Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Jo. I own nothing. *sobs*
A/N - So I've been sick all week, and the first time I'm well enough to concentrate on anything but cough-hack-splutter-I'm-dying, this plunny hits me over the head. Enjoy, my lovelies, and do leave me some thoughts at the end! :)
"Harry, are you sure? The construction really isn't that bad; I can do this at home."
"And throw your whole schedule off?" Harry Potter asked dryly, green eyes amused behind chic black-framed glasses as he and Hermione walked through the door, infamous beaded bag over the witch's shoulder. The house was silent, something that threw Hermione for a second before her best friend's question registered and she winced involuntarily. Having led the way towards the kitchen, Harry stopped at the bottom of the stairs, folded his arms and threw her a knowing smirk, leaning against the railing.
"Didn't think so. There's too much going on at your place, 'Mione. I know you and I know you won't be able to think in that chaos. Stop being so stubborn. I've got the place to myself for the week and I don't mind at all if you stay. We lived in each other's back pockets for a year, for Merlin's sake, we can manage a week now, can't we?"
"It's not that," Hermione muttered at the wall on the landing above his head, feeling herself flush and quickly diverting the direction of her thoughts. She couldn't think about that now. "You just said it; you've got the place to yourself for a week. Don't you want the peace and quiet?"
Harry's slightly sheepish laughter brought her eyes back to him and some of her anxiety dissipated when he pushed himself off the newel post and ran a hand through his hair, looking adorably awkward. "Not really. It's too quiet with him gone. I'll be glad for the company, to be honest. It won't be so..."
"Yeah," Harry grinned, giving his head a rueful shake and laughing again. "Who would've thought it, eh? Me, moping around because he isn't here, bugging the shite out of me. But enough of that. You're staying. End of discussion."
A brown brow arched cooly. "Oh, is it?" Hermione countered in a mild tone, lips twitching when Harry cringed and held up his hands as if to backtrack. "Lucky for you, it is. I'll stay." She hitched her bag up higher and nodded towards the stairs, wanting to get back to it. Harry had been correct about her schedule. "Spare room?"
"You know where it is. I've got to go though, yeah? Got my own schedule to keep. I'll bring us a take-away home for tea?"
"Indian would be nice," Hermione replied, already heading up the stairs. A glance back over her shoulder showed Harry saluting her and turning towards the front door.
"Indian it is. I shouldn't be too late."
"I'll see you then. Oh, Harry?" Hermione called, stopping on the landing to halt her friend. Harry paused with his hand on doorknob and turned his head to look at her. "Thank you for this. I could have used magic, but…"
"You're living muggle," Harry finished, smiling up at her. "I get it. It's no worries, love. You don't need me to tell you to make yourself at home, do you?"
Hermione grinned and shook her head. "'Course I don't. What are you still hanging around for? Get away with you, lad! There's work to be done!"
Her grin widened when Harry laughed, the sound echoing back through the wood when the door closed behind him, and continuing up the stairs, Hermione let the grin stay. It felt good to know that the arrangement was benefiting Harry as well as her; she didn't feel so much like an interloper now, taking over his space. Although, if she was honest, the reason behind why it was helping Harry still baffled her more than a little.
Who would've thought it, eh? Harry's phase repeated in her head and she pursed her lips as she walked through the house, taking in the subtle and in some cases, not-so-subtle changes to 12 Grimmauld Place. Harry and Draco had been living together for six months. They'd been together for just over nine, and the speed of their relationship had made Hermione uneasy; their entire relationship had made her uneasy in the beginning. But if there was one thing she could say about Draco Malfoy - besides the fact that he'd never entirely grown out of being a phenomenal prat when he wanted to be - it was that he loved her best friend with everything inside him. That showed and it was the fact that it did show that had settled the last of Hermione's misgivings.
Ron's, however, were another story.
Brow puckering at the thought of her sometimes other best friend who was acting more of an ignorant arse than usual, she tossed her bag onto the bed and began to rummage through it, tugging out her laptop, her research material and the pile of notes she needed to transcript into something resembling a plot that evening. Ron was a complication that was becoming a problem. Stuck in the childish mindset that all Slytherins were inherently bad and Draco Malfoy in particular was the worst of the lot, he was still making his disgust and disapproval well known and it was hurting Harry. Her friend didn't talk about his best mate a lot anymore, and Hermione thought maybe it was time she stepped in and physically pulled his head out of his arse herself if she had to. It was a Weasley trait to hold a grudge like nobody's business, and since Voldemort hadn't been around for 20 plus years, she knew that Ron's lingering bitterness and grief over Fred's death had to go somewhere. Draco and Harry's relationship with him was the perfect target.
Still, knowing the reason behind it didn't at all make it right.
A sigh startled her from her thoughts. Realizing that it had come from her, Hermione shoved away the conundrum that was Ronald Weasley and headed back downstairs with her work piled high in her arms, determined to spend the next few hours concentrating on her own problems. Her next book was due in two months time, and she was no way near ready to meet that deadline, so for now, Ron could wait. With her neighbours renovating far too loudly for her wellbeing and Draco out of the country on business, she was looking forward to a week of spending time with Harry and more peace and quiet than she could shake a stick at. What better conditions could she find to write in?
Of course, there was that one little problem-
"Hello Hermione," Teddy Lupin said with a friendly smile, looking up from the book he was copying from and stopping Hermione dead in the doorway of the kitchen. Sitting on the opposite side of the long antique table, he had books spread out around him, a bottle of ink at his elbow and a quill poised over a piece of parchment, ink pooling at the tip. Hermione blinked in surprise, her eyes flicking to his bright blue hair before returning to his pale green eyes and then dropping to his hands. Her cheeks heated and a puzzled frown grew.
"Teddy! What doing here?" she asked, fingers tightening a little desperately around the load she was clutching. Finding someone else in the house she hadn't been expecting had startled her enough to make the precariously stacked books and laptop unstable and they were wobbling much more than she liked. "Does Harry know you're here?"
"Probably not," Teddy shrugged, his eyes quickly zeroing in on her predicament. He rose to his feet and hurried around the table towards her, hands reaching out. "Here, let me help you with that. You working on your book?"
"Yeah," Hermione nodded, a slight frown marring her brow when he took half her load and then her elbow, and led her back towards his seat, setting her notes down next to his own work and pulling out a chair for her. Hermione looked at the multiple books covering the table uncertainly, frustration and indecision making her hover behind the chair. "I think I'll just go back to my room."
"No, don't be silly, I'll clear some space," Teddy protested, rushing around to his side and scooping up book after book until he had an untidy pile at the edge of the table. "I haven't got much more to do anyway, so I don't need all of these. Your room? Are you staying here?"
"For a week," Hermione answered, eyes meeting his as she sat her laptop down and opened it, a flick of her wand performing the charm that let the muggle device work in a magical atmosphere. "Too much noise at my house. I can't concentrate."
Teddy snorted and clambered into his seat. "Sounds like my gran's actually. She's got her friends over and I had to get out. Too many powerful witches in one place for my liking."
He threw her a cheeky grin and Hermione rolled her eyes, a ghost of a smile tugging at her lips. "And you're taking a Mastery?" she pointed out dryly, opening her books and setting her papers just so next to her laptop. Teddy chuckled and the deep sound had the corner of Hermione's mouth curling again. "I might go out, but Harry's bringing Indian home for tea if you're sticking around. Didn't you say you were nearly done?"
"Oh, I think I can manage to pass the time. Cup of tea, then?"
"Please," Hermione murmured, her mind already on her characters. Her smile of thanks was absent when a chipped mug was placed at her right, steam rising from the top, and she barely noticed her companion getting back to his own work. She was very good at ignoring distractions when she needed to.
What she did notice, 40 minutes later, was the large warm hand brushing against her thigh.
It was an accident. She was sure it was. Teddy's head was down and he was scratching the side of it with the tip of his quill, a frown on his face, his other hand resting on his thigh. He grunted a little in frustration, shifted in his seat and his hand met her thigh, the graze of his palm over her skirt jolting her out of the daze the world in her head had created. She blinked rapidly and looked down, suddenly realizing exactly how close they were sitting. His leg was aligned with hers.
Shaking her head and telling herself to get back to work, she shifted her gaze back to the screen and the blinking cursor. When it happened again, three lines later, his hand this time staying half on his leg and half on hers, her head whipped to the side.
He wasn't looking at her. Muttering to himself and turning pages as if he was looking for something, Teddy didn't even seem to notice that he was touching her more than he should be. His hand was hot, spreading warmth up and down her leg, and to be honest, she was a little grateful for it. The kitchen was chilly and her skirt wasn't providing much protection against the draft Harry had spent years trying to locate and get rid of. She blew out a breath and once again turned back to her laptop. It was nothing, really. Just a hand on her leg. It was innocent.
Just a hand on her leg that was moving.
Hermione froze, her eyes locked on the 'e' she'd just typed. Teddy's hand had inched forward and was now completely cupping her leg, moving slowly and dragging the thin material of her skirt up and down her thigh, the heat of his palm leaving a blazing trail in its wake. Her heart beginning to pound, it felt like it took her a lifetime to drop her gaze to her lap, and her breath left her in an explosive rush when after a couple of minutes of continuous stroking - petting, he was petting her - Teddy's fingers paused on a downstroke and his fingers crept ever so slow under the hem of her skirt. Her eyes went wide and her body flushed with a shocking heat when he resumed his gradual upstroke - with her skirt tucked under his fingers.
He wasn't concentrating on study now. His body turned towards her, his eyes were a brilliant, intense green when she snapped her gaze up at the sound of her name, and his voice was low. So low. Lips parted and work completely forgotten, Hermione stared, half of her mind on the heated intent in his eyes, and the other half…
"O-oh," she whispered, eyelids fluttering as fingers dipped into the crease between her thigh and her hip, rubbing along the skin, flirting with the edge of her knickers. Licking dry lips, her eyes dropped again and she marvelled at how obscene the movement of his hand looked under the material of her rucked-up skirt. When his index finger danced down further, sending a ripple of sensation straight to where he was clearly aiming for, Hermione couldn't hold back her moan.
"You're wet, aren't you, Hermione?"
The throaty murmur had her eyes jumping to him again, and at any other time, his smirk would've reminded her heavily of his late cousin and made her want to put him in his place. Now, however, all it did was back her breath up in her lungs, and another grazing swipe of his finger had a whimper falling from her lips unchecked. Teddy's smirk grew and he leant forward in his chair so much, she instinctively tried to lean away.
The back of her chair stopped any further movement. Instead, Hermione slipped down in her seat, her legs parting more, splaying open, and her hands locked onto the sides of the chair as the momentum dragged his hand right between her thighs, making her gasp.
"Shall we test that theory?" Teddy breathed into her ear, voice a purr. When Hermione whimpered and nodded so rapidly, her hair escaped her loose ponytail and flew into both his face and hers, his own hair flashed black, his tongue scraped along the shell and his hand dived eagerly under the edge of her knickers.
"God! Teddy!" Hermione cried, back arching when that first finger dipped inside of her. Teddy groaned in her ear, cursing quietly when she spread her legs as wide as she comfortably could and pushed herself into his hand, blind eyes locked on the glowing screen of her laptop. His thumb burrowed through soaked folds and pressed down on her clit, and when she cried out again, he abruptly removed his hand, leaving her blinking at him, confused and aching.
"What… no, Teddy, I need-"
"I know," he grunted, taking her by the sides and raising her torso and hips up, so that she was bridged above the chair. "I know what you need. I'm going to give it to you." With rushed and shaking hands, he scrambled for her knickers and jerked them down to below her knees before shoving her skirt up above her waist. When the cool draft touched her sex, Hermione gasped, and balancing herself on one hand, her other hand shot towards the pulse between her legs.
Teddy caught her hand before it could reach its destination.
"No," he murmured, meeting her eyes and folding her fingers back around the edge of the chair. "I said that I know what you need, didn't I?"
"But… Teddy, please…"
"I know what you need," he repeated, the tone of his voice catching her attention, and then he was kissing her, lips firm and tongue hot. Hermione greedily kissed him back, and then her jaw dropped open, Teddy swallowing her choked whine when his hand trailed through her sex and a finger slipped back inside of her, beginning a lazy rhythm.
In and out. In and out. Far too slow.
"Teddy," she moaned against his lips, wiggling her hips and trying to buck up into his hand. However, her knickers around her calves restricted movement, and a groan of frustration filled the otherwise silent room. "Teddy, please, please, I need-"
"Hermione! Hermione, you here?"
Both Hermione and Teddy went utterly still. Harry's voice echoed through the house, and Teddy pulled back, staring silently into Hermione's wide eyes, his hand still between her legs. Hermione's heart jack-rabbited against her sternum, her panting loud, her belly coiled and tight and in desperate need of relief. Time seemed to stand still, and then a blatantly wicked smirk spread across Teddy's face.
"Answer him," he said quietly, shocking Hermione when his other hand, which had remained clamped on her side, rose to deftly begin opening the buttons of her blouse. One-handed. He was doing it one-handed. She gaped at him, only reacting when he spread her blouse open and pulled down the cups of her bra.
"What? No, Teddy, we can't-"
"Answer him," Teddy interrupted her, and his head dipped and he wrapped his lips around a peaked nipple, drawing it into his mouth. When his hand began to move again simultaneously, Hermione bit back her shout.
Fuck! "I-I'm b-busy!" she called, moaning under her breath and squeezing her eyes shut, her head lolling against the top of the chair. Teddy sucked on her nipple, rolling it around and nipping at it with his teeth, his hand continuing with its careful pumping, never upping the rhythm. She hissed through her teeth and her hands spasmed against the underside of the chair.
"Don't let go," Teddy muttered into her skin. Hermione blew out an agitated breath and bucked up sharply, almost unseating him.
"Then fucking get on with it and touch me!" she growled, teeth baring when he chuckled. Her jaw went slack and her eyes rolled back when a second and then a third finger unexpectedly joined the first, stretching her deliciously. "Ugh, god, Teddy, yes!"
"You're busy? Are you writing?" Steps sounded loud and Hermione's eyes popped open in panic. Was he coming closer?!
"No! H-Harry, don't come in h-here!"
"But what if he did?" Teddy whispered, releasing her nipple and laying his cheek between her breasts, looking up at her through long, dark lashes. His hand finally picked up speed and Hermione moaned a curse and bit her bottom lip hard, entrapped by the smokey green of his eyes.
"What if he did, Hermione? What if he came in her and saw you like this, spread out like a feast for his godson? His godson who's 20 years younger than you and who you're letting touch you so intimately? Who you're letting make you pant and moan and beg and scream and come so hard, you see stars? What if he saw you like that? Look at my hand. Look."
Unable to help herself, Hermione looked, following Teddy's gaze and watching him frig her furiously, fucking her with his fingers, faster and faster and faster. His thumb speared over her clit and Hermione's hips flew, jerking erratically, her knickers falling to her ankles.
"Look at how wet my hand is. How wet you are. What if he saw this, Hermione? What if he saw you like this?"
A long, broken moan ripped through the room as Hermione flew apart around his fingers, Teddy's movements never stopping, his lips latching onto her neglected nipple. Her body tightened like a bowstring, then snapped, waves of pleasure washing over her and stealing all conscious thought, until she found herself sagging in the chair and blinking up at the ceiling, sweat rolling down her forehead and into her eyes. Dimly, she was aware of her bra being pulled back into place and her blouse being done up again, Teddy quietly lifting her to pull her skirt down over her hips, a tingle of a cleaning charm following the material's progress. She heard Teddy very slowly draw in a breath, then let it out just as carefully, and she turned her head when he brushed back the hair stuck to the side of her face.
"All right?" Teddy asked, smiling at her. Hermione smiled back, lids low.
"Hermione, where are you? You sound… weird. Are you all right?"
Bolting upright, the witch's gaze flew to the door. The wide open goddamn fucking door. "Jesus, Teddy, Harry! We just… for fuck's sake!"
"I think you quite liked it," Teddy grinned, folding his arms and leaning back in his chair, casual in the face of her panicked agitation. "I know I did. You better go see what he wants, though. I'm in no fit state to talk to my godfather at the moment."
His hand fell to his lap and he rubbed his palm along the straining length of his erection tenting his trousers, his smirking eyes on her the entire time. Hermione's gaze rapidly followed and her face flooded, her eyes narrowing and lips thinning.
Merlin-damned, arrogant, Black-blooded boy.
"Stay," she ordered, ignoring his soft laughter and shoving the chair back, hurrying around the table and out of the room. It wasn't until she was at the bottom of the stairs that she remembered she was knickerless, the horrifying realization stopping her in her tracks. For Christ's sake, she couldn't talk to Harry with nothing but skin under her skirt! It only went to her knees!
Harry appeared on the landing just as she was turning to rush back into the kitchen.
"Oh, there you are. Have you been running? You look a little sweaty."
Hermione cringed. "Um, n-no. Nope. I just… was trying out a new charm I found. For research, you know. It's a little more taxing than I thought it was going to be."
"Really?" Harry cocked his head in interest. "What charm? No, never mind, I don't have time." He waved a file at her while Hermione tried to keep her face straight, almost dizzy with relief. "Ginny's asked if we want to go for a pint tonight, and since I forgot this, I thought I'd ask in person. Wanna? Or is your book calling?"
"Tonight? Erm, s-sure. I could use a drink, to be honest."
"Great!" Harry said, smiling at her and drawing his wand. "I thought I might invite Teddy along too, if that's okay with you. He needs a distraction at the moment, I think. Been a bit antsy and off-balance lately."
"A-ah, yeah, that's f-fine. What's he antsy about?"
Harry shrugged. "Dunno. Either his studies or a girl. Actually, I leaning towards a girl. He's on top of his studies as far as I know, and he's a little too tied up in knots for it to be anything else, know what I mean?"
Hermione's heart slammed. "Y-yeah. Yeah, I do. Um, don't you think you better go? I'll meet you at the Leaky tonight. Around seven?
"Shit, you're right. Seven's good. We'll do Indian tomorrow night?"
"Nah, just bring it with you," Hermione said, grinning when Harry snorted and shook his head in exasperation. "Come on, you know it'll be much better than what Jerry sells. Tom was a good enough cook, sure, but Jerry's a bloody rotten one."
"Ah, it's all about the tradition, 'Mione!" her best friend laughed. "Okay, okay, I'll bring it. But I gotta go. See you tonight!"
He turned on the spot and disapparated with a crack, and Hermione stood in the hallway for a moment before turning and making her way back into the kitchen. Teddy was still sitting sprawled out in his chair but he now had a beer to his lips. Hermione stopped in the doorway and looked at him.
The bottle lowered and Harry's godson, a man almost 20 years younger than her, peered at her with a calm expression over the lip.
"I've missed you."
Hermione sighed. His soft statement made her chest hurt, but her steps were still cautious as she approached him. She stopped by his knee, and watching his hand clench around the bottle made her wonder if he was stopping himself from reaching for her.
She almost wished he wouldn't. It would makes things so much easier.
"Did you know I was going to be here?" she asked quietly, then let out an irritated huff, her hands finding her hips when he nodded. "Damn it, Teddy. I told you I needed some time. I need to get my head around this. Couldn't you just give me that?"
The bottle thunked against the tabletop and Teddy leant forward on his knees, eyes on her face. "You've had a month to get your head around it, pretty girl. Don't give me that look," he said when she grimaced and rubbed her face tiredly. "I call 'em as I see 'em and you are a pretty girl. You're my pretty girl, and I really, really want to marry my pretty girl."
Hermione groaned. "Please stop saying that."
"Why?" Teddy demanded, dragging her chair closer and pushing her gently into it, running his hands down her arms and intertwining their fingers. "We've been together in secret a year, Hermione. A year. I'm an adult and so are you. Why can't we go public and get married? We love each other, don't we?"
Sudden insecurity rippled across his expression. "Fuck, you do still love me, don't you?"
Hermione scowled at him. "Of course I do, you twat," she said, lifting a brow when his shoulders sagged in relief. "You know that's not the reason. You know what the reason is, Teddy. I don't want to lose him, and if we do this, I just might."
"And you know that I'm positive Harry'll be fine with it-"
"I've been lying to him for a year! You don't think he'll take exception to that?"
"Yeah, he probably will, but he'll get over it when he sees how fucking happy you make me!" Teddy snapped, pulling away from her and spearing his hands through his plain brown hair. He sighed when Hermione looked down uncertainly and captured her hands again, pressing a kiss to her knuckles. "Look, can't we just have a really long engagement? A year or two if you like? Give him and the rest of our lot a chance to get used to us? I don't care when I marry you, pretty girl, just that I do. I want my ring on your finger."
Hermione stared at his earnest expression and the indecision lasted a surprisingly short amount of time. She sucked in a shaky breath and let it out, her insides trembling.
She was really going to do this. She was actually really going to do this.
Merlin help them.
"Christ, are you sure you didn't inherit any of your father's wolfy traits?" she muttered, going for stern but unable to hide her shy smile. "This possessiveness claptrap gets on my last nerve."
Teddy's answering smile was big, and it was slow, and it was so full of hope, it was like the sun coming out. "So you'll marry me?" he asked in an uncharacteristically timid voice. Hermione laughed, feeling lighter than she had in a long time. She was in his lap before she realized she was going to move.
"I'll marry you," she sighed into his throat, cuddling in close when his arms wrapped around her. "I've missed you just as much as you've missed me. But we're going to have that long engagement, and don't you dare even think about bailing on me when we tell Harry. And, oh god, Andromeda. You'll have to make sure she doesn't have her wand on her that day, because-"
His lips cut her off. Teddy kissed her like he was trying to devour her, and Hermione happily kissed him back, her heart aching in an entirely different way.
She loved Teddy Lupin. With everything she had. And sweet Merlin, she was going to marry Teddy Lupin. Other people's opinions be damned.
"So. Wanna tell me more about this getting-caught fantasy you seem to have?" Teddy murmured to her sometime later, smirking when she suddenly sat up in his lap and glared at him. "Or is it a Harry-Potter-catching-you fantasy? Secretly fancy your best friend, my love?"
His snickering was quickly cut off by indignant, terrified squawking when his newly-secured fiancee proceeded to make bat-shaped bogeys fly out of his nose.