Verto Vitae

BY : RynStar15
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Draco/Hermione
Dragon prints: 28257
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Harry Potter nor do I make any money or intend any copyright infringement by using the characters therein.

Hey all! Welcome to my latest re-write, formerly under the title "Oh, How the Tables Hath Turned." A smutty, danger-filled fic with all the cliffies and action and orgasms you can expect from a Ryn story! This story does contain events some readers may find offensive, so read with caution (and read the tags!)

 

Enjoy!

 

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Hermione's hands trembled as she reached for the empty vial sitting on the scarred wooden table next to the frothing concoction. She wished she could fault the heat emanating from the flames below the pewter cauldron for the perspiration collecting at her hairline, but that was a futile allegation. Just as the one blaming her trembling hands on skipping dinner.

No, she could only blame the overwhelming fear, doubt, and anxiety she felt staring at the mercurial potion swirling before her, oddly similar to the color of the eyes of the man standing just over her shoulder, his body thrumming with energy.

"Are you sure it's right?" he asked nervously behind her. Under normal circumstances, she would have come up with some witty quip about the fear in his voice, but these were anything but normal circumstances, and she knew hers would hold the same- if she could work past the ball in her throat, that was. As an answer, she only managed a jerky nod.

"It's the correct shade?" he questioned, flipping through the tattered book they'd been following for the past month. Hermione nodded again, eyeing their work. Deepest silver, the color of connection, of bridging, of journey. Swirls of black, the continuum of time and space to lead their way. An undercurrent of the darkest emerald signifying their ancestral bond. It was perfect.

"You're absolutely certain?"

This last affront at her potion-making abilities finally manifested her voice.

"Of course. I brewed a Polyjuice Potion in my second year. This is hardly different."

"It's different in every way, Granger! As in my life is on the line here!"

"And mine isn't?" She knew she sounded shrill. For what felt like the thousandth time in the last twenty-four hours, Hermione asked herself why she had agreed to this. Why?

Her hands clenched into fists and she closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath through her nose, holding it, and letting it out through her mouth. He snorted behind her, but she ignored him, as she was well inclined to do. She repeated this process until she felt sturdy enough to not upset the potion when she ladled it into the vials awaiting her.

Steadier, she transferred the potion quickly from cauldron to vial before she could think on it more and handed the first to the boy behind her who took it, his cold, clammy hands brushing hers in the transition. Hermione groped for the second vial and filled it as well, watched as a tiny drop slithered down the side to the ground where it hissed and bubbled.

She turned to him then, his dark grey eyes wide, his normally pristine hair disheveled and his pallor expression one of hidden desperation.

"This will work?" Draco Malfoy asked, but she knew he wasn't talking about the potion. They both knew they had brewed it right, had fretted over it anxiously for the past thirty days. Their resolution didn't waver because they thought they might be poisoned or turned into pigs or other such nonsense, they worried over the fear of what ifs. What if they forgot? What if they were swayed? What if they were found out? What if the plan didn't pan out? What if they changed the present so irrevocably there was no going back?

What if they failed?

"It has to," was her answer. Because there was no other option. It had to work because she couldn't let her best friend down, not when he needed her most. Not when she could finally make a significant contribution to this damnable war. They would figure out the mess they were throwing themselves into when the time came. For now, she had to soothe the blonde before her, the one who was risking just as much as, if not more than, her.

"We brewed everything right. We've been rehearsing for months. We know what's going to happen. We went over everything a thousand times. You remember your role?"

"Of course I bloody well do!" he snapped, sounding a little more like himself. It was good, the anger was good. Better than the fear. "You've drilled it into me enough times!"

"And I know mine," she said slowly, calmly. "It's going to work. We're going to do our part, we're going to come back, and we're going to end this whole business once and for all. It's going to work because they're counting on us to make it work. They're not going to remember, they won't know the plan, they won't know us. It's down to you and me now. There's no turning back and we wouldn't if we could. Right, Malfoy?"

His lips pursed, but she could see it in his face, that determination, that drive which had connected them in this completely mental assignment from the beginning. "Right."

Hermione took a deep breath. "Then give me your hand."

Malfoy did as bid and Hermione pulled out a needle from a pouch in her satchel. She pricked his finger and he dribbled a drop into his vial and waited as she did the same. Swapping the potions, they gripped the vials in their left hands, clasping their right hands, the potions pressed against their union. Malfoy was so near she could feel his magic crackling through him as he readied for their last step. Their eyes met, mahogany and pewter, and chanted the words:

"Mea est enim vita tua. Est vita tua."

Hermione could feel the warm glow of their magic and shuddered in the wake. She could feel Malfoy's tremor and when he made to drop her hand she clasped tighter, needing that connection, that support. His eyebrows raised but he said nothing for once and squeezed her hand. She clung to him tightly and held out her vial as if in a toast.

"Bottoms up."

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When she came-to, Malfoy was holding her upper arms. His face was fuzzy at first but she blinked a few times and her vision cleared.

"You alright?"

She blinked a few more times, trying to figure out why she was on her knees. She looked down and saw the vial clenched in her fist, realization dawning on her. They'd taken the potion. They'd actually done it.

"Yeah, yeah just a little dizzy."

"Same. You went down, thought something had happened. You sure you're alright?"

"Yes, I'm fine. Moody said this might be a side-effect. Remember?"

"I remember. Can you stand?"

She nodded and he helped her up. The vertigo waned and she swallowed and looked around. The dungeon classroom was the same; the walls gloomy, the chairs and tables the same old battered ones they'd left. The desk was where it had been and when she studied Malfoy, he looked the exact same.

"Mirror," she ordered breathlessly. "Get the mirror."

He jerked into motion, grabbing the satchel on his hip and ripping it open, yanking out the silver hand-held mirror. He held it up to his face and simply stared.

"Well?" Hermione asked anxiously, wringing her hands over the empty vial.

"Look for yourself."

She took the proffered mirror and gazed into her reflection. Except that it wasn't hers at all. She looked taller, a little gaunter, and a lot more beautiful. She was blonde, her face had a slightly pinched look that did nothing to detract from the prominent cheekbones, the arched brows, the flawless skin.

The vial fell from her limp hand and shattered on the stone floor.

She was a Malfoy.

"Want to see what a sister of yours would look like?" she offered breathlessly. He shrugged and leaned over her shoulder to gaze at the mirror. She giggled a bit when she saw his reflection. Mousy brown hair that was a little too long, a round face with deep brown eyes and sharp jaw line, just like her father. He was most certainly a Granger.

"I think we know who has the better bloodlines," Malfoy quipped. Hermione smacked his chest with the back of her hand and he chortled, taking the mirror, turning it this way and that, his vanity ostensible.

"Which reminds me." She dug in the bag for the soft leather case. Malfoy dropped the mirror in obvious disgust at his new features and watched as she set up the next step.

"Finger," she bade and took his hand which still looked very Malfoy to her own vision. She pricked it once more and dripped the bubble of blood into a vial, dropping his hand so she could put the stopper on it. She shook the liquid and watched as it turned brown. Her breath hitched. One more test and they would know for sure. She took a second needle from the pack and pricked her own hand, the quick burning pain enough to keep her on task. She squeezed out a drop of deep red into the next vial and closed it up, shook it, and watched as the potion turned a bright, milky white.

"It worked," she breathed. It had actually, truly worked.

Hermione Granger was a Malfoy. Draco Malfoy was a Granger.

"How does it feel to be a Mudblood?" she asked sardonically, gazing at the vial which had given her kind their unfavorable name. The mixture of magical and Muggle blood led to the muddied color, whereas Malfoy's purely magical line shone as an "untainted" white.

"Dirty," he sneered. But it worked. The corner of her mouth quirked.

"Wonder what my parents named their only son?" she pondered.

"If they named me Bob Jr. so help me-"

Hermione laughed. She was glad he could make this into a joke. It would make this this entire situation a mite easier to swallow. The two of them were now utterly alone in a universe where Hermione was the Malfoy heir and Draco was a Muggle-born.

"Oh, how the tables have turned," she sighed. Malfoy quirked his brow and Hermione shook her head.

"Muggle saying."

Suddenly nervous, she drew up her now creamy-soft white shirt and stared at her blessedly bare left forearm. She looked up at Malfoy who swallowed.

"You're not eighteen yet," he said bracingly. "It won't happen until you're eighteen."

"I know," she murmured, pulling the shirt back down, buttoning it. "I just…"

"Had to check?"

"Yeah."

It was the whole reason they'd come, the whole reason they'd been thrown into this ridiculous scheme. She knew better but still…it calmed her slightly to know they had not missed their chance, to know that their plan could still come to fruition. Clearing her throat, Hermione looked around.

"What's the time?"

Draco lifted his wrist and read the watch there. "After eleven. We should get to bed."

She nodded. For some reason, she didn't want to leave Malfoy's side. He was the only person now that she could rely on and though they were far from friends, they were all each other had for the next month.

She shook herself mentally. Though she may be a Slytherin in this world, she'd been sorted into Gryffindor for a reason. Straightening her shoulders, she gave him a small smile. "Meet you here tomorrow at nine?"

"That's the plan."

She nodded again and cleaned up the mess she had made with the blood test and broken vial, throwing it all into her own satchel. Her hands were quaking again. He must have noticed.

"You going to be alright?"

She smirked, mirroring his signature. "Feel like I'm going into the snake pit."

"You are. And I'm headed for the lion's den."

She let out a small laugh and noticed, for the first time, that his green and silver tie had switched out for red and gold, the crest on his robes one of Gryffindor. She herself sported the colors of Slytherin. This was undeniably the strangest thing that had ever happened in her bizarre life.

"I guess this is it."

"I guess so."

Hermione took a deep breath and led the way out the door, pulling out her wand and plunging the room behind them into darkness. Malfoy nodded at her, still, in her eyes, blonde, tall and strikingly handsome. Then he turned and headed back up towards the Gryffindor tower while she, in her eyes, still mousy brown hair and short stature, headed deeper into the dungeons for the Slytherin common room. Her domain now. Her new life, such as it was, for the next month.

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A/N: "Verto Vitae" means to exchange lives, which Hermione and Draco have done to fulfill a mission for the Order.  "Mea est enim vita tua. Est vita tua." translates to "Your life is mine, my life is yours." These words will have much more meaning than either of them have ever anticipated. Hope you liked this first chapter, the other will be getting longer and answered will be revealed!

 

XOXO

RynStar15



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