AUTHOR'S NOTES: I know, I know... with 3 unfinished works the last thing I should do is start another one.
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Harry Potter: Secrets and Lies
(Crossover W/ The Pretender)
The first sign something was wrong was when it got to July and Harry Potter had yet to receive a letter from his friend, Hermione Granger. She was always diligent about writing, even if she was on a trip with her parents.
So why had she not written any letters this summer?
Setting the table for dinner that evening, Harry contemplated looking Hermione up in the telephone directory when he heard his uncle, Vernon Dursley, turn on the evening news.
"And in Darby, today, a tragic event occurred to Mr. and Mrs. Granger, whose 13 year old daughter was kidnapped from her bedroom late last night."
Harry dropped the silverware he'd been holding and ignoring his uncle's cries of "What ARE you doing in there, boy?!" ran upstairs and scribbled a quick not to Dumbledore and Ron Weasley. 'The muggle news said that Hermione has been kidnapped.'
Once Harry's snowy owl, Hedwig was flying off, Harry sat on his bed, wondering who could have taken Hermione and why.
Watching the news in the small apartment he was staying in, Jarod stopped dead when he saw the news report from England.
Sitting down on the couch, Jarod remembered the teenage girl who had been taken. Hermione Granger had been stolen when she was only 4 years old and while she demonstrated incredible potential, she was also very keen to get out and back to her parents.
No one knew how she'd escaped, but the Centere had tried to track her down with no success.
But apparently they'd found her again and wanted to pick up where they left off.
Getting up and grabbing what few belongings he had, Jarod headed out, wanting to get to England quickly just incase Hermione was still being held somewhere nearby.
Blue Cove, Delaware
Hermione awoke in a small room that was coldly familiar. Like some nightmare she'd had as a small child.
"Miss Granger…" The older man's voice was kind and gentle, but also slightly detached. The kind of voice a doctor would use with a new patient. "My name is Sydney. I'll be taking care of you for a while."
Hermione studied the man closely. Again, she was struck with an intense case of déjà vu. "Do I… do I know you?"
Sydney smiled. Oh, yes… she knew him, alright. But best not to reveal that just yet. If Hermione figured out what was going on… "No, I'm afraid not. Are you alright?"
"Where am I?" Hermione asked, getting off of the cot she'd been lying on and looking out the door.
"This is a special institution," Sydney said, trying to make the Centere sound like someplace other than Hell. "We work with gifted individuals and study intelligence and human behavior."
"Does that work include kidnapping?" Hermione asked, arms crossed.
"That was not my directive. I'm sorry."
Hermione didn't reply, but she kept looking around as she left the makeshift bedroom and stepped into the larger room, looking around. She'd here before. She knew it now… But if she'd gotten out of this place once, she could do it again. But best to be cautious, Hermione thought as the hairs on the back of her neck started prickling. Someone was watching her.
Angelo had watched the teenage girl be brought in and even though his mind was fractured from the electroshock treatments from Dr. William Raines the empathy recognized the girl's face. "Mione in danger," Angelo whispered to himself as he turned around in the vent he was hiding in. He had to get the girl help before something happened to her.
Slipping into one of the unused computer labs, Angelo was able to draft a brief message to Jarod. 'Mione danger.' Hopefully the Pretender would know who 'Mione' was.
Hearing someone coming, Angelo shut the computer down and headed back up to the vents to watch and listen as Raines came in with one of his minions. "You made sure the kidnapping would be on the international news?" the older man wheezed, hoarsely.
"Affirmative, sir," Said a red-haired young man with horn-rimmed glasses. He had an English accent and seemed incredibly eager. "I'm honored you selected me for this internship. It should be fascinating to work for a man of your intelligence."
"Indeed, Percy," Raines wheezed, and although a small smile tweaked the corners of his mouth, the action never reached his eyes. "Thanks to you, we might actually be able to reclaim Jarod."
Up in his vent, Angelo froze. Hermione was meant to be bait!
"It's sad that someone you tried to help thought you meant him harm," Percy added.
"Jarod could have been a brilliant scientist," Raines replied. "But his mind was too far gone." Wheezing again as he pulled his oxygen tank along, he added, "I just pray we find him before he kills someone."
Percy hesitated a moment. "Is Jarod… dangerous?"
"Often," Raines replied, nodding. "Which is why you must always be on your guard if you find him. He'll say whatever lies he has to in order to stay out of here."
Percy nodded as he followed his new boss. "I understand, sir. I won't let you down."
Angelo watched them leave and when the cost was clear, headed back to the small crawl space where he usually kept important trinkets. Digging through, he found what he was looking for: a dragonfly pendant made of abalone shell on a silver chain. Heading back to the Sim Lab, Angelo waited for the perfect time to give Hermione the necklace she had given him the day she had escaped.