Hello my darlings!
Ha! You weren't expecting a chapter from me, now were ya?!
This is kind of my Christmas gift to you, this chapter has been in the works for at least the last two weeks, I finally finished it this morning, and here's to hoping you all like it.
I've gotten a lot of support from you lovely, lovely humans, and I'm not 100% sure if I've made up my mind yet, but I think I'm going to just post on ffnet and Ao3 from now on, at the same time. I'll know by the New Year, but I'm almost positive that that's what I'll do! I am terribly grateful for all of you, which is why I tried my best to get this chapter up for you all. (Honestly some reviews made me cry, and I shall try to respond to them all when I can, cause they are amazing.)
Please leave a review and let me know what you think ;)
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Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling, and only the story line and any OC's belong to me.
For all of you xxx
Friday, October 31st, 1975
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Fifth Year Gryffindor Boys' Dorms
Hermione shook her head as she watched Draco fidget and pull at his collar. Smirking she got up from the armchair she was sharing with Remus-squeezing the Werewolf's thigh quickly to silently communicate that she would be back soon-and sauntered towards Draco.
The raven haired boy is scowling down at his outfit, an outfit she personally thinks is amazing, but it was probably a little uncomfortable.
Draco was dressed in scarlet trousers that fit him perfectly, a long-sleeved black button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows, was tucked into it. Draco had on a black plastic headband with bright red horns-his messy hair looked as if they were actually protruding from his scalp-and clasped in his left hand was a traditional, bright red, devil's trident.
Hermione, Sirius, James and Draco had snuck out of the castle a couple weeks back to go shopping in Muggle London for costumes, and Draco had snorted at the traditional flaming red hot jumpsuit, and had opted to go for his own spin on the costume.
He looks downright sinful, Hermione thought absently as she stopped in front of him, giving him a bemused look, that he responded to with an eyeroll and a snort.
Hermione herself had on significantly less clothing. When James saw it, he squeaked out that perhaps they ought to find her something that would properly cover her arse, but Hermione had laughed, stroked his cheek fondly, and then strolled over to the counter with her costume.
Hermione was Wonder Woman, with the headband, gauntlets, knee length boots, and tiny jumpsuit that covered everything, and left a little to the imagination, but not much. She even had a whip to walk around with; she had already tied Sirius's wrists with it, and sat on his back since getting it.
Sirius had made an inappropriate comment. "Seems that your nickname holds true, Foxy. You know those Ravenclaw boys were staring at your arse out on the Pitch today."
Quidditch tryouts hadn't even happened yet, but that didn't stop Hermione from practicing at least three times a week, and it appeared that she had garnered the attention of quite a few wix recently.
Hermione reached up and straightened Draco's collar for him, and patted his chest gently, "it could be worse...you could be James's sidekick," Hermione teased.
"There was no fucking way I was getting in that costume," Draco scowled, shaking his head as he looked over his head at James.
"Robin is a wonderful character," Hermione grinned wickedly, and Draco's scowl only darkened.
James was decked out as batman, from the boots to the belt, to the tight trousers, and he'd taken out the slight padding around the arms and chest as soon as they got back to the Tower that evening; he was gaining quite a bit of muscle from Quidditch and he filled out the costume nice enough. The boy in question was currently pulling on his mask, and grinning like an idiot, standing in front of a mirror beside Sirius.
Sirius was cursing profusely as he tried to trace his waterline with a black pencil eyeliner. He had decided to be a bit more rebellious, and had chosen to go as Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones, a choice that Hermione hadn't been surprised in the slightest by from what she knew of the Future Sirius. Though she may make some suggestions for his costume next year. His raven hair was artfully tousled, he was wearing an open black leather jacket with his skin underneath exposed, and a pair of midnight blue trousers that were just loose enough to swish slightly when he moved, and black shoes.
Peter's costume suited him somehow, it was kind of cute, and she hadn't the heart to tell him to get another one, since he had looked at the Tin Man costume from the Wizard of Oz and fallen in love. It was a plastic bodysuit and the mask of the Tin Man, which was very reminiscent of pictures she had seen from this time period.
Remus however was the cutest in her mind, because without knowing it, he'd chosen a costume that perfectly suited him, he was dress up as Captain Kirk from Star Trek, and she didn't think she could love him anymore than she did when she had gone into their dorm and found them all almost dressed. Her stomach had done the strange butterfly thing she had only read about in novels, and it had smacked her in the face, hard. She was in love with Remus Lupin, with his kind nature, his sarcasm and how much he cared, his exquisite mind and how he made her feel.
She found that she was going longer and longer without thinking about the Future/Present, she was simply lost in living her life day by day. It was bizarre since she had spent so much time worrying, about Harry, Ron, all of their friends, her birth parents. Hermione felt a small wave of guilt when she found that all of their faces were getting blurrier and blurrier in her mind as each year passed. Except Harry, how could she, when his Father looked so much like him.
"Well, don't you all look...interesting," a voice said from the doorway, and Hermione was jolted out of her thoughts. She spun on her heel, and her face lit up when she saw the familiar face.
He was dressed in vastly different attire from all of them, wearing rich plum coloured, velvet robes, with an orange trim and he was for some strange reason carrying a purple pumpkin. Frank.
Hermione skipped over to him, and ruffled his blond hair happily, and said, "I thought you'd gone down to the Ball along with the girls."
"I did, but for some reason Lily gave me this pumpkin and said to keep it safe in the dorms until tomorrow," Frank said, bemused as he examined them all. "You lot are sneaking out, aren't you?"
"Frank-" Hermione said in a scandalized tone, a hand immediately flew to her chest, and she couldn't help the glee in her eyes from shining through, "-us, sneak out? Never."
"Do you want to come with?' Sirius asked with a wink.
"Nah, I'm going to go back to the Ball and spend time with the prettiest girl there," Frank said gaily, squatting down to place the pumpkin to the right of the doorway, so it wasn't in anyone's path.
"Aw, I love how you specified prettiest there, because you know I'm not going," Hermione teased, and she nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt a pinch on the back of her upper arm. She whirled around and came face to face with an impassive looking Draco.
Rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly, Frank recognised that that was his cue to exit stage right-which he did, happily.
"What? I was reminding you to be humble," Draco shrugged, and Hermione shot him a dirty look before saying, "I was joking, prat."
"Are we starting the name calling game? I always win, I'm better at it," Draco smirked.
"I'm the one with humility issues?" Hermione grumbled as she flicked her head back around, the rest of her body swiftly following, and Draco narrowed his eyes since he knew she had purposefully made it so her curls would fly into his face.
Hermione sauntered back over to Remus and sat in his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck before pressing a chaste kiss to his lips. Remus smiled into the kiss-however brief-and tightened his grip on Hermione's waist.
"Alright, Padfoot...are you done putting on your makeup?" Draco drawled.
"Fuck off, Paws," Sirius muttered, but he straightened himself out, looking in the mirror for a few long moments before turning to the rest of them. "Alright, let's go."
"Finally," Draco rolled his eyes, dodging when Sirius picked up a pillow and lobbed it at Draco's head.
"Okay, behave you two-" James scolded playfully, throwing an arm around Sirius's shoulders, "-we have a party to get to."
It didn't take too long for them to sneak down to the third floor, and the boys were all slightly confused as they followed Hermione league.
The closer they were to the Great Hall, the easier it became to hear the joyous sounds of everyone at the Halloween Ball.
The boys' confusion only increased when they rounded onto the Gunhilda of Gorsemoor Corridor.
"Foxy...where you taking us?" Sirius asked. James, him and Peter were bringing up the rear, Draco and Remus were in the middle, and Hermione was leading the charge.
Hermione peered over her shoulder at all of them, smirking slyly, "you'll see...I have a few secrets of my own you know."
Hermione stopped abruptly when she came across the large stone statue of Gunhilda themself. Hermione peered around the back of it, raising her illuminated wand to get a better view and then she grinned wildly as she tapped the back of the statue with the tip and said, "Dissendium."
"Mione...what are you doing?" James asked in confusion, but he was thoroughly dumbstruck when the hunched back of the statue opened up, and Hermione merely looked at all of them innocently before saying, "Mischief Managed."
No one else knew what that meant beside Draco, and he only knew because Hermione had told him when they first started making the map.
Sirius and James however loved it, "Wicked, I love it," James said with bright eyes and Sirius exclaimed merrily, "bloody brilliant!"
Hermione did a tiny curtsey, and then gestured to the statue, "after you lot."
"Don't mind if I do, Milady," Remus winked at Hermione as he walked around the statue.
"Watch your landing, it'll be quite low and narrow as well, so be careful, love," Hermione warned, and Remus nodded dutifully, disappearing as he slid down the short, cool stone slide that Hermione knew was there.
"It'll be a bit of a walk once you get down there...now come on boys, hurry up, someone could round the corner any minute," Hermione said now, all business.
One after the next the boys went, until it was only Hermione and Draco left, and there was a moment, a split moment where she thought she saw something in his eyes, but when he broke their gaze and walked over to the statue, she shook it off. It was all in her head.
"Ladies first," Draco whispered, holding a hand out to her.
"You don't know how to close the statue," Hermione murmured in protest, hazel eyes locked on his grey ones.
Draco paused, and then a small smile brushed his lips, "fine, this time." Draco shook his head, bemused, and then holding his trident to his body, he slid down the slide.
Hermione briefly considered whilst she was alone how the Hogwarts Founders seemed to love slides. One in the Chamber of Secrets, one here.
Hermione muttered under her breath and tapped the statue as she jumped in and started to slide down. She hissed at how cold the stone was against her bare skin, and she tried to bend her knees a little so when she was spat out, she would land steadily.
It half worked, because as soon as she sailed out of the tunnel, she was caught in a strong pair of arms. She smelled the parchment and fresh rain and knew it was Remus.
Her boys were all stooped low, waiting for her in this slightly wider section of the tunnel.
Not even six feet ahead, the tunnel narrowed significantly.
It wasn't a smooth passageway, with rock or stone, but rather an earthy one, and it smelled heavily of dirt and the distinct scent of being underground-it was hard to explain, a kind of slightly bitter but robust smell.
Remus put Hermione down, so that her feet were firmly on the ground, though his arms were still wrapped around her waist.
"Okay, so this may take awhile, the passageway is going to twist and turn-much like a rabbit's burrow for about an hour of walking, and eventually after ascending a steep slope, we'll come to the base of a worn, stone staircase. It's quite lengthy, but be careful as there's a stone trap door at the end.
Wouldn't want any of your lovely heads to be hurt," Hermione explained, but ended with a tease and a wink.
"There must've been a quicker way to Hogsmeade," Sirius groaned.
"Right, and how did you plan on leaving the grounds without getting caught? You know Minnie is looking for us, and that most people don't know about this tunnel, so she wouldn't even think that we would be going out this way." Hermione said coldly, and Sirius nodded dully, he understood, didn't mean he liked it, but he understood.
"Now, we'll have to leave the shop in small groups since we can't all fit under the Cloak, one person ferrying us back and forth," Draco commented.
"The shop?" Peter asked, his nose twitching as he looked around, he looked happy down here, surrounded by earth.
"Honeyduke's," Draco said absently as he scooched past the others to the front. "I'll lead the way," Draco announced, whispering "Lumos Maxima," before disappearing down the narrow passage, his head ducked as he walked.
James, then Sirius, then Peter followed after them, and Remus moved to let go of her to follow after them, and Hermione pulled on his wrist to stop him.
She felt the heat pool in her abdomen, and they both surged forward, and she hurriedly wrapped her legs around Remus's waist as he hoisted her up in his arms, one hand on her arse, the other ghosting the side of her breast.
She knew the others were right there, and that due to their heightened hearing, they could probably hear them, but she didn't care. Hermione let out a soft moan when Remus nipped at her neck, "Remus," Hermione breathed.
"I hate to say this...but we better go," Remus said, kissing her neck softly, his hands moving to her hips. Hermione sighed frustratedly, but nodded, her hands buried in his hair.
"Okay," Hermione replied, jumping down and reaching for Remus's hand, pulling her wand from in between her breasts, and lighting the tip as she walked.
When they entered the tunnel, they didn't see anything, but they heard movement ahead of them, and then, clear as day came, "looks like the wild animals have decided to join us, lads!" Sirius, Hermione thought with a shake of her head.
The couple quickly hurried down the path, in an attempt to catch up to their friends, and it wasn't too long before they came across the back of Peter.
"Nice of you to join us-" James called over his shoulder, "-I hope you didn't put your hands anywhere you shouldn't have Lupin. I'd hate to get rid of them, as you're my best mate and they're quite nice hands."
"Sod off, Jamie!" Hermione yelled, lip curling in disapproval, if only Remus would put his hands where she wanted him to. Of course, he was ever the gentleman, and always stopped things before their snogging session got too serious. He had yet to properly touch her boobs and it was getting increasingly frustrating.
The rest of their trek was done mostly in silence, and when they finally reached the worn, stone staircase, everyone was rearing and happy to get out of the enclosed space.
As they started getting further and further along, Draco slowed down since Hermione had warned of the trapdoor-and how if you weren't paying attention you could easily bang your head against it.
"I see it!" Draco called back, shining his light ahead of him, and they were all grateful that they would soon be able to breathe some fresh air-the air down here was stale and they were all a little sweaty due to the lack of it.
When they reached the top, Draco carefully pushed it open, and climbed out.
They all followed suit, and soon they were all standing in the storeroom under Honeyduke's.
"Right, Draco, you take James and Sirius first. They'll be the most antsy," Hermione commanded, already bending down to silently and carefully shut the trapdoor; the top of it blended in with the rest of the dusty looking floor, and fit back seamlessly in place.
The storeroom wasn't terribly big, with boxes and other assorted objects piled along the walls, and the only important feature to any of them, was the staircase that led out of here.
Hermione waited as Draco disappeared with James and Sirius under the Cloak, coming back a few minutes for Remus and Peter.
Hermione could hear cheerful noises coming from above her, and the floorboards creaking under the weight of the wix above.
She was lost in thought when Draco's head appeared out of thin air, and she clamped a hand over her mouth to stop from squealing.
She narrowed her eyes at him as he stifled a light chuckle, lifting the Cloak and gesturing that she join him under it. When she did, she pinched his side, satisfied at his low curse, she jerked her head towards the creaky, old stairs that led to the shop itself.
Hermione held her breath as they reached the top of the stairs, and she continued to do so as they ducked and weaved between the customers that were grabbing some candy before the shop closed and all the villagers went to the square to have a bonfire as they did every Halloween.
Thankfully they got out of the shop without any issues, with the bell on the door ringing even though appearances made it seem like there was no one there. Everyone had been too consumed in their own business to notice anything out of the ordinary.
Hermione took in a deep inhale of fresh hair and greedily let it fill up her lungs. So grateful for it, that she simply let Draco guide her without paying their surroundings much mind.
Draco led Hermione round the side of the shop and towards a gaggle of trees that the others were hiding behind.
Hermione gracefully tugged the Cloak off of them, handing it to Draco for safekeeping, before turning to the other boys.
"So what's the plan? We sneak into the Three Broomsticks and use their floo?" Sirius asked.
Hermione and Draco shared a look, before saying simultaneously, "we're going to apparate."
"We can't apparate, we don't even start learning how until next ye-" Remus started before he cut himself off. "You both can, can't you?"
Hermione shrugged and Draco grinned smugly, "you bet your sweet arse we can, Moony."
"Are there any other hidden talents that you both have?" James asked with a raised eyebrow, surprised that his siblings hadn't shared this information with him at least.
"Dunno," Hermione shrugged, more cavalierly this time. She knew they were risking things apparating out of Hogsmeade since they still had the ruddy trace on them, but she figured that it was such a busy night for all of Wizarding Society that no one would be looking for any underage magic use.
I suppose that's one way Dumbledore wanted to keep us in check, Hermione thought wryly. The trace. As soon as they'd been registered as students, and adopted by Charlus and Dorea, the stupid thing had come into effect.
"Right, I'll take Remus and Peter-" Hermione announced, "but first, Sirius if you would."
Sirius's brow crinkled in confusion before understanding dawned on his face. "Oh, right!"
Hermione hated to admit it, but even with all of her experience, Sirius was naturally gifted at Transfiguration, such that it all came easily to him, and also better than her...or almost better than her.
Sirius made quick work of his job, altering all of their faces so they all looked a wee bit older. Just old enough to get into any party they wanted without question.
"Right, everyone ready?" James asked, and everyone responded with their various expressions of agreement.
Hermione's face was still tingling from the magic but she shook it off, and grabbed onto Remus and Peter.
"I warn you, it can be a bit uncomfortable the first couple times, and I'm fucking serious about this, don't let go of us. I don't want you splinched in half or left hurt somewhere in between Scotland and London.
"You guys can side along apparate that far?" Remus asked in wonder.
Hermione didn't answer that, she simply gripped both boys tighter, "you know where to go," she said as she nodded at Draco. Then she closed her eyes tightly and focused. It may have been a while since she had properly apparated, but it was like working from muscle memory. Her body swiftly took over.
With two large cracks that splintered and cracked through the air, the Marauders disappeared from the cold Autumn weather in Scotland and arrived in the damp, slightly rainy heart of Muggle London.
Hermione held onto both boys as they landed, albeit a bit shakily in the middle of an out of the way alleyway.
She grimaced and ducked out of the way as Peter vomitted violently in front of him. Remus merely held his head in his hands, he too looked as if he might be sick, but he slowly got a hold of himself.
Hermione reached into the tiny little pocket that she had stored some emergency things in-she'd sewn it into the costume herself and added an undetectable extension charm in it. From it she pulled a bottle of water and a small container of Altoids. They should help with the stomach issues and freshen up everyone's breath.
Sirius and James thankfully also all held their dinner down, but Hermione gave them water and mints anyways.
They could already hear rambunctious yelling and sounds of loud music.
They all walked out onto the sidewalk, and it was madness, but in a good way. They blended right in, and they kind of just followed the crowd of teenagers in front of them.
Hermione bumped into a girl that couldn't be much older than her, "shit, I'm sorry!" Hermione exclaimed as the girl's handbag hit the ground and spilled open. Hermione quickly squatted down to help the girl pick up the things that had flown out of the bag, and when Hermione's gaze moved upwards-the girl's lipstick, makeup mirror and a couple packets of condoms in her outstretched hand-her heart stopped in her chest.
She knew that face. Even with a blonde, crazy haired wig on, and wearing a tight little costume that she would never have pictured her in. Hermione knew it. Knew her. Of course she did.
"Thank you so much!" The girl exclaimed, hastily taking the things back in the purse.
"No problem," Hermione responded, but she felt a bit out of it. This was simply bizarre. Hermione stood up in a daze, blinking rapidly as she took in the girl's bright red lipstick and the fact that there were condoms in her bag. At least she's being safe, Hermione thought absently.
The girl stood up, her warm brown eyes twinkling away and she smiled gratefully at Hermione before running to catch up to a group of girls that was heading the same way.
"Are you okay?" Draco whispered in her ear, his slender fingers moving to hold onto Hermione's upper arm.
Hermione tipped her mouth to his ear and said, still slightly wigged out, "I think I just met my Mother."