Authors Note: I would like to thank my girlfriend and beta for editing this. I would like to explain a little bit about the story before you delve into it. This is AU, Hermione is more in character than Fleur will be in this story, I have….. intensified her character lol I take another spin on the Veela species and show you what kind of characters you might end up with in a really difficult situation. This story takes place in the past, very distant past so I've changed how the Wizarding world looks. I hope you don't get turned off by the rather dark content. Please leave a review if you can, I'd appreciate it. I promise there will be romance in this story, just not a very typical romance. Who will seduce whom? The predator or the prey?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything JK Rowling laid claim to or copy righted. I only own this plot and any random people I might create.
Hermione turned her brown eyes upward, wishing for a moment of sun, a slight shift in the clouds to give her a glimpse of the rays that had never touched her. Sighing softly, she hopped off of the patio of her parents' home and walked through the long grass. Her absent-minded wandering eventually led her to the wooden fence that bordered her small village of Diagon. At this realization, she stopped abruptly and stared out into the darkened forest.
She was sure They were looking at her. But They only came out at night.
Her mouth went dry and her eyes were wide, trying to engorge themselves on the shifting leaves from the trees. It was almost obscene; an orgy of movement; a mockery of her imprisonment. The forest is their land; we shall not tread there for we are trespassers of their world. They could see her, she was sure of it, would they take her now? Or were they just playing a game, do they not need the night? At nightfall, They come to the village, stalking and hunting while the villagers hide in their homes. The poor fool who forgets to close their window shut tight or fails to make it home in time is found in the morning, scattered throughout the village. Hermione swallowed the bile rising in her throat as she recalled that poor boy, Oliver Wood.
A part of her dared Them to come out. It was not fair; she was a witch, she had magic that the human people were terrified of, so scared that they wanted all witches and wizards dead. But here they were, an entire village of wizards and witches cowering behind their doors at night, bred and dead in a cursed town. She was the brightest witch her age and had the potential to be the best witch of her town, but she could not leave this place and explore the world. She could not learn new things. The people were powerless and lost all because of Them and Their cruelty. No one even knew what They looked like or what powerful ability They had to render the town's magic absolutely useless against them. She was helpless and trapped, gaping at the forest that silently taunted and beckoned, whispering to her, promising her an entire world beyond its borders….
She flung herself backwards, away from the forest and howling in shock.
"Ack! Hermione I'm sorry!"
"Ronald Weasley!" She screamed in fury, trying to gather hold of her malfunctioning nervous system. "You idiot! Are you trying to kill me? How s-stupid!"
Ron watched her with slight amusement. It was rare to see the usually haughty, self-assured girl so flustered. But the amusement disappeared once he realized how mean he was to the girl he was courting, although unintentionally, in scaring the senses out of her so near the forest.
"I didn't mean to, I was actually trying not to scare you. You shouldn't be standing this close to the forest anyway! It's dangerous for a girl. Next time call me if you want to… do whatever it is you were doing" Blushing, he offered her a hand.
She groaned at his words and got up, ignoring the proffered hand, unwilling to admit this was mostly because her fingers hurt from stiffness and were covered in a cold sweat. Clearly, she had been standing in front of the forest for far too long, her hands clenched and body rigid.
"It's morning, They only come out at night. I'm perfectly capable of standing here without any male supervision! And I know more magic than you do, so what use would you be to me in the first place?" She seethed. The look on his face was one of hurt and anger.
"Of course you wouldn't need male supervision! You should be providing male supervision for real girls!" he snarled, turning abruptly away from her.
Hermione flinched at his words and chased after him as he swiftly walked away from her. Damn his long legs, she cursed, jogging to catch up.
"Wait Ron! Wait. I'm sorry, I'm just so…. frustrated." She grabbed his robes to make him stop and wrapped her arms around him from behind. "Just… aren't you ever… maybe… a bit curious?"
He turned to face her, looking confused. It was a familiar expression of his; she often puzzled him. For the first three years of knowing each other she was certain it was the natural state of his face. Sometimes she wondered if she would ever come across a face that was not confused or threatened by her presence.
"What do you mean curious? About… about the world outside our borders? Past-past the forest?"
She bit her lip guiltily. Ever since she was a little girl, she had absorbed information quickly, hunting for more knowledge; she had very little left to learn in her studies. There were, however, two mysteries she knew nothing about: what lay beyond the forest, and what rested within it. It was commonplace to wonder about the outside world, but no one was ever to even suggest finding out what these creatures were that terrorized the village. Their village was the only village that had true, physical manifestations of bedtime monsters and childhood rhymes. She recalled learning one popular song she learned in school as a child. Meant to caution the village children
They are coming, come to you
By the window callin'
Do not look, cause if you do,
They come a smilin'
They are coming, come to you
Take you to the forest
Do not look, cause if you do
Sleep your eternal rest
Avoid your window at night, do not peel back the cloth, and never peek. Her curiosity could kill her. She would have to be insane to even bring up such an issue. As much as she loved Ron, she wasn't prepared to tell him of her restlessness, of her need to escape the stunted village of Diagon. Especially her obsession with Them.
"Yes… that's all really, I've just been preoccupied with things and I'm rather bored lately. I suppose it's making me restless and I'm finding that the forest is frustrating me. What I wouldn't give to just know what lies beyond the woods."
"Oh! But the festival will be soon! You'll get all dressed up! I'll even dance with you this year. I got Ginny to teach me a little bit. You know I think Harry is interested in her. Father and mother approve, even if he is an orphaned boy and doesn't make much money. All that work for the family has paid off. Mother still wishes he would improve his magic though…" She gave him a wan smile as he enthusiastically recanted the latest village gossip and walked her to the main square for food.
In the forest, She smiled.