Her Pain and the Stranger
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Angel. Those rights belong to JW and JK
Hermione Granger was getting tired…tired of being asked the same damn question.
"Are you okay?"
No, I'm not okay, she thought, as she was asked that very question by her best friend, Harry Potter.
He came by to see her after hearing that she failed her Auror entrance exam. She had frozen up with horror when a bogart turned to everyone she loved and died different deaths in front of her. Her friend, Neville, who was also an Auror, escorted her home to make sure that she wouldn't do anything reckless.
"Harry, I'm okay. Stop worrying about me. You have your own family to worry about," she answered, giving him a small smile.
"You're my best friend, Hermione. I have every right to worry about you. You haven't been the same since Ron died," Harry argued, with concern in his eyes.
She knew that he was right. Though it had been three years since Ron's death, Hermione still remembers it like it was yesterday. During the Battle of Hogwarts Ron and Hermione had been fighting off the Death Eaters side by side, protecting each other as they kept the attacks at bay. While their backs were turned, Bellatrix Lestrange hit Hermione with the Cruciatus Curse. She had fallen to the ground, pain taking over her body. Ron immediately rushed to her side and threw a defense spell at Bellatrix to stop the attack. But in that moment of weakness, another Death Eater took advantage of it. Before Hermione could react, the words 'Avada Kedavra' escaped their lips and Ron fell, the life in his eyes gone.
She blamed herself everyday for his death. She was grateful to her friends and family for their concern for her. She tried her best to move on and not dwell on the past. It had proven to be difficult because the memories of Ron's death plagued her mind everyday. However, she refused to let anyone else see her pain.
"We've been over this, Harry. I'm fine. Ron's death was tragic, but I moved on. I'm okay," Hermione tried to reassure him.
Liar, she thought as she fought the tears threatening to fall.
"Okay, okay. I'll stop asking. By the way, Ginny wanted me to invite you to dinner. She hasn't seen you in awhile and she was hoping that you might join us," he asked, hoping she would.
"No, I was planning to go to Flourish & Blotts to buy some books. Maybe I'll go visit her tomorrow. Tell her I'm sorry that I'm not able to go," Hermione answered.
"Are you sure there isn't anything that could change your mind?" Harry asked, hopefully.
She shook her head.
"Very well then. I'll see you later," he said, getting up from his chair. He went over to where Hermione sat and gave her a hug.
"Bye, Harry," she whispered, as he left with a pop.
As soon as he was gone, she burst into tears. She cried until she felt like she couldn't cry anymore before she wiped her tears away and headed to her bedroom. She didn't want her friends to worry about her any longer. They had moved on with their lives and she felt like she was holding them back. She knew that they would have argued with her to tell her she was wrong. So she wasn't going to give them that chance. Unknown to her friends, Hermione wasn't planning to stay in England much longer. She had been making plans to leave to escape the memories that plagued her for weeks. She was leaving for Los Angeles tonight. With that thought in mind, Hermione started to pack her things.
She had already found herself an apartment. Now all she needed was to find a job when she got there. As she finished gathering her clothes, she started to gather the rest of her personal belongings. She placed everything in her small, old, enchanted purse. The last thing she had to pack was a picture of her with Ron and Harry. All three of them smiled at her as they laughed at an invisible joke.
She gave the picture a sad smile as she placed it in her purse.
She took one last look around before leaving with a—POP!
Months had gone by since Hermione left England. Her neighbors were surprised to find someone new living in their building when they woke up. She decorated her apartment to look exactly like the one in England with the exception of her magical pictures. She placed those in her bedroom where guests couldn't see them. She had managed to find a job at a local bar as a cocktail waitress. Though she wanted a job at a bookstore, she had decided to work at a place that the others wouldn't think to look. She decided to use a different name, one that was close to her original one. The name she chose was 'Mia'. Her coworkers and most of the customers loved her while some of the customers feared her. She was known at the bar for not only her temper but for her knack to kick out anyone who was causing trouble. Everyday of her new life seemed normal and she was grateful for that. But what she didn't know was that her life was about to change yet again.
One night a handsome man Hermione had never seen before came into the bar. He was a tall dark haired man with a look of sorrow etched in his face. Though he looked young, his eyes showed that he suffered a lot. He continued to look around the room until his gaze landed in her direction. She quickly looked away and went back to work. When she looked back up to see where he was, she was surprised to find him sitting at one of her tables.
She let out a sigh as she went to grab a menu and then walked to his table.
"Hello, welcome to Wolf Creek Bar. What can I get for you to drink?" she asked, with a smile.
"I'm okay. I'm not thirsty. I'll just sit here and listen to the music if you don't mind,…Mia," he answered, looking at her nametag and then looking at her.
"Sure, no problem, sir," she replied before walking away with the menu.
She went on with her work and tried her best to ignore the man's stare. But every time she looked up at him, he would be staring directly at her. It made her nervous, seeing him stare, but she didn't want to show it. So she kept a brave face and continued with her work. It almost seemed to her that he was studying her every movement. She took advantage of the moments that he wasn't staring to study him. Sometimes he would stop looking at her to answer his cellphone. Everytime he answered the call, he would always look annoyed as if the caller said something that angered him. He then would hang up the phone and shake his head, which made her wonder why he did.
When the bar closed, Hermione noticed that the man took his time walking out the door. He left something on the table and watched her yet again, before leaving the bar. She went straight to his table the moment he was gone. He left her a five dollar tip and a business card that read 'Angel Investigations'. She wondered why he left this behind. But in her moment of thinking, her boss reminded her to finish cleaning. So she put the money and card in her pocket to further investigate it later.
After thirty minutes of cleaning, Hermione headed home. She couldn't help but wonder what the man wanted. The whole night that he was there, he didn't speak to anyone. All he did was watch her. She had asked her co-workers if they had ever seen him before, but all of them gave her the same answer 'No'. They offered to help kick the man out if he was bothering her. She always declined their offer, telling them she would be fine by herself. She pulled the business card out of her pocket. Not only did it provide an address; it also gave a phone number. She couldn't help but smirk at the motto that was at the bottom of the 'Angel Investigations' logo.
'We help the helpless'
Do I look helpless? I wonder how people react when they get this card, she thought, as she placed the card back in her pocket. As she walked, she thought about the night's events. When she stopped in front of her usual shortcut which was a dark alley, Hermione took her wand out of her purse and placed it in her front pocket. She was amazed to find how many deaths occurred in L.A. It was such a regular occurrence that she wasn't surprised to hear when someone died due to something mysterious. Due to this, Hermione carried her wand everywhere she went. She always made sure that it was somewhere she could get to it fast. Making sure that her wand wasn't visible, she started to walk. She was a few feet in when she heard footsteps behind her. She reached into her pocket and grabbed hold of her wand. She sped up her pace as she heard the footsteps behind her speed up too. Out of nowhere, someone landed right in front of her.
"Well, well, well. What is a nice girl like you doing walking down a dark alley this late at night?" said the stranger, grinning at Hermione.
"Leave me alone," Hermione replied, anger in her voice.
"We can't leave you alone, girl. You see, my friends and I were sort of hungry."
Hermione then noticed that the footsteps that she had heard stop. She began to hear laughter behind her.
Bloody Hell, they got me surrounded, she thought, angry. Wait, did he say hungry?
Hermione looked at the stranger's eyes and realized that they weren't of normal color. With the little light the alley had to offer, she noticed his mouth.
Vampires, thought Hermione, gripping her wand even harder.
"I'm warning you. Leave me alone," she said with a strong voice.
"No, like I said, we are hungry and you smell so good," he replied, as he crept closer to her.
Hermione pulled out her wand and pointed it at the vampire in front of her.
"Incendio!" she cried, as fire burst from her wand.
Surprised by the flames, the vampire didn't have time to react. He was quickly engulfed with the flames and screamed in agony. Hermione quickly turned around, hoping the others would flee in fear. But she was wrong. They continued to creep towards her when she cried 'Incendio' again and set another vampire on fire.
Two down, Four more to go, she thought as she ran.
They weren't that far behind her as she tried her best to out run them. She then cast an Expulso spell on two metal trash cans. The explosion sent one of the vampires flying, making him hit the wall. She cast another 'Incendio' spell and sent fire to yet another vampire.
Just two more, Hermione, she thought, looking behind her. It appeared the last two vampires had gone. Not letting her guard down, she continued to run and held out her wand. She cast the 'Lumos' spell to give herself better light. It was then that she noticed that the two vampires were still following her. They decided to use their speed to their advantage by using the roofs of the building to run on. They then jumped down, one behind her and one in front. Before Hermione could cast another spell, the one in front grabbed her hand and threw her against the wall. The force caused her to let go of her wand. She cried out in pain, feeling something wet creeping down her neck.
Blood, she thought, as she tried to find her wand with her hands. But before she had the chance to grab it, one of the vampires grabbed her by her hair and threw her to his friend. He grabbed Hermione's hair to see the cut she had on her head.
He then breathed in the scent of her blood and said, "Our friend was right when he said that you smell so good. We never had witch's blood before so this will be a first for both of us." He smiled, darkly as he licked her neck.
She struggled to break free, but he gripped even harder to stop her from moving. He then threw her to the other vampire.
"You stopped her from using that magic. You get the first drink," he said, giving his friend a smile.
"Thank you," his friend replied, as he held Hermione down. He grabbed her bushy honey brown hair and moved it from her neck. She felt helpless as she heard him smack his lips before he began to lean forward. She began to regret ever leaving England and hoped that her friends would be able to forgive her for leaving them.
Hermione closed her eyes, hoping for someone to come to her rescue. Her hopes were soon answered as she felt the vampire let go of her. She fell to the ground and realized that the vampire was tackled from the side. She saw him struggle with the person who came to her aid. She couldn't see who it was, but she quickly found a place to hide from the other vampire. She hid behind a trash dumpster, continuing to watch the fight. The other vampire joined the struggle to help his friend. The moment he did, however, the stranger pulled a wooden stake out of nowhere and shoved it in where the vampire's heart should be. He was then gone in a cloud of dust. While her savior had his head turned, the remaining vampire pushed him, throwing the man against the dumpster that Hermione was hiding behind. Hermione went to help him get up, but the man yelled, "Stay there!"
That voice, she thought, as the man from the bar came to her mind. It's him. How did he know I was in trouble?
Her thoughts were interrupted by the struggle between the two males. She was curious as to how the man was able to match the vampire's speed. They threw punches at each other until the vampire punched the man to the ground. When the vampire was about to attack him again, he pulled a stake out of his jacket sleeve and staked him.
The stranger didn't look at her but instead focused on the battle area. He then turned his back towards her and looked around the area where she had been thrown. It appeared that he was looking for something. Hermione came out her hiding place and walked up to him
"Why did you save me? You could've been killed," she said, looking at his back.
"I'm okay. It takes a lot to kill me so you don't need to worry," he replied, still not looking at her.
"But I don't understand. Why did you save me? You don't know me. How did you even know I was in trouble?" she questioned, wanting answers..
"I was passing by the alley and noticed that you were in trouble so I came to help you." he replied, seeming reluctant to give them to her.
"It still doesn't answer my question as to why you saved me. You showed up at my work and watched me like I was something put on display. So I'll ask again. Why did you save me?" she demanded.
This time the stranger sighed as he turned around to face her. It was then that Hermione saw his face. She gasped, in horror, covering her mouth with her hand.
"The reason why I saved you was because you are the only person who can save me," he answered sorrow filling his voice.
Hermione couldn't believe her eyes. The man that just saved her life from two vampires was also a vampire.