Fanfic: Crusaders by BrackenBell (Read for Free, 1,332,114 Clicks)

Description: Hermione Granger knows something the newly re-founded Order doesn’t.

Characters: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive WarningsHermione Granger/Draco Malfoy Theodore Nott/Pansy Parkinson Harry Potter/Ginny WeasleyHermione Granger Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Ron Weasley Ginny Weasley Pansy Parkinson Theodore Nott Blaise Zabini Weasley Family (Harry Potter) Luna Lovegood Sirius Black Tom Riddle | VoldemortEnemies to Lovers Slow Burn Alternate Universe – Canon Divergence Seer Hermione Granger Enemies to Friends to Lovers Dark Magic Dark Hermione Granger Slow Romance Eventual Smut Eventual Romance Divination Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter)

Summary: Summary:

Hermione Granger knows something the newly re-founded Order doesn’t.She’s just not sure what yet.After the calamitous death of Cedric Diggory, Hermione finds herself harrowed by the vague messages which haunt her dreams. As summer ends and her fifth year at Hogwarts begins, she searches for answers to the questions plaguing her, unaware that the answers will change the course of the approaching war irreversibly.

Notes:

Chapter 1: Mysteries Unknown

Chapter Text

A/N: Hello to all readers, welcome to my first Fanfiction.

I just have some things I want to get out of the way to start off.

As I said, this is my first fanfic. It’ll start up at the beginning of The Order of the Phoenix, basically, and should be mostly canon-compliant up to that point.

If I get a detail wrong, feel free to let me know. If I ever do edits, I’ll take it into account. I’m also open to critique, but lets all try to keep things civil yes?

This is a Dramione book, but when I say it’ll be a slow burn, take it at face value. I mean slow, and the book will have a lot of plot, too. If that’s not your thing, thanks for coming, but I won’t judge you for leaving.

Much thanks for clicking!
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Part 1: Order of the Cardinal

Fifth Year
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Chapter 1: Mysteries Unknown??????????? Hermione Jean Granger knew two things. The first was that Harry Potter had found himself in trouble again. The second: she had no way to help him.??????????? The witch ran a hand down the book splayed across her lap and frowned. Inked words chilled her fingers with delicate kisses, which calmed her like nothing else in this world ever could, ever had. She needed that now.??????????? Ron and Ginny were arguing again. About Harry for now, but Merlin knew there was plenty else to contend over if that topic ran dry¡­??????????? Harry, Percy, The Order.??????????? All subjects which dizzied her to think too long about. And if there was one thing Hermione Granger didn¡¯t usually have trouble with, it was thinking.??????????? The Order of the Phoenix hummed at the forefront of her mind always. When she first arrived to Sirius Black¡¯s ancestral London home, the initial days were spent adapting. To the stern faces come and gone, to the curtained portrait which hung in the entryway and shrieked bloody murder anytime Hermione¡¯s footsteps sullied the stairway, to the scurrying rats¡­ she shuddered.??????????? Crookshanks¡¯ presence sorted that matter, at least.??????????? Recently, her days had been spent unpuzzling the mysteries unfolding beneath her very nose. The adults¡¯ reluctance to share made it difficult, but such things never stopped her before.??????????? Then there was Harry.??????????? Harry, whom she hadn¡¯t spoken to since June. Harry, who couldn¡¯t stay out of trouble for the short duration of summer.??????????? And now he faced the worst fate possible.??????????? Expulsion.??????????? When Dumbledore appeared in the kitchen halfway through supper, eyes dour behind his half-moon glasses, the adults simultaneously stood to shoo the children from the room. The lock snapping behind them echoed through Hermione¡¯s center.??????????? She¡¯d sat in the foyer with Ron, Ginny, and the twins for past an hour before the door reopened. Light spilled into the dusty room, across the moth-eaten couch Hermione curled herself into, as Mrs. Weasley emerged to confront her grim-faced children. She¡¯d only offered a morsel of detail to their insistent pleas before sending them to bed.??????????? It was enough.A dementor attack. In a muggle neighborhood.??????????? Hermione kept her eyes peeled for a reaction ¨C from anyone ¨C but had been disappointed.??????????? No word in The Daily Prophet.??????????? No word from the Ministry. They¡¯d turned their noses to the problem.??????????? Instead, they laid the blame out at Harry¡¯s undeserving feet.??????????? Dumbledore spoke to them all about the inquiry being posed by the Ministry. Hermione had faith their Headmaster could sort the matter of Harry¡¯s expulsion, but the gravity of the situation hung dastardly over the rooms of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, poised over them like a guillotine blade due to drop any moment.??????????? He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was back. No amount of denial or censuring from the Ministry would change that. And now the dementors were emboldened enough to venture into muggle territory.??????????? The situation was bleak.??????????? Suddenly Crookshanks murff-ed, distracting Hermione from her disheartening rumination. Glancing down, she watched as the orange tabby roused and stood from the bed he¡¯d made atop her feet. His russet body stretched into an arch and then settled as he sashayed from the room with his tail stuck in the air.??????????? Hermione sighed.??????????? Hopefully, Sirius wasn¡¯t wandering the halls as his Animagus right this moment. Harry¡¯s godfather tolerated Crookshanks, but neither appreciated the other¡¯s company, least of all when the wizard inhabited his dog spirit. Last time they met, Hermione found her cat hunched and hissing at Sirius as he tried to climb the stairs.??????????? Hermione couldn¡¯t entirely blame her cat for it. Sirius¡¯s grim unsettled her, too.??????????? Folding the book in her lap, Hermione slid it facedown onto the bed and tuned back to Ron and Ginny¡¯s conversation.??????????? ¡°You¡¯re an idiot, Ron.¡±??????????? A brief smile snagged on Hermione¡¯s lips.??????????? The aforementioned ¡®idiot¡¯ scoffed as his fiery eyebrows adopted a downward slant. ¡°You¡¯re one to talk. I still don¡¯t think Harry should be staying with that blockhead uncle of his. Those spoiled prats he calls family are the last thing he needs to be dealing with right now. Right, ¡®Mione?¡±??????????? Ginny cocked her head at the brunette like she expected her to disagree.??????????? Ginny knew her well.??????????? ¡°You know Dumbledore sends him back to keep him away from trouble.¡±??????????? Her roommate smirked triumphantly at her brother.??????????? ¡°Bollocks! Mum and Dad would give him a place to stay. He¡¯s much safer from dementors and the like with us than those muggles ¨C no offense. Hell, Sirius would take him in.¡±??????????? Hermione frowned down at the floral pattern of Ginny¡¯s bedspread. Images of dark grey eyes cradled by darker eyebags flashed in her memory.??????????? As much as Hermione liked Sirius, she somewhat doubted the older wizard¡¯s ability to truly protect Harry. Not the way he needed protection. In his state, it¡¯d be a feat to cast a functioning patronus charm at all, let alone spell a fully-fledged guardian.??????????? Misgivings aside, she didn¡¯t completely disagree with Ron. The Dursleys were another burden on Harry, who didn¡¯t deserve half the trouble allotted to him, least of all people who couldn¡¯t muster an ounce of sympathy for him. Whatever reasons Dumbledore had for entrusting them with his safety, he wasn¡¯t sharing. But of her dwindling steadfast beliefs, Hermione figured her headmaster knew how to keep Harry from the Dark Lord¡¯s hand better than anyone else. That much she could believe.??????????? A knock on the door interrupted their argument.??????????? Molly Weasley leaned past the door.??????????? Hermione¡¯s mother was a tall, lean woman with hair closer to black than brown and a strong jaw. Nothing like her daughter.The Weasley matriarch couldn¡¯t be more opposite. Rounded and soft, with a bearing that sparked warmth by presence alone. She and Ginny shared that fire and feather. The same petite, freckled noses, and downy-like flumes of red curls, and brown eyes that blazed when stoked. Looking between the two, Hermione could very easily image what her closest girl friend would look like thirty years down the line.??????????? Lately, they shared the same harrowed look in their eyes.??????????? ¡°Dinner¡¯s almost ready, dears. Why don¡¯t you get freshened up and join us in the dining room?¡±??????????? Hermione smiled as Ron and Ginny grumbled. Mrs. Weasley smiled back, shutting the door.??????????? The two started right back to arguing, making Hermione shake her head.??????????? ¡°I¡¯ll meet you guys there,¡± she mumbled. Grabbing the book, she clutched it to her chest and stood as Ron waved her off. She left them to their dispute.??????????? Creaking walls sang to her as she stepped into the hallway.??????????? The ghosts that haunted the Black family idled in the secrets and stones of Grimmauld Place. Wary, tangible things. Hidden histories waited beneath sheets and dust like sentinel lemures for appeasement, cooing to be uncovered and reveled. It was the floorboard¡¯s warrantless creaking, portraits¡¯ midnight nagging, and the ever-present tick of an unfindable clock which harmonized into the despondent song of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place.??????????? Hermione would stare at the ceiling each night, listening to Walburga Black¡¯s wails and the Grim tune underlying it, and wonder how the old house had avoided an actual ghost from taking up residence.??????????? The kitchen hummed with activity when she entered.??????????? Mrs. Weasley was laying out dinner with unwanted help from the twins, who seemed uncapable of stopping themselves. Their newfound magical legality was a blight upon the whole household.??????????? Tonks and Sirius sat at the table and discussed the newest Daily Prophet article maligning the witches and wizards who believed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named¡¯s return. The article¡¯s malicious slandering of Harry had soured Hermione¡¯s mood for no less than half the day after reading it.??????????? Still no mention of a Dementor attack.??????????? Hermione sat to join them.??????????? ¡°Hullo!¡± Tonks ginned at her arrival, the tips of her spiky pink hair curling in greeting. ¡°I¡¯m sure you have an opinion on the dementors, Hermione. You¡¯ve got an opinion of everything.¡±??????????? Hermione offered the Auror a bleak smile. She did indeed have an opinion on it. But the darkened look in Sirius¡¯s eyes gave her a moment¡¯s pause.??????????? Of all the things she¡¯d experienced in the past five years ¨C all the great feats of riddle-solving and time-turning, all the terror of three-headed dogs and lethal-eyed snakes ¨C the dementors stuck with her perhaps worst than most. The memories physically weighed on her, thick and tacky across her skin like the humidity of a warm London summer. The hollowness she felt at their presence wasn¡¯t something a person could forget, and she only had a handful of close encounters with the wraiths.??????????? Much like fear itself, a dementor left a lingering sense of doubt in you.??????????? Sirius spent twelve years under their suffocating watch. He had been victim to the icy ruin of their death kiss.??????????? So, Hermione shrugged and answered Tonks with a non-characteristically sly answer. ¡°I¡¯m sure you and the other aurors will find a way to handle it. Ministry help or not.¡±??????????? Tonks scoffed. ¡°Not, most like. Fudge is a useless knob.¡±??????????? Sirius chuckled and raised his mug in agreement as Mrs. Weasley swatted the twins for splattering gravy across the floor with a faulty levitation spell.??????????? ¡°Well said, cousin.¡± He raised his eyebrows and took a deep swig. ¡°I never cared for politics much myself, but he is quite the incompetent one, isn¡¯t he?¡±??????????? ¡°Don¡¯t forget that he¡¯s a rotten liar,¡± Tonks added. Her ringed fingers tapped against the tabletop. ¡°Saying all those awful things about Harry¡­¡±??????????? Sirius sat his cup down with a sigh. ¡°He¡¯ll be fine. My godson is a resilient one, that¡¯s for sure.¡± A shadow flit across his gaze. ¡°So much like his parents.¡±??????????? ¡°All this grown-up discussion,¡± Mrs. Weasley interrupted suddenly, setting a platter of sliced ham on the table. She wiped her hands across her apron. ¡°In front of children. How about we speak of more pleasant matters.¡±??????????? Ginny and Ron entered then, taking their seats beside Hermione.??????????? ¡°They¡¯re a part of this, too, Molly. Just as much as you or I. Like it or not.¡± Sirius frowned at the woman¡¯s retreating back.??????????? Ron quickly caught onto the direction of conversation. ¡°He¡¯s right, mum. Harry is in it more than anyone else. And I¡¯ll be right there at his side. Hermione, too.¡±??????????? ¡°You¡¯ll be right where I say you¡¯ll be Ronald. Now, I don¡¯t want to hear anymore talk of wars and the Ministry tonight. Understood?¡±??????????? Ron grumbled a recalcitrant ¡®yes¡¯ as the twin cajoled him.??????????? ¡°Aww. Ickle Ronnikins is too young to be involved in adult things.¡±??????????? ¡°Sad to see, Fred. Can¡¯t say the same for us, though. Do you know why?¡±??????????? ¡°Why, I¡¯d it¡¯s ¡®cause we¡¯re legal adults now, Georgie.¡±??????????? ¡°Quite right, Freddie.¡±??????????? Ron whacked the twin closest ¨C Fred ¨C with a backwards thump to his guts. Both his brothers pounced. It was a tumble of red hair as they tussled.??????????? ¡°Enough, enough!¡± Mr. Weasley entered the kitchen and pulled the boys apart with a laugh. ¡°What¡¯s all this about?¡±??????????? ¡°Your children are causing a ruckus.¡±??????????? Mr. Weasley looked to the rest of the table with raised eyebrows. He patted the watch chain dangling from his waistcoat. ¡°My children, now, are they? That¡¯s never good.¡±??????????? Tonks muffled her laugh with a teacup.??????????? ¡°Okay, children, no more fighting. Let¡¯s try to have a calm uneventful dinner for once.¡±??????????? ¡°Thank you, dear.¡± Mrs. Weasley planted a kiss on her husband¡¯s cheek that had her children¡¯s nose wrinkling.??????????? Hermione found herself smiling at the plate in front of her.??????????? The pair were a stark reminder of her own parents.??????????? As a child, Hermione would sometimes wish that she had the large family Ron did. He would argue until he turned blue in the face, but Hermione envied his giant family.??????????? He wouldn¡¯t understand. Ron devalued the one thing his sibling had guaranteed: companionship.??????????? Hermione would be lying to say she wasn¡¯t a lonely child.??????????? Before Hogwarts, her friends were Crookshanks and the characters she met between books pages. The kids at primary school didn¡¯t like her much. Family didn¡¯t have to like you, but they did have to tolerate you.??????????? Ron didn¡¯t quite get it, but she knew Harry did. It¡¯d be hard to miss the wistful look on his face in the company of the Weasleys.??????????? ¡°Tea, Hermione?¡±??????????? Hermione glanced to Ginny and froze. Her pale hand pressed starkly against the steaming kettle she offered.??????????? Scrambling to neaten her expression, she shook her head. ¡°Er, no¡­ thank you.¡±??????????? Ginny gave her an odd look but didn¡¯t argue.??????????? Hermione stared into the empty teacup beside her plate and felt the fingers gripping the book in her lap subconsciously tighten.??????????? The illegibilus charm cast onto the title protected it from the curious eyes, but it did nothing to alleviate her anxiety. Her hands moved over the cover and folded, laid across the words like a shield.??????????? Magick Moste Evile??????????? A book Hermione had scoured Diagon Alley to find. Flourish & Blotts didn¡¯t have any copies in stock. Certainly not. In fact, the shopkeeper blanched when she asked about it.??????????? Under the cast protection of cloak and nightfall, Hemione dared to venture to Borgin and Burkes. Mr. Borgin had hassled her for the better part of an hour, bouncing between interrogation and haggling unwanted wares with the tenacity of someone used to wasting time, before admitting he did, indeed, have a copy.??????????? She¡¯d coughed up an unseemly number of Galleons for it, but this book was the answer to her lingering problem. It had to be.??????????? Because the problem was one she couldn¡¯t bring herself to speak to Ginny or Ron about. Likely, not even Harry, whenever she spoke to him again.??????????? The book sang under her fingers, seducing her to open the cover and keep reading. To find the answer to the problem she¡¯d been presented over the summer. The reason Hermione couldn¡¯t stomach tea lately or stare too long into mirrors in dim rooms.??????????? A problem presenting itself as a word that plagued her dreams nightly.??????????? Horcrux.

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