AU: Remus lived. Both he and Hermione are Professors at Hogwarts.
The office was lit softly by candlelight, just the way she liked it. It was one of her favorite things about their weekly get-togethers. Excellent tea, a lovely atmosphere, and great company made for a nice time. She was currently tidying up for Minerva, folding a new navy blanket made of what felt like cashmere, because Minerva was held up with a student.
She looked up when she heard Minerva come bustling into the room.
"So sorry for being late, Hermione. Dear Merlin, I don't think I've had such troublesome students here since you, Harry, and Ron were in attendance!"
Her statement made Hermione chuckle, and she instantly knew which students Minerva was referring to. Harry's middle child, Albus Severus, and Scorpius Malfoy had formed a fast friendship when they were both sorted into Slytherin. No one thought they would end up being a bothersome duo that rivaled the Weasley twins – and of course, herself, Harry, and Ron.
"What have they done now?" she asked, curious as to the contents of the letter that Harry was soon to get.
"They somehow managed to convince Peeves to follow poor Enid Longbottom around and serenade her with awful love songs and pelt her with flowers. How they think that will win the girl's affection is beyond me."
"It wouldn't surprise me if Albus got the idea from his father. Just remember all the silly things Harry did when he was trying to woo Luna."
They both laughed at her words, clearly remembering the utter fool Harry made of himself all those years before.
"Well, enough about the children. Tell me, dear, how is Project Remus going?" Minerva asked, her eyes full with curiosity. Hermione's smile fell as she groaned loudly.
"I thought it was going well until yesterday. We were in my potions lab having a thoughtful conversation about his latest article that was published in Defence Weekly. It was getting close to dinner so I suggested we continue our discussion over dinner, just the two of us. For a minute, it looked like he was going to agree, but then he started stammering excuses and left in a hurry, knocking over one of my cauldrons on his way out."
"Oh, my. That is certainly discouraging. Don't give up. I've known that man almost his whole life, and a blind man could see how he feels for you. He's just scared."
"But what if it's more than that? Am I wasting my time? I've been in love with him since I started working here, but what if he doesn't feel the same? What if he never loves me like he loved Dora?"
"There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice. He won't love you like he loved Dora as you are two different people. But that does not mean he cannot love you just as much."
"You're right, Minerva. Maybe I should just be brave and tell him how I feel. At least that way I'll know where he stands, and I can get out of this weird limbo we have going on between us."
"I wish you all the luck in the world, dear. Godric knows you both deserve to be happy."
"Thank you," Hermione said and then she tried hard to push all thoughts of Remus Lupin out of her mind so she could enjoy her time with Minerva. She was lucky that Minerva had become such a good friend to her. There were some things she just could not talk to Harry about – Remus being one of them.
The next week.
"Well? How did it go?" Minerva asked, nearly on the edge of her seat as she waited for Hermione's answer.
"Awful! I lost my nerve completely and just stared out the nearest window while I tried to think of something to say. He asked me if I was okay and all I could respond with was 'I thought I saw something in the window'. I can't do this!"
"Of course you can, dear. Next time, instead of using your words, just grab the man and lay a kiss on him."
"Minerva! I couldn't!"
"And why not? It might be just the shock he needs. Get his blood going a little bit, if you know what I mean," Minerva said with a wink.
"I… well… I suppose it could work. I guess at this point, it couldn't hurt either. I'm going to do it!"
"That's my girl. Good luck. Now, go get that man and put both of you out of your collective misery."
The next day.
Minerva was sitting at her desk, reading through the latest reports from the Ministry regarding funding, when the door to her office was flung open.
"Minerva! You aren't going to believe it, but your idea worked! I just went right up to Remus, pulled him down by his shirt, and planted a kiss right on his lips. He was still at first as if he was in shock, but then he actually kissed me back. It was amazing, almost like I was floating on cloud nine! Then he confessed that he's been wanting to do that for a while now and that he loved me!"
"That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you both."
"It's all thanks to you, Minerva. I don't know what I would do without a friend like you."
"Oh, you do carry on. I'm sure you'd manage."
"Maybe I would. But I am sure glad that I don't have to," Hermione said as she reached out to give Minerva a hug. Minerva hugged her back before sending her on her way, hopefully back to her new beau.
She settled herself back at her desk, a wide smile set on her face. She was glad to have been able to help Hermione.
After all, that's what friends were for.
The Quidditch League Fanfiction Competition
Hogwarts – Music History: Write about a character from the Golden Trio.
Last Ship Standing: Pairing: Hermione/Remus
Prompts: (3) word: candlelight
(5) object: cauldron
(7) colour: navy
(8) idiom: on cloud nine
(9) quote: "There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice." F Scott Fitzgerald.
Bonus prompt: "I thought I saw something in the window".
Thanks to Raybe and Emily for the beta duties.