Disclaimer: All the amazing characters from the Harry Potter series belongs to the wonderful JK Rowling. The plot idea comes from Karen Moning. I only take credit for the blending of the two together.
A/n: Thank you for all the wonderful reviews. I have taken all your suggestions in mind when I did the edit for this chapter. Hope you all enjoy and please continue leaving reviews.
Beautiful chapter image created by Chocolatelover @ TDA
21 days till Halloween
“Can you frigging believe it, man? Somebody killed the guy and left him there on the commons, dead as a doornail.”
“Great. That’s just what we need. More crime. The university will use it as another excuse to put the screws to us and raise the tuition again.”
Hermione shook her head, and pushed her way through the group of undergraduate students loitering at the coffee bar. As she placed her order for a french vanilla capacino she wondered if she’d ever been so young or faux-jaded. She hoped not.
The campus was abuzz with gossip.
The police had released few details, and the daily prophet had only mentioned that there had been a suspicious death on a muggle campus, so in turn both the muggle students and the few wizard students on campus were pretending to know something.
Funny thing was she really did know something about the blond, well-dressed man that was found dead on the campus commons yesterday and she was the only one not talking. Both the muggle police and the Aurors were investigating the blond man’s death. He’d carried no identification and they’d issued a statement asking anyone who might know something about him to come forward.
Harry and Hermione had already come to the decision that the information that she had told him would stay just between the two of them until they had more information. Hermione had mulled over her thoughts for hours, until finally in the wee hours of the morning she had planned out a course of action.
She would approach this situation in the same way that she had approached the many adventures she'd had with Harry and Ron during their years at Hogwarts. She would gather all the facts that she could and only when she felt that she had gathered everything she could dig up, would she then piece all of it together to come up with a solution.
First thing on her mission was to have a talk with Professor Keene. She needed to ask him questions about the mirror, that she wished she had never laid eyes on. The whole point of going to a muggle university to get her PhD was to get away from the wizard world for a while. Hermione had tried calling the professor last night using the direct line to his room that he’d left her in one of his gazillion messages to her, but there had been no answer. Hermione had tried calling again this morning, but with no luck.
“Looks like I’m stuck fact finding,” she puffed out an irritated sigh while grabbing a piece of parchment and a quill.
Her gut told her that the mirror was more than likely a cursed item and there was only one place in the world that Hermione trusted to find information on any type of curse, Hogwarts.
Guess that means I need to send a message to McGonagall to see if she might know something about cursed mirrors,
Hermione thought to herself jotting a quick message, rolling it up, and sealing it.
Right before she was about to send the message she remembered that she had promised to reconvene with Harry as well, so pulling out another piece of parchment Hermione wrote a quick note to Harry as well asking whether or not he had found out any new information, and sent it along with the message for Hogwarts.
Whistling for her owl Cara, which Harry had bought for her when Hermione had been accepted to the university,so that she would have no excuse for not keeping in touch, and attached both letters to her leg.
Standing up Hermione carried Cara to the kitchen window, sending her on her way, and then Hermione grabbed her books and headed to the campus for a full day of classes. Hermione had stopped at the cafe' for a quick caffine fix to get her through the rest of her afternoon classes.
Rummaging in her pack, Hermione pulled out her cell phone, flipped it open, and glanced down at the screen. No new messages. She’d been hoping that professor Keene would have called her back before she got tied up in classes.
Oh well too late now
. Hermione turned off her cell phone, tucked it back into her bag, grabbed her coffee from the counter, paid the cashier, and hurried off. She had back to back classes until 5pm, but the second she was done she was heading straight to the hospital to get answers.
The express at rush hour was like being in a level of Dante’s Hell. Hermione was hopelessly gridlocked in stop and go traffic, that was way more stop than go. In fact it was so much stop that she had been working on grading essays for the past twenty minutes,a part of her wishing that she had apparated instead. However, that would have meant leaving her car on campus and she didn’t really feel comfortable with doing that.
She tossed aside the essays she’d been working on, crept forward a celebration worthy two feet, whipped out her phone and answered, hoping it was professor Keene. Unfortunately, it was just her classmate Matt Keller.
Hermione had been just about to inform him that there was no way in Hell that she was going to take on even one more paper to grade, when he ripped all the words right out of her mouth by telling her that the professor had been found dead. She started shaking, clenched the steering wheel, and exhaled a sob.
“And get this Hermione, they say he was murdered, smothered to death by his own hospital pillow.” Matt relayed in an excited rush clearly fascinated and clearly oblivious to the fact that she was crying over the phone.
Some men can be such idiots at times. Dimly, Hermione realized that traffic was creeping forward again. Hermione eased her foot off the clutch and dragged the sleeve of her jacket across her face.
“The cops are talking as if he got himself mixed up in something really bad. They say that he recently sold all his properties, pulled out all the money from his retirement fund and bank account, and they have no clue why he needed the money so badly or where the money went.”
Belatedly, realizing the car in front of her had stopped again; Hermione slammed on the brakes and came to an abrupt halt a bare inch behind the rear bumper of the car in front of her. The car behind her laid on their horn.
Hermione ignored it since traffic was the least of her concerns at the moment. Matt just continued to talk not even noticing that Hermione had grown silent and wasn’t even listening to half of what he was saying.
“Oh grow up, Matt,” Hermione hissed getting fed up with him, flipping the phone closed.
When she finally managed to escape the tenth level of hell, Hermione made a beeline for the side streets and headed straight back to the campus. Thoughts tumbled in disjointed confusion through her mind, but amid all the confusion there was one clear thought that she had to see the mirror again.
It was the only thing that she could think of to do. She hadn’t heard from McGonagall or Harry yet and with the Professor's death, the only options left were to go home and try to forget, or go to the mirror.
She couldn’t go home she would just end up driving herself crazy. She had friends that she could have gone to, but they tended to work as much as she, so dropping by unexpectedly wasn’t the coolest thing to do.
When she got back to the Professor's office, Hermione saw that there was police tape across the door. That stopped her for a moment, but then she noticed that it was just campus police tape. Violating university procedures didn’t seem quite as bad or as felonious as breaking a law in The Real World.
Pushing aside the tape she jiggled the key in the lock, making sure it really was locked this time, before unlocking the door and slowly opening it.
What in the world am I going to do once I get inside the office to the mirror?
Hermione wasn’t sure, but as Fate would have it, she didn’t have to do a thing. The moment she opened the door, a shaft of light splintered in from the hallway, straight onto the silvery glass.
“Tis high damned time you came back, wench,” snarled the towering half-naked sex-god of a man glaring at her from within the mirror.
When Hermione was seventeen years old she almost died. The final battle at Hogwarts had been utter chaos. Hex’s and curses were flying from all directions, and even after Harry defeated Voldemort there were still plenty of Death Eaters to tend to. During all the craziness Hermione had been stunned from behind causing her to fall, breaking multiple bones and splitting her skull.
Adding those injuries with the side affects her body was still trying to deal with from the hours of being tortured by Bellatrix, she ended up spending almost a year recuperating at St. Mungo’s. Hermione learned an important lesson from that experience; when things go bad a sense of humor is a person’s saving grace. You could either laugh or you could cry and crying not only makes you feel worse it makes you look worse too.
It occurred to her as she stood there starring at the man in the mirror that obviously wasn’t a mirror, in a room where just days ago someone had tried to kill her, and in a room whose owner had been murdered, that the events from the past few days could be considered as bad.Hermione couldn’t help it, she began giggling
“Tis no laughing matter.” Godric’s eyes narrowed and he scowled at her. “Get in here and close that door. Now! There is much of which we must speak and time is of the veriest essence.”
Who talks like that, Hermione thought making her giggle harder, one hand over her mouth while the other clutched the door handle.
“For the love of Christ, summon me out,” he said exasperated. “Someone needs to shake you, wench."
“Oh, I don’t think so,” she managed between giggles. Giggles that were starting to sound just a tiny bit hysterical. “And I don’t call me wench.”
Growling softly he said, “Woman, ye summoned me out the other eve and I did ye no harm. Will ye nay trust me again?”
Hermione snickered, “That had nothing to do with trust and everything to do with self-preservation.”
“I killed the man who was trying to kill ye. Is that nay reason enough to trust me?”
That made her stop laughing. Hermione had suspected as much, but there was always that chance that she had been wrong. He was the one who had killed the blonde man and left him lying dead on the commons. Though a part of her brain already knew that it had to have been him, it was another thing to know for certain.
After a moment’s hesitation, she stepped warily into the office. Another pause, then she slowly closed the door behind her. The giggles might be gone, but the millions of questions running through her brain hadn’t stopped. Jamming her hands into the front pockets of her jeans, she stared at the mirror.
“This is crazy, I have never read anything about people being stuck in mirrors. It isn’t possible.”
“Tell that to the mirror.” He thumped his fists against the inside of the glass for emphasis.
She reached for the wall switch and flipped on the overhead light giving her the first real look at the man. The two prior times she had caught glimpses of him, they had been brief and the room had been heavily shadowed, but now she got a glorious full view of him and what a view that was. Stunned she looked down, up, down, and up again slowly soaking in the details.
“Take your time lass,” he murmured, so softly that she scarcely heard him. I plan to with you, Godric thought to his self.
He was a tall man, stuffing the mirror from top to bottom of the frame. Powerfully built with broad shoulders and rippling muscles, he wore a fabric of crimson and black around his waist, glittering metallic wrist cuffs and black leather boots. No shirt. There were wicked looking black and crimson tattooed runes covering the left side of his chest, from the bottom of his rib cage, up over the nipple, across his shoulder, and to the edge of his jaw.
Each powerful biceps was also encircled by a band of tattooed crimson and black runes. A thick silky trail of dark hair began just above the navel on his ripped abs, and slid down into his plaid. Her graze got stuck there for an awkward moment. Her eyes widened even further. Sucking in a shallow breath, she jerked her gaze away. A flush heated her cheeks.
She had been so ogling his body. Blatantly enough that he had to have noticed her doing so.
What in the world am I doing? I don’t ogle men’s bodies; my hormones must be going crazy. Hermione though to herself forcing her gaze back to his face.
It was as sinfully gorgeous as the rest of him. He had the chiseled, proud features of an ancient Celt warrior: strong jaw and cheekbones, a straight, aristocratic nose, which were currently flaring arrogantly, and a mouth so sexy and kissable. Dark shadow stubbled his sculpted jaw, making his firm pink lips seem even more sexual against all that rough masculinity.
His hair wasn’t black as she’d thought in the dark, but a rich gleaming mahogany shot with shimmering strands of gold and copper. His eyes were a burnt whisky color. The man oozed primeval elemental power, and Hermione could tell that he was the type of man who preferred women to do as they are told.
She couldn’t stand stupid chauvinistic domineering men that thought they could order a woman around that was one of the reasons her and Ron had argued so much in school. Ron just couldn't seem to understand that she didn't need him to protect her, that she was perfectly able to do so on her own. It didn’t help that the man in the mirror looked like the kind of man who wouldn’t take “no” for an answer, who would tolerate zero inhibitions on a woman’s part.
“Summon me out, woman,” growled a tight low command laced by that sexy Scotland accent. His voice was just as delectable as the rest of him. It was deep, rich and hot as dark buttered rum.
“No,” Hermione responded faintly.
“Then I bid ye, woman, cease looking at me like that.”
“Like what?” she bristled
“Like ye wish to be using your tongue to lick my body.” He caught his lower lip between his teeth and flashing her a devilish smile.
“I do not want to lick you,” she snapped defensively.
“If ye say so, lass, all you need to do is summon me out and I will fulfill all your desires.” His gaze raked over her, burning hot, lingering at her breasts and thighs.
“Not. Going. To. Happen.” Hermione responded trying to hide the blush on her face.
“Have it your way, wench.” Godric shrugged before starting again. “Die needlessly. Doona say I didn’t offer my aid.”
He turned in the mirror then. The silver encasing him seemed to ripple, the black satin around the edges flowed and ebbed as if the surface were suddenly liquid, then she was beholding a mere looking glass.
“Wait!” she cried. “Get back here!”
She needed answers. She needed to know what was going on. What the mirror was; who was trying to kill her; and would there be more assassins being sent after her?
“Why?” his deep butter-rum voice resonated from somewhere within the glass.
“Because I need to know what’s going on!”
“Naught in this world is free, woman.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Tis plain enough, isn’t it? I have something ye need. Ye have something I want.”
She went absolutely still. Her breath caught in the back of her throat and her heart began to hammer.
“And what exactly do you think I need from you,” Hermione responded.
“Ye need my protection. Ye need me to keep ye alive. I ken what’s going on, who’s coming after ye, and how to stop them.”
“I am a very capable witch you know. I have fought in many battles and survived. Plus I have my friend Harry to help me.” She snapped.
"That young pup," he mocked. "His protection would nay be as much help as mine."
"What do you want in return?" Hermione asked her curiousity driving her.
“Och, myriad things, lass, but in this case we’ll keep it simple and start with freedom.”
“I don’t know the first thing….,” shaking her head.
“Ye know all ye need to know,” he cut her off. “These assassins know more dark arts than ye could possibly have studied, so ye will die without me. Think nay to constrain me. I’ve been stuck in this bloody frigging mirror far too long for civility. This glass is the only prison I’ll suffer. I'll nay be allowin' ye to be buildin' another for me, woman.”
His brogue thickening, he spat the final words. She swallowed. Her mouth had done so dry that she heard tiny things crunch as she tried to clear her throat. Suddenly he was in the mirror again, looking at her, silver rippling like diamond-spiked water around him.
That sexy arrogant mouth curved in a smile, which if he thought that was supposed to be reassuring then he obviously missed the mark. It was a smile full of barely leashed power and barely chained heat.
It occurred to her then that, had she gotten a good look at him the other night, she would probably never have released him. The killer she’d thought so terrifying was no match for this man. They weren’t even remotely in the same league. Whatever he was, he had something more. Something normal wizards just didn’t have.
“Let me out,” he said low and intense. “Say the words. I will be your shield. I will stand between ye and all others. Tis what ye need and ye ken it. Doona be a fool, woman.”
The way he looked at Hermione told her there were more things on his mind that protecting her life.
Yanking open the door, Hermione backed up into the hall. “I need some air; I need a moment to think.”
“Think fast, Hermione. You’ve not much time.”
“Great, every freaking body knows my name and I still don’t really know yours.” Hermione said with a scowl as she slammed the door so hard the frame shuddered.
“The next one he sends after ye may arrive at any moment,” came his burr through the door, “and will be more sophisticated than the last. Mayhap it will be a woman. Tell me, lass, will ye even see death coming?”
Hermione gave the door an angry little kick.
“Doona venture far for you’re going to need me.”
She gritted her teeth throwing a rude comment at the door towards him knowing that he would be able to hear it, but unfortunately he did.
It made him laugh out loud and say, “a physical impossibility, woman, or believe me most of us asshole men would.”
She rolled her eyes and didn’t bother locking it this time. As an afterthought, she pulled out her wand and caused the police tape to disappear.
“Maybe I will get lucky and someone will steal the stupid thing and get it out of my hair”.
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