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She's Got The Time by ThatRomantic
Chapter 6 : Chapter 4: Timshel
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 5

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Beautiful chapter image by Midnight_Witch over at The Dark Arts.

You are not alone in this.
And you are not alone in this.
As brothers we will stand
And we’ll hold your hand.
Hold your hand. – Mumford and Sons

She’s Got the Time: Part I
By ThatRomantic

Chapter 4: Timshel

Sirius could not stop thinking about Hermione. Her perfect innocence enticed him, drew him to her aura. When she had seen him she seemed upset about something; there were tears in her eyes when she looked at him and she looked regretful, but there was something else in her eyes, too. Something he could not read. Something that made him squeeze her hand to reassure her. Despite only just meeting her, it felt as though he already knew her, but he did not understand why. Her eyes had been haunting him since he had seen her. They were in his dreams, both sensual and innocent, and also his thoughts, throughout the few days it had been since he had met her.

His thoughts drifted to the question that had niggled at him since he had met her: Will he see her again? He knew he would see her at school, but he didn’t want her to forget about him. He wanted to be someone she knew, really knew. He was afraid to write to her, that would seem desperate, but he wanted to see her before the train ride. He wanted to know her, become friends with her, enjoy her company. Some unexplained force was drawing him to her; the familiarity and yet the mystery.

Suddenly, someone burst through the door.

“Sirius, Sirius! You’ll never guess!” It was James. Sirius had been living at the Potter’s residence since the beginning of the summer. He had spent one night at the family home, 12 Grimmauld Place, listening to his mother’s incessant criticism and brother’s constant coddling and could not take it anymore. He usually stayed at the Potter’s for most of the summer anyway, and decided he wanted to leave for good. He got the Knight Bus to Rufus Cliff and had been living there since.

“No, I don’t think I will guess. Care to tell me?” Sirius asked, looking up at the boy he considered a brother. James looked fit to burst with excitement. Either that or he really needed the loo. Sirius decided that it was the former.

“I’m in!” James exclaimed.

“In what, exactly?”

“Listen to this,” he requested, trying to keep his face straight and the excitement from his voice.

"Dear James,

“I do not know if you remember me, but we met outside the Quidditch shop in Diagon Alley. I’m Hermione, if you have forgotten.

“Anyway, I remember you mentioning your infatuation with one Lily Evans and hoped I could help your cause. I am now very close to Lily, and have been spending most of the month with her. I thought you would like to know that – despite the fact that I have only met you once – I have been putting in a good word for you every now and then. I have noticed that she has been warming up to the idea of you as something other than (and I quote) ‘a boneheaded monkey, who laughs at his own jokes.’

“I was hoping that you would not mind if I invited myself (and Lily) to your house tomorrow. She will be with me at school anyway, and I thought you would like to meet her with her new understanding of you.

“All I ask you to do is to be yourself. Do not try to show off for her sakes, and try to show her a James Potter that she does not know and will learn to like – a new depth to yourself.

“Owl me if the plan is good for you, or if you want me to come over another time,


“See, Sirius! The girl’s a genius! She’s got Lily Evans to consider me likeable!”
“What are you going to say, then?” asked Sirius, hoping the hopefulness in his voice was not too obvious.

“Yes, of course! We have to get Rem and Pete over too. Make a day of it.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Sirius had never been so nervous or excited in his life. He would see her again, face to face. He tried to keep the smile from his face but he was failing somewhat. He was made even more nervous by watching the boy he regarded as a brother pace in front of him. The two boys were in the Potters’ first reception room. They had specifically asked James’s Mum to use that room, as they found it the most welcoming.

It was decorated richly, but not distastefully, with reds and golds. It was affectionately known as the Gryffindor Room, as it reflected the family’s heritage. Like in Grimmauld Place, there was a tapestry of the family tree adorning the wall. Beneath the roots of the tree was the name ‘Peverell’ in a medieval script. The Potters could trace their family tree back further than the Blacks could, it seemed. Where the Blacks’ tree was green, this tapestry was a rich burgundy. The tree itself was gold, with accents of other shades of red. The names were stitched boldly in gold, too, and outlined in black.

The furniture in the room was the same burgundy as the tapestry that covered the room, with gold finishes and the carpet was a golden yellow. A large, lavishly decorated fireplace was in the middle of the wall opposite the trunk of the family tree. This was where James was currently pacing.

“James, relax,” Sirius said. “You’re making me dizzy.”

“Don’t look, then, Padfoot! Where are they?”

“Who –” Before Sirius could finish his sentence, the fireplace glowed green and a tall, sandy haired boy with patched-up clothes fell out of the grate.

Finally!” James exclaimed. “It took you long enough. Where’s Pete?”

“Hello, to you too, James,” said the boy.

“Sorry, Remus, but, you know, Lily Evans is coming over.”

“I’m aware of that, I believe that is the reason I’m here in the first place. To answer your question, I don’t know where Peter is, he said something about a cousin and alcohol,” Remus said, seating himself in one of the large, plush armchairs by the fire.

“Oh, yeah,” Sirius said from the sofa he was lounging on. “Enid’s going to be the DADA teacher this year. They must have been celebrating her getting the position.” Just then, a chubby boy with a sprouting of honey golden hair fell out of the fireplace holding his head.

“Rough night, Pete?” Sirius asked.

“Stop shouting,” Peter mumbled, to which the other occupants sniggered. He was holding his head and flumped onto the nearest comfortable area.

“If you go find my Mum she’ll have some hangover potion,” James said. “Be quick about it!” he added, clearly impatient to start discussing what he was going to do to win Lily’s affections.

“No need, James, darling,” a sweet, slightly aged voice came from the doorway. “I knew that there was a party last night, your mother wrote, dear,” the elderly woman said to the astonished look on the chubby boy’s face. “Anyway, I thought you may need some of this,” she said, holding up a purple bottle. “I also brought some Earl Grey and biscuits through for you boys.” Peter got up slowly, still holding his head and approached the woman, dragging his feet.

“Thanks, Vivian,” Peter said, taking the bottle from the woman’s wrinkled hands.

“Yeah, cheers, Mum,” Sirius said. He had called her thus since he was twelve, on his first summer visit. Her grey tight bun and warm but stern hazel eyes were more motherly than his mother’s own ice-blue stare. Vivian smiled at Sirius before leaving the room. Peter held his nose, and drained the bottle of potion before returning to sit opposite Remus in the other armchair, while James still paced.
“James,” Remus said in his calm, melodic voice. “Sit down and we’ll all talk.” This seemed to make James’s nervousness subside somewhat, and he took a seat next to Sirius on the sofa.

“So,” Pete started, sounding considerably more awake than before. “What’s the plan? Subtle hints at your skills in Quidditch?” Before James could answer Remus spoke up.

“No, I don’t think we really need a plan for this one.”

“What do you mean?” James asked, sounding outraged. “Of course we do! How else am I going to win her over?”

“I think that’s the point,” Sirius said, after seeing the exasperated expression on Remus’s face. James looked at him like he had gone mad.

“I think what Padfoot is trying to say is that this girl – Hermione, right? – has seemed to work wonders to get you in Lily’s favour. From what I heard, she didn’t take a lot of convincing.”

“Yeah, Prongs, Moony’s right, mate. Hermione told you to be yourself in the letter,” Sirius said. “Think about it this way,” he added when he saw his friend looking at him like he had just told him Quidditch is just a game. “You like her for her, right? A hot-headed clever witch with a little too much to say?” At this James nodded, despite the scowl on his face. “Well, you want her to like you for you too, right? Not some glorified or exaggerated version of you?” Again James nodded. “Then be yourself. We like you, and if she still doesn’t think you’re worth her time then she’s not worth yours.” After his mini speech, James seemed to calm down a bit. The boy, who had previously been looking at his hand and jogging his leg in a nervous way, looked up at Sirius and smiled.
“Thanks, mate. You guys are the best!”

“Hey, no chick flick moments,” Sirius said in a gruff voice. At this Remus and Peter smiled. They both understood that James and Sirius were closer than the brotherly bond all four of them had. They also knew not to feel excluded from or jealous of the bond, as the two dark haired boys were each other’s crutch. James was the first Sirius told about his family problems; Sirius was the first one that knew about James’s Dad dying at the age of sixty in their fourth year from a stroke, and James the first person Sirius went to for shelter this past summer when he had moved out. That being said, neither boy particularly enjoyed sharing their sentimental moments with Remus and Peter.

“So, the plan is, there is no plan?” Peter asked.

Remus smiled. “Yes,” he said. “Okay, what was the other thing you needed to talk about?”

“Oh,” James said, flicking his eyes over to Sirius. “I’ll tell you later, mate.” Remus gave James a questioning look at this; it was a widely known fact that James and Sirius kept nothing from each other. Sirius, on the other hand, was confused by the question. What else was there to talk about?

“Okay then,” Remus said cautiously. Just then, Vivian Potter came in.

“I’m doing you a fresh pot of tea for when your little friends arrive,” she said, to which James turned red. “You boys eat up; you need more flesh on those bones!”

The boys whiled away the few hours until the girls arrived plotting their first prank of the year. They had decided on something fantastic. It was tradition with the Marauders, since their return for second year, to make an entrance – upping their game each year. This would be fantastic – where next year would be spectacular. Remus was generally the brains, Peter the organiser, and Sirius and James were the executors. At eleven o’clock on the dot, the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it!” yelled Mrs Potter. The boys had decided that, although there would be no plan for James to impress Lily, as such, he should start with a better image than she was used to. They all took their seats on the crimson suite and waited for the matriarch to lead the girls into the room. Sirius and James picked up their tea cups delicately – as planned. Peter sniggered, watching them act dainty, and wished he had a camera for blackmail later. Just as they were sipping the tea the door clicked and the boys looked up. Simultaneously, Sirius spit his mouthful of tea out in disbelief; while James choked on the mouthful he had tried to swallow and gaped at the girls.

“Wow,” Peter said, in a dazed awe. “What are those things?”

“Nose rings,” Hermione replied, waving it off as nothing.

“You’ve corrupted Evans, you are officially my idol,” Sirius said in a similar tone to Pete.

“Actually, it’s Lily that did the corrupting, she practically dragged me into the shop,” the curly haired brunette said.

“It was either that or your nipple, Mi,” Lily responded, evenly. At this, James, who had not quite recovered from his original coughing fit, seemed to heave for breath, he was coughing so hard. The girls seemed to be smirking to themselves a little at this. When James did not stop, a flicker of something passed over her emerald eyes. She approached him cautiously and patted him gently on the back.

“There, there, Potter,” she said. “She didn’t actually get her nipple pierced. No need to get in a tizz about it.” This seemed to calm the boy down a little, although, Sirius was not sure whether it was what she was saying or the fact that she was voluntarily touching him that did the trick. Sirius smiled. Hermione really has worked some magic, he thought. Once he recovered, she moved away. “Where are we sitting then?”

“Oh,” James said, in a slightly hoarser voice than usual. “Erm, hang on,” with that he stumbled from his place on the sofa and tapped a desk nearby. It turned into a comfortable looking sofa with the same colour scheme as the rest of the room. “For visitors,” he explained.

“So, boys,” Hermione started. “How have your summers been?”

“Eventful,” Remus replied. “So, are you guys close now, then?”

“Yeah,” Lily answered. “Since the beginning of the month we’ve seen each other almost constantly. In and out of each other’s houses, like. Although, technically Hermione doesn’t live in a house.”

At this, Hermione laughed. Merlin, her laugh is gorgeous, Sirius thought. “Lily’s helped me through some rough times recently and it’s been good to have a friend.” Lily smiled at the girl with a sense of pride in her face. “Plus, it’s been brilliant having someone to gossip with,” Hermione added smiling. “I’m not used to being around girls and it was a nice change.”

“What do you mean by that?” Sirius asked, a feeling he was not prepared to admit to in his stomach.

“Well, where I lived, most of my friends were boys. I only had one girlfriend that I was really close to.”

“Why’s that? Do you not like girls?” Peter asked.

“No, it’s not that. I just... I suppose boys are simpler to get on with than girls.”

“Hey,” Remus said, looking at Sirius. “Are you alright, mate? You look like you’ve got something in your eye.” It was only then that Sirius realised that his irrational anger was making itself apparent. He also cursed Moony for being so observant.

“What have you boys been doing, then?” Lily asked. “Not planning a stupid prank I hope,” she added, sounding rather pompous.

“And if we have?” Sirius asked.

“Will you boys ever grow up?”

“I dunno, Lils. It’s always good to have a little laughter in our lives, right? I mean, you said that yourself, the first time I went to yours,” Hermione said, leaving Lily to blush lightly. Sirius, Remus, and Peter all exchanged smirks at the elated expression on James’s face.

“So, Hermione, tell us about yourself... We’re rather intrigued in your story, I’m afraid,” said Remus, saving Evans from her embarrassment.

“Oh, well, as you know I’m living at Hogwarts as Albus’s ward. He and my Father were very close – especially after my Mum died. To be fair, I’m tired of telling my story. Tell me about yourselves. I’ve got an overview from Lily, but I get the impression she’s a little biased,” Hermione said, looking over at an even more crimson Lily.

“Well, where to start? We are the Marauders; professional pranksters and fun-bringers to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I’m James Potter, Quidditch Extraordinaire, I like to think of myself as the best looking of the group – but don’t we all?”

“Yeah. Plus, I enjoy being young, free and single. He doesn’t,” Sirius commented.

“Pete and I just enjoy being young.”

“You can say that again, Remus. How is your lover, anyhow?” Peter asked.

“She’s not a lover, she’s a friend,” Remus growled.

“Oh, I can’t wait to see the girls again,” Lily said, seemingly over her embarrassment and now almost completely ignoring James. “You’re going to love them!”

“So you keep telling me,” Hermione said in a slightly bored voice
“What house do you want to be in?” Peter asked Hermione.

“I’ve been told I have to be in Gryffindor by Lily, I don’t think she’d forgive me if I was anywhere else.”

“You’re right, I wouldn’t,” Lily deadpanned.

“What if I end up somewhere else, what would you do then?”

“I think I’d probably have to kill you.” The look on Evans’s face was so serious that Sirius almost believed her. “Unless you were a Ravenclaw,” she added pensively. “Then I’d just have to consider you an academic rival and watch you burn.”

“It’s nice to know I’m valued as a friend.”

The time passed and they continued with their slightly stinted conversation with the girls. What Sirius did notice, was that Hermione seemed to create situations that meant that James and Lily were together. She also seemed to be subtly hinting that Lily liked James in the same way he liked her, and when Lily went to deny it she could not keep the blush from her cheeks. Whenever she did this, James would grin like an idiot for at least ten minutes afterward. At lunch, Hermione seemed to make sure that the pair sat across from each other. So they have to keep looking at each other, Sirius thought. What surprised him the most was that it seemed to work – to an extent. They talked about Lily’s seemingly Punk-like attitude and James’s part in the pranks the boys pulled. Both seemed to impress the other, and Sirius could not help thinking that the new girl was going to have a bigger impact on each of their lives than he originally thought.

Lunch went smoothly, and by smoothly that meant that there was not the customary food fight that took place when the Marauders gathered at the Potter Manor. This may have been because they had company, but Sirius thought it was most likely that they had Lily Evans for company and that James was too preoccupied to start it, as he usually did.

After lunch they made their way back to the Gryffindor Room and took their seats. Again, it was set up by Hermione so that the couple were sat next to each other. Lily sent her friend a pleading look while the other girl simply smiled.

Still looking a little distressed, Lily went to sit down. Suddenly, out of seemingly nowhere water cascaded onto her head like a water fall.

“Ergh!” Lily yelped before she turned to the boy next to her with an accusing scowl on her face. James went pale at seeing this and was about to answer when a childish giggle came from above, at this James seemed to turn beet red with anger.
“Harry!” At hearing the name, Hermione choked on her tea, before looking around frantically with worry on her face. When she had noticed the rest of the group were looking up, Sirius saw that she exhaled in what seemed like relief.

“I got the girly! Icky, icky girly!” Chanted the culprit. Harry Lucas Potter. The Rufus Cliff’s poltergeist.

“Harry! I told you today, time and time again, no pranks!” James exclaimed.

“Oh, come on, little brother! It’s fun!”

“Not today, it’s not.”

“But girls are here. Girls are nasty. They have fleas!” At this statement James got angrier, and the two girls looked scandalised. Rightly, thought Sirius.

“Girls do not have fleas. Harry, go, please? When I’m done we can plan some pranks but I’m with my friends.” At this, the ghost blew a raspberry and floated through the ceiling.

“Who was that?” Lily asked a look of indignation on her face.

“That would be my older brother,” James said, exasperatedly.

“Older?” Hermione asked.

“Yes, he died when I was four, he was six. Dad used to have a potions lab on the East Wing; he died in an explosion while Mum and Dad were out with me at the park. We were all devastated, and I refused to go to the park again. We buried him in the Peverell plot in the local graveyard. Two days later, he appeared as a ghost. He was always up to mischief. Taught me the best tricks in the book, so he’s more of a poltergeist.” The tone in which James told this was almost one of admiration. He then turned to Lily with worry on his face, “I’m sorry that this happened, I told him not to bother us. Are you okay?”

Lily looked at him and smiled, “I’m fine, soaking wet, but fine.”

“Do you... do you want to borrow some clothes? You can use some of my old stuff that’s too small if you want,” James asked, hesitantly.

“Okay,” Lily said, blushing again.

“Follow me,” James instructed, holding out his hand for her to take once he had stood. She took it in what looked like a decisive move and they left the room. Once they had left, all the remaining boys turned to Hermione with wide eyes.
“You’re –” Peter began.

“– a –” Remus continued.

“– genius!” Sirius finished. Hermione just smirked. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” she asked, a little too innocently.

“Okay, maybe you don’t know, but if James had asked if she wanted to borrow his clothes at the beginning of the summer, she would have told him where to put his clothes,” Pete said, to which the other two simply nodded.

“Oh, that. It didn’t take much. She liked him last year probably, but she was in denial for some reason. I just coaxed it out of her a little bit.”

“You are my hero,” Peter said.

“Erm... Thanks,” she answered with a slightly disturbed look on her face. After a few minutes of comfortable silence, Lily and James walked back in, and although they were not holding hands this time, James had a look of prideful possession on his face. Lily was wearing what looked like James’s sleepwear, and seemed to be positively drowning in it. She also had a scowl etched on her previously smiling face.

At Hermione’s questioning look she said “He doesn’t own Muggle casual clothes at all, so this was the best he could come up with. I refused to wear robes.” She then humphed and flopped back on the sofa she had been sat on. James sat down next to her tentatively, but her frown simply deepened.

The rest of the day was not nearly as comfortable as it had been at the start. Lily was still being cold toward James about what Harry had done, and the situation simply made it more uncomfortable for the rest of the group. This created some tension, since the main purpose of the girls’ visit was that James and Lily would make progress in their relationship. It got worse at points when Hermione would say something to try and encourage their relationship, only to have them end up in a spat. It was made painful when Peter tried to break the ice with a joke that ended up being slightly tasteless and awkward.

In the end, it got so uncomfortable that the girls went back to Hogwarts early.
“Lily, why don’t you go through first, I’ll catch up with you later,” Hermione encouraged. Lily seemed only too happy to oblige and, with one last sour look to James, shouted for Hermione’s quarters.

Once she was gone, Hermione turned to James with an apologetic smile. “I’m so sorry, James,” she said softly. “I thought this would be a good idea. What happened up there? Don’t tell me, I’ll talk to Lily about it. I will, I promise. I know it’s hard to believe right now, but she does like you. Probably has done for a while.”
“Thanks,” James said, in a slightly broken voice. “It was nice to see her anyway. For her to like me for a few hours is progress, right?” It was the most he had said since re-entering the room.

Hermione smiled again. “Yeah. Think positive. If it were up to me, I’d have you together by Christmas, but I can’t do all the work. I’m not saying you’re not trying, just bear in mind that you want her to want you, not the idea of you.” James nodded.

“Bye, boys,” Hermione said to the rest of them, a beaming smile splitting her face once more. “It was good to see you all again.” She then walked up to each of them and embraced them amicably. She whispered something in Pete’s ear and he went wide eyed, before giving a small abrupt nod. “Don’t lose hope, James,” she said before vanishing through the grate.

After she left, the boys sat around and talked about the day, each telling James the same thing Hermione had. At this, he looked up at the group with a worried expression on his face.

“I don’t know, guys,” he said, defeated. “I think I blew it once and for all.”
“What happened up there, Prongs?” Peter asked.

“Oh, god, it was awful,” James moaned. “It went fine until we got to the second floor landing. Harry was there and he kept making fun of Lily. He shouted stuff like, ‘Icky girly with ugly hair’ and ‘What’s that stupid thing through your nose?’ but at that point we were still holding hands.”

“That’s a good sign,” Sirius encouraged. “She wasn’t affected by Harry.”

“Yeah, I suppose. That’s not nearly the worst part though. I let her use the bathroom off my room; I thought she’d be more comfortable in there, while I looked for something for her to wear. I told her there were towels on the rack and to get dry and I’d have something for her when she was finished. Then she yelled that there were only hand towels, so I told her to use my dressing gown on the back of the door. She came out after that and it was way too big, so it kept falling open at the top. I swear I didn’t look.” At this point, Peter sniggered a little, Remus looked reproachful and Sirius was guessing what could come next. “Anyway, I had some robes out on the bed for her, but she complained that they were all too big and that they would look silly on her anyway. Then she turns to me and says, ‘You think this is funny, don’t you?’ I said, ‘What?’ She said, ‘You told your brother to get me wet so you could see me in my underwear.’” At this Sirius could not help but hate Lily, just a little. It was clear that James was trying to be a gentleman and she was trying to find faults in him. Then he realised it was probably her way of denying her feelings for James. That did not justify the accusation, though. Poor James, Sirius thought.

“Apparently I paused too long at that point, she asked for the pyjamas on my bed and stomped into the bathroom to change,” he finished glumly.

“Don’t worry, James,” Remus said. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”

“Yeah, she just has a lot to sort through in her head. She’s probably confused, no one’s forced her to analyse her feelings for you before Hermione. She’ll come around,” Peter said.

“You heard Hermione, she reckons you’ll be together by Christmas,” Sirius added.

“She’s certainly determined as far as the two of you are concerned,” Remus chuckled. They then started to talk about what they thought of her, agreeing that she was someone they liked and would like to know better.

“She’s pretty too,” Peter said, in the innocent way he had. Sirius scowled at this and James threw a glance his way that Sirius could not decipher.

They decided that Remus and Peter would be better staying over, as it was getting late. Hours later, Sirius was still wide awake, listening to Remus’s snoring, Wormtail’s squeaking, and James talk about evil frogs eating Lilies. He could not sleep and kept thinking about Hermione. She was really something else, he thought. To try and get himself back to sleep, he started to wonder around the house. He ended up back in the Gryffindor Room. He sighed and flopped into one of the armchairs, when he noticed a girl’s coat scrunched into the sofa. He walked over and picked it up. He debated with himself whether to leave it until the morning before dropping it back, when he decided that it would not take long and he would not be disturbing them if he just Flooed it over and came straight back. He also, secretly, wanted to see Hermione again. With his mind set, he went over to the fire place, threw some Floo Powder into the grate, stepped in and shouted, “Hermione Gardener’s quarters, Hogwarts castle!”

After a long, dizzying journey he landed in a fireplace. The room looked similar to the Gryffindor common room, but smaller and decorated in purples and creams, rather than reds and golds. There were two doors next to the fireplace, one on either side, that he assumed led to the bathroom and bedroom. He opened one, hoping it was the bedroom. It was. However, the door creaked as he opened it, so his quiet escapades were all in vain. He peered around the door to the bed and what he saw shocked him. There on the bed, was Hermione, curled into a ball, her chocolate corkscrew ringlets splayed on her pillow around her head. However, she was not alone. Holding her was the redhead girl in night clothes and James’s tee shirt, smiling contentedly in her sleep. Sirius looked away, before opening the door a little more to enter the room. The door groaned again and he looked to the ceiling, praying that he was not heard. Slowly and carefully, he made his way over to the desk, placing the coat on the desk chair. Just as he was creeping back to the door, he heard a groan from the bed. Shocked, he looked over to see Hermione stirring. Not caring for how much sound he made he dashed for the door, into the common room.

“Sirius,” said a groggy voice from the door he had just left. He looked over, Floo Powder in hand, to see a sleepy Hermione rubbing her eyes and frowning. “What are you doing here?”

“I was just returning your coat,” he said meekly.

“At... two in the morning?”

“Sorry.” There was a pause, he wanted to ask, but was too afraid to. In the end he decided he had to, otherwise his curiosity would never be satisfied. “Why was Lily in the same bed as you?”

She looked at him with a calculating expression, before speaking. “I get nightmares. Especially since I moved here. Lily helped me through them the first night she stayed here. She just hugged me until they subsided. We’ve been sleeping in the same bed ever since. I can’t sleep a full night without someone holding me.” At that moment all Sirius wanted to say was Let it be me to hold you through the night but decided that would be totally inappropriate and that she would think him strange.

Instead he said, “If you ever need to talk, I’ll listen.” She nodded and said her thanks. With that, she turned back to her room and closed the door behind her. Sirius took that as his cue to leave, and Flooed back to the Potter Manor. That night he fell asleep dreaming about the girl he was thinking of when he woke up.

I have to put a disclaimer in for the ‘chick flick’ comment. That was written by the geniuses behind Supernatural.

I’d like to thank three people, as well as my beta gene24, who helped to get me through this beast of a chapter. pixiepike for reading this first and having an enthusiasm for the pairing that I never thought she would have. Second is LemonCheese for helping me talk through this and giving me a few ideas to run with. Last but certainly not least, a big shout to joseppi10 for helping me through the last stretch and helping me with the last scene. I feel so honoured to have you all to have ideas to bounce off of. I love you!

Don’t expect too many updates for the next few weeks – exams are approaching. Plus I need to finalise how I’m going to break this story up before I do anything concrete.

To all those who guessed at who the wands belonged to, here are the answers... Neville Longbottom’s second wand and Ron’s first wand – it originally belonged to Charlie. Well done to Cristal90 on FF – who guessed both right (although they weren’t her answers – Neville’s wand is very similar to Cedric’s, I know).

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