All characters belong to JKR, Charlaine Harris and HBO & Warner Brothers (And the Brothers Grimm)

Part IV

Hermione and Alcide rushed into the small cottage, after hearing what they thought were screams of fright. When they ran to the small alcove off the main room, saw two nude blondes upon the bed, not only screaming, but also writhing around. There was sighing, moaning, crying out IN ECTASY – but no horror. They both turned around and slammed the door closed.

Hermione pointed toward the closed door in shock and said, "I can't bloody well believe that! Did you see them in there?"

"Yes, yes I did," Alcide said with a smile. He sat down at the table and continued to grin.

"I mean, I really can't believe that! If only you knew her, you'd know that is so unlike Luna!" Hermione sat down beside Alcide at the table.

The werewolf continued to smirk. "If only YOU knew him, it's so like Northman."

"He must have used his vampire persuasion on her!" Hermione insisted.

He laughed. "That doesn't work on supernatural entities like witches."

Luna screamed again. Hermione quickly stood, with a horrified look on her face. She blushed scarlet. "I can't stay out here while they do that in there! For one thing, doing that doesn't remotely help our problem."

Alcide snickered again and added, "It doesn't hurt either."

Hermione smacked the man's arm as hard as she could and said, "Oh, do be sensible, won't you!" Another moan came from the small alcove, this time from the vampire. Hermione made a disgusted face, turned on her heels, and rushed out the doorway.

Alcide followed. "Wait, Hermione, wait," Alcide called, but Hermione was practically running through the dark woods. Alcide caught up with her quickly. Turning her around, he said, "Are you a prude or something? There's nothing wrong with what they were doing in there, in fact, there's a perfectly good explanation behind it."

"Yes and the explanation behind it is that Luna is temporarily insane! Seriously! You think I'm a prude because I'm uncomfortable listening to two people, who just met by the way, having sex in a room next to me? Fine! Call me a prude!" She wrapped her arms around her body and sat back on the fallen tree where they sat earlier.

Alcide leaned against a tree in front of her and said, "That's not what I meant. I meant it's the magic of the…oh, never mind. Why don't you tell me a bit about yourself, Hermione Granger?"

"There's not much to tell," she said sincerely. "And not much time to tell it. To my calculations, the elf will probably return before morning, to try to extort magic from Luna, and I for one, am not going to waste time playing around in a bed while he's out there figuring out how to ensnare my friend. If Luna isn't going to stop him, I will."

She stood up, ready for a fight.

"Why?" he asked, shaking his head, and shrugging.

"What? Why do you ask why?" She seemed confused by that question.

He approached her slowly, stalking her one footstep at a time. With each step forward he took, she took a step backwards. "I asked you why," he repeated, him stepping closer, her stepping back, "is it your," another step forward, another step back, "problem?" He was right in front of her, and she was backed against a tall tree trunk.

"She's my friend," she said softly.

"But these are my woods, so in reality, it's my problem, not hers and certainly not yours," he said with his gravely voice, which rumbled across her cheek like a touch from a lover. "Besides, believe me when I tell you that I think she's discovered her own way out of this mess and that soon, you'll both be free to come and go as you please, and it would make no never mind." He placed one hand on her hip and one hand over her head, on the rough bark of the tree.

He was standing so close that her body and his body were practically melding together.

"I'm not certain that's proper grammar…'makes no never mind'…I mean, what does that statement even mean?" she asked, trying to avoid the fact that he was so close. Everything else he'd said about the fact that Luna had found a way out of the problem and that they'd soon be free to go had slipped her mind because of his closeness, his touch, his smile, his smell.

And when he didn't comment, only continued to smile at her, one hand playing with her hair as it sat upon her shoulder and neck, his other hand against the tree, beside her face, his thumb rubbing back and forth against her cheek, she decided it was best if she continued to speak.

"Furthermore, oh hell, in your own vernacular, no, never mind, don't answer me. Although you may not see it as our concern, or not our never mind, or not our no never mind, or, well, whatever, it is our concern. We should have researched things better before we came here. We probably made things worse for you by coming without knowing who Herron was, and whether or not he owned the woods."

"Hmmm," he mumbled, his nose raking through her hair now, inhaling deeply.

She swallowed hard, her hands on his shoulders with the intent to push him away, if only she could spare the strength.

"You're a research type of gal, huh?" he asked, his mouth now blowing hot breath on her neck. Though it was hot air, she shivered.

"I'm a, what? Oh, yes, research. Yes, I like to know what I'm up against, and Luna's rather impulsive," Hermione conceded. She closed her eyes as Alcide pressed his entire body against hers just a bit more. "That feels nice," she said, without thinking.

"And you didn't even research it first," he joked, his hands rubbing up and down her arms, moving to her sides, up the front of her body, skimming the outside of her clothing, across her breasts, to her back, to press her closer as his mouth now kissed the juncture between her neck and shoulder.

She pushed him away suddenly. His eyes grew wide in the dark. "Wait a minute; was that a joke at my expense? Were you making fun of me?" she asked.

"Sweetheart, I wouldn't dream of it," he said seriously. His arms went around her entire body, held her even though she continued to shiver, then before she could ask another question, or make sense of it all, his mouth came down softly upon hers.

His entire body was warm, but it was nothing compared to the warmth of his mouth. Heat flared in every aspect of her body, in every fiber of her soul. Heat raced in every nerve ending, just from his kiss. All she wanted was to feel his fire deeper, stronger, and more intense all the way down to her toes. She pulled him closer.

Brushing his tongue over her lips, he almost felt sparks. She gasped, and he collected that gasp in his mouth, almost as he collected the warmth from their mutual heat inside a liquid pool, deep in his heart, that would burn until the end of time. He wouldn't take a chance on her leaving him, so he kept his arms tightly around her, like bands of steel. He dropped to the ground, bringing her with him, his tongue and lips still gently feeding from her, tasting her, turning her into a boiling hot mass of sensations that she'd never known before.

He whispered things into her ear that he'd never said to a woman. He said things that would made her moan, shake, and quiver. His hands moved down her body, moving some clothing off, other clothing aside, pulling her tighter to him, bringing their hips together as one, rippling pressure and pleasure together, strange feelings that would surely embarrass her any other time. Yet tonight, right now, with this man, this felt right.

His weight felt good on top of her. It felt right, and protective; intimate and passionate. She ached from the desire of it all. His hands and lips continued to pour over her like a wildfire, blazing a path unknown, to a place, deep and hollow within her.

Tenderly, he said her name, desperately, she returned his, and then suddenly, they came together and when it was done, he wrapped her in his arms, pulled her over toward the fallen log, and leaned against her. He held her and said, "I can't believe we just did that."

"I know," she said with equal composure. "Makes me rather a hypocrite, doesn't it? How can I find fault with what Luna and Northman did, if you and I did the same thing?" She sat up and looked for her shirt, which was on the other side of him. Reaching for it, he reached for her sweater and jacket. They helped each other to dress (although neither was fully nude) and then they sat side by side on the log, silently debating what to do next.

Finally, he spoke. "It's these damn woods."

"Pardon?"

"The woods. As you know, they're enchanted. That's why the elf, Herron, wants them so badly, and why he lured your friend here," Alcide explained, reaching his arm around toward her shoulders at last and tucking her neatly next to his side.

"No, I know that, but why did you make that comment suddenly, you know, 'it's these damn woods'? I don't understand why you said that," Hermione replied, grasping her hands on her lap.

"I was just saying that's why we feel instantly attracted to each other, and the same with Northman and the other witch, the light coloured one. It's the legend of the woods. It's an old tale my granny used to tell me about the tale of the dark and light. I started to tell you about it earlier. It's the whole reason the elf wanted the light coloured witch to come here so badly, and why he didn't want you here."

Hermione pushed against him, stood, and said, "Let me understand your meaning, Mr. Herveaux. You're saying the enchantment of these woods is the reason I suddenly have no morals and I found myself rutting around the forest floor moments ago with you? Well, I'm so glad it's that, and not the fact that I've suddenly lost my faculties, or even something baser and more disgusting, as in, I'm suddenly a whore with no scruples! Thank you for explaining that to me! I'm glad it's nothing like mutual attraction, or anything insane like that!"

"Wait a minute," Alcide started, reaching out his hand as he stood. "Let me explain!"

However, Hermione didn't wait a minute. She ran back toward the cabin, away from Alcide. She was angry, embarrassed, ashamed, and she was going to go home, with or without Luna, promise to an elf or not.

Back inside the cabin, Eric was explaining the finer points of the magic of the woods, and the tale of the dark and the light to Luna. "It's old southern folklore, but there must be something to it, or else we wouldn't have been quite so instantly enchanted with each other, little witch," Eric said with a smile to Luna.

Hermione stormed in the door. Pulling out her wand, she pointed it toward Eric. He regarded her with a narrow gaze and asked, "What are you going to do with that, little one?" He stood from his place at the table and backed up toward the fireplace, pulling Luna toward his side.

"I'll show you what I'm going to do with this, you evil, foul, bloodsucking excuse for a…" before she could continue, Luna placed her hand on Hermione's shoulder and lowered the other witches' arm.

Alcide stood in the doorway, glanced at Eric, and shrugged. "She has fire, you have to say that for her."

Eric raised his eyebrows and scanned Hermione's body up and down. "You must know. I'm assuming you two had sex out there."

Hermione dropped her wand and pounced toward Eric, a growl escaping her lips. Alcide was faster, and he caught her around the waist. He held her tight as she said, "Let me at him! I'll tear him limb from limb!"

Eric looked amused. Alcide, while still holding an enraged Hermione, said, "Does that answer your question, Northman." He turned Hermione around in his arms, and said, "Calm down, calm down, Hermione. Please, I have to explain the magic of the woods, please."

"I'll do it, Mr. Alcide," Luna said with the sweetest voice. Alcide turned Hermione around in his arms so that she was facing Luna, though she no longer felt like fighting. She sagged in his arms, sighed, and then took a deep breath in before Luna continued.

"Hermione, it seems there's an old southern folktale about these woods, that just might be true, because it seems you and I are living proof. My mother came here years ago to investigate it, you see, for The Quibbler. There are riches in these woods, just as the elf explained, but he can't really touch them, but not only because they don't belong to him, but because he's not under the enchantment of the dark and the light."

"What?" Hermione said, a bit of spark back in her voice. Still, Alcide kept his arms around her, just in case, (and he liked having her close).

Luna added, "The tale of Dark and Light says that no one can truly behold the riches of these woods, until they find their perfect counterpart. Someone from the Dark, in this case, Mr. Northman, because he's a creature ruled by the night, and someone from the light, Mr. Herveaux, because he can walk in the day, had to come together to get the treasures of these woods, but first, they had to find their perfect mates, or their one true loves. That's us."

"You see, that's why the elf could never truly steal any of the treasures of the woods, because while elves are considered creatures of both the Dark and the Light, he never found his true love. He lured me here hoping to do just that, since he failed to make my mother fall in love with him.

"When my mother came here, apparently she used Herron as her guide, to help her discover if the old folklore of The Tale of the Dark and the Light was true.

"After investigating the story with her, he decided he wanted the riches for his own, and he also fell in love with my mother, but she didn't return his feelings. She was already in love with my father. She left without warding the woods for him, and without falling in love, so he was never able to gain the treasures from the enchanted woods. The only thing she did leave him was a lock of her hair, at his bequest, because she felt as sorry for him, but also as payment for him bringing her here to investigate her story. Mr. Northman explained it all to me."

Hermione stood stiffly in Alcide's arms, saying nothing – nothing at all.

Alcide turned her around to face him. He looked at her closely, then over her shoulder at Luna and Eric, asked, "What's wrong with her?" then to Hermione, he said, "Hermione, are you alright?"

She continued to have a somewhat dazed expression on her face.

Alcide told Hermione, "As your friend said, the elf lured Luna here, because he's a creature of both Dark and Light, so he thought she'd take over for her mother. He thought to convince her to fall in love with him, or to ward the woods to keep me out, but the magic of the Dark and Light doesn't work like that. Even if he had convinced her to fall for him –

Eric interrupted, "Which is pure insanity. She has much better taste in men than that."

Alcide continued, "Even if she had, the woods still don't belong to him, so he still wouldn't have been able to harness their riches. Only I can do that. Of course, when you showed up with Luna, you put a crimp in his plans."

"And Mr. Northman and Mr. Herveaux put a, what did you call it?" Luna asked, then repeating the word, "oh yes, a crimp in his plan as well, when they showed up here. It was almost perfect, because Mr. Northman and I fell in love, and then you and Mr. Herveaux fell in love, and now Mr. Herveaux can take any riches from these woods he wants…"

Again, Eric interrupted by saying, "Minus my ten percent."

"And we can all live happily ever after," Luna concluded with a smile on her face.

All three, Eric, Alcide and Luna looked expectantly at Hermione, who finally decided to end her stupor and speak.

"WHAT A LOAD OF HORSE HOCKEY! I'VE NEVER HEARD A BIGGER LOAD OF MARLARKEY IN MY LIFE!" She picked her wand up from the floor and in a flurry of motion, all of their possessions were gathered back together and was beside her in one bag.

Then she turned toward the still open cottage door and said, "Accio evil little elf!"

Herron appeared. He looked afraid. Very, very afraid.

She stomped over toward the elf, pointed her wand at the creature's head, and said, "OBLIVATE!" The elf had an immediate dazed look upon his face. Then she hit him as hard as she could with the end of her wand and he fell over onto the floor, lifeless.

She turned to Eric and said, "I suggest you take him out of these woods before he wakes up, Sheriff Northman. Drain him, arrest him, or boil him in a vat of hot oil for all I care!"

"Hmm, interesting suggestions, little one, I'll take that under advisement," Eric said with a smile.

She turned to Alcide and said, "While it's been nice, we both know we aren't in love. It was some crazy, southern, voodoo magic! People only fall in love after meeting once in Fairy Tales and those silly Fan Fiction Stories people write. Although I do have to say that it was lovely meeting you. If you're ever in London, look me up. Good bye."

She grabbed his shirtfront, pulled him to her, and kissed him as hard as she could. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her back.

Then Hermione turned toward Luna and shouted, "Tell your vampire friend goodbye, Luna and let's Disapparate out of here."

Luna walked up to the tall, former Viking and said, "It was nice while it lasted, wasn't it?"

He cupped her cheek and said, "That it was, my pretty little witch."

He bent his head and kissed her lips softly, then smiled down at her. She smiled back at him. He started to kiss her again, when Hermione bellowed from outside, "Now, Luna!"

Luna smiled, shrugged, and said, "Goodbye, my vampire friend."

Eric and Alcide walked out to the woods to watch Hermione and Luna as they Disapparated away. Right before they left, Hermione met Alcide's eyes and smiled.

He smiled back.

Eric looked down at Alcide and said, "What do you say we take a trip to London?"

-The End-