It's been a few months but hopefully this extra long chapter makes up for it! This also happens to be the chapter where we dip into MA territory so if you were reading this under the mistaken impression that MA stood for Mother Approved, now would be a good time to stop reading. :o) And if you can guess where I borrowed that from, major props to you because that Mother Approved line belongs to me about as much as the characters in this story.
P.S. I'm pretty sure I responded to all the reviews from the last chapter but if I missed you, I am so sorry and I'm very thankful for your feedback! And to my anonymous reviewers:
Guest (1): Thank you so much for all the lovely complements! I'm glad you're liking it despite how different everyone is from the way they were originally written. I hope you like this chapter as much as the rest of the story!
Guest (2): I'm glad you do! Sorry it took me so long to put up this chapter!
HH: Thank you so much! I hope you like this chapter! I'm glad you liked the Tonks/Remus pairing for this one, I don't always do it but I do like their pairing.
erica: Você terminou de ler em um dia perfeito! Espero que você goste do novo capítulo e muito obrigado por analisar, eu realmente aprecio isso. Você é muito doce. E desculpe-me se isso esgueira, eu tive que usar o Google Translate, por isso não tenho certeza do quão claro será.
Disclaimer: This sandbox does not belong to me, I wouldn't currently be going into debt to put myself through school if it was, no matter how much I wish it did. Said sand box belongs to the amazing J. K. Rowling and the parts of the text underlined like this come directly from Goblet of Fire. (Though I don't think there are any direct quotes in this chapter.
Chpt. 14: A Chapter of Firsts
Fear grips her heart but she knows it's not her own, instinctively she knows the fear belongs to her mate even though she had never been able to feel his emotions this way before. Like they were her own. She's on her feet and out the door, following the pull in her heart that was stronger in that moment then she had ever heard it before. Harry kept pace with her easily, his new werewolf speed matching hers perfectly, while Neville sprinted toward the Astronomy Tower where the three of them had been heading to meet up with Daphne, Luna, Lee, and Draco. She'd asked them all to come so she could test a hypothesis, not that she'd told any of them that was why she'd asked them to come, but that didn't matter anymore because her mate was in trouble and his safety meant more to her than any of her curiosities.
The two werewolves round a corner at the same time the twins come from the other side, Hermione running straight into Fred and Harry running into George.
Harry and George fall on impact but Fred's arms immediately wrap around Hermione's waist, steadying her.
"Fred! What's going on?" Her voice is as frantic as her hands scrambling over her mate's body, searching for any sign of injury.
"Dragons...Dragons...Dragons," he keeps repeating the word in between deep gasps of air as he pulls her body as close to his own as he possibly can, burying his face into her neck so he can take in as much of her scent as possible.
"Dragons? Love, what's going on?" Hermione grips her mate's body to hers because they need the contact. Whatever had frightened had frightened them, had happened much too soon after the full moon.
"Dragons are the first task. Charlie came in from Romania with four of them. Since your magic is linked, I assume that means you two've got to fight together for one but all the other champions have to take on one on their own," George is the one to reply, his breath only slightly hitched while Fred continues mumbling and pulling Hermione closer to him than she thought possible.
Hermione's eyes widen and the first thing out of her mouth, surprises all three of her boys. "Does Viktor know?"
An animalistic growl, more suitable coming from her own throat than her mate's, rips through Fred's throat and he pulls her painfully close.
Harry takes a step forward, to protect her from the growling man in her arms, but a harsh look from Hermione has him looking down in submission.
George's eyes flicker from his brother to Hermione before locking on Hermione's commanding gaze and answering her question, "I don't know. But I saw Hagrid sneaking Madame Maxine into the forest in the direction of the dragons so Fleur definitely does. And Cedric won't know because none of them would have thought to tell him."
"Go tell the others what's going on then warn Viktor and Cedric about the dragons. Cover for Fred and I if we don't show up to dinner or the dorm tonight." Both her packmates nod before turning and heading in the direction of the Astronomy Tower.
Fred's growling had quieted but his grip hadn't loosened and Hermione had a feeling he wasn't going to any time soon.
"Dobby?" Hermione calls softly and Fred's growling picks up again.
"Master's Hermy called Dobby?" The little elf pops into the hallway moments later, his wide eyes staring up at her curiously because he wasn't used to her calling him.
"Could you take Fred and I to the come and go room please, the one you take Draco to when he needs to be alone?" Hermione keeps her voice soft and smooth, calming both the elf and her mate.
"Of course, Miss Hermy." Dobby grabbed a hold of her leg and apparated them both in a cozy bedroom setting with wall to ceiling book shelves, a nice bay window, and a fireplace crackingly in the corner. It was her dream home, the place that she had dreamed her and Fred would live in one day. "Is there anything else that Dobby can do for Miss Hermy?"
"That will be all, Dobby. Thank you very much, little cub." Hermione shoots the elf a grateful smile as she takes small steps toward the bed, Fred following his every movement.
"At your service, Miss Hermy." Dobby pops away before Hermione can say anything and Hermione turn her complete attention to her mate.
"Fred, love, can you look at me?" Hermione lays back on the bed, Fred's weight pushing her down into it as as she runs her fingers through his hair and down his back.
Fred takes two deep breaths before pulling back just enough to stare down into her eyes, his own eyes brimming with tears.
All the questions Hermione had planned to ask about his growl, about the emotions she had felt from him, about how he knew where she would be disappeared the moment her gaze met his. All the reassurances she had been planning to give him disappeared. And her hands gently cup his face, her fingers softly stroking his cheeks. "I'm here and I love you," is the only thing that comes out of her mouth before her lips crush against his.
Any space that had been put between them disappeared completely as Fred kissed her back, one of his legs slipping in between hers as he pressed his body as close to hers as he possibly could. Her hands slipped under her shirt and her nails rake across his back as his lips roam down her neck. His teeth graze her neck and a purr rumbles in her chest.
"Harder," she moans as her hips thrust up against his thigh instinctually.
Fred's teeth sink into her neck right above her collarbone and Hermione pulls his face back up to her, crushing her lips against his fiercely as she flips him onto his back. His hands slip under her shirt, tugging it up and over her head as she straddled his waist. Her hands follow his lead, tugging at the hem of his shirt that he almost never tucked into his pants no matter how much she scolded him for it. He sits up just enough for her to get it off and toss it to the ground. Hermione's lips travel down Fred's neck as his hands run up her legs and under her skirt. Her teeth graze his neck and and he groans as he grinds his hips against hers.
"Please," he breathes.
Her teeth sink into his collarbone on the same side he'd bitten her.
He flips her back onto her back, resting in between her thighs. "Do you want to stop?" he breathes in between kisses.
"No. Do you?" she breathes back, her eyes never leaving his.
"No." He kisses her sweetly then pulls away. "I love you more than anything."
"More than anything," she replies before pulling him in for another heated kiss.
The rest of their clothes were quickly thrown across the room where they would have to search for them later but neither of them could find it in themselves to care about it in that moment. Then Fred is pushing into her, kissing away her tears as he stretches her for the first time. "I love you," he whispers over and over again in between kisses. "More than anything," she whispers back as she runs her hands along his back in an attempt to distract herself from the pain. When the pain disappears, she's wrapping her legs around Fred's waist and pulling him closer when he thrusts into her for the second time. Their breathing becomes erratic and their thrusts faster. The familiar coil in Hermione's stomach that twists every time Fred enters a room, tightens harder than she ever thought possible before bursting inside her at the same time Fred freezes on top of her, both lovers once again sinking their teeth into the marks they had made on their partners as they come together for the first time.
"I love you," Fred murmurs, kissing the top of her head as his fingers dance across her bare back a little while later.
"More than anything," Hermione murmurs back, placing a kiss over his heart.
"If I ask you something, do you promise not to get angry?" Fred asks, attempting to avoid her eyes when she looks up at him in concern.
Hermione places her hand on his cheek, forcing his gaze to meet hers. "Of course, love. What's bothering you so much?"
"Why are you so interested in Krum?" She would have laughed had genuine fear not filled her mate's gaze with that question.
"Oh, love, that's what you're worrying over." She leans up and kisses him softly before pulling back and brushing a stray lock of hair from his eyes. "He's a possibility, love. If someone in our pack chooses him as a mate, he could become a part of our pack. I just have to figure out who's possibility he is. That's why I wanted everyone together today."
Fred looks stunned for a moment before grinning widely. "How in hell are you going to figure that out?"
"The smell. Before my Dad accepted my Mom as his mate, her scent comforted me. Viktor's smell is similar but stronger, I think it's because I'm not the alpha of my Dad's pack but I am the alpha of this one. However, his scent isn't as strong as Daph's or Harry's. I think that's because the only way he would join our pack is if he mates with one of the current members while Daph and Harry each hold spots in the pack on their own."
"Wait...Daph and Harry, they're mates?"
"They're possi… Wait, no. Because of the bond Harry and I created, he became a werewolf so that means that he and Daphne are for sure mates now." At her mate's confused gaze, Hermione continues her explanation, "Normal humans have many options of people to mate with and, if said humans aren't a part of a wolf pack, then they can break that bond at any time without any major consequence. If they are a part of a wolf pack, however, then whatever possibility that is accepted on both sides is their forever mate. They can survive if one of them dies but they will never love another person the way they love their mate. Wolves, on the other hand, have one mate who they are forever connected to from the moment they meet. Being away from them creates a physical toll on both bodies though it hurts the wolf more until they complete the bond. Once the bond is created, one cannot survive without the other."
"So if I die, you will too?" Fred asks, concern flooding his gaze.
"And if I die, you die," Hermione replies, smiling sadly as she runs her thumb along her mate's cheek.
"Is there anything else I should know about mating?" Fred turns his head, placing a kiss on the palm of her hand and smiles at her softly.
"I don't know. Every mating is different and I've never seen a completed bond before. I've read about them but everything is extremely vague, the books just say that we become even more connected than we already were which doesn't tell us anything. And I can't ask my Dad because he and my Mom haven't marked one another and I don't know if they ever will. My Dad hasn't accepted the wolf as a part of him, he still sees it as a separate being so his transformations still take a toll on him. He may respect the wolf but he still fears it on some level."
Confusion clouds Fred's gaze as he stares as her. "Why does he fear his wolf? He's lived with it his whole life, it is him."
"Because he was taught to fear it. He grew up in a world that feared him, that he had to leave because the discrimination against our kind kept him from getting a job. He grew up in a world where control was everything and losing control was disgraceful. He was told he was dangerous so often that he started believing it himself. He doesn't see that if he follows his heart that he doesn't need to worry about the wolf. The wolf only fights for what our hearts want. That side is the side of us that protects us even if it means protecting us from ourselves. It's the side that keeps us alive when our head is telling us to give up. It's the side of us that is driven by protecting our own above all else."
"How do you know so much when all the books tell us the opposite?" Fred asks, genuine curiosity shining in his eyes.
"Because I listened to my wolf when I was first bitten. I trusted my wolf from the moment that part of my soul was brought to life because I had grown up with my Dad who has done nothing but protect me from the moment he met me. Had my Dad not transformed into a werewolf, I would have died in the woods before anyone found me. He saved my life as a wolf and I could never bring myself to fear something that had done nothing but take care of me."
"Will you change me?" The question makes Hermione's eyes widen in surprise.
"If that's what you want, I will. But I think we should wait to see what all our bond entails before taking that step."
Fred nods, grinning widely at her. "We can do it when I come to stay with you for the summer so I can get used to all the enhanced senses without having a bunch of people around to notice. Even with the fake glasses, people are noticing the changes in Harry. Especially since his scar has faded so suddenly. I wouldn't want to put more suspicion on you than there already is because I'm changing too."
Hermione smiles at her mate and kisses him softly before laying her head on his chest once more, her eyes drifting shut as Fred plays with her hair.
The two teens walk down to breakfast the next morning in the clothes Draco had had Dobby bring them this morning when Daphne told him they hadn't come back to the dorms by the time she'd left that night.
"So what are we going to do?" Harry asks as she plops into the seat next to him.
Hermione sighs, running her fingers through her hair. "I have no idea." How did anyone take on a dragon? Especially when she wanted to avoid hurting the poor thing as much as she possibly could, it was just as much the dragon's choice to be a part of this competition as it had been Harry's.
"Why don't you just try talking to them, Harry?" Luna's airy voice draws the pack's attention to the pretty blonde. "You do speak parseltongue don't you?" she asks when she sees the confused looks of everyone in their group.
Hermione's eyes widen almost immediately, quickly followed by the eyes of her Marauders, as the realization hits that dragons are just as much reptiles as snakes. Just much older. "Luna, if this table wasn't in between us right now, I would kiss you! You're brilliant!" Hermione grins widely at her packmate whose smile widens even further as George and Lee bombard her with sloppy kisses on both her cheeks, George smashing Neville in between himself and the petite blonde because Neville hadn't gotten out of the way in time.
Laughter bursts from their group at the spectacle being made by the two older boys and it isn't until the laughter calms down that Harry finally get the chance to ask, "I still don't understand, why does it matter that I can speak parseltongue?"
"Dragons are reptiles just like snakes, Harry." A grin begins tugging at her best friend's lips until it's identical to hers which is borderline maniacal.
"We'll have to test it," he states and she nods in agreement.
"Tonight," she states, knowing that he'll agree.
"I'll bring the cloak." It's Harry's turn to nod.
"We can leave right after dinner." Both smile and nod before turning back to the rest of their pack who are staring at them with wide eyes.
"Now I know why most people find it creepy when Georgie and I finish eachother's sentences," Fred grumbles from beside Hermione.
"Excuse you. Harry and I are not creepy." She tries to shoot her mate a dirty look but the smile tugging at the corner of her mouth ruins the effect.
Fred stares at her with wide eyes as the rest of her pack looks at her like she's insane.
"You heard that?" It's his voice again but she's looking at him this time and his lips don't move.
"Hermione...Are you alright, love?" Harry asks, touching her arm lightly but her eyes don't move from her mate's.
"I did," she thinks back and his eyes widen even further.
"Bloody hell," she and Fred they think in unison.
"I guess that's one side effect neither of us thought about," Fred laughs nervously, running his fingers through his hair.
"Lupa, what's going on?" Lee asks, concern identical to the rest of her pack shines through his dark eyes until she gives him a comforting smile and her pack relaxes in unison.
"I think that's something best talked about behind closed doors," Hermione states, meeting the eyes of each of her packmates at their table before scanning the table across the hall from them and meeting the silver gaze of their wayward packmate.
It isn't until after classes have ended for the day that the entire pack manages to slip away into the Room of Requirement. Neville is the first to show up, his scent surrounding Hermione and causing her eyes to widen as the realization strikes her.
"You alright, Mione?" Neville asks, concern coating his voice.
"Can I ask you a question, Nev?" She asks in return.
"Of course you can, you've never had to ask before." Confusion wars with concern on his face.
That's because she didn't know how to ask. She didn't even know why she felt like she had to. It's not like it mattered either way. But it had to do with her pack and if Viktor really was a potential mate for Nev, her packmate deserved to know. "I've been meaning to ask you since the Durmstrang students came and I saw you watching them like Daph and Lu but I just haven't had the chance, we haven't had any time alone lately… Do you like boys, Nev? I mean, the same way that Lu, Daph, and I do."
Neville's quiet for a few moments, so long that Hermione almost thinks that he isn't going to answer her, before quietly asking, "Would it change anything if I did?"
Hermione throws her arms around her packmate, pulling him into a tight hug. "Never, Nev. You're a part of this family and we will always love and accept you, no matter who you love."
Neville hugs her back just as tightly, his entire body relaxing in her arms even as the next words come out of his mouth, "The rest of the wizarding world isn't going to feel that way."
"You can't change who you love just like I can't change the fact that I'm a werewolf and neither of us should want to change. The only thing that matters is that your family supports you."
Hermione feels her packmate smile against her neck as he squeezes her a bit more tightly.
The two packmates sit in silence for a few moments longer before Hermione breaks it once more, "Have you had a chance to talk to Viktor at all, Nev?"
"Krum?" Hermione nods, smiling softly at his confusion clad face. "I haven't, why?"
"You should." Hermione grins mischievously at her packmate and Neville opens his mouth to reply but is cut off by Hermione's three marauders stumbling through the door with suspicious smiles on their faces.
"What did you three do?" The question is barely out of her mouth before an angry Daphne and attempting to look angry but really holding in chuckles Harry burst into the door, attached at the hip...literally.
Hermione and Neville burst out laughing as Luna and Draco enter the room and immediately join in on the laughter, the marauder's and Harry's laughter quickly following the others and stealing the wind from Daphne's angry sails as she to begins to smile and laugh.
"Can I ask why you three decided to stick two of your packmates together?" Hermione asks once everyone's laughter has subsided and the entire pack is sitting in a cozy semicircle around the coffee table and fireplace.
"Because locking them-," George starts.
"-in a closet-," Lee continues.
"-is too cliche," Fred finishes.
"It's about time," Hermione nods, smiling widely at her Marauders then turning toward Daphne and Harry who are gaping at her. "What? You two have been dancing around each other since our first year."
"We have not!" Harry and Daphne exclaim in unison, both of their faces redder than Hermione had ever seen them.
"You have too," everyone else in the pack replies, making their two packmates' faces even more red than they were moments before.
"So what do they have to do to undo your spell?" Neville asks as he leans back in the couch.
"Kiss," her three Marauders reply simply, shrugging their shoulders.
Hermione's eyes widen a bit because, even though that's what she had assumed would release her two packmates, she hadn't thought about just what might happen when they did kiss considering how new of a werewolf Harry was. He wasn't used to the heightened senses and emotions, especially when it came to his mate. "Um..you might want to wait until you're alone to free yourselves," Hermione suggests. "You'll thank me for it later, trust me," she cuts them off before either of them can ask her why. "But you should probably do it before dinner so that you aren't forced into doing it in front of the entire castle." And so that it doesn't hinder us after dinner when we go to see the dragons, she thinks to herself.
Sorry, love. I didn't even think about Harry and Daphne being mates or that you needed to sneak out tonight, Fred thinks back, startling Hermione. She'd forgotten the reason they were all meeting up before dinner.
You were just having a bit of fun, love. There's nothing to be sorry for. Hermione smiles lovingly down at her mate and runs her fingers through his hair where he is sitting in front of her, leaning against her legs and tracing random designs on her ankle.
"Are you two quite done?" Daphne asks, raising her signature bitch brow.
"We are, thank you for asking so politely," Hermione replies, grinning cheekily at her packmate.
Daphne rolls her eyes, her own smile tugging at her lips.
The rest of their time together as a pack passes quickly with Hermione and Fred explaining what they knew so far about their completed bond so far as well as what a possibility was and why they were important to the pack. And all too soon, the pack was going their separate ways to kill the last bit of time before dinner and to give Harry and Daphne the time to separate before dinner.
Two very red faced teens entered the Great Hall fifteen minutes late for dinner that night, their hands tightly intertwined and large smiles on their faces, but other than that dinner ran smoothly and it wasn't long before Harry and Hermione were sneaking through the Forbidden Forest underneath the invisibility cloak.
"Mione?" Harry murmurs, his voice too low for any human to pick up, about halfway into their journey.
"Yes?" Hermione replies at the same volume. Having someone else who was a werewolf was really helpful sometimes.
"Daphne's my mate." It's not a question but she nods her head anyways in reply. "Is that why you told us to wait until we were alone to kiss?" Hermione nods again. "How long have you known?"
"I've known she was a possibility since a little while after I figured out Fred was my mate but I've known she was your true mate since you turned."
"Why didn't you tell us?" He doesn't look angry or disappointed, just curious.
"Because you were already headed in that direction and I didn't want either of you to feel like you had to get together just because you were eachother's possibilities and you were in the same pack."
Her best friend smiles at her, his eyes sparkling like newly polished emeralds. "Thank you."
"Always, love." Hermione grins back.
The rest of their walk is spent in the kind of companionable silence only the two of them could share until the roaring of a dragon filled their ears and their steps quickened. It wasn't until the words came through in that same ear piercing roar that Hermione realised that the roars coming from this dragon were screams of desperation: "My babies! Where are my babies?!"
"Did you hear that?" Hermione asks, tears filling her eyes and seeping out of the corners.
"I did but why did you?" Harry replies, confusion over why she understood the dragon warring with the heartbreak for the poor creature.
"It must be because Parseltongue is tied to your magic and our magic is now one."
"If that's the case then will I be able to read Fred's mind as well? Because I'd rather not be inside my sister's mate's head."
"I'm not sure, love. That's something we'll have to look into but for now let's focus on these creatures."
Harry nods and they continue creeping forward only to freeze when they see a burly redhead standing beside the cage of the crying creature, stroking the giant's leg.
"I'm so sorry, beautiful girl. I wish you didn't have to go through this for a stupid competition but we didn't have a choice. If we hadn't brought you willingly, they would have shut us down and taken you by force. And who knows what would have happened to you and your babies if someone else had brought them. At least this way, you're all with people who will keep you as safe as we can and who will make sure your babies aren't hurt at all," The large man spoke softly to the creature, slowly calming her down.
"Is that?" Harry asks, his wide eyes meeting Hermione's.
"I think so," Hermione replies and she's moving out from under the cloak before she even realises what she's doing.
"Hermione?" Harry questions but she just continues following the tug in her gut.
"Charlie?" The word is out of her mouth before she can stop it and the larger man is spinning around with his wand out and a wary look on his face less than a moment later. His scent wafted over her as he moves and a smile tugs at her lips, he's a possibility for someone in her Dad's pack and considering Sirius is the only packmember left in his pack besides her Mum and herself, that means that Charlie is one of his possibilities.
"Who are you?" He growls, glaring slightly at her.
"My name's Hermione, I'm friends with your younger brothers George and Fred."
"Don't let Fred hear you say that, he'd get quite offended being called anything less than your boyfriend," Harry's voice and sudden appearance make Charlie jump and point his wand toward the other boy before his eyes widen in recognition.
"What are you two doing here? Champions aren't supposed to know about the first task." Charlie still hasn't put his wand down or dropped his protective stance in front of the dragon.
"Well, all five of us do so there's no use in even trying to keep it a secret anymore. We're just here to test a theory," Hermione states matter of factly.
"I don't care who you are, I won't let you hurt my dragons. You'll just have to wait until the day of the First Task to use whatever nasty little jinxes and hexes you've managed to come up with."
"But we don't want to hurt her," Harry tells Charlie.
"We just want to talk to her," Hermione finishes her best friend's sentence.
"Talk to her?" Charlie raises a disbelieving eyebrow but the curiosity in his voice tell Hermione that at least part of him trusts them, part of him recognizes her as someone he can trust. Part of his possible pack.
"We can both speak Parseltongue," Hermione states.
"And we had a theory that dragons could understand it since they're reptiles," Harry continues.
"A theory which was proved correct when we were headed this way and we heard her crying out for her babies," Hermione finishes.
"Can you tell her that I promise to keep her babies safe and that I'll do everything I can to heal her after the tournament is over?" Charlie asks after staring at the two younger wizards with a calculating gaze for a few moments.
"You can tell him that I already know, young one," the dragon's voice, much calmer than before, startles both Harry and Hermione.
Hermione nods to the dragon and turns her attention back to Charlie, "She already knows."
The following days leading up to the first task consist of classes, long days in the library trying to figure out how to save the dragons as legally as possible (though they were determined to do it illegally if necessary and Charlie had agreed to help them either way) more than studying for their actual classes, and sneaking away to visit Charlie and the dragons who Harry and Hermione have come to consider family even if they were not part of their pack or her Dad's pack.
Tesserry, which translates to The Protective and more than fits the first dragon they had spoken to, turned out to be the youngest of all the dragons but also the fiercest of them all in her protection of not just her young but the rest of the dragons present as well as Charlie who had always treated them well and the two younger wizards once she had taken them under her wing. She was a hungarian horntail. Ummissae was the next dragon to accept the young wizards and her gentle nature was well represented in the translation of her name which means Gentle Mind. Why anyone would rip away this gentle creature's children and force her into a competition that goes against her own nature, neither of the teens could figure out but Charlie provided them with the answer by stating that they only had four full-grown dragons on the reserve that had unhatched eggs. Which lead to Harry and Hermione being even more disgusted in the laziness of their government. Ummissae was a Chinese Fireball. Qyryt, which translates to The Squealer, came next and her sense of humor and love of laughter is what kept the rest of the dragons' spirits high even in this terrible situation. She was a Swedish Short-Snout. Ladus, which translates to Eternal Flame, was the last dragon to accept them as well as the oldest of the lot. She later told the teens that she was the oldest dragon still alive though Hermione and Harry felt that she was holding something back. Not that they could blame her. They would be wary as well in her situation. Ladus was a Welsh Green.
Even as the two teens were waiting for the First Task to begin in a big tent with the other champions, they were trying to think of another way to get the dragons to safety that didn't cost so much money that not even Sirius (who was the richest person either teen knew being head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black) could provide. Maybe Sirius, her Mum, and her Dad could help with their brainstorming when they met with the rest of their pack after the first task. Harry and Hermione's pack had been more worried about the two champions' health the past few days than they had about why exactly they were stretching themselves so thin so their brain power would be an added bonus as well. After all, fifteen brains was better than three.
"Where's your head, love?" Harry pulls Hermione from her thoughts as he slings his arm around her waist, resting his head on top of hers. When had he gotten so tall?
"I'm just worrying about the dragons, I don't want to see them hurt," Hermione tells her best friend as she leans her head against her best friend's shoulder.
"I don't either, love."
The two teens sit in silence for a few moments, watching Fleur and Cedric ware a hole in the ground as they anxiously pace the tent while Viktor sat on the cot across from them with his head in his hands and his eyes closed.
"Her-mio-ninny, Harry?" Viktors voice draws the attention of all the other champions in the tent.
"Yes," the two youngest champions query in unison.
"I won't be harming my dragon. I know how much they mean to you and harming an innocent creature is wrong. The spell I'm using will blind my dragon for a moment but won't otherwise hurt it," Viktor's voice is strong, his eyes flickering from Harry to Hermione.
Identical smiles tug at both Harry and Hermione's lips, a bit of the tension leaving their shoulders. They should have known their friend and possible packmate would realise how much the dragons meant to them and would do everything possible to not bring them harm.
"I'm hoping not to hurt them either. I'm transfiguring one of the rocks to look like another animal in an attempt to distract mine, It's not fair what they're doing to these creature against their will and it would be wrong of me to harm a chained creature no matter how powerful they may be," Cedric tells them before either Harry or Hermione can respond to Viktor.
"I didn't wish to harm them either, it's barbaric. The only plan I could come up with was disillusioning myself and I doubt that would fool a dragon, the one of the most brilliant creatures on the planet. Smarter than any witch or wizard." Fleur looked so sad to have not been able to find anything, so different from her usual uppity demeanor that surprised every champion in the tent.
Harry's gaze meets Hermione's, wide grins splitting both their lips. "You should do it anyway," they tell the older girl in unison, turning their smiles to the other three champions. "Trust us," Harry tells them as Hermione focuses on her mate, she'd never tried to reach him from this far away before.
Fred? She asks in her mind, feeling slightly ridiculous not being able to see her mate when she was trying to speak with him even if it were in their minds.
Lupa? What wrong, love? Are you and Harry alright? I knew we shouldn't have left you alone. Fred's frantic thoughts reply almost immediately.
I'm fine, love. I just need to try something. She switches over to Parseltongue in her mind. Can you understand me?
Of course I can understand you, love. What's going on? Confusion floods her mind, drowning out her mental squeals.
That was Parseltongue, Fred! Love, you can understand Parseltongue! Hermione mentally grins at her lover.
Ok. That's great but why did you decide to tell me this now? Fred is still completely confusing though excitement over his new ability has begun to bleed into his thoughts.
Because it means that none of the dragons or champions have to get hurt in this task. I just need you to explain to the dragons what is going to happen before Fleur, Cedric, and Viktor come out. Just tell whichever dragon they are up against that you are youngling Hermione's marked mate and then explain what each champion is going to do so that they don't feel threatened. When Viktor comes out, tell the dragon to let his spell hit her. The spell won't hurt her in the slightest, it will only blind her for a few moments. When Cedric comes out, tell his dragon to chase whatever creature he has transfigured his rock to be. He doesn't want to harm her and he is hoping his distraction will prevent that. When Fleur comes out, tell the dragon to just ignore the disillusioned witch. I know they can see through that spell but it's Fleurs only plan and she wants to avoid harming the dragon if possible. Hermione explains quickly, hoping her mate catches everything.
Got it, Lupa. I won't let you down.
You never could. I love you. A warmth washes over Hermione's mind like her mate is mentally hugging her and she attempts to send the feeling back. SHe could really get used to this connection.
Until the very end, Fred replies.
Even after, is the last thought Hermione sends her mate before turning her attention to Harry and nodding.
A grin splits Harry's face and he hugs his best friend a little tighter. They don't have time to further celebrate the safety of their friends or to explain themselves to the other contestants because at that moment, the judges come marching through the tent flap.