Song Suggestion: Taylor Swift- Safe and Sound (ft. The Civil Wars)

Edited by the lovely MyPrivateInsanity

A/N: It begins! Thanks for your patience while I finished Brand New World. I'm excited to start a new story.

A/N 2: This will be an HEA for Dramione. But it won't be for every character.

A/N 3: For those that like the platform, House Pet is also on ao3 under the same penname of NinaBinaBallerina. The update schedule will be the same.

Nott Manor

When they walked past the clearing, the monster took a broom from his pocket, expanding it on contact. He attempted to peel Hermione off him, but she refused to budge, shivering with terror.

"You need to let go and get on the broom."

"No." Her whole world had cracked under her feet, and if she let go, she might be swallowed by something more terrifying than the monster.

"Fine," he said. "I think I could still fly like this. Hold on."

Without warning, he launched into the sky. Hermione screamed against his cloak until her throat hurt. When she quieted, she heard Nott making a deep shushing noise, trying to calm her, and it made his chest rumble. She focused on the sound instead of the fact they dangled over the Earth.

They flew for a long way. Her brain forgot most of the trip, besides the chilly air lashing against her skin. To protect her from the wind, Nott wrapped her tighter in his cloak, which smelled nice, like fire and cinnamon. It should have comforted her, but her shock wouldn't let her settle. Hermione closed her eyes, unable to look around, fearful of both the monster and the flight.

"I won't drop you," he said, but Hermione didn't trust him.

"Only birds should fly."

His chest gave a sudden spasm, and she thought he might have laughed. Hermione just held tighter, struggling to get lost in the black cloak—the infinite dark.

When they landed in a city, he walked inside a building with her still clinging to him. She must be getting heavy, but he didn't complain or attempt to rip her off again.

The men and women sitting at desks startled backward at his entrance, looking at his mask as if it would jump off his face and eat them. One woman in a red dress gave a high-pitched scream, crouching down with her hands raised.

"We didn't do anything," a man with heavy eyebrows pleaded. "Please, have mercy. Don't kill us. I swear on my life we—"

"I'm just here for the floo. They did build one here, correct?"

"Y—yes." The man's voice shook. The lady in the red dress crawled under her desk as the monster turned toward the speaker. "Right this way."

The man led them toward a fireplace, looking as if he might be ill at any minute. The monster grabbed a handful of powder from a jar on the mantel and threw it into the ashes. "Ministry of Magic," he said. He walked into the fireplace and then stepped out somewhere new. It happened too fast for Hermione to react.

The place they entered was crawling with people in odd clothing. Many of them stopped walking and stared at her as they passed. Hermione assumed they stared at her dirty appearance. Mud still covered her, drying hard to her skin, and leaves were tangled in her hair.

The monster walked through hallways, ignoring everyone, until he entered a spacious office. An old man sat at a desk with a plaque in front of him that read Chief Warlock right next to another that said Walter Filibus. He scratched at a parchment with a feather and glanced up through reading glasses.

"Titus," he greeted. "Is this the muggleborn I've been hearing about?"


"This tiny thing killed Fenrir?"

"She did."

The old man made a funny noise, between a cough and a laugh.

"She did the wizarding world a favor." He studied her, as if she was an animal in a zoo. "That was an impressive feat for her age, even compared to the pureblood children. I'm sure Lucius and the others are already scheming to get their sons' tokens in as soon as possible."

The old man threw a kind smile toward her, but Hermione kept her frown.

"Well, sit down, son, so we can finish."

"She… won't let go. Her retrieval has left her in a state of shock."

Walter paused to search in his desk and pulled out a piece of blue candy she'd never seen, reminding her of a feather

"Here, little one. You don't need to be frightened. No one will hurt you."

That she didn't believe at all.

The candy looked delicious and strange, but Hermione just buried her face into the cloak, refusing it. She feared the monster, but she'd rather be close to him than the other strangers.

"Alright, I can see she needs to get home," Walter said. "If you sign, I'll finish the legal papers for her. Are you sure you want the responsibility? I understand your live-in nanny will take care of her while you attend Hogwarts, but you'll need to be her guardian as she ages. Many of the muggleborns are… unruly."

Titus sighed, as if unsure.

"The current muggleborns of age for the Trials are too old to assimilate to their new lives. I think this one will settle fine." He gave a soft pat to her shoulders. "And Theo could use a pet, especially since I'm gone so much."

The old man nodded .

"Your nanny will need to take her for a check-up at St. Mungo's within the month to make sure she's healthy. Muggles carry all sorts of diseases."

"I'll tell her."

Walter handed him some parchments; Titus leaned over as much as he could, took a feather, and began to scratch on it, signing his name.

"I need permission to apparate to the manor."

"You don't have a license yet?"

"Not until next year. Since the Order sent the explosive through the floo at Malfoy Manor, ours has been deactivated. I'm hesitant about reactivating it until I know the threat is over, and Hermione didn't handle broom travel well."

"Do you know how to do it without splinching, especially with another person?"

"Of course. My father taught me long ago. I've practiced several times on our property."

"I'll allow it this once." Walter leaned back in his chair with his hands folded across his stomach, examining Titus. "Your parents would be proud at how well you've managed after their deaths. I'm told your marks in school are excellent. Top of your class, Quidditch Captain, and slated to be Head Boy next year. And you've already secured an internship in the auror department after you graduate. I'm expecting great things from you."

Titus sucked in a breath. He nodded slightly at the man and then walked out, his chest stiffer than it had been before.

He didn't seem to like talking about his parents.

They popped from existence—an unpleasant sensation—and arrived in front of a giant, imposing house made of dark grey stone. Around the building, mythical marble creatures stood guard inside a labyrinth of gardens. Since they left the ministry, Nott kept petting her hair, smoothing it down in long strokes meant to comfort, but Hermione didn't think she'd ever be happy again.

They walked into the house just as it began to drizzle, droplets of water striking their skin. It reminded her of tears. The sky cried, but Hermione couldn't. Something broke deep inside her chest.

The inside of the manor had dark, heavy curtains, forest green wallpaper, and diamond patterned marble floors. Accents of gold gleamed in the dim light, and a giant chandler hovered over them with teardrop crystals and floating candles. Everything looked both outdated and delicate, like a museum. Hermione wondered if the house was haunted when a suit of armor creaked, twisting its metal head toward her. The portraits whispered to each other; one even gave a small wave which she didn't return. Even the tapestries moved—giant trolls swinging their clubs across the weft threads as she walked by. If she had ever imagined a home for a monster, it would be this one.

An old lady met them in the foyer, her white hair pulled back in a low bun and an apron tied around her waist. When she saw Nott, she placed a hand on her chest.

"Oh my, Titus, who are you holding?"

"A little muggleborn named Hermione."

The old lady gasped and walked forward.

"Oh, you poor dear… you poor, poor dear." Hermione transferred into the old woman's arms, much stronger than they first appeared. She set her on her wobbly feet, keeping her pressed close to her apron. "You should be ashamed of yourself. I didn't help raise you to participate in this sick system they've set up. Your mother would be ashamed as well. I thought you swore you'd never get a muggleborn, finding it distasteful."

Titus pulled off his black mask to reveal a handsome teenager with dark hair that curled at the ends and blue eyes that glowed in the dimmed light. Titus looked at her and grimaced, color flooding his cheeks.

"I'm not in the mood, Tabitha. It's been a very long, tiring day. If I hadn't taken her, she'd have gone to Malfoy, and he hates her kind more than I do. And Merlin forbid if Rabastan had taken her. I just… I thought Theo needed a companion. He's been so withdrawn since... And besides, it hardly matters what I think. We need them, or we'll die out. My objection to it doesn't stop the necessity. At least here, she'll be safe."

"Where did you find her?" The woman's arms were thick and warm, enveloping her in comfort, smelling like baked bread and powdered sugar.

Titus hesitated.

"Her father was part of the Order and planned the Beltane Massacres. We caught them both on the hunt."

Tabitha let out another little gasp, holding her tighter. Hermione remembered now her father was responsible for the death of Nott's parents. Despite her grief, Hermione felt some odd bit of pity. The circular pain confused her.

"She's dirty from head to toe. Did you find her in a field?"

"Her father covered her in mud to hide her from Fenrir, but… well, Lucius took his revenge, and she saw all of it."

At that, Hermione buried her face into Tabitha's arm. She wanted to cry, but couldn't. Her body refused to grieve.

"You're safe now," Tabitha whispered.

By the time she looked back up, Titus had disappeared. Tabitha brought her upstairs and began washing Hermione in a clawfoot tub, scrubbing her until her skin turned pink. When her hair was brushed, a little grey creature popped into the bathroom. Hermione almost screamed, but Tabitha gave her another soothing hug, and she calmed down.

"It's only a house elf. She won't do you any harm. Now, here, dress in these." She held up some boy's clothes. "They are Theo's, but you look like you wear similar sizes. They will be sufficient until we can buy you a new wardrobe."

Now clean and with warm clothes, her body reached the peak of exhaustion, and when Tabitha brought her into another hug, she fell asleep.

She didn't remember the next few days. A dark ghost haunted her mind, and it resisted the sunshine, tugging her under again and again. She didn't eat or sleep, simply rested in bed, staring at the ceiling. She flinched when anyone entered the room, though she started to like the little elf, Bitty. After the initial fright, Hermione found it cute with its big, floppy ears.

One day, Titus and Tabitha entered her room. Hermione kept her eyes on the opposite wall.

"Did she eat today?" Titus asked.


"Fucking Lucius—"

"Language, Titus!"

Titus gave a loud, long sigh.

"I just don't know what to do. Both of them are like this now, and I have to leave soon. The headmaster only gave me a week."

"Of course, you don't know what to do. You've always been smart and responsible, but you're only sixteen. You aren't supposed to know what to do with losing both your parents, leaving you to raise your little brother and now a sad muggleborn. We're all lost. Give it time to find our way."

Titus sighed.

"Any ideas then? Because at this rate, she'll starve to death."

Tabitha took a moment to work through the situation. Hermione felt eyes on her back.

"Have you thought about putting them together?"

"In the same room?"

"It might give them comfort to have each other."

Titus thought about it.

"Might as well try it. Bitty, go get a temporary bed set up in Theo's room."

The next morning a boy poked her side, and she startled awake. She had a moment of panic looking at her unfamiliar surroundings before the memories caught up to her. The pain stabbed her, and she gasped, but she shed no more tears. The terrible emotion went through her, leaving her insides as stone.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"Me?" The boy looked incredulous at her question. He seemed about her age, with lighter hair than Titus. His face was skinny and long, and he wore glasses that kept sliding down his nose. "You're the one in my room. I just woke up and found you here."

His room? She examined her surroundings. The room was spacious, with flags on the walls, reminding her of the football teams her daddy watched. A picture of a man floating on a broom near some odd hoops took up the wall opposite the window. She would have been startled when it moved, but most of the paintings around the home did as well. The room smelled like a boy– a bit like grass mixed with wet dog, as if the sheets needed washing. She wrinkled her nose in slight disgust.

"Why am I here?"

The boy shrugged, and then he looked contemplative.

"What happened before you came here?"

Hermione blanched and snuggled under the blankets, pulling them over her head.

"I don't want to talk about it."

"Wait… are you a mudblood?"

Hermione pulled down the covers a little, just enough her head poked out, giving a frown. That's what they called her, but it never sounded nice, and she didn't like it.

"I think so, but my name is Hermione… and you're Theo. Your brother talked about you."

Theo frowned.

"That's odd. Titus said he'd never get a mudblood."

"My name is Hermione," she said with a little more bite. "Mudblood sounds icky."

His eyes widened, but he seemed to understand. He looked a little upset that she was here.

"Did they take you from your family?"

Hermione glanced out the window, hating the sunshine. She wished she could politely ask the birds to stop chirping.

"My parents are dead."

Theo froze, and then his expression softened.

"I'm sorry." He sounded sincere. "My parents are dead too. People will try to tell you everything will be okay, but it's a lie."

Hermione nodded, accepting what he said. They shared a pain no one else understood, except maybe that Draco boy.

"Hey, let's get something to eat," Theo said, trying to change the subject. "I think we can convince the elves to give us hot cocoa... if Tabitha's not up. She'll try to stop us from having any fun."

"Is that the old lady?"

"Yeah, she's our half-blood nanny. Been here all my life. I think she might be older than Salazar himself."

Hot cocoa sounded wonderful, though a part of Hermione hurt so bad she wished to snuggle back into bed forever. Still, her curiosity won out, and Hermione got up and followed him out of the room.

They stayed together all day, running around the manor, which was the largest house she'd ever seen. She forgot all about the monsters in the masks, about her dead parents. Theo taught her how to slide down the giant banister, and they made daring turns, shrieking with laughter, until Tabitha caught them and came after Theo with a wooden spoon.

Laughing some more, they dashed outside before she could catch them and spent the rest of the day in his treehouse. It was much nicer than any she'd ever seen before, with real child-sized furniture, outfitted to look like the manor—forest green wallpaper, a faux fireplace, and moving portraits on the walls. To get inside, there was a rope attached to a deep red bucket that pulled her up with magic. It shocked Hermione, but only for a moment, because in this place, magic happened everywhere.

She didn't see Titus again, except briefly when he walked out of the house. He looked at her with a grimace before leaving.

"I don't think he likes me very much," she said.

"He's never liked muggles," Theo admitted. "Especially after… Anyway, he's always gone. He'll be going back to school tomorrow, so Tabitha will take care of us."

"What happens when he finishes school?"

She worried about living with one of the monsters.

"He'll move back home, but he already has a job at the ministry as an auror after he graduates. Tabitha thinks he'll move up fast, since he's a prodigy with dueling. Whatever that means."

"Oh," Hermione said. It made her feel better she wouldn't see the monster that much.

That night, they ate dinner at the formal table. The serving dishes crawled around on command, which Hermione thought was brilliant, even though sometimes the spoons gave her more than she asked for. Back at home, they didn't have much food. Her mother had once said she had to eat everything, because people were starving, so the amount of food on the table shocked Hermione, but it all tasted delicious. Theo and Hermione whispered and giggled, hiding their green beans until Tabitha glared, and they straightened.

When she looked up, Titus was examining her in a piercing way, and then he gave a small grin, as if she passed a test, but she was too scared to return the smile.

When bedtime came, Tabitha and the elves helped them get dressed in pajamas and brush their teeth. She still wore Theo's clothes, but Tabitha insisted she'd get her own soon. When the elves tucked her into the small bed, and Theo in his giant bed, she felt fine at first. But when the lights went out, her memories came back and soon everything she had tried to push down all day overwhelmed her. It hit her with a cold clarity that both her parents were dead, and her whole life was forever changed. She gasped but still couldn't bring herself to cry.

"Hermione," Theo asked in concern. "Are you alright?"

"No," she answered. "I'm afraid. Do you mind if I… well, if I slept with you?"

She used to sleep in her parents' bed when she woke up afraid, but now she had nowhere to go, and she'd lost Hopper.

"Of course, you can. My bed is too big anyway."

Hermione crawled up and settled down under his covers. Theo reached out his hand, and she grabbed it, accepting the comfort. His hand was warm and soft, and it soothed her to touch another person, even if his sheets smelled like a disgusting boy.

"Thank you," she said. Her chest still hurt, but she did feel safer.

Theo was silent while her pain ebbed away.

"I've always wanted a sister," he whispered. "Titus said you're my pet, but that's just silly. A dog is a pet, and I want you to be family. Do you want a brother?"

"Yes," she answered. "Very much so."

She didn't need to see Theo to know he smiled.

"Perfect. I can't wait until tomorrow. I need to show you the south pond. Supposedly, there's a water beast at the bottom, but I've never seen it."

That did sound fun. In anticipation of the morning, she laid her head down and went to sleep, still holding Theo's hand.

She woke up to voices. One belonged to Titus, the other to Tabitha. They stood in the doorway, looking at them sleeping, still holding hands. Hermione pretended to be asleep.

"She's good for him," Tabitha said. "I was wrong to lecture you. You made the right choice. Saved her from a harder fate. And Theo played today for the first time in months."

"I just hope he doesn't get too attached. When she's older, she'll have to leave. I have a feeling I'm making a mistake."

"Foolish boy. One day you'll realize pain is the price of love, but it's worth paying. Theo needs something to love, or he'll never heal. You can't protect him from heartbreak." She turned to Titus. "You need healing as well—something to love—though I know you believe you're just fine. Maybe you'll grow to care for the girl too."

Titus scoffed and placed his hand on the doorframe, the heavy Nott family ring clicking against the wood. After a moment, he shook his head and left.