he carriage ride to Malfoy Manor was one of the most tedious Hermione had ever experienced. Not only was it freezing within the carriage, but they had been sitting in silence for near four hours, with another two to endure.
Draco had been asleep for quite some time, lounging on the long seat without a care. His platinum hair hung in his eyes, messy and gorgeously untamed. Hermione just couldn't shake the calm and protected feelings that swept over her while he was in her presence. She now knew that he was on her side, and her on his. No matter how he treated her, she knew he cared at least a little bit, non-the-less.
Her reminiscing was suddenly interrupted by a large bump in the road, which shook the entire cabin they occupied.
Draco jolted upright and braced himself, as if expecting to fall. Looking around for the source of his rude awakening, his eyes met with Hermione's, and he smirked sleepily. He ran a hand through his tousled hair, and cocked an eyebrow at her as she began to smile.
He smiled back slowly, his liquid-steel eyes searching hers.
Nothing would go wrong while he was around. She had been right when she was delusional... he truly could be her guardian angel, if the idea didn't sicken her to the point of vomiting first.
The moon was new in the sky as the carriage pulled up to a gated drive. Hermione leaned towards the side window to get a better view of the place she would spend her holidays. It was mesmerizing, to say the very least. She wasn't sure what she had expected, but it wasn't this.
As the carriage passed through the gates with consent, it stopped before the grand entrance.
Opening the door to the horse-drawn carriage, Hermione jumped out, dropped the small travel bag she was holding, and stood in awe of the majestic building before her. The four grand pillars that encased the three story front entrance were enormous in stature, along with the massive proportions of the rest of this magnificent home. She had always thought that Draco had just played the 'rich card' to win his cronies and intimidate others, she didn't actually think he was this
"When you're ready to pick your jaw off the ground..." He didn't even need to finish as Hermione's shock at his childhood home suddenly sobered at his words. "Thought I'd been lying about power all these years, didn't you?" Smirking slyly, he turned to his side, picked up Hermione's forgotten piece of luggage and began to walk toward the intimidating manor.
Hermione's eyes roamed the dark stone walls, tresses, and the fascinating stained glass that seemed to jump out at her from random windowpanes. She was so engrossed, as she hurried to catch up to Draco, that she began to trip and fumble in the small rocky potholes of the drive as well as up the grand steps to the front door.
Draco smirked at her lack of coordination produced by her awe. He reached out and grabbed her wrist, pulling her onto the front landing and out of her daze. Suddenly, the door's magical gears started to crank and the grin on Draco's face fell away as if it was poison.
There, beyond the great wooden doors, were a very upset Narcissa, and a seething Lucius.
"Oh great -" was all Draco had time to whisper to himself before being harshly dragged inside, along with a very nervous Hermione.
"What in the sake of Merlin are you thinking?!" It wasn't meant as a question to be answered, more like a reason to shout, and that was exactly what Lucius Malfoy decided to do. "What is the meaning of such a disgusting
Draco crossed his arms stubbornly as his parents demanded explanations in the foyer of the manor. Apparently there was no time in this 'crisis' to move to a location where the damned house elves couldn't eavesdrop.
"How dare you bring blood filth into this house!" Lucius shouted heatedly, drawing his wand and aiming it at Hermione. "No son of mine- no son of any
pureblood would be tolerated for this! An outrage-"
Narcissa, whom was standing to the immediate left of her husband, had a distraught expression flattened on her angler features as she spoke for the first time within the quarter-of-an-hour argument. "What are the other purebloods going to think when they find out? What will we do? Associating with mudbloods! Oh, for heaven's sake. We're ruined! How could any son do such a thing to his mother? How?! I raised you, you-"
"That will do, Narcissa." It was all that Lucius needed to say, and with a wave of his palm she was silent and reserved for the next while.
Draco was reaching his limit of toleration quickly. "Father!” Now grasping the obnoxious man's attention, Draco continued, “You have no idea what has happened since the year began. You know of nothing.
" His nostrils were flared as he shook with anger. "You stand here and judge when you definitely have no damn right to. This is way above you in every aspect. You can't control her presence here. Put the wand down, because if you continue, it'll be your head, by someone
outside of this room." Releasing a breath, Draco rolled back his shoulders and straightened his posture. "You will be in far more trouble turning her away then you will be if, and when, everyone finds out she is here."
Lucius' eyes widened as he looked from the determined boy to the undecided girl and back again, apparently overlooking the last words Draco had spoken. "You!" His pointed wand moving between the two at rapid speed. "You disgrace." The words came to fall on Draco's shoulders as Lucius went off yet again. "You will ruin everything the name of 'Malfoy' has come to prize... In love with a mudblood
! I should have seen this coming- sending you to that bloody, God forsaken school when you could have had the finest education at Durmstrang! Allowing muggle brats magical training. Bullshit." He had taken a turn about the large, open foyer, his black cloak billowing behind him sending candles, here and there, into darkness. The room became slightly moodier as a result.
Stepping from her place at Draco's side, Hermione decided enough was enough. It was time to interject.
"You know nothing of why I am here!"
Draco's eyes whipped to the side to see Hermione's agitated attitude displayed freely across her face, along with the slightest glow from the band upon her finger. He knew she was aggressive, but never would he have thought towards his father, the murderer of many. Let's just see exactly where this goes...
Walking up to view Lucius' side better in the dim light, Hermione scowled. “You might be digging yourself into more trouble than you're worth. Watch what you say, and to whom you say it, Lucius
Lucius was quite taken aback by Hermione's challenging demeanor, but only for the slightest moment. Whipping around, cloak following, Lucius spoke with a harsh tone that would chill the hearts of many. “How dare
you make such an aggression on me. You forget your place... disgusting Mudblood!” With that Lucius raised the back of his wand-free hand and began to follow through, with fire in his eyes.
Draco's eyes widened as he realized his father meant to backhand her. As fast as he humanly could, Draco reached out, clutching Hermione's wrist. He swung her back behind him in one swift move, stepping forward, blocking Hermione from view as he did so.
Lucius' ring-laden hand brutally connected with Draco's cheek, emitting a sickening crack. The rings dug into the boy's flesh, tearing it, leaving deep gashes under his eye and upon his lip. Draco's head snapped to the side from the impact, yet never did he flinch or blink. The entirety of this situation was much more important than a blow to the face. It was all about perspectives.
Draco's eyes darkened. Slowly, he began to raise his features to the candlelight, panting through clenched teeth deeply. Little did he know that a massive green glow had erupted from behind his figure.
Narcissa, let out a worried screech for her son, as she set her eyes on the bloody cheek. Upon viewing the mysterious glow engulfing the room her screech became a scream of horror as she backed away, closed her eyes and shook her long mane of platinum hair. What was happening? Draco tilted his head to glance over his shoulder, and gave the slightest smirk.
“Big mistake, Father,” was all that left Draco's half clenched jaw. Stepping to the side, his silver eyes shone at who had now come to stand behind him, letting his parents gaze in sheer awe and, in Lucius' sake, terror.
Gasping, Narcissa's hand flew to her mouth as tears began to well up in her eyes. Picking up the hem of her luxurious gown, she turned and fled the foyer.
Lucius' eyes widened as he backed away against the banister, dropping his wand and tripping slightly on his cloak as he did so.
“No- how is this possible- the Mudblood
Hermione's acid eyes connected with Lucius' silver ones as she began to step forward, no smile of joy on either person's lips.
“Lucius Malfoy, presenting Aurora Rosier,” Draco gloated, with a smirk.
Hermione looked from Lucius to Draco, and back again. Stepping even further forward, she began to speak, showing off her intimidating and unusual fangs, “You see Mr. Malfoy, things are not always as they seem. It'll do you well to remember that, because I'm sure there must be someone in this pureblooded rank that would be very unhappy to hear of what almost took place here.” It was not a smug comment, just a necessary truth that was best shared with the stubborn man.
Draco cleared his throat to once again direct the attention upon him. “Father, she has come here for answers, answers that I know I'm not fit, or even permitted to give.”
Lucius' gaze dropped to the floor. “I- I need time to gather my thoughts.” He was avoiding their request on purpose.
Draco's temper flared. They had come all this way for answers, and the man they came to talk to was obviously not up to the task. “Fine, let her live the rest of her life in loss and mystery!” he glowered. “But just remember who you have to answer to about this and how angry they will be for the lack of guidance and loyalty-am I wrong? I know my task, Father. What's yours?”
With that, Draco looked to Hermione, took her hand and began to climb the grand staircase, leaving Lucius alone in the foyer to think about his responsibilities.
As they reached the top of the tedious steps, a small, ruffled house elf stood attentively, ready for his orders. Draco directed him to fetch Hermione's baggage and deliver it to her room. With a large nod, causing his nose to touch the floor, the elf scurried away to do as he was demanded.
Hermione was in awe as they traveled down the large corridors. The walls were covered with portraits, some of which were staring at her in disbelief. The halls were beautifully decorated with statues, artifacts, and many other expensive objects.
Draco was growing a little restless at their snail pace from Hermione's fascination at everything she saw. Still the curious one she was, proven by the fact that as they went, and she saw more, the exotic features melted into those of the Know-It-All. With a sigh, Draco grabbed her hand and quickened the pace with her in tow.
Stopping nearly at the end of the south wing, Draco opened a set of doors to his right. “This will be your quarters while you stay here.” The room was magnificent, dressed with rich blood-red and black bedding and draperies. “And my quarters are right through here,” he continued, as he turned around to open the door straight across from him, “if you need me.” It wasn't any surprise that it was decorated in the same silver, black and green as their dormitory. No three colors suited him better. “Dinner is usually served by seven,” he continued. “Wear whatever you brought that you think is best. Don't be late.”
With that, Draco left Hermione to lounge in peace and solitude for the next twenty minutes; or at least it would be peaceful if she wasn't so strung out about what to wear. He had made it seem like an important requirement for meals at the manor, so she had used that time to throw something together and pray to Merlin it was good enough for the likes of Narcissa's high sense.
Dinner had become an uncomfortable affair in record time. Hermione had made the unwise choice between an over the top, or down in the gutter gown for the meal. She chose a light gray cotton dress with big, round, black buttons attaching the straps to the rest of the ensemble. She had entered the dining hall successfully showing off nothing but a pure brown-eyed, brown-haired, freckled bookworm, complete with a messy ponytail and a book in hand... wearing socks.
Narcissa, whom was already seated at table, gave one look at the scruffy girl and proceeded to choke on a sip of wine from her goblet. “My Dear! What in the world are you wearing?” She had a look of pure shock upon her face, as if someone had just slapped her.
Draco sat on the opposite side from his mother, smirking into his glass as he viewed the fashion crisis at hand over a bandaged cheek. As a last resort, Hermione was either excellent for a good fight or to have a good laugh at.
Narcissa's eyes began to move about the room, as if searching for someone. “Oh Aurora, we must get you changed before Lucius sees these plain muggle clothes of yours.” She stood from her chair with a hand over her mouth, stifling her nervous giggles as she took the novel from the young witch's hands, setting it on the mantle of the fireplace and gliding, with Hermione, out of the room.
Hermione, on the other hand, was not amused. What was wrong with her outfit? She had bought it from the 'Fire of Phoenix' shop in Hogsmeade...a wizarding
village, how could they possibly be considered muggle clothes?! Her question was answered as the two women reached a set of double doors. Narcissa pushed gently on the knob revealing the biggest...walk-in wardrobe, she guessed- she could ever imagine. Nothing but the finest gowns hung from the racks, with the finest shoes to match each one.
Dragging the bewildered girl inside, Draco's mother closed the door and they set to work.
In a matter of seconds Narcissa had a golden dress picked out and was ushering Hermione to hurry up and change. Stepping behind a partition, she threw off her old outfit and yanked and pulled at the gown until it sat right; surprisingly, a perfect fit. Stepping out, she saw Narcissa smile quickly before the woman pointed a wand at her frizzy brown ponytail, transforming her hair into thick honey waves that lay upon her shoulders. She would have to remember that one. Hermione stepped in front of a long mirror to take in the view of her fabulousness. Narcissa, crunched for time before she knew Lucius would become impatient, grabbed Hermione's arm dragging her out the door.
“There is no need for make up. Your skin is radiant enough on it's own for now, Aurora. Here,” she started, handing Hermione a pair of gold slippers, “put these on as we go. We haven't got much time to waste.”
Hermione took the slippers, doing her best to keep with the brisk pace the elegant woman had set. She fumbled her way down the hall in the large dress, trying hard to fit the footwear on without falling. If that wasn't enough to throw her off, the official name change from 'Hermione' to 'Aurora' sure would.
She knew it was her name, her real name, but no one had used it in an everyday context so far. It was... different
. It was something she would just have to accept and get used to.
With the slippers securely on her small feet, Hermione straightened herself as she and Narcissa once again entered the dining hall. Lucius was already seated as they drew back their chairs and joined the table.
“Well, what kept you? I thought I would have to send a bloody house elf to fetch the two of you.” Lucius looked down his sharp nose at Hermione in a slight disapproving manor, yet relented as he realized there was most definitely a wardrobe problem, seeing as she was wearing one of Narcissa's old gowns.
Hermione's cheeks flared a bright pink as she turned to look at Draco. He sat with a goblet in hand, smirking at her, giving her a slight wink before dropping his gaze to the food that had just been served.
In all her life Hermione never felt more out of place.
Draco was becoming edgy. He knew he would have to say something to start off the controversy, since neither Lucius or Hermione seemed to be up to it. With a deep breath, he set down his cutlery and began the awkwardness.
“Father, what was your's and mother's relationship with the Rosiers?” he spoke casually in a low tone, quickly looking over at Hermione encouragingly. “How well did you know them?”
Lucius froze mid-bite at the questions from his son. Did they really have to do this during dinner?
Draco, who had looked back to Hermione again, was surprised to hear not his father's voice, but his mother's.
“We had quite a wonderful relationship with your parents, Aurora,” she began properly. “They were very interesting company. I'm sad to say that you seem to be nothing like them so far.”
Hermione's insides wrenched. I'm nothing like my family?
That would make her the odd one out if they were still alive. This was not the warm, fuzzy family reminiscing that she had expected.
Lucius decided now that he was forced to interject at Hermione's look of horror. “She just means that you don't show traits of your family unless...”
Draco saw the look of confusion on Lucius' face as he tried to explain. “Unless you are transformed.” It was the tiniest nudge to keep Lucius on track.
“Yes, transformed as Draco said. Your parents were not light side saviors like you and your little friends Potter and that Weasel boy-”
“Ex-friends,” Hermione threw in with gritted teeth.
“Well that is a charming development,” Lucius pondered cynically. “As I was saying, they were not of the side you currently stand with. They were Death Eater's, along with Narcissa, Bellatrix, and myself, which I'm sure you already know since at least Bella or I have demonstrated this towards you more then once.”
Hermione nodded. These were things she already knew and she foreshadowed much tension between herself and Lucius as a result.
“You're mother's name was Hermione, not unlike your previous identity- which should have been an obvious clue, now that I think about it, such a rare name. Your father's was Evan, one of my closest friends and colleagues." Again, generic information that she already knew.
“Tragic, the way those blood-traitors, and mudbloods attacked-”
“Narcissa, that's enough! We can only say so much and here you are forgetting your place. Watch your tongue.” With that Lucius shook his head angrily and raised from his seat, leaving Narcissa fuming where she sat.
“I think she ought to know, Lucius! The sooner the better,” she called after him as he left the hall. Taking a sip of her wine, Narcissa dabbed her mouth with her cloth napkin, throwing it on her plate afterwards. She shoved back her chair stiffly, and exited the hall towards the kitchens, the opposite way in which Lucius had.
Hermione turned to watch her leave the room with an embarrassed sigh. They had just fought over her
issues. Would she ever get answers?
“Come on, I think dinner is far past over with that damn blowout,” Draco stated as he removed himself from the table and assisted Hermione from her seat.
It was late, well past midnight. The moonlight shone high and bright in the sky as Draco and Hermione sought refuge in her room. The flowing gown Narcissa had dressed Hermione in was now laying on an old desk chair forgotten, instead, a tank top and sweat pants replaced it on the girl's body.
Hermione lay on her stomach on top of her bed covers, staring into the fireplaces flames, as Draco sat in an armchair in the corner. “Do you think they'll have stopped fighting by morning?” she asked, worried that the discussion of her family had hit a nerve or two.
“They'll stop. This isn't anything new,” Draco sighed with a smirk. “They're both too headstrong to give in to each other. They've always been this way, sort of like you and I, without the change in identity, for one.”
Hermione smiled, sprawling out on the bed with a deep relaxed sigh.
Draco was just about ready to leave her to sleep when a tiny knock came from the door. Since he was halfway out of his seat already, the blond wizard traveled to the large door and opened it, revealing a small house elf.
“Masder Draco, yer fawder requestises dat you an' da young Misses join 'im in 'is study in fiteen minuteses. 'Es gots somtin ta tell ya.” With that the wee elf vanished leaving Hermione and Draco bewildered by what Lucius could want so late in the night. He had made it quite clear that he didn't want to talk about Hermione's family in too much detail.
Hermione rose from her bed, threw on a housecoat that Draco had provided her, and left with him to make the journey down to Lucius' study.
As they reached the chamber doors to their destination, Draco stepped forward and knocked loudly. The doors swung open on their own accord, letting the two teens pass into a gloomy, and dimly lit room. In front of them a ways sat Lucius at an elegant desk. The sinister man roughly gestured for the two to come in and sit down. They did as told in the armchairs provided.
Lucius looked at Hermione through the candlelight, and began in his sultry business-like tone. “Aurora, I realize that I wasn't of much help this evening when questions arose. The fact of the matter is that there are many things of great importance that are intertwined with your life and your parent's deaths. So much so that if known by too many, could be disastrous for some.”
Hermione did not fully understand, but noted that Lucius was trying to clear things up as best as he was able with what little he had.
“I have thought long and hard about how I can help, however little it may be.” Leaning forward in his grand chair he continued to go on. “By now you know, from Narcissa's little slip-up, that your family was attacked. How much more do you know of your family?”
Hermione took the question in all seriousness, and answered of what she knew. “My muggle family told me that the Mansion was on fire, that no one survived but me. They couldn't understand where the house had come from or how I had lived through the blaze, and neither can I.”
She could see Lucius' eyes upon her as he thought hard on her words. “Anything else?”
“Yes,” she started, “they gave me this ring.” Bringing her hand into the candlelight, Hermione showed Lucius the band she was branded with. “I tried it on and it seemed to have bonded. Draco had mentioned that only dark magic can bond. It did have an inscription on it with the initials of Bellatrix and my real name, and together Draco and I figured out that Bellatrix was my godmother.” Bowing her head, Hermione took her ringed hand in the other. “That's basically all I know.”
Lucius pondered for a moment, leaving the room in a deafening silence until he spoke again. “Well, I can answer some of those things for you, but it is not my place to answer them all.”
Hermione's brows furrowed. Why could no one give her the whole story!? Putting aside her frustration, she listened to what the platinum haired man had to say.
“Your family's mansion seemingly came out of nowhere for a reason. It was protected with the strongest disillusionment charms known to wizarding kind, yet no matter how strong they are something can always break them; in this case it was fire. The intruders knew this and set the suspected region ablaze, and in turn your home. They raided it as soon as it was visible. Your parent's died as a combination of the fire as well as the intruder's attack. The opposition were looking for you, you were what they were after.”
Hermione's hand flew to her mouth as she gasped.
“The disillusionment charms were in place to protect you, Aurora. You have no idea how important and valuable you are, and here we thought for the past sixteen years you were dead.”
Hermione couldn't help herself, “And the ring?”
Lucius gave her a sharp look before speaking. “I am afraid that is one subject that I am forbidden to answer.”
With an aggressive groan, Hermione slammed her hands down on the chairs armrest and threw herself out of it. “Ever since I found out who I really was I haven't been able to get the full story. I just want answers, but apparently there isn't a god-damned soul in this world that can possibly do that!” Spinning around, Hermione made her way to the chamber doors, but just as she reached for the handle Lucius spoke again.
“There is one.”
Hermione stopped her tantrum immediately and turned to face, the now standing, Draco along with his father. Cautiously pacing forward, as if not to scare Lucius from telling her who, Hermione listened for an answer. An answer she thought she would never find.
“The Dark Lord.”
Well, the truth is really starting to hit an unraveling point now. Don't be too worried, there's plently more story to come after the cat is let out of the bag in the near future. I have at least 17 more chapters planned, with the possiblility of adding more to that.
Hope you enjoyed it. Review
and let me know if this story is still doing it for you. The more you review the faster I'll probably update because it will keep my mind on the story better.
*Warning to all*
In the coming chapters from about this point on, Hermione will become much darker, deadly, and severly out of canon. I have tried to break down her transformation as much as possible so that you could adjust to the idea. I haven't decided if she will lighten up or be consumed in darkness by the end of the fic yet, but, all in all, if Dark Hermione, graphic violence, or out-of-canon characters bother you please do not continue. I am giving you warning now so that I won't have to hear outrage about this via review. I will still answer all reviews no matter the content, though. So.....
Read on at your own risk