Chapter 3: Wild Child
Look upon my Work
Many thanks to Idrisien, my Beta, for this wouldn’t be nearly as good without him.
AN: Sorry for taking so long for this update, but it was harder for me to write this chapter than I thought. This chapter saw the introduction of a new supporting character which I hope would be relevant to the story. Oh, and you get a cookie if anyone can guess the reference in this chapter. ========================== Cargo freighter M/V Poncho…
Marcus Arnold, marine oiler for the freighter M/V Poncho, was on the midnight watch when he received an urgent call from the captain. The ship had sprung a leak and now precious fuel rained down in certain compartments below decks. Marcus only received his commission two months ago and frankly, this was a job for the main engineer. Jacob, the man in question, had a nasty habit of taking his cigarette breaks in the meat locker.
“Jacob, you in there?” Marcus pounded on the heavy steel door of the walk-in refrigerator. He banged again when no response came. “I know you’re in there. Jacob, open up. There’s work to do.” Marcus thought he heard something inside. Curious, he planted his ear on the thick stainless steel door. Someone was definitely inside. “I’m coming in. Better not be doing something nasty.”
He opened the locker by just a crack when he heard the low predatory growl of an animal. The door slammed open suddenly and tossed Marcus back with force. Marcus hit the bulkhead and looked up just in time to see the biggest and meanest looking dog this side of… anywhere.
“Oh, shit… ” Marcus muttered and instinctively rolled to the left just as the creature rushed him. He narrowly got out of the creature’s way and heard it howl with anger. Marcus didn’t care. He just turned around and ran, as fast as he could. The marine oiler felt the hound’s hot breath on his sweaty charcoal skin and he thought that the dog would get him for sure. Marine Oiler Marcus rounded a corner then felt and heard the creature crash into the wall.
“Holy… ” The animal had left a dent in the wall, but the impact only dazed it. The animal got back on its feet, shaking droplets of blood from its black leathery hide. Marcus run through a hatch and quickly sealed the hatch behind him. He sank to the floor. “What the fuck was that!” He panted, wiping the sweat from his brow.
*BANG* The hatch quivered and groaned behind him.
“Fuck… that… ” Marcus ran from the sealed hatch in a panic.
Crewman Flint up ahead in the narrow corridor saw Marcus bearing down on him.
Marcus shoved Flint aside, and moments later he heard the crewman’s scream followed by a bone-crushing crunch.
“Sorry, man…” But Flint’s distraction bought Marcus enough time to run above decks.
Marcus backed away slowly. He desperately looked for a way to escape, to get off this boat. “Lifeboats!
“You there, get away from the lifeboats,” the captain of the Poncho
called out over the mic.
Marcus looked up just in time to see the spotlight directed at him.
“Eh… Captain… ” Someone said nervously over the shoulder of the Poncho’s
“What is it, Sampson? Can’t you see I’m--” the captain barked back at the speaker irritably. “Holy shit, what the fuck is that thing?”
The bridge of the Poncho
reverberated with the screams of frightened men. A sight too gory for their minds, turning seasoned sailors into screaming children. Some of these men lost control and panicked, soiling themselves, their urine mixing with the splattered blood of their comrade.
The captain, the calmest of the bunch on the bridge, managed to utter what he saw. “Oh my God… You killed Sampson! You bastard!” But the captain couldn’t escape the fate which befell his men. A moment later the dog-thing tore him limb from limb, his jugular cut open and ripped out by a powerful jaw. The captain’s blood sprayed and covered the windows on the bridge.
Marcus froze when he saw the carnage and slaughter on the bridge. He thought about helping these men, at sea they were like family.
“No way, the black man always gets killed.”
The pilot, a man Marcus spoke with often, pressed against the windowpane while the dog-like thing devoured him from behind. Blood was everywhere, flowing together and mixing. Marcos saw the pilot’s eyes, filled with pain and begging Marcus for help - for some small mercy.
Marcus looked away.
M/V Poncho, Cargo hold Three hours later . . .
The last of the Poncho crew barricaded themselves in the dark cargo hold of the freighter. An eerie silence infected all the men, each knowing and fearing the dog-like thing could and would find them. Each slumped hopelessly on a wooden crate.
They could no longer hear the turn of the engines - the Poncho
was dead in the water.
“Don’t give up, guys. Help is coming. I’m sure of it.” One sailor whispered.
“No one is coming. They don’t even know there’s anything wrong. In a few hours we’ll drift off the established route and then no one can find us.”
“We can call for help. If we can just get to the radio--” the sailor suggested optimistically.
“Yeah, and risk getting killed by that thing? But hey, if you’re volunteering…”
“Well, it’s better than hiding. Besides, if it doesn’t get us then starvation will.”
“Be quiet, all of you. It’s coming.”
The growl of the creature echoed in the steel hull of the Poncho
“You guys are such wussies.” The sharp voice in the shadows was one that none of the remaining sailors recognized.
“Who said that?” whispered the sailors, too scared to call out any louder.
A shadow descended on them, a shadow which landed on the steel deck plate with a bang.
This new man grunted with disdain. He kept his back to the sailors and all they saw was the back of the man’s leather jacket and the hood over his head.
“What are you doing?” cried a sailor when he saw the man unlocking the hatch.
The man, a boy really, turned to them for the first time, allowing them to see what he had in his hand. The dim light of the cargo hold reflected off polished steel - a battle-axe. The few that saw his face thought the boy was odd - with a teaspoon indentation fixed on his forehead.
“Goin’ to bag myself a hellhound. Since you pussies are scared shitless and can’t get the job done.” He left the hatch open.
The crew of the Poncho knew the stowaway wouldn’t be coming back. They heard the sounds of battle, of cries of pain and howls indiscernible. Then it was over abruptly. The sailors knew the dog-thing would come through those doors any moment now. A brave man among them stood up to close the hatch before it could get to them. A hand on the hatch prevented it.
The boy stood on the threshold, the severed head of the hellhound in his hand. He tossed the head into the hold for all the sailors to see, and for them to see him.
“Get this boat moving.” He told them coldly. “I have a date with an Old One.” The boy’s angry red eyes stared at the sailors, a hint of violence still lingering from the recent kill.
Granger Household …
Hermione was alone now. Illyria had taken the Death Eater in the attic when she left.
For the first time after her parents' murder, Hermione was truly alone. No one to hug her and assure her that everything was going to be all right. “Hush now honey, everything’s all right. You did the right thing and that’s all you need to know.
” When Jack cradled her, she honestly believed that everything was going to be all right, just like her daddy said.
Hermione desperately missed Crookshanks too. Poor Crookshanks, still somewhere in Paris and probably caged.
It was the middle of July and the summer was just underway. Hermione curled up on her parents’ bed, for this bed was the closest she could be with them now. She heard tapping of the window and Hermione knew it for what it was. With effort, the Gryffindor managed to pull herself together. A look of determination hardened on Hermione’s face, the look when she had chosen a path and mustered the will to follow through. It was the same way she felt on that night when she knowingly broke school rules and went with her friends into the forbidden third floor.
She had to go back to Hogwarts. Knowledge is power and Hermione desperately needed power right now. Power to make this pain stop. Hogwarts was the only source of both knowledge and power.
“I’m just the most ridiculous witch, aren’t I? Here I was, content to just be Harry’s sidekick. Well, no more of that. I’m coming, you hear me! I’m coming.” Hermione vowed to Draco and his lord, although the two were not present.
The dirty and worn creature at the window rapped the glass again when no response came forth from Hermione.
“All right! I’m coming,” the Gryffindor called out to the creature.
Hermione allowed the owl inside. The animal looked worn and its feathers were dirty from the smog that stuck. Still, it was a pleasant creature and it hooted once while standing on one talon to present the letter attached to the other. To Mrs. and Mr. Granger: Greetings to you, parents of Hermione Granger. I trust that this letter finds you well and happily enjoying the summer, I hope. As you may or may not know of the Dark Lord’s return, I feel it is my duty to inform all parents of Harry Potter’s associates of the dangers. The Dark Lord is the most terrible wizard to come around in the last century and he will stop at nothing to get at our Mr. Potter. He or his associates might even use your daughter to carry out their goals, though I know not what they might be. Nevertheless, we are sure, whatever their purposes, ending contact with the Wizarding World or Mr. Potter is not the solution. The Dark Lord knows of the connection between your daughter, Hermione, and Mr. Potter. He will come for her. That is why, for your protection, we suggest your entire immediate family move to a safe house where our own wizards can afford you the protection that you would not have outside the Wizard World. This is only a temporary measure, of course, once Hermione returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry I expect you would be free to return to your old lives. For now, the safest course of action is to be among your friends in the Wizarding World. Sincerely, Albus Dumbledore Headmaster P.S. We will escort you and your family to our safe house within two days. Please be ready.
Hermione read the letter and almost lost the resolve and determination she had just a moment ago. “You’re too late, Professor… Much too late.”
Hermione Granger knew the plan now. She would return to Hogwarts, study hard and grow strong. She would become an Auror. One day, when she was ready, she would come face-to-face with the man who took her family. Then she would make him pay.
“I will become an Auror. I will. But first… I need a new wand.”
It was a good plan. It really was, but countless Aurors had faced Voldemort before, and none had lived to tell the tale.
Hermione wasted no time and set out to buy a new wand from Diagon Alley.
“Ah, Ms. Granger. I did not expect to see you back so soon.” Mr. Ollivander wore a fine layer of dust on his iron gray hair - the dust particles dulled his regal white hair in the dim light of the cramped shop. The dust was on his face and musty old suit as well. Hermione remembered that he wore the same suit on her first visit.
Ollivander dusted himself off, or at least he tried. Finally, he gave up and with a wave of his wand he became as any other stuffy merchant minding a dusty old shop. “Much better. A little cleaning before the first years come for their first wands, you know.” He stood regally behind the counter and examined Hermione.
“I don’t suppose you get too many people in here during the year.” Hermione remarked.
“Right you are Ms. Granger.” Ollivander beamed cheerfully. “However, a very special order occupied most of my time for the past month. Why just yesterday, I was in New Zealand hunting down an extremely rare tree. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. What happened to the last wand I sold you Ms. Granger?”
Hermione did not want to trouble Mr. Ollivander with the truth. It didn’t matter anyway, he could do nothing about Hermione’s parents.
“It’s those stupid muggles’ fault. They were muggers, you see. Those animals! Honestly - a witch can’t even get out of the house anymore. I gave them my money but they broke my wand. I just had it polished too. What is the world coming to?!” It was a good lie, and Hermione told it well with all the necessary emotions and emphasis. She thought up this story on the way over.
“Most unfortunate,” Ollivander sympathized. “It’s not easy losing something as precious as one’s own wand. Now, let’s see if we can find you something more suitable to your current situation.” Ollivander smiled and for a moment Hermione wondered if he knew something.
The Gryffindor dismissed the idea. No way could Ollivander know. Not about what happened, not about the horrific murders of Jack and Liz Granger.
“Do you have the pieces of your old wand with you?” Ollivander asked, all traces that suggested he knew more than he had originally let on was now gone from his face.
She expected this. Hermione remained in character - an irate customer.
“Those muggles again. They thought it was so funny that a witch would be carrying a wand around - they didn’t know what it was of course - but honestly, they were insufferable little brats. They not only played around with it, broke it into many pieces, and finally set it on fire. There’s a word for people like them. Pyromaniacs!” Hermione huffed angrily, she appeared every bit as a crossed witch should be.
“No matter, no matter. I have just the thing.” Ollivander disappeared into he stacks behind the counter, only to return a moment later with a large box. It was too large for a wand. “Usually, Ministry law requires written permission before you get a new wand. You can, however, get a replacement for a broken wand if you bring in the pieces of the old one. Since you don’t have that, this here -” the shopkeeper pointed to the box. “This will determine the condition of your previous wand.”
Ollivander rotated the box around so the end that faced him now faced Hermione. A cut-out hole was on this side which Ollivander showed by tapping his index finger above the hole. “Well, go ahead. Stick your wand hand in.”
Hermione cautiously peered at the box, trying to see what was inside the hole. When she saw the impatience on Ollivander’s face, Hermione decided to go ahead and do as the wand maker said. “It couldn’t be really dangerous if he had it in his shop.
“Good, now just hold it there.” Ollivander examined the box as if he was looking for something. “There we go.” He smiled triumphantly. “Now, if I’m reading this right. A broken wand will turn the strip purple. Green if you lost it. Or gold, if nothing is wrong with your old wand.”
A light flashed within the box and it spilled out from the hole which Hermione had her hand in. The light was not painful and Hermione didn’t feel anything although she had to turn away almost instantly to avoid the blinding flash.
“That’s enough,” Ollivander told Hermione after the light inside the box died.
Hermione pulled away. Ollivander looked contemplative, but quickly replaced this thoughtful expression with his usual enthusiasm for the wand business.
“Well, Ms. Granger. Let’s start, shall we?” The wand maker took the box away then came back with one of his wands. “Try this,” he held out the wand for Hermione to take the handle.
Hermione knew what to do this time around. Without prompting from Ollivander, the Gryffindor took hold of the wand. She waved it, expecting the same sense of euphoria she experienced the first time she was here. No wind and no feeling of belonging this time, only the sound of discord as something broke in the shop.
Ollivander ripped the wand from Hermione’s hand.
“Strange,” the old wand maker examined his work with curiosity. “This is almost a copy of your old wand. Same base, and the core came from the same creature as well.”
They tried another wand with the same result.
“Try this one. It’s slightly more powerful than the others, but not excessively so.” Again Hermione took hold of the new wand and waved. This one didn’t even deign to give a response.
“I don’t think you were so difficult with your first wand.” They went ahead and tried a few more wands in the next hour. In the end, none was suitable.
Ollivander looked back and forth between his shelves furiously. “This has never happened before.” He mumbled to no one. “Two cases in a month!”
“Is there something wrong, Mr. Ollivander?” Hermione asked curiously. What did he mean by two cases?
“Nothing, my dear. Nothing is wrong. It seems my little shop does not have a proper wand for you now. This is unusual, but not unheard-of. The wand does choose the wielder after all.”
“What usually happens in cases like mine?” Hermione asked.
Ollivander picked up a discarded wand. “Here,” he offered to Hermione. This was a wand that didn’t respond, Hermione remembered.
“I thought none of these worked for me?”
“True, but this one is safe for you to use. At least until I get one that’s more suitable. It’ll be a little hard to work with at first but it’s temporary.”
Hermione took the wand’s handle but Ollivander still had a tight grip on the shaft.
“It’s an expensive wand and I would rather not part with it until it finds a good home. I expect it to be in the same condition as it is now when you bring it back.” Ollivander stared the Gryffindor in the eye, finally, he allowed Hermione to take possession of the new wand.
Hermione however, remained composed when she finally had the wand.
“How long before one is ready for me?” She asked the shopkeeper, still in control and not intimidated by Ollivander’s glare.
“I should have it before the beginning of the term. If not, talk to your Headmaster to get permission to come down here during the term.”
“Thank you, Mr. Ollivander. I promise I’ll take good care of this wand.” Hermione pledged to the wand maker and Ollivander returned a smile.
“Oh, one last thing, Ms. Granger. Remind Mr. Potter to take good care of his wand as well, would you?”
“Of course Mr. Ollivander. I’ll tell him just in case, but I’m sure he knows how important that is already.” Hermione left the store, the doors closed behind her.
Leaving Ollivander’s behind her, Hermione Granger came face-to-face with her parents’ murderer.
“Well, well, well… If it isn’t the one that got away.” Draco Malfoy taunted Hermione from just beyond her arm’s reach. Had he been just a tad closer, the Gryffindor would have strangled him.
She had a wand and Draco was alone, here in the open and away from his fellow Death Eaters. Hermione saw the look of arrogance on Draco’s face, and she knew. “He isn’t expecting a fight. Not here, not now and not in public. Go, now is your chance. Take your revenge.”
The voice inside Hermione sounded suspiciously like a certain young woman she knew. The voice was right, though. “He’s just standing there. Do it!
Hermione gripped her wand tightly, about to move, but she froze. She trembled and fought against her own body which refused her. Soon enough, traitorous thoughts crept and insinuated themselves into the furious maelstrom of rage that was her mind. “I’m not fast enough. He’ll see it coming. What if I do kill him? They wouldn’t believe Draco Malfoy killed my parents. They don’t even believe Dumbledore about You-know-who’s return.”
These little voices of doubt soon became a roaring hurricane and drowned out the raging storm. “They’ll throw me into Azkaban for killing him in public - everyone will think I have gone mad - and give me the Dementor’s kiss!
“I-I can’t do it.” Hermione shook.
“What was that, mudblood? Did you say something?” Draco leaned in closer, daring and tempting the Gryffindor to strike him down.
Hermione kept silent, her trembling driven part by fear and another part by rage.
“That’s what I thought,” Draco’s smile was vicious, mocking and taunting. He knew the Gryffindor could do nothing while they were out in public. “You know what? I think the mudblood has finally learned her place in the world.” Draco leered at her. “If only you figured it out five years ago, you could have saved yourself.”
Hermione couldn’t take it anymore. She couldn’t stand the way Draco paraded himself around out in the open as if he owned the place. Not after what he had done. The Wizarding World should know better, they should hunt him down for the Death Eater and murderer that he is.
Instead, the people in Diagon Alley treated him like a prince out for inspection. Hermione couldn’t stand it. She saw the adults bow to Draco as they passed. “Good day, Mister Malfoy.
” The other wizards said briskly. “How do you do, Master Malfoy?
” A witch greeted him from outside a second-hand robe shop.
It was the last straw for Hermione. She broke, but instead of going after Malfoy, the Gryffindor ran. She turned and she ran while Draco laughed at her from behind her back.
Draco saw Hermione disappearing into the crowd at Diagon Alley. He hesitated but decided to follow her.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Draco came face-to-face with Lucius Malfoy.
“Father, I was just going to finish what I started.” The younger Malfoy told the older.
“Although I appreciate your zeal, you are to leave her alone. For now. Do you understand?” Lucius glared at the boy. The father’s eyes were usually cold and serious but at this moment, they were especially so.
“But why?” Draco wanted to ask. Instead, he simply accepted the older Malfoy’s request. “Very well, father. I will not touch her. For now.”
He had been tracking the one for some time now. He had followed it all around the lower states, always one step behind. Sometimes he would miss it by mere hours. About a month ago he had lost track of it, almost as if it had vanished into thin air. A lucky meeting in a bar had put him back on track. Over several drinks, an employee of Wolfram & Hart let slip that it was in London. He hopped on the first boat to London - the slaughter that was M/V Poncho
Now, a month and one somewhat entertaining boat ride later, he had picked up the scent again. It led here.
“Where is the Old One?” he bellowed. The human child trembled and her lips quivered. He terrified the human but she did not answer. He became impatient. “I can smell the scent of the Old One on you. Where is she?”
The demon stepped through the doorway of the Granger home while the human instinctively backed away. This place reeked of the Old One, his prey was here.
In a loud booming voice, he declared himself to whoever was in the house. “I am Mauser of the Vahrall Demon Clan. Come, Old One, I have found you at last, come and face your doom!”
No answer. Only the human girl tried to reach for a weapon while she thought Mauser wasn’t looking. However, he was, and he saw what Hermione was doing. Mauser moved faster than Hermione could react. A split second, it was enough for Mauser to swat the wand from the human’s hand. The wand fell to the floor and rolled behind the shadows under a couch.
Hermione swallowed nervously. The boy’s sudden movements had blown back his hood which previously concealed most of the boy's face. The Gryffindor thought the boy was just some crazy muggle street punk with a leather jacket, red contacts and a rather strange teaspoon dent on his forehead. The crazy boy looked human enough, although a bit touched in the head – like all Yanks. Instead, Hermione had just made a demon very angry.
“Ah… I-I don’t know whom you’re trying to find but I’m the only one that lives here.” Hermione told Mauser while cradling her wand hand. The hand still stung from when he had knocked her wand away.
Mauser, not so easily dissuaded, knew the Old One was here. He was certain of it. Her scent was distinctive. Maybe it was the lying, but something set him off. Mauser struck the girl with the back of his hand.
“Lying bitch… ”
Hermione’s head knocked against the wall after Mauser struck her. It was all too sudden, whiplash and pain across her jaw was the last sensation she knew before unconsciousness.
Hermione came around slowly. She felt her jaw sting with pain and instinctively tried to reach for it. Only she found her arms tied down, to her own chair in her own kitchen.
“Oh… It’s you…” The demon, Mauser, had her captive. He stood rigidly, waiting, and looking past Hermione toward the window.
“Shut up,” he growled with irritation.
Now that Mauser’s hood was down, he looked much less human. “Clearly a demon, he has green spikes for hair.
” Hermione berated herself for missing the obvious. They, the spikes, were slicked back to a single point at the back of his head. He had no ears that Hermione could see - only small narrow openings behind ridges on the side of his face that led to more spikes. Still, Mauser was more human looking than any demon that Hermione had seen so far.
The spikes looked good on him… “Oh my God…
.”Hermione stopped herself. “I did not just think that… it’s like… like finding Dobby attractive… That’s disgusting!
” On another note, the demon hadn’t killed her yet.
“What is it that you want?” Hermione asked bravely. “You want me for something, so I would think… Since I’m still alive.”
Mauser said nothing; instead he glared at the human child before him.
Hermione wouldn’t let the demon intimidate her. He had made Hermione mad, invaded her parents’ house – her house– and captured her. Besides, Mauser wasn’t that scary, Hermione had seen much more threatening faces in the Forbidden Forest… and in her fellow wizards.
Hermione glared back, right into Mauser’s angry red eyes. “Look, I know you want something. Just go ahead… just say it and save us time glaring at each other because you’re going to have to tell me eventually.”
“Figure yourself for one of the smart ones, don’t you. You know what? You don’t know Jack!” Mauser bellowed, clearly growing annoyed with the human.
Hermione suddenly felt a stinging in her heart. “That’s just the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.” Hermione shot back angrily. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. You don’t even know me.”
The demon dismissed Hermione’s words. “Ha, if you actually knew– the thing that you have been living with – what the Old One represents to you humans.”
Hermione stared at the demon. “I told you, I haven’t been living… ” Then she understood. “You’re talking about Illyria, aren’t you?”
“That’s the name. Bet you don’t know what she is, though,” he sneered.
“W-Why do you call Illyria an Old One? She isn’t that old.” It had never occurred to Hermione until now. It never occurred to Hermione to ask Illyria what she was. Following her parents' murder, Hermione never bothered - not actively - to figure out her rescuer.
She had taken Illyria for granted, had only tried to connect with the older girl once or twice, never seriously. Even on the day they parted ways, Hermione meant to ask the older girl about herself. However, the Gryffindor and the prideful Illyria had argued, and Hermione’s questions remained unasked.
“BAH!” Mauser’s answer was dismissive. “It’s Old One, fool. The original demons, and let me tell you something about your pal. She is more dangerous to you humans than you know.”
The revelation shocked Hermione speechless. This made so much sense -Illyria’s inhuman strength and her attitude toward everyone. It even explained Illyria’s knowledge of demons. She knows about them because she is one herself
. Then, of course, this would explain why Illyria went to Voldemort on that night.
Realization suddenly dawned on Hermione’s face. “You’re hunting her… hunting Illyria… aren’t you?”
Perhaps he could turn her, the thought crossed Mauser’s mind. A cooperative hostage is much easier to handle. Maybe, just maybe the human can be of some use when the time comes. “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll help me.” Mauser smirked with smug arrogance.
The same thought had occurred to Hermione as well. “Why should I help you
? You have me tied to a chair in my own home!”
“It’s simple. If you don’t help me, I’ll kill you.”
“I’m just saying… if you want my help then you should give me a reason… a better reason.”
“Fine, have it your way.” Mauser scowled at his captive, but just then, he hit on a brilliant idea. “You saw the news, right?” He asked grimly but did not wait for Hermione’s response. “So you know what’s going in the States. That riot in LA couple months ago, who do you think had a hand in that?”
Hermione snorted. “That’s a big fat lie, if I ever heard one. Honestly, you can’t expect me to believe that one girl… or demon…caused all that destruction and mayhem. Not even Illyria can do that! Besides… it’s a well-known fact the wizards, Wolfram and Hart, released their pet dragon for retaliation on the muggle terrorists that blew up their office. The Ministry of Magic
couldn’t do anything about it because the incident didn’t happen on British soil. It’s been very well reported on by the Daily Prophet
“Wolfram and Hart, wizards? I don’t know what you’re smoking but everyone in the demon world knows it’s Illyria and her pal, Angel, that brought down Wolfram and Hart’s building. They started the riots. They’re the ones responsible for what’s happened in LA. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask her when she gets here.”
“I will.” Hermione promised, eagerly.
“She is not your friend, human.” Mauser told Hermione with all the gravity he could muster. “Illyria is an Old One. Their kind is a race of ancient killers which committed unspeakable crimes since before the dawn of time. Against their own, the lesser demons--” Mauser said the last words grudgingly. He despised the mere thought that he was the ‘lesser’ of anything.
“And you, the humans. She will kill every last man, woman and child on Earth if given the chance. She tried to do that once already, in recent times. Just ask her, she will tell you that it’s true. All of it.”
“Let’s say I believe you. That every… everything you said about Illyria hasn’t been a lie,” doubt crept into Hermione’s voice. “How can I help you when you don’t even t-trust me?”
“This is too important. How do I know you’re not just lying to me like so many of your kind often do?”
“If we’re going to work together, then we’re going to have to start trusting each other. We can take this one small step at a time.”
“What do you suggest?” A curious Mauser asked his captive.
“It will go a long way,” Hermione said, looking genuinely sympathetic, “If you can show that you are willing to compromise, I would think. I’ll promise -- give you my… my word -- that I wouldn’t try to r-run away if you untie me.” Hermione asked with innocence dripping from every syllable.
The demon’s interest evaporated. “Ha, yeah right!”
Hermione’s face flashed with self-consternation. “No, I’m serious. Untie me, I-I really need to go.” It was the only thing she could think of that didn’t make her intentions seem so obvious.
Mauser’s anger exploded. His voice rose with every word. “You ain’t going anywhere. Lying humans! You expect me to believe that? From a female?”
Hermione took the demon’s comments about the fairer sex most personally. “Fine!” She yelled back. “Don’t blame me if it gets foul in here.”
“Ha! A true warrior wouldn’t care about such discomfort.” The demon stood regally, infused with pride. “But I don’t suppose you know anything about what it means to be a warrior.”
Hermione groaned. “By Merlin, you sound exactly like her – always going on with that true warrior sermon.” She raved with resentments that she didn’t know she had.
“I’m sick of it,” a furious Hermione declared. “--And you know what? Kill me if you want, but Illyria’s not here and she won’t be back. I don’t care what you do as long as you stop with that warrior talk, just get OVER
it.” Hermione wasn’t finished yet. “—And another thing, who taught you how to speak to women like that anyway? Why, if your mother was here –“
“Shut up.” The demon shouted with boiling anger. “What do you know? You’re just another stupid human.” He bared his canine-like fangs for the girl to see.
Hermione suddenly feared for her life. “Hey, what are you doing?” She protested when the demon circled behind her. She sat helplessly, tied to the chair.
“Untying you,” Mauser grunted. “I swear; you females get shriller every minute holding it in. I don’t know how the males of your species put up with it.”
Mauser herded Hermione into the loo and the door shut behind her with a bang. She could still hear the demon just on the other side of the door, waiting for her.
“Hurry up,” Hermione heard her captor shout from the other side. “What’s taking so long in there?”
“Just a minute,” she called back through the closed door. Hermione searched the loo furiously, looking for anything or any way to escape from the demon. She appraised the tinted window. It was narrow but Hermione was slim enough to fit through. The Gryffindor quickly went to work on the latch that held the window shut.
Hermione felt the fear rush through her at a bang on the door. She looked behind her to see the demon had yet to break down the door. She extended her foot to the commode and managed to get it to flush. “You might want to settle down and get something to eat. This is going to take awhile… I think.” Hermione called out over the sound of rushing water.
Hermione went back to work. Stupid latch!
The joint stuck, rusted with age since the last use years ago.
Mauser grumbled, something about women, from just outside the door.
Hermione knew she did not have much time. Finally, with a snap, the latch turned. The bushy haired Gryffindor did not waste time and began pushing on the window with both hands. The window groaned, loose dirt and chipped paint falling between cracks, then gave way by two inches or so. The opening was too small, too narrow. She pushed harder. Then, at last, a sound like something broke, and the window finally opened wide.
Hermione did not hesitate to throw herself at the opening. She pushed back against the outside wall with both hands, half of her was through the window when the door behind her exploded.
Mauser felt something was wrong. He kicked down the door with enough force to rip the lock right out of the frame and saw the girl’s legs hanging from the window.
Hermione was almost through when Mauser grabbed her from behind. Strong hands dug into the waistline of her jeans, pulling her back in. Hermione screamed. “HELP ME!” At the top of her lungs she called out.
“Lying bitch!” Mauser bellowed. Anger made his red eyes seem bloody red. He tossed the girl into the room with a callous heave. “You’re going to regret this,” he told her.
He stalked menacingly toward the prone Hermione, her eyes staring into his. The demon felt her fear.
The scent… the Old One’s scent was becoming stronger.
“She is here, Illyria…”
A loud crash from the main living room confirmed his senses. The sound was very much like a window smashing into a million of pieces.
Illyria appeared before him in all her forbidden glory.
“I am aware that a worm seeks to do battle with me, a god. Very well, I shall grant you the honor and deign to extinguish your pitiful existence.”
To be continued...
AN: I am aware of certain theory speculates that Ollivander is on the side of the Death Eaters. I take no possition in this debate but however point out that Ollivander, no matter where his alligence lies, is a pragmatic individual that would see which way the wind is blowing first before committing.
Next chapter we will hear something about the Granger's masters. Big fight between Mauser and Illyria. And finally, Hermione confronting Illyria.