For the record, I've never read the Underworld novels, but someone gave me a list of all the names of the werewolves/vampires that appear in the movies.
This story goes AU from the sixth Harry Potter book, there were no pieces of Voldemort's soul to hunt, the wizarding war was longer and so Ron and Hermione have their own infamous names.
When Lucian feels particularly frustrated with his pack, he puts them to training.
Still underground, because they can't risk going above and getting seen by the vampires, but in all areas of the subway system, both those in use and those long abandoned. Training could take many forms; sleuth mode, attacks, weaponry and of course their human and lycan forms.
Many times they are divided into small groups because its more likely that they would be ambushed and attacked when they seem outnumbered.
Sometimes though, Lucian gets creative and instead of just pitting the small groups against each other, a few are designated as humans who do not know about the existence of supernaturals, thus forcing his lycans to practice keeping their real identities hidden when in conflict.
Even in play and practice it was a bad idea to bring humans into their midst, so naturally it was during one of those practices that Lucian's secret hideout was revealed to the vampires.
Yes he could blame the initial failure to catch Michael Corvin, but things would have been less complicated if it had been just that, and not because the witches and wizards involved.
The lycan packs grew stronger each day, and soon Lucian would have a large enough army to challenge the vampires. The vampires, who remain so strongly convinced of their superiority and victory. Little did they know that one of their own leaders was secretly betraying them, planning to destroy their way of life and take over as supreme leader. Lucian knew better than to trust Kraven, that vampire was ambitious, and would betray Lucian as soon as an opportunity presented itself. Not while Lucian still had his uses and could help him kill the Vampire Elders, but definitely later when Lucian loses value after Kraven accomplished his goals.
So Lucian trains his pack, makes them practice, for no matter the leadership of the vampire coven the pack will have to fight for their survival.
"Today you'll be divided into two teams, decided entirely by chance. There will be no markings, no transformations, one of you will be assigned as a mark, the rest of you will have to find that mark. The objective is to find the mark in a crowd that may or may not be hostile, and not to accidentally attack him. Since your goal is the same as the other team's, you will have to stop them from accomplishing the goal. If you discover the mark, make sure the mark isn't taken by the other team, so don't go blatantly announcing that he is the mark. The mark himself may use any methods to dupe you into thinking he is either on yours or the other team. If a fight does break out and an opponent manages to subdue you, transform and stay still for an hour. In forty eight hours I will find the mark, whoever he is with will have to turn him in or I will decide the mark managed to deceive you."
This training would cover everything; deductive skills, disguise, the ability to blend in, capture and combat. With several new faces in the pack, the training would be even more effective as some of the members would be truly dealing with unknown characters. It would be good practice before he sent more lycans above to track down Corvin.
So Lucian was understandably upset when, fifty hours later, he realized that not only did the mark managed to deceive the group he was found with, but that two of his pack had failed to meet the deadline.
"It's two hours past, where are Raze and Trix?"
"We saw them just last night," a lycan volunteered. "The two chased us down along one of the tunnels and we managed to briefly outrun them. We prepared an ambush but they didn't show up, we thought they had gone elsewhere."
"Anyone else seen them more recently?" When none of the lycans answered, Lucian frowned. Raze was his second in command and knew to be punctual when his leader was involved. "Up until last night they were fine, they know that in forty eight hours they should be returning back to headquarters. If they're not here either they've gotten lost or injured somewhere."
"Should we look for them?"
"Maybe they're fighting again."
"We should probably make sure they haven't run into trouble..."
"Perhaps they fell down to the sewers and waterways."
"Or they could have incepted someone coming in," Lucian had seen that happen already. Most of the time it was just animals but in the time the lycans had made this underground dwelling their home there had been occasions of humans or vampires wandering inside. "We haven't gone down this area for a while, if something else has taken residence, especially if it is something that could delay two of our members, we need to be aware. Find them!"
The lycans scattered, searching for their comrade, but these tunnels were to the sewers and waterways, here their enhanced sense of smell would not help them. Lucian went down at a calmer pace, but the lycans could see the concern on his leader's face. His concern was justified.
Just a few hours earlier, after they lost the lycans they were trying to capture, Raze and Trix had decided to split up. This was largely to cover ground, and partially because Trix did not want to fail this practice by letting a newcomer find the mark first. When they separated Raze had been more cautious, trying to minimize noise and practicing sleuth, knowing that the group they were chasing could easily ambush them in these watery tunnels.
Sure enough he had been attacked from behind, not physically, but by words and a flash of light. He had blacked out, and when he awoke, found his arms and legs tied. His body was also unnaturally stiff, as if something had frozen his skin, and he couldn't transform even if he wanted to. Across from him two figures were talking quietly.
"Out of all the places we could have picked, we end up in an area crawling with wolves." The speaker was a young man with fiery red hair and freckles, he was dressed casually but oddly enough, wore a black cloak instead of a jacket. "Either we are that unlucky, or the tip really was a trap."
"We can't leave yet," the other speaker was a young woman with wavy brown hair and eyes. "If we miss this meeting the lead will grow cold, we just need to last a few more hours, and we will be able to find Harry."
"If he really got himself captured and ransomed, I swear I'll slaughter everyone responsible before tying him down and sending him back to Britain."
"I've told you this many times: Ron, don't do anything rash, we don't know what consequences our actions could have here. We slip in, find Harry, deal with those who know about him, and bring him back. Anyone who knows about...he's awake." The young woman was now watching Raze, and at her words the red haired man, Ron, turned to him as well. Raze glared at them, the two exchanged looks, turned back to him, and Raze find himself able to speak again.
"Whoever you are, you are about to make a huge mistake," Raze spat. "Starting a fight with us would be suicidal, no matter your reasons. Our group is large, with members across the world, we will hunt you down if you do anything that anger us. Our leader is powerful, he...!" His body suddenly felt as if it was being stung by thousands of angry bees. The redhead was on his feet, eyes blazing, and he was moving towards the lycan before the woman grabbed his arm.
"What are you doing?" She hissed.
"He sounds just like those death eaters! So help me...!"
"Stop it now!"
The stinging sensation stopped, leaving Raze panting. While the pain wasn't unbearable, it took him by surprise. His captors were exchanging heated words, whispers that turned to angry hisses, before Ron was striding back to where the lycan was lying.
"We have to do something about him," the redhead was kneeling beside Raze now, but he was still speaking to the woman. "We can't just release him."
"He's a lycan, they're thought to be close to extinct, just because that stinging hex worked doesn't mean something like memory charms could."
Raze and the redhead stared at each other, the tension in their bodies evident. Although Raze was tied down and somehow immobilized if he ever manage to escape he was a legitimate threat. Ron was tall but lanky, slender muscles and no bulk. The woman herself was the same, without some sort of supernatural powers Raze could easily kill them both. They wouldn't even be able to escape, in his wolf form Raze would easily overtake them.
Without speaking the younger male was reaching out and grasping the lycan's throat. Raze tried to struggle but his body remained motionless; what power was the redhead wielding over him? The fingers were spreading around his throat, and Raze almost couldn't believe he was going to die like this, under thin human hands and very human blue eyes, when suddenly the hand changed directions. Instead of clenching around his throat the hand was tearing a strip of cloth from Raze's shirt and stuffing it into the lycan's mouth. Another strip was quickly placed over the lycan's eyes, blinding him.
"What did you do that for?" the woman's voice asked.
"We can't keep him immobilized for long, it will drain our magic, and I'll rather not hear him shout and scream when it begins to wear off." The hands were retreating, but by the sound of breathing Ron was still kneeling beside him. "We have to relocate, and I don't fancy having the wolves after us because they discovered the body of their own."
"Fair enough, but the eyes?"
"He doesn't need to see more then he already did. I'll knock him out, but I just did that and I don't want to hurt him more than necessary." Judging by the tone of voice, Raze knew the red head had probably done it to less fortunate victims.
Meanwhile, Trix was wandering around the area wondering where Raze had disappeared off to. He'd called out several times and tried to sniff him out, but the underground tunnels and waterways effectively disguised all scents in the area. Was Raze testing him? It occurred to him that Raze could in fact be the mark, Trix would never forgive himself if he let himself be deceived simply because Lucian thought it would be interesting to make his second in command the mark.
He had tired of calling out for Raze, and was considering just heading back to the main base because he had not seen any fellow lycan and so had probably wandered off too far, when he found traces of a struggle, and something heavy being dragged. With his tracking skills he soon found a small tunnel. Keeping quiet, he began to slowly approach, staying close to the wall and avoiding any splashes, before he was close enough to peer inside, and when he did Trix was surprised.
Raze got himself captured? Trix never thought he'll see the day, Raze was the type to win or die trying, even for training purposes Trix couldn't believe Raze would allow himself to be bound and practically blindfolded. He glanced at the other figures; both were wearing black cloaks, the one with a hood drawn up was facing away from him, the other was an unfamiliar young man with red hair - probably one of the newcomers.
If they even bothered to tie him up and stay with him, does that mean Raze is the mark? Trix was mentally kicking himself for not thinking of it sooner. He was not going to lose to some newcomer, and if they were newcomers perhaps he could fight them both and take Raze.
The two had no warning, for Trix was jumping and landing beside them. A swift kick threw the hooded figure against the wall, and before the redhead could get to his feet Trix had knocked the boy down. When the boy retaliated Trix quickly pinned the younger's arms behind him.
"Hey now, no need to get so vicious, you two did pretty well for newcomers." The redhead was struggling, but was surprisingly easy to hold still, was he just bitten? "I'll tell our alpha you managed to catch the mark, however briefly, but I'll be taking him now so you can run along." He gave the redhead a pat on the shoulder before releasing him. From the ground Raze began making muffled noises, and Trix grinned, "Yea I know you almost fooled me, but I've got you..."
There was a sharp rustle of cloth and something hit Trix hard. Trix found himself stumbling forward, and began to speak "Now you're just cheating...!" There was a flash of light, and Trix's body snapped together. He couldn't even straighten himself before he was collapsing on the ground beside Raze, only his eyes could move, and they watched with shock as the redhead helped the hooded figure, a woman, to her feet. She was holding what seemed to be a stick in her hand, and the redhead pulled out one of his own. He made a gesture and ropes suddenly sprung into the air and tied themselves around Trix's body.
"Hermione, you okay?"
"Yes, but I think we've used enough magic now, a little more and we might attract attention." The woman, Hermione, looked back at the lycans. The redhead obviously knew what she was thinking, and while Trix cursed loudly and violently in his head, his lips couldn't move, and his body could not resist while the two strangers tightened the ropes and gagged him. Once confident their captives were secured, Hermione spoke, "I'll go out to scout the area, if more lycans start coming we shouldn't stay here any longer. I'll be right back."
"Be careful," the redhead watched as the woman stepped out of the tunnel, looking carefully around before darting off and disappearing in the darkness. The redhead looked back to the lycans, "I should probably blindfold you too, shouldn't I?"
Oh, if only Trix could speak, as it was he could not and could do nothing as the redhead covered his eyes as well.
That was how Lucian found them, like his lieutenants he sensed something odd in that tunnel, and was wary as he approached. Seeing his men bound, gagged and blindfolded with a stranger standing above them was enough for him to signal his accompanying wolves. They positioned themselves by the tunnel entrance, and at Lucian's silent command, suddenly jumped in.
The redhead just managed to dodge the attack, and was leaping backwards to avoid the others that followed. The surprise attack disrupted his focus, and his summoned ropes disappeared; his captives found themselves able to move again. Trix was quickly tearing the gag from his mouth, "Get him!"
Ron ducked under another lycan's arm, and tried to run past another before a third tackled him to the ground. In a split second the wand was in his hand and four other wolves were blasted off their feet before he was sprinting out the tunnel.
"What was that?" A voice snarled.
"We'll find out," another answered. Ron ran faster, but judging by the snarling and tearing sounds, he knew some of his pursuers were transforming. He hurried on, hardly caring now that he was running along water and making so much noise the lycans could easily track him. Which meant he only attracted more attention.
"Ron! What are you doing?" Hermione was standing by another one of the tunnels, Ron didn't stop running.
"They've found us! Run!"
Hermione didn't even respond, she could hear the clamoring of many feet, and was running besides Ron before something else occurred to her.
"This isn't where we came through! Where are we even going?"
"Anywhere but here! Meeting or not I don't want to die and lose my chance at finding another lead to Harry!"
"They're howling! They might already be alerting other wolves where we are!"
"You think the Hungarian ministry would mind terribly if we use more powerful spells to escape this?"
"I...!" The wall beside them suddenly exploded, and a wolf jumped in between them, jaws snapping. More poured in, some in wolf form, some human. Debris and light were thrown everything, shouts and snarling and frenzied movements that caused a brief dust cloud. It took a moment before Hermione and Ron were able to find each other again, even longer before they were running out of that dust cloud, pursued by lycans who had gotten even closer. The pursuit went down several more tunnels, some of the lycans they managed to shake off while others were temporily stunned by their spells. The spells Ron and Hermione used were non-lethal, meant to just incapacitate their pursuers for a few precious moments, but they could see that they were still being successfully pursued. They might have even been herded in a certain direction, because suddenly the tunnel they were running in went down a sudden drop, and Hermione barely managed to stop the two of them from running right over.
Panting, she turned around, and saw the lycan pursuing her slowing when he saw them. Hermione's hand tightened around her wand, "We never hurt your men or intend your pack any harm, you don't need to follow us!"
"No," Lucian disagreed. "You saw my pack and that alone could do us harm, I cannot just let you go."
From the corner of her eye she saw movement too late, and suddenly Trix was springing onto them. Before she could move, Ron shoved her aside. Trix slammed against him and the two of them went tumbling down the tunnel, both shouting and snarling.
"Run!" Was the redhead's last word before he and Trix disappeared into the rushing water. Hermione dashed forward to the edge, and was only greeted by water and darkness. She turned back to see Lucian approaching her, and he only stopped when she pointed her wand at him.
"We wouldn't have said anything," Hermione stepped closer to the edge, bits of gravel fell loose and down the rushing water. The closer she stood at the edge the more the rushing became like a roar. "I was not even looking for werewolves and I have no intention of causing trouble, soon we'll be leaving this country anyways, you won't ever have to see or hear from me."
"Step away from there," Lucian took a step forward, calculating the distance between them that he would need to cross if he needed to grab her. "I can't let you leave, but if you truly meant no harm, we have room to talk."
"No," it was Hermione disagreeing this time, "No we don't."
Before Lucian could stop her she was jumping off the tunnel, presumably after Ron. Lucian ran forward, but there was a gush of wind and Hermione was rising in the air, riding the back of a crow the size of a small boulder. The two of them met eyes, and both of them were silently promising each other that they would be seeing each other again.
And the crow was suddenly flying forward, bearing its summoner away from the lycans and their underground home. Lucian watched her until she disappeared from his sight, than he lowered his eyes down to where the water was rushing to.
For down below, the water carried Ron and Trix along several more tunnels, slapping and tossing them both around in a way that almost drowned them. Trix transformed to his wolf form to better handle the current, but Ron managed to resist his attempts at capture, and soon Trix had to leave the water by himself. Had he stayed in longer, he would see the water dividing and calming, and down another tunnel the water was gentle enough for Ron to climb out of.
Ron collapsed to the ground, taking a minute to catch his breath, before declaring loudly, "If Harry ever says this so-called training is somehow going to build character, I am going to hex him."
"I don't know about Harry, but we're the ones training, you're fleeing."
A large hand seized him by the hair and pulled him to his feet. A swift punch to his stomach had him doubling over and coughing. Almost instructively he curled up, but the hand in his hair forced him to look at his attacker: another very familiar face. Raze didn't taunt or sneer, but the triumphant look on his face said everything about his feelings to the current reversal between captive and captor.
"I was sure wizards died out a few centuries ago, but just like us lycans, you probably only went into hiding. Surely they must have their own pack mentality, that if you mess with a wolf, you get the pack's fangs." He yanked harder, earning a hiss of pain but also a defiant glare. "Well, I'm sure we will be learning all about each other very soon, at least, I'm sure we'll be knowing you very soon."
"Funny, you didn't seem like the gloating type, but what makes you think I'll say anything?"
"I'll recommend you start, after all," even if he wasn't gloating Raze's tone was quite similar to it, "I don't want to hurt you more then necessary."
Janos always thought himself a regular Hungarian wizard, a pureblood from a minor family with little wealth or history, living in a small house with a roommate he hardly ever saw. The roommate was the one who got him into the business of information brokerage, and helped him establish his many connections to the underworld and many governments.
His house was one of the few scattered in the plains, it was a quiet and private place. His neighbours lived far from him and there was a mutual understanding that they would not interfere with each other's business. So really, he shouldn't be surprised when a huge crow flew into his courtyard, crashed, and morphed into some half broken wall before a woman with furious eyes jumped out of the debris and threw him against his home. All this done without anyone raising an alarm.
"What tip have you offered me?! Who paid you to send us to that trap?"
"Auror Granger, please..."
Some would say that she was acting violent and uncivilized, but these days the British aurors were taught to use magical and muggle methods; new procedures created after their last Dark Lord fell and it was decided as a way of training their aurors and integrating them with their muggle population. One of the most famous of those newly trained aurors was Hermione Granger, the one who had first contacted Janos and requested his services. She had been so calm, manipulating magic as easily as any pureblood, if not for her reputation Janos would have never guessed the powerful witch in front of him came from a muggle background.
But other people always knew better.
"Ms. Granger, unhand that wizard, he's already gone over his head in these affairs."
Hermione turned to see another man standing not far from them, dressed in casual robes but bearing the crest of a Hungarian auror. Hermione was not impressed, "who are you?"
"Doesn't really matter I'm just the messenger, Janos here was paid a healthy sum to send you and the famous Weasley down the sewers to investigate. I'm guessing, judging by your reaction since coming back, that you have quite the story to tell us."
"Investigate?" Hermione repeated. "You purposedly had me do work for your aurors and..."
"Oh, this?" The man glanced at the auror crest on his robe. "It's nothing, this is simply my official job and position. Society may alternate between those who trust or hate the aurors, but there is a certain wariness whenever they deal with us that makes my job easier. Auror Granger, you yourself should know that compared to many of your coworkers you are no auror but something even more. You've likely dealt with things the rest of your department have never dreamed of, and committed acts that..."
"You're not distracting me," Hermione said flatly. "If you are just a messenger, what is the message and who is the sender?"
The man sighed, "Oh very well, I see you are as your reputation says. I belong in a group of, dare I say, team of enlightened and interesting individuals who tend to be more open minded to differing opinions - opinions that contradict what our beloved governments may say. I'm sure you understand what that is like, given Britain's situation right before and during the time your latest Dark Lord took over your government. Recently, my fellow colleagues have started noticing signs, signs that seem to point at the existence of a hidden and secret society. We suspect this society is not of muggles or wizards, but of a different breed altogether."
"Lycans?" Hermione deadpaned.
"Yes, lycans!" The man grinned. "A race of creatures without magic and rules, yet possessing a power of their own, their strength worth ten men, their transformation made true by a mere thought! They were believed extinct and little more then memory, but we say nay, these creatures do exist and they are thriving! Hiding, yes, but thriving! If we are to make an alliance with these creatures, imagine our strength and power! If they are as powerful as we have been led to believe, think of the potential! They would make a great army, they will be excellent law enforcers, they will revolutionize the way we run society!"
"If what you just said is what your group believes, and not just your own opinion, the company you keep have certainly caught my interest." Hermione released the informat, and Janos collapsed on the ground. His heart was hammering, watching the famous witch and the mysterious wizard converse. "However, that is still no reason to send my partner and I down the sewers."
"Consider it a test if you will," the man answered. "We've gained a new leader recently, a man named Endre, someone who has travelled far and wide. He has breathed life and direction to our organization, but he is cautious and tests each of us for our worthiness. He judged none of us ready for what we may find in the sewers and we were prepared to start training before we received news that two leaders of Dumbledore's Army had arrived to Hungary. I do apologize if you feel manipulated in any way, but we've had some close calls with our investigations. We really need someone who is capable and ready to fight, someone like Endre, or you! There was some concern about allowing foreigners, foreign soldiers and war survivors especially, into our group but Endre truly believes in your skills and as long as you mean no harm to us or our country there should be no doubting of you. Endre would be most interested in hearing your story."
For a moment Hermione remained silent. She didn't trust this person or his leader Endre, everything was lacking and suspicious and she wanted to just say no and get rid of this conspiracy-group thing that was trying to bring her in. However she knew she shouldn't be closing any doors so soon. With Harry still missing and Ron now captured she was basically working alone. She could call her fellow soldiers and former classmates in from Britain, but that could take too long or disrupt the recovery process back home. Post-war Britain was not yet peaceful; there were conservative forces who wanted things to go back exactly the way it was before, war atrocities committed on both sides made the potential for a second conflict very possible, with all the dark creatures who joined Voldemort there were calls to either exterminate them all or give them a better life to avoid another Dark Lord promising the same thing. The Ministry of Magic was being restructured but with resistance and corruption slowing down progress in every corner. Hermione did not want to bring any of her friends into Hungary if it meant their absence would destroy all the work they've done so far. If working with this Endre person would give her the connections and manpower needed to launch a rescue or even a search, Hermione was quite willing to take the gamble.
"There is not much to tell," Hermione did not want Endre to know too soon that Ron had been captured, he might second guess his opinion of them. "But I would be interested in speaking to your leader."
The messenger grinned, with flourish he presented an envelope bolded in a dark red. "We look forward to seeing you soon, I need not tell you that after reading this letter please destroy and not let another see it, not unless you do believe they will help our cause."
Hermione took it silently, and the messenger turned to Janos, "Thank you for all your work, we look forward to arranging another agreement, provided this one doesn't get passed on to another's knowledge." Janos could only get one nod in before the messenger disappeared with a loud crack.
Not too far away, the messenger reappeared in front of another house. He knocked, and when the door swung open a man with green hair answered. "The British aurors have accepted the letter, Endre."
Endre let out a whoop and clapped his hands, he exchanged some more pleasantries with his messenger and a promise to meet again soon, before closing the door and bouncing back to his living room. There, his own guest was waiting, "Did you hear that? Did you? We've gotten some very famous people interested! There's no way the country, or even the world, can ignore this! We'll be going down in history for this!"
"Your excitement is meddling your judgement again," the vivid green eyes that Endre's guest possessed was as sharp as ever. They pierced through the bangs of his jet black hair and seemed to glitter like emeralds, "I will not deny that being the one who, ah, discovered and formed alliances with the lycans will be remembered and made famous. Yet you operate under the assumption that the lycans would be interested with working with you, that the idea of an alliance between the hidden communities of wizards and lycans would work out."
"Right, right, you are as wise as ever Mr. Evans!" Endre rubbed his hands together. "We must get each side to warm up to each other first. The wizarding world is not ready for the lycans yet, they need someone to lead them into this acceptance. Someone like...!"
"You," the guest finished. He picked up the cup that had been seating by his armrest, the tea was cold, but without even a command or wave of his wand the green-eyed wizard had the liquid warmed up again. "What of the British aurors?"
"Oh you won't believe who picked up the trial! I told you, they're famous people! Probably THE former resistance leaders themselves, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger!"
"That's right! Isn't this exciting? The Chess Master and the Sphinx, two of the three leaders of the former resistance Dumbledore's Army, the...!"
"I know who they are, Endre, and that's exactly why I'm curious. Those two are powerful leaders, and have plenty to do in Britain, what are they both doing in Hungary? Are they hunting down some British fugitive here?"
"According to the messenger, they were indeed looking for someone, I had some of our men gather intelligence and then leak out the exact same thing to the aurors. They went down to the sewers and it seems like yes, they did meet some lycans. Auror Granger was furious with the pawn, but our messenger certainly caught her interest. She should be joining us pretty soon, and with her around, we'll be ready to meet the lycans!"
"You'll have to convince her to join your cause first, surely you must know that Auror Granger is one of the strongest proponents of werewolf rights. She might side with the lycans if you don't present your case properly, or if she suspects you want control instead of friendship with them. You might want to work on your proposal and recruitment speech, and get in touch with the rest of your organization."
"Oh yes, yes, of course!" Endre nodded. "I've got to make sure everything goes smoothly, wouldn't want to offend those British aurors! I've got to get the other members in, make sure they don't say or do anything stupid."
"That's very important, you might want to get to that right away." Mr. Evans finished his tea and stood up. "I'll see myself out, you have meetings to get ready for, and plenty of research to do. The Sphinx is known to require some hard facts before you can convince her your proposal is legitimate."
"Thank you, Mr. Evans, you have a good day." Endre was all but hopping on his feet, clearly eager to get things rolling. His guest left the premises by the door, Endre had given up trying to convince the other to use the Floo, and did not look back.
Not until the house was but a speck in the distance, at least. When he was that far, the green eyed wizard turned to look over his shoulder, before shifting his eyes away. "Why do you two insist on following me? Hermione, you of all people should understand when I want to be alone."
There was no answer, neither Hermione or Ron was around to hear him. The green eyed wizard sighed, but his eyes hardened quickly. He had other things to do, Endre aside he had to meet other people.
Not far from Budapest, in an area of the city that was decrepit and crime infested, there was an apartment that even the bums and robbers knew to stay away from. There were whispers that the place was a site of human suffering, where muffled screams could be heard, where suspiciously large bags were dragged in and out of. What cemented the sinister image were the people who did appear in the area, all silent, and often not hiding the fact that they were armed.
"Shut up, do you want to draw attention to us?"
"Why isn't any of the cures working?"
"Whatever attacked us, we don't have any record of it, maybe it's some sort of new poison?"
"If those lycans are responsible for this..."
"There's no cure for it because you don't have the means, and even if you didn't you vampires will recover naturally anyways." The unfamiliar voice drew the attention of everyone else in the room, and all their guns. These vampires were hardened killers and soldiers, ready to kill at a moment's notice. So was the speaker, and he didn't flinch at the sudden hostility, a fact that the group's leader noticed.
"You're not a vampire," the tall figure sniffed. "You don't stink of a dog either, if anything I'll say that you're...human." There was some shifting and murmuring in the room, the vampires all glancing between their leader and the stranger. The stranger was leaning by the doorway, but the vampires were all confident they had locked it earlier. Dressed in a long jacket and wearing a hat, the stranger would have been non descriptive if not for his vivid green eyes.
"Regent Kraven," the stranger inclined his head. The vampire leader frowned.
"Have we met?" He asked, before shaking his head. "It doesn't matter, if I don't recognize you I don't need you, kill him."
"After all I've done for you?" the human asked, and it was his confidence and calm that gave the vampires pause. Kraven stared at the stranger before him, and he understood.
"You were the one who blew up the westwood building, and distracted our pursuers." Kraven and his trusted subordinates had gone for another secret meeting with the lycans, but had been interrupted. Were it not for the lycans' response Kraven would have thought he had been betrayed, but clearly someone neither on Kraven's or Lucien's side had nearly discovered them. Kraven's contingent had almost been cornered, Soren had been ready to start battle; but someone had distracted them, and Kraven had his vampires accounted for. The lycans had been far gone by then, Kraven had began to wonder if some twist of fate had helped him that night.
"That was just a bit of fun, to keep some of my companions on their toes if you will." The stranger laughed lightly, the flash of teeth - not fangs or canines - further proved his mortality. Kraven was tempted to seize what should have been a natural prey in front of him, but he had a feeling that would be a costly mistake.
"Who are you, human?" He asked instead.
"You can call me Mr. Black," the stranger answered, and it was obvious that wasn't even his real name.
"What are you here for, Mr. Black?"
"A trade off, if you will," Mr. Black's green eyes swept around the room at the other vampires. "Today, the same group that attacked you in Westwood found out about the lycans. Previously they had only been guessing and suspecting, but now they have reliable witnesses who will tell them about the lycans. They have nothing confirmed about the vampires, and I can help you keep it that way. The group's attention will be focused on the lycans alone and you won't be troubled with another potential war."
"The lycans would start talking about us once the attackers get their hands on them," Kraven countered. "But why should we bother hiding? A couple of humans are nothing, if I wanted to I can destroy this whole city, what concern do I have if a few start to suspect us?"
"Perhaps that might be true if it were indeed a few normal humans, but what if I told you that they are witches and wizards instead?"
"That's impossible, they don't exist anymore!"
"Neither do lycans, what makes you so confident that there are no wizards anymore?" There was a small crackle, and on the table beside Kraven a sheet of paper caught fire.
"What..." one of the vampires began, but already a second fire had started, this one a small flame floating in midair beside the first. Another ignited beside it, followed by another, and another, until there was a row of small flames floating in midair surrounding the vampires. The trail stopped once it formed a ring around the vampires and their visitor.
"Now if I told you there is a whole community of these witches and wizards, not just a handful here and there, you must understand how serious things could be." Mr. Black continued, "Right now they don't know you exist either, but some are starting to notice the signs. I can point them only at the lycans, if they react well nothing happens and if they react badly at least any war would be focused on the lycans instead."
Kraven looked thoughtful, "And...in exchange?"
"You will leave a witch and a wizard alone."
"Friends of yours?"
"Visiting foreign diplomats, if you cause their deaths the magical Hungarian government would be investigating and if they mobilize even I won't be able to cover for you. Yes, there is a large enough population of wizards to establish their own cities and government, you do not want them to start sniffing around."
"For all I know, you could be making this all up, how do I know what you say is true?"
"Do you really want to risk ignoring me and learning the hard way if I was speaking the truth?" Mr. Black smiled, "Besides, I stand in front of you now, and pretty soon you'll see for yourself what trouble may befall the lycans."
That was true, the fire was certainly real enough, Kraven could smell the smoke and feel the heat, he'd seen that piece of paper go up in flames. It was not just avoiding conflict with these wizards, he would need to consider an alliance with them. "I accept your proposal, who are the two you wish to keep safe?"
"So this is it? I thought wizards went extinct a long time ago, and I certainly thought they at least carried more on themselves."
"He came into the sewers, probably didn't think he need that much. At least like most people, he carried some identification on him."
"And that alone say much more," Lucian paused in his pacing around the table, staring at the items they had spread across. Around the table some of the higher ranked lycans were examining the items they had taken from their prisoner. The cloak aside most of the items were relatively normal, including proof of British citizenship and a tourist pass to Hungary. Hidden in the lining of the cloak however were items of more interest: ID proving magical Britain citizenship, and not just regular citizenship but law enforcement powers.
"Don't feel bad about being captured, Raze," Taylor snickered as he read the fine print on the card. "He may be thin and lanky but seems like the human is some police-wizard."
"Government offices, currency, companies..." with each word Pierce pointed at official documents, coins, and what seemed to be business cards with moving font and flashing words indicative of magical properties. "Seems like there is a whole community of these wizards, their society is well developed and seem to already have a strong infrastructure, this isn't just some tribe or small gathering. If they already have government documents for Hungary and Britain, we can imagine that they exist in every country, and likely they're across the world."
"You two probably mingle most with the humans," Lucian looked over his two lieutenants who often posed as police officers. "Why haven't you mentioned anything?"
"We've never dealt with magic when interacting with the humans," Pierce was confident of that fact. "Even if they are hiding, we've seen situations where it is in the humans' best interest to use their magic, but that's never happened. If there really are wizards, either they've hidden so well we've never had contact with them or..."
"The possibilities are endless," Lucian looked up when someone knocked on the door. "Just in time, come in!" The door opened and one of the oldest lycans, Sabas, stepped in. His hands were bloody, but uninjured, the blood clearly was not his own. Lucian frowned, "I don't think I said we were to use torture, but what have you learned?"
As one of the oldest lycans, and one who had fought beside Lucian when they first broke free from their slavery, Sabas knew how Lucian was going to react to his news. Sabas also knew not to bother softening the facts. "Despite our attempts, the prisoner has not responded to our questions. I had to take one of our newer members out because it seemed instead the prisoner was getting information out of him. Trix thinks we should be trying other methods."
"Other methods indeed," Lucian scowled. "How long have you had him now, and you still haven't gotten him to say anything? He may be some police-wizard but he's only human, and still not old enough to get rid of that boy label! Do I have to do everything myself here?"
Sabas simply stepped out of the way as his alpha stormed past him and down the corridors. Lycans scrambled out of the way of their annoyed leader, and Lucian made it to their makeshift cell in seconds. He announced himself by simply slamming the door open, the lycans inside jumped in surprise.
"Is it that hard to get the boy to talk?" Lucian asked as strode into the cell, glaring at his subordinates. Not far from the lycan's feet was the prisoner, lying on his side with his hands bound behind him. The sight did bear some resemblance to when Lucian earlier saw Raze and Trix bound and captured, but his subordinates had not been tortured and neither had they been coughing out blood.
The girl's words came back to him, they had no ill intentions to the pack, when Raze and Trix had been captured neither had been harmed. The interrogating lycans had no qualms about holding back, the redhead's face and throat was untouched but he'd clearly been beaten. Lucian approached and knelt down beside the human, "Ronald Weasley?"
As the prisoner was lying on his side, Lucian only saw one blue eye focus on him. When the boy remained silent Lucian continued, "You know we've gone through your belongings now, your identification had your name and country origins. Trix already told us you addressed your partner as Hermione, and you had the addresses of a few inns that we will be checking soon. Hermione told me that you weren't even looking for us, but I'll rather learn what my pack has to deal with before letting you go."
"You're not letting me go," despite the strained quality in his voice Ron's interrogators knew Ron had to be able to talk to answer their questions. "You've got the whole secret society thing going on as well, you wouldn't let me out, and anything I tell you you would use to track Hermione down."
"What about your mission?" Lucian pointed out, "Raze told me you and Hermione had been searching for someone, and it was because you were searching for someone important that someone else sent you down to the sewers and potential death. Do you really want to die without finding that person? Or without punishing the one who sent you to me?"
"Both goals Hermione can accomplish for me, so nice try," Ron was clearly planning to stay silent again. Lucian was normally a patient man, but he did intend to find Hermione before she revealed to the world and non-Kraven-trusted vampires that there was a lycan pack underground. The longer he waited, the more damage Hermione could do if her information reached certain ears. She was definitely going to talk, after all she would need people to find and rescue her partner.
"Last chance, Ron," Lucian's tone was warning. "Would you not give me even some information?"
"I told you, I'm not saying anything."
"Then you'll be giving me more information than what even I'm looking for." It happened so quickly Ron didn't have time to flinch, there was a gloved hand pulling him upright and another pulling down the collar of his shirt. Ron screamed when Lucian's teeth sunk through skin and into flesh. He struggled as much as he could, but the lycan's grip was too strong, his resistance was doing nothing to deter the lycan alpha.
It was a technique Lucian did not use often, mostly because he was no vampire and did not desire the taste of blood. He would refuse to drain his victims simply because the act was too much like a vampire, but Lucian had no choice, blood carried with it memories and those memories were information. However much the prisoner struggled or screamed, Lucian would not stop.
The visions were already starting, flashes and blurs of faces and far off places. Lucian would need time to sort through them all, but he would take as much as he could just to make sure he didn't miss anything. It was a horrible invasion of privacy, most of the information was likely irrelevant to Lucian but personal to Ron, yet for the pack's sake Lucian would be ruthless.
He didn't notice when the resistance ceased, or when his grip became so tight the boy was starting to gasp, he did know to stop when he saw a vision of someone with hair as red as Ron's being torn apart by some sort of monster and his prisoner finally moaned out a plea to stop. Lucian released the boy, and Ron collapsed back to the ground. He didn't look up, Lucian didn't want him to.
"Get him cleaned up, this room too. Send Taylor and Pierce to the lab."
The lycans nodded, silent. Lucian left the room and headed down to another corridor at a more sedated place, sorting out the memories that were now in his head. Many he would not need to pay attention too, as predicted they were irrelevant, but as they grew clearer a more disturbing image began to appear.
"Ah, Lucian, has the prisoner finally spoken?"
Singe didn't look up from his experiments, the mad doctor's full attention was focused on the glass and all the liquids he used. He was quite cable of multitasking, and was always able to hear whatever his alpha needed to tell him. Lucian considered his words before speaking.
"He only came down to the sewers because he was told his missing friend had gotten himself captured here. He had no intention of looking for us, it might simply be bad luck, but he himself is wondering if he had been sent down here as a trap, either to kill him, or because someone wanted to expose the lycans. The prisoner had no dealings with vampires before but he had dealt with werewolves, and some rabid ones too."
"Werewolves, you say?" Singe's eyes simply moved to a notepad, not yet looking at his alpha.
"Seems like the British werewolves had been treated badly by the wizarding community, our prisoner befriended a few civil ones but he had also fought some rabid ones, killed a couple too. Nothing seems suspicious on that front, even if the werewolves knew of lycans they didn't tell him anything."
"Did you check with some of our new recruits? If I recall correctly one of them was from Britain."
"That would only work if our recruit came from from the magical community, our guesses were right, there is a whole world of wizards out there. Hidden from most of the human population, but of significant numbers, and well established. Our prisoner himself survived a wizarding war, came out as a war hero in fact."
"A war hero? Is he older then he looks?"
"Wizards age slower but that doesn't start until later, he is indeed a war hero at his age; led a resistance movement, fought for his survival, planned battle strategies, tried to save his friends and himself from an extermination policy..."
Singe finally looked up, "He sounds like you."
Lucian let out a bitter chuckle, "this is why I don't like having to view memories so haphazardly, you do develop some understanding; he fought against an authority that may have spared him if he had not developed good relationships with supposed inferiors, in fact he fell in love with one. A familiar story, isn't it?" Singe knew what, or who, Lucian was thinking about: Beautiful princess Sonja who fell in love with a slave lycan, an act that cost her life.
Footsteps interrupted their conversation, at the doorway Taylor and Pierce appeared. Lucian picked up a blank sheet of paper, scribbled a few addresses, and handed it back to his subordinates. "Put on your disguises and check these addresses for a Hermione Granger, she's the girl that escaped us. According to our prisoner they are staying in normal human inns, I don't expect you to run into anymore magic unless she's invited a few friends over. If you find her, bring her back alive."
Taylor blinked, "Raze and Trix was with her longer, you're not sending them?"
"Those two have been assigned to Corvin, besides, you two are better at more subtle missions. Your target intends to lie low, she will not fight with magic unless necessary, or if you subdue her first. Have Raze and Trix get ready, I want Corvin brought back here too."
As the lieutenants left Singe couldn't help asking, "Wouldn't it be easier to kill the girl than to bring her back?"
"It would be, but if we can negotiate something I won't be drawing too much attention to Hungary, seems like many people are aware that the Chess Master and the Sphinx has gone searching for the Boy who Lived here, many powerful individuals."
Singe decided not to point out that those names - code names? - were not recognizable to him. He didn't worry, when Lucian has their prisoner's thoughts all sorted he would tell them what they need to know.
Because he liked to be that way, when Kraven made him promise to deal only the vampire regent and no one else, only to follow that up with the name of a particular vampire, the green eyed wizard had to see for himself who had the vampire regent so high strung.
The Death Dealer vampire was beautiful, and deadly. He watched her stalk out and follow the lycans, watched as they opened fire in the subways. Her two partners were killed almost laughingly easy, but if the wizard guessed correctly the lycan they faced had not been some new recruit. The lycan was a hulking figure of muscle and power, a deadly beast-man hybrid that was probably the stereotype of terrifying werewolf. The vampire herself was a stereotype, a dark-haired beauty with icy eyes practically personifying the femme fatale.
And when he followed her underground, she spotted and tried to attack him. He dodged her thrown weapons with ease, but when the bullets came he automatically created a shimmering shield to block them. It stopped her from attacking again, she was a warrior who knew to pick her fights, but it only increased her suspicion.
"Who are you?"
"Relax, Death Dealer, I haven't done anything. I'm certainly not part of that lycan den you just came across."
"Let me rephrase that, what is your role in this war?"
"Perhaps on your side? I do have an interest in exposing the lycans, nothing regarding the vampires though."
"What is your name?"
"Isn't that the same as Who are you?" The vampire simply stared back him, she may be younger than Kraven but she certainly was a warrior still, perhaps even better then the vampire regent. Unlike when he was dealing with Endre or Kraven, this time the green eyed wizard felt like he was dealing with someone truly worthy of his respect, perhaps deserving of the truth.
"My name is Harry, a wizard from Britain, and I'm here to look for someone."
If it wasn't clear, Harry Potter is the Harry speaking to Selene, the Mr. Black speaking to Kraven, and the Mr. Evans speaking to Endre.
Although both Harry and Hermione are using vampires and wizards to go after the lycans, Lucian has Ron's memories and so the lycans are probably the best informed of the three groups as neither Harry or Hermione are telling much. Harry clearly lied to Endre about his identity and is using him as a mouthpiece for the other wizards/witches. Of course, whether Endre knows this or not is something to be revealed later, if there are enough readers interested in this story.