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Of Cunning and Courage
Draco M. & Hermione G. - Words: 194,008 - Rated: T - English - Adventure & Romance - Chapters: 59 - Reviews: 352 - Updated: 28-11-2018 - Published: 14-07-2017 - Complete - by Moxified (FFN)

A/N: A little disclaimer before you go on. In this story, Hermione is a lot more adept at magic than she usually is, this is because she's been brought up in a world where her talents are nurtured.

Paris, December 1984

"How was London, grand-papa?" the little girl asked, climbing into her grandfather's lap as he sat by the fire in his care armchair in the middle of the Dagworth-Granger library, surrounded by shelves of books and the distinct smell of parchment. The old man chuckled at his enthusiastic little granddaughter, brushing a large hand through the riot of dark curls on top of her head, not unlike his own, smiling down at her with kind grey eyes.

"Same as always, my darling, your great-uncle Orion asked about you, you know, says you ought to come visit, he hasn't seen you since you were very little. Your great-aunt Walburga is as mad as ever, but don't tell your mother that." He said with a glint in his eyes.

"Will you tell me more stories about Uncle Sirius, grand-papa?"

The old man's eyes darkened considerably, "Do not let your grand-mère hear you talking about your Uncle Sirius, child."

"Why not grand-papa?" The girl asked with confusion written across her face.

Alphard Black sighed, "Your uncle is not a Black anymore, hasn't been for quite some time now. I tell you stories about him so you will not forget him, since his beliefs do not change the fact that he is family, but Walburga has decided otherwise. It is best that you not think about him too much, dear."

Hermione, sensing the tension from her grandfather, nodded and changed the course of the conversation, smiling innocently, she asked, "So what have you brought me from London, grand-père?"

"Who says I got you anything, you spoiled little devil?"

"I'm your favorite grandchild, of course you got me something." she grinned.

The man just chuckled at her, pulling out a small green jewelry box from his jacket pocket. "There you go. It's a Black heirloom, so keep it safe, or your Aunt Walburga will have your throat."

The girl took the box from her grandfather's hands excitedly, and pried them open with her small, fingers, to find a silver pendant nestled inside, with he Black family crest shining up at her. "Thank you, grand-papa, will you help me put on one, s'il vous plait?"

Nodding his assent, Alphard black took the necklace, and unlocked the clasp, Hermione then raised her hair with both hands as the man locket the necklace into place. "Now, you'll never forget who you are, my dear."

"I don't think Maman would let me forget, no matter what." the girl said with a giggle.

Just then, a house elf popped into the room, looking cross, "Missy Hermione hides from Mimi, she does, Missy Hermione does not get ready for supper, like Mimi says, Missy Hermione is a naughty child." the elf scolded, arms folded across her tea towel uniform.

The child squealed, clutching onto her grandfather's neck, trying to escape from the angry house elf, who was still berating her for her naughtiness. Alphard let out a booming laugh as the child struggled to get away. "Now, now, Mimi, it's alright, Hermione only wanted to ensure that I had arrived safely, you can have her now." He took the girls arms off of him, and handed the little girl off to the house elf, who was still clucking in disdain. "Now Missy takes bath, she does, and Mimi will watch over Missy, she will. Missy will not escape a second time she won't."

Then, the elf's eyes strayed to Alphard, "Master will also bathe, he will, Mistress Lyra insists, she does."

"Alright, alright, just bring my trunk up to my room." Alphard nodded.

"Mimi will do as Master says." The elf said, and popped out of view, taking Hermione with her.

The old man then stood up from his seat, bones popping as he did so, and walked over to the large windows on the side of the library, watching the snow fall outside, dusting the streets like sugar. To the non-magical eye, the large, ornate 19th century building was merely a shoppe along the streets of the 16th Arrondissement, to the magical eye, the mansion was massive, with a multitude of windows and pristine white walls, a glorious structure that exuded luxury, nothing less for a family of their standing. The Dagworth-Grangers were one of, if not the most, prestigous wizarding families in all of Paris, having immigrated before the First Wizarding War, and settled there for good.

Alphard Black could not say that he missed Number 12 Grimmauld Place, because he did not, the Black Manor was dreary and depressing, nothing compared to the Dagworth-Granger Manor that he now resided in along with his wife, son-in-law, daughter, and granddaughter. The old man could not think of a better place to live. London had always been cold and unloving, especially with the war. But after You-Know-Who's defeat, it had begun to look more alive, Diagon Alley had been rebuilt, and the families who had fled the country had begun to come back. The aftermath of the war had been dreadful, with Sirius in Azkaban, losing Regulus had taken a toll on the old man, having been close to his nephews. His visits to London had become a recurring event, with both Orion and Walburga falling ill of dragon pox at the beginning of the year. He knew it was only a matter of time now.

The sound of a door opening jarred Alphard out of his thoughts, and Marriane Rosier walked into the room, with the regality of a queen stepping out to the public. "I had not realized you had arrived." she said, Alphard noticed that her voice had become softer than it was before he had left, and this concerned him.

"Is everything alright, love?" He asked his wife.

She waved him off with a thin hand "I am fine. Just a cold, is all."

Alphard knew otherwise. His wife had not been in the best of states either this year, falling sick easily and it seemed as if her cough never leaved her now.

"Are you sure?" he asked, brows joining in worry.

"Yes, yes, now stop coddling me, and prepare for dinner. You know how Lyra gets when you come home. She's had the elves working all afternoon preparing your favorites. Honestly, your daughter spoils you too much." The old woman said, smiling at him with adoring blue eyes. Alphard placed a kiss on her cheek before saying, "Merlin, it's good to be home."

Paris, February 1985

Hector Dagworth-Granger held his daughter's tiny hand in one arm, and his wife's in the other as he looked onwards blankly. All of the attending were clad in black robes, even little Hermione, who eyed the white casket with teary eyes, watching as her grandfather placed grand-mère's wand inside. Hermione understood death, understood that her grandmother was gone, she had cried when she heard the news, but worried for her grandfather too much to wallow in sorrow.

The first night, she had crawled into her grandfather's bed, knowing that he'd be alone, and wanting to help him. She knew that he had loved her grandmother very much, and that he had cried when she had passed.

They had been together a long time, Hermione knew, and even though they were an arranged marriage, she knew they had grown to cherish each other over time, much like her own parents. Hermione would miss her grand-mere, but she worried more about her grand-papa, so after the Healer had exited her grandmother's room with a somber expression, she slipped out of her mother's embrace, who had also been crying, and held her grandfather's hand, hoping that she could help ease the pain.

Her parents looked on at them, wondering how a child so young could understand so much, standing in awe as their little Mira held her grandfather's hand as he cried silent tears for his wife.

Paris, September 19, 1986

"Happy Birthday, dear Hermione, Happy Birthday to you."

Hermione smiled and blew out her candles, seven candles for seven years, a Wizarding milestone. The week before, she had had her first bout of accidental magic, and Mimi still wasn't speaking to her. She had sent the tiny house elf flying in a burst of pink sparks while trying to fight her way out of her afternoon lessons. The magic had made everyone laugh, the only one not amused being the poor victim of the occurrence. Hermione had apologized of course, but her mother had berated her on that, saying that it wasn't proper to apologize to servants.

Her mother now stood in the middle of the crowd, urging her father to take a photograph of her as she blew out the candles, while her grandfather looked on, his eyes twinkling. She was surrounded by children, the sons and daughters of her mother's friends, they eyed the pink frosted cake greedily, eager to have a taste. Hermione rolled their eyes at them, knowing that soon at least one of them would start a fight over the dessert, and backed away before her dress got ruined by pink icing.

Soon enough, icing came flying across the room, the perpetrator being a small dark haired boy whose hands were stained pink. His mother had started berating him in a corner, probably about manners and cake throwing impropriety. Hermione looked at her mother and already knew that the boy was not going to be at her next birthday party.

Of course he wouldn't. Bad manners were not permitted in the Dagworth-Granger household. It did not matter if you were six years old, your mother should have taught you better. Hermione rolled her eyes and strolled over to her grandfather.

"Can you believe these children?" she said, rolling her eyes as she neared him.

Her grandfather chuckled, "I believe you're still one of them my dear."

"I know better than to behave like a peasant. Honestly grand-papa, cake flinging?" she huffed in exasperation, and walked away, her curls bouncing as she did so, the ringlets falling perfectly into place, as if held there by magic, which he suspected they were, her back held straight, and her footfalls almost soundless, she walked like her grandmama, he realized with a smile on his face.

Alphard shook his head at his little granddaughter in amusement. She was growing to become quite the pureblood, her mother had seen to that, of course. She had all the right manners, she knew how to walk, and talk and act the way society women did, and she had only just turned seven. But, his little Hermione had a streak of mischief in her too, reminding him greatly of Sirius when she smirked knowingly. She was smart too, very much like her father, who let her tag along when he would go down to his lab and see to his experiments, learning all about her Papa's potions, but only when she wasn't with her tutor, or in dance lessons, or on the arm of her Maman.

She was the heir to the House of Black now, Orion had passed the year before, along with Walburga. Hermione Mira Black Dagworth-Granger was a little girl with very big Gringott's vaults to her name, and she acted like it, but she was not like every pureblood, no. Alphard could see it clear as day, she was as loving as she was trained to be indifferent, as kind as she was taught to be unfeeling, she was emotional, even if she had a mask that could rival any other Slytherin's, and a heart big enough for anyone she chose to hold in it. No matter how much her mother had tried to tame little Hermione's flame, the girl never stopped burning, and Alphard loved her for that. She would be a Slytherin, alright, she was cold enough, brilliant enough, ambitious enough, and cunning enough, but she had the heart of a lion and it made her all the more perfect.

Paris December 8, 1986

"No, Hector, I will not have my daughter running around throwing hexes and charms when she's only seven years old. Hermione is a lady, and she should behave as one." said Lyra to her husband.

"Darling, I understand your worries, but to ignore her talent as a young witch would be a slight to Merlin. She's been gifted with a strong sense of magic, it would be best to teach her now, rather than wait for her to turn of age and learn at a pace slower than she should."

"But she's a lady, Hector." Lyra insisted.

"Enough, daughter." said Alphard, who had been observing the couple silently. "Hector is right. I'll personally understand to Hermione's magic education from now on. After her day lessons, let her come to me. It would be best to let her power grow rather than suppress it to accidental bouts of magic."

Lyra looked as if she wanted to argue some more, but the paterfamilias' word was final.

"Yes, father."

From behind the library doors, a pair of glittering amber eyes peeped through the cracks, grinning wildly in excitement.

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