Disclaimer-I own nothing from either worlds.
A/N-First off, to all of those who have read my stories before, the creation of this story may come as a surprise to you. Over the years I've become rather disappointed in the Twilight series, but that is just my personal opinion—you do not have to agree with me. But this idea practically slammed itself into my head the other day and, well, you know that I can't just let an idea break away like that. I need to write it. So, here I am. I don't expect this to be perfect on the first try by any means. But I hope that I can create this story to everyone's satisfaction. Please review and let me know what you think. Enjoy!
An Ending Life
The moon was incandescently bright, standing as a stark, pale contrast to the inky black sky above. Heavy storm clouds swiftly danced across the bone white surface of the moon, momentarily flinging the eerie night into an abyss of darkness. The dirt pathway disappeared in the temporary blackness and the sound of footfalls hushed as they halted. I blinked, squeezing my eyes shut and letting them open again, trying to adjust to the sudden dark. I let out a shallow breath, reaching inside my robes for my wand, but my movements were suddenly halted.
A sudden, ethereal glow emitted from the point of Ron's wand, lighting the way again. The scene before me was still the same, but it looked different somehow—more ominous and lonely. The wind sliced unpleasantly at my face and tore at my skin, grabbing fistfuls of my hair and attacking it brutally. It hurt to breathe, like something was pressing up against my chest, forcing my lungs in on themselves.
I blinked back cold tears, pulling my cloak closer to my strangely chilled body. It was a mild autumn evening, not at all cold, but that didn't suppress the shivers coursing through my veins. The discolored leaves and broken branches crackled and groaned beneath the pressure of my sneaker as they were crushed to pieces. The only sounds were mine and Ron's hollow breaths and the swift movement of our footsteps.
"We're getting close," breathed Ron, his cyan blue eyes flickering only briefly to me with warning. "Get ready."
Nodding mutely, I brandished my wand and held it before me, my trained ears listening closely as we edged forward. Up ahead, farther down along the winding path, I could see the dilapidated farmhouse, smoke unfurling from the charred, caved in roof. My body lurched forward in an involuntary attempt, but Ron's fingers locked around my wrist, bringing me back to the reality of the situation. We were here on a mission—answering a distress call—and I had to keep a clear head, but it seemed we were too late.
"On three," Ron whispered tightly as we stopped in front of the towering house, still gripping my arm. I nodded again, my heartbeat quickening. "One—two—three!"
Together we blasted the door open wide and I cringed as the door cracked powerfully against the pale yellow wall, scratching the paint off. The hollow night seemed to echo the sudden penetration of silence as the door finally collapsed to the ground. I clutched my wand and Ron's arm tightly as we took our first steps into the house.
Be on your guard, I reminded myself as I edged toward the kitchen. Ron slowly crept toward the darkened bedroom, disappearing from my sight. I felt cold and empty as I watched him leave my presence. I knew that he was skilled and that I shouldn't worry for him, but I wanted him by my side, holding my hand safely in his.
The kitchen was in a mass of disarray; pans were scattered across the floor, a drawer of silverware opened wide, the single mahogany table upturned, the wooden chairs splintered and broken. And there was blood on the broken window, as if someone's head had crashed into it.
After securing the perimeter of the kitchen and checking for any valuable evidence, I walked through the darkened living room. Ron suddenly appeared in the doorway of the bedroom, his face pale and blank.
"Find anything useful?" he whispered.
"The kitchen is a mess. The window is broken and there's blood. I took a sample of it for investigation. We can run it through once we get back to headquarters to see who it belongs to. Other than that, nothing. There definitely seems to have been a struggle," I report.
"I'll have to agree with you there," he said darkly, shaking his head.
"What'd you find?" I wondered.
He held up a pillow, ripped down the middle, its feathers protruding from its insides.
"The whole room is torn apart, feathers scattered everywhere. The bed linens are ripped clean in two. There was definitely a struggle. I've found some hair that was ripped out—a rather large and disgusting piece, mind you. So, we'll just combine that with your blood sample when we get back."
I nodded, silently agreeing.
"You haven't found any bodies, yet?" I asked, swallowing down the budding fear bubbling up from my unsettled stomach. The distress call we'd received had been given from this house—we'd tracked it ourselves—yet, there was no one here. This alone was enough to make me nervous.
"No, I haven't. Which means they could be anywhere, dead or alive," Ron muttered, looking equally unnerved. This wasn't new to our job, but it never got any easier.
"Have you secured the rest of the house?" I asked.
"Downstairs is secure," he responded and our eyes both flickered toward the grungy staircase to our right. It looked dark and foreboding. Who knew what lurked above us? "Have you checked the wards?"
I shook my head, quickly waving my wand to check the house's wards.
"The house's wards are extremely strong," I informed Ron. "Whoever owned this house is very cautious and protective."
"Who isn't these days?" Ron muttered and I instantly understood what he was referring to.
He was speaking of the horrific war that had plagued our world three years ago. We had lost a great many of our friends to Lord Voldemort. Luckily, Harry defeated him, but that did nothing to quake the anger of his followers. The Death Eaters dove in for a vengeance greater than all the fires of Hades. Harry and Ron had instantly joined together as Aurors in an attempt to round up the remaining Death Eaters and lock them away. I wanted to help, of course, but I couldn't deal with the fighting so soon after the war. I had needed to find my parents and lift their memory spell. I spent two years in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where I completed my life-long dream of improving the lives of house elves. But then, I decided I needed to return to the life I knew, to the air of protection, joining the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, where I became a skilled and strong member of the Magical Law Enforcement Squad.
The squad I was on worked alongside the Death Eaters. My squad had the responsibility of looking out for the protection of the magical world and investigating crime scenes, but the Aurors were only joined with us when something terrible had happened, a threat that involved Death Eaters or dark magic. With the help of my squad, we had managed to lock up most of the remaining Death Eaters that proved to be threats, but there were still some in hiding and we always had to be on guard.
When Harry—now the head of the Auror department—had told Ron and I of the distress call, we both packed up our supplies and set out to solve the problem. But there was something darker about this mission—I could feel it.
"Ron," I called suddenly, lowering my wand. "The wards are not penetrated. They're perfectly secure."
"B-But…How is that possible?" he asked, raising his eyebrows. "We received a distress call from a wizard's wand."
"I know," I said slowly, my brain working fast. "Perhaps it wasn't a magical situation."
"I checked the area. Spells were used," Ron protested.
I held up a hand to silence him. I needed to think. He let out an audible frustrated puff of air and I threw him a glare. I hated his impatience.
"What spells?" I asked abruptly, coming to a possible conclusion.
"What spells? What does it matter what spells—?" Ron started and I huffed.
"Ronald, just answer the question."
"The standard protective spells," he answered grindingly, annoyed by my bossy tone. "Protego, Stupefy, Protego Duo—"
"Protego Duo?" I interrupted.
"What's so important about that?" Ron wondered and I clutched the throb in my head. He could really be so dense sometimes.
"Ron, the Protego Duo spell is only used in extreme conditions when all else fails. It's more powerful than any shield charm ever invented. The spells you picked up were only defensive, none of them were attack spells. Whoever cast those spells was trying to protect themselves in desperate manners, which means that the other charms that they were using weren't being useful."
"You're saying that their magic wasn't working?"
"No," I sighed. "Not necessarily that the magic wasn't working, only that the magic wasn't powerful enough to stop whoever attacked them."
"You think that it was Muggles who did all this?" asked Ron dubiously, still not understanding.
"No, Muggles can be thwarted by magic. Basic shield charms work on Muggles," I explained.
"Do you think—Well, have you considered the possibility that it might've been a Death Eater?" Ron asked.
I shook my head.
"I don't think so, Ron. You see, Death Eaters are all about malice and harm. Not only would there have been offensive spells cast, but Unforgivables, too. And every spell that was cast in this house was purely defensive."
"Then what did all this?" Ron demanded, growing even more frustrated. He, like me, hated not having the answers.
"I don't know, Ron. But I think this case just got a lot more complicated," I whispered, swallowing hard.
"Well, we'll figure it out once we get back, alright?" Ron sighed, patting my arm. "Let's secure the upstairs and then we'll leave."
A small smile warmed my face and I appreciated the fact that, even in this dark hour, Ron could still manage to quell my fears and help me feel comforted. I trailed up the stairs after him, keeping my wand at the ready.
"Lumos," Ron said quietly, lighting our path. I followed his actions. "You secure the left bedrooms and I'll secure the right, okay?"
"Okay," I answered and we parted ways once again.
As I continued down the dark, wood-paneled hallway, that freezing feeling of impending doom rose into my chest, making it hard to breathe. I didn't understand why I was reacting this way, but something just didn't feel right. No, something felt very, very wrong.
After securing the rooms on the right side of the floor, I was about to turn back toward the staircase when I noticed a door that I had overlooked. It was at the very end of the hallway, lit up temporarily by the moon flooding in from the dusty window. With steadying breaths, I inched toward the room and tested the door. Locked.
"Alahamora." I gave the door a timid push with my shoe and it groaned open in protest.
The room looked untouched except for the twin sized bed in the middle, illuminated by the moon shining through the window; it's covers and sheets were ruffled and swept aside—unmade. Shadows of swaying, jagged tree branches danced across the light pink walls, playing tricks on my eyes. Stuffed animals lined the shelf on the wall and a small butterfly lamp rested on the white wood nightstand.
Just as I moved forward to look for evidence, I heard an unexpected sound. My ears strained to hear it, for it was barely noticeable. It was a tiny whimpering, coming from within the closet to my right. I stepped toward it, hating the way the wood floors creaked beneath my sneakers. The crying grew more urgent as I rattled the doorknob, but it wouldn't budge. My heart pattered within my chest. There was someone alive in there.
My wand sliced the air and the door opened with a strain, and as soon as it opened wide, the tiny crying turned into a petrified wail.
"Silencio!" I cried and the crying instantly muted. I threw an anxious glance over my shoulder and waited, but nothing changed.
Carefully, I moved the hangers of clothes and squinted into the depths of the closet. Moving my wand so that its light illuminated the closet, I was taken aback when I noticed two wide blue eyes gazing up at me with unexplainable fear. I dropped to my knees, removing the silencing spell, and reached toward the girl, who immediately began to cry again.
"Shh, shh," I quieted comfortingly. "I'm not here to harm you, I promise. I'm here to help."
This seemed to calm the tiny blond girl and she gave me her hand, allowing me to pull her to her feet. She had to be five at the very most.
"W-Who are you?" she hiccupped, clutching my hand.
"My name is Hermione and I work for the Ministry of Magic. What's your name?"
"Amelia," she answered, sniffing and wiping her nose on her pajama sleeve.
"Listen, sweetie, your parents called us to come help you. Can you tell me what happened and where your mum and dad are?"
"It k-killed t-them," Amelia answered, sobbing into my stomach. I patted her hair uncertainly, my insides squirming at her words. This is what I had been dreading.
"What killed them, sweetheart?" I asked gently, amazed that my voice wasn't shaking like my hands.
"The monster," she whispered in terror, her voice muffled by my shirt. "The monster with the red eyes. It killed my mummy and daddy."
The girl must've been delirious; it was the only explanation for what she had just said.
"Is that your wand?" I asked, noticing what the girl was clutching so protectively.
"It's my mummy's. She gave it to me and told me to run and hide. She told me to never look back and never let go of it."
"You're a good little girl, listening to Mummy like that. But it's okay, now. I'll protect you now."
I gently coaxed the girl off of me and grasped her hand. I led her down the dark hallway, praying that Ron was nearby and that the little's girls parents weren't dead as she had said.
"Hermione!" Ron suddenly called, his voice sounding panicked. "You're going to want to come and look at this. I-I think I found—"
"Her parents," I answered.
Ron whipped around. When he spotted the girl, he smiled shakily and held out his hand.
"Hi there," he said awkwardly. "I'm Ron."
"He's with me," I assured the girl and she hesitantly placed her tiny hand in Ron's large one.
"Why don't you and I stay over here for a second, okay?" Ron said, taking the girl away.
When I gazed into the room, my stomach twisted so unpleasantly, I thought I would drop to my knees and vomit right then and there. Thankfully and remarkably, I was stronger than I'd thought and remained perfectly stoic. There was a woman and a man, lying together on the broken bed. Their bodies were horrific, mangled and unrecognizable. Their necks were ripped apart, blood lining their now snowy skin. Their bodies looked small and hollow, as if they'd been drained of all life. I stared at their position in confusion and disgust. Whoever had murdered them had been twisted enough to playfully situate them in this position.
I exited the room and went to the girl standing by Ron. Suddenly enveloped in an unquenchable sorrow, I fell to my knees and embraced Amelia—now an orphaned little girl with no one to depend on.
"I'm going to check the rest…" Ron said, his voice sounding thick and strained, as if he was trying his hardest not to lose it all as I was.
"It's all going to be okay now, love," I told the little girl, still clutching her to me. "We're going to get you somewhere safe—"
Just then, a strangled yelp exploded through the hallway, followed by several shrieks and a terrible ripping sound. There was a horrible blast and then a sickening thudding sound.
"Stay there and don't move. I'm going to put an invisibility spell on you, okay? Stay right there and do not move, do you hear me? Do not move."
Amelia nodded and I whipped out my wand, pointing it at her. She slammed her eyes shut.
"Fidelius," I said hastily and Amelia became instantly transparent, blending into the floor and the wall.
I rushed into the room Ron had disappeared into moments before, throwing the door open wide until it thwacked the wall. Ron was lying crumpled under a broken wardrobe dresser, his leg bent at a strangely odd angle. His wand, now snapped in two, rested several feet away from his opened hand. He lay unconscious and unmoving.
"Ron!" I shouted and as soon as I did, I regretted it. Ron hadn't just done this himself. Someone had been in the room with him. Someone that was still in the room with me.
The floorboards creaked under a shifting weight behind me and I spun around, raising my wand. But I faltered as my eyes locked with rich, deep scarlet orbs. Strangely transfixed, I became slack and sluggish. I shook my head, but it was too late. As soon as I had gathered my bearings and uttered a weak "Stupefy", the strange creature lurched from the shadows, grabbed me fiercely by the throat, and threw me at the ceiling. I was vaguely aware of the sound of glass breaking as I collided with the ceiling. The ceiling cracked and came down with me, collapsing on top of me as my head smacked the wood floor, hard. My world then submerged into darkness.
When I came to, my vision was blurry and my head throbbed so powerfully, I thought I might black out again. I was suddenly aware that I was buried under a shower of alabaster. My eyes drifted to the fallen wardrobe, remembering how Ron had been trapped underneath its massive weight, but he was no longer in the room with me. The window was completely destroyed and I noticed a piece of navy blue material clinging to a shattered fragment of window—a scrap from Ron's pants.
I felt around for my wand, which was luckily only a few centimeters away from my fingers. It took more strength than I had ever used in my life, but somehow I managed to lift the rubble off of me and struggle to my feet, swaying dangerously as I teetered out the doorway.
"A-Amelia?" I breathed, my heartbeat frantic. I waved my wand and the little girl suddenly appeared, dutifully squatting in the corner I had left her in.
"What happened?" she cried, running to me as I held out my hand.
"An accident. Amelia, I need to take you—" I started, but my response was immediately cut off by a piercing scream in the distance—one that I recognized instantly. Ron.
I had no time to apparate Amelia to headquarters. I had to find Ron.
"Amelia, stay here and I'll come back for you," I said, darting down the stairs.
"No!" she shouted, running after me and clutching my robes. "You have to take me with you. Please don't leave me! What if the monster comes back?"
I was torn. I couldn't just leave a child by herself in the darkness of night while her parents lay murdered upstairs, but I couldn't very well bring her into a dangerous situation either. But as Ron screamed again, I made up my mind.
"Stay close, do you hear me?" I snapped and she nodded rapidly. "If I tell you to run, you run, got it? No questions, no hesitations, you run. If I tell you to stay perfectly still like I did upstairs, you turn to stone. And no matter what happens, never let go of that wand and never stop. If you do all of this, you will stay alive. If you don't, you will die."
I felt terrible for saying such harsh, blunt words to a mere child, but I would not have her blood on my hands tonight. I would not let that girl join her massacred parents so soon. I would protect her with my life, even if it meant giving my last breath for her.
Together, the girl and I sprinted into the forest. I feared that I would rip Amelia's arm from her socket, the way I was dragging her, but she never complained and continued to run as if her life depended on it. She would make a good Auror one day.
As I gazed around me, I realized I was lost. The farmhouse no longer existed in my sight. Trees were shedding all around me, shaking off their decaying leaves. Colors danced through the air in the form of dead leaves, clawing ravenously at my face. They were cold and wet as they hit my face bringing a chill to my body.
The temperature was dropping, fast. I wandered hastily through the trees, crushing branches and tugging Amelia with all my might. All I saw were trees and decay.
Ron's scream suddenly erupted all around me and I jolted forward, causing Amelia to cry out. He was close. I broke through a mass of trees, tripping into a clearing, and only then saw the horror that would remain with me until the day I died. I stood as still as stone, petrified in my fear as I watched the creature with scarlet eyes and snow white skin sink its incredibly pointed teeth into the neck of my best friend and my former boyfriend. Ron's blue eyes remained locked on mine, full of hope and fear. And then, he was gone. The beast savagely ripped apart his throat, drinking in his blood like a dehydrated human journeying through the Sahara would thirst on a watery oasis.
"N-No," I whimpered, gazing at my fallen friend. "No, no! Ron!"
I retched and Amelia screamed shrilly, her mouth open wide. And all too soon, Ron was crumpled on the ground, his eyes staring up at the black sky, and the creature's eyes burned with blood lust. I trembled, whipping out my wand. I didn't know what this thing was, but it had just murdered the man I loved and I would kill it, one way or another.
"Impedimenta!" I shouted and watched in amazement as the spell lightly tapped the creature as if was nothing more than a pin-prick.
It stumbled backward an inch, unfazed by the blow which would have normally sent my opponent rocketing backward at least fifty feet. I'd never seen anything so terrifying. The creature merely cocked its head and advanced toward me, baring its threatening incisors. And that's when it all slammed into me. The pointy teeth, the pasty skin, the blood red eyes, the intense strength, the fast movements—it was a vampire.
I'd never crossed paths with vampires before, I'd only just read of them whilst at Hogwarts. But this vampire was different than the ones described in the textbooks. Vampires were dangerous, but they never attacked a witch or wizard, for those who held the magic held the most power and therefore had the upper hand. But this one was stronger than normal vampires should be. There was something abnormally dark about the way the vampire's eyes gleamed at me and the way he circled me, making escape impossible.
"God help me," I prayed helplessly as I cast spell after spell, watching as they listlessly ricocheted off the vampire's stone chest.
When it leaped at me, it was a miracle that I saw it. In the nanosecond it took for the vampire to pounce on me and sink its sharp incisors into the skin of my shoulder, I had just managed to send out a distress signal and wind my arms securely around Amelia. As I apparated the two of us away, the heinous and blinding pain enveloped my senses, burning my entire being until I was sure I would burn to dust.
I thanked God when Amelia and I smacked into the tiled floors of St. Mungo's, grateful that despite the intense and crippling pain infused within me, that I had managed to safely transport us. Within seconds, I was delirious with a pain more potent than the most extreme Crucio, screaming and gnashing. I distantly felt Amelia being pried from my breast. Cold fetters locked around my wrists, making my escape impossible.
"Don't worry, love, we've got you," said a matronly voice in the far, far distance of my barely conscious mind. "This might sting a bit."
I felt an uncomfortable prick in my left vein, but against the horrendous pain I was enduring, it was nothing. As my mind started to fuzz with the affects of the potions just placed in my veins, I let out one final shrill shriek before I eventually succumbed to the blackness for the second time that night.
It was painfully bright when I awoke, the fluorescent lights of St. Mungo's blinking above me. I squinted, feeling incredibly weak. My entire body felt like it had been hit with a semi. I felt drained and wobbly and invaded. My bones felt like jelly, mushy and formless inside me. As I struggled to sit up, I noticed that I was in a hospital gown and was strapped by my ankles and wrists to a hospital bed by tight metal clasps. My wand and my tattered clothes, ripped at the shoulder, lay on the chair in the corner.
"H-Hello?" I rasped, trying to peer beyond the blue and white checkered curtain that surrounded my bed. "Is anyone t-there?"
The curtain suddenly sprang to life, dancing away as a healer entered the room to check my vitals.
"Oh good, you're awake," she cooed, delicately brushing the damp hair from my sweaty face. "You've been out most of the night."
"Wh-Who—?" I struggled to form the words I so desperately needed to ask, but my tongue was thick in my mouth.
"Shh, don't try to talk. You're in a very fragile state right now. You'll be better in a few hours, though, once we've made sure we've erased all the venom from your veins."
"Venom?" I choked and the nurse stayed me with a warm hand.
"You were bitten," she explained softly.
The events of the night slammed forcefully back into me and I remembered everything. But mostly I remembered Ron, now dead somewhere in the forest of rural England, and my shoulder, ripped apart and savaged by the vampire that had murdered Ron.
"Where's Amelia?" I demanded.
"She's alright, very concerned about you though," the healer replied.
"I-I need to be briefed," I said, trying to clear my thoughts. When the healer did nothing, I sat forward. "I need to be briefed now."
"That won't be necessary," came a new voice from the doorway.
"Kingsley!—I mean, Minister, it's a surprise," I exclaimed as the tall black man with the sleek, bald head entered my hospital room.
"Indeed it is," Kingsley replied and asked the healer to leave. "Miss Granger, we've pulled your memories to see what happened, since you were unconscious and we had to take immediate action. I hope you don't mind. They're fully restored again."
"Not at all," I replied. "Is Ron—? I mean, did you—"
"Your distress signal was accurate, Miss Granger. We found him right away. However, we were not able to save him. He was…gone by the time we arrived, as was the vampire."
"I need to report this to Harry. This vampire was unlike anything I've ever seen before—"
"Again, that won't be necessary," said Kingsley, his voice as tight as his expression. "I came here to inform you that you will not be needed in the ministry anymore."
"I-I beg your pardon?" I stuttered, flabbergasted. "Are you firing me?"
"Of course not," Kingsley stated. "We are relieving you of your obligatory duties within the ministry for security purposes."
"So, you're firing me!" I accused, heat enveloping me.
"If that is how you wish to see it. But from now on, Miss Granger, it is vital that you understand that you are dead."
"Hermione Granger no longer exists, you see," clarified Kingsley. "She died heroically with her colleague Ronald Weasley."
"Minister, I'm most certainly not dead."
"Oh no, you see, you are," Kingsley argued, his expression dark. "You will be given a new name, a new home, and a new life. A family in Hanover, New Hampshire has already been charmed to believe they are your father and aunt. Your mother is dead. As for the story behind that, that will be up to you. Your plane leaves tomorrow at three o' clock. It's your duty to the wizarding world to stay protected until it is safe to come out of hiding while we dispose of this problem."
"But Minister, this is insane! I can help you with this investigation! I don't need protection!" I protested.
"You will not disobey me," he growled. "You are a dear friend, but I will not tolerate any disobedience on your part. We will contact you when available. Your last assignment in this field is to create a new identity, get on the next plain for Hanover, and cut all ties to your past. You are here and now declared dead to the wizarding community."
"Minister, this is absurd!" I exclaimed.
"I will accompany you to the airport tomorrow. I expect your new identity to be completely flawless by that time. Knowing you, that should be a very easy task. Good evening and rest well," Kingsley said, patting my hand before walking toward the exit.
"Minister!" I shouted after him, but he never turned around. "Minister, am I not even allowed to say goodbye?"
Kingsley turned only a fraction and by the look on his face, I already knew the answer before he answered. Nonetheless, it didn't relieve any of the pain that came with his next words.
"No. You will never speak to your friends or family ever again."
And then he disappeared, pulling my former self along with him. I, Hermione Jean Granger, was now formless and dead.