Rating: R, for violence and sexual content
Summary: After an "accident" during a project for Care of Magical Creatures, Hermione falls under the care and supervision of Professor Lupin. How will each deal with developing emotions when personal events start to bring them closer than they ever thought possible.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any characters that are involved within that genre, nor am I making money off of this. The plot is the only thing that is mine.
Author's Notes: Well, this is my first try at a Harry Potter story. I am obsessed with UC pairings so I thought I take a jab at the Remus/Hermione ship. I hope ya'll enjoy it.
P.S. Those wondering about my fic "Revelations", don't worry, I haven't abandoned it. I've got chapter 16 halfway done. I just got this plot bunny and couldn't concentrate on any other story until I started writing this. That said....enjoy!
"Come on, Hermione, would you hurry up! Really, I thought you liked going to class!"
Cinnamon eyes rolled at the remark yelled from the redhead situated at the bottom of the stairs. What an annoying little prat Ron could be sometimes. Of course she liked going to class, loved it in fact, but being prepared for the excursion they were about to partake in in their next class was far more important to the bushy-haired witch than being ridiculously early; at least this once it was.
It was a friday evening and Hermione Granger was mentally double checking her required items list while packing all the supplies she would need for her final assignment in Care of Magical Creatures before Christmas Break began. It was her, Ron, and Harry's seventh and final year at Hogwarts and now that classes were coming to a close until the new year, Hermione wanted to be sure she did everything correctly so as not to blemish her perfect record.
"Honestly, Ron, could you be anymore shrill while addressing me?" Hermione said as she emerged from the doorway at the top of the stairs that lead to the girl's dormitory. She was carrying a large overnight bag, which the boys highly doubted was filled with little more than piles of books, and was trying to wrap her gold and red scarf tightly around her exposed neck.
Harry, determined not to be witness to another fight between his two best friends, quickly silenced the pair by announcing it was time to leave. Closing her mouth with a click and cutting off her retort to whatever it was she thought she heard Ron mumble, Hermione nodded her head and walked briskly to the portrait hole. With a sigh, Harry and Ron hefted their own bags over their shoulders and followed close behind.
The walk to Hagrid's hut was a short and uneventful one, but upon arriving Hermione immediately noticed the unusual presence of the Headmaster among Hagrid and her fellow classmates.
"Good evening everyone," the Headmaster began as the trio entered the cluster of seventh year Slytherins and Gryffindors and charmed their bags so the snow on the ground would not penetrate them, "you are most likely wondering what I am doing here tonight." His eyes twinkled as he caught Hermione's gaze, knowing full well that that was exactly what she had been thinking.
"I am here," he continued, "to make sure your final project of the year goes smoothly. Hagrid came to me a little less than a month ago with his request to let you spend the weekend in the Forbidden Forest and interact with and document the creatures you see beyond this tree line, and after some hesitation I have accepted."
A murmur went through the students. They had known only to bring an overnight bag with warm clothes that would last them three days and two nights, not what exactly their assignment would be. Hermione felt a tremble go through her. Harry and Ron had told her about the spiders they had the misfortune of meeting in second year and she certainly did not want to go through a similar ordeal.
"Now, I do not wish you to worry." Again Dumbledore glanced at Hermione as if sensing her thoughts, "I assure you the proper precautions have been made and the areas in which you will be staying have been thoroughly secured."
Sighs of relief could be heard from several of the students.
"I will be with Hagrid the entire weekend, making sure everyone here will be all right. But just in case, I would now like to enchant your wands so that if you do happen to come across trouble which you cannot handle by yourself, you will be able to send a signal to us and we may locate you immediately."
Those words did not bring comfort to Hermione. She could think of nothing but Dumbledore's words 'by yourself' as the Headmaster collected everyone's wands for charming. Spending a weekend alone in the Forbidden Forest? He had to have been joking.
"Erm...Professor...?" Ron started nervously.
"Yes, Mr. Weasley?" Dumbledore asked with a hidden smile on his face.
"What exactly will we be doing?" Mumblings of similar confusion could be heard through the crowd.
"Ah, yes, I do believe I shall turn it over to Hagrid for that information while I charm you wands." Dumbledore extended his free arm towards the giant gamekeeper and stepped to the side of the group.
Hagrid moved to the spot previously occupied by Dumbledore and looked around excitedly at the nervous students.
"Now don't yeh go worryin'. Dumbledore's got it all worked out." He said as he saw the looks of apprehension directed towards the ominous trees behind him. "Yeh'll be pullin' a slip out of this hat here," he motioned to a worn, gray hat situated in his left hand, "and that'll tell yer location in the forest for the weekend."
"For yer assignment," Hagrid continued as he started to walked around the semi-circle so each student could pull a slip out of the hat," I want yeh to document any creature yeh see in a journal and, if possible, interact with 'em."
He moved to the center of the group again and looked proudly at his students.
"Yeh need to make camp and use all the knowledge yeh've learned to get yerself a good grade. Me and Dumbledore'll be here if yeh need anything." He put the hat down and turned to Dumbledore, who had finished charming the students' wands and was now busy redistributing them.
"Yes, we will be here if there is any need and I must stress the importance of asking for help if trouble does come along. We do not wish for any accidents to happen." The Headmaster looked pointedly towards the golden trio, who had the good sense to blush.
"Now," he continued," if nobody has any questions, the pieces of parchment in your hands will transport you to your location." When his prompt was answered with silence, Dumbledore nodded, the twinkle in his eyes bright. In only a matter of moments, the students felt strange tugs behind their bellybuttons, and soon afterwards, the courtyard in front of Hagrid's house was once again empty.
When she felt herself start to rematerialize, Hermione reached out to a nearby tree for support and shook her head. She would never get used to traveling by portkey; the affects were much too dizzying for her tastes. With a sigh, she turned full circle to survey her location. She didn't know what she had been expecting, but what was in front of her was certainly not it. She was standing at the edge of a small, snow-covered clearing that was lined with trees and various other forms of shrubbery. The trees weren't too dense on the outside of the glade, from what she could see, but she was sure that was partially due to the fact that it was mid-December and all the leaves had long since fallen and decayed. In the middle of the clearing she could make out two large packs, one of which obviously contained a tent of some sort, or at least Hermione hoped it did, because she hadn't thought to pack one. With some trepidation, she moved forward to examine the contents of the bags and was relieved to find that, yes, one did hold and tent and that the other contained three days worth of food.
Suppressing a shudder that reminded her that she had no clue as to her whereabouts or Harry's or Ron's, Hermione pulled the tent from its bag and diligently started to construct it, determined to raise it before the sun went down and the real cold set in. With a well-placed melting charm to the ground and a prayer of thanks to her parents for the camping excursions they had dragged her on when she was little, she had her tent up and sturdy within only a few minutes. As she felt a bitter wind start to kiss her face, Hermione knew her next task was to focus on getting a fire started. Clearing another plot on the ground of snow with a melting charm, she pushed as many large stones as she could find together to form a circle a few feet away from her sleeping quarters. Looking around, Hermione didn't see many good pieces of kindling to use, but she made do with what she could gather.
"Accendo," she whispered with a flick of her wand towards the small pile of damp firewood. Instantly, it was set ablaze and formed itself into a roaring campfire.
When she was finally satisfied with the set up of her encampment, Hermione gave a sigh of content. Brushing off the dirt that had accumulated on her hands during her fire making, she moved to her overnight bag that she had previously set beside her tent. Dragging it next to the fire, she quickly unfastened its ties to expose its contents. Harry and Ron had not been too far off in their assumption that Hermione's bag had been filled almost entirely with books, but she was glad that she had packed them. Since she had not previously known what her assignment was to be, she had packed every book and scroll she owned that contained information about magical creatures. Now that she knew her assignment, Hermione picked through the impressive collection in an attempt to find any book with material on the creatures of the Forbidden Forest. She wanted to be sure to take extra good notes so she could receive an excellent mark on the project.
Pulling out a particularly thick volume entitled Hogwarts and Its Inhabitants, Hermione settled herself just inside the front flap of her tent and let the now necessary firelight illuminate the words on the pages in front of her.
The hours passed and Hermione began to wonder if she was ever going to see a single resident of the Forbidden Forest. It was probably sometime around midnight now (she couldn't tell for sure, though, because of the canopy's impediment of her view of the night sky) and she had yet to even hear a stirring in the grounds around her. The silence that enveloped her was deafening, and it was then that Hermione began to feel very alone. Resisting the urge to give into the fear that was starting to consume her, she went back to the solace she could find in her book.
After another few hours of reading, Hermione felt the words in front of her beginning to blur. She had accumulated a good amount of knowledge tonight and was actually starting to become excited about the prospect of meeting some of the creatures she was reading about. They would be positively fascinating. She was sure of it.
With a giant yawn, she laid her book back in her sack and unrolled her sleeping bag. After surveying her campsite one last time, she waved her wand to put out her fire. Settling herself inside the warm fabrics of her blankets, Hermione closed her eyes and let the thoughts of how exciting it was going to be to meet new creatures lull her to sleep.
Hermione woke with a start. Sitting up, she instantly pulled her wand out from beneath her pillow. From the darkness that enveloped her, she could tell that it was still nighttime. She sat silent for several moments, listening. She thought she had heard the snapping of a twig or branch, but she wasn't sure if it had just been a dream. Either way, she wasn't going to take any chances. For one, if it was a creature outside, then she would need to document it, because as the evening had proved earlier, the chances of seeing inhabitants of the forest were few and far between so she needed to cease them when available. Secondly, with Voldemort on the rise, it was never good to take things that go bump in the night lightly.
After a few moments of hearing nothing, Hermione decided that she better not take any chances. Nervously sliding herself out of her sleeping bag, she reached for the zipper of the front flap of her tent.
Hermione froze. She definitely heard that. It didn't sound like it was too close to her, but it was certainly near enough for her to observe if she cast a charm on her eyes that enabled her to see in the dark.
Point her wand at her face, she hurriedly whispered nox noctis visum. Hermione felt the familiar tingling at the back of her eyes and watched as her surroundings became much lighter, as if the sun was now shining.
Deciding that she was ready to face whatever lay beyond the flap of her tent, Hermione gripped her wand tightly in her right hand and started to undo the zipper in front of her with her left.
Tentatively, she poked her head out and looked around. Even with her enhanced vision, she couldn't see a source for the sound she had heard. She knew that she should investigate some more and step out of the tent, but she just could not shake off a sense of dread that was nagging at her in the back of her head.
Holding her wand even tighter, Hermione reached her arms out of the flap and pushed herself into a standing position. Still, she could see nothing out of the ordinary. A cold chill went down her spine. It was much too quiet now and she did not like it. Slowly turning in a circle, she regarded her surroundings. The only noise that could be heard was her quickened breath. Not even the wind dared to blow. Oh, how she wished Harry was with her. She was not good with combat situations, that was Harry and Ron. Her contribution to the group came in books and cleverness, not in physicality.
The sound that erupted next made all the blood flee from the young witch's face. She had heard that noise before and it was not one that was easily forgotten, the howl of a hungry werewolf never could be. Her hands shook as the high-pitched cry seemed to come at her from all directions, but she lunged into a defensive stance and held her wand protectively in front of her, trying desperately to think of any spell that would help her in her current situation. All magic left her head, though, as the hulking figure sauntered into the clearing and eyed her up and down, drool clinging to its ugly chops.
Hermione didn't know what was happening, but she soon found herself running as fast as her short legs would go, hoping that she would come across another campsite or that Dumbledore would sense her distress. She could all too well feel the warm breath emanating from the beast close on her trail. Frantically trying to think of a spell that would aide her, Hermione didn't see the protruding tree root until it was too late.
With a sickening snap, she felt her ankle crumble out from beneath her. Crying out with pain and frustration, Hermione knew her end was about to come. She wished desperately that she could once more see the look on Ron's face when he won a game of Wizard's Chess, or feel the gentle touch of Harry's hand on her shoulder when he knew she was upset about a bad grade, but she knew she would never experience such things ever again as she watched the beast approach her prone form.
Letting out another ear-piercing howl of triumph, the man-like wolf lunged at her. Tears of terror falling fresh from her eyes, Hermione could do nothing but scream the first spell that came to her mind as she felt the razor-sharp fangs pierce the fragile flesh of her left shoulder and tear at the muscle fibers they found there.
A loud yelp was the last thing she heard as her world turned black.
Okay, so that was just the beginning. Sorry to leave ya'll with a cliffy, but I must peak you're interest somehow :) Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it and there is more coming I promise.