A/N- Picks up where we left off. I'm glad people are enjoying it. Another big chapter and I think the third will catch everyone up to where I'm at (but I'm not sure because it depends on where I end the chapter. Just don't expect lots of these 8k word+ chapters.
I am Team Hermione and Dan when it comes to marshmallows. Makes them extra delicious.
Harry spent most of his time the last week of school with Hermione as she helped him with learning Arithmancy and they practiced learning Occlumency together. Ron seemed to get angry every time he saw Hermione and Harry studying together but after Harry refused several times to play chess with him or let him fly on his broomstick Ron gave up and made Neville play chess with him.
That didn't stop Ron from complaining about Harry's actions but the muggleborns and half-bloods of Gryffindor weren't all that interested in Ron anyway. Lavender Brown was a half-blood and had wasted no time spreading Ron's words about the World Cup being a 'dumb muggle thing'. You didn't have to be a fan of football to be offended by Ron's words. It was something they would have expected from a Slytherin but not a fellow Gryffindor. Ron was given the cold shoulder by a large chunk of Gryffindor, including Seamus and Dean. That didn't seem to bug Ron. Harry was surprised by how Ron treated other people but rather glad that he'd cut off all ties with him publicly. Although, Ron seemed ignorant of that fact no matter what Harry said to him to indicate they weren't friends anymore.
Seamus and Dean came up to Harry and Hermione one day in the library when Hermione was checking his Arithmancy packet, "Hey Harry, Hermione," Seamus said.
"Hi Seamus, Dean," Harry said, Hermione giving the boys a smile before returning to checking Harry's homework. "What's up?"
"My mum is really stoked that Ireland is playing in the Quidditch World Cup and she got tickets a while ago. She bought a bulk package of six tickets but my grandparents died just before Christmas and so she said I could take two more friends. Dean's coming with already and I wanted to invite you two to come too."
Harry looked at Hermione, who had lifted her head up, "What do you think?"
"Well I don't know what my parents have planned. We usually go on vacation for a week or two in the summer and I'm not sure what they want to do. Things might have changed since you're staying with us."
"We'd be at the Cup about a week before. We're in the Ireland section and we get to be in wizard tents which are really cool," Seamus said. "My mum says that while there's only one game there's lots of events and activities and whatnot in the week leading up to it. We might even get to meet the Ireland players!"
Harry thought that sounded brilliant. Hermione, seeing his expression change, gazed at him, "Do you want to go Harry?"
"Well I would like to see a professional quidditch match," Harry admitted. "I know you don't care for the sport though."
"If you want to go that's reason enough for me," she smiled. She looked at Seamus, "Thank you for the invitation Seamus. If it's okay I just need to ask my parents and they'll probably want to meet your mum."
"She always picks me up at the train station with my dad. They could meet your parents there."
"Do your parents have a phone number? My parents could call them with any questions or concerns."
"Yeah sure I'll write it down for you," Seamus nodded.
"Thanks Seamus," Hermione said, handing him a piece of parchment and her quill.
"Thanks for the offer," Harry said. "It's really generous. At the very least if Hermione and I go I'll pay for our tickets."
Seamus laughed, "You go ahead and try that with my mum Harry. I don't think you'll get too far."
"What do your parents do Seamus?"
"My dad is a pilot with a local airline. You know, flights around the UK but not international. My mum works with Gringotts as a sort of go-between for the non-magical banks they do business with."
Harry thought that sounded particularly interesting. Hermione wrote the letter to her parents, Seamus supplying additional information like where his parents lived, their occupations, what the Cup was like, and she made sure to express that Harry really wanted to attend and that they would only be gone for that week for a unique life experience. She included Seamus' parents' phone number and their names while Seamus wrote a letter to his parents with Hermione's parents' names and phone number too, explaining that Harry and Hermione both were interested in coming but would be staying with Hermione's parents that summer and her parents would probably have questions about the event and how things would go.
Once that was finished they went up to the owlery all together to send the letters off, Harry deputizing Hedwig for Hermione's letter while Seamus used his own owl that had been a birthday present the previous year. "So you're taking Arithmancy next year?" Dean asked Harry.
"Yeah I figured with so many dark wizards out to get me I should take courses that can help save my life. And Hermione explained Arithmancy to me and it seemed the most useful to take."
"I'd think Runes would be more useful," Seamus said.
"That's a common misconception," Hermione nodded, "remember, the course is Ancient Runes. It's about recognizing runes of the past and from different cultures and how they incorporated them into their magic. Arithmancy deals with numbers but also with the creation of things like wards and runes. It's a Modern Day Runes, I guess you could say."
"Maybe you should write the class descriptions," Dean said. "You make it sound alot more interesting than the course descriptions they handed out."
"That's my Hermione," Harry grinned, taking her hand in his. She blushed and gave Harry a soft smile.
Harry definitely changed before they got on the train. He was more possessive of Hermione in particular, which was a concern for both of them, but their Occlumency practice helped him not let it show and to control his emotions better. On board the train they sat with Dean and Seamus, who talked to them about the Quidditch World Cup and the events of the past year. "I don't really get why Professor Lupin being a werewolf is a bad thing," Dean said. "I mean, he's the best professor we've had."
"It's because werewolves can be dangerous," Hermione said. "Professor Lupin takes the Wolfsbane potion and if you stop taking it you go a bit crazy in your part-wolf form."
"He's still the best teacher we've had," Seamus said. "I learned more from him than our last two professors."
"Magicals seem to despise anything that's different from them and expect different things from the people that are different than they do from themselves. When Ron was going on about how he knew about Veela because Bulgaria had to file 'ministry stuff' I realized how they all do that. Hermione and I have both talked to the Weasley parents before and whenever something muggle comes up we're supposed to know everything about it. But if we ask about a magical thing like the floo they don't hold themselves to that same standard."
"That's definitely true," Dean nodded. "I've seen Ron trying to make my West Ham poster move. He asked why they don't and I asked why his posters do. He couldn't answer his question and just called it stupid that my poster couldn't move."
When the snack cart came around Harry bought a bit of everything and paid for it, sharing his loot with the compartment. "Thank you Harry," Hermione said, kissing his cheek.
He grinned at her affection and Dean and Seamus chuckled. Seamus spoke, "No offense Harry but I think I'll just say thanks for the candy and leave it at that."
"Yeah you're not my type either mate but thanks for the food," Dean laughed.
Harry chuckled at the teasing, "Quite alright guys. You're welcome. Before Hogwarts I had no money and then I got to see my vault and it was full of money. I like being able to buy things I want and share it with friends."
"Wow," Dean said. "I always wondered about your clothes. I mean, Ron said that the Potters were loaded."
"From what I know they were," Harry nodded. "But I didn't know anything about the magical world before my letter. I think I've always felt more like a Muggleborn than anything else."
Seamus nodded, "I definitely feel more rooted in the non-magical world. My mum's parents were magical but she's always lived in the non-magical world. My grandparents were both muggleborn."
When they arrived at the station Harry and Hermione got their trunks off with help from Seamus and Dean. Harry had sent Hedwig ahead at Hogwarts, telling her to go to the Granger home and remain there with their last letter. Hermione had gathered two luggage carts and brought them to the train when the train had stopped. Harry and the other two boys put her and Harry's trunks on one cart and Seamus and Dean's trunks went on the other one. Seamus' mother was a redhead and Harry was impressed with just how normal she looked having witnessed so many wizards' inability to dress in the non-magical world. She waved at the foursome, "Seamus! Introduce your friends then."
"This is Hermione Granger and her boyfriend Harry Potter," Seamus said, nodding at the other two.
"It's very nice to meet you," Hermione said.
"Likewise dear," she said, smiling at them, "I must say I already know who you both are, your parents met with myself and my husband a few hours ago to talk about this summer."
"Thank you very much for the invitation," Harry said. "I can pay for mine and Hermione's tickets."
"I refused payment from the Grangers for food and board and I refuse it from you. The tickets would have been wasted had you not taken them," she put her hand on his shoulder, "but thank you for the offer Harry, that's very generous of you."
They exited into the station and Harry smiled when Hermione's parents hugged their daughter. She turned and pulled him toward her, "Mum, Dad, you remember Harry."
"Of course," her father shook Harry's hand, "the boyfriend right?"
Harry swallowed. Hermione's father looked nice but he had obviously mastered the 'intimidate the boyfriend' look. Hermione folded her arms, "Daddy quit trying to intimidate Harry. He's been through enough."
The older man swallowed, "Yes princess," he said. "I look forward to getting to know you Harry."
Harry smiled, "Me too sir."
"These are our friends Dean and Seamus," Hermione said to her parents, introducing the two boys.
"Very nice to meet you two," her mother said, smiling and shaking both boys' hands. "So then we'll see you for Harry's birthday party."
"That sounds perfect," Seamus' mother smiled. Harry's eyes widened and Hermione squeezed his hand. He gazed at her and she smiled. Harry returned the smile with one of his own, unsure what to say.
Once they were in the Granger family car Hermione's mother spoke, "Sorry if we surprised you Harry but Hermione informed me you had never had a birthday party and we decided that that must change."
Harry didn't know what to say, "Uh, thank you Mrs. Granger."
"Call me Emma dear," she said. "Him you can call Dan or 'Man-Who-Sleeps-On-Couch'."
Hermione's father winced. "I'm sorry but my teenage daughter brought home her very first teenage boyfriend. I'm supposed to be protective."
"You don't have to protect me from Harry," Hermione said. "Harry has protected me enough to prove his valor and honor."
"You make me sound like a knight Hermione," Harry chuckled. She blushed.
"So what are your summer plans you two?"
"Well I'm taking Arithmancy next year and so Hermione has offered to tutor me so that I'm caught up with her class and not stuck in the third year class," Harry said.
"Don't let her work you too hard Harry," Dan said. "My daughter would love nothing more than to spend the whole summer studying."
Harry glanced at Hermione before speaking, "I look forward to her teaching me. Hermione's brilliant. Smartest student in our class."
Hermione smiled at him and squeezed his hand. Harry returned the squeeze, "Thanks Harry."
"It's the truth. They always say 'smartest witch in our year' but you're the smartest student period."
Emma and Dan exchanged a smile up front before Dan spoke, "So Harry, Hermione says you play quidditch. What's that like?"
Harry spent the car ride explaining the sport to the Grangers, unaware that both parents already knew thanks to their daughter's letters about Harry's games and were simply seeking to get to know him and make him comfortable around them.
Hermione's house was nicer than the Dursley home. He had his own bedroom just down the hall from Hermione's and he was without a doubt welcomed by the Grangers. After dinner Hermione went up to her room and Harry found himself alone in the study with Dan and Emma. "Harry we are required by law to report child abuse if we see it and we most definitely see it looking at you," Emma said softly, sitting next to him on the sofa and wrapping a comforting arm around him. "Now, I know you don't want to talk about it and I understand that but Dan and I promise you won't be a homeless orphan. You're quite special to Hermione and you can always have that room upstairs if you want it. We just want to know that you're safe."
"I just…I don't want Hermione to know," Harry said, looking down. "She's really been my only constant at school and I know she sees me as a sort of hero since I've literally put my life on the line to protect her and she doesn't buy into all that 'Boy-Who-Lived' malarkey but I don't want her to think less of me or think that I'm…"
"Harry I'd never think less of you," he heard from behind him. He saw Hermione standing in the doorway. "And yes I see you as a hero. But look at what's happened between us! You killed a troll to defend me, you killed a bloody snake that tried to kill me, and you literally threw yourself in harm's way to save me from a werewolf. And in turn I've saved you from a professor trying to kill you, worked out puzzles to figure out how to get to a stone before Voldemort did, figured out it was a bloody basilisk and how it moved around the school unseen to help you find it and kill it, and this year I think I've done quite a bit to see you safe and in one piece not to mention helped you with any and all research you've ever needed." Emma released him and Hermione sat on the sofa with him, taking her hands in his, "Harry I value your friendship more than even all my books. You were my very first friend ever and maybe I sometimes put you up on a pedestal but you're still my Harry. I won't think less of you because of whatever those monsters did to you."
"For what it's worth you never treat me like I'm up on a pedestal or like I'm a hero," Harry said, giving her a small smile.
"Good," she squeezed his hand, "Harry you're always helping others or looking to help others. Let us help you. Please?"
It was then that Harry realized something. He found it really hard to say no to Hermione when she was touching him. Ever since the bite. Was that the werewolf? The books had mentioned an intense lust would begin after the transformation but nothing about her little touches and shows of affection making his stomach do flip-flops or his heart beat faster.
Distracted by these feelings he didn't have an answer for her. Hermione, thinking that Harry didn't want to share with her in the room, sighed and stood up, "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to Harry."
As clueless as Harry was when it came to girls and emotions he knew that that tone meant she was sad and presumably because she thought Harry didn't want her help. That more than anything made Harry feel like a git. He immediately got up and pulled her into a hug, something that Harry did not do often. "I'm sorry Hermione," he whispered into her ear, "I think I'm experiencing new wolf stuff. I got distracted. I of course trust you and want the help you're offering me. I've just never had someone care before. Not really care, anyway."
Hermione returned the hug, "What wolf stuff?"
"I'll tell you later," he promised. They parted and sat back down. Sandwiched between the two Granger girls with Hermione's arms wrapped around him Harry took a deep breath and began the tale of life at the Dursleys.
Rufus Scrimgeour gazed at the arrest report. It was printed right there- sentenced without trial by Barty Crouch. He sighed and rubbed his face. Amelia would hit the roof. He took the report and slipped it into his robes before exiting the records room. They were going to be busy.
"Harry thank you for telling us," Emma said, hugging him. "We have to report this to the authorities. If you feel up to it we can go to the police station tomorrow."
Harry nodded. He'd love to be free of the Dursleys and the Grangers were a good option until Sirius was freed and he could live with him. Hermione sat in his lap and held onto him after her parents left the room. "Hermione?"
"I'm already contemplating what hexes won't be obvious," she said, making him smile. That was his Hermione. She liked revenge on those that wronged him. Her punching Malfoy probably ranked in his top three favorite memories, number one obviously being her kissing him and number two being the very first time she hugged him their first year at Hogwarts. "Can you tell me about the changes?"
Harry blushed, "Well I just…I have some feelings that the books didn't mention."
Concerned, Hermione frowned, "What feelings?"
"Well when you touch me and hold my hand and stuff my stomach does flip-flops and I feel like my heart's racing a mile a minute. And I find it really hard to say no to you."
With anyone else these foreign feelings Harry was so confused by would probably have been humorous. But having heard what he'd said about the Dursleys and how he was raised Hermione just felt horrible for him. He didn't have a clue. "Harry, those feelings aren't because you're a werewolf," she promised.
"I'm positive," she kissed him, "Harry those are the feelings you get when you have romantic feelings for someone."
Hermione smiled, "Harry those are feelings that I feel for you. Because you're my boyfriend and I very much like you and those feelings are certainly moving toward love."
Harry was incredibly relieved it wasn't some unknown thing because he was a werewolf. And a bit embarrassed that he didn't figure that out by himself. Harry kissed his girlfriend and just held her for a bit in silence before a thought came to him, "Hermione are you sure you want to be my girlfriend? I mean I couldn't even work out that those feelings were normal. You deserve a great boyfriend. I don't think that I can measure up."
The kiss he got in response was enough to render him slack-jawed and glassy-eyed. "Harry James Potter you are the man I want to be with. You read that I was feeling hurt thinking you didn't want to tell me about the Dursleys because I'd think less of you and you did that all on your own. You comforted me and explained the misunderstanding before it could have grown between us," she smiled at him, "Harry you are the only boy in our class I would even trust to be my boyfriend. You're sweet, you're charming, you're understanding, and I can trust you with everything. My thoughts, my heart, my secrets, and eventually my body," she ran a hand through his hair, "you're not perfect but I'm not either. We just both have to acknowledge and work through our imperfections to give each other the best we can."
He smiled and nodded. That certainly sounded doable. Although he was pretty sure any of Hermione's alleged imperfections would pale in comparison to his, he also didn't want to lose her to someone else and he could feel his wolf growling at him in his mind for even suggesting she be with someone else. Harry personally agreed with his wolf. He wanted Hermione to be his girlfriend. His mate. Harry closed his eyes and inhaled Hermione's scent. Vanilla, something floral, and of course books. "Don't ever change your shampoo," he mumbled.
"Does the wolf like it?" She asked.
"Yes," Harry answered. "And I do too. It's very…you."
"I will definitely keep your opinion in mind in the future," she smiled, kissing him on the jaw before snuggling into him. Harry felt his possessiveness relax as she settled into him. He really hoped his lust was manageable after he turned. He didn't want to rush their relationship along. At Hogwarts the possessiveness was his primary focus because it felt so loud. Seeing her talk to Seamus and Dean about their plans that summer had made him feel quite jealous and he knew it was only going to get worse once he turned. Hopefully their new relationship could survive his lycanthrophy.
Meanwhile in the living room the two Granger parents were sitting and talking about the relationship between the two teens. "I thought Hermione was calling him her boyfriend to get a rise out of you," Emma said to Dan, "but they do care deeply for each other."
"As far as teenage boys your daughter could bring home go, I think Harry's pretty much perfect," Dan said. "He's very modest and respectful of her."
"He's very shy," Emma mused. "Those Dursleys certainly did a number on him. He's obviously under-developed."
"Maybe those magicals have some kind of way to fix that," Dan stroked his chin. "We bought Hermione those extra healing books and potion books maybe we can look through them." Emma smiled at her husband. Contrary to popular belief, they had only one child by choice. Emma came from a big family and she did not want to replicate that. Dan had two older sisters and had agreed with her. One was enough. And then they'd realized just how intelligent Hermione was. Getting her into a school that could better deal with her intellect was not cheap but it'd been quite rewarding to see Hermione's enthusiasm when she'd attended that school as for once she wasn't miles ahead of the class and actually had challenges before her.
Hogwarts was concerning for them both because they knew of their daughter's intellect and speed at processing information. Emma always chuckled at the memory of Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore showing up at their door one day about two weeks into Hermione's first year asking if they were aware of Hermione's intellect. After some discussion the headmaster had suggested that they keep Hermione in her classes with her year group but they give her special projects in each class that were well outside of her year group's ability. They decided it was best to keep it quiet, lest some students get jealous of the extra tutelage she received (or targeted her for it). Each professor sent them updates on Hermione's ability regularly and it had been a relief to both parents that her decision to remain in her year group with her friend Harry didn't hold her back.
Each professor had some sort of special extra project for Hermione, with the exception of course of Muggle Studies and Divination. Care of Magical Creatures as well, as Dumbledore didn't think that Hagrid could be trusted with Hermione's secret. The big issues were Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Snape was never going to be supportive so Dumbledore taught her Potions himself, giving her complex potions above her year to work on and create (Polyjuice her second year had been spot on and this year he'd had her brew complex healing potions for St. Mungo's). He also helped in DADA, with Flitwick and Septima Vector helping there as well. Flitwick was a dueling master and Vector had worked at Gringotts for a bit as a curse-breaker before becoming a teacher at Hogwarts when the previous professor had left.
Understanding that the Grangers were muggles, the professors gave them book lists that would supplement Hermione's learning and help them understand their world a bit better.
"Do you think she's told him about her special projects?" Emma asked her husband.
"Hermione can certainly keep a secret. I'd wager she's waiting to find the right time to tell him."
A knock on the door had Dan standing up and moving to the door. Outside stood two police officers, one female and one male. "Good evening sir, we're looking for Mr. Harry Potter. Is he here?"
Dan frowned, "I'm Dan Granger. Harry's my daughter's boyfriend. What's the problem officers?"
"I'm Amelia Bones of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. This is my associate Rufus Scrimgeour. May we come inside please?"
Dan raised an eyebrow, "Are my daughter and Harry in trouble?"
"No they're not sir. Not unless they themselves falsely imprisoned Sirius Black," Amelia answered.
Dan turned to see Hermione standing in the doorway to the study. She nodded and Dan let the two investigators into his house. "You must be Miss Hermione Granger then," Amelia said to the brunette who entered the room with Harry behind her holding her hand.
"I am," Hermione nodded. "They're here about Sirius," she said to him as she leaned against him.
Harry frowned, "What about him? We don't know where he is."
"But I bet you could get him here couldn't you," Rufus said, "Mr. Potter, I must say I knew both of your parents and I was very sorry to hear of their deaths. I was James and Sirius' supervisor when they finished auror training."
Harry, surprised to meet anyone who knew his parents, nodded in response. Amelia looked at Dan Granger, "You and your wife are of course welcome to sit in on the conversation."
"We can sit down in the living room," Emma said.
Harry and Hermione sat on the loveseat together holding hands. The Grangers sat on the sofa, leaving the two aurors to sit on the two armchairs. "I think it's best if we explain why we're here. I received a letter the other day anonymously. It implied that Sirius Black is innocent and was never given a trial. After some investigation, we confirmed that fact. He is your godfather Mr. Potter and I believe if anyone can contact him, it is you. Do you think he would turn himself in?"
"Minister Fudge tried to have him kissed by a dementor once already. I won't let him try it again," Harry said.
"Nor will we," Rufus said. "Amelia and I are the two senior aurors in the department. We won't let him get kissed."
Harry looked at Hermione, the two engaging in a silent conversation before Hermione took out a notebook and Harry wrote a note to Sirius, giving it to Hedwig, "Don't let anyone get this but him Hedwig." The owl nodded and took off.
"I know you were both students last year when a monster was unleashed within Hogwarts. What can you tell us about that?"
Harry was really amused at how they asked him questions. Not outing him as the letter writer or asking him if he was, just asking about the events in the letter. "Well it was a basilisk and my brilliant girlfriend worked out why I could hear it in the walls and what it was."
Hermione blushed at his praise, "It was traveling through the pipes of Hogwarts. Harry speaks Parseltongue and only he could hear it so I worked out it had to be a snake. From there I worked out it was a basilisk."
"And got petrified for her trouble," Harry said, hugging her to him.
"Harry you killed the basilisk. And I'm okay now."
"Yeah but I thought I'd lost you that day," Harry said, frowning.
Amelia looked up from her notes, "Mr. Potter how did you find the basilisk?"
"You can call me Harry," Harry said. "I found it because Hermione gave me most of the answer. It was in the pipes and my only other thought was that Moaning Myrtle could have been the girl that died the last time. Ron Weasley and I went there with Lockhart and we asked Myrtle about her death. She told us it came out from the sink, she thought, and two of the sink knobs had snakes on them. I spoke to it in Parseltongue and we were able to enter the chamber. Ron and Lockhart got trapped by an explosion and I had to go on on my own," Harry told everyone in the room all about what happened in the chamber, not leaving anything out.
Bones and Scrimgeour both took notes as he spoke. When he finished his story they both wrote a few more things down, "Mr. Potter, Harry, as an auror I have to say that this should have been reported to the DMLE. However as an aunt to a student of Hogwarts I must say thank you for stopping that monster."
"Ma'am nothing hurts my Hermione and gets away with it," Harry said seriously. "I reckon that troll learned that the hard way our first year too." Dan and Emma both exchanged a smile. They knew about the dangerous beasts but Hermione had refused any conversation about leaving Hogwarts and that she had Harry by her side to fight with her and protect her was encouraging. They made quite the team.
"What happened to Miss Weasley?"
"Dumbledore said nothing would," Harry answered. "He called her a victim of Voldemort."
Rufus and Amelia both frowned. "This item that possessed her. You said you had contact with it?"
"Yeah," Harry nodded.
"Did it control you or exert influence on you?"
"No. It tried to tell me that Hagrid had opened the chamber and get to know me but Hermione didn't trust it and so I was guarded with it."
"And this girl has a crush on you?"
"Well on the Boy-Who-Lived," Hermione said. "I don't think she knows anything really about Harry except maybe what her brother's talked about."
"Why does that matter?" Harry asked.
"It's known that Miss Granger is your best friend, yes?"
Hermione's brain moved faster than Harry's and she gasped, "You think she tried to kill me because I'm competition for Harry's heart?" Harry's eyes widened.
"It's a possibility," Rufus said. Harry frowned and Hermione bit her lip. "Perhaps it was a subconscious attempt but it is without a doubt something for us to consider."
After a few more questions about the chamber and then what happened to the diary, which had Harry explain he gave it to Dobby, the two aurors said goodbye and left the house. "Well I think that's enough excitement for the evening," Emma said. "How about a late-night snack before bedtime?"
"Sure Mum," Hermione said, looking at Harry. Once her parents had both left she spoke, "You okay?"
"Yeah. It's really disturbing to think that Ginny Weasley was trying to kill you to remove her competition but at least things are starting to happen." She nodded and hugged him.
The Grangers had to work during the week, so Harry and Hermione spent their days at the house alone and on the weekends they would go places with the Granger parents, including the movies which was a new experience for Harry. They worked on their homework and began to plan what to do for Harry's transformation into a werewolf. Before they knew it the full moon was just seven days away. "What if we told them we wanted to spend a couple nights in a tent? You've never gone camping and I've only gone once. We could set it up in the backyard and fortunately our house is close to the woods."
"I guess that's okay but what if I…"
"Harry I've been thinking about that and as Ron so cluelessly pointed out, Veela are creatures. Plus, wolves are loyal to their mates."
"So I should be able to recognize you as Veela and also as my mate," Harry said. "Because magical creatures like werewolves and Veela can in theory recognize each other."
"That's the idea," she said.
"The mate thing is more comforting than anything else," Harry said. "Do you think they'll go for that?"
"If we play it right, yes," she said. "I don't like lying to them but I don't want to scare them."
"I agree with that," Harry nodded. "Do you think Sirius will turn himself in?"
"I think he will if he trusts them. Unfortunately we can't do more."
"Yeah we have enough on our plates," Harry nodded. He was relieved they didn't have to do any more regarding the chamber and Sirius. He felt out of his element enough just dealing with becoming a werewolf and his girlfriend being a Veela. Those were things he thought they could work out together, though the prospect seemed intimidating and scary at times. But the rest of it was enough to make his head spin. The politics of it all was over the top and weird. "Should we go over the list?"
Hermione pulled it out:
-Quicker and more agile
-Changes in physical appearance
-Driven by lust
"I haven't noticed that you're stronger yet. You're much more possessive," she said.
"I don't think I've got any of those traits but the possessive one so far."
"I agree," she nodded. "Although maybe the temper thing is defeated by the Occlumency? Regardless I think we'll see the shift after you change for the first time." Harry nodded his agreement. Unfortunately, all they could do was wait. It had already been two weeks at the Granger home and he loved it. Hermione was awesome, Harry already knew that, but her parents were pretty cool as well. They took him shopping for new clothes, which he paid for with the money the goblins had sent to him. He also had some more wizard currency sent to him for the World Cup.
Dan had tried to offer Harry some money to exchange with him for wizarding currency for Hermione to have at the World Cup (and avoid a trip to Gringotts) but Harry had refused. They had invited him into their home and launched charges at the Dursleys. They hadn't accepted any payment from him for his food or room so he wasn't letting them do that with the World Cup. He knew Hermione was going for him and he was happy to pay her way. He pointed that out to Dan and the older man had smiled and held up his hands in submission. His parting remark that Harry had obviously spent too much time with Hermione because he argued like her had Harry laughing.
Admittedly, they did spend few times apart. His possessiveness was definitely increasing the closer they got to the full moon. The closer they got to the full moon the more Harry was worried about what would happen. Really the only thing that would comfort him was them both being okay the morning after the full moon.
Hermione's parents agreed to the two of them camping out outside the night of the full moon. Dan helped them set up the large tent and make a campfire early that evening. After that Emma came out with marshmallows and hot dogs to roast on some skewers, the Granger parents joining the two teens for dinner and s'more making.
For Harry, it was really neat to spend time with the Granger family like this. He had felt comfortable in the Granger home since day one. The Weasley house made him uncomfortable. Part of it was the overwhelming magical nature of the Burrow but the other part was that the Grangers treated him as any other member of the family. At the Burrow he felt like some sort of special guest. They had special meals and Molly had fallen all over herself trying to pamper him.
Harry also found magical homes distracting. He liked making his own bed himself and cooking his own meal. Magically prepared food, while delicious, just didn't measure up to these partially charred hot dogs or the gooey roasted (in Dan and Hermione's case, nearly burned) marshmallows. Harry vocalized that to Hermione and she nodded, "I noticed that too," she said.
"Mrs. Weasley uses magic to cook and while she's great, I'd rather have food prepared by Emma or over a campfire like this," Harry said.
"Why?" Dan asked, smirking at his wife blushing at Harry's praise.
"Well," Harry tilted his head in thought, "I think it's in part the feeling of community. Like when we all made pizza together. I liked watching Hermione make a tomato sauce from scratch and I enjoyed making the dough with you Dan," Harry said. "And it tasted really great not just because it was homemade and fresh but because we all helped. Sure magic could roll out the dough and even assemble the pizza and put it in the oven but it wouldn't have been as much fun. At the Burrow Mrs. Weasley would just wave her wand and the pots would be on the stove boiling already. And how do you replicate that charred taste on your burger or hot dog from a grill or campfire? Magic would have them perfectly cooked and be missing on that extra flavor."
"At Hogwarts everything looks immaculate. Like a magazine cover dish," Hermione said. "But they don't scorch the mashed potatoes for the Shepherd's Pie like you do Daddy and they don't get that crust on steaks or lamb chops like you do either."
Dan puffed out his chest at that and Emma, Hermione, and Harry all laughed. "So it's the personal touches you miss," Emma said once she'd calmed down.
"Yeah," Harry nodded. "Food is about family and love and I think magic misses that."
The Granger parents went into the house a bit later, leaving Harry and Hermione alone. A nervous Harry got several kisses from his girlfriend to calm him down and once it was completely dark she took his hand and they walked into the woods together. Hermione was armed with a flashlight and a backpack. It said that clothes would get ripped so Harry would have to undress. They'd put his clothes in the backpack and then Hermione would hang it on a tree for him to get when he returned to his human form.
They stopped in a small clearing and Hermione kissed him, "It'll be okay Harry."
"I hope so Hermione."
"Remember, don't fight it. And don't forget that I love you," she said, kissing him again.
Harry returned the kiss, hugging her tightly to him. Those three words had never been strung together like that for him before and he relished hearing them. Especially from Hermione, who he was falling for even more as the summer went on. "My mate," he whispered, gazing at her for a moment before beginning to get undressed. Hermione turned her back and he was glad. Being nude in front of her was weird. He placed all of his clothes into the bag save for his underwear. He didn't care if those got ripped; they were an old pair of oversized underwear the Dursleys had given him.
He looked nervously at his girlfriend. She gave him a reassuring smile and he took a deep breath. "You can do it Harry. Just relax, don't fight it, and remember that I love you."
"Never going to forget that," Harry said, giving her a small smile. "I'll see you in the morning?"
"You will," she nodded. Harry nodded and closed his eyes before gazing up at the full moon and feeling his body begin to change. The pain of his muscles he'd expected. The pain from his scar he hadn't. He winced in pain and fell forward as the transformation happened, not screaming out despite his desire to. Harry's last thought was that something was wrong with his scar before his mind blanked.
"No wonder you two were so suspicious," Hermione heard from behind her. She turned to see her parents. "So then that wolf is Harry."
"Please don't be mad. We wanted to protect you," she said, "and Harry. Werewolves aren't treated well in the magical world. They'd force him to take a poison to make the wolf sick and we both didn't want that."
The wolf stood and approached them, snarling. Hermione walked toward it and Dan reached for his daughter, "Hermione!"
"It'll be okay. Wolves don't hurt their mates," she said, sounding more confident than she felt at the moment. "Harry won't hurt me. He became a werewolf protecting me."
The wolf moved to her and she held out her hand toward it. The wolf sniffed her before licking her and pressing up against her, nuzzling her waist. Harry was a very large wolf. "You remember my parents right?"
The wolf smelled each of the Granger parents before letting Emma pet him. "So does Harry hear you?"
"No the wolf is a part of him but not him. Like a separate identity or a split personality even if they both seem to have an affinity for me," Hermione explained. The wolf gazed around before running off into the woods. Hermione led the way out of the forest.
"You intend to stay out here all night?"
"No I'll sleep in the tent. But I wanted to be there for Harry when he turned." Since the wolf hadn't actually harmed Hermione, and the Grangers were certainly out of their depth, they had to let their daughter dictate things. They went inside and said they'd see her in the morning. Hermione stayed up a bit longer before going into the tent and sliding into her sleeping bag. She fell asleep not long after despite the excitement of the day.
At dawn Harry turned back into his human form and found the backpack Hermione had placed on a tree. He put on underwear and pants and made his way to the tent, entering it to see Hermione asleep. He smiled. She was okay. He slid into his sleeping bag and immediately passed out.
He woke several hours later to Hermione touching his body, "Hermione?"
"I'm just making sure you're okay," she said, kissing him gently, "good morning Harry."
"What did I look like?"
"Big and black and adorable," she answered. "You didn't harm me or my parents."
He tried to sit up but Hermione forced him back down, "You have a few scratches but other than that you look fine. And they were very understanding Harry. You smelled them both and my mum even pet you."
"They must hate me."
"No they don't and you're worrying for no reason now shut up because I need to see your legs. Take your pants off." Under that glare Harry was always going to obey. He removed his pants and she looked him over, "You survived without any major wounds. That's good. How do you feel?"
"Mortified that your parents know and I'm worried about how they'll react. You're sure I didn't hurt you?" Hermione had to reassure Harry several times that she was okay before putting on her bra and removing her shirt to let him verify that she was okay. Harry stared at Hermione's body, "Wow."
She rolled her eyes. Boys were so easily sidetracked by breasts. "No wounds Harry. See?"
He forced his gaze off of her chest to look her over before nodding. Hermione put her shirt back on, "Sorry."
"I'm glad you think I'm attractive Harry but you're worrying for nothing. I told you you wouldn't hurt me."
"Yeah," he nodded. "I should have trusted myself more."
She shifted to kneel next to him, "Are you still tired? We could go inside. You need a shower and then I can treat those cuts and you can go to sleep again."
"I'd like that," Harry said, smiling at his girlfriend. "I'm really tired."
Hermione nodded and helped him upright and put on his pants and a t-shirt before taking him into the house. A sleepy Harry wasn't much conversation but Hermione talked to him throughout his shower to keep him awake. He dried off, put on his pajamas, and collapsed into his bed to sleep. "I wonder if we can figure out how to hide this sleepy nature at Hogwarts," Hermione said to herself. She'd have to look into it. She tucked him in, kissed his cheek, and then went downstairs. Her dad took the tent down for her and she cleaned up their little campsite. Her parents were really understanding, but they had questions. Hermione answered them as best as she could, making a point of explaining what happened with Lupin when Harry was bitten and people's reactions to the professor everyone had liked up to that point.
Harry woke shortly after lunch. Hermione made him something to eat and he tried to work out just what he felt compared to their list. Then he remembered about his scar, "Oh! Hermione last night my scar felt like it was on fire. It hurt really badly as I was transforming. Today my head doesn't hurt at all."
Hermione glanced at his forehead, "Your scar looks the same as before. Maybe there was dark magic within it from what happened that night? The wolf could have forced it out to protect you."
"That makes sense," Harry nodded. "If something's wrong with me the wolf would want to protect itself and me. That's probably why my eyesight is fixed now."
"I guess we could get you some contacts and if anyone asked why you don't wear your glasses anymore we could say you got contacts."
"Yeah," Harry smiled. "Are you sure your parents are okay with me being a werewolf?"
Hermione put his food down in front of him, "Eat Harry. And yes, they are. They didn't understand it at first but they're patient and understanding. I think them seeing you last night helped more than we might have expected. Their biggest concern was whether you'd harm me and since you didn't they are willing to learn about it and they're okay with it."
Harry ate his lunch thinking about that. He supposed it made sense. After all, the Grangers had accepted Hermione going to a school they'd never heard of and couldn't even see. That had to be harder than accepting your daughter dating a werewolf. At least, Harry hoped it was. He really liked Dan and Emma and if they didn't like him anymore that would hurt. "Quit brooding Harry," Hermione said.
"Can't help it this time," he said, "I really like your mum and dad and if they don't like me or want me out…"
"They still like you Harry," she reached across the counter and squeezed his hand, "and you're not going anywhere. You're mine just like I'm yours."
Harry gave her a small smile and resumed eating while Hermione cleaned up the kitchen. "So what did I look like?"
"Well you were bigger than a normal wolf," she answered. "You were all black, the same color as your hair. Your eyes were brown and yellow and today they look like they're not quite as green as usual," she gazed into Harry's eyes, "there are flecks of yellow in them. It looks pretty cool, actually," she smiled. Harry returned the smile.
After lunch Harry and Hermione found themselves joined by the Granger parents, who'd closed up shop early that day. Harry was visibly nervous and seeing that had Emma hugging the young man, "Harry you were quite adorable as a wolf, though a little scary. Once you knew we were Hermione's parents, though, you were quite affectionate with us both."
Harry sighed in relief and returned the hug, "Thanks Emma," he said. "We actually need your help. We're trying to work out just what changes I'm going through and Hermione and I aren't sure we can work out everything."
"How worried were you that you'd hurt Hermione?" Dan asked.
"I had to strip down to my underwear to prove to him he hadn't bitten me," Hermione said.
Harry blushed and Dan chuckled. Harry looked at Dan, surprised at his reaction. The older man explained himself, "That sounds like something Hermione would make you do if your roles were reversed." Harry smiled at that, relieved Dan didn't want to kill him for seeing Hermione in less clothing than ever before. "Besides she has swimsuits that reveal as much skin as her underwear Harry. You'll probably find that out on your birthday."
Hermione kissed his cheek, "We're going to a water park with Dean, Seamus, and the Finnigans. Dean's parents have to work that day but they said he could go."
Harry had only ever been to the zoo before so he was very excited. "That sounds awesome! Guess I'll need a swimsuit though."
"I slipped one in with your clothes when we bought those," Hermione smiled. "You're set."
"A real birthday party," Harry said, forgetting completely about the whole werewolf thing as he sat in awe that he'd actually be celebrating his birthday with friends and his girlfriend. "I never thought I'd have one of those."
"Well you'll be getting presents too. Dean and Seamus wanted to know what to get you and I gave them some ideas," Hermione smiled. Harry stared at her, amazed. "Harry people do like you for you."
"I just…I was never allowed to go anywhere. To have a birthday party, and at a public place no less…that's amazing."
"You deserve an amazing birthday to make up for the rotten ones you had with those monsters," Hermione said, sitting in his lap. Just talking about the Dursleys made her angry and only holding onto him would calm her down. Harry wrapped his arms around her and she snuggled into him. "I love you Harry and you deserved better than those monsters."
"I have you," Harry said. "You're amazing Hermione. I'm bit by a werewolf and you comfort me and even agree to be my girlfriend. You don't let me brood or think less of myself and I just feel safe with you."
"I always feel safe with you too," Hermione smiled. "Now let's have my parents help us see what's changed regarding your body."
"Yeah," he nodded. "I forgot about that."
The only immediate change was his eyes. They purposefully left out that an intense lust would emerge eventually, not wanting to worry the Granger parents. That evening Harry transformed again and Hermione was amused at just how affectionate and playful the wolf was with her. A dead rabbit was on their back porch the next morning, making Dan tease Harry about being competition for Crookshanks who was known to leave dead mice and birds on the back porch.
He only turned again the next night as the full moon remained in the sky and after that they settled back into studying and then Harry was asked to testify about the abuse suffered when he lived with the Dursleys. He did, hoping that was the end of the situation. He hated having to relive what they'd done to him over the years. He also began to notice that the things they'd caused, like his skinny, short frame, began to change. He grew taller and broader and by the time his birthday arrived he looked like he expected he was supposed to look at the age of fourteen. He was taller than Hermione suddenly and he was still skinny but not to the point he had been before. Harry, Hermione, and her parents looked through Hermione's many potion books to find potions that could explain away the change in Harry. They found several and after studying them Hermione was certain she could brew them, thus explaining away any inquiries into Harry's health.