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|Introduction: Contains HBP spoilers! Hermione is dating Ron in secret and when Harry finds out his own feelings for Hermione are revealed. When Hermione won’t choose between them the boys choose for her|
Now that they would be heading for Kings Cross Station tomorrow, Harry didn’t know why he had let Lupin talk him into going back for his seventh year.
At the start of the summer, he had confided in Lupin everything he head learned about the Horcrux from Dumbledore, along with the failed mission to retrieve the locket because someone with the initials R.A.B had already beaten them to it and put a fake in its place. Even if that R.A.B person had destroyed the Horcrux like they said they were going to, there were still three more left to find, as Voldemort himself would represent the seventh and final Horcrux. Two of them were most likely Helga Hufflepuff’s cup and Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, and the last was very likely a relic from Rowena Ravenclaw.
But even having all that information seemed useless to Harry because he had no idea where to look for the Horcruxes and Dumbledore had left no instructions for him before his death.
Though he had refused to tell Professor McGonagall anything at the end of last year, after listening to weeks of Hermione explaining the futility of keeping the information a secret, when he himself did not even know where to begin searching, he had gone to Lupin and explained everything. He had even told him about his plans to hunt down the remaining Horcruxes instead of returning to Hogwarts in the fall, as the school governors had voted to keep the school open for the time being but were doubling the security measures from last year.
Lupin had promised to begin searching for any scrap of information on the remaining relics, and that he would share all his findings with Harry. Lupin had asked him to return to school until they had some concrete leads on the Horcruxes. Although Harry had argued, saying he could go after Nagini, Lupin had made him promise not to do it, saying that Harry wasn’t prepared for that. With Voldemort controlling Nagini, he said it should be the last Horcrux he should go after before taking on Voldemort.
Now, the more he thought about it, the more he wished he hadn’t given Lupin his word to go off to school and pretend like there wasn’t something he could do. More innocent people were being murdered every day and he was going off to hide behind the protective walls of Hogwarts.
He figured that was why Lupin had asked to speak with him that night at The Burrow. He wanted to make sure Harry was going to keep his word and take the Hogwarts Express back to school tomorrow.
But when he left Ron and Hermione upstairs, he found that Lupin wasn’t alone at the Weasley’s kitchen table. Tonks was sitting there with him.
Since Lupin had promised he would operate in secret in his search for the Horcrux, Harry wondered what this could be about.
“Wotcher, Harry,” Tonks greeted him with a wink. Her pink hair seemed to grow more vibrant every time he saw her and he knew it was because of the man sitting across from her.
“Hey, Tonks,” he said with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. But he had been feeling completely drained all summer and was sure it showed on his features. “Are you going to leave your appearance like that when you’re at Hogwarts?”
Now that she was Headmistress, McGonagall was extremely anxious about letting on any new teachers that she didn’t already know personally, and since there were already going to be so many Aurors at Hogwarts, she thought who better than to have an Auror teach them Defense Against the Dark Arts.
“Why? Do you think it’s a bit much?” She asked him, grabbing a strand of her hair and examining it closely.
Lupin chuckled. “It is a little extravagant.”
“You’re right, I should be dull and stuffy like you,” she returned. She scrunched up her face and changed her appearance then so she had shoulder length straight brown hair and a long nose on a plain face.
Lupin didn’t look the least bit offended by her remark. In fact, Harry couldn’t remember Lupin smiling like that or looking this healthy in all the years he had known him.
“If Tonks is done playing around,” said Lupin, pulling his foot out of the way so the Auror couldn’t step on it, “we can tell you why we wanted to see you.”
Tonks morphed back to her usual pink haired self. “How would you feel about extra defense lessons, Harry?”
“Really?” He said, sound genuinely excited. He still wanted very much to be an Auror and to have someone like Tonks train him was too good to pass up.
“I’m not talking about covering standard jinxes and hexes either. I’m talking about real things that could save your life in battle. If you want to tell Ron and Hermione that’s fine, but I want the three of you to keep this to yourselves,” she added, sounding uncharacteristically serious. “The things I’m going to be training you in, they don’t teach at Hogwarts and you would probably never see unless you joined the Auror program.”
Harry nodded excitedly, already wishing they could get started. He wondered if this had been Lupin’s suggestion.
“Harry, these lessons will be critical in the event you face Voldemort one day,” Lupin said to him.
Harry had also confided in Lupin about the prophecy, and he assumed that had a lot to do with Lupin insisting he become more skilled as a wizard before he went after Nagini and Voldemort.
Harry had a tough time admitting that his power and strength were nothing special but a few a short months ago that hadn’t mattered to him. He had wanted to hunt down Snape and kill him in the same callous manner in which he had murdered Dumbledore. If he ever saw Snape again he wouldn’t let him escape, not even if it cost him his own life. He would be ready to use the Unforgivable Curses on him next time.
“I’ve got to check in with the Ministry but I’ll see you on the train tomorrow, Harry,” said Tonks. She leaned across the table and gave Lupin a quick kiss before leaving through the kitchen door.
They could hear a tiny pop as she apparated.
“You understand now why you need to go back?” Lupin said, looking at him.
“You don’t think I’m ready to face him.”
“No, you’re not,” Lupin said without hesitation. “I know the extraordinary things you’ve done, but you need much more than that to be able to take on the Dark Lord,” he said in a grim tone. “And while you’re training with Tonks, I’ll find out whatever I can on the whereabouts of these Horcruxes.”
“Are you going to disappear underground again?” Harry asked. He had missed not hearing from him for months at a time last year.
Lupin shook his head. “I’ve reached a dead end with the werewolf society and because I was seen at Hogwarts by Fenrir Greyback, I do not believe it safe for me to return. I’ve already explained to the Order that I have another special project to take on that concerns you. Since they know you and Dumbledore were involved in something together before his death, no one is questioning it. Absolute secrecy is a must now in everything we do, especially with the alarming number of people being put under the Imperius Curse.”
“Remus, I know you want me to be ready, but I can’t sit around for another year and do nothing.”
“I didn’t expect you would, seeing as how much you’re like James and Lily,” he said with a reminiscent, but sad smile. “At least give me until Christmas to find something out about the Horcruxes. After that, we’ll discuss how next to proceed.”
Harry agreed to wait that long, knowing that it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time since he would be working with Tonks.
“You should go pack for tomorrow,” Lupin said, as if knowing Harry had yet to start. “Molly’s going to be expecting us to head out the door the second the ministry cars show up.”
It was already late as Harry climbed the stairs, but he was going to put off packing a while longer to tell Ron and Hermione about the extra defense training Tonks was going to be giving him.
He thought nothing of opening Ron’s door without knocking. After all, he couldn’t hear anything from the outside, which meant they weren’t fighting, so it was safe to walk in. But as soon as he had the door open part way, he knew why it had been so quiet.
To his astonishment and something else he didn’t want to name, he saw Ron had Hermione backed up against the wall. If they were just kissing that would have been bad enough, but the way they were wrapped up in each other was far more intense than any of the snog sessions Harry had been forced to witness between Ron and Lavender last year.
They didn’t even notice him standing there. He backed out of the room, closing the door as quietly as he could, even though what Harry really wanted to do was slam it shut.
He walked back down to his room on the second level, wishing now more than ever that he wasn’t going back to Hogwarts.
* * *
Ron and Hermione were completely oblivious to any intrusion. Ron parted her lips and plunged his tongue into her hot mouth. Hermione responded by deepening the kiss and pressing her tongue against his. She finally came to her senses, albeit reluctantly, when she felt how aroused he was and pushed him away.
“Ron, we can’t,” she said, short out of breath. “Harry will be looking for us soon.”
“No, he won’t,” Ron insisted. “Whatever Lupin wanted to talk to him about it sounded serious. They’ll be downstairs for hours.”
“I doubt that,” she said, unconvinced.
“Once we go back to school tomorrow it’s going to be hard enough to find time alone without Harry or anyone else getting suspicious. And you’re going to be so caught up with your Head Girl duties and NEWTs we’ll barely see each other.”
“We’ll see each other plenty in class,” she pointed out.
He scowled. “That’s not what I mean.”
“I do have my own room this year,” she said, arching an eyebrow at him.
At what she was implying, Ron said, “I really do have the best girlfriend a bloke could ask for.”
It still felt almost strange to hear Ron call her that. It was hard to believe that after six years of fighting, bickering and hurting each other they had finally put aside all that and admitted their feelings.
With the seriousness of the war and the knowledge they would very likely leave Hogwarts with Harry in the next few months to find the last Horcruxes, made them realize how short time was. People they knew were dying all the time. No one was safe anymore.
It had happened by accident one night at the start of summer while Harry was still at the Dursley’s. She had stopped by Ron’s room to say goodnight and he had been pouring over the Apparition pamphlets, worrying over taking his exam again in a few weeks with Harry. She didn’t know what came over her but Ron had seemed such a nervous wreck she didn’t know what else to do except kiss him.
It was hard to tell which one of them was more shocked, and they spent the next three days avoiding each other because of it. She felt embarrassed and decided to leave the next move up to Ron. Though she couldn’t stop herself from worrying she had ruined their friendship, and that despite his jealousy over Viktor Krum and McLaggen, he didn’t want her the same way she wanted him.
Finally, Ron approached her when it was just the two of them outside. After many minutes of stuttering and stammering, Ron had given up on words entirely and just kissed her.
Things had progressed quickly after that, which Hermione attributed to the years they had wasted being too stubborn to admit there was something deeper than friendship going on. Even after seeing him with Lavender Brown, something that had been almost too much for her to bear and had nearly destroyed their friendship, she had been too scared to say anything to him.
Once Harry arrived at The Burrow, he’d been so withdrawn they didn’t think it was the right time to tell him about them. Now, it was the end of summer holidays and they were no closer to telling him. Hermione decided then they were just going to have to find a way to broach the subject to him because she knew Ron also didn’t want to spend their last year of school lying to him.
“Don’t think that flattery is going to make me do your homework for you,” she said in response to his remark.
Ron flashed her a lopsided grin. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
He wove one hand through the curls of her and brought her face closer to his. Sensing the hesitation she was still holding onto, he brushed his lips against hers more gently than before. Then he started trailing kisses down her throat before sucking on the sensitive spot on her neck causing her to whimper. Any thoughts she still had of going back to the room she was sharing with Ginny were gone now.
She pulled out her wand and moved her head just enough so she was able to cast a locking charm on the door and a silencing charm around the room.
“Always thinking,” murmured Ron against her neck.
When he pulled away from her, she protested the loss of contact until she felt him pick her up and send his lips crashing against hers. She wrapped her legs tightly around his waist and he groaned in response, dropping her onto his desk. He took his time unbuttoning her shirt, enjoying the impatient noises she made.
“Stop teasing,” she said in a breathless voice.
He gave her a wicked grin. “Oh, you’ll know when I’m teasing.”
Just to prove his point, he finished with the last two buttons and started messaging her breasts through the thin material of her bra. She arched against his touch but he was only just getting started. He undid the clasp on her bra, something he had only recently gotten the hang of before kissing his way down passed her collarbone into the valley between her breasts. He took his time kissing and suckling each one, growing more and more turned on by the noises she was making. When he glanced up to watch the look of ecstasy on her face, she leaned down to capture his lips in a bruising kiss, mingling her tongue against his own.
“I suppose I should take care of you,” Hermione said a moment later in a sultry voice. She pulled off his t-shirt and then moved her hand over the bulge in his trousers, moving it up and down ever so slightly. His hips bucked involuntarily towards her.
“Fuck, Hermione,” he said through gritted teeth. When they were like this it was the only time he could get away with such language.
She deftly undid his trousers and slid her hand inside his boxers, wrapping her fingers around his hard member.
“Fuck,” he cried out and braced himself against her.
She grinned impishly. “I believe you already said that.” She continued to stroke him, alternating between feather light touches and hard strokes.
“It’s not nice to tease,” Ron growled.
“Don’t seem to like it as much when the shoe is on the other foot, do you?” she said a second before Ron’s lips landed on hers. She took mercy on him and began stroking him in rhythm, pulling her hand away when she felt him tense up. His groans of frustration were drowned out by her saying in a commanding tone, “fuck me, now.”
He almost came right then. The only thing sexier than seeing a flushed faced and half naked Hermione, was hearing her swear, abandoning her bookish self to a side that nobody else got to see but him
Ron shucked off his boxers and trousers. He unbuttoned her shorts – the incredibly short ones he was convinced she took to wearing these last few weeks to drive him mad – and then slid them down her legs. When he went to remove her knickers, he could feel how wet she was for him.
He plunged inside her already half mad with lust as he felt her all around him. She raked her fingernails down his back, leaving marks. They had discovered early on that despite their mutual inexperience they were neither timid nor gentle when it came to sex. The rougher the better and never in Ron’s wildest fantasies did he think Hermione would be such a minx in the bedroom.
Stars exploded behind Ron’s eyes and he came crying out Hermione’s name. Hermione wasn’t quite there yet, so he added a couple fingers to where their bodies were joined and she soon orgasmed.
When their breathing had almost returned to normal and they were still clinging to one another, Ron said, “I’m going to have a fun time explaining these scratches in the shower at school”
“Sorry,” she apologized.
“Nah, I don’t mind,” he said, giving her a kiss. “I’ll think of something to tell them.”
“While you’ll doing that, you should also think of something to tell Harry.”
Ron pulled back a little to look down at her, his eyes wide with horror. “You want to tell Harry we’re shagging?”
“No, we don’t need to give him any specific details but it’s time we told him about us.”
“Maybe we could just have him walk in on us and then we wouldn’t have to explain anything.”
“That’s not funny, Ron,” she said with a frown. “We’re his best friends. He should hear it from us.”
Ron sighed and kissed the top of her head. “All right, we’ll tell him once we’re back at school.”
“Ron, he’ll be okay with it,” she said, looking up at him. “He was the one who was trying to get me to tell you how I felt last year.”
“And instead of taking his advice you tried to make me jealous with that prat McLaggen.”
“Oh, and is if you weren’t trying to do the same thing with Lavender,” she said, raising an eyebrow at him.
“You started it with Krum.”
She rolled her eyes. They would be eighty and he would still bring up Viktor Krum. “Why don’t you just ask me what I did with him instead of making assumptions.”
“Because I don’t want to know,” he stated evenly. He’d already spent far too many hours thinking about it, and did not like any of the conclusions he had come up with.
“Fine, then I’ll show you.”
“What?!” He cried. It was already turning out worse than he imagined. “Hermione, I bloody-well don’t want you to show me what you and Vicky did together – “
She ended his words by kissing him softly and quickly on the mouth.
Dumfounded, he said, “What was that?”
“That was what I did with Viktor,” she said smoothly.
“That was it? Just one kiss?”
“And there was no tongue involved, right?”
“No, Ron, there was no tongue,” she said, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at him again.
Though he was far from thrilled that she had actually kissed the git, at least that was all she had done with him. He smirked inwardly. He bet Krum had wanted to do more but Hermione had turned him down.
“Are you done being a jealous prat now?”
“For the moment,” he answered, and leaned down to cover her mouth with his own
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