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The Black Prophecy

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Returning to school was somehow easier bearing the symbol of her family on her skin. Hermione was not keen to walk around showing it off, but knowing that it was just under her sleeve was a comfort. Though she was tired, she had to admit that she was extremely close to achieving the first part of her goal. She had functioning replicas of her Lord's horcruxes. They were nearly indestructible. And on the rare occasion one had been damaged, the explosion was dramatic. She doubted that the Order would have any idea they were fake.

With that done, it was time to finalize her experimentation and research to remind some of the horcruxes to their original soul. It remained unclear how much her Lord would really be willing to regain, but she wanted to at least be able to present it as a possibility. From what she had gathered so far, it was even more complex magic than to originally create the objects or even the copies. She would likely need the power boost of Bellatrix if her efforts were to be successful. Not that the idea of doing magic with her love was unappealing.

Dressing quickly, she prepared for the day.  A night with her wife was exactly what she needed regardless of the circumstances. She felt refreshed and ready to face the day. Just as she swung open the door to her room, Draco was preparing to knock on it. His surprise was evident in how his hand froze mid knock.

In a surprisingly gentle voice she said, "Good Morning, nephew," as she brushed past him. She enjoyed the look of confusion on his face as he hurried to catch up with her.

"You seem unusually happy this morning," he answered still jogging to catch up with her.

Hermione hummed her agreement. She felt like a weight had been lifted off her shoulders. There was comfort in the fact that she had thwarted another plot cooked up by the Order. And the thought of the intelligence it might glean was energizing.

"I am," she answered simply offering no further explanation.

"I am quite certain that I do not want to know," he answered. He was helpless to resist her good mood. Hermione was far more charismatic than she realized. He realized almost immediately after the two soul mates met that he would follow them anywhere.

 




Breakfast was not the normal quiet affair. The school year was drawing to a close and the energy rolling off the Slytherin prefects led the rest of the house to roudy but happy meal. Professor Snape looked on from the teachers table, neither joining nor stopping them. When Hermione managed to catch his eye, he nodded imperceptibly before turning his attention elsewhere.

After they finished  their meal, the merry troop of Slytherins dispersed to their classes in small groups. Hermione and Draco walked cheerfully in the middle of their group of friends. She felt more carefree walking into the transfiguration classroom than she had in years. The idea of her family's crest on the skin of her wrist was thrilling. There was nothing the old cat could do to change it or her.  She carefully watched the demeanor of her professor. It was clear the Order member was uncomfortable in her presence today. The more jubilant the young witch acted, the more grave McGonagall's expression became. Though she kept it from her face, Hermione was elated at the prospect of finally getting a little space. There was a certain pleasure to the idea that she might finally have the upper hand.

Lunch and the rest of her classes flew by in joyous exhaustion that felt pleasantly unfamiliar.  She would end her day in the potions master's room as they did every day. But for the first time in weeks she wasn't dreading it. Her work was largely done, as was Draco's. They swung the door open chatting happily about the upcoming Slytherin and Ravenclaw quidditch game they were both looking forward to.

The dour look on Severus's face confused Hermione, but did not break her stride.

"Good afternoon, cousin. How are you?"

She greeted him warmly as she had not done for nearly two months. He glared at her for a moment, before his eyes softened slightly. He disliked that he was as defenseless as everyone else (except perhaps Narcissa) when faced with her charm.

"Good afternoon. You two have been in uncommonly good spirits. In fact, the entire school cannot seem to shut up about how gleeful the Slytherin house is today.  Would you care to explain the sudden decision to draw the attention of everyone on the grounds?"

Hermione's smile faltered only slightly. "I had a good night and realized how close I am to achieving my goals. Summer break is right around the corner. There are many things I am grateful for today."

Snape evaluated her slowly attempting to read if some sort of spell had been placed over her causing such unusual behavior. The only magical signature he could detect was Bella's.

"You have succeeded in terrifying the Order.  They are entirely certain that you murdered and hid Andromeda's body, as she never returned to them last night. And your good mood has convinced them you are a cold blooded killer to rival your wife."

He watched as fear and pride crossed her face. It was clear that she already cared for the witch who resembled her wife and feared for her safety.

"Andromeda is perfectly fine. She was extremely forthcoming due to your proficiency in potion making.  We garnered more information than we could have ever dreamed of in a single night. She is at Malfoy Manor in the care of Narcissa. So long as she does not betray our Lord, she will remain safe. He will dictate the extent of her freedom as he sees fit."

"And Bella," she asked ever concerned for the emotional well being of her lover.

"Bella, too, is in a wonderful mood. The Dark Lord’s followers find it as terrifying as Hogwarts finds you. She remains wary of Andromeda. Which has me wondering what could have cheered her so, if she cares not about the return of her sister."

Hermione grinned mischievously. "Are you entirely certain that is a question you wish to ask?"

"Madame Black, I have absolutely no interest in the details of what you and Bellatrix do in bed. I do however wish to know what she has done that left you dripping in her magical signature."

Draco stared at the exchange in curiosity and vague fear over what he was about to learn. He really preferred to not think about the bedding habits of black women.

"Very well, Severus. But I must warn you, it is far easier to show you than tell you." She slowly peeled away her outer robe and unbuttoned the cuff of her sleeve. She rolled the fabric up gingerly so not to rub the tender skin to roughly.

Snape rolled his eyes at the sight of the crest. "She marked you."

"She did. And yes, the feeling of her magic lingering on my skin makes me very happy. Can you imagine what it will be like when I do not have to leave her side?"

"And you understand the full implications of it?"

Hermione bristled at his tone. "Trust me when I say that the implications do not matter. With or without it, I am irrevocably her's. I will always do anything she wishes."

Draco made a fake gagging sound breaking up the tension. "So my aunt is a kinky witch. Honestly, that's not all that much of a surprise. I mean, have you seen the dresses she wears.”

“In fact I have,” Hermione answered glowing happily.

“Very well, children. I am quite pleased for your happiness, Hermione. But we have some urgent things to attend to.”

Draco took Hermione by the arm and let them to sit down at the serious tone of his god father’s voice.

“It's time,” Snape said gravely.

“What changed,” Hermione asked quietly. The question was meant as a stall tactic. She needed to get herself emotionally together quickly. The idea of her beloved dressing for battle alone struck her dully in the gut. With any luck at all, this would be the last time that they would have to do so separately.

“You delivered us Andromeda. The Order was to be on the move today. Seducing you was meant to set in to effect a number of events. The initial failure did not stop the others from occuring. Dumbledore and Potter at this moment are attempting to retrieve a horcrux. They somehow managed to get the information out of our dear potions professor. There is an opportunity coming tonight that will not come again. Go prepare. When night falls, you will escort the others in. They will lead the raid, you only need follow instruction.”

Hermione was immediately on her feet and heading for the door.

“Before you go,” Severus interrupted. “Pack your bags. The elves will transport your things… later. Draco, stay behind just a minute.”

Hermione was so thoroughly excited about the coming battle and her permanent reunification with her wife that she practically ran out the door. She cast several complex spells to allow herself to slip past others in the castle unhindered. She moved as quickly as she could. It wasn’t that it would take her long to pack, but she just couldn’t bear to see anyone. She didn’t need to have the details of the plan for the night to know that casualties were extremely likely. There was some comfort in that Bellatrix would be at her side. The dark witch made her feel impenetrable.  

She looked around her little room for what she knew,would be the last time.  It had served her well during the school year, but she wouldn't miss it. The things that laid ahead of her were far better than that which laid behind. She picked out the robes she would wear for the raid. Strictly speaking it wasn't her deatheater uniform. Narcissa hadn't allowed her to bring one with her to school. Hermione briefly considered transfiguring a set, but the effort and possible the offense couldn't be justified. Instead she would wear the very fancy robes Narcissa bought her for Christmas. The message to those who saw her would be the same. Hermione Black was an influential witch to be feared.

Dressing and packing took half the time it took her to erase all magical traces of her time in the room. No one, not even the greatest witches or wizards would be able to discern anything about what spells she had performed in her room or the magical objects that were altered there. Nor would they find any trace of Narcissa's visits. She couldn't be blamed if they walked away with the distinct feeling that they'd used the room for an illicit affair with McGonagall. She wasn't sure what the old cat would think, but she was highly amused at idea.

As she swung open the door, Draco was clearly waiting for her. He looked positively dapper in his dress robes. She so enjoyed when they were inherently on the same page.

"Are you ready for this," she asked with more sensitivity than she has demonstrated in months.

"Yes. It's time."

She looked him up and down. After a moment, it was clear that he had truly meant it. Apparently he was to be one less thing she had to worry about.

They moved silently through the dark corridors. To their surprise, they encountered no one in  their path. They had prepared for every possible hurdle, but it was as though the innocents knew to stay inside on such a night. They stood tensely as the blocks of the wall rearrange to open the room of requirement. They were through the doors as soon as the magic was complete enough to allow them to enter. Together they took the room at a run partially fueled by anxiety and partially by excitement.

Draco skidded to a stop in front of cabinet to which he had dedicated hours of his life. With a cheeky smile over his shoulder he raised his wand and connected his cabinet to its twin. Within seconds a burst of black skirts exploded out of the strange metal box and collided immediately with Hermione.

"Bella," Hermione squealed before she was effectively silenced by her wife.

Moments later, Snape's voice broke them apart. "Madames Black, this is neither the time nor the place."

"Severus, I assure you the night will not be ruined by me greeting my wife," Bellatrix replied coolly.

He sniffed in disdain, but said nothing further. Lucius was the last to step out and evidently was the designated leader for the evening. His appearance silenced the excited chatter.

"No masks tonight. This is our coming out party. There will be no more denying our Lord is back and that we will not be chased into hiding ever again," he said in a clear firm voice.

He strode quickly through the cheering group. It was obvious to Hermione that the entire group was well versed on their mission for the evening. She happily followed the dark witch, who had grasped her hand. She didn't realize where they were going until they traversed the rickety old stairs to the bell tower. The crack of apparition had her snapping her wand out. She was grasped firmly around her waist and pulled tightly against familiar curves.

"No, love. Stay your wand. This isn't your task," Bella whispered against her ear.

Just as arousal coursed through her, her wife's tone changed towards desperation. The harsh whisper was directed at Draco. Hermione knew that Bella feared more for his safety than any other member of the family. Narcissa's happiness hinged on her son's survival and success.

The young wizard did not seem to hear his aunt as his wand was trained on Dumbledore, who frankly looked worse for the wear. With a deep breath, he disarmed the old wizard. The long knotty wand flew into Draco’s hand and he tucked it within his robes. As soon as it was safely put away, Draco took a small step forward. The old man was attempting to tell him all the reasons Draco shouldn't.  But with his jaw firmly set, the young blonde wizard murmured the curse and a green jet of light shot from the end of his wand.