Disclaimer: I don't own HP or any of these characters. That belongs to JKR, Scholastic Books, Warner Brothers, etc.
Dolores Umbridge nervously glanced behind her, while trying to keep both eyes on the pavement in front of her at the same time. She could have sworn that she had heard something trailing along after her. But there was nothing. She shook her head and scolded herself. She should know better than to start imagining that she was hearing things. Though there were certainly plenty of things that could hurt her as she walked home at night.
Times had become darker ever since Potter had defeated the Dark Lord. It hadn't taken him very long to turn at all. And to Umbridge's mind, he was worse than You-Know-Who. With You-Know-Who, you knew where you stood. If you were a pureblood, you were more or less safe, while if you were a Muggle-born, it was as if you had a bright red target painted on your back. Umbridge rather liked that arrangement. Arbitrary yes, but it was easy to understand. Potter, on the other hand, seemed to have a grudge against most of the Wizarding World for one reason or another. With Potter, you just had to assume that you were a target and you better watch out.
Though Dolores was perfectly aware that she was a target for Potter and his goons. She knew the boy hated her for all the ways she had tried to improve him. But no one would listen to her these days. People seemed to blame her partly for Potter's fall, which was absolutely ridiculous. The Weasleys, especially, were proponents of that view. Umbridge couldn't see why they remained so influential, while she was relegated to the role of a mere paper pusher. For one, Umbridge was certain that the youngest Weasley boy was bad. He had to be. He was friends with Potter while they were both in school. Certainly that Granger bitch had turned fast enough when she had learned of Potter's new loyalties.
Low, cold laughter suddenly erupted in front of her. "I was wondering when you would get to me," said a voice. To Umbridge's surprise, a figure suddenly appeared against the wall. She squinted at it, as it came closer. Umbridge cursed as she took in the wild, brown hair and the soft way the figure walked. It was Hermione Granger, Muggle-born witch and assassin extraordinaire.
"Don't bother reaching for your wand. You can't Apparate. I made sure of that." Granger smirked. "Though it wouldn't do you much good. You're hardly better than a squib, are you Dee?" Umbridge grimaced at that name. She hated being called that. Granger continued, "You didn't even feel me setting those wards in place. I am most disappointed in you."
If Granger thought Umbridge would go down without a fight, then she had another thing coming. Leaping to one side, she pulled out her wand and called out, "Crucio!"
Only to find that she had been aiming at nothing.
"Didn't I tell you that you don't stand a chance? Not against me," said Granger almost pleasantly from her right side. Dolores whirled around to face her. "If Moody couldn't see through my illusions, there is no way you can. And there's not much you can do against me, if you don't know where I stand." The bitch looked smug, and Umbridge wondered if she had been listening in to her thoughts earlier.
It was worth another try, however. This time, she wasn't going to aim at the obvious spot. Granger must be sneaking up behind her, while she distracted her. Willing herself to go faster, Dolores turned around again and aimed her spell due left—
Only to have a hand reach across her and snap her wand in two. "You're pathetic," said Granger. "This is the real me. Because I knew you would try to act intelligent. But you can't overcome illusions with just guesses. That takes power and skill—two things that you never had." Granger shoved Umbridge in her chest, making her fall back . . . into a chair she hadn't noticed was there before. As she fell into the chair, a desk appeared in front of it.
"Have a seat," Granger said. "This might take a while." She began pacing back and forth, not appearing to be keeping an eye on Umbridge. Umbridge wondered if she could perhaps tackle the girl to the ground and wrestle her wand from her. She shook her head. That probably wouldn't work. She could try screaming. Maybe someone would hear her and come along to help her.
"Oh. And I hate saying this, because it is such a cliché and I do try to avoid them, but scream and I'll silence you while killing anyone who happens to come along. Though why anyone would want to save you bitch, I do not know." Granger grimaced. "But don't worry. I haven't come here to kill you. Just to have a little chat, you know, between us girls." She leaned forward. "So tell me, Dee, do you ever wonder how life might be like if you didn't torture Harry the way you did that one year? Do you ever think that perhaps he wouldn't have turned, that perhaps he wouldn't have come to hate the Wizarding World so much if you didn't do what you did to him?" She looked Dolores in the eye. "It's a point to ponder, Dee. Do you ever wake up at night and feel guilty for helping to make the world the way it now is?"
Dolores scowled at Granger. Of course, the bitch thought she was to blame for Potter's fall. But the truth was that Potter had a choice and no one ever made him dark. He was born that way, and it would have been better for all concerned if they had ended his life while he was still a babe. That was a proposition with which Granger was unlikely to agree. She was Potter's slut, when all was said and done.
A fist slammed down on desk, startling Umbridge out her thoughts. "You got that wrong, bitch. I'm his wife, not his slut," said Granger. Her face was almost white with fury, and Umbridge shook with fear. So Granger had been reading her mind—and apparently, she didn't like what she had seen. "You ought to know that. Harry was so romantic about that, the way he arranged for the announcement in the Prophet." Granger smiled at the memory. "It was so amusing how eager the Prophet staff was to give us the entire front page—for free!—after Harry sent them Skeeter's head in a bag. It's amazing what a good teacher fear can be. Though I like to think that repetition can do the same, don't you, Dee?" The smile on Granger's face was now unholy as she leaned back and gestured at the desk. A single quill was on it. "I think something simple would work best. Maybe just 'Hermione is Harry's wife.' Oh, I know we're not on a first name basis—or at least you're not comfortable using mine, Dee—but it would get confusing if you used our last names. Seeing how they're now the same and all. So first names it is." Granger slammed the desk again, frightening Umbridge further. She tapped Umbridge's hand and pointed at the quill. "Start writing, bitch. It will only be one hundred copies tonight, if you're good." She smirked. "More if you're bad, of course."
Umbridge picked up the quill and bent down to start writing. She knew what was to come and she wasn't about to give the bitch the pleasure of hearing her scream.
She held to that resolve for all of five minutes.
"Care to share where you've been this evening?" was the greeting Hermione received as she arrived home. Harry's arms were folded across his chest, as he lazily rested against the wall. His eyelids were half-shut, and what you could see of his eyes, glittered like emeralds in the dark. He looked too handsome to be real—and Hermione knew he was mad.
"I was just taking care of some unfinished business," Hermione said, dropping a kiss on his cheek. "You didn't have to keep dinner for me."
"I thought I told you before," Harry said coldly. "I don't like eating alone. You should have known that."
"I am sorry, my love," said Hermione. "I didn't mean to be so late, but I had to—"
"Go and kill the Umbridge bitch," Harry filled in for her. "After I explicitly ordered that no one was to harm her." He glared at her, and Hermione shivered. "When I give an order, Hermione, I expect it to be followed. I don't make them for my own health. They're for your benefit, not mine."
"I know," said Hermione, desperation rising in her voice. "And I have been good about doing what you say." She took his right hand and turned it over. "But after I learned what she had done to you, that year she taught at Hogwarts . . . ." She looked up, intense dislike written in her face. "I would have killed that bitch in our fifth year, if I had known, Harry."
"Just as well that you didn't then," he said. "It wouldn't do for my favorite witch to be locked up in Azkaban."
Hermione beamed at those words. "You'd find a way to get me out."
"Hermione, I am not feeling very generous towards you at the moment. I had been wanting to kill Umbridge myself."
"But I didn't kill her," Hermione told him. "I wouldn't take that from you." She grinned, remembering how Umbridge had screamed. "I just thought what went around should come around again. To her. And I thought she should be taught a lesson for thinking that I'm a slut. And what better way to do so than for her to write down again and again that I'm not."
Harry raised an eyebrow at her. "So you gave her an enchanted quill?" he asked.
"Fuck no. That's too good for that bitch. I enchanted her," said Hermione. "Any time she tries to write anything at all . . . the words will be engraved on her skin. And that spell won't come off. You'd have to be more powerful than me to do that, and the only one who fits that description—"
"Is me," Harry finished for her. His brow wrinkled. "I hear that Umbridge has been relegated to a small support position within the finance division of the Ministry," he said.
"I imagine that a desk job in that department would include a lot of paperwork," he went.
"It does," said Hermione. "She gets to generate quite a lot, from what I understand."
Harry's laughter filled the cold room. "This is why I love you, Hermione. No one can be inventively cruel like you can." He drew her to his side, his arm going possessively around her waist.
Hermione smiled up at him. "I thought it was only fitting, after what she did to you."
"It is," he said. "And while I am not pleased that you went after the bitch against my orders, I am feeling more lenient now. I suppose I should not blame my wife too much for wanting to avenge the wrongs done against me." He lifted up her chin and kissed her. Hard, with his tongue seeking out hers and their teeth clashing, till Hermione thought he was going to lift her up against the wall and take her then and there. But then he pulled back. "And while it is high time for me to fuck you, I'll do that later. Because I'm starving. Come on. We'll eat dinner, and I'll fuck you later." Hermione followed as he led her to the dining room, eager as always for his touch.
Author's note: Reviews would be lovely.