By: Paramour Party
She was a pretty little thing but that wasn't what caught Derek's curiosity. Well, it wasn't the only thing. What sparked something in him was the fact that this woman stood, no more than 5'4", and the energy surrounding her was almost palpable. It was an electric charge that screamed of power and warning, and it demanded attention. Danger from such a charming and non-threatening form? He wasn't sure if he should heed the warning or find it appealing. Who was he kidding? It was more than appealing.
She stood on the tips of her toes turned away from him and he couldn't help but appreciate her assets in the snug pair of jeans she wore. One toned arm stretched up reaching for a book while her other one held four heavy looking texts against her hip.
Realizing that he was staring, Derek looked away towards Boy Genius who stood further down the room in the used-book shop where they were wasting time in. Or rather, he was wasting time... Derek noticed Reid had already zipped through two "small" books and was already looking for a third to absorb.
Coming to the decision that Reid was enjoying himself, Derek stepped towards the young woman and pretended to browse through the bookcases full of history texts. When he was close enough, he couldn't help but take in another appreciative glance. She was a little taller than he estimated but she still didn't reach his shoulders. Her hair, brown voluminous curls, seemed to be what added to her height. He turned away for a moment to pull out the first book his hand touched (a book on Vikings), and noticed her glance towards him. He wondered if he sparked some curiosity in her like she had him, but her attention on him lasted only for a second and she was back to reading.
The woman was younger than him, most likely closer to Reid's age. Not a stunner model type, she had a rather muted beauty that someone could miss on the first glance. Her clothes and make-up were simple if not a little plain making her just another face in the crowd. However, her presence prevented her from blending in; there was no way someone like him could miss it. It was a subtle pulse of power but impossible to ignore once acknowledged.
A small list of conversation starters flew through Derek's mind but a younger boy cuts his musing short when they almost collide. The woman's reflexes were quick and her free (and by free, the one holding only one book) arm was out steadying the boy before she even looked away from the bookcase. "Teddy," she admonished as she turned to look at him.
The boy, Teddy, gave her a sheepish grin. "I didn't mean to!" He chanced a glance at Derek, intimidated for a moment by the older man's imposing figure, and mumbled a shy apology. Derek just shared a grin of his own and shook the boy's worries away with his reassurances. At that, the boy's energy returned full force when he turned to the woman. "I wanted to show you this book I found, Alpha!" Derek noticed a slight accent as the boy spoke but he couldn't be too sure. Maybe the UK, he surmised while he glanced at book's cover that Teddy thrust towards the woman's face. "It's all about American werewolves!"
She smiled and leaned forward. "Add it to my pile. I'll just pick out one more book and then we can go grab something to eat."
Teddy's grin widened as he added to the stack of books in her arms. With a quick "Thanks!" he was off to the kids' section again. She shook her head at the energetic boy and Derek knew it was now or never to strike up a conversation.
"Werewolves seem to be all the rage these days... is that why he calls you Alpha?" he asked her.
She tensed for a moment, caught off guard by his comment, but she smiled and nodded. "One of the reasons," she replied with no notion of elaborating.
Her eyes studied him for a moment and then the rest of her tension eased away. Though, despite the lack of nerves, Derek could see she still held her guard up. For a short instant he wondered why that was but pushed the thought aside for another time. "Does that mean you call him Beta?"
She shook her head as she readjusted the books in her hand. As she did so, Derek noticed the absence of a ring but knew that wasn't conclusive to anything. He'd need more clues than a ring to figure her status out. "No, Beta would be his Uncle Ron. We tend to call him Cub or Pup," she replied with a shrug; there was a smile on her face that held genuine affection. Derek couldn't tell if she directed that affection towards the boy, the uncle, or both. Was Teddy her son? Brother maybe? He tried to think of a way to ask and keep the conversation going, but she'd already turned her attention back to the bookcase and her books.
He sighed mentally and contemplated giving up; however, with her open stance turned somewhat towards him he managed to dissuaded himself from that train of thought. She wasn't completely disinterested by his presence… perhaps just focused on her task?
To prevent himself from blatant staring, Derek turned back towards the bookcase and looked down at the book in his hands. What was wrong with him? Why did he find it so hard to talk to her? When did Derek Morgan ever have trouble with his charm? There was movement from his left and he glanced at her from the corner of his eye. She had an amused smile on her face.
She turned to him as she shelved one book and pulled out the one next to it (a peek at the cover told him it was on Norse Mythology). "Staring at your book isn't going to help you gauge the quality of the text. And I don't mean to be forward, but I don't think you came to the history section for a book." Points went to her for being observant and he wondered how long she knew.
Guilty-as-charged smile on, he faced her with his hands up in surrender. "You're right." She stared, her curious eyes studied him like another text and she was reading all his secrets.
"Hermione Granger," she introduced as she stuck her free hand out.
Her hand was small compared to his but her grip was firm. "Derek Morgan."
All pretences of being in that section for a book gone, he leaned against the bookcase and offered to hold some of her books. She didn't take his offer but she expressed her appreciation.
"What brings you across the pond then?" he asked.
"I'm here for my job. Well. I'm only starting in a month but I thought it would be good to get accustomed to everything here and settle in," she replied, "I hadn't realized how slow moving could be."
He rose his eyebrows. "Big move then?"
Hermione nodded. "Probably a permanent one. Although, I'm treating Virginia more like home-base. My job requires me to travel quite a bit."
"I'm surprised you changed home-base then," he said.
"My friends say the same thing but I think the new surroundings will be good for me." At that response Derek wondered whether something went wrong back home but that thought flew out the window when she smiled at him. This was a different smile. It was a pretty one, not reserved like the ones before and he took that as a good sign. Open. Interested? "I'm assuming you live in the city? What brings you to this lovely book shop if not to shop for books?"
Derek nodded in Boy Genius's direction. "I'm waiting for him to pick out a book or five before meeting up with a friend of ours for movie night."
From then, conversation flowed easy and Derek couldn't be sure how long they'd been standing in that little alcove; before they knew it Teddy came rushing back with another book in hand (this one about dragons). The boy slowed down this time, hesitation in his steps when he realized they were conversing. Hermione decided for Teddy by pulling him close into a side hug. "This is Teddy," she said before looking down at him, "Cub, this is Derek."
Teddy grinned up at Derek worries gone. Derek observed the mood change and noted the caution towards strangers. "Lupin! I'm Edward Remus Lupin, but everyone calls me Teddy! It's nice to meet you," the boy said with as much enthusiasm as any boy his age could have.
Introductions done, Teddy held up the new book in hands. "Can I have this one too, Alpha?" he asked shyly.
Hermione laughed and ruffled his hair making him pout. "Of course you can, Cub." She took the book from him and added it to the pile. Next, she pulled a cell phone from the small beaded purse that hung across her torso and handed it to the boy. "Why don't you call Harry and tell him we're just about done here. He should be at the coffee shop across the street." Teddy nodded and ran off, phone on his ear, "And be careful, Teddy!" she called but he was already out the door.
She sighed and Derek chuckled. "Boys will be boys," he said and she laughed in response.
"You got that right in one." Derek grabbed the top three books that were slipping from her pile. "Thanks," she said as they made their way to the cashier.
"You're welcome," he replied as she paid for her purchases. From the corner of his eye, Derek could see Teddy and a man with dark hair standing by the store entrance. Teddy's wild gesticulating about werewolves and dragons kept most of the man's attention but Derek knew a part of it was on himself and Hermione.
Before they could split ways Derek reached for his wallet. "Hermione, how about, when you're settled in and free, I'll show you around town?"
She stared up at him for a moment before nodding. "It would be nice to have a proper guide to the city."
"Sounds like a plan then," he pulled out his card from his wallet and held it out to her. A shy Hermione accepts it and her lips quirked once she noticed the FBI insignia but doesn't mention anything. She fumbled with her purse for a moment and pulled out a pen. Hermione then grabbed his hand and turned it palm up to write.
He grinned at her neat script and number. "We'll be in touch soon then," he promised.
"I should hope so! It was really nice meeting you." She gave him a wide and bright grin.
"Nice meeting you too," he replied before he watched her walk away towards the other man and Teddy. The man said something about prowling for more than books at libraries and bookstores that earned him a smack to the back of the head. Derek's grin stretched in amusement as he turned away from them and back to his forgotten friend.
He tapped Boy Genius on the shoulder who gave a startled jump. "Oh! Is it time to go?" Spencer asked as he glanced at his watch with widening eyes. "You let me browse for more than an hour? What happened to Emily and Penelope? Is movie night cancelled?"
Derek glanced at his own watch for the first time since entering the shop. "Shit. I didn't realize how much time passed."
Spencer rose a brow then noticed the blue marks on his friend's hand and rolled his eyes. "You really can't go anywhere without getting a number can you?"
On other occasions, this would have been where Derek would give him that annoying smirk, but instead, Spencer received a smile. "You know me," Derek said brushing aside the topic. Spencer blinked but didn't say anything. He did know Derek and something told him that this girl might be something different... maybe.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it! :D Before you go~
Here are some Notes:
This will be a series of one shots/drabbles that take place behind the scenes of a larger piece I'm currently working on called "Something Like Magic" (part case-fic / part slice of life). These shorts take place either before or during SLM. This will focus on Derek and Hermione's budding friendship/relationship over time. I haven't seen all of CM's season 7-9. I'm going to be using their real ages (Derek being born in 1973; Hermione in 1979). This and Something Like Magic will disregard a few things from the Harry Potter-verse but it's mostly canon to the books. For the Criminal Minds-verse, the timeline is a little skewed because I'm assuming the year the season airs is the year the story takes place and that won't be the case for this 'verse. If something that happened in season 5 or 6 is referenced even though it technically hasn't happen yet timeline-wise, it has in my story. Not all cases presented/mentioned in this 'verse will be canon to the CM-verse.
If you're curious, this piece takes place in 2005 (Something Like Magic will take place during 2007-8).
Derek - 32 / Hermione - 26 / Teddy - 7
If you have any other questions or comments please leave a review and I'll be more than happy to answer them! :)
Paramour Party Out~