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Lines in the Sand

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In another life, Hermione would have been a scholar. A purveyor of knowledge, a wellspring that others could look to against the sin of ignorance. 

 

As she stabbed her sword into the soft underbelly of the defending sailor and then shot a blasting curse out of her wand at another poor fool who tried to surprise her from behind, the brunette was brutally reminded yet again that this was not that life. 

 

Captain Hermione Granger was one of the fiercest women to ever set sail on the high seas, a brilliant strategist, and a pirate of her own making. 

 

Only fools chose to underestimate her.

 

And Hermione refused to suffer fools in her waters. 

 

“Potter! Malfoy! Where in the bloody hell are the things I asked for?!” 

 

Hermione punctuated this by summoning a whip of water from her wand and throwing two of her opponents off the side of the ship with a violent flick of her wrist. And like a frenzied nest of hornets, two more peons appeared in their place. But before either of the two could lift a sword or wand in her direction, they were simultaneously hit with a dual bombarda from the side that not only blew them away, but also a decent chunk of the ship. Hermione looked up and spotted her first and second mates hovering nearby on their brooms, both with their wands out and dual looks of amusement on their faces. 

 

“By Morgana’s tits, relax Captain!” The blond git had the audacity to smirk at her, his form languid atop his wooden steed. Draco Malfoy was a pompous ass, an ex-aristocrat but she sure as hell trusted the man with her life. Almost as much as the bespectacled individual next to him. But Harry Potter was her brother in all but blood, so it was to be expected that he was her right hand man.

 

They were still pains in her arse.

 

“Yeah, Cap — the twins led half a dozen down below to grab the goods.” Harry informed her before expertly throwing a few Difindos at the unfortunate sailors that had desperately emerged from a hatch on the deck, many of them coughing thanks to some strange orange smoke that originated from within. It was clear from the wretched smell that it was the work of Fred and George. The messy haired pirate barely paid attention to their screams, his focus entirely on the woman in charge. “Seriously, what are you so worried about? None of this lot can stand up to us, we’ve pretty much creamed them!” 

 

“Damn it, that’s not the point! We’ve spent too much time here. We need to get out of here before—” Hermione nearly bit her lip as the vessel suddenly and viciously rocked from side to side, almost as if it was in the midst of an epic storm. But the skies were crystal clear, without a single cloud in sight. Which could only mean… 

 

“Hermione! Starboard side!” A speedy redhead zoomed by, their form hard to catch but unmistakable with dual rune powered pistols that fired hell upon more unfortunate souls on the main deck. Ginny Weasley was the only one with the audacity to call the captain by her first name out in public, but Hermione couldn’t focus on her annoyance on her bosun. Instead she whipped her head in the direction called out, and cursed when she saw the telltale signs not far from the vessel they had boarded. 

 

Like a boiling cauldron, the water had begun to violently bubble and dance out in the open. And the waves soon climbed as a dark shape became larger and clearer beneath the water, just before an enormous shape breached the surface. Salt water rained down upon everyone on deck, and for a second all was quiet. Hermione shook off the ocean spray and shock and looked up, before cursing out in three different languages. What most would have initially mistaken for a whale, was actually a large ship. One she recognized very well, even without the feather and wand on the Jolly Roger to point it out so obviously.

 

“Sod it all, it’s the Night!” As if Hermione’s exclamation was the cue, several dozen forms burst out from the new arrival like a stream of multi-colored confetti from a cannon. The normally beautiful display was ruined by the knowledge that each blur of color was actually a blood thirsty, feathered killing machine that sometimes decided to masquerade as a beautiful woman. The brunette could hear more screaming in the waters around the ship, and she didn’t need to look to see that the poor souls that had opted to jump ship rather than deal with the pirates were being dragged one by one below the surface of the water. 

 

Why lure one’s victims to their doom the old fashioned way with allure and song when one could simply bring the death and terror to them? 

 

Hermione’s own invading crew shifted to one side of the ship, a defensible position alongside their captain. Harry and Draco dropped on her right and left respectively, their brooms slung on their backs and their own stances steady as they eyed the various Veela that had begun to land on the other side of the invisible line that had been drawn. Several Sirens were already scaling the side of the ship, a score of beautiful women outfitted in leathers, swords, and a curious mixture of salt water and blood from their most recent victims. Ginny hovered on her broom alongside several of her crewmates, her rune powered pistols on display and ready to shoot.

 

While pirates of different vessels often bickered with each other, none were as openly antagonistic of each other as the crew of the Alexandria was with the troupe of the Etreinte de la nuit. Both groups openly glared at each other with plenty of insults exchanged in several languages. 

 

But the Captain of The Alexandria paid no mind to any of them, and simply waited. 

 

She didn’t have to wait long.

 

One last blur of blue and white feathers exploded out from the Etreinte de la Nuit, and the ball of plumage spiraled out higher than any of its previous compatriots. Just as it had begun to descend, the wings unfurled to reveal a woman better fit on the tapestries describing Valhalla than the halfway ruined wreck of a merchant vessel. Lengthy blonde strands whipped about statuesque features for a moment before feathered blue wings adjusted themselves and the trajectory of her fall. 

 

As Fleur Delacour landed in front of her with all the grace of an avenging angel, Hermione idly wondered at the constant dramatics of the French. 

 

Eyes like chipped ice stared down at her fellow captain before a single predatory smile broke out. The brunette felt a shiver down her spine, but forced herself to hold still lest she lose this time old dance.

 

“Captain Delacour.”    

 

“Capitaine Granger, I will admit that I am rather surprised to see you raiding this particular merchant ship. I was not… aware that the infamous Saltwater Librarian had begun to collect rare French wines.” Fleur waved towards The Alexandria with a hand and a raised eyebrow. Hermione could understand her confusion, it was well known that the British witch was a purveyor of knowledge. Beware to any and all that tried to transport rare tomes and scrolls on these waters, unless they were escorted by an armada of ships then they often ended up joining the archives of the floating library under Hermione’s command. 

 

The aforementioned pirate chuckled and gestured around them to the terrorized merchant vessel.

 

“Oh come now, there are other things on this ship. Like grain, medical supplies, even a pregnant kneazle!” 

 

The blonde continued to stare, baffled with every word out of Hermione’s mouth.

 

“... oh, and I suppose a rare treatise on goblin and fae spellwarding might’ve been on the ship’s charter somewhere.”

 

“And there we are! For a second there I thought that you were trading your horde of books for liquor and rum.” There were snorts of amusement and disbelief on both sides. No one separated Captain Hermione Granger from her books. “Now do we need to fight this out senselessly or are you quite done here, Capitaine Granger?”  

 

Before Hermione could reply, another explosion rocked the ship and suddenly Fred and George flew out from the hole that Draco and Harry had blown out earlier. 

 

“Cap’n, we got your nerd books!” 

 

Fred yelled out, but didn’t bother to bring it over for her to verify. He and his twin instead flew directly to The Alexandria with the chest held between their two brooms, a stream of orange smoke that smelled suspiciously of fermented erumpent feces trailed behind them. Hermione smirked and with two fingers in her mouth she blew out a deep whistle that sent her own crew scrambling, and there was a mass exodus of brooms of all types. She nodded to Harry and Draco and with one last look at the crew of the Etreinte de la Nuit, they too made their way. 

 

Only Hermione remained. The impressive tricorne hat atop her head was lifted and gestured towards the troupe of undoubtedly deadly women in a dramatic bow. There was a smattering of giggling from them in response, and even Fleur smirked at the flourish.

 

“Well ladies, I believe you’ve seen our answer to that question.” The brunette smiled and replaced the hat before she turned her full attention to the blonde leader in front of her. “Enjoy your spoils, Captain Delacour. I do hope that you find everything you’re looking for.” 

 

There was an unmistakable twinkle of mischief in her eyes, one that made Fleur narrow her eyes in suspicion. But before she could so much as utter a word, the Saltwater Librarian winked, tapped the silver earring that dangled from her left ear and vanished from the spot. 

 

“Granger, what in Melusine’s name have you done now—?” 

 

« Capitaine! » Her first mate Amelie burst out from a door that led down below into the ship’s hull, fury evident on her normally tranquil features. « The 1476 Astrid de Luna is missing! » 

 

The blonde’s mouth dropped before she whipped her head in the direction of The Alexandria. The rest of her troupe apparently realized the same thing she did as there were several screams of indignation among them, some of the Veela had even fluffed their wings in their anger. Even as far away as they were, Fleur could still spot the smug looks on the faces of Granger’s crew, some even had the audacity to wave at their opponents. Anyone else would have seen an unbridled assault from her air corps, the brightly colored plumage of her sisters the last thing they would’ve seen for their audaciousness. 

 

But this was no ordinary crew, and The Alexandria was not an ordinary ship.

 

They could only watch helplessly as Captain Hermione Granger lifted her sword straight in the air and with skill and precision drew out a rune out of bright gold light and magic. Not even a moment later, the entire ship began to glow in the same fashion before it magically teleported itself and its passengers well out of view of the crew of the Etreinte de la Nuit. 

 

They had gotten away, and with her Nectar Divin too?! The very air exploded out around Fleur, her own crew mates had to dive out of the way of their Capitaine’s wrath as she roared out.

 

“GRANGER!”

 

-oOo-

 

Ron whistled as he examined the lone bottle of wine they had pilfered alongside Hermione’s usual targets. It wasn’t often that he got to hold something worth more than the organs of all his siblings combined.

 

Well, that and it wasn’t a book for once.

 

“How much did you say this thing was?” The redheaded navigator turned towards his captain in curiosity. Hermione was in the midst of perusing her most recent acquisition, the scroll handled carefully with cotton gloved hands. She didn’t look up, but she still offhandedly answered.

 

“Um… give or take a hundred and fifty thousand Galleons?” Her tone was one of extreme boredom, but the amount nearly made Ron drop the damned thing in surprise. Malfoy swiped the bottle and cradled it to his chest. 

 

“Watch it, Weasley! Just because the Captain doesn’t give a rat’s arse about an intact bottle of Astrid de Luna doesn’t mean you can handle it like a heathen!” As if paranoid that the youngest Weasley son would somehow breathe on it wrong, Draco proceeded to place it in the warded cabinet with plenty of additional cushioning and protection charms. 

 

Harry rolled his eyes and ignored the odd squabble between his red headed best friend and the ex-aristocrat before he gave his adopted sister a look of deep consternation. 

 

“Seriously Hermione, did we have to swipe the one thing that Delacour obviously wanted from the ship? Your weird pissing match with her is getting more and more dangerous.”

 

The brunette sent a withering look at her first mate, but he had survived a childhood with her. There was a reason why he was her second in command — he took none of her shit. 

 

“Look, Delacour has my copy of Durante’s Theories of Wandless spellcasting! Do you realize how rare a first edition copy of Durante is?! It’s a 14th century treasure!” The bookworm was practically frothing in the mouth with how upset she was. There was a collective wince amongst those in the room with her; it was no secret that this was still a very sore subject for their captain. 

 

Ginny idly spun her beloved rune powered pistol with a single finger, her amusement plain for all to see. "Give it up, Harry. 'Mione and that French tart are going to keep at their kinky mating dance until either we're all dead from fighting each other or the two finally have hot raunchy makeup sex for a week straight."

 

"Ginevra Weasley!" It was honestly impressive just how obviously flushed Hermione could get, especially with her olive skin tone. While the brunette was sputtering, the other three were nodding as if both presented possibilities weren’t so ridiculously farfetched. “Sod off you wankers! I do not want to have sexual relations of any kind with that self-obsessed, narcissistic harpy of a woman!” 

 

She blinked for a second, as the rest of Ginny’s words finally caught up with her.

 

“Wait a tic, how in the hell would we be having ‘makeup sex’ anyhow?! We were never together!” 

 

Draco rolled his eyes.

 

“Oh trust us, we know. The betting ring about you two has gotten so ridiculous that I think even my father has thrown a few galleons into the pot. And he bloody hates pirates.” 

 

Hermione narrowed her eyes at that.

 

“I thought I said to shut that stupid pot down.” 

 

“Oh, we did.” It was Harry’s turn to grin. “The one on the ship was officially shut down… but there’s nothing we can do about the pot over at Hogsmeade port.” 

 

The witch groaned as her friends all took turns to make fun of her and her ridiculous rivalry with the blonde Veela. She and the captain of the Etreinte de la Nuit had been thorns in each other’s sides for as long as they had known each other, and as far as Hermione was concerned that’s all they would ever be. 


Even if Death itself threatened her, Hermione Granger would never ever sleep with the likes of Fleur Delacour!