Chapter 3 : She's a Human Traffic Accident
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The sun light peaked over the skyline into the lobby of the hotel with the breaking of dawn. The front doors burst open and Hermione scrambled inside away from the light. Her entire body turned red from the small amount of UV that touched her. It was like an intense sun burn that cut straight to her core. It was slowly getting worse with the sun becoming stronger coming through the windows. She swept her hand in front of her and thick black curtains covered the windows and the room became almost pitch black.
“Why are you coming in so late? I thought that you were only scouting a bar listening for leads on the Rogue.” Marius said coming in from the kitchen after hearing the commotion.
“I was, but it ended up being a false lead. I got pissed off for wasting an entire night so I went walking around the streets and ended up in the Wolves and Bulls.” She peeled off her shirt and jeans not caring Marius was there. He was a father figure, and had seen much more of her from the numerous times he and Halley had to pull something from her body after going on an “errand”. “To say the least, they weren’t thrilled to see me. Thought I was doing some sort of retrieval or survey for Price and the Clan, but I wasn’t aware of how far I had walked until I was elbow deep in angry vampires.”
“Anything I need to be dislodging or wrapping?” He joked. The Wolves and Bulls were a rough group of vampires that protected their territory with brute strength. They have no problem with Hermione when she gives them a heads up that she’s coming through, but when a look-out sees her wandering around unannounced there are always problems. “Go get some sleep, just because you had a tough night doesn’t mean training is postponed.” He said.
“I simply can’t wait.” She said and left him in the lobby.
Laying on her nightstand was sunburn relief gel and Hermione couldn’t stop thinking about it until she got into her room. The burns weren’t bad and they would be gone in less than an hour, but without the gel her skin would dry and peel causing too much discomfort in training and that would only anger Marius and make him push her harder. She sat on the edge of her bed and rubbed the cold, sticky blue gel over her skin and sighed feeling relief. It smelled terrible, and with a heightened sense it smelled even worse, but she could deal with that easily. With the gel smoothed into her skin she felt as though nothing happened to her. Her red skin was now pink, and when she woke up it would be pale again.
Dean walked down a long hallway in the hotel and began pounding on three doors right in a row as he continued walking. Sam, Cameron, and Xavier all opened their doors disheveled from sleep.
“Come on boys get ready, we’re going out to Drink tonight.” He told them.
“About damn time.” Xavier said and shut his door to go and shower. ‘Drink’ was a bar that only vampires went to. It wasn’t that the humans of New York City knew it was all vampires in the building; it was just that the scene there didn’t attract them.
“So, Cameron, are you ready to go out and have some fun with all of us?” Dean asked slapping a hand on his shoulder.
“I don’t know, Hermione was really angry with you guys the last time you went out. Mostly because you can’t seem to keep your fists in your pockets.” He reminded him.
“It’ll be fine. No one ever fights at Drink, it’s the only all vampire hang out we have that isn’t also illegal. Only an idiot would put that in jeopardy by starting a fight and getting the cops’ attention.”
“Yeah, it’s all in good fun Cam. Hermione won’t mind at all.” Sam said reassuringly.
“This sounds like an awful idea.” Cameron said looking from one brother to the other. “When do we leave?” He asked hesitantly. The brothers smiled and told him to be ready in twenty minutes because they were leaving by midnight.
The mirror exploded and shards shot forward in the training room. Hermione stood meters away waiting with her hands in front of her. In less than a second the shards froze in midair and she pushed hard against an invisible wall. The mirror pieces retracted back into place on the wall beside her.
“Good.” Marius said to her. “Now do it again with less of a delay.” He told her and the mirror exploded again. It seemed to take more out of Hermione the second time she replaced the wall-sized mirror. “Faster!” The sharp pieces came at her again, and she felt her energy drain with the last push. “You’re weakening too quickly!” Marius shouted at her as she tried catching her breath.
“This is bloody hard! How about you try it?!” She retaliated by using the last ounce of energy to destroy the mirror and send the shards in his direction. In an instant he sent them back at her. She turned her back and apparated in a cloud of smoke and reappeared on the other side of the room.
“I thought you would have learned by now that you aren’t strong enough to surpass me yet.” Marius said with a hint of smugness.
“I’m done for the day.” She growled and stomped from the room.
It had been a while since Hermione left training early. The last time was over a year ago and it was because Brun needed her for an emergency extraction. One of the Scouts for the Reformers got caught in Rogue territory and she was the only one welcome enough there to get him out unharmed. But this time her mind was too preoccupied and her powers weren’t up to par. Something was drawing from her, making her weaker and she felt vulnerable.
Maybe it’s just your emotions pulling away from you being able to work at the highest efficiency. Iris proposed to her.
“I’m not upset about anything. This damn Rogue ordeal is stretching me thin though between the Clan, the Reformers, and making sure nothing happens here at the hotel. I just need to find this twit of a vampire and get rid of him so that I can have some peace.” She said and got into the shower then changed into clean clothes.
Hermione carried a fluffy blanket into the large library. It was the first room that she insisted be cleaned and furnished. She picked up the book she had last left on a coffee table and dropped herself into the couch to relax and read. Within an hour or two she was done the last half of the book and placed it back on the coffee table. The doors opened and Christian came silently into the room and scanned across the spins of the hundreds of books on the walls. He quickly pulled out an overused and dusty book and was surprised to see Hermione sitting on the couch watching him. She smiled to him, but he just pointed his head down and walked over to her on the couch.
“What are you reading?” She asked. He didn’t answer, but instead showed her the cover that read ‘Iliad’ in gold lettering. “Is it any good? I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard only good things about it.” The ‘Iliad’ was the first epic poem she had ever read, but it was almost a challenge to get Christian talking, but not when it came to books.
“You should, it’s interesting.” He said looking up at her. “It’s about this Greek named Achilles who is part immortal, and can’t be hurt except for his heel. You see, he is enraged through the book, but holds it inside himself for a majority of the story. In the beginning he is publicly humiliated by the King, Agamemnon, who takes away Chrysies. She’s like a prize to the Greeks for a victory and Achilles feels that he deserves that honor, and not the King who did nothing in the battle.”
“That’s so sad, did he love her?” She asked.
“No he wasn’t in love with her, it was more the fact that Agamemnon humiliated him infront of the whole army and made him feel like just some soldier, and Achilles thinks he is the greatest. Because he’s so upset he asks his mother who is a goddess to talk to Zeus and persuade him to help the Trojans kill thousands of Greeks so that they will come and beg him to fight for them again, and somehow give Achilles his honor that he feels he deserves.” Christian can’t help but stare at Hermione and how pulled in she was. “The whole story is based around a battle that was started because a Trojan prince Paris steals away the Greek prince’s wife who was Helen of Sparta, but later of Troy. So thousands of soldiers are fighting and dying because of two men and this woman who is supposed to be the most beautiful and special woman to have ever lived.”
“The face that launched a thousand ships is right.” Hermione said softly.
“Well, Achilles lets Patroclus wear his blessed armor and fight the Trojans. Achilles thinks that he will be safe with the armor on, and in turn Patroclus will kill a lot of Trojans and win Achilles since everyone will think it is him in his own armor. The problem is though that a strong Trojan warrior kills Patroclus and causes Achilles to be overtaken by absolute blind belligerence. He vows vengeance on Hector for killing his friend and the fact that Achilles blames himself fully.”
“That’s terrible.” Hermione said forgetting about that piece of the story.
“Achilles chases down Hector and tells him that he will kill him, and keep the body for himself so that each day he can drag it around the city and let everyone see and let the dogs eat him. It’s terribly grotesque, but it shows how absolutely insane Achilles has gone with rage.” Cameron explains the story as if he had been a soldier in the Trojan War, and witnessed all the things the story portrays.
The doors to the library opened and Marius came inside. He looked worried and Hermione stood from the couch.
“What’s wrong?” She asked.
“I can’t find Sam, Dean, Xavier, or Cameron anywhere.” He told her. “Sam’s car is gone from the garage and Becky said she hasn’t seen them for atleast two hours.”
“What??” She shouted and the book shelves rattled slightly. “They are bloody done for when I get my hands on them.” She stormed from the room and left Christian on the couch. Marius walked over to him and sat with a hand on his knee. He knows that he only speaks to Hermione for a reason.
“She is a wonderful young lady, but she isn’t the one that you want to be chasing after.” Marius sighed and continued needing to let him know that Hermione was too broken to love another man. “She's a human traffic accident, and everybody's slowing down to look at the wreckage. She's doing the best she can with what she has left, and I know you can't see this, because you're in it, but you can't help her now. You'll only make it worse, so walk away. Leave her to mend on her own.” He got up and left the younger man on his own in the library without waiting for a response.
The wind blew hard over the roof tops. Hermione peered over the ledge of a two story shop and only saw two young girls, too young to be out at that hour in her opinion. She pulled away from the edge and stood concentrating. Marius had taught her how to channel her energy into finding people and tracking them, almost like a GPS system. It took a lot of time, and too much concentration. Iris suddenly took over and sat herself Indian-style on the roof.
“You are pathetic you know that, just have some damn faith in yourself and maybe you will be able to achieve something.” She said to her. It’s easier for you because you are the power, and you control it better than I do. She rolled her eyes and concentrated hard as the wind whipped her hair across her neck. Neon lights flashed into her head, but she couldn’t slow them done enough to read it. Her eyebrows knitted together and saw that inside the building it was a bar. A rough looking man lifted his drink and under it the napkin read ‘Drink’ over the corner. She let Hermione come back into control and she frowned.
“I hate when you do that to me.” She said and walked over to the ledge again. She looked at the distance between the next buildings and took a few steps backward.
It took little effort to jump across the roof tops being a vampire, she had a lot of speed and strength to propel her body far enough. It took almost ten minutes for her to get to the bar and she jumped down from the roof and into the alleyway. She dusted off her jeans and went up to the front door. Inside it was unusually empty.
“Hey Justin, have you seen the boys tonight?” She shouted to the bartender.
“Yeah, those bastards just scared away half of my whole business tonight.” He told her angered. “Dean started another fight, this time with Ernie and a few of his friends.”
“When did you kick them out?”
“About fifteen minutes ago, but don’t ask where they went because I wasn’t interested enough to ask.” He told her and continued picking up broken glass pieces.
“Thanks Justin, I’ll be sure to send over something to make up for the damages.” She said to him and left. Justin had been the bartender at ‘Drink’ since before Hermione had moved to New York City. Periodically his bar was victim to Dean’s inflated ego, and she always tried to make things as right as possible. It usually was settled over a pint or two of blood from the hotel’s stock. It was hard for vampires outside of an established group to get a steady supply without drawing attention or getting themselves in deep. A pint of blood was like handing Justin a hundred dollars.
Hermione walked back into the shadow of the alley and leaped up and caught the ledge of the bar roof. She pulled herself up and tried to listen intently to any close by noises. She had only an hour left to find the boys before dawn. Do you think that maybe they went back to the mansion?
“I’m not sure.” She said. Hermione closed her eyes and waiting to feel a connection to Marius. Are the boys back at the hotel? Marius told her that they hadn’t. “I’m sick of this nonsense.” She groaned and began running across roof tops again faster than before. She wouldn’t forgive herself if something happened to the boys and they ended up fried in the sun.
Hermione landed on a tall rooftop and stopped. Familiar voices whispered almost silently in the alley below. She looked down and saw the four boys huddled together. She vaulted herself over the ledge and landed on her feet directly in front of them causing each of them to stumble backward.
“What the bloody hell do you think you are doing still out this close to dawn?!” She shouted. Even though she was shorter than all of them she was still scary to each of them. No one in the house matched or even surpassed Hermione’s power except Marius. “And how stupid do you have to be to drag Cameron out along with you? He is barely adjusted to his new life as it is!”
“Hermione we’re sorry.” Sam said.
“Yeah, we didn’t plan on staying this late we promise.” Dean added.
“There was this man, and he followed us when we left ‘Drink’. At first we thought it was a coincidence, but he kept on us by a distance.” Cameron told her and got knocked in the back of the head by Xavier.
“Is he a vampire?” Hermione asked curious, but also worried.
“I’ve never seen him before, and I know everyone in this part of town.” Xavier said.
“Hermione, we were just trying to stay low until we lost him so that we could get back to the hotel. None of us wanted to take the chance of leading this guy back to the hotel.” Dean told her honestly.
Hermione felt a sudden surge of power jolt through her and disappear. What was that? I’ve never felt something so strong before. Iris said.
“Hermione...?” A deep voice echoed from behind her in the alley. She whipped around and saw a tall, rugged man standing at the entrance of the alley.
“How do you know my name?” She demanded not being able to see his face. The man took a step forward and she felt her entire reality break. His piercing silver eyes felt like spears in her chest. It can’t be him. She almost pleaded to herself. Hermione get out of here. Iris said calmly. She placed her hand on Cameron’s chest and led him backward away from the man.
“Hermione, please...” The man said stepping toward her. She quickly snatched onto Cameron’s forearm and felt the three boys behind her jump forward and grab onto her. But before he could react, she had disapparated in a thick cloud with the four boys. He sprinted and passed his arm through the cloud and felt nothing. He shouted in rage and depression. She was close enough to touch, and close enough to watch disappear again.
A/N: Worth the wait? Perhaps not but tell me what you think anyways
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