None of the characters you might recognise are mine. Nothing is mine. This is almost canon-compliant expect for the dreadful Epilogue.

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"So, Officer Granger, are you up to it?"

"I'm sorry," she said, "I don't quite understand the mission." She shoved her mobile phone back into her pocket, relieved to hear that Rosie was getting better, the cough easing, the fever gone.

Head Officer O'Shea sighed quietly. Officer Granger sometimes lacked the focus she had been famed for after that stupid incident with her ex-husband. But she was still a marvellous agent and the mission he was about to send her on would give her a few more hours with her daughter and hopefully straighten her out.

"We have intelligence of activity of a certain, shall we say, terrorist kind."

"What terrorist kind? We don't have Islamist..."

"Death Eaters."

"What?"

"The Dark Mark has been seen above a remote corner of the Lake District. Naturally we investigated, but there hasn't been any death there."

"What do you mean there?" Hermione asked, her mouth and eyes wide open.

"Well, an elderly witch called Fabienne LaBlanc, a Franco-Canadian tourist, was found in her room in the Leaky Cauldron a few weeks ago. There was no sign of anyone breaking in but the post mortem revealed it wasn't a natural death but the use of the Killing Curse."

Hermione gasped.

"And? Who do we suspect? Why wasn't this in the news? Why..."

O'Shea raised his eyebrows. "Why what, Officer Granger?"

"Why now? It's been 18 years since..."

He shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine."

"And where do I come in?"

"We need you to observe one of our suspects. And in case you wonder why we picked you when all you've done in the last three years since you had your daughter was office work..."

"Which I do..."

"Is that you are the most familiar with the Muggle world."

"That Muggle world?" Hermione shook her head. "A Death Eater, or suspected Death Eater in the Muggle world?"

O'Shea nodded. "You have to admit it's a good plan. This would be the last place any other intelligence agency would look. That's why we're the best in the world. Because we look first where others would look last."

"Alright, Muggle world. What do I have to do?" She grabbed a pen from O'Shea's desk, a piece of paper from her bag and waited, poised, excited.

"We got you a job. It's in Edinburgh, but that shouldn't be a problem with apparition. Our suspect works at the same place."

"What place?"

"Eastbank Pharmaceuticals. They develop new Muggle medicine, biogenerics, improve other medicine. You get the gist."

"I know absolutely nothing about pharmaceuticals. I take an ibuprofen now and again for...", she blushed, "but you don't need to know that."

"That's why we put you in a secretarial position. Not as close to our suspect as we like but that's the best we could do on short term."

"Moneypenny?"

O'Shea, a half-blood, laughed. "If you want to put it that way, yes. But you've been Moneypenny since you came back from your maternity leave."

She frowned. "Have I?"

O'Shea still grinned. "Just ask Connor."

"Ew," Hermione answered, thinking of that smelly, unwashed, unkempt, unhygienic idiot from IT. "Can we get back to the topic, please? So I have a job at, what was it? Eastbank Pharmaceuticals. As a secretary. And I should possibly get as close to that suspect as I can. Who is it, by the way? Do we know more, or do I have to find that out, too?"

"We know who it is. We just need you to find out whether he has anything at all to do with it. As far as we know, he's lived a perfectly normal, perfectly clean life in the Muggle world for the last 17 years. We couldn't pin anything on him but he seems like one who would..." O'Shea stopped and sighed. He wiped his hand across his brow. "I hope he's not behind the attacks but those people upstairs do. They want him as their whipping boy, I believe."

Hermione wriggled on her chair. This was about to get interesting. "Who is it?"

O'Shea sighed again, and after a pause, he said: "He works in development, we believe. Which might make it more difficult for you to get in touch with him. Oh," he stopped himself, rolled back on his chair, opened a drawer and pulled out two glasses and a bottle of Laphroaig.

"I'm not..." Hermione tried to say, but he shook his head.

"Do me the favour. Just a tiny sip. You'll need it."

"Why?" she asked, even more excited now.

He poured a little of the golden liquid into each glass, shoved one in Hermione's hand and drank his own straight down. Hermione took a sip, pulled a face, then downed the rest.

"What is Oh?", she asked, eager for the conversation to continue.

"You'll have to be in disguise," he said slowly.

Hermione laughed. "Not the first time."

"But this is probably not a two day job. You'll need to time taking the Polyjuice. We have hair for you. That's not the problem. But you will need to spend a few months, if not longer, in disguise. In Edinburgh."

Hermione nodded. "Understood. It's fine. It really is. But...you never said who it is."

O'Shea took a deep breath. "You understand this is classified information? You cannot tell anyone. Not even your daughter?"

"Rosie's three," Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Still. You mustn't even tell your daughter.

"Alright. Now. Who is it?"

"Can't you guess?"

Hermione let out a deep, annoyed breath. "Can't you just tell me, O'Shea? My daughter ran a fever last night, she's been coughing, and snoring and slept like a little starfish in my bed. I'm not in the mood for 20 questions."

O'Shea poured himself another drink, downed it quickly, cleared his throat and looked her straight in the eye.

"Severus Snape."

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Is anyone still reading HG/SS?