AN: This is a two part one shot. It was too long just to post it on one shot. Plus I want FEEDBACK!! By the way this Blaise is Italian.
Disclaimer- I don't own...no matter how hard I wish
It was about a month after Dumbledore's death when the Golden Trio and Remus Lupin decided to move away from Grimmauld Place and train in the Dead Forest near Wizard London. They had done field training to improve agility, stealth, stamina, and equilibrium. Running through a forest which was filled with creatures just waiting for the precise moment you dropped your guard to feast on you was more than enough motivation for even Ron and Harry. Harry and Ron had begun training with swords: if their plan worked as they hoped, magic would not help them. Hermione had learned a variety of spells from the elves who hid the woods from the Muggles, and was learning how to modify spells along with how to shoot a bow and arrow. Remus had become a great teacher and during the full moon he had inadvertently taught Hermione how to tame a werewolf. Ron and Harry had recovered form that night fairly well; they only carried the bruised egos of being saved by Hermione yet again.
They had greatly improved their physique, which Harry and Ron showed off whenever they could. Hermione was more discrete; she still wore the same clothes as always, but Remus could tell they were looser in some places and tighter in others. Hermione had grown up, and the only ones who seemed to notice were the elves with whom she trained, and Remus. She, Harry, and Ron spent little to no time together during the day since they didn't train together, but they made up for it during the mornings and nights when they spent almost every waking moment together. They had got closer, or at least Hermione thought that they had got closer. The boys talked to her more, teased her less, and even shared a tent with her, a Muggle tent. The training had been hard, but it had improved all aspects of their lives, right down to cooking – after all, you couldn't get a takeaway in the middle of the forest. After the month they had all agreed that it was time to go back home, or the only home Harry had left. However, the great return they were expecting didn't exactly happen as planned.
"I'm hungry! Why did you make us carry all the equipment, anyway?" Ron complained to Remus as they walked into the deserted house; well, almost deserted house.
"Because Hermione …" Remus's voice died out as he saw the three unlikeliest people standing right in front of him.
"You!" Harry growled as he took out his wand and pointed it at the tallest person.
"Professor?" Hermione asked, dropping her bags; the others followed and put theirs down. Right in front of them, looking almost nonchalant, were Severus Snape, Draco Malfoy, and Blaise Zabini. "What are you doing here?"
"What the hell does that matter, Hermione, they are here and soon they won't be at all," Ron said as he pointed his wand at Draco Malfoy.
"What is going on, Severus? You wouldn't be stupid enough to return here without a damn good reason," Remus said as his hand clenched.
"I told you this was a bad idea," Blaise said as he looked at every single one of them. His eyes stopped and rested on Hermione for a fraction longer than the others, but it was enough to get Hermione to react. She reached out and attempted to lower Harry and Ron's wands.
"Hermione, what the hell are you doing?" Ron asked, clearly pissed off.
"Stop taking their side; be on my side for once!" Harry pleaded as he turned towards her. Hermione softened her look and smiled.
"I'm always going to be on your side, Harry, but right now we need to find out why they are here," she said softly; she attempted to lower their wands once again, but they remained fixed on the three Slytherins.
"You are always taking their sides, whether it's Krum or Snape. I can't believe you always choose the enemy over us! What's next, are you going to become You-Know-Who's whore?" Ron asked angrily. Unfortunately, he didn't realize what he had said in time to stop himself. The Slytherins realized Ron's mistake way before he had any time to react and anxiously awaited Hermione's reaction. They knew that whatever was about to happen would not be pleasant for Ron. After all, they knew very well the rage of one Hermione Granger. Hermione gave him a cold look, but the last thing he saw was her wand pointed right between his eyes. Within seconds he was on the floor, Harry right next to him, trying to make sure he was okay.
"Hermione, what did you do?" Harry asked, worried; he was torn between being angry at Ron for what he said or pissed off at Hermione for hexing him. She turned from them and sheathed her wand again. The Slytherins tried to figure out just what exactly Hermione had done.
"He will be fine, take him to the library." Hermione knew that his worry over Ron would make him listen to her; he wasn't going to risk losing anyone else. He took him to the library, but was ready to go back to the foyer as soon as Ron was secured. His plan was stopped in their tracks as soon as he left the foyer. "Remus, please make sure they do not disturb us, don't worry, I'll be fine." She turned to him and gave him a sad smile. Remus smiled back and rubbed his knuckles against her cheek in comfort before leaving. She magicked their bags away and started to walk to the kitchen, expecting the others to follow her and only stopping when she couldn't hear any footsteps behind her. She turned to see that they were indeed not following her. She shrugged her shoulders and kept walking to the kitchen; if they wanted to talk she would be the only one available and willing to listen, so they would come sooner or later. Blaise saw her shrug and pointed it out to Draco; Draco couldn't help himself and taunted her.
"Look at that: the little Mudblood is all bravery letting the wolves in to dine." Draco stood and followed after her. In a world where nothing ever made sense he knew that she would, because no matter how much she changed she would always be the same to him. Blaise followed after him, shaking his head, clearly amused.
"You should know that sometimes a wolf hides in sheep's clothing, Malfoy, although then again sometimes they hide in ferret's clothing." She smirked at him and Blaise looked almost amazed.
"Do stop playing, children," Severus said snidely as he sat on the chair across Hermione. Hermione nodded and got up to start making tea, she needed to keep herself occupied.
"So, what brings you to our lovely abode?" Hermione asked, feigning gaiety. "By the look of this house you probably just arrived maybe a couple of hours ago. Everything is just as I left it except cleaner; I'll have to thank Dobby for that. You obviously haven't come here to kill us or we would be dead by now and if you are planning on capturing us we would not be here. If I'm to guess, you three have probably been looking for us and heard we were coming back, maybe from Dobby himself." She had taken out four tea cups and placed them on a tray; she placed the teakettle in the center and next to it some milk, sugar, lemon, and honey, then carried the tray to the table and let them serve themselves. As if by magic – and it probably was – an array of scones and biscuits showed up.
"So obviously our intentions for coming here must be noble. Really, Miss Granger, how naïve are you?" Severus sneered. Hermione smiled sardonically.
"Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't expect much from you; actually I don't expect anything from you, but before Sirius died he and I did a little spell and if you are in this house then your intentions are not to harm us. In any case, no magic you do will harm us." Hermione smiled mysteriously and inhaled the fragrances of her tea.
"What makes you so sure?" Blaise asked, intrigued.
"Dumbledore's death," she replied simply. The youngest males looked confused, but Professor Snape looked almost horrified. She gave him a sad smile and he realized just what she meant.
"Surely you weren't so foolish as to do it?" Severus asked, troubled.
"I have come to realize that sometimes Dark Magic is better than White Magic, Professor. I had no choice but to do it: if I wanted to keep Ron and Harry safe, during the summer at least, I had to lend my magic to it. Such a forbidden spell took a lot out of me, but it came back twofold during this month. As long as I live in this house and stay near them, the only magic strong enough to kill them is Voldemort's; the most an Avada from you can do is send them into a coma. Sirius and Dumbledore took great pains to protect them from everyone who could harm them except each other and Voldemort."
"Why do you keep saying them?" Blaise asked curiously.
"Because it seems the Mudblood pet didn't get any protection from the Great Dumbledore," Draco answered.
"You are partly right. The spell was meant only for Harry and Ron, since they are the ones who would be facing Voldemort face to face. Dumbledore decided that my magic would benefit everyone the best if it was used to protect them; after all, my intelligence would stay intact even if my magic drained. Unfortunately, his plan failed thanks to Sirius' last gift to me." Hermione looked away wistfully for a moment before she resumed explaining. "He knew that the main focus would always be Harry and maybe even Ron, but I would become so reliable and constant that I would naturally fade into the background. So during the summer before fifth year he enchanted me so that if I was ever faced with having to lose my magic, a small enough portion would be left so that I had the chance to reacquire it."
"You put a lot of faith in those two fools." Severus commented icily.
"I only had to put my faith in one. Anyway, we aren't here to talk about me, but about what you want. I will assume that they –" she pointed to Draco and Blaise, "will need refuge and that you need a liaison with the Order."
"You are too trusting," Severus said, shaking his head.
"But I am right. Think of it as part two of Sirius's gift. No one who comes here with ill will in their hearts can enter the house."
"That mutt seems to have come up with a lot of "gifts"; I assume you helped him, of course." Hermione shrugged.
"It was the least I could do. So tell me. Did Dumbledore ask you to kill him or did you decide that his death would be best for everyone?" Hermione didn't even flinch at asking him such a delicate question; she needed to know, and it was as simple as that. Severus shook with emotion; Hermione was pretty sure that he would lash out, but she didn't care. She just cleared the table in case he started throwing things. Draco and Blaise just sat back and watched with mild amusement at what went on between Hermione and Severus.
"What gives you the right to question me? I did what I did and I do not need to justify myself to you, you ignorant girl. The reason I killed him was not a noble one so get that idea out of your head. Not everyone can be saved with your childish notions. I killed him and that's that; the only reason I'm here is because these two need protection." He visibly shook, his hands were clenched at his side and Hermione noticed that he had flushed with anger. She gave him a small smile and stood up.
"So he did tell you to kill him." She shrugged "I thought as much. Do relax, Professor, I didn't invade your mind or anything of the sort, but your reaction was enough. Now, please follow me and I will take you to your quarters."
"Insufferable, infuriating, naïve chit," Severus muttered as he followed her out the door and the others followed.
"Granger one, Snape zero," Blaise muttered to Draco as they followed behind them. Hermione took them to what used to be her and Ginny's room and opened the door to reveal three beds and two drawers.
"You have got to be kidding me! Who the hell are we sharing with? Why do we need to share; this house seems big enough for everyone to have their own rooms," Draco complained as he entered the room. Blaise just flopped onto a bed and tested its comfort.
"You will be sharing with me." Hermione smiled widely at them and turned back to Severus. "Are you still going to spy on Voldemort for us, or am I going to have to go and find another spy?" She gave him the most charming smile she could muster and watched him scowl in return. Draco and Blaise had been shell-shocked into silence, but she was sure that wasn't going to last.
"Miss Granger, if possible I think you have got more reckless and idiotic than those two boys you call your friends."
"I'll take that as you agreeing to remain a spy." Her face fell and she was back to being serious. "No one can know about this so we will have to meet outside of the house; this place is going to become a safe house soon and we don't need the extra drama. Take this; when you have information just think of me and hold it." She handed him a long, black feather. "It's not a Portkey or anything so you won't have to worry about it, it will just react with my feather and I'll know you want to meet." Hermione looked back to the men lying on the beds behind her; they were getting ready to pounce.
"What of location, Miss Granger?" Severus placed the feather inside his cloak.
"That will come to you." She tensed and turned her head. "I think its time for you to go, looks like Harry and Ron have been set free." Severus didn't say goodbye or even wave, he just turned around and walked away. This left her with her roommates.
"What do you mean, you are our roommate?" Draco asked, his fist clenching. He didn't really want to think of what he was capable of with her in the same room.
"I think it means that one of those two beds is hers," Blaise teased.
"I know that, but why is she sleeping in here? Did Potty and Weasel kick you out of their club? Or are you afraid that we'll hex them while they sleep?" Draco had a nasty smile on his face, but Hermione ignored it and flopped down on the bed nearest to the door.
"I call this bed, and it's not Harry and Ron I'm worried about. Anyway your bags have obviously already been brought up so pick a dresser because you two will be sharing." She looked like she was about to say something else, but the banging on the door stopped her. "Stand back if you know what's good for you." Hermione opened the door and quickly shut it behind her.
"Are they in there?" Ron asked furiously.
"Yes; they will be staying with us, its all set," Hermione replied calmly.
"How can you decide that by yourself, Hermione? This house is mine; I won't let them stay here." Harry was pissed off, but she could tell he was holding himself in check for her sake. She loved him more for that; she gave him a sad smile.
"They are refugees, Harry. Voldemort didn't like the fact that Draco couldn't do his mission, or the fact that Blaise couldn't choose a side. We agreed that this house would be a haven for those hunted down by Voldemort," Hermione explained patiently. By now Remus had joined them.
"They aren't refugees, they are spies. How can you be so blind? Stop protecting them; that's all you do, protect them. What about us?" Ron raised his wand and cast the bombarda spell.
"NO!!" Hermione screamed as she pushed Ron out of the way; however that caused the backfired spell to hit her square on the chest.
"Hermione!" Remus cried out as he picked her up.
"Ron, what did you do?" Harry asked, near hysterics.
"I just wanted to open the door; none of the other spells had worked." Ron replied automatically with out emotion. Hermione coughed up blood and stretched out her hand towards Harry and Ron.
"It's okay. It's my fault; I cast a spell to stop you from going in. I didn't think you guys would resort to such volatile spells. I'm glad neither of you got hurt." She was speaking softly, blood still pouring out of her mouth. Her face was contorted in pain, her hands still trying to reach theirs, but they wouldn't grab them. They were still too upset, too mad, too confused. She smiled softly and closed her eyes.
"No, Hermione open your eyes. Come on, open your eyes." Remus said as he tried to open her eyes. He slapped her face lightly, trying to get some reaction, but all he got was moan after moan.
"What the hell happened?" Draco asked as he opened the door. He and Blaise had been listening to the exchange going outside of their room for sometime waiting for Ron to say something stupid so that Hermione could hex him. However, what they heard was quiet different to what they expected and it almost scared them. They had undone the spell Hermione had cast and opened the door to see Hermione Granger in the arms of Remus Lupin while blood seeped out of her mouth.
"Merlin! Granger, what happened to her?" Blaise asked as he rushed forward and grabbed her hand.
"She is dying. The spell Ron said backfired and would have hit him had she not jumped in the way," Remus explained as a lone tear made its way down his cheek. She was so young, so beautiful, so full of life and intelligence; it didn't seem like a fitting end.
"Her pulse is waning; I may be able to help," Blaise said as he took Hermione away from Remus.
"Don't touch her!" Ron growled as he stood up and pointed his wand at Blaise. Harry was on the floor, touching the blood left behind by Hermione, and Remus looked furious. Draco was too stunned to say much until he noticed Ron pointing a wand at Blaise, who was carrying a dying Hermione.
"Listen, Weasel, put your wand down if you don't want her to get hurt even more. It seems like you have caused enough damage, put your wand away now or I will give you something you truly deserve," Draco threatened, his own wand pointing at Ron. His eyes glowed with anger and maybe a hint of fear. Ron lowered his wand and stepped back.
"Take him away, Harry," Remus said as he joined the men who would save Hermione's life. Blaise took his wand and began to wave it across Hermione's form, the white light it had been emanating turned red. Blaise bit his lip.
"She has substantial hemorrhaging. The spell must have broken her ribs and caused them to puncture her lung. She is going to drown in her own blood if we don't move fast." Blaise called over a bag he had brought and opened it retrieving a surplus of potions and instruments. "I'll need to fix the broken ribs first and we have to hurry. Pass me a syringe filled with orange liquid. This is an instant version of Skelegro; it will go directly into the blood system and fix her broken bones within seconds. Now pass me that purple vial. I can't risk her spitting anything out, so do me a favor and hand me an empty syringe. This should stop the bleeding long enough for me to fix her lung." He spoke to them to keep them and himself calm. At this moment he had never been gladder he decided to take that Medi-wizard internship. He loved the thrill of helping someone else and he was almost done with his training; all he needed was the two years of practical use and he was done.
He cast a spell on her lungs and a giant breath seemed to be sucked in. "Quick, turn her on her side." They did as they were told and Hermione vomited a dull, red substance. Remus and Draco looked horrified so Blaise tried to reassure them. "Its okay, it's just the side effects of the potion and the blood which had been pooling in her lungs. I will give her a sleeping draft and put her to sleep. She should be awake by tomorrow morning."
Remus nodded and laid down next to her on the bed. He removed his wand and changed her clothes into an overgrown white tee shirt. He cleaned up the mess the blood had made and started stroking her hair.
"She shouldn't do anything too strenuous after this," Blaise said as he gave Remus a cold, calculating look.
"You don't know her very well; its okay, you will learn the ways she behaves soon," Remus said as he placed his head down on the pillow and took her hand into his.
"We don't want to hear that in the middle of the night so please put some charms on or something," Draco said, disgusted. It'd figure that the brightest witch to ever grace Hogwarts since Rowena Ravenclaw would fall in love with an older man, Draco thought bitterly. But why the hell did it need to be the damn werewolf and why did it have to be in my room!
"You are misunderstanding. Hermione and I are not intimate with each other. I love her, yes, but we aren't together in any sense of the word other than friendship." Remus didn't remove his eyes from Hermione, he just stared at her and rubbed circles on the back of her hand.
"I suggest you go and get the two prats she calls her friends," Blaise said icily. Remus stood up, gave her one last good look and walked out the door.
"Blaise, she still looks deathly pale," Draco said, sitting at the edge of her bed.
"I know, but that spell really did a number on her insides. She is going to have a bruise for a long time." Blaise sat on the other side of the bed and grabbed one of her hands. Draco and Blaise were best friends and occasional lovers; they had been for a year, but that was no one's business except their own. They shared everything together, especially an infatuation with Hermione Granger, Gryffindor Princess, Book Worm Extraordinaire. They weren't sure when it happened, but it had and it hadn't hit them fully until they were on the run with the possibility of never seeing her again.
"They claim to love her and even be her best friends, but what kind of twisted friend does what they just did to her?" Draco asked, trembling with anger. He had almost lost her and he hadn't even had a chance to gain her. This was his and Blaise's chance to win her over in her own environment with no opposition from anyone except for Hermione's two "best friends". Blaise and Draco heard a muffled Ron coming up the stairs and were about to jump away when Hermione grabbed Blaise's hand. Draco grabbed the first potion he found and threw it at Blaise who caught it just in time. The door swung open and in walked Harry, Ron and Remus.
"What are you doing?" Ron asked suspiciously. Blaise had a potion in his hand and was sitting right next to Hermione.
"I was going to apply this salve to Granger's bruises to help her sleep better," Blaise answered as he untangled his hand away from Hermione's and reached for the hem of her shirt.
"Don't even think about it, Zabini. Let her rest, she can do that to herself tomorrow," Harry said, stopping Blaise's hand.
"Fine." He threw Draco the potion and went to his bed and sat. "But if she wakes up moaning and groaning then you will be held responsible along with Weasel for starting this." Harry and Ron had the sense to lower their heads in shame before sitting on either side of Hermione.
"She will be fine, right?" Harry asked to no one in particular.
"Of course she will. Hermione wouldn't let a stupid spell defeat her," Ron said confidently. Harry relaxed and grabbed her hand squeezing it tightly before letting go. Ron mimicked his movements and they both stood up.
"We'll sleep here, to make sure she sleeps comforably," Harry said as he positioned himself on the bed.
"I'm afraid not, Harry. Hermione needs her rest and she won't get it if you are both in bed with her." Ron who had just been about to lay himself down froze. An arguement soon ensued between the five men in the room with a triumphant Remus, Draco, and Blaise. Harry and Ron were not at all thrilled with the outcome, but agreed under the threat of maim.
"Good night, 'Mione," Harry said as he walked out.
"We will see you tomorrow," Ron added as he too left, cursing the men in the room to hell.
"I guess it is later than we thought," Remus said as he looked out the window to see the night sky. "I'll let you three get some sleep." Remus closed the door and Blaise raised the barrier Hermione had placed up earlier. Blaise and Draco looked at Hermione once more before going to bed themselves, still dressed in their normal clothes.
The next day Hermione woke up with a groan. She tried to sit up, but her chest sent a painful message to her brain. It felt like it was on fire. She briefly remembered the spell hitting her and someone who looked a lot like Blaise helping her. She gingerly sat up and tenderly placed a hand on her chest. She winced and removed her hand; she had a bruise, but otherwise she seemed to be fine. She stood up, walked to her dresser and removed two potions, one a shiny purple and the other a deep orange. She took some clothes and headed for the bathroom.
Blaise and Draco woke up when they heard the door close and checked Hermione's bed; it was empty.
"Where the hell did she go?" Draco asked Blaise.
"How the hell am I supposed to know, I didn't know it was my turn to watch her," Blaise replied.
"You said she should not move for the next few days; this counts as moving, dumb arse," Draco said as he rounded at Blaise.
"I said she shouldn't do strenuous activities, you prat! Moving is not strenuous," Blaise retorted. They were getting aggravated at each other for not being able to find Hermione. She was hurt; she shouldn't be moving around with out someone there to help her.
"This is ridiculous. I don't want to argue with you, let's go find her," Draco said as he grabbed Blaise's hand and dragged him out of the room. They went downstairs first and checked the kitchen, but didn't see anyone. They looked outside, in the library, in the study, every part of the ground floor, but could not find her anywhere. They climbed the stairs to begin checking the first floor when they spotted Hermione exiting a room. Hermione heard the heavy footsteps of two males approaching her and looked up.
"Thanks for yesterday Blaise, I owe you my life," Hermione said, smiling at him warmly.
"Yes, well, the best way to repay that would be to keep your arse in bed," Draco said snidely. Hermione smiled and walked past him to their room.
"Relax, Malfoy, I'm perfectly fine now," Hermione said shaking her head. "Who would have thought you cared so much." Hermione had learned not to obsess about the little things. The elves she had trained with had taught her that being cool, calm and collected paid off and that just because she was a Gryffindor didn't mean that she had to let her courage get the best of her. In other words, stop letting your feelings rule you and think. She had learned to do that and now her little spars with Malfoy served to remind her of better days.
"Stop being so damn pleasant and go to the room." Draco was infuriated: how could she smile and not fight back?
"Yes, master." Hermione giggled. "Seriously though, Malfoy, if you keep screaming you are going to wake the others and I will lock you out of the room and leave you to deal with them." She entered the room and placed the two empty potion bottles on her dresser and her clothes in a bag near the closet. Draco growled and slammed the door shut.
"Are you sure you are alright?" Blaise asked, grabbing his wand. Hermione gave him a reassuring smile and nodded.
"Yeah, I took care of the rest of the problems. I supposed that neither Harry nor Ron wanted you to take care of my bruises, since it would mean you actually touching me. I already took care of that and I took a replenishing potion for my energy and blood. I have to go now, I hear Remus downstairs." She was out before either of them could say anything.
"I think Lupin was right about her," Blaise said as he followed her out.
"Woman, you are going to get yourself killed and leave me with out any fun," Draco called out as he followed them.
"I'm touched, Malfoy," Hermione replied sarcastically. "I already told you that I was fine. I didn't know you were hard of hearing. Are you getting old?" Hermione was entering the kitchen when Remus heard her comment.
"Ouch, 'Mi," Remus said, laughing.
"I know you are," Hermione said as she laid a kiss on his cheek. "But don't worry, you still have your handsomely good looks, amazing intelligence, ongoing stamina, and a wonderful personality. Meanwhile he has nothing but a name." Hermione took a piece of bacon from his plate and dodged his hand which was about to smack hers. "You might want to work on those reflexes, though."
"No amount of flattery is getting me to let you eat out of my plate," Remus said, moving his plate away.
"I'll make desert if you make me breakfast," Hermione said, giving him a dazzling smile. "It will be chocolate," she added in a sing-song voice. Remus looked like he was weighing his options before he stood up and walked to the stove.
"Alright, but you have to make coffee and tea; Merlin knows that no one in this house knows how to make a cup of tea and coffee like you," Remus said, getting everything he needed for her breakfast. The Slytherins just sat back and watched the exchange. Hermione definitely had a little Slytherin in her. "I suppose you two would like breakfast as well." Remus said as he acknowledged the two young men on the opposite side of the table.
"I'll just have tea and maybe some fruit," Draco said with disgust. Breakfast was not his favorite meal time.
"No thanks, I'm good with cereal and coffee," Blaise said as he walked over to the refrigerator.
"Why were you three arguing?" Remus asked as he started serving Hermione her breakfast.
"Malfoy was coddling me," Hermione answered seriously. Remus let out a deep throaty laugh and almost burned himself.
"I told you she wouldn't stay in bed and rest," he said, still laughing.
"I'm glad you find this so amusing, Lupin," Blaise said, eating his cereal.
"If it's not too much trouble I have a long day ahead of me so I would like to keep the verbal exercises to a minimal."
"This reminds me: Charlie, Fred, George, and Ginny are coming in today. After I told them what happened they almost showed up there and then, but with the help of Molly I managed to convince them that it would be best to let you sleep." Draco and Blaise groaned; like they really wanted more of her posse here.
"Molly isn't coming?" Hermione asked curiously.
"They managed to convince her Ron would be safer if she stayed home," Remus said, laughing. Hermione served the tea and coffee before sitting down and taking a bite out of her eggs. She made a sound somewhere between a satisfied groan and moan before she continued talking.
"So are you up for it today? I understand if you want to relax until the Weasleys come; after all, we have been doing it all month." Draco and Blaise both chocked on their food and turned to glare at the couple.
"Can you not talk about your sordid escapades in front of us," Blaise said, irritated. Hermione turned a bright red when she realized her comments could clearly be interpreted wrongly.
"I … I mean we aren't … Remus and I …" She was stuttering and had grown, if possible, a darker shade of red.
"Spit it out, Granger," Draco said, agitated.
"Like I said yesterday, Hermione and I aren't sleeping together," Remus said, clearly annoyed.
"Sure doesn't sound like it," Draco said skeptically. Why couldn't they just own up to it?! Things would be so much simpler for him if they just owned up to it.
"I was talking about my training. That's why we have been gone for a month; we were training in the Dead Forest," Hermione explained. "Look, there really isn't much to do in this house so if you want you can come train with us."
"My, my, Granger, aren't you the lovely hostess," Draco sneered.
"You can join us or not, it's up to you." Hermione placed her and Remus's plates in the sink and walked away with a trailing Remus.
"This is going to be harder than I thought," Blaise said as he placed his dishes in the sink.
"She makes it impossible," Draco said, taking the last sip of his tea.
"No, you do. Goodness, Draco, stop making fun of her and try to get along. She seems to be making the effort." Blaise cornered Draco against the counter and effectively trapped him in the middle by placing his arms on either side of him. "If you want Cara to be ours you are going to have to show her you are seriously interested in her." He nuzzled Draco's neck and bit him lightly. Draco groaned and bucked his hips against Blaise.
"It's not like I can suddenly revert six years of behavior," Draco said between clenched teeth. Blaise was doing wonderful things to his body. He grabbed Blaise's hair and roughly pulled him up, kissing him with conviction. Blaise moaned into the kiss and Draco took advantage to deepen it. Their hands were all over each other, groping, teasing, pulling until they heard a door open and close. "Fuck!" Draco whispered and they tried to gain their bearings. They arranged their robes and headed upstairs to see just what training Hermione had been talking about. When they walked upstairs they were met by Hermione, a very sexy Hermione.
They knew nothing good could come from the staring, but it was hard not to. Hermione was standing there wearing a pair of blue cotton shorts and a black tank top. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, but a few strands of hair framed her face. She was biting her lip and fidgeting back and forth in an uncomfortable gesture, but they couldn't stop staring. Her legs were long and tanned, her figure was athletic, her hips were wide, her breasts of average size, but in that small tank top and tight sports bra her breasts looked more than ripe for the picking. Their lewd fantasies were stopped, however, when Remus came out of a room.
"I still don't understand why you won't wear something like that more often," Remus said as he walked past her and threw her a towel.
"Because I feel exposed. I like my baggy clothes, they're comfortable. Plus, Ginny made me promise not to go shopping without her anymore and those are the only clothes I have." Hermione followed Remus, and every once in a while looked behind her to make sure the others were following. Remus chuckled and stopped in front of a door. He tapped his wand to it three times and it opened to show a training room. The center of the room was covered in blue mats, the sides had weapons of different sorts, and a dummy was in a corner of the room. One wall was covered with a giant mirror, giving Draco and Blaise some rather lewd ideas. Hermione placed her towel on top of the weapons table and walked over to the center of the room.
"Are you two going to watch or participate, because if you are going to participate you should probably change clothes," Remus said as he looked them over. Draco and Blaise looked at each other and then shook their heads. Certain body parts could be better hidden in robes, they decided silently. Remus shrugged and walked towards the mat.
"Warm up?" he asked, sitting on the floor with his legs crossed. Hermione nodded and sat in front of him. For a few minutes neither moved and both Draco and Blaise came to the conclusion that this was going to be very boring, that is until both Remus and Hermione moved. All of a sudden Hermione was lying on the mat doing a split, but she didn't stay that way for long – her torso bent back, her legs shifted positions and she was doing a split in mid air, then her legs came together and she pushed herself up into a standing position. Remus on the other hand was doing various yoga positions. Finally, both stood up and started to do some tai-chi. Draco and Blaise were certainly glad they had opted to stay sitting down. Hermione and Remus stopped simultaneously and faced each other.
"Ready?" Hermione smirked. Remus nodded and they charged at each other. Hermione dropped to the floor during the last second and swung her legs at Remus's feet; he lost his balance, but remained standing. Hermione stood up and smirked; Draco was pretty sure she had taken lessons, because that smirk was worthy of a Slytherin.
"You will have to try harder than that," Remus said; turning around, he charged at her, feigning a left jab to hit her with a right hook, but he hadn't expected her to punch him straight in the chest. He fell back, the air almost knocked out of him.
"Tsk tsk tsk. My, my, my little wolf, I thought you were better than that," Hermione taunted as she charged him once again. He was ready for a head on collision, not for her to jump up mid attack and kick him in the head. Remus fell backwards and Hermione stood over him.
"Wow, Granger is kicking his ass!" Draco said, amused; who knew Hermione was so violent? Hermione leaned over him, probably to make sure he was okay, and he grabbed her and turned them over, pinning her to the mat.
"Never let your guard down," Remus said triumphantly.
"Never underestimate your opponent and their ability to play dirty." Hermione looked down at his groin and out of reflex Remus covered himself, letting Hermione free and giving her a chance to flip him and lock him into place in the most erotic way. Hermione had his hands pinned on to his side and her thighs were strangling him.
"What a way to go," Blaise whispered to Draco as he rearranged himself. Hermione stood up and, a little worried, checked his vital signs. She blew out a breath of relief and walked over to a small refrigerator, and took out an ice cube, popping it in her mouth. She then walked over to Remus and placed the ice cube under his shirt; he woke up with a hiss. He stood up and stretched a bit.
"You okay?" Hermione asked, concerned.
"Yeah." He gave her a sheepish smile and rubbed the back of his head and neck. "How about next time you don't knock me unconscious though?" Remus said, embarrassed. Hermione giggled and took a fighting stance.
"Sorry, I'm just used to it. The elves who taught me expected it, they said it helped me come to terms with what I had to do. In any case I told you not to hold back." Hermione grinned and Remus nodded his head. This time Remus charged at Hermione and she kept backing up until she was near a table. Remus thought he had her cornered until she jumped on top of it. "Come on, wolf, you going to let little old me escape?" She ran along the table, jumped off, caught the corner of the table and used it as leverage to spin kick him in the chest. She got a good hit, but he grabbed her leg and threw her back to the mat. She let out a chuckle, and stood up preparing herself for her next move.
"What are you laughing at, kitty?" Remus asked, amused.
"At your face when I do this." She flipped towards him and she wrapped her legs around his neck before flipping him over onto his back.
"Why do I always end up like this?" Remus groaned. Hermione had him on the floor, once again, with her thighs wrapped around his neck. She shrugged and helped him up.
"Do you think he will be able to beat her?" Blaise asked Draco, curiously watching the spar.
"If I was him, I wouldn't even try. I would not mind going out the way he is," Draco replied. In the end, Hermione beat him five times and he won four times.
"Those elves do a good job; let's see how much better you have got with a bow and arrow," Remus said, walking over to a weapons table. He grabbed a bow and handed her the arrows. "I think we should do this outside, it's still early enough that neither Harry nor Ron will interfere," Remus said, reassuring her that no one would get hurt. She smiled, and walked to the two sitting on the corner watching her intently.
"We are going outside for some target practice, do you want to come?" Hermione was sweating profusely. Her hair was matted against her face, her tank top was becoming stained with her sweat, and every once in a while a sweat bead would travel from the top of her head down the side of her face to the column of her neck and disappear between the valley of her breast, damn lucky sweat drop. Draco was too distracted to answer and so Blaise did it for him.
"Sure, bella. We have nothing more interesting to do anyway, and you two do provide quite the entertainment," Blaise said standing up and handing her, her towel.
"Remus and I can help you train if you want? This house isn't going to be safe forever, and when we go to war someone will be needed to protect it," Hermione said casually as she dried her face. She was trying to goad them into picking her side, she knew they knew, but it was worth a shot.
"I believe Granger is trying to make us see the proverbial light." Draco sneered, standing up and taking a step towards Hermione.
"I'm just trying to get you two to realize that if you are being hunted by Voldemort, maybe you shouldn't support him," she replied sarcastically; she knew he would only understand her if she spoke his language.
"Touché, Hermione. However, you are forgetting one factor, we were also hunted by your precious Order," Blaise defended. "By their logic choosing no side is the equal of being their enemy. I believe that is something they share with the Dark Lord."
"True, but look at who you came to ask for help." Hermione gave them a sad smile and walked out the door, Remus had already left and she didn't want to make him wait anymore than he had to.
"She is trying to save us," Draco said softly. He knew what that meant. He knew that she only attempted to save those she deemed worthy of being saved, which meant she thought them worthy. "Maybe she has a soft spot for us." Blaise smiled, but it quickly faded.
"She is tiring herself out emotionally. Her smiles don't reach her eyes anymore, she has lost the spark we loved most about her." He had been noticing that lately and now upon closer inspection he confirmed it. "Maybe it's time we returned her spark," Blaise said mischievously.
"Maybe by "saving" us, we can save her and maybe after the saving is over and done we can get to the good part," Draco said, understanding his lover perfectly. They rushed down the stairs and into the yard just in time to watch Hermione pick up her bow.
"I want to check your speed and accuracy so shoot as many arrows as you can until I say stop," Remus said standing behind her. Hermione nodded and set up the shot. "Begin." Hermione shot her first arrow and missed the bull's-eye by about six inches, but she completely recovered and shot arrow after arrow straight at the bull's-eye until she ran out of arrows. Remus hadn't even had time to stay stop when Hermione was already lowering her bow. He analyzed the board and saw that every arrow had hit the mark, almost making it impossible to see the red dot. He then looked at the only shot she had missed. "Do you always miss the first one?" he asked thoughtfully.
"Yes, especially when tested in speed and accuracy." Hermione walked over to the board and removed every arrow until the board was bare. Draco and Blaise were utterly amazed; they had not expected her to be that good. She truly was the brightest, most capable witch since Rowena Ravenclaw; she was a force to be reckoned with.
"That won't be safe in the battle, what if the Death Eater has a hostage?" Remus shook his head, she was very good indeed, but that was an unacceptable flaw. "It seems that you over think your first shot." He walked over to her and placed his hands on her, lifting them up and setting them to shoot an arrow. He placed the arrow in and stood behind her, whispering softly. "Okay, this is short first shot, don't worry about it, just concentrate on the shot and forget everything else. Breathe in to shoot and out in between reloads." Hermione nodded and did as he asked, making every shot, but most importantly the first one.
"Thank you, Remus, I've tried almost everything to make that shot, I guess I did over think it," Hermione said, beaming at him.
"Well, you should go shower; the boys will be up soon, and I don't need to see anymore of your abilities. If you need help with anything just tell me and I'll help you tomorrow," Remus said, putting away the bows and arrows.
"Thanks, we will do this tomorrow." Hermione then ran inside leaving the three men outside.
"Where did she learn all this?" Blaise asked walking towards Remus.
"We left a month ago for the Dead Forest. There Hermione was recruited to train with the elves, apparently even they had heard of her, no doubt due to the House Elves. She quickly agreed, but didn't want Harry and Ron to know. She was afraid that they wouldn't let her do it; she didn't want them to worry about her instead to just focus on their training. Now she doesn't want to tell them in fear that they will resent her. She always takes the sharp edge of the axe." Remus sounded sad, mixed with anger and admiration.
He had shrunk the equipment and was taking it inside. He then stopped to look at them. His eyes locked with both Draco and Blaise; they could have sworn he was reading their souls. "You two would do well to allow her to help you. No matter how much you dislike her –" he snorted, "or love her, she is taking a big gamble on you and she knows it. It seems she has placed all her hopes in that you will accept her and her help. She doesn't want any more unnecessary deaths, I don't think she could handle some one so close to her dying when she could have helped them."
"Contrary to popular belief, Granger and I aren't best friends," Draco replied sarcastically.
"Maybe, but you are close to her. You have been a constant in her life for six years, and while you haven't been a pleasant constant she still, well, she still has a connection to you." Remus knew that the connection went deeper than they cared to admit to him. He had seen the way they looked at her, because he had caught himself looking at her a lot that way. He had always known that Draco's teasing went farther than he liked to admit. After all, how was a boy taught to hate everything Hermione stood expected to show his growing his affections for Hermione, the epitome of everything the chauvinistic Purebloods hated. Remus walked away and let them ponder over what to do; he had to go upstairs and prepare the room for Harry and Ron. "You and your friend here should think her proposition over."
"I'm starting to get the feeling that the werewolf knows more about us than I like. I think he knows about us and our intentions," Draco said suspiciously.
"Well, he is a werewolf, its not like we could hide it from him. He is right, you know, she is gambling a lot especially since she isn't even aware of our love for her." Blaise looked at Draco's eyes and attempted to decipher the thoughts running trough his head.
"Then it might be a good time for us to tell her of our intentions." Draco said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Blaise knew Draco was protecting himself; he was always reluctant to admit that he loved her, he would call it anything but love. However, Blaise still knew it was love and deep down Draco knew it too. He was sure Draco would tell her as soon as he was faced with the prospect of losing her, just like he had told him when Blaise had first insinuated about the know-it-all witch. They had been in their room alone, on Blaise's bed, naked after coupling, when Blaise had said she had looked absolutely delectable that day.
About Two Months Ago…
Draco stiffened at Blaise's comment, turning on his side to stare at him incredulously. Blaise felt the bed shift and opened his eyes to look up at Draco, who was giving him a look which clearly said "You've go to be fucking with me."
"Am I to guess you don't share my sentiments?" Blaise asked, amused. Draco responded by growling and straddling him.
"Why are you thinking about her, Zabini? You want to fuck the Mudblood?" Draco asked between clenched teeth. He was holding Blaise down as he bit his neck and grasped him roughly.
"What if I told you I did? I've seen the way you look at her, the way you looked at her when she opened her robes during herbology. I know you want her as much as I do," Blaise said as he groaned at Draco's rough, but pleasant ministrations.
"You are mine, Zabini; never forget that." Draco looked at him, for the first time in their relationship locking eyes with him during sex. Blaise understood what was happening, but he wasn't going to make it easier on him, not while he was enjoying himself.
"I don't belong to anyone," he said defiantly, and Draco bit him hard on the shoulder for it. Without Blaise realizing it he had been tied to the bed and Draco was far from his reach. He looked down to see a determined and desperate gleam in his eyes before Draco entered him roughly. Blaise winced in pain: Draco hadn't used any lubrication, but Draco's release earlier and the fact that this definitely wasn't Blaise's first time helped him recover fast. Draco was being anything, but gentle in his desperate coupling.
"You belong to me, Blaise, you are mine," Draco said as he and Blaise neared their climax. Blaise wanted to tease him, but all he could do was moan in pleasure and Draco shagged him with abandon.
"I love you and you will not leave me, not for her." It was almost inaudible, but Blaise heard it clearly.
"I wasn't going to leave you. I just thought a new partner would be fun," Blaise said, breathing heavily. His hands had been freed and he brought them down to rub them. "I know you love her, you said it once." Draco looked at him quickly almost scared. "I was asleep when you started moaning, I thought you were trying to seduce me, when I opened my eyes and realized that you were asleep also. You started moaning a name too long to be mine so I got a little curious and leaned in. Imagine my surprise when the name you moan out with such rapture is none other than Hermione Granger's."
Draco looked troubled and lost. Blaise crawled over to him and wrapped his arms around his waist, kissing him on the lips hard, pulling Draco's lips closer by pulling him in by his hair.
"Granger won't agree to this and even if she did you know what I have to do. I can't risk anything stopping my mission, not even you." Draco stood up and headed towards the door of his bathroom. He needed to think, and he needed to think while relaxing in the tub.
"I love you too, but I think you are making a mistake. You should tell her, we should be together, even if its for a week," Blaise said to Draco's back. In a week Draco's mission would be completed, in a week Blaise could lose him, in a week they could all be dead. Draco didn't turn around, he just walked into the bathroom and locked the door.
Draco and Blaise walked inside and headed upstairs to talk to Hermione; maybe it was time they accepted her offer and made a few of their own. When they reached their room they came to the conclusion that she was currently taking a shower, so they sat on the edge of the bed and waited patiently for her to return.
"Do you realize we haven't bathed since yesterday?" Blaise said as he quickly got off the bed. Draco looked down at himself in disgust and stood up too; they hadn't even unpacked their clothes.
"Guess we will have to wait until we bathe. I really don't want to shag Granger while I smell like this. I'm just glad I spelled my mouth clean before we found her." Draco said as he took out a pair of boxers, some Muggle jeans, and a white t-shirt. They had only been allowed to shop in Muggle shops for fear of someone recognizing them in the Wizarding World.
"She wouldn't want to shag you either, now come on, lets find a bathroom before we run into Potter and Weasley." They went searching for a bathroom, opening every door in every room until they finally found one.
They divested themselves of their clothes rather quickly and stepped into the shower, turning on the water on hot. It wasn't burning hot, just hot enough to create mist and cause Draco's ivory skin to pink up. They lathered each other up in such an erotic way that they were hard as a rock by the time they had rinsed. Blaise pushed Draco against the tiled wall and kissed him hard; Draco ran his fingers through Blaise's hair and pulled him closer, rocking his hips against him. They eventually found their release with a growl and a shudder.
"That was a productive shower." Blaise said panting. They rinsed themselves off once again and got out to redress. A couple of minutes later and they emerged from the bathroom, clean and sexy. Blaise was wearing a pair of beige cargo pants and a white tee shirt; his hair was still wet, but it was sleeked back except for his fringe, which kept falling forward. Draco was wearing the tee shirt he had taken out and a pair of black jeans which outlined his body quite well. They walked to the room to find more clothes in the hamper bag.
"Damn, she already went downstairs!" Draco cursed as he flopped onto the bed. They heard footsteps outside of their room door and stood up immediately, raising their wands in defense. The doorknob turned and their hold on their wands became stronger, and then in walked Hermione Granger, in an apron. She looked at the two of them for a moment, her eyebrows furrowed in thought, and then she blushed a deep, scarlet red.
"Uhm, you shouldn't spend all your time up here, you know? You have free rein of the house as long as you don't interfere with anybody else," Hermione said, going to her drawer, not daring to look them in their eyes. She opened the first one up and pulled out a bag of chocolates. Draco and Blaise looked interested when she pulled that out: who knew that Granger had a wild side? Of course, jealousy quickly came along with that thought; if she had a wild side she had someone to get wild with, someone who wasn't them.
"Naughty, Granger. Why would you have chocolates in your dresser?" Blaise asked suggestively.
"Because if I don't hide them Remus will pig out on them. That man has an unnatural obsession with chocolate," Hermione said fondly. "If you need anything I'll be in the kitchen, Remus will be in the room we were in earlier and depending on how the boys are they will be there too." She gave them a shaky smile and left the room in a hurry.
"I think she knows," Draco said, falling back on his bed. "That blush was just to random for her not to have known," he said, trying to explain. Blaise gave him a look that clearly said he didn't understand. "The way she looked at us, she figured out that there is more to our relationship."
"Well, that certainly helps our plans; now we won't have the need to explain that little detail," Blaise said, getting into Draco's bed and lying on his side, one hand supporting his head. Draco nodded and looked pensive for a second. "What are you thinking?" Blaise asked curiously.
"I'm thinking I want some chocolate," he replied, getting up quickly. Blaise smirked and followed his lead down to the kitchen. However, they stopped at the stairs when they saw Hermione crying at the bottom. They stilled their steps and listened to the muffled noises on the other side of the wall.
When Hermione left the room
She was trying really hard to regain her composure after realizing that Draco and Blaise were more than good friends. How had she figured that out? By logic, of course, first of all there were only two showers in the whole house and she had been using one, which left one empty shower and two wet wizards. Which left one explanation: Blaise and Draco had showered together, because not enough time had passed for them to shower individually. Not only that, but Draco had a love bite on his neck; it wasn't very dark, but she was trained to notice the details. She was down the stairs when she heard her name coming form a very familiar voice.
"Have you seen Hermione?" Harry asked Ron as they sat on the library sofa.
"No, she is probably in the kitchen making something. I heard Remus say she was making dessert." Ron replied off-handedly.
"Oh. You know, I wonder what she did for that month we were away?" Harry asked, setting up the wizard's chess.
"She probably read all day, its not like she did a lot of cooking. I should tell mum to help her out in becoming a housewife," Ron said thoughtfully. Harry laughed.
"Why would you ask your mum to help Hermione become a housewife?"
"Because I think 'Mione needs the help. I mean, the first thing she does when we got to the camp was pester us about what we had done all day, then we find out that she is just starting to cook dinner and we have to help, and if things weren't bad enough she was the only bloody person we could talk to. Don't get me wrong, Hermione is my best friend, but bloody hell it's enough to drive a wizard insane." She knew Ron's face would be red by now, and he would be making exaggerated hand movements. She also knew that her heart was breaking; she had fallen for them, for both of them during that month they spent together. She had thought that maybe they liked her back, maybe they loved her like she thought she loved them, but she had been wrong, painfully wrong. She wanted to run away, but she stopped herself; she needed to her what was being said. She needed to disillusion herself, she needed to know the truth so she would never make a mistake so costly again.
"I guess you are right, but you sought her out all the time. I mean, if you just wanted to talk I was there and so was Remus."
"She was the only person close enough to a girl. I mean sometimes I just needed a different kind of company and she was the closest thing to it." She could picture Harry shrugging his shoulders.
"You do remember she is a girl, right?" Harry asked, some amusement coating his tone.
"Yeah, but she is a vanilla girl, you know?"
"No, I don't know." To tell the truth neither did Hermione.
"Lavender said that Hermione is vanilla, she is safe, constant, and reliable. She is the type of girl that an average guy can spend his average life with. She isn't filled with passion, or wildness, or even a drop of spontaneity. Its like when you go to buy ice cream and there are all these exotic flavors that you have never tried out and then there is vanilla. If you are adventurous you will choose the unknown one, but if you aren't you choose Hermione, you choose Vanilla."
"That is an awfully long metaphor to describe 'Mione, but I guess you are right. I can't imagine any bloke having wild fantasies of her, she just doesn't inspire that kind of thing. I'm kind of glad its not Ginny up there sleeping with those two, then we'd have a reason to worry. Bloody hell Ron, when did you start beating me?" With that the subject of Hermione was dropped.
Hermione stood up and dragged her feet to the kitchen, never once realizing that she had started to cry, never once realizing that two people had heard all that she had heard, never once realizing that she was going to be proved wrong.