HP and MCU Avengers crossover fic that takes place after Infinity War and The Battle of Hogwarts. Also see below for author's notes. Happy Reading!
The door to Hermione's prison cell flung open violently startling her awake.
"Oi! Food! Eat up Mudblood," a nameless guard grunted disdainfully. His face is obscured by the hood of his cloak and the dimness of the hallway. He tossed the tray on the floor with enough force to send it sliding across the small space. The meager contents of her breakfast porridge sloshed over the bowl splattering against the stone tiles.
Based on his gruff voice and his carelessness she guessed it was McNair. During the last five months of her captivity she has learned how to recognize her different captors based on their voices and mannerisms.
Dolohov was easy to recognize with his thick Russian accent. He liked to hang around after he dropped off her meals and whisper the depraved things he has wanted to do to her since he crossed paths with her in the Department of Mysteries three years ago. She tries not to visibly react to his words knowing that he finds her discomfort amusing.
Malfoy, ever the opportunistic bully, would sporadically pop in just to hurl his overused insults and tell her the gruesome fates her friends had suffered as each of them were executed one by one. From what she gathered most of her friends were tortured and raped before being burned at the stake. The quidditch pitch had been turned into a staging area for public execution where revels were being held periodically as a continuation of Voldemort's victory celebration.
Avery disturbed her the most. He would bring her a rag and a basin of water every week for her to wash because he likes to spy on her naked form while spitting degrading insults too filthy to repeat. She avoided bathing for the first month before she caved no longer able to stand the grimy feeling on her skin and the stench of her unwashed body trapped in her tiny unventilated prison cell. She would wash seated on the uncomfortable cold stone floor with her back towards him and as quickly as possible. At least they were forbidden from touching her by the Dark Lord. He personally placed charm so no one could cross the threshold. She suspected that it had to do with whatever magical rituals he had planned for her. Thus far she has remained unmolested.
These were the only interactions Hermione would get on a daily basis as each cell was warded with silencing spells to keep the prisoners from communicating with each other. The isolation and uncertainty were worse than any psychological torture. Based on what Malfoy had told her, she might be the only one left waiting for execution.
Hermione sighed and draped her arm over her forehead as she heard the door slam again signalling McNair's abrupt exit. She sat up and rubbed her sleepy eyes.
He was one of the few that didn't waste time taunting her. He already thought it was beneath him to interact with her much less deliver her food like a servant even if she was imprisoned. She supposed she should be thankful for the small things. For a prisoner of war she was treated surprisingly well.
She is fed three times a day. Having spent most of what would have been her seventh year hunting horcruxes in the English countryside with Harry and Ron, she had lost a significant amount of weight, and the regular meals had been good for her. Looking down at the length of her body, she had to admit that looked much healthier now that she was imprisoned. A far cry from the malnourished waif that she had been while on the run.
She sighed and stretched her arms over her head before swinging her feet to place them on the ground. She tried to suppress the shiver that traveled up her spine as her bare feet made contact with the stone floor. She never really acclimated to the drafty temperatures of the dungeons. She also found it odd that the Slytherin dormitories were down here when their house emblem was a snake. What kind of snake would want to sleep in a cold, dark dungeon? She shook her head at that nonsensical thought. She had too much time to think and not enough to do.
In less than 2 strides, she had already crossed to the other wall of the cell. Her prison cell while small was clean at least. It had minimum furnishings consisting of a small cot just big enough for her to lay on and a charmed chamber pot in the corner. Her cell was located underground so there were no windows save for the small barred one on the wooden door. Without the sunlight to track the passage of time, Hermione had resorted to counting the number of breakfasts delivered, as it was always porridge, and marking them on the stone wall to keep track of time.
She picked up a small rock and etched a small white line to mark today's date. It was not a wholly accurate method as her first fews days during imprisonment were lost in a haze of grief, denial, and despair where she neither ate nor slept, but she estimates it's mid October. Her stomach clenched nervously knowing that her execution date approaches. It will be nearly 6 months after the final battle where her best friend Harry, the boy who lived, died. A tragic conclusion of the second Wizarding War.
Voldemort wasted no time claiming Hogwarts as his own domain. The new self-proclaimed King of Wizarding Britain would not settle for anything less. He beheaded Harry's corpse stringing his body along the iron wrought gates of the castle with his severed head mounted on a spike. The crows gathered and feasted on his decaying body for days. It was horrifying, barbaric, and very medieval. That was the intent. Voldemort declared his ascension to the throne as an imminent return to the old ways. A return to a time of truly great magic when the founders and Merlin were venerated even by muggles, and he intended to do that by resurrecting some very archaic practices including ritualized human sacrifice.
And that was why instead of being imprisoned in Azkaban with the rest of the war criminals, she was kept in the dungeons of Hogwarts. Not the Slytherin dormitories of course, she was treated well, but not that well. She was a prized pig to be slaughtered. A 'sacrificial virgin' so to speak.
There were actual prison cells located in a forgotten part of the castle that were used to punish the most disobedient students. Not surprisingly they haven't been in use for several centuries as such punishments were eventually deemed cruel and unusual even by wizarding standards.
But they were put to use again as they housed dozens of prisoners after the war. The trials were conducted within Hogwarts instead of the ministry with Voldemort as the sole arbitrator in place of the Wizamagot. No doubt it was another way to consolidate his power as the supreme ruler of Magical Britain. Days after the battle, Voldemort took Dumbledore's seat at the head table and doled out sentences in accordance to his newly established world order, which was of course dictated by blood purity.
Blood traitors were forgiven and pardoned from Azkaban as long as they pledged their fealty to Voldemort. Unless said blood traitor was female then she is relegated as a broodmare for the greater good of wizarding society of course. Ginny, Luna, and countless others that fought on the side of the light were forced into brothels without so much as a hearing or a trial. They were not even given the choice of Azkaban. Repopulation was top priority as Voldemort needed a bigger army of witches and wizards if he was finally going exert his dominion over muggles.
For that reason Half-bloods were spared and auctioned off to the wealthy families that supported the new king. They will be given the chance to prove themselves and their loyalty.
Muggleborns were not so lucky as they were to be killed, no exceptions. Some were fed to the acromantulas to ensure their loyalty. Some like Hermione were reserved for sacrificial killing. At her farce of a trial, Voldemort had sadistically decreed that she be sacrificed on the holiest of holidays at which his coronation will also take place. She is after all the best friend of the Boy Who Lived and thus deserved the honor of being sacrificed on Samhain.
Dark magic often required human sacrifice. She had learned that from her study of horcruxes. Power often comes at a cost through the bartering of human lives. Ancient peoples like the Mayans, Egyptians, Celts often sacrificed their own people for promises of a good crop yield or to curry favor of a god. Or they sacrifice their enemies to gain power for themselves. In some cultures it was an honor to be selected even. It is this type of magic Voldemort wanted to bring back. She suspected that was why no one was allowed to touch her. Voldemort had plans for her. It made Hermione sick knowing that her death will somehow make him more powerful.
In the days after her sentencing, she had felt powerless. She was still in shock from the aftermath of the battle. In the those first few days she mourned Harry, the fate of her friends, and the fate of the Wizarding World. She cried until she was empty and couldn't breathe. Once she was physically exhausted from crying, her mind finally settled. It was as if her body had purged all the sadness and rage inside, it left her hollow. That was when she decided she couldn't be a part of this. She wouldn't allow herself be made a spectacle as she was tortured to death.
Hermione began to refuse food and drink secretly by dumping all of it into the magically charmed chamber pot that vanished its contents. Starving to death alone in a cold damp cell was not a pleasant way to go. Any normal person would have gone insane by then. Hermione would have too if it were not what she found during her midday meal on the fifth day. Delirious from hunger, she didn't even hear or see anyone slip in the tray of food.
Hermione crawled over to the tray intent on disposing the contents the same way she had previously done when something green caught her eye. Hidden underneath a piece of stale bread was a leaf. No doubt it had been plucked from Sprout's greenhouse. She carefully picked it up almost not believing what she was seeing. Twirling the stem between her thumb and forefinger, she admired the veins on the leaf and the vibrant green color. For the first time since she kissed Ron, she smiled.
She now had a way out.
Five months later she can feel herself getting closer to her goal. But upon looking at her makeshift calendar that morning she could feel herself getting anxious. Choosing to forgo breakfast for now, she immediately begins her morning routine.
Extending her arms overhead while inhaling audibly she begins a series of sun salutations timed to her breaths. Her small prison cell limited what exercises she could do, so she stuck to mostly yoga and simple calisthenics. Completing one exercise after another she began to empty her mind in preparation for the hours of meditation she does everyday.
Wiping the sweat off her forehead, she took a sip of water from the small tin cup that came with her breakfast. Shoving the blanket aside on her unmade bed, she took a comfortable seated position on her cot and began meditating.
Meditation was a challenge for Hermione but she had made significant improvements over the course of five months. She had plenty of time to practice as a prisoner. Having always been a type A person all her life, her mind never seemed to want to slow or quiet. It was partially why she studied and read so much; her mind demanded to be occupied at all times. She found the idea of sitting and doing nothing rather boring and unproductive, so she never gave the practice of meditation much of a chance. But meditation was not so much emptying the mind completely, but a way to focus certain thoughts and ridding oneself of distractions. It was very helpful for practicing occlumency as well. Even though her primary focus was achieving her animagus transformation.
Without her wand, her only hope of escape was transforming into an animagus. It worked for Sirius, and he had to contend with hundreds of dementors on an island surrounded by miles of water. It should be no problem for her. She idly wondered what form she was going to take as she tongued the mandrake leaf in her mouth. She was hoping for a creature that was small with the ability to fly like a sparrow or a dragonfly, so she could slip through the bars undetected.
She wonders if she'll turn into an otter since a person's patronus animal can also be their animagus form but not always. A person's animagus form is thought to be immutable. No wizard or witch had ever achieved more than one, but patronuses could change. Tonks' had changed when she fell in love with Remus she thought sadly. Hermione had not been able to cast hers since the war.
While she had always excelled at charms, the patronus had always been her weakness. She could never summon hers with the same ease as Harry even with a wand. It didn't help that even her happiest memories were overshadowed by her experiences in war and her current circumstances. She wonders if she would ever be able to produce one again. The future seemed so bleak. Even if she were to escape, where would she go? The majority of the surviving Order members were locked in Azkaban. Her parents have no memory of her. She had no formal muggle education beyond age 11. She would have to start over; leave Britain, maybe seek amnesty in America if she could even get that far.
One step at a time, Hermione. Her execution day draws near and she cannot afford to entertain any thoughts of failure past or future. Taking a deep breath she began to clear her mind again. Animagus transformation is a type of wandless magic. There is no spell, no specific wand movement. It requires a higher level of command over one's magic, which is not easily achieved without a wand. Not many wizards and witches undertake this difficult endeavor and very few succeed. The Animagi Registry at the Ministry of Magic is short enough to fit into less than half a foot of parchment. But there has yet to be a spell or a piece of magic Hermione has not been able to perform.
Her transformation finally happened a few days later. In a moment of clarity her body began to change. It was an interesting sensation similar to polyjuice transformation. Her bones and joints loosened and she felt strangely fluid as her body expanded. Fur sprouted out of every inch of her skin and she could feel her nose elongate into a snout. Once the transformation was complete, she felt bigger. Much bigger. Her heart sank a bit. There goes the plan of slipping through the bars and flying away. She finally opened her eyes to look down at her huge paws. Out of the corner of her eye she spied a long bushy tail wagging back and forth. She didn't need a mirror to figure out that she had transformed into a wolf. She had seen the image in her mind, which triggered the transformation.
There was no way she was going to sneak out of the dungeons undetected. She'll have to ambush whoever comes down next and fight her way again she doesn't know how secure the castle is. If the Death Eaters are alerted of her escape they can easily seal off all the exits. Her animagus was too conspicuous to move through the castle without the Death Eaters noticing.
She could wait until her execution day. From what Malfoy had said the executions have been taking place out on the Quidditch Pitch. But everyone will be in attendance for her execution, which means she'll have to escape her captors as soon as they leave the castle and before they march her to the Quidditch Pitch and make a run for either the entrance gates or the forbidden forest.
She still had time to mull over her options. Over the next two days she practiced shifting in and out of her form. It was getting easier but it still took quite a bit of concentration especially transforming into her wolf form and staying in it for longer periods of time.
Turns out she didn't have as much time as she thought.
The door creaked opened, and Hermione stirred from her sleep. Still curled up in her cot with her back to the door, she felt like she had only fallen asleep just a few hours ago. Something was not right.
"Hem, hem, hem."
Her eyes snapped opened. Slowly she rolled over to meet the gaze of the most hated educator in Hogwarts' long history of DADA professors. Clad in her usual pink tweed matching set, Dolores Umbridge was standing above her cot looking down at her and smiling like the Grinch that fucking stole Christmas as she tapped her wand in her other hand impatiently.
Behind her stood the Carrows, whom she had not seen since her trial. It was then that Hermione realized with silent horror that the enchantment on her cell had been taken down. It was her time to go. But she wasn't ready yet. She still needed more practice, and she wasn't certain that she could take down Umbridge and both Carrows. She may have razor sharp teeth but they still had wands.
"I've been waiting for this day for a very long time," she said nastily. "On your feet now," Umbridge ordered.
Hermione glared at her but didn't move. She didn't take orders from toads.
"Tut, Tut, Tut, didn't your dirty muggle parents teach you any manners? To obey your betters?"
"You're not better than me." Hermione snapped sitting up on her cot.
"Oh, is that so? You were always such a willful disobedient child. Do I need to remind you of your place?"
"I'm just as much as witch as you are. I deserve a place in the wizarding world just as much as you do," she snarled. She was so sick of having to prove herself to these bigoted inbreds.
Umbridge slapped her. "What did I say about telling lies? Children, they never learn!" She seethed her body vibrating with anger. "It's such a shame we're on such a tight schedule or I'd have you spending the next 3 hours writing lines until you bleed out and then maybe it will finally sink in."
Hermione winced cradling her cheek with her hand."You're a wretched woman! Dumbledore should have left you with those centaurs. You deserved everything that they did to you!" Hermione screamed angrily.
Umbridge's eyes darkened at the mention of that incident. Without any warning she snatched Hermione's hair and dragged her onto her feet. Hermione winced. "Let go of me!" She spat. When she tried to fight back, the shorter woman stabbed the tip of her wand into her throat. The Carrows rushed into the cell to assist her. With so many people inside the cramped space Hermione was beginning to feel claustrophobic.
This was her chance. It was now or never. She began to summon her animagus form. Suddenly Draco appeared and pushed past the Carrows. He grabbed her wrists and as he bent down to cuff them, he whispered into her ear, "not yet."
Hermione froze. Bewildered, she looked up at Draco, but his face gave nothing away.
"I'll take her Dolores. I need to speak with my mother anyways." He took her arm and hastily escorted her out of the cell without looking back.
Draco was practically dragging her through the halls of the dungeons.
"Wait! Where are you taking me?" she looked around and realized they were going deeper into the dungeons instead of towards the exit.
"Slytherin Dormitories," he answered tersely not bothering to look at her. "We have to get you ready first."
"Why are you hel-" Draco spun around and clapped his hand over her mouth.
"Not another word until we get to the dorms," he warned his eyes darting around making sure they were alone. She looked at him suspiciously but obeyed.
Moments later they were standing in front of the entrance to the Slytherin Dormitories.
The grey stone wall slid open on his command.
Hermione had never been inside the Slytherin common room. She didn't have any Slytherin friends and due to that polyjuice mishap in her second year she missed her opportunity to go with Harry and Ron. The layout was similar to the Gryffindor common room but with a silver, green, and color scheme. It lacked the coziness of Gryffindor's room. The common room seemed cold even with the fireplace lit. Maybe it was due to the lack of students. She briefly wondered if Hogwarts was still a school as Draco led her to the girl's dormitory.
Draco reached down to turn the knob. "Wait," Hermione protested.
"What?" he huffed out impatiently. His hand resting on the doorknob.
"Why are you helping me?"
"Does it matter?"
"It does to me."
Draco sighed running his hand through his hair with his free hand. It was getting almost as long as Lucius'. "Potter saved my life. I'm returning the favor," he replied simply. The curtness in his voice indicating the conversation was over.
Hermione not satisfied with that answer was opening her mouth ready to fire a barrage of questions.
Just then the door opened.
"Mother," he greeted respectfully. "All yours, I'll be waiting outside," Draco said as he pushed her inside and shut the door behind her.
"Come now Miss Granger. Let's get you ready." There was not a trace of animosity in her voice. She gave her a small smile as if they weren't enemies on different sides of the war. As if she didn't stand idly by and watch her sister torture her until she bled all over her polished floors.
Hermione looked at her warily, but the Lady Malfoy wasted no time in grabbing her arm and tugging her into the bathroom where a bath awaited her. She took out a key and uncuffed her wrists.
"Take off your clothes and get into the tub, we don't have much time if we are going to get you cleaned and ready. And from the looks of you, I have much work to do." The Malfoy matron looked her up and down. Hermione would have been offended had she not been so confused at that situation.
"Why are you doing this?" The younger woman asked.
"I'll explain while you undress. We don't have much time," she repeated. Then she turned her back to give her a little privacy. "I have to prepare you for the ritual which includes cleansing your body and anointed it with oil." She then prattled on about a number of other things she must do in order to make her look presentable, a worthy sacrifice.
Hermione had so many questions, but she nodded and stripped off her standard prison tunic and trousers she was given on her first day as prisoner and stepped into the tub. The warm water was heavenly and she almost moaned in pleasure as it was her first bath in months.
"We were hoping for your sake and ours that your animagus form would be small enough to fit through the prison bars, but that clearly is not the case."
Realization dawned on her. "It was you," she gasped. "You slipped me that Mandrake Leaf!"
Narcissa hummed in affirmation as she busied herself with washing her hair.
Hermione's eyes narrowed."Why are you helping me?"
"Your friend saved Draco's life. You can think of us however you want. We may be snakes, but Malfoys always pay their debts," she said primly while she worked the shampoo into her hair.
"Is that all?" Hermione flinched as the older woman tugged on her hair.
Narcissa sighed and stilled her hands which were still tangled in her messy hair.. "I stood by when you were just a child and watched my sister torture you. I stood by and watched Harry Potter die. When I heard what they had planned for you I knew I had to intervene."
Hermione hesitated before she asked, "what do they have planned for me?"
Narcissa started rinsing her hair debating with herself on whether to tell the girl what was in store for her should she fail to escape.
"Here, take this sponge and start washing your body." The woman was efficient; she had to admit. Hermione took the sponge and lathered it up with soap. It smelled like roses.
"What do you know about Old World Pagan Rituals?" Narcissa asked.
"I know that any spell or ritual that requires human sacrifice is dark magic," Hermione stated bluntly.
"Right, but do you know the specific rituals involved?"
Hermione shook her head no.
"Right now it is 10:45 pm, October 30, 1998," she said glancing over at the clock on the opposite wall.
"At midnight the celebrations of Samhain will begin. The celebration lasts 2 days ending on the evening of November 1st. That is when you will be killed."
"But what happens between now and then? Why am I getting ready so early?"
"Because you are the entertainment."
Hermione felt sick suddenly. She thought of Avery watching her bathe and Dolohov's threats and her stomach turned.
"You will be passed around to his most loyal and esteemed followers. Tents have been set up out on the quidditch pitch for each one of them. You'll be stripped and paraded around first. They'll give you a special potion. One that makes you more amenable to their advances and you'll visit each tent in rounds. At the end you'll be strapped down to the stone dais where the new King will cut out your tongue, your eyes, and then your heart in that order. Then your body will be burned as we chant the sacred spells to harvest the power of your soul. You are a reward for his followers. Your body and power will be gifted to them."
"Is that what happened to my friends?" Hermione asked quietly tears threatening to spill. Draco didn't mention this part.
"Most of your friends were burned at the stake purely for the King's entertainment."
"Your ritual is different," Narcissa continued, "At your trial a spell was performed without your knowledge. They determined that you were," she paused to find the right word, "untouched."
Hermione blushed. She had hoped to lose her virginity to Ron, but there were things that got in the way. Viktor, Lavender, the horcrux hunt, Ron abandoning the horcrux hunt, the battle. There was never a right moment. And now there won't ever be one. Hermione wiped the tears from her cheeks.
"Was that why I was spared for so long?"
"Yes, this type of magic only worked on Samhain. It requires a virgin. Every man you visit on this day will get a piece of your power."
"That's why no one was allowed to touch me."
"Yes, but that was not the only reason Hermione. You're an exceptionally powerful witch. You don't even realize it. The sheer amount of power within you that you don't even have access yet is astounding. Many don't believe you deserve such power because you are a muggleborn."
Hermione snorted, "is this why I'm being killed and my power harvested? Your King wouldn't think to spare me and persuade me to join his cause?"
"Would you?" Narcissa asked despite knowing the answer.
Narcissa finished washing her hair and drained the tub. She handed a towel to Hermione.
"Now let's talk escape plans. Draco tells me your animagus is a wolf."
Hermione silently cursed herself. She thought she had been careful. "Yes."
"Come over here and lay on the bench."
Gripping the towel to her chest she laid on the bench awaiting further instructions.
Narcissa didn't give any warning before she started stripping the hair from her body.
"Ouch!" Her entire body recoiled as the hair was torn from her right leg.
"I assure you this is not as painful as me removing your hair by hand. It's much quicker too."
"Umbridge and the Carrows will be escorting you to the Quidditch Pitch. Once you get outside you need to transform and run into the Forbidden Forest."
"Why there? Why not the gates?"
"You'll be followed if you go to the gates and easily caught. The King has not yet conquered the Forbidden Forest. It is still under the protection of the Centaurs for now. No human is allowed in, but you should be safe as long as you remain in your wolf form. From there just travel North until you reach the base of the mountains. There should be muggle settlements along the mountains Should you fail, Draco and I cannot help you," she said gravely.
Hermione understood. They were enemies after all.
Narcissa finished the hair removal. "Sit up," Narcissa commanded as she grabbed a hairbrush. Thankfully Hermione's hair was much more manageable wet and she wasted no time in brushing and drying her hair.
Next Narcissa asked her to remove the towel so she could apply the oil. Hermione crossed her arms over her chest feeling self conscious. It felt weird to be touched after not having any physical contact for so long. She also burned some incense and waved over her body. The preparation must be fully completed to not draw any suspicion if Hermione was going to escape.
"We're finished here. Let's get you dressed." Narcissa got up and reached into the wardrobe for a grecian style dress. She helped her into the gown. It was white with a neckline cut low and a slit ending mid thigh. It would have been a lovely dress had it not been so sheer and revealing.
Hermione huffed and crossed her arms over her chest. Here she was all dressed up with nowhere to go except to her death. The material was so thin that it was almost see through.
"Just be glad you're allowed to wear something. Some of the prisoners were marched to their death naked," Narcissa said noticing her discomfort.
Narcissa took a step back and looked at the girl. Pretty and innocent. "Now remember, you only have one chance." She bound her hands in a thick rope but left it loose enough for her to slip through.
AN: I should say that this is my first fanfiction. I don't have a beta so please feel free to leave any comments on where you think I can improve or any mistakes you see. This is a Hermione x Thor story. I know, talk about your rare/non-existent pairing, but I'm thinking of it as more of an experiment since it is my first foray into writing fanfiction. Thor and the Avengers will make their appearance in the second chapter, which I have already written.