I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'M SO SO SO SORRY!
I'm back now; at least for summer, and I really hope to get it finished over the holiday. I've been completely controlled by university this year and so writing has become shoved to the side by accident. I'm sorry again and I'll try not to do it when I start another story.
THIS IS THE CLEAN VERSION! I want to make this really clear that in this chapter there is meant to be a very smutty scene; a little too smutty for FFnet. When this story is finished I'll be putting it up on Granger Enchanted where those OVER 18 ONLY will be able to read it. Those who aren't old enough… use your imagination ;) There is some description towards the end however that means I'm going to up the rating to an M just to be safe.
ON WITH THE STORY!
The full moon glowed almost blue in the inky night sky, but it was all the light the three Marauders needed to test their newest recruit before meeting the real Moony. If Hermione could pass their tests, then she would be coming with them on their night-time escapade with Remus.
She passed, all right, and with flying colours.
"You know what?" Sirius said as he, James and Peter stood just into the forbidden forest, eyes focused on Hermione as she switched back and forth between human and wolf, demonstrating her developing skill whilst following their assault course.
"What?" Hermione panted, brows furrowed as she forced herself into her human form once again, pausing at the end of the course for a third time. The last two months of time-consuming and exhausting work on her animagus form had left her able to move quickly in and out of her form, and though she didn't think she was quite as fluid as she could be, she was sure she had it down to pat well enough to be recognised as a legal animagus. Did Sirius think differently? Did he think there was something wrong?
"I think you've got it. How long can you hold it?" He flashed a dazzling smile in Hermione's direction and she beamed, holding back the urge to perform a small victory dance.
"At longest, I've fallen asleep in my form and woken in it at sunrise, so all night." Sirius nodded, James smiled proudly, and Peter simply looked up at her with admiration and a little jealousy. Hermione noted it, and promised herself she would talk to the boy at her next opportunity before the jealousy developed.
"Excellent! Hermione Granger, you are now an official Animagus, the ruling declared henceforth by Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail of the Hogwarts' Marauders." Sirius stated grandly, and Hermione mock-curtsied as James pretended to knight her with a long stick found on the floor.
"How does it feel?" Peter asked giddily, and Hermione just grinned.
"Like I'm... like I'm free." Her words were filled with awe at what she had managed to achieve, and she knew in that moment that there was very little that would be out of her grasp in the future.
"How about a run to the Willow?" Sirius said with a conspirational wink, and within seconds the two were bolting out of the woods and across the dark grounds of Hogwarts. James blinked then transformed himself, waiting for Wormtail to climb up to the dip between his antlers before running after the two canines. They would be exhausted come the morning, but they had more important things to think about; like how in Merlin's name Moony was going to react to their newest addition.
Upon reaching the Whomping Willow, each of the students returned to their original state, and Hermione looked expectantly and nervously at the other boys.
"Hermione, we need you to stay out here, preferably by the lake and out of the way. We'll work out his aggression and get him into his more...playful, shall we say? Yes, playful state. Then we'll bring him down and introduce you. He won't hurt you as long as we're here to help, all right?" James said sincerely, and Hermione nodded once before turning in the direction of the lake and bounding off.
James, Sirius and Peter looked at each other for a few moments, all finally showing the nervousness they hadn't let slip around Hermione.
"This is going to be interesting." Peter said finally, before shrinking and changing into Wormtail to reach the knot in the roots.
Interesting didn't quite cover it, Sirius thought as he made his usual way through the tunnel to reach his friend. It could turn out to be a blood bath if Moony decided another wolf had no right to be on his territory – everything was riding on his reaction.
Meanwhile, Hermione paced back and forth nervously, staying carefully in her wolf form as she heard Moony howl and bark in the long distance. This could go either hideously wrong or wonderfully...until the morning. She had a sincere feeling that Remus wouldn't be speaking to her for a few days once he woke, and that possibility made her more nervous than Remus trying to kill her. He would probably be highly irritated with his best friends too, and that was not what she wanted at all.
As she was seriously contemplating returning to the castle to avoid more anger than she ever wanted to inflict, she heard the happy bark of Padfoot just seconds before he wrestled her to the floor. The wolf in Hermione promptly forgot all the worries and took over a little of the controls as she began to roll with the dog, nipping playfully at his ears and neck in greeting, before pushing itself up and looking around.
Cocking her head to one side, Hermione stared at Moony with the curiosity of a wolf greeting another, and dipped her head in polite greeting and understanding that he was the alpha here. The human part of her was gripped with fear, waiting for his response; Sirius, James and Peter too were watching with drawn breaths, praying that Moony would accept a newcomer into their mismatched pack. Fear was in their eyes as they stood behind Moony, ready to move quickly if any assistance was needed to keep Hermione safe.
Then the strangest thing happened; Moony whimpered and crouched low to the ground, hiding his face in his paws, and Hermione barked: she was in, at least temporarily. More confidently, the Marauders watched as the she-wolf approached the werewolf, nudging at its paws with her nose until the head rose.
Hermione was somewhat relieved that Moony accepted her so easily, especially as he began to chase her playfully from the lake into the Forbidden Forest, but she had a sinking feeling that the minute Remus knew, he would have her neck; he seemed to think purposely in opposites to his wolf counterpart. Come the sunrise, she would have more explaining to do than she cared for, but right now there was nothing else she could really concentrate on besides the need to run, to play, and to make the most of the time she was given.
"Mya...Hey, Mya! Get up, change, and get out!" A sharp hiss stirred Hermione from her sleep, and with a wolf-like yawn Hermione stretched out and transformed leisurely; she was exhausted but happy with how the night had gone.
"Hermione, you need to go. We overslept and Remus is stirring – run!" James hissed and Hermione followed his orders without thinking twice about it. Peter ran ahead to tap the root of the tree so she could make an easy exit.
She wasn't quick enough. As she disappeared from the room, Remus Lupin's bleary, pain-clouded eyes watched his beautiful but heartbreakingly stupid girlfriend follow one of his best friends out. One member of his traitorous group of best friends.
"Tell me." Remus croaked, rolling onto his side as Sirius and James jumped back, cringing as he coughed. "What Hermione was doing here, and which one of you am I going to kill first when I get out of the hospital wing?"
Both James and Sirius paled and bolted, leaving Remus alone to stew and think over just how he was going to punish them this time for stepping over his boundaries; except that this time, Hermione was going to be suffering too, and that wasn't good. Remus would probably do something incredibly stupid, like finish Hermione before they'd even had a chance to be together; and as the two boys collapsed on one of the sofas in the Gryffindor common room opposite the girl in question, they vowed silently that they wouldn't let it happen.
"He's not happy, is he?" Hermione questioned finally, running a hand through her wild hair.
"Nope." Sirius said as James opened his mouth to try and skirt over the issue. "And you can bet he's going to try and do something excessively noble under the pretence that he could have hurt you, you can't be with him, blah blah blah." He waved a hand and Hermione nodded, letting out a long breath.
"I expected that. I think a little bit of stubbornness is required here, don't you?" She stood, brushed off her robes, and headed towards the girls' staircase.
"Mya, just be careful ok? Standing your ground mightn't be as easy as you think when it comes to Moony." James bit his lip, looking behind him with a frown as she began to walk up the stairs. "We had to go through hell when he first found out we'd done it before he would accept it."
Hermione smirked, and remembered the way Tonks had pursued him 20 years into the future; she knew exactly what she needed to do to get him to accept her choice. She stuck her head around the corner and looked at the two boys. "You worry too much. I know what I'm doing on this one, trust me."
She let him avoid her for a good week, taking it all in her stride as he glared, sulked, and ignored her at every opportunity. She also, however, saw his heartbroken looks as she opened her own diary to watch him, and the one occasion that he had wept into his pillow, holding it close. After that week had passed, she began to force her way into his life again, making sure he had to listen to her in conversations, flirted lightly when it was appropriate to do so, and did her absolute best to be around him at all times.
Hermione was setting up for an argument. A very, very large argument that she wanted to get out in the open, but not too public (after all, she couldn't reveal his secret, that would be horrific for him). If the Marauders, Ron, Harry and Lily could see, that would be the best; so that was why she was planning a Muggle barbecue for the weekend as the weather promised to be good for spring in Scotland. She had asked for a few disposable barbecues from Lily's parents who readily agreed, and intended to do a spot of bargaining with the house-elves in order to get sausages, mince to make burgers, small chunks of steak and vegetables for kebabs and bread buns, as well as a large bottle of tomato ketchup. There might also, she contemplated, be a few bottles of wine and Butterbeer too if Sirius, James or Peter was amenable to sneaking out into Hogsmeade (and she was comfortably sure they would be). Hopefully, Remus would relax just enough to walk with her, and she would confront him. It was a well laid plan, and she sincerely hoped it would work as she missed him more than she cared to admit to anyone but Lily, who hugged her sympathetically and helped her plan the barbecue by the lake.
The weekend rolled around, clear and relatively warm – certainly warm enough for a barbecue if a warming charm was applied to everyone. Grinning happily as she, Ron and Harry walked to the lake to set up, Hermione chatted and danced around and tripped over more than once, making her best friends laugh.
"You've changed, Hermione." Ron said suddenly as he inspected a box of matches, lighting one and dropping it in surprise as the flame burnt his fingers. "Bugger!" He cried, and Harry snorted, removing the box from Ron's grasp and putting out the forgotten match.
"You say it like it's a bad thing, Ron." Harry muttered, and winced as a wooden spoon was aimed at his head.
"Behave Potter, or you'll be on cooking duty."
"Again, you say it like it's a bad thing." Harry said more clearly, making Ron laugh despite his small burn. Hermione frowned, looking up from the sausages she was separating.
"Are you saying I can't cook?" She looked a little hurt, and Harry sighed, rubbing his forehead.
"Mya!" A loud shout echoed across the lawns as the Marauders plus Lily ran down towards the lake, waving madly. Even Remus seemed cheerful, which made her life an awful lot easier. Smiling back, she jumped up to hug her friends, who were all carrying bags of their own.
"Remus and I brought a few blankets each, so we've got plenty of room to sit and put all the food. I'm so excited! I can't believe I never thought of something like this before. Did you know a lot of wizards don't know how to cook, at all?" Lily began chattering as she unrolled several camp blankets and two patchwork quilts.
"Neither can I apparently." Hermione said dryly, glancing at Ron and Harry who innocently stared back with wide eyes. "See what I put up with?" She laughed along with Lily, opening up a bottle of Butterbeer each and sitting down to watch Harry and the other 'manly-men' attempt to light and cook food on the barbecue.
It was almost completely dark and the disposable barbecues had been turned into fires when Hermione braved speaking to Remus. He was smiling as she sat next to him, and she nudged his shoulder playfully.
"Do I have good ideas, or do I have good ideas?" She teased gently, watching the fire intently as she wrapped her arms around herself tightly.
"It was a fantastic idea." Remus said quietly, toying with a strand of grass. They sat in an awkward silence for a few moments before Hermione spoke again.
"When are you going to get over yourself?" She said bluntly, looking directly at him. His eyes flew to hers and his mouth hung open in shock. "I've let you avoid me for a week and a half now."
"You…let me! I…" He spluttered, looking decidedly angry. "You can't choose…"
"Of course I did. I wanted a good time to talk to you, and so I set one up so we could meet on a level ground where we could talk freely. Your friends, my friends, and no secrets." She scoffed at first, before laying a hand on his arm. He flinched away, glaring at her unpleasantly.
"Oh, no secrets? Like the secret you've obviously been keeping under wraps for months that you're an Animagus? Decide to surprise me, did you? I could have killed you!" He hissed. "Especially considering your form!"
"Oh, don't be so noble, you're not that fantastic!" She bit out, not truly meaning it but knew it would have the desired effect.
"Then why even bother to be with me in the first place? Obviously I'm not good enough for you!" He stood, heavy blanket falling to the floor. "Finally deciding that you're better than my kind? I thought you didn't care about that?" He growled.
Remus' head snapped to the side and his mouth hung open as his own hand flew to his cheek. He stared at her in shock as her cheeks flushed and her eyes flashed in the firelight, and suddenly he began to think that it was a very wrong thing to say.
"How dare you, Remus Lupin? How dare you!" Hermione screeched, throwing herself in at full force. "Don't you understand at all? I did it because I love you, you absolute arse! I love you!" She screamed, before turning and storming off to walk around the edge of the lake, sitting on a rock and picking up a handful of pebbles to throw. Now all she had to do was wait for him to follow, and she was sure he would.
"Hermione?" His voice came on the breeze from behind her and she turned, eyes sparkling as he took cautious steps towards her, holding out his hand to her.
"Have we quite finished fighting now?" She asked, taking his hand and letting herself be pulled up to him, flush against his chest as he held her tightly.
"Yes, I think so. I'm so sorry." He rested his chin on her head, her arms slung comfortably around his waist. "I'm scared." He admitted finally and Hermione looked up at him, her hands moving to frame his face.
"Why, Remus? What is there to be scared of?"
"I've never been in love before. I'm scared of what it means for you, because I know that I am completely and hopelessly in love with you and I don't know what the wolf will do." He said bitterly.
Hermione's eyes welled up with tears, and she kissed him soundly, allowing herself to be wrapped up in the emotion of the moment. Stepping away, she took his hand and squeezed it, before beginning to lead the boy up the hill to their friends, who were watching them closely.
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, we've got a whole night of against the rules partying."
Smiling, Remus allowed himself to be pulled by the overly enthusiastic woman he loved towards their friends, who immediately clapped and then offered them a bottle of wine each. Wrapped up under a blanket together, Hermione grinned as Harry taught Peter and Ron the rules of a thumb-war, and noted with pride that they both let Peter win after a considerable fight.
Just before 10, they stumbled up to the room of requirement which supplied them with a bar. A real bar with soundproofed walls and…music? Hermione shed her blanked and decided to take the role of barmaid, as though she couldn't cook she had bothered to learn how to make a few cocktails for her parents from bar staff on holiday. The music began to blare, and with a grin Hermione set a round of shots out; it promised to be a highly entertaining evening.
"Hermione, can we talk for a moment?" Lily shouted over the music as she motioned her over to one of the comfortable sofas whilst the boys took turns behind the bar pouring shots.
"What do you need?"
"One second – muffilato! There." The sound ebbed down enough for them to hear what they were saying to each-other well enough. "I'm going to be blunt. Are you on the potion, or do you know the spell?" The red-head said, completely straight-faced.
"I…I beg your pardon?"
"Remus wants to shag you senseless Hermione, and after the display you two put on tonight I think it's going to be very soon. I know you want it too, don't look at me like that." Hermione flushed, and then shook her head at Lily.
"I…I never thought I'd need them until recently, but I've just not had the time. I've been on the muggle contraceptive pill, if that helps?" Hermione rolled the hem of her jumper between her fingers in a soothing motion.
"Nope. Doesn't work with wizards, believe me; me and James nearly had a scare when I told him that. Look, here…" She fished out two small vials from her pocket. "This is 6 months supply. Take one now and one in three months time. I can brew you more after that if you need it. Just make sure to pop one of your hairs into it to make sure it's tuned to you, so it doesn't affect your cycle." She fished something else out of her pocket and handed it to Hermione after she swallowed the sweet blue potion. "This is a pain potion meant just for this reason. It stops your first time from hurting. Take it when you think it's going to happen."
Hermione looked over at Remus, only to meet his eyes. There was a heated look in them as he eyed the potion she had just taken. Instead of the fear she expected to feel, heat began to pool between her legs and she blushed, biting her lip, before looking back at Lily.
"You really think he…?"
"You only live once, Hermione. Go for it. I'll make a scene and get the boys out of here. You and Remus enjoy some quality time." She winked before cancelling the spell and stumbling over to the group of boys. "Jamesie…" She said seductively, running a finger up his arm, but swaying on her feet slightly before whispering something in his ear.
"Lads, I think it's time we call it quits, don't you?" He said nervously, wrapping his cloak around him purposefully. The two boys raised their heads from the bar and nodded wearily before slumping back down again. Harry and Ron attempted to pick themselves up off the floor, and once standing they quietly and carefully made their way out of the door to head to their respective common rooms. Whilst watching Remus solidly, Hermione uncorked and swallowed the pain-preventing potion; Remus' eyes darkened dramatically.
"Prongs, I think Hermione and I are going to stay here for a little longer if that's ok?" Remus said, but the older boy only acknowledged it with a brief nod before they were the only two left in the room, staring at each other heatedly before they moved in sync to meet in the middle of the room, their lips touching and bodies pressed together hard.
"I love you, 'Mione." Remus said sleepily some hours later as they rested together on the large pile of fur rugs, wrapped up in the quilt he had brought with him to the barbecue. Her skin was still sticky with sweat, and the room smelt of sex and exertion as they lay naked together, hearts still pumping furiously.
"I love you…too." She yawned, snuggling against his chest. "I'm going to ache in the morning." She pressed her lips to an area of exposed skin and felt the rumble of a laugh coming from her new lover.
"I'll get you a pain potion when we get up and go; I'm sure the room could probably conjure you one if you thought hard enough."
"I'll be fine. If I ache, I'll remember exactly why I ache…" She winked up at him and he rolled so she could rest her head on his chest completely.
"Then I say the ache should last for a little while…but not too long, you understand? I intend to have you over," he stroked her back, "and over," he stroked her backside "and over again." His hand dipped to touch her folds and a finger slipped into her entrance, and she moaned.
"Don't, otherwise I'll be ready for a second round right now…" Remus laughed.
"All the more reason for me to continue, then?" Another finger plunged, and Hermione rocked against his hand as her own reached to take hold of his already semi-hard member.
"Oh Merlin, yes!"