A/N: *scampers in, clutching coffee, twitching*

*this one for one thing I'm doing with fanfic:Ofic is soooo working for me!*

*giggles happily*

*does a little happy jig*

*presents the chapter, finally*

*loves you all!*

*hopes you're still here for this, because I am still sooo here for this*

*blows kisses and dances away*


Darkness and Silence

By Kittenshift17

Chapter Thirty

Hermione stopped dead in her tracks later that afternoon when she was returning from a trip to the library for additional study materials to find Antonin Dolohov sitting in the chair she'd vacated, a quill in his hand, and her Charms essay spread before him.

"What do you think you're doing, Dolohov?" she demanded, hurrying into the room furiously when she watched him scratch out several sentences on her essay.

"Correcting your mistakes," Dolohov replied mildly without looking up and Hermione dumped her books on the table – annoying Malfoy when one of them bumped his elbow since he was still sitting so close to her study station.

"I beg your pardon?" Hermione demanded, frowning when she saw that Dolohov had positively butchered the essay she'd written out.

His loopy, somewhat scrawling script littered the parchment, dotting it with ink blots, underlined sentences, crossed out paragraphs and long sections demanding more information, more in-depth analysis, and in once place, calling her an imbecile for imagining a point she'd made about the charm in question was in any way relevant. Dolohov didn't bother to repeat himself, and Hermione looked down the table at the other Death Eaters in frustration, somewhat hoping Snape or one of the others might intervene and call him away before he could do any more damage.

None of them, even Snape, were bothered by his actions.

"This is wrong," he informed her when she huffed and looked back at him, attempting to snatch the parchment from him when he crossed out another large section.

"What do you mean, it's wrong?" Hermione asked, scowling down her nose at him. "I'll have you know that I systematically achieve perfect grades in every Charms class, thank you very much."

"How?" Dolohov asked, taking his eyes off the essay to stare at her as though genuinely baffled by her statement, his accent impossibly thick and his language devolving to be somewhat broken as though thinking and editing her essay in English was taxing him. "Is wrong."

He pointed to the essay again and Hermione frowned.

"It's not wrong," she argued, yanking out the chair next to his, opposite Malfoy, and leaning closer. "This is correct. See, look!"

She yanked on her Charms textbook and flipped it open to the section where she'd cited a source for the information in the essay. Dolohov frowned, leaning over and reading the textbook before looking back at the essay.

"But it's wrong," he pointed now at the textbook. "The charm doesn't interact with the elements in that manner when applied this way."

"I can assure you that it does," Hermione said.

"Prove it," he commanded.

Hermione narrowed her eyes on him, trying to figure out if he was just having her on or if he was being serious. Supposing there was no harm in humoring him, Hermione cast the charm quickly, and Dolohov watched her keenly, frowning heavily.

"See?" they said at the same time and Hermione frowned at him.

"What?" she asked. "See what? I performed it just as it states in the book."

"But it lacked power," Dolohov pointed out. "The flicky wrist movement and the inclusion of this portion of the incantation weakens the charm."

"In what way?" Hermione asked. "It'd derived from Latin. That portion enforces the control of the charm."

"Watch," Dolohov said, holding up a finger and withdrawing his wand from his pocket before he performed the same charm. Only he twisted his wrist, rather than flicking it, and he pronounced a completely different incantation. The effect was beyond notable.

Hermione blinked against the strength of the magic as it filled the room before he sliced his hand down, cancelling the spell.

"That was a completely different incantation," she pointed out.

"Yes," he agreed. "In Russian. Your English textbooks water down your spells."

"What are you talking about?"

"Who wrote this?" Dolohov asked, flipping the book over and examining the cover, reading it aloud. "This is assigned reading for the NEWTs level Charms course at Hogwarts?"

"Yes," Hermione nodded. "It's not the core text, that's this one over here, but it's one of the first three recommended readings following the core text."

"The others?" Dolohov asked, raising his eyebrows expectantly and waiting for her to tell him.

Malfoy had ceased his work on his Arithmancy homework to listen, looking intrigued as well, and Hermione looked at him, making a slight face in the hopes that he might agree that clearly Dolohov had a few screws loose.

"These ones," Hermione indicated to the pile of Charms textbooks.

Dolohov picked them up, one by one, looking at the names of the authors and leafing through the books quickly.

"Rubbish," he declared. "This is your course material for NEWTs level Charms?"

"Yes," Hermione said, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back in her chair, growing annoyed now.

"Something lacking, Dolohov?" Malfoy drawled curiously when Dolohov clicked his tongue and glared at the books before looking back at Hermione's essay in annoyance.

"They're rubbish. It's all rubbish. Hogwarts coursework is rubbish. Неудивительно, что вы все бесполезны," he devolved rapidly into Russian, though Hermione had only the vaguest idea of what he'd said owing to the remnants of the language she'd picked up when she'd been dating Viktor, and a now-deceased grandmother from Russia.

"Was that Russian?" Malfoy confirmed, looking at Hermione.

"He believes those of us taught at Hogwarts to be useless," Hermione translated, less than pleased with the assessment. "And what, Dolohov, is so rubbish about the materials."

"They are wrong," he said. "Incomplete. Controlled. Magic is not supposed to be limited in this manner."

"Limited?" Hermione raised her eyebrows.

"You saw the spell," he pointed out, repeating it and showing it to her again.

"But the other, English version is more easily controlled for it's purpose."

"But less effective," Dolohov said. "Why? Why would anyone limit the power of the spell?"

"To avoid magical depletion," Hermione suggested. "And to properly control the amount of magic required for the task. It's only a protective charm designed to block certain unfriendly spells, Dolohov. It needn't… I don't know… prevent anything and everything from penetrating it of a non-curse variety."

"Why?" Dolohov said.

"It saves power, allowing more energy to be transferred into an offensive spell," Hermione pointed out.

"You have so little magic that shortcuts are required to spare it?" he frowned.

"Well, no," Hermione frowned. "But why over-exert when it's not necessary."

"Is weak," Dolohov frowned.

"Did you not learn magic in this manner at… where did you attend school, Dolohov?" Malfoy asked, frowning at the man and looking more intrigued than annoyed.

"Durmstrang," Dolohov told them.

"Where Dark Magic is explored as a field of study alongside Light," Hermione surmised.

As she said so, Snape looked in their direction, frowning at her and reminding her of what he'd been teaching her about the core root of all magic and how it was all just magic, colored only by the casters intent.

"I knew I should've insisted to Father that I be allowed to attend Durmstrang," Malfoy grumbled, crossing his arms. "If this isn't the type of coursework taught there, then what is? Do you still have your old school books?"

"Yes," Dolohov said, rising to his feet. "This is unacceptable."

He set down Hermione's essay, pointing at it within his disdain before scowling at the textbooks she had. He strode out of the room and Hermione heard the Floo in the living room roar to life.

"Well," Hermione said, picking up her essay in annoyance and eyeing the notes he'd made. Much to her dismay she noticed that more than one of them had been written in Russian, rather than in English. "That's just… perfect."

"Bet you never thought you'd have a Death Eater correcting your homework, eh, Granger?" Malfoy smirked, reaching for the essay. "What's he noted down? I haven't started my Charms work yet."

"Given that Professor Snape has been marking my assignments since first year, I'm accustomed to having my essays butchered by Death Eaters," Hermione sighed, scowling and wondering what she was supposed to do now.

She didn't want to turn in an essay for an inferior level of spellwork pertaining to the charm, but she didn't imagine Professor Flitwick would've assigned the textbooks he had if he intended for them to learn the more volatile versions of the spells. On the other hand, Dolohov had a point that it was less powerful and that the conservation of magical energy for the sake of limited casting did, in turn, limit the stamina of the wizards casting them. If you never had to overexert yourself, you couldn't build up a resistance to the tax upon your magic.

Frowning, Hermione twitched her wand in the same hand movement she'd seen Dolohov make, pronouncing the spell in the same manner that he had done – using the Russian incantation, rather than the English one.

"Oi!" Malfoy yelled when she cast the charm and it forced everything in her immediate vicinity back from her by several feet, including, him, their books, the table, and the chairs, leaving her standing awkwardly while everyone looked over in confusion.

"What are you playing at, Granger?" Malfoy growled, scrambling to his feet after the power of her charm toppled his chair with him still in it.

"Oops," Hermione said, grinning a little. "He's right. That was far more powerful."

"What is going on here?" Snape wanted to know, striding in their direction with a frown on his face – clearly not having been privy to the entire conversation and assuming that Hermione had hexed Malfoy for fun.

"Dolohov's massacred my essay, for one," Hermione told him, snatching it back from Malfoy and showing it to him. "And I think he's gone to fetch all of his old schoolbooks from his days at Durmstrang. Professor Flitwick assigned us an essay on this protective charm, requesting two feet on its application, uses, history, and so on. And look at it."

She rattled the essay at her husband in annoyance. "He claims it's entirely wrong and had me perform the charm as it's listed in the books, and then performed the same charm with a different wrist movement and a Russian incantation. And look what happened when I tried it."

Hermione waved a hand toward the upset study station and dislodged dining table indicatively.

"You just blurted it out for yourself without thinking that some level of practice or control might be in order?" Snape asked in a low drawl, looking caught somewhere between Snape the Death Eater and Snape the Professor, stern and disapproving, but darkly amused by the effects, too.

"Yeah… didn't think about that," Hermione confessed, blushing a little. "But what's all this, then? Hogwarts not only limits the curriculum by eliminating the Dark Arts, but waters it down as well? Why is Professor Flitwick assigning second-rate books that limit the power of the spell? Shouldn't we be learning how to perform every spell in its rawest and most powerful form to better build up our stamina?"

Snape raised one eyebrow at her when she put her hands on her hips. She was both annoyed that she would have to redo her essay for Charms, and irked that the magic she thought she'd been mastering was in fact a watered-down version of the full spell.

"Is it true, Uncle?" Malfoy asked, straightening his robes and twitching his wand at the inkwells that had toppled as a result of Hermione's spell. "We're learning less powerful magic than our peers at Durmstrang?"

"The Headmaster believes it to be safer for the fostering of young minds and controlling the magic you all exhibit. Indeed, several past Headmasters implemented it. There has been a divergence between curriculums amid the wizarding schools for centuries, of course, but it's true that the Durmstrang curriculum is what would be considered the closest to the raw magic of ancient times."

"But why?" Hermione asked, aghast. "Shouldn't we learn magic in its rawest forms?"

"It's too barbaric," Snape told them, shrugging. "Much as the world has evolved, magic has evolved with it. Fire charms need only be used for lighting cigarettes, candles, or the occasional hearth, these days, rather than roaring walls of flame for drying and preserving meats, fending off predators, or lighting sacrificial pyres. Protective charms need only ward off the occasional hex or jinx in this civilized society, comparative to times of old when coven warred with coven and predators lurked just beyond the light of every fire and magical beasts were more abundant. Magic has been tailored to suit its purposes. Just the same way we tailor our wardrobes, our resumés, and our social mannerisms, we alter the way we interact with magic and the way in which we use it in our daily lives."

"So, it's weaker?" Malfoy confirmed.

"In the basest sense," Snape shrugged. "You don't learn the intensely powerful charms to fend off, for example, a rabid werewolf or a crazed dragon because the likelihood of you ever encountering one is slim to none. Instead, you learn to create controlled forcefields to provide personal space in a crowded office, and how to levitate an interdepartmental memo, and how to fend off the unwanted grope from an inappropriate colleague. Magic tailored for our daily purposes. Over time, the changes to the spells for our purposes has limited or weakened them from their raw form and initial intent, yes."

"And we don't learn them because we don't need them," Hermione nodded, frowning. "Should we wish to?"

"You learn," Dolohov's heavy accent filled the air and Hermione looked over as he returned carting a heavy trunk, which he swung up onto the dining table and cracked open with a number of different disabling charms for whatever wards guarded the case.

"You won't get the application of this charm past Flitwick when he's assigned you to work on the other one," Snape warned her and Malfoy. "But an essay detailing the changes to the spell over time and pointing out the notable differences would likely amuse the little fool."

Hermione frowned in annoyance, looking down at the pile of homework she still needed to complete, before glancing at the expectant expressions that Malfoy, Dolohov, and even Snape were all wearing. Evidently, they were waiting on her to agree to learning whatever Dolohov wanted to teach her about magic based on the syllabus he'd learned at school. Hermione bit her lip, wondering if maybe she should just excuse herself and return to her bedroom to complete her homework there. She knew she wasn't supposed to let herself be led down a dark path just because she'd gotten tangled up with Snape. She knew it, but god, it was so tempting.

"I'll fix the essay later," she muttered finally, and the smirk Snape gave her was utter wickedness, pure Death Eater reveling in the corruption of her soul.

For the next several hours many of the Death Eaters seemed to take delight in educating the two youngest members of the room, and before long Hermione found herself out in the snow, facing off against dark wizards determined to train her in how to control fiendfyre and elemental magics in their rawest forms. And she liked it. Merlin help her, but she liked it. A lot. Snape kept shooting her looks that were a strange combination of amused, approving, and lustful, and she couldn't help but react to them every time.


"What do you mean, you need our help?" Ron demanded of the evil werewolf peering at them from across the small London park.

He was wary, his wand in his hand and ready to throw the darkest spells he knew at the beast, should he have to.

"What's it look like?" Greyback demanded, arching one eyebrow. The split in the flesh there cracked open with the movement and blood welled and beaded, before trickling down to curve around his eye.

"Who beat you?" Remus asked, though he too was on his guard and looking a lot less reasonable about hearing the creature out.

"My brother," Greyback admitted quietly.

"Oberon?" Remus asked, tensing even more and Ron darted a look between the two werewolves, concerned by the way Remus actually looked scared now, rather than just angry.

"You remember him, then?" Greyback confirmed and Remus nodded slowly.

"He's here?" Remus asked.

"Not exactly," Greyback said. "You two were talking about the girl, right? You know what old Snake Eyes means to do to her?"

"You know, too?" Ron asked.

"Who do you think is being threatened into making sure she's not a part of Lupin's pack, and ordered to savage her and terrify her if she doesn't behave?" Greyback asked of Ron, raking him a look of disgust like he thought him a complete moron.

"If you touch her, I'll kill you myself," Ron promised darkly.

Greyback's mouth twitched into a nasty grin, splitting the gash on his lip as he did so.

"Why do you think I'm here?" he replied.

Ron frowned, glancing at Remus.

"Why are you here, Greyback?" Remus asked, looking wary. "You know I won't run with the pack. And Hermione's not here."

"Your girl is Oberon's granddaughter," Greyback dropped the bomb on them and Ron blinked.

"No, she's not," he denied.

"She is," Greyback insisted.

"Hermione's muggle-born," Ron argued.

"Yeah, that's what her Grandma wants you to think," Greyback said. "She's Oberon's granddaughter. He admitted it. You can smell the wolf on her, Pup. I know you can. I've tested her. She's got one, all her own."

"You bit her?" Ron asked, horrified.

"No," Greyback said, and Ron knew something in the cosmos had to have shifted drastically on its axis when he looked horrified at the very idea of biting her.

"You just said..." Ron began, frowning.

Greyback lifted on clawed finger to point at his eye, smudging the blood at his temple as he did so. "Got wolf eyes, boy. I can see the wolf inside her soul. And I found the bite Oberon left on her when she was a child. Surfaced old memories, long buried."

"Hermione's a werewolf?" Ron asked.

"No," Remus and Greyabck said at the same time. "She just has the potential to be one. The genetics for it. She's predisposed to lycanthropy, a little wolfish, but she doesn't transform. That's why when she howled in your third year with the Time Turner, Ron, I responded."

Greyback nodded grimly.

"Is that why you're here?" Remus asked, frowning at the beast who'd infected him with lycanthropy in the first place.

"She's my niece," Greyback said quietly, moving out from behind the tree a little more and revealing that he was barefoot and covered in blood. His clothes were dirty and torn, bloodstained and unkempt.

"And?" Remus asked.

"And our ticket out of this mess we're all in," Greyback went on. "Heard you talking about stopping her from getting pregnant..."

"So?" Ron asked.

"Can't stop her," Greyback said. "Snake Face is Pack with Potter. Heard there's a prophecy. Can't kill each other. Not in those bodies."

"You want her to give up her first born?" Ron asked. "What kind of Uncle are you?"

"The kind who wants out from under that cunt's thumb," Greyback growled, limping closer. "And I will get that, boy."

"You said you need our help?" Remus asked quietly, watching him warily as Greyback limped closer until he could sit down on the park bench they'd been using.

"Oberon was... less than pleased to see me," Greyback told him, looking at Remus seriously.

"Gee, I wonder why?" Remus responded, and Ron frowned when Remus moved over to sit at the table opposite Greyback.

"He's not thrilled that I know about his granddaughter," Greyback nodded. "Not thrilled about my plan to use her to end the war, either."

"He's not alone in that," Ron pointed out.

"What would you know about it all, boy?" Greyback asked, skewering Ron with an unkind look when he joined Remus at the table.

"Enough," Ron said.

Greyback raised his eyebrows doubtfully and looked back at Remus for confirmation.

"He loves her," Remus shrugged his shoulders.

"Too bad," Greyback muttered.

"You're still wounded," Remus concluded, eyeing him critically. "Is that the help you need?"

Greyback shook his head. "I'll heal."

"Then what?" Remus asked. "You know I won't re-join the pack. Ever. And especially not when you've aligned them with Volde..."

"Don't say his name!" Greyback cut him off before he could finish. "Fucker's putting a curse on the name. Knows you Order types are the only ones brave enough to say it. He's getting organised. Those who say it will find themselves in the presence of Death Eaters and lackeys very quickly."

"He Tabooed the name?" Remus asked, aghast.

"Not sure if he's done it yet, but I heard him talking to Dolohov about how to do it. Will soon, if he hasn't already."

"I have to warn the others," Remus said, rising to his feet quickly.

"Sit down, Pup. It'll keep, and I need to get back before I'll be any more missed than I already am," Greyback ordered and Ron wasn't sure he liked the way Remus dropped back into his seat as though he couldn't quite control his own legs.

"Why should we trust you?" Ron wanted to know. "Hermione would've told me if she had just found out she's your niece."

"She hasn't been by?" Greyback asked, pausing in whatever else he'd been about to say to frown at Ron.

"Not since she was tortured," Ron frowned.

"She hasn't returned?" Greyback confirmed. "None of you have seen her?"

"Should we have?" Ron asked in reply.

"She went back to Selwyn Hall?" Greyback confirmed.

"Where else would she go?" Ron retorted

"We assume so," Remus said. "We have no way of following her since none of us have ever been there."

"I have to go," Greyback muttered, rising to his feet.

"You said you needed our help?" Remus reminded him.

"Encourage her to go with this plan," Greyback growled. "It don't sit right, I know. But if this war is to end, that psycho needs a new body, and no matter what it'll do to that girl, it needs to be the child of her body."

"Why?" Ron wanted to know. "Why not someone else?"

"Because the Dark Lord wants it to be her, and he'll kill anyone who gets in his way, including her. If she makes too many waves, he'll kill her. He'll ask me to kill her."

"She's barely of age, Fenrir," Remus argued. "And Severus…"

"The things my nose and ears tell me about those two, they won't have any trouble conceiving, lad," Greyback offered grimly, twisting the knife. "Fuck like rabbits, the pair of them. Seen it with my own eyes."

"You peeked?" Ron asked, disgusted.

"Hard not to when they fuck in the snow beside a corpse my pack is devouring," Greyback shrugged his shoulders, and he smirked a little at the way all those freckles on the kid's face stood out starkly when he paled.

"Would it not be more prudent to delay the pregnancy and the access You-Know-Who has to a new body until Harry is stronger? Until we have a better chance of defeating his once and for all?" Remus asked.

"You know, then?" Greyback asked.

"Know what?"

"That he won't be so easy to kill? That he'll come back if we don't do this right?" Greyback confirmed, hedging a little.

"What do you know about it?"

"Know there's bits of him scattered in some inconvenient places," Greyback growled softly. "You know it, too, Pup. I know you can sense them and smell them, the same as me. Use your nose. Find them. Destroy them. The girl won't live long if she delays too obviously."

"You know what she's planning?" Remus asked grimly.

"I know what I'd do, if it were me and the survival of wizarding kind in his country rested with me," Greyback shrugged. "Get to work on this end, and don't discourage whatever plans she makes to comply with this goal, Pup. I have to go."

"If you see her, tell her we're thinking of her," Remus nodded. "Tell her that we're here when she needs us."

"Keep her safe," Ron said quietly, getting to his feet and squaring off with the bloodied monster who'd admitted to cannibalism moments ago. "She's your blood, you owe her that much."

Greyback didn't answer before simply stepping to the left and disappearing in a shimmer of magic, leaving Ron to wonder how in the hell he'd apparated without a sound, and worried to the pit of his stomach for the girl he loved with all his heart.