Chapter 2 : It Happened Upon Us
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Twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three...
Hermione's bottom lip was pulled into her mouth, being gnawed by her teeth.
She felt sick. Disgusting. Nauseous. Disbelieving.
"Five days," she muttered to herself, staring into the porcelain toilet. There were patterns in the water, if you looked hard enough. Ripples... of... flowers. Something happy. Nothing... shocking. "Five... bloody... Five."
As she matted her hair down, away from her face, her gut twisted once again. Her stomach was empty, her heart racing, sweat was dripping from her forehead. Standing, shakily, Hermione wiped her brow and leaned against the sink, taking in her pallid reflection in the mirror.
"Hermione?" Sirius' concerned voice entered the loo, shortly followed by his body. Hermione winced as he said her name again. "Hermione, what's going on?"
She drew her gaze from the mirror and landed it directly into his eyes. Wide and fearful, her pleading amber eyes searched his, hoping beyond reason that he could understand what was happening to her...without having to speak it out loud. Because, to speak it out loud, would allow the truth to shine through.
"You're pregnant," he stated simply, not breaking their contact.
She nodded and remained silent. When he turned and left the room, she did not try and follow. Her body was still. Carefully listening for his reactions, she held her breath. In another room, she could faintly hear things clamoring around. A boom, crashing, clanging all preceded a loud, rude curse. And finally, after stomping footsteps down the hall, his face appeared once again in the loo.
"Come on." It was not a command, but a soft request. As gentle as his gruff and strained voice could make it.
And still, she didn't move. Just stared at him, focused solely on the light and shadows flickering across his grey eyes.
"Well?" He held out his hand, offering her a gesture of his sincerity.
She ran her moist palm over her jeans and finally took Sirius' hand. Before she could take a step closer, he had pulled her to him and wrapped his free arm around her waist. The intensity of his gaze was causing the little strength Hermione had left in her knees to give way. His thumb roved over the back of her hand in a calming way... but the fervor he was creating with every other physicality was overwhelming.
"You're sure?" He questioned her, voice full of ardor. "Have you-"
"I'm five days late, Sirius," she answered hastily, annoyance echoing around her. "I...I don't know what to do."
Sirius raised an eyebrow. "I'm only a man, but I believe the first thing you do is take a test."
Unimpressed, Hermione swatted him on the arm. "You're giving yourself too much credit, love." She pushed away from him and lowered herself to the cabinet below the sink, pulling from it a potion. "No man would keep a potion for pregnancy pre-made in his flat."
Color rose to Sirius' cheeks quickly. "Can I help it that-"
"You want me pregnant?" Hermione finished for him questioningly. "Do you know what pregnancy does to people - to couples? Look at James and Lily, Sirius! She only just found out and he's already made a huge mistake!"
"I'm not James," Sirius barked back at her. "And you're not Lily. We're better than that, Hermione. We know we belong together. We've transcended time and-"
"Twisted things how they're not suppose to be!" Hermione finished, uncorking the bottle with a huff. "Here-" She thrust the cork into his hand and shoved him from the loo. "I'll be out in two to three minutes."
The door had slammed shut in his face and Hermione slid against the opposite side. She stared at the clear liquid, narrow eyes silently cursing it. With one, last deep breath, she dumped the contents of the potion in her mouth, swirled it around, careful not to swallow any, and stood up. As she walked toward the sink, her heart slammed in her chest. Forcefully spitting the potion from her mouth, Hermione gazed down into the contents swirling in the sink. Purple...
His name was barely from her mouth before she had collapsed onto the floor.
"Do you reckon she'll be alright, Padfoot?"
Loud voices. Hermione stirred, her hand moving up to her head. A splitting headache.
"She was acting mental even before the potion-"
Hermione jumped. James and Lily. Inwardly groaning, she sat up from what seemed to still be the loo floor.
"Are you okay?"
"You scared the sodding hell out of me!"
Each one of them turned to Sirius, glaring. He threw up his hands and ran them through his dark locks, frustration and relief breathed through a sigh.
"I-” Hermione stuttered, trying to find the best choice of words. "I...It... I don't..."
Sirius was by her side, helping her stand from the ground. "Do you feel alright?"
Hermione scowled and swayed in Sirius' arms. "Twins, Sirius! Twins!"
"Twins?" His voice was distant, unattached, as if it was spoken in a whisper, barely audible to the ears. "Two? Twins as in... two? No... No, absolutely not. Not twins. Hermione's lying."
He looked desperately to James, pleading for some sort of rebuttal. Someone had to take it back. Not two kids. Not now. Not... well, ever. Hermione tore her arm away from his grasp, a mad frown on her face. Her eyebrows furrowed together, wrinkled and tired lines on her face.
"Lying?" The word flew from her mouth in disdain. Her hand was against his chest, shoving him back against the wall, fury behind her eyes and power in her stance. "Lying? You think I'm lying?" James and Lily began to back out of the loo, both fearful of what the ignorance of Sirius' comment could bring. Just as they had reached the door, Hermione's face snapped to them. "You're not going anywhere!"
"I didn't mean it like that. Bloody hell, Hermione..." Sirius reached out for her wrist, prying her hand from his shirt. "It's just... twins? How could you..."
She tilted her head to the side, eyes narrowed. "Let me explain how human biology works for you, love." Lily shoved James in front of her and whispered something Hermione couldn't hear in his ear. Both took timid steps backward, but Hermione, again, cut them off before they got too far. "I said don't go!"
With everyone's eyes upon her in a fretful way, Hermione let go of Sirius' shirt and placed her hands on her hips. "You sleep with me. We make a baby. It's not bloody science. You and your little..." She glanced down, a vengeful smile on her face, then back up to Sirius who was wearing a look of contempt. "-men have put us into this position and you bet your arse you're going to help-"
Sirius had enough. He held up his hand and pushed himself off of the wall. "Get you out of it? Is that what you want?" She opened her mouth to respond, but Sirius was quicker. "Is this what you do when things look hard? It's what you've always done, isn't it? Take it back. Well, I'm not letting you take this back, Hermione Granger. You're going to be pregnant and you're going to bloody well like it!"
Silence followed Sirius angry declarative. Without another word, he stepped from the loo, pushing past James and Lily, careful to avoid Lily's stomach.
"Just give him some time to cool down," James hastened to soothe her, glancing back to where Sirius had disapparated from. "He's not as big of a fool as I am, I mean... I left Lily at the hospital."
Lily scowled, but Hermione nodded appreciatively, chewing on her lower lip. "Can I stay with you two tonight?"
Tossing and turning, Hermione laid on the sofa in a fitful sleep. She hadn't heard from Sirius since he had stormed out on her and Lily and James had put her up at their place, telling her she could stay until she felt comfortable going back. While she didn't fancy sleeping in their flat alone, Hermione knew that she would have to go back and face Sirius eventually... wait for him, like she knew she always would.
Harry let his hand reach out to Hermione's cheek. "Listen, Hermione, it's not that we don't love you. We do. It's just that...Sometimes you have to realize that the real world is much different than in the walls of a school. We're not always going to go by the books. It's life." He dropped his hand and turned around, going back to the party.
Hermione's body twisted on the sofa, now facing the tall back. Her eyes squinted as she watched Harry walk away, unable to say anything to stop him. Something about him was all wrong... and she should have known it at the time.
"Don't feel good," she managed to convey to Harry. He took one look at her and could just see how she felt; her eyes were half open, sweat was breaking out on her forehead and she couldn't stand straight to save her life.
"Okay, let's get you home," he offered. "Ron," Harry shouted over his shoulder. No one answered. "Ron!" Still no answer. "Bloody hell."
Hermione started to crumble and Harry caught on to her just in time. She had fainted. Just before Harry was about to apparate back to their cottage, Professor Dokelman came up to help him.
"Sirius..." She mumbled, her words caught by the pillow.
Back in Hermione's bedroom of the cottage, Harry laid Hermione down on her bed and covered her up. He conjured a bucket, incase she felt like getting sick and turned back to his Professor.
"Leave now," he ordered. "I've got it from here."
"I want to know she's okay." Chester walked over to the side of her bed and was going to sit upon it before he felt Harry's wand on him.
"Leave," Harry told him again, this time there was no exasperation in his voice, just anger. He raised his wand threateningly.
"No!" Hermione's voice rang through the house, but she merely clung to her duvet and flipped to her other side. Her mind was trying to pull her from the dream. But she didn't have a hope of waking up.
“Hermione.” Harry had apparated straight to Hermione’s bedroom and saw her lying on her bed, tears staining her face. “Listen-”
“No, Harry James Potter, you listen to me!” She was fuming. Her hair was a wild mess and her eyes were so dark, almost as endless as a black hole. “You’re hiding something from me and I demand to know what it is…now!”
Harry wasted no time with words. He descended down on Hermione and met his lips to hers. There was no time to ask permission to go further. Harry’s tongue grazed her lips and darted into her mouth, claiming it as his. Hermione allowed him to deepen the kiss, and twisted her hands into his ravenous hair.
"James..." Hermione whispered, clutching the pillow above her head.
And he merely watched her as she kept dreaming...
Harry sat up. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I can’t…I can’t stop thinking about Sirius.” Hermione frowned. “I’m sorry.”
Harry shook his head and chuckled. “Sirius isn’t here, Hermione. I’m here. And I’m thinking about you.” His hand reached up and caressed her cheek. “Let me help you.”
In no time at all, clothes were shed, littered over the floor of Hermione’s room. Harry was positioned on top of Hermione, his ragged breath mixing seductively with hers.
“Harry…” Hermione moaned. “Let’s just… I’m ready.”
She shot up from the sofa, her brow covered in sweat, her body still tingling from the visuals and sensuality of the dream. When her eyes opened, she saw him sitting there, in front of her, a grimace across his face. Neither said anything, just stared at one another.
After several moments, he stood from the sofa and nodded his head, walking away from her.
"I...I have to make a choice. You heard Dumbledore," she spoke solemnly. "This is the last time I can make this decision, and he will see to it that I never try again."
"Hermione, I'm still confused," Lily said carefully. Hermione raised her head, inclining it a bit to acknowledge Lily. "In your real world...I was dead?"
Hermione nodded and Lily continued. "And, now, because I'm not Harry's mother, in this world...I'm not dead?"
"Apparently not, Lily. You are not the mother of Harry. I am."
Her heart race increased. Why couldn't she stop dreaming?
"So, you either have to leave, or you are marrying James?" He asked glumly, wishing for a different answer.
"Apparently," Hermione said while she nodded.
"Have you already started to fall in love with Prongs?"
She shook her head fast, in complete honesty. "No, I haven't. I was so confused about everything that I didn't have time to. It all seems so definite. I mean, it seems that if I hadn't made the potion, I'd go back to James," she reasoned. "Why fight what could be the inevitable?"
"Or you go back to your time," he suggested carefully. "Forget about him, live your life."
Hermione stared at him blankly. He was suggesting that she just...leave. He made it sound so simple. "But, I'd be leaving Lily, Remus...You..."
"You shouldn't worry about anyone aside from James and Lily. It's them and yourself that have the world on their shoulders." He sounded spiteful, like he would welcome the choice.
"The problem," she said with a little bit of force, her face reddening slightly from the annoyance that was beginning to settle, "is not whose shoulders this lies on. I want what is fair to everyone."
"There is no such thing," he said countered. "You have to do what is right by you."
Hermione stared at Sirius. He was telling her to be selfish, to choose herself over the others. "That is not what sacrifice is about."
"Then you will either marry James or James will die," he said with honesty. "All games and intrigues aside, Hermione, you have to choose one or the other."
"I want to stay," she confessed. "I want to be with you all. And if that means that I fall in love with James..."
"You don't have to fall in love with James," Sirius argued.
"But it will happen. It's destined to happen if I choose to stay."
Sirius surveyed her, trying to prove her wrong...to find a lie behind her eyes. He found nothing. "How will you fall in love with James if you know you have to?"
"Maybe that's the gift of time,” Hermione said proudly.
Sirius pondered this. "But, you are not in love with James now?"
Again, to this question, she shook her head. Sirius didn't wait for her words, for her explanations. He leaned down the rest of the way and closed the space between them. His lips were cascading on Hermione's. It was desperate, an attempt to show her how he felt. Hermione sat still for a moment, surprised by his actions, before allowing herself to kiss him back. She never moved her hands from his; they were clasped together between their bodies.
"Oi, wake up!" Hermione was shunted around, her shoulder being gripped by a strong hand. "Hermione, wake up!"
She opened her eyes cautiously, the sunrise filtering in through offwhite curtains. "S-Sirius?"
"I'm a git." He slid next to her as she sat up, eyes wide and bloodshot from the morning. "I'm a foul, loathsome prat. I shouldn't have said what I said and I'm sorry. Please forgive me?"
Hermione shook her head, a small smile on her face. "How many times did Lily rehearse that with you?"
"I got it after the first try. Proves how much I want you home," he told her earnestly, taking her hand in his. "Please come home with me, Hermione? I didn't sleep a bloody wink last night."
It took all of her willpower not to mention the dreams and pasts that she had entered into. She may have slept, but now the reality of her pregnancy was weighing on her mind.
"Alright," she said quietly, pushing the duvet from her body. "I should at least say thank you to Lily and James..."
"Lily knows and James is still sleeping," Sirius told her, standing and pulling her with him. "I've got a lot of making up to do... so let's go get started, yeah?"
"Yeah..." The word was barely out of her mouth before he had disapparated, taking them back to their flat, more specifically, to their bed.
James sat in the kitchen, listening to their conversation, Sirius' attempt at apology and Hermione's quick forgiveness. He had watched her that night, recalling things his mind had tried to banish - their night of making love... the only time he had ever dishonored Lily. And, worst of all, the pulling feeling he was having to Hermione was starting to reach further, to something deeper inside of her.
A/N: For anyone that is interested, I have posted four new one shots between this chapter being posted. Take a look, if you're interested.
The Light in Dark Eyes: Lily/Severus
Big Girls Don't Cry: Luna
A Marauder's Vow: Sirius/Lily
Selflessly Selfish: Andromeda Tonks
I've also written in the Loyalty Project - Luna Lovegood and Ron Weasley. If you'd like to take a gander at it. It was written for Tara and Linda, the new admin of the site. :)
And, finally, I've got several new one shot ideas on the way. Including outtakes from both Complicated Hexagon and Remembrance. So, keep your eyes peeled on my author's page for updates - they'll be in my bio section, updated almost daily.
*hugs* ~ Jessi
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