A/N: Thank you for the fantastic response this story has generated. At first I was not even sure that I would post it because I wasn't sure there was an audience for it. However, I did so anyways, and I've been amazed by all of the activity in response. Thank you!
What I've decided to do with this story is to post short stand alone type scenes that are very similar to one shots but are still related. This is to help me work on writing short stories, as I have a tendency to be very long winded when I write.
Disclaimer: I do not own Criminal Minds or Harry Potter.
"We've confirmed that they're inside," The voice of the SWAT team commander crackled over Hermione's ear piece.
She waited impatiently in the command center, a former FedEx delivery bus that had become a bustling hub of activity in the last four hours. Unconsciously she rubbed her forearm remembering what it was like to be in the position that their victim was in right now. Though she tried to remain objective the memories of Bellatrix Lestrange were coming back as were the memories of three months ago. Her mind flashed back to the feel of Walden Macnair pulling the back molars from her jaw with pliers when he'd tortured her. Nausea curled in her stomach and she ignored it with practiced ease. Focus she reminded herself, studying the TV screens in front of her that showed varying views of the street outside the van.
Three days ago, the team had been called to Houston, Texas to track down a sadistic killer who had turned out to be a black widow. She'd killed seven men in the last four weeks by luring them in with the promise of sex. As an ex-prostitute, her routine was perfect. At a local bar she waited, picking a seat at a center table and waiting around, looking sad and pretending to be stood up by a date. Inevitably she was approached by a somewhat inebriated man who she enticed outside, where she struck him with a collapsible baton she kept in her purse. The men then woke up chained to a metal table in an abandon warehouse without realizing what had happened to them. Reid's map had helped them narrow down her comfort area and they'd been able to canvas with a picture of her from a security camera. It was Rossi and JJ who had gotten lucky with some of the girls on the street. They'd recognized her, giving a first name and the address of her old apartment. Back tracing the name and the apartment rental agreement, Garcia had come up with Yolanda Simmons.
Currently Yolanda Simmons was about to cut out an innocent man's throat.
"We're having trouble getting a target," a second voice crackled through the comm.
Hermione gritted her teeth as a sharp pain traveled from her forearm up her humerus and into her shoulder. It's all in your head, she reminded herself.
"There may be better visibility from the south facing window," Hermione advised. "If you move to the other side and set up on the five story building with the overhang you should have a good angle. It's also a shorter distance."
"Do it, Jordan," The SWAT commander instructed his officer. "Good eye, agent."
Hermione didn't bother responding, keeping her eyes on the video screen. Hotch shifted restlessly behind her and she could tell that the former operative was itching to be out in the field instead of cooped inside the bus. She felt his pain.
"I have a target," The SWAT officer from earlier spoke. The red GPS dot that blinked his position had moved from the north side of the building to the south, where Hermione had recommended.
"Prepare to enter," the team commander announced.
Once inside, the team was efficient in quickly taking down the suspect. From the safety of the command center she and Hotch listened to the action unfolding. It was over in a few quick minutes as Yolanda surrendered and was arrested. The rest of the team finally arrived from the police station and they poured into the command center.
"What happened?" JJ asked.
"She just surrendered," Hotch replied. "SWAT is taking her in right now. The victim is in route to the Trauma Center right now, he sustained only a few injuries."
No sigh of relief went up, but the pinched look on the team member's faces eased. It had been a trying case for everyone. The victims had been killed with an extreme amount of violence, some decapitated, others disemboweled and some beaten to mere pulp. How one woman could contain so much anger and rage, Hermione couldn't comprehend. But she knew it was possible, and her arm throbbed with a reminder of why. It's all in your head, she repeated again.
The door slammed shut as the SWAT commander stepped inside. His eyes skimmed over the agents and then settled on her. He looked her up and down, assessing.
"So you're a sniper?" He said curiously.
All eyes swung to her. Hermione felt the curious stares of the team on her as they waited for her answer. Derek's gaze penetrated her the most. He'd already seen what she was capable of in the field.
"No," She told the man. "I'm familiar with their tactics though. I've worked with some of them."
He nodded, looking satisfied. "Your call made this mission come together. I didn't see that vantage point myself and I'm a former marine scout sniper. You'd have made a hell of a spotter."
"Thank you," she said, pleased by his compliment. Hotch stood beside her, his arms crossed over his chest. He said nothing. In the past week or so he'd gained some confidence in her abilities, but his distrust was still palpable. At every opportunity he watched her and she could see the wheels turning in his mind while he analyzed her. It was his misgivings that kept her from integrating with the rest of the team. After some more discussion the team returned to the downtown Houston police station to finish case files and gather their things. Hermione rode back in the SUV driven by Morgan, with JJ in the passenger seat and Dr. Reid beside her.
She wasn't sure what to think of Dr. Reid. He was brilliant but in a very different way than she was. Besides that, he'd said very little to her and she had the distinct sense that he disliked her.
Not mistrusted, as the rest of them did, but disliked.
The team separated to different corners of the police department to finish their paper work. Morgan, Rossi and Hermione stayed in the conference room while JJ and Reid wandered off to the break room. Hotch went to the spare office next door where he wouldn't be interrupted. Focusing on her report, Hermione reread it, making sure that all the details were in order. She'd only recently learned to write up cases and wasn't entirely satisfied with her skills. Rossi had been impressed though, so she supposed it may have been the perfectionist in her. In the end the report was fairly well written and she made a few minor edits to clarify certain points. Finalizing the report, she gave it to the desk clerk. From there she moved to the coffee bar where Spencer was leaning with a steaming cup in his hand. She acknowledged him with a nod, but didn't bother with small talk as she doctored her coffee with cream and sugar.
"So how are you liking the team?" Reid asked her, taking her by surprise.
He stood just off to the side of her, fiddling with the rim of his coffee cup. The thick edge had been peeled back, probably by him, and he was focused on rolling it back up.
"Fine, thank you," Hermione said. She realized the words came out a bit formal, but the man had barely spoken to her in the entire four weeks they'd been working together. All of their previous exchanges had been in direct relationship to their work.
"Have you gotten all of your things moved over from London?"
Hermione barely resisted raising an eyebrow. This was getting ridiculous. "Yes, I finished that two weeks ago. I'm all settled in."
"Good, that's good," Spencer said awkwardly. He swirled the liquid in his cup staring intently into it, as though it held the answers to every question that had ever been asked.
"Is there something you'd like to ask me, Dr. Reid?"
He stopped with the coffee cup and met her eyes. Hermione regarded him evenly as he stared at her. Finally, he set the cup down on the counter and focused on her.
"I have a few questions for you, Captain Granger."
"I'll answer them if I can," She told him truthfully.
The genius gave a short nod. His next words surprised her.
"1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. What number comes next?"
"Twenty-one," Hermione said.
Spencer nodded, as though he'd expected her to answer correctly and leaned back against the counter. He propped his hip on it and scowled at her suspiciously, then continued.
"Jane is sixteen. She is four times as old as her brother. How old will Jane be when she is twice as old as her brother?"
Hermione's eyes narrowed. "Twenty-four."
"Out of this series what number doesn't belong? 2 - 3 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 14 - 15 – 30."
"Eight. What's the point of this?" She demanded. Dr. Reid ignored her and pressed on.
"What number is a quarter of a half of a fifth of two hundred?"
Hermione had to pause and consider that, but for no more than a second. "Five."
"One, eight, twenty-seven, skip a number, one hundred twenty-five, two hundred sixteen. What's the missing number?"
"Sixty-four and this is getting ridiculous, I'm not answering anymore questions! I know what you're doing and I don't appreciate it, Dr. Reid."
"I don't have to ask any more questions. I can already tell that your IQ is far above normal. Many people of above average intelligence can't recognize patterns that quickly and 97% of them can't do it verbally. You're like me."
Hermione shook her head. "Not really. I only read five hundred words a minute."
"This isn't about speed reading. I can tell your IQ is well over 140."
"Intelligence can't be quantifiably measured," she shot back.
"Well that was interesting!" Hermione and Reid whirled at the sound of Rossi's voice.
Behind them, the whole team stood, holding their bags. She and Spencer's had been brought along, and sat at the feet of the group, abandon. All of them were staring. JJ looked shocked, Morgan smug and Rossi delighted. Hotch wore the same expression he always had on. Hermione was beginning to wonder if the man's facial muscles were functional.
"She's been lying to us!" Spencer accused vehemently.
"Hey, watch your tone-" Morgan began, but both Hermione and Spencer ignored him.
"No, I simply haven't shared every single detail of my life. It's called reserve." Hermione hissed. He had no right to call her out like that!
"You deliberately hid your intelligence! I want to know why." Eyes glittering with justified rage, Spencer stepped right up to her and glared down at her. "We know nothing about you and you haven't exactly been forthright."
"Please refer to my last statement for an explanation," She growled, nose to nose with the tall man. "Anyways, you're the human computer- figure it out."
Shocked by her intensity, Spencer blinked.
"We're all waiting," Hermione said icily.
"You're an intelligence agent," he said blankly.
Hermione raised an eyebrow, as if to say, duh. Seeing her look, Reid flushed and rushed on.
"Because of your career you don't want to draw attention to yourself. You wear clothes in neutral colors, tame your hair back and don't wear dramatic make up. You also don't wear jewelry. In social situations you minimize your personal interactions and make an effort to bled into the back ground. Besides that, you don't share personal information with anyone in an effort to retain anonymity. Because your intelligence sets you apart you mask it, but don't downplay it. Unless someone is paying attention they can't see that you're actually a genius. Today you managed to calculate the precise angle at which the SWAT sniper would have a shot in seconds and you managed to place him on a well concealed ledge. From the position where you placed him, he didn't have to worry about muzzle flash and noise trajectory giving him away. Even the rest of the team didn't realize exactly what you'd done because you didn't explain. That was deliberate, because not only do we not trust you… you don't trust us. And trust is extremely important to you."
Spencer looked dazed as he finished, staring at her but not seeing her.
Hermione decided she was done with the whole exchange and grabbed her bag from where it rested at Rossi's feet, pretending that nothing had happened. She unbuckled the side flap and slid her copy of the case report inside of it while everyone recovered from the scene.
"I guess we're all ready to go," Rossi said brightly. On cue everyone shouldered their bags and followed the senior agent out the door. Reid picked up his bag followed a few steps behind the group looking deep in thought.
On the plane Hermione picked a seat at the far end that faced away from the rest of the group. Rossi struck up a conversation with JJ about the Redskins that was obviously a ploy to cover the tension that blanketed the team. Derek settled in beside her and put on his headphones. Hermione pulled out her iPod and copied him and quickly lost herself in the musical genius that was Max Richter's re-composition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons. She tried to put what had happened with Reid out of her mind, but anger still stirred in the back of her mind.
He had no right to invade her privacy like that.
If she wanted to keep some secrets from the team, it was her prerogative. Using yoga breathing techniques she managed to calm herself down and let go of most of her anger. Perhaps there had been a message in Dr. Reid's analysis of her. If she opened up a bit more, perhaps the team would be less hostile to her. But even as the thought occurred to her she rejected it. She was here to gather intelligence on the magical crimes being committed in the Muggle world, not to make friends. Moreover, she was supposed to be working on getting back to the D.A and hunting Death Eaters. Morgan shifted beside her stretching his back and she momentarily considered their odd relationship. They were friends, right?
Needing something more occupying than music to distract her, Hermione pulled out her ear buds and dug in her purse for the Jodi Picoult novel she was half finished with. She tried to focus on the words but found she was too preoccupied.
"Is the book really that bad?" Derek teased her.
"What?" Hermione asked, looking up. She'd been internally debating the pros and cons of being more open with the team.
"You're scowling at it. Personally I've always been more of a Kurt Vonnegut fan."
"I love his work," Hermione replied, folding her book shut.
"Jodi Picoult is a bit grim for my tastes," Morgan commented looking at the front cover of her novel.
"And to mine at the moment," Hermione agreed.
"So what's your IQ?"
She gave him a look. "Come on," Derek begged. "I just watched you pass a super intense genius challenge. You rattled off numbers without so much as a pause, it was like you didn't even have to think. Tell me or I'll make Penelope look it up."
Penelope would never find anything because those records had been buried, but Hermione answered anyways.
"176 the last time I sat for a test two years ago."
"Damn. I hope Spence doesn't get jealous."
Hermione rolled her eyes. "He has no need to. I have bachelor's degrees in Physics, and English Literature and a masters in Finance. I graduated from Law school three years ago."
"Well, there's a little overlap. Reid's mom was a literature professor and he has several degrees in chemistry which can be similar to physics. As for law school, with his memory it's kind of pointless."
"Am I wrong to be worried that I just made an enemy?" Hermione asked seriously.
"Not really. Reid doesn't like change and he doesn't like feeling out of control. But it might help if you were a little less reserved."
Hermione groaned. "That's what I was afraid of."
"Oh come on, be more social- it's easy. It's like playing twenty questions. We can practice, I'll ask the questions and we both have to answer."
"I reserve the right to not answer any questions I don't like," Hermione put in.
Morgan made a face. "That's no fun, but fine."
He stopped for minute stroking his goatee and thinking. Hermione began to get a bit nervous.
"Would you rather go to the theater or the movies?"
"I'd prefer the movies," Hermione replied.
"Same," Morgan agreed. "Would you rather visit Europe or Mexico?"
"I'd rather visit Europe because Mexico is over run with cartels."
"Mexico," Derek said. "They have beaches."
Hermione snorted. "Europe has excellent beaches."
"Defending your own country, are we?"
"Defending southern France is more like it," Hermione said. "My mother was French. I spent several summers there and I learned to speak French from my grandmother."
"See? You're opening up already," Morgan said, moving on to his next question. "Facebook or Twitter?"
"Neither. I can't have any photos on the Internet."
Morgan raised an eyebrow. "Alright. If you could change one thing you've done what would it be?"
Hermione was silent, staring off into space as she thought. She twined her fingers together. "I wouldn't have judged my own worth based off of my test scores and grades for so many years. There was a time when being at the top of my class meant more to me than almost anything. In retrospect that wasn't such a healthy attitude. Your turn."
"I would have learned to speak up earlier and not keep secrets that weren't good for me."
Hermione digested this and nodded, looking as if she could relate.
"Okay last question," Morgan said. "How would your friends describe you?"
"Bookworm. Know it all." She grinned. "Temperamental."
"Really? Temperamental? I don't see it."
"My closest friends are two men. They don't get it when my hair won't cooperate and it makes me irritable. They think my eyelash curler is a deadly weapon even though I've shown them how it works a dozen times. I threw a funeral for my cat and I forced them to attend, which they found very uncomfortable."
Morgan laughed, and then winked. "I'd have happily gone to your cat's funeral."
"I appreciate that. You're a good friend."
The statement felt right, and Hermione had to wonder if she wasn't beginning to see this assignment as more than a punishment.
When the plane landed Hermione went back to her office to collect some files she wanted to review. The team had a three-day weekend because of the amount of hours they'd put in on the case but she didn't want to get behind on her work. She selected her files and was just about to turn off her lamp when a knock took her by surprise. In her doorway, Spencer Reid stood, looking distinctly uncomfortable. His hair was disheveled as was his clothing. Nervously he ran a hand through his thin hair. Then he met her eyes and squared his thin shoulders.
"I apologize for confronting you so rudely," He said directly.
Hermione nodded motioning for him to come in. She took a seat at her office chair while Dr. Reid settled himself across from her in one of the guest chairs.
"Thank you. I realize that having an unknown person dropped into such a close knit team was disconcerting, so I won't hold it against you."
"Why were you? Dropped into the team, I mean," Reid elaborated.
She hesitated. Part of her wanted to be honest with him, but the greater part rejected the idea of blowing her cover. "It was decided by my superiors that I would be of best use here. I think you could say that I'm looking for terrorists and other unconventional threats."
Spencer raised an eyebrow at her measured wording. He noted that she didn't come out and state her business in the BAU plainly, but insinuated what her role was. He filed the incident away in his mind for further review.
"Wouldn't that be better done in the counter terrorism unit or the joint terrorism task force?" Reid asked.
"Counter terrorism is focused on the threats we know about. I'm not here to look for those."
"Are you learning profiling?"
Hermione shrugged. "I'm supposed to assimilate what I can while in this position."
"Then why haven't you taken the classes?"
"That's not my main role here. You already know that Cruz placed me on the team. What you don't know is that it came from above even his pay grade."
"Who placed you in the team?"
"I can't say. But somebody in your government and in mine has decided that this is where I should be. So far, my particular skill set hasn't been needed."
"And what skill set would that be?"
"That's none of your concern right now."
"If you're on my team it is." Spencer glared at her, his eyes fiery.
"I'm not approved to tell you. I'll hazard a guess that you've had Agent Garcia look into me?"
"She was expressly ordered not to by none other than the director of the FBI."
Hermione resisted the urge to smile with great effort.
Spencer continued. "You don't really belong here; I don't say that to offend you, but it's true. Besides, you don't even want to be in the FBI. You're more of the kicking down doors type than the analyzing type."
She was unable to stop herself from raising an eyebrow at that. Hermione Granger was an academic to the core and if Spencer Reid didn't realize it she would have to severely doubt his talents at reading people. "I dislike kicking down doors, Dr. Reid. I far prefer a well-placed charge that blows them clear and unnerves the inhabitants so that I can use their surprise against them. The reason I know that is because I'm the analytical type. I did the research to find a better method after I lost too many men kicking down doors."
Squeezing his eyes closed Reid rubbed the bridge of his nose furiously. "This isn't going the way I planned. I'm usually much more non-confrontational than this."
"I unsettle you," Hermione observed.
"Yes. You're not who you seem to be. What is your IQ anyways?"
That was the question of the day, wasn't it?
"176 at my last testing two years ago. You could say that I was recruited to the military because of that as well as other factors."
The genius across the desk from her looked surprised. "You just volunteered information about yourself. You never do that."
"Morgan spoke to me about being more open with the team. We played twenty questions and I ended up telling him about the funeral I gave my cat."
"Yeah," Spencer said, as a smile twitched on his lips. "Derek can have that effect on people."
The doctor shifted nervously in his chair as they lapsed into an uncomfortable silence.
"Look, Dr. Reid, I don't want to be your enemy. What can I tell you about myself that would make you more comfortable around me? I know it isn't my competence in the field, because I more than meet the requirements of the FBI. You know that I shot a man off of a roof from a hundred yards in the dark and still managed to keep him alive for questioning. You also know that I can track a fugitive in extreme conditions and that I have above average fitness. Or as you put it, I'm the kicking down doors type. Is there something about me that makes you not trust me to have your back? What is it?"
"Are you informing on the team?"
"Sorry," Hermione asked, shocked.
"Are you gathering information on us for Agent Cruz? Or the director or, heck, maybe even congress!"
"No," Hermione said flatly. "I have no allegiance to your country or your agency. Furthermore, I've never been a Bravo Foxtrot."
"Bravo Foxtrot. It's military slang for…."
"Someone who screws over their friends. I'm familiar."
"I'll be honest and tell you that I'm insulted by the implication. I've had my share of team members try to screw me over. Someone who was supposedly on my side almost killed me once," Hermione continued, thinking of Marietta Edgecombe's betrayal. "Actually that's happened more than once, I guess. Zacharias Smith. He was a thorn in my side if there ever was one. But my point is that I don't have bad intentions towards your team. You are aware that the BAU is considered part of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime right?"
He nodded, frowning.
"And as such its role is to support multi-agency coordination, threat assessment and threat management?"
"Of course. I've worked here for over a decade."
"I'm part of the multi-agency coordination part of your mission statement. The majority of my job revolves around assessing and managing a threat that the governments of North America and Europe would like to see contained. Because of the speed and regularity with which your team operates, being on it gives me a good view of the criminal situation in this area. Have you noticed a spike in crime recently, Dr. Reid?"
"Well, yes, crime has gone up seventeen percent in the last five years which is an unprecedented rise because it was projected to go down. Wait a minute, are you telling me you know something about that?"
"You're not going to tell me about it are you," Spencer said, looking frustrated.
"I'm not going to, your government isn't going to and neither is my government. But we're working to contain the situation and remove the threats."
"How serious is this threat? How are they controlling the crime rate?"
"Influencing the crime rate," Hermione corrected. "We've gone to a lot of trouble to remove the majority of the organization's teeth. But it seems to be getting worse here in the States because of the crackdown in Europe. I'm supposed to integrate into your law enforcement and study the threat level. If I need to I'm allowed to step in and handle it."
"Is it a terrorist organization?"
"Yes, but a fairly nontraditional one that's flown under the radar for a long time now. This isn't something you'll hear about on the evening news. My presence here is an effort to combat this group."
"You don't think it's a useful effort do you?"
Hermione was taken off guard by his impressively accurate statement. Meeting Spencer's hazel eyes she realized that she owed him the truth.
"I feel that it would have been better to place me in another department."
Specifically, the department of American Aurors where she wouldn't have to hide her abilities and would have been her own boss. Having to answer to a commanding officer that knew nothing about her abilities was obstructive to her effectiveness. And besides it grated on her when she was used to being the one calling the shots.
"I'm sorry that you didn't get your way. But I can see that you'll be an asset to the team."
"Well that's quite the turnaround from telling me I don't belong here and I seem like I kick down doors."
"Now that I know you're not a lackey for the Unit Chief, I've come around a bit," He said.
"The last few weeks would have been a lot smoother if you'd asked me directly."
"It's not good manners to ask someone if they're an informant," Spencer protested.
"True enough," Hermione agreed. "But in the future you can ask me what you want to know directly. You have a right to know my intentions, just not the classified ones."
"You know if I can ever help you with anything, all you have to do is ask. One genius to another."
Hermione grinned and the tension between the two melted away.
"So the team is big enough for two geniuses?"
"Of course. Our combined IQ is over 350. The only problem is that if anyone gets away on our watch, we'll be laughing stocks."
"I'll have to keep it in mind," Hermione agreed.
"So what are your degrees in?" Spencer asked her.
"My bachelor's degrees are in Physics and English Literature. I have a masters in Finance and I graduated from Law school a few years ago."
"Not bad," Spencer said, looking at her with admiration. "How long did it take you?"
"I did them at the same time I was in the military, so it took me eight years between the two bachelors and my masters. I was working full time as a soldier and going to school part time. At first I only went because it was important to my parents. Then I kept going because it interested me and ended up in law school which took me three years. I had to stop and start again because I got deployed."
"You didn't have a degree when you went into the military?"
"I was recruited out of high school. It mattered more what they could train me to do than what I knew."
"Interesting," Spencer said. "Would you happen to play chess, Captain Granger?"
"I love chess," Hermione told him.
"In that case, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Please leave me a review and let me know what you think so far. I'm considering making my next one shot about Garcia. For some reason I don't get the sense that she'd quietly go along with the FBI director's order.