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Embracing the Madness by wolfgirl17
Chapter 21 : Playing for Keeps
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7

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A/N:  The term "What's got your wand in a knot?" is a direct quote from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire film. On an aside, all the characters used in this story also appear in both the films and books and only this version of their personalities and the plot for this partiuclar take is my own invention. As we are all aware the HP world belongs to JK Rowling and not us, else we'd all be rich. 

Enjoy! xx-Wolfgirl


 Chapter20: Playing for Keeps

Hermione had just gotten out of the shower and dressed in her bathrobe when she heard something tapping on her window. Thinking it would an owl with a response from the letter she had sent to Professor Dumbledore, Hermione wasn’t at all concerned about going to the window in just her bathrobe and she was fiddling with her hair with one hand while she opened the window wide with the other.


 Hermione gasped and threw herself sideways when she saw a boy on a broomstick speeding towards her before zooming into her suite.


 “What are you doing?” Hermione demanded angrily of the boy on the broom as he landed on her carpet and leant his broomstick against a wall.


 Sirius Black turned to look at Hermione as she got to her feet and he couldn’t help smiling at how adorable she looked. Her hair was pulled up into a bun on top of her head and the thick fringe hung down over her forehead and into her eyes which blazed angrily. She wore only her purple bathrobe and Sirius couldn’t help admiring her smooth, creamy skin where her legs poked out the bottom of the robe since it only feel to her knees.


 “You look adorable when you glare at me like that,” Sirius told her as he threw himself down into the armchair in front of her fire.


 “What are you doing here?” Hermione asked him, attempting to rein in her temper when she realised it was Sirius.


 “I missed you” He shrugged without looking at her.


 “And so you had to get on you broom and fly through my window?” Hermione asked, amused and feeling slightly pleased to know that he’d missed her.


 “Well, we just finished Quidditch training. James has gone off with Evans somewhere, Remus has already gone to the Shack to transform later, and Pete’s off with Katie. So I figured I’d come and see my favourite person at Hogwarts.” Sirius told her charmingly.
Hermione smiled to know Peter was spending time with Katie. She was the pretty girl with black hair that he’d kissed at the New Year’s Eve Ball at the Potter’s. They been on a few ‘dates’ around the castle, spending some quality time together and it seemed that they were still enjoying each other’s company enough to be together again tonight. Hermione wondered how long it would take before they declared they were officially a couple.


 “More like you had no one else to hang out with so you chose me as a last resort” Hermione teased Sirius, suddenly realising that she only wore her bathrobe. She hadn’t even put her knickers on yet!


 “You’re never my last resort ‘Mione” Sirius told her, turning to smile that heart-breaker, charmingly smile at her. “You going to come and sit with me while I warm up or are you too shy when you’re dressed like that?” he teased her lightly. He wore his Quidditch robes and Hermione could see that he had sweat patches on his back and beneath the arms of his jersey in spite of the fact that it was still snowing outside.


 “I don’t know. I’m nice and clean and you’re all sweaty and disgusting.” Hermione told him as she leant against the edge of the armchair and grinned at him.
“Nothing about me is ever disgusting” Sirius said indignantly.


 “I don’t know. I mean have you seen you hair today? It’s all sweaty and greasy looking” Hermione’s eyes twinkled as she poked his hot button.


 Sirius glared up at her even as he touched his hair. Since it was so long now that it hung to his elbows he’d actually had to tie it up for practice because otherwise the knots were impossible to get out. In spite of that he looked windblown and several sections had come loose of the tie he had in it, hanging forward around his handsome face.


 “You got a problem with me being sweaty from Quidditch ‘Mione?” he asked her evenly as he kept on glaring at her “I didn’t know you were such a girly girl that you were afraid of a little sweat” He tormented her moments before he shot towards her and dragged her down into his lap on the armchair.


 Hermione blushed when she realised she was now straddling him on the chair and he had his hands on her lower back and she had hers on his shoulders.


 “So you missed me huh?” Hermione asked him huskily as she settled herself onto his lap, feeling incredibly naughty as she let herself sit on him even though she wasn’t wearing any knickers.


 “You smell amazing,” Sirius told her as he breathed in the scent of her room and her clean skin after her shower. Hermione smirked at him and the sexual tension between them spiked as Hermione realised they were all alone in her suite, not likely to be disturbed by anybody since all of their friends were busy, and she wasn’t wearing anything but a bathrobe.


 Slowly she let her hands slide around to the nape of Sirius’s neck, her fingers tangling in his hair, as she let loose the leather shoe string tie that held his hair back. Sirius watched her with hunger burning in his eyes and Hermione’s fingers tangled in the little curls at his nape. Sirius tilted his head back to stare up at her hungrily as Hermione let her face hover over his. Hermione smiled down at him as she lowered her face until she could feel his breath on her cheeks and feel his warmth against her skin. She was just a hair’s breadth from kissing him and Hermione felt herself start to tingle all over in excitement. She hadn’t kissed Sirius since the holidays as they both kept on playing their little game of teasing and tormenting each other and Hermione couldn’t help feeling like she wanted to kiss him all the time for the rest of eternity. But she couldn’t because she was completely in love with him and Sirius would just love her and leave her if she ever admitted to that.


 “Still playing your little game ‘Mione?” Sirius asked her in an odd voice. Hermione titled her head sideways questioningly. He sounded a little irritated at her.


 “Something wrong Sirius?” she asked him huskily, though this time the huskiness of her voice wasn’t on purpose. It was just his proximity and they way she wanted to kiss him so much. Without answering her, Sirius closed the distance between their lips and Hermione let her eyes slide closed in pleasure as Sirius kissed her.


 He kissed her gently, his lips brushing against hers lightly before he deepened the kiss, his tongue flicking out to sweep against hers tenderly and Hermione felt herself melt into the delicious kiss as Sirius nibbled her lower lip sensually. With her eyes closed Hermione let her hands come up to cup Sirius’s cheeks, loving the way he tasted of mint and smelled of sweat and diesel and timber. His hands on her lower back massaged gently and Hermione found herself wanting to move herself against him like she had when he’d invited her into his bed on New Year’s Day, but she fought the urge.


 Sirius Black let his eyes slide closed as he kissed Hermione tenderly. Her hands were light and gentle on his face and the feel of her tongue brushing against his made him want to do so much more to her than just kiss her. But Sirius didn’t want to scare her, not when she was only wearing a bathrobe and they were alone like this. He wanted to take his time with her, to let her slowly unravel beneath his lips and tongue until he could convince her to be his date to Hogsmeade this weekend. Until he could convince her to want to kiss him like this all the time, to be his girlfriend, to be in his life forever.


 Because for the first time in his life Sirius had let himself get to know a girl before leaping into the physical stuff with her. Not just because Hermione had turned him down either. But because he loved the way her eyes lit up in class whenever the teacher asked a question even though she seemed to fight the urge to throw her hand in the air and answer every single one. He loved the way she chewed on her bottom lip when she was nervous or when she was concentrating. He loved the way she watched him from beneath that fringe of hers, her eyes twinkling with mischief as she smirked at him and made him forget what he’d been doing or saying because she was so beautiful that he never wanted to stop looking at her.


 Sirius loved the way she loved his friends as much as he did. He loved the way she worked so hard to make them all better, closer friends and the way she seemed to be turning them all into better people because she cared so much for them and always had a solution to any little problem they had. As he sat there in her room with her straddling his hips and cuddled up against him, snogging like there was no tomorrow, Sirius couldn’t help thinking that he wanted to do this with Hermione forever. The feel of her warm lips against his and her hands against his skin made his stomach do a little somersault and his heart gave a squeeze of happiness.


 He was tired of playing her little game. Tired of watching her flirt with him and watching the way other boys eyed her hungrily. He was tired of having her tease him only to pull away from him because she was convinced he just wanted to sleep with her and then be on his way. He didn’t know what kind of man he’d been in the future she had come from, but Sirius knew that now that she was here in his time with him, he wanted to change the man he must have been. He wanted to be with her. Wanted her to love him the way he was so hopelessly in love with her.


 Merlin just the other day he’d found himself daydreaming about what it would be like when they’d finished school and Lily and James got married. In the day dream he’d watched Hermione walk down the aisle in a white dress towards him and he’d been sad and disappointed when James had nudged him out of it as he woke him up.
Slowly Sirius began to pull away from their kiss and he smiled against her lips when Hermione gave a little whimper of protest. Her cheeks were flushed when Sirius opened his eyes and peered up at Hermione, she was breathing quickly and there was hunger for him in her chocolate brown eyes.


 “Hermione, love” Sirius murmured huskily as he stared at her swollen lips “Will you be my date to Hogsmeade this weekend?”


 Hermione looked slightly dazed as she dragged her eyes away from Sirius’s mouth to stare into his blue eyes.


 “Why do you keep asking me Sirius?” Hermione asked him breathily “Haven’t I made it clear that I don’t want to be one of those girls who falls for your charms and ends up a sobbing mess in some corner of the castle?”


 Slowly Hermione let her hands fall to her exposed thighs in disappointment. She looked down at them instead of holding Sirius’s gaze, knowing that if she kept looking into those grey eyes she would end up saying yes and probably blurting out how much she loved him already.


 “Haven’t I made it clear that I don’t want that either? That I want more from you than that?” Sirius countered, his hand lifting her chin so she had to look up at him.


 Hermione searched his face in confusion. What was he saying?


 “You’re trying to tell me you want to take me on a date to Hogwarts and not just in an attempt to woo me into bed with you?” Hermione asked doubtfully.


 Hermione watched Sirius frown at her and then take a deep breath in and she wondered if he was reaching for patience since he looked irritated with her.


 “I’m trying to tell you I want to take you on a date in the hopes that maybe you’ll drop your silly little game of playing hard to get. I don’t know what you think I’m playing for, but I can tell you now that it’s not to lure you into bed with me ‘Mione.” Sirius told her sharply.


 “Then what are you playing for Sirius?” Hermione demanded, trying to climb off his lap and finding that he held her there easily.


 Sirius glared up at her at that.


 “Keeps!” he snapped “I’m playing for keeps Hermione. But since you obviously only tease me and torment me for your own amusement, and since you clearly have such a low opinion of me, I’m not going to play at all anymore.” With that Sirius lifted her easily and stood her on her feet before pushing her out of the way as he got up and strode across the room towards his broomstick.


 “What do you mean you’re playing for keeps?” Hermione demanded as she strode after him. Hermione gasped when Sirius spun back towards her quickly looking mad.


 “It means that I don’t just want to take you on a date and shag you! It means I want to convince you to be my bloody girlfriend!” Sirius snarled at her “But since you can’t seem to forget what a horrible guy I must have been when you knew me before and focus on who I am now, you don’t even see how I feel about you and I’m sick of you toying with me.”


 “What?” Hermione asked, sure she had heard him incorrectly.


 “You heard me” Sirius snapped before turning back around and grabbing his broom.


 “Why do you want me to be your girlfriend Sirius?” Hermione asked him before he took another step.


 “Figure it out” He snapped without looking at her.


 “Well the way I see it it’s either because you’ve actually developed romantic feelings for me, or you just think you have because I’m the only girl you’ve shown an interest in who has turned you down.”


 “Tell me something ‘Mione,” Sirius growled as he spun to face her again “What kind of dog was I in the future you lived, that you think that my only interest in life is having sex and breaking hearts?”


 “When I knew you, you weren’t at all. In fact when I knew you, you’d spent your entire adult life alone and didn’t seem to show any interest in women whatsoever. But you had a reputation from when you were at Hogwarts as being a bit of a ladies man because you’re so good looking” Hermione told him frankly.


 “Then what in Merlin’s left foot makes you think that I’m just trying to shag you?” Sirius demanded.


 “The fact that I don’t want to get hurt when you realise I’m nothing but a boring little book worm who is more interested in studying and learning things than in making real friends. The fact that I’m not pretty enough to be with someone who looks as good as you do. So if I go and admit that I’m in over my head with how much I fancy you and agree to date you or be your girlfriend, I’m afraid that one day you’ll look at me in disgust when I’m sitting there in class with my hand thrown in the air to answer the teachers question because I’m just a little know it all whose soul is as dry as the pages of the books I so desperately cleave.” Hermione admitted, spitting out the words Professor Trelawney had said to her in her third year.


 “You’re wrong” Sirius told her, titling his head to one side like the giant puppy dog he could turn into “I watch you in class when you’re eyes light up because you know the answer and I watch you physically restrain yourself from putting up your hand to answer every question. And you don’t care more about study than you do about friends. If you did you wouldn’t be friends with all of the Marauders and Evans like you are. You have no idea how you’re changing our friendships. We’ve never been closer than we are since you popped into existence ‘Mione.”


 Hermione watched as Sirius let go of his broom and watched it fall to the ground with a clatter as he strode back towards her until his chest brushed against hers again.


 “You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and it takes all of my concentration to keep from just staring at you all day long” Sirius told her, taking hold of both of her hands “Every time I look at you I realise all over again just how bad I’ve got it for you.”
Hermione’s breath caught in her throat as Sirius said that. Her heart was doing back flips inside her chest she was sure.


 “How bad?” She murmured, staring up into his bright grey eyes as he looked at her as though she were the most beautiful, precious, wonderful thing he’d ever seen.


 “As bad a James has it for Evans” Sirius murmured back to her. Hermione stopped breathing as he said that. Did that mean that Sirius Black was in love with her?


 “You should know Sirius” Hermione said softly, realising there was something she needed to tell him before she agreed to date him “Since Christmas time I’ve been trying to throw all of your charming little tricks back at you, to make you fall in love with me like you’ve done to so many girls.”


 Sirius tilted his head sideways at her “Why?”


 “Because…. That way, if you were in love with me, it wouldn’t matter as much.”


 “What wouldn’t matter as much?” Sirius asked her sharply.


 “How I feel about you” Hermione whispered, closing her eyes as she blushed at admitting that. Hermione jumped when Sirius began to laugh.


 “Which is how ‘Mione?” he asked her wickedly.


 Hermione just stared up at him knowing that the fact that she was in love with him was written all over her face


 “So this whole time we’ve been dancing around each other, playing this silly game, instead of just admitting to fancying each other?”


 “You knew I fancied you?” Hermione asked, mortified. Sirius shook his head.


 “I thought you barely tolerated me. That you were my friend, but had no interest in me that way at all. Especially since until just a minute ago you hadn’t kissed me in almost a month.” Sirius admitted. “But you should have known that I fancied you before we even went on holidays.”


 Hermione stared up him in bewilderment.


 “Ask the lads if you don’t believe me” Sirius told her “That night you and me and James and Lily all went swimming, James was worried the potion in the water would have me blurting out my feelings for you before you fancied me back.”


 “Not much chance of that when you were accusing me of working for Voldemort instead” Hermione laughed as Sirius pulled her into a hug.


 “So what do you say ‘Mione?” Sirius murmured against her hair as he cuddled her “Will you be my girlfriend now?”


 “Well…. That depends” Hermione murmured. Sirius went stiff in her arms.


 “Depends on what?”


 “Sirius, I told you my secret about where I really came from. Can you accept that I’m meddling with the future I knew of all of you?”


 “Why are you meddling with time ‘Mione? Isn’t that dangerous?” Sirius asked her, releasing her but catching her hand and leading her over to sit with him in front of her hearth.


 “It is dangerous, but I’m not likely to run into myself for another few years at least so that part isn’t an issue. But I have to meddle Sirius. I’m not ok with living the next few years into the future I knew without interfering. I can save people and fix wrongs that should’ve been fixed in the first place.”


 Hermione looked up at Sirius, her eyes searching his handsome face for acceptance.


 Slowly she reached out and cupped his cheek in her hand.


 “I know you don’t want to answer questions about it ‘Mione” Sirius murmured to her “But I have to ask this one…. If you don’t meddle, will all of our friends survive the coming war?”


 Biting her lip as she stared into the puppy dog eyes of the boy she was in love with, Hermione slowly shook her head no. Sirius’s eyes went wide for a moment before he took both her hands and kissed them.


 “Then meddle, Baby” He whispered softly before pulling her into his lap and cuddling her against his chest. “Meddle and make sure that all of our friends survive for the next hundred years or so.”


 “There are some other things you should probably know about me before you decide whether or not you really want me to be your girlfriend” Hermione told Sirius as she rested her cheek against his chest.


 “What things?” Sirius asked her softly, his hand stroking her hair.


 “I’m actually muggle-born” Hermione told him, pausing when he rolled his eyes at her “Before I got launched back here I had a crush on a redhead, I’m secretly a bossy little know-it-all and I absolutely detest your mother.”


 Sirius started to laugh and squeezed Hermione tight. “None of those things matter to me, love. Though I’m pleased you hate my mother. I still can’t quite believe you said those things to her.”


 Hermione smiled “Does this mean we’re going on a date on the weekend or do you not take your girlfriends on dates?” She asked nervously.


 “Well, I’ve never actually had a proper girlfriend…. Do you want to go on a date?”


 “I suppose a date might be nice” Hermione smiled happily “Though technically it will be our second,” she added.


 “Second?” Sirius asked.


 “I kind of counted you taking me into London on your motorcycle and buying me hot chocolate as a date” Hermione admitted even as she blushed. Sirius pulled back to look down at her adoringly.


 “You look so beautiful when you blush like that” He told her “Can I kiss you now?”


 “Can I get dressed first?” Hermione asked softly, suddenly uncomfortable sitting there in just her robe with him. Sirius smiled down at her and nodded before he stretched out on the black shag rug in front of her fireplace.


 Hermione quickly got to her feet and dug around in her trunk and her wardrobe for some clothes. In the bathroom with the door closed Hermione couldn’t stop herself from doing a little dance of happiness as she stripped off her robe and donned some knickers, some flared black pants, and a baby blue knit sweater. When Hermione came back out of the bathroom she found Sirius lying on his side in dog form in front of her fireplace with his tail thumping madly against the floor as it wagged furiously. Crookshanks had perched himself on top of Sirius and was curled up in a ball on Sirius’s ribs purring.


 Seeing them both there like that Hermione grinned before she closed her eyes and transformed herself into a red fox. On four paws she crept around her armchair towards both animals in front of her fire and when she was about a meter away she pounced on Sirius’s head with a yip.


 Sirius barked in surprise and shot to his feet, dislodging Crookshanks who streaked away from them with a hiss since he didn’t like either of them very much in their animagus forms. Hermione wrapped her paws around Sirius’s head and heard the little yipping sounds she made as she laughed. She could tell Sirius was laughing too from the little arf sounds he made even as he shook his head around trying to dislodge Hermione.


 Hermione took his floppy black ear in her mouth and gave it a playful tug before she bounded away from him with a flick of her long bushy tail. Sirius was right on her heels and Hermione spun with a growl when Sirius caught her tail in his teeth. She was laughing as she transformed back, especially when Sirius’s mouth snapped twice trying to catch her tail again before he realised she no longer had one. In his dog form Sirius had shaggy black fur that made him look fluffy and loveable, he had floppy ears and stood about three and a half feet tall at the shoulder.


 He clambered on top of Hermione, pushing her onto her back and flopping down on top of Hermione before proceeding to lick her face and neck. Hermione giggled and tried to push his away but he was too heavy.


 “You know you weight a tonne when you’re a dog.” Hermione grumbled as she tried to catch her breath with Sirius lying on top of her. Sirius realised the problem and got to his four paws before transforming back into the handsome seventeen year old boy version of Hermione’s new boyfriend.


 Hermione smiled as she stared up at Sirius while he lowered himself back down, now in human form, to lie on top of her again.


 “I’m not as heavy like this” Sirius told her with a wicked little smile as he propped himself up on his hands while his torso and legs rested on top of Hermione’s. Hermione’s stomach launched into a gymnastics routine of tumbles and flips when heat flared in Sirius’s eyes and he murmured huskily “Now can I kiss my girlfriend?”


 Hermione’s heart gave a happy thud at being called his girlfriend and Hermione nodded slowly as she bought her hands up to bury them in Sirius’s soft hair while he leaned down and captured her lips with his. Hermione felt her heart start to pound in her chest as her eyes slid closed and Sirius slipped his skilled tongue into her mouth to tangle with hers. Hermione smiled against his lips as her tummy gave a swoop of happiness and desire and she could feel Sirius smiling as he kissed her passionately. He leaned into her as though he been starved of her kisses all his life and needed to make up for that starvation in this moment.


 Sirius’s long hair tickled Hermione’s face and neck as it hung around them both like a silky black curtain. Hermione let herself get lost in the amount of feeling Sirius poured into their kiss and she wondered just how much he actually fancied her to kiss her with such passionate abandon. When he came up for air Sirius pulled away from her lips, leaving Hermione gasping, even as he kissed along her jaw and then down he neck after pausing to nibble on her earlobe.


 Hermione blushed when Sirius flicked his tongue over the spot on her neck where her pulse fluttered beneath the skin causing her to let out a little whine of pleasure. She blushed even harder when she heard his wicked chuckle of delight before he did it again and earned himself another soft moan of longing and desire.
Hermione froze when she heard a soft knock on her door.


 “Hermione? Can I come in?” Lily’s voice called from outside the door.


 Sirius made a soft sound of irritation that Hermione thought was incredibly close to the growling Remus had been doing all day.


 “Use your wand to unlock the door Lily” Hermione called back to her friend as Sirius rolled off her and sat up next to Hermione.


 Both of them were breathing heavily and Hermione was blushing crimson as she tried to keep from glancing at Sirius who happened to be grinning like a wickedly happy Cheshire cat as he held her hand in her lap. When Lily walked in her green eyes scanned the room before landing on Hermione and Sirius both sitting on the rug in front of the fireplace.


 “Ooh what am I interrupting?” Lily said in a sing-song voice as she skipped towards the two of them happily with a big grin on her face.


 “What are you doing in here Black? This is a girl’s Dormitory. I could give you detention for being in here you know” Lily continued, even as she started to giggle at the two of them “You finally convinced her didn’t you?” Lily asked as she dropped into one of the seats in front of the fire.


 Hermione just knew Sirius was smiling smugly as he nodded from next to her and she pulled her hand out of his so she could bury her burning face in both hands to try and hide her blush at being caught.


 “So you’re going on a date to Hogsmeade then?” Lily asked excitedly, nudging Hermione with her foot. Hermione nodded but Sirius interrupt before Lily could squeal happily.


 “She agreed to be my girlfriend.”


 Lily was silent for a moment and when Hermione lifted her face she saw Lily sitting there with her mouth open as though she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.


 “Already? Oh Hermione I thought your plan was to hold out on him until you knew he was completely in love with you” Lily teased, her green eyes twinkled as she winked at Sirius and Hermione wondered what it meant.


 “You knew he fancied me?” Hermione demanded of her red headed best friend.


 “We’ve all known since Christmas time” Lily shrugged casually as though it was no big deal.


 “And you didn’t think maybe you should have told me?” Hermione asked, getting annoyed.


 “Would you really have believed any of us if we told you?” Lily asked her.


 “I would have believed you. Probably not the boys, but I would have believed you Lily”


 Hermione crossed hr arms irritably before turning to a smug Sirius “Well don’t sit there so smugly because they all kept it from me. Did Remus tell you that he knew I fancied you?”


 “He what?” Sirius said.


 “I told Remus when I first started to fancy you, mostly because he knew it was things that smell like you that I could smell from that love potion. I told Lily too, but I guess she loves me more than you since she didn’t tell you either.”


 “It was fun to watch you both try to make the other fall for one another so I didn’t interfere. Besides, Hermione, you had to decide for yourself that he actually fancied you without being swayed by what I told you” Lily said “Now are you two love birds coming to dinner? We need to go and meet Remus soon.”


 “I guess you’d better go back out the window” Hermione told Sirius as she got to her feet and offered him a hand up “We’ll wait for you in the common room.”


 “You’ll have to get James to go up and open the window to let me in” Sirius told her before he tugged Hermione against him and claimed her mouth as his again.


 “Oh ick! Well there goes my appetite,” Lily grumbled “I’m telling James about you two” She added before Hermione heard her dash out the room, tugging it shut behind her. But she wasn’t really paying attention to what Lily did or didn’t do. She was too busy making out with her new boyfriend.


 “We’re supposed to go to dinner” Hermione gasped, pulling back from Sirius to keep from digging her hands beneath his shirt like she so badly wanted to. He was far too good a kisser for Hermione’s sense of clarity and Sirius chuckled down at her when he caught sight of the hungry, stricken look on her face.


 “But I don’t want to go to dinner or run around in the moonlight ‘Mione” Sirius told her huskily as his eyes travelled over her like a hot caress “I want to stay here a devour you all night long.”


 Hermione blushed as she took an involuntary step towards him, wanting exactly the same thing. But Remus needed them and eventually they would get hungry.


 “You know we can’t” Hermione told him, trying to catch her breath.


 For a moment Sirius looked like he wanted to argue, but then he sighed dejectedly and nodded.


 “I know. But there’s always later. And tomorrow” His eyes gleamed wickedly with desire and Hermione felt goose pimples race across her skin longingly.


 “You’re trouble Sirius Black” Hermione told him before she started to walk for the door and he picked up his broom and headed for her window.


 “Maybe, but I’m your trouble now Hermione Granger” He told her impishly. Hermione jumped slightly at hearing him use her real name, but she smiled at him and waved as he took off out her open window. Realising that her room would be cold tonight if she didn’t close it behind him, Hermione quickly ran across the carpet to pull it closed and she paused when she heard the lonely wailing wolf howl on the evening air.


 Hoping that it was because Remus was already sitting in his animagus wolf form and not because he’d already transformed with the moon, Hermione latched the window closed and went down to the common room. As she stepped off the bottom step Lily ambushed her with questions.


 “Oh Merlin Hermione, are you really Black’s girlfriend?” she gushed and Hermione laughed at Lily’s poor imitation of what other girls in Hogwarts would likely say upon finding out that Hermione and Sirius were now a couple. Most people suspected it anyway since they were such close friends and because of the pregnancy rumour Hermione had falsely started in her anger at Sirius’s mother.


 “You sound ridiculous” Hermione told her red headed friend as she watch James and Sirius bound down the stairs from their dormitory.


 “Hey, paws off Evans! ‘Mione’s mine now.” Sirius announced smugly as he swooped over and lifted Hermione into the air by her waist. Hermione squeaked in surprise to find her tummy suddenly aligned with Sirius’s face as he cuddled her against him.


 “Sirius Black you put me down this instance!” Hermione snapped at him even though she couldn’t stop smiling. She suddenly realised that given how Sirius had liked to be in her personal space as her friend, he was going to be even more touchy-feely as her boyfriend.


 After all, it was in his nature to crave physical contact just like his doggy animagus form.


 “Oh Potter aren’t they just adorable” Lily pretended to gush at him before she started making gagging sounds.


 “Evans, hold still” James complained as Hermione watched from her perch, James was trying to catch Lily so he could lift her the same way.


 “I don’t know what sort of crazy idea you have in your head right now, but it better not involve you trying to carry me like a trophy all the way to the Great Hall, Sirius.” Hermione warned the handsome black haired boy who happened to be smiling his adorable heart breaker smile up at her.


 “But I have to tell the world that you’re mine Baby” Sirius grinned “How else will they know that even looking sideways at you with anything other than acknowledgement of your existence will land them on the wrong side of a Marauders prank?”


 “And you have to do that by carrying me around?” Hermione asked irritably.


 “Well it’s this or you let me drag you up to the teachers table at dinner tonight and kiss you in front of the entire school” Sirius told her cheekily.


 “Well you’re not carrying me to the hall. Please put me down” Hermione asked him sweetly. Smiling up at her Sirius let Hermione slip down his front but he tightened his arms again before she hit the ground, just as her face aligned with his. Hermione tried not to melt into a gooey puddle of happiness as Sirius kissed her again, earning them several wolf whistles from other students in the common room and gagging noises from Lily and James.


 “Evans if I hear one more gagging noise from you I’m going to make out with Hermione every time I catch you trying to eat or study” Sirius threatened Lily as he put Hermione down.


 “You two are the worst for public displays of affection anyway” Hermione told them, socking James on the arm when he pretended to swoon at her “How many times have all of us looked over at you two when you don’t answer our questions to find you sucking each other’s faces off? So don’t talk to me about gagging from one little kiss.”


 The two couples teased each other the whole way down to the Great Hall and Hermione held her head high in spite of the numerous death stares aimed at her when she walked in holding Sirius’s hand.


 “You finally convinced her?” Peter exclaimed excitedly when they joined him and Katie at the Gryffindor table. Sirius nodded emphatically and Hermione rolled her eyes at him. He was way too pleased and smug for a boy who’d just agreed to be in a relationship.


 “Congratulations Hermione” Katie told Hermione with a smile.


 “Thanks Katie. How are you tonight?” Hermione smiled at the girl and set about having her dinner as she tried to ignore the little thrills that shot through her every time her hand brushed Sirius’s or every time he winked at her.


 “Oh I’m alright” Katie sighed “I’ve just got so much homework to catch up on since I want to have it all done before the weekend. Peter’s taking me to Hogsmeade.”


 “What kind of homework do you have?” Hermione asked the girl, always interested in any form of learning.


 “Oh I need to write a foot long essay for Professor Sprout on the Chinese Chomping Cabbage, how to recognise it and its properties and uses and everything. As well as reading my text books for Charms and Defence and a few other things.” Katie told Hermione.


 “It would probably be part of your research anyway, but when you’re in the library looking for information on the Chinese Chomping Cabbage, there is an excellent book in the potions section that had information on that little plant. I found it one day when I was looking for potion ingredient information. It had a nice diagram too, which would get you extra marks in the essay, if you can copy the diagram well enough.” Hermione told the girl cheerfully.


 She looked up from her food when she realised no one else was talking and Sirius caught her eye.


 “Do you know that you light up with excitement when you spout facts like that?” he asked her, smiling sweetly.


 “Oh, I do not” Hermione denied.


 “Yes you do. You’re eyes get wide and you smile a little, especially when you’re helping someone. You should be a teacher someday” Sirius told her fondly.


 Hermione laughed at that.


 “A few of my old friends suggested it, but one in particular pointed out why that idea is rubbish.” Hermione said remembering the time at the Burrow between third and fourth year before the world cup when Ginny had suggested Hermione be a teacher one day.


 Ron had snorted and told them both that it was a rubbish idea because while Hermione might very well be clever and good at teaching others, no student would pass her class because Hermione wouldn’t be able to accept anyone’s homework and pass them for it if they didn’t include all the research she would have put into it.


 “Why don’t you think you’d be good at it Hermione?” Peter asked her “You were really good at teaching me about Dirigible Plums last weekend.”


 “I’m good at helping people out with their learning, and I could probably teach the classes. But none of my students would pass because so many don’t put as much effort into their essays and homework as I do, and anything less than what I achieve would be unacceptable. A good example would be the other day Sirius when I read your Charms essay. You should have included a diagram of the effect and you should have discussed the incredible amount of complications that can happen when someone uses the charm to cover themselves in fur in greater detail.”


 “What? You read it and said it was fine” Sirius objected.


 “And it was fine, though I did suggest both of those things at the time but you were too busy using the spell on yourself to pay attention to what I was saying about your essay. The point I’m making is that while Professor Flitwick won’t mind so much that you didn’t go into explicit detail like I did, if I were your professor you would have lost marks for it.”


 Sirius watched her with an odd expression on his face for several long moments while James chortled and Lily nodded along emphatically as though she agreed that anything less than perfect wasn’t good enough.


 “Well then, based on that I think that we’ll be leaving the discipline of our children up to me,” Sirius said in a particularly serious tone with a completely straight face. He even frowned a little as though imagining Hermione reprimanding their imaginary children by making them do something over and over again until they knew as much about everything as she did.


 James started to laugh when Hermione sprayed pumpkin juice all over him in shock.


 “What did you just say?” she gasped hoarsely as her throat kept trying to force the pumpkin juice she had swallowed instead of spraying out, down her wind pipe instead the pipe for food.


 “James I think based on Evans’s expression, that you ought to be in charge or your kid’s discipline too. If we let these two have their way the poor blighters will be walking text books who speak in a monotone and are covered in ink blotches” Sirius told his laughing friend.


 “Sirius Black I agreed to be your girlfriend less than an hour ago. You simply aren’t allowed to speak to me about the two of us raising children” Hermione said, clutching her chest at her speeding heart rate from the very idea of having kids with the threat of Voldemort hanging over her head. Hermione certainly wouldn’t be considering such things until she had managed to incapacitate Voldemort, preferably by killing him.


 “At least you haven’t got to worry about her demanding that you marry right out of school mate” James told Sirius who looked slightly dejected.


 “What is wrong with you?” Hermione asked him, staring at the long haired boy sitting next to her. Sirius looked at her with sad grey eyes but he didn’t answer her. Instead he and James and Peter fell back to their regular dinnertime conversation, Quidditch, Quidditch practice, and prank playing.


 Hermione and Lily exchanged baffled looks while Katie giggled.


 When they got back to the common room it was dark outside, but Hermione knew the moon wouldn’t be high enough to force Remus’s change yet. Peter flopped down on the floor to work on his homework though Hermione noticed he had a Quidditch magazine in his pile of textbooks and that he seemed to think that the information he needed on the Augurey (An Irish phoenix resembling a vulture) would be found in his copy of the Appleby Arrows Quidditch team annual magazine.


 Lily had dragged James off to the library to get some textbooks for an assignment they had for potions and Sirius had flopped back into an armchair in front of the fire, which he proceeded to stare into moodily. Hermione couldn’t help but be reminded of Harry as she watched Sirius glare at the fire crackling merrily.


 “What’s got your wand in a knot?” Hermione asked Sirius when she got up and stood in between Sirius and the fire, crossing her arms as she stared down him. Sirius glared at her legs for a bit before he reached out and took hold of her thighs, using his grip on her to turn her around before he pulled her backwards by her hips so that she dropped back onto the armchair with him. Hermione raised her eyebrows as Sirius tugged her back against him. He’d planted her on the chair in between his spread legs and wrapped his arms around her waist so that she was cuddled up against his chest with his chin resting on her shoulder.


 “What’s wrong Sirius?” Hermione asked him softly, enjoying the way she felt petite and tiny cuddled up in his arms like this. “You haven’t talked to me since I told you that thinking about the two of us raising kids wasn’t allowed one hour into a relationship.”
Sirius still didn’t say anything.


 “Are you actually upset with me for being slightly alarmed by the idea of you saying that having children with me is something you are considering or have considered?” Hermione asked Sirius, sure she must be losing her mind.


 Other than James Potter with his incredible obsession and love of Lily, Hermione had never heard of any male who was so in love at seventeen that the idea of marriage and children seemed not only intriguing but was a life goal and something that sounded wonderful. The idea that Sirius Black, a boy known not only in this time, but in the one Hermione had come from for his scoundrel ways, speaking of having kids with her was more than a little bit alarming.


 “I didn’t know the idea was so horrifying to you” Sirius said in a low angry voice.


 Hermione felt like her head was reeling.


 “I didn’t know that you had any interest in anything other than Quidditch, rule breaking and your friends” Hermione countered softly trying to make sure that no one would overhear them having a small argument on their first day as a couple.


 “Are you not interested in getting married and having kids someday Hermione?” Sirius asked her.


 “Sure I am. Someday. When I don’t need to be altering the future and saving the lives of my friends from the most evil, vile disgusting creature on the planet. When that day comes I look forward to the idea of settling down somewhere, getting a cute little cottage with a big garden and getting married, maybe having a few kids, maybe a whole bunch of them. But Sirius I simply cannot do that until the threat of Lord Voldemort is no longer hanging over me and the people I love” Hermione said softly, resorting to the mantra she had been playing in her head since fourth year. Sirius stayed quiet behind her and Hermione sighed. She could practically hear his thoughts.


 In this time, the war hadn’t really started, at least not as far as Hermione knew; as far as she knew it was still developing. But Hermione knew what was coming if she and Dumbledore couldn’t do something about this. Yet in Sirius’s mind, things like marriage and a family and the type of job you got after Hogwarts were important things to think about and Hermione had all but given up on the dream of such things during her time fighting Voldemort and the Dark forces he massed to him.


 “Sirius… The times ahead are fraught with peril and if I don’t meddle and toy with the sequence of events, at least three of our dear little group of friends will die. Do you understand that? Three of you die!” Hermione whispered in frustration “In the time I was living three of your little group of friends was dead, I had no idea where the fourth was and the fifth was working tirelessly for the Order of the Phoenix, which Dumbledore created just the other day. I refuse to live in this time now and still have those three deaths occur. Ok?” Hermione whispered softly.


 Sirius had gone tense behind her at hearing her divulge so much information about the future she had known. Hermione sighed again, knowing she’d said too much but suddenly feeling mentally exhausted from carrying around so many terrible secrets.


 “What I’m trying to tell you Sirius…” Hermione murmured to him “Is that for me to be able to have all of those nice, happy things I have to kill Voldemort” She turned in her chair to stare into Sirius’s handsome seventeen year old face with his strong jaw, utterly kissable mouth, cute nose, deep set grey eyes, all framed by long silky black hair “Because the things that will happen if I don’t… well if I don’t murder Voldemort, I can’t have any of those things with the person I’d most like to have them with.”

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