Disclaimer: What do you think...HP belongs to JKR and the lyrics belong to Metallica – I am just borrowing both to amuse myself and, hopefully, some of you.
Okay, okay…so I know that I have two other fics that I should REALLY be working on….but this challenge just caught my eye a while back and I only just decided to go ahead and do it last week – I didn't leave myself much time, considering the deadline is the end of the month, but I wanted to give it a shot.
This was written for Lady Acacia's 'The Furry Subculture' challenge, in which Hermione becomes a werewolf but doesn't tell anyone. Remus is the first to discover her secret and from there…well, you'll see.
The following were included as part of the challenge:
Detailed description of Hermione's transformation.
Hints of her condition that her closest friends somehow overlook.
Hermione is ousted by some people she considered friends when everyone finds out about her dirty little secret.
Harry and Ron not talking to her for a semi-long duration for some reason.
And, finally, sarcasm.
The story is supposed to be at least T-rated, but I chose to go with an M-rating, just because, well, you never know what might happen when you are dealing with one randy werewolf, let alone two randy werewolves, right?
Anyhow, on with the challenge response….be sure to let me know what you think, please!
Something's wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren't of Snow White
Dreams of war, dreams of liars
Dreams of dragon's fire
And of things that will bite…
-Enter Sandman by Metallica
Things that will bite….
It was midnight and the full moon was high in the sky, so, naturally, it was the perfect time to go picking fresh ingredients in the Forbidden Forest as part of an Advanced Potions assignment. At least, that's what one Hermione Granger, Head Girl, thought. Though it seems she forgot to consider the many frightening and, well, deadly creatures that roam the forest at night, and, especially, during the full moon.
This thought seemed to occur to the Head Girl as she collected her last sample of unicorn tail hair off a nearby twig. It was at that precise moment that a piercing howl ripped through the quiet night air, causing the hair to rise on the back of the young woman's neck.
What the bloody hell was that? I knew I shouldn't have come out here alone! Damn Snape and his insipid potions projects!
The howl ripped through the night air again and Hermione's head whipped around furiously as she tried to discern from which direction the hideous sound came from.
Merlin, I can't see a damn thing! I am way too deep in the forest, even the light of the moon is blocked…light of the moon…wait a second…oh, no…it's the full moon! Way to go, Granger! Way to forget that the full moon equals werewolves, you ninny!
Why don't you just serve yourself up on a platter marked 'fresh virginal meat' for all the fucking creatures of this bloody forest! So much for being 'the brightest witch of your age'! Just fucking brilliant, you are!
With that thought, Hermione grabbed her newly collected ingredients and took off towards the castle. Her pace was frantic as she sprinted through the forest, catching branches in the face and occasionally tripping on exposed roots.
Her heart was beating so fast and loud, yet it did not stifle the sound of branches breaking behind her, or the pounding of feet, or paws, whatever the case may be.
She would not let herself look back, even as she heard a feral growl entirely too clear over her ragged breath. She just kept pushing herself to run as fast as her eighteen-year-old legs would carry her.
Don't stop, don't look back became her mantra. And it seemed to work, as she could see the edge of the forest just up ahead, and beyond that lay the safe haven – Hogwarts.
wouldn't give to be lying safe and sound, not to mention clean and
warm, in my bed right now! I don't even have my wand! Why did I
think that I wouldn't need it? Just fucking brilliant, you are, yet again!
Hermione continued to run, barely paying attention to the painful slaps of the branches. She wanted nothing more than to escape this very foolish moment unharmed. The feral growl behind her was getting ever closer, and Hermione could almost feel the panting breath of the snarling beast as it chased her.
Hagrid's Hut!It was just a hundred meters away, yet it felt like a hundred kilometers, and worse yet, she knew she would not make it to safety in time. Suddenly, she heard the beast lurch and, a moment later, felt a heavy weight slam into her back. The impact was so hard that the wind was knocked right out of her and she tumbled to the ground without breath.
Oh, Merlin help me! Where the bloody hell is Hagrid when you need him? Surely the half-giant could be of some help right now? Don't tell me he didn't even hear me screaming? What is he, deaf?
It didn't occur to her that she never screamed, that her sole concentration was on running as fast as she could. And, now it was too late. There was no breath left for her to scream with, it was knocked out by the beast which was currently towering over her in all its werewolf glory.
Hermione stared at the beast standing above her, praying to whatever deity was listening, for the beast to make it quick.
Apparently, no one was listening on this tragic night, for it seemed, at least to Hermione that the beast stared, and growled, at her for an eternity.
Hermione searched the beast's eyes for any sign of the person that she knew was way deep down inside of this unfortunate creature. There was nothing but complete animalistic rage and hunger in those eyes, and it terrified her.
Finally, the beast lurched forward and sank its sharp canines into Hermione's shoulder.
The pain was unbearable. And so was the realization of what this bite meant for her future. Still, the only screaming Hermione could do was in her head. She could not even force out a whimper, the pain was all-consuming.
Please, just let me die right now. This pain is too much to bear.
Her body agreed, as she finally passed out from the trauma of it all. The beast released his victim and left, clearly under the impression that she was dead and no longer provided a challenge for him.
The next morning, Hermione woke up feeling very sore, with a very strange burning pain in her shoulder. Without opening her eyes, Hermione tried to sit up but couldn't for the pain in her shoulder was just too much at the moment.
Instead, she laid back on the hard ground and….wait, hard ground? Hermione's eyes shot open and blearily stared around.
Why am I laying on the ground? Why am I in the Forbidden Forest?
Hermione stared at her surroundings, trying to recall why she would wake up in the forest.
Pain shot through her shoulder again and she looked to see why it hurt. Her eyes widened as she caught sight of the rather gruesome bite mark that graced her left shoulder and the events of last night came back to her.
Oh Merlin, I was bitten by a werewolf! What am I going to do?
Could it have been Professor Lupin?
Nah, he had the wolfsbane potion sitting in front of him when I visited his office before dinner last night.
Hermione looked around again before she decided to try getting up again. It was painful, considering the battered condition of her body, but after several tries, she was able to stand on wobbly legs.
As she hobbled out of the forest, her bag of ingredients in hand, Hermione spotted Hagrid and Fang out in Hagrid's garden.
Oh Hagrid, where were you last night when I needed your help? Hermione thought sadly as she watched her half-giant friend. Never mind that, how am I going to get up to the castle without you or Fang spotting me?
Hermione watched as Hagrid tended to his giant pumpkins, waiting for him to either go back into his hut or turn his back toward her so that she could sneak her way up to the castle.
Her opportunity came five minutes later when Fang tore off after some little furry creature or another, causing Hagrid to follow after him.
Hermione hobbled her way up to the castle as quickly as her bruised and battered body could go. She stumbled her way up the steps to the Entrance Hall, which was empty thankfully, and through to the stairs leading up to her Head Girl rooms. She made the journey without running into a single person and collapsed on her bed in exhaustion.
I'll just rest for a while, she thought as her eyes closed and she fell into a fitful slumber.
Five hours later, Hermione woke up from her nap, her shoulder still burning in pain.
I have to do something about this wound. I really don't want to go to Madame Pomfrey, she'll want me to explain how it happened and she'll want to notify Dumbledore. I can't tell anyone about this.
Hermione rummaged around her room looking for her wand. Finding it in the pocket of her robes, she entered her private bathroom and used it to cast a cleansing spell on her shoulder. She also used a basic healing spell on all the cuts and scrapes from the branches, but she didn't know a healing spell strong enough for the werewolf bite.
"I'll just have to bandage it up for now," Hermione told her reflection as she conjured up some bandages.
Once her wound was bandaged, she freshened up and dressed in clean clothes. She sat on her bed and looked at the clock, trying to decide what to do next.
Looks like I slept through breakfast and lunch. Good, I'm not at all hungry anyway, and I really don't feel like facing everyone at the moment. What are they going to say when they find out that I am now a werewolf?
Hermione Granger, the brightest witch of her time, too stupid to know better than to venture out into the forest during the full moon. Oh yes, you are so very intelligent, Granger.
What am I going to do? I can't be a werewolf! There are so many things that I wanted to do that I won't be able to do now. The laws against half-breeds are so strict these days. My life is ruined!
Hermione started pacing her room as her thoughts consumed her.
I could talk to Professor Lupin, I'm sure he would be able to give me advice on my newfound situation. No, then he would insist that I tell everyone, or worse, he would tell them himself. No, I can't let that happen.
I'm going to have to figure something out before the next full moon, though. I can't be changing into a bloody werewolf without anyone noticing.
Hmm, maybe I can ask Professor Snape to teach me how to brew the wolfsbane potion! He has to brew it every month for Professor Lupin; he would probably see it as a relief if someone else brewed it.
Hermione stopped her pacing with that last thought and sat down on her bed. Crookshanks immediately jumped up and settled in her lap.
"That's it, Crooksie, I'll ask Professor Snape right now," she said to her faithful companion before she sprang up from the bed and made her way out of the room.
Hermione passed very few people on her way down to the dungeons, which she was quite happy about. She really did not want to face many people today. In fact, she did not want to face anyone, but it seemed a necessary evil to see at least the potions professor.
Outside the potions classroom, Hermione stopped to collect her courage, and her breath. She walked in through the open door and made her way to the door leading to Professor Snape's office. Once she was standing in front of the door, she took a deep breath and knocked softly.
Without a word the door opened. Hermione looked up to see Professor Lupin standing there holding the door open while Professor Snape was leaning back against the front of his desk.
"Why hello, Hermione," Professor Lupin said with a friendly smile. "What brings you down here on a Saturday afternoon?"
Hermione stared nervously at him for a moment before she answered. "Hullo, Professor Lupin. I wanted to speak to Professor Snape about a potential project."
"Right, well come in, Hermione. I'm sure Professor Snape would be happy to help you with whatever project you have in mind, right Severus?"
The dark-haired man glared at the friendly professor for a moment before he turned his attention to Hermione.
"Oh, I am downright overjoyed to help Miss Granger in her annoyingly enthusiastic need to over-achieve," Professor Snape nearly snarled at the other professor.
"Now, now, Severus, there is no need to be so bubbly and friendly," Professor Lupin said with a smile toward Hermione.
Hermione flashed him a weak grin and moved forward to speak to Professor Snape.
"What 'potential project' did you feel the need to discuss on a Saturday afternoon, Miss Granger?"
"Well, sir, I was wondering if, well, I understand that you have a lot of things going on and don't have much time, so I thought, perhaps, I might be able to help you out with a certain potion, well that is if you have the time to teach me how to brew if first, then I could brew it from then on, and…" Hermione rambled before she was cut off by Professor Snape.
"Get to the point Miss Granger. Even though it is the weekend, I do not have all day to decipher your babbling," Professor Snape said as he pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger.
Hermione glanced nervously at Professor Lupin before she took a calming breath and started her explanation again. This time it was much more coherent and concise.
"I was wondering, sir, if you would be able to teach me how to brew the wolfsbane potion, so that I may relieve you from the burden of brewing it for Professor Lupin every month," she said, avoiding the surprised look Professor Lupin shot her.
"Hermione, are you sure that you want to be responsible for brewing that potion every month?" Professor Lupin asked her before Professor Snape had a chance to say anything.
Why do you have to question this, Remus? I need to do this. If only you knew, then you wouldn't be trying to talk me out of it, Hermione thought.
"Yes, Professor Lupin, I would be happy to do it," Hermione replied without meeting his eyes.
Hermione could still feel him watching her as she waited for Professor Snape's response.
"I will teach you after dinner this coming week, but only because it will help me, not because I want to help you. I want you here at 8 o'clock sharp every night this week. If you are one minute late, the deal is off. Do you understand me, Miss Granger?"
"Yes, sir," Hermione replied, "I understand. Thank you, sir."
Thank Merlin! I don't know what I would have done had he said no! Hermione thought as she turned around to make her way out of the room.
She walked past Professor Lupin without looking at him; for fear that he would see what she has become consumed her. Once she reached the door, she stopped briefly and turned to say goodbye.
Before she could make it out of the potions classroom, however, she heard the door to Snape's office close and footsteps approaching her.
"Hermione, wait, I will walk with you," Remus said in a soft voice.
Hermione did not want to wait and walk with him, but since he was a professor, she could not be purposely insubordinate. Instead, she walked through the door to the hallway and waited for him out there.
Just behave normally. Nothing is different. He doesn't know that you are a werewolf, nor does he need to know. Just be your normal self. She found this easier to think than do, however.
"Is everything okay, Hermione?"
"Yes, Professor, everything is fine. Why do you ask?"
"No reason, really. You just seem, oh I don't know, nervous and agitated; I just thought something might be wrong."
"No, sir, I am fine, really. Thank you for your concern, though, I appreciate it. I really have to go, sir. I will see you at dinner, Professor Lupin," Hermione said hurriedly as she started to walk faster in effort to leave Professor Lupin behind.
She could tell that he knew she was lying and she really did not want to be near him long enough for him to tell her so.
"If you ever need to talk about anything, Hermione, I am always here," Remus said to her back as she hurried down the hall. The only sign that she heard him was a little wave of her right hand as she picked up her pace and nearly jogged up the dungeon stairs.
Well, there you go…
The next chapter is already written, so I will probably post it in the next day or two.
Since this is a challenge response fic, and the deadline for it is the end of January, I will probably make this a short one….maybe a nice round ten chapters or something – just long enough to accomplish the goals with a bit of embellishment, but nothing too drawn out. That way I can get back to the two other fics I have going right now….