A/N: This is a very unconventional story. Not canon at all except some character traits. No magic in this story and no canon pairings as of right now. But your favorite characters will be making unexpected appearances that will be fun and I hope you like how I have made them fit into a time period I find so fascinating! This is my fun little pet project of a Harry Potter/history cross over fic and I do hope you enjoy. Take it for what it is, as romance. I do not own Harry Potter!
April 1889 Paris, France
"Oh more, please, more Remus…" Hermione's pleas came out of her mouth in strangled cries as her lover rocked within her. Not but three strong thrusts later did she come unraveled underneath him, barely able to breath as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the wonderful wave of orgasm that had her legs pleasantly humming and numb. She was so caught up in the pleasure of it as her back arched involuntarily that she hardly noticed Remus pull out of her tiny body and come all over her stomach and his hand, panting heavily.
"How was that darling?" he asked, taking the blanket and wiping her pale stomach clean of his seed and then laying down next to her on the small bed. Hermione kept her eyes closed but a smile played upon her lips.
"Wonderful," she sighed contentedly and moved more into his arms. He wrapped the muscled limbs around her and closed his eyes, sated as well.
They both heard the door open at the same time and any intentions of cuddling were promptly forgotten. Their roommate Nymphadora had come home from work. She was early—as she normally didn't come home till about 5 or so in the mornings, and it was only 2. Neither Hermione nor Remus bothered to put on their clothes, as there was no denying they had been sleeping together for months.
"Bad night Dora?" Remus asked lazily from the bed as she struck a match and lit a cigarette, now the only light in the room besides the moonlight streaming in from the un-curtained window. Nymphadora hated his pet name for her, but allowed it because she and the older man were so close and had lived together before Hermione had entered their lives.
"The worst, fucking cheap bastards…" she grumbled to herself. Hermione watched the woman grab a towel and start to wipe off the rouge on her cheeks and the rest of the make-up that she tarted herself up with for the night. Nymphadora was a dancer at the recently established Folies Bergère and usually spent the remainder of her evenings after the show whoring herself out for money. She normally loved her job—as there weren't many professions for poor women in Paris at the moment. The options consisted of either prostitute or hat-maker and Dora had always said she would be damned if she had to spend her day selling hats to rich women. Instead, she made money off of their rich husband's and didn't mind one bit.
Hermione, Dora, and Remus were certainly poor. They lived on a street in Paris that bordered the slums and between them barely got by. Remus and Dora used to live together before they had taken her in. Hermione always assumed there was history between them but never asked once she had set her sights on Remus and he seemed to do the same.
Remus was a starving artist, in all senses of the word. Most of the time he couldn't afford canvas to paint on, and although he was quite popular with other artists in the city—their group just didn't have enough funding to be put into shows in order to get their work exposed. But he was a genius, Hermione and Dora often told him so. His paintings were like light on the canvas, and he usually painted landscapes marked by quick brushstrokes and dots—something he and his friends often referred to as Impressionistic, but recently he had been using Hermione as his muse.
As far as Hermione knew, Nymphadora had been a dancer and a woman of the night for a long while. Hermione herself used to have a job at a small little dress shop in a nicer part of town but had been let go and had found herself homeless within days; wandering around the poorer neighborhoods when Remus had approached her.
She had been intimidated of him at first. He was tall, and rather scruffy looking, but classically handsome under his threadbare clothes and a few days' worth of stubble. His hands were large and paint-stained, but his voice was soft and he had asked her if she would model for him. He told her he couldn't pay her, but he could offer her a bed and she had accepted.
Remus did a portrait of her that turned out rather nicely and her overnight stay at his and Dora's clean but small apartment had turned into a permanent arrangement. Remus later told her it was because he fell in love with her at first sight, and Hermione and Dora got along just fine. They made a nice trio, but Hermione was desperately looking for a job in order to help with the rent. Remus hadn't sold a painting in weeks and Dora couldn't afford too many more bad nights.
Hermione pressed her naked chest against Remus as they heard Dora rustle through the money she had earned that night and sigh loudly, "Apparently wives don't like their husbands going out to play…"
"I doubt they would Dora, it has always astounded me that your line of work is so popular in this city. It's like the society women just ignore it…" Remus mused sleepily.
"They usually do, but with the Bergère being the newest club in town—I think they are all getting a little bit jealous. What I wouldn't give to just be a fucking courtesan. But how can I do that when none of our best clients are allowed to leave their homes to come see us?" Nymphadora whined and Hermione laughed into her lovers' chest.
"Dora, dear, I hate to say this, but you can't be a mistress with a mouth like that," Remus chided her and even though it was dark in the room, her glare was still felt over on their side of the apartment in their shabby little bed. She bid the two good night and closed the door to the main bedroom. Remus and Hermione had gotten used to having to sleep in the main room, open and exposed; but they knew that they couldn't continue their preferred activities with Dora back, so they fell into a comfortable sleep.
Hermione Granger had rather come to like her humble life. Her parents had died when she was very young and she immediately started working in a factory after moving to Paris. She found her way, often living with complete strangers and working meaningless jobs—her only solace a good book at the end of the day. She devoured the written word and oftentimes wished she had been born a man so she could study history or science. She hadn't had many friends until she met Remus Lupin four months ago on the street. She fell for him not long after and when the three of them in their little apartment started functioning very much like a make-shift family, she had been slowly introduced to some of his artist friends and some of the girls Dora worked with. Hermione loved all of them instantly. They were all just struggling people trying to carve out a path in life while constantly living in the shadow of the society men and woman strolling along the pristine Boulevard Haussmann a few streets away. It was amazing what a world away a few streets could really be.
"Ginny! Ronald!" Hermione said brightly, answering their door to two slightly messy looking red-heads. They were brother and sister, among many other brothers that lived in the country with their parents and worked on a farm. Ginny and Ron had decided to try their luck in the city and moved into an apartment a few blocks away with their other friend Harry. Ginny worked with Nymphadora at the Folies Bergère and Ron was an artist—quite good in his own right. He worked with pastels and did lovely sketches of passersby on the busy Paris streets. They were good friends of both Remus and Dora and Hermione loved their company.
"Shall we?" Remus came out of the small bathroom, in his lightweight coat and his very shabby top hat. Ronald's was a little nicer, a little darker black and newer, but both men would never pass for society men. Remus had met Ron through his young artist friend Harry Potter. The three of them, along with a few others, had their group they called the Impressionists and were constantly scheming of ways to sell their work and find enough money to do group showings. Remus acted much like the leader, being fifteen years Ron and Harry's senior; although Harry really was the most gifted of them all.
"Today's the day," Ron sighed, his arms loaded down with his sketching materials and Remus had a small canvas and his oils in tow. They were going to meet Harry downtown and find a place to sit and work, and maybe draw in some potential buyers.
"Good luck boys," Hermione raised up on her toes to give her lover a kiss on the cheek before the two men department. She knew she was young, barely 18, and she badly wanted Remus to be more than just a lover, but the two of them were so quiet that they found themselves in a constant state of limbo regarding their relationship; something the Nymphadora was often trying to fix and prod them to address.
Sometimes she thought that Ronald, who was her age (as was their friend Harry) furtively glance in her direction. She thought the red-head very endearing and longed to meet his and Ginny's family, but she was so downright taken with Remus that she didn't want to lead him on.
His sister made herself right at home in the grey-washed apartment as Dora made tea for them. The sixteen year-old was very pretty—stunning even. Her pale complexion was dotted with just a few freckles and her long bright red hair fell in long layers down her back. She was the Folies' prize besides Dora who was just as beautiful but in a different way. The woman was older, 26, but really didn't look it. She was at the edge of becoming too old for her profession, but because she was so good, and so exotic looking, it really didn't matter. She was curvy with dark brown hair and dark, deep set eyes. Her mannerisms were both a little clumsy in a coquettish way, and yet wholly mysterious. She was, in short, a very interesting woman to be around.
As she gave the two younger girls cups of tea in chipped, dingy teacups, she fixed her eyes on Hermione and Ginny turned a conspiratorial stare on her as well.
"We have something we want to discuss with you, Hermione," Dora started and Hermione let the tea linger in her mouth a bit too long, slightly burning her tongue.
"We know how much you love to read, and how smart you are. I mean, damn, the things that come out of your mouth…we know you are meant for more than this…" Ginny added, gesturing around the apartment.
"There's an opening at the club, and I have pull. I brought Ginny in…they trust me…"
"No. No no no. I won't do it. I don't have a problem that either of you do it and enjoy it, but look at me…I can't work there!" Hermione's mouth was agape.
"Don't think I don't hear you and Remus go at it, I know you are plenty capable and certainly not naïve. And you have a gorgeous little body…so hear us out," Dora complimented.
"A lot of the girls are starting to get picked up as mistresses on the side…we have this girl that does the show with us…her name is Luna…got asked to be this really wealthy banker's mistress and she's attending all of these society parties and she says the conversations are just fascinating. I mean, she's a little bit flighty but if she likes it, then imagine what you could learn!" Ginny schemed, her eyes bright.
Hermione had contemplated in passing conversation with the two girls that she thought of chopping her hair off and dressing as a man in order to attend University and get an education. She wanted to learn and read, but it was a man's world and she didn't have options. None of them did.
"If you fell into the right hands, you could get everything you wanted Hermione, you could do it…and you need a job, and I swear the spot will be filled tomorrow if you don't take it…" Dora warned. There were girls all over the city clamoring to work at the Folies Bergère. It was as classy as you could get in that profession, and there was a world of difference between simple prostitution in the slum alleys and dancing and being a courtesan.
"The three of us could have really good lives…and you could learn…."Ginny kept at it, noticing the flicker of desire in Hermione's eye.
"But what about Remus?"
"He'll understand if you bring home a decent wage. Maybe we could move, or the two of you could move out together. It's only the art of seduction Hermione, you won't have to sleep with someone else unless you are picked to do so…" Nymphadora silenced her qualms. The woman knew she loved the artist, but she also knew that Hermione thirsted for a little bit more than the humble life she lived.
"I can give it a try…" Hermione decided, although a little hesitantly and finished her tea. She had no idea what she was about to get into, but the thought of a better life, living on the Boulevard Haussmann with her lover and wearing beautiful dresses clouded out any skepticism from her mind.
A/N: Please review and tell me what you think! Also… this IS a Sirius/Hermione story and he WILL be introduced in the next chapter! Xox Rileypotter17