By: Paramour Party

Derek slung his go-bag over his shoulder and followed the rest of his team off the plane onto the landing strip. As they walked towards the cars to head back to the office, he pulled out his cellphone from his pocket to check the time (5:33am) and noticed he had an unread message waiting for him.

Hermione G 5:07am

Clooney seems to know you're on your way home. He's been up and about like an energetic child for hours. Are you sure he isn't an overgrown puppy?

He chuckled to himself earning a few curious glances from his friends. "We'll drop off our paperwork and reconvene monday morning for the final compilation. Is that okay with everyone?" Hotch asked as he walked to one of the two cars designated to them.

The team gave their affirmations and separated towards the two cars. "You wanna drive?" Prentiss asked Derek while Reid got into the backseat. She stared at him curiously as she watched his thumbs fly over his phone typing away. He paused to look up at Prentiss and nodded. "Yeah, sure," he replied while he opened the driver's side door and slipped into the car.

Derek M 5:40am

I never said he wasn't an overgrown puppy. Don't judge.

I just landed. I should be by to pick him up around 7:30 or 8. Is that okay?

He smiled to himself and left his phone in one of the cup holders for easy access. Prentiss shared a look with Reid through the window and the younger male just shrugged. She returned the gesture before getting into the passenger seat.

Derek turned on the radio at a low volume and soon enough they pulled out of the parking lot behind Hotch, Rossi, and JJ's car. He glanced at Prentiss for a moment before peeking at the rearview mirror to look at Reid. "Why are you both so quiet?"

"It's early," came Reid's reply, but to Derek it sounded more like a question. Suspicious.

Prentiss nodded in agreement. "Too early to function without a proper cup of coffee," she added "or four in Reid's case." The silence that followed her response was interrupted by Derek's phone buzzing. She eyed it, intrigue getting the best of her again and she tried to make out the message.

Hermione G 5:45am

Welcome back! And good morning. That works for me, Clooney will be ecstatic to see you so early. You owe me breakfast.

"But someone is up early enough to be messaging you," she said with a grin. Another suspicious grin.

Oh, so that's how it is then, Derek thought to himself. He rolled his eyes knowing where this would lead. "I left Clooney with a friend of mine, I'm just giving an estimate on when I'll be by to pick him up."

"Sure," she responded, "We'll go with that."

"What's not to believe?" he asked.

Spencer smothered some sort of comment behind a cough. While Prentiss just laughed. "Really, Morgan?" she asked in disbelief. "What sane person would be up at this time? On a saturday?"

"Anyone taking care of my dog apparently," came his reply.

The radio filled the silence again as Prentiss stared at her friend. Derek thought if she lacked the level of poise she always held, she'd be staring at him wide eyed and mouth agape. The woman swivelled to look at Spencer. "Does he really think we're that oblivious?"

Spencer shrugged again. "Maybe. Although, you can't fault him for believing we wouldn't profile his odd behaviour."

Derek couldn't resist the urge to roll his eyes again. "Quit talking like I'm not here."

Prentiss ignored him out of spite. "I mean, really, he's been so obvious. How many women has he consistently messaged at ungodly hours? And how many of those women actually respond in a timely manner?"

"Just wait a minute!" Derek tried to interject but Spencer cut him off.

"None that I can recall."

When they stopped at the red light, Derek turned away from the road to give both his friends a quick glare. "Who says I've been messaging a woman?"

Prentiss' suspicious grin was back. "Your phone did," she replied. "Hermione is a pretty name. Shakespeare right?"

Derek's brows furrowed together. His friends were determined to make him dizzy by causing multiple eye-rolls. "Hermione is a friend. She's looking after my dog," he said with a tone of finality.

In what Derek assumed was an attempt to keep poised, Prentiss gave him a slow blink before she gave out a burst of laughter. "Oh my god!" she said, "He seriously thinks we're that oblivious!"

Reid in the back gave in to his chuckles and joined Prentiss in the teasing. "We haven't really considered the possibility that he isn't even aware of how different he's been acting," Reid said, "Denial maybe? It has only been a couple of months."

Prentiss continued laughing. "Oh! Oh this is great. The great ladies' man, Derek Morgan!"

"Ha. Ha. Ha." Derek gave out a mechanical laugh. He had to stop himself from banging his head on the steering wheel. "Laugh all you want, I'm not in denial." When the two settled their laughter, Prentiss gave him this smile. One that would have sent chills down a lesser man's spine. It was the kind of smile that held all the secrets of the world. It was only later, after they settled all their files at the office and decided to call it a morning that Prentiss approached Derek again. But all she said was, "It's going to bite you in the ass. Hard. And when it does, I'll say I told you so."

He watched her walk away, confused and thoughtful. Despite their unspoken rule of not profiling your co-workers, it was an unconscious action amongst profilers. Did they really see something in him that he didn't? Should he be worried?

The brief annoyances and worries of his morning was left on the back burner of his mind as he pulled up to a familiar fancy high rise apartment building in a nice mostly quiet part of the city. Killing the engine and grabbing the bag of groceries he picked up on the way to Hermione's place, he exited his car and walked up the driveway, buzzed Hermione's apartment, and once let in walked through the lobby. He waved at the security concierge and gave a nod as he made his way to the elevators.

At the knock on her door, Derek could hear the excited rumbling barks of Clooney and Hermione's laughter. In no time the door swung open and Derek took a step back to steady himself against Clooney's eager love attacks. Seeing his struggles Hermione took the bag he held and watched Clooney slobber all over Derek with amusement.

"Hey, boy! I've missed you too! But you gotta quiet down unless you want Hermione to get in trouble." Derek chuckled as he tried to calm his dog down and lead them back into the apartment. "Good morning, Hermione."

"Good morning!" Clooney had taken to circling them and Hermione took the moment of space to give Derek a quick hug. "I have coffee ready if you want a cup?"

Derek nodded. "Please and thank you!"

Hermione smiled and peeked into the bag she took from him. "What are these?" she asked as she set the groceries on her table and turned towards the cabinets above the sink to grab another mug.

"Well you asked for breakfast," he replied as he set out the food he bought onto the counter.

A small laugh burst passed Hermione's lips as she prepared Derek's coffee. She absently pet Clooney on the head as she passed him to give Derek his mug. "I was joking about that."

Derek shrugged as he turned to the sink to wash his hands and set out to make food for the both of them. "I owe you and what better bribe to have you continue to watch Clooney than a home-made meal a-la-Derek?"

Hermione rose a brow as she sipped at her own mug of coffee and looked down at the dog at her feet. "Your Derek thinks he's quite the charmer, hmm?" she asked Clooney with a grin. The large dog gave an excited bark in response and earned a rub down behind his ears.

Derek would have pouted if he were any other man, but his pride held him back from giving in to that urge. "It must be pick on Derek Day or something," he mumbled. It's been a practice of patience and it wasn't even near noon yet.

Hermione looked up at him. "What was that?"

"I was wondering if you wanted onions in your omelette?" he asked as he pulled out a knife and cutting board from her drawer with one hand and in the other, he shook a red onion towards her.

With a nod Hermione stood. "Sure," she replied as she walked towards her sink and washed her hands. When she was done she joined him at her counter and began pulling some ingredients to her side.

"Hey, hey, hey. What do you think you're doing?" Derek asked trying to take the vegetables back from her.

Hermione gave him a sharp look. "You can't expect me to sit around and do nothing while you cook in my home."

"Sure you can."

Clooney barked from his spot at their feet.

"See. Even Clooney agrees with me." Derek grinned as he pointed to her empty chair at her dining table. "Enjoy your coffee, I'll have breakfast done in a bit."

Hermione opened her mouth to speak but Derek was quick to interrupt. "Uh uh. Sit."

She rolled her eyes. "I'm not a dog," she said as she took a seat and watched her friend prepare breakfast. She wanted to pout but she knew Derek would just tease her about it. Harry and Ron definitely do when they manage to get one up on her.

True to his word though, Derek had breakfast prepared in a jiffy and they were eating a hearty breakfast of eggs, vegetables, fruits, some fried seasoned potatoes he had picked up from his favourite diner and another large dose of coffee. Conversations were kept light, mostly updates on what had been going on her end of the States during the week Derek was away. They kept away from the topic of his case, but Hermione could see that small bit of darkness in his eyes his work sometimes caused.

When they stood to clear the dishes Hermione smiled at him, placing her hand over his. "At least let me do the dishes," she said. Derek grinned and raised his hands in defence. He knew he couldn't win them all.

"Why don't you take a seat on the couch, catch up with Clooney and I'll just tidy up here," she continued with a nod in the direction of her living room.

Derek nodded. "Fine, fine," he replied as he walked into the other room Clooney at his heels, tail wagging. Once the pair were settled on the couch, Hermione continued to smile to herself for a moment as she watched them cuddle on her couch. Derek caught her stare and winked before his giant puppy nudged his hand for another belly rub. Hermione blushed and looked away calmly while she busied herself with the clean up and silently berated herself for acting like a teenager. Although, with another quick glance at her friend she grinned to herself… No one would fault her for just looking.

Derek hadn't realized he had fallen asleep until he woke up in a room that wasn't his bedroom. Disoriented for a moment, he recognized Hermione's living room despite the low angle he was viewing it from the couch. A light blanket was draped over him and Clooney huffed in his sleep beside him earning a soft rub between his ears. He could hear Hermione talking in the other room and as he sat up and stretched he saw she was leaning over her kitchen table, phone cradled between her ear and shoulder as she wrote into one of her many notebooks.

Hermione glanced towards him, her hand stilling over the page as she smiled in greeting to him quickly.

"Listen, Kings. I'll have the report reviewed by the end of the week but for now I have to go," she said as finished writing and then she closed her notebook. "Hmmhmm. Of course! It's been lovely chatting with you too. Take care. Give everyone my love for me! Bye."

By the time she was done Derek had stood up and made his way to her side with a sheepish look on his face. "I didn't mean to fall asleep on you," he said apologetically.

Hermione laughed lightly. "Oh, Derek. Don't worry about. Honestly. You had a long case and then you came straight here. I'm happy you got some rest," she replied.

"I'll make it up to you," he insisted.

Hermione simply rolled her eyes. "If you really want to make it up to me, you can introduce me to some great running trails. I haven't had the time to look it up because of work," she said, "But I've managed to get an extra day off this week and the weather is looking nice."

She tried to reign in the blush she felt coming up at the look over and bright grin Derek gave her. "Huh, I did peg you down as a runner," he mumbled more to himself than her, "if you've got the rest of the day free, we can go now. I haven't been for a while and I know Clooney will love it too." He looked down at his watch calculating travel times and nodded to himself.

Hermione noticed the way his eyes seemed to light up and the exhaustion from his case seemed to fade away. A nice jog would probably relieve whatever stress his job put upon him, she thought to herself with a smile. "This works out perfectly then! I'll just get changed into proper clothes and pack us some water and snacks. Erm… do you have suitable clothes? Or will we be passing by your place?"

"Nah, I got some workout clothes in my car," he said as he straightened the reusable grocery bag he had brought earlier, "How about you get changed and I'll prepare the water and snacks and then we can be on our way."

Hermione nodded and turned towards her bedroom but paused. "One more thing…" she started, "I'm a little out of practice so…"

Derek interrupted with a nod of his head and his smile never faltered as he looked at her. "We'll go at the pace you set."

As Hermione turned back towards her room she couldn't help but wonder why her stomach flipped at those words.

Before I get into apologizing/answering some questions
I want to say : THANK YOU for all the great feedback and the following this collection has gotten.
It really lifts my spirits that people are enjoying this as much as I enjoy putting it together!
So again, thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

I apologize for the HUGE delay in updating. I want to say it was because I was busy… and don't get me wrong. I was… but I also "discovered" League of Legends. I say "discovered" because I've always known about it (watched my ex and a bunch of friends play it and been to "tournament viewing" parties)…
but… I never played until recently. Soooo as you can now understand, what little free time I would normally dedicate to writing became "free time for LoL".

I'm sorry! I hope this piece can make up for the wait! I already have the next piece in the drafting works.
I won't promise that it'll be up soon because Midterms are an evil I must defeat first.

Few things to address:

- Someone asked if Hermione would be the only HP character to be featured in this. The answer is: She'll definitely be the focus. There will be some HP guests and mentions in the future though. At the moment, I can only confirm Luna, Harry, and Ron as the HP guests. (I'm thinking more will appear in my other story: Something Like Magic once I get around to writing that one).

- Teddy's name being Theodore is more of a fanon thing because in the movies I don't think they ever really explained his name but in canon he's named after his Grandfather Edward "Ted" Tonks.

- The timeline! It will be linear, but there could be huge time gaps between the different chapters or very little as you can now witness here. The first and second chapter happen within hours of each other. This chapter is a few months later (I haven't decided how long yet… maybe 3 or 4).

- This chapter is UNEDITED (as of Oct. 19) because I really wanted to get this out before I forget. I'll come back when I have the time to edit whatever needs to be edited.