Summer 2007 SS/HG Exchange: Gift for StormySkize - Prompt: "And just to balance all those requests for a HG/SS/LM threesome: Erotic piece featuring Severus, Hermione, and Remus. A logical explanation as to how they've come together, please. Would like erotica and/or romance as opposed to PWP." Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Royal thanks go to my mighty beta and friend, Wartcap! An All-American salute to SiriusWoman and Becky. Each gave me encouragement, support, and a kick in the arse when I needed it! I tried to give StormySkize what she wanted, but there ended up being loads of sex in this story (chapter three) with some plot mixed in.
In order to meet FFN Mature Guidelines, I have edited the heck out of Chapter three to tone down its Explicitness. It's still way hot! Enjoy!!
Summary: Hermione becomes part of a new trio as she is magically sorted into the Troika. Will she be able to work with her new partners, kill them, or love them?
CHAPTER ONE: The Troika
Three shadowy figures stood alone huddled around a warm flame, ostensibly guarding against the morning's chill. Stoking the fire in a seemingly endless attempt to maintain their warmth, the dark associates each added a garment, fueling the embers. As if in a choreographed dance, they tossed their robes into the blaze until all three had made their contribution.
"Is this really necessary?" she asked in a drunken slur. "I'm not so sure that burning our school robes is a smart thing to do."
"Bloody hell, Hermione," Ron exclaimed, spittle escaping the confines of his mouth. "We've finished school!"
She responded indignantly, "Yes I know, Ronald, but burning our robes is so… ill-mannered."
"Merlin's balls, Hermione," he shouted. "You've been drinking all night and you're still bloody uptight!"
"Well, Ronald, I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam!" Hermione cackled. Unsteady and giggling uncontrollably, she leaned against a similarly unsteady Harry for support.
"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man… boop boop!" Harry sang aloud as he finished her veneration to the once famous cartoon character.
"What are you berks on about?" asked Ron.
"Nothing," responded Harry. "Don't worry your pretty little head over it!"
Hermione and Harry guffawed as they continued to lean against each other in delusive contentment that each would maintain the other upright.
As the cheerful trio walked back to the Three Broomsticks, an owl intercepted them and delivered a message intended for all three friends. The message from Professor McGonagall was cryptic and vague. Hermione read it aloud and panic struck her as she read the urgency of the missive directing them to Order Headquarters. The war with Voldemort was at its height and everyone was tense and uneasy. Anything out of the ordinary, like this note with its mysterious message, terrified her.
"The note has been Charmed to serve as a Portkey to Headquarters. Hold on! It's set to activate at seven this morning and it's just about that time now!" yelled Hermione.
As her friends grabbed a corner of the paper, they stared at each other with worried glances. They stood speechless and motionless, not unlike deer when faced with the wrong end of a Lumos-casted wand, each with a deliberate hand touching the missive's crisp parchment.
Hermione looked toward both of her friends to reassure them that all would be well. Scared as she was, with adrenaline pumping in her system, she felt vulnerable and uncertain. As she pondered this new and unfamiliar sense of doubt, she felt the familiar, albeit nauseating, tug in her navel transporting her and her friends to their destination.
Literally dropping into Order headquarters at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, Hermione was relieved to note that she wasn't the only one of her friends to find themselves sprawled on the floor. This form of transportation definitely took its toll on the backside, causing her to rethink her fear of flying. At least a broomstick used a Cushioning Charm.
Despite the early morning hour, the Black house was crowded with Order members. Many of them Hermione recognized, but a fair few she didn't. She and her friends appeared to be the only persons present that were not members of the secret organization. Dobby greeted them upon their less than perfect entrance, and treated them to a delightful breakfast that included several cups of strong black coffee in an attempt to rid themselves of their drunken haze. After breakfast, the motley crew that made up the Order gathered in the drawing room at the behest of their leader.
"Thank you all for responding so quickly to my summons," Professor McGonagall shared as they sat or stood in any available space the crowded room afforded them.
Hermione admired the Headmistress for her determination. She addressed the Order with an erect poise and resolve. As the Order leader asked the group for silence, she gestured for the trio to approach her. With tentative glances Harry, Ron and Hermione walked across the room to stand before the group with understanding beginning to slowly dawn on their faces.
"It is with great pride that I address the three of you this day," Professor McGonagall said somberly, almost in contradiction to her poignant words. "It has been my privilege to watch you grow and mature into the brave and valiant adults you have become today. With your education complete, you enter the adult world." She gestured, pointing to herself and the others in the room. "Unfortunately, we have not been able to succeed in creating a safe and secure world in which you can prosper. Now, we look to you," she said, looking intently at the trio, "to bear arms with us and join the fight against the enemy.
"Do you accept this call, Harry James Potter?"
"Yes, I do," Harry replied with pride.
"Do you accept this call, Ronald Bilius Weasley?"
"Yes," he responded as he looked in the direction of his crestfallen parents.
"And, Miss Hermione Jane Granger, do you accept the challenge that we present to you today?"
"Yes, Professor," Hermione replied hoarsely. Tears welled in her eyes as she looked at her friends and comprehended the scene playing out before her. They had all wanted to become members of the Order ever since they learned of it and of its purpose. She never truly understood the magnitude of what it meant to join this secret organization – fighting Voldemort. Evil was still present and threatening their world. While there was honor in being associated with this courageous group, the mere necessity of it caused deep sadness.
"Very well," Professor McGonagall said as she closed this portion of the meeting. "It is with a heavy heart that I recognize your acceptance into the Order of the Phoenix. May our combined magic bring forth victory and peace for us and for all future generations."
As the trio was treated to a warm applause, a rhythmic knock was heard on the front door of the decrepit house. It was a simple seven-note knock that Hermione immediately recognized. It was tuned to 'Shave and a Haircut, Two Bits.' With its memorable rhythm, bop bop ba-bop bop – pause – bop bop, Hermione was comforted as if the knock was of someone friendly and familiar. After all, it is not as if Voldemort would announce his arrival with a bopity bop-bop… would he?
"Ah yes, Snape, late as usual," Hermione heard someone in the room say, apparently quite annoyed. A moment later Professor Snape entered the drawing room, his robes billowing in grandiose splendor.
"Oh joy," said Professor Snape facetiously, his fowl sneer a permanent fixture on his striking face. "Adding the pick of your Gryffindor litter to the Order, Minerva? Do you honestly think that wise considering the madcap that is Potter and his misfit groupies?"
"I don't give a damn what you think!" screamed Harry, interrupting Professor McGonagall's response. "You're not my teacher anymore and I don't have to pretend to respect you!"
"You see, Minerva, not even now, after receiving the great privilege of joining the Order, can he even show it the respect that it is due," scoffed the professor.
"You," Harry growled through clenched teeth, "are a murderer and I don't care what Pensieve evidence you cooked up to get yourself off of the charge. I saw you kill him! I saw you do it and I will never forgive you!"
"I find myself unable to express to you, Potter," Professor Snape said as he lowered his face and looked directly at Harry, "how much I couldn't… care less." He sauntered away toward an empty niche in the back of the room.
"Enough of this, both of you!" yelled Minerva, visibly shaken. "I need not repeat a known fact, Harry, but you know and everyone knows that Dumbledore forced Professor Snape into an Unbreakable Vow demanding that he end his life if the situation demanded. None of us are happy about this, but the last thing we need is you disrupting this meeting with youthful antics!" After taking several breaths intended to calm her, she continued. "Harry, you are now a full fledged Order member and I need you to be a part of this team. Or you may leave, the choice is yours. However, Harry, you agreed to accept our invitation. Do you now renege?"
Harry looked like he was about to burst. Fortunately for him, he collected his raging feelings enough to inform Professor McGonagall that he would remain. Hermione was astonished. Considering the prophecy, she assumed that Harry's membership was a certainty, but given the choice presented to him now, it was clear that forming a cohesive team was more important.
Hermione did not feel as vindictive toward Professor Snape as Harry did, but she was apprehensive about him, to say the least. Upon his return to Hogwarts in seventh year after his exoneration, Hermione found herself in fear of him. Her anxiety was so overpowering that she would ensure that she was never left alone with him. She would plan her entrances and exits from his classroom to ensure that she wasn't the first to enter and wasn't the last to leave. Irrational or not, she trusted her instincts and they told her to stay away from him. She always felt as if he was watching her. Whether in class or during meals, she felt his gaze always upon her. She just knew that her paranoia was making her psychotic. She'd have to eventually come to terms with this, seek professional help or get used to creating complex conspiracy theories to explain why a Death Eater / Hogwarts Professor / Spy / Order member would even bother watching her. Even now, surrounded and protected by dozens of Order members, she couldn't spare him a glance for fear that he would meet her gaze and know she was intrigued, albeit frightened.
"Severus," McGonagall began. "Have you anything to report?"
"Yes," he replied as he leaned against the fireplace. "The Dark Lord is… jubilant."
"I don't think I'm going to like this. Why would he be jubilant?"
"He has successfully ensconced a spy into the high level ranks of the Ministry, and only he is aware of the identity of this person. Suffice it to say that he is thrilled with having me as a spy for him in the Order and now he has someone of prominence in the Ministry."
"What's this person's mission?"
"I do not know."
"Very well. This disturbing revelation only lends more importance to what I am about to say. My friends, we have experience too many failures over the last year in our fight against the Dark. Too many missions have gone awry. I understand that the forced change in leadership has rendered us vulnerable. We all have our strengths and we come with different levels of expertise. Those of us with, shall I say, more experience fighting the Dark, have been overextended and we are unable to continue to operate in this manner. In order to strengthen the Order we must improve the skill of all of our members. Therefore, we will create teams in order to train and prepare for battle."
In response to someone asking for clarification, the Headmistress turned and left the room. Immediately, everyone began chattering. Some members were excited and others were clearly frustrated. Before things got out of hand, she returned carrying the troll umbrella stand that usually stood at the foot of the stairs.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is no ordinary common-or-garden variety umbrella stand. It is a very powerful magical object with one express purpose – to create the perfect partnership. This is a complex task and as such, teams larger than two are inherently more difficult to create."
After querying a few other questions, Professor McGonagall asked all Order members to approach the umbrella stand, sans wands. Members were instructed to place his or her right arm inside the object for a moment, and when each person had done so the enchantment would begin.
McGonagall's request was not overtly challenged, as she was correct in her summation of the unfortunate status of the Order. Nevertheless, it was clear that not all Order members were enthusiastic with the task presented before them. Hermione noticed several grouped together chattering and they did not appear pleased. Some approached the troll's leg earnestly, others composed, and yet others were clearly annoyed. Professor Snape was predictably categorized in the latter.
"Minerva," he interjected. "Far be it for me to interrupt your plans, but I refuse to participate in this experiment of yours. I am one of those over-extended Order members you mentioned, and as such I cannot be tied to some incompetent fool who will rely on my Dark expertise."
"Severus, I wish you would reconsider," Professor McGonagall responded dejectedly. "Your knowledge of the Dark is surpassed by none."
"I see," he responded. "Minerva, you expect me to train someone after my long workday teaching dunderheads, marking papers, working with my Slytherins as Head of House, creating potions for the hospital wing, my deputy duties, brewing Wolfsbane for our resident werewolf… oh, and what am I forgetting?" he asked arrogantly. "Ah yes, let's not forget all of the spare time I have after my return from the Dark Lord's many summons'. I'm fairly perky after a dose or two of the Cruciatus."
"Touché, Severus," Minerva said, crestfallen.
"He's such a git!" Ron whispered. "He's just worried about his own hide."
"He sounds rather busy, don't you think?" Hermione asked as they waited in queue for their turn.
"No one can ever be too busy to help the fight against Voldemort," Harry responded lividly.
"I know," she agreed. "It just sounds like he's already doing a lot in that department."
"Forget him," Harry insisted. "We're going to be great together! I can't wait for the troll to pick the three of us as a team! We'll train just like we did with the DA!" Ron and Hermione agreed, excited by the possibility of expanding their training further.
Thoughtfully, Hermione paused. "What makes you think the troll will pick us?" she asked.
"Are you barmy, Hermione?" Harry asked, surprised. "We're the golden trio, everyone knows that! We've been a trio for seven years and no magical troll leg can ignore the bond that we share."
Hermione responded with a favorable grin and a bear hug for both of her friends. She turned forward while in queue and noticed a private screen created by McGonagall, curtaining off a corner of the drawing room preventing others from seeing the magic. Hermione was actually rather eager to be a part of such inventive magic. When it was her turn, she entered through the curtained partition and saw the professor with the troll's leg positioned atop a simple dresser. She was told to approach the troll and place her arm inside. When Hermione did, she shivered as her arm was immediately surrounded by frigid air. The skin on her arm responded to the cool temperature with goose bumps and a relentless tingling sensation. If she were to maintain her arm in there much longer she was sure she would develop frostbite. Just as the sensation was becoming unbearable, the professor murmured a charm and the intense cold she had been experiencing turned to immense heat. As tears welled in her eyes, she turned her gaze upward toward the professor who was gently guiding Hermione's arm out of the troll leg. When she withdrew her arm, the troll leg began to hum and vibrate. The table it was standing on rattled with the commotion. A gentle beam of light emanated from the leg and moved about the space surrounding Hermione in varying colors. It was a brilliant display of light and a warm feeling enveloped her. She was enchanted with the vibrancy of the colors and within an instant the display was gone. Hermione felt empty and alone in the darkened space. She looked toward the professor for confirmation of the end of the enchantment and she looked as tousled and confused as Hermione felt. With a wave and a request to bring in the next person in queue, Hermione took her leave.
When the last person was processed, the Headmistress Vanished the curtained partition and revealed the troll leg, which appeared to be burning brightly. She levitated it to another table central to the room and conducted another charm. As it was completed, the troll leg began to hum and vibrate as it had before with Hermione. Others in the room gasped and Hermione wondered why they were surprised. The troll leg began to spew forth parchments and McGonagall caught them all before sharing their content.
"Alas, the moment has come to reveal the partnerships created by the enchanted troll stand." As the Headmistress rattled off the teams, some people were elated, some were apathetic and others were dumbfounded. Alastor Moody appeared on edge when he heard Molly Weasley was his partner. She appeared dazed, yet resigned to do her part. Arthur seemed nervous as his new partner, Tonks, eagerly waved to him from across the room, thumping her unsuspecting neighbor in the process. Thus far, the troll leg had revealed only teams of two, twelve in all.
Hermione, Ron, and Harry were elated considering none of them were chosen as partners for anyone else, confirming their theory that they belonged together. Just then, the troll leg vibrated once more and a beam of light erupted from the object and split into three threads of light. They gently meandered through the crowded room, passing between stunned members in awe of its beauty and magic. The three lights reached their targets as Harry, Ron, and Dobby were enveloped in its beam.
Harry and Ron were confused, Dobby was ecstatic, Hermione was incensed and Ron's parents fainted.
"What is the meaning of this?" Hermione screamed. "I don't understand. How can Dobby have been chosen to partner with Harry and Ron?"
"Friends, this is highly unusual," Professor McGonagall admitted. "Dobby is neither an Order member nor has he participated in the selection process."
Hermione was furious. She was supposed to be partnered with Harry and Ron. They were her friends! How, in all that's good and magical could she have been replaced by an elf? Hermione thought this whole process was ridiculous! Knee deep in her own bitterness, she missed the hum and vibrations of the troll leg. The beam of light emanated the object and began to meander through the crowded room for a second time that morning. As before, the beams searched for their targets and Hermione was the first to be encircled. Unable to enjoy the warmth of the beam, Hermione's apprehension held her captive as she followed the other two meandering threads of light to their destination. The beams reached the back of the large room and one encircled Professor Lupin and the other, still meandering found its target leaning against the fireplace mantle. Wearing a permanent scowl, Professor Snape said a loud expletive as the beam encircled him in its warm embrace.
Most Order members had escaped headquarters and Hermione wished she had been one of them. Instead, she remained as the alcohol she consumed earlier had finally caught up to her. Secondly, she was too gobsmacked with the outcome of the magical troll to move. She sat at the far end of the room watching Harry, Ron, and Dobby – the new golden trio – talk excitedly together, probably planning their clandestine operational training.
They were happy and she was miserable. Not once, since this fiasco revelation occurred, had Ron or Harry expressed their disappointment and no one expressed their regret that she was partnered with Professor Snape. As she sat watching her friends, she also glanced toward Professor Snape as he held an animated discussion with Professor McGonagall. It appeared to her that he was trying desperately to get out of being a part of this trio with her and Remus. All the better if he succeeded.
"Don't you worry, Hermione," Professor Lupin whispered soothingly as she turned around and found her favorite teacher sitting next to her.
"Professor Lupin!" she exclaimed and gave him a tight hug that he returned earnestly. "I'm sorry to be so glum. It's not about you. I think that's brilliant! But… but I just don't think I can be partners with him." Her eyes provided direction for Remus to follow, not that he needed it.
"You can and you will, Hermione. This is a great honor for all of us," Remus said as he reached out and placed her hand in his. "Believe me, there is no love lost between Severus and I, some of which you already know. But no one, not even him, can deny the honor of being a part of the Troika."
"The Troika?" she asked, confused. The Troika sounded very mysterious. Hermione was also confused as Remus was making circling motions with his thumb on the soft skin of her palm. It was very smooth, very stimulating.
"A conversation for another time, love," he answered, bringing her hand up to his lips as he searched her eyes. Hermione looked at the man who, until just yesterday, had been her teacher. He drew her in with his passionate gaze, giving her a sense of wonder and interestingly enough, tranquility. "I also think that considering our future, you should call me by my given name."
"Remus," Hermione said, tasting his name on her lips. He was always so pleasant and personable, and now he seemed rather sensual. Partnering with him would be the one bright mark of this whole fiasco. "I think I like saying your name! Remus?" she asked, "What should we…"
"Granger, Lupin," the silky and menacing voice of Severus Snape interrupted, seemingly out of nowhere. "Apparently the fates have thrust you upon me and I for one will not allow you both to bring me down. If I am to elevate your skill level, we will do this my way. Come, we will return to the castle and I will give you your orders."
Apprehensive, yet determined to show her Gryffindor bravery, Hermione turned toward Remus and gave him a valiant smile. Remus placed her hand in the crook of his arm and, following the lone dark figure, walked her toward their fate.
To be continued…