AN: I'll start by thanking every single one of the 69 people who hit Favorite and the 167 people who followed the story. I'm simply amazed and in awe of the response to this story. Every single follow, favorite and review makes all the difference in the world.
I had to split this chapter in two, so it's a bit shorter but I didn't want to make everyone wait too long. I have quite a few stories in the works and RL is worse than Augusta Longbottom on a bad day at times, so it may be a while before the next update but rest assured it will come.
My lovely Betas can't be praised enough Ash-Castle, Lumosunicorn31, Worthful1 and Ruby. Special thanks to Ash-Castle who encourages me almost daily and calms me during my insecurity induced panic attacks; and Worthful1 who remains a huge support and somehow finds time to read my silly ramblings.
The are still opening if anyone else is interested in Beta work, or being an Alpha reader.
Now that my Tumblr app has decided to work, my presence there is significantly more active than on FF. If you have any questions or simply want to talk HP feel free to message me on there, Song remains the same... I mean, the name remains the same.
I'll shut up now, please enjoy :)
When she finally arrived at the twins flat they were both asleep, as expected. She went straight to the sofa, everything already set up for her. She laid there for a while, sleep had been evading her as of late, but today her mind wouldn't stop reeling.
She had been with Sirius Black, and good Godric, it was sublime. Her skin was tingling still, every place his lips had touched, and just the memory of it made her face and her chest grow hot.
Think of something else, think of something else.
That was enough to pause the inappropriate train of thought, now, however, the guilt and shame were almost sinking her into the sofa.
I love them, I love them both and it feels like I've cheated on one of them with the other. How is that possible?
How did triadic relationships even work?
Just as she thought of that question she heard a cupboard being opened in the nearby kitchen. One of the twins must have woken up for a late snack. Maybe she should talk to them, ask them how they went about it when they approached potential partners.
"Fred?" she asked out softly.
"How can you possibly know it was me? Tell me you guessed or I'm going to have to start checking those eyes for a sparkle and determine you're a closet all-knowing seer," he said genuinely surprised.
He walked towards her, shirtless, wearing bright green and slightly wrinkled bottoms, that hung low on his hips. She remembered exactly how fit he was, years of Quidditch only helping his fast metabolism. His chest and abdomen were toned, but not overly so, his arms more defined from being a beater like his brother, whose body looked exactly like his twin's except for the missing ear.
"I don't know. You move about differently, in fact, you do a lot of things differently," she said, thinking back to the way they brushed their teeth in the morning and the way they opened the mail. Small random things she didn't think anyone else would notice, but she had spent a lot of time with them in their flat, it was inevitable to notice the subtle differences. But more than that, it was their magic. She could feel it around them and it was the easiest way to tell them apart.
"I sure hope so, I know I'm better in bed than he is," he winked at her slowly, with a knowing smile that could only mean trouble. She loved his smile, so full of mischief and goodness. There was no marring the happiness of those two as long as they had each other.
"I never said that you were better than him, you're just different. But that's not what I meant and you know it," she laughed softly. They were both incorrigible, in that respect, they would always remain the same.
"Well, you had the chance to compare us side by side and you turned it down." His voice lowered about an octave, but his eyes remained playful.
"You know…" she started hesitantly. Maybe the twins were the answer, they actually led their lives this way. She never asked when or at what point they decided to date the same girl at the same time, but she knew that's how they dated these days. Perhaps she could try to ask them how to deal with her current situation, get some actual information from a triad if they were dating anyone, from the source, and not from what was more than likely a very inaccurate romance novel. No matter how mortifying it might be to ask her exes about their dating strategy.
Apparently she took too long to think about her choice of words because he spoke before she got the chance.
"You're not reconsidering the offer are you? My heart couldn't take the teasing, Hermione." His voice was light, but his eyes turned dark, pupils dilated. His whole body was in pause, not wanting to jump the gun.
"What?" she replied, a little startled. "Oh, no, I'm afraid not," she apologized.
"The thing is…" she started. "I was wondering…" she began again but stopped.
She could do this, she had never before been afraid of asking a question, in fact, it was her thing! She was constantly full of questions and sometimes it annoyed some people, most people really, but she had never cared before. She couldn't help the blush that sprang from her chest to her cheeks, which didn't go unnoticed.
"Gred, what could you possibly have said in the middle of the night that turned our lovely Miss Granger such a lovely shade of Weasley red?" George was standing in the doorway of his bedroom, hair rumpled, wearing magenta bottoms low on his hips, more or less the same way his twin was sporting his. She remembered they both slept shirtless, but having them both there half naked only brought memories to the front of her mind, making her wonder why exactly she had turned them down on their offer. "I have to say, you wear it well rather well. Better than any Weasley for sure." He winked and laughed softly.
"I think for the first time in her life, a question is burning at the back of her throat struggling to get out, Forge." The cheek in his voice was unbearable, and that sobered her up from her embarrassment.
"I want to know how you go about asking a witch to be your third," she said defiantly. Her heart was beating out of her chest, but she tried to even her breathing, not wanting to give away how nervous she was.
"Well, you should know. We asked you, didn't we?" replied George with ease, as he took a seat on the other side of the couch. Fred was sitting in a chair diagonal to her. She was fiddling with her hands, which was a very un-Hermione thing to do, trying to recover her courage.
"That can't be it, though, can it? You asked me to have a threesome, you didn't ask me to become a part of a triad," she said plainly. The silence that followed made Hermione look from her twitching hands to look at both men. They were looking at her seriously, with a hint of sadness in their eyes.
No, they can't mean…
"Are you telling me that you wanted to have a relationship with me? Is that.. is that why you broke up with me, George?" she didn't know if she should be asking, there was no point to it now, but her curiosity got the better of the witch.
"Yes and no. I admit I wasn't at my best when I approached the subject, nor did I react as I should have, but I was in love with you, and so was Fred. We hadn't really figured out how to approach a witch as a unit, and make our intentions clear at the time. You were our first." His voice was soft, obviously overtaken by memories he hadn't dwelled in, in a long time.
"But you never said that was what you wanted." She was staggered. Never, in the few times she had thought back to her break up with George, did she think it was related to the drunken, half-arsed proposal they'd laid out on her birthday.
"I suppose I should say our first attempt then. I didn't know how to ask, I wasn't even sure if you'd take it as a joke. But, yes, frankly I figured we wanted different things, so I thought it was best to end things before they took a wrong turn," he said simply.
She was staggered to a silent stop. Did they still have feelings for her? But even if they did…
I'm in love with two men... two different older men from the two that are in front of me.
"I'm really sorry. I… I didn't understand at all that that was what you wanted, let alone that you were asking…" she stammered.
"It's alright, Hermione, I wasn't particularly eloquent about it. I think I just assumed many things and at the same time withheld others. I was scared and I didn't want to lose you, but, in the end, I figured it was no good to be with you and just pretend I was content to leave things as they were." The conversation had turned really intense, she wanted to break it somehow but knew he wanted to say his peace. "Fred's my twin, and we function better as a unit, some people do even if they're not related," he finished.
The image of Sirius and Remus came immediately to mind. They functioned perfectly as a unit, they always knew how to ease the other's woes, how to make each other laugh, how to abate their demons for each other when they didn't feel like doing it themselves. They made each others life better, simply by remaining close and… just being together.
"I know what you mean." Her head felt like a beehive, thoughts swirling about one direction and then another.
Then a thought came to mind for the first time. Did they… were Sirius and Remus in a relationship already?
"So…" Fred started, interrupting her train of thought. "If not us, who are the lucky men that caught your eye? It must be serious for you to be asking us these sorts of questions." The way he said 'serious' and the knowing smile and his face told her that he was merely asking to embarrass her, all tension leaving the room.
"How does it work? A triad, I mean." She ignored him, the questions running through her head were simply too important.
"Well, it depends. There isn't one type of triad. Every triad is different, it caters to the people involved if you will," George said carefully. "For instance, Fred and I are brothers, and are in no way attracted to each other, though he is a very handsome devil if I do say so myself." The self-satisfied grin on his face made her laugh.
"But at the same time, it's hot to be with the same woman because it's almost like looking at myself in action, being able to watch… It works for us." Fred's grin was so wicked it brought back memories again, of being pushed to a wall somewhere in Hogwarts, of the time they tried bonding for the first time… She shook her head back to the subject in question.
"It's not just about the logistics of sex, though. I couldn't imagine having a life with someone separate from my life with Gred here, you see?" George was something else, the way he loved was unparalleled. It almost brought tears to her eyes, to imagine him living life without his other half.
"No, I see it. Makes perfect sense to me." She smiled softly. "I'm truly confused here, though. I'm in love with two different men, and while they're close I have no idea of the nature of their relationship. I hadn't even thought about it till just now. They were sort of pursuing me independently but now…" She sighed. "I can't choose."
"Maybe you should have a talk with Sirius and Remus," Fred said calmly. That knowing glint was back in his eyes and it almost made her stop mid-breath.
"What!?" she asked a little too loudly. "What do you mean? Why would I talk to them about this?" she finished a little softer. She was having a mild panic attack, the twins couldn't possibly be this certain about the men she was talking about.
However, the soft laughter they both let out told a different story.
"Well, for one they would know all about triads. They've been a part of several if I'm not mistaken." George was being entirely serious, despite the little half grin on his face, she could tell. "They were the ones who counseled us on how not to botch it up with a potential third, seeing as I royally screwed up our first attempt." He shrugged his shoulders, letting her know there were no hard feelings.
But… How had she never heard anything about this before? Were they playing with her? Trying to get her to talk to the men involved and have her blurt out what she wanted?
"Is this a trick of some sort? I swear to Merlin, if you're having me on you'll regret it faster than I can say Oppugno!" Hermione was snarling now, perhaps overreacting a touch, not that it mattered.
They both raised their hands simultaneously as a sign of surrender but the smiles remained on their faces. "I believe they said their only serious and working triad was with one Marlene McKinnon before she died during the first war. They haven't had a third since and as you might understand, one doesn't exactly go about advertising our choice of life unless there's a good reason. Or a good witch, if you will," came Fred to his brother's defense.
"Or wizard," said his twin quickly after.
Marlene McKinnon. She knew that name, her and her whole family had been murdered during the first war, she was a part of the first Order of the Phoenix. The twins wouldn't have known that name, unless…
"They spoke to you about this?"
"We were talking one night, the four of us and I might have let it slip that we wanted a non-traditional relationship with a special witch and they figured out quite quickly what we wanted. Mainly because they'd been in a similar situation at some point." George said while scratching his remaining ear.
"Don't worry, they don't know it was you. They just thought it would be nice to give us some guidance since they didn't have any, made loads of mistakes those two." Fred chuckled, obviously at the memory of some story or another.
"I…" Hermione didn't know what to make of the whole conversation. Sirius and Remus had been in a triad with an Order member. According to the twins, it was, in fact, their way of life, they just hadn't been in a relationship with a witch for a long time. Would they consider her? Was the fact that they were approaching her separately a sign that they weren't interested in a serious relationship with her?
Ugh, why do I always have to overanalyze things? she thought. A headache was beginning to form when Fred spoke up.
"So, our clock was showing some very interesting things tonight. Ginny would have a field day with this sort of information." The cheeky bastard even had the gall to lick his lips while waggling his eyebrows.
"Indeed, we were worried when you didn't show up, so out of concern, we went to check on the clock. You see, your safety has always been one of our top most priorities and since you were our charge for the night, we couldn't bear the thought of not looking properly after you," finished George.
She should have known that they'd be able to see what she was up to thanks to that blasted clock they had next to the Floo. Bloody twins… what was more horrifying was that she'd accidentally given them the idea for it.
The two redheads had built a clock much like the one their mother had at The Burrow. That is, a clock with handles that pointed not the time but rather activities of sorts, such as Adventure, Mischief, Danger, Home, Shop, and Sex. In each handle, there was a picture of a member of their family and friends, and much to her chagrin at that moment, a handle for Harry and her. However, the twins had no interest in the job schedule of their friends or if they were playing Quidditch… unless it was horizontal Quidditch, in which case they could tease them merciless or bargain for the information. Molly and Arthur's were charmed to stay away from the "Sex" mark as was Ginny's. There were things even the twins didn't want to know.
She couldn't muffle the groan that escaped her when she realized the spell she had put on her respective handle on the clock had either been tampered with or simply removed somehow. The pranksters were brilliant, that she knew, but how they managed to remove a spell she had crafted herself she'd have to find out later.
"Can we simply go back to bed? I think I've had enough for one night." She immediately closed her eyes, recognizing her mistake in choice of words.
"Oh, we figure you have."
"Which is exactly our point."
"You probably have had just enough to be tired and wanting some rest...!"
"After such arduous activities." They finished together.
She hated it when they did that. It was rehearsed and mainly crafted to confuse people as to which twin was saying what, but since she could very easily tell them apart they were just doing it to annoy her.
"We wonder, though, if there are two wizards in the picture which one was the lucky one tonight." George was sure to lose his eyebrows if he kept going at that rate. Surely they would fall off after such an extreme wiggling.
"Or if perhaps our dear Hermione has already found her way into a triad and is now curious about how the whole thing works." Fred had always been the "serious" twin, if anyone could possibly call either of them serious, but he was always the one to ask the intense questions.
Guilt found its way back into Hermione's stomach, knowing that tonight, despite how amazing it had felt at the time, was actually a mistake. George, though accidentally, had reminded her that she had feelings for two wizards and had left one out tonight. Fred, on the other hand, had renewed all the stress of the actual big picture.
She remained silent, not knowing what to say.
The teasing grins fell from their faces immediately and they were both at her side in less than a second.
"You know we're just being idiots. There's nothing wrong with whatever you think you did." It was Fred, it was always Fred who managed to see the root of the problem.
"You don't even know what's going on," she replied faintly.
"We know you and that is more than enough." George. George who always knew what to say.
The was a sudden bang in the door, the impact from it clashing with the wall startled them all and in a second all three of them were on their feet, wands raised at the man on the threshold.
It took a second to register that no stranger could get through the wards, but by then they all recognized the man that had stormed in.
"Remus?" she asked softly.
He remained quiet and simply strode in two fast steps towards her until he reached her, picked her up like a sack of fucking potatoes and strode back towards the door.
"What in the name of Merlin do you think you're doing?" Even to her ears the screaming was a bit painful, and it should have made the man carrying her, at the very least, take a moment of pause, but it did nothing to stop him or even acknowledge she had spoken.
It took just a few moments to head downstairs, step outside the shop and with a CRACK and not a single explanation, they were gone.
This left a couple of smiling brothers behind, knowing full well that the witch was in good hands.
"Makes you admire the man all the more, doesn't it?"
"It really does. It's funny how everyone always wonders how he was a part of The Marauders, he certainly belongs. It's always the quiet ones."
"True. Brave one too, ain't he? We'll mourn him when Hermione gets her bearings."
"Surely we'll throw him a funeral that'll be spoken of for centuries to come."
"Ah, yes. No doubt."
There a moment of silent contemplation on both their parts, imagining what a funeral with fireworks would look like.
"What to go upstairs and look at the clock, see what happens?"
"You always know just what I need."
They sprang in unison back up the stairs in an instant and the door bang closed once more.
AAN: Big thanks to ShayaLonnie, Crossy70, XxRemus John LupinxX, Ash-Castle, SableUnstable, Worthfull1, Arisa Coulson-Rogers, Fl0ra, nicolebernardo, Pinup95, TheTruffalo, Blond Handsome Stranger, GillianLSteele, fandomgirlforever9.3-4, Leafey for your lovely reviews, their worth can't be measured in Galleons and not because they have a very uncomfortable conversion system.
Again, still looking for some Betas, if interested please let me know via PM or Tumblr, preferably Tumblr. I can be found as siriuslyorionwicked as always.
Thanks for reading, feel free to let me know what you think!