PROLOGUE

2nd November 2006

A soft amused laugh sounded from one of the luxurious private booths in the Golden Dragon, one of the best magical restaurants built in London after the war. Anastasia Danilenko, known to the muggle world as a famous Ukrainian model, was looking at her beautiful companion with a mischievous smile, coquettishly twirling a soft pale brown strand of sleek hair around her thin finger.

"You could not possibly mean it," she teased her companion, her Eastern European accent adding to her endless charm.

Olivia Carlson leaned forward in her seat just a little bit, the strapless ruby dress pushing her cleavage just a little bit closer together in subtle response to the seduction, her blond curls gathered elegantly around her shoulders. "I do. London has been great for new wonders. You are only the second woman I have been charmed by, but my first was a Londoner to the bone," her sweet, American smile of straight white teeth positively endearing.

Anastasia took her in with a sharp grey gaze and leaned forward after the waiter dropped off their bill. "Here," she unobtrusively passed her a plastic key card to a room in the opulent hotel beside the restaurant. "I will be waiting for you to charm you even further. Seventh floor, and don't keep me waiting," she nearly purred and left several notes on the table to cover them.

Olivia gave her a sweet smile, her cheeks rosy at such a proposal. "I won't," she promised, looking around as if to check shyly that no one noticed them exchanging such intimate words.

Anastasia slid out of the booth elegantly and left first, impatient to indulge in the sweet American girl before she had to leave for a photoshoot in Moscow the following day. She reached her room and took off her heels and dress, wrapping her nude body in a soft hotel bathrobe. She just finished brushing through her hair when a timid knock on the door announced the arrival of her awaited companion. She opened the door with a predatory smile, pulling the beautiful blond into her embrace and before Olivia had a chance to say a word, she was pressed against the closing door and her lips were claimed in a passionate kiss.

"You are so beautiful," Anastasia whispered erotically in her ear, her hand squeezing the blonde's thin waist.

She was just about to claim those sweet pink lips once more when a deep ache in her belly made her stumble backwards. Her world began to spin as she tried to focus on the woman fussing by her side for her safety, but she slipped into the darkness of unconsciousness and knew no more of what was going on around her.

The blond stood calmly and took off her heels, feeling the first tendrils of pain in her chest. She managed to slide down the zipper of her tight dress just in time before her body began shifting, slim arms filing in with toned muscles, thighs growing sturdy and hips curving outwards to accommodate a heavier, stronger form. The straw blond in the loose curls gave way to a beautiful tight curls of chestnut colour with auburn undertones. The last hint of Olivia Carlson disappeared, leaving Unspeakable Hermione Granger standing in her place.

She got to work quickly, digging into her enchanted purse for a pair of jeans and a black long sleeve top, chucking the dress and the tall pumps back into the enlarged purse. She slid her aching feet into a pair of simple black flats and tied her curls up carefully for the job ahead of her.

She left the unconscious woman on the floor and got started on the bed. She mussed up the sheets a bit to make them appear slept in, spilt a few drops of the opened Moët & Chandon strategically over the sheets and gently floated Anastasia into them. She tucked her in a bit and then turned her on her back, making her appear restless. The poison was working well and the model would die within the hour, painlessly and in her sleep, as was Hermione's specialty. She went over the whole room and the door with cleaning charms, leaving no trace of her own DNA or that of Olivia Carson in the room, knowing the stolen identity would do no good to appear in the muggle police investigation. Finally, she emptied two bottles of the expensive champagne down the drain and left them by the bed side, to indicate heavy drinking. She pulled on a pair of gloves and opened the door, making sure to leave no trace of anyone other than the model in the room. Her last job was to charm the cameras in the hallway, lift, and the foyer, confusing them and wiping them out completely for the last 8 hours in a sudden system failure. She was leaving the hotel casually under notice-me-not charms to avoid any muggle detection, smiling when she noticed the security staff scrambling about to sort out the technical issue caused by her magic.

She pulled on a warm hoodie against the fall chill and found a quiet alley one block away behind a Chinese bistro. After apparating back to her flat, Hermione fell straight into bed to sleep off the effects of the altered long-term Polyjuice potion that was so taxing for her body. The last thought on her mind was that her mission was accomplished, and she could finally have her two weeks of holidays…