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“We have them.”

Hermione, Harry and Ron were thrust into the sitting room, stumbling before the group seated within. The boys immediately grabbed Hermione and put her between them, giving her the opportunity to look around as they argued with their captors.

The room was all dark wood, the only light coming from the fireplace that cast dancing shadows on the walls. There was only a small group of people in the room and Hermione could identify almost all of them. They all had sharp features, their pales faces gleaming in the ghoulish light.

There was a group of dark figures, hoods pulled up to obscure their faces, on either side of the fireplace. Three stood before the trio that had been hauled in though. The two in the back were the easiest to recognize, though Hermione had only met one of them before.

Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy stood frozen at the sight of the trio. Lucius looked on with empty eyes, almost bored, as Narcissa seemed to be struggling internally as the sight of them. Hermione wondered what was going on inside her head and only hoped she wasn’t deciding how to attack them.

The woman standing in front of the Malfoy’s, which Harry made sure was directly in front of him, was Bellatrix Lestrange. Her hair was slicked down and her dress was mended, giving her the appearance of an actual Pureblood lady verses when she’d escaped Azkaban. Her eyes gave her away though as they shone with insanity, flashing from Harry to Ron and finally resting on Hermione.

“Well, well, what have we here? A Mudblood with in the Malfoy’s great home?”

Hermione clenched her teeth and held her head high. There was no reason to be afraid of this woman, mad though she may be. Hermione had been in worse situations, often inside the walls of Hogwarts. She had used magic beyond her years more times than she’d care to count with in this past year. No Death Eater was going to scare her.

“Leave her alone Bella.”

The entire room stalled. One of the cloaked figures from around the fireplace came forward and moved just off of Bellatrix’s shoulder. He removed his hood, causing Hermione to gasp and take a step back. A crooked smile crossed the man’s features, making Hermione cringe.

“Hello my dear, dear niece.”

Harry and Ron glanced at Hermione. She appeared sick, disgusted with the fact that this man was still alive. The boys knew who this man probably was, they had heard the stories, but they needed Hermione to confirm it.

“Hello Henry.”

“Oh, no more uncle then? Still, good of you to remember me.”

Hermione gagged at the slick tone of his voice. He was just a murderer, being the most likely source of how her aunt died. This was not the way she wanted to find out he still roamed free and this was definitely not the place.

“Let me take care of her Bella. No need for harsh words with this one. Just… rabbits out of a hat perhaps?”

Hermione couldn’t stand it anymore. She may have been devoid a wand but so help her if he was going to bring up something that always intrigued her and her aunt when she was young. Harry and Ron had to restrain her as she lunged for the man she used to call uncle.

“You mongrel! You slimy git! I hate what you stand for! You are the vilest creature of the swamp. You deserve what is to come!” Though Bellatrix laughed at the threat, as did the rest of the Death Eaters in the room, Henry kept a cool gaze on her. He knew what she could do when riled up.

“Quiet! The girl is more powerful than you can imagine. Do not provoke her.” Bellatrix looked at the man at her side. Baring her teeth in a sneer, she rolled her eyes.

“Still on about that. This Mudblood is no more powerful than the young one we have in the dungeons. You should learn your place Raft.”

Hermione saw from the corner of her eye the shudder that went through Narcissa behind her sister. It was as if she was in physical pain. Lucius just glanced at her, no emotions ever evident on his face or in his eyes. It was as if he was dead on the inside. Hermione stopped struggling with her friends, realizing what was going on just a little better.

The Malfoy’s were under the Imperius Curse, Lucius more so than Narcissa. Lucius was completely gone of anything that made him himself. His eyes being void the clearest evidence that he’d been under the spell for quiet a long time. Hermione wondered how long was long. Narcissa appeared to be trying to fight it, for what purposes Hermione didn’t know. Bellatrix and Henry continued to argue as Hermione watched the Malfoy’s.

“All right! Fine Raft, take the girl, I don’t care.”

Harry and Ron moved to intercept him but Henry cast a spell that sent both of them stumbling backward away from Hermione. She stood ready to fight off the Imperius but instead found herself being dragged out of the room as Harry and Ron rushed after her. The door slammed shut behind her and Henry, two very angry boys on the wrong side of it.

“What are you going to do with them? Where are you taking me?” Henry stopped and whipped Hermione around so she was facing him.

“Be quiet if you know what’s best for you. Your life isn’t as precious to our side as it used to be. The boy failed to show any power that you showed in abundance when you were younger. They have little faith in you showing any results as well.”

“I don’t understand? What have you done to this kid? Have you hurt him?”

“That is none of your business my dear. As for you, you are to be questioned. Come along now, no need to wait for our Master for this little interrogation.” With that, Henry pulled Hermione through a thick, wooden door and into a small study.

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