speedgeek: (Phoenix!verse DHr)
Title: Bonfire Night
Author: speedy
Fandom(s): Harry Potter
Pairing/Characters: Draco/Hermione, Hannah Abbott, Adrian Pucey, Pansy Parkinson, Zacharias Smith, Severus Snape, Marcus Flint
Rating: R
Warnings: Torture, Darkfic
Summary: "You damn well know I don't tolerate traitors, Smith. What I did to Marietta Edgecombe will be nothing compared to what I'm going to do to you."
Notes: Phoenix!verse, DarkLord!Hermione, EWE, around 10 years post-DH (give or take a year or two), several years before Master of Puppets. Snape survived Nagini's bite. Unbeta'd (will take volunteers).

There were few things about the Muggle world Draco Malfoy liked. His wife for one; music another, the harder rock strains that were mostly unknown in the Wizarding world drifting out of the speakers connected to his iPod. The computer and the Internet, once he'd learned how to use them, rounded out the list.

He loved the computer. It made his job so much easier, with its spreadsheets and accounting software and databases and nearly unbreakable encryption. It made communicating easier, without owls to get lost or intercepted. He could check the Muggle news, the stock market and even the American Wizarding news with nothing more than a click of the mouse. He could keep all of his music in one place without changing records or CDs. He even loved the games.

It was the best invention ever, in his opinion. Too bad there was no magical equivalent.

The computer was the reason he spent so much time in his study at home, rather than at his apothecary or at the casino. Hogsmeade didn't have Internet access – he could barely even get a mobile signal, much to his utter disappointment – and he wasn't meant to be seen around the casino offices, lest they be connected to him by the Aurors.

It didn't fit his image to be so familiar with Muggle technology and his image was important to Hermione's security and continued anonymity.

It also didn't fit his image, public or private, to be obsessively checking his email every half hour. If it were not for this little quirk, it would've been much longer before he picked up the urgent email from Hannah Abbott.

He pulled out his mobile and immediately called Hermione.

"We've got a leak."

The Avalon Casino was a front for many of their more illicit operations and like their organization itself, it straddled the line between the Muggle and magical worlds. While wards separated the Muggle and Wizarding sides, it was nearly fully Muggle in operation on both sides, with wards preventing the unauthorized use of magic outside of approved areas and protecting the money, the floor covered by the "eye in the sky" – the constantly monitored video surveillance system – and all employees except the dealers were outfitted with radios and/or mobile phones.

Hannah Abbott had worked in the bar at the center of the casino since being fired from the Ministry for accusing her very popular boss of sexual assault. She had quickly taken over the operations in the bar area and had proven to be quite good at them.

Draco apparated directly into the casino offices. Marcus Flint, the casino operations manager, was waiting for him. He followed his old Quidditch captain into his private office.

"Is it just you, or should I be expecting the Boss?" Marcus asked, closing the door behind them.

Draco smirked. "Why? Got something to hide, Flint?"

"If it's just you, I've got a couple cheating Muggles in the Box to deal with."

"I never knew you cared so much. I'm flattered."

Marcus dropped down into his desk chair. "Go to hell, Malfoy."

"She's coming," Draco confirmed, turning serious. "Where's Abbott?"

"On her way up from the bar."

"Did she give you any idea how bad..."

Marcus grimaced. "Bad."

Draco nodded and took a seat. Hannah and Hermione joined them a few minutes later, followed by Severus Snape, and exchanged pleasantries with everyone. Hermione took a seat in an arm chair and indicated for Hannah to take the seat closest to her.

"Why don't we just get down to the point, shall we?" Hermione said. "Hannah, what happened?"

"Roger Davies came in for a nooner with Carrie. He likes Carrie. He's high up in Magical Law Enforcement, so I sent him into a monitored room. I usually try to keep an eye on the screens when the big shots come in, but the bar was busy. Carrie came out afterward and told me that he'd told her the MLE had this New Dark Order mess sussed now that they had a man on the inside and not to worry."

Hermione's face turned cold. "Did he say who?"

"I checked the video. He didn't say any more than that."

Severus cleared his throat. "Why didn't our Auror contacts warn us?" he asked.

Hermione shook her head. "I've checked all the bugs in the Auror offices myself. I caught nothing."

Draco spoke out loud what they were all thinking. "Whoever's talking knows about the bugs."

"It could be anybody," Marcus replied. "Everybody knows we've got inside information, if not Aurors in our pockets."

Hermione froze. The comment clearly sparked something in her mind. "Damn!"

"Hermione?" Draco asked.

"I saw Zacharias Smith talking to Ron in a hallway outside the Auror office the other day when I went to drop off the baby gift with Harry. I didn't think anything of it."

"Maybe it was innocent," Hannah suggested, halfhearted. "We can't exactly avoid polite conversations, especially with Aurors."

"Except they go out of their way to avoid each other. Ron's hated him since fifth year. And Smith knows about the bugs. I want him in my office tonight. Use force if necessary."

To say Zacharias Smith wasn't pleased to be dragged into Hermione's public office by Gregory Goyle and Graham Montague was an understatement. Draco smirked and remained standing behind his wife as the man hit the floor.

"You didn't have to send your gorillas after me, Granger!" Zacharias shouted, not acting nearly as angry as he sounded.

She merely smiled politely. "You were asked nicely first, I presume."

"He was," Montague answered. "He refused to come."

"Thank you. You two may go. You, Mr. Smith, may have a seat."

He sat in the sole chair directly in front of Hermione's desk, taking one last look towards the closing door.

"I trust you remember who's in charge here. When I send for you, I expect you to come ASAP, not to wait until it is convenient for you. Do you understand?"

"Why did you drag me here?"

"Didn't anyone tell you it's rude to answer a question with a question? You were brought here because I haven't heard from you."

"The Planning Commission meeting isn't until the week after next."

"I was referring to your conversation with Auror Weasley."

"It was nothing to do with this. Weasley cornered me about something else."

"What something else?"

"Building permits for his parents' place."

Draco narrowed his eyes. It was a lie, a stupid lie, one that was easily verifiable. It was public knowledge that the Golden Trio, as they were called at Hogwarts and by the Daily Prophet, were still friends. And Zacharias Smith wasn't close enough to Hermione to know the truth about how she felt about them.

Hermione remained quiet for a few moments, just watching him fidget. "It has come to my attention that the Aurors have an informant."

Zacharias answered a little too quickly. "It's not me!"

She raised an eyebrow. "You do understand why I had to question you. You should have told me about your conversation with Ron right after it happened. I understand that these things can't be avoided sometimes."

"Is that it? Can I go now?"

"You may go."

Draco watched as Zacharias shuffled out of the office, only accessible via portkey or apparition.

Hermione leaned back in her chair. "Do you believe him?"

"Hell no," he said, sitting the chair that had just been vacated. "The Aurors got to him."

She didn't immediately respond, thinking. "He went to them," she said finally.

He furrowed his brow. "You know something?"

"No, just a hunch. He's practically a Slytherin."

"You say that as if it's a bad thing, dear."

"It is if you're a Hufflepuff. It's not a good combination."

He wished he could argue with her, but Smith was a cowardly, self-serving arse and always had been. "You think he chickened out."

"He must've found some leeway, some sort of loophole in the vow."

"It's an Unbreakable Vow. There's no way to bypass it."

"He found a way. Or Harry did. Have Severus look at the memory. He's good at finding loopholes."

"So is Goldstein. If we missed something, one of them will find it."

She sighed. "I guess I better drop in on Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb, find out what he actually gave the Aurors."

Draco leaned over and kissed her cheek. "Make Scarhead buy you dinner. No reason you shouldn't get something for your trouble."

Draco was getting ready for bed when Hermione returned home, quietly fuming. He'd learned long ago not to push, to just wait for her to blow off steam on her own. He just laid back and watched her move around the room and then into the walk-in closet.

"They named the baby Albus Remus," she called out.

He grimaced and absently rubbed the faded Dark Mark. Dumbledore, the whole war really, was still a sore issue with him. "I always said Potter had no imagination."

She emerged wearing a tank top and an old pair of cartoon boxers she'd given him as a joke. "Tell me about it. If it was a girl, they were going to name it after Harry's mother."

"Harry's father, Harry's mother, Harry's godfather, Harry's mentor… Don't the Weasley's get any love?"

She froze and stared at him in shock.

"Hermione, I'm kidding. I really don't care what Potty and She-Weasel name their brats."

She rolled her eyes and got in bed next to him. "Harry told me everything. We're right, it was Smith. And he approached them, not the other way around."

"Potter's going to feel like an idiot when he finds out he's the leak in their office."

"And you won't hesitate to rub it in either."

"Hell no, I won't. I'll enjoy it, too. What did he say about Smith?"

"He offered you up on a silver platter. Ron, of course, took that to mean you're the Phoenix, although Smith never actually corroborated that bit. That's how he got around the vow. He swore his loyalty to me, not you. He's giving them memories."

"Memories," he repeated, closing his eyes.

"He promised Ron pensive memories of you ordering crimes committed by the 'New Dark Order'. He hasn't delivered yet. He has, however, been passing on files relating to some of our construction activities."

"He didn't know about the important projects, thankfully."

"The Aurors are investigating the permits and the bids. I've sent Pucey and Flint to do damage control and talked Harry into letting Dean Thomas do the footwork. Right now, Harry and Ron are the only ones who know about Smith and the memories. We're covered."

"This could've been so much worse."

"Yeah, Harry could've already seen the memories and been onto me."

He scoffed. "He wouldn't have believed it, the gullible arse."

She sat up and turned towards him. She looked him in the eye, deadly serious. "Don't do that, Draco. Don't underestimate him. He'll figure it out someday."

He always thought she gave the git too much credit, but it was irrelevant at the moment. "So, what now? We can't let Smith get away with this."

Hermione nodded in agreement. "We have to make an example of him. And since we called him in, he'll be paranoid. Rightfully so, of course, the lying bastard." She grinned. "Do you know what tomorrow is?"

"November fifth."

"Remember, remember the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot."

He was accustomed to some of the strange Muggle stuff she'd say, but this was new. "And what is the gunpowder treason and why should I care?"

"Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament with barrels of gunpowder in 1605. On the fifth of November every year, Muggles burn Guy Fawkes in effigy and have for the last four centuries. It's Bonfire Night."

Draco knew exactly where her lovely, twisted mind was going. He smirked. "You are such a pyromaniac."

No one in Powys noticed that a sleepy Mid Wales village – if it could even still be called that – had disappeared. The village had only a town meeting hall, a small pub, an abandoned church and a lot of small sheep ranches. The population had been dwindling for over a century; no one thought it odd when the final known inhabitants decided to move to greener pastures. The appropriate papers were filed by the new inhabitants, taxes paid and essential services continued. New, larger, better housing was built, old farm buildings torn down, utilities upgraded, and no one noticed.

Those few Muggles who went through the village – post and rubbish pick up mostly, as well as the occasional lost driver – never remembered anything about it. Just another quiet, non-descript Welsh village.

Thanks to a careful and judicious use of magic, no one – not the Muggles, not the Ministry of Magic – noticed that one sleepy Mid Wales village had become home to the "New Dark Order" – to Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy and their closest associates.

The small group that had gathered in the old pub was mostly bitter former Slytherins and two house elves, all dressed in dark Muggle clothing. Hannah Abbott stood out among them, pulling at the sleeves of her black hoodie nervously.

Draco tapped Hermione on the shoulder and gestured to the other woman.

"Hannah, what are you doing here?" she asked.

"I'm going with you tonight," the blonde answered.

Draco raised his brows. They didn't keep Hannah around for violence. Raids were rare and not everyone was required to participate; there were more than enough that were more experienced with dark magic and more willing to use violence to cover the few raids Hermione ordered. Hannah was hesitant with curses and hexes outside of self-defense, but she was good at taking care of the girls and dealing with the punters, and passing on information. The bar was where she was most useful.

"You don't have to do this. We've got it under control."

Hannah shook her head. "Zacharias was my call. I brought him to you. It's not just you he's betrayed."

Hermione took a measured look at her and then nodded. "It's your job then to remove his ring."

The ring was not unlike a wedding band, both symbolic and practical. But instead of precious metal, it was a transfigured wand. It was spelled by a goblin – one of their goblins – so it could only be removed by the wearer, or by one of their own. To remove the ring was to remove the wizard's last line of defense.

Adrian Pucey walked up and whispered to Hermione. "I'll keep an eye on her."

"Get her out of there if she can't handle it," she told him quietly.

Pucey nodded.

Hermione turned back to Draco. "I'm going to start on the wards. When I call, portkey to the staging area."

Draco kissed her. "Be careful and don't get caught."

She grinned and disapparated. He knew he shouldn't be worried, she had been a more than capable cursebreaker, but he couldn't help it. She was his wife.

He put his worries aside; he had a job to do.

"Okay people, let's get serious!" he shouted to the crowd. "As you all know, Zacharias Smith has betrayed us to the Aurors. He has betrayed the vow he made, the vow we all made, and tonight he will pay for that betrayal with his blood. There will be no survivors.

"The wards will be down. We will sneak into the house and subdue the occupants. Take anything of value or anything useful. Any Ministry papers, all the jewelry and silver. Keep an eye out for anything hidden. We need to get our hands on what he'd planned to give the Aurors. Once the apparition wards are lifted, return here."

Less than ten minutes later, Hermione gave the green light. Draco was last to the property and put up anti-apparition and anti-portkey wards. Hermione would be busy putting up a timed unplottable ward on the property so no one would find it until they were long gone.

The Smiths were just finishing dinner when the attack came. They put up little resistance and were overcome quickly. The unconscious bodies were dragged into the living room and propped up on a sofa. Hannah removed Zacharias's transfigured ring; Pansy Parkinson removed the rest of their jewelry. They were restrained with plastic zip ties.

Hermione gestured to everyone except Draco. "Get started with the rest of the house."

Adrian led Hannah upstairs, the others spread out to the other rooms.

Hermione pointed her wand at Zacharias. "Rennervate."

Zacharias woke slowly and didn't immediately register the danger. He saw Hermione and swallowed nervously. "What's going on? Why are you doing this?"

She waved her wand, sending off a non-verbal spell. "You lied to me."

He shook his head, wincing in pain. "No, no, I didn't!" He groaned. "Please, stop! Please!"

"Never piss off a dentist's kid, Smith. We know all about the anatomy of teeth. Do you know how many Muggles think dentistry is a form of torture?"

Draco smirked. She'd created several curses that caused severe dental pain. A subtle form of torture, more insidious than the Cruciatus. He thought she was quite inventive with her Muggle approach to curses.

"Where is the pensive, Smith?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"The pensive you promised Auror Weasley." She waved her wand again and Zacharias screamed. Blood began trickling from underneath his fingernails. "Where is it?"

"Take it off, I'm begging you, take it off!"

"Did you honestly think you'd get away with it? That I wouldn't ask Ron what you'd spoken about? He was quite excited, let me tell you."

"They…they said…"

"That you'd be protected? Sure, they'd protect you from Draco Malfoy. But you knew better. You knew I was still friends with them. That Harry and Ron believe what I tell them. And you damn well know I don't tolerate traitors, Smith. What I did to Marietta Edgecombe will be nothing compared to what I'm going to do to you."

Zacharias's eyes widened. "Please don't hurt my family," he begged quietly.

"You should've thought of that before you went after mine."

"You…you bitch! I'm going to kill you!"

Draco raised his wand. "Crucio!"

He'd had problems with the Unforgivables before. He'd struggled with the Imperious and had barely been able to cast the Cruciatus as a Death Eater. He'd had one shot at the Killing Curse and had failed. As an adult, as one of Hermione's followers, he hadn't done much better, but the only Unforgivable they used with any regularity was the Imperious. Hermione preferred to be more creative when they used torture.

Zacharias Smith's screams filled the night air. A threat against his wife, Draco had no problem summoning the hate required. Aunt Bellatrix would've been proud.

Hermione put her hand on his arm and he released the curse. "Where is the pensive?" she asked again.

"Go to hell!" Zacharias spat, between gritted teeth.

Draco cast the Cruciatus again.

Hannah came into the room and gasped. She held a hand to her mouth, tears forming in her eyes. Adrian came up behind her. "Snape's found what we were looking for," he told them, then pulled her out of the room and out of the house.

Draco released the curse and looked at Hermione. "Muggle or magic?"

Hermione waved her wand again, binding Zacharias Smith so he couldn't move. "Let the fire take them all."

He nodded and lifted the anti-apparition wards. Their small crew finished quickly and apparated. Hermione was the last to leave, casting incendio herself.

It would be hours before anyone noticed the burning house and called the police.

When Hermione returned to the pub, Adrian was sitting at a back table, his arm around Hannah's shoulders. She was taking big drinks out of a glass of firewhiskey. Hermione immediately went to her and took the woman's chin in her hand, lifting it so their eyes met. She brushed her hair back and caressed her cheek.

"You did good, sweetie."

Hannah just nodded and handed her the ring.

Draco was at the bar with Severus, reading the files he'd snagged. Pansy was at a nearby table, examining the jewelry.

Hermione stood at the end of the bar and put her hands on her hips. "What'd we get?"

Pansy answered, "We got a set of goblin-made silverware. Most of the jewelry isn't worth shipping out, half of it's cheap Muggle stuff. I think we should sell it all to the goblins as raw materials."

"Can your goblin contacts be trusted not to ask questions?"

"Absolutely. They don't care about wizard law."

"Do it. I trust you to give everybody their cut of the proceeds. Severus?"

Severus lifted his attention from the documents he was studying with Draco. "He had the pensive hidden in a closet. I had it and all the memories sent back with Dippy."

"How many were there?"

"Quite a few, but I did not take the time to view any of them. I can only assume they were the ones he was planning to give the Aurors."


He held out a document for her to take. "He was definitely holding out. This is a copy of a proposal for redevelopment of Knockturn Alley. The note attached says it's already gone to the Minister. There a few lucrative no-bid jobs he's given to his uncle's firm. His uncle has been pressuring him to go to the Aurors to get us out of the way."

"Leak the no-bid contracts to the Prophet and see if we can drum up support for another labor action. Adrian, I want to take as much business away from him as we can. Use whatever means you feel are necessary."

Adrian nodded.

She flipped through the proposal. "I'm going to look more into this proposal; it could be quite profitable for us. You guys might want to start looking into property in Knockturn Alley and I'll let you know what's going on. Anything else?"

The response was a few No's and shaking heads.

"Okay. I know tonight was tough, but we're a family. We take care of our own, good and bad. You know if you need anything, you need only ask. Draco and I will do what we can to help you. But betrayal is never an option. You don't turn on blood and you don't turn on us, any of us. I won't tolerate traitors. I'm sorry it came to this, but everyone did a good job. Now, go home and enjoy the rest of your night."

Hermione stepped over to Pansy and whispered something in her ear. Draco knew she was giving instructions for her cut to go to Hannah. Hermione rarely took a cut from a raid anymore. Draco's usually went into an emergency fund in a Muggle bank; under a false name, of course.

Hermione joined him at the bar. "What are our chances this will happen again?"

"We should make it known that betraying one of us is to betray you. I think that will deter all but the most determined. We should change the wording in the vow just in case. Severus found a few other loopholes we should close before they become a problem."

She nodded. "He was a treacherous little piss ant at Hogwarts. We always suspected he might sell out the DA to Umbridge. I should've known better."

"You couldn't have predicted he'd be this stupid now. I seem to recall you calling me a vile, evil, loathsome, little cockroach once. Now look at us."

"I slapped you silly."

"A love tap."

She snorted. "Hardly. But point taken." She bit her lip and glanced over at him. "Do you think Lucius would like a job?"

"I don't want to think about Lucius right now." Draco pulled her into his arms and held her. She snuggled into his embrace. "I don't know about you, but I'm ready for this night to be over."

"I could go for a hot bath."

"With company?"

She grinned and kissed him. "Always."

Draco matched her smile. "Let's get out of here."
◾ Tags:
Date/Time: 2011-03-24 03:18 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] wake-the-dragon.livejournal.com
This is one of the few fan fics I get really excited about when it updates. I love everything about it really; great job.

I really like the close family relationship the members of the Order. Poor Hannah; I feel so bad for her.

And, of course, Draco and Hermione's relationship is excellent.

I'm also glad that Snape's not dead.

I'm looking forward to reading more.
Date/Time: 2011-03-24 03:25 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] bunney.livejournal.com
This entire Phoenix-verse makes me ridiculously happy. What an exciting plot you've built! Hermione, Draco, and their crew are ruthless and power-hungry, but they still care about each other - as long as they don't betray them. It has a very Godfather vibe to it.

Excellent job!
Date/Time: 2011-03-24 03:43 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] bunney.livejournal.com
I need to go back and reread MoP...did you give any backstory there? Why Hermione chose this path? I would LOVE to see a prequel...to see how she came to be with Draco and how she became the person she is now.

Date/Time: 2011-03-24 04:25 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] bunney.livejournal.com
Well, that's good news indeed!
Date/Time: 2011-03-24 12:44 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] reetinkerbell.livejournal.com
I really love the dark!Hermione world you've created. This was a great read. :)
Date/Time: 2011-03-24 13:42 (UTC)Posted by: [identity profile] niroc.livejournal.com
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I absolutely love this universe and hope to contribute at least a short story to it one day.

Great job, again. Love your writing style.


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