Hermione's night-time adventure
Disclaimer: see previous chapters.
Probably until her dying day, Hermione Granger would remember how innocently she reached out and stuck her foot into the entire wizard-Fae mess: it all had started with her wanting to pee. Normally, this sort of action does not result in any great excitement (at least not since her mother went to do that in their own bathroom and encountered a cockroach. Then there was a lot of excitement and fumigation and etc), but since Hermione was ‘camping’ with her friends in the Creevys’ back yard, the execution of this action was somewhat tricky.
On one hand, the Creevys’ backyard was somewhat overgrown with shrubs and had a tall sturdy fence on one end. Considering that the moon was apparently hiding behind a convenient cloud as well, and Hermione’s business was on the small side of thing, the localized and abrupt approach was very tempting.
On the other hand, Hermione’s parents were trying to raise her into being polite and that included going to the bathroom whenever it was possible. Plus the Creevys’ backyard had insects in it. Hermione hated insects like many girls of her age, and so the Creevys’ indoor bathroom was it.
After all, it was the less likely location to have insects in it, right?
Trying to reassure herself thusly, miss Hermione Granger ventured forth from the tent to the house. It was not such a great distance – less than 20 ft., in fact, but the darkness and the quiet made Hermione feel very tempted to just relive herself in some bushes, instead of taking a risk.
And then it began.
* * *
‘It’ was a figure clad in a robe that approached Hermione having seemingly materialized out of the nocturnal air.
“Where is Harry Potter?” the figure hissed suddenly, just as that no-good moon chose to appear from behind a cloud at that particular moment...
...and to illuminate the newcomer’s legs – hairy donkey legs that ended in copper hooves.
“Gah?” Hermione said with all the eloquence she could master: she knew about magic, of course, but bogeymen (well, -women) with monstrous donkey legs? That was something new!
“Where is Harry Potter?” the newcomer repeated her question, moving ever closer to the girl, seemingly without actually moving her legs. She was, however, quite mobile, and the clawed fingers, which were reaching towards Hermione, were something else.
“None of your business!” Hermione managed to squeak out. It was not a very impressive squeak, but still... “Go away, or I’ll call for help?”
“No one will come,” her interlocutrix smiled in a non-friendly way. “When I come to town, people tend to dream dreams as sticky as webbing... and Aoife’s out of town, as I have heard.”
“True,” and Hermione’s retreat was stopped by another pair of legs – fortunately, these ones felt more or less human. “My mother’s out of town. I’m here to pick up her slack.”
“You?” there was nothing human in the creature’s laughter: a jackal would probably laugh like that – if it had rabies. “What can you do to me, you half-Fae half-human whelp?”
“You won’t leave, then?”
“No! The Dark Lord sent me to do his bidding – I will not fail him!”
“Jessamyn Soleil Parker,” the half-Fae (?) woman said calmly, “we’ve talked about this – and about your debt, have we not?”
“Don’t remind me,” a second half-woman half-monster hybrid jumped down a tree. This one was a woman from the waist up, but with the equally pronounced incisors as her hoofed cousin had. Below the waist, however, ‘Jessamyn Soleil’ had a pair of scaled legs and a matching serpentine tail. Large, dragon-like wings sprouted from her back as well.
However, to Hermione’s surprise, the newcomer, instead of attacking them, attacked the first arrival, grabbing her firmly by the shoulders.
“What are you doing, cousin?” the newcomer hissed, apparently as surprised as Hermione.
“Settling a debt,” the flyer replied sadly. “Lorraine, where’s lady Kuro?”
“We’re here,” and now the quartet was joined by... the nice Ms. Wickers, who was actually one of Dr. and Mrs. Granger’s patients, and by a veritable tower of mist, from which two eagle-like eyes glowed.
“Kuro,” the woman behind Hermione said calmly. “Glad to see you. Now, Ms. Parker here is offering a cousin of hers as payment for the insult she gave to you in the past. Is it acceptable?”
“Hmm,” Kuro dropped down to her knees, bringing the rest of herself down to a more acceptable level. “One mormolycia is as good as another, so I suppose this is a satisfactory arrangement.”
“Please don’t kill me.” The whisper came not from Hermione, but from the original mormolycia now held in Kuro’s grasp the same way that Hermione might grab a rag doll (her parents had one to help Hermione learn politeness, good manners, etc. – but that is another story altogether).
“Too bad,” – though Hermione could not really see Kuro’s grin, the girl felt confident enough to be sure that it was not particularly friendly. “Any last requests?”
“Can you not kill her?” Hermione squeaked, not sure that she was going to be heard – but she was.
“Oh, really? You speak?” Ms. Wickers turned to face her, and Hermione’s sense of confidence took another hit seeing how the nice lady’s eyes shone in a way that had nothing to do with the now-bright moonlight. Probably. “What do you have to say?”
“Can you not kill her?” Hermione repeated louder, though not too loudly.
“Why?” Ms. Wickers insisted.
“Because?” Hermione did not back down. “Just because.”
“Helen, you sure that you haven’t
bred?” the voice of gigantic Kuro was bemused rather than angry, though – probably a good sign. Probably.
“I haven’t,” the now named Helen spoke from behind Hermione in an oddly reassuring way, “not yet, and probably not ever. My mother
, however, has. More times than all of you combined, I bet.”
There was a pause, and Hermione began to suspect that someone will die, presumably her, when Kuro chuckled, in a much more friendly way than before:
“Walked right into this one, I believe,” before she turned her attention to Hermione: “So what do you suggest that we do to this empusa?”
“Anything else?” Hermione said weakly.
“Anything else? A bit of a generic statement, but fair enough...” with these words Kuro shifted her grip and flung the hoofed empusa into the sky, rather similar to how Harry, the Creevy brothers, and their new friend Dean Thomas had thrown baseballs earlier in that day. Only, unlike the baseballs, the empusa emitted a long, thin cry that vanished alongside her into the nocturnal sky.
“Nuts, and I really wanted to hit one of the stars, or even the moon,” Kuro chuckled. “Ah well, Helen, it was fun. Call me next time you have something like this in mind. Incisors, Ears – you’re off the hook... for now.”
“You’re too kind, lady Kuro, and you, Ms. Ambroise,” Ms. Wickers only said before vanishing into the darkness alongside her winged companion.
“Will I ever see any of you again?” Hermione asked meekly, not sure if she wanted to hear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (somehow this gave her a greater sense of ‘girl power’ than any of her mother’s pep talks).
“Not for a while – you have first to come to Hogwarts,” Ms. Ambroise – Helen – said, smiling slyly. “Until then – good-bye!” And she vanished in a flash of white.
Hermione turned around, but Kuro the giant was gone as well.
“...” For the first time in her admittedly still short life Hermione Granger had had nothing to say, so she did something else instead: went to an out of the way corner and relived herself at long last.TBC