It had been a long day. Despite the war being over, taking with it several great members of the wizarding and muggle worlds, things had not gone back to normal. Not for most people anyway. Hermione sighed as she climbed the stairs to an open courtyard high up in the castle on one of the towers.
She had discovered the Moonlight courtyard, as she had discovered it was called, in her third year and had often used it as a place to escape to. If ever there was a time she needed to escape this would be it. She had spent the day trying to convince the Ministry of Magic that Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy were, in fact, spies for the Order of the Phoenix. It had been endless and tiring, but she had succeeded.
Now, however, all she wanted was some peace and quiet, something she could not get when sitting near Ron and his girlfriend Lavender Brown. With the Final Battle having finally taken place, and Ron and Hermione suddenly finding themselves no longer in danger of dying, they had quickly observed that the relationship they had as best friends was far better and healthier for both of them than the relationship they had as boyfriend and girlfriend. The breakup had been amiable, and they got along now as well as they ever had.
Harry and Ginny had finally gotten their act together, or rather Harry finally decided to believe Ginny when she said that one way or another she was going to be the next Mrs. Potter, not that he had any intention to deny her this 'simple' request for a relationship. They were both so in love with each other that if Hermione didn't love them both so much she would have been incredibly annoyed with the two of them and their constant PDA.
As it was watching them be so happy together simply hurt. Actually, watching Ron and Lavender, or any couple really, hurt as well. Not that Hermione actually was in love with either of the boys, nor did she envy the girls they were with, she simply felt lonely. The solitary life Hermione was living was not a life she had chosen for herself, nor did she wish to remain alone for any part of the foreseeable future, but Hermione was realistic to a fault.
There were few people in the world that could even humor her intense love of knowledge, and fewer still in the men department, and out of those men who could humor her, a very slight percentage could even remotely demonstrate an intelligent mind of their own. Hermione had thought for years that she wouldn't have to worry about finding someone who could keep up with her, or at least put up with her endless search for knowledge, because she had Ron. It had taken her less than a day of being a part of the real thing to figure out that she had been mistaken.
Her attentions had then wandered, pausing on Draco Malfoy, but dismissing him almost immediately, having too much of a brotherly love for him to even consider him as anything more serious than that for more than a split second. For a week or two her attentions had even rested on the snarky Professor Snape. This infatuation was pulled to an abrupt halt when Remus Lupin had returned to Hogwarts to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts, two months after school had started.
Headmistress McGonagall had been searching frantically for a DADA professor after the final battle and had thought she had found a wonderful woman to fill the position. However, it had fallen through the second one of her Hufflepuff students had pulled out a Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes toy, leading to an outbreak of pandemonium in the classroom. It had been a miracle, really, that McGonagall had been able to find anyone to replace the former professor on such short notice. However, a week later there sat Professor Remus John Lupin, and Hermione's heart had stopped.
Hermione could admit, at least in her own mind, that she had had a crush on the lycanthrope when he had last taught her class in third year. But she had thought that that was all it had been, a silly school girl crush. Her fourth year she had been able to forget about the crush, as the object of her affections hadn't been around every day to remind her. Her fifth year she had matured enough to be able to hold a simple conversation with the man without tripping over her own tongue.
She had thought the silly crush to be gone in her sixth year, when she was so upset over Ron carrying on with Lavender, and perhaps it was. But after the Final Battle, where several times Hermione became aware of the fact that she would have died had it not been for Remus covering her back, the feelings must have re-lodged themselves in her heart without her knowledge. So it was a shock to her that her heart sped up to do a jig while her stomach felt as if several muggle airplanes had been launched in it the second Remus Lupin made his appearance known to the student body.
Returning to complete their seventh year of school had seemed like a great idea at the time. Looking back and perhaps a little forward, it still was a good idea. However it had not been a good idea for Hermione to allow her heart to fall so completely in love with Remus Lupin. She knew by now of course that it was love, having suffered the flips, jigs and various plunderings of the airplanes in her stomach for several months. It had been difficult for Hermione to concentrate in Remus' classes, as the only things she could think about were his eyes, his hands, his body, the way he spoke, his intelligence, his…everything.
Hermione had, admittedly, never been as pleased as she had been the day Nymphadora Tonks had shown up to boldly declare her love for Remus Lupin. No, the pleasure did not come from Tonks' rather blunt and slightly rude proclamation, but from Remus' response to it. He had been kind and sympathetic, first asking if they could go and speak about it in a more privet place, as he had been enjoying the company of Harry and his friends.
Tonks being the rash being that she has been known to be, refused, and demanded that they speak that instant, and that no, she didn't care if Remus' friends heard. Remus had then sighed and rubbed his face with his hand in the way that Hermione had come to know as a sign of resigned frustration. He had stood, walked over to Tonks, placed his hands gently on her shoulders and explained that a relationship between them was never going to work.
He had quietly explained that his lack of willingness for the relationship didn't stem from his curse, but from a lack of love for the woman. He told her how he did love her, just not in the way that would be profitable for the loving relationship Tonks clearly wanted. If Hermione had been any other girl in her position, she would have burst in to tears, both at the knowledge that this man would never return her feelings and the gentle way in which Remus had let the woman down, despite her lack of propriety.
Hermione shook her head as she reached the top of the tower stairs, these thoughts were occurring far too often, particularly within the last couple of days. Graduation was then next day, and Hermione both worried and hoped that with her graduation would come a certain distance from a man that seemed to have entirely too much power in her life…and he didn't even know it.
Hermione pushed open the door silently, her thoughts still wandering, attempting to focus them on the things that had been said at the trial, but finding it useless. Seconds later all attempt at thought flew out the window as she caught sight of the figure leaning on the stone wall on the far side of the courtyard, overlooking the grounds hundreds of feet below. She knew the person immediately, despite the late hour and the darkness that accompanied it, she had, after all, just spent months admiring the very man who was currently residing in the courtyard Hermione had been certain no one knew about.
Hermione paused for a moment taking the scene in. Remus looked as if he had seen better days, his posture relating the tiredness he must be feeling. 'He must have come up here to escape as well,' Hermione thought as she quietly took in the rest of the scene, knowing full well she may never see anything like it again.
The courtyard was a place Hermione had never told her friends about, and for good reason. It was a peaceful quiet place, and it offered a sense of protection to those who entered it. Hermione knew for certain that the second the boys and Ginny stepped onto the lovely green grass the serenity would be broken, never to be recovered. There was a small pond in the corner that occasionally, like tonight, had a small trickle of water flowing into it, making a peaceful sound as it reflected the glowing image of the various phases of the moon.
The courtyard was square, with two sides of it being at least six feet tall stone walls draped in ivy that changed into a lovely shake of red during the fall months. These two walls as well as a third were covered in rose hedges that bloomed with lovely crimson and pure white roses, for eight of the twelve months a year. The forth side of the courtyard, the side opposite the door Hermione just came through was a small four foot tall stone wall.
There were three stone pillars that stood evenly spaced from one another also covered in ivy. This ivy plant was different from the other ivy that covered the walls as it also held flowers. The flowers were both beautiful and peculiar as they bloomed only at night, nevertheless the blossoms were lovely. They were large and white, and gave off a golden glow that gave hints at something unearthly, reminding Hermione of the glow of the moon, leading her to believe that it was these blossoms that lead to the name of the Moonlight courtyard.
Remus was leaning on his elbows propped up on the stone wall, in between the two pillars on the right. Hermione slipped off her shoes and silently padded barefoot over to the sandy blond haired man. "Remus?" she asked softly, calling him by the name he had insisted Harry and his friends call him when not in class.
Remus jumped startled and stood up straight, turning to face Hermione. "Hermione!" he gasped, the panic leaving his eyes almost instantly, "I wasn't aware anyone else knew this place was here," he continued, attempting to calm his racing heart from the startle she had given him.
Hermione gave a small smile, trying not to frown. It wasn't often someone could sneak up on the werewolf without him knowing about it, so he must have been in deep thought, something that worried Hermione who wanted desperately for him to be happy.
"Nor did I," Hermione replied, eyeing him gently, "Just thought I'd escape from the ruckus that is the Gryffindor common room," she explained, still speaking softly, attempting not to break the serenity of the courtyard. "What about you?"
Remus sighed and returned to his previous position of leaning his elbows on the wall and overlooking the Hogwarts grounds. "I'm just thinking I guess."
Hermione mimicked his position, and remained silent for a moment, "Do you want to talk about it?" she asked gently, not knowing whether he would be upset by her gentle prying.
Remus remained silent, so Hermione took it as his response. They stood there in companionable silence for several minutes, then Remus suddenly spoke, "I'm the last one," he murmured, now looking at his hands which were fidgeting together, "I'm the last Marauder."
Hermione turned her head to look at him, her heart breaking at his words; she opened her mouth to try and comfort him, but clamped it shut, when she noticed the look on his face. Words weren't going to fix it right now. Instead she just stepped a bit closer to him, remaining silent, offering him what comfort she could with just her presence.
"James and Sirius were my best friends, my first friends," Remus paused, "for a long time they were my only friends. It's odd looking back on the years at Hogwarts and the one year we spent together after it, and seeing how happy we were, how carefree," he shook his head, "We had no idea what was going to happen, we didn't know Peter was going to betray us, and in doing so not only killing two of my best friends but tearing apart the friendship that could have been a pillar for me in a time when I needed one most.
"I should have known Sirius wasn't capable of betraying us like that! Never in a million years would he ever want to be anything like his ancestors. He abhorred them and everything they stood for, it didn't make sense for him to do such a thing. But Peter, he was a walking contradiction, always there one minute and gone the next. Laughing and joking like nothing was wrong one day, only to act as if we were all going to die before we saw one another agian." Remus snorted, "Of course, he would know, the rat. I knew all this, I saw all of this, and yet I stupidly thought nothing of it."
Remus slammed his fists into the stone wall, startling Hermione, who jumped a bit. Remus noticed this with a small spark of surprise, as if he had forgotten she was even there, "I'm sorry Hermione, you don't need to listen to this old man's ramblings," he growled gently, seeming to chastise himself simultaneously.
Hermione frowned, "These so called 'ramblings' seem as if they have needed to be said for a while Remus," she spoke, taking a deep breath before she slowly reached out to cover one of Remus hands with her own, "Don't be upset about answering the question I asked honestly."
Remus gave a small chuckle, trying to squelch the warm feelings spreading throughout his body, stemming from the contact from her hand on his, "Your question was asking whether or not I wanted to talk about it, a simple yes or no would have sufficed."
Hermione smiled back at him, sending another bout of warm feelings soaring through him, "Your response was a yes, I heard that clearly enough in that small speech you just gave me," Hermione teased nudging his shoulder with her own. She eyed their hands for a moment, noting that he had not turned her actions away. Slowly she brought her hand back before gently wrapping it around his arm and covering his hand once again. "Besides," she continued, speaking as she did this, "I don't see an old man around here, do you?" she questioned, with a twinkle in her eye.
Remus looked down at the young woman standing next to him. It had been a very long time since he had felt the peace that was now being bestowed upon him, and he knew without a doubt that it was because of this woman next to him.
Remus frowned as he fell into another deep thought, remembering moments from the past, though not moments as far back as Hermione assumed. Memories only as far back as Hermione's third year; he was certain that the thought had not even occurred to him to be even remotely as infatuated with the girl as he was now, back then. Back then she had merely been an anomaly in her class, perhaps even in her whole generation. She had a knowledge and intelligence that Remus had not seen in another being since he was at school with Lily and Snape when the three of them had been top of their class, much to the Ravenclaw's chagrin.
After Lily had died it had been difficult if not impossible to find anyone to have an intelligent conversation with. Then, in what he had known would be Harry Potter's third year, he had come to teach at Hogwarts. He had been immediately astounded at the amount of intelligence the girl had possessed even then. It had even worried him a bit that she would discover his secret, which it turns out she had, but unlike what he thought she would have done, she kept it a secret.
Later when Remus asked her why, she had told him simply that one, Professor Dumbledore trusted him, and she trusted Dumbledore, and two, it wasn't his fault that he had been bitten and was now cursed to change into an animal once every month.
When word got out that Harry was to participate in the Tri-wizard tournament, Remus was probably the least worried out of the many members of the Order, for he knew that as long as Hermione was around, at the very least Harry wouldn't die. Her fifth year had been an interesting one, particularly when he had heard about the little club she, Ron, and Harry had decided to start. Looking back he realized he had been abnormally concerned and pleased for and with the girl for coming up with such an idea.
The battle at the Ministry had been something that he never wanted to have to remember, but he did, and often. It had alarmed him to find her and her friends in such a state, and it had been at that moment that he realized that he was feeling abnormally protective of Harry's friend. He had thought nothing of it though, and shoved the thought aside, focusing all his energy on the battle at hand, and he hadn't paused to take a second look at the thought until years later.
Remus had been so busy her sixth year he had managed to push all worries for anyone other than himself into a box in the back of his mind. At the time he had been surrounded by werewolves who were dangerous and could inflict some serious harm if he hadn't been paying attention.
Admittedly Hermione was the second person Remus had thought of when the job of DADA professor had been offered to him, Harry had naturally been the first. But the thought of being able to communicate with another person who enjoyed learning and progressing as much as he did, had been a very intriguing one, and it had played a big part in convincing him to accept McGonagall's offer.
It wasn't until Christmas time that he began to realize his feelings for her were a bit deeper and more complex than they should be. When he had first returned to Hogwarts he would find himself looking forward to the times when she would come to visit him, whether she had been with Harry and his friends or, as had been growing increasingly frequent at the time, on her own. He had come to know her better than he had known many people, and he found that he liked what he had found in her.
He hadn't expected to receive many gifts that year, least of all from her. But when he found one addressed to him at the foot of his bed Christmas morning, he could not deny the delight and pleasure that had swooped over him unexpectedly. He had quickly opened the wrapping paper to reveal a small wooden box. Opening it, he had found the most wonderful present Remus could honestly say he had ever received: a moonstone.
The moonstone had been set into a faux silver ring that had two dark blue crescent moons with their openings facing away from one another, welded to it. The pendant had been attached to a longish faux silver chain which he wore around his neck almost all the time. The moonstone was said to be calming for a werewolf to touch, particularly around the time of the full moon. The pendant had been such a welcomed gift that he had not been able to restrain himself from giving the girl a hug the next time he saw her.
It was upon giving that hug that Moony had made himself and his opions known, "Mine," Moony had growled loudly in Remus' head, startling the man. It wasn't often the wolf spoke when it wasn't a full moon. It had been then that Remus had discovered his feelings for the girl had deepened into something akin to love, if not the actual thing.
Looking down at the girl now, he was certain of it, Remus Lupin was absolutely in love with Hermione Granger. And there was nothing he could do about it. He sighed.
"What?" Hermione asked, hearing the sadness in the sigh and lifting her head from where it rested on his shoulder, to look at the man.
"It's nothing," Remus replied, shrugging his shoulders, when Hermione gave him a look he smiled gently, "Really, Hermione, it isn't anything to be worried about. I just realized that I want something that I can never have."
Hermione frowned, a look Remus was noticing was entirely too common a look on her face, "What cant you have Remus? You can get anything you want if you work hard enough," she stated, "and if you can't do it on your own, then please remember that I will always be available to help you."
Remus chuckled, "I know Hermione, you are always willing to help a friend out, and I am grateful for that," Remus shook his head, looking up at the stars and waxing moon for a moment before looking down at where her hand still rested on top of his. "Actually, it isn't exactly something that just I want, but what Moony wants."
Hermione's brow furrowed in confusion, "What Moony wants? What do you—"Hermione trailed off, her thoughts clearly running away with her.
Remus smirked, "Moony is like a whole other person living inside my head sometimes. Most of the time he is silent, and he keeps his thoughts to himself, but there are other times…"Remus frowned and shook his head, "Well, let's just say that he won't shut up." Remus quieted for a moment, knowing Hermione would need a second to process what he just told her. Looking back at their hands he paused, contemplating what he was about to do, he felt his heart rate pick up, before he slowly turned his hand over in hers, and laced their fingers together.
Hermione froze. She looked down at their hands, with a sudden feeling of euphoria, maybe he did feel the same maybe-, Hermione looked at Remus, suddenly noticing how tense he was. She smiled, sighed and went to rest her head on his shoulder, trying to assure him, when suddenly he turned to face her. Hermione gasped, his eyes were glowing a golden amber color. "R-Remus?" she stuttered, faintly, not certain of what was going on.
"I am Moony little one," Remus replied in a slightly deeper and more gravelly voice.
Hermione's eyes widened, "Moony? But I thought that the wolf couldn't reveal itself to humans unless it was to-," Hermione's words died off, and her breath caught as Remus, Moony, whichever, raised their twined hands to his lips, kissing the back of her hand, and then the inside of her wrist.
"Unless it was to…the werewolf's mate?" Moony completed for her, his eyes mesmerizing her own, making it nearly impossible to look away, "You are correct, Angel. I would not be able to speak to anyone but you, as you are my human's mate. You called to us one night years ago, and we came to you. We have been yours ever since. There has not, nor will there ever be another woman as perfect for us as you." Moony kissed her hand once more before using it to pull her closer.
He placed his free hand on her hip, decidedly lower than Remus would have done had he been in control of his body, and backed her up to the low wall. Moony bent down, lowering his head in what Hermione was certain was a move to kiss her, when she moved her head back a bit. Moony tilted his head in confusion, "What is it Love?" he questioned, his voice surprisingly gentle, as he changed course and began to nuzzle her neck breathing in her scent.
"I…I want to talk with Remus," Hermione breathed, trying to focus on the words, rather than the sensations running through her body from his touch.
"Don't worry Angel," Moony growled his lips moving on her ear, causing Hermione to shiver pleasantly, "the human wants you just as much as I do, he is just afraid to tell you so."
Hermione felt her head lull back and to the side as Moony became more persistent, and she let out a small whimper startling her into reality as she tried to regain control of her thoughts. "Please, Moony, if Remus really wants this let him tell me himself."
Moony pulled back and looked at her, his eyes catching her gaze again. He seemed to search for something for a moment, before nodding, "As you wish Little One. But know that I will be back."
Hermione watched as Remus' eyes faded back to their normal chocolate brown, and smiled softly as Remus looked down at her. "Hermione?" he murmured, then his eyes widened as he noticed the position they were in, "Merlin! Hermione I apologize! I don't know what has come over me, I sincerely didn't mean-," Remus pulled away and backed up.
Hermione tightened her grip on his hand, "Do you remember what Moony just did?" she asked interrupting him.
Remus frowned and turned his eyes to the ground in shame, tugging at his hand to try to get her to let go. Hermione was having none of it though, and she kept her grip on his fingers. "Yes, but I had no control over it I swear!" His eyes darted back up to look into hers, "I tried to tell him to stop, but…I… he's never taken control like that before," Remus muttered, dropping his eyes once more.
"Is it true?" Hermione asked, "Am I your mate? Do you really feel—" Hermione stopped, afraid to reveal her own feelings without understanding what was happening herself.
Remus looked up at her, where was the Gryffindor courage when he needed it? Taking a deep breath Remus squared his shoulders, what the heck; she'll be gone after tomorrow anyway right? "Yes, Hermione, it's true. You are my mate, and I do feel some incredibly in appropriate feelings toward you. But you don't have to worry, Moony won't take control like that again, I will make sure of it. You have no obligation to me, you may leave here, graduate tomorrow and never have to see me or suffer my unwanted attentions again if you do not wish. I will not stop you. I apologize once more for my actions, Hermione, they were deplorable." Remus then turned to leave.
Hermione stood frozen for a moment in disbelief, her heart and head racing with the implications of his statement, it took her a moment before she noticed that Remus was still leaving, and was halfway to the door already. Taking a deep, reassuring breath in an attempt to calm herself and then she called out, "I thought I was the one who was supposed to leave if I didn't want this."
Remus paused, and turned around slightly, "Pardon?" he asked in hopeful confusion.
"I thought I was the one who was supposed to leave if I didn't want this relationship," Hermione repeated, "That's what you said right?" Hermione waited until Remus nodded, then smiled. Remus still hadn't met her eyes yet. A few moments of silence passed before Remus finally raised his eyes to hers, questions burning in them as he barely allowed himself to hope she would return his feelings. Hermione shook her head, her eyes not leaving his, "I'm not leaving Remus," she finally said softly.
Remus paused then in seconds was standing in front of Hermione, towering over her small frame, making her look up at him and smile. "Don't mess with me on this Hermione," he warned his voice deep and husky, his eyes never leaving hers, "Do you mean what I think you mean?"
Hermione smiled, "Well I don't know," she teased, "Do you think I mean that I am in love with you? Because if you don't then I have no idea what-," Hermione was cut off as Remus brought his lips crashing down on hers. Hermione took only a millisecond to respond, kissing him back with a fervor that surprised them both. Reaching up Hermione slid her hands up Remus' chest, across his shoulders and into his hair without a second thought. She tightly twined the slightly too long hair strands around her fingers, relishing in the opportunity to finally feel the softness of his hair in her hands.
She smiled when he let out a small moan at the feeling of her hands in his hair. Remus moved one of his hands cradling her face through her curly hair to the back of her head, tilting it to be able to kiss her better. Hermione gasped as she felt his other hand slide down her side and lightly brush the skin that had been revealed between her shirt and her shorts. Remus smirked against her lips, using the opportunity to slide his tongue in, deepening their kiss to a whole other level.
Hermione felt her oxygen begin to run low, but refused to let go even for a second so that she could catch her breath. The decision was taken from her however as she felt Remus begin to slow the kisses. Instead of the passionate desperate kisses they had been sharing, he slowly kissed her once, twice, three times…who was that whimpering? Hermione blushed as she felt Remus chuckle, realizing that the whimpering was coming from her.
Hermione slowly opened her eyes to find Remus staring down at her in a soft wonderment. "How did you get so good at that?" Hermione finally asked, attempting to bury herself in the soft dark blue t-shirt he had on. Feeling the rumble of self-satisfied laughter coming from his chest made Hermione giggle a bit too, but she remained quiet waiting for an answer she only half expected to hear.
"I was a Marauder love," Remus replied, kissing her forehead, "We were known for getting all the girls. Even Peter got a few back in the day."
Hermione pulled back a bit and slapped him lightly on his chest, "I better not be just another conquest Mr. Lupin," she retorted jokingly.
Remus chortled a bit at that, before growing serious, "You bet your last galleon you aren't Hermione," growled before pressing his lips passionately against hers, stealing her breath away once again.
The kissed for several more minutes, or perhaps it was hours, before once more coming up for air. Hermione gave a small laugh as she noted the pleased look on Remus' face. "What is it?" she asked curiously.
"You," he responded softly, pressing a kiss to her jaw, "All year long I have wanted to do this, and now I have the chance, and you aren't reacting at all the way I thought you would. If I had known my kissing skills were enough to get you to stay I would have tried that a long time ago."
Hermione smiled, "You know I'm not still here just because of your snogging abilities right?" she asked, only half kidding.
Remus smirked, "That's part of the amazement. Why would someone as young, talented, brave, beautiful and confident as you, want to be with an old, jaded, tired and werewolf like me?" he asked in amazement.
"Love," Hermione responded simply, lowering one hand to caress his face and smiling softly when he leant into it for a moment before turning to kiss her palm while catching her hand in his, "I love you Remus Lupin, and nothing you say, no matter how horrible, is ever going to change that. I love you! You are not old, you are only thirty six, and for a werewolf as well as a wizard that is a very young age. As for jaded," Hermione shook her head, "Name one person who fought in the Final Battle who isn't. And we've talked about the werewolf bit, over and over and over, so don't you even bring that up now." Hermione reached up and kissed him, "I love you despite all the things you consider to be your faults. End of discussion."
Remus looked down at the young woman who had completely stolen his heart without him noticing, "No," he said, "not 'end of discussion'," Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but he quickly covered it with one of his fingers, "I want and need tell you how much I love you too. Despite how bad I may think that I am for you," Remus gave her a look to silence her inevitable protest and smirking when she tried to do just that, "I am a very selfish person, and now that you have shown me that you do in fact return my feelings, I have absolutely no intention of letting you go. You're it for me Hermione. Like Moony said, there has never been, nor will there ever be anyone better for me, for us, than you." Remus paused, "There, now that's the end of this discussion." He said firmly with a grin on his face.
Hermione laughed, a light sound that filled Remus with so much more hope for the future than he had felt since the day he met Sirius and James. Hermione reached out and pulled on his hand until they were laying down side by side staring up at the stars. They laid in companionable silence for a long time, Remus tracing indiscernible images in the palm of her hand, and Hermione tracing her own fingers across Remus' other hand which was stretched out beneath her both offering her a pillow of sorts, as well as giving Remus an opportunity to hold the girl close.
It was Hermione who broke the contented silence, "Do you think they would be okay with this?" she asked, not looking at him.
Remus paused, thinking, "I would hope so, I mean if Harry and Ron are truly your friends, our friends, then they should accept us without too much of a fight. Except them, who else really matters?" he finally replied, turning his head to place a kiss in her hair.
Hermione looked up at him in surprise, "Oh, Harry and Ron already know how I feel about you, in fact, most of the Order knows. Not that I told them or anything, but apparently I was being so blatantly obvious that a blind house-elf could see it."
Remus turned on his side and propped himself up on one elbow, removing his arm from beneath her head, "And they're all okay with it?" he asked incredulously.
Hermione smiled at him, "Well, Mundungus seemed to have something to say about it, turns out he had his eyes set on me himself, but…" Hermione shuddered at the thought, "Why would I have him when I have someone much better looking, better smelling, better sounding, just better everything laying right next to me, and apparently feeling exactly the same?"
Remus pressed a quick kiss to her lips before laying back down, pondering the thought that his friends and family already knew that he and Hermione were in love with each other. It was a foreign concept; he had been so certain that they would have to fight tooth and nail to get anyone to listen to what they had to say. Only now he finds out that he didn't need to worry about it.
"But that wasn't who I meant," Hermione spoke again a few minutes later, "I was talking about Sirius and Mr. and Mrs. Potter."
Remus gave a little startle at hearing James addressed so formally before pulling himself up onto his elbow once more; looking down at the woman he had come to love. "James would be absolutely horrified to find out that a young woman as beautiful as you ever even thought of addressing him so formally."
Hermione gave a small giggle, surprising herself as she was not one to giggle like a gossiping school girl, "I apologize, I have just been taught all my life that it is only proper to refer to people by their formal titles until told otherwise."
Remus chuckled, "As I could tell by the way you addressed Sirius as Mr. Black that night in the Shrieking Shack. You startled him quite well with that title. I shudder to think what he would have done in his rage if you hadn't startled him out of his blood lust with your formal comment in such an informal situation." Remus shook his head still amused by the mental image of Sirius' shock at the title. He laid back down and wrapped an arm around Hermione, pulling her until she was turned into him, with her head on his chest and her hand laying on top of his heart with his fingers laced between hers.
They were silent for a moment remembering their fallen friend. Remus looked up at the Dog Star and gave a small wistful smile, "To answer your question, I think they would be happy that I am happy. Not to mention the fact that I am going far outside the social norms in loving you as anything other than a daughter," Remus squeezed Hermione's shoulder, "James would slap me on the back, smile at me and tell me how happy he is that I am finally truly happy for the first time since the Potters were killed.
"Sirius would smirk, laugh, and go on and on about how socially unacceptable our relationship is, and how proud he is of me for breaking the norms and doing what I want to do for the first time in my life. He would then slap me on the shoulder ruffle my hair and call me an old dog, even though we both know that he was more of a dog than I am.
"Lily would smile, cry and tell me and you, as I would make sure you were there when this happened, how happy she is that we are together and that if we ever need anything all we need to do is let her know." Remus inhaled deeply, "And the Peter I knew would laugh and smile at both of us with a short congratulation, but he would keep his distance, as he was incredibly shy."
Hermione lifted her head at the last part, "You miss Peter too? The first three I can understand but Pettigrew? Why?" she asked gently, not wanting to sound as accusatory as she knew her words sounded.
Remus shrugged, "Pettigrew and Peter were two completely different people. Peter was one of my best friends from first year through most of our seventh. He helped me pass Muggle Studies, the only class I was ever in danger of failing. He came up with the idea to introduce the Slytherin and other purebloods to the magic that is Chinese finger traps. People were running around for days with their fingers stuck together, and there wasn't even magic involved." Remus laughed at the memory. "Just because Peter turned out to be a spineless rat, doesn't mean he was always that way. He even had his fair share of fights with various Slytherins over 'blood purity', and he won too."
Hermione thought about that, "I guess it never occurred to me that Peter was once just a kid who liked to have fun before…before everything happened."
"It kind of makes you wonder what would have happened differently if he had stood up to Voldemort in the beginning and not allowed himself to go down that path; or if his so called friends had been observant enough to notice the changes if he could have been helped. Would James and Lily still be alive if I had managed to see the warning signs that are so clear now in hindsight?" Remus rambled, his thoughts descending to their earlier train of thought.
Hermione kissed him, effectively stopping him from falling any further into his thoughts, "What if is a pointless game that gets us nowhere Remus. What if I had managed to warn my parents of the danger they were in and convinced them to hide rather than trying to keep it all from them and hoping they would survive?
"What if Snape had never met Lily? What if I had been sorted into Ravenclaw like the hat wanted? What if Harry had died that night Voldemort came to kill him? What if you hadn't had my back all those times during the final battle? Can you see? The only thing that ever comes of this game is pain and thoughts that we shouldn't ever have to think." Hermione kissed Remus again, absently noting that she was quickly becoming addicted to the feel of pressing her lips to his.
Remus sat up, bringing Hermione with him, "You're amazing, you know that right?" he replied after thinking her words through.
Hermione smirked impishly, "I try," she responded, gasping a bit as Remus pulled her into his lap as he leant against the stone wall behind them.
"And you succeed Love," he responded, pressing a gentle kiss to her hair, brushing her hair away to reveal the long pale skin of her neck and gently attacking it with his lips. Hermione lay limp in his arms allowing him complete control for several minutes before Remus roughly growled, "Are you certain about this Hermione? Being in love with a werewolf is not as easy-,"
Hermione cut him off immediately with a harsh glare, "Don't you dare ruin this for me Remus Lupin!" she commanded, "I have made my choice. I love you. It's that easy. Deal with it."
Remus etched her face in his mind, his eyes roaming over every inch of her lovely face, "The full moons will be rough, even though I am able to control Moony…"
Hermione placed a hand on Remus' cheek, caressing it, "Animagus remember?"
Remus looked as if he had honestly forgotten, a smile spreading across his face, "I had forgotten, what form do you take?" he asked, eagerly awaiting her answer.
Hermione scrambled to her feet, reaching down to help Remus stand as well, before stepping back from him, "Want to see?" she asked, waiting for his affirmative nod before concentrating on her animal form. Feeling herself begin to change she closed her eyes and relaxed. She opened them mere seconds later, once the transformation was complete, and looked up at the blonde haired man who was looking at her in awe.
"I have never seen such a beautiful white wolf before," was his only comment before bending down to rub her behind the ears. Remus continued to pet her for another several minutes before pausing and getting a worried and contemplative look on his face, "Hermione, would you…would you like to join me on the next full moon?" he asked hurriedly as if he thought she would say no.
Hermione quickly went to reassure him, licking his face before nuzzling his shoulder. She then stepped back and shifted back into her human form, "I would love to Remus. Thank you for asking. They call me Snowflake, by the way," she told him reaching out to hug him tightly.
They stood together revealing in the companionship they found in one another, before simultaneously pulling a slight distance away, just enough to see each other's faces. "We should go," Remus murmured, his eyes once again tracing every inch of her face as if trying to memorize it.
Hermione nodded, "I love you Remus," she sighed.
"I love you too Angel," Remus returned, tightening his arms around her, "After graduation tomorrow, I am stealing you away, and we are going to go do something. I need to find some way to spend all that compensation money the ministry gave me at the end of the war."
"How do you feel about France?" was Hermione's response.
Remus smiled, "As long as you're there we could be in Antarctica for all I care. I'd go anywhere for and with you Love."
"And I you, Remus, and I you," Remus gruffly kissed Hermione one last time before taking her hand and leading her down the stairs of the tower and to their friends.