The bar was tightly packed with scruffily dressed men knocking back beers and shots of whiskey, a few scantily clad women scattered throughout no doubt trying to make some cash. This was not the sort of place Hermione was used to and her short stature and layered clothing singled her out, intensifying how awkward she felt.
Luckily a small table situated in the corner of the bar freed itself up so she rushed over, cradling her satchel in one hand and surprisingly a beer in the other. She noticed two other men heading in the direction of the table so she sped up, weaving in and out if the leery drunks surrounding her. In her haste she missed the bag some woman had haphazardly left on the floor attached to a bar stool and was flung forward several feet her bag cushioning her fall. The beer bottle spun out of her grasp as she made to catch herself, and rolled along the floor spilling the dregs in an arch as it spun carelessly towards her initial target.
Hermione sprung immediately to her feet smoothing out her hair and readjusting the leather jacket she wore. Her eyes followed the trail of bubbly beer along the floor to the bottle that was now nestled underneath a well-worn work boot. Apprehensively she looked up the distressed jeans, plaid shirt, and cocky smirk to meet the striking green eyes set in an extremely handsome face. She felt herself blushing before she realised that his friend was sat at the table that she had intended to work at. An audible sigh escaped her lips and the handsome stranger raised an eyebrow, still smirking.
Turning towards the door Hermione felt a grip on her arm. She spun around, realising all too late that the floor was still slippery from her earlier accident. For the second time that evening Hermione felt herself falling, this time spinning round to catch the mysterious man's eyes once again. Bracing herself for the fall Hermione was shocked when a pair of arms shot out and caught her in an embrace. A gruff voice broke the silence, "You wanna be careful there sweetheart, might break that pretty little face of yours", he set her back on her feet in front of him, "and I'm Dean by the way." Hermione, still blushing from her earlier clumsiness felt her cheeks redden again at the compliment but managed to pull it back and hold out her hand.
"Hermione," She began confidently, "and thank you, I'm not normally this clumsy" she looked down and brushed a few strands of curly hair from her face. He shook her hand, lingering a second too long, but eventually dropping it.
"Well Hermione, this is your lucky day." He winked, igniting her face all over again, "You can join me and my brother Sam," the tall guy already sat at the table nodded in her direction "at this lovely secluded table right here. Oh and British, very hot" He swept his arm backwards welcoming her to take a seat on the side opposite Sam. Hermione faltered wondering if it was the best idea to sit with two strangers in a bar full of truthfully weird people, but they looked harmless enough, and Dean had caught her when she had fallen. Maybe it was the beer, or maybe she just really liked the compliments Dean was giving her but for some reason she joined his brother at the table. After carefully setting down her satchel and pulling out her laptop Hermione looked up to see Dean pulling in to a chair opposite her.
She smiled shyly and nodded her head at Sam, "Hi Sam, I'm Hermione Granger." He stuck out his hand to shake hers and she noticed how tall he must truly be as his hand swallowed hers up in a warm handshake.
"Hi Hermione, nice to meet you." He smiled shaking his brown hair away from his brow, "If you don't mind me asking, how'd a nice girl like you," Hermione found herself blushing again, "end up in a place like this?" he finished with a flamboyant look around the bar. At this point both boys were looking at her intently.
Hermione realised that she couldn't tell them the real reason why she was here, they were only muggles of course, so she simply stated. "Work." When neither man seemed satisfied with that answer she continued, "I report for the international section of a British Newspaper, The Prophet, anything from politics to Paris Hilton. Though personally I prefer the politics," Sam was smiling politely, but Dean was making a retching face until she fixed him a glare. "Not that my editor really listens" she finished grumpily.
While the boys snickered at the upset look on her face Hermione realised that she wasn't far off, she had reported for the daily prophet a few times. She had been involved in some rather interesting politics within the American Ministry that she did report to her supervisor back in England, the same supervisor who does not listen to her about the prevalence of magical beings in America.
She snapped back when she realised that Dean was talking to her, "… reporters too, what are you reporting around here?" she noticed that neither of the men in front of her looked like reporters, but neither did she, and maybe they knew something about the case that she was on in the town. A few of the last Death Eaters were supposedly spotted a few miles out of the town, which had a small magical population that was very well hidden. They had been led here by the local and very successful school for muggleborns near the town library, deciding to continue Voldemorts work on international soil.
"Um, there have been a few disappearances locally, y'know, the politician's daughter, that librarian, the doctor… Abnormalities are quite popular with our readers." The two brothers looked at each other, concern marring the features of Dean's face, until they looked back at Hermione. Their previously joyous faces were now serious and deadly.
Dean spoke in a low voice, so quiet that Hermione had to lean in slightly to hear what he was saying. "You need to stay away Hermione, don't look into this, don't talk to people about it. Go somewhere else. There's a guy two states over that swears he was abducted by aliens. Report that. In fact, report anything but this." Hermione stared at him, what did the pair know about the Death Eater attacks. Were they just concerned by the disappearances, or was it more. She leaned back in her chair, her mind whirring, churning out the possible scenarios in which the night would end. Finally she sat forward again the boys still looking at her waiting for her decision.
"I don't know what you know about this, but you are civilians. So I am afriaid that I am going to have to ask you to stay out of this." Hermione made to stand up, packing away her laptop and drinking the last of Dean's beer as she dropped hers. With incredible speed both brothers were stood in front of her before she had got out of her chair. She sighed loudly. "Alright I can see this is not going to go smoothly. Why don't we go somewhere a little more… private. There is a motel 5 blocks down. Room 119, meet me in 20 minutes." After an intense stare from both men that lasted all too long Hermione bustled past, finally realising that she was almost a foot shorter than the both of them. Maybe heels would be needed for the confrontation, that is if she didn't Obliviate them first."