Here's another chapter of A Dash of Misty Mystery. Hope you enjoy it!


It was a stormy day in London.


Pansy Parkinson was on a mission, one she was on for the past twenty years. A mission to find Draco Malfoy, because she needed to know if he was alive, at the very least. Hopefully he would be somewhere nice, enjoying life. Besides, he was the one Potter hung around most those last few months before both of their disappearances and a chance of finding the Savior of the Wizarding World was always a plus, if only for the sake one of her newer friends, Hermione Granger.

She looked through newer documents, searching for information on where Draco could have gone. She knew most of them were fake leads, but she also knew some had a grain of truth in them.

Pansy grimaced, thinking of her actions before Draco left the British Enclaves. She was a total bitch to Potter, though it was mostly because of her paranoia. She couldn't know if he was honest with his intentions towards them. She didn't know if he was just a nice guy trying to get to know them or a backstabber. As a result she kept her distance from him, and consequently forsook her friendship with Draco, as he had grown rather close with Potter.

The first couple years after Draco left she didn't care much - she had her personal life to sort out, because that had gone pretty much to hell. But when she finally had everything under control, she started to wonder what drove Draco away, blaming herself for being at the very least a small part of his reason for leaving. She put it upon herself to search for him, mainly to help with the guilt that she had started to drown in.

A door opening startled Pansy out of her thoughts. In the doorway stood Hermione, her robes hugging her figure, a tray of food in one hand.

"I brought dinner." She put the tray down and looked at Pansy. "So have you found any leads yet? For either one? Because I found a person who might help us find more information."

Pansy's head shot up. "Who?"

"Apparently their name is Viper. I found out about them about a month ago, but they were on break. It looks like they are back in business now, though. They're supposed to be the most reliable person to go to for information. Unfortunately their prices are a much higher than what we pay normally. Do you want to ask them?" Hermione's tone was hopeful, which was rather rare, considering the topic.

"Do you really think they could know? I mean," Pansy backtracked, trying to be the voice of reason, "they might give us the same information we already have. Or give us entirely false information."

"I don't think so. They apparently pride themselves on having the most accurate information. That, and they supposedly have more information than anyone else." Hermione was obviously trying to make herself sound less desperate than she actually was.

Pansy, while she hid it from her Gryffindor friend, was getting more desperate every day. She realised that it was their best and option if they wanted to find Draco and Potter.

"Ok. Fine. We'll contact them." Pansy's eyebrows furrowed. "How much will the information cost? Do you know?"

Hermione hummed. "It depends on the information. Anything they consider 'common knowledge', which it isn't, usually, costs about the same as our normal leads. Information that is harder to find costs fifty percent more. Also, according to rumours, anything about them costs like literal fortunes - like a hundred times the Parkinson fortune before the war. I'm assuming the information we are looking for is in the second category."

"Ok. How do we contact them, and where do they operate from?" Pansy dragged her fingers through her hair, her hands shaking faintly.

"No one knows where they are based, but from what I've found out it's very probable that they work from Italy." Hermione paused. "As for contacting them it seems like you have to find someone that has already met with Viper to get you in contact. I've already got a contact - the same person that told me of Viper in the first place.

Hermione straitened. "He said his name is Shadow."


Viper was finally back in business after their month-long break. Not that they particularly needed the money - they had enough money saved to last them a lifetime - but they genuinely enjoyed their job. They found it soothing - sometimes they helped the desperate find someone, sometimes saved famiglias from destruction by finding information on their enemies and sometimes destroyed families that were corrupt or had almost no morals.

Viper sorted through the files on the table, looking for potential clients.

One of the documents stood out. The client was in London and were searching for someone. Viper smiled. They called Shadow, the one that scouted the client. They silently thanked Skull for essentially forcing them to scout people in the UK. This person could be Pansy, or Blaise or Hermione, but they couldn't let themselves get their hopes up.

"Shadow. You have my permission to offer my services to the person you found in London," Viper said.

The faint reply Viper got seemed to satisfy them and they hung up immediately after.

They had to call Skull, to ask if he wanted to find out if his old friends were searching for him.

They dialled Skull's number and waited for him to pick up.


"Ok. I'm sort of nervous, now. It's all your fault, Hermione." Pansy fumed, straitening wrinkles on her coat that weren't there. "I mean if I hadn't let you talk me into this, we wouldn't be any closer to finding them, but still. We're meeting this important person and I can't stop imagining the worst case scenarios."

"You needn't worry." The reply started both Hermione and Pansy.

"Oh! Mr. Shadow! I'm sorry, I didn't notice you there." Hermione said.

"Well met." Pansy greeted him and held out her hand, inviting him to shake it. His grip was firm, which wasn't a surprise, considering his muscular build.

"I'll take you to Viper." His voice was gruff and tone professional. "They will meet you in Meeting Room Six on number 50 Liverpool Street." Shadow motioned to a car, opening one of it's doors and climbing in. After a brief pause, both women clambered in after him.

He drove them through London, weaving through the streets, not even trying to make small talk.

They were at Liverpool Street in fifteen minutes.

They got out the car and Shadow opened the door for them. They all walked inside. Shadow led them to the door with the number six engraved in it.

"Viper should be waiting for you inside. They aren't patient, so don't waste their time more than is absolutely necessary." Shadow inclined his head and left the two women standing in front of the door.

Hermione reached out her hand, grasping the brass door handle. She pressed it down, opening the door.

Light slipped through the crack she made. This was a decision she hoped she wouldn't regret.


Viper was anxious. They couldn't let themselves hope that this client would be Pansy or Hermione. Blaise probably didn't even know that Draco and Harry were missing - he moved back to his homeland two years before their disappearance.

Viper paced back and forth, thinking of scenarios in their head, each ending in disappointment. They tried to clear their mind. They tried to stop their depressing thoughts of failed expectations and lost friends.

Skull should have been here. He should have been the voice of reason, grounding Viper, but he wasn't. He didn't want to see the person that would open that door and feel the disappointment and loss of hope. Skull did, however, tell Viper to call him on the off chance that it was Hermione.

Viper paced some more.

Their phone screen lit up, notifying them that the client was in the building. It was daunting. Viper's hands were slightly sweaty. They wiped the sweat off on a handkerchief they had in their pocket, returning it to the pocket where it came from when they were done.

The muffled voice of Shadow alerted Viper to the client's arrival.

Viper plopped themselves into one of the push sofas, trying to compose themselves. They closed their eyes and took a deep breath.

The door swung open, the person on the other side clearly hesitant.

The client stepped into the room, still blocked from Viper's view by the door. When they stepped away from the door, the first thing Viper noticed was the bushy hair forced into a quick updo. It was Hermione Granger. Of course.

She didn't close the door, however - she held it open.

Pansy Parkinson walked into the room, radiating nervousness. She had a neutral expression on her face, but Viper could see right through it - they were the best at spotting masks, even if they missed the one Skull used to have.

Viper stood up as if to greet them, but was in actuality preparing an illusion to make it seem like someone was calling them.

"I'm sorry, but I have to take this," said Viper, gesturing towards their phone. They excused themselves, slipping into a side room.

They fiddled with the phone, trying to dial Skull. Their hands were shaking, their thoughts in chaos. They pressed the call button and waited.

"Come on, come on! Pick up!" Viper muttered.

"Yes? What do you want?" Skull sounded tired.

"Hermione Granger and Pansy Parkinson just showed up. They're my clients." Viper's voice broke, their thoughts conflicting. "I need you here. I need you to come here, to the meeting room and help me sort this out."

"Okay. I'll be there in ten minutes, maximum. You're in London, right?" Skull's reassurances calmed Viper.

"Yes. Number 50 Liverpool Street, room six." Viper began to relax - Skull was coming. "Thank you," their voice was a mare whisper. They were unsure if their whispered thanks was heard, but that wasn't important, not right now.

Viper waited a couple minutes in silence, trying to get their thoughts under control.


Both women were surprised at Viper's appearance. They didn't know what to think of the tribal-esque tattoos on both cheeks or the hood that covered most of their face. They most definitely didn't know what to think of the obviously dyed hair.

However when Viper left, Hermione and Pansy didn't know what to do. They sat in silence for a couple minutes.

Pansy tried to start a conversation with her friend, breaking the uncomfortable silence. "Who do you think called Viper? An informant, maybe?" She had thought it unwise to comment on Viper's appearance - they might be listening to their conversation, after all.

"Maybe. Or an employee. Or some sort of acquaintance." Hermione didn't look any less nervous, but neither did Pansy.

"Maybe-" Pansy was cut off by Viper returning.

"I apologise for keeping you waiting. One of my informants called me about an urgent matter." Viper held out their hand for the women to shake. "Viper, at your service."

"Hermione Granger, at yours." Hermione shook their hand, slightly surprised at the amount of callouses Viper's hand had.

Pansy brought forward her own hand. "Pansy Parkinson, likewise."

Viper inclined their head. "Pleasure to meet you both. Shall we discuss business?" At both of their affirmative answers, Viper continued. "I have reason to believe that you are looking for someone. Is that correct?"

"Yes. We're looking for two people - Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy," Pansy, the one more proficient in business situations, answered.

"For what reason?" Viper asked, tone serious.

"We want to at least know if they're alive. We sort of blame ourselves for them leaving in the first place." Hermione cut in, before Pansy could say anything.

Viper made a soft noise of affirmation. "My informant for this case will be here in a moment. We can discuss further details when he arrives."

Viper quieted and sat there, waiting. Their two clients didn't know what to do and they all waited in an awkward silence.

Neither Hermione nor Pansy were sure about this situation - it could still be a scam. They had no choice but to wait and see.


Skull stared at his phone, not quite seeing it. He was trying, and failing, to make sense of what Viper told him to no avail. The information clicked in his mind and Skull stood up and started to stalk towards his room.

He flung open the door carelessly. He briskly walked towards a small box on his desk and opened it. He took out the worn black cloak and pulled it on. He reasoned that he had to blend in with the sort of people Viper employed, but that wasn't his actual reason. He felt much more confident with the familiar cut of the cloak enveloping his slight frame, more in control.

He grabbed an old coin from a shelf on his way out of the room, muttering a soft 'portus', creating a portkey to London. He felt a tug on his naval, and disappeared from the hallway.

When he appeared in London, he casted a notice-me-not on himself. Immediately after that he apparated to the address Viper gave him.

He slowed his stride as he got closer to the meeting room, slowing down his breath. He didn't want to look like he ran - it wouldn't look professional.

He opened the door and shakily exhaled.


Neither Pansy nor Hermione knew how to react to the goth teenager with purple hair that appeared in the doorway. He wasn't lanky and definitely not tall, but they knew that he couldn't be older than fourteen.

"Is.. is this the informant that we were waiting for?" said Pansy, expression calm, but Hermione saw the rage roiling under the seemingly pleasant expression.

"Yes," said Viper, confusion lacing his tone. "Is something wrong?"

"Wrong? Wrong?" Hermione seethed."He is obviously a teenager, essentially a child. And you think it's normal to employ him, and in a risky job like this?" Hermione snarled.

The boy raised an eyebrow. "I an your age, lady. It's not my fault I look like a child - childhood malnutrition does that to you."

Both women paused. They looked at the boy, searching for signs of malnutrition - they found them.

"I highly doubt that you're my age - I look younger than I am." Hermione shook her head. "But I can understand your situation. I had a friend that was malnourished and looked much younger than he was. I apologize for my outburst."

"I accept your apology. My name is Skull Demort. I would shake your hands but after all this-" He gestured to the room in general- "I don't think it is necessary."

Viper nodded, confirming Skull's statement. "We know exactly where Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy."

"Exactly? How could you know exactly where they are? I mean you can't track them every second of their lives." Pansy frowned. "Wait... are you tracking them?"

"No. We're not tracking them. We know them. We are the people that keep them hidden." Skull took a second to calm himself. "We're the masks they wear to protect themselves. We're the faces they use to hide from the cages that the Wizarding Enclaves represent."

Viper moved their hand up towards his face and grabbed the rim of his hood. He took the hood down and waited for Skull, who was taking out his piercings. When he did his face changed, facial features growing sharp and hair turning black, eyes starting to glow green.

Viper took that as a cue to take off his glamours. They waved a hand in front of their face in a show of effortless wandless and wordless magic. Their hair changed from indigo to platinum blonde, eyes changing shape slightly but retaining the silvery gray colour they were before dropping the glamour.

"Um... I don't know how to prove that we were Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy. You could ask us questions only we would know the answers to, I guess."

Hermione spoke up. "Tell me the last thing you said to me."

"I said that you're my best friend," Harry answered.

"You're actually Harry." Hermione's tone was incredulous. "So you must be the actual Draco Malfoy."

"Oh." Pansy said, voice faint. "So you aren't really Viper, if 'Viper' even exists. You just wanted to con us into meeting up."

Hermione sat there, frozen. This wasn't what she was expecting to get out of this meeting. She thought she would get one or two pieces of information, not enough to actually find Harry, but enough for her to keep searching. She never even entertained the thought of him coming to her.

She broke out of her shock, standing up and tackling Harry into a tight hug. "Idiot. You should have told me you were leaving, Harry. You know I love you like a sister."

"Yeah, but now we're here, and we could start again. And please don't call me Harry. I'm not the person I used to be. Call me Skull." He looked at her, eyes pleading.

Viper and Pansy looked at each other. Pansy stepped forward and Viper cringed. From what they remember of her mannerisms, they knew she was never quiet unless she was mad. They braced themselves for a slap or a punch. Neither came.

Pansy stepped even closer. "You never told me you weren't comfortable using he/him pronouns." She brushed away a couple stray hairs from Viper's forehead. "I'm sorry for being paranoid about Potter. I'm sorry I left you. I'm such a failure of a friend for not asking about your problems and avoiding you."

"Nobody's perfect, Pansy," said Viper.

Viper stepped closer to Pansy and enveloped her in a tight hug.

She smiled, and Viper smiled back.


It was a day of stormy satisfaction.



This is where the plot truly begins. Everything I have written before this is basically an introduction to this AU.

According to my notes there will be only one more backstory for a character I have not yet written into this story. I'm still not 100% on it though.

This will most likely be a five chapter story and I might make a sequel. No promises, though.

I would be very grateful for any and all reviews. They are the thing that keep me writing. Just for comparison, the first chapter took me almost a month to write and the other chapters took me about three days each(I had a bit of chapter three written when I posted chapter two).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this chapter!