*All characters belong to JK Rowling and Janet Evanovich and I make no money from the writing or publishing of this story. Thank you.
A Ranger and a Granger
Written for Granger Enchanted's Mayhem in May Challenge:
Prompt: "What do you mean you're a witch?" – Hermione Granger, witch, expert in Magical Law, does the unthinkable and falls for a regular old Muggle.
Summary: Hermione Granger, witch extraordinaire, is getting her degree in magical law. She's written a profile on a deranged wizard who's visiting Muggle children in their sleep, under the guise of 'The Tooth Fairy'. Instead of leaving coins or candy in exchange for their teeth, he gives them horrific nightmares, and blames it all on one witch…Hermione Granger. He's slipped through the Aurors fingers in England and is now doing the same thing in the States.
Told by her superiors that she can no longer work on the case, because it's too personal, Hermione decided to work outside the law, and enlist the help of a professional bounty hunter…a man of mystery by the name of 'Ranger'. This Latin man seems to possess a bit of magic of his own, as well as a great big helping of sexuality. There's something between the two, be it chemistry, or a bit of magic. However, she can't let it be known that she's a witch, or just how much she wants him. After all, her only goal is to catch one man, not two, right?
Crossover fic with 'Ranger' from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum Mystery Stories.
Hermione Granger, witch extraordinaire, sat in a large American SUV, beside a large American 'man' named Diesel, and asked, "Are you sure this man named Ranger can be trusted?"
"Without a doubt, little darling," the handsome, tall, broad-shouldered Diesel said with a wink.
"And he doesn't know I'm a witch?" she asked.
"Not only does he not know you're a witch," Diesel began, "but he doesn't even know that I'm an Untouchable who tracks Unmentionables." His arm came up to the back of her seat, his thumb rubbing her shoulder absentmindedly. She glared at him and he winked again.
Hermione found that highly unlikely. Unlike his British counterparts, called 'Unspeakables', the American 'Untouchables', such as this Diesel, apparently had no qualms revealing to Muggles, or non-magical folk, that they're magical.
Hermione had done some investigating of her own and had discovered that little fact. This man, named Diesel, had no compunction whatsoever in doing magic of any type in front of Muggles when it came to capturing his fugitives, and she was about to tell him as much. "Yet you've used a fugitive apprehension agent by the name of Stephanie Plum, as well as this Ranger gentleman, several times to aid you in your search for people that you're after," Hermione said, one eyebrow in the air. "I happen to know you've performed basic magic in front of them. They have to know something is amiss. In England, Unspeakables are the most classified of all Ministry employees. Most of the other employees there don't even know what they do, or who they apprehend, and your job as an Untouchable is an equivalent of an Unspeakable, yet you go around performing magic in front of non-magical people all the time!"
He let out a low laugh, winked a third time and reached over and ruffled her hair, which irritated her. He said, "You're so cute I could kiss you and I must say, you get an 'A plus', because you've done your homework. But I promise, they merely think I'm a man of mystery. They don't question anything about what I do. It's part of my magic, as well as my charm. I leave them wondering, but they don't question anything. They only remember what I want them to remember, and believe me, if Ranger really wanted to pursue things, he would."
"And he's going to help me, right?" she asked.
His hand, which was now resting on her shoulder, went to the back of her neck and squeezed. "Darling, you worry too much. I already told you he was. Ranger knows this area better than anyone, and he's the best bounty hunter around. If you want someone caught, you go to him. Sometimes I think he has some magic in him, if not magic, then some pretty strong mojo."
"Mojo? What's mojo?" Hermione asked.
That question merely got another laugh from the sandy-haired blonde man beside her. "Listen, darling," Diesel started, "you're after the bum going around calling himself 'The Tooth Fairy', right? And I happen to know this asshole is working with that deranged doctor who jumped bail that Ranger is after, Dr. Giggles. So it's a win-win situation for the two of you to work together. Let's go inside and find him." Diesel stepped out of the large, white vehicle and out in the baking, hot, Trenton, New Jersey summer sun.
Hermione opened the door to the car and immediately realized the air around her was stale and stagnant. She thought England was humid, but she didn't know humidity like this humidity. Her hair curled immediately, even though she tried to straighten it earlier. Her shirt stuck instantly to her chest, and her skirt rose up a bit on her bare thighs. Thank goodness she decided to forgo hose earlier. Everything here looked grey and old and slightly ugly. Hermione started to follow him into a little pizza shop she could only classify as 'a dive', when she stopped to remove her suit jacket to place it back in the vehicle.
Diesel whistled at her, as if she was a dog, and said, "This way, sweetheart."
"Ugh, if you call me darling or sweetheart again I might have to go against my rule of not using magic in front of people and hex you," she said through clenched teeth.
The man smiled at her, with perfectly straight, beautiful white teeth, and said, "Promises, promises." He held the door open for her, and as she passed in front of him, he swatted her bottom. She turned around to face him with a look of utter contempt on her face and he winked yet again. "I wanted to see if you would really pull out your wand in public. You pull out yours and I'll pull out mine," he said with a mischievous grin.
"I know wandless magic, you idiot, just like you." She slapped him upside the back of his head, marched past him, squared her shoulders, and marched inside.
He laughed and said from behind her, "Considered me warned, and a bit turned on. I like a tough woman and bit of rough foreplay."
The man ushered in front of her as soon as they entered the dark, din establishment. He took a hold of her wrist, his large hand wrapping around it like a steel band. She wasn't sure why he felt the need to do so, but in a way, she was glad. Everyone seemed to look at her, and the looks they were giving her ranged from predatory to slightly sexual. This was the place she was to meet the man who was to help her catch her fugitive? Merlin help her.
Hermione was working on a degree in magic law enforcement, and was in her final year of study. She had to do an internship in each field to get her final degree. She had already worked in the prosecutor's office, the defender's office, for the Wizengamot, for the hit squad, for probations and apprehensions. Now, she was working for six weeks in the elite Aurors office, under none other than Harry Potter. She wasn't actually assigned this case. She had decided to take it on her own, when she found out that it was directly related to her.
For the last six months there were reports coming in that Muggle children were being terrorized in their sleep after they would place their lost teeth under their pillows, while waiting their proper due from 'the tooth fairy'. These children would leave their lost teeth under their pillows, hope they would find money in exchange for their teeth, when what they found instead were torturous nightmares, filled with havoc and pain. Most of the children could recount the nightmares with chilling accuracy, and they were all identical: an evil dentist performed the worst sort of oral surgery on the children, all without painkillers, all unnecessary, and when the children awoke, all actually executed.
Some children had teeth unnecessarily pulled. Some children had painful root canals done. Others had actual braces put upon their teeth. The Muggle authorities were baffled, and the only link was the fact that the man always told the children he was 'The Tooth Fairy' and then he would tell them to deliver the same message to the police, which was: 'Tell her it's all her fault'.
Finally, the magical liaison who worked with the Muggle police was contacted, who in turn contacted the Aurors to ask for help. He asked them to see if they could trace the culprit, using magic, since it was obvious the man was using some sort of dark magic on these children. After all, one or two children would be a coincidence. After six months and twenty-five victims it was obvious something sinister was afoot.
They got their first solid evidence when they set up a stake out and they almost caught a wizard apparating into a five year old Muggle's bedroom one night. He disapparated away before they could catch him, but not before he dropped an actual note this time. A note, strangely enough, not just blaming an unknown woman, as in, 'Tell her it's all her fault'. This one said stated clearly, 'Tell Hermione Granger it's all her fault'.
Hermione read the case file, wrote a profile on the man, and was convinced that she should accompany Harry on the next stake out, even before she knew of the note. He agreed, and then told her about the note. The man struck again the very next week. Hermione, Harry and two other Aurors lay in wait at a ten year old Muggle girl's bedroom. As soon as the wizard apparated into the girl's bedroom, a wizard's duel erupted, and before he was captured, he made his escape again. But, Hermione recognized him, as did Harry.
It was a wizard, another Muggle-born, whom they had gone to school with, though he was slightly older. He had also been a patient of Hermione's parents when both Hermione and he were younger. His name was Conrad Bailey, and he had lost most of his teeth in a bicycle accident when he was ten, and her parents were unable, even through oral surgery, to replace them, though they tried. He was teased and tormented when he went back to school that fall because of his dental deformity. When he was older, and became a wizard, his teeth were replaced magically, and later, when he went on to Hogwarts, no one there knew of his painful childhood secret…until one fateful day when Hermione accidentally gave away his secret.
Truthfully, Hermione never told a soul. In fact, she thought of him as a confidant, and when she was teased about her own 'buck teeth' she went to him, crying one day, and asked him how he handled the teasing when he was younger.
Unfortunately, someone overheard Hermione asking him this question. Soon, everyone knew that this boy's teeth were not natural, but were a result of magic, and he was teased once more. Hermione tried to apologize, but he would never accept her apology. Even after her own teeth were fixed, she tried to make light, and tell him that now both of their smiles were the product of magic.
He seemed to hate her even more.
He graduated four years before her, and she soon forgot about him. She had no clue that he still harbored dark thoughts, or ill feelings, against her. Why would he? When Harry and she made the link to Conrad Bailey and Harry went to arrest him, he was long gone.
Then, two months ago, the same thing started happening again right here in Trenton, New Jersey, in the United States. The only difference was that instead of the bogus dental work happening to the children while they slept peacefully waiting for the tooth fairy to appear, inexplicably, it seemed to happen right after they saw a real dentist, though the dentist claimed not to have any knowledge of any such sinister dental work, though oddly enough, he was billing the children's insurance for the things that were being done to them in their dreams.
This dentist, Dr. Randall Giggly, who dubbed himself 'Dr. Giggles' was arrested. He was wanted for writing bad prescriptions, for insurance fraud, and a whole host of other things, though he proclaimed his innocence. He made bail, and then promptly failed to show for his court appearance. Harry Potter had decided to send two Aurors to America to help apprehend this Muggle Dentist, certain it would lead to the capture of Conrad Bailey. His contact with the American Ministry of Magic was this man named Diesel. Harry expressly forbade Hermione from coming here.
Good thing she never listened to anything Harry Potter had to say. Therefore, she contacted this Diesel man first, and instead of working with him, as Harry was going to have the Aurors do, she asked him if there was someone else with whom she might work. He referred her to this 'bounty hunter' named Ranger that they were meeting today, therefore, here she was.
Diesel still had her wrist as they wove through a throng of dirty people, but he dropped it to lean against the counter. He ordered a beer, turned to her, started to ask her what she wanted, laughed, and then without asking, ordered her a bottle of water. Diesel took her water and his beer and with a cock of his head, said, "This way," and he moved toward a booth in the back.
The moment Diesel moved out of sight, another man, sitting at another booth, reached out for her arm. Hermione looked down at his dirty hand, with his dirty fingernails, and she winced. She looked up at his face, and even it was even dirty. He smiled. He was missing a few teeth, too. Too bad Conrad hadn't visited him.
"Hey, pretty thing, I haven't seen you here before," he stated the obvious.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "You haven't seen me here before because I've never been here before, now let go of my arm."
He laughed and said, "You talk funny." He had a thick New Jersey accent, and she thought he had a lot of nerve to say that she spoke strangely when she could barely make out a word he had just said. He pulled her closer and put his arm around her waist.
She shook her head and said more to herself than to the man, "Seriously, this is not happening." She looked at the man and said, "I assure you that I speak the Queen's English very well. I'm not quite certain what you're speaking. Now, let go of me, or suffer the consequences."
"How about instead, I teach you some manners, queenie?" he asked. He pulled her down on his lap.
She placed both hands on his chest, pushed away with all her might and said, "To teach me manners you would first have to acquire some on your own, which seems highly unlikely at this stage of game."
A man in a booth at the back of the bar was watching the scene play out with interest. He looked over at Diesel, who was laughing with a pretty waitress. Seriously, that man was such a waste. He stood up, to go to the pretty woman's assistance, assuming that since she had walked in with Diesel that she was the person he was to meet, when he stopped.
The woman poured a glass of beer over the odious man's head. She had also already extricated herself from his greasy paws. She looked down at her own hands, as if they were dirty from being near the man, and wiped them on her skirt. She didn't look afraid, just highly annoyed. Ranger smiled. This woman could hold her own. He sat back down to wait for her.
Then he stood back up when he heard the man call her a bitch. That was uncalled for, and Ranger hated men who called women names. He patted his side to make sure he had his stun gun. He knew he had his real gun. He walked slowly over to the pair in time to hear the pretty, British woman say, "You seriously did not just call me a bitch did you? I say, now that's rude."
The disgusting man stood up and pulled back his hand and said, "I'll teach you rude, bitch. I'll bitch slap the rude right out of you."
The next thing happened so quickly Ranger didn't even see it happen. He ran to her aid, as did Diesel, but when they both got to her side, the man in question was slumped over in his booth, presumably knocked out cold, and the pretty woman didn't have one scratch on her. She merely stood there, and was placing something quickly back into a pocket of her skirt. If it was a stun gun, she was the 'fastest draw' Ranger had ever witness.
"Damn," Ranger said out loud, with a smile on his face. He turned to walk away, sank back into his booth, just as Diesel placed his arm around the petite brunette's shoulders.
"Darling," Diesel said. "That was great. You were so fast. I heard stories about how good you were. Remind me not to get on your bad side."
She looked up at him, removed his arm from around her shoulders, and said, "You already are." But she smiled at him, and he smiled back. Ranger couldn't help it – he smiled at that statement, too. Diesel handed her water to her and pointed toward Ranger's booth in the back.
Ranger watched as they approached. The woman was a bit on the small size. She couldn't be more than five feet four, and 125 pounds. She had long, wavy, medium brown hair. She had freckles on the bridge of her nose. He noticed those the closer they got. He was a softy when it came to freckles. Her eyes were a warm, chocolate brown, rimmed with gold. Her nose was pert, as were her breasts. Her waist was trim, her hips narrow. She was dressed for a job interview, not for a hot New Jersey summer day, with her white silk, short sleeve blouse and grey skirt.
My goodness, she was the type of woman whom a man could have a wet dream about and then still take home to mother. He already heard a bit about her from Diesel. She was from England, worked in law enforcement there, and was trying to capture a man who was working with a fugitive that was at the moment eluding Ranger and she was supposedly, according to Diesel, one of the smartest women he had ever met.
He often questioned Diesel's intellect so he wasn't sure at the time if that was high praise of not. Now he knew it probably was.
He looked at her fingers. No rings. Did that mean she was single? He wondered. Did it matter? Not likely. If Ranger wanted her, he would take her if she was married, engaged, divorced, or single. Hell, she could even be a day old widow, and he would find a way to have her if he wanted her. She could be a nun and he would take her if he wanted her.
Oh yeah, by the way the zipper tightened around his black cargo pants, he wanted her a whole hell of a lot.
Diesel pointed toward the booth and said, "Granger, this is Ranger." He laughed at the rhyme, and said in return, "And Ranger, this is Granger. How about that. We gave a Ranger and a Granger."
Hermione leaned forward, held out her hand, and said, "You may just call me Hermione."
There were many things Ranger wanted to call this woman…lover being but one, but fine, he would start with Hermione.
End of Part I -
A/N: To you Stephanie Plum Fans out there: I've never written a Stephanie Plum Story. I'm mostly a HP writer, though I've written one Southern Vampire Mystery Story. I wrote this for a challenge for the site "Granger Enchanted". I hope I don't butcher the Plum characters too much. I've read those stories and love the Ranger character so much. This will be a seven part, short story. Thanks!
To see the link to the story banner, visit my author's page.