''I got a case!'' Sam announced, turning his laptop so they could all read the headline.

''POLLICE OFFICER DIES IN BLOOD BATH.'' Hermione read, frowning. ''That sounds ominous.''

''This guy just collapsed into a pile of blood and guts.'' Sam grimaced. ''It's like his skin couldn't hold it all in anymore.''

Dean dropped onto the sofa next to Hermione and passed them each a soda.

''What's this?''

''Sam found a case.'' Hermione opened her can, frowning. ''Are there any other suspicious deaths in the area?''

Sam pulled his laptop back and started tapping away at it.

''Uh...No. But that doesn't mean there won't be.''

''Then maybe we'd better get there before there are.'' Hermione murmured, turning towards Dean. ''It's up to you. We have spent the better part of a year chasing after your grandfather.''

Dean snorted.

''And that got us fuck all. Fine. We'll go see the exploding man.''

''Finally.'' Ellen grumbled from the doorway. ''Tired of you three clutterin' up my house.''

''It's ma house.'' Bobby muttered from the corner.

''You married me.'' Ellen smirked. ''Means it's half mine. So get that disgusting ball cap of your head before I get 'Mione to set fire to it.''

Bobby whipped the hat off his head so fast it almost caught fire anyway, but behind his book, he was smiling.

By the time they'd gotten to Eastern, Pennsylevenia, another police officer had died. This one had developed plauge-like boils all over his body, both inside and out, and had asphyxiated when his wind pipe had swollen up.

The hunters sat in the Impala outside Eastern's police department, tossing a coin.

''Heads.'' Hermione called and then grinned victoriously.

''Hey!'' Sam complained, staring at the coin. ''She used magic. Dean!'' He whined.

''Unless you can prove it, I'm not listening.'' He handed over the folder to Hermione. ''See what you can get out the eyewitness. Me and Sam'll take the morgue.''

''Sure.'' Hermione got out the back seat and somehow managed to hit Sam over the head with her folder on her way out.

''That is so unfair.'' Sam complained.

Dean rolled his eyes.

''Shut up, Sammy.''

Getting into the morgue wasn't hard; their Fed badges got them that far. Seeing the bodies wasn't hard either, the morgue attendant was only too happy to show them.

Not vomiting over the body was considerably harder.

''That is disgusting.'' Dean complained, actually holding his hand over his mouth.

''I know, right?'' The attendant chirped, almost bouncing on his toes.

''No, I mean...''

Sam rolled his eyes and turned to the morgue attendant.

''There's another body we're looking for too. An Officer Toby Grey?'' Sam offered, reading off the file.

The attendant actually skipped this time, eagerly hauling out the slab for them to look out. Dean gingerly lifted back the sheet, before recoiling away from the body. It wasn't hard to see what had killed him, almost every inch of him was covered in large pale green and red boils.

''Yeah. I'm wondering if I should call the CDC, you know. Get them to check it out.'' The attendant shrugged. ''I'm thinking maybe it was an allergic reaction, he ate something weird...''

''It's something weird all right.'' Dean murmured. ''But I don't think it was a dodgy peanut.''

Hermione called in just as they were checking into a motel room.

''Hey, 'Mione...'' Sam started only to be cut off as Hermione yelled down the phone.


Sam dropped his phone.

After some scuffling he managed to pick up it again.

''I'm sorry...what...?''

''LOCUSTS!'' Hermione yelled again.

Sam rolled his eyes and put the phone on loud speaker as they entered the room.


''Locusts, yeah, I got it.''

Dean frowned at him as Hermione sighed down the phone line.

''They ate his head.'' She complained.


''The witness. He was another police officer. When I got to him, he'd scratched all the faces off the pictures in his house. He said he believed he had it coming to him. Thought that God was meting out justice. Something to do with a boy with no face. Sam, can you run a search for a boy called ''Christopher Birch''? He'll probably be a local.'' Sam jotted down the name and headed towards his laptop. ''I couldn't get much else out of him, because he dropped down dead. There was a buzzing noise coming from under his hat and...They ate their way out of his brain. From the inside.''

''You thinking witches?'' Sam called.

''No. I did a check for hex bags. But I don't think a witch is really powerful enough to pull this off.''

''Anything else you can give us?'' Dean asked.

Hermione snorted.

''Just one thing. I think this has happened before.''

''What? Where?'' Dean demanded.

''Egypt. When Moses freed the slaves. Text me the address of our room, okay?' I've got to grab a taxi.''

She hung up and the brothers stared at each other.

''The Seven Plagues of Egypt?'' Sam stated. ''Really?''

''Just shut up and type.''

Several google searches later and Hermione was back, a tray of coffee balanced on her left hand.

''You're awesome.'' Sam crowed as he opened the door.

Hermione handed him his cup and smirked.

''I'm aware.'' Setting the coffee down on the table next to the laptop, she removed her glamour charms with a wave of her hand, before rubbing at her face as though it was itchy. ''Oh, here.'' She rummaged in her bag before she eventually produced a jar and handed it Dean. ''Locusts.'' She pointed out, unnecessarily.

Dean shook the jar and the insects inside buzzed angrily. There were several pink smears stuck to their legs that Dean really didn't want to think about. He traded the jar for the coffee Hermione handed him.

''So what've you got?'' Hermione asked, taking a seat with a sigh. She shucked her suit jacket, draping it across the back of her chair.

''That kid you asked Sam to look up?'' Dean sighed. ''Turns out he's dead. Police report says that they fired on him when they saw he had a gun. All three reports are the same. Word for word. And...here's the kicker, the three officers involved...''

''All now dead.'' Hermione finished nodding slowly. ''That fits. Officer Colfax said something about a planted weapon.''

''Does anyone else think this sounds kinda angelic?'' Sam suggested.

They frowned at him.

''Angel's wouldn't...?''

''Be unholy douche bags?'' Sam said dryly.

Dean sighed.

''What're the chances Cas' will even come if we call?''

''Low.'' Hermione sighed. ''He hasn't texted in months, Dean.''

''Can't hurt to ask.'' Sam insisted.

''That's a lie, but fine.'' Sam and Hermione stared at Dean intently. ''What?'' Dean grumbled.

''Well, go on then.'' Hermione prompted. ''If he turns up it'll be because you called, not us.''

Glowering, Dean bowed his head.

''I pray to the angel Castiel wherever in Heaven he may be that he might get his feathered ass down here.''

''One day Cas' is going to smite you, you realise that.'' Hermione chided, just as Castiel appeared with a flap of wings in front of the window. ''Hello, Cas'.'' She added fondly.

''Hermione. Sam. Dean.'' The angel gazed at all of them.

''Hey, Cas','' Dean stepped forward to hug the angel, who was really more of an honorary Winchester than a friend. Castiel just stood there looking slightly confused. ''You doing all right, man?''

Castiel stared at them all, apparently bewildered by the question.

''I am fine.'' He said in the slightly robotic way which told Hermione he'd spent more time talking to angels recently than humans. ''Have you found something important?''

'Does a re-enactment of the great plagues of Egypt sound important?'' Sam asked dryly.

Castiel examined their research, agreed with them that it probably wasn't Moses on a rampage and agreed they should go and interview the remaining family of Christopher Birch.

''Right, in that case, we can split up.'' Hermione announced. ''If you two go and meet the Birch family, me and Sam can go to the nearest magical enclave. I need to stock up on potion ingredients.''

Dean frowned at her.

''Can't that wait?''

Hermione scowled at him.

''We are out of Pepper-up. Do you want to pull and over-nighter without them?''

Dean grudgingly admitted defeat and they split up, but not before Hermione hissed, ''Talk to him'' in Dean's ear as she hugged him goodbye.

''Are you okay?'' Sam asked warily.

Hermione shrugged irritably, shoving her way through the crowds.

''I'm fine. I just wanted to give Dean some time to talk to Cas'.''

''You've been in a bad mood since you got back from Ginny's the other night.'' Sam pointed out.

Hermione's nose wrinkled and she grabbed Sam's hand.

''We're going in there.'' She muttered, nodding towards a dilapidated store front, which was filled with empty and dusty shelves.

''Why?'' Sam stared at her before glancing away wildly. ''Hey, look that place does sandwiches.''

''We're trying to get to the enclave...'' Hermione pointed out, staring up at him. ''Remember?''

''No.'' Sam told her, looking completely bewildered.

''Bloody muggle repelling charms.'' Hermione muttered, hauling Sam into the shop using most of her strength. Sam dragged his feet until Hermione unlocked the enchanted door at the back of the shop which read ''Staff Only'' and shoved him through. Then he shook his head and scowled.

''I hate those charms!'' He complained, looking around them.

The street looked similar to the muggle one outside, wooden clad buildings rising on either side of a dusty wide street. Unlike Diagon Alley, it wasn't quite stuck in the seventeenth century, but that was because the entire town was only a hundred years old, never mind the enclave stuck in the middle of it.

Hermione tugged the hood of her cloak over her head, thankful for the cold weather and started looking for the apothecary.

''It's just...Did something happen at Ginny's?'' Sam pressed, as he was dragged along behind her.

Hermione grit her teeth.

''Nothing happened. Everything is fine.''

''I'd believe that more if you weren't crushing my fingers!'' He gasped. Hermione winced and dropped his hand.

''Sorry.'' She mumbled.

Sam was amazed that nobody batted an eyelid when a small woman in a dark cloak, hiding her face entered the shop, but there were much stranger things in there to gawk at.

''Can we go to the bookstore?'' Sam asked as Hermione filled her arms with jars and vials.

''Sure.'' Hermione handed him a pot of...he didn't actually want to know what that was...and moved on. Apparently she was ignoring him.

''It's Ron.'' Hermione admitted when they were ensconced in the dark and quiet bookshop half an hour later.

''Your ex?'' Sam asked, looking up from the history book he'd found.

Hermione sighed heavily.

''I'm being petty.'' She muttered. ''It's just...he's bringing Romilda Vane to the wedding. She's a girl I knew at school, a complete...'' Hermione trailed off into dark muttering and Sam nodded sympathetically.

''Who are you taking?'' He asked, adding his book to the stack they were accumulating between them.

''No one.'' The witch whined. ''I didn't think I'd need a date for my best friend's wedding. And now it's too late. Every wizard I know is invited, except Victor. And I asked him and he's busy!'' She scowled. ''So I'm going to look pathetic because Ron's brought someone and I haven't. It'll be ''Oh poor Hermione'' and ''She should never have let that one go''...''

Sam took a nervous step away from her and made a sympathetic noise to show he was listening.

''Ginny thinks it's hilarious of course.'' She added in a dark mutter.

''Does it have to be a wizard?'' Sam asked thoughtfully.

She seemed to think about this.

''No.'' She admitted begrudgingly. ''But...they'd have to know about magic, obviously.''

''Obviously.'' Sam held his tongue until they were stepping out onto the street with their purchases. ''Well,'' He told her serenely. ''You could always go with Dean.''

Hermione tripped over her own feet and landed in a puddle.

''We've got a problem.'' Dean growled as they stumbled through the door of their hotel room.

''What?'' Hermione frowned. Her bad mood hadn't improved after her dousing in puddle water.

Dean and Cas were standing glaring at each other in the middle of the room.

''An angel is bartering Heaven's weapons for human souls...'' Cas' started but Dean cut across him.

''Cas' just tortured a kid!'' He snapped.

''What the hell?'' Sam yelped, reeling backwards.

Castiel visibly gritted his teeth.

''It was necessary.'' He ground out.

''He was a kid!'' Dean yelled back. This argument had obviously been going on for a while. ''You didn't have to...''

''Why didn't you stop him?'' Sam asked his brother, glowering at the angel.

Dean glowered at him.

''I'm sorry, have you tried stopping an angel from doing what the hell they want?'' Sam flushed. ''Besides,'' Dean admitted, ''I didn't have time to stop him.''

''What exactly,'' Hermione demanded quietly. ''Happened.''

Castiel sighed.

''I needed to check whether the boy's soul was still his own.''

''So he stuck his hand in the kid's chest.'' Dean finished for him, eye blazing.

Castiel's wings lifted into what was obviously a threat, if only someone other than Hermione could actually see it.

''The procedure is painful, yes. But it was necessary. I can track the angel who bought his soul.'' He took in a deep breath he didn't actually need and sighed. ''I need myrrh.'' He muttered and vanished.

Hermione dropped her bags on the table and gaped at Dean. The man gave her a wide eyed look of complete understanding.

''What the hell is up with Cas?'' Sam demanded.

''Damned if I know.'' Dean muttered.

''Not funny.'' Hermione grumbled.

They found the Angel who'd been buying souls. An old brother-at-arms of Castiel's, he hadn't been overly pleased to see them, too busy burying himself in a hedonistic lifestyle, bought with the stolen weapons of Heaven. The Archangel Raphael had been even less pleased to see them and was probably down right miffed now, because Balthazar, the aforementioned soul buying angel, had turned his vessel into a pillar of salt. It wasn't an ideal situation.

There was definitely something up with Castiel though. Beyond the unusual syntax and manners that came from spending a year as a wavelength of celestial intent, Castiel was...tired. And stressed. And ruthless. The thing that set Castiel apart from other Angel's was his ability to care. And now it was like he'd managed to compartmentalise himself into some comic book villain who believed the end justified the means.

Still no one died. Or at least, Sam thought to himself, no one they'd known had died. Which was all they could ask for.

Dean had gone out for take out. Which was fine because it gave Hermione time to degenerate into a mess of a human being and start pacing the room, whilst her hair tangled itself into a mess of statistic knots. Sam idly wondered if her hair was magic enough to braid itself.

''I'm going to cancel!'' She announced dramatically.

Sam snorted and opened another clickbait article about the secrets of tangerines.

''It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't bloody Romilda!'' She added furiously. ''I mean what does he see in her? She's pretty, I suppose. And well endowed...'' Hermione stumbled to a miserable halt, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She sighed heavily. ''Prettier than me.'' She added in a mumble, Sam probably wasn't meant to hear.

Sam looked up from Number 15 (which he had totally already known) and frowned at her.

''You're gorgeous.'' He told her sincerely.

Hermione jumped violently and met his eyes in the mirror's reflection.

''Beaver toothed, bushy haired, bookworm,'' She said sadly and to Sam it sounded like she was quoting.

''Kick-ass, gorgeous hunter.'' Sam insisted. Hermione smiled weakly. '''Mione, you're great. If I didn't think of you as a sister, I'd totally want to date you.''

She arched one eyebrow.

''Thanks, Sammy.'' She muttered.

''And if I didn't think Dean would murder me.'' Sam added in a whisper.

''What was that?'' Hermione asked as she resumed pacing.


"It's just...I cannot be that pathetic person who shows up to a wedding dateless. Even if I am the Maid of Honour, it'll all be ''oh Hermione, who are you with now?''. I will not be pitied!" Hermione flopped onto her bed face first. "Maybe I should just cancel." She added in a pathetic mumble.

"I thought you were the Maid of Honour." Sam murmured from behind his laptop. ''I didn't think they could cancel.''

Hermione snarled into her pillow, causing Sam to chuckle.

"Why can't you go with me again?" She whined.

"I have a thing." Dean stepped into the room, kicking the door shut behind him and Sam smirked. "Dean'll go with you though."

"Dean'll go where?" Dean demanded as Hermione lifted her head up far enough to mouth something rude and anatomically impossible at Sam.

"It doesn't matter." She ground out, blushing.

"Harry's wedding." Sam told him gleefully. Dean scowled slightly but that was his normal response to the wizard's name. They still didn't get along.

"What about it?" he asked as Hermione rolled over, dragging the duvet over her head.

"She's the Maid of Honour." Sam explained, grinning.

"No, shit Sherlock. I didn't manage to miss that in the last six months." Dean snapped, yanking the blanket back enough to frown at her. "What's the problem?" He demanded.

"It's nothing." Hermione sighed when he just glared at her more and seemed to give in. "I need a date because Ron's going to be there and he's bringing Romilda and Molly will make snide comments so it's need to be a good date. And Sam's busy although he won't tell me why and…"

"You need arm candy." Dean finished, looking amused.

"Basically." She admitted in a small voice, sounding rather bitter about it.

"Well, it's not like I've got a social life so…" He paused and frowned. "How come you asked Sam first?".

"I'm better looking." Sam teased.

"Oh, please. No woman would choose you over me."

Sam chuckled.

"Dean, she literally just did."

"Sam just happened to be here." Hermione appeased as Dean lobbed a book at Sam's head. It missed and knocked a lamp off the bedside table.

Dean turned around and refused to look at her. He was definitely pouting. A slight smile hung around Hermione's mouth and she sighed.

"Look, will you go with me or not?" The witch demanded.

"Well, not now I know I'm second to my brother, I won't." Dean complained, pretending to examine his fingernails.

Hermione rolled her eyes and pulled him around to face her.

"Oh, for pities sake. Dean, you're the most handsome man I know."

Dean winked at her.

"Don't you forget it, darlin'."

"Will you go with me now?" She groaned, pulling at her hair. Her fingers got stuck.

"Will you be wearing a dress?" He asked, looking thoughtful.

"Yes." Hermione grumbled, looking rather put out about that. "And it's hideous."

Dean grinned.

"Then yeah, I'll go."

"I swear it's like dealing with the reincarnation of Sirius Black sometimes." She muttered and stormed off to investigate the take-out boxes.

Sam smirked into his coffee cup. It was always nice when a plan came together.

''Dean?'' Hermione breathed.

Their motel room was quiet, except for the faint sound of Sam's snoring in the next bed. Hermione propped herself up on one elbow so she could look down at the man next to her.

''Are you awake?'' She added in a whisper.

''Am now.'' Dean grumbled. He reached out with a fast hand and knocked her elbow out from underneath her so Hermione's head hit the pillows with a thump. She glared at him through her fringe. As he hadn't opened his eyes it probably wasn't going to do much good.

''What?'' Dean added, softer this time.

''Are you...'' Hermione swallowed nervously. ''Are you sure you want to go to this wedding with me?''

Dean opened one eye to scowl at her.

''Are you asking me if I've chickened out of being your date? 'Mione I ain't gonna let you go stag. It's fine.''

''But...It's a magical wedding, you know that?''

''Uh huh.'' His eye closed again and he settled back into his pillows.

''And you won't know many people there...'' She fretted.

''Mmm...'' Dean mumbled, reaching for her. Hermione let him settle his arm around her shoulders, trying to ignore how much it calmed her.

''You're going to have to wear robes you know?'' She added desperately.

''I'd figured.'' He muttered. ''Look, you just need me to stand there and look pretty right?''

''That's a little condescending,'' Hermione frowned. ''I want you to come because you genuinely want to, not because I'm making you.''

''Darlin' you can make me come whenever you want.'' Dean murmured, obviously half asleep.

Hermione elected to ignore that.

''Are you sure?'' She pressed, determined. ''That's what I am trying to ask you here.''

Dean gave a great sigh and opened both eyes, staring at her in the gloom of two am.

'''Mione,'' He breathed, close enough that his breath fanned out across her face. ''I'm not gonna leave you to face your ex alone. I've got your back. You know that. So if you need me to stand there and act like the perfect date then I'll do that. And if that means I've got to wear the damn robes and talk to a bunch of morons who I gotta pretend to like, then I'll do that too. I won't make you look bad.''

''I never thought you would.'' She whispered back.

Dean rolled his eyes, a gesture she only just caught in the darkness.

''Fantastic. Now,'' He tightened his grip on her and closed his eyes. ''Go the fuck to sleep, sweetheart.''

Hermione laughed softly and did as he suggested.

The week of the wedding loomed like a omen of doom. Hermione discovered she no longer had time to go hunting. The Hollyhead Harpies had done rather better in this season than anyone had predicted, so Ginny was locked in training sessions for the Semi-final match that was happening the day before her wedding. This left Hermione to run around frantically and ensure that the event went off without a hitch.

Harry, who someone how had more free time than his wife, was accompanying her, resulting in several pictures in both Witch Weekly and the Daily Prophet that Ginny had thankfully found funny rather than rage inducing.

''Have I mentioned your bridesmaid dress is...''

''Hideous?'' Hermione complained. ''Yes, I know.''

Harry nodded thoughtfully.

''We've got to go double check with the caterers and then we're done.'' She added, checking the list. Even Hermione, as persnickety as it was possible to be at some times, would normally have balked at checking each and every thing for an event. That was before she'd gone to check on the florist on Monday and discovered they'd lost the order form and had no idea what to do. Apparently they'd been too scared to admit they might have ruined Harry Potter's wedding and were considering fleeing to Germany. Since then Hermione had discovered and averted nineteen potential disasters and she and Harry had come to the conclusion that Ginny could never know about any of it.

For their own health and well being if nothing else.

''Still can't believe I'm getting married.'' Harry repeated.

Hermione rolled her eyes. Her best friend's enthusiasm had been adorable three days ago. Now it was wearing thin on Hermione's admittedly short temper. At least Harry wasn't having second thoughts, she reasoned.

They ducked through muggle London, walking instead of apparating because muggles didn't give a damn who they were, as long as they weren't blocking the pavement.

''Are you really bringing Dean?'' Harry added, glancing at her slyly.

''Yes.'' Hermione grumbled. ''I'm really bringing Dean.''

''Hmm.'' Harry said.

The headlight on a nearby car exploded and Hermione hurried on before Harry could notice. She wasn't entirely sure that one had been her but she didn't want to take any chances. Harry was as observant as a brick wall ninety percent of the time. It was the last ten percent you had to watch out for.

Hermione begged off visiting the caterers, mostly because she was sick to the teeth of wedding planning and dealing with actual food might cause her to vomit. Harry called her ridiculously dramatic and left her to loiter on the pavement outside.

She was several lists deep in her ring binder when a polite cough sounded from behind her, causing her to jump slightly.

''Sorry to bother you dearie...'' An elderly woman, complete with anorak and hair that had obviously been set into a particular style thirty years ago, smiled up at her. ''...Do you have a moment to talk about our lord Lucifer?''

Hermione blinked.

''Christo.'' She said firmly.

The old woman's eyes blinked red.

''Now that wasn't very nice, was it love?'' The demon smirked while Hermione started to wonder if she had time to reach for the knife stashed in her pocket. ''And to think, all the trouble I had to go to try and find you. Honestly I thought posting sentries on this side of the pond was a waste of time. You spend so much time with Moose and Squirrel, no one ever sees you back home...''

Hermione sighed heavily.

''Crowley?'' She guessed. The old lady smirked at her.

''See, I was worried you wouldn't recognise me.''

''What do you want?'' Hermione pressed. ''I'm a bit busy.''

The demon peered at her ring binder before Hermione snapped it closed.

''Were those...table favour options?'' He asked sceptically.

Hermione considered praying for patience. She wasn't sure anyone would listen.

''Yes. I'm trying to organise a wedding here.'' She snapped. ''Can we do this later?''

"Squirrel finally get around to making an honest woman of you?" The crossroads demon asked, sounding delighted.

Hermione blinked at him.

"What?" She demanded, nonplussed.

"Apparently not. No ring. Though how he'd afford one..." He sniffed imperiously. ''As for the table favours, I'd go with the second one. Much more elegant.'' Hermione said nothing and tried to not agree with him. ''Look, I need a favour.'' He shuffled his shopping bags and eventually produced a piece of paper. ''I took your advice by the way.'' He added as he unfolded it. ''Dialled things back a bit in Hell. A few more traditionalists appeased, you know how it is.''

''Do I?'' Hermione asked wearily. ''What's that?'' She added accepting the paper he shoved at her.

''What do you know about Alphas?'' Crowley asked her.

The paper was torn from an old book, and the quiet voice at the back of her head shouted a protest about that. It was old enough that the print was uneven, where the letter blocks hadn't quite been set straight.

''It's the theory that each group of monsters sprang from somewhere.'' She murmured. The paper outlined much the same thing, only it went on to question where monsters went if it wasn't Heaven or Hell. ''Most hunters don't believe they exists.'' She added, looking up at the old lady.

Crowley smirked.

''What do you believe?''

''We all came from somewhere.'' Hermione frowned. ''Why are you interested in them?''

''I was wondering if you could would be interested in helping me find some?'' Crowley smiled at her and Hermione shuddered, ''For a negotiable fee, of course.''

''Of course,'' she murmured. ''No, thanks. I've got enough on my plate as it is.''

''They could be hurting people.'' Crowley tempted.

Hermione paused to stare at him.

''They could be,'' She agreed suspiciously. ''And if they are a hunter will get to them. People die. Monsters kill. These things happen.''

Crowley pursed his lips.

''Fine. No, keep it.'' Crowley added when she made to hand the paper back. ''You might change your mind. Have a nice day, Miss Granger.''

''Who was that?'' Harry asked as Hermione watched the old lady walk away.

''No one.'' She insisted, stuffing the paper in her pocket. ''Crisis averted?''

''They thought we were vegan!'' Harry complained loudly.

Laughing, the two friends walked away.

Hermione had barely been state side in the last week so Dean and Sam had been hunting alone. She'd popped in long enough to heal Sam's broken ribs after he got thrown into a pillar and to yell at Dean for letting a ghost choke him so Sam could have enough time to burn its bones. It was strange not having her around all the time, but probably for the best. Sam admitted to his brother that they were far too reliant on her.

Dean shrugged.

''She's family. We like havin' her around. What's the harm in that?''

''I'm pretty sure you like having her around more than me.'' Sam drawled, sipping on his beer bottle.

Dean went still, his own beer held halfway to his lips as he stared at his brother. A muscle in his jaw twitched.

''Sammy…'' He warned darkly,

Sam sat down his bottle with a scowl.

''No, come on. Why haven't you told Hermione how you feel? I know talking about your feelings isn't usually your deal, but this is different.''

''Shut up.'' Dean grumbled, turning away from him.

''No.'' Sam snapped. ''Dean, this is important. You really like her. You two could be really happy together.'' Dean's shoulders hunched defensively. ''I know the idea of having a real, grown up relationship is scary but…''

''Sammy!'' His brother turned to face him, radiating annoyance. ''Just leave it.''

Sam frowned at him.

''C'mon.'' He pressed. ''At least talk to me about it?''

''We're not having a damn heart to heart.'' Dean snapped. Sam folded his arms and glared at him. Seeing that his little brother was settling in for the long haul Dean sighed. ''Alright fine. It's not that simple, Sam.''

''Isn't it?''

''No.'' Dean scowled at him, ''What if she's not interested? We still gotta work together. Or she might leave and…'' He faltered, looking slightly haunted. Sam didn't even want to think about what it'd be like if Hermione left. Not that she would. He hoped. 'I'm not going to risk what I've already got.' Dean sighed. 'Besides, even if she did say yes…'' He stared sadly at Sam, 'When have I ever been allowed to keep something that good?''

Sam scowled.

''Mione can take care of herself.'' He snapped. 'She's a hunter.''

'So was Mom.'' Dean snapped back. Sam flinched.

'She's not Mom.''

'I know that.'' The older man sighed. 'Believe me, I know. But I've already lived through her dyin' cause of me once. I don't wanna do that again.''

'You're being a coward.'' Sam accused softly. He got to his feet. 'Dean, I wish everyday I'd managed to get home in time to save Jess. I know she died because of me. But I'd never wish that I'd never asked her out. Because the time I did get with her...I wouldn't regret that for anything.'' He headed for the door. 'Maybe you should think about that.''

The day of the wedding dawned clear and bright and Hermione whispered a silent thank you to any goddess that might have been listening. She'd spent the night at the Burrow, sharing a room with Ginny, who'd slept fitfully, fretting over her wedding. Hermione hadn't slept much at all, plagued by nightmares and her own worries.

Despite all Hermione's work this week, problems were still arising. Ginny had sustained a large black eye in the Semi-Final yesterday, almost knocked straight off her broom by a vicious bludger blow. Hermione wasn't completely certain the other witch didn't have a concussion. Still while magic and make-up would fix Ginny, nothing could fix Hermione's bridesmaid dress. Hermione wasn't sure what she'd done to anger Ginny that much that she'd picked the Monstrosity for her, but no amount of apologising had helped.

She could hear Molly and Fleur heading upstairs, not doubt with breakfast for the blushing bride. Ginny, looking pale, freckled and in places purple, grinned nervously at Hermione.

At least Dean wasn't due to arrive until four, Hermione mused.

Dean was dressed in his shirt, a tie and waistcoat Ellen had found "somewhere" and a set of robes he intended to lose at the first possible opportunity draped over the top.

Sam hadn't stopped laughing since he got out of the bathroom.

"You got everything?" Sam asked, grinning wildly.

Dean grunted.

''Ellen wants a picture...'' Sam added smirking.

''Oh, save me now.'' He spotted Sam lifting his phone. ''Don't you dare, Sammy...I swear I'll...''

The portkey whisked Dean away mid-sentence but that was all right. Sam had already sent pictures to Ellen.

The Portkey almost dropped Dean on his ass, but he'd gotten good enough at the damn things now to know when to let go. He landed on a quiet road, in the middle of nowhere surrounded by hedgerows. It was definitely not America. It was slightly colder for one thing and everything was just that little bit different. The power lines he could see in the distance, the plants nearby, the way the road was made all told him he wasn't home. Up in front of him there was a towering building, a bit scorched in places and a bit lopsided in others, which mostly leaned to the right. The Burrow.

He made his way towards it and shuddered when he passed through the wards, opening the garden gate and stepping across the immaculate lawn.

There were people everywhere, most of whom had red hair and were setting out flowers and moving plates of food. He even spotted Ron and Harry in the distance. They were standing under a tree and quite obviously hiding. He didn't go over to say hello.


Dean whirled on the spot and froze, staring.

Hermione, dressed in faded jeans and one of his shirts, ran towards him with both hands over her head. This was obviously to stop her elaborate hairstyle, which had pinned her curls up into a...hair thingy on the back of her head from falling apart when she moved. It suited her, he realised quietly.

"Thank Merlin you're here. I needed to escape." She leaned against him heavily and Dean wrapped his arms around her, trying not to enjoy the hug too much. "Remind me of this day, if I ever decide to get married. Say "Hermione, remember Ginny's wedding"" She added gruffly.

"I do not sound like that." Dean complained faintly.

Hermione shrugged, seeming harassed.

"Either way I can't stay for long. But I can't just leave you...'' She trailed off looking around her at the people milling across the lawn. ''Ah ha! Charlie Weasley get over here!'' She yelled and a red haired man pirouetted on the spot, turning to face them from where he'd been hiding behind a shrubbery.

''Blimey, Hermione.'' He muttered, staggering closer. ''Might as well tell mum where I am.'' He ruffled his hair, a patch of which seemed to have been burnt off. ''Who's this handsome devil then?'' He added grinning at Dean. Dean grinned back.

Hermione sighed.

''Charlie Weasley, this is my date and work partner, Dean Winchester. Dean, this is Ron's second oldest brother Charlie. He's a dragon tamer.''

''What like really?'' Dean asked, genuinely interested.

Hermione grinned to herself.

''Yep. Charlie, Dean works in magical creature control, although he's got a different speciality. Look can you keep him company?''

Charlie turned as serious as it was probably possible for him to be.

''Do you mind hiding in a bush for the next hour?'' He asked Dean intently.

''Beats hiding in a sewer.'' Dean pointed out reasonably.

''That's the kinda attitude I like to hear.'' Charlie grabbed Dean's arm and headed for the nearest shrubbery. '''Mione if you're asked, you've never seen me, you've no idea what I look like and I'm definitely not here. Okay?''

Hermione nodded and laughed before sprinting off to deal with something else both hands on top of her head.


'What?'' Hermione's eyes widened as she stared at Molly and Fleur. 'What about it?''

'We don't 'ave it!'' Fleur looked attractively distraught, already dressed in her bridesmaid dress. 'Eet must still be at ze dress shop. I told you it was 'e mistake to trust ze Greengrass family.''

Molly ignored her.

'Hermione, we need you to go to the shop. See if you can find it or something else.''

Hermione's gaze went past them to where Ginny was sitting in her dress, staring blankly at wall. She was mouthing something under her breath.

'I'll do that if you'll talk to Ginny.'' Hermione murmured, indicating the bride with a nod of her head. Fleur nodded grimly.

Dean was pretty sure that he'd seen Hermione sprinting flat out across the Burrow's lawn before she dived in an impressive arc over the garden wall and disapparated in mid air.

But he wasn't sure. Dragons were really interesting as it turned out.

Hermione nearly shattered her skull on the cobbles of Diagon Alley. She managed to catch herself on her palms using reflexes honed hunting monsters. She sprung upwards again, paused a moment to make sure she hadn't splinched anything and then took off at a run to the Greengrass Dress shop at the far end of the street.

She had been initially reluctant to use the Greengrass' shop, but as Ginny pointed out, Daphne and Astoria had never actually been Death Eaters, they'd just happened to be in Slytherin.

And their dresses really were gorgeous.

Astoria was running the shop that day and she looked up alarmed as Hermione staggered through the door.

'Veil.'' Hermione gasped, panting. 'We need the veil.''

The witch caught on immediately.

'It wasn't in the delivery?'' She almost screamed.

Hermione shook her head.

Astoria let out a blistering string of swearwords, which left Hermione speechless and vanished into the back of the shop. For a moment Hermione wondered at her vehemence and then Hermione remembered her out reputation, and Harry's. It occurred to her that Ginny had chosen this dress shop deliberately. Everyone was aware of the ongoing prejudice against Slytherins, or everyone who cared to look. No one wanted anything to do with the Dark. Ginny choosing this shop had sent a clear message to others that there was nothing to be afraid of. And the Greengrasses knew it. Which explained why Astoria was so frantic.

'You look...tired.''

Hermione had her wand raised before she'd even turned properly. Draco yelped and ducked to the side, hiding behind a manikin.

'Malfoy?'' Hermione demanded.

His blonde head, hair hanging loose around his face, peeked out from behind the dress.

'Dangerous as always, Granger.'' He muttered. Hermione lowered her wand with a sigh and he straightened up. 'Remind me not to sneak up on you.''

She rolled her eyes.

'Why are you here?'' She sighed.

Malfoy flushed slightly.

'I am here to see Astoria.'' He muttered.

Hermione blinked at him.

'We're dating.'' The wizard added, rubbing at the back of his neck.

'Oh.'' She managed, 'Congratulations.''

They stood in awkward silence for a several moments before Draco drew in a deep breath.

'I owe you a great thanks.'' He breathed, staring at the floor.

Hermione regarded him solemnly.

'I killed your father.'' She told him quietly.

He sighed and shrugged.

'Father's selfishness killed him. I don't hold you responsible for that. I do hold you responsible for the life of my mother however. She's never been happier.''

'That's...good to hear.'' Hermione murmured.

'Still…'' Draco drew himself up to his full, still slightly coltish, height. 'A Malfoy always repays his debts. Name your price.''

Hermione considered him for a long moment, before she scoffed.

'I don't want payment, Malfoy. I do what I do because it's right, not because it pays. But…'' She added, sensing that he was about to argue. 'You could do yourself a favour. Get out of Britain.''

Draco flinched.

'I'm sorry my presence is so offensive…''

'No!'' Hermione realised with wide eyes. 'I don't mean it like that. I mean..'' She waved a frustrated hand. 'Here, you are always going to be the son of Lucius Malfoy. I think you need to get out of his shadow. Leave. That's what I did.''

'Does it help?'' He asked intently. 'Being away from here. Does it help?''

Hermione stepped forward and grabbed his arm roughly. She unbuttoned his cuff and shoved his sleeve up, shoved up her own sleeve and placed their forearms side by side.

His Dark Mark was faded and no longer writhed like it used to, but it was still as starkly visible as her own scar.

'Do you know what it's like to walk down a street where neither of these mean anything to anyone?'' She demanded, vaguely aware that she sounded slightly deranged. 'It is so freeing, Malfoy.'' She let go of him and the wizard took several quick steps back, eyeing her nervously. 'Nobody cares who I am in America. I love England, I always will. But…'' She looked around the shop sadly. 'I can't stay here. I think I'd lose my mind if I tried.''

Draco buttoned his cuff again, hiding his shame from sight.

'Where would I even go?'' He asked her, quietly serious.

Hermione smiled.

'America worked for me. We're wizards, Malfoy. You could go anywhere.''

The moment was broken when Astoria stumbled out of the backroom, a scrap of lace clutched in her hands.

'I'm sorry.'' She handed over the veil. 'I hope this hasn't ruined the wedding.''

'Wait, is Potter's wedding today?'' Draco demanded, staring at the two witches.

Astoria nodded, warily.

'Are you going like that?'' He asked, gesturing to Hermione's plaid shirt and jeans.

'Yes.'' She drawled, rolling her eyes.

'What colour's her dress?'' Draco turned to his girlfriend, looking slightly concerned.

'Blue.'' Astoria answered, apparently unconcerned.

'Boris!'' Draco yelled.

'My dress isn't blue.'' Hermione muttered to Astoria. The younger witch smirked at her.


A house elf appeared in the room. He looked well fed at least, but Hermione could feel old arguments growing on her tongue.

'Oh don't Granger.'' Draco snapped. 'Boris, I need you to fetch my grandmother's jewellery set. The sapphire ones.''

'Yes, Master.'' The House elf croaked and vanished.

The two witches stared at him.

'What?'' Draco gave them a strange look. 'She'll need something to hold her hair up.''

'Something is holding my hair up!'' Hermione growled, gesturing to her hair, still miraculously in place. Both Draco and Astoria gave her a pitying look. 'What?''

Boris the House Elf popped into existence at Draco's elbow and handed him a small velvet bag.

'Thank you.'' Draco murmured, smiling slightly. He handed the bag over to Hermione. 'A thanks. For both my mother and...for the advice.''

Hermione stared at him, not saying anything for a long time.

Astoria cleared her throat.

'Wedding.'' She prompted gently, apparently aware Hermione's world view was being hijacked.

'Oh no.'' Hermione turned on her heel, only pausing in the doorway to yell 'Thank you!'' over her shoulder.

Charlie froze mid-step in his tour around the Burrow and winced.

''Luna.'' He said brightly.

A woman stepped towards them, a girl really, with long blonde hair which was hanging loose about her face. She wore a dress, but hers was a bright sunshine yellow which made Dean wish he'd brought his sunglasses. Her eyes were blue and bright enough that he wondered briefly if she wasn't an angel.

There was a large hat perched on top of her head shaped like a lion, which seemed to be wearing a flower crown.

Charlie sighed heavily.

''Luna, this is Sam's big brother, Dean. Dean, this is Luna Lovegood a friend of Ginny's. She went to school with Hermione.'' Charlie took in the hat with a long look. ''Interesting hat.''

''Oh, do you like it?'' Luna beamed at them. ''I had to make a new one, the old one wouldn't roar any more.''

''That's a shame.'' Charlie said, insincerely. Dean tried not to stare.

A redhead bounded up to them,

''Oi, Charlie. Molly's going insane looking for you!''

''Of course she is.'' Charlie cursed. ''Listen, Luna, can you look after Dean for me? He's Hermione's date and I promised I'd keep him company. I've got to go do big brother duties and the only other people he knows are Harry and Ron and they're busy.''

Dean would have been offended, but everything he'd said was true so he kept his mouth shut.

Luna waved Charlie away and the wizard high tailed it across the lawn, vaulting over tables as he went.

''Uh...hi.'' Dean managed.

Luna's expression dropped for worryingly banal to utterly terrifying in less than a second.

''My friend died for you!'' She hissed and Dean flinched backwards. ''She burned and froze and split apart for you...'' Luna's blue eyes narrowed. ''And then you put her back together again.'' She grinned. ''So thank you.''

''Huh?'' Dean managed weakly.

The witch laughed and grabbed his arm, dragging him over to a row of seats at the back of the tent. People were starting to arrive now, filling the seats with a kaleidoscope of fashions and colours.

''I've known Hermione for a long time. Well...Not as long as she thinks. I knew of her first before I knew her. She wasn't very nice, you know.''

''Really?'' Hermione was probably the nicest person Dean knew, which was kinda sad when he thought about it.

''Mm. She didn't believe me. She believes me now.'' Luna folded her hands neatly in her lap. ''I was supposed to be one of the bridesmaids but then we wouldn't have been able to talk, so I asked not to be.''

''Okay.'' Dean managed weakly.

'What is that?'' Hermione asked, eyeing the dress bag warily.

Ginny, finally over her nerves, grinned at her. She looked disturbingly like George.

'It's your dress.'' She laughed. 'You didn't really think I'd make you wear that monstrosity did you?''

Hermione turned a murderous glare on Ginny, who had the gall to laugh.

Dean felt like his head was going to melt out of his ears. He was ninety percent sure the woman sitting next to him was some kind of mind reading seer, who'd gone mad with power. She'd spent the last half hour quietly whispering the secrets of each guest in his ear as they took their seats. She had also, and he wasn't sure how, gotten him to subscribe to her magazine, despite the fact that he only had american dollars on him.

'You're kinda cool.'' He told her honestly.

She beamed at him.

'Thank you. Now remember to close your mouth. No one wants to see your tonsils.''

Dean frowned at her just as a sudden hush fell across the tent. Harry and Ron were standing in front, both dressed smartly in robes. They straightened up as quiet music started to play and everyone twisted to face the entrance. First came a tall beautiful blonde woman, who looked eerily similar to the Veela Hermione had killed a while back. Next...next came Hermione.

She had her scars glamoured and had to have been wearing heels because Dean knew she wasn't that tall normally. He'd seen her in dresses before but Hermione was notoriously shy about her figure and this one clung. It was very long and a deep blue that matched the jewels in her hair and the pendant hanging around her throat. She looked amazing.

She looked like everything Dean had ever wanted and couldn't have.

'Tonsils.'' Luna whispered and Dean snapped his mouth shut with a click, watching Hermione walk down the aisle. She turned around to face the entrance and caught sight of Dean. She smiled at him and, feeling slightly stunned, Dean grinned back.

'lelki társak,'' Luna muttered exasperated.

The wedding went well. Hermione had warned Dean in advance so he hadn't freaked the fuck out when all of the chairs disappeared, or when the tent was magically altered. Harry and Ginny looked...like people were supposed to look on their wedding day. This was only the second wedding Dean had ever been to, so he wasn't really certain how it ranked, but Hermione was making her way over to him and looking nervous.

Freakin' gorgeous, but definitely nervous.

''We've got to take our seats...'' Hermione paused and grinned ruefully. ''Do I want to know how you managed to lose your robes in the last half an hour?''

''Nope.'' He winked at her. ''What do ya mean, seats?''

Hermione took his hand and towed him through the crowd of guests, milling around tables.

''We're sitting at the main table.'' She scowled and several wizards leaped out of her way. ''Which may be stressful. But maybe if we're quiet people will just forget we're there.''

''That never works.'' Dean muttered and Hermione snorted. 'Hey,'' He pulled her to a halt. 'You look beautiful, by the way.''

Hermione's eyes widened as her face flushed bright red.

'Thanks,'' She squeaked before heading for their seats.

The main table consisted of Harry and Ginny, who seemed to be too wrapped up in each other to be care about anything, a red head Dean didn't know and Ron, who scowled impressively at him.

''Sorry,'' Hermione apologised. ''Luna had kidnapped Dean.''

Harry, hearing Dean's name, looked up and winced in greeting. Ginny beamed at him before turning a look Dean didn't understand on Hermione, who actually managed to turn redder.

This was going to be painful.

If it wasn't for George getting through the meal would have been a disaster. George took one look at Hermione's pleading expression, Ron's grim scowl and Ginny's smirk and proceeded to monopolise the table for the next half an hour, in a truly heart breaking performance. It was funny and distracting and completely successful, except for the tiny moments where he would pause. And look to his left expectantly. And flinch.

Hermione had never been more grateful in her life.

''C'mon,'' She said to Dean, as soon as it was socially acceptable to stand up. Harry and Ginny were dancing slowly across the room, so Hermione pulled her date to the other side of the tent to watch them.

''Is she meant to be leading?'' Dean asked, leaning down slightly to whisper in her ear.

Hermione snorted, leaning back against him.

''Harry can't dance.'' She murmured back. ''We tried it the other way and it doesn't work. So...Ginny leads.''

Dean murmured something presumably lewd under his breath and Hermione elbowed him in the gut.

'Behave.'' She muttered.

''Ermione!'' A large burly man in robes strode towards them. Hermione beamed and held her arms out to be hugged.

'Victor.'' She greeted delightedly.

The wizard set her down on her feet and turned to scowl at Dean.

'This is Dean, my date. We work together.'' Hermione explained, still smiling.

'Victor Krum.'' The man introduced himself, looking Dean over with narrowed eyes.

'Dean Winchester.'' They shook hands. Both made a valiant attempt at crushing the other's fingers.

'I thought you weren't coming?'' Hermione inquired, frowning slightly.

'Er...Zer was a change of plans.'' Victor lied obviously. Hermione frowned. 'Potter says you are vorking in America now?''

'For the most part.''

'I aff been signed to ze team in New York. Perhaps you would like to come see a game? I would be nice to 'av some support.''

Dean scowled.

'Oh, I'd love to.'' Hermione grinned. 'Dean's never seen a Quidditch match. You'd love it.'' She added, grinning up at Dean.

Victor scowled. Dean did his best not to look too smug.

Hermione, completely oblivious to all of this, continued chatting to the Bulgarian until they were both called away by other people, leaving Dean alone in a corner.

'Ginny Potter,'' Hermione hissed, under the guise of giving her friend a hug, 'Don't think for a second I haven't noticed that not only is Romilda not here, Ron doesn't even have a date.'' She leaned back and smiled viciously. 'I am going to kill you.'' She promised.

Ginny smirked.

'You're going to try.''

Dean was doing what Sam secretly called "Passive-aggressive Chewing". It involved him stuffing his mouth with whatever he had on hand and glaring at someone whilst not saying every foul mouthed and sassy thing that ran through his head. Seeing it now meant two things. One, Dean really was on his best behaviour. And two, someone had seriously pissed him off.

"What's wrong?" She murmured, appearing by his side.

Dean relaxed slightly when he saw her and swallowed.

"Some..." She raised an eyebrow and he cleared his throat. "Person, just spent ten minutes telling me why it was freakin' appropriate that a girl of your station had decided to work in trade."

Hermione snorted, which earned her a glare from a nearby guest.

"Well we can't all be perfect little purebloods." She smirked. "Anyway, it's a family business, not a trade."

Dean got the look on his face that meant he was being both possessive and smug, an expression usually reserved for Sam when he did something clever, and Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Who was it?" She asked.

He indicated the elderly lady in question and Hermione laughed softly.

"Ah. That's Aunt Muriel. She's never liked me. The first time we met she said I had skinny ankles. And made some comment about my blood if I remember rightly. Charming woman."

Dean grunted, watching the happy couple dance, seemingly oblivious to all else.

"This shouldn't feel strange." Hermione noted. "But somehow it does."

"How'd you mean?" The hunter queried.

"If you'd asked me, four years ago, where I'd be standing at Harry Potter's wedding. I'd have pointed over there." She indicated the brunette, beaming at the room from Ron's arm, with a flick of her fingers. "But here I am, with one of my best friends, being glared at by most of the guests."

Dean froze, staring down at her.

"You regret it?" He asked carefully.

Hermione grinned, looping her arm through his.

"Not at all. Besides," She wrinkled her nose at him in amusement. "The view is better from over here anyway."

Dean laughed.

They left the wedding after midnight, when Hermione could finally make her excuses and slip off into the night. She apparated them to London, which was as far as she felt safe travelling at the moment. Her flat had been left unoccupied but she raided her cupboards and found a dusty bottle of cider. They sat staring out at the dark rooftops, sipping from their drinks in companionable silence.

"You ever wish you'd said yes?" Dean asked suddenly. "To Ron?"

Hermione turned to stare at him, forehead crinkling in confusion.

"No." She smiled, "Never."

"How come?"

"Well," She leaned back against the sofa, resting her glass on her thigh. "Marrying a man I didn't love is generally considered a bad idea." She chuckled sadly. "Not that getting engaged is really an option for a hunter."

"Bobby and Ellen..."

"Are a special case and you know it." Hermione frowned at him. "They've both lost partners."

Dean sighed.

"I guess." He murmured. He gave her a grin and she rolled her eyes. "So what? No foofy white dress for Hermione Granger?"

Hermione scowled.

"It's Winchester, I'll have you know. I swear if I find out who cursed my business cards..." Dean snorted as she trailed off. "No, Dean. I don't think that's really in my future."

"Would you like to be?" He asked quietly.

She frowned at him, curious.

"Why're you so interested?"

"Just making conversation." Dean said, innocently.

Hermione looked disbelieving.

"I'd have to find someone willing first..." She teased, sipping her drink. "It couldn't be a civilian."

"So another hunter?"

"Mmm." She smirked. "Do you think I could fight Ellen for Bobby?" She added cheekily.

Dean groaned.

"That's not an image I needed. Isn't he a little too old for you?" He added petulantly.

"Maturity is a very important factor in a man." She teased. "But I'm fairly certain Ellen would win."


Hermione chewed on her lip for a moment, before gathering her courage and taking in a deep breath.

"Besides they'd have to be pretty understanding."

"How come?" Dean asked, with a frown.

"Well... I don't know, but most men might take exception to me sharing a bed with someone else. Definitely seemed to be a sticking point for Ron."

Dean huffed into his drink.

"The nightmares might get better." He offered.

"It's not just the nightmares." She flushed, looking at him from the corner of her eye. "Dean, honestly at this point I don't think I can sleep unless you're next to me."

There was a pause, in which Dean blushed a deeper red than she'd ever seen. He drew in a deep breath of his own, swallowed and then said:


Hermione snorted softly and smirked into her drink.

"Dear Merlin, that's what it takes to render you speechless? I'll have to remember that." She finished her cider and sighed. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."

She got up, intending to put her empty glass in the kitchen.

"I'm going to head to bed." She murmured.

Dean snagged her wrist as she passed, drawing her to a stop in front of him.

"You've really got no idea, do you?" He whispered, apparently amazed.

Hermione stared down at him in the London darkness. They hadn't turned on any of the lights when they'd stumbled in and the fireplace hasn't been lit in over a year, so the only illumination came from the moon and the street lights. His eyes seemed to glow regardless, a deep bottomless green which Hermione knew almost as well as her own brown.

Slowly, not taking his eyes off her, Dean got to his feet. With his free hand he tugged the glass out of her grip and dropped it onto the sofa, before turning back, holding onto both of her wrists.

He laughed softly.

"I thought I was so fuckin' obvious." He whispered.

Hermione's eyes were wide as she gazed up at him. Dean let go of one of her wrists and trailed his hand up her arm, settling it against her neck, brushing his thumb against her jaw. She shivered slightly.

'I'm kinda mad about you.'' He breathed, before he leaned down and kissed her.

For a moment Hermione seemed stuck, frozen. And the she whimpered quietly and kissed him back, lips moving against his gently. Her lips were as soft as he remembered but this time the world wasn't ending around them. This time there was just Dean and Hermione.

'Dean…'' She murmured when he pulled back to breathe. He smiled at her shyly until her eyes rolled back into her head and she went limp.

'Fuck.'' He swore, holding onto her. 'Mione, sweetheart.'' She hadn't had a black out in months.

Her eyes sharpened into focus surprisingly quickly and she stared at him.

'We've done that before.'' She breathed. 'Before I jumped. You kissed me.''

Dean felt his shoulders relax and he loosened his grip on her so she could move away if she wanted too.

'Yeah, I did.''

Hermione laughed quietly, her mouth turning up into a smile.

'Then why did you stop?'' She asked, standing on her tiptoes and kissing him.

Dean kissed her back.

He honestly had no idea.


So...this took a while? Hope it was worth a years wait, hope you liked it.

Special thanks to Kathleen, for checking on me and giving me the motivation to stay up to 2am writing. You're awesome.

I'm going to try and update more often now. I've kind of spent the last year writing a novel so...


Once again,

Hood Out.