Good Snake Bad Snake

Hermione, Albus, Snape, Regulus, Harry

Hello! I finally got my hands on a laptop which is excellent, but my physical and mental condition mean I defs won't be able to post in any true regularity despite this. nevertheless, it is exciting, because publishing on a phone is arduous as fuck.

thanks so much for reading my stories, and especially to those who take the time to review. I no longer have the spoons to answer all of them, as it depends on the day, but I do read them all and sometimes it's the only positive thing in a day, so thank you.

I hope in these strange and very difficult times that life hasn't completely fucked you over. I want to make that blessing cuter, but to be honest I know that as disabled and broke as I am, I'm getting through this quarantine luckier than many and that is just horrible and I hate this time line we're in.

anyway, here's a long (really long) chapter about a troll and some weird magical worldbuilding for you. sorry. I was going to slit it up, but to be honest I'm very tired

TW for a fleeting reference to pedophillia and 'Magical Britain' being filled with horrible fuckers and a society that definitely either encourages perpetrators of such violence or turns a blind eye to it and protects them (which unfortunately isn't too much of a stretch even in this modern age, as Australia has seen once again recently). once again neither the author or the characters involved support this. there is a more detailed description at the end of the chapter if you wish to have more of an idea before reading.

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CHAPTER: Halloween

Hermione didn't know what it was about that Halloween afternoon in particular that had made her break to pieces, and led her to be weeping in the bathroom instead of feasting on all of the delights of the holiday feast that were sure to be absolutely wonderful. Professor Black had told her enough about it that she'd been looking forward to it; but what was the use of a feast if everyone hated you?

She hadn't really been thinking too much-in fact she hadn't really even noticed anything outside of her own misery until the troll was already in the room.

There were a few thoughts that skittered across the surface of her frozen mind; the first was that the troll smelled appalling ; the second was that his club seemed to be bigger than her ; and the third was the passage on mountain trolls from the Almanac of Magical Beings that she'd bought along with her school books: similar to elephants who had been reported on several widespread occasions taking care of children and small animals, trolls had been recorded a number of times taking special care for babies and small creatures, and were grieved when they hurt them. Hermione wasn't technically a baby, but in that bathroom she certainly felt very small indeed.

"Please!" She cried, "Please don't hurt me! I'm just a baby !"

The troll paused, lowered his club, and then crouched down to look at her, realisation clearing his expression, " Little baby !" He said, his tone regretful, before he reched forward and very carefully picked her up. Up close to his putrescent-smelling armpits and skin it was hard not to gag, but she tried to keep her lunch down. Nevertheless she couldn't help a few whimpers, though she was trying to be brave. She was a Gryffindor after all. He held her up to his face to look at her better, and said softly " Baby safe."

He stepped back out of the bathroom and strolled along the halls, humming in a tone Hermione suspected was meant to be soothing, but sounded to her human ears more like a small rockslide. The troll paused however, when they came across Professors Snape and Black, who looked both emphatically surprised and extremely wary at the sight of her cradled in massive blue arms. Hermione saw Professor Snape raise his wand before he met the eye of Professor Black, who seemed to understand the situation, reaching out his hand to gently still Professor Snape.

"Thank you for looking after her," He said, his voice ringing in soothing-but strong-melodic tones. He slung his arms diagonally across his chest, with his fists positioned under his throat. Hermione thought it must be a part of troll culture, because the troll straightened and looked at Professor Black, who looked so very small from this angle.

" Baby yours ?" The troll asked and Professor Black nodded, causing the troll to look at him with a considering air.

"Yes. She is my own ." Professor Black said firmly, true concern writ on his face, and the troll shifted his hold on her, carefully offering her to him. Professor Black stepped forward, his arms still crossed until the troll carefully passed her over. Professor Black took her in his arms and held her close, checking her over for broken bones with an expression of such worry that Hermione found herself sniffing and wiping her tears as she shook her head and told him she was fine.

His voice was shaken as he said, "Thank you for looking after her," again, and the troll nodded solemnly, but they were interrupted as Professor Dumbledore rounded the corner.

The Headmaster didn't pause to take in the scene before he called "STUPIFY MAXIMUMA!" and the troll crashed to the ground, making Hermione wail in concern for a creature who had been lost and confused, and had only been gentle with her once he realised she wasn't a danger to him. Hermione stared, shaking with shock and fear. Gone was the Father Christmas air of cheer and eccentricity that the Headmaster liked to project, and instead he was shown to be a terrifying wizard and worse; he had been cruel . She didn't know how she hadn't seen the hard glint in his eye before. She shuddered at the sight, and hid her face in the soft fabric of Professor Black's robe.

Hermione could feel Professor Black tensing with anger, but he was more worried about her at that moment, and so briskly informed the other staff members that he'd be taking her to get looked over in the hospital wing. He didn't pause to put her down but simply shifted his hold, cradling her to his chest all the way to the hospital wing.

Hermione found herself wilting, all of the crying of the day, and then the surge of adrenaline and fear had wiped her out.

Lulled by the rhythm of his sure footsteps and soothed by the scent of bergamot and cedar in his aftershave, Hermione fell asleep before they reached their destination.

Albus

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore sat at his desk pondering the failure of his First Test. Harry Potter had not defeated a troll tonight, as he had so carefully planned, and instead had gone to inform young Percy Weasley of Miss Granger's absence; who had in turn managed to inform young Regulus and Severus; who had found the muggleborn Hermione Granger cradled in the arms of a gentle and concerned mountain troll.

It was safe to say he was Very Disappointed.

He wiped a hand over his face tiredly. He couldn't erase from his mind the picture of horror on the little girl's face as he subdued the troll, but what did she expect to happen? It was a troll in the school?

He also couldn't forget the wrathful glare of the insufferable Black boy as he cradled a muggleborn to his chest. Sometimes Albus really regretted squeezing compliance out of him. He'd expected him to hate being exposed to so many bratty school children much like Severus, and instead he had flourished in the position, making so many little changes to the school culture that had all added up to making them all harder to control.

Albus sighed and chewed on a mint leaf candy, looking up tiredly when Phineas Black's portrait chuckled at Albus' expression "I'm almost proud of the little elf-lover if it makes you this miserable!" He said.

Albus pulled a very rude gesture at the portrait, but guiltily lowered his hand as Minerva stepped into his office and glared, "Really Albus, when first year students are more mature than their own headmaster it starts to worry me," She clucked and he sighed again. She tsked impatiently, "What Mr Potter did tonight showed true bravery, and I'll not let you sulk about it. He trusted a figure of authority, and wonder of all wonders, nobody died! It's as if this was a school and teachers actually cared about the safety of their students!" She rolled her eyes and dropped the forms on his desk that she'd come to deliver in a pile that remained perfectly orderly despite the fall. "Anyway I'm off to bed. Sleep well Albus. Don't let the troll wander through your mind for too long; that's how you get headaches you know."

...

Severus

Severus watched his friend and colleague move gracefully into the great hall, stopping by the Gryffindor table to check on his little Miss Granger who had been marked by his magic the night before as his own . She nodded at him with an adoring smile (one that was quite different from the young ladies who only found him handsome and dashing ), and noted young Hadrian wrapping his arm around her shoulders protectively. he'd been the one to tell Percival Weasley of the girl's whereabouts, and the prefect had come to them with his worries, which had been entirely founded.

Well, somewhat. The pride Regulus had expressed at a first year student who had thought to appeal to a mountain troll's protective instincts was practically glowing, and Severus could admit even he was impressed with such quick thinking under pressure. His heart had almost stopped beating when he'd seen her in the troll's arms.

Of all of the ways that incident could have turned out, he'd honestly felt a little like crying with relief. But he was certain that was Regulus' soft heart rubbing off on him.

Of course the rumour mill was aflame this morning, tales of the muggleborn taking on a troll single handedly; or of Professor Black rescuing her like a damsel (there were mentions of a sword and everything) were interspersed with talk of how the runes professor had marked her as belonging to the House of Black and what that meant. Sordid tales of an engagement of all things; no doubt spread by Miss Parkinson who still hadn't recovered from her own humiliation in front of the handsome bachelor (despite the inconvenient fact that it had been a humiliation entirely of her own making), and rumours of a life debt, which was simply not relevant in this case; though Severus had seen Regulus call in a life debt before, and he should think Miss Granger would do well to be glad of that.

The most interesting reaction was from Albus who looked like he hadn't slept a wink the night before. With the lecture Severus was sure Regulus had given him after he'd settled his charge safely in the hospital wing no doubt still ringing in his ears hours later, Severus was sure he'd find it hard to sleep too.

Severus was still not over the sight of the calmest troll he'd ever encountered being stunned by such a brutal stunner, nor the sheer power that had been in it-and coming from one wand and one wizard! He'd thought his skin was so thick now that he'd never be affected by seeing such a thing, but it had been quite the reminder of just whose thumb he was under, and it was as vexing as it ever was.

Severus watched as Hadrian downed his potion and Percival gave his shoulder a squeeze and then stood and left the great hall; he had a long day of brewing ahead and fully intended to lock himself away in his lab to avoid all the chaos the stirred up children would surely be making today. It was Saturday for Salazar's sake; he wanted some peace.

Chapter, part b

Regulus

Regulus sat across from little Hermione Granger and a very stern Minerva with a feeling of apprehension. He'd been a teacher for seven years now, but he honestly had never had this kind of responsibility over another human as he did now, after claiming the child as his own. Where had it come from? Why had he used those words? All he knew, was when he had seen her cradled in that troll's arms all he could think of was getting her to safety and damn it all. Now he had, for all intents and purposes, procured himself a daughter.

He had written to her parents when he had risen early that morning after a troubled sleep, seeing her pulled to pieces by a mountain troll over and over again in his dreams. Their reply hadn't yet arrived, but he hoped that their initial impression of him being a responsible professor would keep them from demanding a blood price or worse, a bride price over his split second decision to claim her in front of that troll. It's not like a troll cared about things like schools. They dealt in family groups and mate-ship, not education, blood status, or any other detail in the complex ways of organising a society.

He had been disgusted when he'd heard the murmurs that morning, claiming that he wanted the child for a wife. He knew some of the Death Eaters and many in the wider circle of supporters had such proclivities, and the thought still never failed to make him want to hunt them down, every one of them, and kill them dead. It always had; having once been a child who attracted such attention himself. He had an ongoing list of names that the House of Black would not deal with, and he still sabotaged them as often as he could; be it in business dealings or in the wizengamot. That the goblins agreed with his opinions on the matter meant that he was often successful in these endeavours.

But that was besides the point, because now he had the inenviable task of trying to explain the Old Ways and ancient laws to a child. He looked over at Miss Granger-Hermione-and asked, "In all your reading so far Miss Granger, have you come across the terms "'Bonding', 'magical bonding' or 'binding words'?"

She shook her head, and then paused, "There was something in the pamphlet about my magical core, it said that when we-magical people-marry, we sometimes bond for life?"

He sighed and nodded. "That is the most commonly known bond, but there are quite a few other kinds; you can have a bond in almost any iteration of a relationship. Children and parents, for instance. In fact even sworn enemies can form a type of bond, which has its own complications. There are many types of bonds.

"One of the interesting things about many magical beings and creatures-and one big reason we are better for having them in our lives-are that they can sense or see magic, and magical bonds. Last night, if I hadn't claimed you as my own, the troll may have taken you away, and that…I could not have that. But the result is that now and henceforth, magic sees you as mine, because I said you were and magi made it so; and any creature either of us comes across will know that. In fact my goblin Account Manager MaceStrike sent me a letter very early this morning congratulating me on my new bond, as their special magic meant that the paperwork they hold from my interests had shown it to them; and I was grateful as it confirmed that the elves have been telling me all morning with much excitement," He said tiredly, but couldn't help a fond smile, and then another as he saw the cogs turning in her mind.

Hermione looked nervous for a moment, but it was clear she was trying to be brave, "It's not a marriage bond is it? People at breakfast were saying-" Regulus sighed and shook his head, practically feeling the burn of Minerva's glare at the girl's worry. He was glad, however, that the woman had agreed not to interrupt their conversation unless Hermione asked her to. As she had said, this was Regulus' hole to dig himself out of, and he intended to do so with as little trouble for the poor little girl as possible.

"As lovely as I'm sure you will be in many years when you're all grown up, I would never marry a person your age; nor would I make a marriage bond or even a betrothal contract without the person's consent." He said in what he hoped was an assuring tone and not one that displayed the anger and disgust at the very thought; "I'm very sorry that I even made this bond without you or your parents' permission."

She nodded, and asked, "So what kind of bond is it?"

Regulus tipped his head to the side and called "Kreature?" His elf, who had already been in the room listening, silently appeared in their eye line, and he smiled as Hermione's worry disappeared for a moment as she greeted the elf politely. He allowed them to chat for a moment to catch up before he asked, "Kreature, Miss Hermione would like to know what our bond looks like."

Kreature bowed his head towards Miss Granger and said, "Master and Miss Herminy's bond is having no colour yet. The bond is not yet being sealed; it is being a new bond; it is having many possibilities."

Her eyebrows furrowed, "So it could be a marriage bond?" She asked and he was so glad that it hadn't been Miss Parkinson or any of the other

heiresses because her tone was not of excitement at that thought; she was simply trying to understand.

"Technically, it could," he said carefully. "Miss- Hermione, I've heard many muggleborns call our world old fashioned, and betrothal contracts are one of the traditions in our world that are very old and different to the modern muggle world. Being who I am, if I had claimed one of your pureblood classmates instead of a modern, independent young muggleborn that you are-or even some of the halfbloods-this way their parents would already be here with a betrothal contract demanding I wed them. However , I have written to your parents, and I thought that we could make it an adoption-a magical adoption-so that in the magical world I would be your magical guardian, and have your parents still retain legal custody and true parentship. In other cases, I might have gone for a full blown blood adoption, but I have seen you at home with your parents, and everything I have seen tells me they are very good parents, even if they aren't magical...or possibly even because they aren't magical. Is this true? Have I judged correctly?"

Hermione nodded, looking relieved, "I love them very very much, and I could never leave them behind! And they've already learned so much about our world! They may not have magic like we do, but they want to be as much a part of it as they can with me. After all, you don't need magic to learn."

Regulus smiled, sagging a little in relief, "I admit I didn't have the best of parents, so I do worry you see..." He said softly, and hoped she wouldn't spread that one around. What he wasn't expecting was for her to launch herself from her seat and wrap her arms around his neck, her face squishing into his shoulder as she sniffled, "What is this ?" He asked, "Why are you cry-ing?" He asked gently as he pulled her up so that she was sitting in his legs and her neck wasn't at a weird angle. He felt his fragile heart grow two sizes, even while he felt it break in two, and glanced over the girl's fluffy head of hair to see Minerva wiping a tear of her own, though whether it was in memory of the various injuries Sirius and he had come back to school sporiting after breaks or Hermione's big heart, he didn't know.

Hermione sniffled for a moment and he pulled out a handkerchief, which she took gratefully and wiped her eyes, and then she said, "Harry and Ron think that the castle gave them new shoes, and some other things too; but I had a hunch...and I just…I figured it was actually you or one of the other teachers. But when you said...it was you wasn't it?"

He smiled, "You really are too clever for all of us aren't you?" He asked and she beamed, "But I have to ask-you didn't tell them did you?"

She shook her head, "I was going to, but then I thought about Father Christmas, and how you're not supposed to tell the other children he's not real; so I let them keep believing it." Her smile was wistful, "After all we do live in a magical castle. While I'm determined to find out how everything works, my mother told me that not everyone wants to know and spoil the wonder."

Regulus nodded, "I agree. Your mother is very wise. I also like to know how everything works; I think there is magic to be found in the intricacies and the brilliance of mechanisms," she nodded eagerly, "...But I know plenty of people who prefer not to. And I quite like being Father Christmas, though I suppose the Heads of house and Madam Pomfrey must then be my reindeer," He said with a cheeky wink at Minerva, and Hermione laughed. Minerva chuckled too.

Hermione wiggled to be put down, and he let her go back to her tea which had been charmed to refill and stay warm, seeing as he knew they would be having a distracting kind of talk that wasn't the best for tea drinking. She sat back on the chair like a proper lady, smoothing her skirt, and he once again wondered at how quickly she learned everything.

She put her cup back into the saucer and then asked, "So, what can I expect from this new relationship?" she asked and Regulus couldn't help his delighted smile at her high vocabulary; he was so glad it had been her the troll found, though admittedly no one else would have read all the way to the 't' section in that massive almanac by Halloween, and then remember enough to appeal to the creature's caring nature. After all, not even Albus Dumbledore had thought twice about treating him with force, even with the evidence right there in front of him!

As to her question, Regulus said, "I've been thinking on it, and I thought at the moment that I would just carry on as we have been. You've noticed I started your lessons of our world earlier than the other muggleborn students?" She nodded, "And we already started an account at Gringotts for you, and so I propose that we carry on as we have started. The biggest change will be that as of the moment I and your parents finalise the paperwork, you are my magical heir. If I have a child by birth or full blood adoption, that might change; and I'm sure you have other plans than to be weighed down looking after sixty eight different properties, as well as ten separate estates, and all of their problems. I will teach you these things nonetheless: as I have found the skills to be quite transferable, and you will at least inherit more than one or two of them…

"However, as my heir, you will be treated substantially different in this world, as well as addressed differently. There will probably be quite a significant amount of jealousy from weak minded people, but that can't be helped; you learn quite quickly to keep your chin up and float above the petty jealousies of others," Minerva rolled her eyes at his dramatic turn of phrase, but Hermione nodded sagely. After all, she had dealt with jealousy over her intelligence all her life.

"There will also have to be new robes, because while you are a Gryffindor, you now also represent my House; and there will be a few other things-" he saw her expression and suppressed a chuckle; that she seemed almost offended at the idea of new special robes. "I'm sorry, but it can't be helped my dear-if I don't make a big fuss over you, then people will take it to mean I don't fully respect you, and then everything will be far harder for you-And Hermione I refuse to insult you in such a way. I'm sorry that is the cost of a hug from a troll-" she giggled and he smiled, glad he could make her laugh. He was sure this would be completely overwhelming for the eleven year old upper-middle-class muggleborn, but he was absolutely certain he couldn't have picked a better child for the job if he"d done it on purpose.

"Now, it is time for us to sneak off the grounds. I've made arrangements so that we can use the floo in my office to visit your parents. Are you

ready?"

Hermione's eyes brightened at the thought of seeing her parents, and she nodded excitedly. Regulus smiled, even as he internally shook in nervousness at the thought of the conversation to come with the Grangers.

"We'd better be off then."

Harry

Harry sat in the common room waiting for Hermione. She hadn't been at dinner and neither had Professor Black, and Harry had been concerned-especially with all the wild rumours going around-so he wanted to wait up to see that she was okay when she came back home.

Home; that was a funny word. Harry was quickly finding that he had come to see Hogwarts as a bit of home. Enough to know that life with the Dursleys hadn't been home at all . Their shiny perfect fake show home was only a house with people in it really. The manicured lawn and freshly painted fences were only a fake mask hiding a family of bullies and a too-skinny boy who had a cupboard for a bedroom; which was not at all normal if you asked him.

Dudley bullied the other kids on the street and at school; Uncle Vernon bullied practically everyone except his bosses and the rich customers that he had over for dinner; and though Aunty Petunia did it differently, she ruled over the housewives who lived on their street through gossip and sabotage. She was really mean. And then of course, they were all horrible to Harry. If he didn't see them being mean to everyone else, he might still think it was his fault; but he didn't think Mrs Wendall or Mrs Hocking deserved the mean treatment; nor any of the other people. No. His family were bullies.

Hogwarts was a school; it had lessons and teachers, some of which weren't his favourites, like Binns and Snape; and others who were harsh but true, such as Professor McGonagall; and others were encouraging and rather whimsical, like Professor Flitwick. Hermione had told him the little man was part goblin, and that the goblins had a rich and proud history; but that Flitwick favoured his human side, seeing as he kept his warrior nature to the polite but competitive duelling circuit, which he was apparently quite successful at.

Hermione knew a lot of things that Harry didn't seem to, even though she was just as new to all of this as he was. He knew she had tea with Professor Black quite a bit, and had learned a lot, but after last night he was determined to ask her if he could borrow the books he'd seen her reading. Everyone was saying she defeated a troll, but he knew that wasn't what happened at all. She had known that trolls weren't as vicious as popular understanding had it. Instead, once it had realised she was a child and just as scared as he was, the troll had completely changed his mind and picked her up. Harry wanted that kind of knowledge. He'd learned that fighting didn't get you anywhere sometimes; if an enemy was bigger than you, or stronger than you, then you had to be smart and quick to avoid the beatings.

Harry had worked out a lot of tricks to avoid beatings from Uncle Vernon and Dudley over the years, and he wanted to know the codes for this new world they lived in. Even if he'd grown a bunch thanks to all the food he was eating here; he wanted to know stuff like Hermione knew.

It would be hard to fit in the extra reading around classes and homework; he'd probably have to give up playing exploding snap as much, but it was like Hermione said; they were basically eleven years behind in their knowledge of magic. It was a lot to catch up on.

And Harry had already been behind. He'd had to, or he'd be punished every time he did better than Dudley. He knew it was mean to call him a-no, he wouldn't say it, even if Dudley said it all the time-but Harry genuinely thought there might be something wrong with Dudley's brain, because he didn't ever read the books he'd been bought as gifts, and he often demanded Harry tell him what things said instead of reading them himself. If he hadn't threatened to beat him up every time, Harry might have even helped him out a little, but with uncle Vernon as a role model he was on his own. Harry was too busy trying to keep up with his chores so that he could eat.

Or at least he had days he only had to do schoolwork and homework and remember to take his potion before meals-but Percy even helped him with that last task, so it wasn't really hard was it?

It had taken a while to warm up to Percy, but he'd learned that the older boy simply wanted to respect where his family came from, which he supposed was alright. Percy had stayed with his grandmother a few times over the years because Fred and George had been right nightmares for his mum to handle growing up, and Bill and Charlie had been busy with their own things; so the quiet Percy who was always well behaved had been sent to his grandmother's manor house and he'd been taught how to be a gentleman.

Once he knew that, Percy made complete sense. Harry couldn't see Fred and George wanting all of that, but Harry wished he could know absolutely everything about his family -so he could understand Percy wanting that too.

Percy had been kind to Harry; all the Weasleys had of course. It was obvious they had been taught kindness, even if they hadn't been taught table manners. But Percy gave him what precious few people had in this world: information.

He had told him about the 'sacred twenty-eight', of which the Blacks, the Weasleys, Longbottoms, Malfoys, Macmillans, Parkinsons, Notts, Greengrasses, and Potters were all a part of: which explained the trust fund Harry had discovered he had when he'd gone to Gringotts with Hagrid that day. He had also told him as much as he knew about his family, which was a little like Chinese whispers, as the information was from his mother who had two brothers who had been on the same quidditch team as his father -and the uncles were as dead as James Potter was, so who knew how good the information was; but still, it was really nice of Percy to write to his mum and ask her for everything she knew. He'd even let him keep the page of the letter she'd written everything down in. She'd also said that she'd keep trying to remember, and that she'd write to him personally if she recalled anything else.

Percy had shown him a book which he'd had to borrow from a Slytherin (which had meant it had probably cost him something to get); it had all of the family trees like the genealogies in the Bible Aunt Petunia had made him read (even though he was going to hell, where he came from apparently). So apparently he was distantly related to Draco Malfoy and also Professor Black through his grandmother, who had been a Black before she married his grandad; and even more distantly he was related to Neville as well as Percy and the Weasleys!

Ron and the twins called him 'cousin' now (well the twins called him 'ickle cousin'), and Harry didn't know how to tell them that that term didn't make him feel good because of Dudley. Hermione had noticed though, and she told him that perhaps he could 'replace the bad association with a good one'. Harry wasn't sure that would work, but he told her he'd try it out. It was nice to think he might have family who didn't hate him, and especially ones who didn't think magic was freakish.

Speaking of his friend, Hermione appeared in the common room with a tiny big-eyed little creature with bat-like ears, who was carrying a pile of books behind her. She looked tired, but gave him a smile when she spotted him by the fire, "Good evening Harry!" She said with some feeling, and Harry's heart warmed a little in his chest.

"I just wanted to see if you were alright; you weren't at dinner," He said quietly, and Hermione came over and sat across from him.

"Yes, well, I had dinner in Professor Black's quarters with my parents," She said, looking serious, "He is now officially my 'Magical Guardian', which is a relief, because I don't think I like the idea of Professor Dumbledore being my magical guardian; which he was before, because I'm a muggleborn. You should probably check; he's probably yours too," She whispered.

Harry was shocked, "Why don't you want him to be?" Harry thought of caring blue eyes and Fawkes the Phoenix, who was so cool.

"Harry you should have seen him…" she said softly, her face paling considerably, and Harry knew she was shaken up, "The troll was so nice! I know it sounds ridiculous, but once he knew I was just a kid he picked me up so gently and gave me to Professor Black-" she gave a small smile, "I think the troll was a little perturbed that I was by myself. It was almost like he thought Professor Black had been irresponsible and lost me!" But she frowned again, "-and then the headmaster came, and didn't even check what was going on. He just cast a spell that was so strong that massive troll was thrown backwards! It hadn't done anything wrong! Well it broke one sink but still...you should have seen the headmaster's face..."

Harry saw that Hermione was shaking, and he didn't know what to do. He moved forward to pat her hand but she drew him into a hug, burying her face into his shoulder and started crying.

Not knowing what to do, Harry just held her and patted her back like he'd seen other people do. He hadn't really had many hugs before coming to Hogwarts, but it seemed Hermione was a hugger. It did seem to help her, through her crying seemed to upset the elf next to her.

"Oh Kreature you're still here!" She said, "Thank you, I think I can carry them up to my dorm myself," She said politely but the elf shook his head.

"Kreature will put Young Miss' books away." He said, and when Hermione relented he disappeared with a popping sound. When the elf came back she introduced the creature to Harry.

"Harry this is Kreature. Kreature is a house elf. He works for Professor Black, and through our bond he now also works for me. If you need anything that is a little tricky, you can ask and I'll ask Kreature to do it for us," She said, and Harry frowned in confusion.

"What do you mean tricky?" He asked and Hermione shrugged.

"Elf magic means he can go places where we can't, and can help with things like if you skip a meal; or if you don't know where I am or something, he can find me though our bond. I've told him you're my friend, and now he knows you," Kreature nodded.

Harry reached out a hand, which the elf took and they shook, "It's good to meet you Kreature." Harry said with a smile, and Hermione beamed.

end chapter /

Trigger Warning notes:

In a split second decision to take the safest path to getting a kid away from a troll the character stumbles into a situation through ancient magical laws that makes people draw different erroneous conclusions about his intentions, including the suggestion of the character taking a child bride. the situation is resolved in a far better situation for all involved.

because of this, Regulus spends a moment thinking on the subject as he was once a pretty little boy whose gentleness was often seen as submissiveness or weakness by certain predators, and his parents were in circles that included several high-level pedoophiles. While in the context of this story nothing actually happened to him directly; it was enough for him to go on to actively ruin anyone he knew was involved in such violence once he had the power to do so. Lord Black can be an unforgiving bastard when given the motivation. anyway that's all off screen and that's as far as the story will go in discussing such matters, as the situation has nothing to do with it in truth.

..I'll let the reader decided for themselves if Regulus has gone so far as to take some of those fuckers out in a more permanent fashion. My headcannon of his character says that he's definitely capable of it, but if those skeletons are buried I'm sure as hell not about to dig them up.