Hermione had spent more time recently in the past than in the present. The words her Mother left were becoming the best romantic novel that Hermione had had the pleasure of reading in a long time. She wondered greatly who this mysterious man was who was now calling himself R. As she read more she found herself forgetting who the story was about and just reading for the pleasure of it. It was dangerous to think that way, these words weren’t just a story, they were the memories of her Mother’s life, a life she had before Hermione was born.
To set her sights away from the past Hermione had decided it was high time to pick an Auror crew from the Ministry. She had officially reviewed Lucinda’s request as nothing more than a request. She had her Lords after all and saw no reason for needing other guards. However, Lucinda was turning out to be rather more persistent than Hermione had counted upon. Under the guidance of Lucius Hermione had decided it would be rather better to keep the Ministry happy. It was obvious that the Ministry was just trying to get its hooks into Hermione despite the words she’d had with Lucinda earlier that month.
She had chosen Lord Gold to accompany her for today, she needed his logical mind. He had a presence similar to Severus and she knew that he would be a great help to her today. She also had a question to ask about Lord Byron. She’d been reflecting on the day they had met and thinking it over in her head for quite some time now. She knew of people with bipolar and split personalities but somehow he seemed unique in himself. There were certain aspects of her meeting with him that led her to believe that there was something else altogether at work.
Lord Gold greeted Hermione at the entrance of the Ministry, “Enchantress” he bowed formally before placing her hand atop his and leading her inside. The customs of an Enchantress, her court of Lord’s and surrounding public people were similar to the customs of the Georgian era – which included the regency period.
“Lord Gold, might I enquire something of you?” she asked formally. At first she had hated these formal terms, instead of just saying what she wanted she had to participate in this complicated song and dance. However, after a while she had gotten used to it and really it was rather fun to do, and the regency period had always been a favorite of hers. Now she was living the reality of some of the traditions of those times.
“Of course Enchantress, I am here at your command” he said seriously though she could see the glint of amusement in his eye. Lord Gold was a good conversationalist and Hermione found herself becoming good friends with him.
“It’s about Lord Byron, he’s inflicted yes?” she asked.
“Quite possibly” he replied.
“I’m serious. Was he always like this or did something happen?” she asked.
“I believe it started sometime after his wife left him. He was too focused on his job and not enough on her. He’d been working on a big high profile case. He was devastated when she left but if anything it just made him work all the harder” he answered.
“It’s possible that the emotional side effects of losing his wife are what caused his change in attitude” she said.
“What do you mean?” enquired Lord Gold.
“Well sometimes when someone suffers an emotional breakdown of some kind they can force out feelings, thoughts, emotions that are causing them harm. These elements become locked inside them unable to get out”.
“You know a lot about this?”
“I know a little but I don’t think that’s what caused his change” she replied.
“Then what did?”
“Lord Byron is a powerful wizard and despite his own problems he couldn’t remove himself in case another Enchantress came along. I think he used a spell to cut out the emotions that were hurting him the most. That’s why he’s so surly, angry and fearsome and it’s why on occasions when he comes into contact with certain things that his mood changes and he becomes softer and kinder once more”.
“What do you propose to do about it?”
“Something. I’ll look into it, if I can help him I will” she replied.
“As you wish Enchantress” a slight nod of his head showed her that he respected her decision.
The doors to the Auror department were thrown open and out walked a slightly harassed looking receptionist, upon seeing Hermione and Lord Gold, she let out a shriek of surprise and then blushed profusely.
“Enchantress, they are ready for you” she bowed awkwardly before Hermione, and Hermione had to stop from laughing at this awkward situation.
“Thank you” she replied formally and allowed Lord Gold to swiftly drag her away before her giggles surfaced.
Hermione had been unsure what to expect from today’s situation but she hadn’t expected to see all the proposed candidates lined up like criminals against a white screen. This certainly wasn’t what she signed up for.
“Enchantress” some man bowed in front of her, he seemed to be the one running this ‘event’ if you will. He was slightly older with a balding head, his clothes were scruffy, and he had sweat dripping from his brow. Hermione frowned.
“What is this?” she asked politely.
The man looked about him with confusion. He couldn’t tell if Hermione was being serious or not.
“These are the candidates for your Auror guard team” he replied.
“See now there is the problem”.
“I’m afraid I don’t understand” he squeaked rather like a small girl.
“I was under the impression that I was here to pick out my own Auror guard” she said simply.
“No disrespect but these are matters best left to the men perhaps you could wait outside while myself and your gentleman friend make arrangements” replied the balding man.
A saner man would have realized his mistake; certainly the other inhabitants of the room realized it and took several steps away from the man in question. They’d been skeptical of his idea from the beginning, it was not what they had been told from their bosses but the balding man had insisted that this was how the Minister wanted things to be handled. As usual this was just another person trying to take advantage of the Enchantress. Well, bad news for him, he picked the wrong Enchantress to mess with.
“Excuse me?! And just who are you?” asked Hermione with a voice that could cut through glass.
“Thomas Thackery” he replied sharply. “Now I think it would be best if you wait outside” he blundered on and motioned his arm towards the door expecting her to comply and follow his command.
She ignored him. She had the oddest feeling that she’d seen him somewhere before and it wasn’t a good feeling!
“What are your names?” she asked pointing to two men standing off to her right.
“Paul Holmes” replied the first.
“Tim Ember” said the next.
“What fine names she replied” she was rather enjoying herself, “Please restrain Mr. Thackery for me” she asked sweetly.
They immediately did as they were told much to Hermione’s pleasure and Thackery’s displeasure.
“What are you doing, let go of me! I am in charge here!” shouted Thackery.
Lord Gold motioned another strapping young Auror forward, “If you would, could you please find the chief Auror in charge and the Minister of Magic herself and ask them to come down here immediately. Tell them the anger of a very powerful Enchantress is about to be unleashed within the Ministry” he proclaimed and the young Auror sprinted away. All the while Hermione had been working out her own game plan, she could feel her magic rallying around her, she knew at some point she should stop but having worked out who was really behind this, she couldn’t think of one reason why she should.
“But you aren’t in charge Thackery. You never were. You’re a liar aren’t you Thackery?” she said softly in a voice that raised hairs on the back of necks.
“What do you mean?” he asked pathetically with a whimpering voice.
“Oh I think you know don’t you. You aren’t here on the Minister’s orders, far from it. I happen to know the Minister, we’re old friends. No your purpose in making my life difficult was ordered by someone else. And I’m guessing you did it because he gave you a great deal of money” she said.
Finally locating the shimmering glimmer in the room, she knew she was already winning the battle, so why not have a little fun. If he intended to try and manipulate her or sabotage her life further, he was about to learn that he should have left well alone. It was easy to immobilize him from where she was standing; she didn’t even need her wand now for simple spells. To everyone else it seemed as though she was walking towards thin air but she knew where her goal was and took pleasure in what she was about to reveal.
“Your Master Thackery is just upset that no one believes in him anymore” she whispered to her audience, as she grabbed hold of the flimsy invisible material and pulled it back to reveal a frozen Harry Potter, “Hello Harry, how nice of you to join us” she replied with a thin smile.
For all his idiocy Ronald had always been right, Hermione could be scary when she wanted to be.
“Now what is this latest plan for I wonder? Sirius still not talking to you? No more fans flocking at your door? Colleagues not believing a word you say? Well that would all certainly get you into a very angry mood” she paused to look over her shoulder, “Oh hello Minister Lucinda, oh and you brought Mitch Conrad with you, excellent”.
Though Potter was frozen his eyes were now dancing around frantically.
“What’s going on?” asked Lucinda.
“We are about to find out” replied Lord Gold.
“See Harry here, sent this imposter Thackery in to commandeer this little selection process so he could try and manipulate the chosen guard to spy on me and manipulate me for his own agenda. Seems Harry here is a little put out that all his lies have come back to bite him in the face”.
“But why?” asked a shocked Lucinda.
“Harry here suffers from many things, the public usually only read the heroic deeds or the lies that were written during the war. They never saw the real Harry. This is the real Harry. He’s manipulative, he uses his tragic past to lure you in and once he has you hooked he can use you for his own endeavors. He craves attention and he had it, till he lied and cheated his way through my life. With the truth still circulating out there Harry finds himself without the attention he craves. And what does one do when they have been slighted by one person, they seek revenge of course” she smiled.
“It’s just a shame that poor little Harry here never fully realized how powerful I am. I was never under his control, and I will always beat him. Without me, it’s doubtful that Harry would have survived long enough to defeat Voldemort. And he knows it; I was his poor little bookworm, always there to lend a helping hand. Looks can be deceiving Harry, remember that” she said, her eyes devoid of their usual sparkle staring hard and unblinking into Harry’s.
She looked towards Lucinda and Mitch. “I will select my own guard thank you, starting with Paul Holmes and Tim Ember. For both of them showed quick thinking when given a direct command” she said. “Do with Harry and Mr. Thackery here what you will but if I ever find dear sweet Harry within five yards of me, I will not be responsible for my actions”.
“Furthermore, I ask that the Aurors that I choose be allocated new offices. Trust is a fine thing and if this is the height of Ministry security I find myself extremely displeased. They will become The Knights of Duty. Once arrangements have been made I will return to move them to their new place of work. They will work closely with my Lords to ensure the utmost protection and will have the opportunity to learn new skills and branch out in other areas”.
Lord Gold looked on with an impressed air; you certainly couldn’t deny that Hermione had style. She knew what she wanted and went for it. He thought this was an excellent idea. Certainly removing the chosen Aurors from their mad Ministry haven had been a wise choice and the chosen few could expect great things from their new careers. Hermione’s decree had passed as soon as she spoke it. Anyone chosen to be in her Auror guard would become knighted in title and be presented with a badge of honor to wear. Hermione had already created the badges and both Paul and Tim were already wearing them. She worked fast and her magic was unlike any other. It would have taken others a great deal longer to come up with the system she had just created let alone creating a badge without a wand. She was magnificent.
Lucinda knew that the moment she had walked into the room that whatever Hermione said she would have to agree with. The Enchantress brought big changes but Lucinda had a sneaky suspicion that some of these changes wouldn’t be good for her, and where exactly was Hermione going to move these newly appointed Knights of Duty?
In the end Hermione chose ten people: Paul Holmes, Tim Ember, Mark Honor, Coraline Stitch, Guy Rock, Robin Hunter, Sara Tropolis, Lorrain Boux, Richard White and James North. Seeing as they now worked for her and at a considerably higher amount than the Ministry was paying them, she instructed her new Knights of Duty to head home for the day. Arrangements needed to be made for them, a structured set of rules made up, a look into their family history and any hidden talents they may have and, not least, their uniforms designed and made!
It sounded like Hermione was building an army but she wasn’t. She was just following her gut feeling, the decisions she’d made today felt right to her and she found it hard to believe that previous Enchantresses relied solely on their Lords. The idea of the Court of the Enchantress was one that Hermione felt was absolutely necessary, she could feel it in her bones that this was the right thing to do. Things were certainly looking up!
Lucius stood staring out of the window and sipping his hot cup of tea, he waited patiently for his son to appear downstairs. His lazy son whom he loved very much was still asleep. Lucius could be a patient man but he wasn’t patient right now, much to the amusement of Severus.
“Stop staring outside Lucius, he’ll be down when he wakes” said Severus upon hearing Lucius’s mumbled moaning.
Severus came to stand behind his strong minded lover, “I know you are curious for answers and you will get them, just stop standing there staring out, it’s unnerving” said Severus.
Lucius chuckled slightly at the thought of anything unnerving Severus, “I suppose you are right” he replied solemnly.
It was at this point that Draco finally managed to drag himself from the confines of his bed and downstairs for breakfast. Draco was usually an early riser but on occasion he quite liked having a lie in.
“Good of you to make an appearance” drawled Lucius to his son.
“It’s barely eleven Father” replied Draco.
“Your Father dislikes waiting” said Severus with a smirk placed upon his face.
“Ahh so he’s waiting for something?” said Draco.
Severus cocked his eyebrow and Draco rolled his eyes in response.
“What’s going on with you and Hermione?” asked Lucius straight to the point as usual.
“Why Father, I have no idea what you are referring to” Draco said in a teasing voice.
Lucius glared at his son and his teasing ways, “You know what I mean”.
Draco sighed at his Father’s dramatics. “Something is going on I guess, but you will not interfere Father” said Draco seriously.
“Your impatient Father doesn’t want to interfere Draco, He’s just being incredibly nosy as after all no one wants the Enchantress to be hurt” said Severus in a Professor like voice.
Draco glared at the two annoyingly imposing men that stood before him. “This is not something silly or trivial. I want to be with her, to watch endless sunsets with her, I want to live by her side until my dying breath” he replied with a raw emotion that hadn’t been exposed to his Father or Severus at any point before.
“Such romanticism” said his Father chuckling to himself.
“I’m courting her alright? I like her, I have always liked her and now I have a chance to change that like into something more” said Draco; he hated having to let his guard down in front of his Father. It was an old habit but he never wanted to disappoint his Father or make him see this weakness he had for Hermione.
“I see” said his Father.
“You don’t agree with me?” asked Draco, “Don’t think I deserve her?”
“While your Father fails at getting his emotions across, I’ll answer. We agree with you and you do deserve happiness and if you obtain that happiness with Hermione then we are all for it. Your Father is finding it difficult coping with the blurring of the lines between being a Lord and being your Father” said Severus.
“So neither of you will stand in my way? You won’t interfere or meddle?” asked Draco.
“I can’t speak for your Father but I don’t tend to mess with the lives of others” said Severus with a cold glare in his eye. Draco couldn’t tell whether Severus’s glare was aimed at himself or his Father but it was far too reminiscent of his Professor days and Draco found himself quite unnerved.
Lucius feigned shock, “I would never interfere” he said, though his words fooled no one. “Fine, I promise not to interfere” he said dramatically.
“Right well, on that note, I’m going to head off” said Draco.
“But you don’t have work today!” said Lucius.
“So! That doesn’t mean I don’t have things to do” responded Draco.
“What do you have to do?” demanded Lucius.
“Something with Hermione” replied Draco to which both Lucius and Severus raised their eyebrows to. Draco ignored the expressions on their faces and strode out the door.
The house wasn’t as grand as the estate that Lord Byron lived on, nor was it as small as the cottage that Lord Gold lived in. It was more like a country manor or a home fit for a prince, or a stately home from years past. It seemed to Hermione if she could just get two out of three of the Lords being good people then she could cope. Lord Byron was a working image, there was definitely something lurking behind his cold façade. His old self was trying to break through but his cold hard shell was too strong. However, Hermione was working on it.
A female elf (or rather what Hermione assumed was a female elf) opened the door when they arrived. She was wearing a pretty pink pinafore over a cream top. The elves ears flopped about as she practically skipped down the hallway leading the way for Hermione and Draco. They were led not into a normal meeting room as at Lord Gold’s or a stuffy old music room such as Lord Byron’s. Lord Nolan it seemed preferred the outdoors, and who wouldn’t with a garden such as his. Luscious plants that Hermione couldn’t even recognize ran along the entire length of the back of the house. So many colours and shapes coming alive in this green space and situated in the foreground was a delicate looking garden set, a table and chairs made out of rusted iron. Someone, probably the elf had thought to put out a selection of mini cakes, tarts and sandwiches. Someone had definitely gone to a lot of trouble.
As Hermione and Draco were seated, a man appeared from the back of the extensive garden and began walking towards them; he seemed to be holding something that looked like a big ball of fluff in his hands. As he neared them they recognized what the fluffy puff was, or rather, Hermione did. The man was carrying a lionhead rabbit; it was terribly small and extremely cute.
“Welcome Miss Granger, Mr. Malfoy, I am Lord Nolan. I’d shake your hand but I’m afraid this fluff ball has it otherwise occupied” he said cordially.
“It’s no trouble” said Hermione; “It’s a Lionhead right?” she enquired.
“Yes. You have previous experience with rabbits?” he asked.
“Not really but I had one when I was younger”.
“What did you call it?” he asked.
“It wasn’t very original but I called him Peter” she replied.
“After Peter Rabbit?”
“Yes” she replied amused.
Draco looked a little lost at this line of conversation but just assumed it was another muggle thing that he didn’t understand.
“Are you well Miss Granger?” asked Lord Nolan.
“I am very well thank you and please call me Hermione” she replied.
He nodded his head in thanks for allowing the use of her given name, “Then you must call me Henry” he said.
“Do you have a lot of animals Henry?” she asked.
“Only ones who are lost and are in need of help or a home” he replied.
She smiled; Henry Nolan seemed the perfect model for the sensitive man. He clearly had a personality that was looked for by many a woman. Hermione felt that if her pipe dream became real then Henry could very well be put to use as the head of the reconstructing families department. Hermione had decided that looking after her could be a boring thing for the Lords so she decided to devise a way to incorporate their own skills and keep them occupied. She’d decided that her pipe dream would be the perfect way to do that, now all she needed to do was make it real.
“Your mind never stops talking does it?” he asked rhetorically.
She looked at him with a bemused expression on her face, “I do spend a lot of time thinking” she replied.
“I suppose with a power such as yours you have to spend a lot of time thinking” he said, “But I sense that you never let it consume you do you?” he asked.
“No, I never get trapped in my mind or my power” she said. She was beginning to think that Henry Nolan was a man of great skill and talent. He saw the world differently from others, giving him and those around him a new perspective on things.
“And you Mr. Malfoy, you’ll never let her forget what is important and what isn’t will you?”
“No Sir. I’ll always remind her if she is going too far” he replied.
“That you will, that you will” he replied seemingly deep in thought.
Out of all the Lords, Henry was the one with the most knowledge of the elusive Enchantresses. It was not knowledge that had been passed down through any generations and his Father had certainly not mentioned this knowledge. It was knowledge that he himself had found and been rewarded by. Enchantresses were few and far between, they’d done great things and terrible things. They’d stopped wars and started wars. They’d lived and died; they’d been taken away, hidden, and broken free. Each new Enchantress was like a blossoming flower, beautiful to look at but also like a jellyfish, deadly to touch.
Henry could read Hermione like an open book. She was almost completely good, completely light except for that small tremor on the edge of her mind that was filled with darkness. The darkness had come from the ordeal she’d suffered and the deeds she’d committed during the unpleasant times of War. Henry couldn’t fault her for that. He could see her goals though; he could see her ambitions and what she wanted from life.
He could see what an important role Draco would play for her and how the secret that consumed her would finally reach the light. Henry had a talent for seeing people, he wasn’t superman, nor was he a common freak, he just had a talent. So far no one had kidnapped him like they do with people who are special in those muggle movies, so he liked to think he was doing something right.
There was just something about Hermione that promised great things but not in an obvious explosive kind of way that wowed people for a short while. This was like a slow ever changing matter that would go down into the history books for all time. Henry was glad he was to be a part of it. Great things would be accomplished in the next fifty years, and Henry knew with that there would be surprises for them all. Now she had met all the Lords the real fun could begin.
I this story still being read and enjoyed? Y'all have been quiet.
I've basically finished this story, I've just hit a wall right at the end, but I'm sure I'll get round to finishing it eventually.
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