Once Upon a Hallow's Eve
By Ange de Socrates
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, plots, spells, beasts (both malignant and benign), or any other preexisting notions from the Harry Potter series. It is a rather superior creation of J.K. Rowling, and I delight in borrowing her magical ideas for my own twisted purposes.
Chapter Four – Sleeping Around
THE FLAMES THAT had been roaring in the hearth all night had died down to a few crackling coals that did not heat the room in the slightest. Hermione shuddered where she lay sleeping on the couch.
Remus watched her from the doorway. He wanted to tuck her into her own, warm bed or at least throw a blanket over her, but he also didn't want to risk interrupting her sleep. The poor witch hadn't been able to sleep properly for weeks, and now that she and many of the other Order members had testified against all of the remaining Death Eaters and sentenced them to the Dementor's Kiss, she could finally have some rest.
Realizing that her sleep would certainly be disrupted if she awoke from the cold, Remus took a blanket off a large armchair and draped it lightly over Hermione's body. She snuggled into it and made a contented noise.
He couldn't help but watch her; it had been so long since he had seen a sight so peaceful and beautiful. His gaze must have been rather intense, because Hermione sensed a presence in her sleep and her eyes slowly opened.
"Hi Remus," she said softly, her voice still laden with sleep.
Remus smiled at her. "Go back to sleep, Hermione."
She stretched her legs to the end of the couch and licked her dry lips. "What time is it?"
The wizard glanced at the clock that hung over the mantel. "Just after midnight."
Hermione smiled. "Then it's Halloween."
Remus nodded, silently berating himself for waking the poor girl up. As if sensing his thoughts, Hermione frowned at him.
"Don't look so guilty, Remus. I'm glad you came – I was getting cold." She held out one hand, which he hesitantly took. She pulled him down onto the sofa beside her and snuggled up against him. "Goodnight Remus."
Remus draped an arm around Hermione's side, wondering if she was fully aware of what she was doing or if sleep still impeded her judgment. Either way, he was dead tired, and curling up on a sofa with Hermione seemed like a damn good idea right now.
WHEN HERMIONE AWOKE later that Halloween morning, she was alone, and she couldn't help but wonder if she had dreamed that Remus had slept by her side. It couldn't have been a dream: she hadn't fallen asleep with a blanket on, and now here it was.
Hermione could hear people bustling about in the kitchen next door, but she really had no desire to be fully awake yet. Sneaking out on tiptoes so that no one would hear her escape, she walked down the corridor and up to her room to get a bit more sleep.
She had fallen asleep in her day clothes, so she stripped down to her underwear and crawled back under the covers, a look of utter contentment spreading over her features. There was nothing quite like a warm bed and plush pillows to soothe the soul.
Sleeping in Remus' embrace hadn't been too bad for her soul either.
Before she could contemplate this thought, someone knocked on her door lightly. "Hermione?" came Sirius' voice.
"Come in," she called, stifling a yawn.
Sirius stepped in and shut the door softly behind him. "You feeling all right?" he asked, concern evident in his tone.
Hermione nodded, nuzzling her blankets and half-shutting her eyes. "Just exhausted."
Sirius gave her a knowing smile. "I haven't slept properly for a couple weeks at least," he told her, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Been so worried about having to go back to Azkaban to testify, even though no one wanted to put me back in a jail cell…" He shook his head as if to exorcise the memories. "But it's done now. We can sleep."
Her only response was a sleepy nod.
"I just thought I'd let you know that Molly's making breakfast, but there's really no one here to enjoy it, so if you're hungry, you should take advantage of Fred and George being at the shop."
Hermione frowned. "Where is everyone?"
Sirius shrugged. "Not sure about everyone, but I know Harry, Ron, and Ginny went with Arthur to check on the tickets to the Cannons match, and Remus and Snivellus went to Hogwarts for a summer staff meeting or some such nonsense. So it's just you, me, Mrs. Weasley, and whichever Order members decide to show up."
The witch closed her eyes again. "I just want to sleep…" She opened one eye to look at Sirius. "Do you want to sleep?"
He contemplated the question, a sleepy ache settling over his body as he did so. "You know what? There's nothing I'd like more than a good, long nap." He crawled under the covers that Hermione held up for him and settled down, his arms around Hermione and her head on his shoulder. She had her eyes closed for barely five seconds before she fell fast asleep.
SIRIUS OPENED HIS eyes later that morning to realize something he had been too tired to notice before – Hermione was wearing next to nothing and curled up very tight against his body. Smooth, warm, porcelain skin lay delicately draped across his chest, and the tantalizing feel of her breasts was enough to make him want to wake her up in a very original manner.
Watching her sleep so peacefully, though, changed his mind. Pressing his lips lightly against her forehead, he gently peeled her off his body and slid her down onto the mattress. She shifted slightly but continued to sleep.
He could still smell a delicious breakfast in the kitchen, so Sirius made his way downstairs to partake in the small feast.
Meanwhile, Hermione suddenly noticed the absence of a warm body next to her and awoke with a dissatisfied grunt. She really needed to find a cuddle buddy who wouldn't abandon her when she most needed sleep.
A knock on her door made her hopeful, but that hope crashed and burned when Severus Snape peeked in.
"May I come in?"
Hermione nodded, pulling the sheets up further to keep her former professor from seeing something he had no desire to see.
Snape closed the door behind him. "The meeting with the Headmaster this morning was to discuss possible acts of retaliation by those whom we have testified against in the last few weeks. I suggested that all members of the Order as well as non-members who appeared in court drink a preventative potion."
He produced a small vial from his robes that contained a glowing green substance. "Its base is essence of bezoar," Snape told her, almost as if explaining a potion to a class of dunderheads.
Hermione took the vial and downed it, immediately feeling tired again.
Snape noted her sudden lack of animation. "I'm sorry – I forgot to mention that one of the side effects is extreme drowsiness. It should wear off soon."
"Didn't you take any?" Hermione said woozily.
"Of course," he said a bit sharply, as though she were questioning his intelligence.
"Aren't you tired?"
Snape raised an eyebrow. "What are you suggesting, Miss Granger?"
She yawned loudly and stretched. "Don't you want to sleep it off?"
He chuckled. "Are you asking me to sleep with you?"
Hermione's eyes widened. "Oh, no sir, not sleep with me, just sleep with me. I – I really don't want to sleep alone. Not after what I saw at Azkaban." She shivered at the memory of the horrible island prison.
Snape sighed, wondering when he had begun giving in to the requests of mere students. Still, he removed his cloak and slipped under the covers, keeping a bit of distance between himself and Hermione. She, however, had other plans, and scooted toward him until her back was pressed into his chest.
The wizard lay awkwardly for a moment before wrapping an arm even more awkwardly around Hermione. However, he soon recoiled.
"Is this your idea of a joke?" he hissed, realizing that the girl was in her skivvies. She didn't answer, and he could tell that she had already fallen asleep.
He sighed once more, replacing his arm around her waist and falling into a deep, potion-induced sleep.
HERMIONE WAS DAMN tired of waking up alone by the time evening rolled around. She had finally woken up around one in the afternoon and was disappointed to find yet another snuggle bunny had hopped off as she slumbered.
It wasn't a big deal, really. She had needed warmth and comfort, nothing more, nothing less. So not waking up with the one she went to bed with was really nothing to make a fuss of. It wasn't as if she were a spurned woman whose lover had snuck off in the middle of the night.
But somehow, she still felt a very large hole in her heart at the thought of one particular man deserting her in the middle of the night – or morning. And so, in true Hermione fashion, she hunted him down to confront him.
She found him in the study, his feet up on the couch and a book in his hand. He looked up when Hermione entered.
"So," she began, "do you always love 'em and leave 'em?"
He was flabbergasted. "Pardon?"
She sighed heavily. "Look, I thought I was just in desperate need of comfort, of warmth, of… I don't even know. But when I woke up and you were gone, I felt really…"
"Empty," he said softly.
"Exactly," she breathed.
He snapped his book shut and stood. "Well then, let's give it another try then, shall we?"
Hermione smiled. "Let's. I'm absolutely exhausted, impossible though it may seem. I feel like I haven't slept in weeks."
"You haven't," he pointed out.
She took his hand and led him back upstairs, shutting the door and stripping off her clothes to crawl into bed. He followed suit and got in behind her, drawing her tight against his belly.
"Goodnight Hermione," he said as he began to drift off.
She smiled, feeling sleep creeping up on her, too. "Goodnight…" She yawned loudly.
A/N: I really do think they're meant to be together gosh darn it! No matter what I set out to write, they somehow end up together. Usually in bed. But that's just my sick, twisted mind hard at work.
Actually, I was so tired when I began this chapter that all I could think of was sleep-related: beds, blankets, snuggle bunnies… But I thought it was cute, and even though it lacked my preferred amount of smut, I hope you all enjoyed it.
I promise I'll be writing more in my WIP stories soon! I think this four-chapters-in-half-a-day challenge was exactly what I needed to get my writer blood flowing and jump over that mental roadblock. WIPs, look out, here I come!
…after I get a bit of sleep. Wish I had a Remus/Sirius/Severus to snuggle up with…
Happy Halloween and a splendid All Souls' Day to all of you!
Ange de Socrates
P.S. A big, hearty thanks to my reviewers, who, as of press time, include fidens, laana, and Slytherin-Lycan. A big thanks in advance to all of you who review after I publish this last chapter!
P.P.S. Upon searching for this story to list my wonderful reviewers, I realized that someone published a story by the same title three years ago. I apologize for any confusion, and would like to stress that there are no similarities between the stories. None whatsoever, other than they are both Harry Potter fanfiction.
P.P.P.S. Rob Zombie's "Dragula" is THE BEST Halloween song EVER. I've been listening to it all day, and the music video is awesome in a crazy sort of way. I highly recommend it.