A/N: Hey, everyone. Beyond my better judgement I've decided to start a new story. The plot bunny for this one dug into my brain and refused to leave, so I've been working on it for the last couple days. I've never written a multi-chapter POV fic before. This will be an adventure, hopefully a good one. Tell me what you think. Here's everyone's favorite part, the disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Twilight. They belong to JKR and Stephanie Meyer, plus WB and Summit entertainment and all that. I am not profiting, I own nothing but the plot and a couple OCs that may pop up. As always, enjoy and please review!
A/N: Hey, everyone. Beyond my better judgement I've decided to start a new story. The plot bunny for this one dug into my brain and refused to leave, so I've been working on it for the last couple days.
I've never written a multi-chapter POV fic before. This will be an adventure, hopefully a good one. Tell me what you think.
Here's everyone's favorite part, the disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Twilight. They belong to JKR and Stephanie Meyer, plus WB and Summit entertainment and all that. I am not profiting, I own nothing but the plot and a couple OCs that may pop up.
As always, enjoy and please review!
I am in big bloody trouble.
As much as I'd like to blame it on my selfish, irritating, ex-fiancé it was just as much my fault. I didn't have to start shouting back in the middle of the lunch rush at the Ministry cafeteria. But I let my semi-famous temper get the best of me, and I engaged in the fight he was looking for.
At least we finally admitted that it was over . It was over a long time ago, but neither of us was ready to give it up. We were the Golden Couple. Everyone was rooting for our Happily Ever After. How could we just give that up? For two years, since he put that ring on my finger, it has been a nonstop cycle of fighting, makeup sex, happiness for a couple weeks, then another huge fight. Over and over. I wonder how much happiness there really was. I mean, I am the one who kept putting off the wedding. The wedding that will never happen.
But I shouldn't have ended it in the middle of such a large group of people. And I really shouldn't have ended it in front of people I work with. And I really, really shouldn't have ended it in front of the Minister of Magic, the man I'm walking to go see now. The man who is going to hand me my arse on a silver platter, garnished with a side of pink slip. I love my job as an attorney with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. I helped re-write laws concerning certain creatures, mainly house-elves and werewolves. It was what I could picture myself doing for years before a promotion would hopefully be thrown my way. Instead I'm losing it all over a dumb fight with Ronald Bilius Weasley.
"Go right in, he's expecting you," a pretty redheaded secretary smiled at me as I approached.
"Thank you," I muttered, my stomach knotting itself so many times I'm sure there won't be anything left by the time I leave this meeting. I knocked three times on the door, softer than usual, hoping he didn't hear me.
"Come in," Kingsley's deep baritone responded.
Damn. I opened the door and walked inside
"Ah, Ms Granger," he smiled, looking up at me and placing his quill down. "Have a seat. Tea?"
"No thanks," I managed, sliding into the chair opposite him.
"Quite a show you and Ron put on the other day," he chuckled, folding his hands and placing them on the desk.
"I'm really sorry about that!" I blurted, desperate. "It was really stupid, it's the same thing we always fight about, and we should have waited until the end of the day, but he came for lunch and started making snide remarks and one thing led to another and I really don't want to lose my job..."
"Calm down, Hermione," he held up a hand. "That was merely an observation of an old friend. I have no intentions of firing you. The fight just seemed particularly bad, and I wanted to make sure you are okay."
My mouth dropped in shock. "I'm okay," I whispered. "It's over for good this time. I gave him his ring back."
"I noticed you weren't wearing it."
"I've never given it back before. But it was time. I promise nothing like this will ever happen again. I really am very sorry."
"I'm glad to hear you're okay, and your fight does have something to do with why I called you in here, though it is hardly to take your job from you. You are far too valuable to fire over something like an embarrassing incident in the cafeteria. But I was thinking that you may need some time somewhere else."
"You mean like a vacation?" I squirmed in my seat.
"Not exactly. I have a bit of a request from the American Ministry. It seems like there is a large pack of shape-shifters in the Northwest part of the country. A local tribe of boys that can shift into giant wolves. There have been several Muggle disappearances in the area in the past few months, and they wish to place them on the extremely-dangerous creatures list, giving any witch or wizard who happens to encounter them free reign to use extreme force in protecting themselves."
"Did you say boys?" I asked, confused.
"The best intelligence suggests none of them are older than their mid-twenties, and several are purported to be teenagers," he nodded.
"They're suggesting open-season on a bunch of teenagers?" I shouted, outraged.
"I knew that would be your reaction," he said with a calm smile. "You are aware of the situation the Americans are now in."
"Of course. No creature may be given a four or five X ranking on the Ministry of Magic classification without a thorough review by an expert from another Ministry or a representative appointed by said Ministry."
"Might you see where this is going?" he smiled.
The realization dawned on me. "Are you asking me to be that representative?" I asked, hiding my excitement.
"No one in your department is as experienced handling high-stress situations, making observations and writing anecdotal notes, and is as aware of the rules as you. I think you'd be the perfect candidate."
"How long do you think it would take?" I asked, trying to sound like I was actually going to think about it, and not screaming 'yes' and running to get an International Portkey set up.
"As long as it takes for you to feel comfortable in your decision. They have the right to appeal, but I know the esteem they hold you in, and will more likely than not to take any suggestion you are willing to give them. I'd like to make your findings iron-clad, as we're still trying to rebuild our reputation after the whole Voldemort mess."
I sighed. This was part of being the female third of the damn Golden Trio. We're always expected to be the happy face of the Ministry, taking jobs that paid three times what the average starting salary was to make sure we're aligning ourselves with the place we had so distrusted, all for the sake of looking good to the outside world. I love my job, so I keep quiet, but the Ministry has been trying to put itself back into place ever since the Battle of Hogwarts exposed it as a corrupt, easily infiltrated organization. Kingsley spent the first year cleaning house, then the last two and a half years trying to regain some of our old esteem around the world.
He must have noticed my thoughts were trailing, because he said, "Of course, since this is a high-risk assignment, and you'll likely be gone for at least a couple weeks, you will be given a hefty bonus."
"Hm," I muttered noncommittally. Money was no problem for me. I had enough from a book I had written, gifts from people thankful for what I had done in the war, reparations from Death Eater estates, and a very nice salary. I had moved back in with my parents after breaking up with Ron, and a good sized bonus would help me get a down payment for my own place. It was a nice temporary fix, but I'm starting to crave my independence.
"So, what are you thinking?" he asked me.
"What kind of accommodations would I have?"
"Most likely a tent in the woods. They live on a reservation, so it would be difficult to get you permanent residence there, and you need to be as close as possible as that's where they stay when they are wolves."
"Very basic spells. Just enough to keep them out of your tent. We don't want them getting suspicious and angry. The nearest witch is twenty-five miles away."
I bit my lip. Out in the wilderness with a pack of suspected human-killing wolves with only a minor charm to save my ass? Sounds dangerous and reckless. Harry would be all over this one. "When do I leave?"
"As soon as possible," he replied with a triumphant smile. "With human lives on the line..."
Way to pull out the trump card, Kingsley, I muttered in my head. He knew I would never turn down the opportunity to save poor, unsuspecting Muggles. Not that I was going to turn him down, anyways.
"I understand," I interrupted. "Has a Portkey been set up?"
"Right here," he said, handing me a notebook. "Just say 'Quileute', that's the tribal name, and it'll take you to where the Americans feel is a safe place for you to make camp. I'd bring some warm clothes, and lots of them. It gets rather rainy in the area."
"I got you. Thank you for the opportunity, Minister."
"Thank you for agreeing, Miss Granger," he said, shaking my hand. I got up to leave when he said, "Oh, and Hermione?"
"I've taken the liberty to pack your equipment. You'll find everything you need in here," he said, tossing me a backpack.
"Thank you again," I said with a quick smile before letting myself out. I waited until I was far away from the office to let my face break out in a large smile. I nearly skipped to the lifts, and rode down, not realizing it was already the end of the business day. Ginny was waiting for me in her usual spot. She often came to have an early dinner with Harry, who was doing some long hours working a case in the Auror office, and then she'd meet me for an after-work drink. We used to have it at the flat I shared with Ron, now we went to Grimmauld Place rather than bug my parents. But I needed to pack, so she'd have to come with me today. She never missed an opportunity to spend some time with me, especially now that Ron and I had broken up. She sided with me for giving him his ring back, saying he was an idiot and letting me know that the Weasley family still supported me, despite the fact that Molly treated me like air nowadays.
"Hey, 'Mione!" the redhead bounced over to me as soon as I walked off the lift. "You look like someone told you you're having a second birthday this year."
"I was just up seeing Kingsley," I started.
"He must have let you keep your job."
"Better. He gave me an important assignment."
"Oh! I knew he'd be fair. He's quite fond of you, thinks you're beyond brilliant. Which you are," she smiled.
"Come with me to my parents' house? I need to pack."
"Pack?" she sounded confused as we reached the Floo fireplaces.
"Yes. I'm going out of town on my assignment."
"Sure," she said, looking confused. I went first, stepping onto the rug my mum set up for me to dust myself off on. I did that quickly and moved so Ginny could do the same.
"Okay, now what's your assignment?" she didn't said as soon as she was out of the green flames.
"Welcome home, Hermione. Good to see you again, Ginny," my mum stopped my answer as she entered the room. "You're back early."
"She's got to pack for an assignment," Ginny blabbed.
"Assignment? What assignment?"
"The American Ministry wants to reclassify a pack of shape-shifters in the Pacific Northwest, and to do so they need an outside opinion. Kingsley thought I would be perfect for the job and offered it to me. The Americans want it done quickly, so I have to leave as soon as I'm done packing," I said quickly as I walked upstairs.
"Shape-shifters?" my mum asked, looking confused.
"Muggle boys who can shift into wolves. It's an ancient magic you see in native tribes in certain areas around the globe."
"Why would they need reclassification?"
I sighed, because I knew what would happen if I admitted they were semi-dangerous. But I was never a good liar, so I said, as nonchalantly as possible as I pulled out a suitcase, "there have been some human disappearances in the area, and they're suspected to have something to do with it."
"Disappearances?" Ginny asked with a frown as she perched on my bed. "Like, killings?"
"Nothings been confirmed."
My mum gasped. "Is anyone going with you?"
"No, Mum," I groaned. "I can take care of myself."
"I'm not saying you can't, I'm just saying that perhaps it would be better for you to have someone there, not for work, just in case. What's Ron doing?"
"Oh, for the love of goodness, Mum!" I shouted. "I'm not starting this argument again. Ron and I are over!"
"This took a sudden turn," Ginny muttered.
"Why do you insist on pushing this?" I said in a half-growl as I started shoving clothes into the suitcase.
"Because he's here," she nearly whispered.
My hand stopped halfway into my bag, a t-shirt now suffering under my death-grip. "Tell him to go home."
"Please," she said, looking into my eyes. "Just talk to him. He looks like a wreck."
I sighed, pulling out the balls of clothes I had just placed in, and folding them nicely. "Fine. Send him up."
She scurried from the room before I could change my mind.
"You want me here for support?" Ginny asked, looking concerned.
"No. We need to talk about it like adults."
"Floo me if you need support. If not, I'll see you when you get back."
"I'm going to try to get back by the bank holiday. My sister's coming in for the weekend." My older sister, Bianca, worked as a teacher in Bristol where she lived with her fiancé. His parents lived in the area, and they spent most of their time there and away from our suburban London area.
"If so I'm coming by. I will learn that poker game she buried me in last time," she smiled wickedly.
"That I must see. I'll be back by then."
"Okay. Love you," she said, hugging me.
"Love you, too," I smiled as she walked out. Not two seconds later she was replaced by a taller, shaggier-looking Weasley. Ron looked like he hadn't slept in days, his patchy beard un-maintained, his shoulders slumped.
"Hey," he said, stopping in the doorway and staring at my feet.
"Hm," I responded, folding more clothes and stuffing them away.
"Where are you going?"
"Business trip to America," I replied shortly.
"Oh," he muttered, kicking the carpet. I packed for a few more minutes in silence as he kept staring awkward glances at me.
"How long are you going to be gone?" he finally asked.
"Few weeks at most."
"Listen, 'Mione. I'm really sorry..."
"Yeah. I am, too," I interrupted. "I overreacted at the Ministry. But the truth of the matter is I'm not sorry about what I said, because it needed to be said. You were taking advantage of me. I felt like a back-burner girlfriend. You were always going out with Harry, or Seamus, or Dean, or your brothers, and cancelling dates with me. I need more than that, Ron."
"To be fair you were working a lot," he muttered.
"But I made sure to leave on time when we had plans. I was sick of getting home at five after five to find a note telling me you were going off to the pub or something. And then you bought those season-tickets to the Cannons, without consulting me. That was our wedding fund."
"You weren't picking a date!" he growled. "I might as well have done something worthwhile with the money."
"I'm not getting into an argument with you," I snapped. "What happened, happened. It's not going to change anything."
"Please, 'Mione. One more chance..."
"Could we at least talk about it a little more, when you're not packing? I could come with you."
"It's a job, Ron. Not a vacation."
"Fine. When you get back, then."
"I've made my decision, Ron. You said I wasn't ready to get married, and you were partially right. I am ready to get married, but not to you. I need someone who will treat me right, and spend time with me and not have it seem like a chore. We're just too different. We're better friends."
He snorted. "Like we could be friends after this."
"I hope we can," I said in a low voice. "I love you, but not the way you need to be loved, and not the way I need to love. We both deserve different."
"But I want you," he muttered. "And if you'll give me a chance I'll prove I can change."
"I'll think about it," I said, my heart sinking. It was a lie. I wouldn't think about it, because thinking about it only caused heartbreak and tears. I just wanted him to leave.
"Thanks, 'Mione," he smiled. "Have fun on your trip."
"Yeah. Bye, Ron," I replied, looking away. I heard his footsteps shuffling away as I finished packing. What a fucking disaster. I gathered my things, took one quick scan around the room to make sure I didn't forget anything, pulled out the notebook, whispered 'Quileute' and was gone. Hopefully really far away from the crazy problems my life has become full of.