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Summary: What would life have been like if Hermione Granger was born a Black? Follow our little heroine as she grows up in the House of Black and becomes Bellatrix's right hand girl.
Chapter 63- Battles Rain Down
Hermione stood next to Draco just outside of the Forbidden Forest, "Draco, we need to get in undetected." Draco shifted his footing, checking the area around their immediate vicinity, "Severus would have dropped most of the wards at the instruction of the Dark Lord." Hermione turned at the sound of windows shattering, "Let's go." Together they apparated into Hogwarts. When their feet touched the stone floors of the dungeons, they were both nearly bowled over. Draco grabbed the back of both Crabbe and Goyle's robes as Hermione took hold of Blaise's and once again apparated away. Arriving on the third floor, Hermione let go of Blaise and turned to face them all.
"We need to find Potter and stop him. He's looking for some items that belong to the Dark Lord." Blaise interrupted her mid-sentence, "What items? What do they look like?" Hermione glanced at him, "We don't know but if we find Potter and stop him, then he won't be able to destroy them, whatever they are." Crabbe cracked his knuckles in anticipation as Goyle smirked. "Then let's get going." Draco motioned for Blaise and Goyle to follow him and Hermione took Crabbe with her. "I'll start low, you start high" Draco nodded in agreement with her and together they headed for the stairs, each going their separate ways. Hermione and Crabbe hurried down the stairs, both keeping an eye out for anyone that belonged to Potter's group.
A cacophony of noise broke their peaceful hunting causing both of them to slip into an alcove, the sounds of hundreds of footsteps slapping against stone reached them. "Come on Crabbe, let's go." A grunt of agreement was the only response she received as they both broke free of their small hiding spot. Flinging stinging hexes and leg-lockers at anyone they passed, Hermione eyed a brilliant head of wavy blonde locks further ahead. "There!" Crabbe twisted around at Hermione's shout and together they ran toward the blonde Ravenclaw. Crabbe grabbed at the blonde and roughly pulled her into his chest, hand holding her neck and arm wrapped around her waist. "Where is Potter going?" Hermione asked. The blonde haired girl turned cold eyes on her and an airy smile followed, "No place you'd be able to find."
Hermione was just about to punch her but the sound of spell fire broke her concentration, "Come Crabbe, we need to hurry." Hermione glared at the girl one more time before she ran for the stairs again, "Where we goin'?" Crabbe's breathless voice had Hermione pause with her foot hovering above the seventh floor landing. "Room of Requirement. Now hurry up." By the time Hermione turned the corner she was too late, Ron had just kicked an item with dark mist and magic pouring out of it back into the Room that was engulfed in a blazing inferno. Draco, Blaise and Goyle were all lying in a heap; their backs resting against the large stone pillar. "Potter!" Harry turned at the sound of his name being yelled, Hermione Black stood tall, her coat tails swaying gently with the night time breeze. "Harry, we need to go, come on!" Ron and Ginny were desperately urging him to move. Hermione watched him with contempt, her black eyes piercing him to his core.
Harry faster than lightning threw a stunner in her direction, it broke their connection, buying him time to make a run for it. Hermione's screaming voice followed after them as they ran down the stairs, Harry shot spell after spell at any Death Eater that happened across them. They were on the last set of stairs when Harry was flung off his feet by a spell that was shot at him from behind him. Hermione was hot on his tail; she'd left Draco and the others in her hurry to catch Potter before he found another of her Master's special items. She could see Potter's head lolling from side to side, finding an opening she made to attack but was stopped by a powerful blast that sent her careening backwards. Large chunks of stone rained down around her, pieces of stone bit into her skin and covered her body in dust.
Feeling a warm pair of hands touching her face, Hermione groaned, her mouth felt dry and her nose burned. Eyes fluttering and blinking from the sudden bright light, she tried to focus on the person touching her. A couple of pats to her cheek had her eyes landing on a dark figure hovering above her, "Wake up you psycho!" Hermione's eyes finally found purchase, "Oh finally! You're one crazy witch, you know that. Draco's been worrying and fretting over you for over an hour." Blaise leaned back and allowed her to sit up. "Bloody hell." She coughed and began getting back to her feet, her head was pounding. "Bloody little ginger wench." Blaise was looking around, making sure none of the students fighting with the Death Eaters made an open attack on them. "Come you can kill her later; we need to get out of here." Standing up and patting herself down in an attempt to clean the dust from her coat, Hermione looked around.
The two of them were immediately on high alert when spells began raining down around them, they both turned simultaneously and there standing just outside the entrance hall were Nymphadora Yaxley and Remus Lupin, "Well, well, well, if it isn't my dearly soon to be departed blood traitorous cousin and her filthy half breed." Blaise's wand was trained on Lupin whereas Hermione's was on Nymphadora. "Such a lovely sentiment from a mentally unstable inbreeder. How's Aunty Bella these days little cousin, hmm? Have you been creating demonic abominations with your inbred whore?" Blaise stepped away from Hermione when he felt a magical backlash hit his side. "Pretty words won't ease the pain you're about to receive filth." The spells exited Hermione's wand in rapid succession, brilliant colours rained down around both Lupin and Nymphadora.
A trail of fire scorched the vicinity around them, keeping everyone out of their immediate area. Hermione was furiously adding fuel to the fire she'd created, building the wall of flames higher, the sweat was pooling at the nape of her neck from the exertion. Her eyes were blazing with unrestrained hatred for the witch that stood before her, Nymphadora's own face was filled with an equal measure of hate. Outside of the fiery wall of flames stood Lupin and Blaise who were both locked in a duel, both men were furiously battling each other, neither one backing down in their attack. Inside the inferno a different type of duel took place, one of hatred and hell-fire, Hermione let loose every manner of dark spells she knew. The air around them sparked and crackled with unrestrained magic as the two witches battled furiously.
Nymphadora was not holding back and Hermione was soaking it all in, her senses were on fire, she knew which spell was being cast before the magic exited the wand. Edging closer, she threw bone-breakers, Bombarda's, Crucio's and every other spell that would destroy the woman that stood before her. "You were a weakling from the beginning, Nymphadora! Your mother was an idiot for keeping you alive when she found out about your loyalties!" A slicing hex pierced her left flank, "You know nothing you crazy lunatic! My mother always knew where my loyalties lay! She looked after me even after Polaris expelled me from the family! She's been there for me and my little boy when the rest of you thought she'd broken all ties to me!" Hermione cackled, her eyes filling with mirth for a moment. "Your filthy mother is dead! I killed her for her betrayal! Relished as her blood spilled from her body!"
The blood curdling scream had Hermione giggling, even as she felt Nymphadora tackle her to the floor. Hermione enjoyed the fight, allowed her body to react to the pain that rained down upon her from Nymphadora's fists as they connected with every available piece of flesh they could find. Grabbing at the witches shoulders she pushed her over until she straddled her waist, she attacked then. Teeth bit into a tanned neck and nails tore into the skin of her shoulders, her guttural growl gave Nymphadora pause which opened the opportunity for Hermione and she dove in. Flesh tore away from muscle, bones snapped and shattered, blood oozed and poured from each open wound. Tears mingled with filth and dust upon cheeks, screams broke free in split second intervals. "You'll be reunited with your filthy mudblood loving mother soon!" Hermione let up on her relentless attack for a second too long.
Nymphadora was twisting her body and finally got Hermione off of her long enough to take advantage, kicking and punching at the girl in a blind rage, Nymphadora went to hell with Hermione's momentary shock. It didn't take long for Hermione to be bleeding from lacerations and a broken nose, she of course laughed at every cut and punch she received. Her body was on a euphoric high and her battle lust was growing with a speed she was struggling to keep a grip on. A wand was suddenly pressed into her stomach, her eyes widened as they landed on Nymphadora's, "You wouldn't!?" An enraged scream tore from Nymphadora's lips that was overlapped by Hermione's agonizing howl of pain. "Enjoy your life in the barren fields you inbred bitch!" Hermione's blood boiled, arm raised and wand stuck deeply inside the heaving chest of her once cousin.
"Say hello to Andromeda for me." Black tar like liquid bubbled inside the open wound within Nymphadora's chest cavity, her screams were like a balm to Hermione's very soul. Hermione cackled as every organ melted as the black tar worked through Nymphadora's body. Her skin tingled and her mind exploded with colours as her euphoria swept through her veins. What was left of Nymphadora now lay in a crumpled heap as the black liquid seeped out of every open wound and orifice. Hermione lowered the wall of fire, her body covered in sweat and flushed from the heat and lust of her battle when a voice registered in her mind. "Merlin's beard 'Mione!" Blaise exclaimed when he saw the state she was in and the mess she'd left. "What happened in there?" Hermione merely looked in his direction before spotting Lupin's fallen body. "I need to find Bella."
Draco met Hermione at the treeline of the Forbidden Forest, the Dark Lord had given a respite to the light side, allowing them to take care of their dead. Hermione had seen a few of her fellow Death Eaters being carried away by the others, some dead and others varying in their levels of injury as she walked through the main Hogwarts courtyard. "Hey 'Mione, you look terrible. Are you okay?" Hermione looked in Draco's direction and snarled out her reply, "I'm ready to collapse where I stand if I'm being honest but I'm going to lie and say that I am just peachy." Raising his eyebrow in her direction and snorted but left her alone. She continued walking down the path in search of Bellatrix. "Draco have you seen Bella? After the Dark Lord requested for her to remain at his side, I've not seen her."
Turning to glance at her, he shook his head, "No and she wasn't even in the battle just now either." Running a hand through her hair as they stepped into the clearing where the Dark Lord stood glaring at the wand in his hands. "He doesn't look very happy." Draco whispered. "My lord, perhaps they weren't fast enough." The timid voice of one of the low-ranking Death Eaters sounded out. Hermione took a split second to react to the words before the young boy was flat on his back screaming. "Idiot." Hermione murmured to Draco as she slowly edged herself closer to Narcissa's side. "Hermione! Draco!" Both of them paused, turning their heads in their Master's direction. "My lord?" Red engulfed their bodies as soon as the Dark Lord laid eyes on them.
By the time he released them from their punishment, Hermione had passed out and Draco had vomited all down his front. Bellatrix had rushed down to help Hermione as Narcissa came to a stop next to Draco, "Dragon, are you alright?" Coughing and spluttering, he turned to look in her direction, "Mum? Urgh, what happened?" Narcissa pulled him into her side and wrapped her arms tightly around his back, "You angered the Dark Lord, you and Hermione both." A little bit behind her and Draco sat Bellatrix who had Hermione's head resting in her lap, "C'mon my love, wake up." Patting her cheek gently in an attempt to wake Hermione up, Bellatrix whispered into her ear. "Please wake up kitten." In the distance she could hear the Dark Lord speaking, to whom she knew not, nor did she care at that very moment. Her main concern was Hermione and her lack of response.
After a short while Hermione finally came round, at this time the Dark Lord had disappeared with Nagini. Bellatrix leaned over until her curls covered Hermione's face, giving them some privacy, "My love, are you okay?" Hermione looked into Bellatrix's loving eyes, "The traitorous witch destroyed any chance of me baring children." Hermione whispered softly. Bellatrix looked into her misty eyes, her own glossing over, "It's alright my love, we can still have, we can find a potion or spell that can help." Hermione turned her face into Bellatrix's stomach, if she were to show vulnerability to those around her, she'd be seen as weak and that could not happen. "Kitten, I can carry our children." Bellatrix's shy voice sounded in her ear, followed by a soft kiss against her temple.
"You would?" Her mumbled response could barely be heard by Bellatrix, "Yes, my love. I would and I will." Pulling her face away from her stomach so as to place a delicate yet love filled kiss. A wolf whistle could be heard in the distance which was followed with a couple of laughing voices. "Shut up Amycus!" Bellatrix growled. More laughter filled the clearing, though was dampened with the arrival of their Dark Lord. "My fellow followers, I have summoned Harry Potter to this clearing. I want each of you to be on your guard, keep your eyes open and make sure that no one besides Potter enters into the clearing." Hermione lifted yourself up until she was sitting, Bellatrix still seated behind her, leaned against her back. "I want each of you to keep your wands ready and anyone that disobeys me will not live a second longer. When Potter enters, surround the area and keep your wands on him at all times."
Bellatrix gripped at Hermione's coat in a white knuckled fist, "Somethings not right, he's never been like this before. How many items did you witness Potter destroy?" Hermione leaned backwards, "I've only seen one destroyed, I've no idea how many he had to begin with." Bellatrix let a puff of air blow out and turned her eyes back to her Master as he spoke. From what Bellatrix could see the Dark Lord was even more over protective of Nagini than normal. He was becoming agitated as the time wore on and so she nudged Hermione into following her down the small embankment until they both were standing on either side of him. "My lord, allow Hermione and I to be the first protection, we will keep Nagini and yourself safe." He turned to face her, his calculating gaze jumping between the two of them. Knowing that if anything were to happen, they would fall first giving him an opening to leave with his precious familiar.
"Being a merciful lord, I will allow you both the opportunity to rectify past mistakes. This will be your one and only chance at redemption, if you should fail me, I will execute the both of you." Bellatrix and Hermione bowed before righting themselves again and taking up a position on either side of him. "We won't fail you again, my lord." Hermione twirled her wand around her fingers, eyes trailing the pacing of her Master, her visage to anyone watching was that of utter boredom. Bellatrix was curling a lone strand of hair around her index finger while she kept her eyes and ears open for anything that could be seen as a threat, Nagini was situated between herself and the Dark Lord, coiled tightly like a spring. Standing where she was allowed her a moments respite, she knew to anyone else, her and Hermione would be seen as arse kissers but what she saw was two witches with a sense of self-preservation.
"There's no sign of him, my lord." Bellatrix hissed and shifted forward; wand aimed at the fool that dared to speak. "Silence you fool!" Hermione glared at the man that dared to speak. "He will come. No one denies the Dark Lord!" Bellatrix continued to inch forward as she spoke, her wand steadily aimed at his chest. "Bella, enough." Hermione had been watching the Dark Lord and had picked up on his growing ire, calling Bellatrix to order before she overstepped the invisible line. Bellatrix turned to glare at Hermione but seeing the tightly clenched jaw of her Master in her peripheral kept her from speaking again, instead she moved back to where she had been taking up space prior to her outburst. "The boy will come." The near hissing voice of their Master silenced all that stood present.
Hermione turned to gaze at Draco who was hidden near a large tree with Narcissa, both speaking quietly with each other, Lucius stood nearer to Bellatrix, his eyes trailing the forest before them. She'd not seen Theo again and had hoped he was alright and alive. The last remnants of battle had been chaotic, she'd seen fallen giants and acromantula's. Rubble and debris everywhere she'd walked in her search to find Bellatrix. Dead students and Death Eaters alike, the bell from the clock tower had even fallen taking with it a number of students. Looking up, she peered through the broken crop of trees, black smoke still billowing out as fires burned through the once magnificent castle, leaving nothing but a devastating wake.
She'd noticed that Severus had gone missing as well, not sure as to his whereabouts and less inclined to question anyone, she left that thought to die off. She would find out eventually, all of them would. For now, they were to remain in the forest with their Master, waiting on a boy who had defied their Dark Lord numerous times throughout the last seven years, a mere child in the eyes of all those gathered. Thinking of children, her thoughts soon turned to what had transpired with her estranged cousin and how she'd all but destroyed her chance of having them. She'd sensed the spell as it was cast, sensed the malicious intent that went with the curse and yet couldn't protect herself from it. She'd frozen in shock, utterly surprised that her cousin would stoop that low. She'd never admit it out loud but she had once dreamed of beginning a family, dreamed of feeling her motherly instincts grow along with the foetus as it grew within her.
All of those thoughts and dreams had been destroyed along with her womb as the curse struck. A sharp pang hit her heart and brought unbidden tears to her eyes causing her to falter and cast her eyes around the clearing, fearful that someone had seen. Seeing that no one had been looking in her direction she breathed a soft sigh, with her exhale she pushed her pain away and instead thought of the wondrous joy she'd feel when Bellatrix carried their children. She'd happily take on the role of the stern and protective mother while Bellatrix nurtured and fussed over their young. Her remaining thoughts were dashed when the sound of a twig snapping in the distance brought everyone gathered to attention. Crossing her arms over her chest, she straightened her back and waited for the boy to show himself. Mulciber and Travers tugged on the thick ropes that held Hagrid in place when Potter appeared.