1) Post-War AU
2) Updates will be sporadic, chapter lengths may vary wildly.
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Fenrir Greyback Fancast: Jason Momoa
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter, or any affiliated characters, and make no profit, in any form, from this story.
"Well, well, well . . . ."
Hermione forced a gulp down her throat as she heard his voice, low and gravelly, echoing off the pocked stone walls of the passage that preceded his cell.
"There's a delightful scent I remember oh, too, well."
Madam Guir frowned and shook her head, pushing the younger witch on ahead of her. She would swear the girl hadn't even realized she'd frozen in place. "Oh, go on, Miss Granger. He won't bite you."
Her shoulders slumping, Hermione nodded with some reluctance. Even Greyback in his little cage to which they were drawing closer, step by nerve jangling step, recognized that the woman was joking. His rich chuckle boomed through the confined space.
"He's already in solitary confinement, Madam. What makes you think he wouldn't at least try?"
Placing a gentle hand on her student-healer's arm, Madam Guir offered a comforting smile. "Because that beast knows what'll happen to him if he tries to harm one of us."
Fenrir was surprisingly quite as the two females, escorted by a surly-looking Auror who appeared to wish he could be anywhere else, right now, finally reached the end of the lower level corridor that led to the solitary confinement chambers.
Hermione felt a little jolt in the center of her chest at seeing him for the first time since the War. Those amber eyes that traced over her, the arched brows she remembered waggling suggestively at her as he'd talked about wanting to take bites of her. That scraggly jet hair laced with silver that hung loose around his broad shoulders. Bare . . . ? Bare shoulders? Why wasn't he . . . ?
A blush flaring in her cheeks, she immediately spun on her heel, putting her back to him. He chuckled at her reaction, though the elder witch accompanying her only stared at his face with a withering and exhausted expression.
"Mr. Greyback," the supervising Medi-witch said in a stern tone, "please get dressed."
"Sorry, love. They just put me back in from one of their lovely ice-cold showers. Didn't even let me dry off." Smirking he leaned nearer to the bars. "Step a little closer and I'm sure even your old eyes could make out the drops of water still on my skin."
"Goddamit Greyback, get dressed!"
His brows shot up and a laugh bubbled out of him at the Mudblood's order, all but shouted through clenched teeth he was sure. "What's the matter, Brown Eyes? Afraid you might see something you'll like?"
"Afraid I might vomit, actually," she said, shaking her head.
"Bit counterproductive for me to cover myself up when you ladies are here to examine me, isn't it?"
"Wand scans don't require the removal of the subject's trousers, Mr. Greyback."
He rolled his eyes at the elder witch. "Fine."
Only when Hermione heard an end to the sudden rustling of fabric, did she turn back to face him, once more. Still didn't have a shirt on, just her luck. She was perfectly aware he only half-dressed on purpose—testing if a constant, unhindered view of his muscles could ruffle her feathers. "You're insufferable."
"Oh, that almost sounded like a growl from that pretty little throat of yours."
The young woman reflexively recoiled. She couldn't help herself. Werewolves talking about one's throat could have that effect on a girl.
"Relax, Miss Granger." Madam Guir moved to unlock the door as the Auror, Mr. Krist, kept his wand trained steadily on Fenrir. "I told you, he can't harm you."
Drawing a deep breath, Hermione nodded, but her steps toward the cell were halted as Fenrir snickered, once more.
"Oh, yeah. I heard you say that, too." He held up his hands in response to the Auror's offensive posture, but only grinned as he locked his gaze on Hermione's through the bars. "Now, what makes you think that if I got my teeth on this one, it would be to harm her?"
Madam Guir muttered something in a scolding tone, but Hermione didn't really hear her. Her attention was riveted on Fenrir for a breathless moment. It wasn't the lurid meaning behind his words that had her feeling pinned to the spot. There was a strange tone of sincerity in his voice just now. Could it be possible that when he'd talked about biting her, he'd really only meant it in a, well, lurid sense?
Though her eyes had been locked with his the entire time, she was startled to notice an amused glint suddenly spark through those amber depths. "Huh."
Her brows pinched together as she echoed the sound. "Huh?"
"You really are as bright as advertised, aren't you?"
Squaring her shoulders, she forced her legs into motion once more as she said in a calm, clipped voice, "I've no idea what you mean."
Again, the werewolf smirked. "No. O' course you don't."
Glancing back at the Auror, she noted how steady his wand arm was. Greyback would be on the ground writhing in agony if he even flinched in her direction. Good.
Drawing her own wand, she entered the cell, stepping inside as far as she dared as she waited for her mentor to join them. Her eyes had been locked with Fenrir's as she moved.
Just then, she felt a strange zinging in the pit of her stomach. Something was wrong.
She wanted to think she only imagined the sudden look of surprise that flickered across Greyback's face, but no. With that same expression on his face—something she thought hinged on terror, an emotion she never dreamed one such as he could feel—he darted his gaze from her, to the witch and wizard waiting at the open cell door, and then up to the ceiling.
"Move!" he shouted, bolting across his cell.
Everything happened so fast then, that she couldn't process it until she was standing in a plume of gritty dust. Coughing, she threw her arm around her face to cover her mouth. With a flick of her wand to clear the air, she blinked, trying to adjust her vision to the newly darkened surroundings.
Okay, okay. What just happened?
Fenrir Greyback had leapt across the cell floor, pulling her away from the door just as a wall crashed down in front of it. But Mr. Krist had acted the moment the werewolf'd moved. His stunning spell had stuck just as Fenrir Greyback's hand had closed around Hermione's arm and tugged her out of the way.
The look of horrified surprise on both the Auror's and Madam Guir's faces at witnessing the slab of stone fall seemed imprinted on her mind's eye.
Spinning to face the wall, she slapped her palm against it. A jolt stung her skin and she immediately snatched back her hand, just barely keeping herself from yelping at the shock. Bloody hell, this wall was warded!
Hissing, she shook her hand as she shouted through the stone."Madam Guir? Mr. Krist? Are you all right? Can you hear me?"
"Yes, we're all right!" the Medi-witch shouted back.
Her entire body seemed to lose sensation for a moment with the flood of relief that washed through her. "What happened?"
"It's one of the prison's new security measures," Mr. Krist yelled back in answer. "But it's only supposed to be triggered by an escape attempt, and I didn't hear any alarms. This seems like it might be a malfunction of some sort. We'll have to go to the main floor and find out what's happening."
Hermione's eyes shot wide. "You're going to leave me here?"
"Miss Granger, I need you to remain calm. Remember you are armed, and he is currently stunned. We must go for help, because if this was an accident, it might take some time to sort it. The sooner we alert the prison to this, the sooner we can get you out."
"I promise," Madam Guir shouted. "The moment I know what's happening, I'll come back and tell you. Just do not drop your guard in there."
Hermione knew, logically, that with this giant slab of rock between them, neither Madam Guir or Mr. Krist wouldn be able to help her, anyway, if Greyback were to try anything. Standing about on the other side would serve no purpose other than to settle her nerves. And, given her current circumstances, anything that took the edge off her alertness—like the comfort of a familiar voice—could give the werewolf just the window in her defenses he would need to do, well, something nefarious to her.
Though, with his little quip moments ago, she started to wonder if what he thought about doing to her was indeed nefarious, or simply . . . a bit debauched.
"I understand," she finally said, nodding.
"I'll try to hurry back, Miss Granger. I promise!"
Hermione couldn't hear their retreating steps through the stone, but she knew they were hurrying along the corridor, then. Or, rather she hoped they were. She'd hate to think they were standing about twiddling their thumbs.
Though she wanted to keep up a facetious line of thought to help herself focus without panicking, she just didn't have it in her. And, as luck would have it, it was as just hoped Madam Guir and Mr. Krist's footfalls were retreating down that narrow passageway, that she heard a rumbling groan behind her.
Forcing a gulp down her throat, the witch pivoted to face the interior of the cell. She raised her wand as she moved, desperate not to give him any chance to get the drop on her.
Fenrir Greyback had pulled himself up to sit on his knees. Rotating his shoulders, he patted himself down, seeming to self-assess for any injuries. When he turned his head to look at her, his attention went from her face to her wand, and back.
Chuckling, he shrugged, as though this wasn't an alarming situation. "Well, Brown Eyes. 'S just you and me, now."
The only thing that kept Hermione from backpedaling a step was remembering the unpleasant jolt the warding on the security wall would give her.
"Whatever will we do to pass the time?" he asked, a wicked grin curving his lips.
Madam Guir blinked in confusion. "You cannot possibly be serious!"
Mr. Krist shook his head and held up his hands. "Don't look at me! I wasn't made privy to this information, either."
The elder witch scowled, turning a lethal glare on the warden. "Did you really think this wasn't going to be an issue?"
Fixing her with a tired expression, the wizard produced a scroll from his desk and handed it to her. "Not my doing, this mess. Came direct from the Ministry."
Madam Guir snatched the scroll from his waiting hand and unfurled it. The look on her face shifted from lethal to aghast as she read it over.
Shaking her head, she lowered the document. She gave herself a moment to breathe as she collected her thoughts enough to speak. Lashing out angrily at these men would do no good. "You should've at least explained this to me before I agreed to—"
"Forgive me, Madam," the warden said, holding up his finger. "I was instructed to keep the matter hush-hush. That meant not telling anyone who didn't absolutely have to be brought in on it."
"But my student—"
"Will be fine."
Madam Guir spoke through clenched teeth. "You can't know that."
"I have been assured that no harm will come to . . . ." He let his voice trail off as she whirled on her heel and stormed out of the room.
Turning his attention to Mr. Krist, the warden handed him the scroll. "Do make sure she doesn't cause anymore trouble than this issue already has."
The Auror merely looked at it. "I am not your lapdog."
"No." The other wizard didn't seem any happier about this situation. "But then you are the Ministry's, aren't you?" When Mr. Krist narrowed his eyes, the warden shrugged and tried for a sympathetic look. "We all are."
His shoulders drooping, Mr. Krist grabbed the scroll in an angry motion and turned to follow the fuming Medi-witch.
"We are not going to do anything," Hermione said in a hissing whisper. "Except wait for them to fix this mess."
"I was stunned, not deafened. I heard for myself this was a malfunction. Who knows how long it'll take them to sort this." Climbing to his feet, he made his way over to his half-broken cot and took a seat. "Might as well get comfy."
"No, thank you."
She was unnerved at the way he held her gaze so steadily. But then, she was certain she was probably the most interesting thing he'd seen in a long while. That, and the way things had gone down the last time they'd seen one another, she couldn't say she was surprised by his seeming fascination with her.
Glancing down for barely half a second, she gauged her distance from the shock-wall. Yet, as she lifted her gaze back to the werewolf, she realized something. Something she'd not really registered in the moment.
She'd just glimpsed the impression of her heels in the dirt on the cell floor. Her prints peeked out from under the edge of the wall.
Dear God! She'd been standing precisely where the wall had come crashing to the ground. If Greyback hadn't pulled her out of the way . . . .
"What's the matter, Brown Eyes? Something troubling you?"
Swallowing hard, she schooled her features. She thought it evident in his tone that he knew the understanding she'd just come to. But if she let on that he was right, she couldn't be sure he wouldn't find a way to use that against her, somehow.
That, and she wasn't at all certain how to feel about the knowledge that Fenrir Greyback had just saved her life.