenly heard two loud cracks come from behind her. She whirled around and saw Harry and Ron standing outside the protection border.
"Ok you really need to tell me how to destroy this thing before they figure out how to find me" Hermione stated as she whirled around towards the younger version of her father.
"As long as you are the one that finds the Horcruxes they won't need to be destroyed...The minute you touch them the piece of my soul will return to me" The younger Voldemort responded and Hermione nodded as she grabbed the pendent. The minute she did the younger version of her father faded away. She took a deep breath and fought the tears that threatened to fall from her eyes. She didn't know how she was going to be able to face him every time she found one of his horcruxes.
Voldemort felt his heart clench as he watched his daughter place the Slytherin pendent on a rock. He then watched as she spoke the snake language to open it. He could tell that she was nervous and wished there was something he could do. The next thing he knew he was watching her talk to a younger version of himself. Voldemort watched his daughters face and felt a wave of sadness wash over him when he saw the fear in his eyes. He knew that it would take a lot of time for her to stop fearing him. He was still watching her when he suddenly felt a presence beside him. Voldemort looked over and saw his wife standing beside him.
"Tom darling you mustn't do this to yourself...You've got to let her do this on her own" Vivian whispered softly and Voldemort sighed as he turned back towards the spot where his daughter stood.
"I've caused her so much pain and I never even knew it" Voldemort responded and Vivian placed a hand on his shoulder.
"You didn't even know who she was" Vivian replied and Voldemort closed his eyes as another wave of sadness swept over him.
"Bellatrix tried to kill her last night" Voldemort stated and Vivian tensed as anger coursed through her veins.
"Tom you've got to figure out which of your deatheaters you really trust...There are many that will still try to kill her for being friends with the Potter boy" Vivian responded and Voldmort turned towards his wife.
"I know that but I have every confidence that she'll be able to thwart them off...Come lets go pay Bellatrix a little visit" Voldmort said and he grabbed his wife's hand before disappariating silently.
Hermione closed her eyes and disappariated not wanting her friends to find her. She landed in a cave two seconds later and cast the protection charms on it before putting up her tent. She then entered the tent and sat down on her bed feeling exhausted. Hermione pulled her shoes off and curled up beneath her covers. She had almost dozed off when she suddenly heard a rustling sound at the mouth of the tent. Hermione sat up and smiled when she saw Draco step inside.
"How do you always manage to find me" Hermione questioned and Draco smiled as he walked over to her.
"You're my mate I'll always be able to find you" Draco responded as he laid down beside her and pulled her into his arms.
"You do realize that we both only have three months to mark a mate" Hermione said and Draco smiled as he ran his fingers through her hair.
"I know and I don't want to mark you until you find who your mate is...There's a chance that your mate could be someone other than me" Draco replied and Hermione looked into his eyes as she leaned up.
"If we were fated to be together then wouldn't that mean that you would be my mate as well" Hermione questioned and Draco sighed as he ran his thumb across her bottom lip.
"Yes it should but there's still always that chance" Draco whispered and Hermione laid her head on his chest as she curled up against him.
"I don't want to think about you not being my mate it's to depressing" Hermione responded and Draco chuckled as he lifted her chin so that he could look into her eyes.
"I can agree with you on that" Draco whispered and he claimed her lips in a brief passionate kiss.
"I'm tired" Hermione whispered sleepily and Draco smiled as he tenderly caressed her cheek with his fingertips.
"Then sleep...I'll stay with you" Draco responded and Hermione closed her eyes as she curled up agaisnt him. She laid her head on his chest and pulled the covers up over them as they both fell asleep.