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Child of the Dark

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19th September 1979

"Tom it's time" Alecto whispered as she shook her husband, Lord Tom Marvello Riddle awake. Trying to rouse him gently because she knew that he was bound to be in for a day of stress judging by the fact she had just felt her waters break.

At her whispered declaration Tom found himself wide awake, as his stomach churned in excitement.

"I'll call for the mediwitch, I'll be right back" he reassured as he ran out of their bedroom and into his study to floo call St Mungo's.

Throughout the early hours of the morning Tom stood patiently at his wife's side, holding her hand and whispering soft assurances in her ear to soothe her the best he could while she worked with the mediwitch to bring their child into the world. 

Many that knew of Tom was thought him a cruel man hell bent on world domination and incapable of love, however those that truly knew him, knew him to be a loving man, who adored his wife and their selected family.

It was true he could be quite fearsome, he was strict and unapologetic but he was by no means the evil dictator that the light thought him to be. He was fair and just and he cared deeply about preserving magic. He and his followers were firm in the belief that the light had been slowly but surely eradicating the old magics, stamping down on wizarding traditions, outlawing them as dark and evil. By standing up to Albus Dumbledore's perversions of what a 'good' society looked like he had unknowingly put a target on his back as those in power feared that more and more would start listening to him and they would lose the control over the world as they had molded it to be.

He had become such a target that he had had to marry his wife in secret - the muggle way because they knew if anyone from the light found out then Alecto would become a target as well and he wouldn't risk his wife's life like that. They also had not informed many people that their family was growing with Alecto falling pregnant with the Riddle hier in fear that Albus would harm his wife and child. As such only Amycus - Alectos brother and the Black family knew of Alecto's pregnancy.

The Black's had offered Tom their unconditional loyalty and support from the very beginning of his quest to bring back the old ways and therefore had become Tom's family. He viewed the Black sisters as nieces and had personally taut all three of them everything he knew about magic. Andromeda, the middle sister had even gone undercover in the light for him with a muggle-born that also supported Tom. He had met with Tom and had admitted that as a muggle-born he was somewhat lost when he joined the magical world and wished to see the transition dealt with better for muggle-borns. Tom had agreed with the man. If they could educate muggle-borns from an earlier age on the ways of the magical world they wouldn't be at such a disadvantage in the magical world because contrary to what Albus Dumbledore would have his followers believe Tom wasn't the one who wanted to eradicate muggle-borns. He infact wanted to help them by lessening the margins between Pureblood, Halfblood and Muggle-born because he did not believe in the blood caste. Albus was the one content to allow the devide between the blood caste to widen and had taken to twisting everything Tom believed in to ensure that those on the side of the light did not abandon Albus and join Tom.

The loony old man had even started referring to Tom as a Dark Lord and telling everyone he had changed his name to Lord Voldemorte. The old fool had caused Tom to become the most feared wizard alive and as such he had need to adapt to the image Albus had portrayed of him. He didn't pay much attention to it because he knew that his supporters knew the truth and that was all that really mattered because he knew in time Albus Dumbledore's deciet would catch up with him and the world would know the truth.

"It's a girl" the Mediwitch announced, bringing Tom out of his inner reflection. He watched enraptured as his little girl was placed in his beloved wife's arms for the first time and couldnt help his beaming smile. Alecto looked tired, but more radiant than ever as she gazed lovingly at their daughter.

"Hermione" she whispered as she glanced at Tom. He nodded in agreement as he moved to stand closer to them, reaching out and grasping his daughters tiny hand with his finger.

"Hermione Tiberias Mackenzie Carrow Riddle" he replied out loud, smiling lovingly at his girls.

"She's beautiful Lord Riddle, I wish you and your family all the best" the mediwitch murmured politely as she took her leave. Exiting the room quietly, leaving the new parents alone to bask in the reality of parenthood.

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31st October 1981

"Aurors!!! Stay where you are" a gruff voice screeched out as the front door fell in, crashing loudly against the floor. A babys scream erupting in the once peaceful Manor in response to the abrupt disruption, the little two year old being startled frighteningly from her sleep.

Alecto and baby Hermione where home alone for the evening, Tom and his most loyal had gone out in search of some members of the order who had found out about Hermione and threatened to alert Dumbledore. He had gone to erase their memories before it was too late, however as the dust began to settle Alecto believed that it was already too late. The Potters must have got word to Albus and he had sent his followers to take her child.

For the first time in her life Alecto felt real fear and heart break as she was bound quicker than she could react by Albus Dumbledore himself, who had thrown an 'incarcerous' at her silently before she had even seen him move his wand.

"Tom is gone Alecto, its over. We've come for the girl and you're going to Azkaban where you belong. My only regret is I cannot send that despicable husband of yours along with you" the bearded man spat as he towered over her maliciously, smirking at the heartbreak he could see in Alectos eyes.

"You cannot take my baby, please Albus" she begged as tears ran down her face.

"I can and I will, you do not deserve to have a child, the world is far better off WITHOUT his spawn terrorising it" Albus replied, emphasising the word 'without'.

"Please, please Albus, not my baby, I need her, please" Alecto sobbed as his words sunk in.

"Moody take her away, I will deal with the child" Albus commanded, dismissing the womans anguish as she lay bound on the floor of her living room. He turned and strode out the room without a backwards glance as he made his way towards the stairs, his destination - the nursery.

The last image Alecto would have of her cherished daughter was the image of a distraught little girl, writhing and screaming for her mama and da as she fought the harsh grip of the bearded wizard carrying her swiftly out of the only place she knew as home and away from her equally distraught mama.

Chapter Text

Hermione started, bolting upright in bed. Dabbing roughly at the tears that streamed down her fifteen year old frame. She had experienced the same nightmare every night for the past three years, ever since her parents had died. The dream (nightmare) always started the same, with a much much younger her screaming and crying as she fought desperately for her parents. It was a blurry dream. She couldn't make out the words spoken or the faces present, however the fear and anguish her younger self felt was very real and it always left her in a state. Heaving breaths and cold sweat dripping down her skin. She did not know what the dream meant, only that it terrified her completely and that it must mean something. If not why else would she experience it every night? She thought her kind was fighting to tell her something, a repressed memory most likely but then she wasn't sure what could be so horrific her intelligent brain would block it in such a way.

For Hermione a fith year muggle-born witch that had needed to fight for her place in wizarding society she prided herself on being the brightest witch of her age. She retained knowledge quickly, had read more and perfected more of the spells, potions and details in the textbooks than any if her peers, even consuming and perfecting knowledge that far exceeded that of her current year of study. She knew she was bright, knew she was powerful, she felt her magic thrum through her, lighting her viens with the incredible warmth that she knew to be her magic. Professor McGonagall had said that Hermione was in far better control and far more attuned to her magic and the magic around her than any of her peers and that had made her glow almost smugly. Her blood status meant that those of pureblood looked down on her, claiming her to be a fake witch and even a magic thief unworthy of the gift in which she was born with. Yet she knew that to be rubbish, she wasn't unworthy. She was the best witch Hogwarts had seen in years. Her grades rivaled infamous mass murderer Bellatrix Lestrange, tying her for the top spot in the record of brightest witches and wizards to have lived. Yet it still wasn't enough for any of the purebloods to concede that maybe she was worthy. It infuriated her but her fury had always worked to her advantage because it filled her, encouraged her to do better, to be better and it had succeeded in earning her that title. Brightest Witch of the Age. Hermione sighed tiredly as she finally caught her breath and forced herself to lay back down on the bed below her. She wasn't sure whether or not she should let Harry and Ron know she was still being plagued by these dreams. Her best friends truly weren't the brightest of the bunch but they were good people. Loyal, trustworthy, brave and best of all, a rather rocky start in first year aside they had supported Hermione's pursuit for knowledge ever since she had entered this strange and magical world at the age of eleven. They had been especially supportive when her parents Mrs and Mr Granger had died in her second year. They had offered her comfort and protection without hesitation and when she had come out as very very gay the year after they had again rose to her defence and supporter her unquestionably, despite the taunts she recieved from the Slytherins. She still did not understand the need for the horrific house rivalries at this school. Especially the one between Slytherin and her own house - Gryffindor. It was completely and utterly pointless if you ask her.

She logically knew that being best friends with the boy who had defeated the dark Lord Voldemorte (he who must not be named, Hermione rolled her eyes inwardly, because she refused to call him that. Their was power in a name amd to fear the name itself increased fear of the person and she somehow couldn't quite bring herself to fear the man behind the name) had not done her any favours. Harry Potter was a target for the Dark Lords followers which meant that automatically Hermione and Ron Weasley were also targets as well. They had been dubbed the 'golden trio' by the entirety of wizarding Britain. Those on the Dark Lords side used it as a way to demean them, those on the light side used it as a way to praise them. Hermione couldn't care much for their unwilling group name. It had led them to many a dangerous situation over the years but luckily for all three of them, her penchant for all things magic and knowledge had saved them each and every time. She was the best after all.

Her strange dream however was not the only thing that had Hermione completely and utterly confused though. Lately - well ever since she had met him - she suspected that Albus Dumbledore was not entirely everything that he seemed to be. No matter how much she had tried to ignore it she got the strange sense that she knew him from somewhere, his presence always left Hermione feeling creeped out in a way she couldn't describe and after first year she realised that the man was a proficient Legllimens and could quite easily read someone's mind without them knowing. She only found out because she had found a book in Tommes and Scrolls while shopping for her second year textbooks on the art of leglimency and occlumency. She had found it interesting and had began working on her occlumency right away, eager to keep unwanted leglimens from reading what went on in her head. By the time she went back to Hogwarts she was unknowingly pretty good at it, so much so that Dumbledore had felt the need to question her on her occlumency ability and (grudgingly hermione observed) he had congratulated her on her ability to defend her mind from unwanted observers.

More recently she had also felt a build up of pressure within her body, as if it was fighting to release... something. She didnt know what but she felt as if a part of herself was missing, fighting to get free. It was uncomfortable and the feeling had been painful on more than one occasion. Harry and Ron had also expressed a similar feeling, they like her had also not known just what it was that was happening and none of the adults they had asked (Molly Weasley, Rons mum and Professor McGonagall) had known the answer either, or so they said but Hermione had the sneaking suspicion that they weren't telling the entirety of the truth. McGonagall had seemed taken aback when they had gone to her one evening to ask, once over her momentary shock she had hurried to assure them that she didnt know but it could be a case of growing pains. Molly had just shaken her head and walked away, refocusing on the dinner she was making everyone at the Burrow (The Weasleys rickety home).

All the recent uncertainties had Hermione on edge, she did not like being in the dark, nor did she like not knowing the answer to a question. It all plagued her mind more often than it didn't. Tormented her relentlessly and had been the reason for so many sleepless nights of late.

To make matters worse it was also fast approaching time for them all to sit their end of year exams. Hermione, Ron and Harry had their O.W.L.S (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) this year amd the results would determine what N.E.W.T.S (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) they took next year and as a girl who aspired to be the best she simply did not even dare think failing or scoring badly was an option for her. Professor Umbridge a pink glad Ministry official who had been steadily terrorising Hogwarts since she started in the Defence against the Dark arts post this year had also caused them distress when it came to exams, she refused to allow them to use magic and had increasingly been turning the school into a very very horrible place, especially when she had Dumbledore chased from the school grounds and immediately took the headmasters position. She was a pureblood supremacist and had taken to torture tactics to bully and belittle muggleborns and halfblood students, showing a particular interest in taking out her cruelties on Hermione. Favouritising the Slytherins as they were mostly Purebloods. She had given the pureblood students free reign on attacking those deemed lesser than them.

Harry, Ron and Hermione had set up a student group in secret to help teach those willing how to defend themselves properly with magic. Figuring that since they had been required to fight for their very lives since first year they could at least impart some of their knowledge ontk the students to help them defend themselves. Reluctantly Hermione had agreed to call the group Dumbledore's Army or D.A for short. When Umbridge had caught them she had been less than lenient with the golden trio as the ring leaders and Dumbledore had taken the blame. Fleeing the castle and leaving them to the rath of the sickeningly pink clad witch.

They had recieved a years supply of detentions with Umbridge as well as increasingly strict school rules to follow and Hermione hated every minute of it. Education should be fun and engaging not boring and fear enducing. She prayed for the day Professor Umbridge was finally taken down a peg or two. Whether or not she would be the one to do it was yet to be seen but with everything going on in her mind, paired with the sleeplessness and the looming examinations she could slowly feel herself beginning to lose her cool around the woman and she worried slightly that she would snap and hex the woman. Especially after the disgusting toad had hurt Professor McGonagall, sending five stunners into the elderly witches chest at once, effectively hospitalising her. Hermione wasn't particularly close with the elderly witch but McGonagall, despite her stoic exterior cared for her students deeply, everyone knew that. Even the Slytherins had lost any respect they had for Umbridge after she had harmed their transfiguration professor. The whole student population had silently (unknown to Umbridge) vowed that they would wait and when the time was right they would get revenge for the attack on their professor by the ministry lacky.

She sighed again, rolling onto her side and snuggling deeper into her blankets, pulling them up under her chin, looking through sleep deprived eyes at the clock on her nightstand.

4:15 am blinked back at her lazily and she groaned in frustration, pulling the blankets over her head.

It had been a long night.

Chapter Text

Bellatrix Black (Merlin it felt good to be back to her birth name, her useless husband had perished in that godforsaken prison) had just got back from seeing her sister Andromeda for the first time since their Lord had broken her out of prison. Azkaban was an awful place, laying somewhere in the North see it was freezing cold, the prison walls having long since started to degrade under the constant, harsh, wind and rain. The tiny cells they were locked in provided no warmth, the mattress had been long ago moldy before Bella had ever gotten to it and she had been locked in there for fourteen years. The food was inedible, poor hygiene conditions and the soul sucking domestics had combined into one massive recipe for a very sickly and emancipated witch when she was freed and it had taken her months to heal enough that her youngest sister and their lord deemed her well enough to rejoin the fight against Albus Dumbledore and an extremely lacking ministry. It had taken till that morning infact for her to get approval to take her place back at Tom's side as his left hand. Her best friend Alecto (Tom's wife) at his right. She had been tasked straight away in locating her sister Andromeda and making contact to reaffirm their inside connection into the opposing sides ranks. She had been overjoyed at her task. Keen to see her little sister and Andromeda had greeted her no less than Bellatrix expected. Their had been tears and hugs and plenty of kisses. Oh how she had missed her baby sisters in the dark depths of Azkaban. She knew the relationship she shared with her sisters was frowned upon by Dumbledore and his merry band of dimwits but it was natural among witches and wizards that were siblings to share such close bonds. After all they were fated to share the same soulmate one day. Though fourteen years was an awfully long time to go without a tender touch from those you held most dear and Bellatrix had revelled in the sheer neediness of her sisters when she had seen them. First Narcissa their youngest blonde hair beauty and then Andromeda her brown hair, brown eyed girl today. It was clear to her that they had missed her as dearly as she had missed them. The years forced apart had done nothing to diminish the bond between the Black sisters.

Andromeda had alerted Bellatrix that their was a particular witch among the students that had drew her attention. A muggle-born (bellatrix had sneered at that, her birth had no relevance) by the name Hermione Granger had been named the brightest witch of her age, with scores rivaling Bellatrix's own test scores. Andromeda had informed her that she was strangely drawn to the girl in a way she couldn't describe. From the memories held in Andromeda's head Bellatrix had seen that the girl was gorgeous and she had to agree that there was something about the little witch that drew her in. So they had made a point if noting that they would keep an eye on the girl. Thinking it may well be possible that the girl was theirs. They wouldn't know unless they could get a hold of the girl and get her to take a suppressant reversal potion to eliminate the forced concealment of the witches true nature as Albus had been secreting suppressants into the food at Hogwarts for years meaning that the students were now not presenting in their true natures when they came of age. Apparently Albus had convinced the supposed 'light' side that a witch or wizards true nature was evil thus had began the process of suppressing the students hoping that by the time they left higwarts their true natures would be suppressed enough that they never would present. The thought alone infuriated Bellatrix. The man was deliberately denying generations whole parts of their very nature and heritage. It was despicable and twisted and Bella could not wait until her Lord managed to rid the wizarding world of creeps like Albus Dumbledore.

Andromeda had spoke at length about the Order of the Pheonix a group created by Albus to counter the death eaters (the name given to any who supported Tom) the order as it was dubbed was a pitiful group of mainly male bigots, keen to support Albus in suppressing and controlling those around them and a few who had been forced into joining. McGonagall and the Weasleys had apparently been threatened by Dumbledore to comply or he would go after the Weasleys children and as much as Bellatrix could not stand Molly Weasley she was furious on the ginger headed witches behalf, how dare that man threaten children? But it shouldn't really surprise her after he so disgustingly ripped her lord and best friends precious little girl out of Alecto's arms fourteen years ago. To this day no one knew what had become of that beautiful little girl, whose heart was so pure she had captured all who knew her in her tiny little hands. The dark witch suppressed the urge to cry at that thought. She could not imagine how much it would still hurt Tom and Alecto if it hurt Bella so badly to this day.

The last bit of information she had recieved from Andromeda was probably the most helpful information. Andromeda had expressed that the students had no idea about their true natures, nor did they know that the toad faced woman Delores Umbridge that was currently tormenting Hogwarts was infact imaged by Albus himself in a bid to manipulate the Golden Trio and push his ideals of the blood caste onto the student body however unknowingly he had actually only served to slowly unite all four houses when Umbridfe had attacked and seriously injured McGonagall. The professor was stoic and hard quite the hard exterior but even Bellatrix who was not known for her effection to those outwith her family and closest friends had been fond of McGonagall because she was the one witch at Hogwarts that genuinely without a single doubt cared for ALL the students and it had enraged the hogwarts population to see her hurt. There was rumour that the Golden Trio (gryffindors unofficial leaders) had met with Malfoy, Parkinson and Greengrass (Slytherins unofficial leaders) Abbot, Finch-fletchly and Macmillian, (Hufflepuffs unofficial leaders) and Lovegood, Boot and Chang (Ravenclaws unofficial leaders) and enacted a truce, a vow to work together to get revenge on the disgusting woman and that knowledge had made Bella smirk madly. Albus had obviously been to cocky and comfortable with his beliefs that the house rivalries he had created was enough to keep the students warring with one another. The fact that the negotiation between the houses was infact thought of and led by the Granger girl did not escape either sisters notice.

So now here Bella was, feeling quite.... satisfied and hopeful. She knew the information she possessed would please her lord, the fact that she was much for satiated was a bonus through and through in Bella's opinion.
She walked through the large entrance hall of Malfoy Manor with a spring in her step, ignoring the strange looms she recieved from her fellow death eaters. Yes it was a strange sight to see her so happy... it had been a while..... around seventeen years in fact..  she could admit that but Merlin there was no need to be so blatant in the staring, she was allowed to be happy wasn't she? She had good news for her Lord after all.

Pausing momentarily to gain her wits about her akd calm herself slightly she knocked lightly on the cosy sitting room door and waited for her Lord to call out his permission to enter, after all she did not want a repeat of the time she had walked in on him and Alecto in a rather compromising position. She shuddered at the thought before squaring her shoulders and pushing the door open to allow herself entry.

"Ah Bella, how good it is to see you and looking so radiant" Alecto's honey soft voice called warmly as she smiled at her best friend. She had a way about her that Bella found irresistible. Her charm and warmth was enough to put anyone at ease, even after all she had suffered she still greeted all with that same warmth even if it didn't quite meet her eyes anymore. Bella hated the way both her Lord and her bestfriend held that haunted look in their eyes. It was pain she knew that much but she also knew it was the type of pain that could only come with losing a child. She let the sadness slip over her as she made the effort to greet her friend just as warmly.

"Lex, Tom it's great to be back on my feet, contributing once more" she grinned as she dipped her head respectfully before slumping down on the sofa opposite them.

"I take it from the pleased look on your face Bella, that you have news" Tom asked, a look of amusement on his face as he regarded one of his most trusted.

"I do, most pleasing news" she smirked playfully before launching in to all that she had learned. Gracefully grazing over the more physically pleasing aspects of her visit with her sister. She told them of the girl, of the girls connection to the Potter boy, her grades, the draw both Andromeda and Bella had felt to the girl. Her power and grades. She recalled the mews about the Order, The Weasley and McGonagall clans (unwilling) involvement and toom great pleasure in recounting Andromeda's tale of the truce the girl had arranged in order to get revenge on the ministry mule that was Umbridge. Tom and Alecto listened attentively, laughing with her and asking questions where appropriate.

"You mean to say a fith year muggle-born girl who is showing signs of immense power and highly intelligent for her age has singlehandedly undid twenty years of segregation caused by Dumbledore in a single meeting?" Tom questioned, curious yet slightly disbelieving.

"It seems so, from what Andromeda has said the girl is definitely one to watch" Bella laughed as she nodded enthusiastically.

"And this girl, this one to watch what is her name?" Alecto asked curiously, wanting to know who had made such an impact on her bestfriend and her sister. For Bella to take notice of a young girl she must be special and Alecto couldnt help but want to know more about her.

"Hermione Jean Granger I think was the name Andromeda said" she replied, smiling at Alecto. The smile soon fell of her face however when she noticed her two friends glance between each other in a strange mix between weary and hopeful.

"What? What is it my lord? Lex?" She asked in worry, slight panic lacing her tone as she examined them both with a critical eye, looking for any signs that they were hurt or injured in some way. Her puzzlement grew however when she confirmed that their was nothing visibly wrong with either of them. They were as uninjured and physically unhurt as they had been when she entered.

So no one had hurt them, good but what was the matter. Was it something Bella had said? She didn't understand. All she had done was answer their question about the girl. The girls name suddenly popped into her head again. Hermione Jean Granger. That's when it clicked in the dark witches mind.

Fuck...She thought.... Hermione!

Chapter Text

Hermione should have guessed that something like this would have happened. It would only be her luck that the day of her final exam (luckily she finished and handed hers in before the chaos) Fred and George Weasley would set off fireworks in the exam hall that targeted Umbridge. Yes she had everything to do with the planning. She had put together the Student Ceasefire agreement between all the houses after all but Merlin did it have to be during the exam, could they not have waited five more minutes?

Making it worse still Harry ended up crying out and collapsing in the courtyard as they watched the firework dragon engulf Umbridge so she did not even get to see the four house crests explode and unite like she wanted too in the final display. She had to instead rush to her bestfriends side to help him out of the mass of sweaty bodies and eager laughter that chorused all around them. Now she was a capable witch but she could not for the life of her lift Harry by herself and it had taken a whole two minutes for Ron to realise what had happened and make his way over to help. He had mumbled a sheepish "sorry Mia" as he arrived, clearly embarrassed at not having noticed his two best friends in their moment of need. She forgave him immediately of course because he was adorable when he got so sheepish. She truly believed he and Harry would have been her brothers in an alternate universe somewhere because that's what they were to her here, in everything but blood. They had shared so much and been there for each other irrevocably for forever in her eyes.

What she really truly could not fathom is why on earth they had walked into this incredibly obvious trap. Harry had collapsed in pain because the Dark Lord had used his connection with Harry (she still didn't quite know how they were connected so deeply) to implant the idea that he had Sirius Black, Harry's godfather trapped in the ministry for Magic, torturing him. Harry was convinced what he saw was true so they had acted on instinct alone. Rushing towards umbridges office (formerly Dumbledore's) to use his floo network to call Sirius at Grimmauld Place. Kreecher, the notoriously grumpy and rude house elf had informed them that Sirius was not there and this just seemed to confirm Harry's suspicion that what he had seen was right but just before they could formulate any sort of plan to get word to someone who could help, Umbridge and her band of Slytherin tattletales had burst in to aporehend them. Harry suggested Dumbledore or the order but Hermione wasn't completely convinced she trusted them anymore. The thought of Dumbledore was giving her increasingly creepy feelings that she still did not understand and reasoned that if she couldn't trust him how could she trust the Order? The very group he had started and ran?

Once Umbridge realised that infact Snape had no more verituserum (or truth potion as it was known as) she decided on using her very much go to, more arcaic amd decidedly dastardly means of getting the answers that she wanted from Harry about just what on earth they were doing there. The cruciatus curse, a curse that was purely designed to torture an individual with excruciating pain that had an individual feeling like their very nerves were being burned inside their very bodies and Hermione could not allow that to happen because there was no way she was going to allow her bestfriend to be tortured right infront of her.

Wracking her brain for a solution, she found it in the whispered, panicked voice of Draco Malfoy who was the Slytherin holding her (quite gently now that she thinks back on it) "granger what do we do? How can we help?" He had whispered amd she could hear the fear in his voice. She knew her suspicions about the blonde haired Slytherin were right in that moment. He early wasn't a bad person, he was just forced to behave certain ways by the expectations of his father.

"The plan" she whispered back, the answer coming to her finally. "We move it forward. The forbidden forest when I get her out of here release the others, Sirius Black's in danger and we need to get him help as soon as we can" she murmured leaning back into him so she was closer to his ear, making sire he could hear her.

"Good plan Granger" he whispered, nodding in approval. She knew what she was about to do was decidedly slytherin and she should have been more weary of how natural the deciet came to her as she forced herself to cry what her parents would have called crocodile tears.

"No wait, we have to tell her Harry" her voice cracked and she brought her hands to her face. Shaking her shoulders gently to give the impression more authenticity.

"Tell me what exactly girl?" Umbridge spun around, her attention immediately leaving Harry and focusing on her as the pink abomination focused on Hermione. Falling right into the trap the brunette had set up for the woman.

From there it was all too easy for Hermione to lure the woman with Harry out into the Forbidden forest, making as much noise as possible to attract the attention of the Centaurs. Intelligent half human half horse like creatures that Hermione had already met weeks prior amd informed of what exactly was going on at the castle. Although she still could not understand the parting words Magorian (the leader) had left her with when they had met before he galloped off into the forest.

"When you present and are claimed little witch, you will be formidable" he had told her, sounding somewhat awed and proud all at once. What he meant by that she had no idea. What was she to present? And Merlin knew what claimed meant. Claimed as in someone owned her? That would never happen. Hermione knew she was far too headstrong to ever allow anyone to control her in any way.

As decided Magorian arrived quite quickly with his herd, scowling fiercely at the 'intruders' and within minutes he was carrying a screaming Umbridge away into the forest to teach her just exactly what her place was in life. She didnt dare think more on how exactly he would do that. She had studied creatures extensively. Loved learning all she could and had found quite quickly that the centaurs could have quote the cruel streak when someone threatened them or what they classed as theirs and the students of Hogwarts knew wholeheartedly that the centaurs considered them as being under their protection and if their was one thing they hated more than trespassers it was those that harmed children. She only had to show him the numerous scars on her hand from the blood quill Umbridge had forced her to use during detention for him to believe her wholeheartedly about just how evil that woman was.

So here they were standing in the department of mysteries surrounded by row upon row of glowing glass prophecy orbs. Not that Hermione believed in them much. She was not even sure Harry's prophecy was not just some mad man's unreliable rantings. But that was not what got to Hermione most. No it was the dozen or so Death Eaters that had suddenly appeared around them as soon as Harry had picked up the prophecy about himself.

Lucius Malfoy (Draco's Father) was droning on and on about how Harry had been so easy to fool, trick into coming here and Hermione figured she probably best start looking for an exit strategy for them if they had any hope of escaping, especially while the death eaters were distracted by Harry, Lucius and that damned prophecy.

She had counted ten Death eaters all in, standing at various parts of the room around them. Their chances weren't great of escaping then. There was only six of them, six students against ten highly skilled adult witches and wizards, they had no hope, unless they used some force and knocked a few out of their way. They could bring down the shelves around them, Hermione would cast a bombarda at the main group of six in front of her, allowing them to run backwards, hopefully towards the door.

Discreetly she leaned in to whisper quietly in Ginnys ear, telling her the plan, trusting her to spread it out among them.

Although reiterating the plan to Ginny caused something in Hermione to snap into place, six infront? There had only been four when she had counted at first.

She snapped her head back to the two death eaters that had seemingly materialisd out of thin air. It was two woman, the first she recognised immediately. Bellatrix Black looked much more appealing than she had in the papers that had detailed her escape. She was dressed in black, her skin glowed softly and her face was bare of makeup yet she was still a beauty, her long dark curls hung wildly, only adding to the appeal Hermione thought, she looked just as gorgeous as Andromeda did. She sort of hated herself for it but could not deny that she Hermione Granger had a soft spot for seemingly all three Black sisters. All gorgeous in their own right of course but she wondered just how appealing they would be standing together. The dark brown almost black eyes of the witch she was currently studying intensely had begun studying Hermione back without the young witch being aware, until she felt a soft prod at her mind. The blatant intrusion, snapped Hermione out of her intense evaluation of the dark witch and she brought her eyes to Bellatrix's quickly. Narrowing her eyes angrily as she showed just how unwelcome Bellatrix's attempt at entering her mind was. Using what she knew of occlumency she made sure her walls were secure before forcefully pushing the witch out of her mind and averting her gaze. Best not make it easier for the said psychotic woman to break through her defenses. Because without a doubt she knew Bellatrix had locked her sight on Hermione, one thing everyone knew was that 'no' was not a word Bellatrix ever listened too. Hermione sighed and brought her gaze to the second woman but before she got a chance to truly study her, their eyes locked for a moment. The witch was a brunette like Hermione, her hair was straight though were Hermione's was wavy and her soft delicate features held a beauty that was soft and warm all at once but that is not what caused Hermione to let out the startled gasp that she did. When her honey gold eyes met the deep blue of the witch across from her Hermione was unwillingly thrown back to her nightmares. The same one that had woken her up, every single night for months. However this time the sounds were not muffled, they were painfully loud.

"No Albus No, please don't take my baby" the woman's voice screamed and a young Hermione felt her heart break into a thousand pieces as she locked eyes with her mama. All the while struggling as hard as she could against the tightly gripping arms that were agonising against her two year old frame.

"Mama, mama, Da mama" little Hermione screamed as she sobbed, trying to hold on to her mothers eyes with her own, as if she could will herself back into those arms that held her so gently, not like the arms that squeezed her tighter, painfully in response to her wriggling.

"I love you my baby, mama and dada will always love you Hermione" she heard her mother scream as she was carried past the room her mother lay. No longer able to see her Hermione's screams increased, her distress visible on her pale tear stained cheeks, her eyes were blinking rapidly, trying to clear the tears out her way as the skin around her eyes throbbed painfully.

"Find us baby, please find us" the broken sob of her mama was the last thing she heard before everything went black.

She was brought out of the flashback abruptly as Ginny grabbed her arm, squeezing almost painfully. Hermione forced herself back into the moment, pushing the heartbreaking scene from her mind as she looked around, trying to discreetly while the tears from her eyes without her friends, or the death eaters seeing for that matter.

She shook her head to clear it, realising that her mental walls had slipped in her distress she reinserted them, tightly guarding her mind as she drew in a deep breath before uttering one, strong quiet command. Whipping her wand out quickly as she began to cast the 'bombarda' jinx wordlessly before she even finished her spoken command.

"Now!" She said, her voice clear and steady, no signs of her distress that had been there only seconds prior. As she finished speaking she released the spell, aiming it right at Lucius, Bellatrix and this unknown (mama?) womans feet, sending a powerful blast at the concrete infront of them. Forcing them and the three other death eaters backwards into the air to escape the heavy load of debris that exploded in wake of the jinx.

She was aware of her friends releasing their own slightly (okay much) less powerful Bimbardas at the shelfs either side of them as they turned and darted off. Hermione grabbing Harry's arm and sprinting, bringing up the rear of the group.

"Fiesty little witch!!"

The oddly amused voice of Bellatrix soared over the din of exploding glass and pounding feet as orbs smashed to the floor and the death eaters gave chase to the six students who were currently running from them. The dark witches laugh sounding quite sane in Hermione's opinion but she really did not have time to be processing these wildly random judgements about the woman who was currently giving chase to her.

Reacting on instinct she felt the air shift behind her and through up a shield around her and Harry as she ran, glancing backwards to see the jet of red bounce of her protego seconds after she had thrown it up. She flung her hand back releasing three consecutive bombardas followed by a stupify in rapid succession behind her at the advancing death eaters and felt a smug sense of satisfaction travel through her as Lucius Malfoy got hit square in the chest by her stupify, flinging him backwards quite the distance. Bellatrix and the unknown woman were still advancing, albeit a little more cautiously now, their eyes trained on Hermione as the brunette continued to run.

She turned and saw a door just ahead of her group of friends, not thinking twice about shouting out to them. "Through the door quickly" she directed them, hurtling Harry in before her as she slammed the door and warded it with the most powerful locking spell, a anti-unlocking spell, a 'muffiato' to stop sound escaping the room and several different wards to deter the death eaters from gaining access.

"Okay we have a few minutes to regroup, Harry open the prophecy quickly" she said as she turned to face her friends.

Without any argument her green eyed friend did as she asked muttering a softly spoken "Alohomora" causing the orb to spring to life, the grey must swirling quickly as the voice of their divination professor whispered out into the room around them.

'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…’

 

"Jeez okay, if this is really then at least we know what it says so if we must we can hand it over, but I'd rather we did not have to" Hermione said as she locked eyes with her friends one by one. She could see the determination in their faces as they drew themselves up, no words were needed. Hermione could sense they were ready to fight their way out if they needed to.

"Through that door, they're about to tare through my wards" Hermione whispered quickly as she pointed to the door behind them. She could feel the magic weaving through her wards. She wasn't sure what to make of the feeling, she thought it would feel invasive and unpleasant but it did not, it almost felt like whoever was trying to get through was caressing Hermione's magic gently as if to calm and soothe her. Shaking her head she dived after her friends through the now open unknown door, just as the door behind her burst open.

She felt herself falling quickly and realised probably before everyone else who was just screaming horrifically that if she did not do something they could get hurt quite badly upon landing at the bottom of what locked like a fifty foot drop.

"Arresto Momentum" she shouted flicking her wand easily as she aimed her spell at the rapidly approaching ground, surprisingly catching them just in time to stop them from hitting the ground at speed.

She still groaned quietly upon impact but she knew she could not complain if she hadn't cast that spell they wouldn't have the chance to groan, they'd be dead.

"Thank Mia" Harry said quietly as the group of six stood, dusting themselves off. Surprisingly the prophecy in Harry's hand was still intact, having survived the dangerously high fall.

"Bloody hell Hermione you're brilliant" Ginny exclaimed as she shared a look of amazement with her brother Ron. Hermione, well used to their compliments by now simply smirked before turning to assess her surroundings.

She calculated the room as best she could. It was a creepy looking room, one she had never heard of before. It was circular in shape with two odd looking corridors going from it. In the middle stood a raised dias with a very creepy looking archway housing an even creepier misty substance. Right behind the creepy arch to the left was a row of Floos leading down one of the two weird corridors. She knew that was their only hope, if they could make it there, they could floo to the safe house. They'd all been in it while it had been under the fidelius charm so they shouldn't have difficulty reaching there. That is if they made it to the floo.

"What now Hermione?" Ron asked looking extremely lost as his eyes wondered the space infront of him.

"Back corner there's a floo network. If we can, we go to the safe house and back to Hogwarts from there." She whispered as she somehow sensed the magic of others she did not know approach at speed. She pushed her friends forward quickly.

"Go. Now!!" She commanded, spurring them into action as the bolted for the floo network. Without thinking she flung up the strongest shield she could muster around herself and her friends as she continued to run after them, making sure to keep herself behind so she could react as fast as possible to any danger. Unlucky for her the group of six had unknowingly been surrounded and the oncoming death eaters swooped in from all directions, circling the students in a confusing cloud of black smoke, so thick Hermione could not see a thing.

Without warning she felt firm but gentle hands grasp her around the waist. Pulling her in to a warm, feminine body. Her capturer was wearing what felt like leather and Hermione could feel the curves of the womans breast press against her back as she was tugged backwards. A cold hand landing in her hair and guiding her head back against a strong shoulder as her wand hand was gripped tightly, but no where near as tight as she thought it would be, pinning her arm and hand to her side with an arm around her waist.

She froze automatically. Her breath hitching in fear and... something else? As she pieced together who must have caught her. The softly whispered words "I've got you now little witch" caressed against her skin as the womans lips gently grazed her earlobe confirmed her theory and she did not know whether she was terrified at the thought if being held captive by the legendry insane witch or thankful that it was her that caught her and not some creepy looking guy.

All she knew was she had been caught by and was now held almost tenderly by none other than Bellatrix Black.

Chapter Text

Bellatrix had been watching the little witch from her cover within the shadows of the department of mysteries. Alecto stood at her side and Bella had no need to look at her friend to know that her eyes were also on the brunette witch infront of them.

The dark witch was intrigued by the girl, even here she could feel her magic reaching out to the girls, attempting to connect with her but meeting walls each time, like something was actively blocking their magics interacting and she wondered if the barricade was a result if the suppressants Albus slipped into the girls food at Hogwarts. The girl must be a Beta or an Omega judging by the way Bella's magic reached out to insistently. After all she and her sisters were all Alpha's so if the girl was theirs then she had to be one of the two alternative presentations, if she were to judge by the sheer power and intelligence radiating of the girl she would hazard a guess that once she presented she would be an omega.

"Bella I need to get closer, I need to see her face properly" Alecto's desperate whisper momentarily broke Bellatrix out of her analysis and she chided herself internally. Now was not the time to fantasise about what it would be like to claim the girl, to feel her give herself over to the touch, love and manipulations of the Black sister's. It was an appealing thought even if it was distracting to boot but she had to focus. Her lord and her best friend were relying on her, they had to get the Granger girl alone somehow so she could figure out if the girl really was a muggle-born or if this Hermione was in fact her lords lost heir, the stolen child of her two best friends.

"Hush dear, let's step into the action, the girl is planning something and I want to see what she comes up with. She seems to be as clever as Andromeda claimed she is" Bellatrix whispered back, placing her hand briefly on her bestfriends arm to reassure her. She was glad no one could see them yet, it would not do for anyone to see the dark lords most feared comforting a grown woman. They may all start thinking that Bella really isn't all that scary and she couldn't have that.

She knew her reputation was far stretched and twisted into something ugly by Albus and his supporters, as much as she could be relentless, fierce, quicker than anyone with a wand, fearless and driven she really was not the insane monster she was claimed to be but that was no matter. The people would soon learn the truth when her lord had ended the war and they began rebuilding the new world as it had once been.

Stepping forward into the dim lighting she continued to watch the girl and subtly, wordlessly cast leglimens, attempting to penatrate the girls mind to gleam any information she could about who this girl was by the information she found there. Strangely enough though she was met by an impressive resistance, the girls occlumency shields were strong, strong enough to force Bella into making herself known in the girls mind to try and break the defenses down. Her eyes widened with surprise when the girl held up against her attempts to crack the mental shields around this fith year students brain. By Merlin that was impressive and she would have said as much if the girl had not have snapped her eyes to her own, narrowed in defiance. If this girl really was their soulmate then she would take great pleasure in ridding the girl of her defiance no matter how alluring the witch was while acting defiantly.

She watched intently, pulling back her mental attack to a near unrecognisable presence within the girls mind, she studied the brunette infront if her. The girl did resemble her lord and friend immensely. The long soft brown locks, although curly like Tom's had been before that night he was wounded, her light brown was a perfect match for Alectos own. It was not the only similarity the girl shared with Bellatrix's best friend, the elegant nose and delicate high cheekbones were an almost identical match between Alecto and the girl. Her eyes were a golden honey coloured that reminded her of Tom when the man was calm. It was looking more and more likely that the girl was infact the Riddle heir, if she was, Bellatrix couldn't be more excited for her two friends. She knew it would mean everything to them to have their child home but she couldn't help but worry that the girl would not take the news of her inheritance well, not after years of brainwashing at the hands of Albus Dumbledore.

Just as that thought crossed the dark witches mind she saw the girl still infront of her and gasp a panicked breath as the girl locked eyes with Alecto. Unknowingly the girl let down her mental shield around her thoughts in her panic and Bellatrix was dragged through the girls sudden flashback abruptly with perfect clarity. She saw the distressed Alecto screaming for her daughter, felt the complete and utter fear and helplessness a two year old Hermione felt as she kicked and screamed trying to escape her abductors arms as she tried valiantly to get away and get to her mother who lay brokenly, sobbing on the floor.

Her friends tormented voice, so filled with desperation tore at Bella's heart as she witnessed the moment Alecto had lost her child. The girl whom her friend had loved and still loved unconditionally. She could not help but feel guilty for witnessing such a thing, it was deeply personal and was one night Alecto had never spoken about to anyone apart from Tom. Now Bella knew and she knew right away the devastating scene would not leave her easily.

Just as quickly as the girls mental walls had crumbled she reconstructed them, forcing Bellatrix out of the girls mind almost painfully and the dark witch wondered if it were possible to experience concussion from such an aggression. She watched in awe as the girl shook of the flashback, discreetly wiping away tears before her face became a complete emotionless mask, concealing the pain on her delicate features. Pain that Bella could still see burning at the back of the little witches eyes.

The sudden pang in her chest told Bella that this girl, mate or no had in that moment already left a lasting imprint on her heart. How had such an amazing little witch learned to control her emotions so well? What had happened to force this little witch to require the need to protect herself so readily from vulnerabilities? She wanted to reach out and hold the girl, offer her comfort and Bella decided that even if the girl wasn't the Riddle heir she would do all she could to get her hands on the girl, not in a malicious way but purely because for the first time in Bellatrix's life she felt the genuine need to care for someone who was not one of her sisters.

"Now!" The girls order was firm and confident and Bellatrix and her fellow death eaters could only watch in amazement as all five of the other teens present whipped into action at her command, all releasing spells at the shelfs, however it was not for that reason that Bella found herself even more in awe of this youngster but the flurry of spells the girl sent their way and the sheer speed amd strength of each. Laughing in genuinely amusement Bellatrix found herself calling after the girl even as the girls 'bombarda' sent her flying into the air. "Fiesty little witch" she laughed merrily as she took off after the girl who had already sprung into action, launching herself full speed after her friends. It surprised Bella slightly, it was as if the girl was taking it upon herself to ensure the entire groups safety.

Testing that theory Bellatrix threw a relatively weak 'crucio' at Harry Potter, expecting the girl to turn and attack, however her actions surprised Bella, she was obviously a lot more tactical than anyone gave her credit for and obviously far more in tune with the worlds magic if the shield that was erected around the retreating group was anything to go by causing Bellatrix's curse to bounce of and onto the floor harmlessly. The girl looked back and Bella, no death eater did really, genuinely had no time to react to the rapid succession of bombardas sent their way, nor did she notice the solid stupify that caught her sisters soon to be ex husband right in the chest, flinging him backwards.

Watching the girl again she almost laughed when the girl dived behind a door, probably locking it to keep them out. Did the girl not realise that Bella shared her titled too, she had been named the brightest witch of the age when she was just a girl, only she had twenty years more experience with magic than the girl did. She knew she would out do anything the golden girl could come up with.

Bella waited momentarily for her death eater colleagues to re group, recovering from the students attacks and falling orbs.

"That was strangely fun" Dolohov informed the group once they had all arrived.

"As much as being outsmarted by a group of teenagers can be" Lucius added with a scowl and Bellatrix decided that for the sake of Hermione, Alecto and her lord she needed to set clear warnings in place. Detailing what would happen if anyone did not comply. Hermione Granger was off limits and would not be touched by anyone.

"You believe she's my girl?" Alecto whispered in Bella's ear once the group had split to find alternative ways into the rooms beyond the door.

"She saw you, I was trying to read her thoughts, her occlumency was brilliant but when she saw you her defences failed and I was dragged into a flashback of the night she was taken from you. The last thing she heard was you begging her to find you again and I'm assuming whoever held her, because that was not clear, knocked her out as everything went black and then she was suddenly forcing me out her mind and closing her barriers."   Bella whispered back earnestly, her heart swelling at the pure and utter hope that fully entrenched itself on her bestfriends face.

"You're sure Bella?" Alecto whispered, failing to mask the joy in her tone.

"Yes I am but we can only know for sure if we get her DNA" Bella replied cautiously, she did not want her friends left heartbroken if the vision she saw in the girls head turned out to be false hope.

"Bella you have a new purpose for tonight. You get my daughter unharmed and you take her home, keep her safe until Tom and I can come for her. Do not get distracted and do not fail me." Alecto's tone was suddenly harsh and commanding and Bella knew she was no longer talking to her bestfriend but her Lords wife. Their Lady.

"Of course my Lady" Bella replied automatically as she turned to face the door the six teens had dissapeared behind.

She assessed the wards and spells carefully. Taking her time to name and place each one and identify the magical signature of the caster. She was more than a little surprised and proud that the level of the spells used were much stronger and much more complex than she could ever have expected from a sixteen year old that had only known of magic for a few years.

"The girl cast all the wards and spells" she murmured to herself as she focused. "It's impressive, she's only sixteen" she continued as she tried to get past the girls protective enchantments.

"Alecto I need you to help me break the wards, they are the work of Hermione but her magic is impressively strong, it'll take to long for me to tare through myself" Bella called out, smiling at the prideful look on her friends face as she joined her infront of the locked and warded door.

"Merlin, you weren't joking" Alecto exclaimed as she too assessed what they were dealing with. Both witches shared a brief meaningful smile before raising their wands and beginning to tare through the wards.

It surprising took Alecto and Bellatrix longer than they had anticipated to counter Hermione's magical door blockades but they were rather surprised to see the very back of the girls head as she launched herself fearlessly through a door they knew had a rather large drop on the other side of it and both were more than relieved when they heard the girls voice call out the spell that would slow the group of students rapid descent.

"Clever little witch" Bella remarked earning her another proud smirk from Alecto. Merlin she did not know if she could handle Alecto looking like that constantly as it was somewhat disconcerting to see. She could only describe it as a very typical mother's look, one she would have done anything to recieve from her own mother once upon a time. Well that was before she grew up and realised what a complete fool her mother was anyway.

Once the other death eaters had finally caught on to the fact that Alecto and Bellatrix had got the door open they quickly organised themselves. Floating into the room above the students heads before circling and diving, covering the youngsters in a cloud of black smoke from the desth eaters apiration trails. Bellatrix was quick to zero in on Hermione, choosing to grab the little witch and pull her out the way as quick as possible. When she got her hands round the girls waist, pulling her tightly against her front she was surprised and somewhat curious at just how calm the little witch was about getting captured. As if she was not afraid of the death eaters. Although the rigid posture of the sixteen year old in her arms told Bellatrix that the girl was not as calm as she appeared to be.

Bella supposed that if at sixteen she was so gifted (which Bellatrix most definitely had been) and had been required to fight for her life for so long then she too probably would have appeared calm in a seemingly dangerous situation. The dark witch had to bite back a moan as she felt the girls body press into hers and her nose was assaulted by the fresh rose and parchment scent of the captive girl. She smelled exquisite and it drew the older witch in further.

Moving herself and the girl backwards, out of the swirling smoke, Bellatrix took hold of the girls wand hand with her own. Wrapping her arm around the girls waist and using her free hand to pull the girls head back to gently rest against her shoulder. She made sure to keep her actions firm but gentle. After all she really did not want to give the girl any reason to fear her. It would not help the girls transition back into her stolen life if Bellatrix fed into Albus's lies.

"I've got you now, little witch" she whispered almost playfully into the girls ear, ghosting her breathe over the girls skin and lightly touching the girls ear with her parted lips. She did not miss the shiver that ran through the lithe young body. She rested her chin on the girls shoulder and ran her fingers lightly through the girls hair in an attempt to reassure the girl that she wasn't in any real danger.

The girl seemed to relax a fraction into her hold, leaning more of her body weight into the dark witches arms and Bellatrix couldn't help but hum in content. This girl was definitely important to her, she could feel the way her magic was singing having the girl so close and she couldn't help but think that they really would have to get the girl to take the suppressant reversal potion as soon as possible. She really needed to know if this girl was theirs. All the signs were pointing to it being true, and she couldn't help but hope. The girl she held in her arms truly was an incredible witch.

She watched the girl from the corner of her eye, the girls eyes were trained on her friends infront of her but the dark witch could tell she was only half paying attention. The other half focused on Bella and her movements.

"Don't give it to him Harry" the girl called suddenly, drawing Bellatrix's focus from her. The dark witch quickly covered the girls mouth and followed her gaze where she spotted Potter and Lucius standing in the middle of the half circled death eaters in front of the creepy viel, she was desperately hoping for the sake of her nephew, Lucius did not make the mistake of saying anything remotely insulting about the girl. Alecto and the dark Lord would be sure to destroy him if he did. But like the absolute prat he is, Lucius of course opened his mouth.

"Oh Potter, taking orders from your mudblood whore, halfblood or not i thought even you had the sense not to stoop so low. Apparently I was mistaken" he taunted, smirking at the obvious offense taken by Harry Potter and Bella could see him deliberately ignoring the two equally as pissed of sounding growls that were sent his way. One from Alecto, who stood directly opposite her glaring murderously at the blonde male.

At her growl she felt the girl stiffen slightly, cocking brunette locks to the side as if silently asking Bella what that was about. She would have to ignore that urge to anser her for now. Any true answer she gave would merely confuse the girl. So instead she decided to offer comfort instead.

"Its alright little witch, I won't hurt you, You have my word. I just need you to stay right where you are just now until this is over." She whispered gently, removing her hand from the girls mouth and returning it to her forehead to gently scratch the girls scalp tenderly.

"You'll never get it" Harry Potters voice caused the dark witch to snap back to attention, automatically drawing the girl further into her amd gripping harder on her. The loud crash of the boy throwing the prophecy to the ground destroying it and several apiration sounds alerted Bella to the now very dangerous situation they were in. She knew she needed to call their lord and get him to come help. She usually wouldn't have, content to face the ministry aurors herself but with the girls safety at risk she had to make a better choice.

"Listen Hermione, I need you to press two fingers to my tattoo and push some of your magic into it" she commanded, gently, flipping her arm around to expose the tattoo.

"Now little witch or we could all end up dead" she continued, her tone slightly more demanding this time when she sensed the girls hesitation.  "I won't let any harm come to you I promise now do as I ask" she punctuated her command by gently swatting the girls hip in warning and was pleased when the girl reached forward. Pressing her middle and index finger to Bellatrix's dark mark and allowing some of her magic to chanel through. The dark witch closed her eyes in delight at the feel of the girls magic running through her own and had to stifle a moan so as not to spook the girl. The girls magic felt like home to Bellatrix and it only served to convince her more that this girl was theirs.

"Thats a good witch" she murmured against the girls ear, smiling at the shivers that coursed through the brunettes body in response to her as she tightened her arms around the girl, moving them further back into the darkness to await her lord. Hoping that the aurors had not noticed her slink off with the girl because the last thing she wanted to do was be forced to let the girl go and fight.

She knew if she was forced to fight the aurors the girl would not stay with her, she would run as soon as she could because as much as she seemed to trust Bellatrix, there was no way the dark witch had managed to gain the girls complete trust in the short time they had stood together. She would run back to the Order and everything she knew as soon as Bella let her guard down and she knew she couldn't allow that. Her lord and friend would be devastated if the girl got away now. She needed to come home.

"I'm sorry little witch but we cannot lose you" she whispered apologetically as she pressed her fingers in to the dip at the back of the girls neck, finding her pressure point and pressing it hard. It didn't take more than a few seconds for the girls body to crumple in Bella's arms and the dark witch readjusted the girl so she was carrying Hermione bridal style.

"Bellatrix go now" the voice of her lord broke through her quiet study of the girl as he arrived. Bellatrix looked up and smiled at the relieved expression on Tom's face as he nodded his head in the girls direction. "Take care of her" he whispered before turning to join the fighting further in the room. Bellatrix let her heart sore as she snuck towards the floos with the girl, they had done it. They had found the missing dark princess and her two friends could be happy again.

Stepping in to the nearest floo and grabbing floo powder, Bellatrix took one last look around at the fighting infront of her and couldnt help the smirk that made its way onto her face as she noticed Albus Dumbledore scowling in her direction at Hermione. Ha she thought, little twat did not think we would ever put it together did he? Well his outrage at seeing Hermione in the dark witches arms was all the confirmation she needed. Without a doubt Hermione was Alecto and Tom's little girl and Bellatrix would take great pleasure in destroying the girls world view and rebuilding it on the truth. Albus Dumbledore had crossed the wrong family and he was about to dearly pay for it.

Releasing the powder she called out her sisters home address quietly, tightening her hold on the sleeping girl as they were enveloped in green flames and transported off towards Malfoy Manor.

------

Stepping out if the floo into her sisters home felt very much like a moment she would remember forever more as her eyes connected with her littlest sister.

"Bellatrix what on earth, why have you brought back a girl?" Narcissa asked curiously as she rushed forward to offer her assistance. The relief at having Bella home along with the curiosity she must feel evident in her eyes.

"We believe she is the lost princess Cissy, Alecto and Tom have tasked me to guard her until they can follow" Bella preened at the thought. There was nothing better than knowing Tom and Alecto trusted her with the protection of their daughter.

"Are they sure Bella?" Narcissa questioned as she took the girl out of her sisters arms gently and turned to lead them to a private guest room.

"Short of a DNA test, yes. I managed to see a little inside her head today. The girl experienced a flashback as soon as she made eye contact with Alecto, because I was trying to read her mind I was pulled along too in her distress and honestly cissy my heart broke. It was awful, she relived the moment she and Alecto were torn from each other and the level of fear and desperation she felt at that age was jarring. The devastated look on Alectos face, the girls sobbing, witnessing that Cissy I dont know how anyone could be part of that destruction and live with themselves afterwards." The dark witch explained as she ran her fingers through her hair, blinking back the tears stinging her eyes while they walked. She made sure to keep as close as possible to the little witch in Cissas arms incase need arose to protect her and she resolutely ignored her sisters infuriating knowing look that kept being sent her way.

"I can feel her Bella, her magic pulls at my own" Narcissa murmured gently as she finally made it to the guest room and tucked the girl into the large bed. Bellatrix smiled brightly as she watched the interaction, noting how tenderly Narcissa handled the girl and the soft expression on her little sisters face.

"Andy and I feel the pull to her too. We suspect that when we can get her to present we will find that she is ours Cissa." She replied matter of factly as she joined her sister at the side of the bed, throwing her arm around the blondes shoulders happily.

"Hmm who knew we would find her after all these years" the blonde hummed quietly as she burried further into the comfort of her sisters hold. 

"Who knew little Cissa, who knew is exactly the right question" Bellatrix replied, as she too settled against her sister. Preparing to watch over the sleeping girl that quite possibly held the key to their hearts.

Chapter Text

Hermione woke feeling entirely confused and lightheaded. Her mind was a little cloudy but she could feel soft linen and the smell freshly washed bedsheets enveloping her. It was tempting to stay asleep for a while longer. Not entirely keen to start another day yet. Not with the migrane she was sure to get or the unease she was feeling within her gut. That feeling usually meant she and her best friends were about to face more danger or something terrible had happened to someone she loved and she was not very sure she had the capacity to deal with that today.

It was disorientating. She couldn't remember a time where she had felt so exhausted yet so comfortable before in her life. Slowly opening her eyes she looked around in confusion. This wasn't her dorm room, nor was it her room at the Leaky Cauldron. Sitting upright in panic, Hermione looked around wildly, taking in every detail she could as quickly as she could.

The bed she sat upon was tucked at the far corner of the room and had soft satin covers and pillows, all in Gryffindor red and gold. The queen sized bed was what appeared to be a dark stained oak with a canopy adorning it over head. Directly infront of the bed on the far wall was a large oak chest and to the left was what appeared to be a walk in closet.

In the corner diagonally opposite appeared a heavy looking oak door and opposite that. On the wall that shared a side with the head of the bed was what appeared to be a bathroom. There was a dressing table located across from the bed she sat on with a chair covered in red and gold silk cushions. The walls were a deep red, only broken by the band of gold that ran right around the room right in the centre of each wall. If she was being honest the room looked entirely pleasant and if she could work out what on earth was going on she would even conclude that whoever had brought her here had made the conscious effort to ensure she was as comfortable as possible. The gryffindor colours making her feel entirely too at home in this strange place.

Next she needed to find her wand and a way to get out of wherever it was she was being held and find some sort of help. She had no idea how long she had been asleep for, nor did she know if her friends had realised she was gone yet. Surely Ron and Harry would know she was go e and would have gone mental until the order agreed to look for her. Not that she held out much hope for the quick wit and skills of that particular group coming to her rescue. If Albus Dumbledore had anything to do with it she would be stuck here for years before someone found her.

Sighing in frustration when her wand search came up empty (because of course if she were being held captive any captor with half a brain cell would know to remove her wand). Next she checked the door handle and she wasn't entirely surprised to find she could not get the door open no matter how much she tried. From trying to pry it open to trying to kick it down, the door wouldn't burst. All she got for her efforts were a few nasty looking bruises and a sore ego.

Her last attempt involved her running head first at the door in a rare lapse of judgement and as whatever spell was used to keep her in had her bouncing back, landing on her arse she realised she was well and truly trapped. However with this realisation came the horrifying clarity of the events that took place the previous day. She remembered the Weasleys fireworks, Umbridge being led off by the centaurs. She remembered their race to the ministry, the prophecy, the fight with the desth eaters but most horrifically she remembered them. Bellatrix Black and the unknown witch that may or may not be her mother.

That revelation along with the knowledge that came with it, that she - Hermione Granger had been captured by the most feared death eater in the magical world and what made it worse for her, the uncomfortable truth that she had almost willingly gone with her. She did not know why but she hadn't fought the evil witch, hadn't even struggled to get free in anyway. She had complied with the witches request to call the Dark Lord for Merlins sake. Willingly.

She remembered how it felt to have the woman pressed up against her back. The strange certainty that had crept up on her that she was safe, that the woman would not harm her. She remembered the intoxicating scent of the witch as she was held in gentle but firm arms, as if being held by a lover, not her captor. The witch must have cast a spell on her without Hermione realising she rationalised with herself because why else would she have felt any sort of safety or comfort in the deatheaters clutches. She knew the deatheaters wanted to hurt her. She was a muggle-born, nothing but a disgusting mudblood in their eyes. She had been fighting to survive because of them for the past five years. Why would the most notoriously prejudiced death eater of all even attempt to keep Hermione safe? Because she had, hadn't she? Hermione was unharmed. She may be locked in a room in an unknown location but she was unharmed. Bellatrix hadn't hurt her. But why would she not? Did they want her for information? She would never give up information on Harry, he was her bestfriend and she would never endanger him, even if it meant her own life was forfeit. She had suspected it would come down to that eventually around her second year. Such were the perks of being bestfriends with the boy who lived.

And what was with that woman, the woman with the eyes that felt so familiar. The eyes that had triggered her to relive her nightmares while she was awake? Was this woman really her mother? Who was she? Why did her presence cause her nightmares to appear in more clarity? She shuddered. She could still hear the devastation in the womans voice as she had sobbed and begged and screamed for Hermione. For her daughter, her baby. She had screamed as if she were in the most unimaginable pain and only Hermione could take it away. She could still feel the fear and heartbreak of her younger self in that moment. The absolute surety that her mama and pa needed her. Needed her to fight. Needed her to be strong. But for what and to fight whom she didnt know. She didnt understand why the horrible man had carried her away, she didnt understand why his arms had hurt her. Why he hurt her? If this woman was her mother it meant Hermione didnt know who she was. She wasn't a muggle-born if her mother was a witch. If that was true why, apart from that one reoccurring nightmare, did Hermione have no recollection of who she was? Who had taken her away and for what reason? She had so many questions and fears and absolutely no way of getting out of this room to find the answers.

Without conscious thought Hermione curled herself up in a tight ball, her knees coming to her chest as she folded her arms around them, laying her head in her arms as tears of anger, confusion and utter fear began to stream down her face relentlessly. She sobbed and sobbed, the first time she had let herself truly break down since before her parents (where they even her real parents) had died.

Her last conscious thought as she succumbed to her exhaustion, curled up on the floor, was that maybe just maybe she could make it out alive if only she could remain calm and outsmart her captors. In her exhausted state she failed to remember that in attempting to outsmart her captors she was attempting to outsmart her namesake. The brightest witch of her age, Bellatrix Black.

-------

Alecto and Bellatrix found their hearts swell and break all at once upon walking into the guest room that Hermione was currently occupying. They had suspected that the girl was more than likely awake by now and possibly quite pissed at being trapped in an unknown location so chose to enter the room with caution. Wands out and raised in preparation to freeze the girl if necessary. They had seen the girl in action and were willing to take no chances that the girl would escape so knew they could not let their guard down on her, at least not for the first while anyway. Not until she knew the truth.

However instead of a pissed of, fiesty little gryffindor girl, they were met with the sight of Hermione sound asleep on the floor not far from the door. She was curled up tightly making her look smaller than she already was. But that was not however, what caused both older witches hearts to break for upon the girls face was clear signs that Alecto's daughter had been crying. From the looks of it, heavily crying when she woke and had exhausted herself, effectively sobbing herself to sleep where she lay. She looked so tiny and fragile that Alecto had to stop herself from letting g out her own sob. Pained to see her girl so distraught in a home she should have been able to call one of her own if it weren't for Albus. Sure the girl didn't know who she was or where for that matter but it hurt Alecto none the less. She wanted nothing more than for her little girl to be happy here.

"It will take some time Lex, she's been kept from us for fourteen years and brainwashed into believing we are nothing but evil savages. We just need to be patient and show her we aren't what they say we are" Bellatrix murmured, surprisingly feeling more calm than Alecto in the moment. She gestured towards the sleeping girl, silently prompting Alecto to lift the girl and bring her up to the bed.

Doing as Bella asked, Alecto listen her girl, bringing her in close to her chest and releasing a healthy dose of her soothing pheromones when the girl began fussing in her sleep. She felt her heart swell with love when her girl settled almost instantly in response. Her body clearly recognising her mama in her sleep. If only her brain would recognise that truth too, Alecto wouldn't need to out her girl down but she knew if Hermione were to wake while she was held tight by an unknown deatheater the girl would panic and that would not help her gain her baby girls trust.

She brought her girl to the bed and gently placed her down, tucking the covers over her snugly. She took a moment to simply gaze at the face of her child and fully take in the knowledge that finally after fourteen years her child was back home, back where she belonged. They had done the DNA test the previous evening as soon as she amd Tom had arrived back from the ministry, they had held their breath while waiting for the potion to take affect and she had ended up sobbing openly In Tom's arms when it was revealed the girl was infact hers. She felt as if someone had finally stopped stabbing her repeatedly in the gut for the first time since that awful night.

Now all that was left to do was work with the girl, gain her trust and help the girl understand the realities of her world and this war. She had no doubt that Hermione had been seriously misinformed but she had faith. The girl was extremely intelligent, all they had to do was give her the means to find out the truth and the girl would out the peices together herself. It wouldn't do to simply tell her, she would never believe them if they did, not without first building a level of trust between them. All she could do was be patient and as much as Alecto wasn't exactly known for her patience, Tom either, they knew that for their girl they would simply deal with it. They'd give the girl as much time as she needed because she was theirs and despite what the girl didn't know, as her parents they loved her. There really wasn't anything they were not willing to do to get their child back amd if that meant time and patience, time and patience was exactly what they would give her.

"How are we doing this Lex? Judging by the state we found her in she isn't going to take kindly to all this." Belllatrix whispered quietly, joining her by the bed.

"We give her space for now, as much as I really would rather she wasn't out my sight" Alecto responded. "We keep her in here, have the house elfs attend to her needs, give her access to books and whatever else may take her fancy and we wait, we wait until she's ready to speak" she finished, bending to place a tender kiss on her girls forehead before guiding bellatrix out the room and recasting the wards that held her baby girl inside the room.

----

Albus Dumbledore was furious, he paced his office repeatedly as he fumed. How could he have been so stupid? How could Moody and the rest of the order have been so careless? How had no one noticed that Bellatrix Black had got her hands on the Riddle Heir. Fourteen years he had successfully hidden her. Concealed her from her parents and raised her in his own image. Fourteen years he had watched over the muggles, ensuring that they kept the girl in her place. Ensuring that it was a mild mannered and respectful muggle-born girl that arrived at the gates of hogwarts. One who knew her place and the plan had worked. She had been exactly what he had wanted, exactly what his meticulous planning had demanded. She had easily fallen in with Harry Potter, became his friend, yes she wasn't as subservient as he wanted her to be but he knew that would have come in time. As soon as she excepted that as a mudblood she was supposed to follow Harry's orders, supposed to be subservient to Ron as a pureblood. She would even have eventually excepted Albus's plan to marry her to Ronald Weasley. But all that. All his planning amd hard work would be for nought now.

Now that Tom and Alecto had their hands on the girl now, they would undo the years of brainwashing, they would enlighten the girl to the truth and that would leave him in such a dangerous position. Harry and Ron trusted the girl so if she were to start enlightening them, they would believe her, she could ruin everything.

He had it all perfectly set. Harry was to be his champion and rid the world of Voldemorte. Hermione was supposed to help him accomplish that. It would have been the ultimate revenge, to have the girl be the one to help destroy her own father and Albus would get to sit back and watch.

Now it could all have been for nothing and he was furious. Moody, lupin, Sirius? They were all well aware of the risk they had taken, the danger Albus had put himself in taking the girl. He had sacraficed so bloody much. Merlin he even sacraficed his most loyal followers when he had James and Lilly Potter hold Tom off long enough for him, Moody and Lupin to get in to Riddle Manor.

Locking Alecto Carrow-Riddle up in Azkaban had been a precaution, he never dreamed that Tom would be able to break her and his other followers out, allowing them to look for their daughter. If he had known he would have killed the girl while he could rather than take the risk that she would be found.

Growling in frustration as he failed to come up with any solutions to his problem he called for a house elf, Dobby appearing promptly.

"Master what can Dobby be doings for you?" The elf asked, bowing respectively and Albus took pleasure in the shofty eyes and tense posture of the elf, he knew his place and knew to respect his betters.

"I want you to find miss Granger and tell me where she is when you find her" he replied curtly, thinking that maybe, just maybe this would solve his problems. If he could get to the girl before her mother managed to convince her of.the truth then all would not have been for nothing. What better way to do that than have the elf do his bidding?

"Dobby will dos his best master" the elf replied, bowing again before quickly dissapearing.

A knock on his office door had him taking a seat and slipping his usual, kindly mask in place. It wouldn't do for anyone to see just how furious he was.

Minerva McGonagall entered the office quietly. A look of barely concealed heartache and worry etched onto her features.

"Any news Professor?" She murmured, not needing to explain that she was talking about Hermione. It was common knowledge that the girl was her favourite. Someone she cared for immensely.

Adopting a look of sadness and concern he replied gently "none I'm afraid Min, we may have to except that the girl is no longer alive. Bellatrix took her, I do not hold hope for her survival in the hands of that.osrticular witch. It is a great loss for us all" he tried to seem sincere and for the most part his words were sincere, not that he believed for a second the girl was being harmed or dead for that matter but it truly was a great loss to him. He couldn't use the girl anymore if she were loyal to Tom. He sighed inwardly.

If they couldn't find her he had wasted years on her for nought and that meant she was simply an obstacle in his way to destroying Riddle. If she had changed sides then he would make sure to fix his mistake. She would not get out alive again if he could help it.

Chapter Text

The next time Hermione awoke it was to sunlight streaming in the large window that she only now registered was there. Her headache was gone surprisingly and she felt much clearer headed, though she wasn't sure that was a good thing. It made her reality all the more clear in her mind and she felt the dread rise in her stomach as she woke. She wasn't at all sure what she would face in the coming days and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to know. It couldn't be good whatever it was.

Sighing quietly she sat up and looked around the room nervously. Someone had obviously been in while she slept, she was pretty sure she had fallen asleep on the floor so someone had lifted her up onto the bed. Which was strange in itself. The gesture seemed oddly kind. Something she had been told these people were incapable off. No matter though, even if they were making an effort to be kind she wouldn't fall for it. They could be trying to lure her in to a false sense of security before striking, she wouldn't let them catch her unaware. She did not like the thought at all that these people could come and go from this room whenever they pleased yet she herself was trapped here. Like some sort of caged animal. It infuriated her. If they wanted to lock her in here then fine, she could do what she could to make sure they wouldn't get in at will either.

She got up quickly and moved the dressing table to infront of the door to the room. She knew it wouldn't truly keep them out if they were determined to come in but she hoped it would send a clear message. That she was in no mood to entertain their games. She refused too. They could keep her in here for the rest of her life for all she cared but she would not let them use her to harm her friends.

Nodding her head slightly in approval once she had shifted the dresser in place, having pushed it flush against the door she turned and made her way to the bathroom. Pausing in the door way she took a moment to take in the grand decor of the room. The walls were covered in black and white tiles that gleamed in the light. There was a large bare claw bath tub in the corner of the room. A large shower sat opposite, adorned in gold. The toilet was located on the other side of the room underneath a large tinted window. A large cabinet and mirror stood beside it with a sink built in it. She had to swallow the lump of emotion that rose in her throat, the bathroom looked quite similar to the one she had in her parents home before they had passed. As much as they had not been the kindest people, nor had they ever shown her much care or consideration, Hermione missed them. They had loved her in their own way. They had provided for her and excepted her status as a witch from the very beginning. As much as she had wanted for their love and effection they had never denied her the essentials to her survival. Infacf they had ensured she was financially stable even in their deaths. They had left her everything in their will. All their money, their muggle dentist business and even the house in which Hermione had grown up, all left to her. She would inherit it all on her eighteenth birthday. They had even ensured someone to watch over the business financials and daily running while Hermione completed her schooling and figured out what she wished to do with it. She couldn't deny that she wished they had shown her that they loved her in the ways that she craved as a child before they died. She never recieved hugs or praise or effection. She had been constantly chastised and corrected no matter how hard she tried to be what they wanted her to be. It had hurt her greatly at the time but now she was somewhat thankful. If they hadn't have been the way they were she didnt think she would have coped with the constant abuse and harassment being a muggle-born had got her in the magical world. It had given her a thick skin. Taught her to strive as hard as she could to be better. It had shaped her, taught her to be discreet, appear nuteral and meek to not attract attention. Though inside she was anything but. She was strong willed, resilient, intelligent and one hell of a witch. She shook her head, ridding herself of the nostalgia she was feeling, it would not do for her to dwell on those who were long dead.

The bathroom looked fully stocked, shampoos, soaps and other personal care products lined the shelfs. There were fresh towels and to Hermione's surprise a fresh set of clothes lay beside the sink. It was a simple pair of blue skinny jeans, a white t-shirt and red sweatshirt. There was also clean underwear and socks, all items in her size and clearly new. They still had the tags on them and Hermione was surprised to see that they were all from a muggle store in London. She didnt think the death eaters would have bothered to make sure she had a change of clothes never mind clothes she liked and felt comfortable wearing. Let alone go all the way to the muggle world to get them.

As she lifted the clothes she was slightly startled when a piece of parchment fell out that had obviously been tucked into the clothes so she would find it. Placing the clothes back where she found them neatly she unfolded the parchment, seating herself on the edge of the bath tub to read it.

--
Hermione,

I cannot imagine how confused and afraid you must feel right now but I promise you on my magic that we mean you no harm and will come to no harm for as long as you are in our home.

I wish I could tell you everything, I wish I could hold you tightly through this and make you believe that everything is alright. However I know that the last thing you will want right now is our presence. We will give you as long as you need to adjust to life here and when you are ready we will explain everything to you, including answering any and all questions you may have for us. We will not lie to you. That I can promise.

For now please use this time to take care of your needs. If we haven't got you something you need or wish to ha e call for Tipsy, she's your elf. She will get you all that you require. There is more clothes in the closet in your bedroom. Please make yourself at home. Tipsy will ensure you have food and drink whenever you want it.

When you are ready to know more about who we are and why you are here, please ask Tipsy to bring you the things your mother, Alecto has set aside for you. You will never be denied the information you ask for nor will we pretend something is what its not to appease you. I will not lie there is a lot you do not know about who you are, who we are and this war. You may not be ready to embrace that truth nor be willing to believe it but I swear upon my magic that you will not be lied to.

Take care Hermione, I long for the moment you are ready to meet us. We have looked for you for many years.

With love your father

Tom Marvello Riddle.

--

Gasping, Hermione felt her skin grow cold as the words on the parchment registered in her mind. Tom Riddle? More commonly known as the dark lord, Voldemorte or he who shall not be named is her father? It couldn't possibly be true, could it?

In a daze Hermione filled the large tub with steaming hot water and stripped off. Climbing in amd sinking into the bubbles almost transce like. She couldn't get her mind around this. He had sworn on his magic he wouldn't lie to her about anything and she knew he would never risk his magic. He took pride in his power. Reveled in it. He wouldn't risk losing it just to trick a muggle-born girl. She knew that much about the man. Her blood ran cold even as her skin broke out in a sweat due to the temperature of the water.

She was the Dark Lords daughter? The child of Tom Riddle and Alecto, Alecto Carrow no doubt. She was the only Alecto she knew to still be alive among the pureblood families. So the mystery woman she had seen at the ministry, the one who had caused her flashback was Alecto Carrow? She looked nothing like the evil brute Professor Lupin had described her to be in third year. She looked kind, her eyes had certainly held so much warmth it had almost knocked Hermione off her feet. That woman had been beautiful, her face was angelic looking, her eyes kind but fierce. A determined glint to them that didnt do anything to take away from the welcoming feel they had emanated in the dark of the department of mysteries.

She was so confused. How didn't she know this? Why did she have no memories of her father or mother? Why was she taken from them? He said in the letter they had been looking for her for years, who had been looking? Who took her in the first place? Why was her mother imprisoned? Her files had been sealed unlike many of the other deatheaters. She didnt get a trial nor would anyone divulge what had happened. It left her perplexed. Was her mothers imprisonment the reason she had been taken? When was she taken? Was this why Bellatrix had been kind? Because Hermione was her masters heir? She didn't like having so many questions but nor did she feel entirely ready to face these people just yet. She didnt feel calm enough nor in any way emotionally prepared enough.

She wiped a stray tear from her eyes angrily. Pushing down the bubble of emotion as deep as it would go. She needed to calm down and think logically. She needed to gather the information she needed to process his words. First she needed proof. Needed the proof that she was who they said she was. She nodded to herself. Finishing up with her bath as she rinsed the last of the bubbles from her hair she stood, dried and dressed in the new outfit she had been given as quickly as she could.

Making her way back to the bedroom she saw a fresh tray of food sitting on her dresser and noted curiously that the dresser had not been moved from infront of the door where she had left it. Tipsy the house elf had obvious noted what she had done but chose not to fix it. There was a selection of cold meats, sandwiches, cheeses and fruits all cut and ordered neatly on the tray along with jugs of what looked like Pumpkin Juice and water and a hot pot of tea. She tucked in greedily, her stomach letting out a loud protest when she seen the food, registering for the first time just how hungry she was. She hadn't eaten since the day before yesterday. She had been far too nervous about her exam to eat yesterday morning and their impromptu trip to the ministry and her subsequent capture hadn't left her much time to focus on her health and if she had to guess it was now sometime around noon. For the first time she wondered just how Bellatrix had knocked her out. She wasn't sure what sort if spell would have left the headache she had woke up with this morning.

Once she had finished she drew in a deep breath and forced herself to remain calm.

"Tipsy?" She called quietly, hesitantly, as if she didnt fully believe the elf would listen to her and despite calling the elf her frazzled nerves at the whole situation still meant she started slightly at the sudden appearance of a shy looking elf. The left looked young. As if she were barely older than Hermione was herself. She had large green eyes and large floppy ears that looked a little too big for her size. She looked an awful lot like Dobby. The house elf they had rescued from Lucius Malfoy, who had been mistreating the little guy. She was fond of Dobby and the resemblance between him and this little female elf broke her heart a little, silent tears beginning to fall traitorously down her face.

"You look like Dobby Tipsy" she whispered almost brokenly, struggling to control her emotions. The house elf grinned gently at her, nodding her head.

"Yesses miss Hermione, Dobby is Tipsys big brother" the elf replied, the excitement and adoration clear in her voice. "Does miss Hermione miss Dobby? Tipsy misses hims too" she continued, moving to Hermione's side and placing a gentle hand on her knee as if the elf wanted to comfort her. Without speaking Hermione simply nodded her reply and took a moment to collect herself.

"Tipsy I wanted to ask if you could get me the i gradients to make a lineage test, I know your master might fear ill use the ingredients to make something to help me escape but if it will appease them you could stay and watch me. But I need to see for myself that what they are saying is true" she spoke finally, keeping her tone even. Locking all emotion from her voice. She would note them distract her from her task. Now that she was almost certain she wouldn't be physically harmed, she needed answers to her questions and this was the first step.

"Tipsy will ask Miss Hermione. I wills be right back with you" the little elf replied politely, a gentle smile on her face as if she were proud of Hermione for thinking of such a thing. It was a strange look to recieve from a house elf but she decided just to smile back. She had enough to puzzle out without adding a house elfs smile to the mystery pile right now.

----

Three hours later she stood, blankly staring down at the results of her lineage potion. She had been allowed to brew it before all spare ingredients were whisked away by Tipsy who had watched over her closely the whole time she had been brewing. Her Fathers orders, because he was definitely her father according to the lineage potion she had made, had been for Tipsy to stay with her just as she had suggested and truthfully she wasn't all to mad at the clear sign of them watching her to make sure she didnt escape. She was actually glad off the company. Tipsy was kind and funny, just like Dobby was and she made Hermione feel less alone.

Tipsy was apparently her Nanny elf. She had took care of Hermione when her parents couldnt when she was a baby. Before she had been taken and her heart had squeezed painfully when she saw the little elfs eyes fill up tearfully at the admission. "Tipsy still can't believe her miss Hermione is home miss, Tipsy loved caring for baby miss Hermione, Tipsy missed you" the elf had sobbed and Hermione found herself holding the elf. Comforting her as she reassured her that now that she had been found Tipsy didnt have to worry about missing her anymore because she could come see her whenever she wanted. Her reassurance had worked, brightening the little elfs mood up instantly and from there they had changed topic.

Now she just stared blankly. Her mother had also sent up the lineage test they had done on her yesterday while she had slept for Hermione to compare her results to. She had been pleasantly surprised at that. It was as if her mother had known Hermione's academic mind would be keen to see a comparison. The results had been identical to her own.

She Hermione Tiberias Mackenzi Carrow Riddle because that was her name not Hermione Jean Granger as she had been taught was infact the only daughter of Lord Tom Marvello-Riddle and Lady Alecto Carrow-Riddle. The heir to the Riddle, Carrow, Gaunt, Selywn and Slytherin houses. She was also surprisingly the heir of Ravenclaw, being the only living blood relatives of both Salazar Slytherin through her father and Rowena Ravenclaw through her mother. It was a shock. One she wasn't entirely unprepared for but a shock all the same.

Finally moving when she felt Tipsy take her hand to guide her over to the bed, Hermione sunk down on the edge, grasping her hands infront of her tightly as if she could hold herself together this way. That strange feeling of something struggling to get free inside her flaring to life inside of her, painfully. She felt it deep inside herself, tugging to get free adding to her distress.

"Tipsy this seems like its going to make my head spin. Why do I feel like this isn't they only thing that had been kept from me?" She whispered through a sob. She truly felt as if her whole world was being pulled apart right from underneath her very feet. Her parents weren't her parents. She was the daughter of a dark lord and a death eater. She had been kidnapped as a baby. She had literally been fighting to rid the world of her own father for five years and despite that he had not done a single thing to harm her or punish her. I stead he had ensured she had all her needs met, even if she were locked in a room, and he had respected her enough to ensure her privacy. It all felt so overwhelming.

"Tipsy isn't allowed to tell miss everything else. Me is sorry but Tipsy can go get miss Hermione's mama, who can. Tipsy knows you don't know your mama but she can helps you" the little elf replied as she gently pat Hermione's hand.

"Please" she whispered back. "Please Tipsy, please just her. I need it all to stop. I need it all to make sense again" she sobbed, her stomach rolling and her head spinning with all the new information and uncertainties. She didnt know what made her agree to the elf getting her mother but all she knew is in that moment she would have done anything, anything to make the pain she was now feeling stop and for her world to once again feel safe.

----
Alecto sat in Tom's lap, head resting against his chest as he stroked his fingers through her hair. Ever since Hermione had been found and returned home she had been on edge. Fighting every instinct within herself to not go in akd just hold her child hostage in her arms like she wanted to do. Knowing that her child was also upset was only adding to her distress and if it weren't for the steady beating of Tom's heart thrusting against her ear as he held her, tethering her to the moment she swore she would have gone insane with the worry she felt for her little girl.

Bellatrix, Narcissa and Andromeda sat opposite them by the fire. Settling down for the evening. It had been a long day of raid prep and war planning. Something she had thrown herself into to try and distract herself as best she could.

They had been discussing how best to talk to Hermione about the dynamics of a witch or wizard. Tom wanted to slowly ease her into it. Bellatrix believed giving her a book on it would be best. Andromeds had agreed, knowing the young witch a little better than anyone present she had backed up her eldest sister knowing of Hermione's love of books. Narcissa had said an explanation would be best, Alecto wasn't sure what was best. All she knew is that her little girl needed to be made aware of her true nature before the gave her the suppressant reversal potion or her girl would more than likely freak. Presenting was never a pleasant experience for those that had been brought up with the knowledge that they would present let alone for a girl who had literally been stolen, lied to, orphaned by fake parents then kidnapped and held prisoner in a bedroom in a strange location. She was already distraught enough without adding more to that. The reality was though she needed to know, sooner rather than later.

"What about a combination of all the ideas. Once we gain access to her room" she paused to roll her eyes, smirking playfully as she recalled her girls Nanny Elf informing them that Hermione had placed her dressing table against the door to keep them out, as if a piece of wood could keep a witch out her room. "We give her the book to read as an introduction, then we have a conversation with her about it. Give her a chance to ask her questions" she continued, voicing a compromise.

"That sounds... realistic" Tom murmured in reluctant agreement as if stropping that he hadn't thought of it. Alecto smiled at him lovingly. Now that he had his girl back he was desperate to be the best father he could be. Just as desperate as she was to hold his girl. It had broke Alecto's heart when he broke down the previous evening, terrified that his girl would never allow him the chance to show her his love and affection because of the reputation he now had, no thanks to Albus. Despite her reassurances she still hadn't managed to convince him that given time Hermione could and would see oast the evil, power hungry man he was painted to be.

A loud pop of house elf appiration startled them all out of their discussion, not expecting Tipsy to appear so suddenly or so panicked looking. Instantly Alecto felt herself sit up straighter, instinctively on alert, knowing that, the level of distress on the house elfs face could only be about Hermione because her nanny elf loved her girl endlessly and always had. Tipsy had been just as distraught as Alecto was the night her daughter was taken and every day since. She still smiled everytime she thought about the excitement on Tipsys face the day she told her they had a lead on Hermione's whereabouts.

"Tipsy what is it?" She asked gently, not wanting to add to the elfs obvious distress.

"Miss Hermione is distraught mistress, she needs her mama, Tipsy convinced her, she asked Tipsy to get her mama but just her mama" the little elf squeeked out, a tear rolling down her little face. Alecto reached over, pushing down her own panic to lay a comforting hand on the elfs arm.

"Thank you Tipsy. You did well in coming to get me." She murmured gently. "I'll handle it from here if you just drop me in her room" she continued taking the elfs hand gently before looking up at the Black sisters and then her husband. "I'll let you know how she is once I know whats going on and have calmed her Tom. She'll be alright" she said gently. Kissing his forehead in response to the obvious distress on his face. She knew that as an Alpha, his instinct to protect his child would be screaming at him, knowing that his little girl was so distressed but she also knew that she couldn't allow him to come with her. It would ruin the small display of trust their daughter had placed in her nanny elf if anyone that wasn't Alecto went to her now. He nodded in understanding as he squeezed her arm in a silent display of support.

With that she turned back to Tipsy and tightened her grip on the elfs hand so she was holding onto her securely. Instantly she felt the tug of house elf appiration and seconds later she was standing in her daughters room. Her gaze landed on her sobbing child, doubled over in what appeared to be pain. Taking a deep breath in through her nose she scented the air, trying to work out if there were any clues to what exactly was wrong.

The smell of a distressed Omega hot her nostrils instantly and she recognised her daughters scent mingled in with it. Her eyes widened. Her girls body was trying to present but the suppressants were stopping it. It must be what was causing her child so much pain.

"Tipsy get me a pain potion and a calming drought quickly" she gently ordered, releasing the elf and striding quickly to her daughters side. Without pause she scooped the girl up and released a strong dose of her pheromones towards her girl, tucking her girls face into the crook of her neck by her scent gland to ensure she breathed in her pheromones quickly.

To her surprise Hermione did not fight her hold, instead the young witch grasped onto the front of her shirt tightly and curled herself closer to her mothers body and Alecto almost felt herself purr in response. She wasn't sure if her girl had consciously made the decision to cling to he ror if it was an instinctual reaction caused by her true nature trying to present. Her omega side would instantly recognise family, especially her mama and would send signals to her brain to tell the girl she was safe.

"M...m...make it s...s...stop please... m...mama" her girl stuttered gasping in pain.

"Shhh little dove, mama's got you" Alecto whispered, as she rocked her girl gently from side to side. Instinctually knowing that it would be soothing.

"Tipsy has gone to get some pain reliever for you" she continued, pumping more soothing pheromones into the air around them. She held her girl tight, continuing to whisper reassurances and shushing her gently while they waited. When Tipsy reappeared, Alecto gently guided the pain potion to her daughters lips as she helped her girl drink it down, massaging the girls throat to help her swallow.

"Thats a good girl sweetheart, it'll begin working in a moment and then we can have a little chat about why you're so upset" she murmured soothingly as she brought Hermione's head back into her neck. She rubbed her back in slow, firm circles and felt herself letting out a relieved breath when she felt her daughters muscles begin to relax in her arms, Hermiones arms coming up from her previous position of clutching Alecto's shirt to resting gently but firmly around her neck.

"Thats it mama's got you sweet girl, just relax now" she soothed as she looked over at Tipsy, she nodded slightly at the house elf, silently prompting the little elf to go and inform her husband and the Black sister's of what had happened and reassure them that Hermione was calming.

They sat quietly for a few minutes once Tipsy had dissapeared. Alecto listening to her girls breathing begin to slow and turn steady. She knew once Hermiome was calm enough they would have to talk about what had happened. She knew her girl would have questions, that this moment they were sharing didnnot mean that Hermione was ready to trust them and listen to the truth but it was a step forward, a step in the right direction and for the moment, while Hermione was so willing to cling to her, Alecto was content to let her girl calm and compose herself nestled safely in her arms, right where she belonged.

Chapter Text

Hermione let herself be soothed by the woman holding her. The scent of her mother enveloped her, calming her racing heart and strangely enough calming the whirlwind of emotions and questions buzzing through her mind. She couldn't remember a time she had felt so safe, so content as she was in that moment. Despite not knowing much about this woman who was her mother, everything about her screamed safety to Hermione. From her smell to the strong arms that held her so tightly as if they meant to keep her from all harm. She didnt expect this level of kindness from the death eater, whether she was her mother or not. The loving way in which she was being held contradicted everything she had been led to believe about them, which only added to the endless list of questions she had.

As if she had read her mind, Alecto chose that moment to speak up for the first time in several long moments. "We aren't what they say we are little dove" she whispered, caressing the back of Hermione's head lovingly, stroking the brown curly locks and tucking them behind her ear. At her mothers voice Hermione tilted her head to the side and up to look at her mothers face, making sure to still keep the side of her face pressed against her mothers shoulder, despite her curiosity she still wasn't ready to lose the soothing contact she currently had with this woman.

Her mother looked down at her, smiling softly as her gentle eyes connected with Hermione's own and she found herself studying her mothers eyes intently, trying to find any indication that she was lying or trying to trick Hermione into trusting them. Instead all Hermione found within her mothers eyes was a serene sort of calm honesty as if her statement was merely a fact that she wanted to make Hermione aware of rather than any sort of trick or ploy.

Not having the strength at that moment to verbally respond Hermione nodded her head slightly, acknowledging that she had heard her mothers words. If she were honest they made sense. Her observations since waking up in this room had all been pointing to that truth. She wasn't certain to what degree she had been led to believe wrong about them. She still wasn't sure about the other deatheaters or her father but something within her, a very large something told her that this woman here, her mama wouldn't ever hurt her, that she was safe with this woman and that she wouldn't lie to her.

"I know you must be confused, we did kind of tare your world apart but I promise you Hermione this is were you belong, it's always been where you belong" Alecto continued seeing that she had her daughters full attention.

"Your father and I never stopped hoping to find you, its what took him so long to come back, he could have in your first year at Hogwarts but he didn't want to come back without knowing where you were, eventually he realised he could search better for you with a physical form. He broke me out of Azkaban and we have been searching ever since" she continued, running her hand across her daughters face, mapping the skin as if she hoped to memorise every detail of this moment.

Turning her face into the hand on her cheek, Hermione closed her eyes, savouring the closeness she felt with the woman holding her. She couldn't deny that it felt more than good to be held so tenderly by someone who clearly loved her, by the mother that should have been able to hold her every day of her life. At that thought she felt a spark of anger ignite deep in the pit of her stomach and with it she found her voice, hoarse from her earlier sobbing. "What happened mama, I dont remember anything apart from seeing you sobbing on the floor as I screamed for you, someone was holding me too tight and I couldnt get away, I remember fighting so hard to get to you or Pa but he wasn't there and I couldnt get out of the arms, they were hurting me but they wouldn't let go" she whispered, looking back up at her mother. Alecto's eyes flashed as she looked down at her girl, seeing the agony and confusion so clearly on her child's face brought back her anger, she pulled her daughter in tighter to her chest and rested her cheek on her girls forehead.

"I'll tell you, but this is one of the things your father warned you, you may not be willing to believe right now" Alecto whispered, trying to prepare herself for what she was about to say. She hated reliving that night, she had only forced herself to relive it once, fourteen years ago when Tom's soul had found its way into her cell in Azkaban. She had ended up sobbing then and didn't want the sake to happen now, she had to be strong for her girl, it would not help Hermione to see her mother break down. The girl may not have known she was hers for long but already Alecto could feel their bond repairing itself. Her daughter would not have calmed so quickly nor chose to remain curled up in her lap if she did not trust Alecto to some degree.

"This war has been going on longer than you've been alive, but not for the reasons you've been told. I do not think I am best to tell you the true reasons, that is something your father wishes to do but the basics I can tell you." Alecto began, starting to rock her daughter again as she spoke.

"The war has always been your father against Dumbledore. He will tell you the reasons but they aren't what you have been told. We do not despise muggles or muggle-borns. But Albus did not agree with your fathers views and began targeting him, twisting your father's beliefs and turning the wizarding world against your father, painting him as evil, hence he created the light side, branding your father a dark wizard. When we married we did so in the muggle world. He was aware that if albus were to find out we were wed I too would become a target. It was for the sake reason we kept your birth a secret and it stayed that way for the first two years of your life. We were happy. Really happy. You were loved so much Hermione. Your father doted on you, he wanted nothing more than to be the best father to you he could be, he wanted to ensure he never made you feel the way his own father did" she paused allowing her daughter to process her words. She could see the wheels turning inside her daughters mind, picking apart her wordsnand placing them back together when they made sense.

Hermione on her part listened intently, keen to hear what her mother was saying, she could see the raw honesty in her mothers eyes, hear the love in her voice with every word she spoke, felt the love in the way she was held and rocked so tenderly as if she were the most precious thing in the world. It was strange for her, feeling so much for someone she had just met, especially having never experienced such effection from her muggle parents.

"Some of Dumbledore's supporters saw you one day when they came to the house to target your father. They escaped before we could oblivious them of the memory of you and your father went after them, terrified they would get word to Albus. He did not want to risk your safety or mine so he took his most loyal and followed them - the Potters to the the Longbottom House. He left Bellatrix and Rudulphus there to deal with them, to see if they had alerted anyone and erase their memories of the Potters telling them of you and I. He didn't know they had already sent a patronus to Albus with our location and who we were. While he was out tracking them Dumbledore appeared at our Manor, he had a group of Aurors with him including Alistair Moody and Remus Lupin. Albus stunned and bound me before I could react and had them detain me. He went and took you from your crib in your nursery. He told me in not so many words that he would kill you as the world was better off without his spawn" Hermione heard her mothers voice catch in her throat the more she spoke, the pain in her tone had Hermione feeling completely heartbroken, part of her not at all okay with seeing her mother in so much pain. She burried herself closer into her mothers neck, nuzzling her mother instinctively. Alecto paused again, releasing more pheromones in response to her daughters clear distress at her upset. She did not want her daughter worrying for her right now but appreciated the tender attempt at comforting her all the same. It warmed her heart to see that already her daughter was showing signs of caring about her too. She loved Hermione so much that all she longed for was moments like this. To be able to hold her daughter close and bask in the love she felt for her.

"The Potters?" Hermione whispered quietly, failing to hide the hesitance and upset in speaking their name. That was Harry's parents. His parents were responsible for her kidnapping? They were the ones to alert Dumbledore? The order members had taken her from a home with parents that clearly loved her and placed her in a miggle home, with muggle parents that clearly did not have the time nor patience to offer Hermione the love and care that this woman was showing her? Her head spun with the new information and again she felt the sharp pain of that thing inside her trying to let lose. She gasped and winced, tightening her grip on her mother as she let out anquiet whimper.

Automatically Alecto's eyes were again on her daughter, studying her intently and Hermione watched what appeared to be understanding dawn across her mothers face while she was studied. Whatever was hurting her so much, whatever was struggling to get free Alecto, her mother seemed to know what it was.

"Mama?" She stated in a whimper, it was meant as a plea for help, for her to take the sharp pain away but it came out more as a question. The desperation in her voice clearly evident if the way Alecto wrapped her up tighter in her arms was anything to go by.

"Hush little dove its nothing to worry about but if you want the answer its going to be more information you may struggle to understand" Alecto whispered, waiting for Hermione's nod of understanding before she continued.

"I had hoped that we would have more time to discuss this with you, to teach you but if how much pain you are in is any indication we don't have much time before it happens with or without you knowing but every witch and wizard has another side called their dynamic. Around their sixteenth birthday their dynamic makes itself known that is the pain you are feeling little dove. It doesn't usually hurt so much but Albus being Albus has been putting suppressants in the food at Hogwarts for years to stop you young ones presenting around your sixteenth birthday. He claims its an evil that needs to be rid. His hope is that if he suppresses your dynamic long enough you will never present. Obviously that is not the case because your dynamic is just fighting to set itself free. You are almost sixteen, that is nearly four years he has been  trying to stop your presentation and the longer it is suppressed the more painful it will become." She explained, struggling to find the words that will allow her child to understand.

"Dynamic? What do you mean?" Hermione eventually asked as she digested her mothers explanation. It was quite accurate in describing how painful it was becoming, whatever it was. She had been suffering more and more over the last year and she did feel like something was struggling to free itself but she still had no clue what it was exactly.

Alecto smiled rather sheepishly, aware that she hadn't really given her daughter the full answer she just didn't know how to explain it properly. Flicking her wrist she silently summoned a book into her hand and offered it to her daughter "I'll give you this book to read. It explains dynamics, what they are and what it means for each dynamic. I can tell you, from your scent alone I can tell when you do present, which we will need to force soon little dove or it'll just keep hurting, you will be an Omega. Like me, little dove. I want you to read it and if you have any questions I will answer as best I can. But before I go, take the calming drought it will help keep you calm and therefore stop stress exacerbating the pain. The more upset you are the more your dynamic will fight to free itself." Alecto explained, smiling gently at the grimace adorning her child's face. She could tell that the news of another side of her being denied to her hadn't gone over well with Hermione. She could see the anger and confusion dancing behind her little girls honey brown eyes.

Without a word Hermione stood slowly, walking over to the dresser and picking up the calming drought that sat atop it. She swallowed the potion back quickly before turning and placing herself on the bed against the pillows, pulling the book on to her lap. As Alecto stood and got ready to call Tipsy back to take her to Tom her daughters hesitant voice stopped her.

"Can.. can you stay... please mama... I.. I dont want to be alone right now" she whispered and internally winced at herself. Since when was she comfortable showing such vulnerability with a  stranger? Because despite being her mother, she was still a stranger. Hermione wasn't ever vulnerable to her friends let alone a stranger. There had only been one witch she had willingly been vulnerable too and that was her head of house Professor McGonagall. The womans deep care of all her students had allowed Hermione to feel safe enough to show how much she was not coping with the death of her parents earlier that year. McGonagall had stayed in Hogsmead with Hermione during the summer to ensure she wasn't left alone and had access to an adult if she needed anything. It had deeply touched Hermione. It was one of the reasons she had formed the student alliance when Umbridge had attacked their professor because despite the fact that she had never outwardly expressed it or confirmed it, Minerva held a special place in her heart and always would do.

Hearing the vulnerability in her child's voice pulled at Alecto's instincts, her Omega desperate to soothe her child and nurture the bond that was forming before their very eyes.

"Of course little dove" she replied instantly, smiling brightly as she sat herself beside Hermione, pulling the girls back into her chest so she could rest against her. Arks wrapping round the girls waist as she guided her head back against her shoulder, allowing the little witch to curl up and get comfy as she opened the book to read.

---

~~Alpha, Beta, Omega: fact vs fiction

The true natures of a witch or wizard is not at all as complex as one may believe. The very nature of each individual is displayed or presented as one of three dynamics. An Alpha, A Beta or an Omega. Historically Alpha's were said to be natural leaders and much more powerful than their Beta or Omega counterparts. However this is not complete truth.

Alpha's although much more dominant in terms of their personalities (particularly in the bedroom) their is no proof that they are inheritance more powerful than any of the other natures. Alpha's are protective, loyal and typically care for their partner (or partners) displaying these traits they can come across as quite dominant and controlling however a good Alpha never abuses their partners nor will they ever control them. They like to build their relationships on mutual trust and respect but are typically quick to protect their mates. They can be possessive and jealous but are extremely loving.

Beta's are a sort of middle ground between Alpha's and Omega's. They like to follow the lead of an alpha. It is not usual for a group of Beta's to pick an Alpha they deem most worthy and follow them in both morality and values. They have a typical pack mentality and look to Alpha's for guidance. Once a Beta has picked an Alpha to follow it is extremely difficult and rare to get them to go against said Alpha. Beta's are also less magically gifted than Omega's and Alpha's. It is unknown why but guesses have been made about their eagerness to follow being a result of not holding particularly strong magic.

Omega's are rare. There are very few Omega's born to each generation. They are often coveted and sought after. Stereotypically they are seen as submissive, calm and timid. Or that is what a few historical tyrannical Alpha's have painted Omega's as. In reality they are just as fierce and protective of their own as an Alpha is, however they typically display this in a much gentler manner than an Alpha. Instead of possessive dominant characteristics Omegas bide their time, they're typically more cunning and excel in planning and strategy. They are loving and gentle whenever they are not threatened or feeling as if they need to protect others but should come with a warning label. They should not be underestimated, especially when it comes to their children. An Omega would rather die than allow any harm to come to their child or children. If an Omega were to lose a child the pain they would feel is excruciating, Omegas who lose a child never recover from the loss.~~

Hermione took a breath, looking up at her mother curiously. As Alecto gazed back, Hermione allowed the words to roll through her mind. She kept her self grounded by basking in the steady beat of her mothers heart and the absolute adoration she could see shinning in her mothers eyes as she compared what she had just learned to the adults she knew. Dumbledore seemed to be an Alpha based from the way he was followed and looked up too. Most of her professors seemed to be Beta's. They followed, they didn't question Dumbledore's rule, all except maybe McGonagall. Was that why she was so quiet unless one of her students were in danger? Was she an Omega? Hermione could recall how quickly the woman had come to her aid when she started sobbing in her professors office last year. The way the woman had held her close as if she were attempting to hold Hermione together, safe from all danger. She wondered how McGonagall was reacting to the news that Hermione was gone. Was she plotting? Distraught? Did she know what had happened? She didn't know but couldn't help wishing there was a way she could let her know that Hermione was okay.

"What are you thinking so hard about sweetheart?" Her mothers voice was soft, as if attempting not to startle her as it brought her out of her own head.

She smiled softly in response as she shook her head and went back to reading the book in her lap.

~~Mates vs True mates

Within the dynamics only those of Alpha or Omega status have the potential for true mates. Beta's and most Alpha's can choose and claim their own mates. They usually choose those they find most compatible with themselves but like any relationship they can choose to leave the relationship if they so wish.
Omega's are the only dynamic that have a guaranteed true mate. Not dissimilar to a soulmate in muggle terminology. An Omega's true mate (or mates in the case of siblings, see sibling bonds for a more in depth explonation) can only be an Alpha and vice versa and while no one knows why this is, there have never been any recordings of an Omega having a Beta as a true mate or an Alpha having a Beta as a true mate. Due to the rarity of Omega's not all Alpha's have a true mate. ~~

That was interesting for Hermione. If she were an Omega she had a soulmate? She wasn't sure how to feel about that, she didnt like the idea of having to deal with a possessive partner or one who felt that she should submit to them. She had never been nor would she ever be the submissive sort. She was far too opinionated and stubborn. She snorted in amusement and blushed quickly when her mother gave her a confused look, obviously wondering what had amused her.

"Sorry mama, just learning that I have a soulmate is rather amusing. I am most definitely not the submissive type. Far too opinionated and stubborn" she explained with a shrug of her shoulders as she smiled and hid a giggle when her mother burst out laughing in response.

"Merlin little dove you are far too like me for your own good. I as you may have guessed am not the submissive type either. Some Omega's are but your mate little dove will literally be the perfect reflection of you. A match if you will in every way, they probably would not except any less than your stubborn opinionated self but I warn you, they will have fun correcting your attitude if you need it" she laughed playfully, pinching her daughters cheek gently. Alecto didn't have the guts to tell her child right now that they suspected she didnt just have one mate but three. The black sisters no less. She knew that information would completely overwhelm Hermione and felt it best to let the girl find out for herself. Once she presented the scent of her mates would be recognised by her as soon as she met them and her by them. Their bonds would almost be instant. She wouldn't have the worry or the fear that knowing in advance would no doubt cause her girl. Alecto was well aware of Bellatrix's reputation and she saw no need to alarm her child with the revelation that she was possibly mated to the most feared death eater in the world.

"Keep reading little dove, you need to learn about heats, ruts and physically presentation of the dynamics" she gently instructed. Quietly calling for Tipsy and instructing the little elf to let Tom and the sisters know that Hermione was much calmer but Alecto would be staying with her for the time being.

Settling down again she rested her chin on her daughters head and began humming quietly. Content to stay with her child and answer any questions she may have.

----

Hermione found herself waking to bright light streaming through her window. Recalling the conversation with her mother and Alecto giving her the book, she guessed she had fallen asleep while she had been reading. She could still feel her mothers arms wrapped around her, holding her gently. The soothing smell of forest and vanilla surrounding her.

The quiet murmur of voices pulling her out of her sleep and to a more alert state. She could feel her mother speak more than she could hear her words, which were quiet and soft spoken and despite the fact that Hermione really did not like the idea that someone else was in her room she could not muster the energy quite yet to panic or protest as she realised her mother must have held her all through the night. So instead she remained still, keeping her breathing even as she listened to the conversation around her.

"Lex I know she doesn't know everything, I know she's incredibly smart and loving but it doesn't change the fact that she thinks I'm evil. Since entering this world he has convinced her and her friends im to be feared, that I am a horrible person. What if she cannot see past that image she has of me. What if she can't feel anything for me but hate. He took her from us, he gave her to muggles and brainwashed her into following him all so he could use her against me. I'm terrified, what do I do? I cannot lose her again but I will not force her to love or care for me" the man's voice was barely a whisper but Hermione could hear the pain behind his words and it wasn't hard for her to figure out that the voice must belong to her father.

"She will not hate you forever. Just look at her Tom, she's at peace, she's letting me in. Trusting me. She can let you in too. She just might need time to see the truth" her mother soothed, her voice filled with conviction and Hermione couldn't help but smile inwardly at the clear love her parents had for each other, it was something that her muggle parents did not have, no matter how much she wished they had loved each other so completely while she was growing up.

She heard the man - her father sigh tiredly and the slight shuffle of robes as he adjusted his position.

"She's everything Alecto. Everything we ever dreamed off and he took her. He took my baby and now she's nearly all grown. She doesn't need me but I need her. I need to know her, I need her to know that I love her. That I'm not the man she's been told I am. That I don't believe these twisted things that man has been spinning that I do" he replied sounding slightly calmer this time.

Feeling like she could no longer stay quiet with the way her heart was squeezing painfully at the clear pain in her fathers voice Hermione opened her eyes, automatically resting her gaze on a tall, slim man sitting by her bedside on her dressing table chair. His hair was short but curly brown like hers was and his eyes were a soft brown. Not quite her colour but similar to her own honey brown.

She couldn't help but smile when his eyes widened comically at seeing she was awake. She spoke up, trying to put him at ease. She may not be ready to welcome him with open arms but she didnt and couldnt have him believe she hated him.

"I heard father" she whispered quietly looking him in the eye. "I do not hate you but nor am I ready to welcome you into my life with open arms. There is still so much I need to know first about the war. About you. About the Potters and the Longbottoms. Harry and Neville are two of my closest friends and I will not betray them" she spoke clearly, hoping that he could understand how muchbshe meant what she was saying. She was willing to hear him out but she would not endanger her friends.

Alecto chose to stay quiet, silently observing her husband and child's first interaction. She couldn't help but feel proud of Hermione for her display of maturity. She was offering Tom the olive branch he graved but still holding firm to her beliefs and protecting those she loved. She was becoming more and more convinced each second that her daughter truly was an Omega.

"I understand Hermione. I will not ask you to endanger your friends nor will they come to any harm by my hand. I give you my word" he replied honestly, smiling greatfully.

Speaking up for the first time Alecto interjected. "Perhaps we can bench the serious talk momentarily. Hermione why don't you get dressed for the day and the three of us take this conversation and breakfast on the Manor grounds hmm?" She asked gently, beaming down at her little girl as the brunette nodded in agreement. She pressed a kiss to her daughters hair before releasing her. Letting her go for the moment so she could go and change in peace before rejoining them. This conversation was going to be a long one and she would much prefer that both her child and husband had enough to eat to sustain them while they spoke. She smiled reassuringly at Tom before standing. Once Hermione reentered the room, dressed in another set of muggle clothing Alecto took her hand, guiding her out the room and down a long corridor towards the stairs and the awaiting conversation.

Chapter Text

Minerva McGonagall sat at her desk silently, deep in thought. Her class papers long forgotten as she lost herself within her own mind. Allowijg herself a rare moment to be completely honest with her thoughts. Albus was at the ministry today and therefore couldn't chastise her or threaten her again for what she truly thought and felt.

Right now she could not tare her thoughts away from her missing cub. Hermione had been a delight from the moment Minerva had met her and the little bookworm had quickly found a home in the older womans heart. The girl was incredibly smart, brave, intelligent, sharp witted, loyal to a fault and opinionated. She reminded Minerva of herself and had captured her in a way that only one other student ever had. Bellatrix Black.

She knew she usually was a stoic witch, detached and unemotional to most but that was by design. Minerva didn't let herself get attached for the very reason she was facing now. Anyone she had ever loved had been taken from her. Her mother, her father, her brother. Her mate. So she had locked her heart up tight until Bellatrix cake along and she couldn't help but love the witch as if she were her own child but then she had lost her when the girl had left Hogwarts. Albus had forbid her from keeping in touch, claiming that Bellatrix was a lost cause, too tainted by darkness and the evil Tom Riddle was teaching his followers. She didnt believe him. Still didn't but she knew if she had went against his wishes Albus would have harmed the students that she fought so hard to protect and she couldn't risk them. Not for anyone because it was all she had.

So for years she pushed down her yearning to go to the witch, refused to let herself feel anything other than the cold indifference she wore as a mask. Then Hermione came along and the little witch was such a vibrant force that Minerva found all her walls crumbling down around her, rapidly, without her consent.  Now the girl had been kidnapped by the only other witch to have ever broke down her defences. Part of Minerva was terrified for Hermione's safety after all it was hard not to when taking in Bellatrix's reputation for insanity,  torture and pain. The witches favourite curse was the cruciatus for Merlins sake. She had tortured the Longbottoms into insanity. But the other part of Minerva, the part that had always considered Bellatrix her child did not agree with the rumours about the witch. She reasoned with herself. Bellatrix had been the brightest witch of her age and had always been thoughtful and kind around Minerva, she would not mindlessly harm, not without good reason. Nor would she willingly follow a mad man. Whatever Tom Riddle offered Bellatrix for her loyalty it wasn't mindless slaughter and violence. Therefore she couldn't help but hope that Albus proclaiming Hermione was probably dead was a load of hippogrifs dung told by the manipulative old man as a way to hurt her and control the other two thirds of the golden trio. After all if they thought Bellatrix had murdered their best friend they'd be more motivated than ever for the coming war wouldn't they?

Not for the first time she wondered what both sides were truly fighting for. She knew Albus hadn't told her the full truth or he wouldn't feel the need to threaten her into compliance. Alpha or not he wasn't a good man. She knew that, she just didn't know how to do anything about that.

Making a snap decision she decided that with the coming war she would not be fighting for a side she didnt know the true intentions for. For the first time in over eighteen years she decided that she would take a chance while she could and reach out to Bellatrix. Maybe she could find out the truth and help Hermione, wherever the little witch was.

She just hoped she had enough time between now and Albus arriving back at the castle to write her letter and get Dobby to send it.

----

Hermione chose to sit tucked up against her mother on the porch swing infront of her father, choosing to stay close to her mama, knowing that this conversation more than likely will not be an easy one. She knew she most likely would not like everything he has to say one way or another.

"Hermione, before I start what exactly have you been told about what I believe in?" Tom began, looking at her apprehensively. Seeing the concern and fear on his face Hermione could feel her heart ache at the clear display of his vulnerability. She could see how hard he was trying to remain stoic, polite and detached from her, obviously afraid of her rejection and as much as she was uncertain of his views she could feel her need to reassure him that she would not reject him bubbling up under the surface of her skin. It was hard for her to reconcil the man she could see before her with the evil, power hungry dictator that the rest of the wizarding world has painted him to be and not for the first time she felt as if they had all been misled in their beliefs. Despite the need to reassure him she felt honesty was the best way forward so she forced herself to take a deep breath to centre herself before looking back at him.

"We don't know much. Its not something that's talked about, nor is it something we are encouraged to educate ourselves on. The basics is all we've been told. That you are a half blood Orphan that Albus took under his wing. You began seeking power, using darker and darker magic until eventually it corrupted you. You became blinded by the belief that purebloods were superior to muggle-borns and half bloods. You recruited purebloods to join your cause, torturing and killing muggle-borns and any who sympathised with them until the night you tracked down the Potters because of the prophecy about him being the one with the power to stop you. You murdered Harry's parents when they tried to stop you harming him, Your killing curse rebounded from Harry, destroying your body and scaring Harry. You didnt have enough strength in your ethereal form to reestablish a body or control so you sought ways to return. Eventually doing so last year using an extremely dark ritual using Harry's blood. Ever since you have been building your followers and your strength, planning to take over the ministry and the country to enact your pureblood prejudices and eradicate muggle-borns. We know nothing else, though I've always suspected Dumbledore was less than entirely honest with us, Harry is suspicious too. If what they said was comllete truth then Bellatrix would have killed me back at the ministry. Whether I am pureblood or not I was raised in the muggle world, I do not believe in the blood caste nor in one blood type being superior to others. I've spent the last five years deliberately contradicting pureblood beliefs, challenging anyone that would attempt to look down on me for my blood status. That alone would have me killed if Dumbledores words are to be believed. I want you to know that I do not blindly believe what has been told to me. I will not dismiss you on the words of others. Whether I knew it or not you are my father and you deserve a chance." She replied, her tone clipped and unemotional. Trying her best to remain calm and not show that already she had began to realise just how wrong the information she had been fed truly was. The entire time she spoke she had watched her father closely, watching his reaction to her words and if it wasn't for the steady soothing presence of her mothers arm draped over her shoulders, grounding her she knew she would not have been able to keep her composure when she noticed the barely concealed fury, hurt and hope swirling in her fathers eyes.

"Merlin, you are so misinformed little dove" Alecto whispered tightening her grip on her daughter.

"I knew he was twisting things but I didnt realise it was so bad. Maybe its time we stepped up the public information" Tom sighed before offering his daughter a hesitant smile. "I am in no way for the blood caste. Our whole movement is about eliminating the prejudices and lessening the gaps between blood groups so their isn't a difference. Around half my followers are muggle-born Hermione. I will not lie to you about who I am, I can be a firm leader. I dont take kindly to disloyalty and I have killed but I do not kill or harm meaninglessly. Any in my circle that express prejudice against muggle-borns have been dealt with severely. Once spotted they are removed from my following." He began trying to think how best to word the information for his child. He did not want to overwhelm her but did not want her walking around knowing half truths.

Hermione stayed quiet for a long moments, digesting her fathers words. It was a massive surprise to her that the death eaters were against the blood caste and the prejudices she had been forced to fight against since she was eleven years old. It brought about the question though as to why Albus would have misinformed them so grossly. Was it a tactic to keep people from discovering the truth behind the war? What was that truth? How if half her fathers followers were muggle-born did Albus get a way with preaching such nonsense.

"What is the true reason for this war? He told us its about the blood caste. If it isn't then why are both sides so at odds?" She asked, curiosity and anger lacing her tone. She was really becoming so very fed up with all the deciet around her.

"That is the right question. Albus has the ministry in his pocket. Slowly but surely over the last fifty years he has been banning magic. Eradocating out old ways, the traditions that we have held for thousands of years. Since the time of Morganna and Merlin. Eradicating the most powerful if magics by outlawing them, convincing people that it was dark evil magic in order to control the wizarding world. I spoke out about it more than twenty years ago. Albus saw me as a threat and began branding me to what it is believed I am today. Things started off as peaceful protests on our side until Albus and the ministry started attacking, trying to imprison my followers. It escalated from there. Eventually we realised that if we were to survive and protect our ways of life we would have to fight." Hermione could see the conviction in her fathers eyes, the determination to protect what had been theirs for centuries. But she could also see the tiredness. It was deep seated in his eyes and she had no doubt that it was a side affect of many days and night of worry.

"And dynamics? Why do we know nothing of this? It isn't taught. It isn't spoke about. I went to Molly Weasley when the pain first started. Harry and Ron too and she completely brushed us off, she wouldn't tell us anything. McGonagall was the same though she looked more pained at not telling us something" Hermione enquired, willing to keep powering through the conversation. She would have questions, especially about the traditions but she would save them for later, sensing her fathers weariness. She didn't know how wizarding binds worked but she already felt a deep need to reassure him, she would not add to his distress by questioning what he was telling her right now.

"That is something we don't understand his motivation behind though we do know he's threatened a good deal of the families in the light side into keeping quiet about dynamics. I believe he thinks if you do not present then the next generation will be easier to control. He didn't think about any pain or side affects of him suppressing part of your natures" it was Alecto who answered this one and Hermione could hear the anger in her tone and she didnt need to think very hard about why. If the information about Omega's she had read was correct and based on what she had seen so far from her mother the very idea that anyone would cause Hermione pain was something that infuriated her mother. Her every instinct wanting her to protect her child at any cost. Including ensuring that no one caused her harm. In response Hermione lay her head on her mothers shoulder, nuzzling her nose against her mothers neck to soothe her. She knew it had worked when her mother sighed and pulled her onto her lap. Wrapping a protective arm around Hermione's waist and pulling her in tightly.

Hermione chuckled quietly when her father caught her eye and winked st her mothers actions. She rolled her eyes playfully but settled herself back in her mothers arms anyway. Content to let her mother show that she cared in such a way.

Sobering herself up she cast a serious look at her father and could see the man straightening up in response, clearly sensing that Hermione was about to bring up something that was equally difficult to talk about as it was important.

"Tell me what happened that night. With the Potters and the Longbottoms" it was a request but all three could sense that this was probably the most important part of their conversation. It was probably what would make or break Hermione's loyalty.

"Merlin" her father muttered quietly, his eyes turning far off. "The Potters dropped into the Manor. Both were aurors and had been sent by albus to do a surprise inspection. We had no clue they were coming and because of that they caught sight of you. You ran up to me shouting dada, obviously spooked when you saw the two strangers appear. Alecto came into the room to see what had you upset. She had heard your shouting from the other room. They saw her take you from my arms and comfort you as she walked you out of their sight. Usually they would taunt me about what they my possibly find in my home, that day they began taunting me about you. About how I had to enjoy fatherhood while I still could because the moment the order heard my child would be as good as dead. I held my tongue. Didnt want to give them any reason to take you away" he paused taking a deep breathe to calm the upset that had bled through his voice as he spoke. Hermione gripped her mothers arms in response, wanting to go to him but not allowing herself to do so until she knew what really happened that night. Alecto brought her hand up to Hermione's head, beginning to stroke through her daughters long hair in an attempt to comfort and reassure her. She didnt need words or the increasing scent of distressed Omega to understand the dilemma her girl was facing. She could tell how badly she was fighting with herself. She wouldn't understand the reaction, not fully until she actually presented. But her dynamic would be recognising her father and Alpha. The Omega side of her would be warring with the moral side if her brain, wanting to soothe her upset father but her moral and logic would be rebelling until she knew the truth.

"Once they left we decided we needed to erase their memories of you. I gathered my closest followers. Bellatrix, Rudulphus, and your uncle Amycus to follow them. We tracked them to the Longbottom House and Bellatrix and Rudulphus stayed behind to see what they knew and erase their memories if need be. Amycus and I followed the Potters. We don't know how but somehow they managed to get word to Albus. By the time we arrived Albus was waiting at the Potters along with Sirius Black and Young Harry. Sirius automatically started throwing curses at Amycus. While Albus and the Potters started on me. I deflected three killing curses and they bounced back. Hitting Lilly and James. The third hit Harry and when I saw where it would land I felt part of me cry out. I did not want the child to be harmed. He wasn't much younger than you and I would never, Hermione, never harm a child. At that moment I felt part of myself split attaching itself to Harry. I think my magic was trying to save the boy. Before I could react Albus threw another killing curse at me. Both hit Harry and I at the same time. For a time all I knew was darkness. The next thing I knew I woke up without my body. It was just completely gone. But I was conscious and could float around. I went straight home and when I saw the destruction of our Manor I knew. I knew he had come for you and Alecto" his voice broke and Hermione could see the tears filling his eyes.

"I did not mean for anyone to die, I especially did not want the boy harmed. I didnt know what happened at the Longbottoms and didn't want to. Once I realised you and Alecto were gone all I felt was grief. It consumed me. It took years of mindless searching to calm myself enough to start planning how I could reestablish my body to look for you properly" his words were a whisper as the tears finally began falling down his face and Hermione couldn't stop her reaction this time. She launched herself at her father. Wrapping her arms around his neck tightly as she burried her head against his chest. Silent sobs wracking her body as they held each other tightly. Toms reaction was instant as his arms wrapped around her and he burried his face in her long curls. Taking in the moment, allowing himself to openly grieve the time he had been forced to miss his child. Now that she was here and in his arms, willingly holding onto him as if he were her lifeline he never wanted to let her go.

"I'm here dad, I'm here and I'm not going to leave you. No one will ever take me away from you or mama again" she whispered as she pulled back enough to look at him. "I'm right here" she repeated, looking him in the eye. Once she made eye contact she felt a presence pushing at her occlumency shields and laughed quietly, shaking her head and concentrating enough to gently push her father out of her mind.

"If you want to know what is going on inside my brain father all you have to do is ask. I'm not the brightest witch of my age for nothing you know" she giggled and readjusted herself on her fathers lap when she felt her mother sit on her fathers knee behind her. She relaxed back into her mothers chest and smiled cheekily at her father. She could feel her mother laughing behind her as her father smiled apologetically at her.

"Yes Bellatrix did say your occlumency was impeccable" he murmured. "Why did you feel the need to learn?" He asked curiously, eager to know more about his child since he couldn't find out by simply reading her mind.

"I found a book on mind magic the summer between my first and second years. I like learning and none of the first second or third year material was enough of a challenge for me so I bought it and practiced all summer. Second year I was glad I did when Albus asked about my occlumency shields. I hadn't realised till then that he had been using leglimens on Harry, Ron and I without us knowing the previous year and was trying to again. I've never felt comfortable around him so it was a relief to know that I had learned enough to at least protect my mind from unknown attacks and keep him out. I began teaching my friends. They aren't the best but they know enough to protect what matters" she shuddered lightly as she finished her explination, even now it made her extremely uncomfortable to know that her head master had been so greviously invading their minds.

She smiled bashfully as her father cupped her cheeks in his palms, smiling proudly at her. "You're a wonder my girl" he stated, kissing her forehead lovingly. Before they got a chance to continue talking or to bask in the moment they were all startled by the pop of apiration as Bellatrix, Narcissa, Andromeda and an extremely anxious looking Dobby appeared infront of them.

 

----
Walking in the garden arm in arm with her sisters, Bellatrix felt a calm seep into her. Settling her unrest for the moment. Ever since she had caught sight of Hermione she had been restless, keen to see the girl again. To hold her as close as she had that night in the department of mysteries. She felt such longing that it was almost painful. She knew her sisters felt the same way. Andromeda had expressed that it was the feeling she was left with everytime she had been in Hermione's presence since meeting her in her second year.

She could see Hermione out the corner of her eye settling down on the porch swing with Alecto. Bellatrix was ecstatic to see just how at ease the girl looked as she tucked herself in under the dark witches best friends arm. The two Riddle woman sharing a gentle smile before their attention turned to Tom who had taken a seat infront of them. She supposed Tom would be attempting to enlighten the girl to the true nature of the war and what exactly the supposed 'dark side' stood for. She could only hope it went well for him.

"They're a sight" murmured Narcissa as all three sisters took a seat under the large oak in the garden, facing the house.

"They are, I wonder how long it takes for Hermione to answer her father back or puck apart one of his arguements" Andromeda laughed quietly, her eyes sparkling in amusement.

"You make her sound opinionated sister" Bellatrix eyed her sister, half curious, half afraid of the answer. If the girl was theirs and was as opinionated as Andromeda was making her out to be then Bella was in trouble, she wasn't one to turn down a challenge, especially an intellectual one. She could imagine that she and the girl may end up in some heated debates in the future.

"Oh she is Bella and she's smart about it too. I haven't seen anyone win an argument against her in the entire time I have known her. She may even be able to hold her own against you and your quick whit dear sister" Andromeda laughed, smirking broadly as Bellatrix narrowed her eyes in response.

"We shall see" she replied curtly, turning her nose up in mock disgust trying and failing to hide just how much that thought excited her. It truly would be good to have a mate that would challenge her so. She strongly believed that their mate had to be strong willed, stubborn, intelligent and powerful to truly be able to hold her own against each of the Black sister's.

"Draco has expressed her brilliance from their first year right up to now. The whole school is outraged at her dissapearance. She has gained the respect of the entirety of Slytherin. I do believe she is well deserving of her title" Narcissa added, more thiughtful than teasing but still her eyes sparkled playfully.

"Brightest witch of her age indeed. Her magic is impressive for her age. It took Alecto and I five minutes to break through wards she had hastily thrown up at the ministry. Wards that far exceeded the expectation of a fifth year students abilities" Bellatrix added, steering the conversation to a more serious tone.

She wanted to have an honest discussion with her sisters. They needed to plan how to approach the little witch. Firstly to figure out if she were theirs and secondly because the girl was important to their family. She was Tom and Alecto's girl and therefore each of the Black sister's would give their life to protect her as they would their best friends. It only helped that Bella also felt so strongly for her already.

"She's impressive, beautiful and said to be the kindest little witch in her peer group, if she is ours I'd say we are either the luckiest witches alive or severely screwed" she continued. Eying both her sisters to gauge their reactions. Both looked thoughtful but excited as they continuously flicked their gazes towards the porch where the Riddle family sat.

"I think Andromeda should be the one to approach first. She knows Meda, already trusts her. Maybe it is the best way to get the girl to relax around us and let us in?" Suggested Narcissa finally, turning her gaze back to her sisters.

"That makes sense actually" Bella reluctantly agreed. Alecto had already warned her that she couldn't make any sort of move to claim the witch unless they gained her trust properly and got to know the girl which she could understand even respect but she didnt have to be happy about it. She'd like nothing more than just to claim their witch. Patience wasn't her strong point and she was already beyond restless at the obvious distrust between Hermione and her family.

Before much else could be discussed Dobby appeared infront of the three sisters, clutching a piece of parchment and looking far more nervous than he usually did. The dark witch could see the terror in his wide green eyes and automatically felt herself become more alert, preparing for some sort of disaster.

"What is it Dobby?" Narcissa was the first to respond to the elfs appearance. Sotting straighter and holding a hand out to the elf, silently indicating that he could approach.

"Dobby has a letter for Mistress Bellatrix but Dobby is also sorrys he has bad news" the little elf nervously replied, looking wearily at Bella.

The dark witch took the offered parchment and raised an eyebrow at the elf in question, slightly impatient at his hesitance.

"Well?" She finally stated, her impatience making itself known.

"Mr bad man Dumbledore wants Dobby to tell him where mistress Hermione is, Dobby doesn't want to but he is scared mr bad man will give him no choice. He wants to kills miss Hermione before she finds out the truth mistress" his words sent a jolt of fear through all three sisters. Andromeda scooping the elf up in her arms quickly before all three apparated infront of Tom, Alecto and Hermione, startling all three from their conversation.

Chapter Text

Seeing the distraught look on Dobbys face had Hermione reacting without much thought. Within seconds of registering his appearance alongside the Black sisters Hermione had launched herself out from between her parents and had Dobby out of Andromeda's arms, cradling him protectively to her chest as she examined him for any sign of injury.

"Dobby!" She exclaimed pulling him into a hug as soon as she had reassured herself that he was physically unharmed because Merlin she had missed him more than she thought possible. Everyone that knew Hermione knew that she had a massive soft spot for house elfs, especially if said house elf was named Dobby. He had been so loyal and protective over Hermione and her friends from the moment they had met him and ever since that had only grown into a deep friendship and love between them. Particularly between Hermione and Dobby after she had convinced Harry to trick Lucius Malfoy into freeing the little elf. She had hated the Malfoy man since the moment she found out he treated his elfs horribly and often abused them. It was this knowledge that kicked off her whole house elf rights campaign.

"Missy mione" the little elf choked out in response. His arms coming round her neck in a tight hug in response. His wide green eyes filling with tears. "Dobby has missed his friend" he continued as he beamed at her. Both completely unaware of the soft smiles aimed at them from the five onlookers around them on the porch.

"Merlin I missed you too. But what is wrong. Why are you so afraid little man?" She questioned bringing the attention back to her original concerns upon their arrival. She tightened her arms around him and gently rocked him in the hopes of soothing him as soon as she saw the distressed look overtake his features again.

"Dobby is a bad elfs, worrying his Hermione" his ears flattened in shame "but Dobby did not know what else to do. Bad man Dumbledores has asked Dobby to tell him where Missy Hermione is, he means to hurt missy hermione and dobby does not want to tells him but dobby is so very afraid missy Hermione, dobby fears that bad man Dumbledore will give Dobby no choice" his voice cracked as he rushed to explain, his small frame visibly shaking as his terror swam through him. Hermione feared for his health with how badly he was shaking and she automatically searched her brain for a solution.

"Dobby, how long ago did Albus send you out to find Hermione?" Alecto's voice was tense as she spoke and Hermione could tell her mother was fighting the urge to pull her back into the protective embrace of her arms.

"An hour ago but while Dobby searched Professor McGonagall called for Dobby. Gave Dobby a letter for mistress Bellatrix and sent Dobby here" the little elf replied matter of factly. Not taking his eyes of Hermione to acknowledge anyone else. He could see the thoughtful look on the young witches face and couldnt help but feel curious as to what she was thinking. She was such a clever little witch and always came up with solutions. He hoped desperately that she would again now. He loved her too much to be forced into helping anyone harm her.

"Dobby are you still free?" She eventually questioned. Studying the elf closely. She smiled in relief when he nodded in response. "Do you trust me?" She asked, continuing to think through her possible solution. "Of course missy Hermione" he replied, confusion written clearly on his little face.

"The mistress bond?" The voice of Bellatrix cut in to their conversation, approval lacing her tone, however Hermione barely spared her a glance much to Bella's frustration and the amusement of the other onlookers. Offering her a quick side glance and a cutting nod in answer.

"Really!!?" Dobbys voice was full of excitement. His eyes gleaming hopefully.

"if and only if it is something you would truly want Dobby but yes, it would protect you completely from him amd therefore protect my family and my location." She replied seriously. Narrowing her eyes at the elf to convey just how serious she was.

"Dobby would love nothing more. Miss Hermione is Dobbys bestfriend, Dobby would do anything for missy Hermione" he replied immediately, no signs of hesitance or uncertainty and he beamed at the brunette when she nodded in response.

"Mama your wand please?" She asked quietly. Turning to face her mother and father with her hand out and she couldn't help but roll her eyes at the hesitation behind her parents eyes.

"Please I'm not exactly going to run off now am I? You want me to trust you then you'll have to trust me too. We can start with this. You can give me my wand back at a later date. Besides I'm not exactly all that keen to run out of the safety of the wards and towards the mad man hoping to kill me" she stated dryly, smirking at her father when he raised an incredulous eyebrow at her, she raised her own in response. Silently challenging her father to disagree. When Alecto pulled her wand from her sleeve and offered it to her without a word she smiled victoriously, proud to have won that battle.

Turning back to Dobby she offered him her hand, palm up and she clasped her hand around his smaller one when he placed his own hand in hers.

Without further hesitance she raised the wand in her hand and began murmuring the binding spell softly. "Adiuro te mihi nunc et semper. Nunc et semper." Continuing until the soft glow that wrapped around their hands dissapitated and she felt the bond settle into place.

"As your mistress I herby forbid you from speaking off me to anyone outside of my prior approval. My location is never to be revealed and you will report back to me any and all relevant information that you feel I or my family need to know. You will not ever betray our secrets nor disobey a member of my family or our guests unless they are treating you unfairly or what they ask of you may result in injury to yourself or a member of my house. You will not ever serve anyone else unless I give you my consent to do so. Do you understand?" She stated firmly, hating to be so commanding over the little elf but knowing the bond would only ensure their safety if she commanded it so.

Dobby stood up straighter. His shoulders rising proudly as he looked his new mistress in the eye. Rising to the brunettes challenge. "As you wish mistress" he replied, smiling brightly at her. Hermione smiled back and pulled Dobby back into her, hugging him close. She kissed his forehead before pulling away and standing up. Moving back into her mother and fathers arms as she handed Alecto her wand back silently. Dobby dissapeared with a soft pop, content in his new role.

"I would say crisis overted but I am not nieve enough to believe that taking away his errand elf will stop him coming after you my girl" Tom sighed as he rested his chin on her shoulder.

"Any time Hermione leaves this Manor she is to be accompanied by at least two of you" he said addressing the Black sisters for the first time since they had appeared. Having got too caught up on watching the scene between his child and the elf to have really taken much notice of them.

"I am officially tasking the house of Black with the care and protection of my heir. She is far too important to leave unguarded. You will train her in fighting Bellatrix. Both Muggle and magical. Andromeda, Narcissa I want her kept up to date on her education. She should be able to slot back into her last year when it is time. Hopefully by then this war will be won and Albus will be dead" he commanded. Hermione was intrigued at the change in her father. It was clear he was speaking now as their lord and not as their friend but her intrigue did nothing to take away from the indignation of his insistence that she needed protecting. No matter how much she knew she wasn't infallible. Working to calm herself before she could start an argument with him infront of the Black sisters Hermione forced herself to breathe in deeply. Once. Twice before finally feeling the urge to rebel calm within her. She really was not used to anyone protecting her. The feeling was entirely strange and foreign to her but she knew her father was just trying to ensure he didn't lose her again so she would bare the over protectiveness. For his sake and the sale of her mother.

"I wholly think you are over reacting father. Yet oddly I wish to humour you. If only to keep mother from smothering me" she snarked only half serious. Glaring at Bellatrix as the dark witch cackled in response. She may have protected her at the ministry but that didn't mean she trusted the witch. She wanted to know what went down with the Longbottoms first before she would consider letting her guard down with the witch.

As if it had just registered in her mind her eyes snapped to Andromeda's and she couldn't help but smile in response to the playful wink and gentle smile the older witch sent her way. She had always felt drawn to Andy. She had taken comfort in the older witches presence on multiple occasions when things got too much with Albus, the order and Harry. Especially after her parents had died, although she had never let the older witch see her vulnerable or let her behind the walls she constructed around her heart to protect herself. Not like she had with McGonagall.

"Andy!" She said, her grin growing on her face when the older witch beckoned her with a crooked finger. She jumped up and right into Andromeda's arms. Laughing heartily when the witch spun her around. Squeeling when the woman hoisted her over her shoulders and began to tickle the backs of her knees. It had been a complete coincidence that the older witch had found out she was ticklish. She had once rested her hand on Hermione's knee in sympathy not long after her mothers death. Stroking her thumb over her skin, effectively tickling her and ever since whenever Andromeda had sensed that she was far too lost in her head, felt low or overwhelmed this is what she would do. Restrain her some way and tickle her until she gave in. Thinking about it the words she had to use to get Andromeda to stop made a lot more sense now that she knew about dynamics.

"Andy quit it you annoyance" she shouted as she tried to launch herself off of the witches shoulders but Andromeda held fast. Increasing the pace of her tickling.

"You know the drill little witch" she laughed in response. Stopping instantly and bringing Hermione to stand back on solid ground as soon as the gasping "okay okay I submit" came spluttering out of the little witches mouth. Hermione rolled her eyes at the womans victorious smirk but lent up on her tiptoes to press a kiss to her cheek effectionately. She was slightly startled when Andromeda's hands came up to grip her hips and the older witch pulled her into another hug. Tucking her face into Hermione's neck before releasing her.

Hermiome did not want to examine how her body had automatically wanted to bury herself against the witch as the same feeling of safety that she had experienced with Bellatrix at the ministry overtook her again when Andromeda had pulled her body against her. She couldn't help the slightly confused look that crossed her features as she backed away to sit with her parents again. Her confusion growing when she noticed the glares directed at Andromeda by Narcissa Black and Bellatrix. She wondered silently what that was about and raised a questioning eye brow at her mother. Alecto just smiled innocently and shook her head in response far from ready to broach that particular conversation with her daughter. Though judging by Hermione's reaction to Andromeda's subtle display of dominance she may need to have the conversation (just like every other conversation) much sooner than she wanted.

Sighing she kissed both her parents on the cheek lovingly before standing. "I'm going to walk the grounds. I do not require a chaperone though father I would like it if you would join me. I do believe I'm not finished interrogating you yet" she smiled playfully as she offered her father her hand.

"Of course you haven't" he laughed. His eyes twinkling lovingly as he too kissed Alecto's cheek and wrapped his arm around his daughter. Beginning to lead her from the porch. Once they had decended the stairs Hermione stopped and turned around for a moment.

"Oh Bellatrix thank you for getting me out of the fight and back home but just so we are clear, if you ever aim a crucio at my friends back again even if you were just trying to get a reaction out of me you better be prepared for the one I will aim right back at you and I can promise you I won't miss." Her voice started softly but turned rather stern, as if she were scolding a child as she finished speaking. Turning her back instantly and continuing her walk with her father.

Leaving behind three laughing witches and an extremely gobsmacked Bellatrix who had never before expected such sass from a child let alone the girl they suspected to be their mate.

----
Bellatrix stood rooted to the spot for a few seconds as Andromeda, Narcissa and Alecto continued to laugh at her expense.

"I told you Bella. I warned you she was a force to be reckoned with. She broke Lucius Malfoys sons nose in her third year for laughing about a hippogriff sentenced to death" Narcissa giggled, nudging her sister playfully.

"Merlins balls" the dark witch finally whispered taking a seat almost huffing beside Alecto.

"No one prepared me for just how much of a force that girl is. Her mind solved that issue with Dobby quicker than I did. She out sassed Tom and even had the gal to threaten me" she said incredulously, shaking her head in disbelief.

"You forget whose child she is Bella. Have you no memory of how firey I was at her age?" Alecto replied gently as she smirked proudly at the dark witch. More than proud of just how incredible her daughter was before she turned a glare towards Andromeda.

"However I think the issue at hand here is more what on earth did you do to get past her defences so quick? You did not mention the two of you were so close" she questioned and all three Black sisters could see their Omega friend snap into mama mode.

"Patience mainly, along with a little gentle ascertation of being her elder. I could tell she felt the draw to me too so have always made sure to get some sort of physical connection with her whenever we are in each others presence. I was consistent with her and never gave her the chance to pull away. She hasn't quite let down her guard fully with me but I'd say before she returned home I was the closest individual too her except from Minerva. No one else has ever seen even the slightest vulnerability from her." Andromeda informed them and Bellatrix found herself listening intently again. Keen to learn as much as she could from her sister about their little witch.

"You all need to take the opportunity Tom has given you to get close to her. She obviously feels the draw to you three if the confusion written all over her face was anything to go by and I won't be able to keep the truth from her about your bond with her for much longer, especially if her body breaks through the suppressants Albus has been giving the kids. On more than one occasion her Omega has broken through enough to release pheromones. Its happening when she is distressed in any way and I doubt it will be very long before she presents ocompletely. That is if she doesn't insist on taking the reversal potion before hand and we all know that with her first presentation will come her first heat and if you all do not have her trust as her Alpha's then it will be a disaster" Alecto warned sternly, looking each sister in the eye, nodding in approval when she saw the three Black's gulp in response to her clear threat. They knew better than to provoke an Omega over her child. The results could be deadly for them. It added a complexity to the four witches friendship that they didn't quite know how to navigate. Bellatrix had grown up with Alecto. She was her bestfriend but right now the dark witch knew she wasn't looking at her best friend but at an Omega mother protecting her family and that was a dangerous combination for her and her sisters if they failed to establish their relationship with Hermione. Come her heat all three Alpha's would be unable to keep their hands off her and if the girl did not trust them all and she became distressed it would provoke Alecto into attacking. Possibly Tom too which would be the end of whoever had caused said distress in the first place.

"Maybe its best she does know? Maybe what is needed is for us to be brutally honest with her. About who she is to us, the expectations during her heat and our ruts and then we give her time to digest the idea. Getting to know us through her lessons and training. Bella training her to fight will work in your favour. The physical contact will help establish the bond to a degree. Narcissa try to be as touchy with her as you can be. It'll make her uncomfortable at first but if you are consistent she will relax and get used to it. We need to be smart about this. Our little witch has so many defences up right now" Andromeda added. Sniling reassuringly at her sisters.

Bellatrix wholeheartedly agreed with her sisters last statement, she had seen first hand how quickly Hermione had erected her defences around herself to prevent anyone seeing any vulnerability in her that night at the ministry and it made her more determined than ever to get to the bottom of whatever it was that had caused such a loving little girl to defend her heart so closely.

"I would agree with Andromeda. She deserves the truth. Deserves to know exactly what she is facing. She deserves the chance to bond with us without her heat or our instincts overtaking our emotions. It would be better for all of us, the bond would be stronger" Narcissa agreed wholeheartedly and Bellatrix knew they were right but she couldn't help but worry. Andromeda already had a relationship with the girl and it wouldn't be difficult for her to build on that. Narcissa was completely unknown to Hermione. She had no reputation nor was there any prior history between them, meaning she had a shot at building her relationship with the girl from the start. Bellatrix however had a reputation as the darkest witch alive, a psychopathic, insane, torturer and murderess and she knew Hermione had heard it all. Saw it in the way the girl had reacted when they first saw each other at the ministry. She saw it in the way the girl acted completely indifferent too her. She saw it in the way the girl felt the need to threaten her and Bellatrix was terrified she wouldn't be able to see past the rumours about who she was and what she had done. If she couldn't and she couldn't learn to trust Bella, love Bella then Bellatrix knew it would destroy her.

Choosing not to let on to just how distressed she was Bellatrix pulled out the forgotten letter from McGonagall and read silently, tuning out the conversation around her. It had been a long time since she had heard from the older woman. She had chosen to forget about her when the feelings of utter longing and pain at the older womans absence left her completely hollow. She had viewed Minerva as her second mother. Loved her unconditionally and had allowed herself to truly open up to the older witch. She had told her everything. From the abuse her and her sisters experienced at her fathers hand. About the unattached, cold indifference she experienced from her mother to the utter fear and hopelessness she had felt as a young alpha growing up at the prospect of never finding their mate and having to find ways of protecting her sisters. Minerva had offered her the comfort and love she had needed. She reassured the dark witch and had given Bellatrix the courage she needed to seek her own path for her and her sisters. It was what had led her to Tom and pledging her loyalty to him and his cause. Yet it had meant losing the woman and now she was learning exactly why. She couldn't control the snarl of rage that flew out her mouth as she read Minerva's words. Looking up at her sisters she wordlessly handed the letter to Narcissa to read aloud. Knowing that she was far to angry to continue reading it for herself.

Narcissa chose not to say anything in response, she simply took the letter and began reading.

 

~~~~~
My dearest Bellatrix,

I know it has been far too long since you have heard from me and you may even believe that I have willingly abandoned you but my sweet child I promise you that this is not the case.

For seventeen years I have longed to hold you, to comfort you. To see you and for seventeen years Albus has stopped me. When you joined the dark lords ranks he told me you were a lost cause. I refused to believe him, knowing that my girl would never pledge herself to mindless violence. I knew there must be more to the story and I wanted to find out but Albus was insistent. He told me that if I were ever to reach out to you again he would not only see to it that you forfeit your life but my cubs would lose their lives too. I couldnr let that happen and so for the past seventeen years I have remained here at the castle quietly watching over those I could protect. Keeping myself from you so that you did not come to harm. My heart broke every single day. It still does. I feel your absence as keenly as I would if you had really been my child. To cope I locked my heart away. I didnt let anyone close until five years ago when the brightest little muggle-born witch, with the most precious brown eyes and wild hair entered the castle and infelt my walls crumble all over again. She reminded me so much of you that it was so hard to keep my distance and when she was sorted into my house I knew I would never be able to remain unattached. Hermione stole a piece of my heart just as you did. Just as you still do and like you, with her missing my heart is shattered all over again. Albus says you've killed her. I refuse to believe that. You would never harm an innocent of that i am certain. But knowing she is with you is a slight comfort no matter how in the dark I am to your reasons of taking a barely of age girl and locking her so far from those that love and care for her.

Hermione like you has already been through so much. She lost her parents at the age of twelve and even though it was devastating to her they weren't great people. I shall not tell you the details but incouldnt help but be secretly relieved they died. It meant I was able to help care for her more. I was appointed her legal guardian in the wizarding world. Uet I fear for her. She knows nothing of the dynamics and without the suppressants at hogwarts she is sure to present soon. I am scared she will be harmed or the pain of her presentation will harm her. Albus refuses to let me look for her. Just as he refuses to let me see you my girl but I can no longer sit quietly. You and Hermione are worth so much more than my silence and I will not fail you anymore. My biggest regret is allowing the old man to manipulate me so and doing nothing about it for so long.

He does not know I have written this. I have sworn Dobby to secrecy from him and I do not know what the next step is but I am desperate. I cannot stand the distance anymore. If you do not wish to re-engage with me I will fully understand. I failed you and for that I am eternally sorry all I ask is that you keep yourself out of danger and that you protect Hermione. I cannot stand the thought of either of you coming to harm.

All my love

M.M.

~~~~

"Fuck" Andromeda whispered as she gazed at her visibly angry and distraught sister. Even though she was an Alpha herself she knew that even with her and Narcissa's combined scents they would not be able to calm their older and much stronger sister.

"We need Hermione" Narcissa murmured hesitantly. Looking to Alecto for help. Knowing that this is asking far too much of their young ate far too soon yet knowing that their mate would be the only scent Bellatrix would respond to in her grief. Alecto's gaze reflected back at the blonde witch her understanding. The same hesitance in her eyes as was in the younger two Black sisters.

"I'll find her and explain, you two try and contain her for now" Alecto stated simply before dissapearing with a loud crack and as Bellatrix released another heartbreaking snarl or rage and anguish both Narcissa and Andromeda whimpered in response to their sisters distress, both praying that Alecto would be able to get Hermione to understand enough that the little witch would agree to helping their sister.

Chapter Text

Hermione really couldnt quite grasp how her life had changed so abruptly. It had been merely four days since that night at the ministry. Four days since she had woken in a strange location thinking she had been kidnapped by a deranged death eater who would take pleasure in torturing and eventually killing her only to find out everything, EVERYTHING had been a lie.

Finding out she was the dark lords daughter was a shock. Finding out her real mother and father were actually genuinely kind and loving people was a bigger shock albeit a welcome one. Finding out the truth about Dumbledore and the war had been infuriating. Learning the truth about her true nature and Dumbledores attempt to hide her dynamic had been confusing at first but it made sense. Understanding that she had been so grossly misinformed was world view altering but she had dealt with it.

She had dealt with everything calmly. Rationalising and making the best of the situation she found herself in but this? Finding out that she was likely the Omega mate to the three, THREE Black sisters amd therefore the next Lady Black was something that had her head absolutely spinning and to make it all worse she had only been told because her Alpha, the Alpha she was least sure of needed her because she had become far too distraught to be calmed by anyone else but her Omega. If her mother wasn't standing right infront of her looking so anxious she would have laughed. Loudly. This dynamic thing was seriously a pain in her arse. Sure she wasn't entirely disappointed that her mates were the Black's but couldn't she have had at least another few days to adjust to all the other life altering things that had been thrust at her in the past four days before one of her mates had a complete breakdown and she was required to go play the good little omega that she was going to need to be to bring her Alpha back to a more calm state of being. Merlin why was her life such a drama all the time?

"Please little dove, I am so sorry its all being thrust at you so suddenly but Bella really needs you. She got a letter from McGonagall and its tore her apart. I've never seen her so distraught" her mother whispered, her eyes alight with worry and heartache and damit, this bloody bond between her and her mother made her such a softie. No one should have the ability to look at her with such effection and warmth and be able to get her to agree to anything with just the look in their eyes the way her mother could. She had only known her four days and already her mother had torn down every single barrier she had ever cast around herself to protect herself. Her mother had come in with her love and devotion and Hermione had crumbled. Just as she was crumbling now in the face of her mothers upset.

She sighed tiredly. Running her hand through her wild hair. "Can we continue this conversation later father?" She asked tentatively as she glanced up at him. "Of course my girl, go. See to it that you give Bellatrix a hard time" he said, laughing playfully as he tried to relax his daughter a little, sensing the hurricane of emotions bubbling beneath her skin. He couldn't blame her for it, he would have been the same but Merlin knew he wished things had been easier for her.

"Okay then mama, take me to Bella" she said as she took her mothers hand, attempting to smile at the older witch but she was all to aware that it came out as more of a grimace than a smile.

---

Apirating onto the porch with her mother, Hermione took in the scene infront of her. Bellatrox was slumped forward on a stool. Low threatening growls escaping her throat continuously as her body shook with sobs and Hermione felt her heart clench painfully. Seeing the witch looking so vulnerable did not sit well with her, something within her protesting such a strong woman, a strong Alpha, HER strong Alpha seeming so broken and demanding that she fix it. She swallowed briefly noting that Narcissa and Andromeda were on their knees with their throats bared, her mother dropping to he rows knees seconds after they had landed on the porch baring her own throat. Hesitantly she took a deep breath in, she could smell several different scents but one in particular seemed more potent than the others. It smelled like old books and forest on a warm day. It was appealing in a way she couldn't explain but she could also smell the scent of what she could only describe as danger and heartbreak mixed through it causing the hair at the back of her neck to stand on edge in concern. But strangely enough she did not feel the need to submit in the same way as her mother and the other two Black sisters had. She could feel the demand pressing against her but it wasn't severe enough to prompt her to do something. It felt rather neutral to her.

She hesitantly took a step forward before glancing at Narcissa and Andromeda for some sort of guidance. Knowing that as her Alpha's also they would know what she needed to do. Both were watching her with strained but proud expressions on their faces and she didnf need them to speak to understand what the look they were giving her meant. They were straining against the urge to submit to their older sister but proud that Hermione had come to help when they needed her.

"Just go with your gut little witch" Narcissa informed her, grounding it every word in an attempt to guide their Omega in helping Bella.

Hermione nodded and closed her eyes. Centering herself completely before she focused her magic out and away from her body, feeling as her magic gently wrapped around Belkatrix, tangling and playing with the dark witches own magic to catch the witches attention. Dark tormented yet beautiful brown eyes snapped up to meet her own and the desperate keening sound that escaped Bellatrix's lips was enough to spur Hermione forward. Making it to Bella in seconds and she allowed the older witch to grasp her hips and pull her down into her lap possessively. As soon as she was sitting on the witches lap she pulled back to look up into Bella's eyes and stifled her gasp at the whirlpool of emotions and vulnerability displayed on the older witches face.

Bella started growling again fiercely as she tugged Hermione closer, pushing a wave of her pheromones out at Hermione , willing the girl to submit but despite the urge to submit becoming quite pressing to the little brunette she straightened her shoulders and glared at the older witch, staring her straight in the eye.

Bellatrix quite obviously did not like her display of defiance if the increase in her growling was any indication and Hermione found herself laughing, quite amused by the dark witches antics. She was obviously far too used to getting her own way the brunette thought.

Bella narrowed her eyes in response, infuriated by the girls defiance. "My Omega, submit" she growled loudly, tightening her grip, almost painfully on Hermione. But Hermione found herself unmoved. She was not one for submitting to the demands of others.

Leaning forwards she grasped Bellatrix's face between her hands. Keeping eye contact as she replied. "Yes, your Omega. But I will not submit. I do not submit to anyone unworthy of me doing so. You must earn my submission, my Alpha. But right now your sitting crying and growling. My Alpha should know better than behaving like a child Bella" she admonished seriously. Continuing to look her Alpha in the eye.

Instead of a verbal response, Bellatrix's growling deepened at the insinuation that she wasn't worthy of her Omega. She blinked in shock when Hermione flicked her on the nose. Startling her. She narrowed her eyes again, growling and blinked once more in shock when yet again she recieved a sharp flixk to the nose.

"Behave Bella, if you want to act like a dog, growling and huffing instead of using your words to talk about what has you so upset then I will treat you like a dog, now instead of growling tell me what you need right now to feel a little better?" The young witch asked genuinely even as she flicked Bella's nose again as the growling continued.

Sensing that her Omega would not  be backing down Bellatrix ceased her growling and managed to focus her brain on what her kate had said. What did she need? She didn't really know all she was certain of was that she really wanted to simply hold her witch tight right now. Nodding once she furrowed her brow, trying tonremember how to form words through the upset she still felt acutely.

"Alpha. Hold my. Hold my Omega" Hermione smiled as the dark witch stumbled over her words but despite their disjointed phrasing she was rather proud. She had the inclination that Bellatrix had never before actually voiced something she needed like this. It was showing vulnerability and she did not fail to see the importance of the dark witch being so openly vulnerable with her. Whether Bella was aware of it or not she was placing an unbelievable amount of trust in Hermione and it made her feel strangely accomplished to know her Alpha trusted her so much.

Without Hesitation she placed a gentle kiss on Bellatrix's forehead. "Good Bella" she said simply, acknowledging the witches ask before she lent forward. Wrapling her arms around the dark witch and exposing her neck in submission. Letting the older witch bury her face in her neck. Nuzzling her and taking deep breathes in, breathing in her Omega's scent. Hermione hummed quietly in response. Bringing her hand up to cup the back of the older witches head and scratching her scalp tenderly. She didnt understand how she had known what Bella needed but she wasn't about to question it as she felt the older witches tense muscles begin to relax around her. The dark witches scent becoming less oppressive and lighter as the minutes ticked by. She heard her mother and the other two Black sisters get up and move around behind her but for now she kept her focus on Bellatrix. Humking quietly as she continued her ministrations on her head.
An unknown time later she heard her mother speak up quietly. "Bella recieved a letter from McGonagall, explaining that Akbus has forced her to stay away from Bella all these years. Threatening to harm the pupils at hogwarts and kill Bella if McGonagall did not cut contact. He also told her that Bella had murdered you but McGonagall refuses to believe his words. She reached out hoping that Bella had you safe and sound. It upset Bella greatly because McGonagall was the closest thing to a mother Bella had." She explained gently and Hermione automatically shushed Bella when the older witch whimpered quietly.

"It's alright Bella" She whispered, tightening her grip on the witch.

"Dobby" she called quietly, smiling over Bellatrix's shoulder as the little elf appeared instantly.

"An update Dobby?" She requested, feeling Bella tilt her head slightly to listen to their conversation.

"Bad man Dumbledore is mad that Dobby has a new mistress but Dobby did not tell him who. Dobby told bad man dumbledore he will not do as he asks anymore." The little elf told her proudly and Hermione nodded in approval.

"Good, I ha e a task for you though. I need you to go to McGonagall and bring her here. Do not let anyone see you take her fro  the castle or follow you. Do this as soon as possible amd bring her to me" she ordered him gently.

"Of course missy Hermione, Dobby wills kidnap the mammy witch. Dobby won't get seen" he replied dissapearing.

"Hermione?" Bella murmured. Her voice hesitant and small as she finally left the cocoon of the young witches neck to look at her.

"Its alright. Once McGonagall knows the truth we can figure out where to go from here but she is important Bella. She is important to you and she is important to me. I will not willingly keep her in the dark. She deserves to know what is really going on" Hermione replied confidently, smiling gently at the older witch when she caught sight of the excited gleam that had appeared in her eyes. She was glad to see the storm that had been previously raging in the dark witches eyes dissapear almost completely. Indicating that she had done her job effectively.

"Are we going to talk about how you just had your nose flicked as if you were a disobedient dog?" Alecto chimed in earning a laugh from the Black sisters akd Hermione as Bellatrix scowled, turning narrowed but playful eyes on Hermione, Before they softened dramatically at the sight of Hermione's laughter.

"Thank you little witch, without you I do not know how long I would have been lost to that pain." She murmured seriously, pexkimg the little witch on the cheek.

"Dont thank me. Whether I understand it all or not you are my mate Bella. Its my job to be there for you, for all three of you when you need me just as it is your job to be there for me. I've got you I promise and yes I know there is a lot we need to talk about and we will talk about it all but it doesn't change that I am your and you are mine. I am not going anywhere nor will I fight this or deny our bond I promise. Though I cant promise I will not flicm you on the jose again if you ever dare to start growling at me like a dog and trying to force me to submit to you like you just did." Hermione replied just as serious, her tone dripping into playful as she finished.

"First thing you need to know about me is I do not take kindly to anyone forcing their will upon me. I am my own person and I will never willingly submit to anyone because they demand it. I know me being an Omega means I am going to need to learn to submit a bit more but you will never have my submission if you do not earn it. I am far too stubborn and opinionated to let anyone force me into anything." She instructed them. Sniking as she trusted herself around in Bella's lap to face everyone else, though not leaving the dark witches lap for a second. As much as she didnt know Bellatrix, she was comfortable right now and did not wish to disturb the peace Bella had fallen into by moving away from her. It pleased her to know that she could provide such comfort to her mates.

"That is perfectly reasonable little witch" Narcissa beamed at her. Playfully winking at their Omega. Andromeda beamed as well, sitting beside her younger sister as they watched Hermione and Bellatrix lovingly. Okay Hermione rolled her eyesninternally. These bloody bonds worked fast. She had only been around then for four days and already she felt much too comfortable around them.

Before anyone could change the subject or continue the current conversation they saw and heard Dobby and McGonagall appear. The older witch cursing at the elf for taring her away from her duties. Ranting about how he had no right to kidnap her and steal her away from her cubs.

"But what if the reason Dobby stole you away is because two of your cubs need you now" Hermione asked loudly, catching her professors attention and she felt her eyes welling with tears as she took in the sight of her favourite professor eyeing both Hernione and Bellatrix as If she were seeing the sun for the first time.

"Bella? Hermione?" Her voice was tentative, disbelieving and quiet and Hermione could see the tension rolling off her professor as she visibly held herself back from moving towards them. The womans gaze flicking from Alecto, Andromeda and Narcissa to Hermione and Bellatrix. Her wand clutched in her hand tightly as if she weren't certain of whether to use it or not.

"Min it's alright, no one here will harm you" Bellatrix soothed, tightening her grip on Hermione, a little worried that with everything that had happened Hermione might use this opportunity to escape. She could tell by the way Alecto was sitting, leaning forward in her seat, appearing to be ready to make a grab for Hermione if she needed too.

"I'm going to need you to come over here and hug me Professor I dont think Bellatrix is going to let me move away from her in the slightest" Hermione said in amusement, causing everyone to laugh and Bella to playfully wrap her arms tighter around her, when her professor finally tucked her wand away, appearing to decide she would trust Hermione and Bellatrix as they sat completely unharmed infront of them. As she watched her professor relax she smiled in encouragement, laughing genuinely when the older woman launched herself at her and Bella.

"Merlin I've missed you both so much" her professor whispered as she clasped both Bella and her in her arms, placing a kiss on their foreheads and both younger witches found themselves relaxing into the older witches arms.
The low growl emitting from Alecto startled Hermione a little until she saw how tense her mother was from over McGonagalls shoulder. So this was her mother voicing her jealousy? She could see the way her mothers jaw tensed and untensed repeatedly. She had her hands grasped in tight fists and she was visibly trying not to look at McGonagall, keeping her eyes on Hermione as if she were afraid she was going to dissapear.

McGonagall and Bella also looked up when they heard the growl and when she felt McGonagall tense as if she were going to retaliate Hermione knew she was going to have to do something or she would end up with two Omega's fighting over her. Something she did not want.

"Bella, let me go to her" she whispered, pressing a gentle kiss to the dark witches forehead. "I promise I'm not going anywhere but she needs me right now" she continued when she saw the uncertainty in Bellatrix's eyes. Flicking her eyes to her best friend Bella considered Hermione's words before nodding and letting her grip on Hermione loosen.

Taking no chances Hermione kissed McGonagalls cheek before moving quickly, plopping herself down on her mothers lap and laughing quietly when her mother automatically wrapped her up in her arms and sat them back on the porch swing humming contentedly. She was glad she had been able to calm her mother quickly but she wondered how she was possibly going to be able to reassure her family that she was no longer a flight risk. She didnt want to leave them and wouldn't leave them if she could help it. She didnt want them to constantly feel the need to make sure she wasn't going to escape.

"It seems there is a lot I do not know, would you care to explain to me Hermione just what is going on. As it was Dobby who whisked me away from Hogwarts im assuming you are responsible. That elf would tare if his 9wn limbs for you and only you" Minerva asked finally as she sat herself beside Bellatrix. Clearly choosing not to say anything about Alecto's possessive growling moments ago or Hermione's new posotion.

"It was. Sorry that he startled you so but we needed to talk. Especially after that leter you sent Bella. You're searching for the truth. We won't keep it from you. You mean too much to Bella and I for us to let you stay one of Albus's pawns any longer" Hermione spoke matter if factly, not letting the fact that her mother was currently purring? And nuzzling her as she spoke.

"I see, and the grown woman you have attached to you?" Minerva raised an eyebrow, eying Alecto as if assessing her. Hermione felt her mother huff behind her and growl once softly in response. The little witch sighed and moved her head to the side in a peace offering to quiet her mother, exposing more of her neck that Alecto automatically began nuzzling.

"This dynamic thing is a pain in the ass, but the grown woman attached to me is my mother Professor. Long story short I was kidnapped the night the Potters died by Albus, Moody and other order members. I was placed in the mugfle world with the Grangers. He altered their memories to make them believe I was their daughter and kept a close eye on me as I was growing. I have him to thank for the complete lack of emotional care and support" Hermione answered, anger lacing her tone as she told her professor the basics.

"The night of the ministry battle i got a glimpse into her mind. Mistakenly I may add, her occlumency is impressive but she had a flashback when she saw Alecto. It confirmed our suspicion that she was the stolen Riddle heir" Bella continued the explanation. Smiling apologetically at Hermione.

"Dont pretend you didn't spend a good bit of time that night trying to break through my occlumency shields Bella" Hermione chided sternly causing Bellatrix to duck her head in an uncharacteristic display of remorse.

"Merlin Bella she has you whipped already. We are doomed. Andromeda was already whipped, now you? I have no chance!" Narcissa suddenly exclaimed causing Andromeda and Bellatrix to glare at her and Hermione and Alecto to burst out in a fit of giggles.

"Oh Narcissa you have no idea" Andromeda eventually answered, Bella nodding in response to Hermione's amusement.

"Andy is right dear sister, spend a minute holding the little witch and you too will be gone" Bellatrix added, smiling adoringly at Hermione causing the younger witch to blush and turn her face away. Obviously not comfortable with the attention or praise.

"Am I to assume that Hermione is the Omega mate to the sisters of the house of Black?" Minerva's tone was amused and curious and Hermione could not help but look at her professor, seeing the effectionate look on her face and the playful gleam to her eye relaxed Hermione. Enough for her to smile back and nod her head in response.

"It is rather new information for Hermione, she is still adjusting" Narcissa chimed in response as if to explain Hermione's sudden shyness.

"Well that is certainly not unexpected. It makes a lot of sense that the two respectice witches of their ages would be fated together. I warn you Bella, she was matching your fourth year grades in her second, I do believe even with the three of you, you'll have a hard time taming that one" she winked at Hermione playfully and Hermione smirked back. Finally relaxing now that her professor had seemed to except the situation.

"Is that so?" Bellatrix's voice was light and playful but Hermione could see the challenge in the dark witches eyes and she felt part of herself want to rise to that challenge. It was an unfamiliar feeling and it confused and panicked her slightly, unsure about what exactly was happening. She narrowed her eyes at Bella when the dark witch smirked knowingly as if she was well aware of the effect of her words on Hermione.

"Dont provoke her Bella, especially before she has presented. You may be able to sense her Omega side growing stronger but she hasn't connected fully with it yet. She won't understand why she's reacting this way" Alecto growled in warning as she pulled Hermione against her tighter.

"Dont worry about it Hermione, Bellatrix is just playing dirty. We can sense your Omega side now. A lot more than we could when you first came here. The suppressants used by Albus are wearing off so your Omega is getting stronger. She knows that as your eldest Alpha your Omega will be unable to let a direct challenge of your ability go without response. Which is unfair of her to do as you are not fully one with your whole self yet and won't be until you present so you will be unable to respond to her challenge properly. Ignore her" McGonagall explained calmly, slapping the back of Bellatrix's head in chastisement.

"You're playing with fire Bella, watch you don't get burnt" Hermione responded, relaxing back against her mother before continuing. "Do you think you can act like the grown woman you are for the next hour while we explain everything to Minerva or do I need to flick you on the nose again?" She challenged and felt a surge of victory swell through her when the dark witch pursed her lips but tilted her head forwards in response. Taking the warning in Hermione's voice for what it was. She knew there was a fine line they had to walk with the little witch for now. To push her too far too quickly would only be met with resistance and could damage the bond between them that was slowly forming.

She and her sisters had made great progress with Hermione in the last few hours and she knew this was Hermione warning her that she had reached her limit for now, so for the first time in her life Bellatrix willingly backed down from her own challenge. Not willing to risk pushing her mate too far. Knowing that if she pushed and damaged what they had built so far she and her sisters along with Hermione would only suffer the consequences later.

"Good, Dobby may you go and fetch my father, I believe he needs to be here also so that Professor McGonagall can be fully filled in on the truth about what has been going on" Hermione smiled, instructing the little elf who had been sitting quietly on the steps of the porch as if guarding them. He nodded, smiling lovingly at his mistress before dissapearing and Hermione steeled herself. She knew the truth would hurt her professor and anger her but she knew it had to be done. If they were to ever end this war and bring Albus Dumbledore to justice they could not afford to have anyone kept in the dark. McGonagall had to know akd once she did it was time for them to work out just how exactly they would go about enlightening the rest of the wizarding world and in particular Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley, her two best friends that she knew would currently be plotting her fathers death.

She sighed. Why couldn't her life have been simple?

Chapter Text

Minerva McGonagall had never felt so infuriated in her life. Learning the truth about what Albus Dumbledore had put Hermione through had completely and utterly devastated the older witch. She could not imagine the trauma involved in being so ruthlessly ripped from your mothers arms at the tender age of two, nor could she imagine the agony Alecto must have felt to have had her baby stolen, powerless to do anything but watch as your distraught little girl was carried out of your home by a complete stranger who had implied that he was going to kill her then to be locked up for thirteen years not knowing what had become of your child. At least when she was kept from Bellatrix she knew the witch was physically unharmed.

It was no wonder Hermione was always such a closed off child. Loyal to her friends but never willing to show any vulnerability. She had relived that moment in her dreams every night for years. Had been kept from her family and her identity all because one selfish man wanted to keep power and suppress those who would stand against his dictations. She had spoken to Hermione, Tom, Alecto and the Black sisters for hours. Each revealing more and more of Albus's deciets. It was no wonder he had never let her in on anything because if she knew the truth she would have willingly pledged herself to Tom from the very beginning. She may be an Omega but she too had been named the brightest witch of her age and she could not believe how easily she had let Albus manipulate her into following him. She had did her best when she didnt agree with him. Monitoring and reducing the amount of suppressants he was slipping into the food being one of them which she was grateful for now. They had all been certain that her interference with the suppressants was the reason Hermione's Omega side was slipping closer and closer to the surface. She shuddered to think of the damage that could have been done if she hadn't lowered the dose of suppressants the students were receiving without their knowledge.

It was an injustice and she couldn't sit idly by anymore watching it all unfold. She had said as much as the others had finished talking. Vowed to Hermione that she would do all she could to start informing her friends of the truth and she would. She had already started the process. Arranging to teach the boys Occlumency under the pretense it would help Harry keep Voldemort from messing with his mind and Ron learning would help motivate Harry. The old fool believed that he had her so far under his thumb that he didn't suspect she would ever betray him so she would teach the boys occlumency and then she would reveal the truth. Hopefully plucking the two boys out from right under the horrible mans nose.

Although despite her rage she was also surprisingly level headed. Seeing Bellatrix and Hermione again, seeing them both unharmed and safe had soothed her heart and her mind, enough that she would be able to focus on her new role as Tom's informant without being distracted by worry over her two favourite witches.

It also amused her greatly to know that Hermione was to be mated to the Black sisters. Growing up Bellatrix especially, though she supposes Andromeda and Narcissa were guilty of it too, always expected to get their own way. As Alpha's they went unchallenged and their word was law to a degree however she knew Hermione and knew that the Black's were in for a rude awakening if they thought for a second that the little witch would ever just submit to them without a fight. It wouldn't surprise her if even with the pressure of Alpha pheromones willing her to submit the bright girl didn't find a way to withstand them. Though she knew all four would be good for one another she couldn't help but want to be a fly on their wall to witness just how hilarious it would be to see Bellatrix be openly challenged by a girl several years her junior and not be able to get the girl to submit. She smiled to herself, it would certainly teach the dark witch how to compromise if anything.

-----
It was too much, genuinely too much and she was officially freaking out. She Hermione Granger did not know how to come to terms with all the changes in her life. Sure she could accept she was the dark lords heir and her mother was a death eater and if she were truly honest she could except everything else but now to find that the man who had stolen her away from her parents had also altered her age magically? To find out she wasn't fifteen but sixteen soon to be seventeen, it threw her completely. She was born in 1979 and not in 1981 like her muggle birth certificate suggested. Her mother had looked so apologetic while telling her it almost broke her heart but at least now she understood why her Omega was so desperately trying to get free of the barriers Albus had forced upon her and Merlin it was painful. It had slowly but steadily been getting more painful over the past week she had been here and her mother had informed her it would only escalate until either she took the reversal potion or her Omega broke free on its own.

She should have presented nearly a year ago. That was a whole year that side of her had been forced back and as was natural her body was fighting the suppressants. Presenting she had learned was a massive milestone for witches and wizards. It marked their coming of age and their magics maturing and growing. Having this milestone denied had meant her body was struggling to mature her body. It was trying to do so naturally but kept meeting the suppressants which was causing the pain. It was the primal side of her, the side that was completely natural and uncontrollable and Albus's actions had only served to confuse her body and deny her her birth right.

Not that she could confidently say she was looking forward to presenting. Her mother had said it was painful and with her mates already around it meant she would be far more eager to submit to them than she would be if she had been able to present when it was naturally her time to do so. Being suppressed would mean her Omega when fully one with her would be more needy and clingy, seeking approval, reassurance and effection from her Alphas.

And there in lay the real issue of why she was freaking out so much. Needy and clingy was something she had never been. Something she had never allowed herself to be. It went against every instinct she had to protect herself. It meant letting the Black sisters close to her completely, both physically and emotionally. Something she was terrified to do. She didnt let people in. She hadn't even properly let her parents in. Yes she was less guarded with them but she was still guarded to a degree. Keeping a level of distance between herself and the rest of the world because it was all she knew. It had been vital growing up with muggle parents who never saw the good in her. It had been essential to surviving the bullying from her peers in both the muggle and the magical worlds and it had been essential in surviving this far with all the mortal danger her and her two best friends had faced throughout the years.

The only two people who had got remotely behind those barriers were Harry and Ron and that was more out of necessity rather than Hermione being willing to share emotionally. Now she faced two choices, she either continued to ignore her omega side for now, waiting for that side of herself to break free on its own while just dealing with the pain or she took the potion, allowing herself to present and face the consequences. Becoming needy and clingy amd letting the Black sisters, her mates in behind her barriers. She didnt think she could endure more pain like this if she denied taking the potion but she also wasn't sure she was ready to let the Black's close to her. She knew that Bellatrix especially would not let her away with shutting them out once she had presented and Andromeda would most definitely not tolerate her avoidance. The witch already had a way of destroying her defiance at the best of times. She knew they would force her to submit if necessary and she didnt want that. It felt like being stuck between a rock and a hard place and she didnt even have access to her best friends to help guide her.

She paced back and forth in the library feeling completely overwhelmed and vulnerable. Her muscles were tense and she could feel the pain inside increasing. It was taking quite a bit of her will power not to crumple under the steering hot flames that kicked through her veins as her Omega fought to get to the surface. It was so confusing in her brain and she let out a soft scream/whine in utter frustration and distress. Not noticing the blonde who had appeared in the library after scenting her distress seeping out the library doors.

"Hermione" the gentle yet concerned voice of Narcissa spoke quietly as the blonde strode towards her. Normally icy blue eyes were soft and warm as they locked eyes with her own honey coloured eyes. She could quite clearly see the concern in the older witches eyes and it brought a lump to her throat. This here was part of the problem. Knowing and seeing just how much she was cared for and loved was still a foreign concept to her. She had never experienced the open effection nor had she ever had such understanding and exceptence from anyone that was not Harry and Ron. She turned her face away from Narcissa, not wanting the blonde to see just how vulnerable she was in that moment.

She startled slightly when the blonde sat beside her and placed a hand on her thigh. She hadn't even noticed the older witch move.

"I know you're not okay. I can smell my Omega's distress" Narcissa murmured gently "but I also know that invading your space and asking for you to talk about whatever is distressing you is probably half the issue. So I'm not going to press you to talk but please let me soothe you little witch. I promise I only want to hold you" the blonde continued, turning to search Hermione's face for the answer.

The brunette gulped. Sensing that Narcissa knew far more of what really was distressing her than she was willing to admit. Her automatic reaction was to push the blonde away. To get herself out of the situation but as she gazed at the blondes hopeful face she couldn't find it in her heart to reject the witches attempt at comforting her. She was well aware that Narcissa and she knew nothing about one another but just like Andromeda and Bellatrix Hermione could feel the draw to Narcissa, no doubt Narcissa felt it too and her Alpha would be urging her to get closer. She could see that this was Narcissa attempting to start the process of them both getting to know one another and she was grateful for it to an extent so with a hesitant nod she allowed the blonde to pull her onto her lap.

Narcissa guided the completely tense girls head into the crook of her neck. Placing Herniones nose right beside her scent gland and then wrapped her arms around her.

"I am going to release some more of my pheromones to help soothe you, it will call to your Omega side but it will settle your Omega. Please don't fight me." Narcissa whispered tenderly and Hermione felt more than smelt the moment Narcissa's soothing scent hit her nose. Narcissa's scent wasn't much different from Andromeda and Bellatrix's except where Bellatrix's scent held woodsy undertones and Andromeda's was floral amd warm, Narcissa's smelt more light and clean, like fresh linen.

Her muscles relaxed instantly against her will and she wrapped her arms around the blondes neck unconsciously, sighing in content as she felt the entirety of her anxiety seep from her body. I strong feeling of calm, warmth and safety replacing the previous terror caused by her own thoughts.

"Thats it my little love, just relax. I've got you" the blonde whispered tenderly as she felt her mate relax in her arms. She felt relieved as her mate settled. Glad that she could offer the girl this comfort, aware of Andromeda's advice about physical contact being essential in establishing trust with the girl. She kept her hands on the girls back. Restraining herself from gripping her mate as tightly as she wanted too, not wanting to startle her or cause her any distress.

"I know how overwhelmed you must be Hermione. I know this is all happening so fast for you and I know you are feeling vulnerable but I can promise you, you are completely safe with us. Your parents love you more than life. They've spent every moment of the past fourteen years searching for you. They would do anything to make you happy. My sisters and I feel the same. You don't know us and we don't know you but the bond we share means that your happiness. Your safety, is everything to us and we will always be here to protect and love you. That I am aware is foreign to you and you will be afraid to trust the bond or your Omega side but I ask that you let us prove ourselves to you. I won't pressure you into taking the potion but I will plead that you give us the next week to show you that all we want is to take care of you" Narcissa murmured when she sensed that the girl was calm enough to listen to what she had to say.

Hermione had listened quietly to the blondes words, slightly shaken by how accurate she had been about the internal struggle she was facing. She could understand what the blonde was asking. Knew it was simply her Alpha asking for a chance, asking her to try and let them in so they could prove to her that they were worthy of her trust in them and when she thought of it that way, as terrifying as it was she knew she had to let them try. She would get nowhere by ignoring the situation she realised now that her mind was calm enough to actually think things through realistically. Narcissa's scent also doing wonders to soothe the pain she was in.

She also realised that letting them try wasn't necessarily her having to let them in completely. She could take baby steps couldn't she? She could try to slowly bring down the walls around herself. She knew how desperately the Black's wanted to gain her trust and she also knew that both her parents were excited and pleased about their daughter being the soulmate of the Black sisters. Their families had been close for years. Her father trusted the Black's more than any of his followers and from what she knew of the Black sisters, all three of them were genuinely good people. People who would do anything for their family, for their beliefs and for their Lord.

"I'm terrified" she whispered quietly as she hid her face in Narcissa's neck. Not at all comfortable with revealing even this much but knowing she had to at least try. "I dont know how to let anyone in. I've never had that. Its always been safer" she continued before cutting herself of. Not willing to delve any deeper into that line of thinking. Narcissa could sense the reluctance and decided to let the matter drop for now. She was proud the girl had revealed that much so for now she was content with the progress they had made. Simply humming quietly in response and running a soothing hand down the little witches back. Offering quiet reassurance of her acceptance. Willing to let the girl process and reflect in the comfort of her Alpha pheromones. Certain that it was her scent calming her that had allowed Hermione to take the steps she had so far.

Hermione felt slightly out of her depth as she continued to consider the blondes words. What if after all this they decided that Hermione wasn't worth it? That she wasn't good enough for them? What if they left her? Or she couldn't be what they needed? She had never been enough for her muggle parents, she had never been enough for friends or teachers, what if she couldn't be enough for the Black's and her mother and father? What if she failed them? What if they lost the war? Her thoughts swirled loudly and she could feel herself spiraling rapidly.

"Hermione" the soft whisper in her ear was enough to snap Hermione back to the present moment and she blushed as she realised that Narcissa's face was pressed so close to her own she could feel the older witches breath ghost across her face.

"There you are, you got lost in your head there little witch" Narcissa murmured, arching a regal eyebrow knowingly.

"You don't need to think so hard when it comes to us. All we are asking is for you to be yourself and so to will we be little witch. There's no pressure I promise you." Narcissa continued, tucking a strand of Hermione's hair behind her ear, all the while holding the younger witches gaze with her own, attempting to both convey her sincerity and longing through her eyes.

Hermione gulped and looked away. Unable to remain gazing at the open adoration. Unable to take in just how vulnerable she felt with how Narcissa had read her fears so well, parted them back to her and reassured her all in the same breath. It was refreshing to a degree but also far from anything she knew how to navigate. However she felt the longing for what Narcissa was promising her, she felt the longing for that pure, untouched belonging, love and security.

"Okay" she finally whispered as she let the blonde witch continue to rock her soothingly, Narcissa's fingers gently combing through her hair. Narcissa tightened her grip for a moment in response, pressing a gentle kiss to the young witches forehead in unspoken gratitude.

----

Alecto and Tom had searched everywhere bar the one place they should have known their book worm daughter could be. They hadn't seen her in several hours which was something that was beginning to worry them. Since they had brought their child home and enlightened her to the truth the young witch had barely left Alecto's side for more than twenty minutes let alone the three hours she had been away for and it had the older omega on edge, especially seeing as her dissapesring act had consigned with Minerva's visit. She wasn't insecure nor was she usually so paranoid but she had already had her child taken once, she could not bare the thought of it happening again. Especially if her girl had willingly run off like she was currently imagining.

They had both Andromeda and Bellatrix, along with several other members of the inner circle searching the Manor. Tom had only just realised where they should be looking and tenderly started guiding his increasingly distraught wife towards the library. Praying silently that his daughter had simply lost herself in the world of literature.

Reaching the library, both stopped short at the sight infront of them. Curled up on the sofa infront of the fire lay their child, asleep in the protective arms of an equally asleep Narcissa Black. Both witches looked content as they lay together and both mother and daughter could do nothing but smile in awe at the peaceful expression adorning their little girls face. They hadn't seen her look that relaxed yet the entire time she had been home and it relieved them both to see that Narcissa had obviously made some progress in getting the little brunette to let her in.

Silently summoning his patronus, Tom sent the little otter to inform Bella and Andromeda to come to the library quietly while relieving his inner circle of their search for the previous missing teen.

When the older two Black sisters arrived at the library their reactions were almost a mirror image of Tom and Alecto. Both smiled softly as they gazed upon their sister and young mate. Both marveling at how entirely right the two witches looked together. They were a beautiful pair. Hermione's curly brown hair complimenting Narcissa's straight blonde. The young witch curled up as she was held securely by the youngest Black sister.

"She looks so peaceful" Bellatrix murmured quietly, breaking the silence between the four as they stood near the door. She reached out for her sister and pulled Andromeda into her side, tucking the brunette under her arm, feeling the tenderness of the moment and wanting to hold at least one of the most important people in her life close.

"Its the most peaceful I've seen her" Alecto agreed, mirroring Andromeda's position at Tom's side.

"It took a while to get her this peaceful so I would appreciate less of the voices" Narcissa whispered, startling the observers. Sleepy blue eyes narrowing at them in warning.

"What do you mean?" Tom enquired. His voice commanding though it never left a whisper, sensing that there was more to the story and needing to know what had happened.

"I found her in here, pacing, the anxiety rolling off her and the distressed scent was almost overpowering. I managed to talk her into letting me soothe her. I promised her we wouldn't pressure her into talking but we would like to get to know her. She agreed to give us a chance to do that. I've been here ever since. She was calm and sleepy. I didnt want to risk her becoming anxious again by moving away from her" the blonde explained quietly as she turned an adoring look on the sleeping girl in her arms.

"She's hiding something from us all, isn't she?" Bellatrix asked in concern, her voice the softest any in the room had ever heard it.

"What makes you say that?" Tom asked, dread settling in his stomach as he took in the pained expression on Bellatrix's face.

"I can sense it, she has walls so high they're impenetrable. She's severely guarded. Doesn't take praise well. Too much attention makes her uncomfortable. She's unused to affection. She has taken the knowledge that she has been lied to and decieved too well. She reminds me of me" the dark witches voice caught slightly but she forced herself to finish her thought process, taking comfort from the soft kiss her sister planted on her cheek and the reassuring hand that had slid under the back of her corset to rub soothing circles on the bare skin hidden underneath. "I can see the pain she hides behind her eyes and the way she so ferociously defends those she loves despite the risk to herself. The Potter boy and the red head being prime examples. She doesn't believe she's worth much. Almost as if she's afraid of asking for anything she needs. I was the same way after.." her voice trailed off but she needn't continue. All heard the unspoken "Rudulphus" and did not need her to clarify what she meant. They had all witnessed the abuse Bellatrix had experienced the first few months of her marriage. Had seen the way it completely altered the dark witches self worth and spirit. She had been wild and carefree before her parents married her off, the angry, reserved witch that emerged in the following months was so far from who she had been it had worried everyone that knew her. Even after Tom had put a stop to the abuse, claiming that as his luitenant he needed her entire focus on the cause so she had no time to carry out her widely duties. Rudulohus had been furious but remained quiet, aware that Tom would not stand to be openly challenged over his decision.

"I desperately hope you're wrong Bella but I must admit I have had my suspicions" Andromeda said sincerely, closing her eyes to suppressants her rage at the thought of anyone harming her mate. Tom and Alecto not fairing much better.

"She told me early that she was scared of letting us in because she had never had that before, that it was safer not too" Narcissa added, her eyes reflecting the pain that revelation brought to the entire room. The knowledge that Hermione felt unsafe with intimateamd close relationships only reinforcing their fears.

"If it is ever discovered that your suspicions are correct, whoever is the cause will regret the day they were born" Tom growled, releasing Alecto when his wife moved forward. Unabke to cope with the distance between her and her child now that it had been brought to her attention that her baby had possibly been harmed. She moved swiftly to the sofa, gently removing Hermione from Narcissa and sitting down with her on the sofa opposite the one Narcissa lay on. She adjusted her daughter so she was lying more comfortably in her arms and buried her face in the brunette locks that were a ringer for her own. Concealing her tearful eyes from the room.

"I promise you baby" she whispered "you will never again come to any harm for as long as I shall be alive" seeking her promise with a kiss to her girls forehead. Not caring to look but knowing anyway that the entire room agreed with the sentiment. Hermione would never again come to harm, for as long as any of them lived.

For they had her now and they would never let her go again.

Chapter Text

The next few weeks passed in a whirlwind of emotion for Hermione. Her lessons had begun no more than two days after she had spoken to Narcissa in the library and despite the taxing nature of them the young brunette found she enjoyed them immensely now that she was learning to a level that actually challenged her ability.

Her lessons took place every day. Except on a Saturday and Sunday. Mornings were spent with Narcissa where she was taken through the Hogwarts curriculum for the first week. They had quickly established that Hermione already knew all the spells, potions and theory taught in all seven years at Hogwarts so Narcissa had taken it upon herself (with Alecto and Tom's blessing of course) to start teaching Hermione more advanced learnings in each subject except defence and the Dark Arts, which had been reserved for Bellatrix.

After a pause for lunch with the three Black sisters and her parents (when they all weren't planning for the war) her time was monopolised by Andromeda who had been teaching her of the old ways. Including what it meant to belong to each dynamic. They had subtly touched on the Alpha/Omega relationship including submission amd dominance. Though she could see the appeal (not that she would admit it) in being able to trust in someone (or in her case someone's) so completely that you could wholly submit to their care and protection, It was everything she had never had and a big part of her longed for that. Yet an equally big part of her was terrified at the thought of it. Not at all comfortable with the level of trust, transparency and intimacy it involved. She had learned long ago that intimacy wasn't a pleasant thing.

As a child she lacked any sort of intimacy. She wasn't held when she cried, she wasn't consoled or soothed when she got hurt, she was punished for emotional outbursts and quickly learned that she could only rely on herself to take care of her. As she grew she quickly found out that intimacy meant pain, when her Father beat her with a belt for disrespect sneering at her as he held her down with his knee, when her mother picked her up only to throw her in her room locking the door behind her, not caring that her child had hit her head when she landed or that she forgot to let her out for two full days or when she was held down in her room by her uncle as he took what he pleased from her, proclaiming how special she was, only to be pushed away by her mother when she ran into her arms seeking safety from the vile man.

So intimacy had never been a positive thing for her. It always brought pain, fear of harm. At this point in her life she had given up on any hope that she would know a kind touch, gentle hands that didn't want to harm her, an embrace that didnt seek to trap her and yet here was, her real parents, McGonagall and the Black sisters offering her the hope that she could have that, that they wanted to give her that. She just had to let them no matter how terrifying it seemed, she found she needed the hope they were offering, she needed that belonging and so she just had to trust that it would not lead to harm.

It was why she found herself trying her hardest not to flinch whenever one of them offered a kind touch or gentle caress without expectation. Its why she found herself thinking more and more, analysing their interactions with one another. Analysing her own reactions, her own life experiences and trying her absolute hardest to allow herself to be as open as possible to all that she was now experiencing.

It was why she paid such close attention to her parents. Witnessing the tender way in which her mother doted on her father, the utter commitment and love in which he regarded her mother. The way they moved together as if they were two halves of the same whole. The way their emotions reflected one another. The way they balanced one another and despite her mother being an Omega she could tell, clearly that her opinion, skill and intellect where valued highly by her father and it made her want the same for herself so much more.

Evenings, straight after dinner, were reserved for Bellatrix. For the hours between half five and eight Hermione was put through her paces, magically and physically. Learning spells and perfecting them, new and old she found easy enough. Often picking them up first try and she had quickly brought her duelling abilities up to par, being able to keep a duel going with Bellatrix for an hour straight with niether witch losing nor winning any ground. It had stunned Bellatrix the first time she had managed to match the dark witch spell for spell but the eldest Black had felt her heart swell with pride for the little witch. However it was the hand to hand combat that Hermione had most difficulty with. In her first session she had panicked horrifically when Bellatrix had managed to pin her to the ground, trapping her hands above her. Her fear was so profound that the scent of distressed Omega had broke through the suppressants and drawn Tom, Narcissa, Andromeda and Alecto to the training room from the other side of the mansion. All four panicking that she had been harmed and needing to find out what was distressing the young witch so badly. Finding her curled up sobbing in Bellatrix's arms (the dark witch, having immediately figured out what had caused Hermione to panic, had released Hermione, pulling her up off the floor and positioning the girl on her lap, head tucked into her neck as she released calming pheromones) had caused all four of the onlookers to worry incessantly, even more so when Hermione refused to talk about it once she had calmed. Bellatrix had surprised Hermione, telling her father that as much as she wanted to tell him what had upset her so, she couldn't as it was Hermione's story to tell and if she wasn't ready to tell it, Bellatrix would respect that and keep the little she had figured out to herself.

It of course had infuriated her father not to be privy to something regarding his daughter but a strong talking too from Alecto had got her father to back off. Her mother having got him to realise that it was all about building trust and allowing Hermione the time she needed to heal and grow comfortable enough with her own story to open up about it.

Hermione suspected that Bellatrix had figured out an awful lot more from that incident than she ever intended anyone too, yet the dark witch never brought it up again. She simply worked with Hermione, training her on how to fight through her fear, deal with the panic and still keep her with about her enough to defend herself. It was slow going but she knew she was making progress.

After training and the weekends were filled with her mother and father, reading, strolling the gardens and getting to know her family better. They all often talked for hours about the world, about books and magic. They played board games, watched films and did their very best to ensure that she was as comfortable as possible with them.

By the end of the fourth week Hermione had finally decided that she needed to take the suppressant reversal potion for two reasons. The first and probably the most driving reason of all was the pain she was in. It had become so bad that often at least once a day she ended up doubled over, sobbing trying to ride out the waves of pain that shot through her body. Secondly and surprisingly was the fact that every single time the pain got too bad one of the Black sisters would appear at her side, scooping her into their arms, soothing her with their scent and caring for her until it had passed and just like the first night in the library when she had ended up completely overwhelmed she found that within moments of being picked up by one of her Alpha's her body and mind would calm.

She had found the whole experience jolting to begin with. Her body and mind not able to quite let go of the expectation of pain whenever she was held so tenderly. But no matter how long she waited for the inevitable pain, it never came. Instead whatever sister had come to her would simply sit with her until she fell asleep and then take her up to her room, placing her on her bed and leaving once they had tucked her in. Allowing her to wake and rejoin the house whenever she was ready too. Over the weeks it had meant that she was slowly getting used to the physical contact. She found herself slowly but surely beginning to enjoy it even. Though she wasn't quite at the stage yet where she felt comfortable enough to let anyone in emotionally. She at least wanted too now. Which was a surprising change but she wasn't ready yet and she was grateful that her family including the Black sisters seemed to realise that fact. They hadn't pushed nor had they even hinted about them wanting her to open up, they seemed to instinctively know that weeks was not anywhere near enough time for her to deconstruct the fortified walls she held around herself.

And so her decision had been made. She couldn't deal with the pain anymore and she was finally at a stage with the Black sisters that she was willing to trust in them as her Alpha's, enough at least that she would willingly allow them to keep getting to know her and working towards a proper relationship with them.

Though she had decided (with the help if her mother) that once she had taken the potion to reverse the effects of the suppressants that Albus had been secreting into her meals for five years, allowing her Omega side to merge with her she was going on heat suppressants because she knew without a doubt that she was far from ready to face the idea of a heat. She was not comfortable with the idea of being forced into a sexual encounter with her Alpha's because of her heat. Especially as she was still struggling with the newness and unfamiliarity of being comfortable with innocent physical intimacy. She wanted her first time with her Alpha's to mean something, she wanted to be comfortable and she wanted to feel completely safe in their relationship. Which meant they had to get to the point where she felt she could open up to them and speak honestly about her own thoughts and feelings. This was something her mother had been adamant about. She would not allow the Black's to help her daughter through a heat until then because as an Omega herself she was more than aware of just how honest an omega needed to be in order to articulate hard and soft limits when it came to sex with just one Alpha, but Hermione had three and therefore Alecto had felt that until Hermione could open up to her Alpha's amd her parents then it was not safe to assume she would feel comfortable voicing her own needs when it came to sex.

When they had sat down yesterday to discuss this with the Black sisters, Bella had grumbled a little about how it was their job to ensure Hermione's needs were met during a heat not Alecto's but she was soon silenced when Alecto threatened to permanently ban Bellatrix from Hermione if she didnt shut up and respect her decision.

Hermione had found it hilarious as she had watched Bellatrix pale drastically at her mothers threat, the dark witch ducking her chin down before reaching out, pulling Hermione onto her lap and wrapping her arms around her waist securely to hold her in place as if by doing this she could prevent Alecto making good on the threat. She found herself trying but failing to hide her amusement at the situation, quietly seeing the validity in Bella's thought process before she frowned a little as she realised how impractical that was. She wouldn't be able to go anywhere without the dark witch, which meant she couldn't sit on Andromeda's lap or Narcissa's and that realisation bothered her more than she expected it to.

Now as she sat on her bed waiting on her Alpha's, the Black sisters insisting that they were there with Hermione to help keep her calm while the potion did its work, she felt her nerves increase. As much as she was sure of her decision to take the potion, ambracing her omega and her Alpha's, she still wasn't at a point where she could effectively quiet the whispers inside her mind that told her she wasn't enough, wasn't good enough and eventually her mates would realise that and leave her alone. She had fought so hard all her life to live up to other people's expectations of her, her muggle parents mainly and she had never been enough. What was to say she would be this time?

"Thats quite the pensive look you're sporting little witch" Andromeda's voice was slightly teasing, with enough concern laced within, that Hermione could tell the older witch was trying to conceal her worry as she broke Hermione from her internal spiraling thoughts. She glanced up and smiled shyly when she saw all three Black sisters now in her room and approaching her bed.

Their atire was cause for Hermione to raise an inquisitive eyebrow. Narcissa wore a short black pencil skirt matched with a simple white sleeveless tunic that did little to conceal her ample chest or long elegant neck from Hermione's view. Bellatrix and Andromeda were also wearing a lot less clothes than the younger witch was used to seeing them in. Both wore black shorts and coloured tank tops that clung to them tightly. Andromeda's tank top was the typical slytherin Green bringing out her eyes, where as surprisingly Bellatrix had put on a gryffindor red tank top that made her complexion look even paler yet more regal than it ordinarily was and Hermione had to admit that the three witches she was fated too were stunning and judging by the identical smirks plastered on their faces they were well aware of the appreciative gaze of the young brunette.

"Time to test your knowledge little witch" Bellatrix said smugly as she plopped herself down unabashedly on the bed beside Hermione.

"What is the one thing when it comes to dynamic that both Omega and Alpha use to offer comfort?" Andromeda asked as she stopped beside the bed, Narcissa coming to stand at her side. It was one of many quirks she had noticed in the Black sisters that she found quite endearing. Both younger sisters were rather polite when it came to the way they carried themselves, showing Hermione their respect by not sitting on her bed with her straight away. She was pretty sure they were waiting on her permission. Whereas Bellatrix simply did not care for formalities in the same way her sisters did. She simply did as she pleased the majority of the time, though she was very respectful where it mattered most. Especially when it came to respecting Hermione's boundaries in terms of physical contact.

"Scent" she replied simply, her brain automatically trying to work out what that had to do with the way they were dressed.
"Correct, ten points to gryffindor" teased Narcissa playfully as she smiled somewhat proudly at Hermione.

"That is why we are wearing very little. The more skin we have in the open the stronger our scent will be. We predict this is going to be rather painful for you so we have wore as little as possible while still respecting the boundaries you have in the hopes that our scent can ease your pain while the potion does its job" Andromeda explained as she moved, sitting at the edge of Hermione's bed before twisting slightly so she could look at Hermione more fully.

"Now little one, please go change into some shorts and a top of some sort, we want you as comfortable as possible" Narcissa finished, her tone firm as if she suspected Hermione would put up a fight on her choice of clothing.

She was right, Hermione did want to fight them on that but the finality of Narcissa's tone and their explanation had appealed to the more rationale side of her brain. She knew they were right and were trying to help her so she simply slumped her shoulders in defeat and stood.

Sighing wearily as she tried to stop herself from panicking to much at the thought of exposing some of the scars she held on her body, she made her way to her closet to change.

----

It was Bellatrix's reaction to seeing her scars that shocked Hermione the most. It had taken her too long to come out of her closet so the dark witch had come to see if she was okay, all three having sensed her anxiety even from behind a closed door. When Hermione had tentatively turned to face Bella she was startled to see the tears that were streaming down the witches face, her elegant features contorted in both upset and anger at the condition her mates skin was in having seen clearly some of the rather large scars that littered her back.

"Bella?" She had asked hesitantly, her voice tentative and unsure, more than a little terrified of the witches reaction, believing that her scars made her less worthy, though her voice was more than enough to snap the older witch out of her shock. The young witches fear causing Bellatrix to move quicker than Hermione had ever seen her before, she ended up engulfed in the dark witches arms, held tightly to her chest. "Oh Hermione, I'm sorry" she whispered as she clutched the young witch too her protectively, running a hand up and down the brunettes back in reassurance as she took deep breathes of her mates scent to reassure herself that the girl was actually okay, safe with them.

"We will never let any harm come to you again. You are safe here, I give you my word" she said vehemently as she pulled back slightly to gaze at the young witch now that she had calmed slightly and despite the massive lump in her throat caused by the Alpha witches compassion Hermione actually found herself nodding, for once completely believing the witches words without doubt. She could not doubt the womans words when her eyes connected with the most sincere, loving and resolute dark brown of Bellatrix's.

And at the witches promise Hermione found herself burying her head in her eldest mates neck, seeking the comfort and steady reassurance each of the Black sisrers seemed to offer her without hesitation.

Bellatrix blinked before bringing her arms around the little witch in response, holding her tighter and pressing a kiss to the girls forehead. She was well aware that this was the first time Hermione had actively and consciously seeked comfort with either her or her sisters and she felt her heart swell with pride once more. It was a massive step forward and said everything about just how much Hermione was truly learning to trust them.

"Come on little one let us join my sisters before they too come to find us" Bellatrix murmured gently once she felt the last of the tension melt from Hermione's body. Placing a guiding (if slightly more possessive than meant) hand on the small of the young witches back and steering her towards the room.

-----
"Are you sure Severus? They mean to reverse the effects of the suppressants and have her bond with the Black's? Don't they need Andromeda?" Albus asked wearily as he sat at his desk. His mind whiring frantically as he tried to figure out a way to stop this.

"I'm sure, I saw Tom earlier. He was rather proud if his daughters decision to embrace her dynamic. Im afraid it is unlikely we will be able to stop them in time. Hermione is to be bonded to Bellatrix and Narcissa." The dark man spoke evenly. His tone rather bored as he informed Albus of the Dark Lords plan. He had been working under cover for Albus for years and felt rather arrogant about pulling it off, he thought himself one of the best wizards alive to be able to so effectively deceive the dark Lord.

"And you're still no further forward in gleening any sort of idea as to where they are hidding her?" Albus asked, his tone bordering towards annoyance as he realised Severus may be right and they wouldn't find Hermione in time. Which meant he was going to have to figure out how to inform the Order that Hermione was still alive and being bonded to the Black's but spin it in such a way that he could get them to believe that Hermione was being forced to do these things so that they did not find out the truth of her heritage or the war.

"No sir" Severus replied curtly, irritated with Albus's tone. Be forced himself to bow his head in respect before leaving the room, knowing that he had done his part for now and passed on the required information. He needed to go mark third year essays. The joys. He had noises why he let Albus talk him into this. There wasn't anything he despised more than arrogant little brats.

Once Severus had left his office Albus let the full extent of his fury overtake him for a moment calming himself with the knowledge that at the very least he still had Harry as a pawn. He would find a way of spinning things to ensure Harry's loyalty to him and his red headed Weasley boy. He also needed to have a word with Andromeda Tonks, the Blacks disowned sister. Maybe she would have a solution to stop the bonding before it could occur. He grinned, it was time to start constructing his little pawns for their positions in the upcoming war. He had no intention of losing and he really didn't care who lost their lives in the process. So long as he came out on top and Tom Riddle was dealt with once and for all he really didn't care.

Chapter Text

When Alecto had warned Hermione that the process of reversing the suppressants would be painful she had no idea just how painful and as she quickly found out, she had severely underestimated her own ability to cope with it.

She had thought that the Black's insisting that they were there with her while she took the potion was unnecessary. She had been certain she wouldn't need them, that she would be able to cope with any pain she faced on her own like she always had done ever since she could remember. Within minutes of swallowing the potion however she was severely grateful that the Black's were there as she doubled over, a blinding pain slashing through her body without warning. Causing her to cry out in agony as she threw a hand out, clutching on to the nearest Black she could reach. Not caring in that moment who it was but just needing someone to hold on to.

Bellatrix looked at both her sisters in concern as Hermione doubled over. Her pain filled cries not ceasing and causing all three sisters to flinch uncomfortably knowing that there was little they could do to help their little witch. If Hermione wasn't in so much pain she would almost find it quite hilarious watching Andromeda throw glances between Hermione and the hand the young witch had locked on her thigh, knuckles white and Bella had no doubt Andromeda would be spouting a few honour bruises come tomorrow.

"Okay, it is clearly a lot more agonising than predicted. We need to get her lying down, surrounded by our scents. We need to stay calm and try to get as much of a soothing scent as we can into her lungs as soon as possible" Narcissa spoke up calmly, the first to recover from the panic all three of them had been thrown into when they heard the little brunette first cry out.

"Please Cissa" Hermione gasped out between breathes as her face contorted in pain. "Please".
The Black's were grateful that Hermione was still at least aware of what was going on even if she couldn't articulate very well at the moment. Her agreement with Narcissa indicating that she needed them right now.

"Meda on your back, pull Hermione on top of you" Bellatrix instructed, taking the lead as the eldest and therefore their leader. She nodded at Andromeda when her sister complied straight away. The older brunette grasping Hermione gently under the arms and pulling her down to rest on her own chest as she lay down with her.

"Good, tuck her face into your neck, Cissa and I will drape ourselves either side of her over her back. That way if she twists her head or turns she will have at least one of our scents" Bella nodded as she moved forward, doing exactly as she had instructed. She focused on calming herself first before beginning to release soothing pheromones into the air around them, Narcissa and Andromeda doing the same.

Hermione had felt herself being shifted and lay down and even though every muscle in her body wanted to curl up on itself she couldn't help but automatically burrow in as close as she could to Andromeda. Taking deep breaths as she tried to inhale as much of the soothing scent of her Alpha's as she could. Already she could feel a shift in her brain in the way she regarded the women she was fated too. She wasn't sure if it was her Omega merging or if it was her finally excepting the care and attention they were giving her. Though she supposed it didn't matter, whatever it was she wasn't able to worry about it as the pain continued to course through her body.

"We are so sorry you have to experience this darling" Narcissa's gentle tone was like a soothing balm on her fragile mind at the moment and she desperately wanted her mates to keep talking. She needed to hear them, to distract herself from the agony she was currently in but no matter how hard she tried to voice her wish she couldn't get her tongue to comply. Instead of words she could only whimper pitifully in frustration and pain.

She wanted the agony to stop, she wanted to retreat as far away from it as possible but she knew there was no escape, thanks to Albus all she could do was surrender to it and trust that her Alpha's would help get her through it. Already she could feel herself relaxing slightly. Their combined scents along with the skin to skin contact doing more to soothe her than she thought possible.

"That's it little one, just relax, we've got you" Bellatrix murmured in her ear as she felt the dark witch caress her back in gentle circles. Gathering what little strength she could from the gentle ministrations and the sound of Bellatrix's voice Hermione managed to turn her head to face the dark haired witch and locked on to dark brown pools with her own desperate pleading honey coloured ones hoping to communicate what she needs though she can tell by the questioning look she recieves in response that she needs to try verbalise.

Desperately, aware she is in far too much pain to talk in any sort of sentences, she drags in a deep breathe. "Leglimens" and although it comes out as little more than a whisper she can tell Bellatrix understands what she's asking by the slight widening of her eyes before Bella nods, whispering the spell and entering her mind gently. Knowing her barriers are impressive enough to keep even dumbledore out of her mind Hermione has to work hard to lower her defences allowing Bellatrix to see just how much pain she's in and how the sound of their voices soothes her a little more than just their scents.

"Okay little one" is all she hears in her mind before she senses Bella withdrawing, ending the spell before she begins speaking out loud, telling her sisters what Hermione had asked of them and the little brunette finds herself snorting involuntarily through the pain as the dark witch tells Andromeda and Narcissa she finally knows what it feels like to be hit by a hundred cruciatus curses at once, such is the pain she could sense coming from Hermione's mind. She finds it rather funny that Bella sounded so upset by that revelation and yet again it reminds her of how different the Black's really are compared to what Albus amd his minions had the rest of the wizarding world convinced of. 'If only they could see just how caring they really are' she thought sadly as she burried her face back in Andromeda's neck and focused on the gentle voices of the Black sister's as they told stories of their childhood endeavours. Allowing the sound of their voices to soothe her as she rides out the pain.
-----

Seven long unbearable hours later, though she wouldn't know that until later when she asked her mother, Hermione could feel the pain begin to dissipate from her overwrought body. The pain gradually lessening its hold on her tense muscles, allowing her to truly begin to relax for the first time in what felt like forever.

She had been in and out of consciousness for the majority of the potion raging its course throughout her body, undoing the years of damage Albus had caused her and now that she was finally near the end of the healing the potion had taken her body through she felt complete for the first time since she could remember. Her Omega was no longer this 'other', this term or notion of who she would be. Her omega was part of her now, she could only describe it as a second conscious, a gentle murmur, strong yet gentle, driven but calm deep inside of her. Whispering softly too her, like a lovers caress as it guided her to pull in deep breathes of her Alpha's reassuring scents that were now so much clearer to decipher. All three unique but equally as appealing, mixing together to form a blanket over her aching body as she continued to draw in deep steady breathes.

She could now decipher exactly who each of the bodies were around her without moving or opening her eyes. They smelt differently from how she remembered before she took the potion and she could only guess it was the newly awoken Omega in her that was allowing her to decipher their scents so clearly now.

Andromeda lay holding her from underneath as Hermione lay on the older brunettes chest. Her scent was an alluring concoction of the woods on a crisp winters morning and wild flowers. Bellatrix lay to the left of her, the dark witches body covering the left side of her back. Her scent was stronger than the other two - lead Alpha - her Omega supplied the explanation quietly without prompt. The dark witch smelt like a campfire and new books rolled into one. Narcissa lay to her right, the blondes body covering the right side of Hermione's back and quite like she expected the blondes scent was different to her sisters. She smelt like the ocean on a summers day mixed with the unique smell of lillies, Hermiones favourite flower. She wasn't surprised that each of her Alpha's scents were that of her favourite things, prooving the older witches right, that they were infact her destined mates.

Over the weeks she had continued to learn about the dynamics with Andromeda and knew that a mates scent was specific to what appealed to their destined mate, for her each of the three Black sisters smelt differently but each smelt of the things that brought Hermione the most joy in life and being surrounded by their scents made the young brunette feel oddly content in a way she had never been. Safe. Her Omega reassured her and she wasn't about to disagree because she did truly and utterly feel safe for the first time in her life. She knew the Black's cared for her, loved her even, she knew they would always protect her, always strive to make her happy. Though it was a foreign thought it didn't scare her as much now that she truly felt whole for once in her life. She knew that had she felt these things before she presented she probably would have run from it. Terrified of being hurt or failing but as all three witches held her tight, their scents enveloping her in a cocoon of calm safety running was the furthest it had ever been from her mind.

There was still a battle within herself at just how much she trusted them but the scared, isolated girl she had been was slowly loosing to the new calm confidence that her inner Omega permitted her. That fearful voice of doubt whispering what ifs was quieter in that moment than it ever had been and that revelation gave her hope. Hope for so much more than the emptiness she had lived through for the first sixteen years of her life.

Opening her eyes she couldn't help but smile as she got caught in the warm blues of Narcissa's gaze, the blonde smiled back lovingly as she reached out to tuck a stray strand of Hermione's hair behind her ear and away from her face. Her hand brushing Hermione's cheek gently before she withdrew to rest her arm across the younger brunettes back.

"Sleep now little one, you did so well" the blonde whispered to her and the praise caused her heart to swell as she smiled wider at the older witch and heard a low purring sound that confused her when she realised the sound was coming from her. What on earth was that? And why was she doing it?

Her eyes or the sudden tense of her muscles that she couldn't quite hide must have betrayed her confusion as all three sisters chuckled quietly. "Its normal little witch don't worry, it's just your Omega letting us know she's content" Andromeda laughed gently and Hermione relaxed again with the explanation as she heard the content purr echoed back at her from her three witches, each of them reassuring her and showing her their own level of content contentness as they held her.

As she snuggled closer, enjoying the moment, her body and mind finally beginning to rest as the soothing sound of her Alpha's purs, their scent and the warmth of their bodies against hers lulling her exhausted body and mind into sleep she felt them shift slightly and the last thing she felt was the press of three sets of lips on the crown of her head as she drifted off to sleep. Warm, safe and whole.

-------
"How did it go? " Tom whispered from the doorway as he gazed upon his sleeping daughters face as she lay snuggled with the Black sisters. Both Andromeda and Narcissa also asleep.

"It was an extremely painful process but I feel we did right by teaching her about the Alpha/Omega relationships my lord. Possessing the knowledge about how and why her mind and body were reacting to us so strongly seemed to calm her which helped us keep her calm enough that we could help her through the pain better" Bellatrix whispered back as she glanced up at her Lord and Lady before turning her attention back to her sleeping sisters and mate.

"It took around nine hours in total for her to present fully and she was in and out of consciousness the whole time but I am proud of her, she has embraced her Omega without the fight we expected and it seems to have given her a sense of safety with us. I am glad it is over now, it broke my heart to see her in so much pain, her body being forced to fight the damage Albus caused." she continued her voice nothing but a murmur, breaking slightly as she recalled the sight of her little mate having to endure the effects of the potion.

"I will never forgive him for the pain he has caused her. She was a baby when he took her from us, she should have grown up with this knowledge, with the love and guidanceshe needed to feel safe" Alecto whispered angrily from her place at Tom's side. Her eyes bright with tears of sorrow and anger.

"I know love, he will pay" Tom replied as he drew his wife into his arms to comfort her as they continued to watch the tender scene infront of them.

"He will" Bellatrix echoed, her voice nothing but conviction as her heart filled with fury at all that man had done to her family, especially to the intelligent brunette that lay sleeping so peacefully in her and her sisters arms.

How is McGonagall doing with the Occlumency lessons with the Potter and Weasley boy?" She asked her lord needing the distraction from the dark thoughts that filled her mind at all the ways she would like to make Albus Dumbledore suffer.

"Well, both boys have come on amazingly. When she told them that they could help Hermione by learning they reportedly threw themselves into the lessons and can now successfully defend their minds for long periods. She will enlighten them amd bring them to see our girl in the next few days. I asked her to wait till we send word though to give Hermione time to adjust to her Omega and recuperate after the potion" Alecto informed her bestfriend with pride at the thought of her daughters friends caring so much for her girl that they had managed to master soothing so advanced in the matter of weeks purely because it might help Hermione.

Bellatrix nodded, equally impressed with the boys accomplishments. It only proved to her just how amazing her little witch was for her to spark such loyalty and devotion from her friends. "She is their leader, I doubt their is anything they wouldn't do for her. We have seen first hand just how impressive her leadership skills are" the dark haired witch murmured with a grin as she caught Alecto's eye.

"That we have, if she were not at the ministry the children would have been subdued within minutes. It was her leadership and skill that got them as far as they did. She is most definitely her fathers daughter" Alecto replied as she smiled wistfully as she gazed upon her girl.

"She will be the greatest ruler our world has seen when the time comes for her to take my seat. That is the future we fight for" Tom's words were soothing to both witches, the thought of all that Hermione would achieve amd the world they would create once the war was won driving their resolve. For too both witches there was nothing fighting for that was more important than a future where the Hermione's of the world grew up excepted and valued and who better to lead than the very girl who fought so hard for all those she loved.

Chapter Text

Harry felt the knots in his stomach twist almost painfully as he found himself infront of a large Manor he had never seen before. The white brick building was an impressive sight as it rose up infornt of him at the end of the gravel path he stood on, McGonagall and Ron beside him.

The grounds around him were equally impressive, large-scale and covered every direction in lavish flowers, trees, immaculately mowed lawns and hedges as far as the eye could see. The appearance was surprisingly not as dark and gloomy as he had expected when McGonalgal had informed them that they would be meeting someone important at the Riddle family Manor. Who they were to meet he had no idea although if it would help Hermione like McGonagall told them it would then he would do it. No matter how apprehensive he now felt because Hermione is his best friend, his sister. She had always stood by him. Always supported him. She had saved his life countless times and had shown him nothing but utter love and friendship from the day they had met as first years.

Learning from Dumbledore that they had lost her, that the death eaters had her and she was most likely dead was the worst day of his life. Even worse than watching Voldemort return knowing that the man had killed Harry's parents. Yet the loss of Hermione had been worse on him. He wasn't old enough when his parents died to remember them but Hermione? She had been his best friend. One of the most central people in his life and she had made him feel valued, seen, loved and for an orphan who had been raised by his abusive aunt and uncle that had meant everything to him.

He had felt his world shatter that day. His heart breaking and his hope fading because after all it was Hermione that was the glue that held him and all their friends together. She was their light. Their leader and they were lost without her.

When McGonagall had called him and Ron into her office several weeks ago to undertake occlumency training Harry had been dreading it. He saw no point, after all he had taken lessons with Professor Snape and had been useless. He couldn't grasp even the basics of shielding his mind from intrusion. However when McGonagall had hinted at the fact that learning  Occlumency would help them get Hermione back safe and sound he and Ron both had thrown themselves into their professors lessons on the subject and surprisingly within weeks they had made impressive leaps forward in their occlumency skill. The lessons providing a much needed distraction to their grief over their lost friend and filling them with hope.

To tell the truth he had thought that the lessons would stop once they had learned all they could from her about occlumency. Harry had been building himself up for the inevitable emptiness to re consume him once the lessons stopped however McGonagall had surprised them even further by sitting them down at there scheduled time and telling them they needed to talk.

Over the space of three days Harry felt his world view start to tilt and realign as McGonagall tore his perspective of one Albus Dumbledore apart. Learning about Dynamics and the old man's meddling with their lives had filled him at first with doubt until McGonagall had pulled out a piece of parchment addressed to him and Ron.

It wasn't an all that all encompassing a letter however it was enough to convince them that what McGonagall was telling them was the truth.

It simply read...

My two best idiots, I want you to know that I am well. Right now I cannot tell you where I am, nor whom I am with but I can promise you I am alive and well. The old goat that is Dumbledore will try and convince you I am either dead, brainwashed or prisoner but I would like to assure you I am none of the above.

I am perfectly healthy and as intelligent as ever thank you very much. I ask one thing of you. Trust McGonagall no one else. I beg of you. McGonagall can be trusted. No other can!

Trust in her and I will be with you sooner.

My love,

Hermione

The writing was eloquent, neat and absolutely meticulously written. So much so that Harry had no doubt Hermione had written it. It had to be because he knew no other that could ever hope to imitate his best friends writing. He had cried upon reading it. Overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that he hadn't infact lost the brightest witch of their age for good. She was healthy and safe and he would get to see her soon. He had shared such an overwhelmingly grateful look with his professor that in their emotional state he almost missed the look of irritation in Ron's face however so strong was Harry's relief that he couldn't find it within himself to care if something had annoyed Ron right now. All that mattered was his sister was okay.

He had been intrigued about the idea of Dynamics and after reading the text McGonagall gave them, he and Ron had taken to guessing what they may be when the time comes for them to present. His guess was that he would be an Omega, Ron insisted that as a Weasley he would be an Alpha because they simply were better than most. Though Harry supposed he didn't really care much for what he was he was just pissed that Dumbledore had lied and manipulated them so much.

After being sworn to secrecy, multi reminders to make sure their occlumency shields were strong at all times and gentle reminders to eat and sleep well the two had met back up with McGonagall who had taken them off school grounds under the guise of 'practicing occlumency in the real world'. McGonagall assured them that Dumbledore didn't suspect a thing and had given his approval for McGonagall to take Harry and Ron out of Hogwarts for the day.

Now though as he stood on the large pathway in Riddle Manor he couldn't help but feel strange. Out of place and apprehensive. He just had to trust that McGonagall would not bring them somewhere that was a risk to their safety. He knew his professor would and could never bring harm to any of her students because she cared for them all with all her heart. It didn't surprise him now that he thought about it that it was she who had found Hermione quickest. After all they knew the older woman loved Hermione as if she were her own and the one thing he knew beyond a doubt was that McGonagall would do anything for his bestfriend.

"Come along you pair, we don't have all day to stand around and dawdle, we must be inside, we are expected and it is rude to leave our hosts waiting while you both gawk at their lovely home" McGonagalls soft, stern lilt broke through Harry's inner musings and he startled slightly, blushing in embarrassment at being caught staring and then chided by his professor.

----

Making their way into the Manor, Harry was surprised when an elf that looked an awful lot like Dobby appeared to take their coats and guide them to the sitting room where their hosts awaited.

"I bes Tipsy misters, yous will follow" the little elf chimed adorably before leading the way.

Harry struggled to take in the sheer grandeur of the hallway as they walked towards large wooden double doors at the end of the hall. Everything looked so expensive and sophisticated yet homely that he found it all a little overwhelming. Having lived under the stairs of his aunts house for thirteen years he hadn't ever seen a home look so grand.

The little elf opened the doors and motioned for them to go through into the room and Harry felt his nerves spike to an all time high. He shrunk back a little, allowing his professor to take the lead and step in first, infront of him. Ron following after him.

The sight that greeted him as they entered the sitting room, both terrified him and made him overwhelmingly happy all at once because there right infront of him was the three Black sisters and two unknown individuals. Sitting comfortably drinking tea as they chatted together quietly. The sight of Bellatrix the most infamous death eater alive and Narcissa terrified him and he assumed that the unknown individuals must be death eaters also. He was terrified yet there also was none other than Hermione. Sitting upon Bellatrix's lap laughing jovially at something that the dark witch was saying. She was the picture of ease and seeing her healthy and so clearly happy made Harry's heart leap almost painfully.

As his bestfriend looked up at him he found himself temporarily forgetting about the death eaters and the danger they posed as he smiled widely at the brunettes bright grin. His world narrowing down, all sounds and other people dissapearing around him as his brunette bestfriend took all of his attention.

"Mione!!!" His voice shook slightly as he stepped forward without thought. His only goal was to get to the brunette who was now running towards him with tears of joy in her eyes. He opened his arms and braced himself as Hermione launched herself into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist as he caught her.

"Oh Harry, I've missed you terribly!" She cried as she hugged him tightly and he found himself holding her tighter in response. Almost afraid to let her go lest he lose her again.

"Hermione, I thought I'd lost you!" He sobbed, his emotions finally cascading forth from his heart. Pouring out as if a damn had suddenly burst open and there wasn't much he could do to stop it, except hold on to his friend as tightly as he could.

"I know but I'm okay, I'm here but merlin is there so much you need to know" she reassured him as she slid back to the floor and pulled Ron into a quick hug that was so much shorter than the hug the older witches and wizard in the room had witnessed between Harry and Hermione that they were slightly suspicious of the clear reluctance Hermione displayed to hold her ginger friend.

"Mione, I'm glad you're good. But mind telling me what the heck you were doing sitting beside that monster" Ron asked brashly as they pulled apart. His features flushing red in hatred as he glared at the dark haired witch. Though it was a good question, Harry supposed he wouldn't have asked it quite as rudely because clearly there was more going on here than Hermione simply being comfortable around death eaters.

"Ron!" Harry warned as he saw Hermione tense rather aggressively, her usually gentle brown eyes narrowing at their red headed friend in anger.

"No Harry. She dissapeared from the ministry weeks ago without a word, now she's sitting, merrily sipping tea with phsycopaths as if there isn't a bloody war brewing" the red head cut in, silencing Harry's warning as he whipped his wand out.

Unsurprisingly, going by the anger he had already seen possess his brunette friend, Ron's wand went flying into her open palm before the red head even had a chance to arm himself properly as Hermione stepped forward, growling dangerously.

"Ronald Weasley I suggest you shut your mouth before I shut it for you. I will tell you all you need to know once we all sit down like the civilised people we are to have a conversation. Next time you attempt to point your wand at a member of my family, friend or not, I will point mine at you, though unlike you I know how to bloody well use mine, do you understand?" Hermione's voice was calm but firm and the tone caused Harry to shiver in fear a little. After five years of being bestfriends with Hermione both he and Ron knew that when her voice became that level of calm and firm they both best listen to what she says immediately or risk a nasty hexing as they had both learnt the hard way. Judging by the way Ron paled, nervously swallowing and nodding at the brunette, he had also caught on to just how angry Hermione was and wasn't willing to risk being on the receiving end of whatever she decided to throw in her anger.

"Good, I'm glad we have reached an understanding" Hermione states simply before turning to give McGonagall a hug and then stalking back across to Bellatrix and plopping herself back down on the dark witches lap. Harry blinks in shock and curiosity as the supposed evil right hand of Voldemorte wraps her arms around Hermione's waist and nuzzles the brunettes neck with her nose effectionately, causing Hermione to close her eyes and lean back contently in Bellatrix's arms, he also didn't understand the reason both Andromeda and Narcissa placed their hands on his best friends thighs as they sat either side of Bellatrix.

"Close your mouths boys it is unbecoming to gawp" McGonagall chided as she ushered them towards the empty seats.

----
Sitting herself back down on Bellatrix's lap, Hermione forced herself to take deep breathes in, allowing the scents of her Alpha's to help her regain a sense of composure. As much as she missed her two best friends Ron's obnoxious comments had enraged her. Something she had found happened easily now that her Omega side was firmly awoken. Her emotions were an absolute mess.

From one moment to the next Hermione had found herself experiencing multiple emotions so rapidly she could hardly keep up. Ranging from severe sadness and despair to agonising hatred amd anger and everything Inbetween. Her father was sure it would settle in time as it sounded to him like Hermione's Omega had spent so long suppressed that she was simply catching up with herself and working through the emotional matrix that had been suppressed so long.

She had not been able to disagree. It made sense and was the conclusion she had found herself reaching even before she had spoken to her parents or her Alpha's about it. Thoigh it was a massive pain in the arse because it meant she was a hundred times more clingy and emotional than she had ever suspected she would be when she presented. Sure she knew she would be clingy for a while with her Alpha's, it was natural for Alpha's and Omega's to crave closeness with their mates when they first meet and in the early years of them bonding fully. As Hermione had made it clear she wouldn't be bonded with them fully for a while (because to fully bond she would have to be knotted and bitten during sex by all three of her Alpha's and she really was not ready for that) she had known she would be clingy but this level of clingy went far beyond what she or any of her Alpha's had suspected. She couldn't go more than a few minutes without any sort of physical contact with at least one of her Alpha's or her parents before she became overly emotional and distressed. It annoyed her as much as it amused her mates who were more than happy to keep her close.

"Your little display of dominance with the weasel boy over there was extremely impressive little witch" Bellatrix purred in her ear, her voice nothing more than a whisper but the deep sultry tone and the praise was enough to cause Hermione to preen, purring softly in response as she settled further into her Alpha's lap.

"Hermione?" Harry's quiet questioning voice caused her to sit up a little straighter. Looking over at the green eyed boy who had become her brother in every sense of the word except by blood. She smiled gently at him, inclining her head to the side in silent encouragement for him to continue with what he wanted to ask.

"Can you tell us what's going on? Things are obviously..." he paused glancing at the Black sisters curiously as if searching for the right word before bringing his eyes back to hers. "different and you know I'm always a little slow to pick up on things" he smiled cheekily at her and she was more than grateful for his ability to always say the right thing to cheer her up and ease her.

"Yeah mione, an explanation of why you've dived head first into psycho would be brilliant round about now" Ron's sarcastic tone broke the moment causing Hermione to move her gaze onto him and what she saw made her rather uneasy. To be truthful, something about him had made her feel a little uneasy from the moment he had stepped through the door, she just wasn't sure what it was, though the way he was sitting now on the chair infront of her, fists and jaw clenched tightly, eyes narrowed, glaring at Bellatrix and Narcissa before glaring at her mother and Father in turn was more than enough to get her hackles up and herself leaning towards him rather intimidatingly as she forced herself to suppress the growl building in her throat. Merlin it would take her forever to get used to the rather inhuman sounds that she was suddenly able to pull from within without conscious thought.

Though even with her suppressing the growl she must have made her un happiness with his sarcasm clear judging by the way he gulped and leaned back slightly as if to push himself as far from her as possible.

She forced herself to take another deep breath her hands moving to clasp both Andormeda and Narcissa's hands that were still on her thighs as Bellatrix tightened her grip around Hermione's waist. Looking at her mother and father to reassure herself that they weren't in any danger she forced herself to relax and sit back.

"Of course Harry, Ron. I didn't dissapear willingly from the ministry though much has happened since then. In the beginning I believed I was a hostage after Bellatrix took hold of me in the ministry when the death eaters surrounded us. At the time I was confused because obviously Dumbledore.." she spat his name, unable to disguise the disgust in which she regarded the man now that she knew the truth. "Had taught us to believe the latter the latter Deatheaters were evil, vindictive and insane, none more so than Bellatrix. So obviously I was entirely not at ease with her holding me against her amd dragging me off but I knew there was little point fighting. She was more skilled, more powerful and had way more experience than me and there was no chance I would be able to get away from her without risking my own death so I let her drag me backwards, away from the fighting. She told me that I was safe, that she wouldn't hurt me but needed me to call the dark Lord because dumbledore had turned up and there wasn't enough of the deatheaters there to hold him back. I complied, uneasy but surprisingly reassured by Bella's promise she would let no harm come to me because I just had a feeling that I could trust her. Once I had used the dark mark on her arm to call him she apologised to me and before I could react everything went black. Bella had used the pressure point at the back of my neck to knock me unconscious because she knew if I got free or a member of the order came to my aid she wouldn't be able to hold onto me safely and fight and she had been ordered by the dark Lord to capture me unharmed." Hermione stopped, glancing up at her two friends to judge their reactions so far, knowing that she was coming to the part that may be hardest for them to swallow.

"No offence mione but why would he want you, you're a mudblo..." Ron's offensive statement was cut off suddenly as he suddenly found himself without his voice and Hermione watched him fumble for a moment, trying to force his words out before he aimed an acussing glare at Bellatrix, his face turning red with anger.

"Silly boy, don't glare at Bellatrix, it was not her. If you even consider using such offensive language against Hermione again I'll do a lot more than take your voice, I'll take your tongue. Now sit back and listen as you were asked to do" Hermione smiled gently at Alecto, ignoring Ron's infuriated glare.

"Thank you mama" she said sweetly as Alecto smiled and tilted her head at her in acknowledgement. She was grateful her mother had stepped in because Hermione couldn't be certain she wouldn't have lost her temper completely at him. He was infuriating, more so when he heard something he didn't agree with or didn't get his own way. She suspected that was exactly what was happening now, he didn't like what he was hearing so he was throwing a temoer tantrum.

"Mama Hermione?" Harry questioned gently, sensing his best friends need for redirection.

"Yes" she beamed at him, her eyes sparkling as she regarded her bestfriend who yet again had known just what to do to save her from lashing out.

"Up until Bellatrix took me from the ministry I had believed my name was Hermione Jean Granger, muggle-born orphan to the Dr's Granger as you know. However while I was still unconscious Bellatrix ran a heritage test on me, they then left me locked in a room upstairs with a letter explaining that I would be given space to come to terms with the lies I had been fed. They left a book on dynamics plus allowed me to conduct my own heritage test knowing that I would not just simply believe them if they told me what they knew." She took a deep breath, smiling at her parents as they gave her a reassuring nod and she did her best to convey through her eyes alone that she was alright and they had no need to worry.

"My name is actually Hermione Tiberias MacKenzie Carrow - Riddle, the sole hier to both the Carrow and Riddle houses. Plus the Gaunt, Selywn, Slytherin and Ravenclaw houses. My parents are Lady Alecto Carrow - Riddle and Lord Tom Marvelo Riddle" she continued, gesturing to her parents to introduce them to her friends.

"Riddle?" Harry asked his voice cautious and Hermione could hear the slight tremor of fear in his voice as he eyed her father wearily. She smiled reassuringly at him as she nodded. "You are in no danger from my father Harry. Neither of you are. He isn't who Dumbledore has had us believing him to be" she said gently, hoping to soothe him and avoid an outburst from Ron. She saw him open his mouth to respond, his face still flushed with anger, she sent him a sharp look in warning and was a little more than satisfied when the red head snapped his mouth shit and slumped back, weary of angering her further.

"What happened? Why were you with the Grangers?" Harry's voice was still a little shaky but she could hear the curiosity now in his voice as she watched him force himself to relax a little.

"Dumbledore kidnapped me, imprisoned my mother and harmed my father all in one night but that is a story I will let him tell you as it involves your parents Harry. Dumbledore had me placed with the Grangers altering their memories so they believed I was theirs. He kept tabs on us right through my life, altered my birth certificate and orchestrated us meeting and befriending one another. He had hoped to use me to help you kill my father as the ultimate revenge on my father for disagreeing with Dumbledore's actions" she tried and failed to hide the anger in her voice as she told her two best friends the truth. It was futile for her to even pretend she didn't loathe the old wizard. He had harmed her family and her newly presented Omega side was furiously demanding that he paid for his actions. Her more rationale side agreed. Omega or not she already loved her parents more than she thought possible and the knowledge that Dumbledore had harmed them infuriated her. She hated him and wanted to make sure that he would pay for his actions.

"I'm sorry he did that Hermione, you did not deserve to be stolen from your parents and I am happy that you are okay and back where you were meant to be all along" Harry said smiling at her as he glanced at her parents before he turned his attention to her Father.

"Lord... Riddle... what happened with my parents?" He asked hesitantly, unable to hide the flash of pain and anger in his eyes as the completely normal, handsome looking man turned his attention on him. Harry didn't understand how the snake like looking voldemort he had seen in the graveyard the night he retook his physical form and the man infronf of him where one in the same but he was a wizard after all. He knew Magic could do all sorts so didn't want to dwell on it.

"You can call me Tom, Harry. You are my daughters bestfriend and as such you are always welcome here. Though to answer your question I am afraid you will not believe what you hear but I swear upon my magic it is the truth I will tell you" Tom began as he pulled Alecto into his side further, seeking comfort in her scent and proximity. Upon seeing Harry nod his understanding Tom continued on, explain to Harry exactly what had happened and by the end his heart was clenching painfully as he watched the young boy cry in disbelief and shame at his parents actions.

In the mist of the explanation, all had forgotten about Ron and were unaware of the ticking time bomb he had become as his anger rose and rose with every word he heard.

"BULLSHIT!!" He shouted suddenly as he stood up. "Utter Bullshit, you cannot seriously tell me you believe that monster Harry, he's evil, vindictive and manipulative. I thought better of you, I thought you were smarter than this, to fall for the manipulations of a madman and his psycho daughter. Dumbledore was right in what he did. The only thing he did wrong was he should have killed the little whore mudblood while he had the chance!!" He ranted as he began to pace, unaware of the shock and anger that was currently etched upon the rest of the rooms faces.

"Ronald don't, they're not lying" Harry tried, jumping to the defence of his brunette bestfriend. He had heard the truth in Tim's voice, had seen the anger, the sadness, the regret as he spoke and knew he wasn't lying, Hermione wouldn't lie and secretly deep down he had always known his parents weren't the simple saints the light had painted them to be.

"No Harry, I cannot believe you don't see what they're doing. Voldemorte isn't a good guy, he's playing you. Him, his whore and his bitxh daughter. Merlin you're acting so dense..."

"ENOUGH!!!" Hermione's voice cut the red head off mid sentence as she stood and prowled towards him. The anger was rolling off her in waves causing every adult in the room to flinch under the pressure of her pheromones as she cornered Ronald. Harry gulped comically, his eyes widening in disbelief at the power in Hermione's voice. He hadn't ever seen her this mad before and felt extremely sorry for Ron all of a sudden. He did not envy him his position right now.

"How dare you sit in my home and insult my family" her voice was deadly calm as she backed him into the wall. "My family have been through enough without your vulgar insults and uncouth statements. You have two seconds to explain to me exactly what on earth you think you are doing before I show you just what happens to those who act as you have" she lent in, her voice barely above a whisper and she knew he would tell her anything if it meant she would back away.

"I'm sorry" he whimpered. "Dumbledore is threatening my family, he told my mother if I did not convince you to return to hogwarts so he could bind you to me so you can't help your father he would take Ginny" his voice broke off into a sob and Hermione had to force herself to maintain her imposing demeanour. His anguish effectively cutting through her anger. Though he wouldn't know that as he couldn't detect the sudden change in the pheromones she was pumping into the air. Her Alpha's, McGonagall and her parents could though and they were glad she had managed to calm herself so quickly as none of them wanted to interfere. She was an Omega after all who had rose to defend her family, it would be stupid to try and get in her way.

"He knew about who you were meeting today? How?" She asked. Keeping her tone low so as to keep him talking.

"I don't know who but he has a spy among your fathers followers. He was informed that you had presented, that you were to be bonded to the Black's, though he doesn't know Andromeda is here and he wanted to tie you to me so you would be useful to him. If he couldn't get you tied to me he is going to persuade Andromeda to persuade her sisters she had changed alliances and take you and bond you to herself from behind their backs, effectively assuring your loyalty to the light" he explained in a rush his shoulders slumping in defeat as he imagined what could possibly become of his sister now that he had failed his task of getting to Hermione.

"I see" she murmured in response as she turned her back on him to face the rest of the room. Catching sight of the anger on her families faces akd the betrayal on Harry's.

"If Albus wants to play things this way, I say let us change the rules" she stated, allowing a mischievous smile to grace her features, making her look every bit the dark princess she was.

The answering smirks from the Black's and her parents was enough for her to drag Ron back towards the group. Intent on using Dumbledores latest manipulation to her advantage.

Chapter Text

Walking into her fathers meeting room for the first time as a fully presented Omega, her mates and her parents at her side, Hermione had to admit that for once in her life she truly felt powerful and confident. She had no idea just how much her presentation would change her but she really did feel now as if she were no longer half a person. Nothing was missing and it gave her so much more confidence than anyone could have guessed she would possess.

She didn't know if it was the security having the Black's so close to her or the same fact that she was finally where she belonged that caused the shift but she wasn't going to question it. She felt good, confident and so much more herself than she had ever done and she could only be grateful for that.

"Good evening, my loyal friends. Thank you for your time this evening" her father's voice rung out as he took his position at the head of the table. The death eaters surrounded the large oak table that spanned the length of the room.

Hermione could recognise more than one familiar face. Lucious Malfoy and Severus Snape being the two that stood out most to the young witch. She didnt like either man but she had the suspicion that Snape was their traitor and she knew her father agreed with her on that front. Loyalty had always been something Hermione felt strongly about, she was a loyal person to the core and because of such she had always demanded the same loyalty from those around her when she became close to anyone. It was for that reason that she felt a brand new sense of disdain for the greasy haired man, who was currently sneering across the table as he eyed her with disdain.

"I want you all to welcome my heir, Hermione who has been found and returned to us all at last" her father beamed as he gestured her forward. A proud smirk gracing his snake like features. Hermione didn't think she'd ever get used to seeing her father look so inhuman, despite the fact that she knew he only disguised himself this way to ensure that those that would betray his trust could not inform anyone on Albus's side of the war of exactly what he looked like now, therefore giving himself a little added security.

The room was filled with applause and the young witch was surprised when each of her fathers followers bowed to her. Murmurs of "our dark princess" echoing throughout. She nodded curtly and stood tall at her fathers side, despite the little hint of anxiety that bubbled just under the surface of her confident exterior.

"I am so very glad to be home once more with my family, I look forward to getting to know the people who have stood by my father and mother so admirably all these years" she responded, politely a degree of warmth colouring her tone and the two present black sisters could see just how much the little witch was already endearing herself to her fathers followers. It made them feel proud of the girl, who despite having her whole world flipped upside down in the past few months and enduring such a difficult and traumatising childhood had dealt with everything with a level of azurite and grace that most fully grown witches and wizards could only dream of achieving.

"Your Dark Princess is home and I expect each of you to show her the same level of respect and consideration you offer to both my wife and I, any who fail to do so will be left to not only my mercy but the mercy if the Noble House of Black as it is with great pleasure I inform you that my daughter has presented as a strong Omega and will be bonded to Ladies Narcissa and Bellatrix Black, joining our houses in a way we had only ever dared hope for. If all goes well with our plans we also may be able to persuade Lady Andromeda Black to reclaim her position within her family and if so, she too will be bonded to my child." Tom continued, his voice firm, commanding and entirely formal.

Hermione could feel the power ouze from her father in waves and she couldn't help the adoring smile that graced her lips as she watched him lead the men and woman around him. He really was a true leader, a true Alpha and it made her proud to be his heir, his child.

Alecto had watched the introduction and she too couldn't help the soft smile that adorned her face as she noticed the adoration, love and pride that shone on her little girls face as she stood beside her father, watching him command a room full of people. It truly was a beautiful sight and it filled the older Omega with such warmth and love for her family she feared she may cry.

Taring her eyes from the two people in this world that meant absolutely everything to her, Alecto cast her eyes around the room, taking in the faces of the men and woman who swore their loyalty to her family. She could see both Bella and Cissy watching Hermione with pride and knew her girl couldn't possibly be mated to better people. They'd support and encourage her, while protecting and doting on her for the rest of her life and that gave her peace of mind. Even if she and Tom somehow lost their lives she'd know her little girl would be fine.

Continuing her look around, she too didn't all too like the sneer plastered on Snapes face, especially seeing as it was directed at her daughter. She couldn't help the loud growl that erupted abruptly from her throat as she glared at the man, her glare didn't waver even as every eye in the room snapped in her direction.

"I suggest you keep your eyes off my daughter from now on Severus" she growled, angry eyes focused on the man as he returned her stare. "If I see one more dirty look coming from you directed to even the general area of my child you will not like what hell I will bring down on you, do I make myself clear?" She hissed and nearly winced when she saw the effect her aggressive pheromones were having on everyone in the room. They were sat with there heads bowed, some with teeth gritted and others with lowered eyes. Everyone that is except the two Black sisters, Hermione and Tom. All of which seemed entirely uneffected by her aggressive display. Seeing Hermione hold herself up so well sent another jolt of pride soaring through her but she wouldn't allow herself to be distracted by that as she refocused on Severus.

"I asked you if you understood, I expect an answer" she demanded as she stood, towering over the man.

"Yes, my lady. I apologise. I meant no offence" the greasy man replied finally, bowing in a show of respect.

"Good, do not let me catch you stepping out of line again" she hissed before returning to her husbands side, the room breathing a sigh of relief when her previously aggressive pheromones gentle significantly back into a calm strength.

"You all would do well to learn from dear Severus' mistakes. As you can see my wife nor I will not tolerate any sort of offence directed at your dark princess. Is that understood?" Tom addressed the room, hammering home his expectations and he smiled when he heard the murmured agreement of all concerned.

Hermione spent the next hour listening to her father and mother listen too death eater reports on progress, issues and concerns. Offering praise, guidance and addressing each concern quickly amd effectively. The leadership, the easy flow between them both was beautiful to watch amd she could only hope that eventually it would be that easy for her and her Alpha's and at that thought she couldn't help but cast a subtle longing glance towards both Black sisters, reassuring herself that they were still there. Having Andromeda missing from the room, knowing that the woman wasn't close unsettled her and she didn't think she would cope very well if either of her other two Alpha's dissapeared. Their bonds were new amd her Omega was still trying to adjust to being fully present. It made her feel clingy, needing her Alpha's and her parents close and craving physical contact constantly with them. Something she was sure she wouldn't have been comfortable about if it weren't for her Omega side and the memory of all three sisters holding her so tightly while she had endured the effects of that awful potion.

Nearing the end of the meeting, Tom dismissed the majority of his followers after giving them explicit instructions on how they would move forward with their plans to over throw the ministry and take down Albus, asking that his inner circle, those that were most trusted could remain behind.

"Severus, I know you will be needing to get back to your teaching duties at the castle so you may go now as well. I will fill you in on what you miss tomorrow" he said dismissively as the greasy haired man moved to come closer to Hermione, the Black's and himself. He knew the teaching excuse was poor but he did not want the man to overhear the remainder of the meeting. He knew if Severus was the informant who had leaked information to Albus then it would only put his child amd her friends at risk from the man and he wouldn't allow that. He had laid his trap now. If Albus learned the truth about what was going on at hogwarts all the students would be in danger.

He had set his trap, if Andromeda heard at the next Order meeting that the Black's were open to negotiating her return to the family and a bond to Hermione then he would know Severus Snape was indeed the leak within his ranks. He waited for Severus to depart before he turned his attention back to his inner circle and family.

"Now moving on, first order of business is to discuss the involvement of our children in this war. Thanks to Albus Dumbledore our children have become pawns in his ploy for power as has been made clear by his kidnapping of my child so many years ago and his continued condemnation of the old ways. He believes the entirety of the school is against the slytherins, believing his lies about all slytherins being evil. However thanks to Hermione there is a peace agreement between all four houses and they are willing to work together to educate the youth of the school on the truth behind Albus's lies." He informed the room, smug smirk adorning his face as he revealed just how much his child had been undermining Albus's war efforts without even knowing she was doing so.

By creating a united Hogwarts and opening the door to interhouse working and learning, Hermione had eradicated twenty years of manipulations all under that man's nose and the cheers amd laughter coming from his followers told him just how glad they were for that.

"When the time comes for the final battle the students of Hogwarts will stand down, under the command of Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy and Hermione. Their loyalty will hopefully remain unchanged" he smiled, beaming at those left in the room. Comfortable showing his softer side with his most trusted members.

Hermione didn't have to wait much longer for her father to dismiss everyone and bring the meeting to a close. Leaving her, her parents and her mates alone finally and she wasted no time moving into Narcissa's arms when the blonde approached her, clinging tightly to the older witch as she pulled in deep breathes of Narcissa's by now familiar scent.

"Me too little witch, me too" the blonde chuckled effectionately as she mirrored the little brunettes actions, breathing in her scent deeply to calm herself before releasing the younger witch when Bellatrix approached, pulling Hermione into her arms and tucking the girls head into her neck.

"How are you doing little one?" Bellatrix murmured into brunette curls as she held her young mate.

"I'm okay, distance is still uncomfortable and it's near enough painful with Andromeda missing" Hermione whispered, allowing herself to show the two older witches the vulnerability she felt in that moment and she had to stop herself rolling her eyes at her own actions as she reached out and pulled Narcissa against her so she was sandwiched between the two older women.

"I bet, you're doing well Hermione. You've held up better than any newly presented Omega I've met. You resisted reacting to your mothers aggressive pheromones earlier and did well on remaining strong throughout the meeting even though one of your mates are not present and the other two weren't in touching or scenting distance. You should be proud of yourself" Narcissa reassured her as they continued to hold each other.

"Why don't we move this into the library?" Alecto asked as she and Tom finally joined the three witches by the door.

------

Andromeda sat in the dining room of number 12 Grimmauld place surrounded by order members tapping her fingers silently in irritation. The only thing that held her here was the knowledge that she may gleam important information from the order to aid her family in the coming war. The pulling at her heart and the underlying pain she could feel from her mate was not helping either. She would give anything to be at home with her sisters, holding her little brunette tightly. Instead she was stuck here and she could only hope that things would progress quickly. 

She had already been here entirely too long and her girl would be unsettled and unhappy and that knowledge was only adding to Andromeda's irritation. The night had been useless so far and she wanted it to be over already. Mostly she had sat and watched as the order bickered and speculated for hours before the children were ushered to bed to allow the adults to talk freely. After all it wouldn't do for the youngsters to learn of their dynamics now would it.

"Now we must focus on an issue that has come to light. As many of you know we mourned the loss of our very own Hermione Granger not all that long ago. We believed that due to the nature of who was involved in Miss Grangers kidnapping that miss Granger was dead. However Severus has informed me tonight that Hermione was in fact seen not many hours ago at a meeting organised by Voldemorte. It is unknown if miss Granger is there under coercion or if she is there willingly. However I doubt a smart girl like she would ever pledge herself to such evils willingly." Dumbledore began and Andromeda already knew she was going to struggle greatly to remain calm and react accordingly to his words.

She truly despised the man, if it wasn't enough he had tried to destroy her lord and her little mates family once he now sat dragging her little mate and her lords James through the mud and she couldn't wait until the time came for the man to be dealt with permanently.

"However not all hope is lost, Severus has come of the knowledge that Hermione has presented as an Omega and therefore easily controlled under the command of the right sort of Alpha. She is to be bonded to the Black sisters and this is where we may possibly gain the advantage" Andrkmeda could see the old goats eyes twinkling in sadistic pleasure behind his gentle old man act as he turned his gaze to her.

"Andromeda we need you to approach your sisters and convince them that you are ready to come home. Do whatever it takes to gain their trust and you will have access to Hermione, when the opportunity presents itself I want you to bond her to you without your sisters knowledge and remove her from their clutches." His words were said with such concern and passion that if Andromeda had been nieve she would have believed them. But sue knew this man and could see he was only putting on a show for the rest of the order. Hoping to keep them in agreement by frazing his order to effectively kidnap, rape and force a teenager to bond with someone was the right thing to do for the little witches safety. It was a bloody good thing she would never allow such a thing to happen to her little mate. No one was going to get near the girl.

"You are her only hope of rescue Andromeda. I fear she may not have long left of this world if she is to remain in the care of such evil"

Andy forced herself to take a deep breathe and pretended to be shocked by his words.

"You can't possibly be suggesting that I force a teenager to bond with me Albus, are you mad?" She asked, indignant and affronted.

"It is her only hope, surely you would not harm her so there is no issue with you bonding to her, you can save her and protect her. She is a valued member and friend of the light and we must take this opportunity to have her returned to us where she belongs" Albus replied, his voice as even as ever, not giving the slightest indication that Andromeda's false protests were effecting his view.

The brunette sighed heavily, running her fingers through her hair as she pretended to think it over. This was exactly the response young Mr Weasley had alerted them too so she had been prepared for this. However she still found it repulsive to know that this man was so vulgar amd power hungry he would demand such a thing of one of his followers. Though knowing he would promote the rape and abduction of a child only added to her fury and resolve to bring him down. It was only a very disgusting creature that ever even thought of doing such things to a child.

"Very well Albus, if you think it is our only hope if saving the girl then I will do what you ask though I want it known that I do not agree with what you are asking of me. She is just a child" Andromeda replied with a sigh as she finally got control of her wayward emotions. Little did Albus know she would be bonded to Hermione but unlike his disgusting demands the bonding would be entirely consensual and would not take place until her little mate was ready. She would not ever allow her mate to be forced to do such things.

------
Waiting on Andromeda returning was proving to be much harder on Hermione than anyone could have anticipated. She felt extremely uncomfortable and the pulling sensation she felt in her chest was becoming quite painful. Her mother had explained that the pulling was because of her unsecured bond with her mates and would continue to appear whenever her mates weren't near her until she was bonded to the Black's properly.

When it was explained to her she didn't think it would be this much of an issue, she thought she could push through it because after all hadn't her life up until now been fought alone, she could deal with an uncomfortable ache. Or so she had thought but this was not what she expected.

Not even the presence of her other two mates, nor her father or her mother helped lessen the pull, although she had found quite quickly that Bellatrix's scent helped the most in going a little ways in soothing her, but even with her nose burried against the dark witches scent gland she couldn't help but whimper as she felt her Omega side pace in discontent, worrying and crying out for her missing mate.

For a girl so used to getting by on her own, this longing and need stumped her, she didnt like feeling so needy and Merlin she just wanted Andy to come!

"I hate feeling this vulnerable, I'm not used to needing anyone" she voiced, knowing her family and her mates would appreciate her making the effort to open up to them. Something they had continuously encouraged her to do for weeks and she knew this was a step in the right direction in pulling down the walls she held around herself.

"We know little dove, it isn't comfortable for you but leaning on those that love you, wanting them close, isn't a bad thing Hermione. You don't have to battle life alone anymore" Her mother replied, Alecto's voice was gentle and sincere, and Hermione found herself relax a little more as she felt Bellatrix's fingers begin to coast through her hair and Narcissa's hand come around her waist to rest gently on her stomach, thumb stroking softly.

"I know, I know that now. It's just difficult to allow myself to hope, I'm scared I'll wake up and it will all be a dream" the little brunette replied honestly as she looked over at her parents, smiling at them apologetically. They had all been trying to be patient with her, never pushing for her to talk but always unfailingly offering her the reassurance that they were right here with her.

"You'll get there darling, it won't always feel so unknown to you, we aren't going to run away or abandoned you. You are ours. Our daughter, our heir and we have fought so long amd so hard to have you here with us. Nothing and no one is going to take you away from us ever again Hermione" Tom replied, offering his daughter a reassuring smile as he watched her settle more comfortably on his most trusted friend and followers lap. It amazed him to see just how attentive and loving Bellatrix was with his child, it felt like he was gazing at a whole different person. This Bellatrix, a Bellatrix around Hermione held no signs of the aggressive, powerful and down right terrifying woman she could be in battle. Her eyes were lighter, her movements softer, her behaviour calmer than he had ever seen her and he couldn't help but grin at the thought. Even Narcissa was different now that Hermione was in their lives, the blonde woman no longer held the icy demeanour she prided herself on, instead she was now much more effectionate, her eyes held a warmth that had never been and her more youthful personality was begging to show through. It amazed him to see the contrast, even more so when he compared the changes to Narcissa and Bellatrix to the changes he had seen in Andromeda. The older brunette had always been openly warm and effectionate and she still was but with Hermione, Tom could see the stronger, more assertive side of her, she wasn't afraid to assert herself with Hermione, easily reading his little girl and knowing exactly how to react to her. He had witnessed it clear as day the first time he and Hermione had spoken properly out on the porch. The way she unabashedly dominated Hermione in a way that was subtle and caring had proved to him that the middle Black sister was every bit Bellatrix's sister and it made him proud to see how all three of the Alpha's had so quickly attuned and adjusted themselves to Hermione's needs.

"Andy!!" His daughters elated cry pulled him out of his inner musings as he heard the quiet pop of apparition and Andromeda appeared in the library before them. He was unsure as to how Hermione had known Andromeda was coming in before the older witch appeared.

Hermione felt the familiar stirrings of Andromeda's magic in the air and felt the pull lessen moments before her mate appeared in the room and the young witch was extremely quick to launch herself into Andromeda's arms. Wrapping her legs around the older witches waist, arms around her shoulders as she burried her head into the other brunettes neck to take in her scent directly from her scent gland.

"Well hello to you too little one" the middle black sister grinned as she took the opportunity to nuzzle her little mates neck in greeting causing the young witch to purr happily in response.

"That bad?" Andromeda asked as she looked at her sisters over the young witches shoulder.

"Worse, she's been extremely uncomfortable and in some degree of pain for the past three hours" Bellatrix responded, glaring at her sister. Entirely perturbed with how long Andy had taken to return to the Manor knowing fine well her absence would distress their young mate.

"I'm sorry it took so long Hermione. I tried to be as quick as I could but Dumbledore was entirely unbearable."  The brunette murmured apologetically as she held her mate tightly trying to soothe Hermione, knowing that her Omega would not be very willing to let her go.

"Expect to be clung to for a good while dear sister, she is not at all ready for any sort of separation from the three of us" Narcissa spoke, her tone half understanding half chastising.

"Tell us about the meeting Andromeda"  Alecto cut in, sensing a need for redirection other wise she feared the Black's would begin to bicker, which was not only worrying to witness because their bickering always escalated dramatically but also because she knew it would distress her already distressed child even more than she already was.

"Yes well..." Andromeda replied as she thought back to the ardorous Order of the Pheonix meeting she had been forced to endure.

Chapter Text

Andromeda took a seat on the sofa beside her sisters, Hermione still wrapped tightly around her as the young witch took in greedy lungful’s of the older brunettes scent.

"To put it bluntly I have just spent the better part of four hours arguing with the old git who is adamant that I fake a loyalty change, infiltrate the dark to get close to Hermione then steal her from the black sisters and force her to bond with me against her will so that Albus can use her" she couldn't help the growl that escaped with her words as she pulled Hermione tighter against her, resting possessive hands over the younger witches neck and back. She still couldn't believe the nerve of Albus, how completely and utterly disgusted she was with him suggesting what he did. The mere thought of anyone, let alone her having to kidnap and rape her mate made her furious.

The low growls from the rooms other occupants let Andromeda know just how angered her sisters and her Lord and Lady were at that information. The quiet hiss from her mate letting her know that Hermione was paying attention and she too was thoroughly pissed with Albus's demands.

"He has gone to far this time" Tom hissed as he stood. Looking at Andromeda expectantly as he strode towards her and his child. Taking Hermione out of a reluctant Andromeda's arms and trapping the girl between his arms as he held her closely. Sitting himself back down beside Alecto with his daughter in his lap.

The Black sisters tried hard not to swoon at the adorable pout that spread across Hermione's face at being taken from her mates arms by her father and couldn't help their small smiles when the girl glared at Andromeda as if to blame her for the whole thing.

"He has gone to far my lord, regardless of the fact I'd never allow harm to come to Hermione, he does not know I am aware of our bond nor that I am already with her and my sisters. He is so desperate to cling to his power that he would willingly instruct the rape and kidnap of a child to get his own way" Andromeda hissed, bringing the attention of the room back to their conversation. In all honestly she was beyond furious and struggling more than she had ever done to remain in control of her temper. She wanted her mate back in her arms but knew that her Lord and Lady needed a moment with their child after learning that someone had plotted to rape and kidnap her.

She would be the same if it were her Nymphadora in Hermione's position though it did not change her need for her little mate. She felt both Narcissa and Bellatrix press themselves closer to her, picking up on just how close she was to losing herself to her anger.

"My lord" she heard Narcissa whisper gently though she couldn't find it in herself to look at her little sister, keeping her eyes fixed on her mate as the girl clung to her parents, clearly battling her own myriad of emotions.

"I know this is a lot to ask but Andromeda is a fraction away from losing her control completely. She's trying to respect your boundaries and give you the time you need as Hermione's parents but I fear for her control if she cannot continue to hold her mate" though somewhere in the back of her mind she registered the words her sister spoke she could not fully focus in that moment on the meaning. All she could see was her young mate as she tried desperately not to let herself give in to her anger.

She watched as both Alecto and Tom nuzzled their daughter before Alecto released her and Tom stood up, pressing a gentle kiss to his daughters forehead and murmuring something too her quietly. The girl nodded her understanding to her fathers words before offering him a reassuring smile and turning towards Andromeda.

The older witch could only watch in anticipation as her mate made her way towards her, settling on her lap once more and pressing herself against the older brunette and whispering gently "I'm right here Andy, I'm safe". Unable to form any type of intellectual response, Andromeda growled quietly, wrapping her arms around her mate possessively and pressing her nose into her girls offered neck. It wouldn't be for a while yet that the middle Black sister found the words to express how grateful she was in that moment that Hermione had taken the steps she had to let them into her life and trust them so implicitly.

~~~~~~~~

Hermione allowed herself to relax against Andromeda as she was held tightly, knowing that her mate had been forced to agree to harming her so grossly, infuriated the Omega but seeing the absolute anger and protective essence that her mates and parents all showed warmed her heart more than a little and as much as she had been loathe to start with about the idea of having to submit to anyone she was slowly learning that little acts of submission like this was more empowering to her than it was the alternative. Knowing that it was offering Andromeda comfort and allowing her mate to calm down was all the motivation she needed, glad to be able to help the witch who had always gone out her way to ensure that Hermione was alright long before they had known they were mates.

She lay her cheek on the older witches shoulder, turning her head both to give Andromeda better access to her neck and to give her a better view of Bellatrix, more than aware that out of all three of the Black sister's it was usually Bella that had the most difficulty controlling her anger.

"You're calmer than I expected" she whispered with a teasing smile, hoping to relieve some of the distress from her eldest mates face. She grinned when it worked. Bellatrix offering her a gentle smile.

"I assure you I am furious however Andy needs us right now, you especially and I take comfort in being around you three. Though if I had been in Andromeda's position tonight I fear I would have reacted a lot more aggressively" the dark witch replied with a shrug, bringing her hand up to stroke along Hermione's cheek gently.

Hermione could feel Narcissa's hand on her back and couldn't help the sigh of contentment escaping her lips at being touched by all three of her mates, finally feeling the evenings discomfort at being apart from them decapitate.

"That will get easier in time little one, once we have bonded properly it'll no longer be painful to be apart" Narcissa murmured as she began rubbing circles over her t-shirt.

"I'm glad it will, its extremely uncomfortable" Hermione replied, tightening her hold on Andromeda when the older witch whimpered quietly.

"Cissa?" She enquired a little hesitantly, aware that she was about to broach a subject she knew she might not wholly like the answer too. But knew that now was as good a time as any to have the discussion while she waited for Andromeda to calm, she hoped it would also give her mate something other than her anger to focus on.

"Yes little love?" The blonde replied, standing and moving around to sit on Bellatrix's lap, sensing that this was to be an important conversation.

"I was wondering, my father and mother's reaction tonight made me think about something. Draco? He's your son..." she trailed off, unsure how to word her question. It had truthfully been something that had played on her mind a lot over recent weeks, curious as to how both Andromeda and Narcissa had children off their own with different people if they knew they had a shared mate.

"That is a loaded question little one, but to answer it honestly. Yes and No. Yes I am his biological mother, or sire but no I am not in the sense that I have no rights to him. My mother was one of Albus's followers. I have no idea how she managed to convince my father to agree but she did not believe in siblings sharing mates, she thought it repulsive that we would one day share a mate as Alpha sisters. So she arranged for us to be married off. Bellatrix rebelled to start with but your father convinced her to go along with it to prevent her from being burned off the family tree, she just refused to sleep with her late husband after their wedding night. I on the other hand wasn't so lucky. Lucius fell pregnant with Draco the night of our consummation. Once my mother died I divorced Lucius and as he is the Omega parent he received full rights to Draco as his only heir." Narcissa explained, picking up Bellatrix's hand and playing with her fingers as she spoke and despite the fact that Narcissa looked down as she spoke Hermione could see the flash of pain in her eyes when she spoke of Draco.

"You miss him" Hermione stated, reaching out to hold Narcissa's hand in comfort.

"I do, greatly. He visits from time to time, but I knew from the start that he was never mine completely. I've made my peace with it though I will always watch out for him" the blonde replied, smiling sadly at Hermione. The young brunette just nodded, squeezing Narcissa's hand as she nuzzled into Andromeda a little more. It saddened her to know that Narcissa had been cut from Draco's life in such a way, as much as the boy infuriated her, she could see that deep down he was a good person, just a little misguided by his father's arrogant attitude and sense of self entitlement. It reassured her a little that Narcissa did not have any lingering feelings for Lucius though her anger at her mates being forced to marry was a lot stronger than she thought it would be. She was glad she didn't have to meet her mates mother for she feared she would have more than a few choice words for the woman.

"My story is a little different. Though Nymphadora will never carry my name, I still see her all the time and Ted never claimed full rights over her. Preferring to share custody of her. Ted and I were undercover together, still are. His Alpha died young, before they had a chance to bond or marry and as we were both working for your father as spies he asked me if I would help him conceive an heir because he longed for a child of his own. I agreed. He is one of my best friends and it pained me to see him so upset over something I could help him achieve. Nymphadora was the result" Andromeda added, finally settled enough to contribute without losing herself to her anger.

"Ted and I never married in the wizarding world, we married in the muggle world so that when the time came that I met my true mate we could divorce in secret, without Albus knowing. Protecting Ted and my own cover as spies and allowing me to build our bond" she continued, laying a gentle kiss on the young witches cheek as she loosened her grip slightly.

"That makes sense, though I am glad you still get to see Nymphadora so much. She's a remarkable witch and a good friend" Hermione murmured, sitting herself up to face her second eldest mate.

"She is a remarkable witch and has always spoken fondly of you. I think she admires your intellect a lot" Andromeda smiled proudly, cupping the little brunettes cheek tenderly.

"What about you Bella, what happened to your husband?" Hermione asked, turning to face her eldest mate who had remained quiet throughout the discussion.

Bellatrix smiled a little smugly as she seemed to sit up a little straighter and Hermione got the impression that she was either going to be deeply amused by what she was about to learn or a little more than horrified.

"Narcissa explained the most part. Our mother arranged our marriages to other pureblood families. Claiming that she did not want us to end up in a depraved four way relationship" the dark witch rolled her eyes. "I was married to Rudulphus Lestrange and because his family had a little more sway at the time I was forced to take his name. Our wedding night I allowed the bare minimum to consummate our wedding. The definition of consummation is penetrative sex but in no way does it stipulate that the Alpha must reach orgasm to fulfil the requirements. There wasn't a hope in this world that I would ever allow that snivelling man to carry any child of mine. He died in Azkaban not long before we were freed" the eldest Black explained, her expression a strange mix between haughty and quite pleased with her own intelligence. Hermione couldn't help but agree that Bellatrix's actions had been a little bit more than clever and certainly was nothing less than she would expect from her eldest mate. Bellatrix was notoriously possessive, she had known that long before she had ever met Bella.

Hermione couldn't help her snort of laughter in response, looking at her eldest mate with amusement.

"Something funny Hermione" the dark witch purred, narrowing her eyes at the younger woman and Hermione couldn't help but shiver pleasantly at hearing her name spoke in such a way.

"Nothing really" she replied, her eyes sparkling cheekily as she adjusted herself to be further away from Bellatrix but still remaining in the comfort of Andromeda's lap.

"I just should have guessed that would be your reaction to Rudulphus, you are well known for your possessive nature"  she smirked, ducking into Andromeda when Bellatrix playfully swatted at her.

"Behave little witch" the dark witch warns and Hermione can see the playful gleam in her eyes.

"Before you two start your nonsense, we need to figure out what to do about Dumbledore. We should ask Tom and Alecto to re-join us" Narcissa interjects and Hermione can't help but groan softly, aware that her parents are going to be just as needy as Andromeda was.

~~~~~~

Alecto hummed softly in content, nuzzling her cheek against her daughters as she tried to continue her smug smirk at Hermione having chosen to sit with her as opposed to with her mates or father. It had been rather hilarious watching her husband and friends subtly posture each other in an attempt to establish some sort of sway over Hermione and where she would sit. All four Alpha's feeling particularly protective and possessive which was perfectly understandable given the topic they had been discussing for the past half hour with still no solution in sight.

Though they should have known better than to let Hermione catch on to what they were doing, if anything was obvious it was that Hermione definitely took after her mother with her no nonsense attitude. Upon realising what was happening Hermione had removed herself from Andromeda's lap and curled up on Alecto's instead, giving both her father and her mates a look of chastisement before settling herself back.

And judging by the scowl sported by Tom and the pouts on the Black sisters faces they had been successfully reminded of just how little patience Hermione had for their posturing.

"Serves them right little dove, well done" Alecto whispered in her girls ear, earning herself a pleased smile from her girl. She would never for as long as she was alive understand just how lucky she was too have Hermione back after all this time. Seeing her girl thriving around them, excepting their love and comfort made her heart swell, though moments like this where she got to share affection with her daughter where her favourite.

"Thank you mama" the little brunette whispered back nuzzling her nose against her mothers, Alecto let out a low purr, happy to be able to hold her girl so close.

"I still say we just storm the castle and take him out once and for all" Bellatrix huffed and Alecto found herself drawn back into the conversation but not before she had caught the look of intense concentration on her girls face as Hermione studied her hands deep in thought.

The older Omega grinned inwardly, if she didn't know any better her girl was thinking up her own solutions while the Alpha's allowed their anger at the man to guide their planning.

"That is too risky Bellatrix, if we even could get past the castles defences Dumbledore has too much of an advantage in Hogwarts, we risk too many lives" Tom countered, looking rather irritated and Alecto reached over to take his hand. Tugging it softly to get his attention. Directing his gaze to his child who still looked to be deep in thought.

"Hermione?" Tom called gently getting their girls attention and giving her a questioning look.

"I think there is something too what Bellatrix is suggesting, though I also believe just storming the castle is very much a rash decision fuelled entirely by emotion" Alecto noted the slight tone of reprimand in her daughters voice as she spoke the last part directed at Bellatrix and smiled when she saw the dark witch bristle a little before nodding once and slumping slightly in defeat. It amused her greatly how Hermione could bring the usually stubborn woman to heel so easily.

"But I'm guessing you've come up with a solution?" Andromeda enquired, leaning forward slightly in her chair.

"I think so, father do you remember the Room of Requirement? Ever since I discovered it in second year I have been using it to practice my magic. There is a vanishing cabinet in there if we can find it's twin and get both cabinets working we can use it to get around the Hogwarts wards. Effectively gaining access to the castle without Dumbledore's knowledge. Giving us an advantage" Hermione explained, still looking rather thoughtful.

"That is a clever idea, however how do we repair the cabinet in the room of requirement without access to the castle?" Tom asked, looking more than impressed with his daughters suggestion.

Hermione winced and straight away Alecto knew she wasn't about to like whatever her daughter had come up with.

"Well, Dumbledore thinks Andy is on his side right? He thinks Andy is going to find a way of bonding me to her and taking me. Why don't we let her?" She flinched as the occupants of the room all growled their disagreement and Alecto tightened her grip on her, hissing softly to let her know she wasn't okay with that idea.

"Before you all disagree please just listen" the sound of her daughters pleading gave her pause and she stopped her hissing, however was unable to loosen her hold around her daughters waist.

"Go on" Tom spoke, his voice clipped and tense. Alecto watched as Hermione met his gaze offering him a small apologetic smile.

"I am to be bonded to all three of my Alpha's and the when off that happening was a decision all three have left to me because they want me to be comfortable. I feel I am ready, Bellatrix get the grin off your face" Alecto looked up in time to see the almost predatory grin on Bellatrix's face fall.

"As I was saying, I feel like I'm ready for that. Once I am bonded to them let Andromeda take me to her and Ted's place and notify Albus that despite being unable to bond me to her without her sisters being bonded also she had managed to get me out of the Manor and away without anyone noticing. She will tell him that in order to keep me safe she must accompany me to Hogwarts where I will re-join Harry and Ron. I'll be safe then, he won't suspect anything and will think he has another of his pawns back. Harry, Ron, Andy and I can then work on the cabinet right under his nose while Narcissa and Bellatrix locate and fix up the twin cabinet. We will be in the school to let in your followers father" and despite every instinct within her demanding that she kept the daughter she had only recently been reunited with close she could see the logic in her words. This would ensure the safety of her child's bond with her Alpha's and give them more security from Albus while also working to rid them of the awful man.

"As much as I do not like the idea of my child leaving this Manor or being separated from her regardless of the fact that it would not be permanently, Hermione's idea has a lot of merit" she found herself speaking up, willing to trust her daughters judgement on this for now and she thought it was entirely worth it just for the grateful look her daughter directed at her for her defence.

"Are you certain you are ready to go through a heat with us little witch? That is something we need you to be completely sure about because once you enter a heat and we enter our ruts there isn't any stopping it for any of us" Narcissa spoke up questioningly, looking at Hermione intently. It was a good question and again Alecto found herself grateful that her daughters mates were people she trusted so much, she knew they wouldn't let any harm come to her.

"I'm positive, I trust the three of you Cissy with my life. I'm ready" Hermione reassured and Alecto felt a surge of pride soar through her at her girls maturity.

"Then I will agree, on one condition" Tom spoke and all eyes were on him, a mix of shocked and hopeful expressions focused on his face as they watched his face transform from his previous calm to a look of what could only be described as malice.

"Albus Dumbledore is mine to kill"

Chapter Text

~~~~~~~

Hermione frowned as her fathers words filtered through her mind again as she stared out at the Manor grounds through the large bay window in the library.  It had been almost two weeks since Andromeda had told them of Dumbledore's plans and she wasn't at all pleased with her fathers stipulation that he be the one to end Albus Dumbledore and although she could understand why her father wished to be the one to eradicate their world of the old goat she couldn't help but wish she would be the one to get the privilege.

The man had entirely destroyed her young life, he stole her from her parents, used his position to control her life and trap her in a home environment that was wholly unpleasant. He tried to rob her of her identity and nature, tried to marry her off and was now demanding that she was kidnapped and raped. Her anger and complete disgust for the man had never been more heightened than it was now and she would desperately love seeing him fall.

"Oh stop the pouting little witch, you're father is not about to change his mind about being the one to deliver the killing blow but he said nothing about not allowing you to exact your pound of flesh" Narcissa whispered, coming up behind her and wrapping her arms around the Omega.

"I know Cissa, I know. I'll take great pleasure in doing so but nothing I will do to him will ever seem like it is enough to make up for all he has done, not only to me but this family and the wider wizarding world" she murmured in response, twisting in her blonde Alpha's arms to face the older witch. Nuzzling her face in against Narcissa's scent gland to show her that she wasn't mad at her family, just extremely frustrated with the whole scenario.

"Oh little witch I understand that wholeheartedly but he is your father and he is your, our families head Alpha, Dumbledore is his to kill, our nature's will not allow for anything else." The blonde replied, her tone gentle, conveying just how much she understood her Omega's plight. Hermione allowed her Alpha to pull her in fully against her and nuzzle her back. Taking comfort in her steady presence.

She wasn't sure why but whenever she was in an overly emotional state Narcissa seemed to be the one out of all three of her Alpha's that found her and provided comfort every time. Though Bellatrix and Andromeda where equally as comforting as Narcissa whenever they were around, it just seemed to be that Narcissa was around more. Hermione appreciated that. Especially now that she had come into her nature fully.

Her inner Omega hated being parted from her mates and with Andromeda working as a mediwitch at St Mungo's and Bellatrix out on raids more often than not, Hermione found herself clinging to Narcissa whenever she could. The older Alpha's presence the only thing offering her a little shelter from the continuous discomfort she felt whenever Bella and Andy weren't around. She pushed her face in closer to her Alpha's neck, drawing in deep breathes of her scent as she tried to tamp down the urge to fight her case.

"Cissa is right love, our very nature's as Alpha's demand we protect our Omega's. Tom isn't just an Alpha but he is your father. His Omega was harmed by Dumbledore and his child was harmed by him, he will not be able to find any comfort if he is not the one to deliver that final blow" Bellatrix's lilting voice, interrupted as she and Andromeda strode into the room.

Chuckling when Hermione couldn't help but snap her head in their direction and try to go towards them, huffing in agitation as Narcissa held her back.

"Patience little witch, let them come through the door" the blonde chastised her gently as she felt herself begin to pout again despite the consoling kiss that the blonde pressed against her cheek or the sympathetic looks from her two recently returned Alpha's.

"Oh it's like that is it?" Andromeda laughed not impolitely as she took off her cloak and pulled Hermione from Narcissa and into her own arms. The brunette couldn't help but smile tenderly in response as she nuzzled Andromeda's cheek in greeting, savouring the gentle kisses the older brunette pressed to her cheeks and forehead before passing her to her eldest Alpha.

She wasted no time in tilting her neck for Bellatrix, purring quietly when the dark witch immediately pressed a kiss to her pulse point and rubbed her nose along her scent gland. The feeling of her Alpha's nose running along such a sensitive part of her body caused her to shiver slightly and burry herself in tighter against Bella.

"I missed you both" she murmured, tightening her arms around the dark haired woman.

"We missed you too little witch, though you'll be glad to know, we have both taken the next week and a half off to spend with you. Cleared by your father." And Hermione couldn't have concealed her squeal of joy even if she had wanted too at Bellatrix's news.

"Really? He agreed you could stay with us and not go on raids or to work?" She asked her Alpha's, her voice filled with the same excitement as her squeal had been.

"Yes really love, he knows what we are about to face both this week and after our bonding and agrees with us that it is important that we spend as much time together as possible before you and Andromeda have to split from us for however long" Bellatrix replied and as much as Hermione knew she didn't mean to her eldest Alpha couldn't conceal the resigned acceptance from her voice.

She knew both Bella and Narcissa were not looking forward to being split from her for however long she needed to play her part with Andromeda but like her who also wasn't looking forward to being away from them, they knew it was necessary.

If they were ever to bring down Albus then they would all have to make some sacrifices.

"Are you sure that you're okay with us bonding so soon little love?" Andromeda asked as Bella pulled Hermione down onto the sofa in front of the fireplace with her. Her other two Alpha's settling either side of them.

"Yes, I meant it when I said I am ready. I trust you with my life. All of you. I'm not looking forward to us having to part ways so soon after it but I am ready. Its fortunate that we can take advantage of his vulgar plans for me. Though how stupid he must be to believe Andromeda capable of such a task, no matter if it is for the 'greater' good or not is beyond me" she replied unable to hide her disgust or sarcasm as she recalled her brunette mates words from the last order meeting.

"Oh love, you have no idea what I'd be capable of if you or this family were in danger" Andromeda replied darkly, the sudden viciousness of her voice sending pleasant shivers down Hermione's spine which did not go unnoticed by her Alpha's if their identical smirks were anything to go by.

"Though you are right I could never carry out his ask of me on any innocent. Let alone you my darling" the brunette Alpha continued reaching up to cup her cheek tenderly.

"Yes well that aside for now" Bellatrix cut in wanting to change the topic of conversation lest she give into her anger at the reminder of Dumbledore yet again trying to harm her Omega. "We were thinking it would be best, if you agree of course, for you to take the potion tonight to kick start your heat as it'll give us more time to prepare for your departure from Narcissa and I without having to part with you to close to our bonding" she continued and Hermione found herself smiling yet again at her Alpha's show of consideration. It was clear they had discussed the best possible plan of action but it warmed her heart to know that they would change their plans if she wasn't comfortable with them. It made her feel safe and loved in ways she never had before she had been kidnapped/rescued at the ministry by Bella.

"Of course, though I want to talk to mama before I take it" she replied, yawning a little. Suddenly beyond tired now that she had all of her mates surrounding her. She had been having trouble sleeping and knew it was because she couldn't reassure herself that her Alpha's were alright when they weren't with her.

"Okay love, but for now let us rest a while. I've missed holding you these past few days" Bellatrix murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of her head tenderly. Hermione hummed in response, closing her eyes and letting herself succumb to sleep as she basked in being held by her mates. Their gentle purring acting as the best sort of lullaby.

~~~

Hermione cringed slightly under her mothers teasing look as they say together in her room. She had begun to second guess the logic in asking her mother about what she should expect to happen during the bonding.

As much as she trusted her Alpha's she was still nervous about the whole process, knowing it was yet again another aspect of control she would have to give up when she went into heat. Aware that her Omega side would more than likely be fully in control of her actions and thoughts and had come to her mother for advice and reassurance. Though she found her mother was entirely too amused by her inability to just trust the process.

"Sorry baby, its just you are so like me it's uncanny" Alecto replied, pulling Hermione onto her lap, sensing her daughters irritation at her amusement.

"Yes well it doesn't change how nervous I am mama" she pouted more annoyed at herself than anything. She didn’t like the fact that all her old insecurities were making this more difficult for her and wished she could just let things happen without the need to question every aspect of it.

"Oh my dove, this is something that makes me more annoyed at what that awful man did. If you had grown up with us as you should have, bonding wouldn't seem so daunting for you now. You would have grown up trusting the Blacks, you would have grown up perfectly aware of who you are and what to expect" Hermione could hear the upset in her mothers tone and wrapped her arms around her tightly in response. She knew her mother was right. She should have grown with her family. Learning as she went rather than being thrust into a world she had no knowledge off after believing she was someone she wasn’t her whole life.

"I hate him for what he did mama, I hate him" Hermione whispered, allowing her own upset to finally leak through. Being vulnerable was still a new concept to her but undoubtedly she found being vulnerable with her mother the easiest.

"As do I Hermione, he will pay. Your father will make sure of it I promise dove." Her mother reassured, running a hand through her hair in comfort.

"Now we have already been over what to expect from your mates when you go into heat. They'll be forced into a rut, which will bring out their more possessive and dominant instincts. You know about the anatomy and what it means to bond. The most important part of this however is what to expect from yourself" Alecto spoke up after a few moments of silence. Refocusing the conversation away from Albus Dumbledore.

"In heat your omega side will fully be in control. Usually an Omega will be either extremely eager to please their alphas or they'll want to challenge them, needing the alpha to prove their worth. However if you are anything like me, which you most definitely are you will be a mix of both." She continued, winking at Hermione as she blushed a little.

"Okay, so basically once I am in heat I wont have to worry about any of this because my Omega will take over?" She asked curiously, feeling a little more assured at her mothers nod.

"That’s right little dove, you have nothing to fear. Now why don’t you go hug your father, and then head into your Alpha's. Best not keep them waiting too long lest you set of their instincts a little before you are ready to deal with them" her mother replied, smirking at her as she gulped and nodded. Swallowing down all the fears and worries she had, hugg8ng her mother tight once more before allowing herself to be led out of the solace of her room and towards her father.

~~~ Hogwarts - Headmasters office ~~~

Albus took a moment to savour the news delivered to him by his potions professor mere moments ago. Rejoicing in the knowledge that Andromeda Tonks, now Black again after she split with Ted had come through on her task. Granted it wasn’t exactly how he would have liked it done. Preferring Hermione to be bonded only to Andromeda rather than all three of the sisters but it was still a much better outcome than he had anticipated. The nuisance that the witch had caused him would all be over by the end of next week. She would be back in the castle under the supervision of one of his best order members and entirely unable to spread any of the poison she had undoubtedly learned from her father and mother. Andromeda as the girls Alpha would ensure as much and the girl would be forced to help Harry bring down the girls own father once and for all. It was perfect.

Years of careful planning had made this moment so much sweeter than he could have hoped and what made it entirely better was now his deputy would stop looking at him as if he had betrayed him with the return of her favourite little cub.

A knock on his door startled him a little and he forced himself to sit up straighter and plaster a kind expression on his face as he called forth his expected guests.

Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Minerva McGonagall entering and settling in front of him. He smiled sweetly at them, amused to see no emotion displayed on Ronald’s face, he had obliviated the boys and Minerva after the disastrous attempt by Ronald to bring the Riddle heir back into Hogwarts when he met with her weeks ago and was pleased to see the obliviates had seemed to have worked. The three in front of him had been entirely angry with him after they had left their meeting with Hermione though they wouldn't tell him why exactly.

"It is good to see you this evening. Harry, Ronald I do hope you are behaving yourselves hmmm?" He asked, his voice resembling that of a kindly grandfather.

"Of course professor" Harry responded and Albus couldn't help but smile at the clear saviour worship on the boys face, directed at him. Ronald nodding in agreement with a similar look on his face.

"I’m glad to hear it my boy, I have called you hear this evening to deliver some rather heart-warming news" he replied , letting his statement hang for a pause before continuing.

"Your cherished friend, Hermione Granger has been confirmed to be alive. Inside sources have been able to locate the girls and while...." he held out his hand to stop the predicted interruption from all three as they made to speak.

"While she has been tortured extensively and the death eaters have attempted to brain wash her, our very own Andromeda has managed to infiltrate and get close enough to Miss Grangers tormentors to be allowed access to her. She plans on bringing her home in the next week, as soon as opportunity presents its self to do so safely" he paused letting the excitement of that news process in their eager little minds, rekindling their hope.

"I must warn you to be gentle with her when she returns, she has been through entirely too much for one so young. Though Andromeda will remain here at the castle with her to provide her with both medical and emotional support while she recovers. If Miss Granger seeks her out you must give her space, am I understood?" He finished emphasising how much the witch had been harmed. They didn’t need to know that was in fact untrue but he could see just how much hearing so lit a fire in all three of his guests eyes as they nodded. His deputy looked close to tears at the news and he knew it was a mixture of relief and heartbreak over the situation.

"Good, and one more thing before you go, do not let Miss Granger wonder anywhere alone, we fear her captives may try anything to find her again" he added just as a precaution, he knew if the witch was never alone their was less chance of Riddle or the other two Black sisters rescuing the witch.

"Professor if we may know who has got her?" Harry enquired, and oh if that wasn’t so predictable. The concern lacing his words was almost sickening.

"Bellatrix Lestrange and the Malfoys" he replied his tone one of grave concern. He took pleasure in the muffled sob of his deputy and the paling of the two boys faces.

Certain now that he had successfully spun his tale he dismissed them and settled back in his office to rejoice in his own cleverness.

Completely unaware of the shared glances of his three guests as they left, silent promises to meet and discuss the headmasters deceit later in the week during their scheduled occlumency lessons.

Chapter Text

~.~.~.~.

Hermione gulped, forcing herself to take a calming breath as she eyed the potion in her hands. The liquid looked thick and was a particularly vibrant shade of purple. Its affects would be almost instant, she had stood with her father while he had brewed it earlier, taking comfort in his strength as he patiently explained each aspect step by step. Her mind ever curious just like her mother he had told her sounding fonder than she had ever heard him.

He'd gotten a little emotional before they had parted, telling her that he was proud of who she was growing to be though he wished desperately that he hadn't have had so many years stolen from them. Though he had expressed how much it warmed his heart to see her flourish so much under the love and care of them as her parents and the Black sisters her mates.

He had hugged her, kissed her forehead and handed her the potion before walking her up to her rooms that after tonight would become the rooms she shared with her Alpha's. Once alone she had taken a soothing bubble bath, washing her hair and pulling it back in two thick braids to make sure it stayed of her face.

She had then gone through to the bedroom, dressing in the small shorts and vest that her Alpha's had laid out for her before all three had joined her in her room.

"Are you okay little one?" Bellatrix murmured, wrapping her arms around her waist from behind, pulling the younger witch into the Alpha's front.

"Mhm, just a little anxious is all Bella" she replied, leaning her head against her Alpha's strong shoulder.

"Is there anything you wish to talk about before we start this Hermione? That being asked remember that you don't have to go through with this. We can wait if you wish" Narcissa's voice was gentle and when she felt Andromeda and Narcissa both come up beside her, pressing themselves into her side Hermione couldn't help but melt into the all encompassing feeling of home she always felt when around all three of them together. They were each a little piece of her home and the sudden feeling of surety was surprising to the young Omega as she quickly un corked the cap and swallowed the potion down in one motion. Only grimacing slightly at the bitter taste it left in her mouth.

"I guess that's a no to talking or waiting then little witch?" Andromeda chuckled, all three Alpha's sucking in a sharp breathe at once as Hermione felt the potion take affect. A low all encompassing heat spreading throughout her body, her limbs suddenly felt heavy, her stomach dropped as she felt the pool of desire gather at the apex of her thighs.

The brunette let out a high pitch whine as a hand grasped the back of her head at the nape of her neck, forcing her to bare her neck as her lead Alpha clamped her mouth over the Omega's pulse point her other hand gripping her hip possessively and Narcissa pressed herself up against her front, their chests flush together.

Her youngest Alpha's eyes were the darkest blue she had ever seen them and as she took in a breath she had to clench her thigh’s, her nostrils filling with the scent of her Alpha's the tangy sweetness that indicated all three had been forced into a rut to help them guide her through her heat causing her desire for them to spike rapidly.

"Oh my little Omega, you smell divine" Bellatrix growled against the soft pale skin of her neck, pressing hot open mouth kisses against her flushed skin. Narcissa's hands where everywhere too, skimming the length of her body before they grasped the edge of her vest top and pulled it up and off her quickly, hands pushing her shorts down at the same time as Bellatrix and Narcissa worked together to strip her bare. She didn't get a chance to even blink before her youngest Alpha was again flush against her front, trapping the younger witch between the two sisters.

Part of her mind wondered where Andromeda was, she knew she was in the room because Merlin she could still smell her brunette Alpha's scent as thickly in the air as she could Bella and Narcissa's and she knew she wouldn't be content until she could see her third Alpha, but the thought barely had a chance to fully form in her mind before the Omega was left gasping as a hand cupped her over heated sex and her lips where claimed in a demanding kiss by the blonde in front of her.

Narcissa's kiss was much more intense than they had ever been up until this point, a result of the cloying scent of her own heat she knew and she couldn't help but melt under the insistent tongue as it worked its way into her mouth, tasting every inch of her it could reach before twirling around her own. Hermione whimpered into Narcissa's mouth, the need she felt for her Alpha's heightening each second that passed and she couldn't help but ground her sex against the hand that cupped her so possessively.

"Naughty witch" Bellatrix growled into her ear, sounding every bit as dark as the public perceived her to be as she pulled her hand away from where Hermione needed her most. "Your pleasure is ours to give Omega, you don't get to cum unless we say so" the eldest Black whispered hotly against her ear, slapping her left thigh for added affect and oh if that didn't pull a needy whine from her throat as her thighs clenched and she pushed herself further back into the dark witch, tilting her neck even further in apology as the blonde moved her lips down to the Omega's chest. Her tongue tracing her collar bones before her mouth sucked and nipped the same trail.

She didn't know how she was going to survive this. She had known the potion acted quickly but she had no idea it would be this quick, she could already feel any rationale leaving her as her Omega side took over. She was thankful now that her Alpha's had insisted she took time to prepare herself for tonight and that they had the fore thought to prepare plenty of light snacks and water because if her current need was anything to go by and she wasn't fully in her heat then she wouldn't be able to think of anything other than her Alpha's for quite some time.

"Please alpha" she whispered, her voice soft and filled with need, unable to force her voice out any louder.

"Hush little love, you're our Omega and we will take care of you but have some patience hmm?" Narcissa chided gently, soothing her hands down the Omega's arms.

All three sisters could sense their little mates nerves even through the scent of her need and were trying their hardest not to let themselves get carried away in their own excitement, wanting to ease their mate into the more intimate side of their relationship. All three Alpha's knew how big a deal bonding was to their witch, the level of trust she was placing in then was astounding and they were determined not to let her down, knowing instinctively that despite the lustful haze they were all under their mate needed them to be as tender as they could be.

They had all seen her scars, they all had enough of an understanding of how she had grew up to know that this is what she needed. She needed them to show her that she was right to trust them, that no matter what the need they would take care of her, that she could rely on them to be there and that nothing, not Dumbledore nor any one would change that.

"Go to Andy on the bed love while Cissy and I get ready" Bellatrix instructed softly, pressing a kiss to the Omega's temple and turning them towards the bed. Hermione's breath caught in her throat at the view. Andromeda was completely naked spread out on her back with her back propped up against the pillows as she watched them, her hand stroking slowly up and down her shaft, her eyes glued to Hermione's form.

At her gasp, Andromeda's eyes snapped up to meet hers pinning her in place where she stood. She felt her desire spike, making her knees weak as her entire body seemed to tremble in arousal.

"Come, Omega" the two words were laced with both want and command and the effect was instant on the brunette. Sending Hermione scampering up the bed and letting herself be pulled onto Andromeda's lap, the older witch claiming the youngers lips in a bruising kiss. Her hands gripping Hermione's hips tightly as the Omega girl held onto her Alpha's shoulders, shuddering lightly at the feel of her Alpha's member resting against her stomach.

Andromeda pulled her down tighter. Pressing their crotches together and Hermione felt more than heard the older brunette groan in appreciation as her hot wet sex rubbed against the Alpha's shaft. She knew that she was dripping already.

"Fuck Cissy, I must say our little Omega looks fantastic desperately clinging to our sister don't you think?" Bellatrix's voice cut in and Andy pulled away from her lips leaving her panting slightly as the older brunettes hand snaked into her hair, pulling her head slightly to expose her throat as Bella had done earlier. Her head dipping to press light teasing kisses to her neck and pulse. The feel of her lips making her pulse jump in excitement, her head dropping back in a groan at the feel of her Alpha's mouth on her throat.

"She does, she sounds so desperate Bella, our desperate little Omega" Cissy replied as Hermione felt the bed dip either side of her, indicating that her other two Alpha's had finally began to make their way to her and Andy.

"So needy, so desperate to be fucked by her Alpha's, isn't that right my Omega?" Bella growled as she pressed herself against the youngest brunette, a hand slipping between her and Andromeda's bodies to find her clit and Hermione gasped loudly, pushing her body back against her dark witch in an attempt to heed their command and keep her hips still although she was desperate to grind down on her eldest mates hand.

Her mind almost delirious with how badly she wanted to be fucked, filled by her Alpha's and bred till she carried their pups, used until she was too sore to move and her heat finally relented.

"Please, please, Alpha, alpha, alpha, need you" she chanted not caring that she sounded as desperate as Cissy and Bella had teased her about not seconds ago.

"Good girl, you learn quick" and Merlin if the pride in her eldest Alpha's voice didn't make her preen more than slightly as she allowed herself to sink into the feeling of being held tight against the older two sisters as Narcissa settled beside Andromeda. The young Omega felt the rising coil in the pit of her stomach as Bellatrix continued to work her clothes in soft circles, pushing her further and further towards the edge.

The sight of Cissy and Andy kissing in front of her only serving to drive her closer. Panting quietly through soft whines and moans. It felt so different from how she imagined it to be. She had read about the wild, demanding side of an Alpha during their Omega's heat. Had prepared herself for it even but this soft, slow, gentle approach threw her slightly. In the best way though. It made her feel safe, cherished, protected and so completely loved it was hard to process.

"Please Bella" she whispered, turning her head away from the beauty that was Andy and Cissy, seeking her eldest Alpha's lips. Needing to feel closer still as she felt herself begin to tense. Her muscles coiling in anticipation.

"Hush little one" Bellatrix murmured kissing her tenderly even as she sped up, increasing the pace of her fingers on the Omega's pulsing bud. Hermione moaned loudly, the sound swallowed by her Alpha's mouth but still loud enough to draw the other twos attention back to their Omega.

Suddenly two sets of lips were on her nipples, sucking and lapping softly, turning them into soft wet peaks. "Please" she whined again, throwing her head back onto Bella's shoulder as she wildly grasped a brunette and blonde head of hair, holding them in place on her chest as the pair increased the pressure of their mouths.

Soft kisses where pressed to her neck and Hermione felt her entire body tense, her legs shaking as she strained to stop herself falling over the edge. Her Alpha's warning not to cum unless given permission from them registering through the fog of need in her mind. Words failing her as she let out a loud desperate moan hoping to convey just how close she was.

"Oh Hermione such pretty sounds from our Omega, anyone would think you need something" her dark witch taunted, nipping her pulse sharply before soothing it with her tongue, drawing out another desperate moan from the Omega girl. "You don't get what you want if you're not going to ask darling" Narcissa murmured against the brunettes breast and Hermione had to force her breathing to calm so she could speak, trying to force her words out through the disorientating haze of need.

"Please my Alpha's... I need to... I need to cum please" she stuttered, her face twisting a little with the strain of her concentration, missing the proud slightly smug smiles that flashed across her Alpha's faces as she yet again obeyed them without question. A testament to truly how much Hermione had actually let her self trust them because heat or not they knew if their Omega didn't trust them she wouldn't have obeyed them in the slightest.

"Cum our Omega" Bellatrix whispered in her ear, speeding up her ministrations on the brunettes clit and tightening her grip on her girls waist to hold her upright securely as the brunette seized her body snapping taut as a wave of pleasure swept through her. Her already soaked core dripping on her Alpha's hand as Bella kept her ministrations going, helping the brunette ride out her orgasm. Bringing her down slowly. Aware that this would take the edge of her omegas need but one orgasm would not be enough to sate her heat.

"Good girl, that's it little one, relax" her Alpha's words were soothing and Hermione couldn't help the soft smile from making its way to her lips as her Alpha's pulled away from her breaststroke and looked up at her, both Cissy and Andy smiling back softly in response.

"You did wonderfully love" Andromeda whispered kissing her gently, Narcissa kissing her right after and Hermione couldn't help the gasp as the blonde pulled her forward into her arms. Gripping her neck as she kissed her, tongue demanding entrance as an arm wrapped around her waist to hold her in place.

"Oh little Omega" Bellatrix murmured, pressing a kiss to the sensitive spot behind her ear, sending shivers down the brunettes back. "We are so glad you are ours, but for us to bond completely, we all need to full you at once, think you can manage to take all three of your Alpha's?" And Hermione knew she didn't expect an actual answer as she was pulled into Andromeda's own demanding kiss, the older brunette grasping her chin and pulling her away from Narcissa's lips.

The omegas Arms came up to hold onto Narcissa tightly, not fighting the kiss or her eldest Alpha's hands on her as the dark witch began to need the flesh of her butt cheeks gently while kissing her neck and spine from behind. "We are going to fill you till you are swollen with our seed, knot you and claim you and then you'll be ours. Our witch, our Omega, no one will take you from us again" the dark witches fingers dipped to her anus, slowly circling it, sending pleasant tingles up the Omega's back and Hermione could feel her hynd brain already flaring back to life as more heat pulled in her core, her stomach quivering in response to Andromeda's kiss, Narcissa's tight grip on her waist and Bellatrix's slow exploration of her rear as well as her words. Putting pleasant images of exactly how her Alpha's would fuck her into her head. She had a feeling that this wasn't going to be as slow or gentle as her first orgasm had been, though any and all thoughts were banished from her mind when she felt the first gentle swipe of her Alpha's tongue over her puckered hole making her groan loudly against Andromeda's lips.

"That's it little witch let your Alpha's hear you" Narcissa said, her tone more lustful than Hermione had ever heard it as her hand was grabbed and guided down to her youngest Alpha's cock. Encouraged to wrap her hand around it she began to stroke her Alpha slowly as Andromeda began to rub her own hard rod against her stomach.

"Bella's preparing you for her little witch. She'll stuff your tight little hole so full darling you'll feel her for weeks"

Hermione’s head swum,  her while body thrumming with desire as she felt a lubricated finger begin to thrust in and out of her rear in short thrusts, loosening her. Gradually a second then a third finger was added, making the brunette gasp and pant as she was stimulated, feeling Narcissa groan in response to the Omega's hand tightening briefly on her cock.

When she was ready, she felt Bellatrix kneel behind her, resting the tip of her cock at her loosened hole as Andromeda shifted out of the way for Narcissa who wasted no time in lying herself down under both Hermione and Bellatrix, pulling them down so her own cock was positioned at the entrance of the Omega's dripping hot pussy.

She watched through heavy eye lids as Andy then straddled Cissy’s stomach her shaft long and pale but already dripping precum from its tip as her hair was gathered by the elder brunette and her face guided down to her shaft.
"Are you ready Omega?" Bellatrix asked and Hermione could hear the unbridled last in her tone, yet she still felt entirely safe knowing that if her answer was no her Alpha's would slow thing down completely despite their own desire.

"Take me please Alpha's" her voice was more desperate than it had ever been, the slow tender build up of her first orgasm and the constant stimulation together with the scent of her Alpha's surrounding her making her feel as if she would combust if she didn't get what she needed from them. Without warning all three thrust forward, Narcissa and Bellatrix fulling her holes to the hilt, making her gasp, Andy taking advantage of that and thrusting her cock into the brunettes mouth, hitting the back of her throat. She gagged slightly before her Alpha pulled out, massage her throat tenderly.

"Relax my love, it's alright" the older brunette soothed as she slowly pushed in, her rhythm much slower than the other two Alpha's who had quite quickly established a faster rhythm. Bellatrix pushing in as Narcissa withdrew. Alternating there thrusting and Hermione was in heaven. She swore it. She felt full but not overwhelmingly so, quickly picking up on how to relax her throat to take Andromeda in. Sucking and swallowing with each thrust.

"Merlin, you're so fucking tight little one"  Narcissa panted, Bellatrix moaning her agreement as the both sped up slightly, taking Hermione higher and higher with each thrust. She could feel them both within her, a thin barrier separating them as they took her without mercy, she was audibly moaning now, the vibrations causing Andy to gasp and pick up the pace, all four not caring in the slightest how loud the were becoming as they lost themselves in each other. Four becoming one as they moved together.

Hermione could feel hands, though she didn't know who, reach to play with her already sensitive straining nipples, flicking then in time with her Alpha's thrusting. She didn't know that this could feel so good, the pleasure she felt, only adding to how close she felt to her mates.

"Gonna cum in your tight little arse Omega" Bellatrix grunted in her ear, bending over her torso, the Alpha's breasts pressing against her back and Hermione could only moan louder, hurtling quickly towards her second climax of the night and she knew she wouldn’t have time to even attempt to ask as she felt her orgasm hit her. Making her muscles clench and relax around her Alpha's even as they continued thrusting.

"That’s it baby, let your body do what it needs too" her dark witch pressed a kiss to her pulse point in reassurance knowing that her girl would need it after cumming without warning. After all this was all new too their mate.

"I'm close, Bella!" Andy murmured, her hips snapping in an uneven pattern as she felt her shaft begin to swell. Bella and Cissy increased their pace again, both just as close as their sister. All three manoeuvring themselves to access her neck better. Andromeda pulling out of her mates mouth despite her girls whine of protest.

"Don't worry little love we will have plenty of time for me to fuck your pretty little mouth later" the older brunette reassured, her own hand going to her cock, fucking her hand quickly as all three sisters hit their peek, Narcissa and Bellatrix's knot forming rapidly as they tied their mate, all three cumming hard, biting their mate as the came, marking her as their own.

Feeling their mate clench around them in response, as the magic of their bond washed through them. Her third orgasm of the night leaving her gasping and feeling deliriously happy as she was lifted from her mates cocks and lay down on the bed gently, her Alpha's settling around her.

~.~.~.

Days later saw Hermione slowly wake, tangled in a sweaty heap on their bed, snuggled together under the blankets with her Alpha's, surrounded by their combined scents of sex. All three Alpha's baring their Omega's mate mark proudly as she wore theirs just as proud.

She felt sated and content for the first time since she took the potion and knew that finally her heat had ended, giving her sore muscles and overheated sex a break from their more vigorous activities. Her mate marks were not the only proof she wore proudly on her body that showed who her Alpha's were. It turned out Hermione was exactly as her mother predicted - a mix between eager to please and challenging, needing her Alpha's to prove themselves to be worthy of her. All three had taken great pleasure in taking her in hand and proving their worth as her Alpha's and it was clear all three had loved the challenge she presented as she got comfortable with the intimacy of their bonding.

The thought of what was to come had all but been banished from all four witches minds as they simply basked in their bond, content to enjoy their time together before they'd have to part. That loathsome thought one none of then were eager to return too.

In between rounds of sex where Hermione felt rather insatiable her Alpha's had pampered her with praise, soft words of their love to her, cuddling her close and ensuring she had eaten enough and remained hydrated. It had been the perfect experience for her. Putting to rest all doubts and worries she still had secretly carried before their bonding. They had done everything to make her comfortable throughout, not once letting her slip into the darkness of her traumas.

It was a relief to feel all three of her Alpha's thrum through the bond so intimately she could feel their emotions, a constant feeling of love and reassurance to her often too analytical mind. She snuggled in even deeper into their little piece of heaven, pressing her cheek against Bellatrix's softly rising and falling chest, reaching out to tangle her fingers with Narcissa's as Andromeda snuggled back up behind her. She smiled lazily, allowing sleep to slowly drag her back under.

 

Chapter Text


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~ Hermione's Pov ~

The young brunette Omega couldn't help but laugh gleefully as her mama chased her around the lawn beside the porch they had sat on together with her Father the first time she ever had a proper conversation with them. The sun caressing her skin as she leapt and dived out of her mama's reach. Just managing to vacate the space the older Omega's arms appeared before she was caught.

She felt free in that moment. Her new mate bonds to her Alpha's thrummed pleasantly with love, amusement and adoration, allowing Hermione to know just what the three women were feeling as they sat beside her father watching her.

She had woke up this morning completely heat free. Her Alpha's sympathetic ruts also gone. She had felt pleasantly sore and rather sweaty but the scent of her and her mates mingling scents was soothing and she had been loathe to leave their little nest. Narcissa had been the one to drag all of them out of bed, ordering Bella and Andy into a shower while Hermione was healed from any lingering injuries. A pain potion and a contraceptive given too her before she left the bed. Though Narcissa had made sure not to touch the many marks that littered her neck spectacularly much to Hermione's relief. She had been and still was proud to wear her Alpha's marks for all to see. She was Hermione Toberias McKenzie Carrow Riddle-Black now after all.

She was grateful as well that Narcissa had remembered the contraceptive. She looked forward to the day she had her children with her mates but she could not allow such a thing before the end of the war. She was determined her children would be born into a much better world, free from the influence of Albus Dumbledore and his merry band of dimwits.

She then joined her mates in the shower, basking in her Alpha's care of her as they showered and washed her down with care. It made her feel valued, seen in a way she never had been. It was thrilling. Though she had to admit the level of intimacy she experienced in that one shower, non sexual in the slightest in its touch was new for her and it made her heart happy to realise she had this for the rest of their lives.

After they were all freshened up and dressed, they had made their way down to breakfast with her parents and Hermione had tried desperately to hide her blush from the knowing look in both her mama and fathers eyes when they noticed the extensive markings she carried on her neck. The Black sisters having refused to allow her to glamour them to hide them from her parents. The only two people in this world that she'd rather not advertise just how much her Alpha's had enjoyed marking her too.

They had then moved onto the porch to enjoy the sun and warmth while awaiting her favourite professor who was scheduled to drop by to talk updates and strategy before her inevitable return to the school. Something she wasn't looking forward to but knew needed to happen.

She shook the thought away, feeling her Alpha's concern at her mood drop through their bond. Refocusing in time to see her mother dive towards her yet again. Hermione laughed, twirling out of the way, her eyes dancing in glee as her mother stumbled and struggled to stop herself falling.

"A little too cocky aren't you mama, at this point I'm not convinced you have the ability to catch me, a little too slow" she teased good naturedly as her mama spun and Hermione couldn't help but gulp a little at the dark look that passed through her mothers eyes. The older Omega beginning to stalk forward with more purpose, almost predatory in her movements and the young brunette slunk backwards, trying to maintain the distance between them.

"Oh you've done it now little one" Narcissa called over, her amusement felt through there bond and Hermione couldn't even begin to pretend to know what she had quite done wrong. Though she knew it was something, she had never seen that look on her mothers face.

"I can assure you, little dove" her mother began, continuing to stalk forward, her steps slow and precise. "No matter where you go, how fast you run and no matter what spells you know" Hermione yelped when suddenly her feet froze to the ground, her body falling backwards as she landed surprisingly softly on her bum. Her mothers wandless and wordless spell hitting her without her even seeing it. "I will always be able to catch you" Alecto finished, closing the distance between them and Hermione couldn't do anything but let herself be pulled back to her feet, her shoulders slumped in defeat and confusion as her mother pulled her into her arms, flipping her around so her back was to the older Omega.

"Now I know you're a little confused at what's happening, so let me explain it to you" the older Omega whispered her tone a little more authoritive and dark than she had heard it before. Though she couldn't really respond as her limbs felt heavier than usual, her mothers scent strong in the air around them, orange and coconut making her feel as if she were floating as she grasped her mama's arms. Desperate to hold onto something.

"You were stolen from me when you were just a babe, I spent years searching for you and when we do find you, it's with the knowledge that you've been harmed and are still in danger. So your little comment. Innocent as it may have been my darling girl, is not appreciated. It has set my instincts off a little more than I care to admit, especially with the knowledge that you're about to head back to the one place I cannot reach you easily, with the man who stole you." And Hermione couldn't help but feel guilty at that knowledge because of course it made sense now. It was rather silly for her to have teased about such a thing so it only made sense it had set her mothers instincts off and as a hand threaded through her hair to scrape leisurely at her scalp and her mama's pheromones increased in the air around her she let herself sink into the feeling of being held so tightly. Of feeling so safe.

"That's it my little dove, relax. There's no real use in fighting, your Omega will always surrender for her mama" she felt her mama's words more than she felt them as she was scoped up into her mama's strong arms and brought back up to the porch, settling in her arms as they sat beside her father. Then in question simply pressing a kiss to her forehead then her mama's lips before placing an arm around them and turning back to the conversation at hand.

~.~.~.~.~.

Hermione slowly felt the fog induced by her mother clear from her mind as she sat listening to her family. Still firmly tucked into her mama's side. Her mama clearly coming down from her upset as they sat tucked together. The young brunette couldn't quite muster the will to be mad at being so expertly overpowered by her mama, she was far too relaxed and the hand still stroking through her hair and the kisses pressed to her forehead almost religiously certainly helped the feelings of content as she hummed in approval at the affection and nuzzled her mama back.

Though she'd certainly have preferred not to have been so relaxed she was only just able to start following the conversation around her now that her mind had cleared a little. She could see her Alpha's, all sat on the swing seat in front of her. Bellatrix sat in the middle, an arm around both Narcissa and Andromeda as the other two sat tucked under the dark witches chin. They looked regal with the sun glittering of their skin, their pale complexions making them look even paler in the bright light. She could feel her mama purring against her. The soft rumble of the older woman's chest just as soothing as the motions in her hair or her fathers palm that she could feel resting gently at the top of her back.

It was strange to see them all in this setting, it made them all look strangely normal. Domestic. Nothing remotely like the fearsome, vile individuals they had been painted to be by Albus and certainly not the skilled, war hardened fighters they had become no thanks to the very man that painted them villains. To look at them one would never come to the conclusion that they had all gone through a generation of war, were still going through it. Only with a new generation of fighters. All thanks to a man that values his own power and greed above all else.
The things he had done, the people he had harmed. All in the name of 'the greater good' yet hidden behind false claims and nefarious intentions aiming at furthering his own selfish standing.

It was infuriating, heart-breaking and the knowledge that all those around her had suffered because of that one man made Hermione shiver in fury. Her family had suffered so much and each day that man continued to live and breathe they suffered more. She suffered more. She shuddered, remembering vividly the pain she had endured in order to reverse the process of the suppressants she had been forced to take without her knowledge by a man she had trusted. She knew the other students would have to go through the same at some point but hopefully Albus could be taken down before that. She dreaded to think what he would do if students started to present while he was still in power. Something he'd do anything to keep.
Even set up a child for slaughter and kidnap another. His pawns all placed carefully. But he hadn't counted on Bellatrix being sprung from Azkaban, hadn't planned on Hermione being recognised by the dark witch and taken out of his games. It had changed everything.

His pawns were rebelling, fighting back against his system of hate and bigotry and he didn't even know how badly they had managed to quietly deconstruct his game plan and soon they'd tip his board completely.

~.~.~.~.~.

Minerva arrived with Dobby on the porch in front of Riddle Manor with a soft pop. A tender smile spreading to her face when she took in the peaceful family sat out on the swing seats in front of her. It was the first time she had seen any of the witches or wizard present look so completely at peace. It was a wholesome scene and it filled her with the quiet strength she didn't know she had been needing as she slowly made her way onto the porch. Hesitant to disturb the tranquillity around the family she knew had been through far to much loss and heart ache already.

"Minerva!" It was Tom that broke the quiet first, offering her a warm smile as he gestured for her to take one of the remaining seats around them. Minerva noticed the mate marks adorning all three Black sisters and Hermione and smiled more openly, having to stifle her laughter when she saw just how thoroughly her favourite little brunette had been marked by her Alpha's. Even more so when she spotted the smug smirk sported by all three sisters when they saw where Minerva was looking. It pleased her to see that they had made so much progress with Hermione. For them to bare her mark and she theirs it meant that the little Gryffindor girl that had kept everyone at arms length the entire time she had known her, had finally let people in, trusting them completely.

"Good morning" she replied as she sat nodding her head in thanks when Alecto floated a freshly brewed cup of green tea in her direction. Accepting it, gratefully as she settled back in her seat.

"I'm sorry we don't have time for pleasantries today Min, with Albus playing chess master we need to get moving. How are things coming along at Hogwarts?" Bellatrix asked and Minerva couldn't help but sigh a little as she flashed a sympathetic smile to the only other witch besides Hermione that had gotten through her walls. She understood the directness even if she did wish she could relax and enjoy her time with those closest to her. Hopefully in time, when this war was over she would have that chance for she longed desperately for the peace that victory over Albus Dumbledore promised.

"Something to look forward to when this is all over I suppose" she replied, catching the hopeful gleam in every member presents eyes. She knew they felt it too. As keenly as she did.

"Things at Hogwarts are exactly where we want it too be. The students are on side. Harry and Ron are playing their parts perfectly and the headmaster is none the wiser. He is under the illusion that Andromeda is still his faithful soldier and will keep Hermione in line. The suppressant doses have been lowered again, something I'll keep lowering discreetly until the time comes we can stop them all together safely." She explained, opting to give an over view of the progress so far. Knowing her audience needed that information to plan ahead.

"And what of Severus?" Alecto questioned.

"As ignorant as ever, he believes he is untouchable and oh so clever in having fooled everyone. I believe he is playing both sides so that he is safe no matter what side eventually wins." she couldn't help the sneer at having to speak of him, someone she had once considered a friend and he too had turned out just as twisted as Albus himself.

"I see, clever yes but only if he hadn't been caught. He too shall be brought down alongside the headmaster. Has Albus mentioned to you when he expects Hermione back?" Tom asked pulling his wife and daughter closer to him protectively. Minerva scowled, remembering her most recent trip to his office with her cubs best friends. She hated knowing Albus was determined to use Hermione to bring down her own father. It was sadistic and cruel but she shouldn't have expected anything less from the man who had set up a child and his parents to be slaughtered.

"Soon, he's prepared us for her to arrive at any point. Stating that she had been tortured by Bellatrix and the Malfoy family. He has given us orders that she is not to be left alone and if she is with Andromeda we are to leave Andy to deal with her. Andy being her personal support to help her heal from the abuse she has been forced to endure at her captors hands" she smirked a little at the look of disgust and amusement on everyone's faces because it could only be Albus that was so full of his own self importance that he could believe without doubt that Andromeda and Hermione would play along.

"Perfect then, he's set up our own cover for us. I suppose he expects me to act a certain way as Hermione’s Alpha yes?" And Minerva had to stifle a shudder at the barely concealed anger in the brunettes voice.

"Unfortunately yer correct lassie. Ye'v tae keep Hermione in line so tae speak. Aroond him ye'll hae tae play up tae his expectations. Ye'v nicked hermione fae her ither two alpha's so Hermione has tae play th' unwilling omega brought tae heal. Ye'll have tae convince him that ye'v managed tae ower power her will 'n' control her enough tae portray his chosen story" she scowled, unconsciously slipping into Scots in her anger at the situation. Finding it entirely unfair that he will any one let alone Hermione be treated in such away to please his own power.

She sipped her tea to calm herself, feeling the anger swim in the air around her from all present. Taking in the way Alecto had pressed herself closer to Tom to calm the furious looking man and Hermione had moved to sit with the Black sisters. Perching herself on Bellatrix's lap as Andromeda and Narcissa pressed themselves into her side. All three having pressed their faces into her neck and hair, trying to regain control of their own anger. Hermione looked just as furious as her Alpha's and parents. Rightly so, but Minerva could also see the trademark determined glint in the youngest brunettes eyes as she stared ahead, her brain no doubt going over all the information she had learnt and coming up with her own plan to deal with it all.

Proving her assumption right, Hermione chose that moment to speak up her voice filled with a strength and surety she had never heard on the young witch before. Though she quickly decided it was something she liked bearing from the girl.

"The beginning of next week would be best. It let's me get settled into classes very quickly and if I'm going to be around Albus at all I'll need the distraction." The brunette stated. Continuing to speak even as her Alpha's growled a little at the reminder of how close she would be to the man that so openly posed a threat to her safety.

"We give it a week before beginning the work on the cabinet which gives Andy and I time to settle into the school, feel out how much Albus will hover and fill in Harry and Ron before we start making a move to further our plans. Father do you have a way for us to communicate that cannot be intercepted?"

Tom sat up a little straighter and again Minerva marvelled at how quickly Hermione had adjusted to living with a dynamic. Playing into her Alpha fathers natural need to feel as if he is contributing and helping to protect his father. She had to admit it was an affective strategy to stop any of the Alpha's from objecting to her plans. She sent a proud smile to the Omega girl and her heart warmed when Hermione winked back playfully obviously catching on to Minerva's line of thinking.

"I'll have a think and get back to you little dove, Minerva I'm trusting you to do all you can to keep Andromeda and Hermione as safe as you can without giving away your position" Tom replied and Minerva nodded, flashing the man an understanding look, knowing how hard it would be too let his daughter go again, so soon after finding her.

"Hermione is not to be left alone at any point with the headmaster or Severus and in public both Hermione and Andromeda will play into expectations, I will not have you taking any unnecessary risks little dove" Alecto spoke for the first time, drawing everyone's attention, she could see the concern dancing in the Omega mothers eyes, the barely visible twitch of her shoulder as if she were restraining herself and Minerva sympathised, she didn't think she could ever have remained as calm and level headed if she were in Alecto's position. She was far to quick to anger, whereas Alecto had always been a quiet fury, patient and calm in her retribution. The older Omega's words were laced with a finality that she alongside everyone else found themselves nodding too. Agreeing to the witches demands without second thought.

"Mia are you sure about this? I do not want to have to behave so disgustingly toward you for any reason, especially if it harms you in any way?" Andromeda's question was almost a whisper and Minerva couldn't help but feel for her. Knowing that it would go against the brunettes very nature to behave in a truly cruel way towards anyone let alone her mate.

"I'm sure Andy. We need to end this war as soon as we can. It's the only way to do so with as little casualties as possible. We cannot let this turn into a full scale war. Plus I trust you Andromeda. I know you, you would never truly hurt me, not that you could anyway, not with how much progress I've made thanks to Bella." Hermione replied, the same confidence as earlier lacing her tone, filling Minerva with pride at just how much she had grown. It was one of the only positives to have come out of the many tragedies they had faced. Hermione was now far from the quiet, withdrawn little bookworm she had once been and Minerva could see how much she had truly blossomed in the care and love of her true family.

It warmed her to see how easily she seemed to quell Andromeda's fears, the brunette now leaning against Hermione and her eldest sister with a small smile on her face. Narcissa's expression mirroring hers. Hermione truly was their perfect match and she feared slightly for the rest of the world. The four together were a sight for sore eyes and she had no doubt they would take the world so by storm.

Though one thing she did know for certain as she gazed at the little family around her, a family she had come to think of as her own, one brought together by love and determination to see a better future. Each member powerful but together unstoppable.

Albus Dumbledore wouldn't know what hit him.

Chapter Text

Chapter 21 - The beginning of the end Part 1


~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~☆~

The mood in Riddle Manor was a sombre one, Hermione could feel her families anguish as she slowly made her way down the front entrance stairs. It hung palpably in the air around her. Her steps slowed unwillingly as she moved toward the path that lead out of the wards and towards the appiration point. In truth, she felt the heavyweight of her impending departure as keenly as her mates and her parents were.

In all honesty when she suggested her and Andromeda going in to undo Albus' reign from the inside, she had not contemplated just how hard it would be to leave her loved ones. She hadn't ever had a proper family until she had been rescued by Bellatrix. She hadn't known that saying goodbye could be so brutally painful simply because until recently she hadn't had anything that made her heart clench so horribly at just the thought of leaving. Now though she had two loving parents whom she had come to depend on and love just as fiercely as they loved her. She had her mates too now. Yes Andromeda, ever gentle and loving, would be with her, but Bellatrix had quite literally been her saviour, her protector and Narcissa her quiet strength and compassion. They meant the world to her, equally and she could feel already just how restless and uneasy leaving two of the three for any period of time made her.

The coming months would be difficult and dangerous she knew, but now she had come to the realisation that it wasn't just in the physical sense with Albus Dumbledore still an ever present threat. It would be emotionally difficult. Harder probably than she could even fathom now despite the lump of dread in her chest and the tightness of the anxiety that coiled up her spine preparing to separate from her people had already caused, the unrelenting emotion crawling up gripping her from the inside out.

She had spent every moment of the last week with her family in preparation for this moment. Trying to soak up every ounce of strength, love and reassurance she could. Using that reassurance to fuel her determination, but now? Now all she felt was dread. It pulsed from each member of her family in waves, her own Omega curling in distress even as she fought to control it, to put on a brave face.

She could see the worry on their faces now as she drew ever closer. Her Alpha's looked grim but determined. Their faces trained impassive masks. Her father looked stoic, as if he alone bore the brunt of the world's wrong doings on his shoulders. She supposed he probably felt as if he did. After all, thanks to Albus he had no choice but to take the mantle as dark lord. It made her heart squeeze painfully but it was looking at her mother that truly threatened to break the young brunettes heart. Her mothers eyes were the biggest betrayer of the Omega woman's emotions. Where her face was blank, her eyes screamed unrest and she could see an agony swirling in the back of her orbs. An agony that Hermione couldn't help but wince when she caught sight of it. Knowing how much losing her once had hurt her mother, she knew the older Omega was terrified she'd lose her again. That her going to Hogwarts was forcing her mother to relive those fears all over again and how she wished she could spare her that pain.

Albus made it impossible though.

She knew this needed to be done, that their world would only be safe, her family would only be safe when Albus was gone. The man was dangerous, and every moment they wasted in not ending him was a moment too long for them all. The thought of all the pain he had caused them steeled her nerves, her inner Omega rebelling at the very idea Albus Dumbledore would harm her family anymore. She was still haunted by the reoccurring nightmare she had experienced before she had even knew the truth. The absolute pain and devastation she had felt and seen would always stick with her and Merlin help her, she could not, would not back out of this. She needed to act, needed to help bring the man responsible for so much suffering down.

She walked straight in to her mothers arms, holding tightly as she breathed in her scent, memorising the way her mothers Orange and Coconut scent made her feel more loved than she had ever known was possible. Basking in the last few moments she would get to spend with her mother before having to face the unknown.

Her family held her tightly each in turn, and Hermione took the moment for what it was, her own preparation for war. Her families love filling her with purpose. This was what she was fighting for, all the heartache to come would be worth it if it meant that these people, her people, who had already suffered so much, were finally free from any threat.

"I'll be okay" she told them, holding their gazes, letting them see the quiet strength that had built within her. A strength that left no room for doubt, she let it fill her, fill them with confidence and hope. It drew her posture up and she could visibly see the effect it had on her family. Each one drawing themselves up to match her. Their shoulders squared, head high.

"I promise I will protect her with my life my Lord" Andromeda's voice snapped her out of her silent examinations. Her Alpha exuded strength as she addressed the younger brunettes father and Hermione could see the honesty in her eyes, a silent pleading for their Lord and Lady to trust their most cherished possession with her.

"It is not him you have to worry about facing if you are to fail Andromeda" the older Omega spoke. An icy venom could be heard in her voice as her mothers calm demeanour cracked a little. Causing all in the room to shiver in fear slightly. Hermione had never heard her mother sound so cold, so calculated and she had no doubt her words were meant. If Andromeda did not protect her from Albus, she knew the Alpha would face a world of pain from her mother. Not that Hermione thought for a second that Andy would ever let anyone harm her.

"I understand My Lady, but it does not change my promise. I will protect her" Andy replied, her tone polite but no less genuine. Obviously sensing how very close Alecto was to losing control of her emotions completely.

"Mama, I'll be alright. Andy would never let any harm come to me" she spoke up, stepping in front of her mother and effectively taking her glare from Andromeda and gaining her attention. She watched the myriad of emotions flicker behind her mothers eyes before the older Omega sighed, defeated somewhat in the face of her child's surety.

"I know little dove. I know you can do this. I just struggle with the notion of you not being within my reach after everything" her mother whispered, pulling the young witch back into her a³rms. Holding her tightly one last time before she would inevitably be forced to part.

~~~~

"Are you ready for this little love?" Andromeda murmured against the crown of her head.

The moment they had apperated away from Riddle Manor, Hermione had felt the absence of her other two mates keenly. The feeling was disorientating and momentarily floored her. Only the steady presence of Andromeda and the soothing palm against the small of her back had held her upright. Letting her adjust quietly, Andromeda had just stood with her. Her scent soothing and presence steady. Offering Hermione a pillar of strength to lean on, both metaphorically and physically.

Once she was calm again and had regained her sense of equilibrium they had moved from the entry parlour of Tonks residence and towards the bustling sounds coming from the kitchen.

Hermione hadn't ever been inside the home in which Andromeda had resided in for years while under cover for her father. It was a small but lavish home. Well fitted and decorated to feel cosy but in a way that did not diminish the apparent wealth of the family. The entrance hall and apparently the downstairs in its entirety were painted in light colours. A sky blue for the kitchen, a cream for the entrance and a light grey for the living room. All the furnishings were a light oak. From the kitchen bunkers and table to the stair banisters and furniture.

Though cosy and welcoming as it may be Hermione could sense that her Alpha had not had much part in it's decoration or design. She knew her Alpha to have a more expensive taste in items, she had after all seen the older woman's rooms at Riddle Manor. It made her preen a little to know that quite clearly her Alpha felt more herself at Hermione’s home than she did in the home she had shared with Mr Tonks.

Not that she had anything against the man at all. He had been loyal to her father longer than she had been alive after all, but still, the Omega within her was satisfied that her Alpha wasn't likely to run off with this Omega man, despite their history together.

As if sensing where her thoughts had gone, Andromeda pinched her arm gently, giving her a stern look as if to tell her to behave. She smiled innocently and made her way into the kitchen ahead of the older brunette, much to her Alpha's annoyance.

Ted Tonks was a gentle looking man, blonde, medium height with a light stubble around his mouth. He glanced up and smiled warmly when he caught sight of her. Turning from the worktop where he stood cutting vegetables by hand. Something she could appreciate being a sort of muggle born herself she did miss doing the simple things in life herself. Such as chopping vegetables and washing dishes.

"You must be Hermione, I am Edward Tonks but you can call me Ted, all the family do" he boomed, his voice warm but far louder than she had expected it to be. She couldn't help but smile at him as he pulled her into a tight hug, patting her back firmly before releasing her.

She was glad that the possessive, protective side of herself did not feel even the slightest need to show herself. She had been prepared for it. Her mother had told her to make sure she was in control of herself to ensure she didn't accidentally offend the man or provoke Andromeda but she was glad she did not even feel the slightest discomfort around him. Even when Andy finally caught up to her and hugged the man in greeting.

"It's nice to finally meet you Ted" Hermione replied, her voice just as warm as his, and she smiled genuinely when she caught the flash of relief pass between her Alpha and Ted. Obviously they had been expecting her instincts to be a little more present. But she saw no reason to be jealous or possessive. Andy was hers just as she was Andy’s. She trusted her Alpha's. Knew they'd never harm her, so why should she get prissy when another Omega was around her mates.

They spoke pleasantly for a few moments as Andy and Hermione were both sat at the table by the Omega man and he updated them on how he had been doing. Apparently Dumbledore had stopped by to remind them that he wanted to speak with Hermione and Andromeda as soon as they arrived on the school grounds but apart from that they had been left alone, if it weren't for Nymphadora's Auror training then they wouldn't know much of anything.

Speaking of the metamorphmagus, Hermione wondered where she was. She had been looking forward to seeing her friend whom she had missed dearly. The clumsy older witch had proven herself to be one of Hermione's truest friends since they had met. Not long before her muggle mother and father had died. The witch had been one of her biggest supporters through their deaths and had even gone with Hermione to their funeral.

"She's upstairs sleeping Hermione, she will be down once dinner is ready" Ted said suddenly, offering her a sly smile when she looked at him suspiciously.

"I'm not reading your mind, you just keep glancing around and I know of you and my daughters friendship" he explained, chuckling at her look of relief. She was a brilliant occlumens so it was good her skill hadn't suddenly failed her.

Wanting to do something to help the kindly man Hermione offered to help prepare dinner, grinning when her offer was gladly excepted. She found Ted easy to get along with and his insistence on still using muggle methods to do basic tasks made Hermione feel warm. By the time Nymphadora had joined them for dinner Hermione felt the last of the tension caused by leaving her parents and other two mates melt, the warmth of the night giving her a momentary solace from the task she and her Alpha were about to undertake.

~~~~~~~

Apparating just outside of the Hogwarts entrance Hermione took a deep breath, sharing a last nervous look with her Alpha before she locked her emotions up tight, preparing herself to face Albus Dumbledore for the first time since before he had flat the school under Delores Umbridges reign of terror.

Beside her she could sense her Alpha doing the same. Andromeda's scent had grown in the air around them, a sense of power and superiority radiating out of the woman. Filling Hermione, comforting and reassuring in its intensity. It made the Omega side of herself relax slightly, knowing their Alpha was right beside them for this, supporting them every step of the way.

Before they could take a step forward, Hermione found herself drawn in to Andromeda's person space, the older woman gripping her hip with one hand while lifting and gripping her chin gently. Already in character as it would look to anyone watching like she was being rather Intimidating to the younger brunette. "Remember little one, I am going to have to act colder, more controlling around the others, please don't take it personally" her words, Hermione knew, were meant to be a warning of what was to come. Instead all she saw was the silent pleading in the older brunettes eyes for her to understand, for her to know that it would all be a show put on for Albus's benefit.

Knowing she couldn't do much to reassure her Alpha without their being a chance if them being observed Hermione nodded in acknowledgement. Responding with a quiet "Yes Alpha" while her eyes shone her understanding and her love at the woman. The tiniest of smiles gracing her lips while she spoke.

She smiled internally when she saw the relief shine in her mates eyes before her Alpha pressed a tender kiss to her lips and turned to guide them up to the entrance of the Castle.

Both well trained faces going blank as they marched forward.

"Good evening Miss Black" Dumbledore's faux grandfatherly voice was the first thing to greet her ears as the Castle gates swung open. His form materialising out of the darkness surrounding the castle.

He hadn't soared Hermione a glance as they approached. Hermione was grateful, unsure as to how she would react if he were to look at her in that moment. Such was the anger that surged within her at the mere sound of his voice.

She despised this man with every fibre of her being. Screaming silently in outrage at his presence. This man should be dead! Had to pay for all the harm he had caused. The feel of her Alpha's hand, grasping her shoulder tightly as if to guide her forward, was the only thing restraining her reaction to the man. Grounding her. Meaning that her anger was not even remotely visible except in the barely visible clenching of her muscles.

"Albus and I'd say the same. It is good to see you, though I do wish I were here under better circumstances" Andromeda replied, tightening her grip on Hermione visibly but gently when she spoke as if to emphasise why now wasn't "better circumstances".

"Indeed, though that is why I am here to greet you and your .... mate" he dragged out his words, emphasising more at the end as if to add insult to Hermione. She supposed if the circumstances were what he thought them to be, his pointing out that she was Andromeda's mate would be an effective way to cause her grief and subtly reinforce his perception of her worth. As if she were only a 'mate' and not a person with actual thoughts and feelings.

Hermione kept her gaze down, acting the good submissive little Omega for Dumbledore's benefit while Andromeda simply nodded and they lapsed into silence as they made their way up into the heart of the school.

It was late so the corridors were empty, torch light guiding the way through the old stone corridors up to the headmasters tower, were the gargoyle that guarded the door sprung to life with Albus' softly muttered "jelly bean". Hermione filed the password away for later use. Almost certain her Alpha had done the same.

She pressed herself in close to her mate as they ascended the stairs, not liking the close proximity they had been forced into with the man who had literally kidnapped her as a baby. She forced herself to breathe deeply, filling her lungs with the scent of her Alpha, resolutely ignoring the nauseatingly sweet scent of the older man.

Once they had reached the office Andromeda was directed to the only seat in front of the man's desk, Hermione let her Alpha guide her, entirely unsure as to where she was expected to place herself. It would be just like Albus to expect her to sit on the floor as a way to belittle her further.

Andromeda sat, pulling Hermione down to sit across her lap, both ignoring the frown directed at them at the action. The Omega girl internally scoffed, so the stupid man did expect her to sit on the floor or stand for the duration of this farce of a meeting.

"You asked to see us before Hermione is integrated back into school life Albus" Andromeda stated, her voice both commanding and respectful, years of training under the hands of the Black Family clearly evidenced in the way the older brunette held herself.

"Straight to business then I see, alright. But first, may I offer you both a Lemon drop? " The grandfatherly charm was rampant in his tone and Hermione had to rely on every ounce of self control not to wince or wretch at hearing it.

"No thank you Albus, Hermione and I have just come from dinner not too long ago" Andromeda gracefully declined and under any other circumstances the youngest brunette would have chastised her Alpha for speaking on her behalf but sue had to remind herself they were just playing a part. Albus Dumbledore didn't want her having any autonomy, he had all but ensured she didn't under his watchful eyes and under Andromeda's care. The man may be powerful, intelligent and more than a little cruel but he clearly had no idea how people worked. Or he would have known better than to trust in his own manipulation skills so blindly.

"Very well, now Ms Black I know what I asked of you made you uncomfortable and I can only commend you for doing such a quick job at securing her for us. She does seem quite docile, I trust there weren't any difficulties" his tone was kind, warm but laced with an undercurrent of suspicion that Hermione knew they had to stamp out quickly less the man decide to monitor them too closely in the coming weeks.

"Uncomfortable Albus! You know fine well it made me much more than uncomfortable. She is but a child. She is younger than my Nymphadora!!!" Andromeda hissed, not having to play up her distaste at the situation, her anger was clear in the air and even Hermione found herself cringing slightly at the scent of her mates anger, even knowing it wasn't directed at her.

"She is no child Ms Black, she is their weapon or she would have been and you Very much know it!" The man hissed back.

"Weapon or no she is a child, a child you made me all but assault and then tare away from her family so yes there were difficulties. If it weren't for the bond that ties us I doubt I'd have managed to subdue her, I can feel her pain, her anger and her fear running through the bond. Every second since I 'rescued' her from them" her mate hissed back and Hermione didn't have to fake the distress she let show at seeing her Alpha so upset. She knew Andy was only acting a part but she also knew the anger and upset the older witch was emanating was in fact genuine. Andy, out of all three Black sisters was the one who struggled with this war the most. Death, destruction and harm coming to innocent people was one sure way of upsetting her and too Andy Hermione was an innocent. Even outside of being her mate, she still had been targeted by a power hungry mad man and said man had then ordered her be forced into a bonding with a woman he believed she barely knew.

"We shall agree to disagree, Ms Black. Though we both know this is for the greater good, they at least we can agree on yes?" His snide tone riled Hermione, the brunette not appreciating his disrespect of her Alpha and she snarled before she could think to restrain herself. She didn't look up though, merely clenched her fists and bit her tongue to stop herself drawing more attention to herself.

"What I can agree on is that she is better away from them yes, she can do more good here than she would be able to in that Manor" Andromeda replied, not acknowledging Hermione's outburst verbally, simply pulling the brunette closer to her body and guiding her head down to rest on her shoulder.

Albus nodded, excepting her Alpha's words at face value but Hermione had caught the double meaning. Yes she could do much more good here than she could simply sitting by at her family Manor. Here she could work from the inside and when it all came to a head, Albus Dumbledore wouldn't know what had hit him.

"Now it's your job to keep her in line, she knows not to mention anything about Riddle or your sisters yes? The story is she was abducted and tortured for information, she gave away nothing and you have rescued her. Make sure she sticks to it. I'll require you to check in weekly" the grandfatherly tone was back, his eyes sparkling in satisfaction as he observed how easily Andromeda was keeping Hermione docile. Though he probably wouldn't have been so kind. She was after all the spawn of his biggest enemy. A thought he voiced.

"She's lucky it was you I sent and not someone else, I know Sirius or Mad eye may have appreciated a kittle Omega of their own, I don't think they would have been so generous as to have offered her comfort rather than punishment for her foolishness" he said, a viscous smirk threatening to break through his facade. Hermione felt her anger skyrocket. Infuriated by the mere suggestion of Sirius Black or Alistair Moody coming anywhere near her.

Her Alpha growled at the mention of her cousin and the mad ex auror, not liking the thought of either even attempting to claim her mate. "What do you mean by that Albus and be careful, I may have been reluctant to do this but she is my mate, I do not take kindly to you suggesting what you have" she spat, her hand coming up to rest on the back of Hermione's neck. It was just as possessive as it was grounding and Hermione pressed her nose into her Alpha's neck. The act both serving to reassure her Alpha that Hermione was hers and hiding her smirk at the older woman's possessiveness. It wasn't often Andy let this side of herself show so clearly. Preferring subtle displays of tactile dominance to outright possession.

"I merely mean to observe that you are being far to kind to the Omega, Ms Black. She turned traitor to the cause, if it were anyone but you to have claimed her they would surely have reminded her of how wrong that decision was" he replied curtly. Gesturing towards the door in a clear dismissal.

"For your sake I have placed you both in your own suite up near Gryffindor tower. If you stop by Professor McGonagall's she will show you to your rooms" and with that he turned away from them, picking up a quill and beginning to tend to the stack of letters on his desk.

Andromeda patted her side, a silent request for her to stand and the older woman guided her out the door, leading the way to Gryffindor tower and a little bit of privacy.

Hermione felt her shoulders gradually relax the more distance they put between themselves and Dumbledore's office. Andromeda's hand in her own squeezed lightly, letting her know she felt it too. She closed her eyes briefly and sighed.

She couldn't wait for the day she was free of one Albus Dumbledore and his scheming.




Chapter Text

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Hermione had tried hard all evening to keep a hold of her anxiety. Being around the Tonks family had helped, it had been soothing to her inner Omega. Recognising family in them. It had been wonderful to see Tonks again, meeting Tonks' father was something that was a relief too. Soothing all worries she may have secretly harboured about just who Ted Tonks was to her Alpha. 

 

She had felt safe there, almost as safe as she did at her family home. It was the moment they had left the house that her anxiety had crept up, threatening to consume her on the very spot she stood. 

 

Especially once she and her brunette Alpha had been forced to follow the headmaster into his office. The feel of his manipulative eyes seering into her. Making her skin crawl and her stomach flip unpleasantly as he scrutinised her. 

 

Though perhaps it was the lingering fear his comment about Sirius Black and Alastor Moody wanting her as an omega that had pushed her over the edge. Making her blood boil in fury while her heart raced in fear. It had taken every ounce of her control not to snap at the man or hex him where he stood. If it weren't for the way Andromeda had held her so closely, she wouldn't have been able to restrain herself. She despised him with a hatred that only seemed to grow each and every second he still walked free of repercussions. 

 

Yet despite her anger, despite how much she knew he was a vile man who had what was coming to him, he had still successfully gotten into her head. Making her feel dirty and insignificant. The feeling was similar to the way she had been made to feel as a child, it was foreign now but unlike before she was not able to simply brush it off as if nothing had happened to her. Those old feelings had resurfaced. 

 

Creeping up her spine to coil around her heart like a long lost friend. 

 

Albeit a severely unwelcomed long lost friend. 

 

She sighed quietly glancing up from the cup of tea that she held in her hand towards the burning fire, her brown teary eyes catching in the light unknowingly. Andy had made it for her, setting her up on the plush green sofa that sat in the common area of their new quarters. Her alpha had kissed her forehead, informing her that she wanted to go back and speak with Minerva a little more about tomorrow. They had agreed to organise a meeting between Hermione and her friends out with the headmasters knowledge when they were back in the castle walls with her parents before they had left her manor and her mate wanted it to happen as soon as possible. 

 

Hermione could see the logic in meeting as soon as possible, though she wasn’t wholly convinced that the war was the only reason Andy was pushing so hard for the meeting. If she were to hazard a guess Andy would be hoping that seeing Harry and Ron again would help distract her from the absence of her other two mates and her parents. Both of which she already missed terribly. She could feel Bellatrix and Narcissa as keenly as she could feel her own emotions but without their physical presence she felt a little hollow. As if whole parts of herself were missing. An ever present ache in her chest, constantly reminding her that those she loved most were currently out of her reach. 

 

She didn’t know how she had survived without her family. Those first sixteen years of her life felt empty in comparison to the absolute love and devotion she had experienced in recent months. She felt she would be lost without them now. They were her strength and the very reason she was doing this. She had to keep that thought alive in her head and heart. 

 

Her pain and discomfort would be worth it when she saw Albus Dumbledore fall and until then she at least had one mate within her reach, she had her friends and she had Minerva. The older witch was as much a motherly figure to her as Alecto and she would do anything to see them all safe from the man who had tormented them. 

 

His cruel words at this point were only that - cruel words. He couldn't manipulate her anymore. He had failed in keeping her in the dark, had failed at keeping her away from her family and ultimately he would fail in winning this merlin forsaken war. Her father would be free from the alias forced upon him, her mother would be able to rest knowing they were all safe and her mates would no longer be persecuted and feared. 

 

She couldn’t wait.

 

“Little witch?” her Alpha’s questioning voice startled her, causing her to look up with tear stained cheeks towards her mate. Andromeda stood just inside the door to their quarters, concern shining in her eyes. Hermione knew the instant her alpha spotted the wet tracks that adorned her cheeks, the older brunette striding towards her quickly, kneeling before her. 

 

“What has you crying love?” her mate whispered, cupping her cheek with one hand and reaching for her hands with the other, drawing them away from her face. Her actions oozed a tenderness that always left the omega feeling breathless. She took a deep breath, her eyes locking with Andy’s own. She could smell the alpha’s pheromones all around her. Andy was clearly acting on instinct, her scent laced with a fierce protective warmth that Hermione couldn’t help but want to get closer too. 

 

Pressing her cheek more firmly into the older woman's palm, her eyes fluttered shut as she continued to drag in breath after breath of that warmth. Wanting to wrap herself up in the older woman. 

 

“I….” she began, unable to stifle the small whimper that escaped her throat when her alpha began stroking her thumb under her eye gently. 

 

“Go on” Andy murmured back, her voice a tender pur. 

 

“Albus” she responded, reaching with both hands for her mate after abandoning her now lukewarm tea. Andy stood up, pulling Hermione with her, wrapping her in strong arms as she burrowed closer. She felt her mate humm against the crown of her head prompting her to continue, fingers threading in her curls. 

 

“Sirius and Moody, It made me feel dirty” she whispered, her voice laced with emotion as she felt fresh tears fall down her face, landing against her alpha’s shirt. Andy growled in response. Sounding more possessive than Hermione thought her capable off as the older woman's hand tightened in her hair slightly. The omega let herself be pulled in tighter to her mate, feeling the woman’s need for reassurance as deeply as her own. 

 

“You’re mine!” she growled possessively. Her scent changing just as quickly at the reminder. Hermione felt her knees buckle as she gripped her mate's shirt hard, burrowing her face into the woman’s neck. Her nose tucked against the Alpha’s scent gland. Eager to lose herself in the absolute belonging Andromeda’s scent promised.

 

“Alpha '' she murmured, mouthing at her alpha’s skin. Her own need and upset mixing with the sheer relief at being able to feel and smell her mate all around her. She felt Andromeda groan as she continued to mouth her mate's neck gently, laving her tongue over the older woman's scent gland, marking her with her own scent too. Knowing her small act of ownership would soothe the Alpha as much as it soothed her. Reassuring the older brunette as much as Hermione that Hermione was hers and she was Hermione's. 

 

She was her mama’s daughter after all, she knew who she belonged to but Merlin knew her Alpha’s would know they were hers just as much as she was theirs. 

 

Hermione yelped slightly as her alpha gripped her thighs, hooking her legs and drawing her up into strong steady arms. She wrapped her legs around the woman without thought. Suppressing the needy whimper that threatened to escape her throat at the older brunette's small display of strength. She let her alpha draw her into a searing kiss, their mouths meeting in a clash of need. 

 

Andromeda wasted no time in swiping her tongue across the omega’s bottom lip, demanding access to her mouth. Hermione whimpered, heat building within her at the first contact between their tongues. Andy’s tongue plundered her mouth, exploring every crevice, tasting her, savouring her before her tongue came to wrap itself around her own. All the younger brunette could do was hang on to her mate tightly, surrendering her mind and body to the expert care of her Andromeda.

 

She didn't remember moving but the feel of cool sheets suddenly meeting her bare back caused a gasp to slip past her lips, greedily caught by her Alpha who had obviously used an impressive display of wandless and non verbal magic to rid them both of their clothes. 

 

The feel of her Alpha's skin against hers, breasts against breath was overwhelming. Andromeda's hands slipped down her body, tracing a delicate trail with her finger tips down the omega’s neck and chest. Leaving goosebumps in their wake. 

 

Heat coiling in the pit of her stomach as sure hands circled her sensitive breasts, teasing and gentle as Andy kneaded her flesh. "Please" she whispered desperately. Needing more. 

 

"Please, please Alpha" her words were more begging than she wanted to sound but she couldn't really complain as her Alpha growled in response, her teeth nipping harshly at Hermione's bottom lip before her lips trailed down her neck and shoulder. Hot breath ghosting against her sensitive skin as her mate nipped and licked at her skin as she trailed a blazing line down to her pulse point. Settling her mouth over the younger witch's pulse point. 

 

"Andy!" She gasped, her head spinning as her alpha sucked her flesh into her mouth, bruising and marking her in a way that had her inner Omega purring in relief. Glad to bear the mark of her Alpha on her skin. 

 

She basked in the mixing scents in the air around her, the feel of their magics dancing along her skin as they swirled together. It was blissful but she needed more, needed to feel her alpha. 

 

As if sensing her desperation Andy pulled Hermione's left leg up over her own hip, straddling her right leg as she brought their centres together. The omega whined at the feeling, her head spinning at the pleasure shooting through her entire body as her alpha began grinding down onto her centre slowly.

 

Her eyes rolled as her Alpha adjusted, propping herself up with an elbow beside the younger brunette's head. She groaned and reached her hands forward, aiming to grip on to her mate to ground herself when the pleasure threatened to send her spinning off into bliss. 

 

"Please Andy I.." she whimpered when the older woman smirked, using her free hand to pin Hermione's arms above her head. Not stopping the gentle rocking of hips as she guided them both towards release. 

 

"Hush baby, I know, '' Andy whispered, her eyes shining with love, a salvation in the uncertainty that was her current life. 

 

"It's alright, I've got you" her Alpha shifted again. Moving her pinned arms under the arm she had been using to prop herself up with. Pressing them more firmly against one another. Causing Hermione to relax at the added pressure. Loving how safe Andy made her feel as the pleasure began to build and converge settling low in her abdomen. 

 

"Fuck" Andy groaned, increasing the pace, her hips grinding hard and fast. The angle just right that every time she rocked forward she hit Hermione's swollen clit. 

 

Hermione panted, pushing her head up as far as it would go, seeking a kiss that was willingly given. Her Alpha pressed desperate sloppy kisses to her lips as they both began to chase their impending orgasm. 

 

Her nerves felt as if they were on fire as Andy nipped and licked at her lips, the woman's free hand returning to Hermione's breasts, targeting her stiff nipples. 

 

"Ohh" her toes curled as each pinch of her nipple between her Alpha's finger tips sent Hot flashes of pleasure straight to her core, building Hermione up further with every movement. 

 

Andromeda pulled away when breathing became difficult. Resting their foreheads together instead. 

 

Hermione couldn't help but get lost in her Alpha's eyes as her pleasure continued to grow. The pressure of her impending orgasm overwhelmed her senses as she let all sense of worry, fear and hurt slip from her mind. Her awareness narrowed down to the twin pools of hazel that stared right back at her. 

 

"Let go little witch I'm right here" her Alpha whispered and as if on command Hermione felt her body seize in ecstasy as her orgasm hit her. Throwing her off the ledge into the abyss. Her vision whiting as her release washed over her. 

 

Vaguely she felt her mate's body grow taut above her, the woman's hips stuttering against her own as her walls clamped rhythmically around nothing. Both witches riding out their pleasure together. 

 

When Hermione came too, it was to the sight of hooded eyes gazing back at her, a gentle smile on her Alpha's lip as the woman continued to hold her down as she came down from her high.

 

Hermione smiled back lazily at just how well her Alpha knew her, always knowing exactly what Hermione needed to make her feel better. She didn't know what it was but being pinned and held so tightly by her Alpha's made her feel secure and it was exactly what she needed after the roller coaster of a day she had experienced. 

 

"Andy" she whispered, her voice tender and awed. 

 

"Hi darling, feeling better?" the Alpha whispered back before moving off to the side and pulling Hermione back into her arms. 

 

"Mhhmm' Hermione murmured back sleepily as she settled, resting her head against her Alpha chest, right over her heart. Feeling her mate's heart beat thrum below her ear. She flung an arm around her mate, the other tucked into her own side as Andy tangled their legs together. 

 

She smiled tiredly as she felt her Alpha begin to stroke her hair gently, purring quietly below her and as she drifted, content in the moment her own put joined in. Creating a harmony of sound that lulled her peacefully to sleep. Safe and warm at her alpha’s side. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hermione entered the Great Hall for breakfast cautiously. Her head down placidly as she refused to make eye contact with anyone. Making her way towards Gryffindor table silently, feeling every set of eyes on her as she did so. The whispered murmur of her and her mates names ringing as loudly in her ear as if they had been shouted at her. 

 

She clenched her fists, determined to block it all out. She looked up at the staff table as she sat, Ron and Harry having cleared a space in the middle of them for her. She spared no one a second glance, briefly settling her dull eyes on Minerva before seeking out the one gaze she needed. Andromeda sat nearly in front of her table, her mate’s warm brown eyes glinting with something akin to pride as Hermione portrayed the picture perfect meek little omega Albus wanted her to be. 

 

She held her mates gaze for a little longer before looking down and away when she felt the headmasters gaze land on her, her skin bristling unpleasantly instantly. 

 

“It’s so good to see you mione” Harry whispered in her ear, his arm winding itself around her back, hugging her to him briefly. Giving her the sense of safety she craved as Dumbledore’s eyes watched her. Her relieved smile though small was genuine when she felt Ron add his hand to her back also, not offering words through his mouthful of food in a rare display of manners. 

 

“We need to talk, Black Lake at lunch, spread the word quietly please” she whispered in his ear, pretending to lean her head on the ginger boy's shoulder before pulling away. Both boys dropped their hands as she straightened. Following her lead as they had done since they began their friendship in their first year. Though they had experienced their fair share of questionable moments, it soothed Hermione to feel the familiarity of her boys either side of her. As if in an ideal world, one unchanged by war, lies and deceit, they would have just been three regular teens enjoying breakfast as they prepared for the day ahead. 

 

It saddened her to think of all they had been forced to miss. Long gone were the days they ran through the halls, childish laughter ringing out behind them as they went. Where her biggest worry had been her boys dragging her off on some ill thought out adventure that was sure to get them into some form of trouble. That was back when her biggest aspiration was joining the ministry and radicalising House Elves rights. Before their paths darkened with destruction and devastation laid at their feet by a headmaster who valued power and control over the lives of the very students he had vowed to protect. 

 

In that moment as her boys lapsed into an easy silence, content to sit by her side, she was nothing but a teenage girl with her two best friends, ignoring the rest of the world. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The early afternoon sun glittered off the surface of Black Lake lazily as Hermione sat upon its shore, watching the giant Squid splash joyfully in the centre of the waters. Andy sat behind her, legs and arms either side of her. The older woman's nose resting against her temple. Both witches taking comfort in their proximity to each other. The time they had spent apart that morning had been uncomfortable. Hermione had felt like her skin was itching, her heart aching constantly. It had been the longest period of time the omega had spent away from all of her mates at once. Usually there was always at least one of them around her at all times. 

 

But her attendance in class was vital, no matter her discomfort, if they were to pull off their plan to overthrow Dumbledore from the inside out. 

 

Ron and Harry had already joined them, alongside Luna, Hannah Abbot and Neville. They all sat near Hermione and her Alpha, respectfully looking elsewhere while Alpha and Omega took a few moments to simply be together, while they waited on Draco who had the most difficult task of all. He had to slip past Professor Snape without being caught or questioned as to where he was headed. The other students including Hannah had all been friends of Hermione’s before her ‘kidnapping’ and therefore if they were caught together they wouldn’t be questioned too intensely. Draco being with them however was an entirely different thing. Merlin knew that most would probably agree that the world would freeze over before Draco Malfoy was caught dead hanging around with Harry Potter. 

 

The atmosphere was calm though the brunette could feel an undercurrent of tension hanging in the air, she wasn’t sure if it was apprehension or excitement.

 

Draco appearing behind them with a slightly hesitant cough saved her from analysing the situation any more. Something she was grateful for lest she over analyse that tension.

 

“I apologise for being late, Professor Snape was hovering in the Dungeons” The blonde haired boy addressed them politely. Inclining his head respectfully towards his aunt and Hermione before he too took a seat among the group. 

 

Hermione was impressed with just how little of a fuss all of her peers seemed to make with the Slytherin joining their ranks; it showed a great feat of maturity and progress for the entire school. Maybe her idea of inter house unity had in fact been a successful one. She had heard from Harry that it had been, but seeing it with her own eyes filled her with pride for her fellow classmates. Though it hurt her heart a little to know that with their maturity had come the complexities of the brewing war. If it were not for the looming danger she was sure they all would not have been forced to grow up in such a way. 

 

Hermione offered Draco a brief smile, knowing that he probably felt a little out of his element. The pressure his father put on him was unfair and thanks to his fathers repeated transgressions in faltering from the Dark Lord's true intentions the Malfoy family were  not in favour in many social circles. It is why Narcissa had been asked for her permission by the dark lord to have Draco be one of their inside helpers, giving the young Malfoy heir the chance to step away from his fathers disgrace. 

 

Andromeda pecked her on the side of the head, warm lips lingering for a moment in a brief reassuring manner before she felt her alpha straighten up, her posture rising to that of a proper pureblood lady, Hermione copying the gesture. Her friends who had been talking quietly amongst themselves quietened in response, sensing the seriousness of the discussion ahead. 

 

“As much as i wish for the time to discuss how you are all doing i am afraid the headmaster is only off school grounds for a limited time and will unfortunately be back around dinner so we best get started” Andromeda’s voice was firm and polite but still held the authority Hermione wished she could imitate. It would have come in handy over the years when she had spent countless hours and days wrangling with Harry and Ron in the library, trying to convince them to do their own homework rather than relying on her solely. 

 

The group nodded silently in response, their expressions grim as they gave their full attention to the two brunettes. Alpha and Omega sitting central to their group, imitating the picture of composure. “The first thing we would like is an update as to what has been happening here while i have been gone” Hermione continued after her alpha, gesturing to the small group in front of her when she had finished voicing her question. 

 

She watched as they all glanced at one another briefly, as if communicating silently before Neville nodded, surprising Hermione when he was the one to take the lead. 

 

“After the Ministry we gathered the alliance back together. None of us could pinpoint why but we felt uncomfortable with the way the Headmaster seemed so willing to declare you dead” the dark haired boy grimaced, sounding far more confident in himself than Hermione had ever heard him. It was a pleasant change, she had always worried about just how little self confidence Neville always had. 

 

To see him lead their group was a moment she knew she would always remember. 

 

"We agreed to continue the ceasefire between the houses in your honour, secretly of course because we didn't really know what was going on or who to trust. Then Harry and Ron called a meeting when they came back from meeting with you at your family's Manor." He continued effortlessly, his hands beginning to move as he gestured while he spoke, indicating the two boys mentioned. 

 

"We explained what you had told us, we told them of Albus's actions and the true reasoning behind the war. They were sceptical at first though the sources and books you provided through McGonagall soon convinced them we were speaking the truth" Harry spoke now, taking over the conversation without any hesitance. 

 

She nodded her head in understanding, proud of her two boys for holding that discussion and getting their peers on board. She hated the thought that they had all been kept so ignorant as to what was happening around them. As if it weren't their very lives the old coot was playing god with. 

 

"He's been hovering a lot, repeating himself often as if it is important that he sees we believe him, especially since he realised we had visited with you, he thinks he obliviated us and McGonagall too. We meet weekly and then feed whatever we've spoken about back to our own houses after." Ron finished, rounding up the brief version of all they were doing. 

 

She felt her alpha grin against the top of her head, a pleased hum vibrating against her back and Hermione desperately wished to turn around and kiss that smile right off of the older woman's aristocratic features. 

 

"And you Draco, what news do you bring from the Dungeons hmm?" Hermione could hear the clear warmth and amusement in her mate's tone and upon looking at the boy in question she could see why. Draco sat with his legs crossed, filling with his fingers nervously while his wary eyes swung up to meet her own. 

 

"I uh um…" he began before stopping and clearing his throat. "Slytherin house are on board. It was easier to convince them than I thought, a lot had heard various stories from their parents who hadn't realised they were listening. Though my father has voiced his uh discontent with the way we are moving forward. He believes we should have already overthrown Dumbledore. I think truthfully he is annoyed that in his words our Lord has sent a muggle raised child who stole his chances of um of keeping my mother to do a wizards job" he told them and Hermione supposed he did a valiant job in keeping his anxiety from seeping through into his words to much. 

 

Though the brunette couldn't stifle the hiss of annoyance she let loose at the mention of Lucius bloody Malfoy thinking he had ever had any sort of real chance of keeping her Alpha. Narcissa was too good for him. He would never compare. 

 

She also bristled at the insinuation that her father should trust him more than he trusted her. It was ridiculous. 

 

Andromeda chuckled quietly, soothing a hand through the Omega’s hair. Letting Hermione know without words that she understood her upset at that comment. 

 

"Alright, you all should be proud of what you have achieved together so far" her Alpha began after a minute, her tone becoming more serious as she spoke. "However the time for celebrating that achievement is not now, not when no one is safe yet. Which brings us to why we are here".

 

"So there's a plan then?" Harry asked quietly, looking far more tired than he let on. 

 

"There is, and we need everyone to work together on this, if we don't we won't ever stop Albus Dumbledore and every one of our families and friends will be in danger" Hermione replied, taking the reins. Her voice firm and confident. 

 

She smirked slightly when she saw her friends startle a little at the authority in her voice. Displaying not even the barest of hints of the timid little Omega she was forced to portray. 

 

"Draco, father has tasked you with the repair work needed on the Vanishing cabinet in the room of Requirement. Andy has instructions for you that she will speak with you about later" she began, offering the blonde a reassuring smile when he nodded hesitantly, seemingly shocked that he specifically was being tasked with anything of importance. 

 

"Harry, Ron I need you to stick by me as often as you can. Luna, Neville, stick by Ginny. Dumbledore wants his heroes, let's not give him a reason to suspect that we are anything less." She continued, beaming proudly when all her friends simply nodded in understanding. Not questioning her logic in the slightest. 

 

"We have three cursed objects that will be delivered into the castle made to look like a slytherin attempting to take out Dumbledore. All three will fail but none will be traceable to anyone. But it will lure Dumbledore into a false sense of security, thinking that my father is sending a child to do his work" she laughed at the confusion that painted every one but Luna's faces. 

 

Trust the one friend everyone thought clueless to be the one who caught on first. It amused her how quickly everyone had dismissed Luna for her airy ways but Hermione had always felt the petite blonde had an intelligence about her that transcended the normal book smarts. 

 

"Eh mione, do you wanna explain that a bit more?" She chuckled at Draco’s uncharacteristic use of her nickname but secretly loved that he felt accepted enough with her to use it. 

 

"What I mean is that we have a cursed necklace and a Poisoned bottle of mead that will be used as a decoy to fool Dumbledore into thinking that the Dark Lord has sent a child to kill him. It won't be traceable but each 'attempt' at his life will fail, making him think that the student is inept at the task" she explained, simplifying her words a bit. 

 

She saw the dawning comprehension on their faces and relaxed backwards, glad that they had caught on. 

 

"So who of us is the unlucky winner of intercepting these items?" Neville asked, trying to hide his smirk. 

 

"Well I was thinking, have a Gryffindor intercept the necklace that will be sent to the castle during the first Hogsmead weekend of the year. Dumbledore will then suspect that it was either an attempt on his life or a slytherin trying to harm a Gryffindor. Protecting the knowledge of the House alliance from reaching his ears" she replied seeing Harry, Ron and Neville share an apprehensive glance. 

 

"The necklace will not kill whoever it is, the curse will not be permanent either. Just unpleasant. Ask the Gryffindors and see if there are any volunteers" Andromeda added as if sensing their unease. 

 

"The mead?" Ron asked and Hermione grinned gleefully. Watching as her ginger headed friend paled. 

 

"I am so glad you asked Ronald, after all you will be the one to drink the poison" she smirked as he gulped. 

 

"Payback?" He whispered and Hermione nodded. 

 

"Yes, payback is precisely what this is. While I do not blame you for trying to protect your family, I am still rather mad at the insults you threw when we met, so after this we are even yes?" She replied, her tone matter of fact, a warning barely hidden in her tone for him not to argue. After all he had insulted her entire family and tried to kidnap her for the headmaster, not that she blamed him, she would have done the same if it had been her family Albus was directly threatening. She still couldn't let it go unpunished though. Her very nature was still riled at even the thought of it. 

 

"You have the antidote?" He asked in lue of voicing his reluctant agreement. Hermione took it as his agreement anyway. 

 

"I do, I promise" she watched relief flood his face as he nodded.

 

As they all made their way back to the castle separately Hermione smiled gently up at her Alpha, feeling the first sparks of hope that they would in fact pull this off blossom within her heart.