Chapter 12

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Hermione blinked. "Excuse me?"

"Take off your shirt. I need to see that tattoo."

"Why? It's nothing you haven't seen before. You have one on your arm in fact."

Draco pulled back. He looked at her in the eyes. "Why'd you get tattoos, Hermione? Why'd you get... it?" He whispered.

"Daddy issues." Hermione replied with a straight face.

"What happened?" Draco was very confused. 

"He died."

"Your father is dead?" Draco looked at Hermione with pity.

"Yes."

"Voldemort killed your father?" Draco asked.

"No." Draco signalled for Hermione to elaborate. "Potter killed my father." Hermione looked at her hands sadly. "I helped."

"What has that got to do with the Mark?" Draco threw his hands up in the air. "And why would Potter kill your father? Why woul-"

Hermione cut him off. "Are you really so daft?" She snapped, glaring at Draco. She took off her shirt, exposing the Dark Mark that sat between her breasts, in front of her heart, hidden slightly by her bra. "Tom Riddle was my father! Voldemort was my father!" Draco looked at her shocked and shrunk back a bit. She hugged herself, looking defeated. "Do you know what it is like? Aiding in your father's murder, thinking he's a monster, only to finally see him and remember everything."

"You didn't know?" Draco whispered.

Hermione shook her head, tears started creeping out of her eyes. "My memories had been tampered with. I've never been able to remember anything before I turned 3." Her voice started cracking. "But just before Voldemort died, his image flickered and I saw my Daddy. Everything came rushing back and I saw the man that I remembered to be my first best friend and the best father in the world die in front of me. I made that happen. I felt so guilty. I feel so guilty." She started sobbing. Draco felt a bit awkward and looked at her for a few seconds before leaning forward and cradling her, rubbing her back and trying to calm her down. "And the worst part is he was doing it all for me." She managed to get out after she'd calmed down a bit.

Draco pulled back to look at her face. "What do you mean?"

"He was just trying to get revenge. Trying to avenge my mother and me." Draco shot her a questioning glare. "Until the 31st of October 1981, Daddy had been quiet for two years, he hadn't done anything since I was born." Hermione sat up, her expression suddenly cold and stony. "But that day, two members of the Order broke into the mansion and let loose fiendfyre, it killed my mother, turning her into nothing but charcoal. My father assumed I'd been killed two as I had also been in the room and my crib had been destroyed, but apparently I'd been kidnapped. He didn't know I was alive until Potter came back to life in the courtyard, everyone was so focused on Potter that they didn't notice the Dark Lord staring at me instead of his enemy."

"I'm guessing James Potter was one of the members who killed your mother... it would explain why he went after them that night." Hermione nodded in confirmation. "Who was the other?"

"Frank Longbottom."

"So that's why Auntie Bella used the Cruciatus Curse on them." Draco said in thought. "Is all this also the reason why you've been calling Potter and Weasel... well, Potter and Weasel?"

"Yes. They're part of the Order and Dumbledore's favoured students. That organisation tore apart my family."

"I thought he favoured you too." Draco pointed out in confusion.

"Yeah." Hermione scoffed. "Only as the safety ring that kept Harry and Ron alive... He's never really trusted me, he may act like it but he and I both knew I was not one of his favourites."

"Huh. I never would have guessed." They sat there in silence for a few minutes. Draco bit his lip, as if a bit nervous, before opening his mouth again. "Granger... Wait I don't think I can call you that can I?" Hermione chuckled and shook her head. "Riddle, I've been hearing things. I've heard that there's a new leader of the Death Eaters, they're calling her the Dark Lady." Hermione stiffened. "Someone is trying to bring back your father's ideas and plans, but they probably don't know you're not a muggle-born so you could be in trouble... again. Normally I would dismiss gossip, especially when we were at school, but I think it is true. Heck, I know it's true. My mark has been burning, calling me, even after Voldemort died."

Hermione smirked and took her wand out of the pocket of her shorts. She pressed it against her Dark Mark and it started to move. Draco yelped in pain as his started to burn. A minute later a group of Death Eaters apparated into the flat.

"You called, My Lady?" One of the asked.

"Just checking it works." Hermione said without turning around. "I expect you lot to come faster the next time I call. You may leave now." Draco and Hermione heard the pops of the Death Eaters apparating away. Since the fall of Voldemort, no one has dared flying the Death Eater way.

"You're the Dark Lady?" Draco gaped at Hermione. Hermione nodded, her expression calculating. "Why?"

Hermione raised an eyebrow and chuckled. "Surely its obvious... Revenge, Malfoy. Revenge on the Order, I know some of them knew that my father was only trying to avenge his family, but they lied, spread rumours and blew it up to make it something it was not. They made his small actions seem like the destruction of a village. They even set the fires that destroyed homes and blamed it on him. Propaganda to make everyone side with the Order."

Draco gulped. "You'll start another war. Surely you don't want anymore death."

Hermione sneered. "I'm not aiming to kill, Malfoy. I'm aiming to make them pay, make them beg, make them wish they'd never heard of magic."

"Why are you telling me all this?" Draco asked, suddenly curious.

Hermione sighed. "Good question. To be honest, I'm not sure myself. It might have something to do with the way you wouldn't leave me alone in the alley or after the drinks in the Leaky Cauldron. Or it might just be a lapse of judgement and the want to tell someone I'm familiar with what is bubbling inside me and threatening to explode." She paused. "I exploded a bit earlier tonight, it was why I was kicking everything in the alley, and because of it the Weasleys and Potters know that I'm a Parselmouth. I can only imagine the conclusions they're drawing from that piece of knowledge."

"It's probably something really stupid and ridiculous." Draco tried to assure her.

"As ridiculous as Mudblood Granger, the Gryffindor Princess, being daughter to the Dark Lord, and current leader of the Death Eaters?" Hermione looked at him, with a tired expression on her face and an eyebrow raised.

"Uhhh... No, I think that tops them all."

Hermione bit her lip, thinking something over. "Malfoy, I would appreciate it if you joined the Death Eaters once more. I will forget that you turned your back on my father at the Battle... I just really need someone I can talk to. I know that sounds sappy and cheesy or whatever, but I feel alone in a world full of 'friends' and to be honest, you're the only one who has been in a predicament that is anywhere close to mine. I could use your help." Hermione looked at the floor, dejected.

Draco scratched his head. "Let me think it over. It's not exactly something I want to make a rash decision on."

Hermione nodded. "1 week. And then I'll let it alone." She said solemnly. Draco stood up and was about to apparate when Hermione grabbed onto his wrist and looked at him menacingly. Her face would make aurors crap their trousers and give them nightmares to last for decades. Her voice came out strong and ominous. "Breathe a word of this to anyone, and I will make my father's torture look like child's play. You will hurt in ways you cannot imagine. And I will make sure your precious mother suffers the same fate as you."

Draco gulped and nodded. Hermione let go and he apparated away without a second thought.

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