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Chapter 7 : Anything for You
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Anything For You
Hermione jerked awake suddenly, feeling groggy and disoriented and like something was touching her. Lifting her head she glanced at her clock and saw that it was early morning, only just seven, and she groaned when she remembered it was Sunday. Dropping her head back down in the hopes of falling back to sleep Hermione froze when she heard a snort.
Hermione’s head flew up again, this time searching for the source of the sound and she almost screamed when she realised it had come from the boy whose chest she had been sleeping on. Hermione stared at the sleepy face of Sirius Black from far closer than she expected. Taking quick assessment of her situation Hermione realised that she was in her bed, with her leg wrapped around Sirius Black’s legs, her arm was thrown across his heavily bandaged chest and until moments ago she had been sleeping on his chest too.
Where her leg was across him, she could feel her bare skin rubbing against his because she wore shorts to bed and he wore only underwear. His arm also seemed to be wrapped around her back, in spite of his injuries and he was playing with her hair.
“Sirius?” Hermione murmured uncertainly. Maybe she was dreaming.
“Morning sleepy head” He whispered, grinning at her adorably.
“Erm... how are you?” Hermione asked, attempting to remove her leg and arm from across him and finding that his other hand rested intimately against her bare thigh, holding her there.
“I’m ok. A little sore, but it wasn’t the first thing I noticed when I woke up this morning.”
“Yes, you see the first thing I noticed this morning was that I somehow managed to wake up with a beautiful young woman asleep on my chest. Then I noticed that my chest and everything else was hurting. And then I noticed that my head seems to be filled with the scent of rosewater and wildflowers and lilac. Which all happen to be smells that I enjoy immensely. Imagine my pleasure when I realised that you smell like those things” Sirius said softly.
“Um.... ok, but how are your injuries? I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to crawl all over you. I promise that when I fell asleep I was on my side of the bed and my head was on my pillow, rather than on you.” Hermione said, blushing.
“You’re adorable when you blush like that” Sirius murmured.
Hermione tried not to smile, and tried to ignore the fact that her tummy had clearly been practising and extending its gymnastics routine because it was fluttering wildly at the scent of fresh grass and leather and diesel that filled her nose. Sirius’s grey eyes watched her warmly.
“So do you suppose you could tell me how it is that I came to be sleeping in your bed with you ‘Mione?” Sirius asked her gently when Hermione just watched him warily.
“You don’t remember?” Hermione asked him, looking concerned.
“I remember I came to find you in the hopes that you would be able to fix me well enough that I could heal without having to see the medi-witch, and I remember you trying to torture me by stuffing things into my mouth and making me hurt even more than I already did. But after that I don’t remember much. Though I did notice that I’m not wearing pants” Sirius said quirking one eyebrow with a suggestive smirk.
“Oh you’re terrible!” Hermione said, smiling in spite of herself.
“You took advantage of me in my weakened state didn’t you ‘Mione?” Sirius teased
“No! I didn’t. But you were practically delirious because of the blood loss and the pain and your body was trying to black out so that you could rest in an attempt to heal. There was no way I was going to be able to get you back to your dormitory, especially considering that the stairs will turn into a bucking slide if you try to walk down them when you’re not a dog. And after bandaging you up I wasn’t going to let you transform and tear everything open again. And my floor is really uncomfortable. So I helped you over here and took your jeans off because they are covered in dirt and blood and were soaking wet. By the time I got them off you, you were practically passed out. Though you did tell me I was beautiful just before you passed out.”
Sirius chuckled. “Well clearly the delirious version of me not only has impeccable taste, but tells the truth unabashedly.”
Hermione blushed again.
“You saved my life” She murmured to him, letting her head lower back down until it rested against his chest again. The gravity of what he had done hitting her full force now that he was healing and no longer bleeding to death.
“Hurt like hell too” Sirius said “But definitely worth it. What were you doing in the owlery in the middle of the night on a full moon Hermione?”
“I had to send a letter. And I thought that you would all be in Hogsmede or something, not running around on the grounds. By the time I spotted you it was too late. Are you ok Sirius? Really?”
Sirius tilted his head so he could look her in the eye while she lay on his chest.
“This side of my torso hurts like hell. The other side too, though not as much. I feel like a breathing bruise” He told her honestly “But I’ll live thanks to you ‘Mione.”
“Merlin you didn’t look like it last night. You’re going to have massive scarring.” Hermione told him softly, letting the feeling of horror roll through her again as she relived the entire night in her mind.
“That bad huh?”
“Oh Sirius it was awful. I saw the attack, you know. Moments before that door slammed shut I saw Remus land on you, tearing into you, ripping at you. You’re so lucky that your body is proportioned differently as a dog; otherwise you’d have been dead right then. I almost opened the door again so I could drag you to safety. But then there was this huge thud against the door. I sort of assumed James had charged Remus again to save you. And when you showed up here! We should go back through the castle. The house elves won’t have cleaned up your blood trail and it leads all the way here. I only vanished it on the stairs before I came in to fix you.”
“How bad was it?” Sirius asked her in a low voice “Am I horribly disfigured now?”
Hermione bit her lip. Lifting her head and pulling away from him she climbed out of bed and looked down at him.
“Can you stand?” she whispered softly.
Sirius looked worried by that. Swinging his legs out of her bed and wincing and gasping as he tried to sit up, Hermione gasped. His back was turned to her and the small sections that weren’t covered with bandages were black with bruises.
“Is it that bad?” He murmured to her. He kept his back to her but very slowly he got to his feet.
“Wait, sit back down. You should see for yourself, and I need to check to make sure you’re healing anyway” Hermione instructed him, hurrying around to his side of the bed, acutely aware of the fact that he wore only boxers. Sirius sank back down onto the bed and watched her carefully as Hermione began to unwind the bandages from around his body. She piled them in a heap on the floor at her feet. And the more bandages she removed the harder she bit her lip.
“Hermione....?” Sirius asked when he saw a tear trickle out of the corner of her eyes and down her cheek.
“How can you even stand it?” Hermione breathed thickly.
“How bad is it Hermione?” Sirius asked sternly.
“Come see for yourself” Hermione whispered, holding her hand out for Sirius to take she helped him to his feet, careful not to pull his arm too hard for fear that the deep gouges would spilt their scabs open. Very slowly, knowing it hurt him to walk; Hermione led him over to her full length mirror and turned to watch his face as he assessed the damage to his body.
The entirety of his torso was black and blue with bruises and the gouges across his arms and stomach were all at least nine inches long and most were at least an inch deep. When they healed properly they would probably stay indented because of the missing flesh. The left side of his chest and his shoulder were a mess. In three spots there were whole chunks of flesh missing, some so deep that Hermione had been able to see bone when she cleared away the blood. All of the missing chunks were connected by bites and tears in his skin were Hermione assumed Remus had latched onto him and flung him around, shaking madly, the flesh tearing from the opposing forces of gravity, inertia and the destruction of Remus’s jaws.
The left side of his chest was one huge wound that spanned from halfway up his neck to the bottom of his ribs. And it was messy, the combination of missing chunks, tears, gouges, and bite marks made it lumpy and angry red. Because of the dittany there was no scab, but the scar was shiny and red and angry. In the areas where the skin was only torn the scar was just thick lines but the chunks were ragged and dragged the skin down to the bone.
Hermione watched Sirius clench his jaw as he assessed the damage to his body. He had lots of little scratches down his arms, as well as five deep claw marks than ran from his deltoid in his shoulders all the way down to midway down his forearms on both arms. He also had three gouged claw marks that ran diagonally from beneath his right clavicle across his chest and joined up to the ugly scar tissue at the base of his ribs on the left side. The five clawed gouges on his stomach began at the base of his ribs on the right side and ran straight down to the line of his boxers. He also had two deep gouges that ran down his left side; they started half way up his ribs and stopped at his hip bone, which had been exposed down to the bone. They were particularly deep and Hermione didn’t know how he hadn’t damaged any of his internal organs.
Hermione’s eyes filled with tears as she watched Sirius scan the damage. It looked even worse because of the bruising. But even when those faded, the scars on his body from this attack would remain visible for the rest of his life.
“Well basically I look like I was mauled by a werewolf” Sirius said, trying to smile “Are these the only ones?” he whispered, lifting hand to trail his fingers lightly over the gouges and the scars.
“Aren’t these enough?” Hermione whispered as the tears escaped her eyes and fell down her cheeks.
“Hey, don’t cry ‘Mione. Why are you crying? It’s not that bad” Sirius said softly, taking her hand and pulling her towards him until he could hug her very gently. Carefully Hermione wrapped her arms around Sirius’s waist.
“I’m so sorry Sirius. If it hadn’t been for me this wouldn’t have happened. You’re going to have these scars forever and it’s entirely my fault. You did it for me and now you’re covered in scars and in so much pain and I’m so, so sorry” Hermione babbled as the tears flowed down her cheeks.
“It wasn’t just for you ‘Mione. Of course I did it to save you, but I did it for Remus too. He’d never forgive himself if he ever infected someone else with his curse and that attack last night would have killed you ‘Mione. Remus would never forgive himself and James and Pete and I could never forgive ourselves if we put him through that. He relies on us to make sure he never hurts anyone when we sneak him out of the Shrieking Shack to keep him from hurting himself. It wasn’t just for you, ok? And even if I am scarred for life, I’d prefer it this way to the alternatives. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat” Sirius told her, rubbing his hand gently against her back.
“But if I’d never been out there none of it would have happened” Hermione said miserably.
“Hermione, look at me.” Sirius said “Don’t give me ‘what ifs’ ok? You can’t change the past. You can only affect the future.”
Sirius let go of Hermione and slowly walked back across the room until he could sink back down onto the bed. He was pale and sweating from the exertion of walking just that little way with so much blood lost and Hermione suddenly remember the Pepper Up potion in the bag of supplies he’d brought with him.
“Sirius.... don’t lie down yet. I need to wrap you back up in bandages. If you move too quickly or even just the wrong way those gouges will tear open again. And then I think you need more sleep. Drink this while I wrap you up again ok?” Hermione said, handing him the potion. It was steaming slightly and he didn’t look too pleased by the idea but he dutifully took it from her and took a big swig from it.
Holding his arms out away from his body Hermione dabbed at each wound with murtlap essence to keep out infection before swiping a little bit of dittany across them. They were already sealed by the scabs, but the small amount of dittany would allow them to heal faster. Sirius wriggled and grumbled as she did each one, clearly displeased by the stinging but Hermione quickly wrapped each one, being careful not to tear the gouges.
Very gently she ran her fingers across the ugly scar on his chest, watching his face to see if it caused him any pain. He winced a little when she touched the spots where chunks of his skin were permanently missing, but for the rest he didn’t cringe. Smearing a little bit of dittany over the painful spots Hermione hoped that the skin would soak it up and begin to repair the damaged muscles and tissue beneath the surface.
“Sirius, thank you. Thank you for throwing yourself in front of him. Thank you for saving me” Hermione said when she was finished.
Sirius laid back down in her bed and pulled the covers up after she shook her head when he patted the spot beside him. He closed his eyes when Hermione smoothed his long hair back away from his face.
“I’d do it again you know.....” he murmured, almost asleep again “Even if the werewolf wasn’t Remus, I’d still throw myself between it and you........” he whispered before he began to snore very softly.
A/N: Hey Cherubs. Thanks so much for the reviews. I love knowing what you think. I have heaps of chapters for this pre-written so keep an eye out for new ones, i'm uploading them as soon as the previous one validates.Much Love and pretty please review.
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