A/N: So I tend to be very picky with my Hermione pairing, sometimes to the point where it gets annoying. That being said, I'm not really into pairing Hermione with anyone from the Marauders era. I'm not saying there isn't any good fanfiction about them, of course, just that it's not exactly my cup of tea, however I do have a growing soft spot for Hermione/Remus. I still wouldn't call myself a fan, but I can see them working out and I'd definitely give it a chance if I'm intrigued enough.

Anyway, this came to me out of nowhere really. It's a little long so I'm not sure if I can call it a drabble, but I've always wanted to write something like that and decided that I might as well try with Hermione/Remus since the plot bunnies are attacking...

Apologies for the long post! I hope you enjoy this!

They just don't understand.

Hermione's relationship with Remus Lupin was strictly platonic. Yes, there is love, but the kind a girl would have for a favorite uncle. Get your heads out of the gutter, she wants to scream.

Harry is open about his love for his old professor and no one bats an eye. All she did was hug him, because he was getting thinner and grayer and he smiled far less than she remembered, and suddenly she's a shameless harlot.

"He's old, Hermione!"

She glares scathingly. And why do you feel the need to tell me that, Ronald? She leaves the room instead. Thirty-seven is hardly old.

What is there not to love about Remus– Professor Lupin! –assuming of course that a girl as young as she would choose to love him? He is brave, and kind, and he's given so much for the Order that he's already grown old and tired.

She's always admired him, and questioned those that didn't.

"Perhaps you should look for someone your own age, dearie."

For goodness' sake, I'm not looking! There's a war to be fought!

She sees right through Molly's forged sweetness. She had, after all, believed the words of Rita Skeeter over that of a girl she's known for years.

And what is so wrong about telling the person you admire that you do, in fact, admire them? Remus of all people deserves to hear it.

He's awfully kind, on top of being absolutely brilliant. He's always put the needs of those he loves before his, no matter how dire, and throughout his short stay at Hogwarts he's done nothing but create and nurture a highly stimulating yet safe learning environment. He encouraged critical thinking, discussions and debates, and demanded that they question him and his methods when they feel it necessary while Umbridge sought to squash any form of independence.

He suffers from everyday prejudice because of something he had no hand in, because of something that happened to him when he was a child, and he's homeless and penniless most of the time but he'd never let their words cut him, he'd never allow them to crush him and turn him into the beast they all expect him to be. He rises above, continuously.

For twelve years he had lived with the knowledge that one of his best friends killed three, and until then he thought himself partially responsible. His guilt followed him even afterwards, a constant reminder of the fact that he doubted Sirius and never once thought of visiting him in Azkaban.

He held on to Harry even though his best friend was dying, even though there were probably many things he didn't get to say and many other things he never apologized for, but he knew that Harry was the future of their world and for the sake of thousands he shoved his own grief aside and held him back.

He is now the last of the Marauders. He feels a heavy weight threatening to break his back, and she knows because she sees him when others don't and she can tell that he's afraid, not of fighting but of failing James and Lilly– and now Sirius –a second time.

She does these small things, these favors that hardly make her sweat, to make him understand that he is appreciated. She wants him to know that he needn't hide in the shadows, that he ought to join them in their laughter and games and jeers because he deserves to be happy if only for a little while.

She slaves over another Wolfsbane potion. She ignores the looks.

They just don't understand.

There is nothing romantic about the love she has for Remus Lupin.

… or is there?

She doesn't ponder it. What would he think?!