Fandom: Harry Potter
Challenge/Prompt: A to Z Challenge: N
Word Count: 1,123
Summary: AU (Hermione was born in Alphard's time). This is another reason Alphard might have gotten blasted off of the family tapestry.
"You're so pretty," Alphard breathed when they met for the first time in Diagon Alley.
Hermione blinked, unused to such forwardness, especially from a man from the notorious Black family. When they literally bumped into each other, she expected prejudiced comments about her blood status, not compliments on her looks. "Thank you. I'm Hermione."
"A beautiful name for a beautiful witch."
This time, Hermione didn't let the compliment faze her. "You sure are a charmer."
Alphard shrugged, still managing to look dignified. "I'm Alphard."
Hermione nodded. "So, what brings you to the alley?"
"Sirius, my oldest nephew, is turning five. I need to find the perfect present for him."
"I'm sure all children would love to get a starter broom on their birthday," she offered helpfully.
"Is that what you wanted?"
She raised her eyebrows in disbelief. He didn't seem to be a stupid man, and she knew he must have figured out she was a Muggle-born by her clothes.
Obviously realizing his blunder, he tried to backtrack as he scratched the back of his neck. "I mean...Uhh..."
Hermione rolled her eyes, deciding to go easy on him. "It's okay. Even if I had been born with the knowledge that I was a witch, I wouldn't have wanted a broom. I'm terrified of heights; I couldn't wait to be done with flying lessons at Hogwarts."
"Thankfully, Sirius doesn't have that fear, so I think you might be right about what he will enjoy. Thanks."
Hermione shyly ducked her head. "No problem. I hope your nephew has a good birthday." She waved and quickly blended into the crowd, ignoring Alphard's call for her to wait.
Their second meeting was on purpose. Alphard used his resources to find out where she lived.
When she opened to the door, her face displayed her shock.
Alphard held out a small gift box. "It's a thank you gift. Sirius loved his broom."
Hermione took it and carefully opened it, gasping at the sight of the beautiful necklace: a heart decorated with tiny rubies. "I can't take this; it's much too extravagant.
She tried to give it back, but Alphard wouldn't let her. "A beautiful witch deserves a beautiful necklace."
She stared at him, her breathing becoming a bit erratic as her heart rate increased. "I have a feeling this won't be our last meeting."
Alphard brushed a stray brown curl out of her eyes, his fingers lingering slightly against her skin. "No, I don't think so. I think I'm going to find it hard to stay away from you."
She swallowed. She knew she was falling in love with a man that came from a family that hated people like her. What was she getting herself into?
Despite her not wanting to, Hermione's prediction did come true. She fell in love with Alphard, and with the way his lips devoured hers, she knew he returned her feelings.
She had a mental list, and she ticked off the reasons she should say no to him, but when he touched her, she only found herself saying yes.
Their relationship wasn't idyllic; their fights were loud, but the good times outnumbered the bad. Their biggest obstacle didn't come until nearly six months into their relationship.
Hermione and Alphard were cuddling underneath a blanket. Alphard's fingers ran through Hermione's hair, lulling her nearly to sleep.
Their peaceful togetherness was interrupted when Walburga Black stormed into Alphard's home uninvited.
Alphard didn't get up; he simply gave his sister an even stare. "What can I do for you, Walburga?" he asked as if he didn't know.
"I knew it!" she snarled. "A mudblood bitch! How dare you sully the name Black by lowering yourself to that filth!"
Alphard angrily stood up; he moved in front of Hermione as if to protect her. "Don't talk about her that way!"
Walburga turned her angry gaze onto Hermione. "There's no way Alphard would choose a mudblood over a respectable Pure-blood witch. What did you do? Douse him with Amortentia, or maybe a more obscure love potion?!"
"I did no such thing," Hermione retorted. "I would never do such a heinous thing as take away anyone's free will."
"I'll accuse you of attempted line theft. You'll go to Azkaban for sure," Walburga announced, smirking gleefully.
Alphard took Hermione's hand. "All I will have to do is go to St. Mungo's and get examined. They'll see there's no potion in my system, and Hermione will be safe."
"Alphard, let go of that bitch. Get her out of your house and out of your bed."
"No, I love her," Alphard stated simply.
Hermione's eyes widened. While she might be aware of his feelings, it was the first time he ever verbalized them.
Walburga took a menacing step forward, and Alphard took out his wand. "I dare you to come closer, my dear sister."
"I'm warning you. If you don't discard the mudblood bitch, you will be blasted off of the family tapestry and disowned. It's us or her. Choose wisely." She turned away and stormed out.
Alphard sat back down; he pulled Hermione into his arms as her body shook. "It's okay," Alphard whispered against her forehead. "It will be okay."
Hermione pulled away. "Alphard, I do love you, but I'm not sure I'm worthy enough for you to give up your family. We're so different, and we might not even last. Do you really want to lose them just because of me?" she asked, insecurity creeping into her voice.
"Listen to me." Alphard gripped Hermione's chin, so she couldn't break their eye contact. "I love you, and I'm not giving you up. Walburga and Cygnus won't be that great of a loss."
"I know you aren't particularly close to your nieces, but what about Sirius and Regulus?"
"I've watched Sirius; I can already tell what kind of man he will be, and I think he will understand my choice once he's older. Hermione, I choose you. I choose us. I choose love."
Hermione leaned against him. She closed her eyes as his arms seemed to almost swallow her. She repeated his words. "Alphard, I choose you. I choose us. I choose love,"
"I think we found our marriage vows," Alphard joked.
Hermione looked up at him. "Can we please date for at least a year before we begin speaking about marriage?"
"If we must," Alphard concurred.
Hermione sighed. She knew as of right now, he was happy with his decision, but she hoped he wouldn't regret it in the future.
All she knew for sure was they were in love, and Alphard was ready to fight for them to succeed, no matter what.