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The Derp Queen
Voices spilled through the leaves of the bush Hermione and, now, Vicente were crouched behind. Two voices, two that she knew fairly well and brought about foul memories of previous fights she’d been in. Her eyes didn’t need to peer through the pockets of air within the bush to know who it was down the street. Greyback’s voice scratched against her ears like nails on a chalkboard, enough to send her skin crawling in remembrance of his attacks at the Battle of Hogwarts while the smooth voice of Draco Malfoy added insult to injury. She’d always hated the boy’s guts and now she couldn’t stand to look at him after he joined the Death Eaters, something she hadn’t thought possible no matter his distasteful qualities. He took cowardice to a new level.

The witch stayed low, barely reacting to Vicente’s touch as he wrapped an arm around her protectively. It reminded her briefly of how Harry and Ron naturally protected her, and vice versa when they were on missions for horcruxes, the memory sending a pang through her before she quickly brushed the menace memory had become away. Now was not the time to grieve. There was never time to mourn, not yet, not until the threat was dealt with. When that day came, Hermione would be able to let her emotions take control. For now, though, she had to stay professional and that included keeping the three of them safe.

One arm clung to Teddy protectively as she peered through the bush in order to assess the damage. They were talking about another Death Eater, Florence, who Hermione had heard about through messages. She was the new leuitenant and, certainly, she wouldn’t be leaving these two to scout out Grimmauld Place alone. So, they had three threats to assess and avert. They were across the street, Greyback leaning against a lamppost with Malfoy only a few paces away. Both were in front of number 11. This would become difficult unless Hermione thought up some kind of a diversion and fast. She didn’t want any conflict just yet, because heightened security on any other night meant it would be far more difficult to get inside the safe house. But what could she do to divert the two Death Eaters without raising suspicions?

It seemed the universe was taking this into its hands.

“Are you daft? No one gets inside Grimmauld unless they’ve inherited the place. Unless you kissed up to Potter before he died and got him to sign you off on the house, there ain’t no way of getting in,” Greyback spat roughly, giving a disturbing smile that revealed yellow, decaying teeth. He scratched his face, small specks of dirt falling as he did so. “Plus Florence is here, just makin’ runs about the other side of the residence, the damn witch. I’m here because of you, prissy boy.”

He laughed, grating the night with his disgusting chortle before cutting short when the wind shifted and waved a strange new mixture of smells his way. He grew silent for a moment as he sniffed, forgetting his next insult for Draco as he picked up on three distinct aromas; two of which had a ball of thirst-driven saliva formulating on the inside of his mouth. They were so young, and smelled delicious. The other, however, he could do without- a vampire, that much was sure… but who?

Hermione picked up on the change instantly, her breath catching as she watched Greyback’s eyes scour the park across from him with nose flared. She gripped her wand and aimed it through the bush towards the werewolf. Nidor Obscuro, her mind commanded and instantly, Greyback’s lead was killed. His scent was obscured and he didn’t like it one bit. He growled, eyeing the bush the two Order members were hiding behind. She knew they had to move and instantly made a grab for Vicente’s arm, which was tight.

Glancing over at her partner, she realized something was wrong. He wasn’t acting like himself and he wasn’t composed. They had to move but he looked hell-bent on something, and his eyes were keyed in on Greyback, who was quickly approaching. She rubbed his arm to ease his tension before urging him to leave his current spot, moving from the bush while draping the invisibility cloak over herself and Teddy who, thankfully, stayed quiet and was probably asleep through this mess.

She ducked under a tree and glanced around it, noting the werewolf that was sniffing around the bush she’d previously been behind but had abandoned. He was starting to grow annoyed. He knew there were people here, Hermione realized with a silent curse. This was making things even more difficult but hadn’t she wished for a distraction? For a moment, she thought of displacing a jacket of hers in a bush further away from Grimmauld to make Greyback leave. That would reduce the threat to one known, Draco Malfoy, and one unknown: Florence. Where was that lunatic anyways?

* * *
Florence turned on her heels and made the next round, heading back to Grimmauld to check up on the flea she had, unfortunately, placed on the other side of the neighborhood. Hopefully, the werewolf wasn’t dosing off or eating a rat out of the sewer. Her upper lip curled at the thought, disgusted by the things she had to surround herself with in order to get the job done. Wasn’t it enough that she had to babysit a Malfoy? Now, she had a dog to deal with as well. At least she had a leash for that one.

As she approached the targeted area, she spotted a patch of light hair on pasty skin. And, so the prodigal son had returned. A sneer developed on her face as she made her way over, her feet barely making a whisper against the road’s pavement. She walked up behind the coward and let out a sigh that wafted through his delicate hair. “Better late than never does not apply to this mission, Malfoy,” her voice hissed into his ear before her eyes moved to find the werewolf that had taken the dull boy’s spot for the time being.

Cold, calculating eyes caught the dog sniffing through the bushes and she couldn’t help but let out a graceful but icy laugh. “Looking for your next meal? I don’t think you’ll find it there,” she shot at the werewolf, who turned to eye the woman. He frowned, giving the bush another sniff before finally backing down and moving towards the lieutenant. She watched him carefully, barely breathing in order to keep her nostrils from burning with his stench.

“Oh, on the contrary. I think I found a feast. There are people in the park over there, hidden. I could smell them, briefly, but I smelt them,” his voice cooed in a menacing way. He was grinning now, amused with how he could plan on eating whoever was trying to outwit them. This definitely caught Florence’s attention. And so, the prospect of Grimmauld being the hideout was a possibility. She, too, began to smile.

“Well, well. Go eat, then,” she stated, waving him off like a stray dog. It would be entertaining to see him in the act- from afar- before moving in to finish the job.

“With pleasure,” the werewolf hissed before turning back to the park, his crazy eyes cutting through the scenery with intent to kill. “Come out, come out wherever you are. You smell delicious. Can I eat you? I promise to enjoy every minute of it,” Greyback growled, his voice causing goosebumps to rise on Hermione’s arms as she lay against the tree.

“Do you want to know how you’ll die? I can tell you. Maybe you’ll approve,” he began to approach the bushes, crouched like a predator ready to pounce. His nostrils flared and frustration began to take play as he could not pinpoint where his targets were. “I’ll tear you, bit by bit. First, your hands and feet so you can’t run or crawl away. Then, your arms and legs, one by one they’ll come off. Can you hear the crunch of your bones? Its music to my ears.”
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