|The Hidden Soul
Author: bella orchid PM
NEW CHAPTER! Harry,Ron& Hermione are all enjoying a holiday in Egypt.Will they work out the sinister,ancient plot before it's too late?Snakes,Sand,Sphinxes &Romance. HerBillRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Adventure - Hermione G. & Bill W. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 27,886 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 65 - Follows: 49 - Updated: 07-20-04 - Published: 07-07-03 - id: 1417889
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Hidden Soul
Author Note: Hi, I'm Orchid this is 'The Hidden Soul' my Bill/Hermione fanfic. I hope you like it, as its an unusual ship but not without its followers! Please leave me some feedback in a review on your comments and suggestions! Thankyou.
** The fic is currently in the process of being modified, I'm checking each of the chapters and just tweaking them. So if you see a little head note at the top of the page, that means the chapter has been modified!**
Beep. Beep. Beep. The repetitive, irritating sound penetrated Hermione Granger's Sunday morning lie in. She jammed one of her large, goose feather pillows over her head in an attempt to block out the offensive sound, but only succeeded in marginally muffling it. Groaning in annoyance, she threw back her covers and stared blearily at her bed-side table, where the persistent beeping was coming from. Her mobile phone flashed and buzzed as it vibrated on the pale wooden surface, before producing another series of piercing beeps. She frowned and grabbed it, poking irritably at the buttons and holding it to her ear.
"H-Hello?" She yawned. An amused snort of laughter greeted her and she flopped back onto the bed.
"What are you doing ruining my lie-in Harry Potter?" She demanded curtly, imagining the smug impression that was no doubt plastered across her best friends face.
"Oh, I'm sorry, were you asleep?" His clear voice sung back, laced with amusement. Hermione didn't respond, so he continued. "I'm just making sure that you're all set for this afternoon," Hermione groaned at the cheerful tone of his voice.
"Yes. Yes…Well, almost," she added, envisioning his sceptically raised eyebrow. "I've got ages. What time is it anyway?" She asked grumpily.
"Half past," he answered.
"What, seven?" She replied sourly. Harry sniggered again.
"No, two actually," he replied. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Alright. I'm getting up," she whined.
"I'll be over in ten minutes, so make sure you're out of bed, you lazy -" He began warningly. Hermione sighed dramatically and jabbed at the End button cutting him off.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry Potter apparated into the tidy living room of Hermione Granger's flat. It was tranquil, decorated in creams and neutrals, accented with hints of sage and mint greens. His eyes swept over the familiar room, then came to rest on a door which stood slightly ajar. He grinned and headed towards it.
Pushing lightly, the door swung open to reveal Hermione's bedroom. It was huge, with yards of immaculate plush cream carpet that stretched out before him. The walls were a pale hue of dusky rose pink, one taken up by a huge, floor to ceiling walk-in wardrobe. The light muslin drapes, which framed the large bay window, were filtering the buttery yellow sunlight into the room.
In the centre of the room, was a king-size bed. The sheet of muslin, which hung over the four posts, fluttered lightly in the breeze from the open window. The bed was strewn with what seemed like a ridiculously indulgent number of cushions and pillows in a range of dusky pink tones. A few were scattered across the floor, obviously discarded during the night. Amongst the ripples of crumpled ivory sheets, curled up and fast asleep, was Hermione.
Harry moved silently towards her and perched on the edge of the bed, watching her eyelashes flutter slightly with each breath she took. After sitting quietly for a few minutes Harry shifted to get comfortable, and his movement caused Hermione to wake. She yawned widely and purred, stretching her body out to its full length. She reached her arms above her head, and curled her toes into the sheets. Then she opened her eyes, rolled to her side and, propping herself up on an elbow, she grinned at Harry.
"Oops," she said, glancing sheepishly at him. "I must've dozed back off."
"Hmm," Harry said, rolling his eyes. "I swear that if people didn't bother to wake you, you'd be permanently comatose," he teased.
Hermione sat up disgruntledly, the sheets pooling around her bare midriff. "I would not!" She protested indignantly. "I get up early every day of the week for work, Sunday is my day of rest," she told him pointedly. Harry chuckled.
"Three in the afternoon? That's taking rest to a whole new level. How many hours of sleep have you had?" He joked. Hermione wrinkled her nose at him and he began counting on his fingers.
"Okay, well you left Ron's at nine last night, probably got into bed at ten give or take a few minutes, so that's… one…two… Oof!" His arithmetic was cut off by a huge, fluffy pillow walloping him in the jaw. Hermione let out a peal of laughter and followed the blow with a second one, jumping to her feet on her bed to deliver him a whack around his head.
Harry growled and, kicking off his shoes, he launched himself onto the bed. Grabbing her around the waist, he crashed her down to the mattress and began to pummel her with a cushion. Hermione shrieked and attempted to wriggle out of his reach. Harry pinned her down with his knee, and brought the pillow down on her head again. There was a tiny ripping sound and a cloud of white feathers billowed out around them. Harry froze guiltily, and Hermione rolled out from beneath him.
"Right, you've had it now!" She yelled grabbing the end of her long, sausage shaped comforter and cuffing him around the back of the head with it. Harry fell face down on the bed with a muffled groan.
"That's for making my room look like Narnia!" Hermione snickered and throwing down her weapon she sprinted for safety. She had almost made it to the shelter of the bathroom, when there was a crack and a flash of pain across the back of her legs. She yelped and spun around. Harry was holding the broken pillowcase in his hand, grinning evilly. He whipped it into space, issuing another crack, and Hermione bolted, slamming and locking the bathroom door.
She emerged a few minutes later wrapped in an oversized white towelling robe, and flipped her wet hair over her shoulders. She surveyed her now pristine bedroom. There were sizzling sounds coming from the kitchen and enticing aromas were wafting through the door which stood ajar.
"Glad to see you cleared up your mess," Hermione called to Harry, as she towel dried her hair and rustled through her wardrobe for an outfit. She wandered into the kitchen, freshly washed and dressed in a pair of classically cut dark beige trousers and a crisp white shirt which was unbuttoned at her throat. She grinned as she sat down at the table and Harry placed a plateful of cooked breakfast in front of her.
"Yum. Thanks!" She said, tucking in hungrily. Harry wrinkled his nose at her as she stuffed a huge forkful into her mouth and her eyes bulged.
"I would have thought that adults had more table manners," he said sniffily. Hermione stifled a laugh then daintily wiped the corner of her mouth with a napkin.
"I'm nineteen Harry. Not ninety," she said rolling her eyes. Harry shook his head resignedly and eyed the silver locket that nestled in the hollow below her throat.
"Do you like it?" He asked. Hermione's fingers flitted to where his gaze was aimed and a smile spread across her face.
"I love it. It's perfect. You and Ron know me too well," she said, stroking the cool surface of the jewellery. Harry grinned.
"There was a lot of deliberation. I'm not going to kid you," he said. Hermione chuckled.
"Well you picked the right one. It's beautiful. And the photo…" Her fingers tightened around the tiny, hollow silver heart, picturing the minute wizard photo which was enclosed within it. It showed the three of them, her in the middle, sometimes Harry and Ron looking down protectively on her, sometimes teasing her about something so she huffed and pouted between them, and other times just all smiling happily.
"Finished?" Harry asked as she scraped the plate clean.
"Yep, that was delish," she said, licking a morsel of toast of her finger, and taking a swig of orange juice. "Thanks!"
"No problem, birthday girl," he joked. Hermione snorted.
"Wow! I get an extended birthday? Yay!" She said clapping her hands. Harry shook his head.
"Maybe for the first few days of the holiday, then its back to normal, sorry," he said laughing at her instant mock pout. "C'mon lets go, I'll help you pack. We've got to be at Ron's for five."
"I can't believe you two bought us tickets to Egypt for my birthday. And I never knew that there was a wizard version of an airport!" Hermione exclaimed excitedly as she wandered through the crowds milling about in the relatively small portkey terminal in Hogsmeade. When she received no response, she turned and stared behind her. Ron and Harry were a way back, both beet red and puffing, lugging their own small carry-alls and one each of Hermione's giant suitcases. Hermione skipped back towards them.
"I'll take them," she offered, trying to prise the handle of her case from Ron. Ron, however, shook his head stubbornly.
"It's okay," he panted. "What the hell did you pack though?" Hermione shrugged and Ron glanced accusingly at Harry. Harry, who had dropped the cases for a rest, rose his hands innocently.
"He did tell me to pack whatever I wanted!" Hermione pointed out. Harry shook his head.
"Which apparently translated to a third of her wardrobe," he wheezed as he grasped the heavy baggage again.
"A lot of the weight is books actually!" She said nonchalantly.
"Books!" Ron exclaimed incredulously, "We're taking you on holiday Hermione, h-o-l-i-d-a-y, remember that part?"
"Yes." Hermione replied patiently, "To Egypt. It's the most fascinating place, all the ancient magic – the runes – the – ,"
"Alright, alright..." Ron muttered, shaking his head and taking another tug at the suitcase.
Hermione rolled her eyes and sprinted off, returning seconds later with a trolley. She wrestled the bags away from the complaining males, who tried to put up a macho resistance. With the bags teetering lethally, Hermione set off at a charge towards a small sign which read PORTKEY CHECK IN. They handed their luggage to a stocky, grumpy wizard, and then were addressed by a tall witch, in short navy robes.
"This way please." She said in a sugary voice, as she pointed down a narrow corridor. Harry and Ron gaped at her, while Hermione smothered a snigger. The woman was pretty, but had the same tangerine toned skin and scarily stretched smile over blinding white teeth as most Muggle airhostesses. Hermione thanked her politely, and headed off down the corridor followed by Harry and Ron. The corridor finished in a smallish blank room. It was bare, save for a table in the centre on which a single lamp, complete with fringed lampshade stood. Hermione raised her eyebrows at it.
"That's the portkey?" She asked, surprised.
"Yes," an American accented voice answered her. She turned to face a tall wizard dressed in smart navy blue robes with gold trim and detailing. He smiled at her, then at Harry and Ron.
"I'm Scott Jones; I will be your pilot to Egypt." He said extending them his hand which they shook in turn.
"Alright then." He glanced at a sparkling gold watch on his wrist. "Six fifteen portal to Egypt, now departing from Hogsmeade," he announced clearly, taking a step towards the table.
"Ready?" He asked, hovering his hand over the lamp and indicating the others to mimic him. They copied, and he began a short countdown.
"Three… two… one." They all simultaneously dropped their hands, and connected to the portkey. Hermione felt the familiar tug behind her naval, and a sudden rush of wind, in which her shoulders jostled on one side with Ron's and on the other with the pilot, Scott's. Seconds later her feet slammed onto hard ground and she staggered to regain her balance. Looking up and trying to smooth her hair down, she glanced to her left.
"Welcome to Aswan, Egypt. Local time; One fifteen. Enjoy your stay!" He added before vanishing from sight with a pop. Hermione looked around; they were in a room identical to the one they had just left. Odd to think seconds ago they'd been thousands of miles away. Harry started for the door and, pushing it open, they were greeted by another 'airhostess' who directed them into the main terminal. They collected the bags. Hermione had the sense to discreetly charm her two large cases, so they were lighter and easier to handle. Then the group exited through a set of huge glass doors and piled out onto the sunny stretch of paving in front of the building to survey the scene.
The pale, sandy coloured slabs led down to a busy street, roaring with cars, taxis and bicycles. It was hot; a shimmering heat haze threw the distant traffic and buildings into an odd wobbling mirage. Hermione took a deep breath savouring the new scent. It was a mingle of sweat, exhaust and spices. She turned and captured her two companions in a hug.
"Thank you, so much. This is my best birthday present ever." She declared, drawing back to plant a kiss on first Ron's then Harry's cheek. They laughed at her excitable mood.
"Hmm, I think we're spoiling you," Harry teased, tugging lightly on one of her loose curls. Hermione pouted playfully.
"I don't mind it," she said grinning. Ron snorted with laughter,
"I'll bet," he said. "C'mon lets get a cab and check out the hotel." He swung his carry-all over his shoulder, and set off towards an empty taxi, towing one of Hermione's cases behind him. Hermione eyed Harry.
"Aren't you going to offer to carry it?" She snickered grinning evilly at him.
"Don't push it," he growled. Handing the extending handle to her and spinning her around, he gave her a little push towards the taxi. She turned and stuck her tongue out at him, before speeding towards the car.
The hotel suite that Ron and Harry had booked was stunning. It comprised of a large living area with plush furniture, TV, and small kitchen leading out onto a spacious balcony complete with table for el fresco dining. The view was breathtaking, all across the bustling city's sky line. Three bedrooms each with their own bathrooms led off from the main room. Hermione had been granted with the largest one. It boasted a giant bed, dressed with endless linen in creams and golds; her bathroom was big and tiled floor to ceiling in tiny, bright white mosaic. The pale marble floor extended through the whole suite, complimented the contemporary style of design in natural, neutral hues.
"It's beautiful!" Hermione exclaimed, twirling in the middle of the living room happily. Harry and Ron nodded and flopped tiredly onto one of the squashy cream leather sofas.
"Yeah, it is nice," Harry commented glancing around. Ron yawned widely.
"How do you two feel about a nap, then hitting the town to celebrate a certain birthday in style?" He suggested. Harry murmured a sleepy agreement and Hermione nodded enthusiastically, and then smirked at Harry.
"Bet you're wishing you had my lie-in now, aren't you?" She taunted gleefully.
"Oh, shut up," he replied with a grin, and slouched off towards his room. Ron stood up and enveloped Hermione in a bear hug.
"Glad you like it here. We're going to have a great time," he said planting a kiss on the top of her head and heading for his room.
After a refreshing sleep, Hermione woke and still dressed in her pyjamas, she padded into the living room, and out towards voices on the balcony. Harry and Ron were sat in wicker chairs around the small dining table, sipping from glasses of red wine. They looked up as she pulled back the glass doors.
"Evening," Harry said with a smirk. "You still managed to sleep longer than me even after your legendary lie-in," he pointed out. Hermione rolled her eyes at him and turned to the bottle on the table.
"What are you drinking?" She asked, peering at the label.
"Oh, it's a cheap hotel brand from downstairs. We've been waiting for you to wake up, so we can go and sample something better," Ron said.
"Go and get dressed in something nice from that extensive selection you brought," Harry suggested with a wry smile. "We're going out." Hermione nodded and whipped around back into the bedroom.
She had levitated all of her clothing into the large wardrobe earlier, and now was leafing through the possibilities. Eventually she plucked out a raw silk black dress. It was corset like, tight fitting around her bust and waist and stretched over her hips down to a few inches above her knee. It was her favourite, a perfect Little Black Dress for all occasions.
Flicking her wand at her hair so it transformed into long, glossy ringlets of chestnut falling down her back, she then pulled mascara from a bag on her dresser and wiggled it through her already thick lashes, finishing with a slick of lip-gloss. She slipped her feet into a pair of killer heels, which were satin black with ribbons that laced up her ankles. Testing them gingerly she winced and picked up her wand again, muttering a charm. She sighed as they suddenly became soft, and comfortable to walk in. After checking her reflection in the mirror, she pranced out of the room.
"Ready!" She called from the sofa. The glass door drew back and Harry and Ron entered. Their mouths dropped open.
"Woah…" Ron said hitching up his jaw. Hermione laughed and twirled around,
"Do you like it?" She asked. They nodded.
"You look gorgeous," Harry said bluntly. "Let's go."
Moments later they bundled into a taxi which sped them off into the centre of Aswan. Harry roughly pushed Hermione out of the cab before the driver could make another lecherous comment to her. She frowned slightly rubbing her arm reproachfully, but her face brightened as she looked at the restaurant they had stopped at. It had a small terrace with tiny tables lit by candles. The interior looked cosy and inviting. Ron finished paying the driver and the cab roared off into the high street. The trio walked down the small path that led through the tables to the door. Harry pushed it open, and entered the restaurant.
Seated at a corner table they tucked into delicious stuffed chicken with a sweet honey sauce. Harry had ordered a bottle of champagne and they were sipping it from long fluted glasses. Hermione grinned a little woozily, feeling the bubbles go to her head on her third glass, giving her a pleasantly fizzy sensation. Suddenly she heard Ron make a loud exclamation of disbelief. She glanced in the direction of his gaze and saw a tall man edging his way towards their table, a tall, curvy woman in a deep red dress was following him.
"Bill!" Ron yelled jumping up and the two tall males gave each other a brotherly hug, complete with a number of bruising blows to their backs. Drawing away, they stared at each other in astonishment.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Bill asked his brother.
Ron shrugged still looking shocked. "We're here on holiday for Hermione's birthday. I thought you were living in Cairo, otherwise I would've owled you," he said. Bill's eyes swept Harry who he grinned at and onto Hermione.
Hermione had been taking him in. He was dressed in beige chinos, and a white shirt open at his neck. His skin was golden, it was the only colour worthy to describe the hue of tan he had acquired; he looked as if he was lit from the inside out with sunshine. He pushed his hair back out of his eyes and she spotted the tiny fang that hung from his earlobe, a smile tugged at her lips as a memory of one his and Molly's loud arguments about the piercing rushed through her mind. His auburn hair was still appealingly long, brushing his collar in cherubic waves. Hermione had been gazing at the few curls of hair that showed above the loosely buttoned shirt, they were sun bleached to a shimmering almost blonde tone that matched the natural highlighted strands running through his hair. Her eyes rose and connected with his. Her deep coffee coloured pools bored into the dazzling azure. He swallowed shooting a glance to Harry and Ron before swooping down towards her.
"Harry Birthday Hermione," he said, brushing a light kiss to her cheek, earning her a jealous glare from the girl, who flipped her straight, brunette hair, and ran a hand around Bill's waist possessively.
"Thanks," she replied, noting the instant increase in the hazy feeling in her head. Bill's hand moved down and absentmindedly removed the girl's grip from him. Ron had pulled up a chair to their already crowded small table.
"I should see, uh, Jess to a taxi," Bill said vaguely. "I'll be right back," he said, spinning on his heel and heading across the restaurant. The girl, Jess, trailed him disgruntledly. Ron rolled his eyes.
"Always the same," he said with a grin.
"I don't know how he does it, having a new beautiful girl on his arm every time he visits." Harry snorted into his champagne glass at the look on Hermione's face, and she shot him a glare, carefully arranging a more neutral expression over her features. Minutes later Bill slunk back across the room and sank into the spare seat. He began to explain that he had been transferred into Aswan from Cairo; he had been given very short notice, but the pay was good, and he had been given a fantastic apartment.
"It's a good city. I've been here a couple of months now, so I know it pretty well," Bill was saying. Ron stared agog.
"I can't believe Mum didn't say."
"You know her, probably got confused with which town you were booked into," Bill said chuckling. "We'll have to let her know I've found you though," he eyed the near empty plates and seemed to consider a moment.
"You guys up for seeing some of Aswan's nightlife?" He asked. Harry perked up immediately,
"Yes." He exclaimed, then as an afterthought, "'Mione?" shooting her an imploring look. Hermione grinned widely.
"Definitely," she agreed. Ron went to settle the bill and she stood up. Harry took her arm to lead her outside, followed by Bill.
They had visited three bars and the fuzzy feeling in Hermione's head had reached a pleasant peak. They were wandering down a dimly lit alley towards a doorway guarded by two beefy men. Hermione observed the long queue and sighed; Bill however grasped her arm lightly and led them forward to the bouncers.
"Seb," he greeted the first with a nod. "Manu." The second. The men grinned broadly at him
"Alright Bill?" Seb, the taller ushered him past. His dark eyes raked Hermione.
"Who's the lady? I thought you were taking that...uh...Jess out tonight," he said. Bill flashed him a look, and then replied.
"Hermione, this is Seb, a friend of mine. And Manu, another," he told her, gesturing to each of the bulky men. Hermione smiled politely, then let Bill steer her into the gloomy passage and up some stairs. A thumping bass could be heard and throwing open a door, Bill revealed a large, smoky, strobe lit night club. A broad smile spread across Hermione's face, she completely felt like dancing. Bill released her arm and she headed straight for the bustling dance floor. Immediately upon entering the jostling group of people, several men circled her. Their eyes raking her body, whistling appreciatively at the dress and muttering various indecent proposals to her. Hermione felt a firm grip on her shoulder and was ready to swing with a punch, when she saw it was Harry just in time for her to deflect the course of her fist.
"Sorry," she sniggered, as his eyes widened in alarm. He shrugged and pulled her towards him, out of the ogling huddle. Hermione grinned into his chest.
"Thanks," she said, her face muffled as it pressed against his black shirt. They began moving together, Harry shooting protective glares at any men that approached them. Sat a few metres away in a curved alcove, facing the single bar, were Bill and Ron. Ron was talking to a striking girl, with a poker straight bob of shiny black hair and dark glittery eyes.
Bill was watching the dance floor. He couldn't tear his gaze from a certain women. His eyes travelled along the long, bare creamy legs that were revealed by the close fitting dress. He watched as her hips swayed in time to the music, her hair falling loosely about her face and the curls bouncing as she moved. She was laughing as Harry twirled her, his hand lightly resting on the small of her back. Bill frowned slightly; they looked completely at ease with each other. He turned to his side and prodded his brother. Ron looked at him, a lazy grin spread across his face.
"Bill, meet Isis," he said, indicating the dark haired woman. Bill nodded briefly at her, then leaned in to address Ron quietly.
"Are those two…" He trailed off as Ron followed his gaze to Harry and Hermione. Ron snorted dismissively.
"Oh, no. Everyone makes that mistake. It's deep, but platonic," he said, turning his attention back to Isis. Bill settled back into his seat and resumed his watch of the dance floor.
After a number songs Hermione drew away from Harry breathlessly.
"I'm going to get a drink!" She gasped pointing towards the bar.
"I'll come," Harry offered.
"No, I'm fine," Hermione said, waving her hands at him. Harry frowned for a moment then shrugged.
"Alright," he agreed, watching her retreat across the dance floor. Many heads turned, but no one plucked up the courage to speak. Hermione reached the bar and leant against it lightly, trying to catch her breath. She glanced up at the hastily scrawled blackboard that was crammed full of various strangely named drinks. She was pondering when she felt someone come up beside her.
"Hey," Bill said. Hermione smiled at him, feeling her pace quicken slightly. He looked gorgeous, but surprisingly out of place. The dark, dank club didn't seem to correlate with his sun bleached hair and deep tan; he screamed of sand, deserts and sphinxes. Bill stared at her. She looked stunning, very sultry in the smoky, humid atmosphere, the skin revealed above the corset top, glistened with minute beads of perspiration. His eyes met hers, the liquid coffee pools were entrancing, and they were so incredibly deep. He swallowed awkwardly and tore his gaze away.
"What do you recommend?" Hermione asked, returning her eyes to the board.
"A Lapiz lazuli," Bill said, chuckling at the look on her face. He motioned to the bartender.
"Two double L's. Please," Bill said handing over a few folded notes. The barman promptly shook two elaborate cocktails. Hermione craned over the counter to try and catch what went into them, but got lost, as he mixed bottles at a fast speed. Moments later he pushed two tall cocktail glasses across the bar to them. Hermione examined her drink, which was a deep sapphire blue, and the edge of the glass had been frosted in sugar crystals. Lifting it deftly, she lightly chinked it with Bill's.
"Cheers," they murmured. Hermione lowered her lips to the glass and kept her eyes locked to Bill's, suddenly amazed by how similar the hue of the drink was to the coloured ring surrounding his large pupil. She took a sip of the blue liquid. It was ice cold, and had a refreshing yet sharp tang.
"Mmm," she purred agreeably. Bill nearly choked at the quiet hum of sound from her throat. He swallowed his mouthful and managed a grin.
"You like it?" He asked. Hermione nodded, her tongue licking the tiny remnants of sugar crystals from the corner of her mouth. Bill gulped again, finding the small movement indescribably sexy. Hermione looked back at the dance floor in an attempt to locate Harry. When she finally spotted him through the crowd, he was entwined with a pretty, tall girl with long streaky blonde hair. Near to them, Ron was dancing with Isis.
"Lost your dance partner," Bill commented. Hermione drained her glass and replaced it on the bar.
"Maybe," she replied, raising an eyebrow questioningly. Bill set down his glass and reached out to grasp her hand. Hermione felt a fluttering sensation start in her stomach as he pulled her onto the floor. They moved together, sparks zapping between their eyes which they couldn't take off each other. The song changed, a deep throbbing bass began. Hermione grinned. The dance floor was so crowded, that bodies were practically all touching. She twisted, her back to Bill, not sure who initiated the first change in the movements, but she was suddenly grinding her hips purposefully, enjoying her feel of his hands resting lightly on her waist. Bill's head dipped to her ear.
"You're going to get us arrested," he murmured huskily over the thumping music. A smile crept over her face, and she spun back so she was facing him. Her hands looped behind his neck, pulling his face down near to hers. Bill responded, his hands clasping in the small of her back, pressing her frame to his.
"I don't think so," she replied, shooting a meaningful glance at Harry and the blonde girl who were gyrating shamelessly. Her eyes flitted from his face to the trail of golden curls that had enticed her earlier in the evening. Her hand dropped from his neck, and slipped subtly up under the loose front of his white shirt. Bill took a sharp intake of breath, as he felt her fingers begin to explore, tracing his smooth toned stomach and the wisps of hair that surrounded his bellybutton, and led down to the buckle of his belt, her fingers danced down the trail. Her eyes snapped back to his, a fire igniting within both the brown eyes and his now navy ones. His large hand caught hers, before it could slip any lower. He curled it within his palm, and then spread her fingers, linking his between them.
"You're hot Hermione," Bill whispered into her ear. He drew away for her momentarily and his eyes ran down the body-hugging dress, down the miles of creamy leg and onto her feet. I'd never had believed it, fuck-me heels on Hermione Granger. He thought in amusement.
"Those shoes," he said croakily. Hermione glanced down and flexed her ankle.
"Do you like them?" She asked innocently.
"Yes." He answered shortly, thinking sheepishly how much he'd like to tug at the black satin ribbons that laced up her ankles.
They continued dancing for hours. Hermione let the fizzy feeling take her over, she and Bill grinded together, uninhibited and lost in the seething crowd. His mouth was close to her ear, she could almost, just almost feel his lips on her skin. It was maddingly frustrating.
Bill was desperate, he was so close to making contact with the silk of her neck, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He didn't know anything about her, he reasoned with himself. He had hardly been constant in Ron's life, seeing him only at holidays and family gatherings for the past years. In recent times Hermione had always been present, she had intrigued him, her intellect, mischievousness and wit. But he was always accompanied by his girl-of-the-moment; it was a running family joke, his love life. His mother chose to studiously ignore her children's taunts about Bill's womanising. He didn't know about Hermione's love life, she could have a boyfriend back home for all he knew. He couldn't take the flirtatious whispers, the lingering touches, the dancing to mean anything. Oblivious to their surroundings they moved, until a tap on Bill's shoulder caused him to turn.
"William." A cool voice greeted him. Hermione glanced over his shoulder at the women that had spoken. She was stunning looking, tall and willowy with a long sheet of platinum blonde hair that hung down her back. She, like Bill, looked out of place in the club. The ingenious top that hung precariously off her curves and the brief miniskirt she wore, screamed 'Rodeo Drive'. She was perfectly coiffed and her intimidating radiance clashed with the smoky, tackiness of the strobe lit club. She'd be more at home in The Ivy Hermione mused to herself. She was vaguely familiar; it was something to do with her poise, those large navy eyes.
Bingo. Thought Hermione with a jolt of recognition.
"I thought you were in New York." Bill said. Fleur narrowed her eyes imperiously at him.
"I was. I 'ave got a contract with Chanel, we're shooting over 'ere." She informed him her French accent perfectly intact, her gaze slid over his shoulder and rested on Hermione. Her wide blue eyes took in Hermione's tousled hair, flushed cheeks and sheen of perspiration. Her silvery eyebrows rose.
"Care to introduce your friend William?" Fleur asked icily. Bill's jaw clenched and he shot an apologetic look at Hermione.
"Hermione, this is Fleur." Bill said, Hermione smiled at Fleur who barely acknowledged her.
"I'd like a word." She said pointedly to Bill. He fought back a sigh and shrugged,
"Alright. Do you mind Hermione?" He said ruefully. Hermione waved her hand.
"It's fine. I'll be here." She said with a smile. Bill nodded and followed Fleur who was stalking across the dance floor, effortlessly cutting herself a pathway.
Hermione turned away and immediately found herself face to face with a greasy, dark haired man, his arms clamped around her waist, groping at her backside. Hermione yelled angrily, her voice swallowed by the thumping bass. She wriggled furiously trying to dislodge his grip on her ass, but he was strong. Hermione twisted her face away from his leering mouth; he stank of sweat and tequila. Managing to release her elbow, she drew it back and brought it plunging down between the man's knees. He let out a shout and fell to the floor, where he lay gargling in pain as he was trampled on by numerous enthusiastic dancers.
Hermione stepped backwards, but he caught one of her ribboned shoes in his beefy hand. She kicked out but he had a firm hold. In an instant she felt a strong, familiar grip around her waist yank her from her captor's grip. She turned and saw Ron's angry face. Harry was on the floor by the man, his fists curled. The blonde he had been dancing with was hanging onto his arm with a surprisingly strong hold. The crowd parted as two bulky, suited men fought their way towards the disturbance.
"Weasley?" The first spoke. It was Seb one of Bill's bouncer friends. Ron stepped forward.
"What is the problem?" Seb asked his voice lilted slightly with his accent, as Manu hauled the man onto his feet.
"That bastard attacked my friend." Ron said jabbing his finger towards the man who was swaying drunkenly on his feet. Seb's eyes slid to Hermione.
"You?" He asked. Hermione nodded. At that moment Harry swung a punch at the man, catching him on his chin. Manu grabbed him but not before he could retaliate; a sharp jab to Harry's eye. Manu called a stream of fast Egyptian towards Seb. Seb responded and grasped Harry before he could throw another punch.
"You will have to leave." He said shortly, "Please." He added as a pleasantry, which held no room for negotiation. Seb turned and towed Harry across the club towards the exit. Ron trailed behind him, pulling Hermione along and shooting death glares at anyone whose eyes even grazed her. They were dumped unceremoniously into the dim alley way. Harry's eye was already swelling, and he was glowering at Seb.
"You didn't have to shove me." He grunted in irritation. Seb grinned ruefully.
"I'm sorry. We have to appear fair. The club is exclusive. That guy's a regular. You're not. You see." He said, his short, clipped sentences did make sense. Hermione crouched by Harry running her fingers over his swollen eye.
"You shouldn't have hit him." She said. Harry ground his teeth. "I mean, I could have handled it." She added with a grin. Harry shook his head laughing.
"I know you could." He said cradling his head. The doors burst open and four figures walked down the steps towards them. Manu was accompanied by Bill and they were trailed by Isis, the girl Ron had been dancing with and the Harry's blonde partner. Bill started speaking in low voices with Manu and Seb and Isis hurried over to Ron. The blonde walked over to Hermione and Harry.
"Are you okay Harry?" She asked quietly. Harry looked up and grinned.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Hermione, this is Zahra. Zahra, Hermione."
Zahra smiled at Hermione.
"You must be the birthday girl." She said. Hermione nodded.
"Yeah." She replied, standing and smiling at the blonde. "I'll go and check that everything's okay with Seb, alright Harry?" Hermione said sidling off and leaving Zahra to crouch beside him. Bill had ended his heated discussion with the pair of bouncers and motioned Hermione to join the three.
"Hey Hermione. I'm sorry about this." He said, "That guy." He spat angrily, "There's lots like him in Aswan. You've got to be careful." Hermione nodded.
"Sorry if I got you into any trouble." Hermione said quietly gesturing to Manu and Seb. "It's just I don't let people manhandle me." Bill's eyes twinkled at this, but then his face became serious again.
"It's fine, they just have to do their job."
Hermione nodded. There was an uneasy silence for a few minutes then Bill stepped slightly closer and lowered his voice.
"Sorry about earlier." He muttered. Hermione feigned a look of confusion.
"You know… Fleur." Bill prompted. Hermione raised her shoulders in indifference.
"Oh right. I'm sorry if I gave her the wrong idea." Hermione said lightly. A wounded look flashed across Bill's face.
"Uh, no… she…" He stuttered.
"You don't have to explain it to me Bill." Hermione said with a grin. "I'm just curious… Does 'William' really do it for you?" She joked prodding him. Bill snorted with laughter.
"Shuttit!" He growled at her. Hermione rolled her eyes. A loud toot signalled the arrival of their taxi at the end of the alley. Hermione bid a quick goodnight to Seb and Manu adding a succinct apology for the fight just for good measure. Ron finished scribbling on his hand and planted a brief kiss on Isis' cheek before heading towards the car. Harry stuffed a crumpled piece of paper into his pocket with a grin at Zahra and waved as the two girls were escorted back into the club by Seb and Manu. The group bundled tiredly into the taxi which roared off into the muggy night.
Author Notes: No offence meant to Airhostesses, just a little play on stereotypes with the wizarding version.
Special appearance from Fleur, because I just thought she and Bill would date after the tiny hint in GoF. (Proved right in OoTP)
Lapiz Lazuli – the cocktail – is named after a precious stone.
I think that's about everything. Please leave a REVIEW!