A/N: I'd like to give a huge thanks to Krissy and Muggle Jane. You both are such great helps! I hope everyone reading enjoys this new story!
Disclaimer: JKR owns the world & characters of Harry Potter, not me. I also don't own Beauty and the Beast, which serves as the inspiration for this story.
Hermione sat in a small corner of the Black library. She was writing in her journal, enjoying a rare moment of being alone. Lately, she couldn't stand anyone at number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Putting her pen down, she reflected on the last few months.
Hermione, the rest of the Dumbledore's Army, and the Order of the Phoenix had barely made it out of the Ministry alive, and it was all for nothing. Well, maybe not. They had learned about the prophecy, which was slightly helpful. They had finally learned why Voldemort was so keen on killing Harry. They had learned he was the only hope the Wizarding World had.
None of them left the Ministry unscathed, though. Sirius lost his life. He was a reckless man to begin with, always running into things headfirst. She didn't want to say it, but he deserved it because of his foolish and irresponsible behavior. No, she quickly banished that thought from her mind. How could she even think something like that? No one deserved to die. Sure, Sirius wasn't responsible at all, but that didn't mean he deserved to die. No, he was just a victim, much like the rest of them.
But she didn't feel bad for him. She didn't mourn him. No, they were all warriors, fighting for what they believed in. They were all prepared to die for the cause. They all knew what they were getting themselves into. She couldn't let herself become distracted by grief. None of them could, especially Harry. Grief made you blind, and being blind in a war was dangerous.
There just wasn't time to mourn. They should all be planning. There was a war to be won, battles to be fought, evil to be vanquished.
Her fingers brushed against her collarbone, tracing the outline of her scar. She didn't escape the battle unhurt either. Dolohov had attacked her viciously. She shuddered as she remembered the malicious glint in his eyes as he circled her, his prey.
She frowned, remembering Madame Pomfrey's words. If Dolohov hadn't been silenced, the spell would have killed her. She was thankful she was alive.
Her parents would be furious when they found out. They didn't want her returning to the Wizarding World to begin with. "It was too dangerous for their precious baby." Hermione resisted the urge to roll her eyes. She was a grown woman. She could take care of herself. She was almost an adult. She was going to be seventeen, and that was the legal age in the Wizarding World. She would be able to care for herself.
Her parents wouldn't agree. So, as much as she hated to do it, she left in the middle of the night, leaving only a note. She belonged here, at headquarters. She wanted to be a part of the war. She wanted to fight for Muggleborns and their rights. She needed to be by Harry's side.
She began to scribble in her book once more. She heard the door to the library creak open, and from the corner of her eye, she watched as someone entered the room.
Hermione relaxed once the familiar scent of leather and bourbon filled her nostrils. She inhaled gently, taking in the smell. She knew her crush was getting bad when she could recognize him by his scent.
"Hermione," he said huskily, taking the seat across from her.
"Hello, Remus," she said lightly. She gave him a smile.
He smiled at her, and she blushed, knowing he could hear the rapid beating of her heart.
"You've been locking yourself up a lot lately," he said, starting a conversation.
"Honestly, I can't stand being around anyone else right now," she huffed. "I swear this house is full of zombies!"
"You're not affected by Sirius's death?" he asked.
"Of course I am, Remus, but we're in the middle of a war. Moping around isn't going to make things any different. I just can't stand to be around any of them!" She stood, crossing her arms angrily.
Remus stood as well, crossing the room and pulling her in for a hug. Hermione was too stunned to speak. Not wanting to ruin the moment, she wrapped her arms around him. He felt as wonderful as he smelt. She momentarily wished she could stay in his embrace forever.
Remus chuckled, but froze when he realized something. Hermione's heartbeat was beating erratically. He thought it was from her nerves, but as he sniffed the air, he realized it was something else completely — arousal.
He quickly broke away, looking down at her. Her cheeks were flushed as her heart thumped quickly. There were small beads of sweat dripping down her neck, disappearing below her sweater.
"Her—" he went to speak, but found his voice was raw and dry. No words would come out.
Hermione's eyes opened in horror as she realized what happened. He knew she was attracted to him. He knew. She tried to speak, but he quickly rushed from the room.
She collapsed into her seat, pulling at her hair. All that remained was his lingering scent. She groaned, putting her head into her hands. Why did she have to be attracted to someone who was obviously out of her league?