Gellert watched, enchanted, as the frizzy brown hair swung in front of him. He couldn't stop himself from following her, despite the fact that he knew it was dangerous to be alone with anyone around Knockturn Alley. This was just a girl, though, she looked around the same age as he did. Those warm chocolate eyes would be darting around Knockturn Alley in fear, alone, if he didn't follow her. Gellert didn't think he would be able to bear the possibility of it.

He followed her down the darkened alley despite his misgivings. Gellert ensured that his wand would be in his hand within seconds if anything looked odd, or if they were attacked. The girl walked for some distance, uncaring, and unapproached by anyone – which was decidedly odd, but not entirely unexpected given the current threat of a serial killer on the loose.

What he definitely didn't expect, was for the girl to turn around with eyes that were filled with panic, a wand near her pointing at him, already blazing with a colour that left him open to a myriad of different possible spells. With too many options to choose from as a defence, Gellert was too slow to choose one, and was stunned.

…xXx…

Hermione hummed as she disillusioned and levitated the body of her latest catch. There was something different about this boy compared to the rest, and she wanted it. She would keep him until he told her exactly what was so special about him, and then she would decide what to do with him.

The boy wouldn't be released – that was always too messy, and could result in her being caught. Hermione knew that she couldn't risk something like that, or she would never have fun with the pretty red that people produced, nor the delightful screams they gave her.

It was a precious gift, and Hermione had been certain to keep everyone's perfectly safe, never to be forgotten. Sometimes she put them back into the little Pensieve she had gotten in one of the fancier mansions, just to watch them all again – hear all of their beautiful sounds.

She was respected amongst her peers, after all – the brilliant muggleborn girl who thrived on knowledge. How little they knew.

Hermione shrugged once she realised that the blond boy wasn't going to be waking up any time soon. She would just have to find another person to play with tonight. Perhaps a redhead? She hadn't had one of those in a while…

…xXx…

Wrinkling her nose at the smell that hit her nose, Hermione glared at the pitiful redhead that was whimpering at her feet. She vaguely recognised him, but the boy had urinated himself before she had even brought her trusty blades out. She had pointed and blathered on about a spider, that was extremely tiny and definitely non-venomous – which had disappointed Hermione greatly.

The stink was gone with a wave of her wand – she hated when they were shaking before she even started on them. Hermione much preferred when the fear was because of her. It was such a waste when it wasn't purely her fear, but there was simply so much of it coming from the redhead.

Hermione summoned a spider, watching in interest as the boy's whimpers grew louder, fat tears starting to leak from his eyes as the boy realised that he couldn't move and the spider was getting closer. She had, truly, never thought of this kind of torture, and Hermione marvelled at it as the boy's screams only increased in pitch.

She may just keep this one to play with whenever she got bored. Those screams were absolutely delightful.

But, Hermione knew that she only kept one at a time, and she already had one boy right now. Plenty stronger than this one. A lot more interesting too…

…xXx…

The clearing up was always the worst. The place had to be spotless or people became suspicious, and Hermione couldn't just stop inviting people to her home because there was blood spilt on the floor.

It was the murmured groan that alerted Hermione to the boy's awakening. He wouldn't be able to move, especially since she had taken his wand once she had stunned him and was certain that he didn't have another hidden on his body – the fact that he didn't have much clothes on anymore may have helped her decision not to simply keep him cursed.

"Did I kill my target?" the boy asked drowsily, apparently not realising his bound state. The realisation hit him moments later, but the boy didn't make a sound other than a startled gasp. Hermione had been right - the redhead had been nothing compared to this boy.

"There wasn't one," Hermione grinned, eyes alight with humour. "And I don't think you even had a moment to target anyone."

"You set me up!" The boy winced as he failed to get up, the sticking charm yanking him backwards.

"You fell for it," Hermione returned, not looking remorseful at the least. "Besides, you felt interesting, and I like keeping the interesting ones."

The boy settled back on his bed, blond hair mussed after his short and painful struggle. "What do you mean 'interesting ones'? Surely, you don't-It's you, isn't it?"

Hermione laughed lightly. "You are smart. I'm Hermione Granger, and you're never leaving. I don't care about your name."

…xXx…

She may not have cared, but Gellert had made sure she knew his name, correcting her every time she called him whatever random name that came to her mind.

"Are you really just going to keep me locked up here?"

"I don't see the problem with it. Besides, you don't really seem to have too much of a problem with it, Blondie, and no one's looking for you either."

"Gellert," he reminded. "Can I at least get my wand back?"

"And risk you breaking out of here?" Hermione raised an eyebrow at him. "You'll ruin everything!"

"From what I've heard of you, Hermione Granger, I'd think that would be rather difficult. Most would rather believe I were nutty than the idea of you being a psychopath," Gellert said, shrugging. Hermione had let him leave the bed after he had sworn not to try to escape, but Hermione still hadn't seemed to trust him even after that promise.

And so he was wandless, and feeling very vulnerable for the possibility that Hermione would wield her knives against him again. The scars from the last time Hermione had lost her temper hadn't disappeared yet despite his magic allowing him rapid healing abilities.

For the most part, though, Hermione was relatively sane.

…xXx…

It was, maybe, a month later when Gellert was woken by tortured screams.

Being free to roam the little apartment, Gellert followed the sound into one of the smaller rooms - the odd one that had tiles instead of the usual carpet.

"Please! Please! Don't do it! Don't do it!" the person sobbed, a female by the sound of it. Gellert assumed that Hermione had put silencing charms around the apartment, but had forgotten about him being there as well.

Gellert slinked back into the shadows once he noticed that unholy glint of insanity in those brown eyes. There was no saving the woman, at least not at the cost of his own life – and that wouldn't even ensure that the woman would be saved anyway.

Bright red liquid seeped through the cracks in the tiles as the screams grew weaker and weaker, but Gellert couldn't help staring at the scene in front of him, wondering why that hadn't been him when he had first arrived, wondering why he was different from the rest of them.

"I never took you for a voyeur…" Hermione said, her eyes meeting Gellert's on the mirror with a smirk. Gellert shuddered, slinking back into what had become his bedroom to the sounds of Hermione clearing up.

He wondered what Hermione did with all the bodies.

…xXx…

"I can't help but notice that there hasn't been anyone looking for you," Hermione said over her latest book, her eyes flickering between him and the page.

Gellert shrugged, "I'm not surprised. I doubt they would have even noticed."

Hermione hummed, "Would you like to know for sure? Perhaps we could find them…"

"We?"

"Yeah. I've decided to teach you my ways: the delicate art of screams, and the beautiful methods of torture," Hermione said, idly turning over a new page.

Gellert didn't think he would really want to learn something like that, but if it led to the possibility of getting his wand back…

"When do we start?"

"Brilliant!"

…xXx…

Hermione's lack of answer concrete answer was given by the screams he woke to that very night. Only this time, they stopped quickly, and Hermione came into his room to wake him.

"Why leave for tomorrow something that can be done today?" Hermione asked excitedly dragging Gellert along.

Despite his reluctance, Gellert was curious as to why screams would entice someone like Hermione out of her books. They were just… screams, loud verbalisations of pain and nothing else.

Hermione handed over one of her knives to Gellert, the other of the pair still held loosely in her other hand. The victim was silenced, Gellert realised, and not asleep as he had first assumed. The boy had stopped screaming, though, seeing as no sound came out, but his eyes begged for mercy, mercy that Gellert didn't think Hermione understood.

"Just listen to the beautiful song he sings," Hermione said, her eyes not leaving the boy's face. The tear tracks were clear, now, along with the hopelessness in the boy's eyes as he silently pleaded with Gellert to save him.

Gellert ignored those eyes as Hermione stepped back, motioning for Gellert to copy the cuts that she had made only moments before.

The boy wasn't going to survive the hour.

…xXx…

"See! I told you that you'd like it!"

Gellert didn't think that he'd made any indication of liking their previous night's activities, and he knew he had given no sign of liking it either. He nodded in agreement nevertheless.

Hermione didn't need to know that he had actually felt a little sorry for the boy they had killed yesterday. The boy probably had family and friends that were worried about him, and would cry over his death. Gellert had never heard Hermione mention any family, and it was clear that none of her friends knew her well enough to know about her tendencies.

Gellert knew that he couldn't escape this now; he was a part of the murders. He had become an accomplice, if nothing else.

There would be nothing out there for him if he left this apartment – for all he knew, Hermione could even pin all of this on him if he left, blaming him into coercing her instead of it being the other way around.

He didn't know if he would be able to get used to this, but Gellert knew that he would try – for his own sanity.


Written for OTP AU Competition III: Hermione/Gellert [Serial Killer!AU]

Written for YouTubers Quotes Challenge – "Did I kill my target?"