Author's Notes:

Playing to my soft spot for Bill Weasley, RZZMG challenged me several months ago to write a smutty Bill/Hermione ("Bermione") story. At long last, I'm ready to reveal the start of what I hope will be a satisfactory romp for you all. Due to Real Life being what it is, it has taken a good while to get Chapter One ready for posting, but I'm very pleased with the results.

I dedicate this story to RZZMG, my good friend and a wonderful writer herself, who has supported me with brainstorming, words of advice, and most of all her friendship throughout all the elation, angst, and self-doubt I have felt as I began pulling this story together. Thank you so, so much, RZZMG!

I hope you enjoy Chapter One, and please review!


By: UnseenLibrarian

Rating: M+

Pairing: Bill/Hermione

Universe: Post-Hogwarts, AU (EWE?)

Summary: Bill's lycanthropy is worsening, a result of his failed attempt to mark his (now ex-)wife Fleur as his mate. Can Hermione help him find inner peace before the wolf fully takes control?


Friday night, December 10, 2000

Moon phase: one night before full

"What the hell do you mean, there's no Firewhiskey?"

Leaning over the drinks table, listening to George's drivel about the lack of beverage choices, Bill Weasley was rapidly becoming irate. Christmas season be damned, he thought. His normally cheerful blue eyes were glowering. He glanced at George's remaining ear. One quick snap of the teeth should do it...

Standing beside George, Ron gulped, but gamely held his ground as the two of them faced their fuming elder brother. George attempted yet again to explain the situation.

"Bill, we already told you, it isn't our choice, it's a village ordinance! Hogsmeade won't allow the sale or serving of alcoholic beverages in retail establishments that are not restaurants, eateries or pubs." George gestured around the brightly-lit joke shop, which was wildly bedecked with Christmas decorations for the "More Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes" Grand Opening Yuletide Party, currently in full swing. "We're only allowed to serve basic drinks at Grand Opening events like this one. Pumpkin juice is fine, butterbeer's okay, and virgin eggnog - but not wine, mead, Firewhiskey or-"

"-or anything worth drinking, in other words," snarled Bill. He stepped back as Ron's wife, Lavender, approached the table, levitating a large bowl before her. She set it down on the table in front of him. His upper lip curled in derision as he sneered down at the decorative bowl, filled with festive Christmas punch. His ultra-sensitive nose could detect nary a drop of alcohol in the concoction. He cursed vehemently and looked up at his sister-in-law.

"Lavender, please, you know what I'm going through! Don't you?"

Lavender, in the early stages of pregnancy, was wearing a pretty green strapless maternity dress which bared her shoulders. Her blonde hair was swept up in a sloppy bun, and the combination showed off her lovely long neck nicely. It also clearly showed the large round bite mark she carried low on her throat near her shoulder, a permanent reminder of where Fenrir Greyback had attacked her during the Battle of Hogwarts. If it hadn't been for Hermione's quick wandwork and Professor Trelawney dropping a crystal ball on Greyback's head, Lavender might have ended up with as many scars as Bill, or worse. As it was, because she was bitten, she still dealt with many of the same aftereffects from the attack that he did, including a penchant for extremely rare steaks.

She smiled ruefully, patting him on the hand. "I do, Bill, I really do! The moon riles me up too, you know that. Though, being mated to Ron helps temper the effects..." she trailed off, biting her lip, chagrined she'd brought up that sore topic.

Bill's scowl darkened still further. "Right. Being mated helps. Of course it does." He couldn't keep the bitterness out of his voice.

"C'mon, Bill, lighten up, it's Christmas! Where's your sense of cheer? Time for goodwill and fun and peace on earth and all that stuff..." interjected Ron, as George took the opportunity to turn away and chat up some guests as they selected drinks from the spread before them.

That Lavender she-wolf tried to explain it to her mate, but she really hasn't gone through all that you have, Red, grumbled a distinctly wolfish voice in Bill's mind. Bill snarled and shook his head, as though trying to dislodge a pesky fly.

"Look, I know I'm being a grumpy sour-arsed git!" Bill suddenly barked, cutting Ron short. "And you know damned well why!" The many scars from his own Greyback attack stood out in sharp relief against his pale, angry face. "The moon'll be full tomorrow night. Three nights out of every month, I'm a right bastard." Now he was pacing back and forth in front of the table, tapping his wand against his black denim-clad leg. "Listen... I love my family. Since Fleur left me, you're all I've got." Bill stopped suddenly and locked eyes with Ron, who met his gaze, unflinching. "But physically being here? Tonight, during my 'time of the month'?" Bill scoffed, rolled his eyes and started pacing again. "I'm going mental!" The rangy redhead shook his head. "I can't bloody take the noise, the smells, the crowds, and the lights - they are fucking irritating as hell. I wouldn't be here at all tonight, except that you've gone and turned it into a celebration for Mum and Dad's wedding anniversary! If I hadn't come, Mum'd murder me. Alcohol at least takes the edge off, lets me be semi-social. Don't you have anything in this place? Please? Anything, that will keep me from going fucking insane?" Bill was panting now, sweat beading on his brow. He looked at Ron and Lavender almost plaintively, anguish on his scarred features.

Ron looked pained. "Bill, I'm sorry. I wish we could help. I can't think of anything! We just can't take the risk of being shut down by Hogsmeade town officials!"

Bill stared unblinkingly at Ron, then George, then Ron again. "Whatever happened to my brothers who were always looking to bend the rules, if not outright break them? Hmm?"

George had turned back to his siblings, and his normally sunny smile faltered as he listened to Bill. He was watching his eyes. They were no longer blue, but had morphed to a feral amber shade and were narrowed alarmingly. They suddenly widened, however, when six fireworks unexpectedly went off overhead. Party-goers clapped and cheered as the rockets blossomed into holiday colors, but Lavender winced, and Bill hunched his shoulders with a quick whine, glancing upward at the noise, then he glared again at George.

"Just what," he growled, pointing his wand at the fading remnants of the fireworks display, "are those gods-damned exploding menaces?"

George cleared his throat, and waving his wand, conjured another one of the rockets into his hand to show to his brother. It was strangely toe-shaped and painted silver and gold. "Uh, they're called... Weasleys' Missile Toe Fireworks, Bill. See? They're, well... flying... toes. That... explode. Like, fireworks." He looked up at Bill hurriedly, who was staring back and forth between the rocket and George's face, expressionless, breathing heavily. George scratched at his missing ear and hurried on. "When couples do some particularly intense kissing underneath the hanging bunches of mistletoe," he gestured around the shop at the various decorations and assorted greenery, "these fireworks burst out over the main floor and give everyone a grand display." He grinned at his elder brother, who had by this time crossed his arms and was frowning at him as particulate ash from the last firework drifted down into his ponytail. "The hotter the snog, the more Missile Toes appear. See up there on the wall? We've set up a scoreboard – looks like that last round goes to... hunh, Hermione and Draco Malfoy? Whoa, Ron, your ex is really enjoying this snogging game! A six, eh? Malfoy must have copped a good feel to earn that score!"

Lavender laughed. "Good for her! I always wanted to tap a little of that Slytherin Sexiness myself!" She smirked as Ron crossed his arms and scowled grumpily. She kissed his cheek. "Don't worry, love, you're the only real man for me!"

Ignoring them, Bill followed George's pointing finger and saw the colorful scoreboard hanging on the wall above the shop entrance, surrounded by balloons, with the names of various couples winking and blinking down at him ranked according to their Snogging Intensity Quotient (SIQ). There were ten slots on the board and he noted absently that Hermione Granger's name appeared in three of them, with three different partners: She had scored a modest one point with Seamus Finnegan, a four with Cormac McLaggen, and finally a six, which she'd just scored with Draco Malfoy. George himself was up there, scoring five Missile Toes with his fiancée Angelina, and Ron and Lavender were listed near the top of the chart with a score of seven. Newlyweds Harry and Ginny were tied with Ron and Lav, and Charlie had scored an SIQ of five with some blonde Hufflepuff bird from his year at Hogwarts. Even Percy, the first of the Weasley children to give their parents a grandchild, was on the board, with an SIQ of four scored with his wife Audrey. What truly gave Bill pause, however, was the fact that his parents, Molly and Arthur Weasley, clocked in as 'Hot Snogging Couple Number One' with a score of eight Missile Toes. Married thirty-two years, he thought to himself, shaking his head wryly, and they're still making out like teenagers, fondling each other every chance they get. I'm surprised I ended up with only six siblings.

The wolfish inner voice spoke up yet again, muttering from the recesses of his mind: Yep, your folks are still rutting like rabbits, and did you notice that the rest of your weasel-ly clan are pairing off and startin' to make babies like good mammals should? But where are you, Red? Huh? Planning yet another night of wining and dining Mrs. Palm and her five daughters, that's where you are.

Shut up. Grimacing, Bill flexed his right hand reflexively around his wand. He took one last look at the scoreboard, scowled at Ron, Lavender, and George, and stalked off without another word.

George called after him, "Don't disappear before midnight, that's the big toast moment for Mum and Dad!" Bill lifted his hand in acknowledgment of George's warning, not bothering to turn around, as he strode away.

"That was a rather rude gesture, don't you think?" remarked George cheerfully to Ron and Lavender. Ron just rolled his eyes at George, looked after Bill with some concern, and then headed off to the shop entrance to greet more arriving guest-patrons. Lavender, meanwhile, tapped a thoughtful finger against her lips as she watched Bill melt into the crowd.

Quickly moving past the eye-wateringly garish garments in the Weasleys' WizardWear section of his brothers' new shop, Bill found himself in the Teasing Toys for Ticklish Tots area. He dodged around laughing children, happy families, and rosy-cheeked couples. As he watched fathers lift toddlers onto their shoulders and mothers help young ones reach fascinating Weasley products on too-high shelves, he was more aware than ever how alone he was.

You don't have to be alone, Red, you've chosen to be!

Because I haven't found a palatable alternative, wolf. An impatient snort was the reply.

Lost in his own musings as he wove through the crowded shop, he suddenly stopped short, barely keeping himself from tripping over a small child. Looking down, he saw that the little girl, who could not have been more than two, seemed quite lost and alone herself, sucking her thumb and staring up at him with big, blue, tear-filled eyes. Along with her full head of curly red hair, she could easily have been a Weasley.

Crouching down closer to her eye level, Bill smiled gently and held his hand out to her. "Hi there, sweetie. I'm Bill. What's your name?"

The little girl tilted her head to look at him from a different angle, then popped her thumb out of her mouth and answered, "Ella Smith."

"Ella. That's a lovely name," said Bill. The girl nodded, agreeing with him. She sniffled, and looked around again. Bill asked, "Would you like me to help you find your mummy and daddy?" Ella smiled and wrapped her little arms around his neck, completely trusting him. Bill's earlier frustration was dissipating as he hugged her to him, his paternal instincts taking over. She seemed mesmerized by the glorious red hair of her rescuer, and reached out to run her fingers through his ponytail as he lifted her.

She showed no signs of fear at his scarred face. Reaching up and patting some loose strands of his hair that had escaped, Ella looked Bill squarely in the eye, grinned, and said, "Pretty!"

He chuckled, gently tugged one of her own curls, and said, "Thank you, Ella, but your hair is much prettier!" She giggled and patted his cheek.

Red, I'd begun to lose hope, but you've got a real way with the females... at least, the she-pups.

Bill rolled his eyes inwardly but grinned. He headed down the aisle, turned the corner, and came face-to-face with two rather frantic-looking people who had to be the girl's parents. The mother saw Bill and Ella first. "Zacharias, there she is! Oh thank Merlin!" she cried, and ran forward to collect her daughter.

The father, on the other hand, took one look at Bill, who was still smiling at Ella, and visibly recoiled. He snapped, "Weasley! Get your Greyback-tainted hands off my daughter!"

Bill's good mood instantly evaporated. Once again, he was dealing with small-minded people. He remembered Ron and Ginny's colorful tales about Zacharias Smith's biased Quidditch commentary against Gryffindor, and had heard from Harry that the cowardly Hufflepuff had run away from the Battle of Hogwarts instead of joining his fellow Dumbledore's Army members to help fight Death Eaters. Carefully handing Ella back to her mother, he frowned at Zacharias and said, "Smith. How would you like another taste of my sister Ginny's Bat-Bogey Hex? These 'tainted' hands found Ella crying and alone back there. I should think you'd be grateful that someone cared enough to help her." He glanced at the toddler, who waved and blew him a kiss over her mother's shoulder. He returned the wave, then turned away, a scowl darkening his face as he shouldered his way through the holiday crowd.

Damn Fleur. Damn her and her 'beauty is only skin-deep' claptrap. He'd thought she didn't care what he looked like, that she'd risen above the importance of physical appearances that so many others set such store by. For a while, she'd seemed to be there to help him through that first year of horrified looks, piteous glances, and whispers behind his back after people saw first-hand what Fenrir Greyback had done to him. But she'd shown him what she really thought, how she'd really felt about good looks... and beauty... and his scars... on the night he'd felt compelled to answer the wolf's call, to pair-bond with her and make her fully and completely his mate. It was then that the real Fleur had come out, and no, she hadn't been loving or understanding at all.

She had burned him to the core.

She was a bitch, Red. Plain and simple. His wolf had no love lost on his ex-wife. Don't tell me you are still pining for her?

No, I'm not pining for her! ...but I never want a repeat of that fiasco either.

As he was thinking this, three buxom young witches approached him. They were all wearing Hogwarts school uniforms in Slytherin colors, though the robes had been magically transfigured to be rather more revealing than the standard-issue school outfits normally were. Two blondes and a brunette smiled coquettishly up at him, surrounding him with a surprising amount of creamy skin, cleavage, and cloyingly floral perfume. He gulped and tried not to inhale, looking for an escape route but not readily finding one.

"Hi," breathed one of the blondes. "You're the oldest Weasley brother, aren't you?" She thrust her chest towards him as though making an offering to the gods, stroking his arm.

"You must be! The one attacked by that werewolf? Your name's Bill, isn't it? Your scars are so... sexy!" murmured the other blonde, who was doing her best to become one with Bill's other arm, wrapped around it the way she was. He unsuccessfully attempted to extricate himself without hurting her.

Meanwhile, the brunette boldly reached up and actually touched the bite mark that marred his jawline. "We heard you aren't seeing anyone, Bill, and well, we thought you might be a little... lonely. We wanted to offer you some company. No one should be alone at Christmas, after all!" She licked her lips, baring her teeth in what she may have thought was a sultry manner, but in reality it just turned Bill's stomach. His traitorous body was certainly enjoying the girls' attentions, however. So was his inner wolf.

Oh, come on, Red, look at what they are offering you! Three females at once? You don't even have to go looking for it!

They are barely of age, if they are of age, he retorted. Another thought struck him. Godric's rod, I'm almost twice as old as they are! They want the excitement of 'shagging a werewolf', that's what they're on about. No way, no how. They haven't got a clue.

Just then the brunette attempted to kiss him. As her lips touched his, immediately a Missile Toe Firework swooped overhead and exploded near the front of the shop, rousing a cheer from the crowd. The noise, lights, and smoke jarred Bill into action. He yanked himself away from the three young women, his desire to rid himself of them and their superficial thrill-seeking causing him to be overly vehement. The two blondes were sent tumbling on their backsides while the brunette stumbled backwards, barely catching herself. All three of them righted themselves and left in a huff, muttering to each other that Bill must have lost his balls in the attack along with his rumored good looks.

Bill groaned, clutching his head in aggravated frustration, then sighed. He needed to get through this evening. All right then, he would treat the night as a curse-breaking exercise, he decided. He was locked in an Egyptian tomb and needed to endure the various traps, trials and tribulations it threw at him until midnight, when the doors would unlock again – in the form of the anniversary toast to his parents - then he would be free. Free to escape back to the solitude of Shell Cottage.

Oh goodie, back to where loneliness reigns supreme for yet another full moon, his wolf thought at him.

Fuck off, he thought back. You know, we don't need to shag everything with a pulse.

I'd be happy if we shagged anything with a pulse!

We don't actually need to shag. Ever.

Bollocks, came the answering growl. You want pups like that little one you rescued back there? You need to shag, big boy. A lot. With extra practice sessions to make up for twenty months of...

Let me refresh your memory, wolf, Bill interrupted, I don't have a mate, remember? We need a mate for making those 'pups' you seem so fond of.

The wolf sniffed disdainfully. You seem pretty fond of them too, Red. And so what? No mate? That's a small detail you could easily remedy if you would get your head out of your arse. Your so-called ex-"wife"? What a joke. She wasn't meant to be your true mate. Your mate is still out there somewhere. We've just got to track her down.

Bill's hackles rose. Oh? And how can you be so sure? How do you know I'm not destined to wander the earth, scarred and alone?

The wolf's reply was smug. Because you've already met her.

Bill stopped in the middle of the WonderWitch Products aisle. The pheromones from the love potions were wreaking havoc with his senses and his mind was whirling. "What?" he spluttered aloud. A heavily-snogging teenaged couple pointedly ignored his outburst. The boy had one hand tangled in his witch's wavy black hair, while the other was shoved up the skirt of her shimmering green mini-dress, firmly kneading her right buttock as he French-kissed her. Bill couldn't help himself – he looked down at the joining of her thighs near her raised hemline and saw a tell-tale trickle of moisture. Bill's nostrils flared. He could smell the girl's arousal and his black jeans tightened uncomfortably, making him growl. His inner wolf snarled appreciatively.

Now, he's gonna get some tonight, said the wolf. What about you, Red? You're obviously ready for some action, how's about looking for a little, eh? Get some practice?

Bill scowled in answer, squeezed past the kissing teens, and walked even faster, threading through the throng of merry party-goers towards the balcony steps.

Just... keep your trap shut about 'getting some'! I'm not looking for 'some'. Bill tried to discreetly push his erection into a more comfortable position as he walked. Back the train up; what did you mean that I've already met my mate? What are you talking about? Who is she?

How the hell would I know? I don't do names. I sniff arses! You'll know her. You'll know her when we smell her.

Bill whuffed in frustration and shoved his wand into his belt holster before ascending the stairs in front of him. His long-limbed six-foot-two frame took the stairs easily three at a time. As he climbed, the noise and smells from below lessened and he was immediately able to breathe easier. It allowed his muscles to relax for the first time that evening. As he reached the top step and moved onto the main portion of the mezzanine floor, he took a deep, cleansing breath.

The balcony was blissfully devoid of people. Since it was currently being used for storage of surplus Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes products, it was mostly full of boxes and crates.

However, as Bill inhaled the cleaner air, instead of it acting as a balm to his frazzled nerves, he scented something that tensed all his muscles and caused his arousal, which had begun to subside, to spring to life again. His inner wolf lifted its head.

What is that? Do that again... I smell...

Bill breathed deeply once more, not able to help himself.

She's here, Red. She's here. Go! Go, find her!

Who's here, wolf?

Your mate, you stupid human! Your mate! Follow your nose!

Bill struck out through the boxes, picking a path and sniffing the air as he went. The scent was enticing, erotic - hot and feminine and oh-so-real. Rounding a corner in the box labyrinth, he literally came face-to-arse with the source of the alluring aroma.

There was a wider expanse here, clear of boxes. A young woman's pert hind end was poking out into the open air, covered with the rather clingy skirt of a festive red dress, as the front end of the woman leaned with her arms on a railing that ran the length of the mezzanine in front of a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling window. Through the window, the restored towers and turrets of Hogwarts Castle could be seen, with the almost-full moon shining gently down on it and the village of Hogsmeade. It had snowed a bit earlier in the evening, and everything was covered in a light dusting of flakes and looked extremely lovely and peaceful.

The female was completely absorbed in the view, soaking in the serene scene before her. She was humming under her breath, jiggling one leg in time to the tune; it made her lovely, perky bottom bob up and down invitingly and at that moment Bill wanted nothing more than to flip her skirt up, grip those rounded hips, hold on and pound his cock into her over and over.

She's in prime health! Look at them pup-bearin' hips, those curves, muttered the wolf in his inner ear. Bill swallowed hard.

Then he heard her throaty laugh as she observed two owls swooping around each other, playing in the moonbeams. His erection twitched as he listened to her chuckle; the sensual sound shot straight to his nether regions and he couldn't help imagining how it would feel to thrust his dick deeply into the same throat that could make that vocalization.

Oh yeah, the vibrations would be fucking amazing...

Bill stepped forward, so he was almost within arm's reach of the woman's backside. He could see she had thick, dark, curly hair that was simply styled, drawn back to the crown of her head with hair combs and allowed to fall freely down her back otherwise. Her skin had a warm, honeyed tone and looked positively divine. The dress she was wearing had but a single strap and he knew there was no way she could be wearing a bra. He pictured himself sinking his teeth into her bare shoulder as he plunged into her from behind...

Yeah, Red, that's what I'm talking about! This female is your mate... she smells exquisite...we've smelled her before...

As he looked up at the window, he could see her face reflected in the glass. Their eyes met, and he realized the identity of this scrumptious beauty before him. The shock drew her name from his lips.



Author's Notes:

I've taken a leaf from RZZMG's book and posted some inspirational photos for this fanfic to PhotoBucket. To see what I envision Bill and Hermione to look like, along with other images, copy and paste the following link to your web browser – you will need to remove the extra spaces before it will work properly:

http:/ /tinyurl .com / 25owzzg