Hermione looked at Lucas with shock, seeing his eyes slowly shift back from yellow to a more greenish hue, his shame slowly overtaking his expression. Hermione quickly turned around, leading them both to the school, hiding her face from him, and the smirk that kept appearing whenever she forced it down. He couldn’t stop himself just as much with her, as he couldn’t with Chiara. She knew that. And no matter how much she didn’t want it, happiness kept emerging in her expression with that knowledge.
Avoiding the few people left in the halls, they now stood in front of the painting to the Slytherin House. Lucas sighed, changing back into his human form, Hermione making sure to avoid looking at him without any clothes. “Brumation.” He muttered, the painting clicked, opening ajar slightly to signify the password had been said. Hermione squinted in thought of the strange term, but was pulled along by the wolf-like Lucas, leading the way through the house he had come to know as his own.
Hermione studied everything that laid before her, and how posh it all was, from the marble stone floor, to the granite ceiling. The black dragon leather couches, the dark pine bookshelves and end tables. The dark atmosphere held together from the few candles alight, somehow giving a feeling of comfort for how unlit everything was. The few students lounging around, talking with one another about summer plans, shadows mirroring their actions as they conversed.
She was dragged to Lucas’ room before she could take it all in, Lucas unlocking his door quickly pushed her inside before following himself, not wanting anyone passing by to see objects moving on their own. Hermione stumbled inside, glancing around at the dark room, the scent of potion ingredients filling the air, their myriad of different flavors somehow not pungent to her, in fact it smelled calming. “Alright, close your eyes, and turn around.” Lucas ordered, changing back into his nude form, Hermione stuttering as she covered her eyes.
All she heard were the soft steps on carpet, rushing towards the dresser, opening it up, before going to the walk-in closet. If she didn’t have his nudity on her mind, Hermione would have been jealous of the single, large room he got to himself. Hearing the fabric slide over his body, Hermione’s fingers loosened, a thought suddenly surfaced in her mind. ‘He can’t see if I’m not looking.’ Before she could think better of it, she found herself looking through the slits of her fingers.
Her eyes bulged at the sight, his pants loosely around his waist showcased the top portion of his briefs while his bare chest laid in full view. In the darkness of the outside and surprise of the event, she never noticed how well toned his body was. His pale skin held taught over his dense muscles. She gulped to stop her drooling, leering intently, her fingers now down to cover her ajar mouth. She hadn’t seen many other boys body’s but she knew that his condition must have assisted him in having muscles like that without training. The memory of feeling his wolf form’s ab’s came back to her, his human body perfectly mirroring what he was like covered in fur.
She watched as he silently placed on a dark green shirt, and his robes on top of it all. Hermione scowled, even if it wasn’t required on weekends, he still usually wore his robes around school, further hiding such a sight she never would have guessed. ‘Actually, with how strong his grip is-’ “I’m done, you can turn around.” He said, glancing at her, his gaze matching her own, waking her from her own mind. ‘What… What was I just thinking?’ She thought with a gasp, shaking away her shame as her hand traced her neck.
Pulling down the hood, she watched as Lucas began to open his trunk, bringing out another suitcase inside. “What’s that?” Hermione asked, subconsciously rushing to any other topic to avoid her own previous thoughts. Lucas glanced up at her, opening the suitcase revealing tens of potions, every few a different color. He grabbed one at the very end, and quickly drank it, sighing with relief. “Wideye Potion… However there are many others. Whatever I might need.”
As I took vials of potions, and placed them in my robes, each one going to a specific spot, Hermione hummed. “You always have potions on hand?” I nodded, looking at the empty wideye potion in my hand, thinking of it as similar to Vitamix. “That is when they are needed most.” “Why do you have so many of that gold one?” She asked, pointing to half the container being filled with the liquid gold solution. I frowned, a sinking feeling of nightmares came to mind. “They are for Dementors.” I muttered, not wanting to explain the ‘how’ it worked.
“Like what you used to tame Nyx?” Hermione asked, her tone serious. I snapped my head up to her, silently freaking out, wondering how much else she knew. “Chiara and I were at the Astronomy tower before you and Pansy showed up.” She smirked, taking some sort of pleasure in the fact she knew something I tried to hide. I let out a small sigh, glad that she didn’t know anything else Pansy knew. Pansy was the only one I trusted in not revealing my studies in dark magic, the only one to trust me that I would use it for good. That was why it broke my heart to lie so much about my own cowardice of her rejecting me for my curse. ‘Rightfully so… I know I’m not myself, I don’t know what it might do.’
“Let’s just go.” I shook away the pains in my heart, taking the cloak from Hermione and wrapping it around us both. We left my room, and headed back to the lake. It was surreal to watch myself stand around like an idiot waiting for Luna to appear from behind some object in search of Nargles or something. “You looked anxious…” Hermione muttered, staring just over my shoulder. I scowled, still looking at my past self, drinking a wideye potion. “I just don’t like being kept waiting…”
“We should head to the forest.” I offered, moving to the tree line. Hermione followed my pace, but frowned. “Why should we head there?” I carefully moved through the marsh, keeping my shoes from the muddier parts. “I heard a scream in the forest. It was the reason why I was outside to help restrain Lupin.” A vague sense of foreboding looming in my mind for what that scream I chased after really was, matched by Hermione, her gaze proving she thought the same.
At the edge of the forest, we both paused, looking for my past self off in the distance. Finally he came over, looking in the shallows where I first met Luna. “I heard it now.” I waited for a scream from anything else, but shook my head, Hermione knowing what she had to do, plugged her ears. I did the same, my hearing already coming clearer with the moon’s rise. “AAAAAHHHH!!” She screamed, like a banshee in the throes of being exorcized.
We watched as my past self rushed towards us at full speed. Suddenly the scent of books and ink floated through my nose, and I was reminded of Hermione’s scent I had known all too well. ‘My past self might smell it!’ I turned around, grappling Hermione in my arms, a gasp escaping from her lips. “I need to cover your scent, hold your breath.” Hermione shockingly didn’t fight me, just keeping her hands clutched over her chest, remaining as still as possible in my embrace.
I heard my hurried footsteps rush on by, only a few feet from where we stood before slowly fading into the deep forest. I let out a sigh of relief, pulling away from Hermione. Her head was lowered, her untamable hair covering her face, hiding her expression. “Sorry.” I muttered, not wanting to speak too much for fear of angering her. Hermione just shook her head, leading us out of the woods, following my previous path. “Let’s just leave for the whomping willow.” I grabbed her wrist, stopping her mid step. “I think I need to be near where my previous self changed… I had my wand and clothes with me.”
I knew that if she came it would entail hiding her scent under mine again, and understood it would probably be best to keep her away from me when I inevitably transformed. I was sure Hermione would understand, and began to leave the cloak. However, Hermione grabbed me, keeping me under the cloak in disagreement. “No… It would be best if we stayed together.”