*All characters belong to JK Rowling, Charlaine Harris & HBO, Warner Brothers...oh, and the Brothers Grimm. Thanks!
Summary - A different take on the Grimm's Fairytale of "Snow White and Rose Red" featuring Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter and Eric Northman and Alcide Herveaux from Southern Vampire Mysteries & Trueblood.
When an elf named Herron claimed that Luna's mother offered him her protection over his cottage, his woods, and his treasure for the rest of his life, she felt obliged to carry out that duty in her mother's place, now that her mother was dead.
Hermione Granger wasn't about to let her friend travel to the backwoods of the United States by herself, especially since she didn't trust this elf. She came to Louisiana with Luna. Hermione thought they could easily and quickly set up the enchantments and wards on the elf's property, keep it safe from all those who would try to steal it from him, and leave by the next morning.
Problems started to arise in the form of a tall, blond vampire sheriff named Eric Northman and a handsome, dark werewolf pack leader named Alcide Herveaux. These two supernatural creatures had a different tale to tell...they claimed the elf stole the enchanted woods, cottage and treasures from them, and they wanted them back, no matter what. Now the two witches didn't know whom to believe, but it might be fun to figure out the truth. *Part of the Granger Enchanted Twisted Harry Potter Fairytale Challenge 2011
A Tale of Dark and Light
(A Different Take on the Fairytale 'Snow White & Rose Red')
It was already dark in the thick copse of trees, into which Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood Apparated at seven forty-two that night. The only light came from a bright full moon above them, and a smattering of stars thrown around the sky for good measure.
"Do you know where this cabin is, Luna?" Hermione asked her ethereal looking friend.
"Yes," the beautiful blonde-haired woman answered. "If my calculations are correct, we should be only a few meters to the left of it."
Hermione knew that Luna's calculations were probably NOT correct, so they may not even be in the correct state. The United States was a very large place, and they were here without permission from the local authorities, so Hermione hoped sincerely that they would be able to find this place without much difficulty and then take care of their problem and then go straight home.
"Tell me once more exactly what the letter you received said," Hermione insisted.
Luna had already explained the contents of the letter she had received, quoting it almost verbatim to her friend, at least ten times. Still, she knew it would settle Hermione's nerves to have her describe it again, so Luna explained, "The letter was from an elf named Herron. He said that my mother once enchanted these woods for him, a long time before I was born. She set up protection spells, wards, and enchantments, all to protect his property, riches, and gold from outsiders."
"He also said there's a vampire Sheriff named Eric Northman who's trying to steal his treasures, including these woods, and so he needs me to enforce the enchantments and the wards."
"Vampire Sheriff," Hermione scoffed. "How ridiculous. Why you, though?" Hermione asked, for at least the hundredth time. "There are witches in the States. Couldn't he ask one of them to do the job? You don't owe this man anything."
"No, but apparently my mother did," Luna explained, as they trudged along down the dark path in the woods. "My mother guaranteed him her protection for as long as he lived. Of course, she didn't know that she would die before him."
"This means that her oath ended with her death. You owe this man nothing." Hermione spat as she stopped walking. "Why do you even believe this man? Do you have proof that your mother was ever in Louisiana, for goodness sakes?"
Luna turned around to face Hermione, her wand light casting a glow on her friend's body. "Oh yes, the man sent proof. I told you that. When he sent his letter, he included a lock of her hair. I performed a spell on the hair, and it proved to be legitimate. What's more, how would he know about me, and why would he lie?"
"Why wouldn't he lie? Furthermore, that doesn't mean this…elf," (Hermione could barely say the word – 'elf') "Is telling the truth. Perhaps he coerced your mother. Elves are part of the Fae family, and they are known to have a fair amount of magic themselves. Did your father know anything about this?"
"I didn't ask him," Luna said resolutely. "He doesn't like to talk about my mother. Hermione, you didn't have to come with me, you know, but this is something I have to do. It concerns my mother, so I have to do it." She turned back around. "The cabin is right in front of us.
Indeed, the stone cottage stood before them as they cleared the thicket of trees. However, just because they had reached their destination didn't mean Hermione was done trying to convince her friend that they needed to err on the side of caution. For an extremely intelligent woman, Luna was also exceedingly too trusting. Hermione intended to find out more about the promise Luna's mother made to this 'elf' before she helped her friend. "So this vampire, Eric Northman, is trying to steal these woods and this cottage. For what purpose? I can't see that it's worth much. I say good riddance. The place looks on its last legs, and that's in the dark. Imagine how much worse it would look in the light," Hermione labored.
"But it's enchanted, and so are the woods around it," Luna replied. "And the elf, Herron, explained that this Eric Northman is a greedy, awful sort, and also very evil, as well as very old and very smart. He'll try to out smart us, trick us, but we mustn't let him have it. If my mother cared enough to help this elf, I think I should help him, too."
Hermione stepped upon the small covered porch and her booted foot went right through a floorboard. She rolled her eyes, pulled her foot out of the plank, and with a sigh asked, "What was the name of the werewolf who was supposedly working with the evil 'Vampire Sheriff'?"
Luna opened the wooden doors of the cottage with a simple 'Alohamora' and said, "I may not be pronouncing it right, but Alcide Herveaux. I wonder if he's Cajun."
Hermione followed Luna into the small building and said, "He could be a collie for all I care. My only concern is that we set up the wards and protection spells, have a bite of food, get some sleep, find the elf in the morning, and then get out of here by tomorrow afternoon."
Luna smiled a sympathetic smile, but insisted, "It may not be that simple, or that quick. We should make ourselves comfortable, because we might be here a few days."
"Then we should see about starting a fire, because it may not be that simple, but it is that cold." Hermione dropped her large bag inside the doors, hugged her arms tightly around her and exclaimed, "That werewolf better have enough sense not to show himself tonight, as cold as it is, or I might make a fur coat out of him, it's so cold."
"I thought you always had a soft spot for werewolves," Luna remarked with a grin.
Hermione gave her a strange look and said, "The only werewolf I've ever liked was Lupin. Bill Weasley not included in that statement, since he's not a full werewolf. All the others can go to hell, for all I care."
"Herron mentioned that this Alcide is the pack leader here, and almost as powerful as the vampire sheriff," Luna supplied. "There must be something of importance in these woods if two very powerful supernatural creatures want to get their hands on it."
Hermione didn't respond to that, but she gave it a deep thought, as she concurred with her friend's statement. Perhaps there was something to this. Luna was a smart and powerful witch, though many people didn't give her credit for being such, and Hermione was known as being one of the most powerful and smartest witches of her generation. They would make short work of this, and be home in time for tea tomorrow.
Looking around the barren, small structure, Luna shivered, but not from the cold. She said, "I don't think I like it here, Hermione. I have a bad feeling about this place." Luna crossed the main room of the little stone cabin to come to stand by the fireplace, near Hermione.
Hermione brushed a cobweb out of the way and said, "Of course you don't like it. We're somewhere deep in the backwoods of Louisiana, which just happens to be in the United States. We don't have permission from the United States Ministry to be here, no one from our country knows we're here, you're here helping some little elf just on his word alone, and there's a vampire and a werewolf that are against us. You aren't meant to like it."
"No, I meant I don't like this cottage," Luna clarified, walking around the main room, holding her lit wand out in front of her. "Someone's already been here, and they've already set up wards. I think they've done it to keep us away."
Hermione looked around, her wand also giving off light, and she frowned. Luna was highly intuitive and sensitive, and Hermione had to agree with her. The cottage was dirty, dilapidated, and dingy. If Hermione could think of another 'D' word, her alliteration dream could be complete. "Disgusting," Hermione swore allowed, proud that another 'D' word came to her so quickly.
Luna quickly walked back to the large stone fireplace, examined it for a moment, and then placed several logs in the hearth. "We should light a fire for warmth and light. It's bound to be colder later. We'll need more logs." She lit several lanterns that were on the walls as she spoke.
"I'll check for firewood outside," Hermione offered.
Luna stopped her with a hand on her arm. "I don't think we should go out alone. It may not be safe. I told you I really have a bad feeling about this."
Hermione paused. It was the second time in the space of a few minutes that Luna had expressed concern of that sort. Usually, Luna loved things that seemed odd or on the edge of 'weird'. If something was on the fringe of 'otherworldly' Luna was at her happiest, yet something about this cottage made Luna cautious.
"Luna," Hermione started, "I saw extra wood just outside the door, right in the clearing, as we stepped out of the woods, so I think I'll be safe." Hermione gave her a reassuring pat on the arm. "Furthermore, if anyone can take care of themselves, it would be me, right? Now, why don't you light the rest of the lanterns around the cabin, and the candles on the mantel, and do a quick Scourgify charm on the table and chairs, so we can eat something when I return."
Luna nodded, and then urged, "Why don't I place our things in the bedrooms first? There appears to be two. Do you have a preference which one you take? There a small loft above this room and a sleeping alcove off the main room."
"I'll take the loft," Hermione said with a smile. She turned to walk back out the door, her wand tightly in her fist.
She looked at the wood box to the right of the door and saw that there were only a few pieces of kindling in the box. They'd need more than that. She stepped off the small porch, and decided that since she was outside, she would place a few protection charms and wards around the cottage before she ventured into the woods for more kindling and firewood.
Hermione shuddered to think what might have happened to Luna if she had come here alone. Luna had been about to venture out alone before Hermione stopped her. Yesterday evening, Hermione had left her boyfriend Ron, to go visit Luna. Actually, she went to go complain about Ron, after they had another big fight, but that was beside the point. When Luna opened the door, Hermione saw that she was packing for this very trip.
Then Luna explained everything to her, told her about the letter, (which somehow 'vanished' after it was read) and she then commented, in her lilting sort of way, "Well, I best not linger, I have things to do before I leave, Hermione. If I never come back, know that you were always one of my best friends and that I loved you dearly."
Hermione frowned, stomped her foot, demanded that Luna come to her senses, and an hour later went home, packed her own things, and decided that she would come with her.
This led her to the woods outside this creepy cabin tonight. Bloody hell, this was no place for the two of them. This place was probably not even safe during the day, let alone at night.
A wolf stood, quiet behind the trees as he watched the attractive, dark-haired woman leave the cottage alone. He and Northman had been watching as she and a blonde woman entered the cottage earlier, but they had no clue as to why they were here. Were they working with the evil little elf? They were human. He would know if they weren't, yet they were something more than mere human…his senses told him that they were probably witches. He saw her glance around the trees, as if she was searching for danger lurking about, and then he saw her wand. Yes, she was a witch, but again, why was she here?
She walked further into the woods and Alcide stood so still that the only thing that moved was his fur with the whisper of the wind. The beautiful woman with the dark curls used her wand to hoist up several fallen tree limbs and was about to take them to the cottage, no doubt for firewood, when she turned back, her eyes scanning the trees in the dark forest.
Alcide knew she didn't see him, so what had caught her attention? For several long seconds the woman didn't move and neither did he. There was no way she could see him, for he was too far away, too still, yet as her eyes continued to scan the woods, they didn't stop completely and surely, until they rested solely on his.
Eyes glowed through the woods, staring at her. She'd seen eyes like that before, and she had felt the same prickly feeling on the back of her neck before, too. She dropped the firewood with a swish of her wand, took a step backwards, and for several long heartbeats she couldn't move, couldn't breathe, could only stare at the silver eyes of the beast. Her legs felt like stone, her breath caught in her throat, her hand squeezed her wand tightly.
The wolf pounced, and the breath that caught in her throat came out as a scream. She turned and ran back toward the dingy little cottage, with the wolf following quickly on her heels.
Luna sprang to the doorway, eyes scanning the woods for Hermione, as she heard her friend scream. She had just caught a flash of her friend darting toward the cottage when a tall blond man jumped upon the porch, placing both hands on the doorjamb, his tall body blocking her view of Hermione. His handsome face showed a wide smile with a full set of white teeth and two white fangs.
Then he said, "Won't you invite me in, Miss Lovegood, is it not? We really need to talk. My name's Eric Northman."
(*Thanks to DHLane (Kel) for being a great beta for this. Thanks to Mistress Malfoy for the letting me pick this fairytale and for the inspiration to write Eric and Alcide. Happy Reading! This story will have only four parts!)