“You shouldn’t be here.”
Hermione turned around and peered into the shadows. Her heart was beating rapidly, and she was torn between feeling triumphant and scared. It had taken months of searching and doubting her own theory, just as Harry and Ron did, to lead her here. They had no idea the lengths she had gone to during her hunt, and would never understand her need to confirm her hypothesis or deal with failure. The idea was so far-fetched that they thought she’d dropped it after her initial suggestion, but the idea had taken root in her mind and she’d been unable to stop herself from finding out if it was true.
Now, she knew that she’d been right. Unfortunately, that did her little good considering that no one knew where she was and certainly wouldn’t think to look for her in a Muggle fetish club in the seedier part of London. How had she been so stupid to lose sight of the fact that she was tracking a vampire? The idea was ludicrous, but so much so that it made perfect sense. However, she was now wishing that she’d resisted the urge to prove her theory correct because she wasn’t exactly sure how she was going to escape now that the hunted had become the hunter.
“Not so talkative now, are you?”
“You don’t scare me,” she said firmly, raising her chin and giving the shadowy figure her best brave look.
“Foolish Gryffindors,” he muttered with amusement. He stepped out of the shadows and smiled at her, showing off a hint of fangs. “I should scare you, little girl.”
All of her research hadn’t quite prepared her for seeing Regulus Black in the flesh. Even dead, well, undead, he was handsome in a way that was prettier than Sirius, who had been more ruggedly good looking even after years in Azkaban. His hair was long, his face was angular, and he was as tall as Ron. She somehow doubted that he had any trouble finding willing donators to feed him.
Of course, she hadn’t spent months trying to find him simply to ogle him, so she blinked and focused on why she was there. “I’m here for information. I have no intention of telling anyone that you’re still alive, in a way, but I also won’t be run off by posing and fang flashing. So do stop your pathetic attempts at scaring me and tell me what I want to know," she said, rather proud of how brave she sounded. "Please.”
He stared at her for a moment, and she watched a muscle in his pale cheek twitch as his lips turned into a scowl that could possibly be called a pout. "I don't like Gryffindors or bravery," he finally said with a sneer that she supposed should have scared her but was nothing compared to some of what she'd seen in the last few years.
"I'm not asking you for a date, Black, so it doesn't matter if you like me or not," she pointed out dryly, feeling far more relaxed and confident so long as she focused on him and not the eye-widening activities going on around them in this club. "I just want information, and you're going to give it to me unless you want me to have a nice chat with Rita Skeeter about vampires and Death Eaters."
"I could just kill you, my pretty," he mused thoughtfully, stepping closer and flashing his fangs. "They'd never find you unless I wanted them to, you know?"
"People know where I am," she lied somewhat smoothly, refusing to back away from him even as he moved closer. "And do stop with the obnoxious endearments because they just sound silly instead of patronizing. Besides, I'm quite good with my wand, so I daresay you'd be truly dead before your fangs could pierce my skin. However, if you wish to test that theory, I'd prefer learning the information that I need before I kill you."
His fingers gripped her chin before she had a chance to realize his intention, proving one of her texts completely inaccurate with their claim that vampires didn't have accelerated speed. He tilted her head back and slowly smiled. "Shall we test that theory now, little girl?" he asked smugly.
"If you'd like?" she murmured, pressing her wand more firmly against his chest as she met his gaze evenly.
He arched a regal brow and leaned down to lick her neck. "Mmm...so very sweet and pure," he whispered before he let go and stepped back. "I've decided that it would be much more entertaining to toy with you for an unspecified amount of time before I have you, so you can put your wand away. For now. If you want to ask your foolish questions, I might consider answering, but I daresay you'll have to be very convincing."
She frowned at him and tightened her grip on her wand. He simply looked amused and turned with a swish of his dark cloak, walking through the club before he stopped and shot her a challenging look over his shoulder. "He'll be lucky if I don't curse him," she muttered crossly as she followed him, glaring at his satisfied smirk. But only after he gave her the information she needed about the horcruxes, of course.
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Originally Posted: March 10, 2007
“You shouldn’t be here.”