Note to the reader: this might not be one of the best things I've ever written, but it makes me happy to think of Remus finally being happy and not alone! So please just enjoy. It's pure fluffiness!
DISCLAIMER: All characters and details of the wizarding world belong to JKR. The plot (if it can be called that) is pure fabrication on my part.
Remus Lupin came back to himself with a great feeling of satisfaction. He had done something important that night. He'd accomplished something. But what was it? He looked down at his hands and saw them morphing from fearsome claws into his normal human digits.
Then he remembered. He had been prowling the woods as a werewolf when something had jumped out in front of him. It had yelled something at him, then a flash of light flew at him. That only angered him more so he-
There was a girl next to him. A young girl by the name of Hermione Granger.
He paled. She had a bite mark in her shoulder, which he could see through her ripped robes.
He howled with all the power left in his human lungs, a horrible sound of pure unadulterated self-loathing, which was heard for miles around. She opened her eyes.
For a second she just stared at him in shock, then recognition set in. Professor Lupin? Her eyes took in their surroundings before resting once again on his. Professor Lupin, you shouldn't be out and about like this. You need to have your scratches tended to. Here- and she took out her wand and muttered a few words which caused his wounds to heal up, leaving only tiny white scars in their wake. He watched it all in a kind of daze before shaking his head and climbing to his feet. He scooped her up in his arms and walked purposefully out of the glade. PROFESSOR! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!?! she screeched.
Calm down, Miss Granger. As soon as we get to my house, we will Floo to Hogwarts, and we will have your bite attended to there. But at this point you have no right to be complaining! That was downright stupid, young lady! How could you do this to yourself? How could you do this to me?! Do you have any idea what you have done by this, Miss Granger? You have doomed yourself to a life of isolation, a friendless existence except for those few who will brave their fear of werewolves. I always pegged you as being a smart one, but I suppose I was wrong! That was the most stupid thing you could have done! And you're just lucky I didn't kill you. Or perhaps you're unlucky, I still haven't decided. He spoke in a quiet, calm, almost conversational tone, but there was an undercurrent of fury that struck fear in Hermione.
But she didn't become upset. Professor, I wouldn't worry, if I were you. Sure, I'm a werewolf now, but I knew I could handle myself! He stared at her smiling weakly at him.
Handle yourself? HANDLE YOURSELF! YOU JUST RUINED YOUR LIFE! NO! YOU JUST MADE ME RESPONSIBLE FOR RUINING YOUR LIFE! He bellowed in grief.
Really, Professor, you were responsible for the ruin of my life from the very beginning. It's never bothered you before. I suppose you didn't know, but that's the truth. May I call you Remus?
He dropped her onto a grassy mound and she squealed. Would you mind explaining why you're so calm about the fact that you are now a WEREWOLF?!
Okay, Remus. The reason I'm happy about this is that if I'm a werewolf, that means you no longer are. I have been researching-
Remus looked at Hermione in horror, where she was sitting on the knoll, blood streaming from her unattended shoulder. You didn't. He grabbed her shoulders and looked deeply into her eyes. She winced as his hand came in contact with her wound, but she swallowed it.
Of course I did. You'd do the same for me, admit it! She looked bravely at him while her color rose.
Of course I would, but that's beside the point! Now you'll turn into a werewolf every month, and you can still hurt people a lot!
Yes, Remus, but you will never be able to curse anyone else, and if you're with me every full moon, you'll be able to keep me in control. She didn't break off eye contact, not once.
Hermione? You're either the smartest and most loyal or the dumbest and cruelest friend I've ever had. Remus shook her with every word, then hugged her to him, tears streaming down his face.
She tried not to be swept away in it. After all, she had just saved him from ever cursing anyone else with lycantropy, so it was only natural for him to feel gratitude. But she wanted nothing more just then than to be able to hold him in her arms and kiss his tears away. But of course she couldn't. She might have graduated, but he was still many years older than her, and her former teacher.
He pulled out his wand and whispered a spell at her shoulder, still trailing blood over her white robes. He felt like she was some sacrifice or something, placed before the beast in order to save the world from a horrible curse: him. Her beautiful tanned skin knit together, and he realized that he still had the taste of her blood in his mouth. He felt an urge to throw up, so he ran towards the sound of running water and washed out his mouth, Hermione watching curiously behind him. Feeling human again, he walked back to her.
Hermione felt herself swept up in his arms again, and made a feeble protest. He held on, though.
This is what you get for that stupid stunt you pulled: I am not going to let you do anything dangerous ever again without me. I owe my life to you, so I'm going to be damned certain that yours does not end too soon. And I'm not just talking about the full moon. I am going to shadow you until I can't walk. Then, I will be certain that you can't walk either, so I can keep an eye on you.
He was so fiercely protective of her from that day onward that sometimes she felt the urge to scream. He always seemed to pop up when she was about to do something even obscurely life-threatening. The day she took her exams for Apparating he was there. He even bought a house close to hers, so he could keep up with her on a full moon.
She burst into his house. This has got to stop! You idiot, I got fired because you kept on showing up and inventing reasons why I couldn't do it! Tell me what reason could be good enough to keep an auror from doing her job? She put her hands on her hips and glared at the placid, well-rested man seated on the couch.
Luv, couldn't you keep your voice down? You know very well that you are being punished for not leaving well enough alone! He spoke calmly, but there was a harsh tone in his voice.
Well thank you, you git! Perhaps I'll just go starve to death for lack of a decent job! You-you-you-! IT WAS NOT WELL ENOUGH! You know as well as I do that you were miserable, and now you're healthy, and you have a great future ahead of you! So why do you have to ruin my life? Haven't you done enough already? She started to cry.
I thought so, but apparently you had different ideas. So now we have two snarling wolves instead of one, and oh, by the way, one of them is a werewolf! Except now the werewolf isn't old, so it won't die as soon! It's a nice fresh young one! Another life ruined! How is this an improvement, O Head Girl of her class! Remus rose as he raised his voice.
If you could only accept it as it was intended and get on with a happy life which you are long overdue for, then we wouldn't have to have the arguments! I hate fighting with you, Remus.
His stern attitude faltered when he looked back at Hermione. Tears were falling fast now, and Hermione's make-up was smearing. Remus could see the carefully-covered circles under her eyes. A concerned look entered his eyes, Why did you do it? Can't you see it hurts me more to have you suffer? He tried to hug her, but she shrank away.
I guess you think I'm selfish to do it, but if the person you loved was suffering, you wouldn't hesitate to take that suffering upon yourself, would you? She spoke deliberately, and Remus was struck by the pain in her look.
I'm sorry! I tried not to let it get to me, but it just hurt too much. So I decided that you shouldn't have to be alone. But I didn't want us to hurt anyone, so I cured you. But had I told you what I was going to do, then you would have just stopped me, and asked why, and I wasn't going to tell you- She stopped looking at him as she realized what she'd said.
Remus was absolutely flabbergasted. He was holding onto her shoulders, just staring at her. She loved him? She loved him? How could she love me? How could she even think about that? I'm a beast! Nobody loves the beast! Sure, I have friends, but that's more than I deserve.
He stopped suddenly as she made eye contact and he realized that he had spoken the last aloud. A tear began to trickle down his cheek but was stopped by a small hand, scratched in many places, that rested there. You are not a beast, Remus! You are a wonderful man who occasionally gets a bit fuzzier than your average human! You were the best defense against the dark arts teacher we ever had at Hogwarts, and everybody with half a brain was sorry to see you go. You supported Harry, and taught him what he needed to know in order to defeat You-Know-Who! You deserve everything that is great and good in this world! She glared angrily at him.
You teach hundreds of kids how protect themselves, and you don't deserve to have friends? You are always kind and caring and you expect people not to love you?
What do you expect us to do? Say, Oh, yeah. You're a werewolf. Well, it coulda been great, if you didn't turn into a slavering beast every six weeks!' Come on, Remus!
Who are you to decide what you do and do not deserve?! You are judged by your peers, and you have always more than made up for-
Remus yelled as Hermione continued to berate him.
-the lycantropy. And no need to yell, Remus. I'm right here. You need to work on accepting the gifts you're given- She was silenced by Remus lifting her chin and placing his lips on hers.
He had only intended to shut her up, and perhaps see what she meant by saying that she loved him. When it all turned out to be a misunderstanding, he could start apologizing. They had to spend time together during their transformations, so she would eventually forgive him. He had expected her to push him away and slap him or even to apologize for making it sound like she loved him. But he had not expected her entire body to tense in excitement, and her arms to appear around his neck, and her hands to slide into his hair. He didn't expect her to press her body against his. And he didn't expect to feel the pull of joy, like the force of undertow, making him keep doing this incredibly stupid thing.
She won't want anything to do with you, the second she realizes that it's you, she'll be gone.' He couldn't help thinking that she was being awfully slow, compared with the top student he knew. Maybe she was illl, or- But he couldn't think coherently anymore, as her mouth opened, and he deepened the kiss. After several intervals of gasping for breath then going back for more, Remus pulled back, the sensible part of his brain protesting violently. What are you doing to me? Why?
Her trembling hand once again stopped the tear as it descended down his cheek. I love you, Remus. That's why I did it. Because I love you, and I didn't want you to be alone anymore! She clung to him, her arms around him middle, her head resting on his chest. She couldn't bear to look at his face and find out that he didn't feel the same.
Of course. I'd never lie to you! I have looked up to you since I first met you. Then I figured out your secret, and since then I've been looking for some way for me to help you. The Werewolf-Substitution Curse was the only one I could find. And I weighed all the options, and I asked myself why I was doing this for you. And whether it was worth it, just to keep you from cursing others.
A very sensible question. What did you conclude?
I concluded that I was in love with you. So anything that would spare you some direct guilt and allow me to spend extra time with you was definitely worth it. But that was before you started nursemaiding me. Now I'm not sure.
She thought it was worth the painful transformations every month, and the stigma, and the absurdly large inconvenience worth it to do something for him! She had done this incredible thing for him, just like James, Sirius, and Peter. But none of them had ever considered sharing his curse. They just wanted to help him through it, and make it safe for others. As usual, Hermione Granger had taken this assignment head and shoulders above the rest of the class. And she loved him. And he needed her. He already felt his need to keep her safe growing as she became infinitely dearer to him. A beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman loved him enough to risk her life for him. And he would do the same for her.
He lifted her chin again and gave her lips a lingering kiss. I would have done the same for you, you're right. I think I love you too. A silly grin appeared on her face. But I can't help feeling that this is wrong. She started kissing him lightly on his face. I mean, ah, I'm so much older than you. People will think I- She halted his protest by kissing him passionately.
When he had gained his senses again, she said, Remus, dear. I love you. I'm not going to let any stupid assumptions keep us apart. It normally is a bad thing when two people are so far apart age-wise, but everyone always tells me I'm wise for my age, so really it doesn't matter. Shush! She said as he tried to talk. All the people who matter won't think badly of us. But that's not important. What is important is that we love each other, and I, for one, am not going to let my life be dictated by others. I love you more than anything, Remus. I'm not a baby, and I've known what I'm getting into a long time.
Remus watched her as she talked and realized that she was the best thing that ever happened to him. So he did the only sensible thing. He kissed her again.
I lost at love before
Got mad and closed the door
But you said try, just once more
I chose you for the one
Now I'm havin' so much fun
You treated me so kind
I'm about to lose my mind
You made me so very happy
I'm so glad you
Came into my life!
The others were untrue
But when it came to loving you
I'd spend my whole life with you
Cause you came and you took control
You touched my very soul
You always showed me that
Lovin' you is where it's at
You made me so very happy
I'm so glad you
Came into my life
I love you so much it seems
You're even in my dreams
I can hear you!
Babe, I can hear you callin' me!
I'm so in love with you
All I'm ever gonna want do
Is thank you baby!
Thank you baby!
You made me so very happy
You made me so, so very happy baby
I'm so glad you came
Into my life
Every day of my life
I wanna thank you
You made me so very happy
Oh, I wanna spend my life thankin' you
Thank you baby
Thank you baby
Thank you baby
Thank you baby!
-You've Made Me So Very Happy -Blood, Sweat, and Tears