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The Black Prophecy

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Hermione was drug from sleep by relentless scratching at her door. Sleepily she grabbed her wand and threw open her door wand raised. At first she was shocked at the lack of anything. In the very early hours of the morning the hallway and common room were clearly deserted. She jumped at the feeling of fur rubbing at her ankles. She looked down to see her familiar rubbing against her legs before pushing inside.

“Crooks, you nearly gave me a heart attack. Where have you been? Not to mention how did you get out?”

The large orange face turned up to look at her as if to say “Why wouldn’t I be out?” Unceremoniously, he dropped a folded piece of parchment on the floor before jumping onto the bed and curling up on her pillow.

“Wonderful,” she said mostly to herself. “I guess I am ready to get up then. And I cannot believe you are still bringing me treasures from outside.” She leaned down to sweep the piece of paper up into her hand. It was heavier than she expected. She turned it over curiously. In the process of doing so she caught a whiff of her wife’s magic. She inhaled deeply. It was such an intoxicating scent. Thoughtfully she twirled her wand in her hands deciding which spell Bella was most likely to have used. She finally settled on a simple revealing charm.

“Aparecium,” she whispered. The parchment unfolded in her hands and beautiful writing appeared.

My Dearest Hermione,

I cannot tell you how empty today was without you here. I cannot wait until writing letters such as these will be unnecessary and we will not have to be apart. I imagine that you meant to write me but likely fell asleep. I had business tonight, so Cissy was kind enough to make me a Pepper up. Now without you here, I am not sure I can sleep.

I got word that you had an interesting conversation. I expect a full description as soon as you have a free moment. Lucius took the liberty of training Crookshanks to take and retrieve letters from the owlery. Just cast a concealment charm on him before you let him out at night. Luc wanted me to tell you that you have the most charming and intellectual cat.

Little witch be good this year. I know you will do well. Know that you’ve taken half of my heart with you. Keep it safe.

All my love,

Bella

Tears slipped down her cheeks and she sat on the bed. She ran a hand over the cat’s head. Of course, he had a purpose. Bloody intelligent animal. She breathed deeply trying to calm herself. This was proving more difficult than she had anticipated. The bond with her wife was more powerful than she had realized. She hastily dried her tears. As early as it was she would have time to unpack and get ready before breakfast.


 

When Draco came down to walk to breakfast with her, Hermione was sitting in large leather arm chair reading a book.

“Good Morning, Madame Black. I must say you still look fetching in green.”

“And you, Mister Malfoy are a flatterer. Are you ready to go to breakfast?”

“I am. I thought you might want to be rather early today,” he said beckoning to Crabbe and Goyle to follow them. “What is on your schedule for today?”

“Ancient Runes, Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions.”

“I have DADA and Potions with you,” he replied.

“That will be nice. I am hoping that Snape finds a reason to hold me back.”

“Yesterday still has you shaken?”

“It does. There was just something off. I can’t place my finger on it, but I think he will be able to.”

“I heard that we have potions with the Gryffindors.”

“That’s bloody typical,” she said sighing heavily. “What do you know about the new potions master?”

“Well from what my father said, he is the old potions master. He was brilliant, but they think he is going a bit senile.” He leaned closer to whisper in her ear. “He taught Our Lord when he was at Hogwarts.”

“Could his reappearance be a coincidence?”

“Doubtful. Dumbledore is clearly putting a plan in motion.”

“Then we will have to execute ours first.”

The blonde nodded solemnly as they sat down for breakfast. She had sat opposite of Draco, but facing towards the rest of the houses. She curiously watched the Potter boy boring holes in her friend’s back with his eyes. He barely broke eye contact until a girl next to him drove an elbow into his side hard. After they were being less conspicuously watched, breakfast went quickly. Hermione gathered her books, getting ready to leave.

“You have runes, right?” Hermione nodded. “Blaise and Pansy, you two have that lesson as well. Why don’t you all walk together?”

Blaise and Pansy nodded and smiled, but Hermione evaluated him. She was not accustomed to being bossed around by anyone except for her wife. And that was clearly different. With Bella, giving in was like freedom. She swallowed hard. It was clear that Draco was under orders. Until she clarified where they came from, she decided to not push back. She walked between the two Slytherins engaging in small talk.


 

Her first class was entirely uneventful. She hadn’t fully realized how far ahead she was in ancient runes. It seemed as though she might as well take her end of year exams. She walked with a different group of her housemates. She was happy to walk in and see Draco and his godfather already in the DADA classroom. She wanted to smile at the dark professor, but she would hate to do anything to damage his surly reputation. Throughout the hour she watched him teach. She already knew the curriculum backwards and forwards, but she couldn’t help but love the way he taught. She got so wrapped up in watching that she stopped listening.

“Madame Black, if you cannot pay attention in my class then perhaps you do not need to spend time with your friends during lunch. You will stay. Everyone else you are dismissed.”

Draco leaned towards her as he packed his things.

“They’ll,” he began.

“Be waiting. Yes, so I gathered. I am not sure how long I will be.”

“You never can tell with Snape’s detentions,” he said with a wink.

She didn’t bother to pack her things, instead waiting patiently until all of the other students filed out of the class. She heard the latch of the door and his murmured wards. She waited patiently until he spoke first, ensuring that the protections were fully in place.

“Well well well, Hermione. Already in trouble on the first day. What will your spouse say?”

“Oh I think she will be rather amused.”

“Ah yes. She does have quite a soft spot for you. Then I suppose it is the Blonde you fear.”

“Who among us doesn’t?”

She laughed quietly, because it was quite true. The outside world had no idea, but within the ranks of the Death Eaters, Narcissa was often more feared than her sister.

He sat down next to her. “How are you doing?”

“It’s… an adjustment. I didn’t anticipate the challenges.”

“Or the attention of the Headmaster, I imagine.”

“No. I really hadn’t planned on that part.”

“What did he want to discuss?”

“Oh you know,” she said flippantly. “He wanted me to reconsider my side in the war; to leave my wife and family to join him.”

“Ah yes. That talk. One I am quite familiar with. It got so persistent that eventually the Dark Lord told me to slowly give in. It’s how I became the Order’s biggest traitor.”

“Please tell me that isn’t what he plans for me.”

“No,” he said tapping her hand gently. “He didn’t expect that Dumbledore would be so forward so soon. I will, of course, be discussing this at the next meeting I attend.”

“Will you let me write Bella first? I don’t even want to imagine what her reaction might be if she found out from you.”

He chuckled darkly. “You haven’t angered me quite enough to warrant such a thing. Write your wife tonight. It will not be a problem. How is everything else?”

“The Slytherins are being quite nice. I imagine I will get used to the constant entourage, though the need to protect me is something laughable.”

“Never underestimate the Order brats. The protection is there for a reason. And you will get used to it.”

“Why didn’t anyone tell me before I got back? Even Bella didn’t.”

“She didn’t know. Narcissa was certain that if the two of you heard that you would bully your way out of it. She wanted you safe.”

“Of course she did,” Hermione said defeatedly. Now she knew that she couldn’t fight the protection detail without angering the blonde, something that she was not yet quite ready to do.

“I would feed you lunch, but I am afraid that your… friends are still waiting outside. Oh, and just to make this convincing I would like a parchment on advanced nonverbal defensive spells.”

“Does this mean I am exempted from the lower level work?”

“It would be a waste of time. I will return your course of study with your first parchment.”

“Thank you, Severus. Time will go faster if I am challenged.”

“Don’t tempt me or the workload will steadily grow.”

She leaned up and kissed his cheek. “Thank you.”

“Off you go, Madame Black.”

She lowered his wards easily and with a smirk over her shoulder before stepping out into the corridor. Crabbe and Goyle smiled, walking her to the Great Hall. Emotionally she knew she had to give in to the idea of being surrounded, and it would be much easier if she made friends with her protectors. She started trying to ask them about their classes. That conversation got her nowhere. So she tried quidditch. She threw out a few key words she learned from her time around the Malfoy men. With that they were off to the races. They paused occasionally to make sure she was still listening. She nodded at the appropriate times, which kept them happy well into lunch.