A/N: A little late for Halloween, but I had already started this story before Halloween and school got in the way…grrr…so here it is, another Remus and Hermione fic!

Disclaimer: You belong in St. Mungo's if you think I own these characters!

Halloween Love

Remus knew the second she walked through the door. It was a Halloween party at Hogwarts with hundreds of costumed students, staff, and various other war veterans all talking and dancing to the deafeningly loud music, and yet he still knew. He always knew.

Slowly Remus lifted his chocolate brown eyes from watching his son play with his recently returned, pirate dressed best friend Sirius Black, to watch as Hermione slowly entered through the large open doors of the Great Hall.

As he watched, his stare focused intensely and solely on Hermione, the twenty-one year old woman glanced nervously around at the party goers as she tugged at the hem of the red tinted, black one shouldered dress that clung to her curves tightly until it reached her waist where it loosened and stopped several inches away from her knees, exposing her long, sexy legs that seemed to go on forever. Her feet were covered in black shiny boots that stretched up to mid-calf. Her hair hung in loose curls down to about mid back, and there seemed to be black and red streaks dyed into her naturally brown hair.

Remus couldn't tear his eyes away, watching in partial amusement as the woman looked anxiously at the students who were nearest her, checking to see if any of them were staring just a little too long. Even Remus had to admit that the outfit she had on was not something Hermione would normally choose to wear, though he couldn't deny that he was enjoying the view.

A low whistle from his side caught Remus attention, though his eyes didn't leave the young woman.

"When did Miss Hermione grow up and get a body like that?" Sirius' low voice asked as he moved to stand next to Remus, his attention momentarily straying from Teddy.

Remus said nothing, he couldn't say anything even if he had wanted to, for just as any other time Hermione was anywhere near him, his attention was focused entirely on her, even when it probably shouldn't be; it had always been like that, ever since that night after Sirius had fallen through the veil and Remus had been certain he would never see his friend again.

It wasn't a romantic attraction then, not in the slightest. He had always felt a little over protective of the young girl, from the very first moment he met her, though at the time he couldn't for the life of him tell you why. But when she had woken up from the unconsciousness she had sunk into during the battle at the Ministry and had found out what had happened at the ministry, her first words hadn't been for Harry, or Ron, or anyone else, but for him.

She had asked him how he was doing, how he was feeling. She had been the first and one of the last to do so, to ask him how he felt about Sirius presumed death. He had been so startled to hear her ask after his well being that he had been momentarily struck dumb, but after those few moments of silence the dam had burst and every thought, feeling, and emotion he had about that battle and the consequences of it, was proclaimed to her.

From that moment on she became a confident of sorts, he told her things about himself that he never thought he would tell another person. She was the first person he had told when he had gone against his better judgment and decided to marry Tonks, and she was the first person to be told that it was over between the two of them and the reasons why. He told her how Tonks had cheated on him and had finally decided that she didn't want to be with a werewolf anymore, he told her how quickly she had waltzed into her house, told him that he had an hour to pack up both his and Teddy's things and leave, and then proceeded to drag her most recent boy-toy up the stairs to his room to do Merlin knows what.

Hermione was the person who convinced him that taking the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts professor again was a good idea and could be done, despite the fact that he had to raise Teddy at the same time. She encouraged him by giving him various ideas of how to take care of little Teddy during the day, and then offering her own assistance, though at the time she had been so busy with her job in the Department of Mysteries working on a secret project, that she hadn't been able to do much.

He had known from the moment she asked about his feelings on Sirius disappearance that she was something important and special in his life, someone he could never live without. But it hadn't been until two years later when he had danced with her once at Bill and Fleur's wedding that he finally admitted to himself, as well as that raging voice in the back of his mind that his friends had called Moony, that she was the only woman for him, no matter how hard he tried to deny it, even though he had gotten married and had a son with another woman, Hermione Granger was his mate.

In response to his own confidences Hermione had begun to do the same. She shared secrets about herself, her family and her muggle life that she never told anyone else about. She told him her plan to erase her parents memories, and then later after the war when she had set out to track them down, he had been the one to comfort her when she discovered that her parents had suffered an ironic death in a car accident.

She told him how proud she was that Harry, Ron and Draco, the brother like figures in her life, had managed to breeze through auror training in record breaking time. He was the first to hear that she and Ron were in a relationship, and the first to find out that they were over. Hermione told him what she could about her work in the DoM at the Ministry, up until she surprised them all by quitting. She had sent a quick floo message to everyone to tell them she had quit and that she was holding a celebratory dinner at the recently remodeled Grimmauld place that night.

Those who had shown up had received the shock of their lives when they walked through the front door and found none other than Sirius Black waiting eagerly to greet the guests. Hermione had pulled Remus aside that night to explain that no matter how much she had wanted to, she couldn't bring herself to give him or Harry false hope about her ability to bring Sirius back, but that she had done so, so that he, Remus John Lupin, could be happy again.

When Remus had shown up on the front steps of Grimmauld Place with a sleeping Teddy in his arms and his pockets full of all of his belongings, giving Hermione the short version of what had happened between himself and Tonks, Hermione had immediately insisted that he move in with her and Sirius, as the house had been feeling lonely ever since Harry had gotten married to Ginny and Ron had moved in with Lavender.

Hermione had made sure that she told him first when she decided to accept the positions of Muggle Studies and History of Magic professor at Hogwarts, where she would be joining him; Sirius, who would start his first year teaching Transfiguration at the same time as she did; Neville, the Herbology professor; and Severus, whom she had made it her most recent mission to befriend.

But now, as Remus stood staring intensely at the young woman, he couldn't help but feel as if his heart were about to beat out of his chest, and his head was about to explode with the loudness of Moony's constant proclamations of "Mine!" and "My Mate!"

Slowly Remus began to recognize that Sirius had spoken to him again, but he didn't remember what was said, "What was that Padfoot?" he asked dumbly, briefly flicking his eyes from the woman to the pirate.

"You couldn't be more obviously in love with the girl if you tried Moony," Sirius sighed jokingly with a jab to his friends shoulder, "I said," he repeated, "Did you two intentionally match? I mean your all tall, black billowy shirt with a red waist coat and black slacks and she's all…that; so I was just wondering if you did it on purpose."

Remus dropped his eyes to the costume he had on, he had gone as a vampire, ironically enough, and as far as things go he didn't think he looked too shabby, but it had been completely unintentional that he had matched with Hermione, "Must be a fluke," he muttered, his gaze returning to Hermione watching as she seemed to stumble forward just as an odd but sexily dressed Ginny Weasley Potter appeared behind her, followed closely by her husband, brother and Draco.

"Fluke my –" Sirius started, but stopped when Remus turned to look pointedly at his son. Sirius rolled his eyes but changed the subject anyway, "What exactly are the rest of that lot supposed to be?"

Remus studied the group, Harry and Ginny were dressed in an odd mix of brown leather, green, tan and black with odd green hats on their heads with a single red feather poking out of them. Ron had on some sort of royal blue vest like dress with loose black pants and a red velvet cape wrapped around his shoulders that had white fur lining, a gold crown resting on his head. Draco was wearing a white button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a black waistcoat, and black slacks and shiny shoes, a black fedora perched cockily on his platinum blonde head.

"I can't say for sure what Harry and Ginny are supposed to be, but Ron looks like some sort of king, and Draco looks like a blond muggle version of you," Remus stated, knowing that his last comment about the Malfoy would rile Sirius up. Despite the fact that Draco had been a spy for Harry since the middle of his sixth year, and that Harry, Hermione, Ginny, and even a reluctant Ron were close friends with Draco, Sirius still was a little overly cautious when it came to his cousin, despite the infinite similarities between the two of them.

It was at that moment that Hermione caught sight of Remus and Sirius and smiled brightly with a wave as she began to head in their direction.

Sirius smirked, "That was all for you mate," he stated smugly, "She never smiles at me like that. Better get a move on or I might decide that I want a shot at her after all."

Much to Remus' surprise he heard a low growl rumble from his chest, "Don't even think about it Black," he snapped, his voice not completely his own, "She is my mate."

Sirius raised an eyebrow, this wasn't new news to him, Remus had told him about his situation with Hermione some time ago, but the fact that Remus seemed to be claiming her so firmly now was both simultaneously amusing and slightly terrifying, for as Sirius looked at his friend's eyes, they were turning a dark gold color, something he and James had once noticed only happened when the full moon was near and Remus/Moony was agitated.

With a small laugh he jerked his head in a sarcastic nod, "Well you better get a move on then Lupin, cause if you don't claim her then someone else will," he stated, moving to look pointedly at the location Hermione was currently standing, locked in between some sort of loser battle between Mundungus and McCormack.

Just as Remus was about to make his way over to rescue his damsel in distress, Draco appeared over her shoulder and roughly shoved the two men away from her with the trademark Malfoy sneer before gently taking Hermione's arm and escorting her the last few feet until they were standing next to Sirius and Remus.

"Dayco!" Teddy suddenly squealed, "Dayco an Minny!" he proclaimed as he lunged around Sirius and into the open arms of Draco Malfoy.

"Hey there cousin!" Draco laughed, giving the little boy a tight hug, "How are you doing little munchkin?"

Teddy smiled and laughed as Draco tickled his sides, "I good I good!" he exclaimed in the middle of his joyful laughter. When Draco finally stopped tickling him Teddy looked at his cousin seriously, "Dayco, guess wha I am for Haween," the little boy demanded.

Draco put Teddy down and studied him closely, pretending to take a while to figure it out. The boy had changed his hair to be black and messy, and his eyes were changed from their normal warm brown to an emerald green. On his forehead the boy had somehow managed to morph his features to contain a small lightning bolt shaped scar, and a pair of round black glasses perched on the boys nose which wrinkled as he tugged impatiently on his miniature Hogwarts uniform, waiting for his cousin to answer his demands.

"Hmmm," Draco paused, "Are you a hippogriff?"

Teddy frowned, "No," he said shortly.

"A boggart?" Draco asked, pretending to be stumped.

Teddy looked both confused and a little upset, "No," he replied.

Draco scratched his head, "Voldemort maybe?" he asked with a smile, letting the little boy know he was teasing him.

"No, silly!" Teddy sighed in irritation with a small smile beginning to grow on his face.

"How about Aunt Minny?" Draco suggested, using Teddy's nickname for Hermione.

This time Teddy giggled, "Uh-uh," he said with a shake of his head.

"Uncle Sirius?"

Teddy smiled, "You're getting warmer Dayco."

"Oh!" Draco exclaimed, "I know, you're—"

"Unca Haiwy!" Teddy suddenly screeched, cutting off Draco's next guess as the little boy flew into his godfather's eagerly open arms.

"Little Teddy!" Harry exclaimed picking the boy up and throwing him in the air before catching him and giving him a hug, "Well would you look at that," Harry stated, looking down at his godson, "It seems as if I have a mini-me," he laughed, "Look Ginny!"

Teddy looked pleased that his godfather had figured out his costume so quickly. With a smug look on his face that was more Draco than Harry, Teddy turned to look at Draco, "See Dayco, I'm unca Haiwy, not a hickogiff!" he stated in consternation.

Draco winked at Hermione and Ginny who were both laughing quietly to themselves, "Oh, I get it now. How could I not see that you were dressed up as my arch nemesis the boy wonder?" he asked with feigned surprise.

Harry rolled his eyes and set Teddy down on the ground as he moved to hug both Remus and Sirius, who were smiling at the interaction between Harry, Teddy and Draco. "How are you both doing?" he asked them happily.

Remus smiled, it was nice to see Harry finally take the time to relax and be himself, "I don't know about Padfoot here, but I am doing remarkably well Harry, thank you."

Sirius nodded in agreement as he slung his arm around his godson's shoulders, "Though I have to ask: what exactly are you supposed to be?"

Harry smiled and chuckled, "Ginny saw these costumes in a muggle store and thought they would look good. She doesn't know what they are, but I'm pretty sure I'm Robin Hood and she's my female counterpart," Harry told them, laughing when he saw the still confused looks on everyone's faces but Hermione's.

"What's a Robin Hood?" Draco asked in confusion, being the first to voice the question they were all thinking.

Hermione opened her mouth to explain when another deeper voice answered for her, "Robin Hood was a muggle man who was rumored to 'steal from the rich and give to the needy'. It shouldn't surprise me that you decided to go as something so…muggle Potter."

Everyone turned to face the owner of the deep and rather sarcastic voice, "Severus!" Hermione exclaimed with a smile, the first to say anything to the tall, dark and snarky man; "You came! I didn't think you would!"

Severus seemed to find the whole experience distasteful, "It seems I didn't have a choice Hermione," he stated grimly, "Minerva simply refused to let me have a moments peace from these dunderheads," Severus motioned to the rest of the room and then to the men and Ginny standing next to Hermione, excluding her in his statement.

Remus couldn't help but smile, at least Hermione seemed to be making some sort of progress with Severus, regardless of what he seemed to think of her friends.

"Minny," Teddy whispered urgently as he tugged on Hermione's dress, forcing her to look down at him, "Sev don't have a costume!" he whispered loudly as if it were a crime.

Severus eyed the boy in silence, showing neither dislike or favoritism for the child, which Hermione thought was a bit suspicious, the man always seemed to have an opinion on everyone.

"You have a point Teddy," Hermione murmured back as she picked the little boy up so that she could look at him more easily, "Severus doesn't have a costume, we should fix that shouldn't we," she stated.

Teddy nodded eagerly and whispered in her ear quietly. Hermione couldn't help the burst of laughter as she heard what Teddy thought Severus should be dressed up as, making warmth spread throughout Remus body at the lovely noise.

Hermione smiled and nodded at Teddy once she had regained a semblance of sobriety after her little laughing outburst. Turning she focused her gaze on Severus and stared at him intently. She stayed like this for several long moments, making Severus, Sirius and Remus a little more than a little uncomfortable, though her friends didn't seem to find anything out of the ordinary about her actions.

Just when Remus was about to ask what Hermione was doing, the black cloak that Severus was wearing over his black waistcoat and black slacks seem to evaporate in a way, becoming more of a black gas or cloud that floated and hovered around Severus' shoulders than an actual solid cape.

"Does that look about right Teddy?" Hermione asked, eyeing her work critically, "Does he look like Hades?"

Harry let out a snort of laughter and Ron was pinching his lips together so hard to keep from laughing that they were white. Draco and Ginny had no such reservations when it came to laughing at their former professor and they let out a loud burst of amused laughter.

Sirius and Remus shared a mischievous look but refrained from laughing, the last time they (meaning Sirius) had laughed at Severus and pulled a prank on him Hermione had given the two a stern talking to that lasted for nearly two hours.

"Do I look like who, Miss Granger?" Severus ground out.

Hermione smiled kindly at the older man, "Teddy here says that you look like you could be Hades, the Greek god of the underworld and I agreed, so I changed your cloak into a Hades like cloak. You look great if I do say so myself," she commented, "Besides, now you can match Selene," she added with a mischievous wink.

Severus glared at her, "For the final time Hermione, there is nothing between Professor Maxia and myself!"

Hermione smirked and nodded her head, "That's what you keep telling me Severus, but I don't think I believe you," she told him.

Severus frowned, "What do I have to do to convince you witch?" he demanded.

Hermione paused in faux contemplation, her eyes scanning the crowd and lighting as they caught sight of the subject of her thoughts, "You have to dance with her," Hermione finally stated, "if you will dance with her and then come back and still say that you feel nothing towards her then I will attempt to believe you."

"Attempt," Severus repeated in irritation.

Hermione nodded, "You are a trained spy after all, you could have been lying to me this entire time and in fact have been in love with Selene Maxia for a while now," she stated pointedly, her eyes narrowed on Severus as the joking tone left her voice.

Severus frown deepened as his eyes widened in surprise for a split second, making Remus and Sirius look at each other in surprise, was Hermione saying what they thought she was saying?

"How long have you known?" Severus finally demanded with a sigh.

"Probably for as long as I have," the voice of none other than the Herbology professor, Neville Longbottom replied with a small grin on his face as he moved to greet his friends.

Severus now looked incredulously between the two former students, "How do you both know?" he exclaimed in a dark voice, "We were very careful!"

Hermione shrugged and shared a long look with Neville who laughed and nodded at something, "You were broadcasting it pretty loudly in your mind that first day you got together," Hermione finally told him, "Any occlumens worth their salt would have heard about it."

Severus blinked, showing enough surprise on his face to let Remus and Sirius know that their own surprise at the comment was warranted, "What?" Severus responded ineloquently.

"You let your occlumency walls down on that first day of your relationship," Neville explained.

Hermione nodded and picked up where Neville left off, "And since Neville and I have been communicating with one another as well as the other members of the First Class DA with occlumency and legilimency since near the end of our sixth year, it was quite easy to pick your thoughts up."

"Rest assured we both threw our own walls up the second we got wind of your thoughts, but it wasn't necessarily fast enough for us not to catch the gist of them," Neville commented, speaking with a confidence that had only recently begun to show itself publicly outside of his circle of friends.

Severus' surprise disappeared and he glared at the two grinning professors, "I'm glad you think this is funny," he snapped at them.

Hermione gave a delightful laugh, "Selene thought it was funny too," Hermione told him, "Her expression when you walked in the Great Hall with those thoughts of yours broadcast for any occlumens to hear was explanation enough. We haven't spoken to her about it or vice versa, but she knew we were trained in occlumency and legilimency enough to hear what she was hearing."

Severus didn't seem to have any words strong enough to use on the two professors that had wormed their way into his everyday life and simply turned to glare at the crowd.

"For the record," Hermione started, putting Teddy down as she moved to nudge the grouchy man, "Selene is currently mentally begging for help to escape the attentions of a certain former professor who has her trapped in a dance over there," Hermione pointed to where a tall woman in her mid thirties dressed as a devil-woman stood swaying awkwardly with the previous owner of the DADA professorship.

Severus turned his black eyes on her and paused, "We'll talk about your new found occlumens ability later Granger," he stated before sweeping around and billowing his smoke cloak darkly as he stalked off to rescue his lover.

Everyone laughed at Severus attempt at a snarky departure, though the thought of him actually dating was something many of them couldn't and wouldn't swallow. Hermione turned back to face them with a smile as she scooped Teddy back up into her arms, hugging him tightly as she swung him around.

Remus' attention focused entirely on her playing with his son, the picture one that was so familiar and yet never old. He didn't notice as one by one all of his friends turned and headed off to the dance floor except Draco and Sirius. Nor did he notice the approach of Mundungus Fletcher to ask Hermione to dance with him until the slimy pathetic excuse for a man was tapping Hermione on the shoulder and attempting to persuade her out onto the dance floor.

Hermione glanced longingly at the three men watching her as she set Teddy down to go back to his father, but to nice to say no, she reluctantly took Dung's hand and pulled him into the throng of people.

The three men stood in a tense silence watching the witch attempt to keep Mundungus' hands from sliding towards inappropriate areas. Remus felt a low growl rumble through his chest as he tried to refrain from storming over to snatch his mate from the arms of the lecherous man. Sirius elbowed him sharply looking pointedly at the blonde standing to his left.

Remus looked at Draco worriedly, hoping he hadn't heard the inhuman noise, only to find the younger man was smirking.

"She knows you know," Draco suddenly stated turning to face his former professor, when he saw the confusion on Remus face he elaborated, "That she's your mate I mean, she already knows."

Both Remus and Sirius turned to gape at Draco, "What?" Sirius finally asked, realizing Remus wasn't going to.

Draco's smirk actually turned into a smile at his cousin's eloquent response, "Hermione already knows that she is Remus' mate, she has known for a while."

Remus moaned, "Great," he snapped softly his eyes moving to watch Hermione continue her dance with Fletcher, "She must think I'm some sort of…" Remus searched for words but Draco finished for him before he could.

"Quote, amazingly wonderful, brilliant, kind, intelligent everything-she-could-ever-want-in-her-life kind of guy," Draco stated in a voice that told Remus he couldn't believe the words were coming out of his mouth, "Her words, not mine."

Remus and Sirius simply stared at him once more, Remus in partial horror and puzzlement and Sirius with an incredulous but happy expression on his face. "What?" Remus finally muttered, more as something to say than an actual question.

Draco shook his head, "I am beginning to doubt the intelligent part on her list of your virtues," he told them, "Honestly, Hermione has only been dropping hint after hint ever since she turned sixteen, long before you got yourself tangled up in that poor excuse for a cousin of ours," Draco pointed between himself and Sirius, " Salazar, even right now she's practically begging you to rescue her! Do have any idea how long we had to wait while Ginny tried to make Hermione over so she could look like that," Draco pointed, "For you? And yet you still stand here looking like some bloody second year finding out the girl you've liked all this time likes you back."

Remus turned his gaze to look over at Hermione, trying to process everything Draco was saying, it couldn't be true, could it? As he watched Hermione drag Fletcher's slimy hands from her buttocks once more he noticed a black cloudy cloaked person was making his way towards the dancing couple.

Within seconds Severus had reached Fletcher, grabbed his shoulder tightly for a millisecond as he pulled the creep away from Hermione, glared a glare that would have anyone quivering in fear at the little man before moving to intentionally block Hermione from Fletcher's view as Severus pulled her into a small waltz with the music.

The second Severus' back was to him, Mundungus turned and fled the scene as quickly as he could, leaving Hermione to dance peacefully with Severus. As the man turned their two bodies around, his black eyes looked directly at Remus and seemed to be communicating something.

"Even he knows you two are mad about each other, so do us all a favor; go steal her away, confess your feelings for each other, kiss, and live happily ever after," Draco stated as he noticed where Remus was looking, not that it was much of a surprise.

Remus pried his eyes away from Hermione's back long enough to see that both Sirius and Draco were watching him expectantly. Weakly he tried to protest, "But what if she doesn't—"

Draco held up his hands, "If you say 'doesn't feel the same' I swear to Salazar I will hex you ten ways from Sunday! That woman has been in love with you for a very long time, if you don't get over there and let her know that you actually want her, which she thinks you don't by the way, someone else will. McCormack for example, the way he's been leering at her all night would be reason enough for me to stake my claim."

Remus frowned, "Hermione isn't someone you can claim," he stated.

"Believe me, in normal circumstances that would be true, but right now, Hermione would give up her pride and let you claim her as long as it meant that you would be with her. Trust me when I say she wants to be with you, and not just short term either. I can't think of the last time she even dated anyone because she knew she already belonged to you as your mate," Draco growled when Remus still didn't move, "Go and dance with her you idiot!"

Sirius chuckled and nodded his head, shoving his friend into the crowd of people, "Go get the girl mate," he commanded.

Remus turned around quickly to look at the two, "You two are too much alike," he told them in a condescending way, he knew they hated to be compared to each other, "I mean, Draco, did you really have to dress up like a muggle version of Sirius in order to let him know how much you hero-worship him?" with that said, and simultaneous outcries coming from the two men, Remus turned and headed in the direction he had last seen Hermione and Severus, Draco's last cry of, "I'm a muggle conman, not him!" echoing behind him.

When he finally managed to find Hermione and Severus in the middle of the crowd of dancing students and war heroes he paused for a quick moment, his heart racing. Propelling his feet forward he tapped Severus on the shoulder, "May I cut in?" he asked softly, his eyes on Hermione's smiling face.

Severus rolled his eyes, "No Lupin, I truly enjoy dancing with the know-it-all in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by hundreds of my students," he stated sarcastically, even as he backed away with a small bow in Hermione's direction, "Hermione," he murmured as a soft farewell, his eyes softening for a moment as he looked at the young witch. As he turned to walk away he muttered under his breath, knowing full well that Remus would hear him, "Get a move on and treat her right mutt."

Remus watched him go for a split second, trying to work out how everyone knew about his feelings for the girl. Eventually he felt Hermione's hands moving to rest on his shoulder and in his hand, "I thought you were going to dance with me," Hermione stated with a smile as a slow song came on.

Remus smiled back down at her, "I just got caught up in my thoughts is all," he told her, his chocolate eyes gazing softly down at her.

Hermione tried desperately to squelch the ever present butterflies that insisted on practicing their flying maneuvers whenever Remus was anywhere near her. "That seems to be happening a lot recently," she said softly as she moved just a little closer to him, once again trying to be obvious about her interest in him, but not come off as some sort of hussy, "Is it something you would like to talk about?"

Remus tightened his arm around her waist and moved her hand closer to his thundering heart, it was now or never, he could feel it. Then, without his mind actually contemplating the words, he spoke, "Actually, yes," he said softly with a nervousness he was certain she could hear in his voice, "I would like to talk about it Hermione. Would you mind…" Remus nodded towards the doors to the Great Hall.

Surprised that he actually wanted to talk to her, Hermione hesitated for a second before her mind actually processed what he had said, "Oh, yes, of course, lead the way!" she stammered, mentally chastising herself for sounding like a silly school girl.

Remus slowly held out his arm for Hermione to take, silently hoping he could still remember how to seduce a woman from back when he was in school and the actions had been second nature to him. Hermione seemed surprised by this gesture too, but after a millisecond's deliberation she smiled brightly at him and wrapped her arm around his as the two began to walk towards the doors.

They walked in silence for several long minutes until Remus seemed to notice that he had brought them outside near the lake. The two stood silently staring at the reflection of the nearly full moon as it bounced on the waves of the lake, both thinking of different thoughts, unaware of the other's inner turmoil.

"I think it's interesting," Hermione finally started, "That I come to a party dressed as a vampire the same night you choose to do the same," she gave a small laugh, "I almost think it was set up."

Remus turned to look down at her sparkling eyes, releasing her arm, "How did you come up with your costume?" he asked her, intrigued.

"Well I was going to go as a muggle professor, but apparently that was too 'drab' according to Ginny. One second I'm dressed like a stuffy old professor of mathematics and the next I've got on this too short dress and my hair looked like this," Hermione tugged slightly on a strand of hair, making it fall out of place, but instead of replacing it Hermione just rolled her eyes and attempted to blow it out of her eyes.

Remus couldn't stop his hand from moving to brush the curl back to its original position, "Well I have to admit that I think you look amazing tonight, even if it wasn't your first choice," Remus' voice came out a bit more husky than he had intended and he cleared his throat self consciously as he noticed that his hand was still playing with the strand of hair he had moved out of her face.

Hermione tried to hold back the contented sigh she knew would be to girly for the moment, she couldn't get over the fact that she was currently standing outside, alone, with the man of her dreams in one of the most romantic settings she could have ever imagined, "Thank you," she softly murmured, slowly moving her hazel eyes to meet his, "You look pretty amazing yourself."

Remus gave a self depreciating chuckle, "Sirius demanded that I wear it, something about Ginny and murder…," Remus' voice faded off as he stared down at Hermione and the intent gaze she was giving him. Suddenly he knew what Draco was saying earlier was true, she did know. Remus shut his eyes, shame and terror flooding his body as all the various scenarios of what could come of him asking the question he was dying to ask her, he jerked away from Hermione and turned his back to her as he moved closer to the lake.

"Remus?" Hermione asked tentatively, gently reaching out her hand to touch his arm.

Remus stood as still as possible, fighting with all his might not to turn, pull her into his arms and smash his lips against hers in a desperate kiss, "How long have you known?" he softly asked, the words finally escaping his lips.

Hermione moved to stand in front of him, her shortness despite her heels making her need to look up at his face even though he was staring at the ground, "Known what?" she asked in confusion, when Remus didn't reply she tried again, "How long have I known what, Remus?"

Remus finally opened his eyes, unaware that the edges of his irises were turning amber, "How long have you known that you are my mate?" he asked her gently, a mixture of irritation and resignation also tinting the timber of his voice.

Hermione's face cleared of confusion and a small amount of worry entered her eyes for moment before disappearing as she smiled softly at him, "Since that first day on the train in my third year," she told him, watching his face turn into a mask of shock and surprise. With a small laugh at his expression she turned from him and moved to lean back against a nearby tree, her hands crossed behind her back.

She watched in partial amusement and worry as Remus seemed to process what she said. She had known that he hadn't known about their situation for as long as she had, Moony had made sure to tell her that, but she hoped to whatever deity there was that Remus wouldn't try to push her away and would finally allow her the closeness she had been hoping for for the last six or so years, "Remus?" she finally spoke tentatively.

Remus' head shot up from the patch of grass he had been staring at to look at her, "How did you know before me?" he asked, his voice tight, "I didn't know until you were seventeen."

Hermione shrugged, "Moony told me," she stated as if it were an everyday thing, "The very first time I saw you this growling voice entered my head calling me your mate," Hermione began to tell the tale, "At first it really bothered me, I spent weeks in the library trying to figure out anything I could about soul mates and the like, only to find nothing similar to what had happened on the train. When Severus gave us that essay on werewolves and I figured out what you are, it lead to me reading up on werewolves and their mates. Sure enough, once I found what I was looking for everything began to make more sense."

Hermione took a deep breath and tried to continue, Moony had told her to start from the beginning, so that was what she would do, "At first I was disgusted, I will admit. I had slammed the books shut and shoved them back as quickly as I could, intent on getting away from the books and the truth as fast as I could. As I was rounding a corner near the library I ran straight into you…well I guess it would be more accurate to say that I ran into Moony."

Remus now turned his body towards her, taking one startled step forward before stopping, a look of both confusion and worry on his face at the mention of Moony, "What do you mean you ran into Moony?" he questioned hesitantly.

Hermione dropped her gaze to her boots for a moment as she tried to figure out how best to explain to a man that his animalistic counterpart would sometimes take over his body; she had a feeling he wouldn't like finding out about that. Finally she decided the only way to say it was to just come right out and tell him, "I don't know if you know," she started slowly as she looked over at him once more, he still hadn't moved from his spot, "but Moony has a tendency to take over your body whenever I'm around you," she paused, "Well, Sirius told me it happened once or twice when you were in school, but only when it was near the full moon and you were agitated; it happens a lot around me though, not just near the full moon…" Hermione trailed off realizing she was rambling, a small blush creeping up her neck.

Remus was simultaneously amused and uncertain of how to respond to Hermione's revelation; indeed he had not known Moony could do such a thing, "Can he talk to you?" was the only question he could work out from the jumble of thoughts in his mind.

Hermione hesitated again for a second, "Yes," she told him, "He gets really chatty around the full moon especially," she took a breath and nervously continued, "You know how I stopped by last night and you looked up after a couple of minutes and commented on how fast that night was going?" she asked, though it sounded more like a statement, "Well Moony came out and we talked for a while."

Remus blinked, trying to make sense of the sudden flash of emotions ranging from anger and betrayal, at Hermione for knowing all this and not telling him sooner, to intrigue and curiosity. Finally managing to calm the more negative emotions he cautiously spoke to her once more, "What did you talk about?" he asked, his voice calmer than he was feeling.

Hermione's eyes trailed over his face, clearly understanding him more than he thought anyone ever had before, "You," she responded simply, shrugging one shoulder, "He was telling me how frustrated he was that you refused to listen to him."

Remus looked confused, "Listen to him about what?" he demanded, his voice a little lower than necessary.

Hermione didn't look worried though, "About the fact that you won't accept that I'm your mate," she told him pointedly, "He was trying to convince me to convince you to accept it, to embrace it, he even gave me specific instructions, which by the way, you aren't letting me follow."

"He gave you instructions on how to get me to accept you as my mate," Remus repeated incredulously, "Pray tell," he waved a hand gesturing for the woman to go on.

Hermione rolled her eyes with a smile, "Well, step one consisted of me somehow getting your attention," Hermione gestured to her outfit, "Done; step two, was for us to go somewhere alone; also done. Step three was for me to basically spill my guts about the last eight years or so, but this step was interrupted by step four, which was to explain to you about Moony. So you see, I'm a bit out of order, but if you'll allow me to go back to step three…" she faded off with a wink.

Remus felt his stance lightening at her playful tone, but still felt as if he had done something terribly wrong, "I suppose I wouldn't mind if you redid step three," he agreed, moving to sit on a flat rock that had several names carved into it, including, he knew, James, Sirius and his own somewhere; Peter hadn't been around when they had carved their names, thankfully.

Hermione smiled softly at him, her eyes dimming as they went back in her memories, "Well," she said exaggeratedly, "After I ran into you, Moony, whichever, Moony immediately knew that I had figured it all out. He told me that my brilliance was astounding but that my disgust was unnecessary as you wouldn't even remotely feel the same until I was of age, until then you would simply be a little overprotective every now and again."

Hermione sighed, "That entire year I covered for you and protected you from people who would figure out what you were and tell the parents about it. I began to trust you, it seemed Moony had been right, not once did you show me any undue attention or anything that would warrant any anxiety or disgust on my part. By the end of the year I will admit I had quite the crush on you. When you entered the Shrieking Shack and stood by Sirius side I only felt a momentary fear of you, but then Moony quickly reassured me that everything would be fine, that you knew what you were doing."

Interrupting her story for a moment Remus asked, "How did Moony talk to you?"

"Ever since I figured out what you were and how we were connected Moony has been a constant presence in the back of my mind," Hermione told him after giving him a mock chastising look for interrupting her, "Sometimes it is like having two people in my mind, myself and Moony. To tell you the truth it is slightly worrisome when he isn't there."

Remus couldn't understand why Moony not being in her mind would bother her, but nodded for her to continue, "I'm sorry for interrupting," he added for good measure.

With a nod Hermione continued, "Fourth year was like being constantly torn in two," she started, "You weren't there at the school and at the time Moony would only make his presence known if it was absolutely necessary. He has recently told me that our bond wasn't strong enough for him to be able to be in my mind all the time. So I went through out the school year feeling like there had been some sort of hole carved into my chest, nothing would make it go away, not helping Harry, not yelling at Ron, not even going out with Victor."

Remus growled when he heard the name, surprising himself, but not Hermione, as apparent by the rolling of her eyes, "So I dated a jerk, no offence, but I'm not the only one, Tonks wasn't exactly a keeper either," she stated, and Remus was surprised when the comment didn't hurt like he thought it should have, instead he found himself chuckling.

"Anyway, that first day that I arrived at Grimmauld Place the second I walked through the door I felt like a complete person once more; relief I can't even describe began flooding through me and it felt like I had been unknowingly walking around with a hippogriff sitting on my chest all year, but that the hippogriff had suddenly decided to take off. Moony reappeared in my mind just seconds before you appeared through the doorway, he seemed just as relieved to be back there as I was to have him there.

"Over the summer, as we got involved in those many book discussions and various other conversations, sometimes with Sirius arguing with us, I felt Moony growing stronger in my mind than he had been before. A result, he told me, of our growing closer to one another. It was so much easier to go back to school that year because Moony had secured a place in my mind for himself, becoming a constant presence that I relied on to get me through the monstrosities that the Toad-Lady put us through," Hermione hissed the nickname that Umbridge had been given by several of the younger years.

Remus couldn't believe that she had been experiencing all of this without him knowing about it. He had felt the effect of the distance between the two of them in her fourth year as well, but he hadn't known what it was from at the time. Admittedly he had grown to love those often surprisingly intelligent conversations that he would have with her. Sirius and he had often spent whole conversations discussing the amazing amount of intelligence the younger witch possessed.

"For the sake of time," Hermione's words brought his attention back to her, "Let's just say Moony wasn't very happy with the Toad-Ladies treatment of the students, myself and Harry in particular, and leave it at that. When Harry had the idea to fly to the ministry Moony was screaming for me not to go, but I couldn't abandon Harry, nor could I convince him to stay, so we went. That night was the first time I had ever experienced your emotions," she murmured, dropping her gaze to the toes of her boots as one of them kicked at a rock.

It was official, Remus was positively horrified; he couldn't even imagine how she had managed to remain in his presence, to have felt such things as he had felt that night. It was the first time since the Potter's deaths that he had been ready to kill something, or someone, and now, knowing Hermione had felt all of that…Remus couldn't contain a moan.

Hermione gave a soft short humorless laugh, "Tell me about it, I mean, I was unconscious, but I was still awake enough to feel the screams from Harry that tore at my heart and the waves, wave after wave of emotions from you…" Hermione shuddered, "When I woke up all I could think about were the emotions you and Moony had been sending me. You were my first concern," she said softly.

"My sixth year, I kept silently wishing that you would pop out of somewhere and…I don't know, I just really wanted to see you. Knowing that I couldn't, however, I simply contented myself with being super busy, what with converting Draco to the light side and teaching the First Class DA a few tricks. Even that wasn't enough though; so one night Moony gave me the brilliant idea to write to you, and without thought I did. Thankfully you didn't seem to think any less of me and actually surprised me by writing back. But then that thing we called Tonks started to make her intentions for you clear."

Hermione couldn't retain the small laugh that came when she remembered Moony's comments to her about Tonks, "Moony may have told you this, but he really didn't like her. Up until she started pursuing you I was alright with her, but once she began," Hermione paused, "Jealousy is too light of a term for my emotions about the situation. Then you actually married the witch, and my heart felt like it had been stabbed with a hundred pins. Your wedding night was the worst, knowing that you and she…" Hermione shook her head, her face completely red.

"When you danced with me at Bill and Fleur's wedding I could already tell that things weren't working out exactly the way you had hoped they would," she softly murmured after an awkward pause, "Then you showed up at Grimmauld Place wanting to come with us on our hunt. I wanted so badly for you to come, but at the same time I knew that what Harry said to you was the right thing to say. You would have never been able to live with yourself if you had walked out on your family."

Hermione pushed herself off the tree and moved to sit next to Remus, "After the war, when I began the research into possible ways to bring Sirius back, all I could think about was you and how you deserved to be happy, and I was so sure that bringing Sirius back would help you be just that, as well as giving him a second chance at life. Ultimately I could have gotten as close as I had wanted to bringing Sirius back, but without my unselfish reasons for wanting him back, the spell that was on the veil wouldn't have let him come back. And when Tonks left you, I cannot even begin to explain the mixed emotions I felt about it. I was happy, overjoyed that maybe finally I would have a chance to be with you, but at the same time, I was so furious with her for the damage she did to not only you, but to that amazing little boy of yours."

Cautiously Hermione reached out her hand and rested it softly on his, "I came to teach here, not just because I have always wanted to teach, but because I couldn't stand being away from you any more, I fell in love with you somewhere amidst this chaos that is my life and not once have I looked back," after this soft admission Hermione fell silent as she watched the moon refection on the lake, waiting for Remus to say something.

Slowly Remus turned his hand over and squeezed Hermione's fingers before letting go and moving to stand up. Hermione watched him in silence, feeling slightly dejected, noting how his agitation seemed to increase as he began to pace back and forth at the lake edge. Suddenly Hermione realized what was happening and she stood, "Moony?" she called getting Remus' attention.

Remus' head snapped up and turned toward her, his eyes fading quickly to amber, to their normal brown, and back again, "Yes Mate?" the gravelly voice of Moony responded to her call even as Remus shook his head and tried to regain control.

Hermione stepped closer to Remus her hand out, but Remus jerked back, "No Hermione, it's too dangerous, I'm too dangerous, go back in the castle," he pleaded, not wanting her to see him loose control.

But Hermione didn't listen, "Moony," she crooned, "Moony, stop it. Let Remus stay in control tonight."

Remus' eyes turned gold, "The human is searching for excuses to keep you out of his life," Moony declared in a growl, "I won't tolerate his impotence anymore! I let him have that wretch of a girl because you were not yet ready. But now you are here, doing and saying things he has been dreaming of, that we have been dreaming of and all he can think about is the reasons why he shouldn't allow himself to love you back even though he does. He has convinced himself that he is not worthy of you, and that you don't truly love him, so he thinks he has to do and say anything he can to scare you away. I will not allow him to do that to us, any of us."

Hermione reached up her hands and gently held Remus' head in place, "Let me deal with him Moony," she murmured, her voice soft, "I can handle anything he throws at me, any excuse; I love him too much to let him get away now. You should know how long I've prepared for this argument," she told him, the pads of her thumbs tracing odd patterns on his jaw, "Let him come back Moony, let me talk to him."

Moony seemed to argue with himself for a moment, his own hands going to wrap around her small waist. Eventually he let out a heavy sigh, "Very well," he whispered, one of his hands moving to brush away a stray curl.

Hermione smiled softly up into the amber eyes she knew so well, "Thank you," she whispered, raising herself on her tiptoes to kiss the corner of his lips, surprised at the sudden intake of breath that occurred as she was pulling away. Slowly she looked up into the eyes of the man she was so deeply in love with, "Welcome back," she told him softly with a small smile, not removing her hands.

Remus stared down at her, "Is it always like that?" he asked her eventually, not moving away.

Hermione nodded, her eyes watching her hands as they moved from his face to rest one on his neck while the other slid into his soft hair. It took a moment to process the words she had agreed unthinkingly to, her thoughts were so scrambled at his closeness, "Wait, you heard all of that?" she asked him, her hands stilling.

With a gentle nod of his head Remus somehow managed to force his eyes open, as they had automatically rolled shut when her fingers had begun to curl in his hair, "Yes, I think he thought that I should hear what he said to you for once."

"Was it what you thought?" she asked him, her fingers smoothing through his hair once more.

Remus sighed, though whether in contentment or frustration Hermione couldn't tell, "I shouldn't feel this way about you," he murmured instead.

Hermione gave a small laugh, "Why not?" she replied, "Go ahead and list all of the cons you've already decided on in that amazing mind of yours," she urged him, "Let's see how many of them I've prepared an argument for."

"I can't focus when you're doing that," he sighed in reference to her fingers in his hair, not moving to stop her, seeming perfectly happy to stay where he was. Much to his disappointment Hermione's fingers stopped what they were doing seconds after he unthinkingly spoke. He opened his eyes just as Hermione was pulling away from him, "What are you doing?" he asked, suddenly worried she had changed her mind.

Hermione smiled impishly up at him, "Well, since you can't think while I'm playing with your hair, perhaps I should stop so you can actually have a clear head while you try to persuade me not to love you anymore."

Remus felt his breath catch, "You love me?" he repeated.

Eyebrow raised, Hermione nodded, "Didn't you hear me say it earlier?" she asked as she moved to sit on the previously vacated rock.

Remus shook his head, but Hermione didn't say anything, after a while he realized she was actually waiting to hear his list of reasons why they shouldn't be together. He took a deep breath, it would probably kill him to say everything he had thought of to scare her away, but he wanted her to know what she was getting into.

"I am eighteen years older than you," he started, surprised when Hermione immediately responded.

"But werewolves live longer than normal witches and wizards, and eighteen years in the wizarding world is nothing," she told him with a smug grin.

Remus frowned, "I've already screwed up a marriage once before," he continued.

"The witch with a b screwed up your marriage, not you! She cheated on you not the other way around. Tonks was an idiot, enough said," Hermione snapped, more irritated with the metamorphmagus than Remus.

"I have a son from said marriage," Remus went on, not sure of how to respond to Hermione's defense of him.

Hermione's stern look softened exponentially, "And I love that son as if he were my own, there's no way I could ever love you any less because of Teddy. If anything I think you may have competition for my affection in your son," she laughed.

Remus couldn't stop the small smile that graced his lips, only for it to dim and disappear as he recalled his next words, "I'm a werewolf," he murmured.

Hermione's smile didn't go away, though it did take on an understanding look, "And there's this amazing potion called Wolvesbane," she replied, "Also a little trinket I gave you for your birthday that you haven't worn since called a moonstone," Hermione smiled at Remus perplexed look, "There was a werewolf in my neighborhood who swore that a moonstone, if worn during the transformations would make them far less painful," she explained, "But then there's also this little ability I have to transform myself into a wolf."

Remus looked at her in surprise, "What?" he asked in astonishment, momentarily forgetting his list of cons.

Hermione looked down at her boots, "How much do you remember about the time you spend as a werewolf?" she inquired.

Remus frowned, "More than when I don't take the Wolvesbane, but less than if I were human," was his reply.

"Well that would explain why you don't remember me coming to play with you then," Hermione softly muttered, seemingly to herself.

"What?" Remus repeated ineloquently.

Hermione smiled as she looked back up at the lycan, "Ever since I started teaching here, I have made a point to come and visit you on the full moon. Sirius almost ran into me once, but he only caught a glimpse and I don't think he believed what he saw."

"You've been spending the full moon with me?" he asked in surprise.

Hermione nodded, "Moony insisted, he told me he would break out of the room if I didn't. Not that it took much to persuade me to do it," she added, "But anyway, you were listing things, reasons we shouldn't be together," she commented as if the things he were saying were trivial pieces of a conversation.

Remus shook his head at the sudden switch of topic, "You deserve better," he told her softly.

To this Hermione responded by standing up and moving to stand right in front of him, "I can't think of a single person who I could possibly deserve or want more than you Remus Lupin," she murmured, "How many more cons do you have?" she asked him.

Remus stared down at her as she pleasantly invaded his personal space, "I don't remember," he finally replied.

"So you're done?" Hermione assessed.

Remus nodded.

"Good," she whispered, "Now I won't feel so guilty about doing this," she gently pushed her fingers into Remus' hair once more as she rose on her tip toes and pressed her lips gently to his, softly expressing her longing for him in a slow kiss that seemed to make the world stop and spin wildly out of control at the same time, "Because I think that is one heck of a reason to stay together," she breathed when she finally pulled away, her lips millimeters away from Remus'.

Remus opened his eyes to look at her, her face so close to his, "The worst con I can think of," he finally sighed, "is that I don't think I can live without you, and it terrifies me."

Hermione brushed her lips against his once, twice, three times, before pulling back to look him in the eye, "Then don't even try," she replied softly.

Remus' eyes stared into hers with such intensity that Hermione could hardly remember to breathe, "If I catch you, if you let me catch you, there's no turning back. You'll be stuck with me forever, an old, single parent, werewolf professor, is that what you want Hermione?" he asked her.

Hermione shook her head, "I can't think of anything I want more," she sighed, it must have been the right thing to say for seconds later Remus' lips were crushing hers with an intensity that Hermione had only dreamed about before. It was both sweet and passionate, making her legs feel as if they were ready to collapse.

Remus chuckled against her lips, deepening the kiss as he pulled her tighter against him to support her. How long had he dreamed of this moment, kissing this girl, feeling just like this? Remus couldn't remember, all he knew was that he never wanted to stop. But alas, oxygen is a necessity of life, so slowly he pulled his lips away from hers, kissing her forehead gently before resting his own forehead against hers, "I love you," he breathed, gasping for breath, "Just in case I didn't say it before."

Hermione's grin was so bright Remus couldn't help but smile back, "You didn't, but I already knew you did. I love you too."

Remus closed his eyes and tried to savor the moment, "I feel like at any second you're going to realize you've made a mistake and run away," he told her softly, "I hope more than anything that you won't but I can't help but worry that—"

Hermione cut him off, "Let's get one thing strait Remus," she stated in a firm tone, "I am not Nymphadora Tonks, never have been never will be. I will not leave you, I will not leave Teddy and I will not leave my friends! If you ever compare me to her again I'll hex you, are we clear?" she demanded.

"Marry me," was his response.

Hermione's eyes widened, "What?" she asked breathlessly.

Remus pulled back just a little to look at her more closely, "Marry me," he repeated, "I can't imagine my life without you, and obviously you have no intention of leaving, so marry me," he stated.

Hermione felt lightheaded all of a sudden, "Is this because you think I'm going to leave you at any given moment, or because—"

Remus cut her off, "It's because I don't want to waste another second beating around the bush, Hermione. I love you and want to be with you for the rest of my life. Marry me, because I can't stand the thought that you'll be sleeping several floors and hallways away from my own bed; because you make me the happiest man alive and I can't imagine feeling with anyone else the way I feel just standing next to you. You steal my breath away Hermione," Remus took a deep breath, "So, please, Hermione, will you marry me?"

Hermione smiled brightly, "Of course I'll marry you! I love you!" she laughed and lunged at Remus, nearly knocking him over with the force of her kiss, "Besides," she breathed in between kisses, "That," kiss, "was" kiss, "a way better," kiss kiss kiss, "proposal," kiss, "than the demand" kiss, "you made before," kiss kiss kiss. Hermione pulled back and smiled at the dazed look on Remus face.

"Really?" he asked dumbly, "You'll marry me?"

Hermione laughed, "I just prepared myself for one of the weakest arguments in history about why you and I shouldn't be together. Why in the name of Merlin wouldn't I marry you after that?"

Remus shook his head, still in shock, suddenly he pulled out his wand and muttered something, seconds later a small velvet box came floating out of the castle, "Then I think this belongs to you," he said softly as he popped open the ring box, revealing a white gold ring that held a single diamond with a sapphire on either side of it. Hermione gasped as she reached out to gingerly touch the ring, "It was my mothers," he told her, "I couldn't bring myself to give it to Tonks."

Hermione smiled a watery smile at him as he slid the ring onto her finger, "It's beautiful!" she declared.

"Just like its wearer," Remus replied cheesily, making them both laugh. Slowly Remus pulled Hermione in for another long, slow, passionate kiss that once again stole her breath away. At least now she knew where the rumors about the Marauders being ladies men came from. Definitely not just rumors, Hermione absently thought as Remus snogged her quite thoroughly.

Eventually Remus pulled away and pulled her to his chest tightly, "What are we going to tell the others?"

Hermione laughed, "Probably that they all owe Draco and Sirius a hundred galleons each," she told him.

Remus pulled away and looked down at her in confusion, "Why would they do that?" he asked.

"Honestly?" Hermione replied, "Have you met them? Sirius bet that you and I would finally be together by the end of Halloween, and Draco said that we'd be engaged by the same day. Neither was aware of the other's bets however, I don't think they would like to figure out just how similar they are to one another."

Remus chuckled, he had seen the similarities as well, "But what about Harry?"

Hermione smiled, "Seriously? Because we took so long to finally get together, Harry has lost several bets; he puts far too much faith in you sometimes. He's been betting that you and I would get together from back when we all came back for our seventh year," Hermione paused, an idea coming to her, "Come look at this," she said tugging on Remus' hand and leading him to the other side of the rock they had been perched on earlier.

Bending down Hermione pointed to the spot Remus remembered carving his own name next to James and Sirius' back when he was a seventh year. Next to James' name Lily's own name had been carved, and as sweet as the gesture was, it wasn't the name that caught his attention, it was the fact that someone had taken the time to carve Hermione's name beneath his own with a heart traced around it.

"Did you do this?" Remus asked her playfully, pleased that it had been done.

Hermione shook her head, "Harry carved my name there and put the heart around the names," she told him, "He was the first person I told about my feelings for you, and he was the first person to support me. He was convinced, even more than I was sometimes, that it would happen someday…hence the carving."

Remus looked astonished, "Harry's really okay with this?" he asked, raising their hands to make a point.

Hermione rolled her eyes, "Harry, Sirius, Draco, Ron, the twins, Ginny, the whole of the Hogwarts staff, even Severus and Molly are okay with this," she told him, standing up once more and pulling his face to hers for a kiss, "And even if they weren't I love you too much to let them tell me whether or not I can be happy with you."

"I love you too," Remus murmured back, "I can't figure out why someone like you would love someone like me, but I am so glad you do," he kissed her, "We should be getting back to the party," he sighed eventually, after several more kisses, "I want to show off my new fiancé," he stated as he tugged on Hermione's hand.

"And I want to show off my future husband…and see the looks on everyone's faces when they figure out who they owe money to," Hermione agreed.

Remus held out his arm, so much more confident this time than he was earlier that evening, "On to forever?" he asked her with a grin and a wink.

Hermione nodded, wrapping her arm around his, "Forever, and whatever is after that," she replied with a smile.

Yeah! It finally managed to find its way from my paper to the computer to actual living breathing reviewers! I know it is kind of similar to my other Remus Hermione fics, but I didn't know how to fix that. Hopefully you liked it…Let me know if you did!

Review! Review! Review!