Chapter 1 - The Weasley Wedding
"The Ministery has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming."
Kingsley Shacklebolt's voice seemed to echo through the stunned hush that fell over the tent. There was an instant of dead silence before panic spread through the crowd like a wave.
Death Eaters! Hermione sprang into action, frantically searching for her friends as the sounds of apparation and alarm assaulted her ears. Somehow, through the sea of color, she caught sight of Harry's Weasley disguise and immediately hurried toward him. Where on earth is Ron? He had just been there! Without giving herself time for more thought, Hermione grabbed Harry's arm and apparated.
They reappeared in a small clearing, surrounded by thick woods.
"Hermione! Where's Ron?" Harry's voice shook as he looked to her for answers.
"I don't know, Harry!" she replied shrilly, not bothering to even try to hide her concern, "I had to get you out; you have a job that only you can do."
"I'd be dead without you and Ron," Harry argued.
Hermione gave a quick nod. "We don't have time for this," she said quickly. "You need to stay alive, Harry." She reached into her beaded pouch and pulled out several objects. "Here, set up camp. I'm going to go look for Ron." She apparated away before Harry could protest, leaving the wizard alone in the clearing.
The tent was burning, spreading fire to nearby plants. Debris littered the ground and screams filled the air. Hermione tried not to look at the bodies on the ground as soon as she determined none of them were Ron's. Ducking to avoid inhaling smoke, the witch scrambled out of the burning structure. She ran as soon as she could; searching frantically for any sign of her friend.
"Ron!" she screamed, her ears straining to hear over the sounds of battle. She deftly countered a stray spell that came too close for comfort. She had to find him! She raced toward the Burrow, hoping he had run to somewhere familiar. She desperately glanced at every dark shape on the ground, praying they were no one that she knew.
The scent of fear permeated the air. It was a welcome smell; familiar and exciting. Terror blew around the muggle-lover's home as much as the smoke from the Death Eaters' fires. Fear made the chase even more exhilarating, even when the moon was not out to play.
Wand in hand, Fenrir Greyback charged into the panicked crowd alongside the Death Eaters. Their prey was apparating away quickly, but there were still many remaining. Some had been killed by the initial spells that had been fired into the pandemonium, but some were rousing from their stunned states. Those who either could not escape magically or were engulfed in panic were trying to flee on foot. A cruel grin appeared on his face as he caught wind of life in the large tent.
Some foolishly brave witch threatened him, brandishing her wand. A mistake; waiting for him to respond. He silently disarmed her and let loose and excited snarl. The terrified woman turned to run, but the werewolf was quicker. He grabbed her arm, wrenching the witch toward him. She cried out in pain; he suspected he had broken something. She shook in his hold, reeking with the sweet scent of fear. He took the time to revel in the smell before tearing into the witch's neck with his strong teeth. The witch screamed, trying to struggle out of his iron grasp. As he moved in once again, this time to kill, a breeze blew past his nose, carrying a new scent.
Greyback froze; this fragrance was something he had never smelled before, but he knew what it meant. It was her. The high from the terror that swirled through the air paled in comparison to the elation this scent brought him. Every other scent was gone; turned into insignificant, useless odors. There was nothing like it anywhere else, it belonged to only one woman, and he would find her.
Fenrir dropped his catch onto the ground with a thud. He barely registered the witch's movements as she scrambled to get away from him; he had long forgotten her. There was nothing in the world but this glorious scent and the woman that went before it. An unfamiliar heat flowed through his limbs, driving him to follow the scent; he hardly needed such encouragement. After so many years, she was here, right under his nose; but then the trail stopped cold. She must have apparated away from this spot. The werewolf let out an inhuman snarl. He had missed her by mere moments. He allowed himself to savor her lingering scent, quietly wondering how long it would be before he was able to catch her scent again.
Fenrir Greyback had caught the scent of his mate, and he would find her again. Despite his certainty, he swore irritably. He had been so close.
Frustrated, the werewolf ran out of the now vacant tent. He did not bother to raise his wand at the wizard who came at him. Growing increasingly vexed, Fenrir jumped at the unsuspecting man, tearing out his throat before he could even scream.
The sight of the man's blood only enraged him further, he needed to find her. Little else mattered to him at this point. His nostrils still caught faint traces of her scent mixed with another male's; causing a jealousy he had never experienced to course through him. He stalked on, watchful for someone else to kill. It was a small ease on his frustrations, but it was more than nothing.
The prey had scattered; wizards and witches now few and far between. The once overwhelming scent of fear was no longer but a lingering fragrance, just like her scent. Fenrir closed his eyes, allowing his other senses to guide him. He quickly picked up the sound of labored breathing from nearby. He did not need to smell the witch for all the noise she was making. Following the sound, Fenrir came upon the woman he had bitten minutes before.
The witch was cowering in a dark corner, positively rank with terror. She babbled and cried as Fenrir stalked over to her pathetic form. He chuckled at her efforts before bodily lifted her off the ground and sinking his teeth into her throat. It took some time for her to stop screaming. He dropped what was left of her still twitching body onto the ground, this time for good. Wiping the excess blood from his face, he casually glanced around for another victim.
The telltale pop of apparation immediately caught his attention. Who would dare apparate into such chaos? He moved toward the origin of the sound, quickening his pace at the sound of frantic footsteps. A woman's panicked call filled his ears.
His curiosity piqued, Fenrir followed. As he reached the point she had appeared, his nostrils were once again assaulted by the same scent from the tent. Her scent.
A snarl left the werewolf's throat as he tore after her. She was putting herself in danger to find another male. Jealousy tore through him at the very thought; he was not going to let her go a second time. He raced after her, oddly proud of her foolish display of bravery, never catching more than a glimpse of brown waves around a corner. He heard her footsteps stop, ad her voice wafted over to his ears.
"Ron!" She was relieved, making Fenrir growl angrily as he approached. "You're alive!"
The male replied, "Yeah, bloody sore, though. Where's Harry?"
Fenrir rounded the corner of the rickety house; an involuntary snarl left his lips when he finally saw her. Her; being embraced by a scrawny red-headed boy. Both their heads flew up at the sound.
Brown met amber for a split second before she apparated, taking the boy with her.
"That was close!" Hermione still shook with adrenaline as she stood in the clearing in the Forest of Dean. They were safe for the time being.
"Who do you reckon that was, Mione?"
She replied shakily, "I don't know. He wasn't a Death Eater."
"How do you figure that?"
"I pay attention, Ron." She huffed. "Honestly. His arms were bare, there was no dark mark. Oh! But Ron! That—that snarl!" She shivered. That sound had made her want to curl up into a ball and pray.
"Greyback," Ron said softly.
Hermione shook her head in disbelief. "Ron, that can't be right. Greyback is supposed to be…" She paused, searching for the right word.
"Dead? In prison? Albania?" Ron offered.
"Ugly." She replied quietly. "Monstrous. That did not at all look like how others have described him. That man looked nearly normal; how could he be Greyback?"
The redhead gave her an incredulous stare. "I don't know what you are thinking, but I don't consider blood dripping down wolf teeth a normality on a human, Hermione."
Hermione shook her head, trying to gain some clarity. She had seen the blood, she had seen his inhuman fangs, but she had ignored them. She had looked straight past them and into the werewolf's amber eyes.
You're getting sloppy, Hermione. She scolded herself. Perhaps she merely needed some rest.
She hoped Harry had figured out the tent.
A/N: A new story! I have a ton of prewritten chapters for this one, so hopefully updating will be fairly regular. Cheers!~