"Why?" Victoire asked brokenly, tears clinging to her lashes.
Teddy swallowed. "It won't work," he muttered.
Victoire shook her head. "We can make it work. We just need to… to…"
"Vic," Teddy sighed.
"I love you!"
"I know." Teddy rubbed the back of his neck and avoided Victoire's angry, accusing eyes. "I'm sorry, Vic. Really I am."
"Is there someone else?" Victoire had crossed her arms over her chest and hunched in on herself.
"No, of course not," Teddy protested weakly. Just the woman I've been in love with since I was a kid, but she doesn't know I exist.
Victoire's ice-blue eyes narrowed on his face. "There is, isn't there. Who is she? Or he… is it a he?"
"Victoire, I am not seeing anyone," Teddy growled, exasperation bleeding into his voice.
"Then how can you just throw away everything that we have together?" Victoire demanded.
Teddy cringed. "Because I thought that it would be enough, but it just isn't," he admitted in a quiet voice.
Victoire flinched as though he had hit her. "I see," she said stiffly. She began to gather up her things.
"Look, Vic," Teddy tried again.
"No!" Victoire turned to glare at him. She lifted her chin and looked down her nose at him—an action reminiscent of her mother. "You should have said something."
"I should have," Teddy agreed.
"Instead you let me believe that…," Victoire trailed off and shook her head.
"I didn't let you believe anything," Teddy corrected her. "I never said anything. Your family concocted the fairy-tale ending all by themselves."
"You leave my family out of this," Victoire hissed.
Teddy snorted. "Gladly."
The slam of his apartment door resounded behind Victoire. Teddy sighed. At least it was over. He ought to have done it years ago, but for whatever reason he hadn't done so. Perhaps he had hoped that Victoire, with her straight blonde hair that fell to her waist and her cool blue eyes and her svelte figure, would be enough to distract him from the truth. It hadn't been, but he had hoped otherwise.
"I heard that you and Vic broke up."
Teddy looked up from his pint to scowl at his godfather's oldest son.
"What do you want, James?" Teddy demanded. "Did your gran send you over to yell at me for breaking her precious angel's heart?"
James rolled his eyes and sat down across from Teddy. "No. Dad sent me to check on you."
The foam on Teddy's stout became infinitely fascinating. He lifted the glass and took a swallow, avoiding James' eyes.
"Teddy, come on. This is me. What happened?" James asked with a worried frown.
Despite the fact that there was a six year age difference between Teddy and James, they had always been very close. If anyone was Teddy's confidant, it was James.
"I couldn't do it anymore," Teddy admitted. "I tried, James. Merlin knows that I've tried, but… I couldn't."
"Do what? Teddy, I'm confused. Help me out here," James prodded.
"I found a diary that belonged to my dad," Teddy explained. He grimaced and shook his head. "He hadn't really wanted to marry my mum, did you know that? He'd been bullied into it by your gran and everyone else who thought they made a cute couple."
James stared at him in surprise. "No, I didn't know that," he said finally.
"He didn't love her," Teddy continued. He ran a hand over his face. "I can't help but wonder… if they had survived, would their marriage have done? Or would they have gotten a divorce?"
"Ted, how does that compare to you and Vic?" James asked with a frown.
"Everyone has shoved us at one another since we were small," Teddy muttered. "It was expected by pretty much everyone."
"So you don't love her?" James pressed.
Teddy looked at James over his stout, and James' mouth dropped open.
"No," James said flatly. "It was just a stupid crush in school. You got over it."
Teddy shrugged, tired of arguing about this particular subject with James.
"Ted… you can't," he protested. He glanced around the bar and then leaned toward Teddy. "She's our aunt," James hissed and a dull flush rose up his neck.
"No, she isn't," Teddy said flatly.
It had been an embarrassing story that everyone had enjoyed recounting at one point or another. When Hermione Granger had finally returned to England to stay, Teddy had been almost 11 years old. Ginny had introduced her as 'Aunt Hermione', which a 5 year old James and a 2 year old Albus had accepted automatically. Teddy, however, had not.
"Say hello to your Aunt Hermione, Teddy," Ginny had prompted him.
The witch that had hugged his godfather and his Aunt Ginny spoke a mile a minute, her hands moving almost as fast as her tongue. Her laugh had been infectious—Teddy had wanted to laugh with her. He loved the wild curls that she kept tucking behind her ear impatiently, and the way her eyes sparkled when she smiled at Harry and Ginny. She was the most beautiful witch that Teddy had ever seen in his life, and something inside Teddy did not want her to be his aunt.
Ginny had blinked in surprise. "I beg your pardon?"
"That's okay," Hermione had said quickly. "He doesn't have to call me aunt if he doesn't want to." She had smiled then at Teddy. "What about 'Mione? Is that all right?"
"Mine," Teddy had whispered shyly, his tongue tripping over itself. He could feel his face heat up and he stared at the floor.
Hermione had blinked at that. "Erm…"
"It's 'Mione, sweetheart," Ginny had explained patiently. "Try again."
"Mione," Teddy repeated with a bright red face.
"Regardless, she thinks of you as her best friend's kid," James reminded him with a frown.
"I know that," Teddy growled. He took another deep swallow of his stout. "I'm not stupid, James."
"That's debatable," James retorted. "Ted… she's Hermione Granger."
"Yes, thank you, Jamie. That bit had escaped me," Teddy drawled and rolled his eyes.
James scowled at him. "I hate it when you go all Malfoy on me," he groused. "Dad should never have agreed to let you visit with them."
"Firstly, if I'm doing anything, I'm channeling my Black ancestors," Teddy retorted coolly. His hair shifted from his usual turquoise to thick, black curls and his eyes flashed grey. He leaned forward to glare at the wizard that he considered a younger brother. "And secondly, Harry had no control over that whatsoever. Grandmother wanted me to connect with the only family I had left, and as my guardian that was her right. I have no regrets about getting to know Cousin Draco or my Great-Aunt Narcissa."
"Fine," James muttered. "Why don't you just waltz up to her and proclaim your undying love? I'm sure that will go over well. Once she's done laughing she'll hex you six ways from Sunday and then she'll call Dad."
"Don't be so melodramatic, Potter." Teddy picked up his stout and tossed back the rest. "I'm not going to proclaim my undying love to her. I've kept my mouth shut for this long, haven't I?"
"I suppose that's true," James agreed. He rubbed at his face with both hands. "Just… be careful, Lupin."
Teddy smirked at James. "I'm always careful."
Being Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement was a giant pain in the arse, but Hermione was getting used to it. Quite a number of people had been leery of her holding the position both because of her blood status and also because of the years she had spent abroad working for the ICW. It had helped enormously that Harry was the Head Auror, and he had thrown the full weight of his support behind her.
Working for the ICW in Australia had been the best possible solution for Hermione at the time. It had allowed her some distance from Ron so that she could gain clarity regarding her feelings about their relationship—or the lack thereof, and it had allowed her the chance to work on her relationship with her parents. Ron's awkward trip to Australia to tell her that he wanted to start seeing Lavender again had been painful for the both of them, but it had saved their friendship.
A sharp rap on the door broke Hermione out of her reverie. She cleared her throat and shook her head.
"Come in," she called.
"Your 9 o'clock is here, Madam Granger," her secretary explained. He glanced at Hermione's desk. "Do you want a tea service?"
Hermione sighed. "You'd probably better. You know how he is."
"Yes, Madam Granger," he replied with a grimace.
"It will be fine, Bagshot," Hermione promised. She smirked at him. "If he misbehaves I'll just punch him in the nose."
"Madam Granger!" Bagshot gaped at her in horror.
"Just send him on in," Hermione told him.
"Good morning, Madam Granger," Draco Malfoy said as he swept into her office and settled himself in one of the chairs in front of her desk.
"Mr. Malfoy, a pleasure as always," Hermione replied. She turned and retook her seat. "I have the preliminary reports that you submitted last week, but what I know that you had some concerns."
"These are major changes to the law as it currently stands," Malfoy reminded her. A frown line appeared between his brows and he shuffled parchment. "I don't have to tell you that the Wizengamot isn't exactly open to change."
"No, Mr. Malfoy, you do not," Hermione retorted drily.
Malfoy looked up from his papers and quirked a brow at her. "It's important that we present a united front. Any perceived weakness will be an opening for them, and they will be utterly ruthless."
"I agree." Hermione grabbed a clean sheet of parchment and selected a quill. "What actions do you recommend?"
"Your connections with the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures will hopefully work in our favour," Malfoy suggested and then looked at her expectantly.
"Padma and I have a good working relationship," Hermione offered.
"Miss Patil is a great asset, but you need people that work directly in the Beast Division," Malfoy told her bluntly.
Hermione tried and failed to control her grimace. "I… most of the people that work in the division actually believe the dragon shite propaganda that the Ministry has fostered for years."
"Not all of them," Malfoy countered. "Some of them work there to make sure that the rights of those the Ministry has classified as beasts are not infringed."
"You know someone," Hermione guessed.
"I know several someones," Malfoy corrected her. "But yes, there's someone in particular. He's the Head of the Werewolf Capture Unit."
Hermione wrinkled her nose in distaste. "I'd really rather not, Malfoy."
"Do you want to get rid of all the anti-werewolf legislation that Umbridge shoved through, or not?" Malfoy demanded fiercely.
"Of course!" Hermione snapped.
"Edward joined the Werewolf Capture Unit to make sure that all werewolves were treated with dignity and respect. Did you know that during Umbridge's time at the Ministry they were usually brought in dead? And that half the time—they weren't even transformed?" Malfoy asked.
"No, I… I had no idea," Hermione whispered. Nausea rose in her, threatening to swamp her.
"They've gotten rid of most of the old-timers who think that the only good werewolf is a dead one," Malfoy continued mercilessly. He shook his head. "Edward's got friends in the DCRMC, and he's done the best he can to clean out the Beast Division, but he needs the support that these new laws will give him."
"I thought that you said that he was the Head?" Hermione asked with a small frown.
"Yes, but he's not in the Werewolf Registry and he's not on the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures," Malfoy reminded her. He paused and looked at her over the top of his sheaf of parchment. "That would include werewolves, in case you had forgotten."
Hermione paled at that and shook her head. "Most of what I've tried to do was through the Being Division because everything for werewolves in their human form is done through them."
"We can't leave the Beast Division alone, or they'll just use it to undermine everything we're trying to do," Malfoy muttered.
"No, of course you're right," Hermione agreed immediately.
Malfoy snorted in amusement. "Can I get that in writing?"
"I'm always willing to take your advice when it concerns how people can and will subvert the law for their own perverted uses," Hermione retorted with a tight little smile.
Malfoy gave her an answering tight smile and began gathering up all of his parchment. "Right. When can you see Edward?"
A quick glance at Hermione's desk calendar revealed that she was well and truly booked. She huffed in dismay.
"Let's see… Friday at noon?" Hermione offered.
"Overbooking yourself again," Malfoy observed with a shake of his head. "Edward's schedule can be erratic. Why don't you make it a lunch meeting? Otherwise he might not get a chance to eat."
"Of course," Hermione agreed. She stood as Malfoy prepared to leave. "I'll have Bagshot arrange it."
"Sounds good." Malfoy bowed to her. "Good day, Madam Granger."
"Good day, Mr. Malfoy." Hermione replied, nodding at him. As soon as he left she collapsed back into her chair. "Insufferable git," she muttered to herself. She rubbed her temples absently. "Head of the Werewolf Capture Unit. Ugh. I don't care what the tosser says, who would actually want that job?"
One could look at Teddy Lupin and see what Remus would have been without the incredible strain and stress that being a werewolf had taken on him. He looked very much like his father, save for the brilliant turquoise hair and his perfectly smooth, unblemished skin. His broad shoulders were well-defined by his robes, and Hermione felt a sudden urge to fan herself. I am a morally bankrupt person. Good people did not think about whether or not their best friend's godson had kissable lips.
With a dawning sense of horror, Hermione realized that Teddy was making his way over to her table. She grabbed her glass of water and wished fervently that it was wine before she took a sip.
"Madam Granger," Teddy said cheerfully and flashed a smile that ought to be illegal. He bowed gracefully. "I apologize for being late."
"Late?" Hermione blinked up at him. When had he gotten so tall? "I beg your pardon, I…"
Teddy frowned. "Draco said that he had set up a meeting for us, and your secretary Bagshot confirmed it. Do I have the wrong date?"
"Meeting?" Hermione stared at Teddy in surprise. "Are you… you're Edward? You're the… the Head of the Werewolf Capture Unit?"
"Yeah." Teddy's face grew grave and forbidding. "I didn't want… Grandmother doesn't like to talk about the war much, but she told me how difficult it was for Mum and Dad."
"That makes a lot of sense," Hermione admitted. She shook her head in confusion. "I'm sorry I misunderstood, but… Edward?"
Teddy grimaced. "I went through a ridiculous phase about 10 years ago during my 6th year. I didn't want anyone to call me Teddy. Draco was the only one who actually listened to me."
"Please, sit down, erm, Edward," Hermione said faintly.
"Teddy is fine, Madam Granger," he told her smoothly. Teddy flashed a wicked grin. "I'm no longer a 6th year, and I don't have the fragile ego of a teenager."
"No, of course not," Hermione murmured. She bit her lips to keep from making some sort of comment about how Teddy was no longer a teenager. It was obvious to anyone that Edward Lupin… that Teddy… was very much a wizard grown.
"Draco's filled me in on what you're trying to do, and I'll try to help in any way I can," Teddy told her earnestly.
"I had no idea that you and Mr. Malfoy were so close," Hermione observed with a frown.
"He is my mother's cousin," Teddy reminded her.
Hermione nodded. "Of course. I just… so much changed while I was gone. It's difficult sometimes to keep with all of it." She paused and took another sip of water.
"Grandmother thought it was important for me to know that side of my family," Teddy said quietly. "The Ministry was as close as I could get to… to my Dad. It seemed a good way to honour his memory."
"I can see that," Hermione replied.
It was embarrassing to admit how easily she could do so now that she knew that the Head of the Werewolf Capture Unit was Teddy Lupin. He would no doubt make sure that any werewolves that were captured were done so with the minimum necessary force and treated with as much dignity as possible. It made sense when she considered it.
"Can you?" Teddy asked curiously. He gave her a tight smile that didn't quite reach his eyes. "Harry had a fit when I told him what I wanted to do, and even Bill Weasley wasn't happy."
"You wanted to be in a position to protect werewolves," Hermione replied. She shrugged. "Most might think that would be the Werewolf Registry or somewhere in the Being Division, but werewolves don't really need help when they aren't transformed. So… yes. I can see why you would choose the Werewolf Capture Unit. It's a Slytherin sort of thing to do, but you were raised by Andromeda Tonks so it isn't overly surprising."
Teddy's laugh was deep and it did things to Hermione's equilibrium. She sipped at her water desperately and tried to ignore his strong jaw and the way his eyes crinkled at the corners.
The next few weeks were torturous in ways that Teddy hadn't even realized were possible. He was closeted in meetings with Hermione for hours on end, and Merlin help him the witch didn't seem to have any idea about what she did to him. Halfway through most of the meetings Hermione would get warm and she'd end up stripping off her outer, formal robes, which would be fine except for the fact that she tended to favor silk blouses that clung to her curves and pencil skirts that hugged her hips and emphasized her bum.
It had occurred to Teddy that perhaps the close confines might help him work out his ridiculous crush. He would get to know Hermione really well, and he would realize that he was not desperately in love with a woman who didn't even see him as a man.
There hadn't been a scale invented yet to show how wrong he had been. Now, he not only loved her brilliant mind and her caring heart, but he also wanted to shag her against every available surface.
Every day was an exercise in patience and restraint. Every time she would bend over the conference table to look at something Teddy would swallow hard and try to not imagine himself behind her.
It was difficult to conceive, but today had been the worst day of them all because today was the last day. His cousin Draco had everything arranged and tomorrow the Wizengamot was going to vote on all of the changes that Draco had submitted. Hermione had written reports about how the changes in the laws would affect the DMLE, and the other departments that dealt with werewolves.
After today, Teddy had no idea when he would see her again.
"Madam Granger," Teddy said slowly.
She stood up and turned to look at him, her head tilted slightly.
"You know, Teddy, I think it would be fine if you called me Hermione," she said with a sigh.
Over the last few weeks, Teddy had clung to the formality of calling her 'Madam Granger'. It had been a desperate, protective measure on his part; a way to keep himself in check. Hermione had asked him more than once to please call her by her given name. Now, though, what was the point?
"Hermione," He said in a voice that had dropped a full octave. Bloody hell!
"You've been invaluable this last couple of months," Hermione went on, apparently oblivious to Teddy making a complete and utter fool of himself over her. "I've spoken to Mr. Malfoy… to Draco… and asked him to make sure that you receive credit for the legislation we've worked on together."
Frustration flared within Teddy. Credit for his work was generous and very kind of Hermione—it would help him further his career within the Ministry, but it wasn't what he really wanted. It wasn't what he craved when he was alone in his bed at night. He sat down heavily in a chair near the table they'd been working on.
"Thank you, Hermione," he muttered roughly.
"Teddy? Is there something wrong?" Hermione asked.
Before he could do or say anything, Hermione was right there… bending down into his personal space worry for him in her chocolate brown eyes. Her warm fingers lightly touched his jaw and the spicy scent of her filled his nostrils. Teddy closed his eyes and began calculating Arithmantic equations to take his mind off of the fact that Hermione was touching him.
"Teddy?" Hermione asked again and she moved closer.
"Look, Hermione, I…"
Teddy opened his eyes and turned to Hermione, but she was closer than he had realized, and his lips brushed hers. Electricity crackled between them, and when she gasped in surprise, Teddy took the opportunity to truly kiss her. The warm, wet heat of Hermione's mouth only fueled Teddy's imagination about the rest of her, and he groaned helplessly. For a moment… a second… she kissed him back, but then she was pulling away and her shaking hand was pressing against her mouth.
"Hermione." Teddy stood up abruptly and ran a hand through his hair. "I beg your pardon. I… I shouldn't have… I didn't mean to… fuck!"
It was cowardice to run, but Teddy was a Hufflepuff, not a Gryffindor. More than that, he couldn't stay—couldn't bear to hear Hermione tell him that he didn't know any better, that he was just a boy. If she patted him on the head he wouldn't be responsible for his own actions—swear to Merlin, he wouldn't.
There was a special hell for people like her, people who went around kissing… kissing… Merlin what had she done? Working with Teddy had been excruciating. It was impossible to deny her attraction to him when they worked so closely together. She would look across the table, and he would be absently rubbing his five o'clock shadow, which was a shade of blue that was darker than turquoise as the hair on his head and fueled her imagination in ways that most likely reserved her a seat in that special hell.
When Teddy's tongue had touched hers she had given up control for one, shining moment. She had kissed him back, reveling in the feel of him, before the reality of what she was doing crashed in on her.
Who had she become?
With a moan of frustration, Hermione dropped into the seat that Teddy had just occupied. What would Harry say when he found out? What would Andromeda say? Hermione cringed.
"Madam Granger, I'm sorry I'm late but I… Granger?" Malfoy paused just inside the conference room they'd been using and frowned at her. "What's going on? Where's Edward?"
"He left," Hermione muttered. She buried her face in her hands.
Maybe the Australia Office would take her back. She could go work at one of the remote regional offices and never, ever have to face anyone she knew ever again.
The sound of the door lock was ominous and Hermione lifted her face to stare at Malfoy who was watching her coolly.
"Why did Edward leave?" He asked in a quiet voice that didn't fool her at all.
"He… I…," Hermione faltered at that point. What could she say?
"Did he… did he say something to you?" Malfoy pressed. He was wearing the impersonal mask he usually wore in court, but Hermione could see the tension in the way he held his shoulders.
"No," Hermione replied. A dull flush rose up her neck and stained her cheeks.
Malfoy's eyes widened in surprise. "He kissed you."
It wasn't a question.
"I'm sorry!" Hermione blurted out and then clapped a hand over her mouth. She stared at Malfoy with wide eyes and to her shame she could feel tears well up. She was not going to cry. She was not!
"I beg your pardon?" Confusion flitted over Malfoy's face before the impersonal mask won.
"I can… I'll leave. I'm sure that the Australia Office will take me back. They were always pleased with my work. I'll have to give notice here, of course, but—"
"Granger, what the bloody hell are you talking about?" Malfoy demanded.
"I… I took advantage of Teddy," she confessed in a mortified whisper.
Malfoy started laughing.
"It's not funny!" Hermione snapped.
"Granger, Edward is 26 years old," Malfoy told her as he wiped his eyes with a green silk handkerchief. "He spent most of his time at Hogwarts trying to channel Sirius Black. I highly doubt that you… you took advantage of him."
"But I… he's Harry's godson," Hermione protested.
"He's my cousin," Malfoy countered drily.
"I know that, but… Harry has always treated Teddy as though… as though he were like a son, or something," Hermione explained.
Malfoy rolled his eyes. "He tried to be a part of Edward's life, yes, but at the end of the war he was 18 and Edward was only a month old. Andromeda raised Edward. Yes, she's allowed Potter to be an active part of his life, but he isn't Edward's father."
"But…," Hermione tried again.
"Potter's hang ups are his own, not yours," Malfoy said flatly. He shook his head and gave Hermione a pitying look. "Talk to him if you need to, but really Edward is his own person. Do you want him or Potter?"
"Are you saying that… that you would be all right with… with…," Hermione faltered, unable to complete the thought.
"With you shagging my cousin?" Malfoy asked with a raised eyebrow. "That's none of my business. Edward made that clear when he was still at Hogwarts."
"But I'm not his age," Hermione pointed out.
"No, you aren't," Malfoy agreed. He sighed. "Granger, I'm five years older than my wife. Look at Edward's parents—Lupin was 13 years older than Nymphadora. You don't think we're depraved, do you?"
"Of course not," Hermione protested.
"What's the difference?" Malfoy asked.
"I-," Hermione stared at Malfoy with wide eyes.
"Go, talk to Edward. Figure it out between the two of you. Then tackle everyone else," Malfoy suggested.
The knocking started about an hour after Teddy had Flooed home and then shut off his Floo. It was probably Draco, but Teddy wasn't discounting the possibility that it was a furious Harry. He tried to ignore it, but it proved impossible. He marched over to the door and jerked it open.
"Leave me alone," he bellowed.
Hermione stood on his porch, staring at him with wide eyes, one hand raised to continue the knocking.
"I'm sorry," she whispered, and Merlin help him her eyes started to fill with tears. "I just wanted to… to apologize. I'll leave you alone, I swear to you."
She turned to leave and he grabbed for her hand, suddenly afraid that if he let her go he would never see her again.
"Don't go," he begged.
"But you said…," she frowned up at him.
"I thought you were Draco or Harry," he muttered and flushed.
"You kissed me," she reminded him.
"Merlin, who wouldn't?" Teddy retorted.
She blinked at that. "What?"
"Hermione, you're a beautiful woman. I spend most of my time trying to hide how attractive I find you, and I know I'm not the only one," Teddy explained.
"There must be someone that's… closer… to your own age," Hermione protested.
"Not really, no," Teddy countered firmly. "Certainly no one that makes me want to bend them over the nearest flat surface until they forget everything but my name." Hermione's pupils expanded and Teddy pulled her closer to him. "There's no one like you."
"Teddy," Hermione whispered.
"I want to kiss you again." His voice grew husky and he heard Hermione's breathing hitch. He cupped her cheek with his other hand, forcing her to look at him. "Will you let me?"
Beneath his fingers wrapped about her wrist, her pulse fluttered wildly.
"Yes." Hermione licked her lips and stared up at him. "Please."
Not giving her any time to change her mind, Teddy crowded her against the doorframe and pressed the length of his body against hers. Her soft curves were a contrast to his flat planes and angles. Her mouth tasted even better the second time. He chased the taste of her until he was forced to release her lips so that he could breathe.
"I want you," he mumbled against her throat. "All of you." He could feel her swallow convulsively and he pulled back to look at her again.
"Okay," Hermione agreed. She flushed and bit her lip. "Yes. I... Merlin help me, yes."
Moving backward was not as easy as movies always made it seem. Hermione probably had bruises on her back from tripping over rugs and bumping into walls and doorframes. Teddy had taken every opportunity to press her up against the nearest available wall and snog her senseless. She could feel the hard heat of him digging into her hip as licked up the sensitive skin of her throat and lightly bit her chin.
"Teddy," Hermione gasped. She clung to him, the movement of his muscles under her hands making her knees weak.
"I've got you, love," he muttered into her throat. "Just let go."
Just let go. That was easy for Teddy to say, but so hard for her to do. Hermione wasn't certain that she'd ever let go, not completely. He lifted her in his arms easily—as though she weighed nothing—and she clutched at him, squeaking in surprise.
"Do you trust me, Hermione?" He asked her gravely.
Hermione nodded and found her voice. "Yes."
With a casual display of strength, Teddy carried her through the cottage and into a back bedroom. His bedroom, she supposed. He tossed her onto the bed and began to shed his robes. Hermione noted absently that he had a light dusting of darker turquoise hair that marched in a line beneath the waistband of his trousers, but then she was distracted by his chest. No one should have shoulders like that—it wasn't fair. Her mouth went dry and she whimpered helplessly.
The smirk that Teddy sent her way was unsettling. It was eerily reminiscent of Sirius Black, but Teddy's resemblance to Remus was unmistakable. She shivered on the bed.
"You're wearing too many clothes for this next bit, love," Teddy reminded her. His smirk grew. "Unless you want me to undress you, but I give you fair warning, if I do it—your knickers will never be the same again."
Quickly, Hermione tried to undo her robes, but her fingers wouldn't work right and she ended up cursing and ripping the stupid buttons off in her haste to get naked. Teddy chuckled and tried to help her.
"I take it back," he said as he helped her get her arm free. "Perhaps it might have been safer for me to undress you."
"Shut it, you," Hermione huffed as she finally got free.
She turned back to Teddy to see that he was staring at her hungrily. She automatically took a step back, and then he was pressing her into his mattress, his body hot and hard against hers.
"So beautiful," he growled into her skin.
Teddy pulled back so that he could lift her hips and pull her legs around his waist. He let his hand drift down her belly and dipped one thumb into the hot, wet core of her, dragging his thumb up slowly and circling her clit. He stared at his thumb, wholly focused on the small circles he was making against her skin. She bucked against him helplessly, incoherent noises falling from her lips.
"What was that?" Teddy asked with a wicked grin.
"Fuck me," Hermione demanded hoarsely. "Now."
Teddy's cock twitched where it was pressed between them. He closed his eyes and swallowed.
"Yeah, I can do that," he muttered.
They both groaned when Teddy slid into her, and they lay entwined, just breathing and trying to make it last longer than three seconds. Finally, he started to move and the electrical crackle that had been between the two of them exploded. Hermione had never tried to hold lightning in her hands, but she had a feeling that it would be similar to trying to hold onto Teddy as he strained against her.
Salt burst on her tongue, and Hermione realized that she had bit down on Teddy's shoulder. A momentary sting and then pleasure racing straight to her clit signaled that Teddy had returned the favour, biting down on the soft skin of her neck.
"Mine," he growled into her skin.
A fleeting worry niggled at Hermione when she realized that his words didn't bother her at all. Instead, a greedy, visceral joy filled her and her body tightened around him until pleasure rippled through her in waves. Her nails dug into his skin and she threw back her head, crying out. He stiffened above her and then his roar was echoing through the room.
He collapsed on the bed next to her and pulled her against him, burying his face in her neck. Lazily, she stroked his sweat-damp skin and grinned like a loon at his ceiling.
"I wasn't lying, you know," he said some time later.
Hermione propped herself up so that she could see his face. "What are you talking about?"
His grey eyes flashed and his thumb rubbed over the still-sensitive bite mark on her neck. Hermione blinked at him in surprise.
"You're mine," he told her roughly. "I'm not going to let anyone else tell me any different."
One slender brow rose and Hermione just looked at him. "Do I have any say in this?"
A flush spread over his chest and rose up his neck. "Of course, but… not anyone else."
The fierce determination on his face took her breath away. When she found her voice again she only had one question.
"Does that make you mine, then?" She asked softly.
He blinked rapidly for a couple of moments and then nodded. "Yeah. I'm yours."
"That seems fair," Hermione observed.
He grinned at her then. "Well, yeah. I am a Hufflepuff, after all. We're all about fair."