Chapter 17

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Hermione opened her eyes and blinked several times before realising where she was. She was still lying on her bed at Riddle Mansion. She could see that it was pitch black outside.

"Must have fallen asleep. Plotting is tiring work." She grumbled to herself as she swung herself under her duvet and turned over, making herself more comfortable in bed. She fell asleep again without a second thought.

Hours later, Hermione could hear the chirping of several birds outside the window, as well as the rush of the wind through the trees. Waking up to that sound, made her almost feel content for the first time in years. It made her feel as if nothing was wrong. But as soon as she sat up, she saw the portrait of her and her family and that feeling of content was quickly replaced by a vengeful thirst.

Hermione got out of bed and made her way down the stairs to the kitchen where she helped herself to a glass of milk from the fridge that connects to her own fridge in her flat. The cupboards do it too, curtesy of a spell she had developed. It's similar to the magic behind the vanishing cabinet however nothing vanishes, you open the fridges to a compartment that exists in two places at the same time. She thought it really ingenious. Once finished with her glass of milk and bowl of strawberries, Hermione had a shower and cleaned the clothes she had fallen asleep in so that she could wear them again.

Once her hair was dry and she was dressed she walked into the large foyer, took out her wand and pointed it at her Dark Mark. A minute later, several cloaked Death-Eaters apparated into the room.

Hermione raised an eyebrow at Avery. "Avery is there a reason why you are wearing a bathrobe and have a rubber duck tucked into one of the pockets?"

Avery subsequently looked down at himself and gulped. "I... was about to have a bath, My Lady." He said, unbelievably embarrassed as his fellow Death-Eaters snickered.

"And why, pray tell, did you not get dressed before you came here?" Hermione asked.

"I didn't want to be late, My Lady. Everybody knows disappointing you comes with a lot of pain, My Lady." Avery bit his lips nervously.

"No, I suppose you didn't." Hermione shot him one last funny look before turning back to the others and checking off who was there.

"You're not going to torture me, My Lady?" Avery asked incredulously. "For my attire?"

"Would you prefer it if I did?" Hermione shot him a malefic look.

"N- No, My Lady."

"You're attire is entertaining, so is your embarrassment. I think that's torture enough." Hermione answered his question as she turned her back to him and continued to scan the room. She shook her head in disappointment. "Two missing." She mused aloud, causing all heads to focus on her and eyes to widen, most of them with fear for the missing two.

"I can only count one missing, My Lady." Amycus Carrow stated, as her right hand man he didn't have to fear torture nearly as much as the others.

"I didn't ask for your input, Carrow." Hermione glared at him. "And there are two missing. I've recruited someone since I saw you last... And he's late." She got out her wand again and pointed it once again at her Dark Mark. Two figures appeared.

"What's he doing here?" One of the Death-Eaters hissed as they all glared at Draco.

"My Lady, I'm sorr-" Selwyn began.

"You're late." Hermione crossed her arms as she glowered at Draco. "Why?"

"I was sleeping." Draco replied.

"Lady friend?"

"Possibly." Draco smirked.

Hermione smirked back, putting Draco on edge, as she turned to the rest of the Death Eaters. "Who else was sleeping when I called them?" She asked. Many of them glanced around nervously before raising their hands in answer. Hermione bit her lip, a triumphant and smug grin spreading across her face. "They were all sleeping, Malfoy, and yet they beat you here. What makes your situation any different?"

"I had to placate the lady friends that might have been occupying my bed...?" Draco said a bit uncertainly.

"So what? I'm sure it's no different from when my father was around. I bet your friend Goyle here had the same 'problem', yet he beat you." Draco looked past her to see Gregory Goyle hopping from foot to foot, looking anywhere but him. "It's no different from when I have to get away from Weasel and Pothead. It would be no different for me if there was someone in my bed."

"But that's different! You call the meetings. And besides, you haven't slept with anyone. You don't deem anyone worthy."

"You're right. But what's to stop me from torturing you now, after all those challenges and remarks?"

"You don't have the guts to torture anybody. I bet you haven't yet."

The others in the room sucked in very sharp breaths and all took a step back.

"No guts?" Hermione smiled sweetly, which made Draco shiver. Without blinking she whipped her wand out. "Crucio!" Selwyn collapsed into a ball of screams and pain. Draco looked horrified as he took in Hermione's bored expression. Hermione stalked up to him, wand still on Selwyn. "Why are you here?" Draco opened and closed his mouth several times. "WHY ARE YOU HERE?" Hermione repeated.

"Because you called." Draco squeaked, suddenly overtaken with fear.

"And why did you come when I called?"

"Because I'm a Death-Eater."

"Whose Death-Eater? Who do you follow?"

"Yours. I follow you."

"So why is your first act as one of my Death-Eaters is disobey and challenge me?" Draco was rendered speechless again. "There is no reason! What would my father do if he were here?"

"He would have tortured me." Draco whimpered.

"And didn't I tell you that I would make my father's torture look like child's play?" Before Draco had a chance to reply, she turned her wand on him. "Crucio!" It was Draco's turn to collapse. He had been under this particular curse many times, but nothing could have prepared him for the pain that came with Hermione's particularly strong one. "Don't mess with me, Malfoy. And stop mistaking me for the Mudblood Granger you knew for so many years."

"Yes- My- Lady-" Draco gasped through the pain and curse. Hermione looked down at him, and he up at her, he couldn't see a single shred of mercy, pity or regret in her eyes.

Eventually, Hermione took the curse off and clapped her hands together. "Now for the real reason for this meeting, other than to reintroduce Malfoy to the group." Draco got up stiffly as he tried to hold in a groan and a glare. "The task that I'm to set most of you is simple. I have stores of Polyjuice potion, which I have saved for this occasion. I'm going to give each of you enough Polyjuice potion to last a month, everyday of that month you must turn into a different person for a few hours and boycott The Order. Say things that will make people doubt The Order. Gradually turn the people against them. But do not, under any circumstances have the idiotic idea to turn into anyone who is actually part of The Order, they are too well known and it will just cause problems. Also, don't turn into anyone who was known for being a Voldemort sympathiser. Do I make myself clear?" Everybody nodded.

Amycus Carrow stepped forward. "If you don't mind me asking, My Lady, what was the reason for the basilisk killing the lion?"

"The lion was connected to all Gryffindors. A weakened or dead lion weakens the Gryffindors and their traits aren't nearly as strong. I had the basilisk kill the lion so that the annoying Gryffindor bravery, rashness and search for justice isn't nearly as strong. Therefore making our task much easier. Any other questions?" No one stepped forward. "Good! All but Malfoy may go."

And with that, all that were left were just Draco and Hermione.


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