Completed: 2/15/05 10:46 PM
Posted: 2/15/05 11:03 PM
Note: Just a little drabble I thought of when I was in the hot tub this evening. It's just something I could see a logical/no-nonsense person like Hermione doing. Enjoy.
Remus Lupin was grading papers. Not a particularly hard task to do if one weren't interrupted as often as he was; students looking for advice, or begging postponements of their late work. It was truly a marvel of the current world that he managed to get any of his job done at all. It was because of these daily interruptions into his schedule, that he didn't think much of it when the door to his office was pushed open by the wrapping of a fist against the warping wood.
Dropping his quill atop the pile of yet-to-be-red-colored essays so that the tip wouldn't drip ink where it didn't belong, Remus leaned back into his chair and rubbed at his eyes; a long sigh escaping his lungs. The moon had passed through full just two days prior and he was still functioning on less than functional energy levels.
"Is there something I can help—Oh! Hermione, it's you." His wane smile grew into a tired, but true one as he recognized the familiar face of his visitor.
She was standing in his doorway – and that was odd of her, but he had noticed how the stress of the last few days had tweaked the personalities of the Head Girl and her friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley – and the replacement of muggle clothing for her school uniform made him automatically check the whirly-gigging clock upon the wall. It was later than he'd thought.
"Hello, Professor." She nodded at him, hands stuffed uncharacteristically into her jeans' pockets.
Assuming she was there to check her grade, Remus smiled apologetically and motioned to the hardly touched stack of curling parchments. "If you're here for your essay, I'm sorry to say I haven't gotten quite finished yet..."
"No," she answered before his sentence could even register its end-signifying period and her bushy head shook quickly, the golden barrette that clasped her hair to the side glinting in the excessive candlelight. "I'd never have expected you to so soon after." She paused a moment. "I could come back after dinner if you'd like?"
Remus smiled at the kind, level-headed young witch and his eyes crinkled warmly at the edges. "No thank you, Hermione. That won't be necessary."
"You should take a break, sir," she told him politely. "Harry wants you to come down and eat something. As do I," she added, and Remus chuckled that she'd thought he'd interpreted the message as if she hadn't cared as well.
"I suppose I can't let Severus have the continued pleasure of my absence, now can I?" He'd thought the joke was rather witty, but Hermione's lips didn't even twitch with a hint of amusement. He cleared his throat and ran a smoothing hand down his rumpled cardigan. "I'll be down in just a few moments."
Hermione nodded, but didn't move from his doorway.
Since the moment she'd walked into the humid office there'd been something 'off' about her, and her continued behavior was only making the werewolf all the more concerned. Forgetting entirely about the balefully waiting stack of papers, he leaned over the cluttered desk and gave the silent girl his entire attention. "Was there something else, Hermione?" His brow was furrowed in worried perplexity.
The hands came out of the pockets, but they were scarcely able to breathe before Hermione's silenced footsteps on the carpeting brought her to the front of his desk and she'd folded her arms over her chest. "I have something that I need to say, Remus, but it's important that you don't interrupt."
She never used his first name. Her amber eyes were dead serious.
"Of course," he assented. Lacing his fingers together, Remus scooted his chair up closer to the desk and motioned for her to continue.
"I like you."
Remus could have sworn his jaw hit the table.
"I like you a lot, and as you promised you have to let me finish. You've probably already begun going through the problems with this, but trust me, so have I." Hermione's arms remained crossed and her entire posture screamed resolute, approaching the entire thing as if it were an Arithmancy theorem she was trying to prove. "Let's go through them shall we? I am not, nor ever have been, under the influence of a love potion, charm, spell, bewitchment, or glamour. This is not a dare, game, or crush. Harry and Ron already know, you're not old, society be damned, and I could care less if you were a leprechaun much less a werewolf."
"I can't say why I'm attracted to you," at this she shrugged and looked off up into the ceiling before settling her sharp eyes back on him. "It's not because I'm 'mature for my age', because liking you is as natural to me as breathing and if I'd been as mature as every says then my heart might have been smart enough to chose someone my own age. But my heart can't change."
"Maybe it's the way you smile no matter what horrors you've witnessed, maybe it's the way you wave your wand as if putting magic to music, maybe it's in the way you carry yourself, or maybe it's your selflessness. It could be the way the sunlight turns your hair gold, the strong lines of your jaw, or perhaps it's just the sound of your voice that makes me want you."
She shrugged again, almost indifferently. "I can't help it, and I know I can't fight it,
she said logically. "The least I thought I could have done was keep it from you. I wasn't going to tell you because I didn't want to burden you, but I've decided it would be considerate to give your fair warning."
"Graduation's in seven days..." She shifted her weight and locked her eyes, unblinkingly, with his. "And when I step off that podium I'm walking straight over and kissing you."
They stayed in silence for a brief second, wherein Remus tried to regrasp the English language and Hermione's face was utterly blank, before the brunette cleared her throat and took a step back.
"See you at dinner, Professor," she excused herself and walked out of his office.
It was a long week after.