It was a small pub, he wouldn't have even known it was there if he hadn't been given explicit directions, but he had and now he sat in a cozy corner by himself nursing a pint and waiting.


He looked up from his pint to discover a brunette woman standing in front of him. She was holding several brown folders and wearing the long robes that her kind favored. They were sky blue and he couldn't help but notice it brought out the pink in her cheeks.

"That's me," Shadow confirmed. "Nice little pub you picked out."

"Thought you might like it." She gave him a wry smile. "I brought you the files you requested."

"Thanks for doing this. I know you didn't have to." He motioned for her to sit down and she did, spreading out the folders as she settled in.

"After all the trouble you went through?" She snorted. "You deserve to have copies of the files. It's your family."

"I don't think it works that way," Shadow admitted. "I'm not even sure all the incarnations consider themselves to be related."

"Doesn't matter what they think." Hermione said, her eyes levelly fixed on him. "The facts are clearly outlined in the documents."

"Thanks anyway," Shadow said awkwardly. "Can I keep these?"

"They're yours." Hermione nodded at him as she made a neat pile of them and she got to her feet.

"I feel like I should at least buy you a drink for all your trouble," Shadow said, his dark eyes fixed on her from under a fringe of black.

"Just a Butterbeer then," she agreed. "I'm still technically working."

"Aren't you always working when you're a government worker?" Shadow asked her as she motioned to a server and sat down again.

"Feels like it," Hermione admitted. "I did have a chance to go through some of the files and it looks like there's some merit to your theory."

"Really?" Shadow perked up as a mug of golden liquid was carefully set on the table.

"We have a case where a descendant of Heimdal gave birth to twins. Preemies. One died and almost immediately started becoming stronger." Hermione took a sip from her mug while Shadow's eyes got bigger. "It's almost like the power gets diluted as it's passed on, but if something happens to a member of that birth pool the power is redispursed among the living."

"So what would happen if someone was visiting different places and killing the incarnations along with their offspring?" Shadow asked.

Hermione put her mug down. "It could be very serious. It sounds like someone would be either trying to revive a true god or garner power for themselves. Either way, it's not good news."

"I agree with you on that," Shadow muttered as he brushed his hair out of his eyes.

"Think something's going on?" Hermione asked curiously.

"It's a hunch," Shadow admitted. "But it seems like there have been far too many coincidences lately."

"Would you like us to help?" Hermione asked him.

"You'd do that?" Shadow looked surprised. "I didn't think you people did that unless it was... you know... your kind of thing."

"Someone out murdering the offspring of the old gods is our kind of thing." Hermione frowned. "How long has this been going on?"

"A few months as far as I can tell. As soon as we got the data bank up and rolling." Shadow shook his head. "It was a stupid idea."

"What data bank?" Hermione asked curiously.

"After the End of All Things a lot us had been outed anyway." He began to blush. "It started out like a family newsletter thing. Some daughters of Athena put it together."

Hermione started laughing. "You have a family website?"

"It's on a protected server and it's more than that. It's for anyone with holy blood in them-"

"Holy blood?" Hermione gave him a skeptical look.

"It's a term one of the sons of Ra came up with." Shadow looked embarrassed. "Idiot."

"We'll be more than happy to look into this," Hermione said firmly. "This could effect the entire world if it isn't stopped quickly."

"Thank you for this," Shadow said sincerely.

"Don't thank me." Hermione gave him a wry grin. "This is kind of what we do."

Shadow took a deep drink from his pint, as if he were allowing himself to enjoy it for the first time and let out a deep sigh. "I'll have all my information put in order for your Aurors to look at."

"Would you like to meet here again?" Hermione asked before she took another drink.

"Will you be here?" His dark eyes settled on her own.

She almost choked on her drink, but managed to control herself. "I can be."

"I'd like that," he said as he smiled at her, his dimples coming out for the first time. "Will you be having another Butterbeer or will I be able to talk you into dinner?"

She grinned widely at him. "I'm famished, actually."

"Good." He pulled some money out of his pocket and laid it out on the table. "I think that should cover drinks." He stood and she put her half-finished drink down. "I know this nice little Chinese place a family of kobolds run. They owe me for covering up a mess one of their cousins made."

"Lin Chow's?" Hermione asked, a surprised look. "They have great pot-stickers!"

He picked up the files and placed them in a small case that had been under the table. "They do, don't they?"

He held out his arm and to her surprise she slipped hers around it. "I'm glad the Ministry can be of service to you."

"Now I'll see if I can be of some service to them by feeding one of their poor, overworked, employees." He grinned at her as they began to walk away from the table. "It's the very least I can do."