Hermione and a Resignee
A/N: This is a sequel to “The League of Extraordinary Women”. It will make a lot more sense if you read that first.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. If you want details on ownership and all that jazz, you’ll want to read the appropriate intros in “The League of Extraordinary Women”.
Hermione winced as she looked over the parchment that had arrived from the American Department of Magic.
This was a tragedy.
This was a nightmare.
This could have been her
She knew full well that plenty of British Muggleborns had been treated quite badly before the Battle of Hogwarts, and that there were still plenty of Muggleborns who left the magical world for better prospects in the non-magical world.
She knew full well that if she had needed to get a job in the middle of the Voldemort Wars, she would have been looking at paltry clerical jobs or jobs on the fringes of the magical world. Jobs that would have depended on her connections and her ability to sell her products. She had to admit that she wasn’t good at building a social web, and she wasn’t good at marketing. She would never have been able to land the important job in the Department of Mysteries that she now held.
No, a great deal of her success since the Battle of Hogwarts was because she was one third of The Golden Trio. Because she was best friends with The Boy Who Lived, The Man Who Defeated Lord Voldemort. Because she was married to a pureblood whose last name wasn’t tainted by Death Eater rumors.
She read through Willow’s file and felt sick to her stomach.
Willow Rosenberg had attended the Salem Academy and had been the star student of her year, earning the highest grades in the school and outstanding scores on her wizarding tests. Willow had won the Filbert Quintain Award for Scholastic Average, the Alferd Morphwell Award for Transfiguration, and four other school awards. And she had only been able to get a lowly clerical job in the American Department of Magic upon graduation. It was a tragedy. After two years without even a hint of a promotion, she had gone back home to California, spent time with her non-magical friends, and decided to abandon the wizarding world forever.
There was an entire series of paragraphs on that part. She had refused to come back to the Department. She had refused to meet with Aurors when or where they wanted. She had finally met with two Aurors at her apartment, where she had turned over the pieces of her already-destroyed wand, ordered the Aurors to never come near her again, burst into tears, and slammed the door in their faces. One of the Aurors even added a footnote that he thought she was drunk at the time.
Aurors had immediately put spells on her apartment and office, and had detected no hint of magic use since then. It appeared that in the three years since the incident, Willow had abandoned magic so completely that she might as well have been born a squib.
Even worse, Willow had taken a job as the night IT person for a local hospital. Hermione winced at the job description. This was a woman who was programming computers at age ten, and had the potential to be a world-class software designer making millions of dollars a year in a Muggle computing job. Only now she was working as some sort of lowly technician and helpdesk operator at a place that didn’t even have a decent computer network. It was as if everything amazing about the Willow Rosenberg that Hermione knew had simply been crushed out of this Willow. Hermione wondered if her world would ever realize what a tragedy this was.
* * * * *
Hermione took the transatlantic floo to Washington, D.C. Then she took the cross-country floo to Los Angeles, and apparated from there to Willow’s hometown. It was simple enough to take a Muggle taxi cab to Willow’s apartment building. Plenty of wizards couldn’t keep track of Muggle money, but Hermione found it trivial. After she paid the cab driver and left him a fifteen percent tip, she walked into the building.
It was in decent repair for an old set of apartments, but it was hardly plush. She could hear some minimally-dressed young men and women cavorting around a pool in the back, and there appeared to be a great deal of alcohol involved. Hermione took a quick peek at the wild partying around the sunlit pool, and Willow didn’t appear to be with that crowd.
Hermione walked up to the third floor, to Willow’s little apartment. She sniffed… and sniffed again. She wasn’t as worldly as a lot of women her age, but she was pretty sure she recognized that smell. This wasn’t promising.
She knocked on the door, and in about twenty seconds, she heard footsteps staggering toward the door. A tanned redhead with sun-streaked hair and dilated pupils opened the door and stared at her in confusion. The redhead was unquestionably Willow Rosenberg, in a shockingly tiny bikini, still sopping wet from being in the pool out back, and carrying a fifth of cheap vodka by the neck. The distinct smell of marijuana rolled out of the door and over Hermione.
“Do I know you?” the redhead slurred.
Hermione swallowed hard and said, “My name is Hermione Granger, and-”
“Oh come on!” the redhead managed. “This is bullshit. Even I know about Hermione Granger. Miss Perfect Brit. The Golden Trio and all that crap. Ooh, look, if you were any good you could be like Hermione Granger and have an important job!”
Hermione insisted, “Correct. I am that Hermione Granger.” She looked at the drunken disbelief on Willow’s face and insisted, “Really. I am.”
“Look, I tol’ you guys to shove it up your asses, an’ I meant it! I’m outta the magic game. All that time. All that work. For what? So I could get fucked by my bosses and treated like a bimbo an’… an’ turned into a nothing! So fuck you and the broomstick you rode in on! Bitch!”
Willow drunkenly staggered back from the door and slammed it hard in Hermione’s face.
Hermione wanted to cry. This was so much worse than the files indicated. This Willow had been degraded and humiliated and crushed until there might be no way to regain her trust.
This Willow had resorted to drugs and alcohol to deal with her life, and needed help. It was just that there was no one to help this Willow.
No one… except Hermione.
There had to be something she could do. Maybe if she came back with Harry. Or some of the other Muggleborns in the Ministry. Maybe if she got Willow’s bosses in the American Department of Magic investigated for sexual harassment and sexual abuse and probably rape too, along with some bureaucratic charges that might do a lot more damage to their careers than abusing some Muggleborn witch. But she was not going to let this Willow Rosenberg down after everything the other Willow had done to save this dimension.
* * * * *
Willow grinned ruthlessly. Then she used the portkey in her hand to travel back to her real apartment, before she undid the Disguising Charms on herself. That Hermione Granger was a silly little witch who had no idea how much better life was now. Willow had been a miserable, repressed witch with few friends and no peers. Those smart enough for her to associate with all treated her as a second-class citizen because she was Muggleborn and female. Those willing to accept her as a witch were nothing but morons.
Getting drunk in a Muggle club with some old friends and then getting turned was the best thing that had ever happened to her.
Even better, Kevin – the vampire who bit her – had enough sense to hide her body in his basement, rather than leave her for the police to find. A body that had been through a thorough autopsy was never going to rise, especially after the heart and brain and other organs were removed for analysis. Also, that way, no one knew Willow wasn’t the same harmless little bloodbag that she used to be. Kevin even gave her a couple pints of A Positive to hold her over until she was ready to go outside and not savage the first person who walked past. And Kevin was really good in bed.
It was really a shame she had needed to kill Kevin, once she got him to show her around town and tell her everything he knew about the local vampire power structure. Kevin was still quite good-looking, and vampires had great stamina. But Kevin was loyal to his Sire, this bitch named Darla who was three or four hundred years old and still stuck in the 1600’s. Darla didn’t control her childer, and didn’t keep the bodycount and the missing persons count low enough to fool the local cops. And she dressed like she was working in the porn industry. Really, a Catholic schoolgirl outfit with a plaid micro-miniskirt? Ugh. Willow found the whole thing distasteful. And poorly managed.
Then Willow had to deal with the stupid Department of Magic. She turned in her resignation and made some Aurors come out to see her face to face. That made it shockingly easy to Obliviate them without their realizing it. She gave them a secondary wand – which she had acquired back in school and not told anyone about, because of the draconian rules on the issue, which were really only enforced if you weren’t a Pureblood – that she had already broken into half a dozen pieces. She told them it was ‘her wand’ and simply made them believe it was her one and only wand. Eight inches, holly, core of vampire hair. Interestingly enough, her wand performed even better now that she was undead. She sometimes wondered if her wand had somehow ‘known’ that she would eventually get turned, because anyone who had studied wandcraft even a little bit knew that it was the wand that chose the wizard, not the other way around.
She still had to deal with the Aurors doing their petty jobs and placing tracing and detection spells on her apartment and office. Too bad for them that this apartment was for show, and she didn’t do magic in her office. Kevin’s uncle Tom owned the whole building. It was a simple matter to put Tom in thrall to her without using any wizard-based magic, just fundamental vampiric power, so the whole building was essentially hers. She kept the ‘pathetic stoner Willow’ apartment just for problems like Hermione Granger’s surprise visit, and she actually lived in a lovely basement suite that the tracing spells didn’t know about. It had a huge master bedroom and bath, a lavish kitchen for when she was in the mood for something to go with her blood, a great library, a potions workroom and a science lab, her own private audiovisual room with a real movie projector, and a little soundproofed dungeon for those special
occasions. She could perform all the spellwork and research she wanted down there, with no one the wiser. And it was far more secure against potential trouble. There was only one tiny four-foot-by-four-foot square in the entire suite that anyone could apparate or portkey into or out of, and she wasn’t ever going to tell where that was.
But it was a great apartment building. She had needed a month of research – and seventeen unlucky vampires who were her test cases – to come up with a spell that let her turn windowpanes into ‘necro-glass’ that was only lightly tinted, but cut out the portions of the sun’s rays that would turn a vamp into dust. Now the entire building was suitable for vampire living, if that ever became convenient for her. Or necessary. And it had taken her a couple weeks to figure out how to do an undetectable modification on the Auror spells so they didn’t detect portkey movements anymore. That let her portkey in and out of the ‘stoner Willow’ apartment at a moment’s notice. It took almost that long to figure out how to modify the Auror spells so they didn’t detect the effects of spells performed outside the apartment.
For the moment, having ordinary humans of about her age living in the apartment building was better, since it established her cover as a harmless human girl who was nothing more than a drug-abusing loser, like half the residents around her. And it was so easy to maintain an illusion spell so she appeared to have a lovely tan, and a pulse, and a body above room temperature. Hermione hadn’t noticed a thing.
She didn’t even bother to drink from any of the other people in the apartment building, except the occasional hottie she bedded. As far as they knew, she was a normal girl, with normal needs – normal in terms of oversexed bisexual needs, like about a quarter of the young women in the building – and a normal body temperature. Illusions and Disguising Charms were so simple. And she was extremely careful about drinking their blood. Not too much to incapacitate them the next morning, and a simple Obliviate so they had no memory of it, and finally a couple healing charms so there wasn’t even a bitemark afterward. If she got carried away, she just poured a Blood Replenishing Potion down their throat so they didn’t die and inconvenience her. It was really incredibly exciting to vamp out into her ‘game face’ and scare the piss out of the pathetic little bloodsacks before sinking her fangs into their helpless throats. It was even more exciting to know that they would have no memory of it afterward, and not even a wound to mark the event. She must have bitten Helena half a dozen different times, and Mark almost that many. And every single time, she got the raw excitement of their naked terror as she drank from their bodies for what they thought of as the very first time.
She had had no trouble finding a job along the lines she wanted. And working the night shift at a hospital gave her access to the best blood anywhere, with no one the wiser that several pints went missing every night, because she ran the software for the blood tracking system. She had to do a few charms when she went through the mandatory physical and the blood tests, but it wasn’t that hard to Obliviate the nurse, or switch the blood from her veins for something that would look right when the blood was tested. It would definitely be a problem if they tested what was really in her veins, given she probably had three or four different blood types in her system on any given day.
Once she had created a safety net for herself, she dealt with Darla. And Darla’s musclebound minions. Without magic. There was no need for her to call attention to herself. She simply apparated to San Francisco, disguised herself, went to one of the heavy-magic areas in the town, and sent an anonymous owl to the Department of Magic. Aurors took care of Darla and her thugs within a week. Willow stepped into Darla’s shoes the very next night.
Still, Willow had to kill over a dozen other vamps to assert her claim to the local throne. But that was trivial when she had magic and they were nothing but muscle. Very dumb muscle with nothing but some fighting skills. Then she had to wipe out four attempts to dethrone her from nearby vampire clans. After all, she was supposedly a helpless fledgling. She giggled at how naïve and stupid most vampires were. It was so sad. Not. She simply hired a good P.I. firm to keep an eye on the twenty closest vampire groups, so she knew when anyone was going to mount an attack on her little fiefdom. Granted, the P.I.s were smart enough to figure out eventually that she had them tracking vampires. Oh, had it been hilarious to see their faces when they found out that the warm, tanned, flirty redhead who had hired them was really a far more dangerous vampire than what they were following.
Once she turned the entire private investigation agency, it got a lot easier to track nearby vamp colonies. Her P.I.s could infiltrate the clans without trouble. And once they were her childer, they didn’t mind that she wasn’t really tanned and 98.6 degrees.
The vampire she had eventually put in place as the night administrator at the local Red Cross blood bank was careful to round up for her all the ‘suspect’ donor contributions that normally had to be disposed of, and she fed her minions well off that. Naturally, she had to control the vampire population in the area. Every vampire for over a hundred miles knew that if they crossed her, even by chowing down on some useless human without doing a proper job of covering their tracks, she would punish them in ways that made other vampires piss themselves. Too bad for them that the Cruciatus Curse worked on vampires too. But she was ruthless about keeping the death tolls and missing persons numbers low. She didn’t want to draw any untoward attention from the Care of Magical Creatures Department or the Aurors. Those wizards were a pain in the neck. So to speak. She giggled to herself.
The vampires she had met were so fundamentally moronic it was a wonder they could drink blood and stand at the same time. She took over three whorehouses in the area and turned them into suckhouses. Why hadn’t anyone considered this before? For Christ’s sake, Darla was a former prostitute who should have known all about this kind of stuff! Profits actually increased at all three houses, and lots of attractive vampires looked forward to pleasing her enough that they were allowed to work there. It was an incredibly cushy, pleasurable job. All the blood you could drink, all the sex you could ask for, and repeat customers on top of that. It was just that you couldn’t take more than a pint from each ‘customer’ at a time. And it was surprising how many of the human girls working in those whorehouses would do virtually anything to get her to turn them as well. Eternal youth and beauty, protection from venereal diseases, never again needing to worry about a john getting rough, never again having to worry about getting attacked by an angry pimp, never again having to worry about getting arrested by the cops… If you wanted to be a hooker, being a vampire hooker was a great life. Well, un-life.
She was smart enough to keep her minion forces to a size she could micro-manage, and she was ruthless enough to kill any master vampires who decided to poach on her territory. Any other
master vampires. Just because she had only been a vamp for a year or two, and hadn’t become as physically strong as the oldest of vampires, didn’t mean she wasn’t a master in her own right. She just used a pseudonym. A nom-de-fang. She used the name Nostradama, which made other vamps in other territories think she had to be centuries old and psychic too. Morons. All right, she was effectively possessed of psychic powers, since she could use Obliviate and Legilimens on other vampires, and she didn’t suck too badly at divination. She had magical powers that regular vampires were utterly clueless on, especially when she didn’t let them see she used a wand. People were so stupid, and they didn’t get any smarter after they got turned. Her ‘master vampire’ character wore a bustier – because even vamps couldn’t keep their eyes out of a nice cleavage – and a long-sleeved open bolero jacket with frilly cuffs that extended half a foot past her fingertips. That made it so simple to wield a wand without showing it to anyone.
And speaking of master vampires, she figured it was time to expand once again. She strolled into her ‘office’ in her basement suite and read over the latest reports from her vampire private detectives. ‘Nostradama’ already owned all of middle and northern California, and now she knew the vampires in Las Vegas were easy pickings for someone of her intellect. She would have the hospital computer issue her another two weeks of vacation, and she would have two of her best enforcers drive her to Vegas. Her Rolls – the Rolls that Nostradama owned – had necro-tinted glass, so she could drive there during the day and be ready come nightfall.
She now knew who ran things in Vegas, and who was good minion material there, so it shouldn’t take that long to make a few ‘surgical’ strikes. She would get a couple cushy suites from one of the best hotels, and use her necro-tinting spell to make the windows safe for her and her staff. With Stasis Charms, it was simple to bring a hundred pounds of blood along in suitcases to keep her people happy. Then she would lounge about during the day, and work at night. She might even go for some ‘room service’ if the hotel staffers looked especially tasty. If the hotel had an indoor pool, she might even necro-tint all the pool windows when no one was looking, and enjoy herself poolside.
It was all so easy. No one except her inner circle realized that she was already a master vampire in her own right. Mainly because she killed everyone else who might figure it out. Few vamps outside her people even knew she was of the undead, and no humans had a clue. Not even the witches and wizards, who thought they knew everything. With a simple illusion or Disguising Charm, it was easy to fake a sexy tan. And a pulse. And a 98.6 body temperature. And booze on her breath, instead of blood. She had even fooled plenty of demons and vampires, who really should have known better. Losers.
But she had plans. Big plans. After Nevada, Southern California was next. Los Angeles was going to be tricky, but San Diego had several fairly weak master vampires arguing over turf, and she didn’t expect to have a problem there. Oregon and Washington would be after that. Then New Mexico and Arizona. Dallas, Texas and Mexico City were going to be real headaches to take over, and – oddly enough – Omaha, Nebraska. But other than them and Juneau and Edmonton, she wasn’t going to have any other major problems until she got past the Mississippi River. She was going to be cautious. It was like playing Risk. You consolidated your forces across your domain and shored up your defensive barriers before risking your next offensive moves. She was planning on owning the entire undead portion of the United States in thirty years, and all of Europe too in another quarter century after that. Asia was going to be a problem, as was Central and South America, but she figured she could take Australia and Africa both in ten or fifteen years. But she was a vampire. She had centuries to make everything work, and she was a smart woman who was in it for the long term. She had the time.
And there was no way she would start her plan to wipe out the entire Wizarding world until she was in a position to have her minions kill off every single one of the little wand-waving pests in one night. She was planning on a minimum of ten years of planning and surveillance, once she controlled every vampire on earth.
But this Hermione seemed too smart to risk for a minion. Smart minions started thinking about taking over, and that was a nuisance. A smart minion who could do magic, like Granger? Probably a real headache. Maybe she could invite Hermione back, along with Harry Potter. Potter sounded like a hero with a lot less going on between his ears. That was perfect. Heroes were always so easy to manipulate. She would drain Hermione, turn Harry or just put him under her thrall, and have her own little pawn exerting himself for her in magical Britain while she slowly worked her way across America. The thought of the buzz she would get from watching the terror on that pretty face, and drinking that magical blood, and feeling that smug body go limp in death… All that was making her really hot. Hungry and also horny.
She decided to take a break, round up a willing human or two from the pool party, and thoroughly satisfy The Two H’s, as she liked to call them. She re-did the Disguising Charms on herself, grabbed that bottle of vodka, and walked up to the sunroom that faced the pool. The necro-glass worked perfectly, as always. She used a little Imperius Curse on Helena and Brittany, so they wanted to seek her out. Then she just stood there with a big smile, holding up the vodka. They grabbed their drinks and rushed over to her. She let them ‘drag’ her up to Brittany’s apartment for some fun. They just had no idea how much fun she was going to have with them. Silencing Charms were one of a vampire’s best friends.
After all, she had all the time in the world. When she was ready, the entire wizarding world wouldn’t know what hit it. They would never realize what a tragedy it was for them that they hadn’t treated Willow Rosenberg better.