The Beginning of the End
Hello! There are a few warnings in this case that I will point out: This is an AU fic. It is in no way a Time-Turner/Time-Travel Fic. Hermione never knew Harry Potter, she was not born in 1979. The story will be rated T for now; unless I feel the swearing or violence gets to out of hand (Stories tend to work themselves) I might up it to an M-Rating but ONLY for those reasons. I will give my usual disclaims that all rights go to the rightful owner. In this case the fabulous JK Rowling; and possibly other people down the road. This plot however is mine, that I will take credit for. This story was Imported from FF.
Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
"Will you stop it, James?" The eleven year old girl, sighed. He had been talking about Hogwarts nonstop since his arrival home for the summer. Frankly, he keeps sparking her ire every time he talks about that blasted school and his stupid friends. She would never admit this out loud, but she might be experiencing jealousy; just because her birthday happened to be after the first of September did not mean that James could rub it in her face.
"Oh don't worry, 'Mione. You will get to go next year…as a first year!" The girl glared at her brother, before storming away. The young girl knew all about Hogwarts, of course she did. She had read her father's Hogwarts: A History a million times. However she did not want textbook knowledge, she wanted actually experience! As always James got it first, all because he was the first born and male! 'Life sucked being the daughter in a Pureblood family,' Hermione thought. If you weren't male you were nothing. Only males were heirs, only males could carry on the name. Girls just need to look properly prim before being wedded off.
The eleven year old let out a drawn out sigh. Maybe she had been a little too hard on James. After all, Hogwarts did sound like an exhilarating place. But still, her family infuriated her. She felt guilty with that admission. Why should they infuriate her? They were doting parents who practically tended to their children's' every need. Sure James acted like a prat, but all brothers did. Maybe her ire came from the fact she lived in a Pureblood society where it sucked to be a girl. Not that she hated her gender, but it would have been easier if her parents were not of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter. She never brought this up with the Potter's, but she knew Charlus and Dorea Potter could not be her biological parents. She had spotted too many discrepancies between them and her. She felt conflicted; the Potters had raised her from infancy, but it hurt nonetheless that they still were not really her parents.
"Hermione, dear, are you alright?" Dorea called from behind her. The young girl turned, smiling towards her mother.
"James told me that you just stormed off. Are you sure you are alright?"
Young, chocolate orbs noticed her mother's worry reflected in the wise, molten amber eyes. The young girl always felt bad when she caused the woman in front of her to worry; James already did plenty to cause enough worry to last a lifetime. "Yes, Mum; I am fine," she reassured.
"Then what is bothering you?" Dorea's calculating gaze bore into her daughter's coffee colored ones, carefully studying the young girl.
"I am just tired of James talking about Hogwarts is all," the ten year old said. She noticed the raised eyebrow of Dorea. "Honest that is all, mum!" The brunette pouted when she heard the hearty laughter of her mother. She would never tell the people who took her in two things: One that she knew she is not theirs; two that she hated her standing in the family. The auburn haired preteen felt lonelier in this family as a girl than she would have as a stranger. The eleven year old knew that if she told Dorea this, it would break the woman's heart.
"You get to go come this September, dear." The elder woman smoothed her daughter's wild, brown locks in a loving caress. Dorea placed a tender kiss on her daughter's temple. The girl's protests about waiting for September being too long caused yet another round of chuckles to escape her mother's lips; this only upset the child more.
"Just so we are clear; you are not upset of James's friend coming to stay for a few weeks, right?" Dorea asked.
"No mum, I am—wait, what?" Hermione screeched. "When is his friend coming?"
"Today, honey," Dorea replied; she smiled her usual grin. This sent the young girl's thoughts reeling. Today? And no one decided to tell her any of this? Yes, James is a part of the family as well, but so is she! Is it so bad of her to ask of a little heads up before hand? Apparently so.
Hermione noted that her mother seemed to take in her shocked expression. Maybe she would understand that she would like a forewarning the next time James decided he wants a friend to come? "Oh how cute, dear!" The preteen shot her mom a confused look. What could be cute about this? "Don't worry if you fall for the kid, my sweet. You'll get to see him again come this September!" The young girl gaped at her mother. How dense could this woman—whom she loved very much—possibly be? Crushing on her brother's friend never occurred to the brunette. In fact she could care less about the boy. No she felt saddened that her family did not even feel the need to inform her of his coming to stay at their house! She did live there too; wouldn't it be a small courtesy to know of a guest beforehand? The young girl let out a sigh, deciding not to correct her mother. The preteen doubted she could do anything to assuage her mother of the notion. She had a feeling that Lady Potter would not believe her even if she spent hours trying to convince her. The chestnut haired girl had a feeling that these next few weeks would be very tedious.
The kid had not even been at their house a full hour yet he already began grating on the young girl's nerves. 'Oi! She's your sis? She doesn't look a thing like you!' The young girl imitated silently. 'Sirius Black's the name.' Only her brother would befriend the most arrogant person in his house—Gryffindor, the family's traditional house. So what if Sirius Black happened to be the first of his family to be in Gryffindor or that he clearly despised his family? None of that should be reason for him to be so cocky. He is still a child after all.
But despite her frank dislike of him, her family seemed to hardly notice. They all loved him to bits, thinking him to be a complete doll. She had even seen her mother shooting her sly smiles, waiting for her daughter to start swooning. The chestnut haired preteen had to resist the urge to snort at the idea. Hades would receive ice water before that ever happened.
"So, how did your family take to you being a Gryffindor?" Hermione heard her father, Charlus, ask. She understood that her father attempted to enter into a polite conversation with his son's new friend, but it irked her that his topic happened to be one Sirius seemed very boisterous about.
"Oh, they hated it, Mr. Potter." Sirius replied, shoving a spoon full of food into his mouth. The young girl grimaced; if she hadn't known his last name she would assume he him to be a Muggleborn by the lack of table manners. Granted she knew that not all Muggleborns had disgusting eating habits, but rarely did a Pureblood show such blatant disregard for etiquette. The whole thing was made worse when her brother even took part in shoveling down his food. The boys were eating as if they hadn't eaten a day in their life!
"Mum, they sent him a bloody howler for making it into Gryffindor!" James exclaimed. He got scolded by Dorea, 'Language! And you should never speak with your mouth full, James!' Hermione had to hide her grin; since a tender age, the brunette had always enjoyed watching James be scolded. He returned the sentiment fully. In fact, most of their childhood they spent trying to get each other scolded.
"Sirius," Brown eyes looked at the boy curiously before the owner asked, "How exactly did you befriend Jamey?" Their guest laughed at James's nickname, causing James to glare at him before haughtily reply that only his sister called him that. "Will I receive an answer?" She asked, pulling the two boys out of their silent argument.
"He ate my pumpkin pastry, so I hit him." Sirius replied with a grin. Dorea and Charlus looked surprised while James shot his friend a warning look.
"You hit my brother for a pastry?" Hermione echoed. She stared at Sirius with something akin to surprise before speaking, "Well then, I guess you two will have a strange friendship." She returned her attention to her meal. Faintly she heard her parents sigh a breath of relief. Although James was older, the young girl had always been fairly protective of him; she even threw a vase at her grandparents for 'trying to steal him away from her' at the tender age of six. Her family members knew this, James more than anyone.
"Mate, you better watch your back now," he muttered to his friend. "'Mione can be brutal." This received a round of laughter from his new friend.
"Nah, I think I will be fine, mate. She looks harmless as a kitten." The young Black said with a grin. This caused her to shoot him an inquisitive look.
"I'd bite my tongue before I say something else to make another think you share the same ideals as the family you claim to share nothing but blood with, Black. It might just send the wrong message," The preteen sipped her tea with the composure only someone beyond her years could. She wanted to laugh at his slack-jawed expression. "Oh but don't worry, Jamey will protect you if you need it." She flashed him a grin before turning her attention to her parents. "May I be excused? I would like to read a little before I go to bed." When she got her silent confirmation, Hermione left the table. While retreating up the stairs, she heard her brother's friend say, "Blimey." Well at least the brunette would acquire some form of amusement during the next few weeks.
Instead of making her way towards her room, she headed towards the library. She felt the need for a change in reading material. So instead of getting another Transfiguration book, she headed towards the Magical Creatures section of the library. What would tickle her fancy? The cute, harmless pygmy puffs and puffskeins or perhaps the pranking doxies and sprites? Neither of those really sparked a desire out of her, so the brunette went further down the aisle. She stopped in front of the more protected species: the dragons, the sphinx, the Veela and the nymphs. The creatures that are dangerous, the ones that fight, the ones kill to protect what they claim their own. Those brought out her curiosity. Which to read first?
She decided to go about this logically. She would read about each of the creatures alphabetically. Yet before she even pulled a book on dragons from the shelf, she heard a crashing noise coming from the other side of the library. Who would disrupt the peacefulness of a library? A boy cursing seemed to be her answer.
With a sigh, she walked towards the disturbance. "Honestly, James out of all the places you decide to wreak havoc in the library?" The girl asked.
"Thought you gone to bed," Sirius said with a grin.
Her nose scrunched slightly. "I am pretty certain I said I that I would read first," she pointed out. She turned her attention towards her brother. "Can I talk to you away from him for a moment?" When she noticed how the boys began to exchange hesitant glances she added, "Please?"
James agreed after that. Hermione had rarely said please; more often than not she would just politely hint at whatever she wanted; before long, his dear sister would get it. For her to say please meant she thought whatever the topic to be important. He turned his attention to his friend, "Mate, I'll meet you in my room. You can find it right?" He received a nod from his friend before the two siblings were left alone.
"What is it you want to talk about, 'Mione?" James asked. He looked at his sister with worry. He did not know what could be so important to her that she had to use the word 'please'. But whatever tormented her thoughts, he felt it was his duty as her brother to at least attempt to help her in any way possible.
"When we get to Hogwarts," The brunette started before James's laughter interrupted.
"Of course you would bring up school during the summer, 'Mione!" He said, chuckling. It assuaged his fear to hear her only worrying about school.
"James! I am serious about this. When we get to school, what if I am not in the same house as you?" she questioned, frantic. Worry had been consuming the brunette since James went off to Hogwarts. Seeing Sirius be so close to her brother this summer just increased her fears. She took a deep breath before shakily whispering, "I don't want you to hate me."
James sighed. He knew his sister had always been one to over analyze things. "Hermione, I won't hate you if you don't end up in Gryffindor. You are my sister! I will always love you. Now what brought this on?"
She couldn't find the words to tell him that she had always thought it would happen. It happened to be one of her worst fears: ending up in another house, permanently separated from him until the holidays. It hurt to watch him go to Hogwarts without her last year. Her parents did not understand her like James did. They never could understand either. The preteen learned early on: Parents will protect you, but siblings will go beyond the grave to help you. The almond eyed adolescent just did not want to lose him to something as petty a being sorted into a wrong house.
"Promise me you will not?" Her voice broke with the question.
"Promise me," The young Potter said again when she noticed her brother open his mouth. This time her voice sounded a little firmer. But James, knowing her so well, knew her fear still consumed any rational thought. So he did the only thing he could think of; he pulled her into a hug.
"I promise, Hermione. I promise I would never, could never, hate you. Not really anyway." He whispered in her ear. "No matter who my friends are, or who your friends are. You will always be my little sister. I won't hate you." He heard the russet eyed female breathe out a sigh of relieve as she pulled away from him.
"Thank you Jamey," she said smiling at him. "You can go back to your friend now." James kissed her on the cheek before he darted off towards his room. A grateful smile touched the young brunette's lips; James always knew just the right things to say. She needed to hear those words.
The dark haired girl turned her attention back to the bookshelf, grabbing the first dragon book she saw. However as she sat down on the couch to read it, the preteen realized her desire for reading vanished. The young female felt exhausted. She wanted nothing more than to curl up on her bed for the rest of the week. The idea did not sound unpleasant. In fact it sounded amazing to her. The brown haired female made her way up into her room with that idea in mind; crawling under her covers she drifted off into a light slumber.
She already felt abandoned by her brother. The train hadn't even left the station but she had already lost her brother. The brunette knew that James more than likely met up with his friends, probably planning something fun with them to do. The knowledge did not appease her though. The girl knew she should not be too upset about this, he had his friends—he was entitled to hang out with them. But the preteen's fear still haunted her thoughts; a plausible one in four chance that she would actually be sorted into her brother's house terrified her. The odds were practically against her. It does not matter if all of her family had previously been sorted into Gryffindor. She could be the exception; Sirius Black had been the exemption in his family. The fledgling Potter female knew there were quite a bit of factors that could place her in a different house: her blood, her adoption, her personality and beliefs were just the tip of the iceberg. This made her upset. Despite her brother's promise, the girl still felt that, if with the wrong house, he would break it instantly.
"Who are you?" A voice drew her out of her thoughts. Hermione looked at the compartment entrance. There stood a boy no older than her; his dark, curly hair contrasting drastically with his alabaster skin. His scrawny appearance lessened his intimidating presence. She shot him a raised eyebrow before replying, "It is not nice to demand an introduction from someone before announcing yourself." The brunette did not even bother with his glare.
"Well get out, I want this compartment."
"Too bad, I am already in here." The eleven year old shot back. He had to be a Pureblood; he acted too cocky arrogant not to be. The way he carried himself seemed to enforce her assumption. "Now if you introduce yourself, I might be open to the idea of sharing the compartment." Hermione said after a few minutes of silence. She looked at him, to see if he happened to be at least thinking of the idea.
"Regulus Black," he said after a moment of silence; he then took a seat opposite to her. Regulus looked at her, waiting for her to introduce herself. She did no such thing; instead she asked him, "Black...as in you are related to Sirius Black?" Her voice sounded a lot colder than she intended. In fact she had no clue where that animosity came from. But her tone did earn her a glare from her compartment companion.
"What do you have against my brother?" He said still glaring at her.
"I have nothing against him," the girl said. At least she did not think she did. Sirius seemed to act fairly nice to her when he stayed at her house, although she wished her brother did not brush her off nearly as much while Sirius stayed at their Manor. When Sirius stayed at her house, even for that short amount of time, it felt like her brother became distant. She hardly ever saw him; the few times she did neither he nor James acknowledged her anyway.
"Fine," he grumbled out. "Who are you?"
"I'm Hermione," the brunette said. She pulled her knees up to her chest before turning her gaze outside. She really did not feel like talking to anyone right now, even though logic advised that it would be a wise choice. Friends met prior to sorting tended to make stronger bonds; something about preconceived notions between the houses not being in affect yet or whatever her mother told her.
Her companion seemed to have other ideas, however. "What house do you think you will be sorted in?" The young boy noticed how her body tensed before dropping into an almost defeated looking slump. However, before he could retract his question, she responded.
"I honestly cannot give you a response."
"And why is that?" Regulus questioned. Everyone knew what house they wanted to be in. Every family had a preference: his with Slytherin, Lovegoods in Ravenclaw, the Bones in Hufflepuff, and the Potters preferring Gryffindor. "Not so courageous?" Regulus shot her a grin; the girl seemed like a wallflower: shy, reserved, possibly intelligent, and if she had a manipulative bone then she hid it well. "That's okay; if you are not smart or ambitious there is always Hufflepuff for you."
"Courage is not a trait someone is born with," the fledgling female snapped. This received a questioning glance from the cocky Pureblood now sitting in front of her. "Courage is different for everyone; it is facing your fears, caring for others, and learning from experience. Courage is knowing that you're scared to death, but risking your life anyway. Secondly, I bet I am a lot smarter than you. Also, ambitious is just a synonym for determined; everyone knows every Gryffindor is determined."
"So, Gryffindor; you seem far too adamant about that house, giving it chivalrous speeches directed towards innocent bystanders. You must be a Mudblood, too." Regulus gave her a wave of his hand to signal he was done with the topic. She, however, decided the opposite, especially after that derogatory name shot in her direction. Aside from Slytherin, the Muggleborn to Half-blood to Pureblood ratio appeared pretty even. So, naturally, the young girl saw no need for the childish name calling.
"It does not matter the house I am placed; but I would prefer Gryffindor. Not because it houses the brave or the noble," 'Noble' received a snort from the dark haired boy, "but for the sole reason that my brother resides in that house. I would rather be with one family member than a hundred strangers." Brown eyes glanced slyly in Regulus's direction; deciding to tease him just a little. "After all, Family is important to us Purebloods." She watched the kid's eyes go wide with shock, before they returned to normal.
"You're lying," he whispered. She could not help the grin that etched onto her face. Bringing down someone's ego a few notches had always been a fun pastime of the brunette's.
"No, I am not. My full name is Hermione Potter. But regardless of my last name, there is still a three-to-four chance that I will be sorted away from my brother." This caused the teasing light in her eyes to dim. Being in the wrong house could changes her whole relationship with James. The preteen could only imagine how badly her life would spiral out of control without James being a constant factor in it.
"Then he's pathetic."
This received a startled reaction out of the girl. Her brown orbs blinked rapidly as she tried to process what Regulus had just said. Did he just insult Jamey? The idea had Hermione narrowing her almond colored eyes at the raven haired boy while reaching for her wand subconsciously. "I'd watch what you—"
"You're afraid of being sorted in a different house are you not?" Regulus asked when he noticed her reaction to his previous statement. He did not mean to make her mad; honestly girls were so hard to figure out. What is meant to be a condolence, to them appears as an insult. 'I'll never get a girlfriend if this is what I have to deal with,' Regulus mused silently.
When he received a nod from her, Regulus continued. "As you previously stated there is a three-to-four chance that you might end up in a different house, in fact depending on your personality it is more than likely to be the case." Regulus paused, taking the time to notice how the brunette's coffee orbs widened in fear. Proving to him that she was the eleven year old she looked to be, instead of the old woman she acted like since he met her. "If your relationship does change because of the house you are placed in: your brother is pathetic. Family comes first; before prejudice, rivalry, childish fantasies, or friendship. If he cannot understand that, then he is pitiful."
"And you are a jerk," Hermione stated. Regulus looked baffled before he noticed a smile on the girl's lips. The girl apparently did not mean her insult, but it still confused him as to why she would say that. He tried to be a gentleman. 'Girls,' He mentally groaned.
Brown orbs gazed out the window, before standing up. "Well, we are officially at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." The female child strolled out the compartment door. She slid it open before turning to Regulus, "Thanks for the chat; I really needed it," before walking out to find her brother.
It took the eleven year old a few minutes to find James. Luckily, Hermione just had to follow the laughter she heard all ringing through her home all summer. The young Potter knocked once on the compartment door. Once she heard a round of 'Come-ins!' she opened it.
"We're almost at school, James," She said, leaning against the door fame.
"That much is obvious," a squeaky voice replied. Brown, almond orbs narrowed in the direction of a plump boy with wavy blonde hair with beady, watery eyes.
"Unless your name also happens to be James, do not respond to something clearly not directed at you." Her chilling, Pureblood voice snapped a reply; she unconsciously pursed her lips, matching her facial expression with her tone. The boy seemed taken aback by this; girls were never mean to him in front of Remus, James, or Sirius.
"You do not have to be rude to Peter," the sandy blonde haired boy told her. He glanced at his two other friends, only to notice them wearing a goofy grin. Did they know her?
James caught his friend's inquisitive look, "Oh don't worry 'bout it Remus! 'Mione is just nervous. It's her first year," James response seemed to get a round of laughter from his friends, apparently at her expense.
"You were a first year too; last year might I add, Jamey." Hermione said. Her voice in the icy tone all Pureblood females perfected.
"Eh, I'm older now, hence the 'Second year' standing, 'Mione." James responded with a grin. He loved teasing his sister.
"I did not come here to chat, James." She stated, officially ending James entertainment. James looked surprised; his sister normally let him tease her a bit longer before she went off on him.
"Oh then what did you come to talk about, oh dear sister of mine?"
"I wanted to remind you of your promise you made to me." Unlike the first time, the young girl's body did not quiver nor did her gaze lower to the floor; her brown, almond shaped eyes just stared into James's own. Had James not known his sister, odd habits included, he would assume her to be confident in what fate had in store. But her eyes always gave her away, at least to him.
"You already know—"
"I mean it, James."
"I know, 'Mione. I know," James sighed. This seemed like enough for his sister because she turned away; closing the compartment door.
The young brunette had always been a little distant from their parents; sometimes, even he would get to experience her unintentional cold shoulder. He never knew what went on in her mind, for she would never divulge such a topic. But James knows her well enough. There are just times where she will get lost in her thoughts and shy away from the world. It would take anywhere from days to months to get her to be social once more. Yet he always got her out of that place in her mind. Hermione always returned for him.
James decided long ago that he would be His sister's protector. When she could not fight the battles within herself, he would. She needed someone to rely on; James saw it fit that her own brother be the one she could count on. So he never understood why she would make him promise such a thing. Did she doubt his loyalty to her? Did his baby sister honestly think that he would ever truly hate her?
"Come on mate," Sirius pulled James from his own thoughts. "We need to catch the carriages."
"Alright Mate!" James grinned. The twelve year old stretched before strolling out to the carriages with his friends. There were rumors about the carriages from the older students, and he was curious to see if they were true.
The brunette waited in line of first years. Did this really need to be broadcasted in front of the whole school? She had always been a private person, never one for having her inner thoughts revealed. Let alone her deepest fears come to fruition in front of hundreds of strangers. Yet it appeared that only Hermione shared such sentiments. Everyone else remaining in line eagerly discussed which house they might be placed in.
Regulus, the only first year the Potter female knew the name of, had already been sorted into Slytherin. Not shocking as his surname is a Black after all. She felt a pang of envy at the dark haired boy. If her last name had started with anything before 'G' the eleven year old would have been done already; hopefully sitting at the Gryffindor table with her brother. Of course that is not the case as there were another eight letters before her surname would even be called.
Twenty-five minutes later, Hermione's name had finally been called. Even with knowing that it would be coming up, the female still felt as if she like she wandered into a wolves den. Each table staring at her, trying to guess which house she would be placed. 'Lamb to the Slaughter,' the brown haired girl mused to herself thoughtfully.
The brunette took a seat; within moments the dusty old hat had been placed on her head. Memories flashed to the forefront of her mind. They appeared so blurry in rapid bursts that the eleven year old could not really make sense of which memories they actually were. Then everything went blank, the haze clouding her mind cleared, and a shrieking voice pulled her away from the world of thoughts.
"SLYTHERIN!" The child felt her heart sink. In a daze she walked over to the Slytherin table, heading in the direction of the only familiar face. She headed that towards her new table, glancing briefly at her brother's back before heading to her new table. On the way, her ears picked up a familiar, high-pitched voice.
"Not surprised, the bint was mean." The kid with watery eyes, Hermione noted, said. James, although not noticed by the young Potter, glared at Peter's remark.
"Well everyone sorted into Slytherin is evil, James." The frail, sandy blonde kid spoke this time, the brunette observed. Part of her waited for James to defend her, tell them that his sister would be the exception. The eleven year old silently hoped her brother would at least defend her from a kid he barely knew.
But James did no such thing. Her brother just gave a long, drawn out sigh before muttering "Yeah. I know," Hermione's heart broke. The eleven year old quickened her pace to the Slytherin table, willing back the tears. As she took a seat next to Regulus, the young girl strayed into her thoughts once more; 'Looks like James won't keep his promise after all.'
Feel free to give opinions; I would love to hear some. Also Forewarning: James will be a prat--he's a growing boy who cannon wise was somewhat of a bully. Plus, it should be important to remember that most of this will be centered around Hermione, so although it is not necessarily in her POV, it will be how she perceives events. I promise I am not bashing characters.
Also about the not "really" being her parents, I know that it is the people who raise you that are your parents, DNA and biology really does not matter. But I was going for the Pureblood notion of family and how "Blood Relatives" plays a huge role in inheritance and other parts of the Pureblood Society.