The Sound of a Familiar Stranger

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This pairing was discovered by me, so please gimme a little mention if you write them! Thanks! It is one of many of Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings, which you may find in Mor's and my forum, "Mew and Mor's Weird Pairings Fan Stories," found here (Just take out the spaces!): http : / forum. fanfiction. net/ forum /Mew_and_Mors_Weird_Pairings_Fan_Stories /76194 / Read, review, and enjoy! And check out and join the forum FUN!

- ^-^3

Quite honestly, the best thing she had ever done was moving out into the boonies.

Living in a cottage formed from the rubble of an ancient Scottish castle where pretty much no one knew about her was like heaven for Eloise Midgen. She wished she had done this in her youth—maybe not even attended Hogwarts!—just stay here and keep to herself and Mother Nature's awful torment. Even in her early mid-age, Eloise was still terribly frightened of interacting with other people because of her acne. The acne, her messed-up, off-center nose from trying to curse the acne off, her personal insecurities… Ugh, it was too much to deal with the rest of the Wizarding world. She could get away with making some small purchases in the Muggle village some several kilometers inland without much notice, but she never chanced going anywhere she might be recognized—and ridiculed. Diagon Alley? Nope, she repaired things herself and ordered books and cloaks from magazines and catalogues. Ministry of Magic? She never had a need for them to begin with. Hogsmeade? Pointless, for the same reasons as Diagon Alley, and there was the added annoyance of Hogwarts students being down on weekends.

No, Eloise was better alone. Which was why she was nearly frightened to death when she heard a loud thump against her front door.

- ^-^3

She'd been reading in her living room, curled up on the old upholstered couch her parents had given her when she'd heard the noise. It wasn't the thunder or lightning from the outside storm; the thunder was far off, and only rain pelted her house now. No, the sound was something definitely hitting her door.

"Blasted wayfarers, passing through…," Eloise groused under her breath. She got up and walked slowly, heavily out into the hallway, pressing her left arm against her side to feel the secure weight of her wand on the inside of her arm. Once she stood at her door, she peered through the spelled, one-way peephole. Something big and dark was on her stoop, but she couldn't make it out since night had fallen.

Eloise steeled herself and gripped the doorknob. The last time I fought, a war was won, she reminisced as she opened the door. She swallowed a yelp and the dark pile—person—fell inside, sprawled on the floor right inside her vestibule.

"Holy Helga! Are you all right?" Eloise dropped to her knees and nudged the person, a man, in the shoulder, that awful Hufflepuff part of her rearing its ugly head. Even though she'd spent most of her life caring about her looks…well, she could care about others. It just rarely happened that she chose to do so.

The man groaned, and she turned him over, repulsed. Even if he had not been so bloody and covered in mud and muck, she still would've been put-off by him. He was a man and yet he wasn't, with a strong jaw and face that reminded her of a bear.

Eloise bit her lip. She knew that strangers weren't necessarily a good thing; the things that happened back in her school days with Potter…everyone knew trust should not be easily earned. However, Eloise couldn't just leave this man on her front step, so—against and with better judgment—she tugged on his collar and dragged him inside, struggling against his weight. He was definitely as big as he looked.

She shut the door once he was all the way through and then continued to pull him down the hall and into the living room. The witch paused and mentally smacked herself. "Of course…! Levicorpus!" The incantation lifted his body effortlessly onto the couch, and Eloise sighed, realizing she'd have to clean the piece of furniture…eventually. But for now…

The woman took a tentative step towards him, her conscience screaming at her to put up wards. Whoever he was, whoever had done this to him—Eloise needed to be safe. Her hand moved her wand on its own and then she returned her attention to her guest. He was breathing…barely.

Of all the times to have refused to study as a Healer at St. Mungo's. The brunette shook her head and gripped her wand. There had to be something she could do…right? At least dry him off first, she internally instructed herself. She moved closer to him and touched his chest. Even through the cloth, he was warm and she could feel his heart beating. Eloise lifted her hand and shivered at the sight of mud and blood on her fingers.

She pulled up the footrest and sat down. Eloise pushed up her sleeves, summoning courage that she'd only ever seen her Housemates Susan and Hannah have. Maybe she could be strong, too… Her eyes fell on the darkly-cloaked mass before her.

Who was she kidding?

- ^-^3

Eloise worked carefully, for hours, until she was sure she was looking at his hairy, tanned skin and not a caked-on coating of dirt and fluids. She tried talking to him a bit, asking his name, what had happened to him, who had done this to him. The only thing she heard was a mottled reply: "…en… Rir… Grey…"

She frowned. She had no idea what he meant or what he was answering, so she whispered a spell to dry him and his clothes—

And his eyes snapped open.

Eloise screamed as he sat bolt upright, falling backwards on the footrest herself. He looked at her, his eyes narrowed and his teeth—like a shark's—bared at her. Eloise stumbled to get up, but she was terrified by his gaze. No one had ever looked at her like that before.

"Who are you?" he growled.

"I'm—I'm—I'm El—Eloise! Eloise M—Midgen!"

"Where am I?"

"Sc—Scotland! My cottage! You…You collapsed on my property. I brought you in last night." She pointed to the window out in the hall. "It's midday now."

He followed to where she pointed, his expression inscrutable. Then he turned back to her. "What are you?" He wasn't panting, but his breathing was heavy. She knew what he meant.

"A witch—half-blood. I was a Hufflepuff at Hogwarts." Eloise swallowed the lump in her throat and slowly stood up, her eyes never leaving his. "A—and you…?"

He watched her with a funny look in his eye. "What did you hear? What do you know?" he added when she silently gaped at him.

"You—You said 'Rir.' 'Grey,' too," she answered. She frowned, her wand feeling like a plain piece of wood in her hand while his stare pinned her to the spot.

The man took several breaths and shifted on the couch. He finally looked away, preferring to stare at his feet. "I'm…a wizard. …Riordan…Grey."

"Well, then, Mr. Grey." Eloise smoothed her skirt, feeling a little bit in control once again. "Are you…all right?"

Riordan looked back up at her and narrowed his eyes. "No, I'm not, you daft woman," he snarled. He threw his head back and went back to lying on the couch. "Did anyone…show up for me?"

She pursed her lips, thinking. "No. Should anyone have?"

He glanced at her. "I'm not answering your questions. I could kill you, witch. It'd be easy for me."

"Then why wasn't it the first thing you did when you awoke?"

A silent minute passed and he winced. "Bugger off."

"You're hurt," Eloise pointed out. She took a chance and sat down and, when he didn't make a move, she leaned her elbows on her knees and watched him. "So, I repeat, are you all right?"

"…I've been worse." He sneered at her. "I'd be better if I didn't have to look at you."

Her face flushed and she stood. "Then you don't have to—the door's right through there," Eloise spat bitterly, thrusting her thumb in the direction down the hallway. "No one's making me take care of you. In fact, it'd be best if you got off my property, Mr. Grey." She tapped her foot. "Now."

Riordan glared at her and turned on his side, facing the couch with his back to her. "…no. I'm tired. And if you aren't going to kill me, then I'm going to catch a bit of shuteye."

She took a step towards him.

"Try to kill me or anything like it, and I'll make the rest of you ugly faster than you could even blink."

Eloise glowered at him but followed her gut instinct not to try anything. She kicked the footrest aside and left the room, pausing at the doorway to eye his gigantic form. It was a miracle the couch hadn't collapsed yet.

- ^-^3

Eloise's day was fine and like any other day as long as she blocked out her guest. She was flipping through an old copy of Witch Weekly when her stomach growled, and she looked at her watch. Just like that, the day had flown by, for it was nighttime again.

The witch went into the kitchen and flipped through the cupboard, grabbing cans of gravy, peas, corn, and carrots. There was still an unopened bag of egg noodles somewhere in the bin by the fridge… She found that, too, and then magically set a pot of water on the stovetop to boil. She heated up all of the canned goods and waited until the water was set for the pasta. Thankfully, she didn't have to wait long with magic, because she nearly had her food ready only minutes after hunger had hit. She mixed all the ingredients in the pot once the water had been drained, and then she grabbed some of the leftover chicken in the fridge from a couple of nights ago. Eloise broke the poultry into bits and mixed it in, and then poured the concoction into a flat dish. She'd just stuck the dish in the oven when she heard a thud.

Not again, she grunted, thinking back on dragging Riordan inside last night. She left for the living room—and stifled a laugh. "Um…sleep well?"

Riordan had fallen off the couch, presumably while turning over. He growled at her. "I'm starving," he grunted.

Eloise stepped towards him but thought better of it when he gave her a nasty look. "Well, I just put a chicken noodle casserole in—would you like to join me?"

He huffed.

"No, of course not." She clasped her hands in front of her. "I'll bring you some shortly, Mr. Grey." Eloise turned and went back into the kitchen to check the food through the oven's little window. When she straightened up, she froze.

He was behind her. "That…won't be necessary." Riordan backed off and fell into one of the chairs at her table, the chair groaning under his weight.

Eloise grimaced at him and remained by the oven until the casserole was done. She served herself first and then gave him his own plate. The brunette had barely dug in when Riordan crammed the food into his mouth, mindless of manners. He was done before she'd even had her third bite.

"More," he ordered, with a glare that Eloise was sure was a permanent expression for him.

She pointed to the large dish on the countertop. "Help yourself." Which was definitely the wrong response, because he grabbed the rest of the casserole and devoured it like an animal. "Do you ever eat with utensils?" Eloise rhetorically asked.

He sneered. "Why use them when I have these?" he asked, showing her his fingernails. They were more like claws, and he'd pierced a bit of chicken with one of them. He ate the morsel, licking his fingers clean afterwards.

Eloise watched him, Summoning a cloth and passing it to him. "You can have a napkin, you know."

"I don't need it."

"Apparently you don't need manners, either."

"Lay off, ugly."

Eloise narrowed her eyes at him. "I'd really like not to hear that again. Considering I was kind enough to drag you inside and heal your wounds, you should be a lot nicer." She paused. "I could've left you out there, ugly."

He twitched and rapped his nails on the table. Riordan engaged her in somewhat of a staring contest. "I don't and won't feel obliged to repay you or thank you, you understand."

"Then might I at least know why you happened upon my home?"

"No," he said tersely. He stood and headed for the doorway. "And if you're done making my ears bleed with your drivel, then I'm going back to sleep."

"Suit yourself," Eloise grumbled. She cupped her cheek in her palm and saw him leave, waiting for a few minutes before cleaning up. It's not as though I can push, kick, or shove him out of here, she thought with a sigh. She pushed in the table's chairs and turned off the light.

- ^-^3

It didn't take long for Eloise to come to the conclusion that Riordan Grey was subhuman for his lack of manners. He reminded her very much of an animal: sleeping when he felt like it, demanding food when he was hungry, and not listening to her in general. It became an irksome routine for the witch to take care of him, but he didn't seem in the least bit to be intent on leaving. And even after one, two, three weeks, he showed no signs of telling her why either.

He didn't speak much at all, but Eloise didn't hold that against him. She had never been a talker, either, though she found she sometimes commented about things with him in the room, almost as though they were having a conversation. Sometimes she liked to think they were, for—though he doubtful would've admitted it—his eyes were expressive and inquisitive. His eyelids drifted halfway closed when she brushed a lock of hair out of her face? She told him of the time she tried cursing the acne away. His eyebrows came together just slightly when she gathered her old magazines to store them? Eloise said that she didn't get out much. His eyes widened when she went in and out of the kitchen too often? The witch confessed that the only thing she loved to do was cook.

"I know it's queer, an Englishwoman cooking." She grinned to herself. "But I can cook. I've studied books and articles and my family's house-elf and I reckon I'm not half bad."

Perhaps that broken light above the couch had flickered. Eloise thought it must've been a trick of the light, his sneer being more of an amused smirk. Either way, she cast a quick, nonverbal Repair Spell and then disappeared back into the kitchen, where she taste-tested the chocolate ganache simmering on the stove. The ganache was bitter—it needed to be sweeter. Just like a certain wizard…

Eloise shook her head often, tossing aside thoughts that Riordan wouldn't be so bad once he was fully healed. Of course, she also had to wonder if he'd ever be fully healed; he seemed fairly settled in after two months. She'd grown so used to him that she even kept more meat in the house to help satiate his strange appetite. She'd only seen him leave the house twice—both times at night—but he always came back, ready to eat or sleep.

A few times, when he felt like it, he wandered around the cottage to get a better feel for his surroundings. The first time he'd done so, he'd scared Eloise terribly. She woke in the middle of the night to find her door cracked open and one shining eye fallen on her. The witch had read him the riot act for that, but she figured he probably should know the other rooms and what places were off-limits to him. Pretty much everything but the living room, bathroom, and kitchen was off-limits.

"Don't you have anything better to do?" she groused when he chose to hover when she was in the kitchen one day.

He grunted in response.

Eloise stuck a spoonful of the cream sauce she was making—it was a favorite of hers with roast pheasant—in her mouth. It was pretty perfect. She pulled the spoon out and turned to look at him, pointing the spoon at him. "You know, you could make yourself useful. Maybe at least clean up after yourself? The couple of times you deigned to take a shower, it was a—"

Her voice cracked, her words stopped, and her breath hitched as Riordan wrinkled his nose and reached up, swiping the rough pad of his thumb across her bottom lip. He lifted his thumb to his mouth and licked off a bit of cream. "Not bad."

Her face turned alarmingly crimson, and Eloise shoved him away before returning to the food. "O—of course it isn't. I made it," she stated with a nervous chuckle.

"When will it be ready?"

She was glad she was looking at the sauce so he couldn't see the absurd grin on her face. Eloise knew his gruff question was his way of saying he couldn't wait for it. "Soon. Just be patient."

Riordan growled, a deep noise in the back of his throat. "I hate waiting…" But he did anyway, sitting down at the table.

Eloise quickly slapped together the meal, for fear of being scared again, but that meal was different. Even if Riordan Grey still didn't have any manners, he wasn't as beastly as before. And, frankly…she kind of liked that. The witch chanced a smile. "Bon appétit."

- ^-^3

That instance had been so strange, so odd, so…pleasantly different…and the first of its kind. Riordan didn't change his mannerisms or his tone of voice, but he surely was settled in and calmed down around her now.

I'd hope so, considering that four months have passed, Eloise pondered as she tried on a new cloak she'd ordered from Witch Weekly's summer catalogue. She went out into the living room, where she found Riordan doing another surprising thing: reading. He'd grabbed her old Charms text off the nearest bookshelf.

"What do you think?" she asked cheekily, knowing it was pointless to ask. Riordan was male; he didn't care about those things, and he never commented on them.

"Hmph," he breathed, not looking up from the pages.

Eloise smiled a bit, rather enjoying the new sight. She'd been awfully mean before, calling him ugly. The witch knew she wasn't anything to look at, but while he was bear-like and jagged…he had an interesting charm to him, like a piece of charcoal or granite before it was shined. His strange habits, too—the monthly lone night walks, the growling, the beastly hunger—were a smidge endearing, because Eloise had come to associate them with him, with…someone knew felt she knew.

She walked to him and sat on the footrest, just as she had done weeks and weeks and weeks ago. Her eyes drifted from the book to his robes.

"How are you feeling?"

Riordan shrugged.

Eloise placed her hand on his arm and—though he flinched at first—she knew that it wasn't from pain but from another person's contact. "You're healed, right?"

Finally, he lifted his gaze and locked eyes with her. It was funny, because this didn't remind Eloise of their first mock-staring contest. No, it was something else…unusual altogether. And yet… "Don't you have any Prophets?"

"What?" The question threw her off.

He sighed and dropped the book in his lap. "The Daily Prophet. You don't have any?"

"I don't subscribe to it," Eloise replied, fidgeting on the footrest and withdrawing her hand from his arm. "I get my news from magazines and sometimes the wireless. I dislike the Prophet, with all its gossip and useless pieces of information…"

"You don't think there are things in it that might be…useful? Like…"

"Like what?" she asked, grimacing. Odd that he should be so vocal about something so trivial.

"Like—Dark Wizards or something."

She twisted her lips around and stood. "You were on the run from them, weren't you?"

"No, I—"

"That's why you're so bloody cautious. You're on the run from them and you're hiding out here." Her eyes widened. "Oh Merlin…! What if they come here?" Eloise began to pace. "What if they come here? What if they come to finish the job? And this time it won't just be you—they'll kill me, too." She bit her bottom lip. "Damn… Sometimes I have to wonder if I should've been in Gryffindor, considering I do some things without thinking… Holy Helga, Potter and Weasley would be proud—"

"Eloise!"

She shut up. He'd never said her name before; it had always been "you."

He got up and tossed the book on the couch, heading for the door. "I'm heading out."

The brunette panicked. "I'm sorry! I—I'm sorry, I'll shut up…" She jogged after him. "You—don't have to…leave. I'm sorry."

Riordan looked at her, frowning. "…I'll be back," he said after a moment. He opened the door and left, and the door closed behind him, echoing in a house that now sounded empty.

- ^-^3

Eloise stayed up waiting, but she couldn't do it for the whole night. Her eyes were tired and her muscles were achy from being tense all day and night. Even her chest hurt, as though she couldn't breathe.

She eventually trudged into her bedroom and collapsed on the covers in her new cloak. The cottage was so quiet. She had been used to the silence for so long that she'd forgotten how nice it could be to share in another's presence, something that was comforting and made her feel lonelier than ever now that Riordan had gone out for the night.

But not everything felt right again when, in the morning, Eloise awoke to the same quiet house. She groggily got up, showered, changed, and slowly made her way downstairs. There were no signs of his return, so she knew he hadn't just crept inside in the middle of the night. At that thought, she frowned; for once, she doubted she would've minded him cracking her door open last night.

The only thing she felt she could do, though, was clean. Every centimeter of the house—it all had to be spotless. Any trace of him, any trace of anything…Eloise didn't want it or need it. Why should she stop her average day-to-day light over someone who was bound to disappear at any moment? In fact, she had been expecting this! Perhaps not so soon…but still!

When she put her Charms text back on the bookshelf, her chest ached more terribly than before.

Despite the rest of the time having passed so dreamily and quickly, this morning dragged on forever. Eloise tried telling herself that she had better things to do, like plan her supper for the night… That only reminded her that she was one mouth short.

In the end, Eloise collapsed on her couch with a migraine. She turned on her side and sighed, a familiar scent filling her nostrils. Even though he wasn't here, she was…relaxed being on the couch, surrounded by his scent. She was sure he wasn't as bad as he seemed to think of himself. How could someone so awkward yet—in his own, odd way—kind be bad?

Pounding on the front door woke her from her nap.

Oh Merlin! Her heart throbbed in her chest and throat as she dashed to the door and threw it open, forgetting to look through the peephole. She was lucky it was only Riordan on the other side. He stood there, towering over her as he leaned against the doorjamb, his face grim. "…hullo."

"…hullo," he grunted.

Eloise wanted to look anywhere but his eyes…but she couldn't. She was used to seeing anger, annoyance, and frustration in his eyes. Sometimes hunger, sometimes something imperceptible… But now his dark eyes were a mixture of hunger, that something imperceptible, and—and sadness. "You—came back."

He nodded but didn't move inside.

Relief and quiet panic washed over her and Eloise reached out, placing her hands on his chest. Oh, he was real, all right. He truly had returned. She looked up at him, not noticing little tears were starting to bubble up in the back of her throat and in her eyes. "I—I thought you might not…" Then she went for it, stretching on her tiptoes to peck his lips, albeit awkwardly. It was rough and gentle and surprisingly sweet; it was not quite what she had expected from such a harsh-looking man.

Riordan straightened up and stared down at her. He remained quiet, but he lifted his hands up to his chest and removed her hands.

Eloise almost blurted out an apology, but she said nothing when he held her hands by his side. She glanced at him and leaned in again, giving him one more peck on the lips. Strengthened by his acquiescence, she meant to kiss him again.

The wizard dropped one of her hands and reached inside his cloak. He held a paper—a newspaper—up to his lips, blocking her path to him.

She backed off, confused. "What're you doing…?" She swatted away the paper, but Riordan shook his head and pushed the paper, which she now recognized was The Daily Prophet, into her arms, releasing her other hand.

"You really should read the news more often," his said, his tone brittle but not gruff—if anything, it sounded as sad as his eyes looked.

Eloise grabbed the paper and darted her eyes between it and Riordan. She looked at the front page—nothing of concern there—and flipped through…until she hit the giant spread in the middle of the paper. Over two full pages on "LAST WAR CRIMINALS ALMOST NAILED BY AUROR OFFICE" and the smaller article on the Ministry's "MOST WANTED." Five pictures were printed, with names beneath each one: Rabastan Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, Fenrir Greyback—

The witch went cold, her eyes glued to the picture of Riordan staring back up at her. No, not Riordan—Fenrir Greyback. She cringed and looked at him. "Wh…why…?"

His temper flared to life. "You trusted me," he snarled. "You took care of me, regardless of whom I could've been."

Eloise numbly nodded, color slowly flooding her cheeks. He wanted her to know. She pushed the paper back at him. "Well…thank you. And please don't kill me."

Fenrir growled and tossed the paper on the floor, finally entering the house again. He grabbed her roughly by the arms and pushed her against the wall, his mouth finding hers again. At first Eloise resisted, but then she relented and tried to match his passion. After all, how could she think she could just switch off her feelings like that? Two minutes ago, she had been ready to throw herself at his feet to get Riordan Grey to stay and never leave again. Did that really change now that she knew it was Fenrir Greyback, the horrifying werewolf, with whom she'd fallen in love? Did that change him so much?

Or had he changed in his time with her…?

He peppered her neck with kisses and she moaned against his touch, likely because she hadn't experienced anything like this before and her feelings for him were much stronger than she might have first thought. Even when his teeth nipped at her skin—

Her body seized up on its own, her conscience reminding her of what his bites could do.

Fenrir took note and looked in her eyes again before gently pressing their lips together. That motion… Good Merlin, it nearly explained everything right then and there! Had no one ever been kind to him? Spoken with him, treated him like the human being he'd been born as? Had no one had patience with him, stopped to wonder what went round in that not-exactly-empty head of his? Had any woman ever dared to love this man before he'd become one with the wolf? For he wasn't all wolf—if he were, he wouldn't have backed off when Eloise thought he'd bite her. Though…

Eloise clutched his robes in her hands. If he'd be the same person he'd been these past months, then maybe it wouldn't be so terrible if he bit her and Turned her. Because then they'd be together, wouldn't they?

- ^-^3

I've certainly gone mad, the brunette told herself when sunlight drifted into the living room in the very early morning. She listened to her breathing for several minutes, realizing after a short while that it was in sync with Fenrir's. She drummed her thumbs on the carpet, feeling deliciously devilish for loving the warmth of the arm slung over her. Eloise even smiled—then she winced, feeling awfully sore. Trust Eloise Midgen to still be the bumbling little girl…though I guess I'm not much of a little girl anymore.

Fenrir snorted and slowly opened his eyes. "Go back to sleep," he breathed in her hair.

"How'd you—? Never mind." She glanced over her shoulder. "Are you afraid I'm going to turn you in if you're not awake?"

"No." Another snort.

She pursed her lips. "So…there's…no danger in this relationship…at all?"

His arm tightened around her and drew her closer to him. "There's always danger, witch."

Eloise smirked. "I had a feeling, Mr. Grey." She sat up, ignoring him trying to pull her back down, and slipped her blouse on. "Hey, aren't you at least hungry?"

Fenrir opened one eye at her and then also sat up and started to dress. "Always," he replied.

She stood. "Good. I'll go…you don't have to put your cloak back on. You can hang it up, F—Fenrir," she managed, reality catching up with her. That's right; his name really was "Fenrir…"

The werewolf got up and shook his head. "I need to."

Eloise frowned, not liking how tense his body language was. "…do you…have somewhere to go?"

Fenrir stared at her. "Eloise…" He grimaced and, for the first time since she'd met him, he definitely looked wolfish—nothing at all like the bear she'd first thought she'd seen.

"I won't like what you next have to say, will I?" she asked quietly, her eyes dropping to the ground. Now she wondered if his monthly moonlit walks were only to keep her safe from his forced Changes and not to go out and fight Aurors…

"They've almost lost my trail," he stated.

"What about the others? They won't give you up?"

Fenrir's eyes smoldered as he thought. "…it's a hard life to leave."

She looked at him, wanting him to meet her eyes. "Fenrir." Eloise bit her bottom lip. "I take it you're going out for another walk, aren't you?"

"Not for the moon."

"Of course not…" She knew very well, though he wasn't explaining it, what he meant. He couldn't just drop his old ways, even if he kind of liked her. And with the Lestrange brothers still on the loose and a few other fellow Death Eaters out there, Fenrir was not going to escape his old crowd. Hopefully… Merlin, she couldn't believe she was thinking it, but hopefully he'd be escaping the Aurors, too.

"I'm so—"

She shook her head and covered his mouth with her hand. "Don't go apologizing—it's out of character for you."

He frowned against her hand and tugged her to him. "Eloise…thank—"

"Ah-ah-ah," she said, shaking her head again as she leaned against him with a sigh. "That's too human of you, Fenrir. I think…I prefer the rough beast you are."

He snorted. "Then you should know…"

"Hmm?"

"…every beast needs a lair."

Eloise grinned—she hadn't done that for a long time and really felt it—and tilted her head up to kiss him again. It was deep, animal, and rich, and it made her stomach and heart settle a bit when he left the room and headed for the door, knowing that as unsure of words as Fenrir was, all his feelings had been expressed in his touch. She followed him to the vestibule and despised how heavy the door sounded as it closed behind him.

But a thump hit it on the other side. Eloise looked through the peephole and saw Fenrir had taken a moment to lean against the door. She broke into a watery smile and leaned her forehead against the door on the other side.

"Yeah…me, too."

- ^-^3

8D PERFECT. I can't believe it, but I now love Fenrir Greyback. Eloise managed to make him handsome, and Fenrir managed to make her beautiful. I think was they have is true and raw…and damn, he's kinda nummy here. -w- *iz now in love with the Big Bad Woofie* ;D I just loved working on this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. X3 They both ended up having a lot of presence—both together and on their own…

Thanks so much for reading—and pleasey review!

-mew-tsubaki ;}