Look Upon my Work, And Despair
An ATS/HP crossover by Minor WMD +2
Author’s Warning: Beware mortal, this is not for the faint of heart or the weak of mind. Madness this way leads. Another words, don't read this kiddies.
Disclaimer: I don't own Angel the Series or Harry Potter. I don't own any characters there in. All characters are properties of their respective authors. Weldon and Rowling. Respectively.
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Like all good stories, ours begins with a girl.
Actually, no, it began with a boy – an infant in fact. And he was the most famous infant in all the world. Well, not all the world. Not even a half of it. By all accounts the part of the world we’re talking about you can fit comfortably into the state of Denmark. Go figure, but the people in this part of the world thought themselves more important than the rest. But I digress.
And the boy grew up being abused by his relatives. It’s a real tear jerker that one, good for a 90 minute chick-flick on the Lifetime channel.
Well actually the boy is quite boring and isn’t really that important. What is important is the girl. So, boy meets girl on the first day of school and the girl falls for another boy. It could have been another teenage angst drama, another 90210, and the story could have ended right there. But nope, there is a prophecy about the boy.
It seems that the first boy, the one abused by the relatives, was destined to kill this very bad man. This boy, he gathers a group of loyal friends around him to help with his destiny. And without knowing it he had dragged the girl into it too. He got lucky the first few times, and managed to stay always one step ahead of the very bad man with the help of the girl and the other boy. But there’s a price.
There’s always a price…
The damp air condensed off the limestone walls like tears rolling down the face of a crying mural. This place reeked of death - centuries of it. First there were the Roman workers that died mining out stones to build the cities above. Then the French used it to dispose the victims of plague. An eerie chill blew through the tunnels of the les carrières de Paris, the catacombs of Paris, and Hermione Granger shivered.
“Mom, do we have to do this?” Hermione Granger, the bushy haired daughter of two dentists, kept a tight grip on the flashlight in her hand.
“Come on, Hermione. Where’s your sense of adventure?” the elder Granger woman teased her daughter. “This is our vacation, let’s enjoy ourselves.” She gave a mischievous smile to her husband who returned the look.
“But can’t we have fun *without* breaking the law?”
The Grangers had paid a local guild for map of the catacombs. Normally, only a small portion of the underground tunnels were opened to tourists, however, there were various hidden entrances all over the city of Paris. For the two older Grangers there was nothing like exploring the unknown than to hike through miles of lightless and damp tunnels that may or may not had been used for disposal of the dead. It was all so very exciting.
It was rumored that the Germans had built a secret bunker down here during their occupation of France in World War II. It would be great if they just happen upon it in their exploration. “The neighbors would eat their hearts out when we show those pictures,” the Grangers thought.
“That’s what makes it so exciting sweetheart,” said Mr. Granger. He held his wife’s hands, both smiling.
“Hump,” Hermione huffed and stomped off but she didn’t dare to go far. Not even out of sight. “I have enough excitement at school as is,” the bushy haired girl grumbled.
Jack Granger smiled at his little girl. He had no idea where she got the whole law-and-order mentality but it certainly wasn’t from them. As far as Jack knew, his little girl had always been that way. The first time he noticed it was when one of Hermione’s teachers complemented them for raising such a wonderful girl. Hermione had apparently seen a boy prank one of their fellow classmates. When no one talked it was Hermione who ratted the boy out. His little girl wasn’t exactly Miss Popular with the other children after that incident.
He could still remember the conversation he had with Hermione the following day when she came home crying.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~FLASHBACK ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Did I do something wrong dad?” a blurred eye Hermione came to him.
“Of course not, sweetheart. You did the right thing.” He patted Hermione on the head, comforting her. Her tears slowed. “It’s just that sometimes, you have to break a few rules to get anywhere in life.” He was brutally honest with her; he didn’t want to cuddle his girl from the harsh realities of the world.
Hermione was confused. “But… but…”
“Hush now honey, everything’s alright. You did the right thing and that’s all you need to know.” He cradled the girl and gently rocked her until Hermione stopped weeping.
Later that night, Jack had a quiet talk with his wife about their little girl.
“I’m worried about her Liz,” Jack told his wife. “She is so naïve…so pathetically weak… I don’t know how she will survive the prophesized time of our master’s return?”
“Give her time Jack, she’s only six. She’ll grow out of it.” Liz said the words, soothing her husband but she didn’t believe it. Not really.
“I hope you’re right… I hope you’re right…”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ FLASHBACK ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Back in the catacombs, Jack kissed Liz on the cheek as they walked. The couple giggled like school children.
Jack Granger was a portly figure, a receding hairline and otherwise unremarkable in appearance. He had grown accustomed to life as a dentist. Not too thin, not too muscular and not too fat, Jack was just plan forgettable.
Liz Granger was exactly the same. Not too beautiful or statuesque, everything what a suburban housewife with a dentist practice should look like. She was no Wisteria Lane material but far from repulsive and had passed her good qualities to Hermione. She had on some kakis and white silk blouse with short sleeves and wore expensive perfume, had a nice fragrance to it.
Her parents’ giggles echoed off the walls and elicited a mandatory eye roll from Hermione. Just up ahead Hermione heard whispers. The voices sounded very familiar.
“Someone down here with us?” she was scared. “What if they’re muggers? Or worse…” Hermione was just about to tell her parents to be quiet want she heard the unmistakable sound of an Apparation. It was the distinctive pop of air suddenly compressing.
A man in dark robes and a mask step out from the shadows.
“Well, well… if it isn’t the mudblood and her filthy muggle parents,” said the figure in the robe.
She knew that voice. “Malfoy…”
“That’s right mudblood, and it looks like it isn’t your lucky day.” By now several other Death Eaters had notice the exchange and had encircled the Grangers.
In desperation Hermione reached for her wand hidden in the pockets of her jeans. She knew it was against ministry laws of underage wizarding but it was their only chance. But Malfoy was faster; he had his wand pointed at them before Hermione could do the same.
He threatened them with the wand. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”
“What’s going on here?” Jack Granger came to the forefront. His loud intimidating voice was not having as much effect as he hoped.
It occurred to Hermione that the Death Eaters weren’t equipped with lamps or used the light summoning charm Lumos. “They must have charmed their eyes to see in the dark,” Hermione surmised. This leaves her with exactly one course of action.
“Shut up muggle.” Draco spat.
Hermione new it was now or never. She still had the high power flash light in her hand and she pointed right were Malfoy’s eyes should be. The boy-Death Eater recoiled and covered his eyes protectively. Hermione moved quickly to take advantage of the situation. Her hands quickly sneaked into her jean pockets and fished out her wand.
From the corner of her eye she saw the other Death Eaters going for their wands. Instinctively, she jumped and dove to the side narrowly avoiding the incoming spells.
Jack saw it was going down and reacting. He threw himself at the nearest black robed masked freak and with a grunt knocked the heavyset man to the ground.
Hermione grip her wand and braced herself. She hit the cobblestone floor of the catacomb and instantly cast her spell. “Lumos” she shouted. She put everything she had into this spell, it was there only chance. There was a brilliant flash of light that came from the tip of her want, all encompassing and all surrounding. The next thing she knew people were screaming all around her spells flew in random directions.
She saw Draco had just about recovered but Hermione didn’t give him the chance. Hermione summoned any last bits of her magical strength and send an Expelliarmus at him. She was satisfied to hear his thud against the stone wall. She grabbed her dad and found her mom, together they ran down the tunnel. Hermione thanked Merlin because not one of the random spells hit them.
But they didn’t get far.
“Stupefy,” Jack fell on the floor, a dead weight.
Hermione whirled around to face their attacker but just as she whipped out her wand another Death Eater grabbed onto Liz. The elder Granger woman screamed in surprise. Hermione turned to her mother so fast it almost gave her whiplash, but the meaty hand of the Death Eater on her mom was the last thing she saw.
“Stupefy,” Hermione hit the floor. She never saw her attacker.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The cell was dingy and dark as the catacombs under Paris. The stone walls were covered in grim and other filth that the everyday wizard wouldn’t care to name. It faintly smelled of urine and feces though it was faint, it must been there a long time ago. No windows, no light, only thick walls that made the perfect breeding ground for mold.
For a moment Hermione thought they were still in Paris, but she noticed the walls where different. While the Parisian catacombs were made from lime and jagged rock the room they were in were made from solid brick. She reached for her wand but it was no longer it her jeans. “Of course the Death Eaters wouldn’t allow me to keep it,” she berated herself.
She found her parents; they were alive and were only coming to when Hermione nudged them. At first they were confused and scared, but for some reason Hermione wasn’t as terrified as she thought she would be under these circumstances.
“What are we going to do Jack?” Liz asked her husband. She held on to him fear very much the only thing on her mind.
“I don’t know hon… If only I had my shotgun.” Jack eye’s searched the room, besides the wooden door there was no other access point. The door looked rotten and rigidly but he doubt he’ll be able to break through it with ordinary physical force.
“That wouldn’t work,” Hermione interrupted. “They have a charm against that,” referring to her dad’s shotgun.
“It’s a very good gun,” Jack missed his gun. For a moment Jack wondered what kind of magical education his daughter had been given.
The door swung opened and there, stood the black robed clad figure of a Death Eater. Hermione swallowed nervously she stood up along with her parents and were led outside. They were defenseless; she racked her mind for any Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons that might be useful, but she came up blank. She missed the part on how to escape Death Eaters without a wand.
The Grangers were led into a dark chamber, the Dark Lord Voldemort’s throne room. The Dark Lord himself was seated there, upon his throne of skulls. “Don’t panic,” Hermione told herself.
“Is this the mudblood?” the coarse voice of the Dark Lord resonated around the room.
“Yes my lord,” It was Draco Malfoy, Hermione realized. He was standing next to the Dark Lord.
“You will bow to the Dark Lord,” someone said then kicked Hermione’s feet from under her. She saw her parents were forced on to their knees as well.
The Dark Lord stared at her. “So you are the mudblood the Potter boy is so smitten with?” it was less of a question, more of a statement Hermione thought.
The Dark Lord seems annoyed by her silence a Death Eater picked up on it and kicked Hermione on the face, sending her to the floor with a bruise and foot print on the cheek.
“You will answer the Dark Lord when spoken to,” the Death Eater told her harshly.
Her parents tried to reach her but the other Death Eaters stopped them. Hermione got back up defiantly, showing every bit of a Gryffindor. “Whatever you want to do to me just do it. I’m not afraid of you.” Hermione declared and stared back at the Dark Lord rebelliously.
Jack and Liz winced. “Bad idea,” they both thought.
“This one has got quite a tongue, doesn’t she?” The Dark Lord joked. “Very well I shall tell you. We’re going to torture you then sent pieces of what’s left of you to the boy. I always find that it is more entertaining to let my victims know what’s going to happen to them. The expectations you see…” He laughed evilly and Draco also well as the other Death Eaters followed.
“Eh, may I make a suggestion?” Jack interrupted.
Voldemort stopped laughing and scowled the portly dentist. “The muggle is speaking to me,” the evil wizard raised his wand.
“Wait,” Liz shouted. “We can get you the Potter boy.”
Hermione reeled in shock. So too was Voldemort, he paused.
“I am intrigued. Tell me, how do you plan to go about trading the boy for your worthless lives? I am assuming that is what you are offering?” Voldemort hissed. His eyes narrowed into slits as he examined the two senior Grangers.
Jack answered the Dark Lord. “My lord,” he addressed him. “It would be our honor to serve you…”
“Get on with it,” the dark wizard warned dangerously, letting them know he does not have much patience for muggles.
“Of course, My Lord. You see, the boy, he trusts our daughter and that is the key. We know he lives with muggle relatives that abuse him. It would be a simple matter of inviting him over to stay at our house in London for the rest of the summer.” Jack saw the look on the evil wizard and knew he doesn’t have much more time. “The boy wouldn’t resist the chance to get out of that house and he wouldn’t suspect a thing from our daughter. We will go to his house and take the boy to our home where you’ll have one of those…” What were those things Hermione told us about last year? The ones that teleports them around… It took Jack a moment to remember what it was called. “portkeys… waiting. Once there, Hermione will trick the boy into taking hold of the portkey and he’ll fall into your most merciful hands, My Lord.”
Jack knew he had him. The dark wizard was giving his proposal some serious thought. Jack found his daughter gasping at him. She was shock by their behavior. It was for the best, at least this way they’ll have a chance of getting out of this alive. Jack just hope his daughter could forgive him in time. He banished that thought. There were more important issues right now.
“Hmm… this plan…” The Dark Lord thought out loud. “It sounds very familiar.”
“Only your great magnificence could have come up with such brilliant scheme, My Lord.” Jack piled on the butter. “The boy only escaped the first time through sheer luck, it will not be so this time.”
“Yes, it was a very good plan… but you’ll never get the girl to betray her friend. For wasting my time…” Voldemort whipped out his want and finished what he was about to do earlier. “Crucio”
“No, wait!” Liz screamed out and suddenly it turned into a howl as every nerve in her body was racked with pain. She twisted and withered on the floor, her husband shared the same fate.
“Stop it!” Hermione shouted at the sight of her parent’s torture. “Stop it…” she shouted once more but it was almost like a plea.
Voldemort smiled. “Avada Kedavra!” a sickly green light came out the tip of Voldemort’s wand. When it touched Jack Granger, he struggled no more.
“Oh God… Daddy?” Hermione tried to reach her father but a Death Eater kicked her down. They laughed at her agony.
“Mr. Malfoy,” Voldemort turned to the young Death Eater. “Why don’t you entertain us,” he point to Hermione. “Impress us with your ingenuity.” He smiled wickedly.
“It would be my honor,” Draco grinned at Hermione. “May I start with the muggle mother first, My Lord? I’m sure the mudblood would appreciate it more if she watched her loved ones suffer before her eyes.”
The Dark Lord knobbed then released Liz from the Cruciatus.
The woman hasn’t heard the exchange between Draco and the Dark Lord. She breathed heavily, glad that the pain was suddenly gone.
“No please,” Liz heard Hermione’s distant voice, pleading for something but she didn’t know what for.
Draco ignored the bushy haired girl. He had the perfect spell.
Liz felt something pull on her left eye. It was only annoying at first but it soon became painful. She realized what was happening any slammed her palm over her left eye to keep it inside. But nonetheless, the spell continued to exert its force. Her palm felt slick and before her mind even registered, her left eye ball pulled out of its socket, out of her hand and flow toward the man with the wand. Her vision distorted but she nonetheless saw her eye ball ripped out, optic nerve and all. She screamed and clutched her empty socket protectively.
Hermione couldn’t stand it any longer. She charged Malfoy intending to make him pay but she never got close. She was put into the full body bind far from arm’s reach of the white haired Death Eater.
“Wait your turn, mudblood.” Draco taunted. He presented the hovering eye ball of Mrs. Granger to the Dark Lord. He let the spell end. The white soft ball fell on the carpeted floor with a soft splat. Draco promptly stepped on it, grounded it into paste with the end of his expensive boots.
“A very creative use of that spell,” the Dark Lord commented. “Continue,”
Draco took aim once more. “Sectumsempra.”
Deep gashes appeared on the thrashing woman only to cause her to howl that much louder. The other Death Eaters got a laugh out of that.
“Ah, one of Snape’s old spells. Try harder Mr. Malfoy.”
Malfoy glanced nervously around the room looking for anything that would give him an idea. His eyes drifted onto the dead Mr. Granger. He grinned.
“Mobilicorpus,” like a puppet on strings, the dead body straightened up.
With his wand, Draco directed Jack’s dead body toward the blood soaked Liz. He made sure the woman could get a good look at her husband with her one good one. Draco flicked his wand; Jack raised his fists and struck his wife. Draco flicked his wand again and Jack hit his wife a second time.
Again and again he hit her. The poor wife cried out for her husband to stop and covered herself protectively and cried out his name. After awhile she was still yet Jack continue to pound on her with his bloody fist.
Blood splattered and a few drops landed before Voldemort.
“That’s enough Mr. Malfoy.” The snake man said.
Jack’s body promptly fell limp like a puppet with its strings cut. The body of Jack Granger lay still next to his wife, Liz Granger.
Hermione saw the whole thing, she thought she was going to throw up at some point but the full body bind held her back. Inside she was crying and looking at the still form of her parents she despaired.
“Most impressive Mr. Malfoy. You show a fine mastery of the Mobilicorpus spell.” The Dark Lord complimented. He pointed to the girl. “Now, remove a piece of her to send to Potter.”
Draco smiled under his mask. He was very proud of his work. He didn’t thought he had it in him, he was sure his father would give his own private praise after this meeting. “Thank you, My Lord. How about we sent Potter the little mudblood’s tongue? I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”
“Although appropriate, I would very much like to hear her scream in the days to come.” The Dark Lord scowled. “Choose something else.”
“I suppose we can always mail Potter her scalp for the first present.” Draco hinted evilly. “I read the process is most painful,”
“An excellent idea,” Voldemort chuckled. “However, take care that she does not expire prematurely. She is somewhat instrumental to my plan.”
“You’re in luck Granger. I will be most gentle.” Draco laughed.
Just then the door to the chamber slammed open. A man in Death Eater uniform rushed it.
“This had better be good.” The Dark Lord warned.
“My Lord, the girl you had been waiting for. She’s here.” The Death Eater said excitedly.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Dark Lord smiled giddily. “Looks like we’ll have to continue this later,” he told Draco.
“As you wish My Lord,” Draco sleeved his wand then took his place among Death Eaters ranks. “Who could be so important that could make the Dark Lord so happy,” Draco wondered. “Could it be…”
Then *she* came. Her stride was full of grace as she stepped into the room flanked by two Death Eaters. She paid them no mind; every movement was an expression of her confidence, of her assurance in herself and her power. Though dress like a muggle she carried herself as if she owned the place. She was glorious.
Her chestnut brown hair cascaded around her like silk. Her dark chocolate eyes… When Draco stared into them he could only see coldness, infinite coldness of the eternal ice. The boy-wizard recoiled. He felt his skin crawl, a primitive part of Draco’s brain screamed for him to get out of the room.
The girl, a young woman actually, examined the Dark Lord before her in a peculiar fashion. Her head tilted to the side in an odd expression of curiosity. For a moment she just stood there, paying the others no mind. They were beneath her notice.
Someone tried to make her pay respects to the dark wizard seated atop the throne but the Dark Lord stopped the Death Eater with a wave.
“You are the magician responsible for the death of the Burkles?” when she spoke it was as a winter storm, uncaring and all penetrating.
“Come, my dear girl,” Voldemort said in the warmest voice Draco had heard so far. “Let’s not talk about such refuse. Don’t you want to know who I am? Why I brought you here?” The snake man welcomed the girl with arms opened but she was not moved. “We are connected, you and I, can’t you feel it Fred? Can I call you Fred by the way?” He motioned the girl to come closer it was a most hospitable gesture but she refrained.
“Are you or are you not the magician I seek?” she repeated, patience clearly wearing in her voice.
The Dark Lord’s thin lips curled in rage. “The muggle filth is nothing. They are nothing!” The Dark Lord bellowed. “It is you and I that have much to discuss.”
“I take it, that’s a yes.” The young woman’s face twisted into a most terrifying smile. She promptly put her fist into the nearest robed figure, the one that had tried to make her bow a moment before. The fist came out the other side of the Death Eater; the young woman pulled her hand back. It was crimson red having been covered in fresh blood. The Death Eater gurgled and struggled weakly a few moments before fall back. Dead.
It was full 5 seconds before all hell broke loose. Spells were sent at the strange woman but they did nothing. People shouted and curse and sent more curses. The woman approached the Dark Lord unhindered. Someone jumped in front of her, to stop her from getting to his master. She grabbed his throat where he stood and ripped it out.
“You think you can move me by killing the Burkles?” She snapped the neck of someone that got in her way. “It impresses me not.” she never took her eyes off the Dark Lord, never stopped and never paid heed the attempts to do harm to her. They were a minor annoyance.
Some wizard had the idea of binding her with ropes. He summoned them all around the young woman, wrapping every inch of her body from the neck down.
She looked annoyingly at the restrains. She simply flexed her arms and snapped the ropes with enough strength to send the pieces to every direction. A few of the slower Death Eaters got hit with the pieces of rope which had enough momentum to knock them off their feet.
She approached the Dark Lord and more Death Eaters got in her way. Three of the more muscular ones jumped her; hoping they could stop the thin girl with physical force. The chestnut haired girl read their moves. With the grace beyond any martial arts master she took to the air. Her body spun and she swept her leg 180 degrees. Her feet connected with all three Death Eaters in mid air, sending them crashing into the wall behind Voldemort with a sickening thud and a thunderous crack. The three slid boneless to the ground, every bone in their body shattered by the impact.
Voldemort held out his wand but hesitated while he watched the girl came ever closer by cutting a path of death through his men. A loyal servant charged her with a wicked dagger held high. She took hold of his wrist while the dagger came down, never did her sight leave Voldemort. She redirected the dagger to the wielder’s midsection with so much force that his feet lifted off the ground. The dagger came out the other side sending a spry of blood which covered the girl’s smooth face and ruined her cream color blouse. She didn’t as much as blink. The Death Eater keeled over still twitching.
The Dark Lord gathered his strength. “Crucio”
There was no flinch, no sign if she even felt anything.
“Was that supposed to amuse me? It would have tickled had I allowed it.” Her cold deadly voice struck a cord in Voldemort. It was not unlike the first time he was vanquished by the Potter boy when he wondered if his precautions against death would hold. He knew mortal fear then, and he could feel it not - as illogical as it were.
He reached into his black billowy robe.
She was almost within arms reach but a very brave man jumped between the girl and Voldemort.
“You shall not... uraggg…”
She grabbed him with iron like fingers. They sank into his flush and took hold. She held him up high, over her head with both hands and brought him down, his back against her unyielding knee. His spinal column broke in half. She casually ripped what remained of the man in two then tossed the pieces to either side.
Voldemort had finally found what he was looking for. In an instant he disappeared in a blinding flash of light. But he had one last parting word.
“Another time then,”
The other Death Eaters took the cue and each made their own exit. Amongst them was Draco Malfoy, he was smart enough to stay out of the lady’s way.
“Another time,” the blood soak girl repeated in a low whisper. It was a promise and she always keeps her promises.
She surveyed what remained. Corpses casually tossed about lay in broken heaps. Those that were able were gone. Her eyes settled on Hermione who was still frozen and stood erect during the massacre.
The strange woman came upon the bushy haired girl. She examined her, again curiously studying her with her head tilted.
It was an odd moment when the strange woman turned away and walked off. She happened upon one of their little sticks. The tool which allowed them to access their pitiful magic she realized. She went to pick it up the stick when its owner groaned and came around. She kicked him in the head just enough to sent him back into unconsciousness. The young woman decided to save him for later.
She picked up the stick and returned to the frozen Hermione. She held the stick then rapped Hermione’s shoulder with the end of it. At once Hermione was released from the full body bind. The bushy haired girl fell on her knees sobbing.
Hermione reached for her parents while the odd woman observed her. She paid the older girl no mind. Hermione held her mother and father to her, her mother’s blood covered the Gryffindor. She continued to sob. “Mom… Dad… I’m sorry. This is all my fault,” Hermione screeched. “If it wasn’t for me none of this would have happened.” For a long while she cried her heart out shaking and heaving alternately.
“You are grieving, and still it tastes like offal in my mouth.” Her mind swarmed with death of a man - the only man to ever make her feel a connection to the world. These images had haunted her, his eyes as she looked into them at that final moment, she could never be at peace with them. Yet she would treasure that moment as long as she lived.
For some inexplicable reason the older girl felt the need to comfort Hermione. It was out of her character and she did not know why, the reason was unimportant, she just did. “Seize your bleating. It is disgusting, puking your feelings into the air. It is revolting to my senses.” She doesn’t know exactly how to go about comforting a teenage girl though.
“How can you say that?!” Hermione snapped at the older girl. “I just lost my parents.” she returned to subbing.
“I too had lost. The magician, he murdered my…” it took the older girl a moment to decide what exactly to call them. “*parents* as well.”
“Then why are you so calm about this?” Hermione said between sobs.
“I have learned that there is much grief in this world already, far too much. It is better to remember the good times than to dwell on a past which we cannot change. Will you crush yourself beneath this mountain of pain? Or will you fight to avenge what has been taken from you?”
Hermione did not respond. After a few more minutes of watching the girl cry, the strange woman lost interest.
“Pathetic,” She turned to leave.
Hermione pulled herself back enough to notice the other girl was leaving. “Wait, take me with you.” She shouted at the last moment. Hermione stood up bravely, wiped the tears with the sleeve of her shirt. Her puffy red eyes met the other girl’s for the first time.
“Think carefully,” the older girl cautioned. “To travel down this path you must leave everything you are behind. All your childish hopes and dreams die with your parents in this room. Are you ready to walk with me?”
Hermione never really thought over what her request had entailed. Not until this point. But she knew now that not Dumbledore, not the Ministry not anyone else could triumph over Voldemort. That’s because she’s going to kill him herself. She’s going to kill Voldemort and Draco Malfoy and anyone that got in her way.
“My name is Hermione Granger and I am sure. Teach me how to kill.”
Something died in Hermione Granger that night. But in that place decimated by pain and sorrow something new had taken root. A seed, a spark of rage and of wraith unbound, it was small at first.
The other girl approved. “Very well, you may call me Illyria.”
The two girls disappeared into the night, the citadel of their enemy a firry blaze behind them.
And so the story of the girl begins where the fires of her death had consumed all that she was. It could have been another teenage drama and it could have ended there. But the show was just beginning and all the actors had just entered the stage.