The two weeks that followed in their household were rather eventful, making Hermione's head almost spin just thinking about them. They had begun on the renovations immediately after the full moon and the house elves proved to be the best idea they have ever had. The top two floors were cleaned up, unhexed and completely stripped in just a week, leaving the space bare to the eye. Plenty of reconstruction was needed, from new floors and windows down to the furniture, and Harry had been most enthusiastic about more planning. He wanted the natural light to seep into the space and enlarged some rooms by breaking down the walls between them and making them into a large space. The whole top floor was dedicated to a new library with heavy oak bookcases lining around the walls. Hermione had picked comfortable yet elegant leather sofas and armchairs in front of the large fireplace, and solid large desks to spread any research over. And even though most of the book cases were yet to be filled, she already adored the space.
They have agreed that the Black family home naturally needed some guest rooms and that is how they decided to do the third floor. The four rooms were designed elegantly but comfortably to be worthy of any guests, and Hermione had yet to finish the last details on those before they would all move into them for the second and first floor to be renovated next. She saw little of her best friend as he usually managed the elves and helped them in the renovations during the day, and spent his evenings with their ex-professor. At least it seemed they were getting on better these days. Her only response to the fact that they no longer called each other by the surname was a smile, as she knew the day would have come sooner or later. It was difficult trying to combine her knowledge of traditional bonds with the vampire bond between a Sire and their Childe, but she finally presented her findings to them both and it seemed they reached some kind of an understanding between the two of them. It was certainly helped by the fact that the Potion Master was healing well and was able to escape his quarters for afternoon walks, which seemed to improve him mood just a little bit more.
Teddy seemed to be growing every day, getting more and more curious about the world, and his monthly check scan showed that the breast feeding was doing wonders for his development. His bones strengthened and immunity system improved rapidly, making Hermione only all the more glad that she had agreed to do this for the cub. She would look after him during the day, always talking to him or just walking around and reciting everything she had learnt that day for one NEWT subject or the other. Either way, he was excellent audience. The real studying happened over night however, after Remus returned from his new work at the ministry and took Teddy with him to spend time with his son. Hermione was in one whirlwind, studying long into the night and sometimes into the early morning, only to be on her feet for the rest of the day as well. And while she knew she could do this, it was proving a rather sizeable chunk to chew.
Due to such a busy schedule, her progress on the research into werewolf mating rituals was slow and she was no closer to figuring out her emotions regarding Remus and Moony. She was just pouring over more Arithmancy while Teddy napped when she heard the front door open and realised it was already nearing dinner time. She stood up to take a break and prepare something for them all to eat when her vision blurred and she swayed a bit on her feet. Her arms instinctively reached out to grasp onto the table but she missed and resolved herself to the pain of the landing when out of nowhere a pair of strong arms wrapped around her waist and pulled her up into a firm chest.
She blinked up, realising she must have forgotten to drink more water today if her body was protesting. "Remus?" she asked, finally focusing on the man holding her. But instead of the usual brown eyes, she was looking into two pools of gold.
"Mate..do you hurt?" Moony asked, his arms holding her close into his strong form.
Hermione gasped in shock. At the back of her mind she knew this was maybe somewhat possible as Remus was werewolf all the time, not just one night out of a month. But to feel Moony's strength in the body of her friend, and the usually kind voice filled with growled wildness was almost beyond comprehension. If she wasn't so tired, it would most likely be doing things to her body that would make her blush like never before. She realised her hands were instinctively gripping his shoulders as she tried to find her balance. "Moony? How is it that you're here?" she asked, trying to stay focused.
Moony shook his head. "Don't ask such things now. Answer me mate, are you hurting?" he asked, his nose lowering to take her scent in and see if she was hurt. But nothing appeared to be wrong with his mate. He could feel her pulse, usually so vibrant and healthy against her skin, and sensed how weakened it was. His mate was not looking after herself.
"I'm fine, don't worry. I just think I stood up too quickly." she tried to reassure him. "I need to make us dinner. Would you like to look after your cub while I do that?" she asked with a small tired smile, more comfortable in the man's arms than she wanted to admit to herself.
"No mate, you will rest...your body is tired...I can smell it in your blood." he said firmly, a great contrast to the gentle way he held her close.
"But we all need to eat and Teddy will need to be fed-" she tried to protest.
"No." he said simply yet firmly, nipping at her throat with his human teeth. It was a novelty to feel her through the human's body, to be able to hold her without fear of crushing her fragile human shell. To be affectionate without fear of drawing blood with his lips and teeth. "Come, you will rest." he said and picked her up effortlessly, carrying her up the stairs.
She squealed a little at the unexpected motion and hanged onto his neck tightly. "I can walk, really! My room isn't far." she tried protesting again.
This time Moony growled at her even though the sound was a little less menacing coming from a human throat. "Do not challenge me mate. We will look after you now, and always if you let us. You are mate, and you need to be strong." he said and instead of her rooms carried her straight into his quarters where Teddy was napping under protection and alarm charms.
He settled her down on the bed carefully, not knowing his own strength in the human body yet and crawled beside her to hold her close.
"Moony! I can't be here, or sleep here! What if someone finds us? What happens when Remus wakes up?" she tried to protest, but the pillow beneath her head was soft and the man was holding her into his warmth just right...
"The human will think you fell asleep after feeding our cub. Rest now, mate..." the wildness in his voice soothing to her tired mind.
It did not take long and she knew not of the world...
Harry watched the Potion Master sleep, his body so still in his rest when his lungs did not take in air out of habit when he was awake. It was a rather surreal experience to just sit there and observe the man he had grown to feel...what did he feel for the man anyway? It had all seemed rather scientific so far, all the talk about a bond that he did not really feel manifesting for him. Unless being capable of staying in the man's presence for more than 10 minutes counted. But that would be looking at the man as he did for the past seven years in Hogwarts, and Severus was not that man. It was almost surreal thinking of the man as two different personas, but was it really? They were at war, he himself was the poster boy for the light, the one they all praised and slandered at the same time. But a double-spy with a hideous tattoo on his arm was cruelly vilified for his choices and actions. It really was no wonder the man had lived up to the expectations placed on him.
But Severus was a different man completely, and Harry hoped he was the real man hiding in the eternal shell of a human-appearing body. When Hermione told them the usual progression of these bonds, he was absolutely scared out of his mind. Turns out Severus could very well turn him if they weren't careful, and he had yet to process everything that could lead up to that point. How far would he go to ensure the man's healing? Would he be able to this? How were they going to get along enough to survive this? All these questions and more were swirling in his mind at the time, when suddenly he felt completely calm and relaxed. Like flicking a switch, he leaned back in his seat and took a deep cleansing breath. The strange thing was he still wanted to panic but instead he was calmly listening to Hermione's suggestions. It was only when he looked at the vampire, he knew they were not his own feelings.
The amount of power Severus had over him was a little frightening perhaps, or should have been. But Harry knew there was a balance in all magic, and his balance was his blood. Severus could read his mind, feel his emotions and alter them slightly, and of course there was the natural allure of a predator Harry could hardly resist, especially since Severus was kind of his type – tall, dark and cultured. If the man didn't treat him so badly as a student at Hogwarts, perhaps he would have even had a crush then, after the realisation of why exactly his attempts at dating Cho and Ginny failed so spectacularly. He had to shake his head at himself. Once he was just a freak, doing things he shouldn't, looking at other boys when he shouldn't, and of course the whole Chosen One business. Was there ever something normal about him? There should have been, they were supposed to get a chance at a normal life after the war. But it seemed normal was not meant to be for him...
He yawned again tiredly after the long day and focused again, blinking a few times before looking at the Potion Master. Who was looking right back at him. Harry almost jumped a little but suppressed his natural reaction and just calmly looked at the silent man. Severus was helping him with his potions understanding, they read, they talked and they ate together. He should be used to the man's presence, even his close proximity as he fed him his blood. He no longer kept his shields up within the house to be able to speak with the man even while he cooked. And yet every time he called the vampire by his first name and looked into his eyes, he still wanted to be closer... It was a difficult feeling to describe, and even more so to comprehend fully.
So he stood and silently walked over to the man's bed, sitting on a small space on the side, just looking at him for a moment while Severus' sharp observant gaze studied his features. "Did you sleep well?" he finally asked softly.
Severus inclined his head in agreement and sat up, propped up by the pillows. "I did, thank you. I was woken by hunger." he admitted. It was becoming more natural for them to discuss their bond and the feelings that came along with it. Harry could often sense when the man was hungry or see it in his eyes but mostly Severus would be the one to remind him that his body needed yet more blood to heal properly and to strengthen their bond even further.
Harry nodded and reached down to pull his sleeve back but a gentle hand closed around his fingers to stop him. He looked up startled, wondering what the man was doing. "Do you trust me..Harry?" the words were whispered against his cheek and the young man instinctively closed his eyes, shuddering at the pleasurable sensation of feeling the man close.
He should probably pull away, call for Hermione, try to get away from the man's pull and the attraction building between them...but he didn't want to. Not really. The man was close, he held him just right, and all he wanted was feel good after the weeks of heavy decisions, fighting and mourning.
"Yess..." he whispered almost inaudibly and opened his eyes to look at the man, their gazes meeting almost intimately. He was drowning in the darkest pools of onyx when Severus suddenly lowered his head and bit into the large artery on his neck instead of his wrist.
Harry really could not help it and let the deep moan of pleasure slip from his lips. This was nothing like the little suction on his intricate wrist veins. The man was pulling on his blood so close to his heart, almost as if taking in his very essence, that his heartbeat fastened, skin became sensitive like never before and his loins stirred at the expectation of pleasure.
He did not know how but his lithe thighs were suddenly straddling the man, a hand was holding his head close and tugging on his hair lightly as more of his life source was being pulled from his body. Harry grasped the man's shoulders to hold on and pressed closer into the unyielding immortal body that held him. Merlin it felt good...and every time he thought about it, words failed him. The fangs however soon left his skin and a warm tongue licked the two puncture marks until fully healed, relishing each little drop of the wonderful blood.
Harry's hands held into the man's shirt tightly as he tried to calm his breathing and arousal, very much aware of how he was pressing into the man's belly. Strong arms were still wrapped around him, keeping him close intimately and that was when it downed on him. He let the man bite his neck, something most Childes did not do until sure of their belonging with their Sire. And here he was, almost begging for the attention of the man. Harry did the only thing he could. He fough the hold on his hips and fled.